The government announced that it had defeated an American effort to stir up a “soft revolution” among young and educated Iranians. Victory over American espionage efforts was also publicized. In both cases, the government is openly discussing what everyone knows; U.S. intelligence agencies are assisting pro-Western Iranians. The government has been making more and more arrests of suspected spies and anti-government activists. Considering the extent of the opposition to the government, the majority of these “foreign agents” are apparently not being caught.
The BBS began eight hours of satellite TV programming for Iran on January 14th. A week later, the Iranian government declared the British effort illegal, and said any Iranian viewing, or appearing on the service, or otherwise cooperating with the BBC, would be breaking a law. The BBC service provides about eight hours a day of news and cultural programs, prepared and broadcast by Iranian exiles in Britain. In Iran, the lifestyle police frequently raid homes in affluent neighborhoods, looking for illegal satellite TV equipment, videos and recorded music. But most Iranians avoid the police, and quietly enjoy their forbidden entertainment.
The most destructive influence on Iranian culture is not foreign, but