Iran – COI

Click here to see the host countries of refugees originating from Iran.

Charles W Dunne

Email: or

Charles W. Dunne is a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute, a member of the John Hay Initiative, and has recently advised two presidential campaigns on Near East policy. He was Foreign Policy Adviser to the Director for Strategic Plans and Policy at the Joint Staff in the Pentagon (2007-2008), and was director of Middle East and North Africa programs from 2011 to 2015 at Freedom House, where he focused on human rights and democracy promotion in the region. Prior to joining Freedom House, he was Director for Iraq at the National Security Council from 2005-2007. Dunne spent 24 years as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, serving overseas in Cairo, Jerusalem, and Madras, India, and later served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, where he contributed to the development of presidential initiatives to advance political reform and democracy in the Broader Middle East and North Africa. He is currently a Visiting Distinguished Research Fellow of the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. He is a frequent media guest on outlets such as BBC, al-Jazeera, and al-Hurra, and has appeared on CBS, Fox, and NPR.  He has written for numerous publications, including the Washington PostUS News and World Report, the American Interest, and The National in Dubai. He has often spoken in public on Middle East issues on panels and major conferences.

Dr Rebwar Fatah

Email:  or

Dr Rebwar Fatah is the Director of the Middle East Consultancy Services. Dr Fatah has produced thousands of COI reports since he began working as an expert witness in 2000. In the past five years alone, Dr Fatah has produced 1,341 Expert Reports on the Middle East. These include:

  • 830 Country Expert Reports
  • 416 Document Authentication Reports
  • 95 Nationality Reports

Dr Fatah’s reports have been commissioned for and cited in several immigration appeals, as well as family and criminal cases. Moreover, he has assessed many people from the Middle East whose nationality, native language, ethnicity, place of residence has been disputed, and has examined thousands of documents from the MENA region. In addition to a deep knowledge of the region’s administrative and bureaucratic cultures, Dr Fatah’s multilingual proficiencies enable him to understand, interpret and evaluate official documents in the Middle East. As a part of this work, Dr Fatah has produced his own methodology for document authentications and nationality examinations.

Dr Fatah has also provided written and oral evidence in court; among them are five Country Guidance Cases, two Turkish extradition orders and many other cases. Moreover, Dr Fatah has also reviewed and provided guidance on Home Office CPIN reports.

Dr Fatah regularly visits the Middle East, conducting fact-finding missions to ensure that his knowledge is up to date and based on reliable information. Dr Fatah speaks most of the Middle Eastern languages as well as their various dialects. Dr Fatah’s Country Expert Reports cover a wide range of issues, including the general security situation, sufficiency of protection, crimes of honour, healthcare, corruption, and at-risk groups of different sexual, religious, political and cultural profiles.

Dr Farangis Ghaderi

Email: or

Dr Farangis Ghaderi is the founder and director of Middle East Consulting Ltd, a research and consultancy company based in the UK. She has worked as an independent Middle East expert since 2012 and has extensive experience in providing country expert reports, nationality assessment, and document authentication for court purposes. Dr Ghaderi holds a PhD in Kurdish Studies from the University of Exeter. As an academic she has published scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals and has presented her research in international conferences. She speaks fluent Kurdish and Farsi and has working knowledge of Arabic and Dari. She is familiar with different Kurdish dialects and has prepared language expert reports for Kurdish asylum seekers from Iran and Iraq whose nationality have been disputed. Dr Ghaderi is prepared to provide country expert reports on Iran, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

Dr George Joffé

Tel: +44 20 76 04 30 27
Email: / Skype: george.joffe

Professor Joffé is prepared to provide country of origin experts witness statements for Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morroco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. He is now retired but is still affiliated to the London Middle East Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Until 2017, Professor Joffé was an affiliated lecturer at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) in the University of Cambridge, where he also ran the Centre for North African Studies. From 2005 to 2010, he was a research fellow at the Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford. From 1997 to 2000, Professor Joffé was the deputy-director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. He regularly addresses professional audiences at the NATO Defence College in Rome, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy in Geneva, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and NOREF in Oslo and the Royal College of Defence Studies in London. He has also advised the European Commission (DG Relex), EuropAid and the new External Action Service.

Dr Bernard Kaussler


Dr Bernard Kaussler is Assistant Professor of Political Science at James Madison University in Virginia. He has five years of experience providing advanced research and analysis, project management, and consultancy for government, private sector, and academic clients. He is willing to enter into discussion with legal representatives about providing expert reports. He has completed expert reports for asylum cases which have included gay rights, women’s rights, and cases involving dissidents and members of the opposition, as well minority rights (both ethnic and religious).

Mrs Jaleh Saboktakin


Jaleh Saboktakin is Programme Manager (Protection) with Danish Refugee Council, currently based in South Sudan. Previously, Jaleh was working with UNHCR Iran for 6 years, managing higher education and repatriation programme for Afghan and Iraqi refugees. Jaleh has post-graduate degree in Development & Emergency Practice from Oxford Brookes University, specialising on issues related to durable solutions for refugees.

Mr Anwar Soltani


Mr. Soltani works with the Institute of Linguists as an assessor of exams, and as a freelance translator and interpreter. He has published various research pieces and books regarding Kurdistan. Mr. Soltani is willing to authenticate documents and prepare reports on their originality, provided they are in Kurdish (Sorani dialect) or Farsi. Please note that Mr. Soltani will not prepare Country of Origin expert reports: his services on this website are regarding authentication only.

Ms Natalia Tereshchenko


Ms. Natalia Tereshchenko is a researcher and project manager at the Oriental Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, where she focuses on religious and ethnic minority rights in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. She is also a researcher at the global online consultancy, Wikistrat.
Previously, Natalia has been working on legal assistance for Afghanistan through UNODC and has served as the Vice-Chair of the International Refugee Law Committee at the American Bar Association. Natalia’s expertise also includes issues of non-traditional security threats, negotiations with non-state actors and conflict transformation.

Arzoo Osanloo


Arzoo Osanloo is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington’s Law, Societies, and Justice Program with adjunct appointments in the School of Law and Departments of Anthropology, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Women’s Studies, and Comparative Religion. She received her Ph.D. in 2002 in Cultural Anthropology at Stanford University. Prior to that, she was a practicing attorney. At the University of Washington, Dr Osanloo conducts research and teaches courses focusing on the intersection of law and culture, including human rights, refugee rights and identity, and women’s rights in Muslim societies. Her main geographical focus is the Middle East, especially Iran. She has published in various journals, including American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology and Iranian Studies. Her book, The Politics of Women’s Rights in Iran (2009), is published by Princeton University Press. She is currently working on a new project that considers the Islamic mandate of forgiveness, compassion, and mercy in Iran’s criminal sanctioning system, jurisprudential scholarship, and everyday acts among pious Muslims.

Kameel Ahmady (FGM/C)

Kameel Ahmady is a social anthropologist and originally hails from Iranian Kurdistan. Kameel holds a post-graduate degree in anthropology and visual ethnography from the University of Kent and currently works on community development programmes with focuses on FGM, early child marriage and MGM/C (Male Circumcision). He has a background in social empowerment, family and children right initiatives, and has worked extensively on issues concerning local cultures, migration, minority rights and Middle East affairs. His more recent research projects include a comprehensive study (in English and Farsi/Persian) titled A Comprehensive Research Study On Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting in Iran-2015, a research conducted over the period of ten years along with a short anthropological film In the Name of Tradition on the issue of FGM ( in West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah and Hormozgan). This research study has gained global recognition since it is the first film on FGM in Iran. He wrote three books and published on themes of gender, Diaspora, multiculturalism and modernity in the Middle East. Currently he advises governments and international NGO’s on FGM and related issues in Middle East. Moreover, he is effectively present at numerous international events and conferences.

Osman Mahmoudi (FGM/C)

Osman Mahmoudi works as family counsellor in the province of Kermanshah, Iran and he is in the process of completing his PhD on Family Counselling at the University of Shaheed Chamran of Ahvaz, Iran. Osman founded a counselling centre on FGM cases in the province of Kermanshah, Iran, where classes are held for young people and women concerning psychological and physiological risks of FGM. In spring 2014 he trained 50 Psychology students on FGM. He has a background in counselling, education organisation, psychotherapy and female genital mutilation (FGM). During the last 9 years he gained expertise in health systems strengthening, reproductive health, family planning, HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, monitoring and evaluating programmes, including FGM.  His more recent research projects include a comprehensive study, Comparison mental health, sexual functioning and marital satisfaction of couples victim of FGM and other couples (2015 LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing). Currently he is consultant, research and specialist for Stop FGM Middle East Campaign that started in May 2014, Istanbul, Turkey.

International Coalition for the Rights of Iranian Refugees


Contact: Maria Rohaly, Coordinator, Mission Free Iran
phone: +1 240-595-2633

The International Coalition for the Rights of Iranian Refugees is a collection of international grassroots organizations advocating for refugee rights with a specialized, though not exclusive, focus on the Iranian refugee situation. Our mission is to protect and uphold the asylum rights of refugees in accordance with the mandate of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Internet Freedom

Reporters Without Borders has published a list of 10 “internet enemies”, i.e. countries that actively restrict access to the internet, censor content and pursue and imprison those who upload, contribute and view content which criticises the government. There are corresponding articles detailing the legal obstacles for internet users, and the consequences for those who fall foul of the law. Iran is on this list.


Reports, Commentaries and relevant Documents.

  • Commentary on the March 2011 Iran OGN. Published by Still Human, Still Here with commentaries on the Operational Guidance Notes (OGN) issued by the UK Border Agency on Iran. This is intended as a tool to assist legal practitioners identify the relevant country of origin information and to help ensure that all relevant material is considered by decision-makers
  • COI Compilation September 2013. Published by ACCORD (Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum) contains general, historical, and political information about Iran as well as Irans treatment of different groups.