(PRAGUE, Czech Republic) With Iran's presidential election two weeks away, RFE/RL is publishing a daily blog featuring the twists and turns of the campaign's final stages. Today, the Iran Election Diary reports on one of the most common characteristics of election season: jokes. This year's crop of political punchlines, it appears, mainly takes aim at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The diary also chronicles the on-again, off-again saga of Facebook in Iran.
For an in-depth analysis of the Iranian political landscape and a sketch of each of the four presidential candidates, RFE/RL's Golnaz Esfandiari presents an online video briefing. She says the vote represents a marked change from four years ago, when reformists boycotted the election and a little-known former mayor of Tehran rode a populist wave to victory.
Also, RFE/RL's new Persian Letters blog offers a window into Iranian life by translating and showcasing the works of Persian-language bloggers. Today, a blogger named Zareh Binn wonders out loud about the secret to Iranian clerics' longevity (her suspicion is that it has something to do with a comfortable lifestyle). And a blogger named Mago from Iran's Qazvin province is disappointed by Ahmadinejad's unfulfilled campaign promise to build more public restrooms in his town.
Radio Farda provides objective and accurate news and information to counter state censorship and ideology-based media coverage in Iran. Radio Farda's new website was launched in 2006 and receives over 3.5 million page views every month.