We must worry about the future of Iran if the Flight PS752 passengers constitute a representative sample of the brains Iran is losing.

Sixteen alumni of Iran’s best engineering school — Sharif University of Technology — were on the Ukrainian Flight 752, 12 of them shown in this photo. From left to right: [top] Arash Pourzarabi (26), Ghazal Nourian (26), Mohammad Salehe (32), and Pouneh Gorji (25); [middle] Hamidreza Setareh Kokab (31), Elnaz Nabiyi (30),Mohammad Amin Beiruti (29), Milad Ghasemi Ariani (32); [bottom] Iman Aghabali (28), Amir Ashrafi Habibabadi (28), Mehdi Eshaghian (24), and Mohammad Mahdi Elyasi (28)

Note: This article was published a few hours before Iran admitted that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) had shot down the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 (PS752).

Hearing sad stories about home is nothing unusual for Iranian immigrants. We grow up with fear, tension, uncertainty, and conspiracy theories. …


Mahan Ghafari and Kaveh Madani

Iran had an unusual rate of death in fall 2019 before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Victims of Covid-19 being buried in Hamadan, Iran with special percussions (Photo by: Behzad Alipour).

Iran was among the first countries to report COVID-19 infections. With 97 exported cases to 11 countries by Feb 28, it has since been the epicentre of the outbreak in the Middle East. The country has been widely accused by the media and general public for underreporting and manipulating its COVID-19 records.

Underdetection and the resulting underreporting of COVID-19 cases due to limited testing capacity is a major barrier to the effective management of the Coronavirus crisis around the world. Iran…


Erik Solheim and Kaveh Madani

We don’t have to reinvent the wheel if we recognize the successful mitigation practices of the East Asian countries in fighting COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic is taking lives around the world. The leaders of the western countries are now being questioned for their lack of preparation and slow actions, putting millions of people at risk.

China’s population is twenty-three times bigger than Italy. But Italy has now overtaken China’s official COVID-19 death toll. Unlike China, Europe, United States and Canada had time to get prepared for this. Yet they did not choose to act like Singapore, a country very close to China that was affected by the virus very early. …


The coronavirus is doing things that the climate activists have been long wishing for.

Experts are worried that the coronavirus tragedy is going to overshadow climate change debates.

It is official. COVID-19 is no longer just a simple disease outbreak or epidemic in the global south. It is a global pandemic that threatens all nations.

Countries are still struggling with diagnosing the affected people and the scale of the problem is still unknown. But we know that most of the countries have been affected and the global death toll has been frustratingly high. The coronavirus is expected to spread to many people in the next few months. Most people will survive but many will die.

What doesn’t kill us is supposed to make us stronger. Just like other…


Americans must be reminded that their choice has major implications for climate justice in a territory that is much larger than the United States.

Climate change is getting attention from many of the 2020 presidential candidates. According to a recent survey from Yale and George Mason University, climate change is the 11th most important voting issue for registered voters.

The idea that governments possess full control over affairs within their own territorial borders has been accepted for decades. It’s a basic precept of international law. The notion of sovereignty explicitly prevents foreign intervention in another country’s domestic affairs unless the case can be made that atrocities are being committed that constitute an international crime. The ways in which one government manages its own country’s resources is normally not an international concern.

But we are not…


The power games of radicals for selfish ends are jeopardizing the sincere efforts of the Iran’s environmental community.

Eight Iranian conservationists have been in the Evin Prison since early 2018, being accused of using environmental activism as a cover for a mission to disrupt national security.

A group of Iranian conservationists, working for the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF) and known for their exemplary efforts in preserving the endangered Asiatic (Iranian) cheetahs, were arrested in early 2018 under espionage charges. The country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claims that the PWHF members have collected sensitive environmental information for the intelligence agencies of “hostile nations” and were monitoring Iran’s ballistic missile program using camera traps.

Out of the nine detained conservationist, Kavous Seyed Emami suspiciously died in an alleged…


Debates must be moved from political and academic silos to streets and dinner tables if we want to stop playing the climate change Russian roulette.

San Francisco youth climate strike — March 15, 2019

Peder Hjorth* and Kaveh Madani**

The advent of the steam engine and the water wheel had a decisive impact on development. Humans were no longer solely dependent on muscle power in efforts to transform and exploit the environment. The mechanization of our environment gained momentum year by year, but came with a major unwanted consequence.

The average global temperature is by now about 1ºC higher than it was when the mechanization process took off and…

Kaveh Madani

Former Deputy Head of Iran’s Department of Environment, Ex-VP of United Nations Environment Assembly Bureau, Rice Senior Fellow at Yale, www.kavehmadani.com

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