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Entries in Voice of America (7)


Iran Video Interview: Hillary Clinton with BBC Persian "The Unfortunate Decision of the Green Movement"

See also Iran Video: Hillary Clinton with Voice of America's Parazit

Earlier this week we noted US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's PR offensive and posted the video of her interview with the Voice of America. Now we put up the footage of her discussion with BBC Persian, broadcast on the same day.

Personally, I found this interview far more provocative --- and thus interesting --- than the Voice of America chat. Clinton's description of the US position on the Iranian opposition is far from diplomatic, chiding both the Green Movement and Iranians in general for not doing enough to seek US help in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 Presidential election.

I am not sure Clinton's account is entirely accurate: I recall footage from autumn 2009 in which protesters called on the Obama Administration, then preoccupied with possible nuclear discussions with Tehran, to note their challenge to the regime. At the same time --- and noting that a discussion about the tactics of the Green Movement is far from a footnote --- the Secretary appears to be exposing Washington's dilemmas amidst the mass protests of June 2009: her people wanted to do something beyond telling Twitter to delay maintenance but were uncertain if their actions would be counter-productive as they raised the image of US intervention in Iran's affairs and the "Velvet Revolution" of regime change.


Iran Video: Hillary Clinton with Voice of America's Parazit

As part of a major public-relations push which also included an interview with BBC Persian, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was interviewed by the Voice of America's Parazit programme, taking questions submitted via the Internet.

Opening with remarks about Iran's "military dictatorship" and her sadness that the greatness of the Iranian people was held back by the "narrow-mindedness" of the regime, Clinton discussed US policy towards Syria and then gave this take-away statement on Washington's position on Iran's internal affairs:

We're not seeking a conflict with the regime in Iran. We're seeking to support the people of Iran, by doing so on the outside through our assertions that their aspirations for freedom are legitimate, by providing tool to circumvent the electronic curtain that the regime has tried to impose on Iran.


Iran Interview: The Green Movement and the Battle in the Media (Jami)

I think in terms of media, as far as it concerns individual behaviour and even network behaviour, the Green Movement have really excelled themselves and they have truly proved that if there is a people in the Middle East who is prepared for citizen journalism, it is for sure Iranians. The Greens pushed the Persian media to a new age in which media shifts from informing to networking, deliberation and dialogue.

However, as far as it concerns big media, except at times when they conquered the BBC, they almost had no success at all! This is an important point to ponder. Structurally, the Greens claimed a space that other rivals neither paid attention to nor were interested in. Or they were missing the expertise or media resilience for it. However, with mainstream media, the predominant structures did not allow the birth of an independent Green media. This remains to be a huge obstacle.

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Iran Feature: Assessing the Threat To Arrest Mousavi and Karroubi (Yeranian)

"On the one hand the regime has consistently said since the last presidential election that the protesters, that the Green movement, are a bunch of street hooligans, they're small in number, they're insignificant, we've crushed them, it's over," said Hashemi. "But, on the other hand, seemingly, every single week, a high member of the Iranian regime is speaking out and condemning and raising new charges against the Green Movement. So, if the Green movement is insignificant, is dead, is crushed, why do you constantly speak about them?"

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Iran Feature: If a Protest Occurs and No One Notices, Does It Make a Sound?

For some, it is as if the demonstrations on National Student Day --- 16 Azar --- never happened.

You will not, for example, find any reference in Iranian state media to the protests on campuses across the nation. Press TV's top story prefers the relative security of the nuclear discussions, with Iran's National Security Council "call[ing] on Western powers to exercise commitment to agreements they make with the Islamic Republic".

I guess that's understandable --- no one really likes to mention domestic arguments. A bit more surprising that CNN's website forgot to mention 16 Azar.

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Iran Conunudrum: Philosophy, No Philosophy in Tehran (Yeranian)

The Iranian government says it will curtail the study of western traditions, including philosophy, being taught in Iran.  The statement is likely to increase the controversy over UNESCO's decision to hold this year's World Philosophy day in Tehran.

Many Western philosophers are blasting the decision by UNESCO to hold World Philosophy Day in Iran, next month, because of Tehran's dismal record of academic and press freedom.

The growing chorus of complaints over the UNESCO conference coincides with the Iranian government decision over the weekend to restrict the teaching of various academic subjects, including philosophy, at Iranian universities.

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Iran Video: Ahmadinejad's Right-Hand Man Rahim-Mashai v. the Protestors

In the midst of its report on the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad road show in New York, Voice of America Persian captured an extraordinary moment.

At the 2:41 mark in the video, Iranian activists catch up with the President's Chief of Staff and close ally, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai near the United Nations and challenge him over human rights in Iran. Planet Iran summarises the conversation:

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