Iran

Iran’s ‘secret’ al Qaeda prisoners

 
Across the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranians accused of being members of Al-Qaeda are being held in prisons – some even specific high security wings. Yet their vary presence is barely reported in the media and unknown to most Iranians. FRANCE 24's Observers explore the country's complex relationship with the terrorist movement. Read more...

Female bodybuilders try to lift sport's profile in Iran

 
Because they have to wear hijabs, Iranian women athletes cannot compete in many international competitions, and have to settle for competing at a national level. But for Iran’s female bodybuilders, any sort of competition is out of the question. Read more…
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The Iranian stars who were purged from history

 
History is written by the victors. This adage is glaringly true in Iran, where press and TV archives were shuttered after the revolution in 1979, as the country’s new leaders sought to suppress anyone who didn’t fit in with their ideal of an Islamic state. Actors, models, or athletes who were big stars just a few decades ago have been all but forgotten – except by a few people, like our Observer, who painstakingly track down the little information they can find. Read more…

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In Iran, Muslim youth are 'even more excited about Christmas than Christians'

Christians make up less than 1 percent of Iran’s population. And yet the storefronts in Iran’s cities are full of Christmas decorations. So who is supposed to buy them? According to our Observers, the holiday has become very popular with Iranian youth, regardless of their religion. Read more...

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Iran sees first major charity set up to help homeless, addicts

 
Up until recently, there were no organised charities focused on helping the homeless in Tehran, where about 10,000 people live on the streets. However, in the past few years, one organisation has emerged that not only feeds the homeless, but also helps those addicted to drugs. And now it’s inspiring others to set up similar programmes in different cities. Read more...

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Acid rain in Ahvaz poisons thousands of Iranians

 
Patients suffering breathing problems have been filling up emergency rooms in Ahvaz in recent weeks as bouts of acid rain fall on the western Iranian city. Read more...
 
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Iranians' mixed reactions to nuclear deal, online and in the streets

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was greeted by cheering crowds at Tehran’s airport Sunday evening, as he and his team of negotiators returned home after brokering a historic agreement to curb uranium enrichment in exchange for a partial lifting of international sanctions. But Iranians have expressed mixed emotions online as to whether this is a good deal for their country. Read more...

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Afghan female rapper: “I’ve received threats, but won’t stop”

“I wanted to run and they hit me on the back; I wanted to think and they hit me on the head; they burned my face in the name of Islam, cut my nose for revenge; poured acid on my hands and body; sold me because I am only a woman” -- these are the daring lyrics of a song by rap duo 143, whose singer Paradise Sorouri was the first female Afghan rapper. Read more…

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HIV-positive women in Iran face ignorance, stigma

A new wave of HIV infections is well underway in Iran. This is cause for serious concern in a country where knowledge on preventing its spread is in short supply, while the age at which people start having sex has gotten lower, according health workers. For women infected with the virus, life can be especially difficult. Read more...

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