Iran: an uprising, a crackdown. One year later, where’s the revolutionary spirit?

The World

One year ago, Iran, in turmoil, appeared to be on the brink of a revolution. Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was declared the winner of Iran’s much-contested presidential election. For days afterwards, protests raged. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians poured into the streets. They marched, despite a savage government crackdown. Dissidents, journalists and ordinary people were swept off the streets and imprisoned, but the protests went on. Cameras filmed the death throes of a young woman, Neda Agha-Soltan, shot in the streets of Tehran. She was called a martyr; her death fuelled even more protests. Twitter and YouTube became foreign correspondents, telling stories from the embattled nation after traditional media were shut down or shut out. But the protests petered out.

One year later, where is the revolutionary fervor?

Stephen Kinzer, author of “Reset: Iran, Turkey and American’s Future,” spent two weeks in Iran, in May. He asked Iranians whether the one-year anniversary of the protests might itself be another revolution: “What they told me was, ‘we tried something. It didn’t work’ They put us in jail and beat us. Now, we go on with our lives.” We also speak with Akbar, an Iranian journalist who was part of the opposition protests last year.

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