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Analysis & Commentary - Tzvi Kahn

Tzvi Kahn's Latest Articles

18th April 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

EU Extends Human Rights Sanctions on Iran

Tzvi Kahn

The European Union last week extended its existing human rights sanctions on Iran by one year. While the EU’s decision marks an important step in penalizing Tehran for its ongoing domestic repression, it remains insufficient to address the chronic and systemic human rights abuses that continue to pervade the country. more...

12th April 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

U.S. Should Sanction Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)

Tzvi Kahn

In an interview last week with Bloomberg’s Eli Lake, Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi urged the Trump administration to sanction the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Tehran’s state-run media corporation. more...

29th March 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

UN Extends Mandate of Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran

Tzvi Kahn

The UN Human Rights Council last week passed a resolution extending the mandate of the special rapporteur on human rights in Iran by one year. The measure, which cleared the global body by a vote of 21 to 7 with 19 countries abstaining, reflects a recognition that Tehran’s domestic repression constitutes an ongoing problem. At the same time, the large number of abstentions and opposing votes suggests that a significant percentage of the international community remains willing to overlook or deny the reality of Iran’s abysmal record on human rights. more...

5th February 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

Iranian Women Protest the Mandatory Hijab

Tzvi Kahn

Iran has now arrested at least 29 women for refusing to wear the hijab, or headscarf. These acts of defiance reflect women’s second-class status in the Islamic Republic, where they face a range of discriminatory laws aimed at reducing their perceived threat to the sexual and religious norms championed by the regime. more...

20th January 2018 – The Hill

On Iran’s protests, Europe must find its voice

Tzvi Kahn

As protests recently began to consume Iran, European capitals were at a seeming loss for words. After several days of silence, Europe’s leaders issued curt statements of sympathy for the protestors — but with a notable tinge of moral equivocation. A European Union statement and Britain’s foreign secretary separately called on “all concerned to refrain from violence.” Germany’s foreign minister urged “all sides” to abstain from bloodshed. What accounts for Europe’s apparent conflation of victim and oppressor? more...

11th January 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

At Least Five Iranian Protesters Die in Regime Prisons

Tzvi Kahn

At least five Iranians arrested during the ongoing protests have reportedly died in the regime’s notorious prisons. more...

22nd December 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Tehran Upholds Death Sentence Against Iranian Academic

Tzvi Kahn

A group of United Nations human rights experts on Wednesday called on Iran to annul its death sentence against a leading Iranian academic, citing major failures of due process during his trial. The case of Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian national and a Swedish permanent resident, joins a long list of spurious prosecutions of Iranians with dual citizenship or primary residence overseas. more...

16th November 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Repression of Foreign Journalists Intensifies

Tzvi Kahn

Iran’s targeting of foreign journalists has intensified. In recent weeks and months, the regime has conducted cyber attacks against Iranian journalists abroad, launched a criminal investigation of BBC Persian, and falsely charged a British-Iranian for conspiring against the regime by teaching journalism. Tehran’s conduct reflects its longstanding fear that journalists constitute Western agents who seek to infiltrate the country with foreign ideologies contrary to Shiite Islam. more...

1st November 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

New UN Report Highlights Iran’s Continued Human Rights Abuses

Tzvi Kahn

Iran’s repression of its own people has continued largely unabated, the United Nations indicated in a new report presented to the UN General Assembly last week. The semi-annual publication, authored by Asma Jahangir, the UN special rapporteur for human rights in Iran, paints a grim portrait of an Islamist regime committed to the suppression of dissent that contradicts its radical ideology. more...

10th October 2017 – The Hill

(Mis)Reading the IAEA reports on Iran’s nuclear program

Tzvi Kahn

Claims that the IAEA has certified Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA are misleading in two ways: they imply Iran's current nuclear activities are legitimate, and they distract from key omissions in IAEA reporting due to lack of access to Iranian sites. While IAEA monitors and reports on Iran’s nuclear activities, it is the responsibility of the individual members of the Joint Commission to determine compliance. more...

20th September 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran Is Not in ‘Technical Compliance’ with the JCPOA

Tzvi Kahn

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared on Sunday that Iran is in “technical compliance” with the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). more...

18th September 2017 – FDD Research Memo

Certifying Iran’s Compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Certifying Iran’s Compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Tzvi Kahn

On August 31, major Western media outlets reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had once again certified Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. is assertion, which purported to reflect the IAEA’s seventh and latest post-implementation report on Tehran’s nuclear activities, mirrors statements by the Iranian government and key world leaders in response to the agency’s previous reports. more...

20th July 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Tehran Sentences U.S. Hostage to 10 Years in Prison

Tzvi Kahn

Tehran has sentenced another Western national to a lengthy prison term on spurious espionage charges. The incarceration of Xiyue Wang, a Chinese-American graduate student at Princeton University first arrested last summer, not only reflects Iran’s conspiratorial fears of Western infiltration, but also marks a likely effort to extort Washington for further concessions. more...

11th July 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

The Ideological Battleground of Iran’s Internet

Tzvi Kahn

A leading advocate for internet freedom recently began his fifth hunger strike in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. The incarceration of Nizar Zakka, a U.S. permanent resident, reflects Tehran’s ongoing efforts to restrict cyber space, which the regime regards as a threat not merely to its survival, but also to the Islamic character of the people it rules. more...

7th June 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Executions Continue After Rouhani’s Reelection

Tzvi Kahn

Iran has executed at least 20 people since President Hassan Rouhani’s reelection on May 19. This grim statistic offers continuity with his first term in office, which saw some 3,000 executions. It also suggests that Rouhani – notwithstanding his reputation as a moderate – remains unwilling or unable to reverse the regime’s most egregious domestic abuses. more...

24th May 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Religious War against the Baha’i

Tzvi Kahn

May 14 marked the ninth anniversary of Iran’s imprisonment of seven Baha’i leaders for the crime of practicing their faith. This grim milestone reflects the Baha’i’s status, in the words of the United Nations, as the country’s “most severely persecuted religious minority.” In Tehran’s eyes, the Baha’i faith constitutes not a religion, but a Western-backed political movement that seeks to overthrow the regime and discredit Islam. more...

12th May 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

The Ideological Crucible of Iran’s Hunger Strikes

Tzvi Kahn

Hunger strikes in Iranian prisons are hardly new. But the international attention that accompanied one recent strike has exposed rare cracks in the regime’s theocratic armor, and offers a key lesson for the United States. By publicly highlighting the plight of Iran’s hunger strikers, Washington can weaken Tehran’s resolve to resist their demands. more...

27th April 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Ideological War on Homosexuality

Tzvi Kahn

Iranian police raided a private party this month, arresting more than 30 people on charges of sodomy, alcohol consumption, and psychedelic drug use. The move reflects the daily perils that homosexuals face in the Islamic Republic, which regards them as enemies of the state who threaten its revolutionary ideals. more...

27th April 2017 – The Hill

Trump must challenge Iran’s ongoing human rights abuses

Tzvi Kahn

“The real war” with the West, Iran’s supreme leader declared in a recent speech, “is a cultural war.” It unfolds not on Middle East battlefields, but on the “many television and internet networks which are busy diverting the hearts and minds of our youth away from religion, our sacred beliefs, morality, modesty and the like.” more...

21st April 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Presidential Election and the Role of Women

Tzvi Kahn

More than 130 women and nearly 1,500 men registered to run in the Iranian presidential election next month. But on Thursday, Iran’s Guardian Council – an unelected, 12-member body that screens candidates for loyalty to the regime’s Islamist ideology – rejected all of the women and allowed only six men to compete. Women’s exclusion from the presidency reflects their second-class role across the Islamic Republic, where they face a range of discriminatory laws. more...