A military analyst [Gordon Duff] says police departments in the United States are being trained by Israeli groups aiming to sink the country into total militarization and dictatorship, Press TV reports.[...]He also stated that all the terrorist acts that happen in the US involve the American law enforcement, which “recruit terrorists or carefully remove key suspects”.
There is strong censorship of the internet, with a large number of websites blocked. Unlike in China where the domain simply does not resolve, in Iran trying to access a forbidden domain brings up a page in Farsi, presumably explaining that this website was found wanting. I was especially honoured to try access this very blog from Iran to find that it too has been blocked. You can see if your site has been blocked using this tool. Facebook is also blocked but when I was at an internet cafe, all the locals around me were somehow using it. The location bar even said Facebook which was particularly strange. Our guide is a regular user although there were times where he’s been unable to go online for over a month due to the difficulty in continuously finding new proxies. However, as you can see from the chart I made below, censorship certainly doesn’t stop people from trying to access the Secret Forbidden Material:
[Click here if you can't see the chart.]
In terms of the movement of people, things are very complicated. The British had to get fingerprinted before being issued a visa, but this is what Britain requires of Iran so it’s a reciprocal agreement. The man at the embassy was slightly embarrassed/apologetic when taking our group’s fingerprints, jokingly saying “my boss makes me do this”. However, it’s pretty hard for Iranians to go where they want. One woman we met at a restaurant (who was there with about 30 of her girlfriends hanging out after a yoga session) said she has a son studying in the UK. “Have you been able to visit him?” I asked. “No, they wouldn’t let me in. They think I’m terrorist. Me.”
If not for the [legally mandatory] headscarf, she did not talk or behave any differently to anyone I’d meet here in Sydney. And as our guide said in terms of Iran monitoring for people who come on US passports, “a real spy can come on [eg] a Palestinian passport”. Too right — I would not expect an organised team of spies, terrorists, assassins or saboteurs to be arriving with an Iranian passport. And yet this woman can’t see her son. The world is very broken.
Speaking of passports, there are a few options. Iranian citizens must do military service to get a passport. As one young soldier we met said, “I’m doing this so I can get a passport and get the fuck out of Iran”. Those who want to leave can be quite candid about it. It was even strange to him why we as outsiders would even be interested enough in Iran to go there, since he’s trying so hard to leave.
The other way is to get out on a fake passport. This is quite common since there are probably many “undesirables” who may not be able to obtain a real passport. These are expensive and apparently if you leave on one of these, you can never go back since your crime would be discovered at the point of entry. I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be a problem at the point of exit but perhaps this is true — the world works in mysterious ways. A man we met had a brother living in the UK in this situation. “He had some political problems,” the man said, “and now he can’t go back”. This man is currently reluctant to go through the hassle of obtaining a passport — and so the only way for them to be brothers is via email, Skype and the constant updating of proxies.