A family member comforts US-Iranian national Siamak Namazi, released after almost 8 years in detention in Iran, September 18, 2023
I joined a panel on Al Jazeera English’s Inside Story on Tuesday to analyze three inter-linked issues concerning Iran: the deal for the release of five American-Iranian political prisoners, the state of talks over Tehran’s nuclear program, and the year-long protests for rights, justice, and gender equality.
Dr Roxane Farmanfarmaian of Cambridge University offers insight, while Dr Foad Izadi of Tehran University puts out the talking points and pretexts of the Iranian regime.
I navigate through the details of the exchange of the political prisoners for the unfreezing of $6 billion in Iranian oil revenues and the dropping of charges in the US against five Iranians — only two of whom are going back to Tehran.
Then I explain how “the ball is in Iran’s court” over any resumption of nuclear talks, with Tehran stepping up its restrictions on inspections of nuclear sites and maintaining its production of 60% uranium.
But it is at the end that the discussion gets heated. I highlight the importance of the “Woman. Life. Freedom” rallies spurred by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody last September.
Claiming to speak for “Iranian people”, Dr. Izadi tries to belittle those Iranians pursuing their rights and justice — a statement that I was not going to leave unanswered.