Upheaval, Horror, and Hope in Iran

Demonstrating in Tehran, January 11, 2020 (Social Media Photo via Reuters)

When there is upheaval in Iran, I want to talk to Marina Nemat, an old friend of mine — a hugely admirable lady. She is an Iranian dissident, a onetime political prisoner, and a human-rights activist. Her memoir is Prisoner of Tehran. Last night, we did a Q&A podcast, here.

In this half-hour or so, Marina talks about the past and the present. They are certainly linked. Recent events include the killing of General Soleimani and the downing of the Ukrainian airliner. People are massing in the streets. They have done so before: in 2009, for example (the “green revolution”). And just a couple of months ago. Each time, the regime crushes them. Will it be different this time?

Probably not, says Marina — but she is more hopeful than she has ever been since 1979 (the year of the Khomeinist takeover).

In our podcast, we talk about ideology, religion, technology, and a lot more. She is subtle in her analysis, and deeply informed, and often moving. I listened to her intently, and I bet you would too. Again, that podcast is here.

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