Monday, December 05, 2016

Iran's Next Likely Course of Action After the Senate Vote to Extend ISA









"We must be happy about the US Sanctions and these sanctions are good!" - Hasan Rouhani speaking to IRGC commanders in 1995.








Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, spoke last week to the representatives of the Baseej militia who had come from across the country to celebrate the Baseej week and hear his latest guidelines. The Supreme Leader chose the occasion to pre-warn the US law makers against the upcoming renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA).

"If these sanctions are renewed, this is definitely a violation of the JCPOA. It is undoubtedly a violation of the JCPOA. And they should know that the Islamic Republic will surely react to it”. This was how the Supreme Leader and commander-in-chief of the Islamic republic of Iran chose his words and it was followed by the audience responding with their clenched fists shouting feverish chants of “Death to America” 

As it turned out, the US law makers ignored the Ayatollah's warnings and the US Senate voted 99-to-0 to extend the ISA sanctions for another ten years.

“This sanctions regime is how we hold Iran accountable, strengthen our security and deter Iranian hostility towards our allies, especially the state of Israel,” said the Democrat Senator Gary Peters and added “Diplomacy is always our preferred course of action, but it does not work in a vacuum. It only works if it is backed up with credible deterrence.”  
'Credible Deterrence' being the key issue which was always missing from Obama administration's foreign policy modus operandi.

So, the question now asked by everyone is how will Iran react? Well, so far it has been a flurry of verbal condemnations and not surprisingly a growing list of Iranian officials, including members of Rouhani's own administration and Rouhani himself, are aligning themselves with the Supreme Leader in condemning the US for reneging on the nuclear deal.

Reza Akrami, head of the Presidential Cultural Council and one of the closest allies of President Rouhani whose friendship with Rouhani stretches over five decades, said "The JCPOA was a trial that proved to us, the United States does not adhere to anything"

Soheila Jelodarzadeh, female 'reformist' member of Iran's law making body, the Majlis, reacted to the Senate vote by saying "America should now expect the consequences of violating the nuclear deal"

Mohamad Reza Aref, the US educated and current darling of Iran's reformists movement, also condemned the Senate decision and said "This will now have many consequences for America"

Even the weatherman on Iran State TV decided to endear himself and started his weather prediction by saying "Well there is two things you can not rely on, the weather and America"!

Pro-Iran lobbyists and the remnants of Ben Rhodes's echo chamber have also been busy making the usual warnings and repeating the worn out threats of "Now the Iranian hardliners will be strengthened"

Will there be more than just rhetoric?

Despite the Supreme Leader's mastery in the art of hedging his bets and his public hardline gestures for his followers that he is not so sure about the nuclear deal, the truth is the nuclear deal was an agreement that was steered, guided and approved right from its inception and closely monitored in detail in every step of the way  by the Supreme Leader himself.

It is also true that everyone in the Iranian establishment knows full well that the Nuclear Deal saved the Islamic Republic from an eminent economic collapse and ensured the regime's survival. The deal meant the wasteful economically unjustified nuclear program that was not bringing any tangible benefits for the Iranian population, was somewhat restricted in return for the lifting of the vast majority of crippling sanctions which were draining the regime's coffers and curtailing its military adventures in the region. It was a clear win/win deal for Iran and in no way will Iran try to terminate the agreement. The public rhetoric is just to find escape goats that can be used to explain to the public why despite the deal, their economic situation has not improved.

If the US Senate vote is a violation of the JCPOA, then Iran should resort to the 'Dispute Resolution' section in the agreement that was envisaged for such situations and if the dispute resolution mechanism does not favour Iran, then Rouhani should take full responsibility for the failure and announce he will not be running for the next election. 
He was after all assigned to carry out one very specific mission, i.e. to remove the crippling sanctions and save the Islamic Republic from collapse. He did that brilliantly using Zarif's superb diplomatic skills and credentials. If Rouhani has now failed in that, as the official rhetoric from Iran and the Supreme Leader's warnings claim, then his clasp to power can only be explained by his personal ambitions to stay in the perpetual shrinking power struggle within the Islamic Republic's establishment.

Should Rouhani publicly announce now that he will not run for the office in the next presidential elections it is almost guaranteed that the current frenzy of rhetorics against the Senate approval for another 10 year extension of the ISA will fizzle out almost immediately. 


Right now however, those with the ambition of wanting to remain in the power oligarchy within the Islamic Republic of Iran, are all jumping on the bandwagon of condemning the US vote as a manifestation of America going back on its word and that includes Rouhani himself! But apart from verbal condemnations and rhetoric, most likely not much more..

Monday, October 03, 2016

Boycott of women's world chess championship in Iran, is defending women's freedom of choice

When the US female chess champion, Nazi Paikidze-Barnes, and some of the world's other top female chess players announced last week, they will boycott the next world chess championships in Iran, because they have been told they are expected to wear the compulsory headscarves in Iran; it was a truly welcome news for Iran's women who have been fighting against the compulsory hejab forced upon them since shortly after the victory of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.

Iranian women have seen very little international support in their long courageous fight against not having the right to wear what they choose. 
Western feminist activists who are quick to march, demonstrate and publicly express their support for Muslim women to have the choice to wear the repressive burkas & neghabs in the West, have so far largely ignored the struggle of Iranian women to have the right to choose what they want to wear. 

But cowardice, hypocrisy and silence of the Western feminists to one side, the Guardian's attempt to turn the chess boycott into an action against the women of Iran was truly despicable.

Islamic Republic of Iran's own man in the Guardian, Saeed Kamali-Dehghan, the former employee of the IRGC affiliated Fars News Agency in Iran, did his best to hand pick the women inside Iran to speak out against the boycott in his article.

Kamali-Dehghan spoke to Mitra Hejazipour, ranked 40th amongst the women chess players in Iran and 2357th in the world ranking, he quoted her as saying
"It’s not right to call for a boycott. These games are important for women in Iran."

One can understand that Mitra Hejazipour wants to play chess with her Western counterparts and to do this she has to accept wearing the compulsory hejab, she may even wear the hejab of her own free choice and due to her religious convictions, but no one has the right to tell other women to accept the compulsory dress code that to many Iranian women is a manifestation of the repression against them. A repressive symbol which they have been fighting against on a daily basis with the Islamic Republic's "morality police".

On the very day that the international female chess players will take part in the tournament, the morality police will be confronting thousands of Iranian women in the streets and even detain and/or fine them, for no other reason that they have not fully observed the compulsory Islamic dress code.

According to the official figures from Iran's interior ministry, in the first two years of Rouhani's presidency, three million judiciary files have been filed against women who have not fully observed their hejab code.

So far in this current Iranian year, between March to September, 40,000 vehicles have been impounded just in the Iranian capital city, Tehran,  because the female drivers or passengers were deemed not to be observing their obligatory Islamic dress code properly. 
How can newspapers like the Guardian and the Western feminist activists be indifferent to these figures and at the same time expect non-Iranian women chess players to submit to the compulsory Islamic dress code too?

Saeed Kamali-Dehghan has further quoted Mitra Hejazipour as saying
"its an opportunity for us [women of Iran] to show our strength".

To watch the Islamic Republic successfully force non-Iranian women to wear a headscarf is no show of strength for the women of Iran at all, if anything its a show of strength by the Iranian regime and Saeed Kamali-Dehghan knows this very well. The truth is that the Iranian women already show their strength by fighting the much despised morality police, on a daily basis throughout the country

Saeed Kamali-Dehghan also quotes Ghonche Ghavami as saying 
“The world must hear the pro-reform voices of people inside Iran and not ignore these pleas by isolating the country.”

Ghoncheh Ghavami is a UK-Iranian dual national graduate from SOAS university in London.  She left UK to live with her family in Iran after suffering some emotional problems. In UK, she was very active and vocal against the Iranian regime and participated in many demonstrations without wearing the headscarf. She was arrested in Iran after attempting to enter the volleyball stadium in 2014 with other Iranian female activists. Although others were released the next day, Ghoncheh was further detained and later sentenced to imprisonment after some alleged evidence was discovered on her mobile phone that was said to endanger Iran's national security. Since her release, she has been under pressure to back the Rouhani administration and say the "right" things in favour of the situation in Iran, so that it may lead to the lifting of her ban to leave Iran. For Saeed Kamali Dehghan to purposely select someone like Ghoncheh under such constraints for a quote in his article is not just bad judgement, its suspicious to say the least
Hanieh Farshi, a former imprisoned female blogger in Iran, reacted to the Guardian article and the way the Iranian women were selected by Saeed Kamali-Dehghan, by posting this on her Facebook today:
"
I have been jailed, I have paid the price, why doesn't a newspaper like the Guardian ever talk to someone like me and hear how we have suffered from the effects of the boycott of female sports by the Islamic Republic itself? For years we can't watch female sports on state TV, for years women's swimming has been excluded from the list of world sports, and then they tell us the Hejab issue is not important?! Who says it is not important? Is it not important for them [The Guardian] that for 38 years we have had to exercise our natural right [freedom of choice in what to wear] in secrecy and in hiding?"

Despite all of Saeed Kamali-Dehghan's attempts to turn the tables against the female chess players who called for a boycott, most fair and decent people should see that the likes of Nazi Paikidze are only defending their own dignity and integrity by expressing solidarity with the repressed women of Iran. 
Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country in the world which forces compulsory hejab throughout the country and also forces non-Muslim foreign visitors to comply too.

One last word, those of us who remember the apartheid years in South Africa, will recall similar arguments that Saeed Kamali-Dehghan has posed in his disgraceful article in the Guardian. During the apartheid years, calls by the anti-apartheid movement in the West to boycott sports matches played against South Africa were always confronted by the right-wing pro-South African regime's lobbyists as leading to isolation and having a detrimental affect on the black players themselves. We were always told by the western leaders keen on doing business with the apartheid regime that boycott of South Africa hurt the blacks most and yet the leaders of the anti-apartheid movement inside the country always told us otherwise.

Curiously, when it comes to the Islamic Republic of Iran's apartheid against women, the Left in the West suddenly resort to those same arguments used by the pro-apartheid lobbyists.




Monday, August 15, 2016

Enemy of the US State Dept!

Darya Safai, shown in the picture on the left, is a passionate Iran volleyball fan, who attends all the Iran international volleyball matches played outside Iran. As well as an enthusiastic volleyball fan, Darya is also a tireless peaceful civil rights campaigner for Iranian women to be allowed to enter the volleyball stadiums in Iran. A basic right that has been denied to Iranian women in recent years.

Darya is often seen amongst the spectators, holding a placard raising awareness about the plight of Iranian women and their right to enter volleyball stadiums. This weekend, she hit the international news headlines again:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/olympic-officials-to-iranian-fan-take-down-sign-or-leave-194533334.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37075735

http://summergames.ap.org/article/olympic-security-asks-female-iranian-fan-drop-sign

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3739126/Olympic-security-asks-female-Iranian-fan-drop-sign.html

http://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-37077792

...

Apart from an ardent volleyball fan and women's rights campaigner, Darya is also a successful dentist, a wife, a mother of two children, and a very charming pleasant woman, but she is also, it seems, an enemy of the US State Department which is trying to cuddle up to the Islamic Republic of Iran by what the US State Dept likes to think of as its "Volleyball Diplomacy" with Iran - a crass replica of the "ping-pong" diplomacy with China, in yet another pathetic attempt to "change the behaviour of the Iranian regime"!


Greg Sullivan pursuing
his Volleyball Diplomacy
In 2014, when Iran volleyball team played a friendly match against the US, Greg Sullivan, [seen in the photo] from the US State Dept, hoping that he would win favours from the Islamic Republic, sent a "warning" to Lori Okimura, chairwoman of USA Volleyball federation, that some kind of violent disruptive Iranian saboteur will be attending the match!

Okimura had the impression, based on the State Department's message, that Darya was an "agitator of sorts who could potentially cause trouble" but when Okimura met Darya, she realised the US State Dept warning could not have been further from the truth.

During that friendly match, Okimura had her first run-in with Iranian gender politics. At the State Department's request, according to Okimura, USA Volleyball flew in a male delegate from its headquarters in Colorado Springs for the various ceremonial gatherings between Iranian and American officials, effectively replacing Okimura due to her gender, even though she lives in the Los Angeles area. "When they found out that the president of USA Volleyball was a woman," Okimura recalled, "they asked for the other guy."

This is the sad state of affairs after 8 years of Obama administration, that a secular women's rights and peaceful civil rights activist is seen as a threat and the Mullahs in Iran along with their Shia militia in Iraq are regarded by the US State Dept as their new allies!!

US ally enjoying the warmth of flames from a burning human





Enemy of the US State Dept!

Darya Safai, shown in the picture on the left, is a passionate Iran volleyball fan, who attends all the Iran international volleyball matches played outside Iran. As well as an enthusiastic volleyball fan, Darya is also a tireless peaceful civil rights campaigner for Iranian women to be allowed to enter the volleyball stadiums in Iran. A basic right that has been denied to Iranian women in recent years.

Darya is often seen amongst the crowds, holding a placard that raises awareness about such a basic right being denied to the Iranian women. This weekend, she hit the international news headlines again:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/olympic-officials-to-iranian-fan-take-down-sign-or-leave-194533334.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37075735

http://summergames.ap.org/article/olympic-security-asks-female-iranian-fan-drop-sign

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3739126/Olympic-security-asks-female-Iranian-fan-drop-sign.html

http://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-37077792

...

Apart from an ardent volleyball fan and women's rights campaigner, Darya is also a successful dentist, a wife, a mother of two children, and a very charming pleasant woman, but she is also, it seems, an enemy of the US State Department which is trying to cuddle up to the Islamic Republic by what the US State Dept likes to think of as its "Volleyball Diplomacy" with Iran - a crass replica of the "ping-pong" diplomacy with China, in order to "change the behaviour of the Iranian regime"!


Greg Sullivan pursuing
his Volleyball Diplomacy
In 2014, when Iran volleyball team played a friendly match against the US, Greg Sullivan, [seen in the photo] from the US State Dept, hoping that he would win favours from the Islamic Republic, sent a "warning" to Lori Okimura, chairwoman of USA Volleyball federation, that some kind of violent disruptive Iranian saboteur will be attending the match!


Okimura had the impression, based on the State Department's message, that Darya was an "agitator of sorts who could potentially cause trouble" but when Okimura met Darya, she realised the US State Dept warning could not have been further from the truth.

During that friendly match, Okimura had her first run-in with Iranian gender politics. At the State Department's request, according to Okimura, USA Volleyball flew in a male delegate from its headquarters in Colorado Springs for the various ceremonial gatherings between Iranian and American officials, effectively replacing Okimura due to her gender, even though she lives in the Los Angeles area. "When they found out that the president of USA Volleyball was a woman," Okimura recalled, "they asked for the other guy."

This is the sad state of affairs after 8 years of Obama administration, that a secular women's rights and peaceful civil rights activist is seen as a threat and the Mullahs in Iran along with their Shia militia in Iraq are regarded by the US State Dept as their allies!!

US ally enjoying the warmth of flames from a burning human





Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Nasrollah on Hezbollah's funding v What John Kerry Ass-U-Me-s?

Below are excerpts from Nasrollah's speech made to mark the 40th day, a Shia tradition after someone dies, for Mustafa Badreddine's death:

"Some in the media were hopeful and were saying that Hezbollah is facing a financial crisis and has lost its position in Lebanon

Sanctions against Hezbollah are useless

Our budget, expenses, food, missiles, weapons, and everything else all comes to us from Iran

As long as Iran has money, we too have money

Hezbollah has no business plans or investment centres

The money allocated for us, does not come to us directly, neither through banks,  just like we get the missiles with which we threaten Israel with

Hezbollah is grateful to Iran’s Supreme Leader, the president, the administration, the Majlis, Grand Ayatollahs and the honourable people of Iran for supporting our resistance, Iran’s support continues and we have no financial problems"

And here is what John Kerry ass-u-me-s :

video

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

With "Moderates" like this, who needs a "hardliner"?!

The Western media headlines of "Moderates Swept to Victory in Iran Elections" was baffling to many who follow Iran news closely and have a better understanding of what is going on and who is who in Iran. Of course since the New York Times Interview with Ben Rhodes, now we know about his "echo chamber" lapdogs, the Laura Rozens and Barbara Slavins, and the "narratives" they were supposed to produce. And so the narrative for the recent Iran "elections" was supposed to be something along the lines of 'because of the nuclear deal, Iran's moderates have received a huge boost and it was a big set back for the hardliners!'..yeah right!!

I have written before about this 'good cop/bad cop'  game the Islamic Republic plays with its moderates v hardliners, much in tune with how the KGB used to play it in Romania under Ceausescu,  and also how former murderers and paedophiles were re-branded as "moderates" in the last Iran election game. So just to hammer the point home a bit further, I thought I share with you this footage of Isfahan Friday Prayer leader, Ayatollah Tabatabaei-Nejad's sermon, made last Friday.
This very Ayatollah was one of the nominees for Iran's "reformist" list of candidates that the BBC Persian "Iran analysts" were recommending the people of Iran to vote for! His victory to represent Isfahan in the Assembly of Experts was hailed as a triumph for Iran's "reform" movement!

Here is the footage below, followed by the translation of the sermon below. Judge for yourself, with "moderates" like this, who needs "hardliners"?!

video


Translation:

"They have brought me pictures yesterday that shows women by the side of this dry river [Zayandeh-rood], whose actions will ensure the upper stream of the river will become dry too. Believe me its true! You may ask yourself why do European countries with so much crime and sin have so much rainfall? Yes the Koran says we do not punish the unbelievers, and even if it didn't cause Muslims so much anxiety we would make their [kuffar] roofs made out of gold, God punishes the believer, God punishes the Isfahani, for remaining silent and letting girls and women take pictures by the river as if they were in European countries, you expect the representative of the Supreme Leader to do it all by himself? I tell you he won't.
Even when Imam Ali, saw the people were not backing him, he sat in his house and stood silent against all the crimes that were taking place around him, if we dont have the people's backing our hands are tied! Neither the Supreme Leader, nor his representative nor the Law Enforcement Forces which I must thank..I get reports of what they do, they do a lot, they stop a lot of cars [women driving cars with loose hejab], they stop people walking dogs, but thats not enough, they need your help.. Imam Khomeini started the cultural revolution, and they have meetings and say some things, but whats the point? its all talk and meetings, my beloved ones, the principle of promoting virtue and preventing vice is not specific to the Supreme Leader or a specified official, everyone has the duty to do it, just like you have the duty to fast, as soon as you walk out of your house you should tell your daughter, your neighbour etc. what is virtue and what is vice

What our great Imam Khomeini once told us was 'what scares us is cultural dependence and not sanctions or military invasion' and so we shouldn't fear sanctions or military invasion but we should fear cultural invasion, it will destroy our revolution and the blood of our martyrs will go to waste, we must not make excuses like 'oh I told that woman but she stood up to me!" so what if she stood up to you? You stand up to her too!
I am not saying beat her up, but do tell her!
they tell me in some of these social media sites, they have formed groups who call themselves fast-breakers! they message each other and ask to see each other breaking their fasts by showing what they are eating for lunch! This is standing up to religion, these are hypocrites!
Or another one has set up a group against Hejab and they ask each other to send their pictures with no hejab. they say they have 1500 members!
I here by tell the Telecommunications company, if you can identify these people but are not after them, then you are traitors to Islam!
These people who confront the fasting and confront the Hejab are hypocrites and hypocrites are worse than Kuffar! they should be arrested and not released soon!
I asked and the communication company said they can find these people, well find them! shut them up! strangle them! we can't just sit still and say such things are taking place! and just kiss our teeth in disapproval!"

Friday, June 03, 2016

How Times Change - The Secular Iran in 1930s

BBC Persian's revelation of a letter from Ayatollah Khomeini to president Kennedy in 1963, pledging that he would look after US interests in Iran and would not try to export the revolution, prompted me to read the whole 86 page document, "CIA report, Islam in Iran, March 1980, Secret, CREST".


The document is a summary of the role of Islam in Iran in recent history. What prompted my interest was a section in the beginning of the document, which described how secular Iran had become in the 1920-1930s.

The document describes an American Christian minister who had approached Reza Shah the Great's court minister, Teymourtash, seeking his consent for sending missionaries to Iran and setting up schools there.

Teymourtash's reply was:
"Iran is trying to get rid of religion in its own schools" and further asks "How would you like it, if we bundled up a crowd of moth-eaten mullahs and sent them to America to open up schools there?"

Nearly hundred years on, it seems that is exactly what has happened. Lots of "moth-eaten" mullahs have been sent to Europe and America, facilitated by Leftards and useful idiots, to set up schools and it seems at the end, Islam will be victorious and take over!

Below is a picture of Teymourtash and a picture of a "moth-eaten" mullah who opposed Reza Shah the Great:



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Appeasement of the Mullahs, Like Father, Like Son?!


General Hassan Pakravan, the second chief of the Shah's secret police, SAVAK, had all the pedigrees needed to be regarded as an Iranian silver spoon fed aristocrat. His father was the governor of Khorasan province, amongst his many other titles and his mother, partly of European descent, was related to the Habsburg rulers of the Austro-Hungar empire. Pakravan studied most of his childhood and youth, studying abroad and finally graduated from the artillery school in Poitiers, France, and the Ecole d’Application d’Artillerie in Fontainebleau.

Pakravan was appointed as the second chief of the Shah's secret police, better known by its acronym, SAVAK, after its first appointed chief, Teimour Bakhtiar, was removed when he became too ambitious and wanted to rule Iran himself.

Pakravan's soft and compassionate nature was hardly suitable for someone who was supposed to lead a secret police organisation, he would have been more at home had he been appointed as the director of an art gallery or the national opera.

It was during Pakravan's time as the chief of SAVAK, that Khomeini was arrested. Orders had come from the then Prime Minister, Assadollah Alam, to arrest Khomeini for instigating a bloody riot that opposed the Shah's progressive reforms such as replacing the feudal land ownership and granting universal suffrage to women and the religious minorities of Iran.

During the time Khomeini was under house arrest in Tehran, General Pakravan visited him every week for lunch. According to Pakravan's wife, this was something Khomeini looked forward to and would say: "Timsar [General], I count the days to our lunches together." Pakravan, on the other hand, was literally petrified of Khomeini and totally awestruck by this stern puritan Shia cleric. "He makes my hair stand on end. It is frightening," Pakravan told his wife about his impression of Khomeini.

When Khomeini was sentenced to death, General Pakravan, became upset and felt sorry for his weekly luncheon companion and missed their conversations about religion and philosophy. The Shah's General and head of the "bad, bad brutal" SAVAK decided he had to save his "friend". Perhaps he was hoping that by continuing his luncheon dialogues, he would change the Ayatollah's behaviour!

Pakravan contacted the moderate, also soft natured, Grand Ayatollah Shariatmadari and asked for his help. Ayatollah Shariatmadari issued a decree that promoted Khomeini to an Ayatollah and Pakravan then convinced the Shah that he should not have an Ayatollah executed. Pakravan thus saved Khomeini's life and furthermore asked Turkey to grant asylum to Khomeini.

Not that Khomeini showed any gratitude either to Pakravan or to Ayatollah Shariatmadari after he seized power. General Pakravan was amongst the first of the Shah's officials to be executed after the 1979 revolution had triumphed. Ayatollah Shariatmadari was also eventually put under house arrest and denied medical care, until he died in miserable conditions on 3rd April, 1986.

The fruit has not fallen far from the tree as it appears that General Pakravan's son, Dr. Karim Pakravan, is now continuing the same futile path of appeasement of the mullahs in Iran and has become a key fundraiser and advisor to NIAC, the lobby organisation that advocates appeasement with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Lets hope Karim Pakravan does not end up having the same fate as his father or help more extremists come to power like his father did!