Friday, June 29, 2007

An Update on Iranian Censorship

I've encountered two new cases of censorship from the Islamic Republic in the last two days:

1. Journalists are warned not to report any problems related to fuel rationing as BBC reports. I checked out a few newspapers yesterday (both reformist and conservative) and I found out that is correct. No stories. It's not that difficult to hear the real news, though, here in Tehran. You should just get out of the house.

2. To my surprise, today I found out that is filtered out. I cannot imagine why, especially because other social bookmarking websites I know (reddit, digg and technocrati) are not filtered.

UPDATE: I'm hearing that at the "fuel night" mobile service providers had been ordered to shut down SMS services. You see, they're well aware of the importance of text messages in Iran.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How to Set Fire to a City in Two Hours

I've recently had much difficulty updating my blog for two reasons. First, I'm heavily engaged with my final exams; and second, for some reason I can't access blogger. It seems there's something wrong with my Internet provider. I'm now using a proxy server to access

Anyhow, this recent piece of news was so much of a surprise that I couldn't help _not_ to write about it. Last night the government announced the fuel rationing will start from this midnight! I'm reading in the newspapers that even the Traffic Director of Tehran Municipality has not been notified of the government's decision. Now, we in Iran are getting used to arbitrary decisions of the Islamic Republic officials but this one was unexpected even for us. I've heard from the time of the announcement people have rushed to gas stations so that they can get some more fuel before the rationing starts officially. The government announcement indicates that people cannot get more than the announced amount (3.5 liters per day for private vehicles) even for a higher price.

There has been much turmoil in Tehran last night and this morning. The protectors have set fire to several gas stations, and there are HUGE lines in the remaining ones. I took this photo from one such line of cars. The cars on the right side of the street are waiting in a line to get to a gas station some two kilometers ahead.

The huge line of automobiles disrupted the traffic and I had to spend much more time to reach home.

On my way to university today, I felt something is wrong as soon as I reached the street. There were far more people and vehicles in the streets than usual, and then the cab I took charged me a higher price than previous days. I was listening to music all the time so I couldn't hear what people were saying around me. On the way back, I decided to took off the headphones and see what is going on around me. Soon, I noticed everyone is talking about rationing gas. I think this is a serious wrong step by Ahmadinejad administration. I'm personally against almost everything he does, but this one seems to be beating himself. His administration is one of propaganda. The state-run media are trying to ignore the turmoil. Today's headline of the hard-line daily Keyhan, for example, was about another one of the supreme leader's endless talks! One short column described everything about fuel rationing in two paragraphs like nothing important has happened; and just next to the same news-stand that the large number of unsold copies of Keyhan were stacked, everyone was talking about the _real_ news.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Another poster from our university: Alliance for Justice! May I ask for some injustice, then?