close button
Switch to Iranwire Light?
It looks like you’re having trouble loading the content on this page. Switch to Iranwire Light instead.

Iran's Sex Workers and Other Stories

September 28, 2017
Weekly Roundup
3 min read
Iran's Sex Workers and Other Stories

Dear friends 

Every week I receive dozens of sad emails about abuses, imprisonment and torture. But a recent letter from a group of young Iranian sex workers in Dubai was really devastating. As some of you may know, we publish a legal blog on the Persian IranWire site, in which our lawyers answer citizens’ legal questions. These girls asked a friend of theirs to write an email to us with 16 questions. The most heart-wrenching aspect of the letter is the girls’ innocence and how ignorant they are about their own rights. They’ve asked us questions like, “Isn’t pimping illegal? If it is, why do the police collaborate with the pimps?” All they want to do is to come back home, but they’re afraid they will be punished by the authorities. The sentence for adultery in Iran can be death, but as our brilliant lawyer Mohammad Olyaeifard points out, Iranian judges are usually lenient towards prostitutes and usually try to punish the pimps and madams more severely than sex workers. 

In a related article, Mohammad Olyaeifard points out that sex trafficking and slavery is usually organized with the government and police’s help. Mohammad, who spent a few months in prison for defending human rights, tell us the story of a cleric who was running a prostitution ring, and another story of a madam who realized it’s safer to run a brothel in the holy city of Qom, very close to a shrine of an important Shia figure. 

As usual, we also published a Donald Trump story this week. Just after he made his incendiary speech at the UN, a Revolutionary Guards commander boasted that Iran had tested a new missile, the Khorramshahr, and an Iranian TV channel proudly aired footage of the test. Trump tweeted the next morning that Iran is cooperating with North Korea and could reach Israel with this missile. But as Fox News and CNN revealed, the TV footage was actually was from a failed test in January 2017. It seems that the Revolutionary Guards were happy to let Trump believe that it had gone ahead. For them, it seems, goading Trump and the Israelis was ample reward for perpetuating a lie. But at what cost? Europeans were also alarmed by the reports, and a French investment bank is said to be reviewing its plans to support business incentives in the country.

The angry speeches at the UN are still fresh in many people’s minds, as are some of the hollow promises. During his speech last week, President Rouhani retaliated against Trump, but he also boasted about his government’s commitment to citizens’ rights. Yet a recent story from Yazd is a fresh reminder that these rights are far from protected. The Guardian Council banned Zoroastrian Sepanta Niknam from his position at Yazd City Council, despite being publicly elected. Blatant discrimination of Iran’s minority religious communities continues, and no amount of lip service from Rouhani will change this. 

This week we also launch our new video series called Six Lines. We’re challenging ourselves to tell interesting stories about Iran, past and present, in only six lines. The first video looks at Iranian volunteer Mohsen Hojaji, who was beheaded by ISIS while fighting in Syria, and how the Revolutionary Guards and the Supreme Leader have exploited his death for their own purposes.

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

Warm regards 

visit the accountability section

In this section of Iran Wire, you can contact the officials and launch your campaign for various problems

accountability page



Iran's Revolutionary Guards say ISIS will be destroyed in 6 months

September 28, 2017
Iranwire videos
Iran's Revolutionary Guards say ISIS will be destroyed in 6 months