By: Ben Evansky
December 30, 2009
Ever since Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected last June the world has witnessed spontaneous protests by everyday Iranians against the regime, and now a website is asking for internet users around the world to post a video message of support to the Iranian protesters on its You Tube channel.
The website is called Planet Iran (), its Iranian-American founder Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi says she got the idea after being asked by people how they can help to do their bit for the “freedom fighters” in Iran.
Zand-Bonazzi tells Fox News “it’s become extremely clear that the new technologies of communication don’t have to be restricted to the celebrity culture and consumerism. They can be used to pry open what used to be dark and closed worlds. So individuals in their own houses in their own countries and on their own streets now can communicate directly and intimately with those who are bearing the brunt inside Iran. is a campaign created to connect people around the world on a grassroots level.”
She says that You Tube, unlike many other sites in Iran cannot be filtered or blocked by the Iranian regime.
Indeed, ever since the first outpouring of public outrage over the Presidential election results in Iran, critics of the Obama administration’s Iran policy such as Christopher Holton say the need for websites like Planet-Iran are strong. Holton who is Vice President with the Center for Security Policy in Washington D.C says the administration’s Iran policy of engagement has so far failed and that the protesters in Iran had been inconvenient for Obama’s policy.
On Monday the President condemned the recent events that took place in Iran. Saying in part “We call for the immediate release of all who have been unjustly detained within Iran. We will continue to bear witness to the extraordinary events that are taking place there. And I’m confident that history will be on the side of those who seek justice”.
Holton said the President’s words “are carefully parsed so as to not be seen as directly supportive of the opposition.”
Potkin Azarmehr is one of the most influential Iranian bloggers outside of Iran he says that “any sign of international solidarity raises the spirits of the protesters” and that it will also add to the regime’s heightened state of panic if they see how strong the world’s public opinion is against them.
His site, is often one of the first to post the latest news and videos sent from inside Iran showing the ongoing protests and the brutality often meted out by the Ahmadinejad regime against its opponents. As to the lack of support from the West Arzamehr says that it would be “”an understatement to say we are disappointed but perhaps we should not be surprised?” he says his hope “is that public support in the western countries will make their politicians finally see sense.”
Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi whose father is a renowned Iranian Journalist and has been in and out of Iranian prisons for his dissident action says the YouTube channel will annoy the regime greatly. She says the site is a “perpetual demonstration with indelible faces, voices, nationalities, accents and each and every voice is being heard at no risk.”