Iranian Exiles Struggle to Stay Involved

A political tract hammered out by an Iranian feminist this spring presents a snapshot of activism from exile.

Incensed by an aging ayatollah’s pronouncement that women exposing excessive flesh cause earthquakes, the young lawyer, who fled to Germany after her arrest in Iran, fired off a Web post accusing all Iranian men of complicity in the oppression of women propagated by the ayatollahs.

The diatribe went viral instantly, provoking a global debate among Iranians, with countless men denouncing the premise. But the furor soon died, underscoring the quandary faced by former high-ranking reformist politicians, journalists, academics, student leaders and others who have sought safety abroad since the contested presidential election in June 2009.


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