This document offers some selected news about Iran as of November 2022. Entries are in chronological order with the most recent at the top. Entry headers provide source and date.
Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC. Iran has 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-highest in Asia after China and India. Of these 24 sites, 22 are cultural sites and the remaining two are natural.
The cooking traditions of Iran, also called Persian cuisine, is praised worldwide. The cuisine includes a wide range of dishes like kebab, pilaf, mast-o-khiar, salad Shirazi, torshi, etc. A traditional system of athletics was used to train the ancient Persian warriors. It was called “Pahlevani And Zourkhaneh.”
Today, these rituals are performed in parts of Iran, Azerbaijan, and Iraq. It combines martial arts, strength training, music, and calisthenics. UNESCO recognizes this system as the world’s longest-running form of such training. Elements from the pre-Islamic Persian culture, Sufism, and spirituality of Shia Islam are combined to give Pahlevani And Zourkhaneh. [Source]
Iran is valued and respected all over the world. Iranian history, culture, food, literature, language, music, traditions, and religions are highly revered and valued. Iranian people are considered to be smart, innovative and beautiful. Because Iran is beloved around the world, any instability or disruptions to the country are of concern to many people.
Vox (22 Dec 2022)
“How Iran’s repression machine works” — The video description from YouTube is provided below. [Source]
The death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s “morality police” on September 16, 2022 sparked major protests in Iran. The morality police arrested Amini for improperly wearing her hijab, and after they allegedly beat her, she fell into a coma and died. Protests began by asking for accountability. They’re now demanding regime change.
In theory, Iranians have a democratic branch they can use to fight for change under the regime. But it’s actually all part of the same power structure controlled by Iran’s autocratic supreme leader. Iranians are forced to voice their objections in the streets because the system that protects the morality police, the supreme leader, and the entire power structure of Iran was designed to fight dissent.
During the 1979 revolution, the Iranian military declared neutrality. This led to the shah’s downfall, but it also caused the Supreme Leader to decide he needed a whole new loyal army to protect himself and his ideology. It’s this other arm of Iran’s power system that is also out on the streets, cracking down on protesters, hoping to keep the existing structure in place — the same system many Iranians have been fighting against for 40 years. [Source]
Deutsche Welle (21 Dec 2022)
“Iranian family torn apart by protest crackdown” — The European Union has told Iran it must immediately end its crackdown on demonstrators. One of those in danger of being executed is Ghareh Hassanlou. His wife was given a lengthy sentence. DW spoke with Hassanlou’s brother, who lives in the Netherlands. [Source]
The Fifth Estate (20 Dec 2022)
“How Iran’s regime tries to silence protesters in Canada and the U.S.” — As demonstrations in Iran continue and its government executes protesters, The Fifth Estate sits down with Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad to examine how the regime tries to silence dissidents abroad. [Source]
VICE News (17 Dec 2022)
“What Iran Doesn’t Want You To See” — In Iran, journalism is a dangerous game. As the regime kills protestors on the street, citizens are determined to get the word out to the rest of the world. But, how do you expose a government which views information as the enemy and arrests, tortures, and even kills journalists? IranWire has found a way. It matches professional (and often exiled) journalists outside Iran with citizen journalists inside the country. With mentoring, training, and their identities protected, these citizens-turned-reporters can provide reliable and verifiable news from within the country so that the world can know the truth. [Source]
VICE News (17 Dec 2022)
“Iran’s Revolt Intensifies” — Iranians continue to revolt as more cities joined the fight by going on strike in December. More than 18,000 protestors have been arrested and two young men have already been executed. Many fear more executions will come. [Watch on YouTube]
FRANCE 24 (16 Dec 2022)
“Exiles: Meet the Iranian women taking up arms in Iraqi Kurdistan” — Her death has sparked the biggest uprising against the Iranian regime since the mollahs came to power more than 40 years ago. Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died on September 16 after being arrested by Iran’s morality police for violating the country’s strict dress code for women. Since then, protesters have been taking to the streets to express their anger. The regime has responded with arrests, torture and death sentences. Many demonstrators trying to escape this crackdown have fled to the Kurdistan region of neighbouring Iraq, where they have found refuge. Kevin Berg reports. [Source]
Al Jazeera (13 Dec 2022)
“What’s changed in Iran?” — The protests in Iran haven’t let up since Mahsa Amini died in police custody back in September. Why have they lasted this long? And have they changed anything? Sandra Gathmann explains. [Source]
Deutsche Welle (5 Dec 2022)
“Will Iran disband its morality police and would it make a difference?” — Iran’s public prosecutor says the country has shut down its so-called morality police. But local media has pushed back against the comments, saying the Interior Ministry oversees the force, and not the judiciary. Iran has been rocked by months of protests sparked by the death of a young woman in police custody. She was arrested allegedly for not wearing her hijab properly. The demonstrations, now in their third month, are the biggest challenge to the regime in decades. Protestors are calling for a three-day strike this week. [Source]
France 24 (5 Dec 2022)
“No room for compromise? Iran general strike called as hopes for concessions fade” — Can Iran’s hardline theocracy make concessions? Since September, there has been no sign of it. Now though, is something afoot? The attorney general floating the idea of scrapping the morality police, the force that is blamed for the death of 22-year old Mahsa Amini. Others hint at a repeal of the 1983 law that criminalized defiance of the mandatory headscarf for women. So far, no follow up. Are authorities serious? And will it be enough? [Source]
France 24 (5 Dec 2022)
“Iran civil uprising: Supreme Leader Khamenei believes that the protests will continue indefinitely” — Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Monday that security forces would show no mercy towards “rioters, thugs, terrorists”, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. The Revolutionary Guards also praised the judiciary for its stance on protests and encouraged it to swiftly and decisively issue judgments for defendants accused of “crimes against the security of the nation and Islam.” For more on Iran’s unprecedented civil uprising, joining FRANCE 24 is Borzou Daragahi, International Correspondent for the Independent and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Programs. Citing a “leaked report that was obtained through a hacking collective,” Mr. Daragahi asserts that “the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has a very discouraging prognosis of what’s going on in the country and believes that the protests will continue indefinitely.” [Source]
BBC (4 Dec 2022)
“Iran to disband morality police amid protests, the attorney general has said” — Iran’s morality police, which is tasked with enforcing it’s strict Islamic dress code, is being disbanded, the country’s attorney general says. Mohammad Jafar Montazeri made the comments at a religious conference on Sunday, though they are yet to be confirmed by other agencies. He said the morality police had “nothing to do with the judiciary and have been shut down from where they were set up”. Iran has seen months of protests after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by the morality police for allegedly breaking strict rules on head coverings. [Source]
CBC Canada (4 Dec 2022)
“Confusion over Iranian attorney general’s alleged comments on morality police” — Comments allegedly made by Iran’s attorney general, Mohamed Jafar Montazeri, have drawn confusion after a semi-official news agency in the country suggested the country’s morality police had been disbanded. [Source]
Deutsche Welle (2 Dec 2022)
“How Iran’s journalists and citizen reporters risk their lives” — Iran has been ramping up its threats against journalists and dissidents as it struggles to contain the flow of anti-government information. As Iran is rocked by protests, dissidents are fighting a constant battle to stay ahead of Iran’s intelligence services and get information out. The Committee to Protect Journalists says 62 journalists have been arrested by the Iranian regime for reporting the death of Jina Mahsa Amini, who died in custody of the ‘morality police’ in September. This means many people rely on foreign media outlets for independent coverage of events going on back home. And DW’s Persian service is one of them. [Source]
TDC (29 Nov 2022)
“Tehran, Iran’s MEGACITY: The World’s Largest Theocracy” — Tehran, Iran is the capital of the world’s only significant theocracy and the largest city in West Asia with a population of 15 million. [Source]
Deutsche Welle (26 Nov 2022)
“Iran’s Ayatolla Khamenei praises militia for brutal crackdown” — The Iranian football team’s refusal to sing their national anthem was bigger news than the scoreline in their first match. But they were singing again ahead of their 2-nil win over Wales, following alleged pressure from the government. It is just one sign of the huge risks Iranian people are taking to show their dissent – at a World Cup increasingly overshadowed by human rights issues.
But Iranians are not limiting their protests to stadiums in Qatar. Demonstrations continue in Iran – with several taking place in Tehran and other cities on Saturday, according to social media.
Activists say security forces opened fire on a crowd gathered in the city of Zahedan in the southeast after Friday prayers. Dozens are feared dead or wounded. In a speech on Saturday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatolla Ali Khamenei praised the Basij militias that have been at the heart of the government crackdown. [Source]
BBC (25 Nov 2022)
“Iran’s crackdown on protesters to be investigated by UN” — The UN Human Rights Council has approved an international investigation into Iran’s violent crackdown on anti-government protesters. The vote was not as close as expected, with 25 states in favour, six against, and 16 abstaining. Iran described calls for the investigation as an arrogant political ploy. More than 300 people have been killed and thousands arrested since unrest began in Iran, the UN said, following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody. [Source]
BBC (24 Nov 2022)
“Iran is experiencing human rights crisis with at least 300 killed, UN says” — The UN Human Rights Commissioner says Iran is experiencing a “fully-fledged” human rights crisis, as a result of the state’s violent suppression of protests. Speaking at an emergency session of the UN human rights council on Thursday, Commissioner Volker Türk said fourteen thousand people, children included, have been arrested so far. UN officials estimate at least 300 people have been killed in the 8 weeks since protests began across Iran. The session was backed by the European Union and the United States, and will consider setting up an international fact finding mission. [Source]
NBC (24 Nov 2022)
“Iran Blames West For Violence Probed By U.N. Human Rights Council” — The U.N. human rights chief called Iran’s violent and repressive response to recent protests as “unacceptable.” Iran’s envoy, however, was defiant and unbowed, blaming the West for stoking the violence. [Source]
CBC (23 Nov 2022)
“Exposing how Iran tracks and threatens people in Canada” — CSIS recently confirmed there are multiple ‘credible’ death threats from Iran aimed at people in Canada. CBC News’s chief correspondent Adrienne Arsenault meets with several Iranians who describe their experiences of being monitored and intimidated on Canadian soil. [Source]
CBS (23 Nov 2022)
“International concern grows over Iranian protests” — There’s growing concern for Iranian footballers after the team did not sing the national anthem before their World Cup match against England. CBS News foreign correspondent Ramy Inocencio explains why the team took a stand and how the nation is responding. [Source]
Deutsche Welle (23 Nov 2022)
“Despite more than 300 Iranians killed, protests show no signs of stopping” — The UN condemned the Iran’s deadly crackdown directed at protesters, which were ignited by the death of 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini. UN spokesman Jeremy Laurence cited human rights chief Volker Turk as saying that the rise in deaths, including among children, and the tougher security response “underline the critical situation in the country.” The UN urged Iranian authorities to address the demands for equality, dignity and rights, rather than “using unnecessary or disproportionate force to suppress the protests,” Laurence told reporters on Tuesday. [Source]
Forbes (23 Nov 2022)
“White House Condemns Iranian Authorities For Killing Hundreds Of Peaceful Protesters” — On Tuesday, Karine Jean-Pierre held a White House Press Briefing. [Source]
FRANCE 24 (23 Nov 2022)
“Call it a Revolution? Iran protest movement defies growing brutality” — Back in September, when Iran’s protest movement caught the world by surprise, conventional thinking was that with patience and ruthlessness, the regime would eventually outlast whatever came its way. After all, that has been the playbook so many times since the Islamic revolution of 1979. But is this time different? We are now into the third month of what protesters are now insist is a revolution. [Source]
Also on 23 Nov 2022 from France 24 is the following video.
“Iran intensifies deadly crackdown in Kurdish regions” — Iranian security forces on Monday intensified a crackdown in western Iran’s Kurdish-populated regions that killed a dozen people over 24 hours, directly shooting at protesters and using heavy weapons, rights groups said.The Kurdish-populated provinces of western and northwestern Iran have been hubs of protest since the September death in custody of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, 22, who had been arrested by morality police in Tehran. FRANCE 24’s International Affairs Editor Philip Turle tells us more. [Source]
BBC (22 Nov 2022)
“Iran football players decline to sing national anthem at World Cup match” — Iran declined to sing their national anthem before their World Cup match with England in an apparent expression of support for anti-government protests in their home country, which have been met with fierce crackdown in recent months. Some fans shouted and jeered during the anthem and others held up signs saying “Woman, Life, Freedom”. Iran state TV cut its coverage of the anthem and switched to a previously shown wide shot of the stadium. [Source]
Al Jazeera (21 Nov 2022)
“Silent protest from Iranian team during national anthem” — Players on the Iranian national football team stayed silent while their country’s national anthem played at their opening World Cup match against England. Many viewers had wondered whether the team would publicly display support for protesters in Iran. Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari reports from Tehran. [Source]
FRANCE 24 (20 Nov 2022)
“Iran civil uprising: ‘The gov’t is at war with its people & the people are just raising their voice'” — Iran has been shaken by two months of protests sparked by the death of Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, 22, who died in custody days after her arrest by the morality police for allegedly breaching the country’s strict dress code for women. One of the boldest challenges to Iran’s clerical leaders in decades, the protests have been gaining steam, frustrating authorities who have blamed Iran’s foreign enemies and their agents for orchestrating the disturbances. For more on the unprecedented civil uprising in Iran, FRANCE 24 is joined by Tara Kangarlou, Author, Journalist and Professor at Georgetown University. [Source]
The Economist (8 Nov 2022)
“Iran protests: can they topple the regime?” — Protests in Iran pose the biggest threat to the country’s authoritarian regime in decades. But how does an uprising transform into a revolution? Lessons from Iran’s own history offer some clues. [Source]
BBC (3 Nov 2022)
“Why is Iran’s TikTok generation demanding ‘Women, Life, Freedom’?” — On September 13, 22 year old Mahsa Amini died after being detained by Iran’s morality police for allegedly violating strict laws requiring women to cover their hair with a headscarf, or hijab. Outrage over her death sparked protests that are challenging the very existence of Iran’s Islamic leadership. BBC Persian’s Jiyar Gol looks at what young people are demanding and why some are saying this could be a turning point in the fight for equality. [Source]
PBS (3 Nov 2022)
“Students in Iran refuse to back down from protests sparked by death of young woman” — Iran’s ongoing crackdown against protestors continues as nationwide demonstrations sparked by the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody are now in their seventh week. Nick Schifrin and producer Zeba Warsi have been speaking with students there and report that despite Iran’s attempts at suppression, the protests persist. [Source]
Behind the News (28 Oct 2022)
“Iran Protests Explained: Woman, Life, Freedom & Regime Change” — [YouTube Post Description Below]
What do the protesters in Iran actually want? There’s been some confusion in the media and online about what the protesters are actually calling for. There have been some claims that the protests are anti-Islam, or that they’re actually about the economy or that Israel or the US are behind what’s been happening.
To properly understand what protesters are calling for now it’s important to go back to what and who started this movement in the first place.
The current protests began after the death of Mahsa Jina Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman. Iran’s so-called ‘morality police’ for improperly wearing a hijab and died while in custody. The Iranian government says she had pre-existing medical conditions, but Amini’s family have denied this, and eyewitnesses say she was beaten by authorities. What came next were mass protests started and led by women that quickly spread across the country. Images of women defying local laws by cutting their hair in public and burning hijabs in the street went viral. This, however, did lead to a bit of confusion in some places about whether the protests were anti-Islam and were simply about banning the hijab something protesters and Iranians around the world have made noticeably clear is not the case.
Some of the international coverage has also been criticised for implying that the protests are caused by and are mostly about economic problems, something many Iranians believe downplays the real reason why the protests started.
If you want to know what the Iranian protesters have actually been calling for all you need to do is look at footage of the protests and listen to what they’re saying. Women, Life, Freedom – which originated as a Kurdish slogan, Jin, Jiyan, Azadi – has become the signature chant of the protests. It’s important to note that while the protests may have been started and led by Iranian women the movement has grown to include Iranian people from all occupations. Choice is at the core of what protesters are actually demanding: freedom and basic human rights.
The Iranian government has been violently cracking down on the protest movement. Human rights organisations are reporting that thousands of protesters have been arrested and more than two hundred have been killed so far including at least thirty children. Among those killed were two young women who had joined the protests Nika and Sarina. Like Mahsa Jina they have become symbols of the movement.
In the past there has been hope amongst Iranians that they would be able to achieve change through reform by choosing politicians claiming to want change and by trying to introduce new laws, but that’s not what the current protest movement is calling for. Supporters of regime change believe reform is impossible as long as the Iranian regime stays in power because Iran is not a real democracy.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is Iran’s Supreme Leader, a position that holds ultimate power over all aspects of Iranian life including Iranian politics and is appointed by a small group of religious clerics and not elected by the Iranian people.
Just because many Iranians are calling for regime change it doesn’t mean they want foreign militaries to intervene in Iran. Iranians around the world have been calling for action from the international community since the protests first began. For everyday people the focus is on raising awareness and amplifying the voices of protesters. The Iranian government has been cutting internet access and blocking social media sites. Which makes it harder for people in Iran to share what’s happening.
Some protest footage has found its way onto the internet thanks to workarounds like VPNs. By sharing this vision people can see what’s happening from the perspective of the protesters as the Iranian government has been trying to push its own narrative that Iranians aren’t really behind the protests and it’s actually the United States and Israel pulling the strings.
Solidarity online and in the streets can have a significant impact on protester’s morale and can also signal to international media and foreign governments that both Iranian and non-Iranian people are concerned with what’s happening which can lead to more media scrutiny and can pressure world leaders to act. Iranians want to see direct aid given for example, helping to provide internet for people in Iran, something the US government has announced it’s working with tech companies to achieve. Iranian groups are also working alongside human rights organisations like Amnesty International to push for the United Nations to set up an independent investigation involving a wide range of countries to look into what’s happening in Iran. This can lead to targeted sanctions against members of the regime. It can also work towards de-legitimising the regime itself and make it less likely for atrocities to take place if the world is watching and paying close attention. – Nicholas Maher, ABC [Source]
WSJ (27 Oct 2022)
“How Iran’s Protests Engulfed the Country: A Timeline” — Despite crackdowns and internet shutdowns, demonstrations against the Iranian government have grown into one of the biggest challenges to its leadership in four decades. WSJ maps out how protests have bubbled up across the Iranian society. [Source]
Jon Stewart and Mahasa Amini (29 Sep 2022)
“The #MahsaAmini Protests And Iran’s Fight For Freedom” — This week we’re talking about the #MahsaAmini protests in Iran with Rana Rahimpour, an Iranian-British journalist with BBC Persia. It’s a fascinating discussion about why this uprising is different from anything that’s come before, what comes next for the people of Iran, and what the U.S. can do to help. [Source]