It is hard to do justice to Iran. So much is left unsaid amid arcane disputes about the number of centrifuges spinning in a fortified bunker, or an assumed threat that may or may not one day endanger others. It is a country too often misunderstood and taken out of context.
Yet, digging deeper into its intriguing realities never disappoints. This week, Tehran was the scene of a familiar funeral procession held for the victims of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Whenever newly unearthed bodies are returned it brings back excruciating memories from some three decades ago.
Such events are always close to the heart of those families who have lost their loved ones in that futile, eight-year war. It is not so much for the general public, or the younger generation at least, who are wary of the state’s usual hijacking of these funerals for its own propagandistic purposes.
But something about this occasion was different: among the bodies paraded were those belonging to 175 Iranian divers who were captured by Saddam Hussein’s forces nearly 30 years ago and buried alive while handcuffed, according to Iranian officials.
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