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Radio Farda Teams With Heinrich-Böll Foundation

RFE/RL Radio Farda correspondent Hossein Aryan and Online Editor Fred Petrossians were featured panelists at an event in Prague titled "How to Deal with Iran?" sponsored by the Association for International Affairs and the Heinrich-Böll Foundation.

Petrossians and Aryan looked at the current political situation in Iran in a discussion titled "The Aftermath of the Election: Iran in Turmoil."

They were joined by Shadi Sadr, a lawyer and women's rights defender from Tehran who previously worked at a now-closed legal advice center for women and Massoumeh Torfeh, a research associate at School of Oriental and African Studies in London, a columnist for "The Guardian," and former BBC journalist. The panel was chaired by Marc Berthold of Heinrich-Boll Foundation in Berlin.
The regime is primarily concerned with domestic security and not so much outside pressures

Radio Farda's Aryan (read his profile of the Green Movement) gave an overview of the conservative and reformist camps in Iran while detailing the structure of the security forces within the government from the police force to the Basij and Revolutionary Guards. "The regime is primarily concerned with domestic security and not so much outside pressures," said Aryan.

The panelists also discussed the current status of the Green Movement, with Aryan sharing his view that without organization, the movement risks failing in its quest for successful and meaningful change. "In spite of what it has done, it doesn't have the structure or a charismatic leader. [The Green Movement] doesn't know where it is going," he said.

Aryan predicted that the regime will remain relatively intact, adding "I hope I'm wrong."

Fred Petrossians discussed the technology fueling the Green Movement, pointing out the essential role played by websites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. "These sites were all unblocked three months before the election," he said.

The extraordinary use of social networking has provided new and innovative methods of revolution, but also problems.

"Like in other areas of social networking, it cannot be substituted for full organization; social networking is not the gatekeeper, someone will have to emerge as a leader in order for the revolution to advance." Petrossians added.

For more on Iran, check out RFE/RL's Radio Farda online. Also see Fred Petrossians award winning online project - OR318: Remembering Omid Reza

- Taylor Smoot