Agence France-Presse reports that technology is making it more difficult for the ian government to control the country's presidential election. Authorities are threatening to prosecute text messagers who insult the candidates.
Tehran mayor Mahmood Ahmadinejad has become the butt of a series of less than flattering jokes and allegations as his foes try to bring out a mass vote to support Rafsanjani in Friday's run-off election:
One message going round speaks of an "apocalypse" if Ahmadinejad wins, while another alleges that he will force men and women to work on different days if he wins: "Men on even days, women on odd days".
Ahmadinejad's team vehemently deny such allegations and the presidential hopeful has already attacked the use of text messages against him.
According to AFP there has been "pressure to cut off" the entire SMS service. Some users in Tehran found they were unable to send messages on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile the main steam media is more easily controlled as this Washington Post report on the runoff election campaign between former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shows.
Yesterday, alleging vote-rigging, the third place finisher, Mehdi Karrubi, protested the election by resigning from the Expediency Council. Karrubi also quit his post as adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Karrubi didn't go quietly, he wrote a letter protesting the election results which was quoted in several ian newspapers.
In response three newspapers that quoted Karrubi's letter Monday morning were closed, joining a list of more than 100 publications shuttered by hard-liners.
According to Knight Ridder, authorities shut down Karrubi’s campaign headquarters and cut off access to Internet sites carrying the letter.