Offbeat

June 5, 2014
            Iranian youth have posted several videos of themselves dancing and lip synching to Pharell William’s hit “Happy.” One version featuring three women — without hijab — and three men went viral and led to the dancers’ arrest on May 20. They were pressured to express remorse on state…
May 22, 2014
            On May 21, six young Iranians detained for appearing in a video singing along to Pharrell William’s “Happy” were released by Tehran police. But the director of the video was not. In the YouTube clip below, three women — without hijab — and three men dance and lip synch to the American…
May 20, 2014
            Since May 1, hundreds of women have flaunted Iran’s tough Islamic laws by posting their pictures without a hijab, or veil, on Facebook. Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist based in London, sparked the movement by posting a photo of herself. “Hijab is being forced on women not only by…
March 21, 2014
             Iran’s tenuous relationship with the West has been illustrated by the ups and downs in the relationship between Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. The two have been the lead negotiators in the new diplomacy to find a peaceful…
March 20, 2014
           On March 20, government officials from the United States, Great Britain and Israel sent Nowruz greetings to the Iranian people. The Persian New Year marks the Spring Equinox and the first day of spring. President Barack Obama said, "This Nowruz could mark not just the beginning of a new…
March 19, 2014
            Ironically, the most widely celebrated holiday in the Islamic Republic of Iran long predates the official religion. Nowruz, literally “New Day” in Farsi, marks the first day of spring and the Persian New Year. The holiday, which falls on March 20 this year, is widely celebrated across…
March 18, 2014
            Iran defeated its two major rivals, Russia and the United States, at the 2014 Freestyle Wrestling World Cup in Los Angeles. On March 15, Iran defeated the host team 5-3 after beating Armenia 8-0 and Turkey 7-1. Iran went on to beat Russia 6-2 on March 16, taking the cup for the third…
February 18, 2014
            The following political cartoons reflect the Arab world’s growing alarm over the potential for progress on Iran’s nuclear program. The Gulf sheikdoms especially fear that a diplomatic deal will allow rival Iran to shed its pariah status and reemerge as a regional powerhouse — to their…
February 18, 2014
            The following political cartoons illustrate Iranian views of Arab reactions to progress on solving the nuclear dispute. Many Iranians viewed the Geneva nuclear agreement as a victory for Tehran and a setback for the Gulf states.               An Arab representing the Gulf…
February 10, 2014
            Iran’s supreme leader celebrated the 1979 revolution on his Facebook page, even though the site is banned in the Islamic Republic. The following are images Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s account posted in early February to mark the revolution’s 35th anniversary. Each one heralds what Iran…