The Regime’s New Dread in Iran

No one knows how many Iranians have joined the electronic underground. But the Revolutionary Guards aren’t having much success shutting it down.

How to Alienate Your Allies In Iran

Attacks on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are coming from unexpected corners. As he arrives in New York to attend the United Nations’ General Assembly opening this week, hardliners back home—including some who were once his close allies—are undercutting their former standard-bearer every chance they get.

Out of Iran, but Not Yet Home Free

The hours Sarah Shourd spent between leaving Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, where she was in solitary confinement for more than a year, and crossing Iranian airspace must have been the most excruciating and longest hours of her life. I know that because I have been there.

What It's Like to Have a Child Imprisoned in Iran

The mothers of two American hikers jailed in Iran’s Evin Prison visited London to petition the Islamic Republic’s ambassador there. Instead, they got an emotional conversation with NEWSWEEK’s Tehran expert—himself a former prisoner in Evin.

Iran Closes Shop

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have hoped to close his yawning deficit—and advance other goals—with a big tax increase on the merchants and shopkeepers in the country’s bazaars. But the bazaaris declared a strike for only the second time since they helped bring down the shah in 1979. (The first time was in 2008, when Ahmadinejad made another attempt to raise their taxes.)

The Last Ayatollah

The Green Movement’s bloody street protests may not have toppled Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—but they will.

Maziar Bahari: My Sentence in an Iranian Court

I didn’t attend my sentencing. In June last year, I was thrown into prison in Iran for 118 days, then finally released and allowed to leave the country in October. But on March 9, 2010, without bothering to inform me or my lawyers, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced me to 13 years and six months imprisonment plus 74 lashes. A member of my family went to the court just this morning and was told of the judgment, such as it was: a reminder that this is a regime that deals in brutal symbols that make sense only to its own.

Voices of Reason Grow Louder In Iran

This week, many Iranians will mark the 31st anniversary of the overthrow of the shah with street demonstrations against a regime seen by some as illegitimate. While the Revolutionary Guards have vowed to deal harshly with protesters, the unrest has grown so bad that fractures are now present within the security establishment itself, and some of the Islamic Republic's most ardent defenders are now pushing the regime to moderate its position. According to multiple high-level sources, some former senior Guards commanders who still maintain ties to the organization have begun quietly urging Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to change his ways. The group includes several powerful sitting officials, such as the mayor of Tehran and the speaker of Parliament. These men, no moderates, are reported to be politely pressing Khamenei to restrain his security forces and muzzle his fiery acolyte, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The ex-Guards are also meeting with opposition leaders to...

United in Iran

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has finally managed one major accomplishment: forging a consensus among protesters, reformers, and conservatives alike that it's time for him to go. They fear as long as he stays, the violence will grow--perhaps ultimately threatening the Islamic Republic itself....

Newsweek Reporter's Ordeal in Iran

On June 21, reporter Maziar Bahari was rousted out of bed and taken to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison—accused of being a spy for the CIA, MI6, Mossad … and NEWSWEEK. This is the story of his captivity—and of an Iran whose rampant paranoia underpins an ever more fractured regime.

The Other Contest: Who Will Be Iran’s Next President?

Less than six months after the next American president takes office, Iran will hold its own Election Day. To win that race takes not only popular acclaim but the approval of one man—Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—and so far, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has the edge. For all his economic and diplomatic bungling, Ahmadinejad is still liked by Iran's poor: he stands up to the West; he knows how to talk to ordinary folk, and he's never been accused of personal corruption. Fat oil revenues help, too. Most important, he's no threat to Khamenei. Here's a look at other contenders. ...

Q&A: Karrubi on Iran's Organized Reformers

Mehdi Karrubi is the Al Gore of Iran. According to him, but for vote-rigging he would have been the president and not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The cleric is leader of the National Trust Party, founded after his 2005 defeat, and was a speaker of Iran's Parliament, or Majlis. Even though he is a reformist, he believes that President Mohammad Khatami allowed radicalism to tank the reform movement. In his first interview with the western media, Karrubi, 69, talked with NEWSWEEK'S Maziar Bahari about this week's Majlis elections. Excerpts: ...

Iran: Reformists in Distress

Iran's reformists are fighting an uphill battle just to compete in Iran's upcoming parliamentary ballot. How they hope to defeat Ahmadinejad—eventually.

How Ayatollah Khamenei Keeps Control

No one in Western intelligence is quite sure who made the final decision to release the British captives this week. But the Iranians themselves have a fair idea, and the nation's fiery president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, seemed to leave little doubt about it. "The pardon of the British sailors signified the Supreme Leader’s kindness," Ahmadinejad told a meeting of Iranian officials in Tehran on Friday. The president was referring to the black-turbaned cleric who presided over the gathering: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.Khamenei, a 68-year-old whose right hand was left paralyzed in a 1981 assassination attempt, has a tough job. He is the constitutionally designated leader of a modern state ruled by religious laws devised 1,400 years ago. And he must placate both the modern and the medieval sides of the schizoid Iranian state—a task that has grown increasingly complex in the 28 years since the Islamist revolution toppled the Shah of Iran. Despite Khamenei’s association with conservative...