I traveled through Iran by public transport in the early 1980s, only a few years after the Shah was deposed. Iran is a country I consider to be a dictatorship even as it fascinates me. My travels are documented in an essay ‘How to Live’, included in Wrestling with Pie.
In my view, any country, based on any religion, that tells women how they should behave and what they can and cannot do with their bodies, is a dictatorship. Let’s not think about what that means for America right now. Let’s focus on Iran.
Years of grinding revolt against the fundamentalist regime in Iran recently coalesced around the right of women to choose whether or not to cover their hair with a scarf, after a young woman was tortured and murdered by thugs for not wearing her head scarf properly.
How brave are those people who are standing up and saying ‘enough fundamentalism, enough control’ - especially the women who are uncovering their hair in protest.
I remain fascinated by Iran.
The main protagonist in my crime-thriller series The Becoming Chronicles is an Australian-Iranian called Clint Ryal - an investigative journalist turned legal investigator for some very dark crimes. His life is turned on its head as he learns in Becoming Real: Book One and Becoming Just: Book Two about the role of his grandfather Sunil during the Shah’s regime, and the murky roles in the intelligence world of his father Bekym and friend Arash Esfandiari. Visit Amazon.com.