In the Arena

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My reporting from Iran.

A note on communications: Several commenters have asked if I was prevented from blogging while I was in Iraq. The answer is yes and no. The problems were mostly technical: the wireless system in my hotel was so slow I was unable to open Word Press. The one time I did post, I did it via email and Karen put it up. That was last Saturday, when the street demonstrations began. It became far more difficult even to email after that. The internet was either overwhelmed or cut off–at one point, I was able to receive a few messages but not reply to them. Cell phone systems also were either overwhelmed or cut off. Text-messaging was blocked.

When it became clear that the government was blaming the western media for the street demonstrations, and that further interviews with prominent Iranians would be impossible–and after a couple of elderly attempts to work the streets (it’s amazing how fast you can run when you’re chased, even at my age–althoughNahid Siamdoust, our Tehran reporter, wisely told me to stop running when the police charged, show my press pass and act like an American bigshot), I decided to come home a day early. Various reporters were returning to my hotel having been beaten by the police, especially those who were carrying cameras. The courage of those who are bringing you the pictures you are seeing is astonishing, especially those who are doing it by cellphone. My heart is with them. May they be safe in the days ahead.¬†

¬†Although I wish I were still there, still trying to cover this amazing story, it’s good to be back.