Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

Iranian bloggers on Obama victory

A glimpse of how some Iranian bloggers inside and outside Iran have responded to Barack Obama's election victory.

(This page contains links to external websites which are not subject to the usual BBC editorial controls.)


Cartoon by Nikahang Kosar
Iranians see parallels between Barack Obama and their former president

Barack Obama's promise of 'change' reminds many Iranians of their own optimism when they elected the reformist Mohammad Khatami as president in a landslide victory in 1997.

Cartoonist and blogger Nikahang Kosar now lives in Canada.

His cartoon reflects the disillusionment Mr Khatami's supporters felt when his attempts at reform were blocked by Iran's Islamic hardliners.

Tehran journalist Ehsan Taqaddosi echoes this feeling, writing on

Khatami was our Obama.

Maybe it would have been better if we had found Khatami in 1388 [the Iranian year beginning in March 2009] rather than in 1376 [1997]. It would have been better both for himself and those who talk about his candidacy...

Blog image for Ehsan Taqaddosi
Ehsan Taqaddosi fears Barack Obama cannot deliver what he promises

Like Obama, Khatami was a pleasant talker and he introduced concepts such as the rule of the people and democracy into our political literature. But what happened in practice?

Nothing changed... Everyone says that Obama will be the same as his predecessors and in practice he may only be able to create a short, sharp shock.

Khatami also created a short, sharp shock and at the end of his tenure, we didn't witness any of the enthusiasm and determination which existed during the initial years of his government's rule.

(Farsi translated by BBC Monitoring.)


President Ahmadinejad's letter congratulating Mr Obama on his victory has divided opinion in the Iranian parliament, according to one representative.

Blog image for Mohammad Alikhani
Mohammad Alikhani is the Majlis deputy for the north western province of Qazvin

On Mohammad Alikhani describes Mr Ahmadinejad's decision to send the letter as not only "unprecedented" in the Islamic Republic's 30 year history, but also "strange".

It has created differences among the country's various political parties and groups.

On the one hand, a number of people affiliated to both the left and right factions have praised this move and described it as the use of an historic opportunity to establish contact.

On the other hand, the critics amongst whom one will find individuals from the right, and principalists [conservatives], have criticised this move.

They believe that this method of creating interaction to secure the Islamic Republic's interests is ineffective and outside the president's authority...".

(Farsi translated by BBC Monitoring.)

Former reformist vice-president Mohammad Ali Abtahi points out on that if Iran's leaders did want a rapprochement with America, its Arab neighbours would not be happy.

Blog image for Mohammad Ali Abtahi

Since Obama's victory, some hot debates have been held by the television networks of the Persian Gulf Arab states.

The main theme of all these discussions was that the US has the power to inflict damage...

They said under no circumstances should they allow Iran to establish good relations with the US so that they are left alone and forced to pay the price Iran is paying...

An analyst said the Arabs should continuously alert the US to the danger of Iran, so that it isn't tempted to mend its relationship with Iran.

(Farsi translated by BBC Monitoring.)

On a lighter note, many bloggers welcomed a report on the Iranian news site that an Iranian-American singer, Farshid Amin, was invited to perform at a Democratic Victory Gala on election night in Orange County, California.

Blog image for Tehran Bureau
Tehran Bureau aims to encourage understanding of Iran in the US

Tehran Bureau is a new, independent online magazine about Iran, with contributors in Iran and the US.

In Tehran, Fariba Pajooh said people "rejoiced" when the US election results came through.

News of Barack Hussein Obama's victory was met with elation here.

No-one took to the streets.

But emotions seemed to run just as high... some here mistakenly believe Obama gets to run the show, unchecked. They think he will be able to call the shots on each of the major issues facing the United States.

Mr Behi is an Iranian who recently moved to the Netherlands. He has a policy suggestion for the president elect.

Blog image for Mr Behi
Mr Behi has been blogging since 2004

I am hoping that a rational structure of thoughts we have seen from Obama could defeat the language of dogma that shadowed the White House for eight years ... creating a cascade of hate that polluted our minds and still itches our senses.

Maybe the first thing Obama should do is to release some emergency oxygen masks.

After all, two engines are burning on war fire and the economy is plunging hard. By the way, seems that the previous pilot forgot to turn on the 'Fasten seat belt sign'!

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