Iran’s rural pockets too expressing dissent | world | Hindustan Times
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Iran’s rural pockets too expressing dissent

The smiling face of Mir Hussein Moussavi was scratched out on many of his campaign posters and in one case bashed in by a sledgehammer. Still, the posters were there, one small but notable sign of dissent here in Iran’s religious power base despite heavy security and a conservative majority that stifles open rebellion.

world Updated: Aug 05, 2009 00:18 IST

The smiling face of Mir Hussein Moussavi was scratched out on many of his campaign posters and in one case bashed in by a sledgehammer.

Still, the posters were there, one small but notable sign of dissent here in Iran’s religious power base despite heavy security and a conservative majority that stifles open rebellion.

The region’s relative insularity and lack of access to the outside world has led to a public silence that suggests that antagonism to the government is mainly limited to the large urban centers. But a recent four-day trip to the region turned up signs that growing segments of these rural populations, particularly the young and the educated, have lost faith in the current government. “I voted for Moussavi because I want change,” said a 24-year-old recent university graduate who was visiting his hometown, a mud-brick village southwest of Qum that is accessible only by an old tractor trail.

“All the young people like myself moved away because we do not believe in this lifestyle anymore,” he said, speaking anonymously for fear of reprisals.