Iran threatening expat critics in the US via email

"Koosha," a 29-year-old Iranian-American engineering student, received an email warning that his relatives in Tehran would be harmed if he didn't stop criticizing Iran on Facebook. Two days later, he realized the email was no joke when his mom called from Tehran to say that his father had been arrested by state security agents. (thanks, Cyrus)


  1. I should have added, among the evidence of espionage used against Maziar Bahari was an interview/skit he did with The Daily Show a while ago, and the fact that he admitted to have been to New Jersey (Sex capital of the world, Paradise, no Jews).

    Iran would make a really funny movie.

  2. phenomenon: I think that they were exaggerating the impact of the Daily Show interview since they were, after all, on the Daily Show (though the fact that they took it seriously at all makes the interrogators look really bad). Bahari’s main “offense” was his serious coverage of the Iranian situation for Newsweek magazine.

  3. These kinds of tactics are supposed to fail because they generate a bigger reaction than they tried to suppress, as backlash. (e.g. DeCSS or AACS)

    But in this case, the offended parties cannot, because their relatives will pay the price.

    Does that mean the burden of PR punishment falls on us, the average boingboing readers and our ilk? If so, what forum or method can we use to exact the dissidents’ revenge?

  4. That’s hardly surprising. Throughout the 1980s, the Iranian regime sent assassins around the world to kill dissidents. Now, with the pretence of democratic reform done away with, the hardliners seem to be back in power.

  5. Actually, if you read Bahari’s article in Newsweek after he was released, there was an emphasis on his interview with the Daily Show. Not really surprised that the Revolutionary Guard lacks a sense of humor.

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