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revolt like an egyptian

Iran Tries Internet Censorship, Execution As Protesters Demand Democracy

After yesterday's pro-democracy protests in Tehran, Iranian authorities have started blocking pro-opposition websites and electronic media and greatly slowed broadband speed in major cities. Text-message and mobile-phone traffic has been disrupted, and the word bahman, the current month in the Persian calendar, has been blocked. Authorities have tried to censor both the actual protests and reporting of the events, blocking the top two news sites and jamming satellite TV broadcasts and prohibiting photography. Conservative lawmakers have also called for the execution of two opposition leaders who asked for permission to demonstrate but were denied and did it anyway. In a departure from the U.S.'s tentative, wait-and-see position on its military allies in Egypt, Hillary Clinton today hailed the "courage of the Iranian people" and urged Iran to open its political system. According to Xinhua, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast responded by saying that "regional developments have made the U.S. officials confused these days." One aspect that might befuddle the White House: How did a fruit seller in Tunisia get further than every military strategy they've ever implemented?

Regime steps up censorship and online disruption to block protests [Reporters Without Borders]
Iran criticizes Hillary Clinton's remarks on protests [Xinhua]
Iran Cracks Down on Spiraling Protests [Voice of America]

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Photo: AFP/Getty Images