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Iran: the ironic republic

Restricted in public, Iranians are taking to the internet to express dissent—and make dark jokes

Deep fakes: satirical images of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared online when rumours spread he might stand again in 2021. Image via Instagram

On 7th November 2020, just hours after the announcement that Joe Biden had officially won the US presidential election, Iran’s First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri retweeted a meme on Twitter. The meme uses a short video clip from an Iranian state television show in which a man—labelled “Islamic Republic”—is publicly unmoved by some news, but once behind closed doors, he punches the air in delight. (The…

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