Statement of Solidarity with the People of Iran
The leadership and staff of the Stanford Program in Iranian Studies condemn the ongoing violence the Iranian regime is utilizing to silence dissent. We support the Iranians who demand justice for the death of Mahsa Amini and are calling for basic human rights, freedom, and dignity for all Iranians.
Since its founding, the mission of the Program in Iranian Studies has been to undertake rigorous scholarship on modern Iran, to support the free exchange of ideas, and to help shine a light on critical aspects of Iranian history and culture—in particular, we strive to create space for voices that have often been persecuted or silenced by dogma and despotism.
We are deeply troubled as we watch the unfolding events in Iran. Stanford has been home to many Iranian students and scholars, who have contributed significantly to the academic rigor of our institution, including several from Sharif University (amongst them Professor Maryam Mirzakhani). To witness heinous acts of violence against fellow students, faculty, and staff is appalling. The safety of academic institutions should be ensured, and students must be granted their universal right to peacefully protest and exercise free speech and thought.
From time immemorial, Iran has witnessed a battle between light and dark, despair and hope. The arch of Iran’s history has inexorably—albeit slowly and haltingly—moved towards increasing justice, equality, and dignity. We find hope in the bravery and resilience of the people of Iran, particularly the remarkable women who continue to fight for equality and justice. We are confident that this perilous moment will beget a better tomorrow, and in the meantime we will steadfastly continue our work to support a better future for Iran.
These resources from our archives might be helpful in contextualizing this moment:
- "Iranian government accused of "sham trials" and "torture" as protesters face executions": Dr. Abbas Milani quoted
- "Iran regime knows it's sitting on top of a volcano, says renowned historian": CNN's Christiane Amanpour interview with Dr. Abbas Milani
- Protests in Iran are part of a ‘long, almost Sisyphean, struggle’ for freedom and equality, Stanford scholar says: Dr. Abbas Milani's interview with Stanford News about the recent protests in Iran.
- Playlist: The Iranian Women’s Movement: View past talks on the long history of activism by Iranian women
- "The Mother of Iran Has Risen": Poem by Professor Bahram Beyzaie about the uprising of Iranian women (in Persian)
- The Iranian Revolution: Dr. Abbas Milani gives an introduction and overview of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, its causes/effects and significance.
- The Struggle for Development in Iran and the Stanford Iran 2040 Data Dashboards provide new quantitative and forward-looking research relating to Iran's economic development.
- A Window into Modern Iran and The Ardeshir Zahedi Archives shed light on diplomatic history and foreign relations of Iran leading up to the 1979 revolution
- Islamic Republic of Iran in an Age of Global Transitions: Challenges for a Theocratic Iran examines the socio-economic conditions of Iran under the Islamic Republic and discusses some of the dire challenges the regime faces.
We will continue to add and share relevant resources through our website and social media channels.
Recent statements for AIS regarding the continuing crackdown on university students, faculty, and campuses in Iran and protesting the recent sentence and imprisonment of Professor Saeed Madani (January 3, 2023)