Tag Archives: Iran

University rankings don’t measure what matters


GettyImages Sioux McKenna, Rhodes University International rankings of universities are big business and big news. These systems order universities on the basis of a variety of criteria such as student to staff ratio, income from industry, and reputation as captured through public surveys. Universities around the world use their rankings as marketing material and parents and prospective students make life …

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Iran’s secular shift: new survey reveals huge changes in religious beliefs

Iran is becoming more secular. Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA

Pooyan Tamimi Arab, Utrecht University and Ammar Maleki, Tilburg University Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution was a defining event that changed how we think about the relationship between religion and modernity. Ayatollah Khomeini’s mass mobilisation of Islam showed that modernisation by no means implies a linear process of religious decline. Reliable large-scale data on Iranians’ post-revolutionary religious beliefs, however, has always …

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Is it too soon to herald the ‘dawn of a new Middle East’? It all depends what the Saudis do next JIM LO SCALZO/EPA Ben Rich, Curtin University US President Donald Trump heralded nothing short of “the dawn of a new Middle East” as the leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements normalising ties with Israel during …

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How Iraq’s relationship with Iran shifted after the fall of Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein: on trial in 2006 in Baghdad. Nikola Solic/EPA

Johan Franzen, University of East Anglia Following his capture by American troops, Saddam Hussein made a startling admission to George Piro, the FBI investigator tasked with interrogating him. The reason he had played cat and mouse with UN weapons inspectors for over a decade was not because he was trying to hide Iraqi production of weapons of mass destruction from …

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US refusal to withdraw troops from Iraq is a breach of international law

Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demonstrate against the US presence in Iraq on January 24. Ahmed Jalil/EPA

Andrew G Jones, Coventry University A US strike which killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in January, and the counter-strike by the Iranian military on US targets in Iraq, raised serious questions about the legitimate use of force. When military force was used against targets within its territory, Iraq’s sovereignty was breached. As a country caught in the middle …

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How countries in conflict, like Iran and the US, still talk to each other

Diplomacy has provided a solution for how countries in conflict can communicate. Shutterstock/cybrain

Diplomacy has provided a solution for how countries in conflict can communicate. Shutterstock/cybrain Klaus W. Larres, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Even countries that have broken ties with each other need to communicate in times of crisis and war. That includes the U.S. and Iran, which have not had an official way to talk directly to each other …

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In the verses of Jordan’s most popular poet, the hopes and fears of the Arab world

The Bedouin poet Muhammad Fanatil al-Hajaya. Author provided

The Bedouin poet Muhammad Fanatil al-Hajaya. Author provided William Tamplin, Harvard University Muhammad Fanatil al-Hajaya’s poetry is full of arguments one would hear on the streets of Amman, Riyadh and Cairo, in coffee shops, barber shops and taxis. Laden with animals, conspiracy theories and apocalyptic rhetoric, his verses reflect how many Arabs – educated and uneducated, urban and rural, rich …

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