A week after President Rouhani explained that Iranians are not blocked from using satellite television at an Asia Society and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) event in the New York, a tank was commissioned to crush around 800 satellite dishes that had been voluntarily forfeited to authorities in Shiraz in return for an digital receiver that would allow them better access to terrestrial channels.
While President Rouhani’s actions have been watched closely after a week in New York and a historic phone call with President Obama, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s next moves will help to determine whether these signals materialize into concrete changes in Iranian foreign policy. On September 17th, Khamenei gave a speech to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) citing “heroic flexibility” in world diplomacy, sparking a media frenzy in the Iranian press.
In this week's Cartoon Roundup: International Peace Day,Ghanoon criticizes satellite dishes,celebration of the House of Cinema's reopening,critiques on social media, and a comic riff of Javad Zarif's Facebook page.
Iranian politicians’ social media activity is something of a novelty within Iran, especially given the filtered status of many of these sites. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s popular Twitter account recently drew national and international attention when he tweeted “Happy Rosh Hashanah” on September 5th.
Despite Rouhani’s promise to improve Internet policies in the Islamic Republic, the involvement of multiple stakeholders, such as the Supreme Council of Cyberspace (SCC) and the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) poses a challenge. While the new Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Vaezi is optimistic about instituting ICT improvements, many IT experts are skeptical and claim the hands of the Ministry are tied.
In this week's Cartoon Roundup: commentary on "The First Supper" with the Rouhani's cabinet, the United States and Syria, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad.
Hassan Rouhani’s election ushered in a new era of hope for expanding Iran’s press freedoms. News of the reinstatement of the publications Eqbal and Tose’e, and transformations to the government’s official newspaper Iran Newspaper have fueled this optimism. Iran saw similar relaxations in press freedoms during the reformist era under President Khatami; however, these reforms were quickly overturned by conservative and religious elements within the county’s ruling establishment. While this possibility should not be ignored, reviewing recent actions such as the reopening of Eqbal and Tose’e as well as changes to Iran Newspaper give insight on changes to expect during Rouhani’s presidency.
In this week's Cartoon Roundup: commentary on slow Internet, Iran's bank situation,a tribute to former Prime Minister Mosaddegh, and more...