Explainer: American Parts in Iranian Drones

The majority of components in Iran’s drones—including microchips and GPS modules—were made in the United States, which is supporting Ukraine. The components, used for functions ranging from navigation to data processing, have been traced to two Iranian suicide drones—the Shahed-131 and Shahed-136—and the Mohajer-6, a drone that can conduct both strikes and reconnaissance.

Iran’s Revolution at 44: Officials on Anniversary

Iran’s leaders marked the 44th anniversary of the 1979 revolution by defiantly blaming adversaries, including the United States, for nationwide protests that erupted in September 2022 after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in detention. “The enemy’s goal is to force the revolution and the government of the Islamic Republic to its knees,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned military officers on February 8. “Sometimes they bring up ‘women.’ Sometimes they bring up the ‘Shiite and Sunni’ issue.

Explainer: Iran's University Protests

Students were the trigger and sustaining force behind protests that erupted on September 16. During the first two months, young Iranians demonstrated against the government at some 143 universities in all 31 provinces, which led to government crackdowns and hundreds of deaths. By early January 2023, at least 685 students had been detained. The initial demonstrations—shortly after the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurd—broke out in the capital and Kurdish cities.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on November 10, 2022.

Iran’s #HairForFreedom Campaign Goes Global

Iran’s protests – launched over personal freedoms for women – have inspired a campaign by women across the globe who are cutting their hair and posting videos using the #HairForFreedom hashtag on Instagram. The protests erupted after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd, was detained for showing too much hair under her Islamic headscarf. A video captured her collapse at a reeducation center; she went into a coma and died three days later. In the early protests, Iranian women took videos ripping off their hijabs and cutting their hair as acts of defiance.

World Leaders on Mahsa Amini’s Death and Protests

World leaders widely condemned Iran’s crackdown on protests after the death in detention of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman detained for improper hijab, or head covering. “We stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights,” President Joe Biden told the U.N. General Assembly on September 21. A day later, the United States sanctioned the morality police and seven senior security officials for Amini's death and the subsequent violence against protestors.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on September 28, 2022.