Selected links to a better understanding of Iran

By Farhang Jahanpour and Jan Oberg

These are the links mentioned in TFF PressInfo of January 20, 2014. There are literally hundreds of websites that one could list but we have put together some of the ones that we find to be the most useful and that we regularly consult ourselves. They range from the media run by the Iranian government, as well as the BBC Persian, VOA in Persian, some opposition websites and one on Iranian music and the massive Encyclopaedia Iranica; further there are some dailies and agencies, sites with political analyses sites and some video documentaries.

We sincerely hope this you’ll find something useful in this collection. Please share this page with anybody who wishes to know more about Iran. And let’s emphasise that the best way to learn about Iran is to go there and see for yourself.

Al-Monitor Iran Pulse

IRNA – Islamic Republic News Agency

Iran Review
It is a web site, which calls itself “leading independent, non-governmental and non-partisan website.” It provides translations of articles by some leading Iranian journalists and political analysts, and some of them are very informative and thought provoking.

It is a website run by Iranian-Americans but is generally non-partisan and publishes good articles about Iran, some pro-Iranian government and some opposed to it. The articles provide good information about some of the leading current developments in Iran.

Campaigns Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII)
This is a website run by a professor of computer studies at the University of London. It defines itself as follows: “CASMII is independent of all political groups and governments, including the Iranian government, and does not adhere to any particular religion or ideology. We strive to bring together the broadest possible spectrum of forces, on the basis of democratic principles and decision making structures.” However, it tends to publish articles that are generally-speaking pro-Iranian government and in any case opposed to military action or sanctions against Iran.

Press TV
PressTV is the official English language TV station of the Islamic Republic of Iran and naturally takes a pro-Iranian stance in most of its reporting. Its satellite channel beamed to Europe was banned as part of the sanctions against Iran, but it is available online.

BBC Persian Television
This is the website of the BBC Persian broadcasting to Iran. The station is very popular in Iran and allegedly it is watched by close to 10 million people there. It played a major role in providing publicity for the Green Movement following 2009 election, and generally has some very interesting programs, backed by BBC’s vast resources. The television could be watched live online and some of its major programs are recorded and could be watched for up to a week or more later. The website also publishes some interesting articles.

Voice of America in Persian
VOA has become a major source of news about Iran, with interviews with a large number of leading Iranian politicians, mainly the ones living abroad. Apparently it has a large following in Iran, and while some of its programs are quite factual, it clearly covers Iranian issues from an American point of view.

BBC Monitoring
This is the website of BBC Monitoring. It publishes a large number of translations of Persian radio and television broadcasts, as well as Iranian papers, and it also published a number of regular analyses on various political issues connected with Iran. It is available only to the subscribers

Open Source Center
This is the website of Open Source Center, an American version of the BBC Monitoring. It also publishes a large number of Iranian articles from various newspapers, as well as Iranian broadcasts, on a daily basis. This source is also available only to the subscribers

This website provides a very useful list of Iranian news agencies, newspapers and radio and television stations. Some of the sources are in English and some in Persian. It provides links to all the leading Iranian news agencies, such as IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency), ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency), ILNA (Iranian Labour News Agency), the hardline news agencies such as Raja News Agency, etc. For those who wish to follow Iranian news on a daily basis this is an invaluable source.

Jahan News
Jahan News is one of the better websites run by Iranian opposition groups. It covers Iranian reports, sometime quite factually, but some of its leading articles and stances are critical of Iranian government, but a useful source of alternative information about Iran.

This is a leading opposition website close to the Green Movement. It provides comprehensive cover of Iranian news, but also publishes articles that are critical of the current Iranian government.

Alef website
– is a political, economic and cultural website that is run by Ahmad Tavakkoli, who is the director of research at the Iranian Parliament (the Majles). This website is particularly useful for learning about relations between the parliament and the government.

This is run by Iranian-Americans. It provides good coverage of Iranian issues, including political, as well as cultural, social and artistic issues. The tone of the articles varies in keeping with the authors, but on the whole is critical of the Iranian government.

Interested in poetry and music? Golha is a wonderful website that has collected a large number of classical Persian poetry accompanied by Persian music, produced by SOAS, the British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS), the Iran Heritage Foundation IIHF) and Parsa Foundation. The songs include the programs covering 250 poets from the classical period to the present time, and 1400 radio programs broadcast on Iranian national radio from 1956-1979. For those who like classical Persian music this website gives them hours and hours of enjoyment.

Encyclopaedia Iranica
This is the website of , a massive work in dozens of volumes, concentrating on issues related to Iran. It is an invaluable source for research on Iran.

Fars News Agency


Tehran Times


Foundation for Dialogue among Civilisations

Iranian News Daily

Iran Herald

Scandinavian Society for Iranian Studies


Documentary – Iran Yesterday and Today by Rick Steves

Documentary – Diego Bunuel in Iran (Part 1-7)


TFF Vimeo Channel

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