Iran

After Rohani’s victory, Iranians let loose

 
A video shows a young couple dancing, their bodies nearly touching at times. The scene would seem far from scandalous in much of the world, but it was filmed in the middle of the street in Mashhad, one of the most conservative cities in Iran. Dancing is strictly forbidden for women in Iran, but overjoyed Iranians broke many rules after moderate Hassan Rohani won the presidential election. Read more…

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Our Observers share photos of Iran’s election day

 
As Iranians headed to the poll Friday to choose their next president, our Observers sent us frequent updates from the voting booths. Read more…
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Iranian satire: 'What is better than mocking something that has hurt us?'

 
In Iran, creating satire, even in the form of cartoons, is a dangerous line of work. In recent years, making fun of the country’s politicians has landed many satirists in jail, and pushed others to either flee abroad or to publish their jokes on social networks under pseudonyms. Read more…

Iran is no country for pet dogs

 
Owning a dog has always been tricky in Iran, where Islamic authorities frown upon this “western” behaviour. But it's now become near-impossible. Indeed dog owners who are caught walking their pets are almost guaranteed never to see them again. Read more...
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Iranian ayatollah’s funeral turns into anti-regime protest

 
Ayatollah Taheri, a cleric close to Iran’s reformist movement, was laid to rest on Tuesday in the central Iranian city of Isfahan. Just 10 days ahead of Iran’s presidential election, the funeral procession quickly turned into a protest, with participants chanting slogans against the government and in favour of opposition leaders. Read more…
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Women skirt Iranian music ban with fancy dress

 
They are famous singers, but nobody ever recognizes them in the street. In their music videos, you only see their back, their feet, their silhouette outlined behind curtains, or their reflections in a lake; those who show their faces disguise themselves with big sunglasses, heavy face paint, or colorful masks. Read more...
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Headscarves and long tunics don’t stop Iranian women from practising parkour

 
Despite having to practise in unwieldy clothing – not to mention having to stay on the lookout for police - Iranian women are getting into the sport of parkour. Some even create videos in which they show off their skills, and post them online. One of these brave women tells us about the challenges of practising parkour in an Islamic republic. Read more...
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Outcry in Iran after police punish man by dressing him like a woman

 
An unusual punishment has shocked many in Iran. On April 15, police paraded a convicted criminal through the northwestern city of Marivan dressed in traditional Kurdish women’s clothing. This has prompted protests in the streets, online, and even in Iran’s parliament. Read more...

Dancing to defy the Iranian regime

 
Like every year, on April 2, Iranians celebrated Sizdeh Bedar, a popular holiday that has survived despite the Islamic republic’s attempts to get rid of it. Men and women danced and sang songs to keep this centuries-old tradition alive, but also to defy the regime and its draconian laws. Read more...
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