For years now, self-censorship has been rampant among Tehran-based correspondents and commentators including those filing with prestigious outlets like PBS News Hour and the and other outlets generally assumed to be professional and fair-minded.
Even when interviewing regime officials in the safety and freedom of the West, journalists will pander with soft questions and even by donning the hijab, the regime’s most coveted symbol of its power: A lot of questions for Iran’s fm @JZarif – what he told me on US/Iran relations, future of JCPOA – it’s “destabilizing activities – and the latest accusations by @netanyahu – plus China’s role and Iran’s domestic challenges. pic.twitter.com/EVJGa53M0b — Asieh Namdar (@asiehnamdar) October 1, 2018 And if the attention of a progressive journalist does occasionally linger on Iran’s parlous economic state, it is safe to assume they will find a way to blame the West rather than hold Iran’s own regime accountable for decades of theocratic misrule: Iranians are as normal as any other people.
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On the occasions when outlets like the , for example, deign to cover the country’s disastrous economic mismanagement, they seem reluctant to acknowledge the widespread dissent and labor organizing that it has produced.
Nor do they bring much attention to bear on the robust social media scrutiny Iranians exert on the ruling mafia that robs an educated but hungry people to fund its own hedonistic lifestyle and to finance terror abroad, all in the name of God.
#Iran Protestspic.twitter.com/G6o KHIPA68 — Armin Navabi (@Armin Navabi) January 18, 2018 These, and other personalized acts of resistance toward corrupt clerical rule, have emerged alongside sustained protests against the regime’s totalitarianism by farmers, factory workers, pensioners, truckers, teachers, students, rights advocates, and more.
Every day, Iranians’ social media feeds are filled with videos of fresh protests, as the constituency for Iran’s democratic breakthrough expands across the whole of the country, to encompass a full spectrum of employment sectors, lifestyles, and worldviews.
Even prominent regime insiders are now openly proclaiming the emptiness of the regime’s authority, with critiques resembling late analysis from the Soviet as it was confronted by cascading legitimacy crises manifested by the primordial contradictions of an ideological state.
When the Iranian people rose up against an authoritarian dictator four decades ago, they were rewarded with one of the most politically ruthless and socially backward totalitarian regimes the world has known.