Maziar Bahari

How Ayatollah Khamenei Keeps Control

No one in Western intelligence is quite sure who made the final decision to release the British captives this week. But the Iranians themselves have a fair idea, and the nation's fiery president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, seemed to leave little doubt about it. "The pardon of the British sailors signified the Supreme Leader's kindness," Ahmadinejad told a meeting of Iranian officials in Tehran on Friday.

Iran: A Brewing Battle of Heavyweights in Tehran

Iranians are deserting the president they elected by a landslide in June 2005. Not only did university students heckle Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with chants of "Death to the dictator!" during a speech last month in Tehran, state-run TV had the temerity to report it.

Silencing Dissent

The mullahs weren't amused. The chessboard cartoon—captioned "The Alternative Rules of the Game"—showed a white knight facing off against a black donkey encircled in a halo of light.

Wrong Fight

On Tuesday, Iran said it was ready for "serious negotiations" on its nuclear program, but a semiofficial news agency said the government was unwilling to abandon nuclear enrichment-a key U.S. demand.

'The Regime Must Change'

Akbar Ganji is the most vocal voice against the government in Iran. A former revolutionary guard turned reformist journalist, he was jailed for six years for revealing that Iran's ministry of intelligence played a role in the killings of up to 70 intellectuals during the 1990s.

Seeking a Pragmatist

This June's presidential election promises to be a bittersweet one in Iran. The current president, Mohammad Khatami, was elected in 1997 as a reformist. He made many promises to the country's moderate majority, but has lacked the power and skills to deliver them.


Hossein Derakhshan is tired of listening to the debate over Iran's nuclear-weapons program while the world ignores oppression inside Iran. So on his blog ( he's pleading, "Hey, world!


Hey world! Pay attention to us!" Hossein Derakhshan is tired of listening to the debate over Iran's nuclear-weapons program while the world turns a blind eye to oppression inside Iran.


Iranian President Mohammed Khatami said last week that U.S. aid to earthquake victims in Bam would not alter relations between the two countries, which broke off ties a quarter century ago, and President George W.

'There Is No Other Way'

Last week a judge in the Iranian city of Hamadan sentenced reformist activist and university professor Hashem Aghajari to death for blasphemy. Aghajari was quoted saying, among other things, "Marx says, 'Religion is the opiate of masses,' but I say it is also the opiate of governments." In Tehran last week, the ruling sparked five days of student protests, some of the most vehement mass demonstrations since 1999.

'War Is The Worst Choice'

Do Iraqis think war is inevitable? What are their views on President George W. Bush? Abdul Sattar Alrawi is Iraq's charge d'affairs in Iran, a country that fought an eight-year war against Baghdad and is still trying to come to terms with the outcome of that conflict.

From Rants To Rights

More than two decades ago Shala Sherkat was part of the crowd in Tehran chanting against America the Great Satan and trying to bring down the shah. Today she preaches a gentler kind of revolution: Iranian feminism.

'We Don't Want Innocent People To Get Hurt'

The first thing that Seyyed Muhammad Kheyrkhaah tells those he meets is that the Taliban regime is not the government of Afghanistan. Kheyrkhaah is Afghanistan's ambassador to Iran, representing the Northern Alliance's political leader, Burhanuddin Rabbani, who is still recognized by the United Nations as president of the Afghan government overthrown by the Taliban in 1996.Kheyrkhaah, who has spent the last nine years at his post in Iran, spoke to NEWSWEEK'S Maziar Bahari at Afghanistan's...


Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has long been a key figure in the treacherous complexities of Afghan politics. During the 1979-89 Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, he was one of the most powerful, ruthless and rigidly conservative of the country's warlords.

Moving Forward

Mohammad Khatami is preparing to get tough. The enormously popular president of Iran, who was reelected with a landslide 78 percent of the vote last week, is showing signs he is about to take on conservative opponents directly.

Vows And Prayers

After months of suspense, Mohammed Khatami ended all speculation last week. In a drab Tehran office, he filled out a standardized five-page form that included his "revolutionary credentials," like any other candidate for the June 8 vote.