September 18, 2013
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Iran's prisoner release may signal push to dismantle security state (Scott Peterson, September 18, 2013, CS Monitor)
Posted by Orrin Judd at September 18, 2013 3:30 PMThe release of prisoners held on security charges is the latest signal by Iran's new centrist government that it aims to fulfill its promises to improve personal freedoms at home and engage the US and the West on nuclear and other issues abroad.The release resonates particularly strongly inside Iran, where it appeared to mark a first clear act of dismantling what analysts have called the "securitization" of the country: a process that gave increasing power to internal security forces, beginning with the 2005 election of arch-conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and deepening appreciably after his fraud-tainted 2009 reelection and its violent aftermath.Mr. Rouhani has called his shocking mid-June victory over a slate of conservative candidates the "beginning of a new chapter," with expectations that the "era of sorrow is coming to an end."