Iran’s Twitter Politics

On February 5th, a live interview with President Hassan Rouhani was delayed for over an hour on Iranian state TV after an apparent dispute between the official state broadcaster and the president’s office over who would interview him. As Iran’s Channel One filled airtime with songs from the 1979 revolution, a news ticker announced technical difficulties. The broadcast then shifted to an Iranian TV series, leaving audiences to speculate about what had become of the president. The information void was broken when President Rouhani’s Twitter account blasted its 181,000 followers, calling out state TV head and hardliner, Ezatollah...

The Ideas War between the US and Iran

When the U.S. Treasury Department announced in February that economic sanctions would be imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Iran’s state-owned broadcaster, it cited human rights violations as justification for the unusual move. “We will also target those in Iran who are responsible for human right abuses, especially those who deny the Iranian people their basic freedoms of expression, assembly and speech,” Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said in unveiling the restrictions, which also applied to Iranian Cyber Police and other institutions involved in monitoring the...