A long winter of heightened tensions between Israel, Iran, and the United States seems to finally have thawed, on this first day of May. Our partner The New York Times has reported that economic sanctions have taken their toll on the Iranian government, and direct negotiations seem to have calmed Israeli nerves. But while Iran’s international relations may be improving, the country's internal politics have become increasingly hard-line. In 2009, Iran's Green Movement took to the street of Tehran to protest what citizens perceived to be rigged presidential elections.
Today, nearly three years after the Iranian government’s brutal crackdown on the Green Movement, the country's ideological spectrum is narrower than ever before. Many citizens choose apathy over elections, as Laura Secor reports in this week's The New Yorker. One Iranian activist named Amir is explained this way: "In the summer of 2009, Amir was a reformist. He believed that the system could be democratized from within, and so he participated in every election. No longer: the parliamentary election of 2012 would be the first one he sat out."
Laura Secor is a contributor at The New Yorker. Her piece, "Election, Monitored," appears in the May 7, 2012 edition.