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Iran Update June 21, 2009

Posted by Afflatus in Politics, World Affairs.
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“The 1979 Islamic Revolution modified Iran’s green, white, and red flag, adding a new central emblem featuring Muslim symbols. “God Is Almighty” appears on the stripes 22 times, honoring the 22nd of the month of Bahman when the Islamic Revolution was victorious.”

– Atlas of the Middle East by National Geographic

Another post on Iran is long overdue. Since our last discussion on the eve of the election on June 12, now nine days ago, an update is necessary and inevitable. I’ve found my favorite place to get news is the huffingtonpost’s live blogging.

Ill be brief for now, because there is too much to say.

Fareed Zakaria’s GPS show today had a great panel discussion and up-to-date analysis of the situation. Zakaria interviewed a technology expert that provided me with some interesting new insight. The state authorities have attempted to shut down virtually all communications infrastructure. The government has tried to shut down SMS, twitter, facebook, and more. People with cameras, and video cameras are being singled out during the daily demonstrations. All foreign journalists have either been ordered to leave in 24 hours or arrested.

The people of Iran desperately want their metaphorical voice heard, and recording their surroundings through technology is the best ways to disseminate that message, especially if were talking photos and videos.

The religious clerics are speaking out, and positioning themselves for the rapidly changing political situation.

Strikes are on the way.

**Disclaimer: almost all assertions in relation to Iran could be better described as “suspicions.” — facts are tantalizingly difficult to verify. This sad reality was and is the clear intention of the government’s actions and policies.

The states actions are interesting to me, one thing I’ve noticed is they seem highly rational so far. Though I disagree wholeheartedly with their unconstitutional actions, they do appear rational for an entity that wishes to remain in power and in control over its populace. The rationality, or irrationality for that matter, has played a large role in the discussion of Iran over the past few years. I’m hesitant to say this, but my initial reaction is that the state’s actions seem relatively rational so far. Correct me if anyone believes otherwise.

Comments»

1. Afflatus - June 22, 2009

What about the flag? Pretty interesting that the flag has been changed so recently. I guess… that is indeed common in countries which are less politically stable that the United States. Since, what 1812? our flag has been unchanged, an unlikely but reasonable indicator of political stability in a given country.

Probably more interesting and more telling is the content and context of those changes to the flag.

2. Afflatus - June 22, 2009

Decided to take a look at my room mate’s fantastic book, The National Geographic Atlas of the Middle East 2nd edition.

I then quickly also decided to share some interesting statistics found within, because that’s what I do: Share.

Population: 71,208,000

Population of Tehran: 7,314,000

Religion: 98% of the country is Muslim (89% of those are Shiite Muslim)

Ethnicity: 51% Persian, 24% Azeri, only 3% Arab (a common misconception)

Literacy: 77%, impressive considering its large population

Life expectancy: 70 years

GDP per capita: $8,700

Size: Iran is the 18th largest country by geographic area, a land mass that is 21% of the contiguous United States

Sadly Relevant: 545,000 troops are active, with 350,000 reserves.

All this reminds me that the required decennial census is approaching in the United States. Censuses are highly important, and have widespread implications. More on the US census later…

Afflatus - June 22, 2009

same on both those stats for me…


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