EXCLUSIVE: Iranian Dissident Akbar Ganji on the Iranian uprising and Obama

I’ve just conducted a phone interview with Akbar Ganji, one of the leading Iranian dissidents and most prominent voices in the international community for a more liberal Iran.

He knows its brutality in a deeply personal way: the regime imprisoned Ganji for five years after he wrote a series of articles exposing its human rights abuses. Although the Bush administration sought to fund Ganji’s efforts in the hope of encouraging his fellow dissidents, Ganji took a high-profile stance against American support, arguing that even the suggestion of U.S. backing would set back the cause of human rights in Iran.

This is the first interview he’s given to an English-language news outlet since the Iranian uprising broke out last weekend. We spoke through a translator.

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Independent.