Foreign Affairs

The book

"Iran the time of women". Borsatti: "Our duty to go beyond this story"

The author traces the line of the last months of denied civil rights, resistance and repression after the death of Mahsa Amini, facts that came to the press in an indirect way, yet a sign of a change now irreversible. The interview with


Antonella Alba

They opened a new era, driving "a collective push for change for the benefit of all." The merit is of Iranian women - says Luciana Borsatti - who in her new book "Iran the time of women" published by Castelvecchi, takes stock of the long wave of protests that has shaken the Islamic Republic for months. The protest is led to the cry of Donna Vita Libertà!, a movement that exploded with the death of Jina Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish-Iranian student who died in Tehran on September 16 while she was detained by the moral police, guilty of having worn the mandatory Islamic headscarf badly.

That hijab has become unbearable (few wear it now), a sign of resistance, has become a theme of confrontation and civil disobedience, and a symbol of a much broader and transversal battle that has involved all strata of society, not only women, but also men, students, the elderly, workers.

"If the right to freedom is irrepressible and radical, if claiming it is already revolution, if its value is fundamental, nothing is simple when it comes to Iran," says Borsatti.

The text contains several testimonies, some representative of what happened during what was called #IranRevolution on social media. Facts arrived to the press and to all of us "in an indirect way" says Borsatti "None of us journalists has been able to document from the territory what happened, yet we have a duty to go beyond this story". The burning hijab, the haircut, the arrests - about 20000,7 in just 10 months - the death sentences. A violent repression that, arrived so far, has outraged the West, Europe and Italy where the Iranian community numbers at least <> thousand people.

In fact, "the protest of the veil" was immediately a courageous battle for social and civil rights, including environmental rights. Rights limited by the Shiite reading of the Koran on which the theocracy in power of the ayatollahs, for 44 years at the head of the former Persia, is based. Under the battle there are long-standing demands for decent living conditions following a serious economic crisis that has seriously impoverished even the middle classes and increasingly marginalized ethnic minorities, especially Kurds and Baluches, writes the journalist long correspondent from Iran for Ansa.

"The Islamic Republic has taken the hardest line to repress its children and grandchildren," Borsatti says. But if in her previous books - "Iran in the time of Trump" and "Iran in the time of Biden" - the author read Iranian events in the light of the decades of tensions between Tehran and its American counterpart, now the gaze shifts to the leading role assumed by women in posing the urgency of a change shared by a large part of the Iranian population.

However, international sanctions for serious human rights violations have not stopped the Pasdaran's crackdown on protesters, abuses in prison, trials behind closed doors and extorted confessions. The hangings, including public hangings, resumedon May 19.

The revolt that led to "a loss of legitimacy of the current system" seeking a radical change, a modification of the current Constitution. We ask Borsatti what could be after Khamenei: "The Pasdaran who hold not only military but also economic power, could take the baton".

The book also focuses on the important debate within the internal opposition of the country, active despite the fact that many of its members are in prison or under arrest. According to the girnalist, the Iranian diaspora (subject of a specific paragraph), "although massively mobilized in communication and organizing demonstrations in our capitals, has shown itself in difficulty both in defining a unitary political platform for a future constitutional transition, and in providing concrete tools of support for opponents at home".

The Preface to the text is by Lucia Goracci, Afterword by Farian Sabahi.