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1843 magazine reveals the story of an Economist journalist held in Iran for seven weeks

January 28, 2020 GMT
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LONDON, Jan. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The February/March 2020 issue of 1843 magazine tells Nicolas Pelham’s extraordinary story of being trapped in Iran. The Economist’s Middle East correspondent had received a rare journalist’s visa to Iran to report for one week in July 2019. On the day he was due to fly back to London he was detained by intelligence officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, one of the country’s most powerful institutions. He was held for three days by members of the Guards. He was then allowed to stay in a hotel in Tehran but questioned repeatedly by his captors and prevented from leaving the country for seven weeks.

As Pelham recounts in 1843 magazine’s cover story, he was never charged or put in prison. In fact he was free to explore the city without a minder. As he spent his days and evenings travelling around Tehran, he gained a rare insight into life in the city. He attended subversive plays, concerts, parties and ecstatic religious ceremonies, and found a home away from home, of sorts, in Tehran’s surprisingly upbeat Jewish community. “The more I delved into Tehran life the more colourful I found it. I felt I was looking through a keyhole and seeing a world beyond. I also knew my situation could change at any time. On a whim I could have been locked up,” said Pelham.

Nicolas Pelham is The Economist’s Middle East correspondent. He started work in Cairo as editor of the Middle East Times and has spent 30 years studying, travelling and writing in the region. He is the author of ” A New Muslim Order ” (2008), ” A History of the Middle East ” with Peter Mansfield (2019) and ” Holy Lands ” (2016) which explores the region’s pluralist past. Taking occasional breaks from journalism, he has worked as a Middle East analyst for the International Crisis Group, the United Nations and the Royal Institute of International Affairs. In 2017 he won the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Journalism. He has written for The Economist since 1998. He is British, and speaks Arabic and Hebrew – and during his time in Tehran improved his rudimentary Farsi.

“Trapped in Iran: my summer as a guest of the Revolutionary Guards” is the cover story in the February/March 2020 issue of 1843 magazine, sister publication to The Economist, out now. To read the full story, please visit: https://www.1843magazine.com/features/trapped-in-iran

About 1843
1843 is a bi-monthly magazine published by The Economist and named for the year The Economist was https://www.1843magazine.com/features/trapped-in-iran founded. Published in print six times a year, 1843 is The Economist’s award-winning magazine of long-form narrative journalism. It covers style and design, travel and food, as well as the enduring stories of our age. 1843 was launched in April 2016 and has a circulation of 360,000 worldwide. For more information go to 1843magazine.com

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