Photos From Iran

Between Iran’s internal crackdown on journalists and communications, and CNN’s insistence on devoting every hour of the day to Michael Jackson coverage, I’ve been having quite a bit of trouble getting any “real” reports of what’s going on over there. Luckily, I was able to sit down with a coworker who emigrated from Iran at the age of 14 and still has some family and regular contacts back there. The report? Not good…

Like everyone else, his reports are somewhat spotty, as even when he calls family they’re reluctant to talk about things frankly. The concerns we have in the US about the domestic wiretapping program are small potatoes to what the Iranians live under, with a state surveillance service that listens to phone calls, intercepts/modifies emails and text messages, etc. There are quite a few reports of protesters simply “disappearing”. Many of us would think that the Iranian army would be reluctant to commit some of these atrocities against their countrymen — so Iran has recruited from Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq to get forces that don’t have such compunctions. He provided me this excellent link to a gallery of protest photos, and I highly recommend checking it out. As the pictures show, it’s a mess.

News is trickling out, but it’s coming slow and is often very untrustworthy. Right now it appears the protesters are losing steam, but as we’ve seen in some similar events internationally, the support for a regime such as this may appear strong but can evaporate in an instant. I’m just not sure if the regime’s reign will be measured in days or years.