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Top Iran Tweeters and Other Stories

August 23, 2017
Weekly Roundup
2 min read
Top Iran Tweeters and Other Stories

Dear friends 

It’s been 64 years since the CIA overthrew Iran’s nationalist prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh in a coup with the help of British agents and many Iranians of different political backgrounds. This week IranWire launches its series on the coup, beginning with an interview with my good friend Professor Mark Gasiorowski, who along with Malcolm Byrne is the most accomplished historian of the 1953 Coup. I’ve admired Mark’s work since reading Mossadegh and the 1953 Coup in Iran, the book Mark and Malcolm edited in 2004. 

I’m indebted to Mark and Malcolm for the help they provided while I was making my film about the coup, An Iranian Odyssey. In case you’re interested in watching the film I’ve included a link to it in this newsletter. We will have more articles on the coup in next week’s newsletter.

Iranians love social media — and although Twitter is banned in the country, even the supreme leader has an account. We’ve put a list together of some of Iran’s most influential tweeters, from President Rouhani himself to journalists based in and outside the country to activists and campaigners. 

Then there’s Iran’s own Kim Jong Un. This week, IranWire published a curious tale of a glue factory, its owner, its staff, and a very strange rulebook. Khalil Nazari, who started the factory, sees it as his duty to enshrine religious morality in the workplace, and demands that his staff pray as part of their contract. He also practices a policy of not hiring married women — “ A married woman who works cannot take care of her personal life effectively,” says his PR person. But Nazari doesn’t see a problem with this. After all, he says, he feeds and houses employees, and offers them interest-free loans. While some people have drawn comparisons with him and some of North Korea’s most dictatorial officials, Nazari is unashamedly proud of what he’s achieved, and what he does for East Azerbaijan’s economy. 

While not everyone might be inspired by Nazari’s work, the achievements of Fatemah Akrami are easy to admire. At 24, she’s the first Iranian woman to be both a professional skydiver and to freefall wearing a wingsuit. After excelling as a gymnast, Akrami found that her career wavered after she turned 18 — because there are very few women coaches for female athletes, and because of the ban on women being coached by men, plus the fact that there are fewer competitions once women reach a certain age and weight. Skydiving became her new love and her enthusiasm is pretty contagious.

As always, please let me know if you have any comments. 

Warm regards 



Many Actors Should Get the Blame for the 1953 Coup

August 23, 2017
Arash Azizi
13 min read
Many Actors Should Get the Blame for the 1953 Coup