Iran

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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Iranians 'feel betrayed' by French companies

 
About a hundred French companies are currently in Tehran on a trade trip aimed at drumming up business in Iran now that sanctions have been partially lifted. However, our Observer reports that despite French products being quite popular, many Iranians feel betrayed by French companies and are angry at their lack of loyalty during the sanction years. Read more…
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The Observers’ travel guide to Iran

Long avoided by all but the most adventurous tourists, Iran seems to be making a comeback in 2014, thanks to the thawing of relations with the West. The Financial Times recently put it first on its list of top travel destinations for the year, and tour operators are reporting that more and more travelers are expressing interest in visiting the Islamic Republic. Here’s a little guide for foreign visitors, concocted with the help of our Observers. Read more...

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Drug dealers clash in Iranian border city

 
In the poorest neighbourhoods of Zahedan, a city in southeastern Iran, daily clashes take place between drug gangs, which include women and young children. The drug trade is rife there, due to the city’s location near the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan. Read more...
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