United for Iran was born from a global grassroots movement to end human rights violations and support democracy in Iran . Our campaigns give people who support a free and open Iran ways to support political prisoners and civic activists in Iran who are advocating for systemic change. We aim to be creative and measured to build momentum and keep critical issues in the public eye.
Collaborations with Artists
We believe the soul of activism is found in art. Since our founding, U4I has collaborated with musicians, artists, performers, and other groups to raise awareness and generate support for the people of Iran.
International Women’s Day Music Video, 2023
As the “Women, Life, Freedom” protests unfolded, United for Iran partnered with Iranian and international women rap artists and musicians on International Women’s Day to create the “Shout of Freedom” music video. The artists involved were Justina, Hero and Frya, MCM, Malake, Bahar Dekhordi, sookee, and Hanie, with music produced by Jamin.
Clarion Alley Art Project, 2019
In the fall of 2019, United for Iran co-organized an event with the Clarion Mural Art Project titled: In Honor of Iran’s Political Prisoners. The event was a month-long, multi-faceted project of art, literature, and performances in remembrance of the hundreds of men and women who have been taken as political prisoners in Iran. The mural featured 7 Iranian women who have been imprisoned for their activism, including lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, environmental activist Niloufar Bayani, social and civil activist Sepideh Gholian, and others.
Borders and Boundaries: Expanding the Boundaries of Freedom of Speech, 2019
Many gifted Iranian artists choose to express themselves and what they stand for at the risk of jeopardizing their freedom. They are constrained by official and unofficial “red tape” that determine what is permissible expression in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
United for Iran’s Borders and Boundaries project invited artists to push the boundaries of free speech. A collection of visual art pieces were reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges: Parastou Forouhar, Ethan Russell, and Hassan Sarbakhshian, and the top selections were displayed at the 2019 Oslo Freedom Forum.
Freedom Songs Mixtape, 2011
Azadi: Songs of Freedom for Iran was released featuring musical tributes to Iranian citizens from artists all over the world. Artists from Iran, Libya, Iraq, Syria, South Africa and the US spoke from direct experience with oppression and resistance, addressing Iran’s current conditions, imprisonment, and the Arab Spring.
Global Solidarity Art Day, 2009
On the first International Human Rights day following Iran’s 2009 presidential elections, United for Iran collaborated with diaspora artists and allies in 33 cities around the world to support Iranian protesters. Events included galleries, concerts, theater, online art exhibitions, and other forms of solidarity artwork.
Activists in Iran should know the world stands with them. Our global solidarity collaborations aim to both educate the global public about the situation in Iran, and to show Iranians they are not alone. Collaborations have included World Cup demonstrations, public flash mobs, and statements of support from global figures like Nobel Prize laureate Desmond Tutu, who shared his support for our global day of action.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu Collaboration, 2012
In 2012, we collaborated with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate, who shared a powerful message in support of our Global Day of Action. This day included 110 rallies around the world in solidarity with the Iranian uprising.
Paris Solidarity Flashmob Campaign, 2011
On June 12, 2011, United for Iran allies Arache and Behi organized a ﬂashmob in a Paris metro station to mark the two year anniversary of Iran’s disputed election and demonstrate sustained international support for the Iranian people. United for Iran supported the event, including hiring a videographer. Video of the Paris ﬂashmob has since been viewed nearly 90,000 times.
Solidarity at the South Africa World Cup, 2010
On the opening day of the 2010 World Cup, a group of supporters in Johannesburg wanted to highlight the one-year anniversary of the 2009 uprising. They worked out all the logistics on the ground and United for Iran helped pay for the ads in the local paper and on buses. Their campaign continued a tradition of solidarity protest at sporting events. Check out this video from the day.
United for Iran began in 2009 as a demonstration of global protest against the IRI’s human rights abuses, which generated support from over 100,000 people in 110 cities around the world. Today, we continue to organize and support demonstrations and advocacy campaigns to support the people of Iran.
Political Prisoner Awareness Day, 2010
United for Iran launched a campaign to highlight cases of 50 political prisoners. People in 90 cities around the world “adopted” political prisoners, organized rallies, spoke to the media and led their own petition and postcard campaigns. Support ranged from the creation of mobile billboards, newspaper ads, postcard campaigns, and shows of support at the World Cup.
Global Day of Action, 2009
United for Iran was born out of global protest and solidarity for the people of Iran. Heavy-hearted by violence in the aftermath of the 2009 Iranian presidential elections, United for Iran founder Firuzeh Mahmoudi organized a global rally to draw attention to the tragedy unfolding in Iran. On July 25, 2009, over 100,000 people in 110 cities around the world took to the streets in support of Iranian citizens and their quest for rights.
Political Prisoners Support
In all our work, our first aim is to support and protect those on the front lines of activism, and advocate for change for the most persecuted. Many of our collaborations include specific calls for advocacy on behalf of Iran’s political prisoners, including those who are in imminent danger of execution.
Prisoner Health Campaign, 2017
Political prisoners in Iran, in addition to being held for unjust reasons, are routinely held in deplorable conditions and are denied adequate nutrition or medical care. In 2017, we joined Atena Daemi and asked Asqar Jahangir, the head of Iran’s State Prison Organization, to fulfill his legal and moral obligation and provide prisoners with proper medical care. Over 70,000 people supported Atena’s call.
Advocating for Bahareh Hedayat, 2015
In 2015, United for Iran organized a campaign to free imprisoned student and women’s rights activist Bahareh Hedayat. The petition has received over 130,000 signatures on change.org.
Advocating for Kurds on Death Row, 2014
Our campaigns aim to support some of the most marginalized individuals and groups in Iranian society. In 2014, we helped organize a global campaign in support of 33 Iranian Kurds who were ultimately executed by the Iranian government – based on incriminating statements they were forced to sign under torture. Over 22,500 people from 98 countries signed our petition calling for their retrial and release.