Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More Pictures from Student Protests in Iran

Here are some more pictures from the student protests in Tehran universities. Office of Supreme Leaders Representation in the university being a particular target of the protesters:

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Absurdity of the Cockroach Cartoon

All different kinds of Iranians are jumping on the bandwagon and condemning the cartoon which has rocked the Azeri parts of Iran. All sorts of Iranian one man "parties" are busy drafting out damning statements calling for the heads of the two young journalists, Mana Neystani and Mehrdad Qasemfar, just so that their non-
existent inactive groups get a mention and pretend that they exist.

Its a typical Iranian trait. A whirlwind, a craze, a new fashion, a new wave has come about and some have let themselves be taken over by it, no one wants to be left behind without having published a statement, but also without thinking through the problem and its consequences. The cartoons are not offensive, they are not meant to portray the Azeris as cockroaches, it is ludicrous to suggest so. The cartoon is simply a depiction of two sides talking completely different languages while pretending to engage in a discussion, thats all there is to it. Instead two young Iranians have to suffer and as usual they are journalists, the most perilous profession in Iran.

What I hear more than anything else from people who have recently left Iran, is that after 27 years of Islamic Republic policies, the Iranian people have lost their sense of identity. For 27 years until recently, nationalism has been a bad word. School children are no longer taught to be proud of their Iranian heritage, they are taught all our history before Islam was bad and cruel, it was Islam that liberated us, and Islam is our main identity. It was because of Islam that our boys sacrificed their lives, defending the country against Saddam's aggression. Our flag no longer bears any Iranian symbols, it is written all over with Arabic words. Only recently and because of the nuclear issue, the regime has engaged in some pathetic effort to revive nationalism but not a positive kind of nationalism, a destructive meaningless jingoism of the worst kind. It is for that reason that the young Iranians are craving for an identity. One minute they are taken in by the shallowest Pan-Turkist propaganda, one minute by the Kurdish media across the border and one minute they regard themselves as a nuclear power and so on. Twenty Seven years of deliberate destruction of the Iranian identity by the mullahs is now bearing its poisonous fruits and some pathetic excuse as this cartoon has lit up a tinder dry powder keg.

I am not jumping on the bandwagon however, I don't believe any movement aimed against the mullahs is a worthy cause to back, and I won't condemn the cartoon or the cartoonists either. Instead I will join those who are calling for these two innocent young Iranians Mana and Mehrdad to be freed.

They Threatened to Burn Her Children in Front of Her

The likes of Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Elaheh Rostami and Iran Action are desperately trying to portray the Islamic Republic of Iran as an acceptable form of government to the world. In their numerous meetings they tell their gullible audiences lies and half truths and try to excite their inherently anti-American audiences with the heroic fairy tales of anti-imperialist struggles by the Islamic state.

Then there are the likes of Shirin Ebadi, who talks about the horrors of the Islamic Republic to her Iranian audiences, who know these things too well, but when she gets the international stage opportunity, she chooses to talk about Palestine and Guantanamo.

Here is one Iranian lioness however, who risked it all to tell the world about the murder of Shwaneh Ghaderi. Read about what Dr. Roya Toloii suffered as a result and understand why Iranians like me feel so strongly about Islamic Republic apologists and their allies:

Dissident tells of assaults and threats against children during 66 days in jail run by Iran's clerical regime - By Philip Sherwell in Washington

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Eight Students Arrested

Commander Talaii today announced that eight "pseudo-students" have been detained during the violent clashes over the last two days in Tehran university. The student protests started after five university lecturers were forced to take early retirement, interferences in student society elections and the unwelcomed presence of Baseej forces in university campuses.

Commander Talaii also mentioned twenty five law enforcement personnel were injured as a result of the clashes with the students.

House of Commons Meeting

Went to the House of Commons meeting last night. Speakers were : Chair Jeremy Corbyn, Lindsey German (Stop the War Coalition), Dr Elaheh Rostami Povery (Action Iran), Kate Hudson (CND Chair) and the Tudeh Party.

Lindsey German started her speech, almost identical to what she was saying last time I saw her at the SWP meeting in Hackney. Then Elaheh Rostami started her usual windbag. She went on about the Shah of Iran and how he was such a "famous"! dictator and what a popular revolution it was that overthrew him. Then the same outrageous absurdities about how the women of Iran have benefited from the revolution and regurgitated some statistics on how well off Iranian women are now days (apparently 96% of them have immunisation!). Added to all her usual gibberish, was her new figment of imagination on how well the mullahs have redistributed the wealth! As an example, she mentioned the houses of Shah's supporters which were confiscated and given to the urban poor :)

The Tudeh Party (Iran's pro-Soviet Union Communist Party - does it still exist?) representative was Mohammad Omidvar, who talked about his dismay at the failure of the reformists in Iran, but at least he was not as supportive of the Islamic Republic as Elaheh Rostami was.

The last speaker was Kate Hudson from CND, who said the Islamic Republic had adhered to all international nuclear treaties and has not set a foot wrong, but she condemned the West's use of nuclear technology and weapons.

This however was a more democratic meeting to the one we previously attended to organised by the SWP. Credit to Jeremy Corbyn, and unlike the SWP, we were allowed to question and challenge the speakers.

I stood up and reiterated our position that opposing the invasion must be accompanied by opposing the religious dictatorship in Iran. I listed some of the atrocities of the Islamic Republic in the last 27 years and how the likes of Elaheh Rostami and most of the panel members had remained silent. Throughout the brief time I had been given however, Elaheh Rostami's husband who always sits strategically behind me in the audience, tried to interrupt me by calling me a CIA agent and a monarchist. I tried to continue however and explain how Elaheh Rostami either lies to the British audience or tells them half truths, about the situation of women in Iran and workers etc. For example she mentioned how the bus drivers in Iran went on strike and some were arrested but were then later released, but she didn't mention that they were all sacked and lost their livelihood and how the bus drivers' leader, Mansour Ossanlou, remains in solitary confinement without being charged and how previously he had his tongue slashed by the state sponsored union bashing thugs. I concluded that the best way to stop the invasion of Iran was international solidarity to overthrow the religious dictatorship in Iran in favour of a secular democratic government.

After me, another Iranian stood up and spoke much more eloquently than me. He said right at the start that he was unequivocally against any invasion of Iran. He mentioned his family in fact live in the Natanz area, near one of the nuclear reactors and he shuddered to think what would happen to them if an invasion took place. He continued however by saying that the Islamic Republic is really a nasty regime and how disappointed he was by the chairman of CND's hypocrisy, Kate Hudson, who could not see how the mullahs in any way had tried to hide their nuclear ambitions and listed some of their deceptions. He concluded by saying that at the end of the day, no matter how many meetings are held or how many marches take place, the US will not tolerate a nuclear Islamic Republic and the only way to stop the invasion is to overthrow the mullahs, not to bolster the mullahs.

But if some of the statements made by the panel were outrageous, some members of the audience were real fruit cakes. There was an old man, straight from the Jurassic Park, whom Jeremy Corbyn called him by his first name, George. Prior to the meeting, he refused to read a leaflet I gave him and threw it away. He accused us of having a parish church mentality and not seeing the bigger picture, which was the "global struggle of the oppressed masses against US imperialism". At times when he said the word 'imperialism', he got so worked up, I thought he was going to collapse and die. Then there was another woman from an organisation called Liberation(?). In the brief time she had, I counted the number of times she mentioned the word "imperialism", 14 times! "The US imperialism wants to take away the oil money from the people of Iran, like they did with their puppet Shah"
I waited till she finished and asked her "Is the oil money coming to the people of Iran now?" She stood up again and said, "It is not coming to the people of Iran now because the US imperialism is taking it away"!

Another member of her organisation (Liberation?) stood up. A tall young man, with a la-de-da accent, who referred to everyone in the room as "brothers and sisters". To my amazement, he said how North Korea had avoided invasion by developing nuclear weapons and Iran too should do the same. Just to clear any confusion, I asked him "Sorry are you in favour of North Korea?" and bloody hell, he said he supported the North Korean government wholeheartedly!

I thought to myself here is someone who calls his organisation "Liberation" and wants to "liberate" the world to become like North Korea!
He stood by the door trying to flog his Liberation publication after the meeting was over. As I went past him, I asked him laughingly "How is the Great Leader Kim-il-Sung, and our dear leader, Kim-il-Jung?". His comrade, the woman who mentioned imperialism 14 times in two minutes, replied "Have you ever been there?", to which I replied "Have you ever been to Iran?"

Outside the room, we presented our petition to stop under-age marriage laws in the Islamic Republic of Iran, many signed it and told us we were right in challenging the Islamic republic apologists in the meeting. A gentleman from Bangladesh, told me as he was signing the petition, "these champagne Socialists, sit in their comfortable surroundings and have never lived in an Islamic fundamentalist state to know the horrors of it."

Kate Hudson from the CND also signed our petition but Elaheh Rostami and her husband refused and walked away hand in hand. Which is all good, I like to see people freely expressing their affection for each other without fear, but I just thought to myself, shame they wouldn't be able to do that in the Islamic Republic. A Muslim born woman holding hands with her non-Muslim husband in public? Perish the thought!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Powder Keg Situation

Apart from a few small state organised demos, the Danish cartoons did not provoke much spontaneous public protest in Iran, yet a different cartoon printed in the Iran daily has rocked the capital city of Azerabadegan, Tabriz, where I was born.

The cartoon depicts a boy who is trying to say cockroach in different ways and a cockroach sitting behind a desk which replies "what?" in Turkish. The message of the cartoon is how sometimes two people engaged in a dialogue can not understand each other. The article is actually a reference, within the tight censorship limits put on Iranian newspapers, to the letter sent by president Ahmadi-Nejad to George Bush; but since the cockroach replies in Turkish, it was deemed as an insult to the Azeri population by the Azeri people.

As a result, Tabriz and other Azeri cities have seen the biggest demonstrations since the supporters of Ayatollah Shariatmadari - rival to Khomeini - took to the streets and even took control of the state radio in the early 80s.

The separatists have immediately tried to jump on the bandwagon and claim that the protesters are calling for the cessation of Azerabadegan - or Southern Azarbijan as they like to call it - from Iran. Other reports suggest that this is not the case. People fed up with the rule of the mullahs are looking for ways to vent their frustration at them.

One thing is for certain, twenty seven years of clerical rule, has turned the public mood in all of Iran into a powder keg situation. The moment the number of protesters reaches that critical mass and the regime looks vulnerable to the people of Iran, it will be game over for the mullahs.

My generation were betrayed by the stupidities of our previous generation, a bright future for the next generation of Iranians depends on clear rational thinking ahead by the active youth of Iran today. Separatist nonsense talk is not the way forward unless anyone wants to end up like Afghanistan or "Northern Azerbijan".

Monday, May 22, 2006

Stop the War Coalition, Elaheh Rostami and Tudeh Party

Here is a list of events held by Stop the War Coalition:

There seems to be lots of activities against the Egyptian government and the way judges are treated in Egypt. All well and good I say. An independent judiciary is a major pillar of democracy but why no meetings or campaigns to condemn the imprisonment of lawyers in the Islamic Republic of Iran? Shouldn't lawyers feel safe to defend their clients? Of course the reason is simple. The Egyptian government in the eyes of the Stop the War Coalition is pro-American but the Islamic Republic of Iran is anti-American. In their simple minds, anything pro-American is bad and anything anti-American is good!

Most interesting however is the meeting on Tuesday 23rd of May. Look at the panel, Elaheh Rostami - the known stooge of the Ayatollahs in London - and the Tudeh Party! (The pro-Soviet Union Communist Party of Iran). I wonder, is that going to be the entire Tudeh Party? I mean both of their members?? :) Why no name from the disgraced Tudeh Party?

The disgraced Tudeh Party supported the invasion of Iran by the Soviet Red Army during the Second World War, The disgraced Tudeh Party supported the cessation of the for ever Iranian province of Azarbijan to be annexed with the Soviet renaming of the Aran province, the disgraced Tudeh Party supported the pro-Soviet Union concession on the Iranian oil industry, the disgraced Tudeh Party supported the Ayatollahs to come to power. The disgraced Tudeh Party supported the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The disgraced Tudeh Party of Iran helped the Ayatollahs execute thousands of sympathisers of other groups including teenagers and pregnant women.
Now the disgraced Tudeh Party Soviet puppets are guests of the Stop the War Coalition alongside the latest puppet of the Ayatollahs, Elaheh Rostami. I suppose it makes sense, puppets and stooges always feel comfortable alongside each other.

Tuesday 23 May: Don't Attack Iran meeting . 7.30pm Room 15 House of Commons . Speakers: Chair Jeremy Corbyn, Lindsey German (Stop the War Coalition), Dr Elaheh Rostami Povery (Action Iran), Kate Hudson (CND Chair), Tudeh Party of Iran.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thousands March in Support of Secularism

"God is great!" and "I am the soldier of Allah" shouted Alpaslan Arslan, who killed one judge and wounded four others in response to a court ruling in Turkey which had further restricted Islamic dress in official places of work.

Judge Mustafa Yucel Ozbilgin, 64, who was shot in the head, died after six hours on the operating table. The other four wounded during the incident were still in hospital on Thursday, with at least one of them in intensive care.

Immediately, I was reminded of the murder of the Iranian historian, linguist, researcher and lawyer, Ahmad Kasravi, in the court room by Fedayeen of Islam in 1946. Fedayeen of Islam (Devotees of Islam), were a terrorist organisation backed and supported by Ayatollah Khomeini, and many of its remaining activists are now in high positions of power. The fatwa to murder Kasravi, was issued because of what Kasravi wrote in his books. Yet the previous generation of Iranian "intellectuals", who were so active in political protests, did not dare or deem it necessary then to march against the religious dictatorship in the Iranian society.
Instead of confronting the religious despotism which held the society back and prevented Iran from further development, they saw the Islamists as their partners in their political objectives against the establishment. A tragic policy which dragged Iran into the dark ages and the Iranian "intellectuals" themselves paid a heavy price for, when the Islamists finally seized power in Iran in 1979.

The people in Turkey, however took to the streets in their thousands, marched to the mausoleum of the founder of the Turkish secular state, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in Ankara on Thursday, voicing their support for secularism. "Turkey is secular and will remain secular," shouted the crowd.

Lets hope what happened in Iran will not repeat in Turkey.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Latest Report on Iran's Bus Drivers Leader

Latest reports from Iran suggest that the leader of Iran's bus Drivers Trade Union, Mansour Ossanlou, is still incarcerated in the section 2 of the Evin prison. He is taken on an almost daily basis to division 14 of the interrogation unit, where the interrogators are exerting their pressure methods on Ossanlou to make him "confess" he has links with foreign powers. In the last 5 months Ossanlou has been imprisoned, he has suffered from dermatological problems and stomach bleeding.

Ossanlou still hasn't been charged and is on remand but the authorities refuse to grant him bail.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Personal Insult

Here is something that exposes the backward mentality of the so called Azeri separatists. I have had something like 92 comments on my piece about the Gunaz TV Twaddle. Read the latest comment I have had from some blogger who calls himself/herself Azarweb:

"azermehr you are really a "madarjende" I did not want to use this word but it best suits you. Turks saved your mothers and sisters from saddams soldiers rape but now you are using "turke khar".next time we will not save your mothers and sisters, we will fuck them and you too."

Typical backward attitude. If you can't measure up in a debate, insult the other person's family members! And a few misguided brainless individuals think the land of Aturpat will be run better by these people. Dream on!

The Amazing 8 Year Old Ariana

I was at an Iranian party with some friends last week. Amongst the guests were an Afghan family, with amazing passion and knowledge for the mother country, Iran. Most impressive was their 8 year old daughter, Ariana. There was something about this 8 year old which simply grabbed one's attention. She had all the usual mischief of an 8 year old that you would expect, yet there was an air of mental alertness, maturity and vast knowledge about her as well.
The 8 year old Ariana recited beautifully verses from the Book of Kings, our Iranian national book of epics, delighting every one with her eloquence and passion about Iran, but most amazing was the way she shined in a discussion that took place in the party. Two Kurdish cameramen were hired to film the party. One was from Iranian Kurdistan and the other from the Iraqi Kurdistan. The two Kurdish cameramen, seemed to have some aspirations for an independent Kurdistan.
"We want to have our own Kurdistan run by Kurds, and separate from Iran", one of them uttered. Before I or any one else tried to explain the futility of such nonsense, the 8 year old Ariana answered him "Well, we Afghans separated from Iran, many years ago. Look where we are now. Are we any better?"

The Kurdish pair shaken by the 8 year old's question, instead of answering it tried to confuse her with some historical mambo jumbo, "We had established our own repulic of Kurdistan, but the Persian chauvinist, Reza Shah, killed those who had set up this state."
Again Ariana, showing her amazing knowledge of Iranian history and culture answered:
"But Reza Shah was not Persian, he was half Mazandarani and half Azeri, and besides would not the most democratic ruler act as decisively as Reza Shah against an armed uprising that aspired to take away a part of Iran?"

Again instead of answering the question, the two tried to move on and said "The Persians have imposed their own rule on the rest of us." To which Arianna asked the simple question "How many years in the last 1400 years has Iran been ruled by the Persians?"

And again the two separatists didn't know how to answer the little 8 year old. Watching the little Ariana defend the integrity of Iran against the two brain washed individuals was such a joyful experience and it once again reminded me, as the late Dr. Bakhtiar used say, Iran Will Never Die.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cry! You are on TV

Here is an example of the hypocrisy of the mullahs, I have always despised - the champions of SWP in the fight against US imperialism :))

It is a Shiite mourning ceremony, the faithful are taken in by all the nonsense blared out from the pulpit, but the mullah in the movie is busy grooming his beard and moustache and probably eyeing up the young boys in the congregation, until of course, when the camera is zoomed on him. Within a second of noticing the camera, the old fox breaks into tears to show his piety to the Muslim nation! Pathetic creatures.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Last Message of an Iranian Political Prisoner to the Iranian People

Below is a translation of the last message recorded in prison by Iranian political prisoner, Valiollah Feiz Mahdavi, who is facing imminent execution. In his message, there is no plea for clemency from the authorities, there is no plea to have his sentence commuted; instead Faiz Mahdavi, is asking his compatriots "not to abandon our just fight against the oppressive regime of the mullahs".

So where are the Iranian "Human Rights Activists" who only beat their chests for Guantanamo terror suspects? Where are those who have the publicity platforms at their disposal but instead abandon their own people to champion more fashionable causes? Are they not ashamed? They should be and so should the Islamic Republic apologists who desperately try to portray some sort of an acceptable face for the clerics ruling Iran on the international stage. And what will the regime achieve by executing another political prisoner? Will the mullahs be more acceptable to the Iranian people by executing another young man with a whole life ahead of him? They will achieve nothing, except more determination amongst those who oppose their corrupt rule of lies and deceit.

Full translation text of Feiz Mahdavi's last message, taken from Cyrusnews.com:

"Warmest greetings to my dear compatriots in Iran and other countries! My name is Valiollah Feiz Mahdavi. I was born on 5/11/1358 (1979). In Autumn 1380 (2001) ( I was arrested by the Intelligence Ministry agents and charged with undermining national security and attempting to join the PeopleÂ’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran in Iraq. They kept me in solitary confinement for 546 days, during which time I was interrogated and subjected to harshest physical and psychological tortures. I was kept in a little, dimly lit cell; and when moved for any purpose I was shackled, cuffed and blindfolded.These were the hardest days of my life. On a number of occasions they woke me up from sleep in middle of the night, took me outside, and told me "say your last wishes." Then one of them would fire a shot. Thinking I was hit, I would spend a few minutes in state of shock before being led back to my cell.After this hellish period, they arranged a trial for me. I was sentenced to death in a summary court presided over by a judge named Haddad and held at the 26th branch of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. At my sham trial I rejected all the charges and denounced the illegitimacy of the whole procedure where I had no legal representation and no jury was present. On the same day, as a punishment for my protests, I was transferred to a prison in Kermanshah (Dizelabad Prison), where I spent the next few months under harshest conditions. In the last days of 1382 (2003), they returned me to Evin Prison in Tehran. But again, after a few months, because of an argument with Bakhtiari, the erstwhile head of the National Organization of Prisons, I was sent to a prison in Karaj (Rajai Shahr). I remember on my arrival the then head of the prison, Maleki, told me: "none of your protests would leave the walls of this prison".

From then to this day I have been a target of threats and even assaults by criminal prisoners, instigated by prison officials. Calling my days here "living" would be an outright abuse of this word. Of course, this is the situation of all political prisoners here, and thus has to be considered "normal" for them. A few days before the 1385 Norooz I was formally notified by the judiciary deputy of the prison that my death sentence will be carried out on Ordibehesht 26, 1385. But even before this official notice, both the head of the prison and the head of my section, Section 6, had on a number of occasions told me that my sentence would soon be carried out. Just last week the head of Section 6 summoned me to his office and, in an angry, threatening voice, told me: "why do you publicize your condition and sentence? It is not going to help you any more than it helped Hodjat Zamani" My dear compatriots and friends,In the course of my struggle I learned that for freedom fighters it is not all that important to personally see realized the ultimate aim of their efforts and sacrifice. What is paramount for them is steadfastness in struggle. I truly believe that freedom, democracy and justice are as vital to human life as the air one breathes. I thus permit myself to ask you not to abandon our just fight against the oppressive regime of the mullahs. I also have a few words for the leaders and minions of the regime: we will never resign ourselves to the ignominy of surrendering to your repressive dictatorship, even if it will cost us our lives.Long live an Iranian nation free from injustice, oppression and exploitation - Valiollah Feiz Mahdavi (Rajai Shahr Prison)"

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

May Day Pictures

Some pictures that have reached us from the unofficial May Day rallies in Tehran. These pictures are from the rally outside the Bus Drivers' central terminal.

Pictures that the BBC never shows you and protests that the BBC never reports.

Workers that the SWP don't want to know about in case imperialism benefits :)

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day Rallies Attacked by Islamic Security Forces

Several Labour Day rallies, held by Iranian workers and students have been attacked today in Iran. Iran's bus drivers gathered outside the central bus depot in Hengam street, shouting slogans "Independent Trade Union is Our Obvious Right" as opposed to the regime's slogan, "Nuclear Energy is Our Obvious Right". Iran's students also joined the rally shouting "Workers, Students, United we Stand". Only a few minutes after the rally started however, the Islamic Republic Law Enforcement Forces told the workers and the students to disperse. The crowd instead refused shouting "Today is Worker's Day".

When the riot squad got hold of a student and started beating him up, a worker who was holding his infant child, faced the riot squad and shouted at them, "beat me up instead, for I have failed my wife and children, I have not been paid for three months and my family are starving". His constant cries while holding his baby, attracted more passers by and they grew more sympathetic with the workers and the students in the rally.

The Islamic anti-riot squad quickly dispersed the crowd before it grew any bigger. The crowd retreated shouting "Shame on you, Shame on you". At least 15 people were arrested in the very frist few minutes of the rally, including Kayvan Rafii, a student activist.

A larger rally took place in Taleghani Ave. when the workers again refused to disperse and shouted
"Let Palestine be, think about us for once"
"Unions, Strikes, are our obvious rights"
The workers then proceeded towards the Tehran university shouting "The Workers, The Students, United we Stand".

Four of the organisers of the May Day Rally Committee were also arrested outside the Ministry of Labour, where the crowds refused to be taken to the official rally in Fajr Stadium. The four are: Ashraf PirKhezri, Vafa, Hiresh Naghshbanid and Quiomarth.