Columnist

Amir Taheri

Amir Taheri was executive editor in chief of the daily Kayhan in Iran from 1972 to 1979. He has worked at, or written for, innumerable publications and published 11 books.

Twitter:  @AmirTaheri4

Latest published

Rouhani and the ‘as-if ’ system

In traditional clerical schools in Iran and Iraq, one of the skills aspirant mullahs learn is known as “shabih-khani.” Broadly speaking, it means “narrating as if.” It is a primitive form of theater imitating life with a few broad strokes of words and images.

May 28, 2017

On Iran, Trump, allies face three choices

What to do about Iran? The question has been posed by every US administration since 1979, when a group of “students” seized the American Embassy in Tehran and held its diplomats hostage for 444 days.

May 21, 2017

Moscow is trying to influence Iran’s presidential polls

For four decades, Tehranis have heard so many weird slogans chanted in their streets that almost nothing comes as a surprise to them. Yet last week many Tehranis were surprised to hear a group of youths, all adorned with suitable beards, shouting: “Russian Embassy is a Nest of Spies!”

April 29, 2017

Iran’s presidential charade sticks to the script

Every four years, the Iranian presidential election campaign is presented as a dramatic quest for power by rival factions defending sharply different programs.

April 21, 2017

Working with Assad to do what?

The recent US missile attack on a Syrian regime air base may or may not have been a turning point in American foreign policy, but it surely put the thorny issue of President Bashar Assad’s future back on the diplomatic agenda.

April 18, 2017

Trump’s missile message to Assad: What next?

What next? This was the question circulating in Western capitals hours after the US carried out a missile attack on Syria’s Shayrat air base, reportedly destroying nine bombers and damaging a further five.

April 13, 2017

France — an election full of surprises

When he introduced the presidential system to the French politics at the end of the 1950s, Gen. Charles De Gaulle explained it as “the meeting of a man and a nation.”

March 26, 2017

Iran policy: Pre-emptive surrender is no option

Earlier this month, the daily Kayhan, reputed to reflect the views of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, published an essay about the “containment” strategy that US President Harry Truman adopted vis-a-vis the Soviet Union in the late 1940s.

March 19, 2017