Sussan Tahmasebi

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The cost of paper has always bedeviled Iranian publishers, but inflation caused by American sanctions has severely pushed prices up and limited stock. Credit Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA, via Shutterstock

A few weeks after the Trump administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned “brutal men of the regime” in Tehran for oppressing Iranian women who were demanding their rights.

“As human beings with inherent dignity and inalienable rights, the women of Iran deserve the same freedoms that the men of Iran possess”, Mr. Pompeo said.

But the Trump administration then dealt a tremendous blow to Iranian women by reimposing sanctions on Iran, restricting oil sales and access to the global banking system, and pushing the economy into a deep recession.

Since the spring of 2018, the Iranian rial has lost 68 percent of its value.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Stores across the country still heave with goods; this self-sufficiency, borne of years of isolation, now works to Iran’s advantage.’ Grand bazar, Tehran. Photograph: Wana News Agency/Reuters

On Monday evening, just five days ahead of Nowruz, the Persian new year holiday, police descended upon a small local market in west Tehran. They ordered local vendors to pack up their wares, their socks, colanders, and plastic flowers, telling them that by selling goods in public they were helping spread the coronavirus. On Tuesday evening, they returned, and found one tenacious seller hawking in the same place. “You, here again!” barked a security officer. “If I don’t sell, how am I going to pay my rent?” the woman asked plaintively.

As Iran celebrates its new year, black death banner announcements hang from Tehran’s eerily deserted squares.…  Seguir leyendo »