Monday, December 10, 2007

Is reform in Iran inevitable?

Good news. Young Iranians seem to be getting tired of not being able to freely criticize their government and not being able to do simple things like holding hands in public without being flogged or imprisoned. Given that half of Iranians are under the age of 25 and a large percentage of those young Iranians consider themselves to be agnostic, I think that reform in Iran is inevitable, and given that so many of Iraq's politicians spent many years in Iran and are still influenced by Iran, reform in Iran will certainly result in reform in Iraq.

Who knows? Maybe even Mahmoud Ahmedinejad can change. It turns out that he's a blogger who allows comments on his blog, although comments are screened.

Students stone police in Iran riot
Last updated at 20:33pm on 9th December 2007

Students defied a clampdown on protests in Iran yesterday by tearing down the gates of Tehran university.

They chanted slogans against President Ahmadinejad and carried placards saying "Live free or die", "No war, no fascism" and "Women must decide their fate, not the state."

They wrecked the iron-barred gates and threw stones at police, according to Iranian state radio, which said the protest ended peacefully.

Tehran University is the largest and one of the oldest universities in Iran.

Student protests have been rare in recent years. Western rights groups have accused Iran of banning dissent.

But there was a demonstration in Tehran last month against the detention of three students who were picked up during a protest at another Iranian university a week earlier.

Some of the placards yesterday named the arrested students.

Professors have joined them in criticising Ahmadinejad for clamping down on dissent on campuses.

The president and his government say they "support free speech and welcome constructive opposition".

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