Dossier: Media in Iran

Yukiya Amano, head of the IAEA, and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a meeting in Tehran on 17 August 2014 (photo: IRNA)

The Iranian president and his political opponents

Rouhani under fire and on fire

One year into his tenure, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has entered the first precarious phase of his presidency. The challenges at home are becoming more urgent, his political adversaries more outspoken and the setbacks more frequent and severe. The turf war within Iran's political establishment is intensifying. By Adnan TabatabaiMore

Mohammad-Reza Shajarian (centre) performing on stage with the Shahnaz Ensemble in Dubai in February 2011 (photo: AP)

Music and power in Iran

An instrument of propaganda and control

In her essay, Maria Koomen examines the important role played by music in the history of Iran, in particular since the Islamic revolution of 1979More

Baran Kosari and Navid Mohammadzadeh in a still from the Iranian film "Asabani Nistam!" (I'm not angry!)

Interview with Iranian filmmaker Reza Dormishian

The rage of an entire generation on screen

The film "Asabani Nistam!" (I'm not angry!) was the only Iranian entry at this year's Berlinale film festival. On screen, young Iranians vent their anger and frustration at the day-to-day economic hardship and the general hopelessness of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's term as president. Igal Avidan spoke to the director and producer Reza DormishianMore

Iranians celebrate in Tehran after agreement was reached on the country's nuclear power programme (photo: MEHR)

Iran's Intellectuals and President Rouhani

When Freedom Becomes A Possibility

Ever since Hassan Rouhani assumed the office of Iranian president, optimism has been growing among Tehran's intellectuals. Nevertheless, no one is taking any chances; past experience has shown that this would be unwise. Marina Forti reports from the Iranian capitalMore

Iranian President Hassan Rohani at the University of Tehran (photo: ISNA)

Domestic Political Reforms in Iran

The Door to Freedom Remains Shut

Iran's conservatives – whose representatives were defeated by Hassan Rouhani in the presidential election earlier this year – have maintained their grip on power in important areas of state such as the judiciary, the armed forces, the Revolutionary Guard and the security forces. Because the liberal Rouhani does not want to wage war on two fronts, it is inevitable that he will disappoint his supporters. A commentary by Rudolph ChimelliMore

Computer keyboard with an "Iran" key (photo: Fotolia/keybox)

The Internet in Iran

Touchpad of the Revolution

Media scholar Marcus Michaelsen's study about the role played by the Internet in the Iranian reform movement shows that blogging for regime change is a serious business. The resulting book is no Facebook thriller, but the story of blanket media suppression at national level. By Sarah SchaschekMore

Iranian woman holding a poster of Hassan Rouhani (photo: FARS)

Iran's New President Rouhani

Hopes for Reorientation

Hassan Rouhani has now been sworn in as Iran's new President. The expectations for the moderate leader are high. But he is facing complex domestic and external challenges, as Shahram Ahadi reportsMore

Image from the poster for the film 'In the Bazaar of Sexes'

The Documentary Film ''In the Bazaar of Sexes''


Temporary Marriage in Iran

The phenomenon of temporary marriage in the Islamic Republic of Iran is explored in the documentary In the Bazaar of Sexes. The film's female director, Sudabeh Morterzai, gives viewers a rare insight into a very complex society. Marian Brehmer watched the filmMore

An Iranian police officer standing in front of a poster of the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran (photo: mehrnews)

State Surveillance in Iran

''There's No Such Thing as Your Own Four Walls''

People in Iran – and women in particular – have long known that not much is private in the Islamic Republic of Iran: the state is all too fond of monitoring and trying to control what its citizens do in private. But when a cult TV figure starts telling the nation that there should be no distinction between the public and the private in the Islamic Republic, it does not bode well for the future. By Ali SadrzadehMore

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (photo: IRNA)

Iran's Economic Crisis

On the Edge of the Abyss

The everyday lives of the Iranian people look set to be dominated by rationing and food coupons. And four months ahead of presidential elections, a bitter power struggle has been raging – one that is turning out to be a veritable struggle for survival for some of those involved. By Ali SadrzadehMore

Christian service in the Serkis Church in Tehran (photo: MEHR)

Turning away from Shia in Iran


''A Tsunami of Atheism''

Iran's moral guardians are concerned: while Islam is increasing in political importance throughout the Arab world, people in the Islamic Republic of Iran are leaving the mosques in droves. As Ali Sadrzadeh found out, young people seem especially susceptible to the attractions of sects or ChristianityMore

The nuclear reactor Shazand in Iran (photo: markazinews)

Nuclear Conflict with Iran

Time Is Running Out

Iran, once again, has signaled its readiness to enter negotiations on its controversial nuclear program. This time around, experts are hoping for direct talks with the United States - because little time remains. Naomi Conrad reportsMore

An Iranian woman reading a book in front of a book display in Tehran (photo

Writers in Iran


Fighting a Losing Battle

Decades of repression and the establishment of a conformist state culture are beginning to take their toll on independent writers. In an all-enveloping climate of fear, Iran's young writers are coming under increasing pressure to sacrifice their independence and exercise self-censorship. For their part, the all-powerful state censorship authorities are becoming ever more professional – and restrictive – in their methods. By Faraj SarkohiMore

Anti-American mural at the former US embassy in Teheran (photo: Reuters)

The Iranian Writer Amir Hassan Cheheltan

The Loyal Dissident

Amir Hassan Cheheltan is one of a group of internationally known Iranian artists who have no intention of turning their backs on their country, and who will not allow themselves to be sidelined or frozen out by the regime. Stefan Buchen met him in BerlinMore

A woman stands in front of a poster declaring that elections in Iran are for the protection of the country (photo: Mehr)

Iranian Journalists under Pressure

Arrest or Exile

In the run-up to the Iranian parliamentary elections, the regime in Tehran is showing signs of nervousness. More journalists are being arrested as the repression of civil society continues. Marcus Michaelsen reportsMore

Image from the graphic novel "Zahra's Paradise" by Amir and Khalil (source: Knesebeck, München)

The Iranian Graphic Novel "Zahra's Paradise"

An Artistic Insight into a Sinister World

More than two years after the Green Movement's protests, a graphic novel has captured the political and social state of the Islamic Republic in graphic images. The book's anonymous authors, Amir and Khalil, portray Iran as a sinister country full of darkness and contradictions. Marian Brehmer read the bookMore