Civil Liberties

Prostitution on the Rise in Iran, Sanctions Blamed

Illegal there like in most of the U.S.


Intelligent and confident, Parisa, 23, is from what could be loosely termed a middle-class family and has a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Islamic Azad University.

On weekends, she sells her body for profit on the streets of North Tehran.

"I'm a lot of fun. My time is very valuable," says Parisa, a diminutive computer technician using a pseudonym to shield her identity.

She is part of a new phenomenon here — young, educated and independent women becoming occasional, part-time prostitutes — driven by the Islamic republic's weakened economy.