Former Iranian intelligence officials and diplomats claim that the three Americans arrested last year by Iran are the victims of cultural misunderstanding, a factional struggle within the Iranian government, and a combination of geopolitical rivalry and tacit cooperation between Iran and the U.S.
Attacks on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are coming from unexpected corners. As he arrives in New York to attend the United Nations' General Assembly opening this week, hardliners back home—including some who were once his close allies—are undercutting their former standard-bearer every chance they get.
The hours Sarah Shourd spent between leaving Tehran's notorious Evin Prison, where she was in solitary confinement for more than a year, and crossing Iranian airspace must have been the most excruciating and longest hours of her life. I know that because I have been there.
Human-rights activists have won a partial victory in Iran. In the face of a worldwide outcry, Tehran confirmed late last week that it had suspended a sentence of death by stoning against a woman accused of adultery.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have hoped to close his yawning deficit—and advance other goals—with a big tax increase on the merchants and shopkeepers in the country's bazaars. But the bazaaris declared a strike for only the second time since they helped bring down the shah in 1979. (The first time was in 2008, when Ahmadinejad made another attempt to raise their taxes.)
On June 21, reporter Maziar Bahari was rousted out of bed and taken to Tehran's notorious Evin prison—accused of being a spy for the CIA, MI6, Mossad … and NEWSWEEK. This is the story of his captivity—and of an Iran whose rampant paranoia underpins an ever more fractured regime.
Iran's very Islamic embrace of science
Less than six months after the next American president takes office, Iran will hold its own Election Day. To win that race takes not only popular acclaim but the approval of one man—Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—and so far, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has the edge.
Mehdi Karrubi is the Al Gore of Iran. According to him, but for vote-rigging he would have been the president and not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The cleric is leader of the National Trust Party, founded after his 2005 defeat, and was a speaker of Iran's Parliament, or Majlis.