Iranian Coal Miners

In the coal mines of northern Iran men with their faces smeared black push rusty metal carts down into the earth in grim scenes that seem to belong to another century.

International sanctions linked to the decade-long dispute over Iran's nuclear program have hindered the import of heavy machinery and modern technology in all sectors, and coal mining is no exception. The decision to privatize the industry 10 years ago has further squeezed workers, who put in long hours in often dangerous conditions and make just $300 a month, little more than minimum wage.



Opening text from Scenes of toil from Iran's coal mines from The Associated Press. 

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Lead Image Caption: In this Wednesday, May 7, 2014 photo, an Iranian coal miner with his face smeared black from coal poses for a photograph at a mine near the city of Zirab 212 kilometers (132 miles) northeast of the capital Tehran, on a mountain in Mazandaran province, Iran. The workers who put in long hours in often dangerous conditions and make just $300 a month, little more than minimum wage. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

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