As many of you may be aware, the stylebook and guidelines for Thomson Reuters stipulates that all articles pertaining to the Persian Gulf region be redacted to use the term “Gulf,” regardless of what the original journalist may have written or what the universally accepted name is for this body of water. As this region is often in the news, this is a persistent and readily apparent change that appears before millions of readers worldwide. There are several issues with this style change which the American Iranian Council would like to raise with the leadership of Thomson Reuters and encourage a change in policy.
First, Thomson Reuters has suggested that the term “Gulf” is used due to a naming dispute over the body of water in question. There is in fact no naming dispute at present, nor is it being challenged in any court, at the United Nations or other relevant international bodies. There are, certainly, several Arab governments who seek to abandon the historic term for political gains but it is incorrect for an internationally celebrated organization such as yours to claim that there is an international dispute. Previous disputes raised at the UN, found in favor of using the historic Persian Gulf name exclusively.
By AIC Honorary Board Member Thomas Pickering Originally published in the Dallas News
The U.S. has levied heavy sanctions against Iran, seriously damaging its economy. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani recently said, "Today the country is facing the biggest pressure and economic sanctions in the past 40 years."
Those same sanctions appear intended to threaten Tehran with regime change, put additional pressure on Iran's 80 million people, drive wedges between us and our European allies and force Iran from the bargaining table. Longer term, they increase U.S. international isolation and reduce the power of the U.S. dollar and Treasury as instruments of world leadership.
Sanctions are applied to impel an adversary to seek an agreement on a problem that threatens U.S. interests. U.S.-led sanctions against Iran eight years ago combined with oil price declines and mismanagement of Iran's economy put its nuclear bomb program under stringent limits and unparalleled monitoring. The result showed an effective use of the sanctions tool.
After a long break, Iran Chat is back and we felt this year’s series should begin with a deep dive into the current state of US-Iran relations, focusing on the very real and growing possibility of war with Iran.
To help sort through all the recent news and issues concerning US-Iran relations, we spoke with journalist Jim Lobe. He served as chief of the Washington DC bureau of Inter Press Service from 1980 to 1985 and again from 1989 to 2016. Currently he is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies where he directs LobeLog, an award-winning web blog focused on foreign policy, featuring posts by expert contributors on a variety of global issues, with an emphasis on US policy towards the Middle East.
Recently, he co-wrote an article for Lobelog entitled War Against Iran Becoming Ever More Likely. We discuss his rationale for this assessment during our conversation.
When most people hear the terms “Iranian women” and “soccer,” they are reminded of Iran’s recently lifted ban on women entering sports stadiums.
A few months ago however, I discovered this hilarious and ironic 2015 news story about the Iranian women’s soccer team actually being comprised of a number of male players. The photos made for great laughs, but also sparked an interesting series of discussions and thoughts. Apparently, upon being caught using male players, the team manager defended the decision by stating the players were transgender. Unfortunately, this attempt to deflect the blatant cheating scandal by sparking dialogue on transgender rights was largely ignored, mostly due to the fact that the team had only won a single game that season.
On March 7, 2019, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei appointed Ebrahim Raisi, a conservative cleric and 2017 presidential candidate, as the country’s Chief Justice. Raisi’s selection for this powerful position immediately set off a firestorm of international controversy. Human Rights Watch labeled it “disturbing and frankly frightening,” the U.S. Department of State called it “a disgrace,” and the Center for Human Rights in Iran went further, saying that “Raisi should be prosecuted, not head of Iran’s judiciary.”
This Media Guide will explain who Ebrahim Raisi is, why his appointment as Chief Justice is causing such consternation among human rights activists and what impact he could potentially have on Iran in the coming years.