I am pleased to announce that today is the one year anniversary of our Virtual Embassy Tehran (http://iran.usembassy.gov/ and http://persian.iran.usembassy.gov/). We launched the site as a new and exciting engagement opportunity with the Iranian people. As the Secretary noted in her welcome video last year, “This is a platform for us to communicate with each other—openly and without fear—about the United States, about our policies, our culture, and the American people” despite the Iranian regime’s efforts to control the flow of information to and from the Iranian people.
Since its launch, the site has received almost two million page-hits from Iranians seeking information uncensored by their government, including U.S. policy, visa information, study opportunities for Iranians in the United States, and cultural highlights such as a Virtual Music Ambassador series and a “Poet’s Corner” celebrating the work of Walt Whitman. We’re delighted by the response we’ve received from visitors to the site and the ongoing conversations we continue to enjoy on our affiliated USAdarFarsi Facebook page (which now has over 81,000 fans) and ourTwitter, Google+, and YouTube platforms.
As the Virtual Embassy Tehran enters its second year, we plan to bring even more exciting and innovative content to Persian-language visitors and to promote freedom of expression, unfettered communication and access to information, and the continued exchange of ideas and opinions between the Iranian and American peoples.