Friday, August 01, 2014


Persian Letters

A Khatami Selfie

Selfies are in and Iran's Internet-savvy former Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi knows it only too well. 

On May 1, Abtahi posted a selfie with former President Mohammad Khatami on Instagram.

The reformist Khatami, who remains popular among young people, doesn't seem to have been aware that Abtahi was taking a selfie. 

Abtahi, one of the first Iranian officials to launch a blog, is very active on Instagram and other social media sites including Facebook, where he has a large following.

On his blog Webneveshteha.com, Abtahi used to posts inside stories and inside photos of government officials that he would take with his cellphone.

Abtahi was among the hundreds of reformist figures and intellectuals who were put on trial and jailed in the 2009 postelection crackdown.

At one point, he even updated his blog from prison

The move was seen as an attempt by security officials to give the impression that prisoners were being well treated amid reports of physical and mental torture of detainees. 

-- Golnaz Esfandiari
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About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

Guerrilla Translators

Seen anything in the Iranian blogosphere that you think Persian Letters should cover? If so, contact Golnaz Esfandiari at esfandiarig@rferl.org

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