Iran: Will State Department exploit protesters?

Tens of thousands of protesters battled security forces in Tehran Feb. 14, leaving at least one dead. Amid clouds of tear gas fired by police and pro-government militiamen, the protesters marched down a central boulevard shouting “Death to the dictator,” “We are all together,” and “Down with Taliban, in Cairo and Tehran!” Dozens were arrested for participating in the banned rally. Similar protests and clashes are reported from Isfahan and Shiraz. (WP, Feb. 15)

The US State Department has begun sending Twitter messages to Iranians in Parsi, alluding to the “historic role” social media played in the 2009 post-election protests. On the Twitter account USAdarFarsi, the State Department said it “recognizes historic role of social media among Iranians We want to join in your conversations.” Another tweet read: “#Iran has shown that the activities it praised Egyptians for it sees as illegal, illegitimate for its own people.” And a third: “US calls on #Iran to allow people to enjoy same universal rights to peacefully assemble, demonstrate as in Cairo.” (AFP, Feb. 14)

See our last posts on Iran, the new Middle East revolutions and the politics of cyberspace.

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  1. what the hell would tweets from the U.S. government look like?
    what the hell would tweets from the U.S. government look like and just who the hell sends em? I just picture them looking like Spam e-mail.