Facebook and Twitter became powerful tools for information and communication during 2009 post-election unrest. Iranians used social media both for information and communication, to organize and share the location of rallies, and for strategic planning during unrest. The fast transmission and circulation of tweets, along with the inability to control their content, remain Iranian officials’ chief concerns approaching the upcoming elections.
ASL 19 analyzes the current state of Internet access in Iran as anti-filtering programs are disabled and Internet speeds continue to decrease.
This week's cartoon roundup focuses on critiquing the Central Bank of Iran, President Ahmadinejad, and the current economic climate.
Iranians increasingly rely on the Internet for information and as a forum for dialogue within a political structure where free and open debate is often stifled. IMP and ASL 19 analyze the history of the Internet in Iran and the emerging politics of its use as a surrogate public sphere.
ASL 19 and IMP continue to follow news of the upcoming 11th Presidential Election. With two months left until Election Day, few influential clerics and religious figures are directly endorsing or speaking out against potential candidates. Instead, clerics are giving statements of advice regarding candidates’ behavior and how they approach the election and voters.
As text messages have become an increasingly important source of communication, rumors about government monitoring and censoring of text messages have been worrying many Iranians.The government aims to develop a “control before delivering” system which will filter messages that aren’t in line with the interests of the regime before they are delivered. This new technology will allow the government to avoid shutting down the entire text messaging system during the next presidential election, as they did in 2009. IMP and ASL 19 examine these developments.
The death of Margaret Thatcher, the situation in Syria, and the economy are the focus of this week's cartoon roundup.
While the nuclear issue dominates international headlines, ASL19 and IMP examine the headlines in Iranian media. The second round of nuclear negotiations of the P5+1 group (Germany, Russia, China, the UK, France, and the US) resulted in an impasse in Almaty, Kazakhstan. While dialogue remains stifled between Iran and Western nations, there exists another divide within the Iranian political scene: an unofficial but largely recognized rivalry between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. This rivalry proves problematic in the case of foreign policy, a domain typically controlled by the Supreme Leader.