Iran on the Web
Iran is complex. Behind the monolithic facade lies a land of contrasts: deserts and virgin forests, bazaars and shopping centers, traditional handicrafts and the nuclear program are reflections of a society between pride in ancient Persianism and Islamic values, with the desire for change and insistence on what has been achieved.
Due to the political developments of the last few decades, comparatively few Western foreigners live in Iran. Most of them live in Tehran, a microcosm of the whole country, with a rich culinary offer, a steadily growing theater scene and daily traffic blackouts.
Official name: Islamic Republic of Iran
Area: 1,648,195 km²
Residents: 84.45 million (2020, estimated)
Growth of population: 1.1% per year (2018, estimated)
Seat of government: Tehran
Official language: Persian
Regional languages: Azeri, Kurdish, Arabic and others
Iran on the Web
There is inevitably a wide range of opinions on the Internet about a country that is as polarizing as the Islamic Republic of Iran. The websites of state and scientific institutions such as the Federal Foreign Office or the Science and Politics Foundation offer high-quality analyzes. However, because these are often limited by definition to political issues, other aspects of this country and its culture necessarily receive less attention.
In addition, there are a large number of far less serious sites on the Internet, and, moreover, others with clearly tendentious intent. While many of the dictatorships in the Arab world that were overthrown in recent years pursued a more traditional media policy and tried to prevent the flow of information from their country as much as possible (and not least because of this they lost the authority to interpret the events of the so-called “Arab Spring”), The Islamic Republic of Iran has followed a different line here for years.
It offers direct and indirect information that is tailored to the respective group of recipients, both in terms of language and content. In this way, your own view of current developments, but also background analyzes, should be spread as widely as possible. One of the most important instruments for this is the state news channel PressTV, which is designed solely for the English-speaking world. The station cannot be received within Iran.
In addition, there are a number of other sites on the Internet with a similar intention. The idea of finding unambiguous “propaganda” that has been implemented technically out of date is no longer true. Many of these pages are made very professionally and mostly in perfect German.
For some years now, Iran has been mentioned here. According to its own statement, the site provides an alternative view of the disputes with the Islamic Republic, both domestic and foreign. There are also articles that contain criticism, but the intention is always the same: The site is interested in portraying the Islamic Republic as a pluralistic system that does not actually exist. Numerous other pages have different priorities such as economics or religion, but work according to the same principle.
Other voices are by no means silent on the Internet. Iranian exiles with a wide range of political orientations operate a large number of blogs that denigrate the Islamic Republic, and often also Islam, as a religion, be it nationalist, anti-Islamic or rather monarchist. The transitions are often fluid, the connections close, for example between some of these groups and organizations of German critics of Islam.
According to ethnicityology, the National Council of Resistance of Iran has a detailed website. The Paris-based organization sees itself as the only legitimate representation of the opposition against the Islamic Republic and has elected its chairwoman, Maryam Rajavi, as interim president for the period after the Islamic Republic. However, there is always criticism of this organization, among other things because it includes the People’s Mojahedin, which the EU has classified as a terrorist organization.
In the end, it must be left to the reader to evaluate the numerous information on Iran on the Internet. Since it is undoubtedly interesting to deal with the point of view of “the other”, a look at these pages is definitely worthwhile, as long as one is aware of their potential intentions.
The flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran, valid since July 29th, 1980, has three horizontal stripes of equal width. The top one is green, this is the color of Islam. The middle stripe is white, this is the color of peace and friendship. The lower red stripe symbolizes courage, bravery and spilled blood. “Allahu Akbar” is written 22 times at the transitions between the stripes, God is greatest. The number stands for the 22nd Bahman (02/11/1979), the official day of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. The symbol in the center of the flag shows a sword and four crescents. It symbolizes the power of Islam, the globe and the worldwide struggle of the oppressed peoples. In addition, the symbol shows the word “Allah”, God.
Today’s flag incorporates many elements that have been adopted from previous Iranian flags.
The new national anthem of the Islamic Republic of Iran was introduced in March 1980 after the Shah’s national anthem had been used in the previous months.
The national holiday is the 22nd Bahman (circa February 10-11). On this day in 1979 the victory of the revolution was declared.