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Luisa Vieira

Iran’s leaders are asking for trouble

It’s impossible to predict when and where a wildfire will begin, but it’s easy to know when the ground is dry. In today’s Iran, the ground is ominously dry.

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The suspected Chinese spy balloon drifts to the ocean after being shot down off the coast in Surfside Beach, South Carolina.

REUTERS/Randall Hill

What We're Watching: US-China balloon fallout, Iranian "amnesty"

As US shoots down Chinese spy balloon, China cries foul

If we'd told you a week ago that the recent US-China thaw would be upended by X, you'd have probably guessed X had something to do with Taiwan, US semiconductor export controls, or perhaps China's covert profiteering from Russia's war in Ukraine. Nope. It was all over ... a balloon.

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Annie Gugliotta

The high price of isolation

Think it’s good to be the king? Consider for a moment the predicaments facing the small group of men (virtually all of them are men) who rule Russia, China, and Iran. Vladimir Putin and his accomplices, Xi Jinping and his functionaries, and those who make rules in the Islamic Republic all contend with a basic set of problems that obstruct vital flows of information within their respective countries. That creates serious problems for them — and for the rest of us.

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Masih Alinejad lives in Brooklyn. Iran wants to kill her.
Masih Alinejad Lives in Brooklyn. Iran Wants To Kill Her. | GZERO World

Masih Alinejad lives in Brooklyn. Iran wants to kill her.

Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad has long been in Tehran's crosshairs, accused of being an agent of the United States.

She denies it. "I'm not an American agent. I have agency," Alinejad tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

But the regime has continued to look for ways to target her, even from her home in Brooklyn.

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Iran v. the Islamic Republic: Fighting Iran’s gender apartheid regime
Iran V. The Islamic Republic: Fighting Iran’s Gender Apartheid Regime | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Iran v. the Islamic Republic: Fighting Iran’s gender apartheid regime

Woman, life, freedom. Those three words have filled the streets of Iran since the ongoing women-led protests against the regime, the biggest since 2009, began last September.

How did Iranian women get here? How has the theocracy responded so far? And what might come next?

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer speaks to Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad, a sworn enemy of the Supreme Leader; it's widely believed that Iranian spies have tried to kidnap and assassinate her here in New York.

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Bryan Olin Dozier via Reuters Connect

Podcast: After Mahsa Amini: Iran’s fight for freedom, with Masih Alinejad


Listen: Iran is being rocked by its most significant protests since the Green Movement of 2009. Since September, hundreds of thousands of young and mostly female demonstrators have filled the streets of nearly every major city from Tehran to Tabriz, many discarding their headscarves at great personal risk to protest draconian societal rules and restrictions. The backlash from security forces has been brutal, though (except in the Kurdish region) the government has yet to send in the Revolutionary Guard.

Iranian-American journalist and activist Masih Alinejad joins Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast to discuss. Where will these protests lead, and what are the geopolitical implications for the region, and for the West? Alinejad shares her views on the unprecedented unity among the Iranian protesters, her personal experience being targeted by the Iranian government even after moving to the United States, and why the Iranian men's World Cup team does not deserve sympathy.

Iran's morality police: not disbanded
Iran's Morality Police Not Disbanded | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Iran's morality police: not disbanded

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here and a Quick Take to kick off your week. There's plenty to talk about around the world but I wanted to focus a little bit on Iran. We've had over two months of demonstrations across the entire country, grassroots, mostly young people, led by women in opposition to the morality police and the incredibly oppressive treatment that women in particular have in that country, not least of which, the forced wearing of the hijab under penalty of arrest.

Now, it's very interesting that over the course of the weekend, there was all sorts of headlines put out that the Iranian government announced that they were abolishing the morality police, and if that were true, it would be a big deal. Remember, Iran, for over two months, the only response to the demonstrations has been repression, and the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, came out just a week ago and said that he would not listen to the voice of the people. He absolutely rejected that, and instead, what we've seen is more arrests and increasingly, we're seeing harsh sentences being put against those people that have been involved in demonstrations. In some cases, even the death sentence.

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US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wields the gavel as she presides over the first impeachment of President Donald Trump.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

What We’re Watching: Pelosi’s farewell, #RIPTwitter, Malaysian vote, Iranian rage, UK austerity

Pelosi takes a final bow

Nancy Pelosi is standing down as leader of the Democratic Party in the US House, but she’ll remain in Congress as a representative of San Francisco. She was both the first woman to serve in the ultra-powerful role of House Speaker and a hate figure for many on the right. Pelosi’s personal toughness, Herculean fundraising prowess, and ability to hold together the typically fractious Democratic Party in the House will remain her legacy for Democrats. For Republicans, seeing her pass the gavel to one of their own in January will mark a moment of triumph in an otherwise disappointing midterm performance. In announcing her plans, Pelosi noted that “the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus.” At a moment when both parties are led by politicians of advancing age, that’s a big step – and a trend we’ll be watching closely as a new Congress takes shape and the next race for the White House begins. Eurasia Group US Managing Director Jon Lieber says his bet is on 52-year-old Hakeem Jeffries taking the Democratic reins. If Jeffries gets the job, he'll make history as the first Black politician to lead a party in Congress.

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