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Groups campaigning for greater understanding and less confrontation with Iran have recently banded together to form *Campaign Iran*. Their website is at Concerned that military action against Iran is a real threat, and believing that the ground for such action is already being prepared in the Western media, they recently published a useful booklet called _Answering the Charges against Iran: Dispelling the Demonizing Myths_ and distributed it to governments and media outlets. Read an abridged version at The *Million Signatures Campaign* demanding changes to discriminatory laws against women – described by Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani on page 8 – can be accessed at Scroll down to the bottom to find English links or go to the list of English news items at On 27 January three of the Million Signatures campaigners – Talat Taghinia, Mansureh Shojai and Farnaz Seifi (pictured below) – were arrested at Tehran airport on their way to an educational workshop in India. Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, who is also a signatory to the campaign, has offered to defend them in court. Iran is one of the worst countries in the world in which to be gay, lesbian or bisexual (see ‘Facts: Human rights’). To read a letter from the editors of the gay e-magazine _MAHA_ about the importance of international solidarity, go to


Most Iranian blogs are in the Farsi language. But there are some who write in English and these can be accessed at The vast majority of those listed are from Iranians in exile and it is telling how many of those from within Iran have stopped posting over the last year or so of increasing clampdown. *Women in Iran*, for example, a website which ‘tries to open a window, however small, to the life of Iranian women’ has not been updated since August 2006 (). The ‘photoblogger’ Arash Ashoorinia, whose work is widely used in this magazine, has an excellent website (). The Kargah () and Qoqnoos () websites collect together links to the work of literally hundreds of photographers and artists who will open the eyes of many who are unaware of the diversity and creative vigour of Iranian society. Check out the cartoonists and illustrators at as well. In September 2006, the BBC devoted a week of radio programming to _Uncovering Iran_, ‘a season of programmes aimed at challenging some of the perceptions held about this intriguing country’. All the programmes are still available to listen to at A group of Americans who went to Iran in search of ski slopes posted their short video at youtube.com
They say: ‘We didn’t find the angry fundamentalists from the news. We just found people getting along and living their lives.’


New Internationalist campaigner Zarlasht Halaimzai writes about the plight of her family and other Afghan immigrants to Iran at

New Internationalist issue 398 magazine cover This article is from the March 2007 issue of New Internationalist.
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