During the course of these extremely important events – sometimes the small things tend to slip away from the public eye. But small things are important to people, and they affect their everyday life much more than some talks that go on in Vienna, or a conflict between two countries on the other side of the middle east.
And what matters are the small things. They might not seem related sometimes, but a closer look can give us some interesting insights.
Journalists? to jail!
In a recent article by Faraz Sanei, The Iran researcher of Human Rights Watch, a simple question was presented: Is the Short Honeymoon of Media Freedom Over?
This is an important question. It comes after the arrest of Washington Post’s Tehran correspondent Jason Rezaian. In an article from July 24th in the Post, foreign editor Douglas Jehl said the newspaper has received “credible reports” that Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, were detained in Tehran. It is unclear who detained them or why.
Regarding the arrests of journalists in Iran, Rezaian’s arrest is not the first. According to Reporters Without Borders, there are currently 65 journalists and social media writers in prison.
Rouhani’s lack of power
Media freedom is important, so we, the people outside of Iran, can have a better understanding of its everyday life. But these arrests, especially in a politically complex country such as the Islamic republic, Are a clear sign that the regime wants everyday life in Iran to stay hidden.
After all it was Hassan Rouhani who advocated, before and after his election, that he is going to put a focus on human rights in Iran, media freedom being a key to the overall issue of human rights. But now it appears that the president is less powerful than we thought (or even he thought). In fact, those media arrests are seen by some as a ploy to weaken Rouhani.
This connects us to our opening words: The west looks at Rouhani as the figurehead behind Iran’s “true” intentions. Rouhani might even believe with all his heart that a nuclear deal must be struck. But if he loses power at home, and he does not have control in “smaller” issues, then it might be smarter not to hold our breath for the next four months over a suitable resolution of Iran’s nuclear plan.