Interviews

Namesort descending Description
Ali Afshari

Ali Afshari is a leading Iranian political activist who has championed the cause of democracy for over a decade. Beginning with his involvement in 1995 with the Islamic Student Association at Amir Kabir University, of which he was the secretary...

Interview with Abbas Hakimzadeh

Abbas Hakimzadeh is a prominent Iranian student activist who has served as chief editor of AUT (Amir Kabir University of Technology) News and served on the board of the largest student website in Iran, DaneshjooNews. He has been...

Interview with Abdel Wahab Al Oraid

Abdel Wahab Al Oraid is the Editorial Director of Cultural Affairs and the Director of the Eastern Regional Office for Okaz newspaper in Saudi Arabia. He is a journalist with 18 years of experience in the press industry and has worked with...

Interview with Ahmad Batebi

Ahmad Batebi is an Iranian journalist and human rights activist currently residing in the United States. As one of the students who appeared on the cover of the Economist during the student protests of 1999, Mr. Batebi was arrested by...

Interview with Ahmad Nader Nadery

Ahmad Nader Nadery is a former commissioner at the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. He represented Afghan civil society at the UN peace talks for Afghanistan at the 2001 Bonn Conference. Mr. Nadery is also the founder and chairperson...

Interview with Ahmad Rafat

Ahmad Rafat is an Iranian-Italian journalist who has covered more than 50 conflicts, wars, and revolutions in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He has been a speaker at various international conferences on topics such as terrorism, Islam, and...

Interview with Ali Afshari

Ali Afshari is a leading Iranian political activist who has championed the cause of democracy for over a decade. Beginning with his involvement in 1995 with the Islamic Student Association at Amir Kabir University, of which he was the secretary...

Interview with Ali Akbar Mousavi

Ali Akbar Mousavi Khomeini is a notable Iranian human rights activist and politician. He was an active member of the student organization Tahkim Vahdat before he was elected as a member of parliament in the 6th Parliament of Iran. While serving...

Interview with Amin Bozorgian

Amin Bozorgian is a former Iranian student activist and editor of the suspended pro-reform newspaper Golestan-e-Iran. He was arrested in June 2003 and accused of inciting students to revolt. He was freed a month later. After moving to the U.S. he...

Interview with Amir Hossein Ganjbakhsh

Amir Hossein Ganjbakhsh is a physicist, political activist, and member of Peykar Organization. He began political activity against the regime in the 1970s at Tehran Polytechnic University.

Interview with Arash Naraghi

Arash Naraghi received his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Tehran University (1991), and his MA and second Ph.D. in philosophy (focusing on philosophy of religion and ethics) from University of California, Santa Barbara (2008). He was a member of...

Interview with Arsham Parsi

Arsham Parsi is a leading Iranian gay rights activist. He fled Iran in 2005, settling in Canada in 2006 and founding the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees, an NGO that helps LGBTs flee Iran or fight their deportation back to Iran.

Interview with Babak Amir Khosravi

Babak Amir Khosravi is a former student activist and the leader of the Paris-based Democratic People’s Party of Iran. In the mid 1940s, Khosravi joined and became one of the leaders of the Tudeh Party of Iran. He became an international student...

Interview with Borghan Nezami Narajabad

Borghan Nezami Narajabad is an economist with the United States Federal Reserve. Narajabad received his B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran and completed his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Texas...

Interview with Ebrahim Nabavi

Ebrahim Nabavi is a prolific Iranian satirist, writer, diarist, and researcher and writes for multiple Persian language publications.

Interview with Elahe Sharifpour-Hicks

Elahe Sharifpour-Hicks is an independent human rights activist. She spent ten years working as the Iran researcher for Human Rights Watch. She has also worked for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and for Human...

Interview with Evgeny Belyakov

Evgeny Belyakov is a graduate of the psychology department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia. In 1993 he began working with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in trade union training and civic education. He became director...

Interview with Hassan Massali

Hassan Massali became involved in politics while he was in high school, as he supported Mohammad Mossadegh's attempt to nationalize of the Iranian oil industry in the late 1940s and early '50s. After going to Germany for his higher education in...

Interview with Hassan Shariatmadari

Hassan Shariatmadari is an Iranian opposition politician and a leading proponent of the free elections movement (Jonbeshe Entekhabate Azad) in Iran.

Mr. Shariatmadari teaches Tavaana's...

Interview with Hossein Mahoutiha

Hossein Mahoutiha has been a human rights activist since 2000. He was one of the founders of the Network of Iranian Activists for the Defense of Human Rights in Europe and North America.

Interview with Houshang Asadi

A journalist, writer, and translator, Houshang Asadi was a member of both the Writers' Association of Iran and the Iranian Journalists' Syndicate, and the co-founder of the Association of Iranian Film Critics and Script Writers. Prior to the...

Interview with Iraj Mesdaghi

Iraj Mesdaghi began his political life in the United States with the Confederation of Iranian Students and returned to Iran during the 1979 revolution.

In 1981, he was arrested because of his activities with...

Interview with Ivan Marovic

Ivan Marovic is a Serbian democracy activist and one of the founders of the Otpor movement against the Slobodan Milosevic regime.

Interview with Karim Lahiji

Mr. Karim Lahiji received his doctorate in legal studies from Tehran University in 1965. His interest in human rights advocacy began in high school and intensified while attending law school. In 1977, he established the Iranian Association of...

Interview with Khaled Azizi

Khaled Azizi is the Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran.

Interview with Kit Bigelow

Kit Bigelow is the former director of external affairs for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the U.S. From 1985 to 2010, she had overall responsibility for the functioning of the Washington-based Office of External Affairs and of...

Interview with Mahdokht Sanati

Mahdokht Sanati (Dowlatabadi) is an Iranian social activist, writer, translator, and co-founder of the Society for the Protection of Children’s Rights in Iran. She was born in 1933 in...

Interview with Majid Mohammadi

Majid Mohammadi is a freelance writer and researcher of Iranian politics and society. He was a visiting scholar at Stony Brook Institute for Global Studies in 2009-2010. Before joining SBIGS...

Interview with Mansour Osanlou

Mansour Osanlou is an instructor for Tavaana's "Labor Rights and Labor Organizing" course and one of Iran's best known and most respected union leaders. He has been called "Iran's Lech Walesa" after the labor leader who helped bring free...

Interview with Mehdi Arabshahi

 

Mehdi Arabshahi was born in Tehran in the year 1359 (1980). He started his student activism at the University of Zanjan, from which he graduated with a bachelor's in electrical engineering. While attending the University of...

Interview with Mehdi Fatapour

Mehdi Fatapour became a student activist leader while studying engineering at the University of Tehran in the late 1960s-early 1970s. He joined the Organization of Iranian People's Fedai Guerrillas and so was arrested and imprisoned for five...

Interview with Mehdi Jami

Mehdi Jami was born in Mashhad in 1960. He was raised in the traditional and religious environment that characterized Mashhad in the 1960s. When he graduated from high school, a year after the end of the revolution, he moved to Tehran to continue...

Interview with Mehrdad Darvishpour

Mehrdad Darvishpour is a senior lecturer and researcher in social work at the Academy of Health and Welfare at Mälardalen University in Sweden. Darvishpour received his doctorate in sociology from Stockholm University in 2003. Darvishpour has...

Interview with Mehrdad Mashayekhi

Mehrdad Mashayekhi is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. Dr. Mashayekhi’s research focus is postrevolutionary Iran, on specific subjects such as: student movement, Islamic reformism, civil society and...

Interview with Mohammad Mostafaei

Mohammad Mostafaei is a leading human rights lawyer and critic of Iran’s judicial system. He has defended many juvenile offenders, political prisoners and others sentenced to stoning. Among his most high-profile clients is Sakineh...

Interview with Mohammed Reza Nikfar

Mohammad Reza Nikfar, born in 1956, is a Tavaana faculty member and one of Iran's most esteemed political scientists. He is an expert on modern and contemporary philosophy. Though he initially pursued engineering at the Amir Kabir University of...

Interview with Mohsen Sazegara

Mohsen Sazegara accompanied Ayatollah Khomeini on the 1979 flight from France to Iran, but his disillusionment with the Iranian regime turned this revolutionary into a leading reformist thinker and writer by the late 1990s. Mr. Sazegara...

Interview with Morteza Eslahchi

Morteza Eslahchi is a journalist, political activist, and former member of Tahkim-e Vahdat (the Office of Strengthening Unity) at Alameh University. He currently is studying in Italy while continuing his work as a journalist.

Interview with Nariman Mostafavi

Nariman Mostafavi, a former student activist, was Vice Secretary of the Islamic Association of Amir Kabir University Students. He was also a member of the Tahkim-e Vahdat student organization. During the 2009 election protests, he was detained...

Interview with Nasim Sarabandi

Nasim Sarabandi, who holds a Master's degree in Human Rights and Democratization, has also received her Master's in Sociology at the State University of New York (SUNY). Before coming to the United States, she was Director of the Women's...

Interview with Nasrin Bassiri

Dr. Nasrin Bassiri is an Iranian political scientist and journalist. She obtained her doctorate in political science in Austria in November 1971, and between 1974 and 1979, she taught economics and economic history at the University of Berlin. In...

Interview with Olena Tregub

Olena Tregub  is a US-based policy expert at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation in Kyiv and a writer for Kyiv Post, the leading English-language newspaper in Ukraine. She has worked as a US foreign correspondent for the Ukrainian News...

Interview with Rahela Dzidic

Rahela Dzidic has been working since 1998 on designing and implementing civic education programs, including those originally developed by the Center for Civic Education, California, to adapt them for the needs of the post-war divided educational...

Interview with Rami Nakhla

Rami Nakhla is a Syrian pro-democracy activist who has advocated for political reform in the country since the mid-2000s, a member of the Syrian National Council, and a Program Specialist at the U.S. Institute of Peace. In early 2010, in response...

Interview with Ramin Ahmadi

Dr. Ramin Ahmadi is associate clinical professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine. He is founder of the Griffin Center for Health and Human Rights and co-founder of Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. He has extensive experience...

Interview with Ramin Parham

Ramin Parham was born in Kashan in 1963. When he was twenty years old, he decided to continue his education in France. After finishing his undergraduate studies, he moved to the United States to pursue a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from the...

Interview with Rebiya Kadeer

Rebiya Kadeer is a prominent human rights advocate and leader of the Uyghur people. After a successful career in business, she turned her attention to violations of the Uyghur ethnic minority's human rights by the Chinese government. As a result...

Interview with Roozbeh Mirebrahimi

Roozbeh Mirebrahimi is a journalist and blogger who worked as an editor and reporter for a number of Iranian reformist dailies that have since been shut down by the government. He investigated several high profile human rights cases, including...

Interview with Roxana Saberi

Roxana Saberi moved to Iran in 2003 to work as the Iran correspondent for the U.S.-based Feature Story News. She filed reports for organizations such as NPR, BBC, ABC Radio and Fox News and was working on a book about Iranian society...

Interview with Rudi Bakhtiar

Roudabeh Bakhtiar, known professionally as Rudi Bakhtiar, is a renowned Iranian-American journalist and television news host. A descendant of Iran's Bakhtiari tribe on both sides of her family, Ms. Bakhtiar’s relatives include leading political...

Interview with Saeed Ghaseminejad

Saeed Ghaseminejad, who was born in 1982, is a journalist, student activist, and director of the Organization of Liberal Iranian University Students. He studied at Allameh Helli Middle/High School for gifted students, and at that time,...

Interview with Saeed Paivandi

Saeed Paivandi is an expert on Iran's educational system.

Interview with Sepideh Pooraghaiee

Sepideh Pooraghaiee is an Iranian journalist and human rights activist.

Interview with Seraj Mirdamadi

Seraj Mirdamadi is an Iranian journalist currently living in Paris, France. He studied religious jurisprudence and Islamic laws at Mashhad theology school and began his career as a journalist in that city by writing for the Islamic World (Jahan-e...

Interview with Shahriar Ahy

Shahriar Ahy is an MIT-educated Iranian politician and opposition figure. In the months before the 1979 Iranian revolution, he was an informal liaison between the Shah and the White House; after the Shah died...

Interview with Sohrab Ahmari

Sohrab Ahmari is a London-based editorial page writer at the Wall Street Journal, where he writes editorials and commissions and edits op-eds for the Journal's European edition. He was previously assistant books editor...

Interview with Steven Luckert

In this exclusive Tavaana interview, Dr. Steven Luckert, Curator of the Permanent Exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, discusses the significance of Holocaust remembrance and memorialization, especially as a reminder of what...

Interview with Tara Sepehrifar

Tara Sepehrifar, an Iranian student activist, is the former secretary of the Muslim Student Association of Sharif University. She was detained twice after the disputed elections of 2009, and was sentenced in absentia to seven years in...

Interview with Vaclav Havel

The late Václav Havel, the first democratically elected president of the Czech Republic after the fall of the Berlin Wall, is internationally renowned for his struggle for freedom, democracy, freedom of speech and human rights. He was a leader of...

Interview with Yang Jianli

Yang Jianli is a Chinese democracy activist who participated in the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstration. In 2002, he was sentenced to a five-year prison term for "spying," and since his 2007 release, he has continued to advocate for democracy in...

Interview wtih Roya Boroumand

Roya Boroumand is the executive director at the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation. Ms. Boroumand has a PhD in the history of international relations from France and is a specialist in Iran's post-Second...

Nouredin Pirmoazen
Tackling Iranian Propaganda Through Online Education with Mariam Memarsadeghi

In this interview by Anne Applebaum, director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute, Mariam Memarsadeghi, who serves as co-director and co-founder of Tavaana, examines the nature of Iranian propaganda and identifies her organization’s...