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Soft Power And Soft Rock

Who knew? Apparently, Chris de Burgh, the uber-crooner responsible for "Lady In Red", and, er, other soft-rock ballads in the 1980s, is a big deal in Iran. So much so that's he's set to perform there, despite the Iranian government not allowing the broadcast of much Western music. An aging rocker cashing in or an example of the West's ever-shrewd soft power?

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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