Amid recent signs of a hard-line offensive against President Rouhani’s promise to open up political and cultural space — from Parliament’s warning to the Culture Minister to the harassment and arrest of cultural activists to the closure of exhibitions — we ask if the Government has already lost the cultural war:

“This is not just a story about culture. It is a story about politics. There are dozens, scores of political prisoners held since 2009. In the last month, clerics, MPs, the Supreme Leader himself have indicated those prisoners should not go free.”