Semira N. Nikou's Discussions
Interview with Fatemeh Haghighatjoo
- What role have women played in Iran's parliament since the 1979 revolution?
- Why did conservative women dominate the recent parliaments?
- What type of women--political affiliation, religious background, social class--generally run as candidates?
- Gohar Dastgheib (daughter of Grand Ayatollah Dastgheib)
- Ategheh Rajai (wife of former President MohammadAli Rajai)
- Faezeh Hashemi (daughter of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani)
- Azam Taleghani (daughter of Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani)
- Jamileh Kadivar (wife of former minister Ata’ollah Mohajerani and sister of Mohsen Kadivar)
- Fatemeh Karoubi (wife of former speaker of Majles and opposition leader Mehdi Karoubi).
- Which women tend to get more votes?
- Why has the number of female parliamentarians decreased since 2004?
- What positions do female parliamentarians generally hold on issues affecting women—such as on divorce or controversial family laws?
The controversial family protection bill (that would allow men to marry additional women without the consent of their first wife, among other issues) introduced to the seventh parliament actually came from the government--the judiciary and the president's office.
Interview with Seyed Hossein Mousavian
- What are the prospects, realistically, for progress this year in diplomatic efforts? What are the realistic options for a U.S.-Iran rapprochement?
- What conditions need to be met for negotiations to be successful? What does Iran need to do? What does the U.S. need to do?
- What would convince Iran to cooperate with the world’s six major powers?
- What steps could Iran take to build confidence?
- Commit not to enrich uranium above 5 percent during a period of confidence-building—as long as the international community sells it fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor, which uses 20 percent enriched fuel (Iran’s Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, made this offer in February 2010.)
- Adhere to all international nuclear treaties at the maximum level of transparency and cooperation as defined by the IAEA.
- Take steps toward regional and international cooperation for enrichment activities within Iran.
- Limit enrichment activities to its actual fuel needs.
- Export all enriched uranium not used for domestic fuel production and refraining from reprocessing spent fuel from research reactors for a period of confidence building.
- Resolve all IAEA’s remaining technical issues within the “Modality Agreement” or “Work Plan” signed between ElBaradei and Larijani in 2007.
- What role does domestic politics play in Iran’s position?
- How will heightened sanctions against Iran—both economic and human rights --affect future negotiations?
- Russia has proposed a "step-by-step" proposal for nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. What are the prospects, realistically, for the Russian initiative?
- Iran’s full rights to enrichment
- Lifting of sanctions
- Removal of Iran’s nuclear file from the U.N. Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors
Interview with Roberto Toscano
- 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 controversial nuclear program. Given the failure of diplomacy since 2003, what are the prospects of engagement--realistically?
- What tangible steps can the United States and Europe take toward negotiations with Iran?
- How has Iran’s political crisis affected the regime’s interest or position in negotiations on nuclear issues?
- Since 2009, the Obama administration has gradually shifted from a policy of engagement to heightened pressure through sanctions on human rights and nuclear issues. How do sanctions affect the chances of future negotiations between the two countries?
- Do you distinguish between human rights sanctions and those against Iran’s nuclear program?
Interview with Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh
- What is the status of female political prisoners in Iran?
- On what grounds have female political prisoners been arrested?
- Women were at the forefront of the 2009 demonstrations that produced the Green Movement. What is the current status of the women’s movement two years later?
- Have the women’s rights campaigns changed since two years ago?
- What is the status of the One Million Signatures Campaign, which seeks to collect one million signatures to change discriminatory laws against women in Iran?
Semira N. Nikou
- UN Human Rights Council appointed a Special Rapporteur to investigate Iran’s human rights situation. What are the specific duties of the rapporteur?
- Why did the United Nations opt to take this step? And why now?
- Given Tehran’s objections to the appointment, how much cooperation do you anticipate from Iran? How can a rapporteur operate effectively if he is not allowed into Iran?
- How might the special rapporteur’s findings impact the human rights situation in Iran?
- Does Iran care that the international community is increasingly raising human rights abuses?
The Islamists Are Coming
The Islamists Are Coming, edited by Robin Wright, surveys the rise of Islamist groups in the wake of the Arab Spring. Often lumped together, the more than 50 Islamist parties with millions of followers now constitute a whole new spectrum—separate from either militants or secular parties. They will shape the new order in the world’s most volatile region more than any other political bloc. Yet they have diverse goals and different constituencies. Sometimes they are even rivals.
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