U.S. linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky spoke to RFE/RL's Radio Farda on July 24 about the postelection unrest in Iran. A couple of choice quotes:
"There was an expectation that this election would somehow be different and there would be opportunities for change, which certainly a substantial part of the population wants. And those hopes were dashed. The election results, both the manner in which they were presented and the numbers that came out, really lacked credibility and many people thought they were inaccurate, so they rose in protest. But to predict such protests has never been possible, too many factors are involved. Nobody I know predicted it in this case."
"Putting aside the details of the election, about which we don't know much, the whole structure of the regime is oppressive and authoritarian, and undermines basic civil and other human rights. Protest against it is not only honorable but courageous, because it faces extreme violence."