Iranian activist Masih Alinejad: ‘It’s the start of the end for the Islamic Republic’

The first thing to notice about Masih Alinejad is her hair: a mass of corkscrew curls sometimes worn loose like a radiant halo, occasionally pinned up, almost always with a flower pinned above her left ear. This is not a gratuitous comment on her appearance, but at the heart of a battle that brought her to Paris this week to speak to President Emmanuel Macron.

Alinejad is the international face and voice of angry women in Iran who are being beaten, jailed and even killed for throwing off their compulsory headscarves and showing their hair. Today in Paris, she has a very clear message for the French president and other western leaders: stop shaking hands with Iranian clerics, stop dealing with Iran.

“I want to ask President Macron if he wants to stand with those who are actually killing people, taking hostages, oppressing people and trying to suppress a peaceful revolution, or does he want to stand on the right side of history?” she says.

“I want him to stop negotiating with the…

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This article was written by Kim Willsher and originally published on