DAMASCUS, Syria — After last summer’s disputed presidential election Iran’s government relied largely on brute force — beatings, arrests and show trials — to stifle the country’s embattled opposition movement.
Now, stung by the force and persistence of the protests, the government appears to be starting a far more ambitious effort to discredit its opponents and re-educate Iran’s mostly young and restive
population. In recent weeks, the government has announced a variety of new ideological offensives.
It is implanting 6,000 Basij militia centers in elementary schools across Iran to promote the ideals of the Islamic Revolution, and it has created a new police unit to sweep the Internet for dissident voices. A company affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards acquired a majority share in the nation’s telecommunications monopoly this year, giving the Guards de facto control of Iran’s land lines, Internet providers and two cellphone companies. And in the spring, the Revolutionary Guards plan to open a news agency with print, photo and television elements.
The … >>>