Iranian blogs in the news

Iranian blogs in the news
: AFP discovers the political power of Iranian weblogs:

If Iran’s hardline clergy has had little trouble barring reformist candidates from parliament, it is finding it much tougher to keep dissent from spreading on the increasingly busy Internet.

Dozens of Farsi-language political websites have sprung up catering to Iranian web surfers hungry for news and views that go beyond the austere, official line of the Islamic Republic.

And while the ruling clerics look certain to tighten their hold on the political establishment in Friday’s parliamentary election, they are fighting a losing battle to keep dissident websites in check, experts said.

“They are closing them down left and right,” said one Internet executive who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But you close one, 10 more open.”

Howard Dean and Joe Trippi didn’t start the weblog political movement. Hossein Derakhshan and the Iranians did.