The Latest - Iran - Human Rights

Iran - Human Rights Latest

30th October 2013 – CIted by The Tower

Religious Freedom Watchdog: Iran Lashing Sentences “Effectively Criminalize” Practicing Christianity

Benjamin Weinthal

In 2010 the State Department documented a range of Iranian government abuses against Christians. Between June 2008 and 2010 “115 Christians were... more...

27th October 2013 – Fox News

Iran Gives Christians 80 Lashes for Communion Wine as UN Blasts Human Rights Record

Benjamin Weinthal

Four Iranian Christians were reportedly sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking wine for communion, a shocking punishment meted out even as a new United... more...

27th October 2013 – Real Clear World

About That Medicine Shortage in Iran…

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Iran wants the West to believe that a sanctions-induced medicine shortage is causing the death of thousands of Iranian citizens, and they're using Western... more...

25th October 2013 – National Review Online

Iran’s Continued War on Christians

Benjamin Weinthal

The Islamic Republic of Iran sentenced four Iranian Christians to 80 lashes for drinking wine for communion. Fox News in a broadcast today explored the rise of... more...

23rd October 2013 – National Review Online

U.S. Pastor Protests in Iran for Release of Christians

Benjamin Weinthal

While Iran apologists in the U.S and Europe continue to praise the Islamic Republic’s “moderate” president Hassan Rouhani, a retired California pastor... more...

30th September 2013 – Quoted by Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker

The Shadow Commander

Ali Alfoneh, Reuel Marc Gerecht

Last February, some of Iran’s most influential leaders gathered at the Amir al-Momenin Mosque, in northeast Tehran, inside a gated community reserved... more...

26th September 2013 – VOA Persia

News Update

Ali Alfoneh

Hassan Rouhani's speech at the UN General Assembly. more...

24th September 2013 – National Review Online

First Impressions on Rouhani’s Speech

Ali Alfoneh, Emanuele Ottolenghi, John Hannah, Mark Dubowitz, Reuel Marc Gerecht

Here’s how Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s U.N. speech struck five Foundation for Defense of Democracies scholars: more...

24th September 2013 – Commentary

Engagement Is Back

Emanuele Ottolenghi

President Obama’s policy of engagement with Iran is back on track–this is the core message of the president’s speech earlier today at the United Nations... more...

19th September 2013 – Quoted by Indira A.R. Lakshmanan & Kambiz Foroohar, Bloomberg

Rohani Display of Moderation Draws Praise Amid Questions

Mark Dubowitz

After eight years of bellicose rhetoric from his predecessor, Iranian President Hassan Rohani’s smiling face is prompting a debate about whether his outreach... more...

12th September 2013 – CNN

The Situation Room

Reuel Marc Gerecht

FDD's Reuel Marc Gerecht comments on the case of a former American Marine held in Iran on the charges of spying for the CIA. more...

25th August 2013 – PJ Media

The Road to Damascus Starts in Tehran

Michael Ledeen

It’s Middle East Groundhog Day all over again. The discussion of What To Do About Syria is a replay of What To Do About Saddam: it’s all about... more...

8th August 2013 – Quoted by Jay Solomon, The Wall Street Journal

Iran’s Leader Reduces Posts of Military Elite

Ali Alfoneh

Iran's new president, Hasan Rouhani, moved to significantly reduce the presence of the country's elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps... more...

2nd August 2013 – The Wall Street Journal

A Chance for the New Iranian President to Prove He’s a Reformer

Michael Ledeen

The inauguration of Hassan Rouhani as president of Iran on Sunday has stirred considerable hope among some Western observers for the start of a new... more...

31st July 2013 – House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa

The Iran-Syria Nexus and its Implications for the Region

Mark Dubowitz

Thank you for having this hearing specifically on the topic of the Iran-Syria nexus. The more we talk about Iran’s machinations in Syria as a window... more...

25th July 2013 – Scripps Howard News Service

Wishing for an Iranian Moderate

Clifford D. May

There’s nothing wrong with wishful thinking — unless it gets confused with serious thinking. Policy makers and legislators have a professional responsibility... more...

15th July 2013 – New York Daily News

Labor Unions’ Iranian Opportunity and Responsibility

Benjamin Weinthal

On June 20, less than a week after the election of Iran’s new president Hassan Rowhani, the 42-year-old Iranian trade unionist Afshin Osanloo... more...

10th July 2013 – National Post

Iran’s New President a Reformist? Hardly.

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Say what you wish about Iran’s newly elected president’s supposedly moderate credentials. There is little doubt that Hassan Rouhani won the vote... more...

10th July 2013 – Foreign Policy

Iranian Election Reflections (Part 3)

John Hannah

As others have noted, the fact that Hasan Rouhani's overwhelming victory in Iran's presidential election may not have been Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's... more...

9th July 2013 – Foreign Policy

Iranian Election Reflections (Part 2)

John Hannah

For what it's worth, my own view is that it's hard to see how Hasan Rouhani's landslide victory in Iran's presidential election could have been Supreme Leader... more...


Mark Dubowitz

Executive Director

Michael Ledeen

Freedom Scholar

Benjamin Weinthal

Research Fellow

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Senior Fellow

cia, iran, iraq

Ali Alfoneh

Senior Fellow

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Senior Fellow

Claudia Rosett


Tony Badran

Research Fellow, Levant


26th August 2014 - 11:45 AM

Polling the Iranian Street: A Look Inside the Prospects for Reform in Iran

The IMF reports that Iran is experiencing a modest economic recovery. While the Iranian regime has used the breathing space to build greater resiliency, the overall standard of living for the Iranian people is not improving. At the same time, the tempo of arrests and executions has increased, freedom of the press has been further curtailed, Green Movement leaders Mir Hussein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi remain in isolation, and public protests over Iranian involvement in Syria and Iraq have increased.

What does President Rouhani’s failure to improve economic conditions and human rights for average Iranians say about his political will and Iran’s capacity for meaningful reform? Is there still a significant domestic movement for real reform? What do these and other factors indicate for the strength and stability of the Iranian regime? How do these factors impact P5+1 negotiations and future U.S. policy towards Iran?

12th June 2014 - 12:00 PM

Dashed Hopes: Iran’s Human Rights Record Under President Rouhani

A conversation with Ali Alfoneh, Katrina Lantos Swett, and Arsham Parsi. 
Moderated by Mark Dubowitz 
Opening remarks by Congressman Ted Deutch and Senator Mark Kirk

One year after Hassan Rouhani was elected president of Iran, what is the current and future outlook for human rights in the country? Have President Rouhani’s positive statements regarding rights and freedoms in Iran been backed up by any improvements? How can the U.S. and the international community help improve the human right situation in Iran?