Once again, I am reading an interesting paper on ArXiv.org (doesn’t matter which one, it wasn’t that interesting) and I notice that the author is a physicist from some Iranian university. ArXiv.org has many papers from Iran. No wonder that nation was able to launch a satellite and is working on a nuclear (weapons?) program, apparently with every hope of success. I am not sympathetic towards the regime of the ayatollahs, but the fact that Iran is not as black-and-white as some would like us to believe must be recognized. I also suspect that another fact, itself somewhat hard to reconcile with the picture of a monolithic, intellectually repressive theocracy, namely that as of 2007, 23 million out of Iran’s 66 million inhabitants had Internet access (according to the CIA World Factbook), has a great deal to do with the success and competence of Iranian physicists.