Iran

Videos show Iranian officers supervising Syrian soldiers

Videos published online show Iranian military officers working with soldiers from Syria’s regular army, giving them advice and instructions for combat. This footage revives the debate over Iran’s military presence in Syria, even as Iranian authorities continue to deny that they have sent any of their fighters there. Read more...

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The latest faux pas in Iran: leggings

 
An elasticised, skin-tight leg garment is causing offence amongst Iran's leading imams, the authorities and conservative media. The common legging has been deemed ‘unislamic’ by proponents of the country’s strict dress code and women who flout the rules risk arrest. Read more...
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Cartoon explains everything you ever wanted to know about Iran

 
Ever had any questions about Iran? Now, you can ask her. Yes, her. Iran is represented as a smart, sassy cartoon lady on the blog “Ask Iran”, where she answers readers’ questions on everything from “Do all Iranians have dark hair?” to “Can you tell us more about Afro-Iranians?” Read more...

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Iran’s underground hip hop dance scene

 
Aside from some sanctioned, traditional dances, it is forbidden to dance in Iran. Hip hop music is also forbidden. And yet hip hop dancing is becoming a very popular hobby with young Iranians. Read more…
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Victory for Iran protesters as govt closes polluting factory

 
Tired of the air pollution caused by a factory in the northwestern city of Zanjan, local residents twice took to the streets in the past two weeks, prompting the government to finally shut it down. However, our Observer says the battle isn’t quite over yet. Read more…
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Iran's fake models try to make it big overseas

 
Becoming a ‘model’ in Iran is easier that you might think. Young men and women are turning to social media in the hope of increasing their chances of breaking into the highly competitive modelling industry. They choose a fancy outfit, put on heavy make-up, some even opt for cosmetic surgery, and find a photographer willing to take their photo. They then upload the snaps onto Facebook, change their profession to ‘Model’ and, hey presto, they call themselves models. The catch is, they are not paid to pose, but they still need to pay their photographer. Read more...

Tehran’s highway construction leaves family with only half a home

 
The city of Tehran has nearly finished the controversial construction of a new highway, save for a few kilometres left in the middle section. To get this far, the city has had to buy up thousands of homes, and has faced many complaints from local residents about what they describe as predatory tactics. One of our Observers tells us about the absurd situation he finds himself in: half of his family’s property was recently destroyed, leaving them without a bathroom or a kitchen. Read more…
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Working underground: the life of an Iranian tattoo artist

 
In Iran, tattoos were long considered fit only for criminals. But in the past few years, they have become popular with the younger generation, which has abandoned the Persian word “khalkoobi” for the western term “tattoo”. However, Iran’s thriving tattoo scene remains underground. Read more…
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Iranian smugglers set up shop in coastal Oman

 
Due to the ramping up of international sanctions, many Iranian merchants who were working legally in Dubai are leaving and heading to Khasab, a small coastal town in Oman, where smuggling is rife. Read more…
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