Story Publication logo June 19, 2007

Iran: The Red Line


Media file: understanding_iran.jpg

On the surface, Iran is simply a theocracy in a standoff with the United States. But access to the...


The clock is ticking. Less than 12 hours until I need to be on a plane out of Tehran. I've just been told politely by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance that I won't be getting the visa extension I'd expected. So I am on overdrive, trying to cram the last of my interviews into a sleepless night.

In those final hours, what I most want to know is how I can describe Iran's "red line." That's the slippery, ever-changing boundary that dictates what Iranians can and cannot say. I realize I have no idea what that line looks like. Is it wavy? Is it straight?

So I am sitting in the office of a newly launched magazine, Fekr-e-rouz, with a journalist who has had his share of run-ins with the Iranian government.

But Nader Karimi can't tell me what the red line looks like, either. Karemi has had two stints in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison, where political prisoners are often held...

Continue reading full article at FRONTLINE/World.

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