British-Australian academic detained in Iran moved out of desert prison

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, the British-Australian academic who has been detained in Iran for the past two years, has been moved from the notorious desert prison of Qarchak to an unknown location. ...

Iran’s Next President Could Be a Military Man

Who shall guard the Guards? At the start of the campaign for next summer’s presidential election, Iran faces the militarization of its political institutions. The strongest candidates to replace President Hassan Rouhani in June come from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s most muscular military arm. ...

'Treating us like garbage': New sanctions announced as many Iranian Americans feel fed up with Trump

Jason Nazmiyal, a prominent Persian carpet dealer based in New York, is used to America's red tape when it comes to Iran. ...

How Iranian chess referee with secret Jewish heritage was forced to live a 'fake' life

When Shohreh Bayat, one of the world’s top chess referees, let her hijab slip during a match earlier this year she had no idea she may never return home to Iran again. Not long after the seemingly innocuous pictures of her loose hair had circulated in Iran, where headscarves are strictly mandated by the ruling ayatollahs, she was receiving threats to her life. ...

Message from Kweku Mandela - Nelson Mandela's grandson - to Nasrin Sotoudeh

Four months after Nasrin was released from her first three-year prison sentence in Evin, Nelson Mandela died in December 2013. ...

Iran’s secular shift: new survey reveals huge changes in religious beliefs

Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution was a defining event that changed how we think about the relationship between religion and modernity. Ayatollah Khomeini’s mass mobilisation of Islam showed that modernisation by no means implies a linear process of religious decline. ...

Lessons From Three Years in an Iranian Prison

In August 2016, shortly after I was arrested by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence, one of my interrogators asked me what I thought of the antagonism between Iran and the United States. I told him frankly that like many Americans, I did not believe that Iran and the United States should be enemies. I said that I thought President Barack Obama should visit Tehran and turn a new page in the relationship, just as President Richard Nixon had done by going to Beijing in 1972. The interrogator sneered. The U.S. president would never be welcome in his country, he told me. ...

Iran’s “#MeToo” moment

The ripple effects of the 2017 “#MeToo” movement shook Iranian social media this week as rape allegations were levelled against some of the country’s most prominent figures. The movement, which has led to the arrest of at least one alleged rapist so far, has triggered a broader conversation around sexual violence and harassment — an unspoken topic in Islamic Iran. ...

Authoritarian Survival: Iran's Republic of Repression

In 2019, the Islamic Republic of Iran marked its fortieth anniversary in power. It proudly staged ceremonies to commemorate this milestone, but before the year was out it would face widespread, bitter protests of a sort that have become familiar, denying its legitimacy and demanding an end to undemocratic rule by Shia Muslim clerics. The early months of 2020 brought the regime more high-profile troubles. These included the accidental shootdown of a civilian airliner and now encompass Iranian society's suffering as part of the covid-19 pandemic—a suffering that has grown worse even as top officials have refused to acknowledge the true extent and severity of what the disease has wrought for the people of Iran. ...

The story of Iran, a murdered hacker and me

His tone was frantic. He was scared and paranoid, deleting his WhatsApp messages as soon as I had read them. Masoud Molavi Vardanjani wanted to speak to someone “in Washington”. I was cautious, too. I am just a journalist, I insisted. Who would I know “in Washington”? And how can I even be sure it’s you, I asked, and not some Iranian regime operative up to some trickery? ...