Ali Ansari

Ali Ansari is professor in modern history with reference to Iran at St Andrews university.

Iranians are blaming the regime for the Kerman terrorist attack

Two suicide bombs killed nearly 100 people and wounded many more in the Iranian province of Kerman on 3 January, as Iranians gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the assassination of IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani. It was the most devastating terrorist attack to hit Iran in many years.    Iranians are questioning why Soleimani’s family

What a gay sex tape says about the state of Iran

The revelation that an Iranian official in charge of Islamic values has been caught on video having sex with another man will have come as no surprise to much of the Iranian population.   The hypocrisy of the ruling class has long been a topic of discussion among Iranians Few care about the individual’s sexual preferences but

How the Freemasons influenced Iran’s modern history

The political movement that led to Iran’s first constitution in 1906 – which established the country’s first parliament – was underpinned by an intellectual revolution which absorbed and adapted ideas from the European Enlightenment. How these ideas came to influence Iran, given the absence of a print industry in the country, is a question that has long intrigued

Inside the Iranian regime’s protest panic

During a press conference in Tehran on 3 December, Iran’s Attorney General, Mohammad Javad Montazeri was asked by a journalist what had happened to the country’s morality police, which have been strangely absent from Iran’s streets. Clearly irritated by the question, Montazeri snapped that the morality police had nothing to do with the judiciary and

The red line: Biden and Xi’s secret Ukraine talks

38 min listen

On this week’s podcast: Could China be the key to peace in Ukraine? In his cover piece for the magazine this week Owen Matthews reveals the covert but decisive role China is playing in the Ukraine war. He is joined by The Spectator’s Cindy Yu, to discuss what Xi’s motivations are (00:53).  Also this week:  Harriet Sergeant

Is Iran going to execute its protestors?

Are protestors in Iran going to be sentenced to death? That grim question will be on the mind of many Iranians today, after protestors reportedly threw petrol bombs last night at the former home of Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic. Insults to supreme leaders past and present carry the death sentence in

Iran’s leaders are fighting a losing battle

Iran’s rulers are holding firm. The country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has expressed sorrow at the killing of Mahsa Amini – who died last month after being arrested by the state’s morality police – while squarely, and unsurprisingly, blaming foreign agitators for the protests that have followed. Ominously, Khamenei has said the protestors are not ‘real Iranians’ – a

The fragility of the Iranian regime is being exposed

A wave of protest is sweeping across Iran. Sparked by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old who allegedly contravened oppressive and arbitrary laws on veils, demonstrators are taking to the streets in towns and cities across the country. Ever since Ebrahim Raisi became president last summer in a widely derided Potemkin