Monday, January 07, 2008

Robert Tait's Expulsion from Iran

What was surprising about the Guardian correspondent, Robert Tait's expulsion from Iran was not that he was expelled but that he managed to last so long. For Robert Tait, was not the Jim Muir or Francis Harrison BBC type Iran correspondents that sat in their offices and waited for the Iranian officials to feed them with the news.

The Guardian correspondent in Iran, Robert Tait, would go after the news. He had gained the trust of the dissidents and activists inside Iran and would make contact with them to report their side of the story. Robert Tait was the only Western correspondent who extensively and graphically reported the confrontations between the Islamic Moral Police and the Iranian women and youth.

Years ago I met Genieve Abdo and her husband Jonathan Lyons in London. They were in the same predicament as Robert Tait today. They opened my eyes as to why so many foreign correspondents in Iran are seduced by the Islamic regime and prefer an enjoyable assignment of luxuries and privileges in exchange for mild reports to the uncertainties of expulsion and looking for their next assignments and how that choice influences what they choose to report from Iran.

While all other correspondents were mesmerized by the smiles of the cunning President Khatami, Abdo and Lyons would report the crackdown on the students and the hollowness of the so-called reformists. While others would suffice by saying "another blow to the body of the reformists", Abdo would ask "How many more blows must be struck before you can say the reform is finished?".

In the same tradition, Robert Tait, preferred to report the real news and the real Iran behind the mask of the Ayatollahs. Tait knew the distinction between the Iranian people and the Iranian regime. Most importantly Tait reported on the conflict between what the Iranian masses want and the Islamic regime can not provide. A conflict which will always make the Islamic Republic paranoid and unsettled. Best described in his last sentence from his last report:
"[Iranian] people are thirsting for a sense of social freedom which the Islamic system is withholding from them."

4 comments:

Winston said...

Freaking terrible!

Sohrab said...

Azarmehr and Winston,

You should read Hoder's response to Tait's expulsion. It will make your blood boil--it did mine.

Winston said...

I don't care what Mullah Hoder has to say. He is an agent of the Iranian regime! People like you who read his stuff give him the publicity he badly wants. Stop reading his bullshit!

سورنا said...

بيخود نيست كه خبرنگاران بي بي سي هميشه بدون دردسر تا اخر دوره ماموريتشان اقامت ميگيرند. بخصوص اين جيم ميور حتي وقتي در مورد قتل زهرا كاظمي گزارش تهيه كرد بيشتر از رژيم شاه انتقاد كرد.