I met Iranian cartoonist Kianoush Ramezani (view Kianoush's blog here) at the recent RIDEP editorial cartooning festival in Carquefou, France.

Kianoush drew cartoons supporting the anti-dictatorship Green Movement in Iran, and regularly criticized the Iranian leadership. The government began cracking down on intellectuals, journalists and bloggers, and after seeing many of his close friends incarcerated, Kianoush made the decision to flee Iran; he was given asylum in France, where he is able to speak about the importance of cartoons and the media environment inside of Iran.

"(In Iran) all the newspapers belong to the government, directly or indirectly, he says. "All are afraid of the power of cartoons. Publishing cartoons is an impossible thing inside of Iran."

Check out my full interview with Kianoush below:

Here are some of Kianoush's cartoons: