Attempts have even been made to co-opt the celebration of love and Islamicize it. The regime has tried to replace Valentine’s Day with the wedding day of Imam Ali, the first divinely ordained Shia Imam, and Fatimah, the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, but this attempt has not yet caught on.
The Revolutionary Guards return the next day, dragging her to another cell where, in the corner, a group of men have gathered to watch. They cheer Raheem as he strikes her over and over. Among the onlookers is a man set slightly apart. He had been watching since the day before. Like the mother, he’s only 21, but he has an air of command: He has made all this happen; he knows that to make the prisoners talk you must torture them — even if they’re nine months pregnant.
Stretching from Lebanon to Gaza and Yemen, Iran has built an extraordinary military alliance. The core of it is Tehran’s homegrown missile program, one that has given its allies surprising abilities — and poses a fundamental, long-term problem for the United States’ role in the Middle East.
Since his election in June and his inauguration on Aug. 3, Ebrahim Raisi had made all the right noises about forming a cabinet that would be “beyond factions,” nonpartisan and focused on bringing Iran out of the dire straits it finds itself in. On Aug. 11, all such hopes were dashed.
Even a casual observer could notice the importance of poetry in Iranian society, if only because a disproportionate number of tourist sites in Iran are the graves of medieval poets. When classical poetry has become a distant memory in so many cultures, it is clear that it is an integral part of the Iranian consciousness.
By setting up the Owj Organization and producing its own propaganda films, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has managed to create a new generation of propaganda filmmakers, while at the same time disrupting the careers of those filmmakers it considers enemies.
Arash Azizi, author of “Shadow Commander”, and Cameron Khansarinia, policy director at the National Union for Democracy in Iran, sit down for a podcast with Newlines’ Rasha Elass to discuss what the election of the “hanging judge” means for Iran.