Iranian government uses Gaza conflict to repress

While several Iranian bloggers (including Islamist ones) multiplied their posts and digital initiatives, such as a “Google bomb” to condemn Israel's invasion of the Gaza Strip, some other bloggers are saying the Iranian government is using the “Gaza conflict moment” to repress media and civil society inside the country.

Last week, Iranian authorities shut down, Kargozaran, a leading reformist journal, because it published a statement of a student movement (Tahkim Vahdat) that condemned Israel but also referred to Palestinian militant groups who take refuge in hospitals and schools as terrorists.

Nik Ahnag, a leading cartoonist and blogger, has published a couple of cartoons about the Gaza invasion and the inequal power balance between Israel and Palestinians on one side, and Iranian government repression on the other side. One of these cartoons shows a huge hammer labeled Gaza hitting the Kargozaran journal. In the cartoon, it seems that teachers, women and students are the next targets in line.

Blogger Jomhour writes about the statement that led to the closure of reformist journal. He says [Fa]:

این سطور شاید اتفاقن منطق بسیاری از سیاسیون امروز ایران باشد که جرات و جسارت بیان انرا به خود نمی دهند. منطقی که غزه را بهانه ی خوبی برای فرار از مشکلات روز افزون اقتصادی و اجتماعی داخلی ارزیابی می کند. همچنین باید این سوال را امروز مطرح کرد اتفاقی که سال گذشته در فلسطین و در درگیری میان حماس و فتح رخ داد را چگونه باید ارزیابی نمود.
در آن زمان نیز صدها فلسطینی کشته و زخمی شدند. گروه های درگیر فلسطینی حتی به اجساد کشته شدگان نیز رحم نمی کردند. خشونت به حدی بود که تعدادی از هوادارن الفتح به اسرائیل پناه بردند.

The logic in this statement is probably that many Iranian politicians think, but do not dare to express, that the Gaza crisis is an excuse [for Iranian authorities] to escape the country’s growing economic and social problems. Today we should ask ourselves how we should evaluate, last year's confrontations between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza where hundreds of Palestinians were killed and injured. The violence was so hard that is made some Fatah supporters take refuge in Israel.

The blogger concludes that the barbaric attacks of Israel as well as the corruption of some Palestinian leaders feeds terrorist groups and those who promote ethnic and religious hatred and violence.

In Mibibi blog, we read [Fa]:

اما ضرر این بستن اینه که علاوه بر بیکار شدن دهها نفر، سخت تر می شه فجایع غزه رو به اطلاع اون از دسته از مردم ایران رسوند که از صدا و
سیما و سایتها و روزنامه های حکومتی دلزده شدند و اعتباری برای خبرهاشون قائل نیستند

The closure of Kargozaran made dozens of people jobless, and it becomes, [without non-official journals] more difficult to inform people who do not trust official state television and websites about Gaza.

Blogger Hossein Ghazian also complains against censorship. The blogger says [Fa]: “If we cannot defend Israel and speak against Palestinians my words to condemn Israel's occupation and aggression are useless and not credible…”

St Behesht writes about “Iranian TV failure and censorship”. The blogger says [Fa]:

اين روزها در همه جاي ايران هرجا كه صحبتهاي سياسي ميشود همه از درگيري حماس و اسراييل است و صدا و سيما نيز به اين بحثها دامن ميزند و عجبا كه هنوز هم حضرات متوجه اين موضوع نشده اند كه تبليغات تلويزيون براي حماس جنبه منفي دارد كم نيستند كساني كه با مبالغه دانستن اخبار تلويزيون نسبت به اخبار غزه جبهه گيري نموده و عجيب تر اينكه بيشتر افرادي كه وارد اين بحثها ميشوند عليرغم اين همه تبليغ صدايي و سيمايي و مطبوعاتي نه از حماس كه از اسراييل حمايت مي كنند. چه اتفاقي رخ داده است كه اين چنين شده و مردم در مقابل انبوه اخبار رسانه اي داخل كشور گاه به اخبار خارج از كشور متوسل شده و يا اصولا چون رسانه هاي دولتي اينگونه از حماس دفاع ميكنند به نتيجه عكس رسيده اند شوربختانه هنوز حضرات متوجه اين موضوع نشده اند و همچنان بر طبل توهم خويش مي كوبند كه شايد در مردم ايران تاثيري داشته باشد

These days, in all parts of Iran where people talk about politics, they are discussing the Hamas and Israel confrontation. Iranian National TV fuels this discussion, but Iranian authorities have not yet realised that their propaganda on TV has a negative effect for Hamas.Contrary to Iranian TV’s objective, there are more than a few people who, because of Iranian TV propaganda, are taking side against Hamas and support Israel…. Unfortunately Iranian authorities have not understood this, and continue their illusion hoping [their propaganda] influences Iranians.


  • yarden

    How many of the Iranian population desire for democracy? I find satisfaction in the fact that Iran has internal opposition.

  • It’s shocking that the Iranian government would use this war as an excuse for repression…

  • Wells de Toors

    The UN ceasefire call to both Israel and Hamas taken in same breath and resolution is void ab initio. Here, UN is dealing with 2 entirely different organizations: one is a duly constituted sovereign nation and the other is an entirely criminal group without legal personality. Both can not be placed in the same level. For Hamas to be recognized legally it should deal under authority of the Palestinian Authority or Iran (both legally recognized by the UN). Israel can not negotiate with a criminal group. Even Obama should be careful along this point(he plans to talk to Hamas). The UN must rethink its manner of dealing with this situation, otherwise, by its mere indiscretion they will create a state out of a criminal group.

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