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Iran After the Crackdown
In this photo released by the semi-official Iranian Fars News Agency, an unidentified defendant speaks at the court room, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009. Iran put on trial Sunday 25 more activists and opposition supporters, including a Jewish teenager, for their alleged involvement in the post-election turmoil. (AP Photo/Fars News Agency,Hasan Ghaedi) EDITORS NOTE AS A RESULT OF AN OFFICIAL IRANIAN GOVERNMENT BAN ON FOREIGN MEDIA COVERING SOME EVENTS IN IRAN, THE AP WAS PREVENTED FROM INDEPENDENT ACCESS TO THIS EVENT

In a photo released by the semi-official Iranian Fars News Agency, an unidentified defendant speaks in a court room in Tehran, Iran, on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009. On Sunday, Iran put 25 more activists and opposition supporters on trial for their alleged involvement in the post-election turmoil. (AP/Fars News Agency)

The whole world was watching in June as giant crowds poured into the streets of Iran to protest what they cried was a blatantly stolen presidential election.

Then came crackdown in the streets — and worse for those swept up and imprisoned.

Tehran has been rocked by allegations of rape and torture — “Worse than Abu Ghraib,” has been the critique from within. By mass trials, with threats of more to come. And a boiling standoff among elites now about the way ahead for the Islamic Republic.

This hour, On Point: Looking through the crackdown in Iran.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Joining us from Beirut, Lebanon, is Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent and Beirut bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times.

From New York, we’re joined by Hooman Majd, author of “The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran” (2008). Born in Iran and educated in England and the U.S., his father was a diplomat under the shah and his grandfather was a prominent ayatollah. He reported from Iran in April for Newsweek and remains in contact with people in Iran. He has also written for GQ, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New York Observer, Salon, and the Huffington Post.

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  • carla gen

    Is that true that the neo-cons (Wolfowitz, Perle, William Kristol) was saying “The Road to Tehran goes through Baghdat”?

    They also hyped up Saddam to the extend that even though Iraq didn’t do anything to USA, we declared that country as “enemy”.

    Now they are doing the same thing against Iran. When was the last time, one Iranian has ever harmed a single American. But yet we are obsessed with another “regime change”, in Iran this time. If we don’t stop these neo weirdo’s, their desire and wish will get louder and louder along with desire to topple Obama, so that their secret agenda against Iran comes on to the table.

    Enough blood is American shed (+ $$$ wasted) while these anti-patriotic op-ed gang is getting richer and richer through book dealings and shady payments. Let’s NOT care about Iran and just leave them alone.

  • Mike

    I hope in the next 4 to 8 years AEI and Jon B., Cheney war mongering views get less play and become on the back burner of society views and we learn that war should be a last option not first, even know NPR gives them a platform to push their agenda.

    While the protest in iran were going on Jon B. was on the talk of the nation and may others news outlets talking about how we should attack iran than. These people are dangerous and will give up everything and anything to obtain there goals.

    While obama speech about changing tone and finding common ground in the middle east people from AEI were on NPR saying there could be none.

    If we get involved with a uprising in iran it will only make the leadership stronger, let the protesters take back there country if they wish.

    btw the U.S. still backs a terrorist group that is in iraq against iran and is on the terrorist list of the U.S. UK and so on i doubt this is a good thing to do for the U.S. interest.

  • Putney Swope

    carla gen your overly simplified rhetoric sounds familiar and might I add confusing. Are you endorsing the current regime in Iran? The question is what do the Iranians want?

    There is clearly an internal struggle at play in the country that has been violently suppressed by the currant regime.

    One thing is for sure, the US should stay out of it.
    You want to unit the Iranians invade them and then see what happens.

  • Saied

    I am tired of listening to Americans that are so self-centered that they see the entire world only through their own political lens. Iranians care little about American Neocons or Liberals. Both of these camps exploit the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people for their own purposes. Get real, do you think Neda, Sohrab, Masoud, and the hundreds of others who died on the streets of Tehran fighting for their human rights are a Neocon plot? Why don’t Americans look beyond their own internal politics and stand up for human rights in the world?

  • Mike

    here some info on People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran


  • Arturo

    I must say that when I heard that Twitter was proving means for Iranian protesters to send out information without being detected, I joined in. My Twitter experience lasted only a few hours once I click on someone’s posting that he had new photos of the protesters on the street. Instead of seeing of seeing the usually photos of people protesting, I was quite shocked of seeing a very disturbing photo of someone, probably a man, who had been severly abused sexually. I was disturbed of what I saw that up to this day I haven’t visited Twitter. Since then I have been qaiting to hear reports of sexually violence in the Iranian prisons. Regretfully, I have no doubt these allegations are true.

  • Andrew

    This is the nature of ‘security forces’. You don’t pay them very well, they have few desirable skills, except for a capacity for brutality. However dictators through history have found a very very simple solution for the pay issue. Just let them do whatever they want. Beat, steal, rape. Heck, you can find people who’ll take the job for free.

  • Anon

    NPR: When Iran does it, it’s torture. When we do it, it’s “enhansed interrogation”.

  • Massoudeh Edmond

    While I am hopeful about the Iranian movement against dictatorship, I am disturbed by the fact that the supporter of the previous regime show up here in the United states with the old Iranian flags bearing the image of lion and sun, which is the icon of the old regime.

    This is a way to smear the Iranian progressive movement. It was at the beginning of the movement that Reza Pahlavi had a press conference and he was talking about the sanctity of the ballot box. That seems to be rather ironic.

  • brianna

    “Virgin prisoners are routinely raped before they were hanged. Because, according the Islam, hanging a virgin is a sin, and if you rape a virgin before hanging her, it is a blessing and God will send you a thank you note.”

    This is the stupidest snoopy doopy poopy thing I have ever heard. These people are making up crap like that on air, on WBUR, and they are literally getting away with it.

  • Mike

    amazing how npr cant use the war torture when it comes to the U.S. in this fake concept of being fair to both sides even when one side is factually providen to be wrong.

    This also allows the iranian government to point to the U.S. as hypocrits as well.

    Also in the news the leader of blackwater may have murder and push a tendecy to murder muslim in the name of a neo war against them.

    who if we went to war with iran would be the people on the ground there as well.


  • MIke

    also on here and now


    it would be crazy to have these type of people to push for war and get involved with iran.

  • M. Miller

    Hitler is in Iran!! Iranian people are crying for help. They are being tortured and killed and we are seating and watching. You would not see this kind of barbarian behavior among animal. It really moved me when I watched in news how Iranian government treats their own people. It will affect any human to see this type of violence.
    We cannot watch and witness these crimes and not do anything about it.

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com MOHAMMED N. RAZAVI

    Just a couple of days ago, I argued about suspension of sharia law, as there are no Islamic governments established under Islamic rules. But with me this is an old argument, for years.
    Sexual abuse of prisoners is nothing new, it happens the world over, and as some one mentioned ,even in our own prisons, even though the caller hedged his bets and tried to make it look like that our own police and the jailers are not included the evidence says otherwise.
    your campaign should be against all sexual abuse of prisoners and you should have brought up all of it and not just singled out the Iranian regime, or at least all Muslim countries where women and men and girls and boys are raped in and out of prisons habitually, even as a way of getting even.
    As far as simple torture is concerned, U saw how your program did not want to name names leaving out Saudi Arabia and Egypt, our best buddies, or Pakistan all of whom are known to also practice methods that we taught them. Singling out Iran will only make the regime dig in, BTW, I am also the one who advised here not to egg on the Iranian opposition when we have no plan or means to help and support them, talk is cheap.
    There is more on Islam and religion we need to discuss

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Let’s see how credible this liar Hooman Majd is.

    From Wikipedia:
    Born in 1957. He was raised in family who were involved in diplomatic services and attended boarding schools in England. He has finished his college education in the United States where he currently resides.
    He and his family was part of Shah’s elite butt kissers. If you leave it up to him, he would want to bring the Shah back.

    Of course, he will lie about Iran. He has a vested interest for a Regime Change in Iran – and we are stupid not to see that.

  • Alan

    I agree with Mr. Razavi there should be equal outrage wherever these abuses of prisoners occur. In the US (Texas) there was a recent case of widespread sexual abuse of youths in custody by the staff. The reporter does not speak for me when he says there is no difference between beatings and rape. I would much rather be beaten than raped. Neither should be tolerated but both occur in our prisons on a regular basis. Why should we care more when it happens abroad. The number of rapes in prison in our own country is alarming and has social and health consequences for us all. AIDs being one and mental illness another.

  • Lilya

    For years, not one person has ever talked about “rapes” in Iranian jail, and then all of a sudden right after the elections and the anti-regime outcry, all of a sudden let’s talk about Ahmedinejad government raping girls.

    Whenever there is such systematic abuse, there has to be a beginning and or history of similir actions in other circumstances. There is none.

    This regime represents anti-corruption and anti-torture. That was the reason why Iranian people have elected them years ago.

    I am sorry, we are not buying any of this nonsense that is given to us by the supporters of the Shah and the neo-con/neo-zion crowd who have interests in toppling the elected leaders of Iran.

  • http://www.qlineorientalist.com/Evan QLineOrientalist


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