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Content about Islamic Republic of Iran

September 29, 2013

Three Iranians and an online Persian magazine honored for their contribution to the cause of Iran’s invisible LGBT community

New and projected as moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s telephone conversation with American President Barack Obama Friday made news worldwide, being the first contact between the top leaderships of the two countries after the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.

June 14, 2013

LGBT Iranians comment on today's election but with real power held by a religious and military elite and no candidates interested in easing the persecution they face, they say it can only get worse, not better

As the controversial Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, heads out of office, Iranians are at the polls today (14 June) to vote for a new president.

But what will this election mean for LGBT Iranians? Are any of the candidates likely to improve the situation for gays and lesbians in Iran, who face systematic persecution? Is there an end in sight to Iran’s hard-line anti-LGBT policies?

September 27, 2012

The international affairs advisor to Iran’s supreme leader, Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati, stated that homosexuality is the cause of cultural decay in the West

Speaking at the Islamic Awakening conference, Dr Velayati, who is also Iran’s former foreign affairs minister, described the situation of Western cultures ‘worrisome’, adding, ‘corruption and decay is spreading all over the West. 

'The moral degradation in the West is worsening by the day... Homosexuality is driving Western family foundations into ruins.’

September 24, 2012

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Western countries should not expect Iran to recognize gays as normal people in society

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called being gay ‘ugly’, compared it to stealing, and said it ‘ceases procreation’.

In an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Ahmadinejad told the British broadcaster Western countries should not expect the Middle East to recognize homosexuality as normal.

When Ahmadinejad was asked by Morgan how great it would be if the Iranian president was for gay rights, the conservative Muslim rejected the suggestion.

July 27, 2012

Iranian LGBT activists celebrate the country's third national day of sexual minorities 

Iran’s LGBT community celebrated its third national day of sexual minorities today (27 July).

They used it to send a message of love and solidarity.

Activists in Iran took photos, wrote blogs and recorded themselves to show that they exist everywhere, and are proud of their sexuality.

June 30, 2012

Samira Ghorbani Danesh, a 24-year old Iranian lesbian refugee who fled Iran in 2009, told by German court: your asylum application is rejected, go back to Iran and hide your sexuality

Samira Ghorbani Daneish, a 24 year old Iranian lesbian who fled Iran in 2009 faces deportation back to Iran after a German court ruling.

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) rejected her asylum application, and her appeal was turned down by the Bayreuth Administrative Court on the grounds that Daneish had not ‘credibly established that she was in danger in Iran’.

June 24, 2012

Iranian authorities shut a famous publishing house for allegedly promoting 'homosexuality, incest, and sexual relations between men and women outside marriage’

Iranian authorities announced last Friday, 22 June, that the reason they shut down a prominent publishing house in Tehran was due to its ‘promotion of homosexuality, incest, and sexual relations between men and women outside marriage’.

On 8 June, Iranian officials decided to permanently shut 'Cheshmeh' (Spring in Persian), one of Iran’s leading publishing house, particularly respected in the country’s literary, academic, and intellectual circles.

June 1, 2012

Azerbaijan rejects Iran's allegation that an imaginary gay parade was cancelled as lies

Azerbaijan has accused Iran of lying over Iranian claims the Azeri government was forced to cancel a gay parade during the Eurovision Song Contest last weekend.

As Azerbaijan hosted the camp Eurovision, Iran used false rumors of a 'gay parade' to be held in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku, in at attempt to discredit the secular Azeri regime as 'un-Islamic'.

But yesterday (31 May) Ali Hasanov, adviser to President of Azerbaijan, condemned Iran's intervention as 'lies'.

May 24, 2012

Tehran's ambassador recalled from Azerbaijan as tensions escalate over rumors of a gay parade at the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku

Iran has recalled its ambassador from Azerbaijan over rumors of a gay pride event during the Eurovision Song Contest.

The envoy for consultations in Tehran was withdrawn from Azerbaijan's capital Baku after the two neighboring countries accused each other of meddling in each other's affairs.

May 18, 2012

The US Secretary of State sends 'powerful' message to world on gay rights as four men are due to be hanged for sodomy in Iran

World Pride organizers say Hillary Clinton's formal acceptance of a gay rights award sends a 'powerful' and 'poignant' message to the world as four men in Iran await execution for sodomy.

Pride London and global LGBT organization Kaleidoscope Trust will honor the US Secretary of State with the World LGBT Award at a star-studded black tie dinner in the British capital for World Pride on 5 July.

May 17, 2012

Activists defy anti-gay laws in Iran and Russia to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Activists in Iran, one of the most homophobic countries in the world, braved persecution today (17 May) by publicly unfurling a rainbow flag to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

Campaigners in the Muslim state's capital Tehran also distributed leaflets and flew multi-colored balloons to raise awareness of LGBT rights.

May 14, 2012

Homophobic Muslims take to streets of two cities in Iran, furious at rumors of a gay pride event during the Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan

Angry homophobes took to the streets of two Iranian cities on Friday (11 May) to protest rumors of a gay pride event during next week's Eurovision Song Contest in neighboring Azerbaijan.

The kitsch European pop tournament will begin in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan in the Caucasus, on 22 May, with the grand final held on 26 May.

In January, gay scene website suggested that a gay pride could take place in the city during the lead-up to Eurovision, but removed the article a few days later.

May 12, 2012

Iran court sentence four men from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, to death by hanging for sodomy.

Four men named 'Saadat Arefi', 'Vahid Akbari', 'Javid Akbari' and 'Houshmand Akbari' are due to be executed shortly after their verdict was approved recently by high court judges, according to a report from the Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) in Iran.

The four men are said to be from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province of Iran.

May 11, 2012

New report on LGBT people in Iran will be released next week in London

A new report on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Iran highlights the problems they face in their own country and when they flee into exile.

Small Media and veteran UK-based gay activist Peter Tatchell will launch the LGBT Republic of Iran report in London on 16 May, a day ahead of International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

May 4, 2012

Rumors of a gay pride during this year Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan have been met with angry rhetoric from southern neighbor Iran

Iran has criticised its neighboring country of Azerbaijan, appearing to believe rumors that a gay pride will be part of the Eurovision Song Contest there this month.

The kitsch European pop tournament will be held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan in the Caucasus on 22 May.

In January,, a website for listing and news about the international gay scene suggested that gay pride could take place in Baku during the lead-up to Eurovision content, but removed the article a few days later.

April 26, 2012

'Gangster' accused of gay sex executed in public in Fars Province, Iran

A young man known by the initials CH M was hanged publicly in Marwdasht, Fars Province, Iran, for allegedly engaging in 'sodomy' with another man.

Speaking with the Iranian Fars News Agency, Gholamhossein Chamansara, the Attorney General of Marwdasht, reported that the death penalty was given to the man - whose exact age is not known - due to his 'despicable act' that contradicted Sharia Muslim laws.

April 19, 2012

Just 28 percent of voters say the issue is 'very important' to them

Gay marriage has been used as a wedge issue by Republicans in past US presidential elections, but that strategy would have little effect in the upcoming race between President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

According to a poll released Thursday (19 April) by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, gay marriage ranked last among 18 issues with economic issues tops on the minds of voters.

April 18, 2012

Iranian Islamic scholar Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli has said homosexuals are inferior to dogs and pigs and condemned politicians who make gay sex legal

An influential Muslim cleric in Iran, Abdollah Javadi-Amoli, has described homosexuals as ‘worse than dogs and pigs’.

And he has condemned western politicians who pass laws decriminalizing gay sex.

January 10, 2012

Activists respond as General Mohammad Javad Larijani says homosexuality is a ‘disease’ and same-sex marriage is ‘immoral’

Iranian gay activists have responded after the secretary-general of the Iranian High Council for Human Rights described homosexuality as a western ‘disease’.

Radio Free Europe also reports that General Mohammad Javad Larijani said that same-sex marriage is ‘immoral’.

He made the remarks in Tehran during a visit by German Tom Koenigs, who chairs the human rights committee in Germany’s parliament.

January 9, 2012

New level of isolation and danger for LGBT Iranians as authorities prepare to switch off world web access

Gay Iranians are facing a new level of isolation as Iran prepares to cut itself off from the World Wide Web, say activists.

Iran has placed new restrictions on cyber cafes and is preparing to launch a 'National Internet' as part of an online war between Iran and the US and with Iranian democracy activists.

And the impact will be particularly felt by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the country, say campaigners, who have labeled the move ‘disastrous’.