1. President Rouhani is big into Twitter
Or at least someone in his office is.
Since his election, Iran’s new president has tweeted prolifically —in both English and Farsi – on everything from World Cup soccer to women’s rights, from nuclear negotiations to Internet censorship.
His English language account is @HassanRouhani. It now offers one of the most telling (not to mention concise) windows into his thinking — and how the Scottish-educated cleric wants the world to perceive him.
2. This is especially interesting because social media is often blocked in Iran
Although Twitter is periodically banned in Iran, Rouhani also has a feed in Farsi (@rouhani92) for an Iranian audience, according to an administrator who responded to inquiries through the president’s official Facebook page.
Iranians seem to have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” relationship with Twitter and Facebook. Both have been periodically blocked, especially around elections. But millions of Iranians use software to get around government blocks on websites and social media. Even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has official Twitter and Facebook accounts.
3. Rouhani is using Twitter to hint at major changes. Here are 13 tweets showing why reformers are excited:
7. (Comparison: outgoing President Ahmadinejad claimed the U.S. orchestrated the 9/11 attacks)
16. He wants less censorship and more free speech in Iran
Rouhani is not only advocating for more free speech, but engaging with his followers to ask how censorship has affected them – with implied references to events like the green movement protests, which censors tried to block.
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