Semira N. Nikou's Blog

Photo Essay: A New Mood in Iran

October 23, 2013
Semira Nikou              The voice of Ali Larijani, Iran’s parliament speaker, disrupted our dinner party.             We left our plates filled with fruits and nuts to huddle around the television, as the speaker read the names of…

Raucous Election: Politicians on the Record

October 3, 2011
Semira N. Nikou   This is the tenth in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012:              Iran’s 2012 parliamentary elections will help define the country’s political course for the next four years. The campaign is already heating up, as political groups begin to mobilize in…

Women Struggle in Parliament

September 20, 2011
Interview with Fatemeh HaghighatjooBy Semira N. Nikou          Dr. Fatemeh Haghighatjoo is a former member of Iran’s parliament (2000-2004). She is currently a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.        This is the seventh in a series on parliamentary elections due…

Factoids on Parliamentary Election

September 6, 2011
Semira N. Nikou          This is the third in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012: Iran’s first parliament was formed after the Constitutional Revolution in 1906. Its current parliament was created by a new constitution written after the 1979 revolution ousted the…

Hossein Mousavian: Iran is Ready to Negotiate--If

August 15, 2011
Interview with Seyed Hossein Mousavian By Semira N. Nikou   Seyed Hossein Mousavian was foreign policy adviser to former nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani (2005-07), former spokesperson of Iran’s nuclear negotiation team (2003-05), former head of the Foreign Relations Committee of…

Controversy Flares over Iran Arms to Iraq

July 12, 2011
Semira N. Nikou      Tensions are deepening between Washington and Tehran over new claims about Iranian military aid to Iraqi militias. The Obama administration charges that the Iranian arms have been increasingly used in attacks against U.S. troops. The U.S. holds the radical militias responsible…

A Case for U.S.-Iran Diplomacy

July 5, 2011
Interview with Roberto ToscanoSemira N. Nikou   Roberto Toscano served as Italy’s ambassador to Iran between 2003 and 2008.   Along with five former European ambassadors to Iran, you wrote an open letter in June 2011 encouraging the United States and the European Union to engage Iran on its…

Iran’s Women Two Years after the Uprising

June 28, 2011
Interview with Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh Semira N. Nikou        Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, a women’s rights activist, is a founding member of the Stop Stoning to Death Campaign and the Iranian Women’s Charter. She was director of Entesharat-e Banoo (Banoo Publications) and Entesharat-e…

New U.N. Human Rights Rapporteur for Iran

June 20, 2011
Semira N. Nikou             On June 17, the U.N. Human Rights Council appointed Ahmed Shaheed, former Maldives foreign minister (2005-07), as the new special rapporteur to Iran. Shaheed had resigned from the foreign ministry in 2007 to protest the Maldives government’s failure to…

Interview with Maziar Bahari

June 9, 2011
Semira N. Nikou          Maziar Bahari is an Iranian Canadian journalist and film maker who was imprisoned in Iran between June and October 2009. He is the co-author of a new book, "And then they Came for Me," which chronicles Bahari's 118-day long solitary confinement in Iran's notorious Evin…