Iran blocks the competition's Web sites: how insular and autocratic of them

This is the story as offered by AP, on the Fox News Web site: - Iran Blocks Web Sites Promoting Reformist Khatami
"[Moderate] Khatami declared on Feb. 8 he would run again for president, setting the stage for a major political showdown... between the popular reformist — who made dialog with the West a centerpiece of his eight years as president — and the country's ruling hard-liners.

"[Opposition Web sites] could not be accessed from inside Iran on Saturday, though they were viewable outside."

Among other things the "ready to talk" Iranian power-mongers have done in order to control their society:

Reformists have suffered setbacks in past years as hard-liners and conservatives have consolidated power. Hundreds of reformist newspapers have been shut down, and the Guardian Council barred thousands of reformist candidates from running in parliamentary elections in 2004 and 2008.

See the sites at and They are not in English, but Persian (or Farsi, I believe), mind you. The sites were set up last summer in anticipation of Khatami's candidacy.

- jR

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