Iran: Tales of Gloom

Inside a beset regime

Mostafa Hakimian is the pseudonym of an Iranian diplomat who held several senior positions in Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini's Islamic government until he was ousted last year. Since then, Hakimian has traveled to Iran secretly half a dozen times. Last week, after his latest visit there, he shared his impressions with TIME.

When I went to Iran three months ago, I thought the situation could not get any worse. I was wrong. The ruling clergy have turned Iran into one huge funeral parlor. Death and the related ceremonies are the only diversions available. A thick miasma of repression...

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