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Exiled Iranian journalist recalls lost freedoms

In a new book, former New York Times correspondent Nazila Fathi intertwines her personal and professional experiences after the Iranian revolution, including the challenges of covering the Islamic Republic for two decades.

Journalism in Iran has never been for the fainthearted. But the challenges of covering the country as a local hire for the foreign press are especially complex, as former New York Times correspondent Nazila Fathi recounts in a moving new memoir, “The Lonely War.”

In April 2009, before the disputed presidential elections that consumed the country and sent Fathi and many other Iranians into exile, she asked the director of the office for foreign press to send local and special security police to her home in Tehran to protect her against a third force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who were monitoring her movements. Fathi had just fired a long-time maid who had been coerced by the IRGC to spy on her; the Guards evidently did not trust the other security services to keep Fathi in line.

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