Latest Posts


Deadline, Differences & Cautious Optimism

September 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

Iran and the P5+1 wrapped up 9 days of intensive nuclear talks in New York on the sidelines of the 69th session of the United Nation’s General Assembly.
“The remaining time for reaching an agreement is extremely short” -Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, Press Conference, Sept. 2014. 
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany are in ongoing talks with Iran to reach a final agreement that would end the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear energy program. The two sides signed [...]

Jai Cafe, Afra Tower, Tehran

Fine Dining in Tehran

May 08, 2014 | Comments (0)

Jai Cafe, Afra Tower, Tehran
Before Iran was making headlines with its nuclear program, we often pictured the country as a shimmering mirage arising from the Dasht-e Lut (a Persian desert), where the earth meets the infinite turquoise of the sky. The word ”Persia” conjured images of jeweled carpets, exquisite buildings encrusted with mosaics and lush gardens perfumed with jasmine and roses. As one of my high school teachers put it, when she thought of Iran she remembered a photo from the 1930s showing a caravan [...]

By Invitation Only; The Business of Private Showrooms in Tehran

May 07, 2014 | Comments (0)

Nazgol Fatemi at her showroom, Tehran, March 2013
Let the beauty we love be the good we do. -Rumi
From the soaring majesty of the columns of Persepolis to the lacy stonework mosques and palaces that dot the countryside, to mosaic tile-work as intricate as cloisonne,  to rugs that glow like silken jewels, Iranians have long appreciated beauty. Food is not just dished out – it is artfully and attractively arranged.  Beauty is praised in poetry and literature – Hafez, Omar [...]

Gary Sick Oct. 2, 2013 ©susanmodaress

Interview with Gary Sick on Future US-Iran Talks

October 09, 2013 | Comments (0)

Gary Sick Oct. 2, 2013 ©susanmodaress
The United States and Iran made diplomatic history on the sidelines of the 68th session of the U.N. General Assembly. The two sides agreed to restart negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program on October 15, when Iran will meet with the P5+1 group in Geneva. I recently sat down with Gary Sick, an Iran specialist who served on the National Security Council staffs of US Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan to talk about the challenges [...]

Iran's President, Hassan Rouhani arrives in New York on Sept. 23, 2013 ©susanmodaress

A new WAVE, A Handshake & A Phone Call

September 28, 2013 | Comments (0)

Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani arrives in New York on Sept. 23, 2013 ©susanmodaress
A new environment and a change of tone was the atmosphere of Hassan Rouhani’s debut visit as Iran’s new President to New York this week. Rouhani traveled from Tehran to take part in the 68th annual United Nations General Assembly and to kick start negotiations to resolve Iran’s long standing nuclear stand-off with the West, notably the United States.
As expected, the hottest ticket at the UNGA was [...]

Tehran, 2013

Iranians Mixed on Candidacy Of Khatami

March 23, 2013 | Comments (0)

My latest column for Almonitor on the upcoming Iranian Presidential Elections:
With Iranian presidential elections less than three months away, eyes have turned to former presidents to succeed incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Read more:

image: hcpress

Restoring Our Image At Home

December 18, 2012 | Comments (0)

In one year on average, almost 100,000 people in America are shot or killed with a gun, these include murders, assaults, suicides, accidents, or by police intervention, according to the Brady Campaign, the leading gun control advocacy organization in the United States.
“If we look just in terms of 5 to 7 years we’re getting something close to a million people being impacted by gun violence in the United States,” says Jackie Hilly, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun [...]

Madison, WI, 4/4/11

Wisconsin Unions Vs. Gov. Walker

April 10, 2011 | Comments (2)

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Madison Wisconsin in great numbers since February 11th when Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker initiated his controversial “budget repair bill”.
Gov. Walker and his Republican supporters argue the cut is needed to help the state balance a $3.6 billion budget deficit.  Union workers and Democrats see the law, which strips most public employees of their collective bargaining rights, as an effort to undermine the working class.
Madison, Wisconsin
Civil Rights Leader Rev. [...]


Arba’een in Iraq

February 10, 2011 | Comments (8)

When I ask Abu Baqer if life is better after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, he replies in Arabic “Al’yaani”, translating to “so so”.
“We had security when Saddam was in power. If you minded your own business and didn’t get involved in politics you were somewhat safe. These days roadside bombs & killings have made life difficult… anyone is a target.”
“But there’s more freedom, for example we now have satellite TV, Nokia cell phones and most importantly we have [...]