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US Launches Virtual Embassy For Iran 174

Posted by Soulskill
from the administered-by-the-undersecretary-of-tweets dept.
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from a report at Al Jazeera "The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has launched a virtual embassy for Iran in what it said was a bid to promote dialogue with the Iranian people in the absence of formal diplomatic ties. The web-based embassy went online on Tuesday in English and Farsi, offering visitors what it described as 'another perspective' for Iranians who 'remain hungry for information about the United States.' 'This website is not a formal diplomatic mission, nor does it represent or describe a real U.S. embassy accredited to the Iranian government,' the U.S. state department said in an introductory note. 'But, in the absence of direct contact, it can work as a bridge between the American and Iranian people.'"
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US Launches Virtual Embassy For Iran

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's an eEmbassy?

  • In future news.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moheeheeko (1682914) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:01PM (#38284708)
    ..Iran has blocked the Virtual Embassy for the entire nation.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Bachmann says we should shut this down, too.

    • by Morky (577776)
      Well now, if Bachmann says so, it must be the right thing to do.
    • by Morky (577776)
      I should have googled Bachmann on this before I commented. That's funny.
    • Re:Shut it down (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:26PM (#38285010)

      Bachmann says we should shut this down, too.

      I had to google to find out the reference too.... What the parent is referring to [lezgetreal.com]

      And we're dealing with all of this because Iran had a democratically elected government that the US didn't like, installed the Shah who was just like Saddam Hussein and the people hated it so they overthrew the Shah and some opportunistic oppressive Islamic clergy stepped in and made Iran a theocracy that hates the US instead of just being cold.

      Now, some loony tunies (Fox News watchers) are saying we'll never have peace with Iran because they are a rogues state whose sole purpose is to destroy Israel. Of course it never occurred to them that Iran is just taking big to gain support from other parts of the World that hate the US also.

      Yes, I know, BUT ISRAEL IS THREATENED! They're our ALLY! whatever. Don't give a shit. And with allies like that, who the fuck needs enemies.

      • Re:Shut it down (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:34PM (#38285092) Homepage Journal

        US sets up another propaganda/disinfo channel.

        Iranians are much more aware of America and life in the US than vice versa. Americans imagine some weird, gulf-state with face covering and camels.

        Not this:
        http://tehranlive.org/ [tehranlive.org]

        Tehran has a better claim on 1st-world status that does Detroit.

        Despite their current Government, Iranians live freer and are better connected to Europe and the US than are the people in "democratic ally" states like Uzbekistan!

        • by rwa2 (4391) *

          Yeah, but at least it's a start... hopefully it'll lead to more engagement.

          At least the muslims had the decency to send clerics to study and write about Western society (sometime around the 50s) before concluding that it was hopelessly corrupt and disengaging from it.

          Sometimes it seems like we just thought we needed a third leg for our little axis-o'-evil metaphor.

          Hopefully we'll still sort of find our way to their good side once they shed off the clowns acting as their leaders... most of our overreactions

        • by Bucky24 (1943328)

          Americans imagine some weird, gulf-state with face covering and camels.

          Heh. I have to admit, that is what I think of when I think of Iran. Guess I'd better do some research.

        • by martas (1439879)
        • by cyn1c77 (928549)

          US sets up another propaganda/disinfo channel.

          Iranians are much more aware of America and life in the US than vice versa. Americans imagine some weird, gulf-state with face covering and camels.

          Not this:
          http://tehranlive.org/ [tehranlive.org]

          Tehran has a better claim on 1st-world status that does Detroit.

          Despite their current Government, Iranians live freer and are better connected to Europe and the US than are the people in "democratic ally" states like Uzbekistan!

          Sure they do!

          Can you please post a second link with pictures from last year's riots where Iranian citizens were raped and beaten by their country's special police?

          Then post a third link showing the life of a shepherd outside of urban Tehran. Maybe we'll see some camels and face coverings there.

  • So while the server have a self destruct button with the thermite option for the disks? The government gets all the best toys, surely they can order this from their vendor...

  • welp, that didn't take long.
  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saleenS281 (859657) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:07PM (#38284800) Homepage
    Because I know the first place I go when I want to know about a foreign country is their embassy. I'm sure the members of that institution are COMPLETELY unbiased about the country they're representing. Talk about an empty gesture. A spy plane gets shot down over their airspace, and the response is an e-embassy? I'm sure that'll sway the masses!
    • Don't be such a cynic: All we have to do is turn our simmering cloak-and-dagger back and forth into a nail-biting tower defense flash game. The internet kiddies love that stuff.

      We'll get whoever did Plants vs. Zombies to provide a strategic, but visually lighthearted, take on current events with "MQ-9 Tower Defense". As long as nobody finds out that anybody who achieves a High Score has their location forwarded to Mossad for a special prize ceremony, it'll be heartwarmingly popular!
    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Pecisk (688001) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @05:07PM (#38285440)

      And this is reason not to hear their (in this case US) point of view? As Iran's regime actively twists information about US to their society, it is quite understandable that US wants to push their POV to be more widely avaible for Persians. It is not that you have to agree or have to take anything they say as truth. Just listen to different sources and make up your own mind about events.

      As we know, flow of open, unbiased information (and unchanged correctly reported POV from all sides is part of this information) is a basis of any democratic society. Yes, we in West struggle with main media agendas, manipulation, etc. But we still have a choice and we can get information directly from the sources (with the help of Internet). So US feels that they should inform Persians directly about their opinion - good. Iran regime still can do the same. Independent journalism can scrutinize US claims in their info stream.

  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Morky (577776) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:11PM (#38284854)
    It's like a Voice of America type thing. No big deal.
  • by ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:11PM (#38284856)
    ...but I play one on the web.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:12PM (#38284866)

    Thanks for the nice embassy, US, but how about not toppling democratically elected governments in the first place, mmmkay?

    "The 1953 Iranian coup d'état (known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup[3]) was the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom and the United States under the name TPAJAX Project.[4] The coup saw the transition of Mohammad-RezÄ ShÄh Pahlavi from a constitutional monarch to an authoritarian one who relied heavily on United States support to hold on to power until his own overthrow in February 1979.[5]"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d'%C3%A9tat [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532)

      Let's fret about things that happened 60 years ago.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It's obviously Bush's fault.
      • by HornWumpus (783565) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:19PM (#38284946)

        While ignoring the larger chess game being played 60 years ago, only focus on one pawn and how butt hurt it now is.

        • by gknoy (899301) <gknoy@NospAm.anasazisystems.com> on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @05:38PM (#38285746)

          For that pawn (or, more accurately, the citizens living in it), the degree of hurting is absolutely relevant to them, and their opinion of us as a nation.

        • by bky1701 (979071)
          That would be a fine sentiment, if the game weren't still on.
          • The game is still on, they are still a pawn.

            In go terms they are surrounded and only have one eye. I hope they don't force anybody to play out the whole 'nuke them till they glow' end game.

      • If U.S. leaders consequently apologized for that and never tried it again, it would be done and forgotten.

        Instead, the same repeated "... but he's our bastard" pattern was seen in other countries.

      • by Archtech (159117)

        Let's fret about things that happened 60 years ago.

        Yes, who cares about Pearl Harbor or the Holocaust? Let alone the crucifixion of Jesus or the evolution of homo sapiens.

        Those in power generally like to think that "history is bunk". After all, history has put them in the driving seat, and they don't want any action replays or adverse rulings from the referee.

    • by fsckmnky (2505008)
      1953 was 58 years ago. What are the odds the people in office in 1953 are still in office and that nothing has changed since ?
      • The ghost of Richard Nixon will turn up in many strange places...
        • by fsckmnky (2505008)

          The ghost of Richard Nixon will turn up in many strange places...

          Yeah, I hate it when that happens.

      • by tftp (111690)

        What are the odds the people in office in 1953 are still in office

        The USA is not a dictatorship where everything depends on the will of one man. The USA is ruled by the immortal collective of politicians. Old politicians die, young politicians enter, but the "hive mind" remains the same. This can be easily seen from the fact that the US policy hasn't changed substantially since 1900's.

    • As the great Tom Lehrer noted, speaking of the assorted benighted non-Americans of the world: "They've got to be protected, all their rights respected, 'till somebody we like can be elected!"*

      * Availability of protection, respect, rights, and even the pretense of an election, at participating franchises only. Individual results may vary. Terms and conditions apply; Geneva convention may not.
  • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:14PM (#38284884)

    slashdotted already? Oh here I got a cut and paste for my friends here:

    Why Virtual Embassy Tehran?

    Its harder to take hostages online, and our current prez Jimmy Carter the Second doesn't want to redo that, although he seems cool with "StagFlation II the adventure continues".

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Video Remarks to Virtual Embassy Tehran

    "We have outlawed Tehran and the bombing begins in five minutes". Oh wait that was Ronnie's microphone test line from three decades ago. Well, different day, same old scare tactic to maintain control.

    Former Iranian Embassy

    Earlier this year, the State Department provided essential repairs for the former Iranian Embassy in Washington, DC, which was closed in 1980, to ensure the safety of mechanical, electrical, plumbing systems, and auditory and visual bugging and monitoring systems, along with an extensive array of external CCTV cameras monitored by the FBI. Also installed geiger counters for your protection.

  • by lemur3 (997863) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:19PM (#38284944)

    is this part of some sort of psyops mission ?

    • They really need to get better psychological operations managers. The ones we have now are pretty pathetic.

  • by Genda (560240) <(mariet) (at) (got.net)> on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:19PM (#38284950) Journal

    Put links to founders of the "Middle East Spring" movement. Add virtual links to American and European Persian supporters and business people. links to leaders in the American Muslim movement. Make this resource a combination; "Open Hand", "Information Clearing House" for liberal and moderate Persian ideology, A celebration of Persian culture and a clear commitment from the west to be ready for and open to dialog to empower the future of a free, democratic and peaceful Iran.

    Of course at the same time, we need to have "Come home to Moses" talk with Israel about changing their stance to one of causing peace in the Middle East instead of undermining it. There are so many brilliant Israeli people, who want an end to hostility, and are more than willing to work out coexistence. The ongoing growth of illegal settlements only destroy options and nail the future to rails that lead to inevitable violence and ultimately the genocide of Palestine. Certainly there must be a better answer.

    Iran has incredible resources, and amazing people. If we could only convince the population to pull it back from theocracy, its future would be incredibly bright.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Iran has incredible resources, and amazing people. If we could only convince the population to pull it back from theocracy, its future would be incredibly bright.

      They have no interest in that. And I, as US citizen, have no interest in making their lives any easier. They made their choice in 1979, let them starve to death because of it. And end up with one of the most irresponsible, corrupt and ruthless governments in the world as an example to others of any religion seeking to impose a theocracy anywhere.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Are you talking about Iran or the USA? Becuase I am pushing shit up hill to see the difference

      • by halivar (535827)

        Demonstrations in the streets in the last few years indicate many people do have an interest in that. And they didn't choose jack-shit in 1979, their parents did.

        Not saying we should or could do anything about it, just trying to add some perspective to the idea that not all Iranians deserve to get screwed over.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Galestar (1473827)

        one of the most irresponsible, corrupt and ruthless governments in the world

        So you mean the U.S. government?

    • by MasaMuneCyrus (779918) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @05:45PM (#38285822)

      Iran has incredible resources, and amazing people. If we could only convince the population to pull it back from theocracy, its future would be incredibly bright.

      Firstly, I think as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have shown us, we (the US, collectively) have very little power to change or encourage people to think how we'd like them to. We 'ought to have learned a little humility. If we toppled all authoritarian regimes in the world by force and gave the people perfect, free and fair elections, I bet 9/10 of those countries would vote a religious theocratic dictator right back in.

      Secondly, we don't need to do that. Fortunately, most Persian people are already disgusted with the theocracy. What many of the revolutionary Arab states are voting for, the Persians have lived with it for 40 years. They're tired of it. The only reason it isn't gone is because you will die if you go against the regime. In fact, dying might be the most pleasant part. You'll probably be tortured, and if you're really unlucky, your family will be killed, too. Or maybe just your father. You don't even have to protest to be caught when the best minds of US and European IT companies are doing their best to allow the Iranian government to track your every move.

      Most people tend to favor living with harsh favor political oppression over death. That's why Iran is not free, yet. It will become free when
      1. The cost of freedom is lowered
      2. The cost of oppression is high enough to warrant "give me liberty or give me death."

      • by Thing 1 (178996)

        Firstly, I think as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have shown us, we (the US, collectively) have very little power to change or encourage people to think how we'd like them to.

        I think the US is just another vampire squid. We say a lot about freedom, but we project force on the world, in order to obtain resources. Just as the "capitalists" of the early 20th century projected force (using gatling guns) on their employees who were attempting to unionize. "Capitalism" isn't the feel-good Republican wank-fest that we're hearing about these days; read some history (not necessarily directed at the OP).

      • by Pecisk (688001)

        "What many of the revolutionary Arab states are voting for, the Persians have lived with it for 40 years."

        IMHO no, this is oversimplification of Islam. What Persians have there is special version of Islam (Shia) which is famous with "I know what God wants because I have born in right family!". That means that they don't give a shit what society actually thinks - they just force their stuff on others. It is not that traditional (also called Sunni) Islam is any better - but still it doesn't feel like total de

      • 1. The cost of freedom is lowered

        What can we do to help? I mean as tech geeks, not subjects of the Western powers.

  • Makes sense, as US don't have big problems with common Persian people - they have problem with nut heads at the top. I know, someone will come here again and will complain how US is corporation dictatorship, how Iran stands out for being "different", etc. etc. Please. We all know what this government is really all about. And yes, in current state of affairs there's still HUGE difference between power obsessed richies and "I'm fundamentally right to call myself a hand of the God and I will execute my rights

    • Just imagine what you're saying with a reversed perspective: some "middle east looking" person on the other side of the planet saying: "I don't have a problem with common US people, just the nut heads at the top. Let me blow off their heads with a M4 rifle and I'll leave all you innocent citizens in peace".

      By the way, I'm honestly perplexed who you're referring to in:

      And yes, in current state of affairs there's still HUGE difference between power obsessed richies and "I'm fundamentally right to call myself a hand of the God and I will execute my rights nuking you" regime.

      It seems both are referring to the USA. Or are you still talking about those "nut heads" at the top of the Iranian government?

      • Really? The US is no theocracy, no matter how much you may not like the xtian right. Not like Iran is. These comparisons are hyperbole. The kind of comments Ahmajinedad regularly makes about another nation (Israel) should be illustrative enough.
        • Actions speak louder than words.

          Which country is the only self proclaimed Savior of the World, Defender of Freedom and Justice, that regularly invades other countries in the name of <ideal> ? "Hand of God" does not have to refer to a literal religious God of the kind you know.

  • Oh c'mon now, I'm not the only one old enough to remember this right?

  • https fail (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This site needs proper https support, not a broken like this one:

    https://iran.usembassy.gov

    iran.usembassy.gov uses an invalid security certificate.

    The certificate is only valid for the following names:
        a248.e.akamai.net , *.akamaihd.net , *.akamaihd-staging.net

    (Error code: ssl_error_bad_cert_domain)

  • by Tom (822)

    'But, in the absence of direct contact, it can work as a bridge between the American and Iranian people.'"

    Then it should come from the people, not from the government.

    The idea is nice, though there are roughly 10,000,000 other websites already telling someone interested in america everything he wants to know and a million things he really didn't want to know. But how about dropping the marketing speech? Don't pretend that real humans are talking to real humans when on the one side it's just marketing zombies and politicians.

    • by Thing 1 (178996)

      But how about dropping the marketing speech? Don't pretend that real humans are talking to real humans when on the one side it's just marketing zombies and politicians.

      Gives new meaning to "Zombies vs. Plants", I suppose? (Wasn't there recently a (report of a) spy from Iran trying to assassinate someone on US soil? That would be the "plant".)

  • with foreigners but anything their own citizen want to let the gov know about falls on deaf ears unless you can contribute $$$$$$$$$ to the politician of you choice. What a fucking wonderful country. I so hope I see the fall of the US in my life time, i'll be at the Canadian border with my illegal guns to keep illegal at the border while I watch the show and eat popcorn.

    • I so hope I see the fall of the US in my life time,

      so true. me, i can't wait until my house burns down. i'll be roasting hot dogs on the coals.

      i'll be at the Canadian border

      it's going to be a rude awakening for you i think when you discover that leaders are corrupt where ever you go.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @06:29PM (#38286178)

    ...4chan to represent Americans to the world.

  • in the embarrassing decades-long chapter of American detest for a country with a population larger than great britain, that most of its citizens cant even find on a map.

    just once, instead of pissing away money and resources on a country that presently seems just as content to leave us all the fuck alone, id like to hear a compelling reason why we're working so hard to make the lives of seventy-five million people so god-damn miserable with sanctions on international goods and services. The only thing w
  • This is just a honeypot, so the US can track and test the Iranian hackers and try to divert the attacks from the US main sites

  • I was hoping they would have finally made a Second Life-like virtual conferencing system. For a small fraction of the cost of any of the G20/whatever conferences, they could instead build such a system with Crysis-quality graphics, facial motion capture, secure high-quality conferencing terminals, you name it. It would be much more eco-friendly as well, and what governments will really like is that it doesn't create an opportunity for protests.

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