Most of the time, the world outside America consisted of three Is and (toward the end) a single C: the threat of a nuclear Iran, the need to stand with Israel, the wisdom of going into Iraq nearly a decade ago and of maintaining a troop presence there now, and finally the menace of job-stealing, currency-manipulating China. Europe surfaced just once, and then only in a list of regions where the US had strong alliances, alongside Africa and Asia. India, home to a billion people and a rising power, was mentioned not at all.
Jonathan Freedland, America Forgets the World
Slavs and Tatars, When Satire Conquered Iran

With an acerbic sense of humor and realist illustrations reminiscent of Daumier or Toulouse-Lautrec, the satirical magazine Molla Nasreddin (1906–1930) attacked the hypocrisy of the Muslim clergy, while arguing for Westernization, educational reform, and equal rights for women. It would become the most influential and perhaps first publication of its kind to be read across the Muslim world, from Morocco to India.

Slavs and Tatars, When Satire Conquered Iran

With an acerbic sense of humor and realist illustrations reminiscent of Daumier or Toulouse-Lautrec, the satirical magazine Molla Nasreddin (1906–1930) attacked the hypocrisy of the Muslim clergy, while arguing for Westernization, educational reform, and equal rights for women. It would become the most influential and perhaps first publication of its kind to be read across the Muslim world, from Morocco to India.

Haleh Esfandiari, In the Jaws of the Mullahs

Following the disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad in 2009, the world looked on as tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets in protest, only to be repressed by force, arrested, or worse. Though there is far less coverage of Iran now—few foreign correspondents are allowed into the country—repression has continued and even intensified since these events, with widespread arrests, purges of university faculty, closure of publications, and a clampdown on political activity. Still, supporters of the Green Movement have not been entirely silenced, as Zahra’s Paradise, a powerful new graphic novel set in contemporary Iran, makes clear.

Image: Amir & Khalil

Haleh Esfandiari, In the Jaws of the Mullahs

Following the disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad in 2009, the world looked on as tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets in protest, only to be repressed by force, arrested, or worse. Though there is far less coverage of Iran now—few foreign correspondents are allowed into the country—repression has continued and even intensified since these events, with widespread arrests, purges of university faculty, closure of publications, and a clampdown on political activity. Still, supporters of the Green Movement have not been entirely silenced, as Zahra’s Paradise, a powerful new graphic novel set in contemporary Iran, makes clear.

Image: Amir & Khalil

Tattered Lives in Divided Iran

Asghar Farhadi’s film Nader and Simin: A Separation, is a fine account of Iran’s predicament; anyone interested in the mysteries of change and tradition—the difficulties faced by many people as they try and reconcile themselves to modern values and norms—will learn much from it. I saw it in Tehran this summer, and so movingly did it reflect what I was witnessing around me, I was surprised that the authorities had allowed it to be screened and its creator and leading actors to travel to Germany to be honored by the Berlin Film Festival. The film won the Golden Bear for best film, and its male and female casts were recognized collectively, too.

Tattered Lives in Divided Iran

Asghar Farhadi’s film Nader and Simin: A Separation, is a fine account of Iran’s predicament; anyone interested in the mysteries of change and tradition—the difficulties faced by many people as they try and reconcile themselves to modern values and norms—will learn much from it. I saw it in Tehran this summer, and so movingly did it reflect what I was witnessing around me, I was surprised that the authorities had allowed it to be screened and its creator and leading actors to travel to Germany to be honored by the Berlin Film Festival. The film won the Golden Bear for best film, and its male and female casts were recognized collectively, too.

In Iran we are witnessing today the intensification of the post-election crackdown, perhaps the severest the country has experienced since the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. This campaign is aimed not only at the usual dissidents among the intelligentsia, political activists, students, and journalists, but also at men once considered regime insiders.
Haleh Esfandiari, Iran’s State of Fear