Saffron

A highly prized spice native to Iran, historically used in ancient Persia to medicate, dye, weave, and beautify. Today it gives Iranian cuisine its distinctive yellow pigment. ‘Saffron’ blog flavors the discussion of all things Iranian.



Alex Vatanka
Written by :
on : Friday, 18 Jul, 2014

Another Headache for Tehran

The collapse of Baghdad’s authority in northern and western Iraq, together with the occupation of Kirkuk by Peshmerga fighters, has shortened the odds of Iraqi Kurdistan declaring independence in the minds of many observers. The declaration at the start of July by President Massoud Barzani of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) that the autonomous territory should begin planning for a referendum on the matter has raised expectations further. No one really knows if Barzani is...

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David Patrikarakos
Written by :
on : Friday, 11 Jul, 2014

Tehran Wades into Iraq’s Crisis

Qassem Suleimani was only a young soldier in the Iran–Iraq War when he led Iranian troops through Iraqi minefields, stealing the odd goat along the way, and earning the respect even of the enemy. Today, Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, the special forces unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, is marching Iran through a very different minefield. As soon as the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had swept through large parts of northern Iraq and captur...

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David Patrikarakos
Written by :
on : Friday, 13 Jun, 2014

Iran’s Political Football

On Monday, June 16, Iran will kick off its FIFA World Cup campaign in Brazil with a match against Nigeria. It’s likely to be the start of a disappointing campaign. If Iran is to ...

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Christian Emery
Written by :
on : Friday, 6 Jun, 2014

Pursuing Happiness

Gender equality (or the lack of it) remains a central framework for Western perceptions of life in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the definin...

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Reza H. Akbari
Written by :
on : Tuesday, 3 Jun, 2014

Cleaning House in Tehran

Despite real efforts to tackle its problems, Iran’s flagging economy continues to be the biggest challenge for President Hassan Rouhani’s government. During his 2013 presidenti...

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Alex Vatanka
Written by :
on : Saturday, 24 May, 2014

Juggling East and West

As Hassan Rouhani travelled to Shanghai this week to attend a pan-Asian security conference, foreign policy observers back in Tehran waited in anticipation. In many ways, both ...

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Arash Aramesh
Written by :
on : Friday, 23 May, 2014

Bigger is Better

Not too long ago, Iranian state television aired a documentary on what it said was an “exemplary family” and a “special home.” The family’s home was simple, as one would ...

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David Patrikarakos
Written by :
on : Monday, 19 May, 2014

Approaching the Finishing Line

The latest round of talks over Iran’s nuclear program ended on a dreary Friday night in Vienna with a gratifying amount of rancor on both sides. The frustration and exasperat...

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Christian Emery
Written by :
on : Monday, 5 May, 2014

Iran Nuclear Talks: More Hurdles to Come

With a little less than three months to go before the July deadline for an agreement on Iran's nuclear program, Iran and the six world powers remain on track to reach an accord...

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Alex Vatanka
Written by :
on : Wednesday, 30 Apr, 2014

Iran’s Looming Tug-of-War

As soon as Hassan Rouhani was elected president of Iran in June 2013, many predicted a new round of acrimony within the ranks of the Islamic Republic’s ruling elite. That predict...

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