Friday, July 31, 2009

Roger Cohen in Tehran - NYRB

New York Times correspondent and columnist Roger Cohen spoke on The New York Review of Books podcast about his experiences in Teheran around the presidential elections on June 12th recently. His is a ery interesting and revealing close up view of what had been going on.

Cohen describes the experience on the streets in Teheran as they erupted in spontaneous demonstrations and the consecutive violence. He brings the sentiments and atmosphere alive. How it was before the elections, how people expected it was going to be a close race between Moussavi and Ahmedinejad. Especially as June 12 got closer, there was a sense that Moussavi could actually stand a chance. And then so shortly after the ballot boxes closed a result was announced that was not just unlikely on the basis of reasonable expectation, but also based upon what logistically could be pulled off in terms of vote counting.

And so, the public, a much wider public than the Moussavi voters felt they were being lied to and were disillusioned by the declared result. This triggered the demonstrations and the authorities showed their weakness by the violence of their reaction and the silencing of media. However, Cohen relates how this worked in practice and an image arises of a community solidarity independent of the official power. Iranian leadership may have averted an elective loss, but it has squandered its legitimacy and that is where things are at.

This podcast comes in a flow of many others that have given good insight in the current and historic situation of Iran today. For the convenience of my readers I have selected six of those from different sources and brought them together in a composite podcast feed, to which you can subscribe: Anne is a Man - Iran. As long as these podcast episodes remain available on the servers of their respective sources, they are polled in this feed that works with any podcatcher you may be using.

More NYRB podcast:
Ronald Dworkin.
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