Iran

‘Sex jihadist’ was actually a porn actress

Aïsha left Saudi Arabia to go carry out “sex jihad” in Syria, where she became pregnant with an Islamist fighter’s child. Or at least, that’s the story several official Iranian media outlets have reported. But Iranian Internet sleuths quickly realised it was fishy. Read more...

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Iran’s landmines: ‘Kids get blown up while playing’

Iran is one of the countries in the world with the most unexploded landmines, and they kill and maim dozens of people every year. Many of these are leftovers from the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988); others were planted by the Iranian government to fight armed groups and traffickers. Our Observer says the authorities are simply not doing enough to rid Iran of them. Read more…

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In pictures: Iranians around the world celebrate fire festival

Iranians throughout the world celebrated the festival of fire on Tuesday night as they do every year. This is an ancient pagan celebration that ushers in the Persian New Year. Read more...

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Hunters swear off killing in bid to preserve Iranian wildlife

 
Nineteen hunters in Iranian Kurdistan have sworn off killing animals by breaking their rifles and setting fire to their traps in public. They hope that many more will soon join them in their effort to preserve Iran’s fragile wildlife from the ravages of over-hunting. Read more…
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Self-censorship on the rise in Iran's underground art scene

 
Many artists in Iran lead two careers: a public one, and a secret one. They exhibit pieces that they know wouldn’t make it past official scrutiny at underground galleries. However, even there, they are increasingly walking on eggshells. Read more…
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Video shows crowd siding with criminal in Iran public execution

 
A video has emerged of a man making a last-ditch effort to flee his public execution in Iran, raising questions over the government's regular use of this punishment. Read more...
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How Iranians came to deal drugs in Japan

In Japan’s underworld of organised crime, there is of course the infamous Yakuza, but there are also foreign nationals, including Iranians. For more than two decades now, they have been dealing drugs on behalf of the lower rungs of Japanese criminals. An Iranian with insider knowledge of these activities explains how this came about. Read more…

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Ballet dancers tiptoe around Iran dancing ban

 
Like all forms of dance, ballet is officially banned in Iran. Yet many women practice it at gyms around the country under the guise of gymnastics, and this, to a certain extent, is tolerated. Still, the ban makes it difficult for students to get proper training and even more so to hold performances. Read more...
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