Influential Institutions

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Ministry of Justice have been charged with preparing a report on the attack on ward 350 of Evin prison, which occurred on ‘Black Thursday’, 17 April. Over 30 prisoners, including Christian prisoner Farshid Fathi, were injured in the brutal incident.  The official report will be made public. A spokesman for Rouhani’s administration declared recently to a press conference that,...
Tuesday, May 06th, 2014
Despite Iran's appalling human rights record and its ill treatment of women, Iran has been appointed to sit on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the world’s top intergovernmental organization dedicated to promoting women’s rights. Iran also won a spot on the leading UN committee that oversees the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), a move that has sparked fear among advocacy groups...
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
Iran’s appointment of a new envoy to the UN in New York should have been a routine procedure. But instead, the matter has caused another flare up of historic tensions between the US and Iran, which could threaten relational improvements and progress on the nuclear deal. Let’s pray now for swift resolution of this dispute. When Iran appointed Hamid Aboutalebi as the new envoy to the UN (based in New York), the US...
Thursday, April 03rd, 2014
A temporary, interim nuclear deal is in place between Iran and major global powers. But now senior officials are having difficulty pinning down a permanent deal. It’s time to pray again for a breakthrough. Last weekend, chief negotiators from Iran and six other major world powers (known as the P5+1) departed from the negotiating table in Geneva having failed to make progress towards a permanent deal. The talks,...
Monday, March 03rd, 2014
‘Iran versus the West’ has been the basis of the Islamic Republic’s authoritarian ways for the last thirty years. Now the progress of the nuclear negotiations – round two successfully completed in Vienna – is undermining the rhetoric of Tehran’s rulers. Hardliners are belittling the talks and saying the talks will not lead anywhere. They know that if the talks succeed many of the old slogans against America will be...
Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
Last week President Rouhani was in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, the extremely influential gathering of political leaders, economists, and journalists. This is historical. President Rouhani is the first Iranian leader to ever attend the meetings, and his hosts responded warmly. He was invited to address the gathering. President Rouhani’s presence in Davos is very significant for Iran. It means...
Friday, January 10th, 2014
The long winter of cold relations between Iran and western powers is undergoing a gradual thaw. This is a time to praise God: the brink of war was dangerously close at times, and now there are welcome signs of easing tensions. This is also a time to continue praying: this is a critical period, with much still to achieve. In the first diplomatic visit in 10 years, a UK parliamentary delegation is visiting Tehran...
Thursday, December 19th, 2013
The world’s press has been heaving with analysis about the nuclear agreement Iran signed with the West in late November. Whether pro or anti, one thing is agreed: it is an historic deal. Indeed the tectonic plates of Middle East diplomacy might well have shifted. But in this hail of words one cause for the diplomatic breakthrough has not been mentioned: the power of prayer. For the last eight years some voices...
Wednesday, November 06th, 2013
The publication of an article that questioned a religious tenet has led to the ban of another Iranian newspaper this week. Media is tightly controlled in Iran, and censorship is particularly tight when it comes to religious topics. Christians should pray for a change in media climate and for freedom of expression to be protected The regularity with which newspapers are censored, and journalists, editors and...
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
Talks in Geneva this week have produced hope that a nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers can be reached. But in order for this hope to be realised trust must continue to build between both sides, the lack of which has undermined all previous talks. Christians should intercede earnestly that the good progress made in Geneva will be constructively built upon. The Iranian foreign minister on Tuesday gave...
Monday, September 30th, 2013
A fire smoulders - Iran’s nuclear program. If it bursts into flames the whole Middle East will be dragged into a furnace of destruction. Now Tehran and Washington want to do whatever it takes to put this smouldering fire out. This was made clear at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday (9/24/2013) when President Rouhani said Iran was ‘prepared to engage immediately in ...talks’, while President Obama said, ‘We should...
Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
A surprising figure has wished Jews a happy holiday in a surprising way: Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani, via a ‘tweet’. His warm words are welcome, but we must pray that Rouhani’s amicable outlook to religious minorities manifests itself in deeds, as well as in words, in the coming months. “As the sun is about to set here in Tehran,” Rouhani tweeted on Wednesday, “I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a...
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
From September onwards, Iranian high school students will have a new subject on the timetable: the youth will be learning to detect and bring down foreign drones.  This new addition to the curriculum has been announced by the Basij militia, part of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, just days after President Rouhani’s reformist nominee for Education Minister was rejected by the Iranian parliament. Iranian hardliners have...
Tuesday, August 06th, 2013
After the ceremony of the inauguration (August 4th, 2013), comes the choosing of the new cabinet. According to Reuters, sources close to the new president’s office are signalling that Mohammad Javad Zarif will either be nominated as the Foreign Minister, or another senior post in the foreign policy team. A fluent English speaker with a doctorate from Denver University, fifty three year old Mohammad Zarif is well...
Thursday, July 18th, 2013
There could be growing tension between the USA and Israel over Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently urged the world to step up pressure on Tehran to halt its disputed nuclear program with tougher sanctions and threats of military action. He also renewed his past threats to take unilateral military action, insisting, “I won’t wait until it’s too late.” In contrast, a group of former senior U....
Thursday, June 27th, 2013
It is unlikely Hassan Rouhani was the Supreme Leader’s first choice for president, but it seems the authorities had decided there must be no repeat of the 2009 protests. So once the Supreme Leader had agreed to accept only eight candidates out of the 680 who wanted to stand in the election, it was also agreed to accept the results that came from the ballot box. And that result gave Hassan Rouhani over 50% of the...
Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
Iran goes to the polls tomorrow to elect a new president. But the climate in which polling occurs cannot be described as free, fair or democratic; therefore, it is important to pray for peace in the streets of Iran and for the future president. There has not been freedom of expression in the run up to this election: since the beginning of June, several political activists and campaign workers have been arrested at...
Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Eight candidates for Iran’s presidency began their three-week long campaigns over the weekend, holding almost daily events and dominating the country’s radio and television airwaves. Christians should continue to pray for Iran’s future during this strategic period. The eight competitors were approved to run for the office of president by Iran’s Guardian Council in late May, whilst 678 hopefuls were deemed...
Thursday, May 02nd, 2013
No one can predict who will win the rapidly approaching presidential elections on June 14th, so now is the time for Christians to intercede for Iran’s next president. We must pray earnestly that the winning candidate will prioritise finding a diplomatic solution to the nuclear stalemate, as well as promoting greater freedom of expression and respect for human rights. Among the many candidates in the running, one...
Tuesday, April 02nd, 2013
The latest round of talks on Iran’s nuclear program concluded on Saturday, having sadly failed to make any progress. Increasing indications that various parties will not countenance the indefinite continuation of the talks mean that now is the time for the church to unite in praying earnestly for peace. Almaty in Kazakhstan played host to the E3+3 (UK, US, France, Germany, Russia and China), EU High Representative...

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