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Inside Iran With Mohsen Sazegara: When Dictators Unite
The Freedom Collection’s Mohsen Sazegara, an Iranian political dissident and freedom advocate, offers his unique perspective on the inner workings of the regime in Tehran. In this video, Mohsen talks about the relationship between the authoritarian regimes in Iran and Venezuela. Their partnership has allowed Iran to build influence in a region far from its borders. At the same time, both sides have benefited economically from the partnership through a series of reciprocal investment projects. The alliance also provided opportunities for the governments of Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to build common fronts on a variety of international issues. Mohsen speculates on how cooperation between Venezuela and Iran may change post-Hugo Chavez, and how upcoming elections in both countries could affect the relationship.
Mohsen Sazegara is an Iranian dissident, writer, and political activist. He was a founding member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and an aide to Ayatollah Khomeini before becoming disillusioned with Iran’s regime and its brutal repression. His reformist policies eventually resulted in his arrest in early 2003, after which he left the country. He has since actively worked for greater freedom and democracy for his native Iran, and has become a major figure in the country’s Green Movement.
Sazegara has been a visiting professor at several universities in Iran and has held visiting scholar positions at Yale and Harvard. He also served as publisher of several reformist Iranian newspapers closed by regime hardliners, and was managing director of Iran’s press cooperative company.
Sazegara is an exiled Iranian citizen currently living in the United States.Full Bio
Chinese Prisoner’s Death Holds a Message for Americans and China
Liu Xiaobo, China’s most prominent dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner died this week. His death holds a message for Americans and for China.
Release of Chinese Political Prisoner a Timely Reminder to Support Freedom Advocates Abroad
More than half the world’s population still lives in countries where basic political rights and civil liberties are only partly respected, if at all.
Bringing Freedom to the Forefront of 21st Century Politics
Is the global liberal democratic order in danger? Purposefully constructed in the aftermath of World War II, this order -- and the American leadership that is central to its success --has contributed to securing peace and expanding prosperity in the United States and around the world. Today, that order appears to be dissolving. This crisis is not new or sudden; it has been mounting for several years. Global challenges like authoritarian capitalism, violent extremism, demographic pressures, and displaced populations have placed global freedom in decline. Fraying traditional alliances united by core values of freedom are increasingly weak to respond. It is alarming that the downdraft in democratic resilience over the past decade or more includes countries that have long been part of the consolidated democratic West. This is democratic deconsolidation. In much of the Western world, we see a rise in demagogic populism, illiberalism, nationalism, protectionism, and waning conf
The Importance of Speaking Truth to Tyrants
What the president of the United States says matters. Even during the realpolitik policies of détente under Richard Nixon, it was still clear that American policy was based on a set of core values. Nixon’s practical goals of reaching deals with America’s adversaries was never based on the “great chemistry” with himself or praising the Soviet or Communist Chinese leadership doing a “fantastic job.” When the president aligns himself with the autocrats and dictators, he aligns America with their oppression. He sends a message that corruption and brutality are not our concern. Contrast that with how Ronald Reagan defied much of world opinion in calling out the brutality of the Soviet system. Natan Sharansky, then a refusenik imprisoned in a Soviet gulag, later wrote for the Weekly Standard of his thoughts on Reagan’s pronouncement that the USSR was an evil empire: “It was the great, brilliant moment whe