Sex scandal in Tehran

Sex One of Iran's most popular television personalities is caught up in a steamy sex scandal. Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, whose popular TV dramas are often watched by two thirds of the Islamic Republic, has found herself the unwitting star of a different kind of show: a porn video. The DVD of the film, in which 25-year-old Ebrahim is apparently shown having sex at home with her then-fiancee, has sold an incredible 100,000 copies on Iran's black market in the past few months, even at the fairly expensive price of $13. 

Obviously, Iran's leaders aren't letting such flagrant flouting of the country's strict morality laws go unpunished. Ebrahimi faces potential lashing for having sex outside of marriage, and her partner, who has been extradicted from Armenia to face charges, could be thrown in jail for three years. Ebrahimi is fighting back by denying that she's even the woman in the video

I watched the film after I heard about the fuss from colleagues and the girl in it is not me," Ebrahimi said...."It is possible to use studio make-up to have a person look like me. I have some knowledge of montage techniques and I know you can create a new face by distorting the features of another person."

Still, Ehrahimi is under self-imposed house arrest for now. 


Russia's cloaks and daggers

PutinpocketAs British investigators try to unravel the mystery of Alexander Litvinenko's radioactive death in London, some fingers are pointing at the Russian intelligence services. To shed some light on that murky world, FP spoke with Russian journalist and scholar Yevgenia Albats, who had some chilling thoughts on a secret service that may be off the rails: 

At least in Soviet times it was Stalin or [Minister of Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav] Molotov who gave the order for assassinations abroad. In [Premier Leonid] Brezhnev's time, there was a politburo meeting and the head of intelligence gave the order to kill Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov in London back in 1978. At least there was a clear line of authority. Now, I believe we can safely say that there is no clear line of authority in the current secret services. They are out of hand, which is very dangerous.

Check out the whole interview.