Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2017, 17:20 GMT

KEY moments coming up in Iran

Publisher Article 19
Publication Date 11 July 2013
Cite as Article 19, KEY moments coming up in Iran, 11 July 2013, available at: [accessed 23 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

After an exciting few weeks for Iranians, it's now time to come back to reality, which happens to be quite grim. Here's what's up with emails, internet surveillance, Asghar Farhadi's reception back home, and some interesting peeks into the election in retrospect.

The Iranian Cyberspace

Double standard

Sanctions are hitting Iran very hard. But selling surveillance technology to Iran is hitting even harder considering doing business with Iran is a no-no. According to the Washington Post, "American-made devices used for Internet monitoring have been detected on government and commercial computer networks in Iran". Thanks to Blue Coat Systems, it is now easier for the Iranian dictatorship to identify, arrest and get rid of online activists, because "experts say the tools could empower repressive governments to spy on opponents". Morgan Marquis-Boire, a project leader at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab believes "The human rights implications of finding these surveillance technologies in these countries are extremely worrying. It's a systemic problem."

National Email Service

As is with most statements made by officials in Iran, the minister for information and communication technology's announcement of the introduction of national email services begs more questions than answers. Mohammad Hasan Nami assures us that this service is established for our own safety. What's really re-assuring is that to sign up, you need to provide your full name and address as well as your unique national identification number. Whereas this service is intended to establish communication between the public and the government, Nami was not clear if this will in any way affect your access to your regular email services. Read the Guardian's full article and analysis here. I am very much interested to see how Rohani's government will react to this and the rekindled talks of the halal internet.

Beyond Bytes

If you want to have a visual picture of how the internet in Iran looks like, watch this fabulous video.

Asghar Farhadi

Trend reports that upon his return to Iran, film director Asghar Farhadi was welcomed warmly at the airport by a long wait and having his passport taken away from him. Although his passport was given back to him, he has been asked to appear before Iranian authorities as he has some explaining to do. It may be because of this interview he did on 26 May 2013 at the Cannes Film Festival around censorship in Iran.

The Election

Rohani does have his legion of supporters as well as critics among dissidents themselves. He will hold office some time in August and only time will tell who's right. However, it is also interesting to find out what the conservative online users think about Rohani. Thanks to Small Media's creative efforts, you can now see what conservative social media responses were after the announcement of Rohani as the winner.

Small Media also closely observed the information flow in the lead-up to the presidential elections, the report of which is available for download. They will be hosting a Google Hangout on Monday July 15 at 1500 London local time. You can click here to register your interest in joining the discussion.

In this report, BBC Persian compares province-based statistics of the past three presidential elections in 2005, 2009 and 2013.

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