Iran

Like many, I think, I've been watching the footage of the massive demonstrations and state brutality and the internet updates (Now here's a real use for Twitter, to put all the banal, compulsive over-sharing of politicians and correspondents to shame) coming out of Iran over the last few days. It's all worrying and exciting and very confusing to me--how and to what extent were the elections rigged? Is there any chance that this outpouring of indignation will have an effect? 

I do think President Obama struck the right tone. Since we are (thankfully) not currently planning on bombing and invading Iran, there is no point is making strident ultimatums or threats--they will just be used by the clerical regime to tar their opponents; they're already accusing the U.S. of interference.
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Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.