What Iranians Want: Women, Life, Freedom

According to the passionate narrative of this book, Iranian citizens aspire to live liberated lives within a free nation.

Azizi, the insightful author behind The Shadow Commander: Soleimani, the US, and Iran’s Global Ambitions, is a distinguished writer and historian domiciled in New York City, with a specialization in Middle Eastern affairs. He elucidates how in Iran, even the most fundamental liberties are either non-existent or severely restricted, particularly affecting women and ethnic minorities who endure the brunt of oppression. Azizi delves into the country’s history since 1979, when the elderly cleric Ayatollah Khomeini spearheaded a revolution to establish a stringent Islamic regime. Khomeini’s influence still pervades Iranian politics, evident in mandates such as compulsory hijab for women and the presence of militant groups prowling the streets to enforce ideological conformity. Azizi adeptly narrates the reigns of subsequent leaders who initially pledged reforms only to resort to repression when confronted. The current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, emerges as a figure of unparalleled ruthlessness and cunning. Given the tight grip of government over the media, organizing any form of opposition becomes an arduous task. Yet, protests and demonstrations persist, met with brutal crackdowns and arbitrary arrests. Azizi shares insights from interviews with numerous Iranian dissidents, fostering a belief that momentum for substantive change is building. However, he cautions against excessive optimism, noting the regime’s entrenched support base and military might. Nevertheless, Azizi presents a lucid depiction of Iran’s historical and contemporary realities, leaving readers with a profound comprehension of its intricate dynamics. He concludes by affirming the unwavering commitment of Iran’s resilient mass movements to advocate for women’s rights, freedom, and comprehensive social justice.

In a courageous and unsettling exposition, Azizi unveils the true nature of the Iranian regime while celebrating the valor of its dissenters.

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Author: Arash Azizi

Page Count: 197

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Mary Owens

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