All Things Iran with Jason Rezaian – April 10, 2023

By Ciara Moezidis

On Monday, April 10, the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies was humbled to co-sponsor a special keynote event entitled “All Things Iran: A Conversation with Jason Rezaian” as a part of the Tufts Persian Student Association speaker series this semester.

Rezaian, an Iranian-American Washington Post journalist, spoke on various topics pertaining to Iran with approximately 50 members of the Tufts Community. He spoke on a wide range of Iran-related issues: from the “woman, life, freedom” movement to the future of the nuclear deal and the Islamic Republic.

In July 2014, Rezaian was arrested by Iranian authorities and imprisoned for 544 days until his release in January 2016. Prior to his arrest, he had served as Tehran bureau chief for the Washington Post. Rezaian now advocates for press freedom globally. He drew light to the fact that there are Iranian Americans who were not as lucky as Rezaian and are still imprisoned in Iran, including Siamak Namazi (‘93).

Rezaian spoke on various issues during the evening and aimed to bring some nuance to the conversation regarding Iran, the nuclear deal, and the historic women-led movement. He shared that “we have spent 40 years putting real heavy penalties and sanctions on Iran. But it’s time to rethink how we approach these issues…What you’re trying to do with economic sanctions is really to get people to rise up, and it never works. It’s much more effective to go after the people in power and their loved ones.”

Rezaian provided the attendees with much to reflect on regarding the future of Iran. The Fares Center is grateful for his willingness to share his experience and expertise with the Tufts community.