United States Institute of Peace

The Iran Primer

Video: Iranians Candid About Their Fears

            Iranian graphic artist Ali Molavi asked 50 people in Tehran: “What do you fear?” At first timid, they answered candidly, reflecting insecurity about the poor economic situation and ongoing nuclear talks with the world’s six major powers. Iranians of all ages were concerned about the future. Other fears ranged from God and death to poverty. One man even admitted fearing his wife. A young woman said she was afraid of cockroaches. Several people said they feared war or the possibility of being alone. One woman said she feared the repercussions of simply “telling the truth,” and another said she feared that “women in Iran have no value.” If English subtitles are not displayed, click on the CC button near the bottom of the window after clicking play.

 

Tags: Art, Offbeat

Iran Hangs Woman for Killing Alleged Rapist

            On October 25, Iranian authorities executed 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari, a woman convicted of killing a man she said tried to sexually abuse her. Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi. She reportedly admitted to stabbing Sarbandi, but claimed another man who was present actually killed Sarbandi. Her explanation did not appear to be thoroughly investigated, according to human rights groups. Jabbari was sentenced to death in 2009 by a criminal court in Tehran. The prosecutor’s office claimed she “repeatedly confessed to premediated murder, then tried to divert the case from its course by inventing the rape charge.”
            The United Nations and human rights groups, including Amnesty International,
called for a re-trial. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran and the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights issued calls to stay the execution officially. “Evidence in the case, including the medical examiner’s report highlighting the presence of a tranquilizer in a glass of juice found at the crime scene, possibly intended use in the immobilization and sexual assault the defendant, raises serious questions as to whether or not factors eminently relevant to the case were considered in the court’s judgment and sentencing of this young woman,” the Special Rapporteur, Ahmed Shaheed said in April.
            Activists also launched a Facebook page with a petition that was signed more than 241,000 times. Jabbari's execution was deferred a number of times. But she was eventually hanged on October 25, prompting further international outcry.
            On October 31, Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary general of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, defended his country's human rights record at a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council. “We were not successful to solicit forgiveness from the hearts of victims. So the execution went on. Though we are very sorry that two nationals lost lives, but capital punishment or 'qisas' is a unique particularity of our system. I think it worth Western countries to look into it," said Larijani. Larijani said that the son of the killed man had intended to forgive Jabbari, but decided not to because of the rape accusation.
             The following are statements from the U.S. and U.K. governments.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki
October 25
 
            We condemn this morning’s execution in Iran of Reyhaneh Jabbari, an Iranian woman convicted of killing a man she said she stabbed in self-defense during a sexual assault.  There were serious concerns with the fairness of the trial and the circumstances surrounding this case, including reports of confessions made under severe duress.  Iranian authorities proceeded with this execution despite pleas from Iranian human rights activists and an international outcry over this case.  We join our voice with those who call on Iran to respect the fair trial guarantees afforded to its people under Iran’s own laws and its international obligations.
 
U.K. Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood
October 25
 
            The UK strongly opposes the use of the death penalty. I am very concerned and saddened that it has been used in the case of Reyhaneh Jabbari where there have been questions around due process.
 
            The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, noted that her conviction was allegedly based on confessions made while under threat, and the court failed to take into account all evidence into its judgement. Actions like these do not help Iran build confidence or trust with the international community. I urge Iran to put a moratorium on all executions.
 

UN Report: Human Rights Undermined

            On October 23, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran released a new report detailing violations in the Islamic Republic. The report’s introduction stated:

             Various laws, policies and institutional practices continue to undermine the conditions needed for the realization of the fundamental rights guaranteed by international and national law. Some draft laws also appear to further undermine the rights to freedom of expression and association and markedly compound discrimination against women by further eroding their protection from forced marriage and rights to education, work and equal wages.

             But Iran rejected the Special Rapporteur’s conclusions, referring to them as “unjust” and “false.” The government released a 37-page response to a draft version of the report claiming it has “taken numerous steps to promote and improve situation of human rights at national and international levels.” The following are excerpts from the latest U.N. report.
 
Civil and Political Rights
 
            Between July 2013 and June 2014, at least 852 individuals were reportedly executed, representing an alarming increase in the number of executions in relation to the already-high rates of previous years. The Government also continues to execute juvenile offenders. In 2014 alone, eight individuals believed to be under 18 years of age at the time of their alleged crimes were reportedly executed.
 
            The new Islamic Penal Code that entered into force in 2013 now omits references to apostasy, witchcraft and heresy, but continues to allow for juvenile executions and retains the death penalty for activities that do not constitute “most serious crimes” in line with the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty (see Economic and Social Council resolution 1984/50). They include adultery, recidivist alcohol use, drug possession and trafficking and some crimes resulting in convictions for moharebeh (commonly translated as “enmity against God”, but translated by the Government as a crime in which “a person brandishes or points a weapon at members of the public to kill, frighten and coerce them”) or mofsed fel-arz (corruption on Earth).
 
            The execution of individuals for exercising their protected rights, including of freedom of expression and association, is deeply troubling. Members of ethnic minority groups, in particular those espousing ethnocultural, linguistic or minority religious rights, appear to be disproportionately charged with moharebeh and mofsed
fel-arz, sometimes seemingly for exercising their rights to peaceful expression and  association.
 
Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
 
            Continuing reports regarding the use of psychological and physical torture to solicit confessions indicate the widespread and systematic use of such practices. Of the 24 Iranian refugees in Turkey who provided testimony for the present report, 20 reported torture and ill-treatment and 16 psychological abuse, such as prolonged solitary confinement, mock executions and the threat of rape, along with physical abuse, including severe beatings, use of suspension and pressure positions, electroshock and burnings. Reports of amputation and corporal punishment (e.g. flogging), which are considered incompatible with article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, were also received.
 
Domestic Violence
 
            Some 66 per cent of Iranian women have reportedly experienced domestic violence. The legislative framework remains insufficient to combat such violence. In addition, inadequate social service provisions challenge the State’s ability to provide safety and redress for victims.
 
            For example, laws continue to explicitly allow for non-consensual sexual relations in marriage.
 
Freedom of expression and the right to information
 
            At least 35 journalists are currently in detention in the country. Reports continue to allege harassment, interrogations and surveillance of many others.
 
            Between June and August 2014 alone, several journalists, including Saba Azarpeik, Mehdi Khalazi, Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi, were arrested and three others, Reyhaneh Tabatabaei, Mahnaz Mohammadi and Marzieh Rasoulis, were summoned to begin serving prison sentences. Several others, including Seraj Miramadi, Farideh Shahgholi and Hossein Nourani Nejad, received new prison sentences during the period.
 
            Recent cases regarding several other Internet users underscore a pattern of continuing general repression of freedom of expression and, in some cases, freedom of movement. In May 2014, eight Facebook commenters were sentenced to a combined 123 years in prison for blasphemy, insulting the Supreme Leader and spreading propaganda against the system, among other charges, for criticizing government policies, supporting political protests and participating in social satire and other alleged activities on Facebook.
 
            Severe content restrictions, intimidation and prosecution of Internet users and limitations on Internet access through throttling and filtering persist, however. Some
5 million websites remain blocked. The top 500 blocked websites include many dedicated to the arts, social issues, news and those ranked in the top tiers of popularity nationally.
 
Early and forced marriage
 
            The legal age of marriage for girls in the country is 13 years, but girls as young as 9 years of age may be married with permission from a court. In 2002, the Guardian Council rejected legislative attempts to increase the minimum age to 15 years.
 
At least 48,580 girls between 10 and 14 years of age were married in 2011, 48,567 of whom were reported to have had at least one child before they reached15 years of age. Some 40,635 marriages of girls under 15 years of age were also registered between March 2012 and March 2013, of which more than 8,000 involved men who were at least 10 years older.
 
Freedom of religion
 
            The Government accepted nine recommendations regarding religious rights during the consideration of the country by the Working Group on the Universal
Periodic Review, including commitments to upholding freedom of belief and religion, extending protection to all religious groups, combating incitement to religious hatred and amending all legislation that discriminates against minority groups (see A/HRC/14/12). No progress in this regard has been observed, however.
 
            As at June 2014, at least 300 minority religious practitioners were reportedly imprisoned, including three active members of the Yarsan faith, in addition to members of newer spiritual movements.
 
Click here for the full text of the U.N. report.
 
Click here for Iran's response.
 

Top US Negotiator on Iran Nuke Talks

            On October 23, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman called on Iran’s leaders to “make the right choice” in nuclear talks with the world’s six major powers  – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. “This is the time to finish the job,” the lead U.S. negotiator said at a symposium hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Sherman warned that Tehran would widely be seen as responsible if the two sides do not reach a comprehensive agreement that curbs Iran's controversial nuclear program. The following are excerpts from her address.

 
      I don’t and won’t want to say anything today that would jeopardize our chance to bring those deliberations to a successful close. As Madeleine Albright once observed – a wonderful Secretary of State, a dear friend, and a business partner to boot at one point in my life – negotiations are like mushrooms, and often they do best in the dark. There are, however, many aspects of the topic that can be usefully explored and are fully in keeping with the focus of our gathering, which is blessed with an outstanding array of experts on relations between Iran and particularly the West.
 
             To begin, I’d like to simply emphasize how important the P5+1 negotiations are. An Iran equipped with nuclear arms would add an unacceptable element of instability and danger to a part of the globe that already has a surplus of both. If Tehran had such a weapon, other countries in the region might well pursue the same goal, generating a potentially catastrophic arms race, intensifying the sectarian divide that is a major source of Middle East tension, and undermining the global nonproliferation regime that President Obama has consistently sought to reinforce.
 
            That is why the President has pledged to ensure that Iran will not acquire a nuclear weapon. Our preference is to achieve this goal by diplomatic means. But make no mistake. Our bottom line is unambiguous, crystal clear, and, quite frankly, written in stone: Iran will not, shall not obtain a nuclear weapon.
 
            A major step in the right direction of that pursuit was taken last January when we began implementing a negotiating framework called the Joint Plan of Action. In return for limited sanctions relief, Iran committed – while talks are underway – to freeze and even roll back key components of its nuclear activities. Specifically, Iran has halted the expansion of its overall enrichment capacity; put a cap on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride; stopped the production of uranium enriched to 20 percent; agreed not to make further advances at the Arak heavy water reactor; and opened the door to unprecedented daily access for international inspectors to the facilities at Natanz and Fordow.
 
            At the time the Joint Plan was announced, many observers expressed profound doubt that Iran would abide by its commitments. But according to the IAEA – the International Atomic Energy Agency – Iran has done what it promised to do. The result is a nuclear program that is more constrained and transparent than it has been in many years. In turn, the P5+1 has fulfilled its commitment to provide limited sanctions relief. More extensive relief will come when – and only when – we are able to arrive at a comprehensive deal that addresses the concerns of the world community. Such a plan, if fully implemented, would give confidence that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful and would enable the Iranian people to look forward to a much brighter future.
 
            We are aware, of course, that this negotiating process is, shall we say, controversial. Some worry that it will fail. Others seem to fear that it will succeed. Many have questions and doubts. As our discussions have gone forward, the Obama Administration has consulted regularly with members of Congress and with our many overseas partners, including Israel and the Gulf states.
 
            We have heard a variety of concerns and done our best to answer hard questions regarding the possible nature and implications of a potential deal, while reaffirming our enduring commitment to the security of the region. These conversations have been and continue to be quite valuable, and taken together, have reinforced our conviction that, although every alternative has risks, the decision to fully explore a diplomatic solution is the right one.

            There does, however, remain much hard work to be done. As we approach the November 24th deadline, the valuable safeguards included in the Joint Plan of Action are still in place. Our goal now is to develop a durable and comprehensive arrangement that will effectively block all of Iran’s potential paths to fissile material for a nuclear weapon. Such an arrangement would bar Iran from producing fuel for a weapon with either uranium or plutonium. Through inspections and monitoring, it would also offer the best method to prevent the covert processing of these materials and make any effort by Tehran to turn away from its obligations so visible and so time-consuming that the attempt would not succeed.
Given the stakes, it should be no surprise that our talks have moved forward at a deliberative pace, which is diplo-speak for “not so fast.” Last week, my P5+1 colleagues and I were in Vienna yet again, or to be more precise, confined to a hotel that happens to be located in Vienna while subsisting on endless cups of coffee and a hotel buffet that specializes in turkey schnitzel.
 
            The Iranian delegation is headed by Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, while the chief negotiator for the P5+1 is the very capable High Representative of the European Union, Cathy Ashton. Both sides are assisted by teams of technical experts who help us understand the full range of our options. From the beginning, our talks have been serious and businesslike; they have also occurred in a variety of venues and formats. To date, we have met in Geneva and New York, as well as Vienna; we have had bilaterals, trilaterals, hexalaterals and plenaries; and we have devoted some sessions to broad principles and others to the very laborious task of defining specific technical parameters. We have also met at various levels: the specialist, the delegation heads, and sometimes – as in Europe this past week – Secretary Kerry takes the American chair.
 
            It’s no secret that among the P5+1 governments there exist some major differences on prominent issues in the world. But with respect to Iran’s nuclear program, solidarity has been our watchword. We are all working towards the same goal. To that end, our group has proposed to Iran a number of ideas that are equitable, enforceable, and consistent with Tehran’s expressed desire for a viable civilian nuclear program and that take into account that country’s scientific knowhow and economic needs.
 
            Iran’s Supreme Leader has repeatedly said that his government has neither the aspiration nor the intention of building a nuclear weapon; indeed, he has said that such a project would be forbidden under Islam. So our proposals are consistent with Iran’s own publicly-stated position. If Iran truly wants to resolve its differences with the international community and facilitate the lifting of economic sanctions, it will have no better chance than between now and November 24th. This is the time to finish the job.
 
            Will that happen? I don’t know. I can tell you that all the components of a plan that should be acceptable to both sides are on the table. We have made impressive progress on issues that originally seemed intractable. We have cleared up misunderstandings and held exhaustive discussions on every element of a possible text. However, like any complicated and technically complex diplomatic initiative, this is a puzzle with many interlocking pieces.
Because of this, it would be a mistake to focus inordinate attention on any one issue at the expense of all others. Every piece is critical whether it involves infrastructure, or stockpiles, or research, or types of equipment, or questions of timing or sequencing. But one area that has drawn much comment – in part because of Iran’s own public statements – concerns the size and scope of the Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment capacity.
 
            Iran’s leaders would very much hope that the world would conclude that the status quo – at least on this pivotal subject – should be acceptable, but obviously, it is not. If it were, we would never have needed to begin this painstaking and difficult negotiation. The Security Council imposed sanctions on Iran for a reason, and that is because the government violated its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, engaged in secret nuclear-weapons-related activities, and was less than transparent in reporting to international agencies. That past has created a thick cloud of doubt that cannot be dissipated by Tehran’s words and promises alone. The world will decide to suspend and then lift nuclear-related sanctions only if and when Iran takes convincing and verifiable steps to show that its nuclear program is and will remain entirely peaceful. That is a reasonable standard that Iran can readily meet. It is the standard that Iran must meet. And it is the key to ending Iran’s international isolation.
 
            The Obama Administration recognizes that in diplomacy, it is sometimes a good idea to widen the agenda so that a tradeoff on one issue can be balanced by flexibility on another. Given the turbulence roiling in the Middle East today, the temptation to link the nuclear question to other topics is understandable. However, all parties have agreed that this should be a single-track negotiation, with its own defined set of participants, its own logic, and a clear bottom line. We are concentrating on one job and one job only, and that is ensuring that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon.
 
            I should note, however, in separate and dedicated meetings on the margins of each of our talks, I and members of my team raise our concerns regarding the status of U.S. citizens missing or detained in Iran. Nothing matters more to me as Under Secretary of State than ensuring the fair treatment of American citizens. Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini, Jason Rezaian should be allowed to return without delay to their families, and we must do all we can to find answers regarding the whereabouts and well-being of Robert Levinson and bring him home too.
 
            Whether or not a nuclear deal is reached, the United States will continue to voice its longstanding concerns about Iranian policies that undermine regional stability or that are inconsistent with global norms and values. We will continue to hold Iran’s Government accountable for all aspects of its human rights record and for actions that exacerbate sectarian divisions. As is the case with any country, engagement on one issue does not require and will not lead to silence on others.
 
            In his Inaugural Address more than 50 years ago, President John Kennedy asked in the Cold War context whether a beachhead of cooperation might one day push back the jungle of suspicion separating East from West. Today, there are those in the United States who disbelieve almost everything Iranian leaders say, and there are many in Iran who question whether America will live up to whatever commitments we make. Clearly, there exists, if not a jungle, then at least a forest of distrust on both sides. Given what has happened in past decades, how could there not be? But I can affirm to you this afternoon that the United States will not accept any arrangement we can’t verify, and that we won’t make any promises we can’t keep. Just as we will demand good faith, so will we demonstrate good faith.
 
            Last fall, the President of the United States and the leaders of Iran decided to test the possibilities of direct negotiations on the nuclear issue. Both faced resistance and criticism for taking this bold step. And yet, both still chose to accept the risks of diplomacy over the even greater uncertainties of other options. We do not yet know what the full consequences of this decision will be. But the world is clearly better off now than it would have been if the leaders on both sides had ignored this opening. With all that is going on in the Middle East today, an Iranian nuclear program that was not frozen but instead rushing full speed ahead toward larger stockpiles, more uranium enrichment capacity, the production of weapons-grade plutonium, and less transparency would hardly have been a stabilizing factor. Although our negotiating progress to date hasn’t fulfilled our highest hopes, it has still exceeded the expectation of many observers.
 
            Make no mistake. Developing a consensus on a comprehensive plan will require some extraordinarily difficult decisions and we should all appreciate that. This negotiation is the very opposite of easy. But the potential benefits are quite extraordinary. And it is vital that we understand that, as well. Because the acceptance and implementation of a comprehensive plan will improve prospects for people everywhere. It will reduce anxiety and enhance security throughout the Middle East. It will make possible an era of greater prosperity without any loss of dignity for the people of Iran. It will protect our allies and partners from a new and dangerous threat. It will lessen the incentive for a regional nuclear arms race and thereby strengthen the international nuclear proliferation regime. It will make our own citizens safer. And it will demonstrate yet again the potential for clear-eyed diplomacy to arrive at win-win solutions achievable in no other way. In sum, compared to any alternatives, diplomacy can provide a more sustained and durable resolution to the issues generated by Iran’s nuclear activities.
 
            Almost 800 years ago, the Persian poet Saadi advised listeners to “Have patience; all things are difficult before they become easy.”
Despite the intense efforts of negotiators from seven countries and the European Union, we are still in that “difficult” stage. We must use the remaining time wisely and with a sense of urgency and purpose.
 
            In closing, let me affirm that the United States and its partners are prepared to take advantage of this historic opportunity to resolve our concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program. We hope the leaders in Tehran will agree to the steps necessary to assure the world that this program will be exclusively peaceful and thereby end Iran’s economic and diplomatic isolation and improve further the lives of their people. If that does not happen, the responsibility will be seen by all to rest with Iran.
 
            We encourage Iran to make the right choice. Meanwhile, we remain steadfast in our determination to take the steps necessary to protect America’s security and to improve the prospects for stability and peace across the globe. We hope Iran will make the right choice. We are ready to do so.
 
Click here for a full transcript.

 

Thousands Protest Acid Attacks on Women

            Men riding on motorcycles splashed acid on at least four women in Isfahan, allegedly targeting them for being improperly veiled. Accounts on social media suggested that there may have been as many as a dozen victims, and police arrested four people in relation to the attacks. The incidents sparked protests on October 22, when 2,000 people gathered outside the judiciary in Isfahan to demand that authorities end violence against women.
            Women in Iran are legally required to dress modestly and wear hijabs to cover their hair and neck. But in recent years, many women have pushed the limits of these regulations and worn veils with their hair partially uncovered. Hardliners in Iran have been attempting to pass legislation that would protect citizens trying to enforce the dress code, but Rouhani and his allies have opposed these measures.
            Officials and activists have condemned the recent attacks, and Iranian member of parliament Ahmad Shouhani stated that “any improper veiling should be punished by law, not individually.” But other officials have noted that police have not yet officially linked the attacks to improper veiling, and denied that Iran’s dress code was a contributing factor. The government has cracked down on media coverage of the attacks, and four journalists were arrested on October 27 from the Iranian Students' News Agency, which was reportedly the first to connect the attacks with improper veiling. One of them, Arya Jaffari, remains in custody. 129 journalists have signed a letter demanding his release.
            The following are quotes from officials and tweets about the attacks and protests.
 
President Hassan Rouhani
 
            “Rue the day some lead our society down the path to insecurity, sow discord and cause rifts, all under the flag of Islam…We should not see vice as manifested only in bad hijab and overlook lies, corruption, slander, and bribery.”
            October 22, 2014, according to Bloomberg
 
            “The sacred call to virtue is not the right of a select group of people, a handful taking the moral high ground and acting as guardians.”
            October 22, 2014 according to The New York Times
 
             “The issue was an inhumane event, incompatible with any principles, and is the most heinous act that an evil person can commit in the society.”
            Oct. 27, 2014 according to Press TV
 
 

Vice President for Women’s Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi

            “There should not have been so much violence towards women in Iran...If we want women to flourish in society we must first protect them.”
            October 21, 2014 according to NBC News
 
Iranian member of parliament Ahmad Shouhani
 
            "Any improper veiling should be punished by law, not individually."
             October 20, 2014 according to the BBC
 
Deputy Interior Minister Morteza Mirbagheri
 
            “The acid attacks in Isfahan were not serial crimes.” [In response to assertions that attacks were linked to the women's attire]
             “We have arrested three to four suspects.”
             October 20, 2014 according to The Guardian
 
Member of the Iranian parliament’s national security committee Abbas-Ali Mansouri
 
            “Foreign and Zionist intelligence agencies,” were aiding those carrying out the attacks in order to distort Islam’s image worldwide.
            October 20, 2014 according to The Guardian
 
Cleric Hojatoleslam Mohammad Taghi Rahbar
 
            “Such an act under any pretext is reprehensible.”
            “Even if a woman goes out into the street in the worst way, no one has the right to do such a thing.”
            October 22, 2014 according to Al-Arabiya

Human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh
 
            "Dispatching unidentified and untrained individuals to promote virtue among citizens is completely against the law, legal principles, and legal rationale, and is a menace to the citizens which must be stopped right here."
            "I hope the horrific incidents in Isfahan serve as alarm bells for the officials, and for this Plan to be eliminated...The officials must think to themselves whether their own daughters, wives, and sisters would match the principles of [those who consider themselves] 'preventers of vice,' and if not, should they be forced to pay this high price?"
            October 22, 2014, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Head of the Basij Paramilitary Force General Mohammad Reza Naghdi
 
            “Today we are seeing the foreign media network trying to link this crime to promotion of virtue and prevention of vice.”
            October 23, 2014 according to Time
 
            “Immediately, foreign media took action and with similar headlines tried to associate the attacks with 'enjoining good and forbidding wrong.'”
            “Why did this attack happen at the same time parliament introduced [the bill on] 'enjoining good and forbidding wrong?'”
            “We can say with certainty that associating this evil and forbidden act with 'enjoining good and forbidding wrong' was a calculated act of agents of foreign media.”
            Oct. 30, 2014, according to the press
 
Former Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi
 
            “Unfortunately, when the law for 'enjoining good and forbidding wrong' was taken to parliament, we witnessed an event such as acid attacks and with precision, it came out in the media of the enemy.”
            “Investigating the behind-the-scenes points of this situation show that it was a planned conspiracy by foreign agents in order to confront 'enjoining good and forbidding wrong.”
            Oct. 30, 2014, according to the press
 
Senior Iranian cleric Kazem Seddiqi
 
            “Some people are trying to create the impression that the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice is to disrupt public security.”
            “[Acid attacks are] a plot to overshadow the legislation on promotion of virtue and prevention of vice, which is a religious obligation.”
            Oct. 31, 2014, according to the press
 

 

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