Itchy's comments on a recent post made me decide it was time for a post on Iran's well-oiled rumor mill. Many Iranians, for instance, still believe that the earthquake in Bam was the result of underground nuclear testing.
Rumors get spread from family-to-family, friend-to-friend, and taxi driver to passenger. (Taxi drivers are the source of most of my favorite rumors…) Rumors are the way that Iranians deal with their distrust of official sources of information.
As Itchy pointed out in his comments, there is currently a rumor going around that the mayor of Tehran made it to the 2nd round in order to solidify the country's voters around Hashemi. So far, this rumor is being spread by Westerners. The Iranians we know are still too shocked to spread rumors.
Before last Friday's elections, there were rumors of plans for dirty tricks. The rumors were not specific, but there was certainly an expectation.
Recently, Fox News reported a popular Iranian rumor and called it a "well kept secret." This particular Fox News piece claimed that it is a well-kept secret that Iran is harboring Al Qaeda members including OBL. K and I have heard this rumor from ever other taxi driver since our first day in Iran. I would hardly call that a well-kept secret. I would call that a "rumor."