June 16, 2009

Helping the People of Iran

TEHRAN, IRAN - JUNE 16:  People attend a state...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

As we have focused our attention on Iran in the aftermath of their "election," it is natural to want to do something to help. And yet, there seems to be very little we can do. This breeds feelings of apathy and frustration, neither of which are likely to be very productive. Aside from what those of us on Twitter can do, I think that the single most effective thing we can now do is simply keep talking and writing about Iran. We need to keep the situation there in the public consciousness. The more attention Iran receives, the better the situation will be for the Iranian people.

The Boston Globe has released some of the most striking images I have yet to see coming out of Iran. I urge you to check them out if you have not already done so. As for news, the sources I previously recommended continue to be some of the best.

And speaking of news, the BBC is now reporting that Iran's Guardian Council has agreed to hold a recount while refusing to annul the election. Unfortunately, it does not sound like anybody really thinks a recount is going to change much. If the reports I saw on Twitter last Saturday night were accurate, truckloads of ballots were being loaded on trucks and taken to be burned. Moreover, the Guardian Council is described as being very conservative, which seems to indicate that they might not have much invested in seeing a more moderate opposition party winning.

In any case, the opposition says there were so many other irregularities, that a recount alone would not satisfy them. For example, many more ballot papers were issued than counted, they say. Some people did not get enough ballot papers so they could not vote in areas loyal to the opposition. Polling stations were closed early, and so on and so forth.
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