Note From Anonymous Blogger in Tehran, “Shane M.”

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anonymous.jpgOver the past week, a young student has been anonymously blogging about the momentous events inside Iran for The Washington Note. He has done an incredible service for those of us on the outside — and some of his material has made it to the New York Times and NPR’s All Things Considered, among other venues.
I had the privilege of running into NPR’s Robert Siegel the other evening at the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association Dinner with Barack Obama the other night, and he commented on what a brave, captivating, and intelligent observer “Shane M.” was in his discussion with him.
Many of you have been emailing asking for further dispatches and also wondering if Shane M. is OK. I too have been concerned about him over the last day.
This morning, I finally got a note from him and just wanted to share part of it:

From: Steven Clemons
Date: Saturday, June 20, 2009 11:22 pm
Subject:

> Are you OK???

From: XXXXXXX
Date: Sun 6/21/2009 7:35 AM
Subject: Re:

I am but am growing increasingly anxious…supposed to fly out tomorrow don’t know if it’s more risky to stay or to leave now in this environment of suspicion…any word from your side?
by the way, I was deeply embarrassed by your earlier message. you’re too kind…thank you for getting the word out, you’re doing a greater service than you can imagine.
if things go to shit, at least I’ll have this pleasant memory to carry me through to the end…

He’s not good at taking praise – but I think that anyone reading this blog and his dispatches owes Shane M. our thanks. He’ll make the decision when he returns whether he wants to give up his anonymity or not.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

6 comments on “Note From Anonymous Blogger in Tehran, “Shane M.”

  1. Target Coupon Codes says:

    I think the headed by former President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, are mulling the formation of an alternative collective leadership to replace that of the supreme leader, sources in Qom told Al Arabiya on condition of anonymity.

    Reply

  2. Dan Kervick says:

    Juan Cole has posted a translation of the letter posted on Mousavi’s website.

    Reply

  3. Dan Kervick says:

    Bill R. scooped me.

    Reply

  4. Dan Kervick says:

    Best of luck to Shane M. in keeping safe.
    Via Nico Pitney’s blog, Al Arabiya is reporting that discussions are underway in Qom, including a representative from Ayatollah Sistani, about replacing the whole structure of the Supreme Leadership position, not just Khamenei personally, with a new multi-membered collective leadership body.
    One heads up: The second paragraph contains a mistaken reference to Ahmadinejad that is clearly supposed to be a reference to Rafsanjani.
    http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/06/21/76567.html

    Reply

  5. Bill R. says:

    Thank you, Steve for honoring this brave person.
    Steve, some news out of Al-Aribya via Huffington Post of Rafsanjani’s work behind the scenes to implement an alternative leadership structure and depose Khamenei.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/13/iran-demonstrations-viole_n_215189.html
    “12:38 PM ET — An alternative leadership structure. According Al Arabiya (via reader Pasha), an outline of what Rafsanjani is pushing for among the clerical leadership:
    Religious leaders are considering an alternative to the supreme leader structure after at least 13 people were killed in the latest unrest to shake Tehran and family members of Ayatollah Rafsanjani were arrested amid calls by former President Mohammad Khatami for the release of all protesters.
    Iran’s religious clerks in Qom and members of the Assembly of Experts, headed by former President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, are mulling the formation of an alternative collective leadership to replace that of the supreme leader, sources in Qom told Al Arabiya on condition of anonymity.
    The influential Rafsanjani, 57, heads two very powerful groups. The most important one is the Assembly of Experts, made up of senior clerics who can elect and dismiss the supreme leader. The second is the Expediency Council, a body that arbitrates disputes between parliament and the unelected Guardian Council, which can block legislation.
    Members of the assembly are reportedly considering forming a collective ruling body and scrapping the model of Ayatollah Khomeini as a way out of the civil crisis that has engulfed Tehran in a series of protests,
    The discussions have taken place in a series of secret meetings convened in the holy city of Qom and included Jawad al-Shahristani, the supreme representative of Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who is the foremost Shiite leader in Iraq.”

    Reply

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