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 Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was held for three years in Evin prison and released after Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s election. She keeps a statue of the goddess of justice in her Tehran office. Photograph: Lara Marlowe

“When I was in prison, I remembered the prison I visited in Ireland,” says Nasrin Sotoudeh (50), an Iranian human rights lawyer whose 2010-2013 impris(...)

Volunteers in the newly formed “Peace Brigades” participate in a parade near the Imam Ali shrine in the southern holy Shia city of Najaf, Iraq, yesterday. Photograph: Jaber al-Helo/AP

US president Barack Obama has said the US plans to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help halt the advance of radical Islamic fighters but (...)

Iraqi Shia Turkmen fighters take part in an intensive security deployment in the town of Taza, south of the northern oil city of Kirkuk. Photograph: Reuters/stringer

US president Barack Obama said today the United States would send up to 300 military advisers to support Iraqi forces confronting an al Qaeda-inspired(...)

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif: “We will not abandon . . . our technological advances.” Photograph: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

The fifth round of negotiations between Iran and the “P5 + 1” – the members of the Security Council plus Germany – began in Vienna on Tuesday. The (...)

A traffic policemen faces a video screen showing government-controlled images of Iraqi soldiers in central Baghdad yesterday. Photograph: Ayman Oghanna/The New York Times

Iraqi government forces fought off jihadi rebel forces north of Baghdad yesterday amid signs from the US that the Obama administration is hesitating (...)

“My husband divorced me because I was an addict. The children stayed with him. They have their own lives. They don’t want to see me,” says Parastou. Photograph: Lara Marlowe

It’s been three hours since Amir’s last fix, and he’s still high as a kite. The 28-year-old has been addicted to heroin and Iranian-made crystal me(...)

Mehdi Army fighters loyal to Sha cleric Moqtada al-Sadr march during military-style training in the holy city of Najaf yesterday. Photograph: Ahmad Mousa/Reuters

The proposition that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” might be too simplistic a response to the escalating sectarian crisis in Iraq that would promp(...)

Iran’s Jalal Hosseini and Nigeria’s Shola Ameobi in action during the  World Cup Group F clash  at the Baixada arena in Curitiba. Photo: Henry Romero/Reuters

Nigeria 0 Iran 0 It was a game that lived up to expectations – no goals, stodgy football, sadly matching the reputations of a defensive Iranian side (...)

US Secretary of State John Kerry delivers opening remarks at the ‘Our Ocean’ conference at the State Department in Washington today. The United States is considering US air strikes to help the Iraqi government fend off an Islamist insurgency. Photograph: Gary Cameron/Reuters

The United States said it could launch air strikes and act jointly with its arch-enemy Iran to support the Iraqi government, after a rampage by Sunni (...)

Volunteers who have joined the Iraqi Army to fight against  Sunni militants who have taken over Mosul and other northern provinces, travel in army trucks in Baghdad. Photograph: Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

The insurgent offensive that has threatened to dismember Iraq spread to the northwest of the country today, when Sunni militants launched a dawn raid (...)

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