Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This is Not Our War

Unpredictable things happen in war. What starts as localised conflicts can quickly spread and engulf whole nations for years. How lucky are those nations whose statesmen have their heads screwed on and act appropriately based on the national interests of their people.

While the Israel-Hamas conflict goes on, it worries me that Iran could be drawn into such military confrontation, not based on any national interest but purely for the adventurism of the Islamic Republic leaders to become the heroes of not the Iranian nation but of the Arab world.

The worrying signs are everywhere:

  • Some baseejis have given ultimatums to Jordanian and Egyptian diplomats in Iran to either leave or defend Hamas.
  • A similar mob have broken into the British embassy ground in Golhak gardens and occupied the grounds, lowered the Britsh flag and hoisted the Palestinian one.
  • 'Martyrdom' forms have been handed out to send volunteers from Iran to defend Hamas.
  • Brigadier General Baqerzadeh, Head of the Foundation for the Remembrance of the Holy Defence, asked for military intervention in Gaza.
THIS IS NOT OUR WAR! Iranians have no national interest in getting involved in this conflict.
Hamas is no friend of our nation, if you don't believe me just look at this picture of Palestinian delegation protest outside the UN building in Beirut. Hamas official, Osama Hamdan can be seen in front of the picture while another protester is holding up a picture of Saddam Hussein, the enemy of our nation and the dictator responsible for the death and maiming of hundreds of thousands of our people, in the back.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ahmadinejad on Channel 4

I am so pissed off, I am so livid at the incompetency and lunacy of this Western media, I want to get hold of one of these snobby condescending fartbag journalists, editors and media bosses and pulp them to the wall. Channel 4 has invited President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not for a debate, not for an interview, but to give an "alternative" Christmas message!

Who will they invite next? Kim-il-Jong? Mugabe? This is rubbing salt on the wounds of all those jailed journalists in Iran, this is an insult to the family of murdered photo-journalist, Zahra Kazemi, this is giving platform to a regime which is persecuting Christian converts in Iran, to a regime which is persecuting religious minorities.

I am tired of all this complacency and deranged madness of the Western media. British people wake up before your media destroys all the privileges you take for granted.

+44 (0) 845 076 0191

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Arab Shoe Thrower

What would have happened if the Arab so called journalist who threw his shoe at President Bush, as he claimed 'for all the mothers and orphans of Iraq?', had thrown his shoe at Saddam Hussein? For Saddam certainly made thousands of mothers mourn for their sons and thousands of Iraqis had become orphans as a result of Saddam's massacres.

If Muntazer al-Zaidi was critical of Bush's policies, as he had a legitimate right to, he could have posed them as questions during the press conference in a civilised manner, something he would have never dared under Saddam.

And it shows how twisted the values of some people are when as a result of throwing his shoe, Muntazer al-Zaidi becomes a hero and a poem on an Islamist website praises him as "a hero with a lion's heart".

After Syria, then led by Hafiz Assad, had invaded and occupied Lebanon, I remember a photograph which showed a Lebanese protester holding a placard which impressed me, it read 'Assad fi Lebanon, Far fi Jolan' - 'Lion in Lebanon - Mouse in the Golan Heights'. That's how I would sum up this new Arab hero, Lion in a press conference, mouse under Saddam.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Recession and Revolution

Nial Ferguson, in his brilliant book, the Ascent of Money, makes an analogy as to the similarity in behaviour of a grazing herd with the human psychology in the stock market. The happily content grazing herd suddenly feel something has changed, something alerts them to stop happily grazing and out of the blue a rush for the farmyard gate by a few becomes a stampede by all the herd. In the stock market, this sudden mood swing triggers a massive sell by the investors and share prices go into free fall. What sets off this sudden mood swing is a complex combination of many variables, some at random and totally unpredictable, not something that I have any expertise in but I can not help but sense the similarities with human psychology during a revolution.

I remember when I was at school in Iran, one of the pupils in my class had grassed another kid for drawing a beard and specs on the Shah's picture which was at the beginning of all our text books. I remember how the teacher was trembling with fear not knowing how to react. That same teacher, a couple of years later, became a major organiser during the revolution and had no fear of sharing her radical views with the class.

The class prefect, whom I remember vividly reading his stomach churning over flattering essay in front of the whole class about the Shah's love for the nation and vice versa became another revolutionary fanatic. When I bumped into him after the revolution and cheekily reminded him about his obsequious essay, first he denied it and when I persisted he admitted that at that time he had not been 'enlightened' by the teachings of Imam Khomeini.

Similarly other kids in the class who had no knowledge nor interest in politics, had overnight removed pictures of their famous football player and pop celebrity heroes on the cover of their text books and ring binders and replaced them with pictures of radical Shiite clerics or Marxist guerrilla fighters.

How does what seems to be a politically apathetic individual, suddenly become so politicised and risks taking part in a movement for change? In my view its confidence. It is the gradual gain in confidence by the masses that suddenly and unpredictably tips the balance.

Until an authoritarian regime is conceived strong and in control, a brave minority may engage in the struggle, but the mainstream masses shrewdly just look on at the impossible odds and decide to get on with their lives without getting involved until something alerts them that the odds have changed, that the regime is no longer as strong as it makes out. Something perceived as important to the psychology of that nation alerts them that an implosion is on the way, fear gives way to confidence, the brave minority exponentially grows in numbers and soon the whole masses get on the band wagon. A behaviour which is similar in its suddenness and unpredictably to a stock market crash because it involves people and numerous complex variables.

Even the absurd wrong predictions shortly before the events are similar. Four months before the Hungarian uprising, the CIA which relied on its information from embassy cocktail parties, concluded "There really is no underground movement in Hungary at all". Few months before the 1979 revolution in Iran, Jimmy Carter described Iran as an island of stability in the middle of a turbulent region. Four months before the collapse of the dot-com bubble, readers of Business Week were told that the stock prices will continue to advance towards higher targets over the next three to five years. Eight days before the Black Thursday which was the onset for the Great Depression, Yale university economics professor Irving Fisher declared the US stock prices will remain on a permanently high plateau.

So in case of Iran, right now what is important for this mass psychology that could tip the balance? What tells the masses that its time to get involved or remain a passive bystander? Well as explained earlier there are many complex variables, one very important one however for the Iranian psychology is 'does the world want to accommodate the regime or will they fully back a mass movement for change?' Right or wrong this is a very important factor for the Iranian man on the street's psychology and his accumulated historical experiences.

For that reason I am against all these suggestions of 'Incentives and engagement and dialogue with the Islamic Republic' currently proposed by many US think tanks and academics to the US President-Elect Obama.
What exactly is the goal of engagement? what levers do they have in negotiations with the Islamic Republic? what makes them think the Ayatollahs in Iran want to join the mainstream countries and change their behaviour? Who will they negotiate with? but apart from all this, any incentive, engagement or talk of accommodating the Iranian regime will send the wrong signal to the Iranian people that for now the regime is here to stay and the ordinary man will think he is better off remaining a passive bystander.

Another important factor for the ordinary man on the street is what is the alternative? You often hear people ask, 'OK this lot go but who will come instead of them?' Its a perfectly valid question for without an alternative there will be no focal point for change. Here I think the alternative will have to come from inside Iran, those outside Iran can only help and support for this alternative to come about. But until the regime remains efficient in its repression it is hard for an alternative to form inside Iran. For that reason the regime must be weakened before an alternative has even taken shape so that an alternative can take shape.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Satellite TV Activities are Good for the Regime - Revolutionary Guards Publication

Sobhe Sadegh, which is the official weekly publication of the Islamic Republic's revolutionary guards, printed an article in this week's publication which quoted the reasons given by the Political Bureau of the RG as to why Persian speaking broadcasting media outside Iran has been beneficial for the regime.

The reasons for their conclusion is as follows:

1) A large part of the allocated budgets for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic has been swallowed up by these media without being able to create a strong movement in Iran in support of US and the West's interests.

2) These media have increased the public's trust in the regime

The article then expands on the above by saying, 'Shallow and superficial programs with mild criticisms which really go no further than reader's comments in our internal publications here in Iran, have convinced the people that there is no viable alternative other than the Islamic Republic in Iran...'

And continues:
'The net result for the Islamic Republic from these media has been in our favour'

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Iran's National Student Day

With all the repressive measures recently taken, I was convinced that the student movement in Iran would not be able to commemorate the National Student Day this year, but I was wrong. One day later than the anniversary date, the Iranian students showed that Iran's student movement is still alive:

On Youtube
AFP: Iran students protest amid heavy security
Radio Free: 'Pseudo-Students' And Shenanigans
CBS: Students Rally For Democracy In Iran

IHT: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/12/07/news/ML-Iran-University-Protest.php

But has anyone seen a coverage from Ayatollah BBC?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Confessions of a Ba'athist Henchman

I always wonder why some people in the West were so keen on finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? All the dead as a result of Saddam's wars, the mass graves, the victims of Halebja and much more, were they not mass destruction? wasn't all that enough for them? Did the masses who were destroyed have to be European or something?
Are not millions of Saddam's victims enough for these people?

Recent confessions by the senior Republican Guard interrogator and Ba'athist henchman, Major Abdulrashid Baten, just demonstrates what an evil regime was overthrown.

'An Iranian POW had lost one of his legs as a result of a land mine explosion, I started interrogating him but he kept resisting, so I started cutting his fingers one by one, after cutting each finger I would burn the severed area with my lighter for two minutes until I cut all his fingers, but he still resisted giving any information. He was very young and his resistance made me even more angry, I even sawed off his leg but he still never gave any information' Major Baten recants.

Abdulrashid confirmed that Saddam personally took part in the execution of at least 450 Iranian POWs and altogether six thousand Iranian POWs were murdered in cold blood.

Do I care if they found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Not really. Am I glad Saddam was overthrown? Absolutely.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Darling of Iranian Left, Nasser Zarafshan

'As a journalist you seem to have a positive inclination towards Capitalism, are you aware that the 'importers of democracy and human rights' in Iraq have also organised a squadron of deviant American homosexuals whose mission is to rape Iraqi children between 10 and 16 years of age?'

Original text in Persian:
آیا شما به عنوان یک روزنامه نگار که پیدا است نظر مساعدی هم نسبت به نظام سرمایه داری دارید، خبر دارید که این واردکنندگان دموکراسی و حقوق بشر به عراق، اسکادرانی از هموسکسوئل های منحرف امریکایی سازماندهی کرده و آن را با ماموریت تجاوز به کودکان ۱۰ تا ۱۶ ساله عراقی به عراق فرستاده اند؟
Source Link:

If you thought the person who made the above statement in an interview is one of Iran's eccentric reactionary mullahs or Ahmadinejad has been making a speech at Columbia university again, then you are mistaken. The statement above is made by Dr. Nasser Zarafshan, the darling of the few Iranian Left that are left! The statement was made in reply to the question 'Since you attribute so many actions by Neocons to Capitalism itself, can it also be said that much of Stalin's actions are attributed to Marxism?'

But Zarafshan has not just been the darling of the Iranian Left, his Leftist Iranian supporters have also managed to convince so many of the Western Leftists, like Laura Rozens and Motherjones type publications, that any Iranian dissident who Zarafshan scolds must be scolded by them too for the sake of the international struggle of the Proletariat!
In this article http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2006/11/fakhravar.html Laura Rozen refers to Zarafshan as 'one of Iran’s most prominent human rights attorneys' :))

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why is Jim Muir Back in Tehran?

I thought we had seen the back of the BBC correspondent, Jim Muir reporting from Tehran. Muir's shabby superficial reports and his constant bolstering of Khatami as a reform champion while ignoring the rest of the Iranian pro-democracy movement and the human rights abuses committed under Khatami was a disaster for the real Iranian pro-democracy and human rights campaigners as well as for the BBC's credibility.

Ayatollah BBC, the term used by Iranians to describe the British Broadcasting Corporation, was further enforced as a result of Muir's constant mild reports and over inflated adulation of Khatami.

Since Jim Muir's departure from Tehran, many were hopeful that there will be more realistic reporting and to some extent there was. Yet only the other day I came across this report on the BBC website: Women Taxi Drivers in Tehran, and as always with such reports, yes you guessed it, the inevitable comparison of Iranian women with Saudi women who are not allowed to drive and giving the Islamic Republic the credit for such acts of women emancipation. As always these silly comparisons are not like for like comparisons of course. Women in Saudi Arabia have never been allowed to drive, yet the women in Iran had many more rights and were far ahead of their counterparts in the region before the 1979 revolution, it is just that at the time such comparisons were never reported and appreciated by the likes of Jim Muir.

At a time when there is almost an undeclared martial law in Tehran, at a time when many student activists have been arrested or forced to go into hiding ahead of the regime's crack down in anticipation of the National Student Day on 7th December, at a time when there has been an unprecedented number of executions in just a few days, when the dissident secular Ayatollah Boroujerdi has been transferred to Yazd prison, when Ayatollah Montazeri's war veteran assistant, Mojtaba Lotfi has been sentenced to four years in prison, when the regime once again stopped the public commemoration of the Forouhars and so much more relevant news, Jim Muir writes about female taxis in Tehran, how pathetic!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Another Embarassing Iranian Millionaire, Farhad Hakimzadeh

I was so embarassed to read in the UK papers today about the Iranian millionaire and the chairman of the Iran Heritage Foundation, Farhad Hakimzadeh, who with the help of a scalpel has managed to cut out numerous pages from 150 books in the British Library. Books that have been part of the British people's collection and heritage for centuries. Damn these uncultured Iranian wealthy illiterate apes who are a constant source of embarrassment to our community. How low can they get?

What Hakimzadeh has done, embodies the worst of the bazaari mentality and the attitude of the very wealthy Iranian ex-pats. Their greed and desire for self interest only, their lack of interest in benefiting the wider community, their disregard for opportunities to share cultural treasures with others. No wonder these Iranian millionaire ex-pats never fund any political activity and no wonder they are always so keen on mingling with their Islamic Republic connections, for they are only ever interested in one thing, self interest and promoting themselves.

I read this article by Peyvand Khorsandi on Farhad Hakimzadeh, a while ago. Only now I understand how well Peyvand described Hakimzadeh and the Iran Heritage Foundation:
a self-appointed arbiter of Iranian culture with little distinction outside the circles of rich illiterates among whom he shines, a Tarzan among apes.

Very well put Peyvand.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tenth Anniversary of Forouhars

Ten years ago, Iran's secular dissidents, husband and wife, Daryoush and Parvaneh Forouhar were murdered in their home by Islamic Republic intelligence ministry agents. Their daughter Parastoo has returned to Iran every year on the anniversary of their murder to hold commemoration ceremonies for her slained parents.

In the last few years the regime has banned all public commemoration ceremonies and has even tried to restrict the private family gatherings in their house.

Despite all the obstacles and restrictions, this year too, Parastoo has returned to Iran and as she told Deutsche Welle radio, she will continue to commemorate her parents until she is alive. The commemoration ceremony is due to be held this Friday in the Forouhars' home were they were repeatedly stabbed to death.

Baby P

Of course this blog is first and foremost to write about Iran related news and events but sometimes I really want to say something on some non-Iran related issue and I think what the heck, I have a platform, I might as well get it off my chest.

The horrific and cruel treatment of Baby P has outraged everyone in UK. What that poor kid must have suffered, I can not even think about. Once again my anger is focused on the so-called Child Support Agency. So many good fathers in UK are denied access to their children and if they are a soft target for the CSA they are driven to the point of despair and some sadly even suicide, because the CSA is just a debt collection agency, with no regards for the welfare of the child. It automatically assumes the child should be with the mother, it cares not how the money paid to the mother is spent and worse of all it cares not how the child is at all. It does not even recognise that the welfare of the child means plenty of contact with the father. It is a disgrace of an organisation, set up by out of touch politicians and the kind of ministers we see in the Labour government with no real life experience or job other than having been a university or college lecturer before becoming a minister and their warped PC values.

Friday, November 14, 2008

As If We Will Hand in the Presidency on a Plate

Cleric Mohammad Ali Abtahi points out an interesting point on his blog made by Ayatollah Jannati during last week's Friday Sermon. Abtahi quotes Ayatollah Jannati when he lashed at the newspapers who have been criticising President Ahmadinejad's government saying 'They think we are going to hand them the presidency on a plate'. Abtahi then humours the sermon speech saying, so it sounds like the Presidency is an appointed position. Sounds like it is!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Will Obama Stand up for Esha Momeni?

It was reported that Esha Momeni, Northridge graduate student who was arrested in Iran last month was released on $200,000 bail on Monday. Her ordeal is not over yet however, she faces charges on "acting against national security" and "propaganda against the system" and she is banned form leaving Iran. Her father, Reza Momeni is a devoted Muslim, Esha is named after the evening Muslim prayers, and he took an active part in the 1979 Islamic revolution, but like so many of his generation, the revolution they helped bring about is now jailing their own children.

Esha's father has already had to appear on State TV to condemn her daughter's "illegal" activities as part of the deal to release her on bail.

Esha has dual Iranian and US citizenship. It will be interesting to see if Obama will stand up for this US citizen who has done nothing wrong but interviewed some of the feminist activists in Iran and help them collect some signatures. Hardly "acting against national security"!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Killers Suffered the Most

I was watching a documentary about the extent of co-operation between Hitler and Stalin during the Nazi-Soviet pact. Part of the documentary covered the mass murder of the Polish officers. More than 6000 Polish officers were murdered during this time at a rate of 250 a day.

What I particularly noted however was an interview with an NKVD Soviet officer, who was involved in the killings. He mentioned how those who took part in the massacre ended up suffering the most. Many of them went mad later in life suffering all sorts of mental and physical ailments and many ended up committing suicide.

This is a lesson for those who take part in torture and murder of others. It may be some sadistic fun at the time, but it will soon come to haunt them.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Ayatollah Khorasani: Sunnis are Kaffir!

One day after the interfaith dialogue between the Catholics and Muslims and Hussein Nasr doing his usual charm waffle to fool the non-Iranian delegations, Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani, according to Sunni News website publicly quoted some dubious Hadith and concluded that the Sunnis are Kuffar!!

Hussein Nasr, get out of this one :))

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Vatican's Interfaith Dialogue

The first session of Catholic-Muslim Forum ended in Vatican today. I tried to search and find out who the Sunni and Shi'ite religious leaders from the Muslim side who attended the forum were but I couldn't find any names. If there were any Islamic Republic affiliated Shiite clerics there, it would have been most hypocritical. Apparently a joint declaration has been signed at the end of the three days calling for religious minorities to be "entitled to their own places of worship, and they should not be subjected to any form of mockery or ridicule,"

I wonder how long it will take, if ever, for the Islamic Republic to respect dissident Shi'ite clerics who are calling for separation of religion and state, like Ayatollah Boroujerdi,let alone to respect followers of other religions. How can a Shiite state who imprisons and tortures a Shiite cleric ever respect other faiths and their followers?

Talking of Ayatollah Boroujerdi, I understand he has written many letters to the Pope and other prominent men of cloth, but when will these people ever respond to the plight of a man and his followers who have done nothing wrong other than wish for religion to be a private matter away from political manipulation and schemes??

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Democracy Wins in US

As I have said before neither Obama nor McCain have impressed me with their knowledge of Iran or with their policies on how to handle the Islamic Republic.

What a joy it is however to live in a democracy, where you can change your leader with your vote, without fearing any consequences. A privilege worth fighting for.
The fact that a dark skinned man with a Muslim name and a broken home can become a US president proves democracy provides opportunities for all.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Kordan's Boasts of His Time at Oxford University

The Kordan saga refuses to go away, despite Ahmadinejad's interior minister's admittance that his PHD from Oxford was a fake and fraud, he managed to win the Majlis (Islamic Parliament) vote of confidence. It has now been revealed that 135 MPs were bribed to vote for Kordan to remain in Ahmadinejad's cabinet.

President Ahmadinejad once again supported his interior minister, saying 'So what if his PHD was a fake, he has served this regime for 30 years'.

Kordan's fake PHD has become the subject of the most popular jokes in Iran today. Kordan's former students have also lodged a complaint citing how on numerous occasions, Kordan boasted about his studies at Oxford, often saying 'You haven't been a student until you have been at Oxford' :))

Good luck to Obama or anyone else if they wish to negotiate with these lot.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Iranian Cleric: People Loath the Clerics

It is always better from the horse' s mouth:
'In the beginning of the revolution, the clergy had a lot of respect amongst the people, but some of the clergy haven't conducted themselves well and have abused their position and therefore are no longer looked up to by the people, I am worried that the Baseej [IR Militia] may end up the same.' ISNA reported Hojjat-ol-Islam Mahmood Doaii saying this during a seminar of Baseej and the Media held in Mashad.

Doaii added, 'Sadly I have to admit this, although there are some clergy who are pious and shy away from wealth and power, but the enemy's plots have resulted in the population loathing the clergy. Now the enemy is trying to do the same with Baseej'.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bazaaris v Teachers

The recent strike by the wealthy Iranian bazaaris over the introduction of a 3% VAT, which led to an unprecedented climbdown by the Iranian government made me think about the unsuccessful strike by the Iranian teachers.

The Iranian teachers were asking for their pay rises which was passed as a parliamentary bill at the time to be implemented. They were not asking for anything illegal, they were simply asking for a parliamentary bill which was passed to be implemented, yet they got smashed. The teachers were beaten up, arrested and sacked. Yet the wealthy Bazaaris went on strike and refused to implement what was passed by the parliament and the establishment simply climbed down.

Are there any idiots out there who still think this is a government of the 'dispossessed'??

I have been Blessed with Another Son

He is 12 days over due but after some inducement and some stern talking to ;) the little fellow, after a lot of effort, finally decided to pop out this morning. This is my second son and now I have a proper dynasty, when I finally fall, my boys will carry the banner for a secular democratic Iran :))))

Joking aside, I promise never to indoctrinate my children, they will be free to choose and think however they want and I should not expect them to be passionate about the things I am passionate about. I do hope however that they will live in a free country, where they will not be persecuted for their beliefs and they will not have to look over their shoulder for what they say. I hope they will cherish and safeguard these privileges.

Giving birth is the greatest miracle of them all and those who protect and save lives have the most rewarding professions. I am going to catch up with some sleep.

p.s. I can't get to my old email, if you want my new email, just leave a comment with your email, I won't publish it and save it in my new mail box instead.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Children of Labour

Nothing upsets me more than seeing children distressed and unhappy. Every child should enjoy their childhood to the full. No child should ever be humiliated, hurt or have to endure such hard labour as seen in these pictures of Iranian children working in brick factories.

How can this be possible in a country with so much natural wealth and oil income?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and these pictures are the answer to the pathetic claims by those who pretend to represent the working classes like the Socialist Workers Party with their pathetic Stalinist statistics and figures of how things have improved for the poor in Iran since the revolution blah, blah.... Makes your blood boil.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Useful Idiots in Khatami Spin Conference in Tehran

A religious apartheid rules in Iran today. A citizen's rights in Iran today are based on his or her religion and how far it is from the state's interpretation of Shiite religion.

If you are a male Shiite and accept the state's interpretation of the religion, you have more rights and privileges.

If you are a Shiite with a different interpretation than the state's official line, you have less rights and if you are a Sunni, Jew, Christian, Zoroastrian you have less and less rights and job opportunities. If you have no religion or are a Bahaii or Hindu or Buddhist etc. then God help you for you have no status as a person in the Islamic Republic. This is religious apartheid, make no mistakes about it.

Now just look at Khatami's remarkable ability at spin. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown should employ him, for Khatami will lick their spin doctors all over.

Khatami has managed to gather major useful idiots, ex-world leaders and religious figures included, to attend a conference on 'Religion in the Modern World'. During the conference Khatami has called for 'religious leaders of the world to try ways to create a peaceful co-existence and invite the world to establish peace and security'.

Where are these fancy phrases said? In the capital of a state where dissident Shiite Ayatollahs like Ayatollah Boroujerdi are tortured and imprisoned, the likes of Ayatollah Montazeri are under house arrest, many Shiite clerics were 'disrobed' during Khatami's term in the office purely because of political dissent, Sunni Muslims can not even have their own mosque in Tehran, Christian converts from Islam like Ramtin Soudmand are facing imminent execution right now and fact after fact which slaps the sheer hypocrisy of this spin conference and the useful idiots attending it, in the face.

Imagine if in South Africa during the apartheid years, a former apartheid president set up a conference calling for 'ways to create a peaceful co-existence between races of different colours', and speakers of international standing spoke about racial harmony in front of celebrated pictures of D.F. Malan, would you not have a belly ache from uncontrolled laughter?

Mary Robinson speaking at the conference and providing propaganda for the Islamic Republic.

Iranian women could be arrested in the street for showing so much hair in public by the morality police, in front of their children.

Men of cloth always ready to deceive themselves and their followers.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shiraz Students Jeer and Heckle Larijani

Iran's head of the Islamic Assembly, Ali Larijani was jeered and heckled by Shiraz university students at the Fajr Hall yesterday, where he was invited to speak by the hardline students. Herasat (Informers) agents at the university as well intelligence ministry operators were there in large numbers and had declared no placards or mobile phones were allowed to be carried into the hall. Everyone was searched before being allowed in. Once the students entered the hall, they saw Baseej students who had already occupied the front seats.

Despite all these measures, many of the dissident students managed to enter the hall and confronted the Baseej students by singing Yare Dabestani, the Iranian student solidarity anthem.

As soon as Larijani arrived and started his speech, the students shouted, 'Ceremonial Majlis (parliament), we don't want, we don't want'. Larijani continued by praising Islamic Republic's advances in nuclear technology and said Iran is the only country in the region who has managed to stand up to America's bullying. At this point one of the students got up and shouted 'We have heard these kind of historical fictions before, why don't you talk about the current conditions, the 28% inflation, Kordan's fake PHD certificate, suspension and expulsion of students and what happens to those who oppose the government in Iran?'.

After Larijani finished his speech, the students were told only written questions will be answered. This agitated the students further and they started booing Larijani. Students started shouting, 'Kordan where is your certificate? Majlis where is your supervision?'

Larijani tried to calm the students by saying, 'When Kordan had submitted his certificate, Majlis had no idea it was a fake.' This answer once again agitated the students and one of them got up and said, 'Kordan was your deputy for years, when you were the head of state broadcasting. Kordan has lectured at our universities with fake PHD certificate for years, how could you have not known?'. Larijani replied, he didn't know about his fake certificate when he was the head of broadcasting. This reply prompted even more jeers from the students and they demanded to be able to go behind the podium and ask their questions verbally.

One of the students with the help of others managed to reach the podium, grab the microphone and say, 'I am not addressing you as the head of the Majlis, because I have no regard for such ceremonial titles when a parliament's candidates were filtered and hand selected by the Guardian Council. ' The brave student carried on saying 'I despise three things, number one; Mahmood Ahmadinjad, for his lies and his deceits...' Baseej students at this point launched towards the student and did not let him finish what he was saying. This resulted in complete mayhem and while the Baseej students were shouting 'Death to hypocrites' , other students shouted back by saying 'Death to lackeys' and 'Shame on this government of deceit'. Some of the Baseej got hold of the microphone and shouted 'Champion Ahmadinejad, the Darling of the Young Generation', which even made Larijani laugh out loud. Finally Larijani pleaded for calm and asked the Baseej to back off.

Next written question was regarding the new plans for segregation of sexes at universities, and Larijani answered 'Why do you always want boys and girls to be together?' Students once again erupted and demanded Larijani to apologise. Larijani replied 'I apologise if anyone was offended by what I said.'

At the end, when the students left the hall, they joined some 500 other comrades who were locked behind the doors and had not been allowed to enter. They started singing the student solidarity anthem again and moved towards the main square opposite the Fajr hall and shouted slogans like 'Free all political prisoners', 'Incompetent Majlis, Shame on You'

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ayatollah Boroujerdi's Support

It is now two years since the arrest of Iran's dissident cleric, Ayatollah Boroujerdi, and the brutal attack on his supporters outside his house. Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Boroujerdi, is against political Islam and wants the clerics to go back to mosques and not be involved in government. He believes clerics mixing in politics and government will undermine and damage the religion itself.
In the last two years, the Islamic Republic has used all manners of inhumane torture methods to get Ayatollah Boroujerdi recant in public and beg the Supreme Leader for forgiveness, but the ailing dissident Ayatollah has resisted so far, saying he prefers death with honour, making him even more popular and saintly amongst his followers.

On the anniversary of Ayatollah Boroujerdi's arrest, I came across this footage on youtube, which shows the extent of his support and the level of devotion towards him by his supporters amongst Iran's most religious sections of the society. It is no wonder the regime fears the religious dissidents more than anyone else. Shame the men of cloth around the world have so far shied away from calling for the release of Ayatollah Boroujerdi. Perhaps those silly Quakers and Mennonites who chose to dine with Ahmadi-nejad or the American TV presenter, Larry King, should have asked Ahamdi-nejad why has the regime arrested Ayatollah Boroujerdi and killed so many of his supporters. Instead millions of viewers had to watch Ahmadinejad go unchallenged when he ranted 'Iran is the freest country in the world!' and yet this is how they treat even a high ranking Shiite cleric and his religious followers who refuse to toe the regime's interpretation of Islam.

Watch the footage here:

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Al-Quds Counter Demo on Youtube

See the Al-Quds march and the counter demo to Al-Quds on youtube.
This footage was also posted on Megavideo.

Part I:

Part II:

As you can see from the footage, VOA correspondent was there with a professional camera woman and a report of the events was made, however the Islamic Republic infiltrated VOA Persian, for reasons which I will write about later, decided not to show any of it. Instead in the program which was supposed to show the Al-Quds report, 14 million Iranian viewers watched reports on how Eid Fetr is celebrated in Karachi [one of VOA Persian's favourite places for their copy and paste reports], the Munich beer festival, wine making in Argentina, couple of cat walk fashion shows and a preview of Battle of Seattle, where those who took part in anti-globalisation riots were introduced as heroes and American patriots.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Mollah Hassani on Freedom and Human Rights

Hojjat-ol-Islam Mollah Hassani, the representative of the Supreme Leader in Western Azerbijan province of Iran and the Friday prayer leader for Oroumieh, made some interesting comments during a session held by Islamic Human Rights Commission in the 7th District yesterday.

Hassani said 'Human Rights is what Allah says. Is women's freedom in the West, human rights?Freedom means prostitution and betrayal! Death to such Human Rights! A human who does not obey Allah and succumbs to animal instincts, is not a human, is an animal, there should be no human rights for them. He who shouts Freedom, Freedom, does not have any brains,...
What Allah has ruled for us is our human rights, other than that we do not accept'

Regarding those who had been arrested in the month of Ramadan for having been caught eating in public, Hassani said 'they deserved their punishment, as long as it was according to the Sharia laws.'
Hassani finished by wishing more success for the Islamic Human Rights Commission in their future endeavours.

Read more about who Mollah Hassani is here, how he shopped his own Marxist son to be executed and how the UK Home Office granted him a visa to preach in UK.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Export of the Islamic Revolution to Africa

There is no need to write much here. The pictures explain everything. While the Iranian population are struggling to make ends meet, this is how Iranian mullahs spend the country's petro Dollars. The Islamic Republic's handwriting is all over the images. These are not just pictures of simple religious ceremonies, these are pictures of organised paramilitary forces, yet another arsenal of human ignorance at the disposal of the Iranian mullahs for their global ambitions. This is how small terror groups become terror movements.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Reza Shah, The Saviour of the Constitutionalist Revolution

Dr. Mashallah Ajudani is an acclaimed Iranian researcher and historian, a former Iranian university lecturer and a former member of the scientific committee of Isfahan university for almost seven years. After the so called cultural revolution in the Islamic Republic, he was one of hundreds of secular university lecturers who were eventually intellectually cleansed from Iran's universities in the years after.

Having been forced to flee Iran, Dr. Ajudani settled in London, where he is now the director of the Library of Iranian Studies in Acton. The Library was set up and is run entirely by donations from the Iranian community in UK. It has more than 20,000 books and manuscripts and busts of key figures of Iran's rich cultural heritage sculpted by Iranian sculptor, Mahmoud Mohammadi, provide an extra sense of pride and joy to Iranian ex-pats who visit the library.

During his youth, Ajudani was swept by the Marxist ideology which had gripped the young Iranian intellectuals at the time and spent five years in prison under the Shah as a sympathiser of the Fedayeen Khalq Marxist guerrilla organisation. In prison he met many of the major Iranian dissidents at the time and he was dismayed at their superficial knowledge of Iran's history and society.

He has researched and written many books in exile on Iran's contemporary history. His first book, Iranian Constitutional Revolution and the Antecedents to the Velayat Faqih Theory, is now a text book in contemporary Iranian history and very popular and influential amongst the university students inside Iran.

In his book, Ajudani brilliantly demonstrates how Iran suffered from two dictatorships, a political one and a religious one, and while the Iranian intellectuals targeted the political dictatorship in the country, they often ignored or simply dared not to tackle the much more repressive and deep rooted religious repression which made it impossible for any true long lasting political emancipation and ultimately led to the tragic 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Dr. Ajudani often comes across as curt and temperamental, he does not suffer fools gladly and doesn't have time for the customary Iranian adulation and flattery but in terms of his vast knowledge, expertise and first hand knowledge of the Iranian society, there are not many I know who can match him. Its a shame that he is not better known amongst non-Iranian circles and the think tanks, for if he was, the likes of pseudo Iran experts like Vali Nasr, Ansari, Setareh Sabety, Soraya Sepahpour, Elaheh Rostami, Peoples(?) Baroness Afshar and such like, mostly offsprings of the former regime's political figures by the way, would never dare raise their heads in public as Iran experts.

In a recent interview with the Iranian website, gooyanews, Ajudani courageously names Reza Shah, the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty, as the champion of Iran's constitutional revolution that took place 100 years ago. Reza Shah has been the bogey figure for the Iranian Left and he is often accused by them for having 'terminated' the democratic aspirations of the constitutional revolution. Ajudani, however points out that Reza Shah achieved two other major aspirations of the Constitutional Revolution, a competent central government at a time when Iran was being torn to pieces by local warlords and tribal leaders, and the rapid modernisation of Iran's backward society. In less than 20 years, Reza Shah managed to transform Iran into a more compatible country with the modern world. Modern school system instead of the seminaries, universities, modern secular judiciary, national rail way, industry, banks, emancipation of women, the creation of Iran's middle class, limiting the influence of the clerics and so much more were also aspirations of the constitutional revolution which were largely achieved during Reza Shah's reign.

Ajudani points out that the constitutional revolution was already dead and buried after the second Majlis (parliament) was annulled and Iran was divided into two spheres of influence, the British and the Russians at the start of the WWI, social insecurity and anarchy, famine and sheer mass poverty and the imminent threat of fragmentation of Iran, meant the desire for a competent central government and modernisation of the society became the more urgent priority for Iranians. Shame I don't have time to translate all of the interview but I really wish the likes of Ajudani were better known in the West and his writings were translated into English.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pathological Liars

Iran's Interior Minister, Ali Kordan, finally admitted that his Oxford PHD was a fake. This time changing his tune by saying that it was arranged through an intermediary whom, conveniently, can not be traced.

Ever since I was a kid, I recognised the fraudulent nature of those who run organised religion Inc. and anyone who wears his piety on his sleeve, always immediately arouses my suspicion. Iranian poet, Hafez, summed up these self proclaimed guardians of faith, seven hundreds years ago, in his famous verse,
'The pious who display these pious gestures in public
Once in their own privacy, do what they preach others not to'

During the 1979 Islamic revolution, this mistrust of clerics was always my main argument with friends and family members who had been mesmerised by the promises of the devout pretenders.

Even Jack Straw who used to champion 'critical dialogue' with the mullahs and was often photographed grotesquely schmoozing the Islamic Republic negotiators finally came to realise that dealing with 'these people' is like 'bartering in a bazaar, you think you buy a table and the table arrives with no legs.'.

Yet this trait of lying through your teeth is not confined to the Iranian clerics, I have found this common addiction amongst all worshippers of totalitarian ideologies.

The elder Iranian Communist leaders for example, brain washed the best youngsters of my generation, telling them about this utopia of Socialist paradise beyond the borders. Many of my own friends, back in Iran, fell for all these lies. They were led to believe that places like the Soviet Union, Anvar Xoje's Albania and North Korea were havens of harmony and prosperity. Those who injected them with such lies, had themselves spent many miserable years of exile in the Soviet bloc countries. They knew the truth and yet they chose to lie and brainwash another generation of young Iranians; and when these innocent youngsters and teenagers fell one by one in front of the Islamist firing squads, there was no international Socialism that came to their help. The Utopian Socialist camp turned a blind eye and put trade with the mullahs as the most urgent need of the 'proletariat', which to them was synonymous with the Politburo.

The Nazis of course had their infamous Joseph Goebbels who like Stalin, first trained to be a priest, and later became the chief of National Socialist propaganda war machine . There is this connection between these similar devotees of totalitarianism, first they have to lie to themselves, and once they convince themselves, it then becomes natural for them to lie to the others. Many of them change from one cult to another, Socialist Mussolini becomes a Fascist and seminary students become Communists and so on.

Only over the last few days, I have experienced first hand, how these pathological liars, can't just accept that you disagree with them, they have to make up lies about you.

Take this snotty Leninist oink, David Broder, another self proclaimed leader of the proletariat, an unnoticeable pathetic creature, who used the Al-Quds counter-demo to flog his rag and train as a paparazzi. He made no effort to come over and talk to us, or to find out what we believe in or why we were there. Instead the "self-important, privileged tosser", as described to me by someone who knows him well, wanted to defame us with his little Socialist vanguard fantasies.
David Broder's cowardice was not limited to his sheepish appearance on the Al-Quds day however, this commissar pretender doesn't even allow comments to be published on his blog. Like a true Glavlit employee, he censors and deletes comments which do not fall within the framework of his totalitarian warped mindset.

One comment which was left untouched on his blog, by an admirer or more likely himself, suggested that shouting 'terrorist bombers off our street' was a racist remark as it implicated brown skinned people! How much more racist can you get? To suggest that terrorist bombers are all brown skinned! Pathetic little oinks.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

More Pictures from Al-Quds Counter Demo

Al-Quds Counter Demo

It was a much bigger turn out this year with many more English groups and individuals who had joined our ranks to oppose the march by the supporters of the Islamic Republic in the streets of London. The core Iranian groups consisted of the Alliance of Iranian Students, the Confederation of Iranian Students and other secular pro-democracy Iranian individuals, as well as some supporters of the jailed dissident cleric, Ayatollah Boroujerdi. We wanted to highlight the human rights abuses by the Islamic Republic in the last 28 years, we wanted to show the poverty, the destitute and the misery brought upon the people of Iran by the religious dictatorship ruling Iran. We wanted to tell the Palestinian people and the Lebanese people not to be fooled by this Islamic Republic propaganda stunt, for the mullahs have brought no peace and prosperity for our people and they will bring no peace and prosperity for any other people.

Together we held the middle section of the counter demo. Further to the Left, there were few from the Iranian Worker's Communist Party, Worker's Liberty and members of the Principa Dialectica. Members of Principa Dialectica have always impressed me with their knowledge of Iran, and they are one of the few UK based Left wing groups who have not gone to bed with the Islamists.

To our right were the SIOE and March for England supporters. I had received many warnings that the later were a right wing Nazi group, but I could find nothing on their website that remotely suggested this, and in fact they go out of their way to distance themselves from any racist association. Nevertheless I had my anxieties about two things, a confrontation between the different groups in the counter demo and any indication of racism which would have tarnished our aims and objectives and benefited the Islamic Republic supporters. As it turned out, none of this took place. The March for England supporters assured me they will not tolerate any racism amongst their ranks and even suggested to me that if we think their presence will in any way damage us, they are happy to go away. I asked them to stay and we all agreed to have our own distinct positions behind the railings.

Altogether we waited for over two hours for the Al-Quds marchers to arrive, and to make sure everyone's spirits were kept high, we sang the Ey-Iran anthem as loud as we could several times and I did an off the cuff pep talk, something along these lines, if my memory serves right, "When you see pictures of Iranian women, being harassed by the morality police in Iran, for showing a couple of strands of their hair, when you see our people humiliated and downtrodden, when you see our country's enormous wealth is wasted away and the Iranian children having to work instead of enjoying their childhood, when you see the scale of corruption amongst those who currently rule our country, when you see the leaders of the Islamic Republic lie through their teeth and when you see a non-Iranian flag instead of our Sun and Lion waved in our country, your blood boils and you think what can we do? Today is a day when you can do something, today is when you see the enemy not in pictures but physically in front of you, today you can tell the world that these people do not represent the Iranian people, and where is the old Iranian opposition that you see every day on our Iranian media? Where are these one man parties that the Iranian media present to our people as their opposition? Why are none of them here? If they are not here today, they are no opposition, If they are not here today in the streets of London to confront the mullahs, how can they motivate those inside Iran to rise against the religious dictatorship? Iran belongs to you, the youth of Iran, for the old generation are a lost lot who were fooled by the mullahs and got us in this mess, they are a failure, why should you follow failure, forget those dinosaurs. You are the Iranian opposition today'

Finally the Al-Quds marchers arrived. There were some notable differences from last year. There were definitely even fewer Iranians amongst their ranks, I could only spot a couple of placards with pictures of IRI leaders, and only a few Islamic Republic flags. As they went past us we held up our placards which displayed images of human rights abuses, mass arrests, public executions and widespread poverty. How can they entice any sane nation when these were the images that showed how they treated their own citizens?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

US Presidential Debate on Iran

I was channel hopping this morning and came across the Obama v McCain presidential debate, as it happens It was just when they started debating the "Iran Threat" question. I must say I was disappointed with both sides. McCain was struggling to pronounce Ahmadinejad and both sides referred to the Revolutionary Guards as the 'Republican Guards'! I hope they don't get Iran and Iraq mixed up, as Chris Davies MEP, the Leader of the British Liberal Democrat MEPs did once in response to our letter at the time:

Neither side had any detailed practical plan on what the US policy should be with regards to the Islamic Republic. My own view is, its best if the US just stays out of it, whenever the US gets involved it makes things worse.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dame Ann Leslie at the Reform Club

I have been really busy at work lately and today, I was almost collapsing when I left work, but there was no way I would have missed Dame Ann Leslie's invitation to the celebration party of the publication of her new book, Killing My Own Snakes, at the Reform Club in London's Pall Mall.

Ann Leslie, is the first Western journalist, I know of, who wrote about the 1988 massacre of Iranian political prisoners. Unlike some journalists and think tank academics who are sucked in by the false official pleasantries when they go to Iran, Ann Leslie, being a journalist of stubborn and steely substance, gave her official Islamic Republic chaperons the slip and actually went to the Khavaran cemetery, one of the mass graves of thousands of Iranian political prisoners who were hurriedly buried there during the terrible months of August/September 1988. I don't know any other Western journalists who have managed to visit the Khavaran cemetery.

There is so much more I can write about the impressive qualities of Dame Ann Leslie, but may be in the future, after I have read her book.

It was actually quite overwhelming to see so many media celebrities all in one room. Meeting Richard Littlejohn was a pleasant surprise. Whenever I read his column or watch him on TV, I always say to myself, that man is saying exactly what I think. I remember watching with much delight how he demolished the snotty Polly Toynbee on Question Time by standing up for the common man against the out of touch intellectuals who want the best for themselves but not for the rest.

And some times, you meet someone and immediately you feel their heart of gold, you notice care and kindness just radiate from them. That person tonight was the news presenter, Mishal Husain. So easy to talk to and so down to earth. It was a real honour to have talked to her tonight.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Khamenei Ends the Moshayi Dispute

Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, took part in Tehran's Friday prayer sermon yesterday and refuted any suggestions that Iran is a friend of the Israeli people. Referring to the statement made by Ahmadinejad's deputy, Rahim Moshayi, that ''We are friends with all the people of the world, even the people of America and Israel'', Khamenei asked the faithful during the Friday prayer sermon, 'How can we be friends with the people of Israel? Are these not the same people who have expropriated the Palestinian lands? Are these people not the very extras of the Zionist regime? To make such suggestions is wrong and illogical'

At the same time Khamenei addressed the ongoing attacks made by others against Moshayi, and without naming names, he said 'a wrong statement has been inadvertently made and we should end the matter here and not keep going on about it and make problems. Being friends with the people of Israel is not the official position of the Islamic Republic nor that of the government of the Islamic Republic. So the problem is dealt with and over'

Despite some recent suggestions by "Iran experts", it seems Ahmadi-nejad and his government still have the firm backing of the Supreme Leader.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sending Weapons to Taliban

Kate Clark's special program broadcast on BBC Newsnight showed Taliban commanders claiming they receive weapons from the Islamic Republic. As usual however, the official reaction by the UK government is cautious and conciliatory towards the Islamic Republic. UK official wording in reaction to the claim point to 'elements within the Iranian state', but it is not clear who these 'elements' are and why it is by 'elements' and why the Iranian state as a whole can not be held accountable?!

Imagine during the cold war, when the Russian missiles were placed on Cuban soil, the official US reaction was, 'It appears elements within the Soviet state have given missiles to the Cubans'!
Or when the Libyans were supplying arms to the IRA, the official reaction was 'Elements within the Libyan state' supplied arms to the IRA. Someone somewhere would immediately ask well, who are these 'elements'?

What does 'elements within state' mean and who exactly is the Iranian state? It seems despite all the research by all those academics, think tanks, Iran experts and other advisers, no one in the British government has a clue as to who or what the Iranian state is or may be, ambiguous mambo jumbo like 'elements within the Iranian state' have to be used to avoid other 'elements' - the good cops presumably - within the Islamic Republic state from being offended.

So as a layman who has followed Iran related news for the last 28 years on a daily basis, let me say who ordinary Iranians like me view as the major decision making bodies of the Iranian state. No major security policy such as arming the Taliban or the insurgents in Iraq would be made without the approval or consultations with these bodies: Supreme Leader, his advisers and his son Mojtaba, the Revolutionary Guards top commanders, National Security Council, Expediency Council and the Guardian Council. This collectively is the Islamic Republic establishment which runs the show. Forget the Majlis, the Assembly of Experts, different political factions etc, even the president.

So which 'elements' specifically are the British referring to and why can they not be named?
I think ordinary Iranians would find it difficult to believe that one of these bodies has acted alone without the knowledge of the other bodies in sending weapons to the Taliban, even though the
The British ambassador in Kabul, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, made a point of emphasising 'not necessarily with the knowledge of all other agencies of the Iranian state', when he said:
"We've seen a limited supply of weapons by a group within the Iranian state, not necessarily with the knowledge of all other agencies of the Iranian state, sending some very dangerous weapons to the Taleban in the south.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

International Pressure Works

Who would have thought that one day Robert Mugabe would sit down with his rivals and talk about power sharing? The 84-year-old strongman who had all the instruments of power in his hands and ruled Zimbabwe with a minority of the population as his cronies and henchmen, finally had to share power. There was no military invasion, the opposition did not overwhelm the security forces, it was international pressure that finally spelled out the dawn of a new era.

Just like apartheid in South Africa crumbled as a result of international pressure, Mugabe too had to climb down. International pressure does work and it does make dictators to concede, so long as it is focused, collective, effective and backed up by the media.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Now Kordan Sees God's Light

Remember how Ahmadinejad claimed he was surrounded by a halo at the UN? Well now according to Jahan News it is the interior minister, Ali Kordan, who faked his PHD from Oxford University to have witnessed one of these mysterious holy cosmic lights.

In a meeting with East Azarbijan deputies, Kordan claimed on the day he received his vote of confidence from the Islamic Assembly, 'The Majlis was filled with light and I witnessed God's light in the assembly on that day' . Kordan also went on to say that he asked for help from the prophet's daughter, Fatimeh, and she was with him all the time during the vote of confidence session.

Apart from his fake PHD from Oxford, another document has been produced which shows Kordan was arrested in 1978 after he was accused of seducing a girl with false marriage promise and he was jailed for more than two months until he was released after the revolution. I wonder if Fatimeh was with him on that day too?

I feel sorry for the Islamic Republic apologists, it must be getting harder and harder for them to portray an acceptable image of the clerical regime in Iran, and for those who advocate negotiation with this mob, imagine sitting at a negotiating table with someone like Kordan!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

What was Jannati Referring to?

Last Friday's sermon in Tehran was read by Ayatollah Jannati, who is also a member of the powerful Guardian Council, probably the most powerful body in Iran. Jannati is a pillar of the establishment and has been in the Guardian Council ever since day one of the revolution, if I remember correctly.

Jannati admonished anyone who criticised Ahmadinejad's government and said the Supreme Leader has banned any destructive attempt at the government. 'It is the holy month of Ramadan too, so hold back your tongues and pens and don't do anything against God's desires'

During the sermon, Jannati warned the faithful that the day to day problems will get worse but the public must be patient, 'for soon the Islamic Republic will posess a power so great that no one will be tempted to attack it.'

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Ahmadinejad by Kasra Naji

This is not a detailed biography with ins and outs of Ahmadi-nejad's entire personal life story up to now, if you want to read a biography of Ahmadi-nejad you may have to wait until something like that is written some time in the future. However, if you want to be updated with a factual account of what is going on in Iran now, how the population are manipulated and who runs the Islamic Republic, reading this book is a must!

It is one of the best explanations I have read in English on what Islamic Republic elections are about and those in the West who are under some illusion that the Islamic Republic is a 'flourishing' democracy or a 'shining beacon' in the region, should study this book well. Kasra Naji explains how the high level meetings determine the election results before hand, even after all the candidates have been filtered through by the Guardian Council.
The mysterious 6 million - and still growing in numbers - unexpired birth certificates of the deceased and how they are used to manipulate the outcome in important elections, the instructions to the baseej militia on which candidate is the favourite and what they should do to ensure the favourite wins. How all this vote manipulation ensures that a candidate scoring last in the opinion polls with only 2.8 percent of the vote, can suddenly take most of the votes and become the 'most popular president'! How the IRGC commanders and other bodies even at times, unwittingly acknowledge the role of the Baseej and the Revolutionary Guards in the election results! and yet some "Iran experts" suggest we should take democracy go its path and wait for Iranians to vote for a "reformist" president in the next elections :)

Most Iran news followers may by now know about Ahmadi-nejad's dellusions about representing the Shiite Messiah and his messianic mentors, but perhaps it may be unknown to them the role of philosophers like Ahmad Fardid, a disciple of Nazi linked Martin Heidegger, who have also influenced Ahmadi-nejad's thinking.

Naji presents hard facts to the appeasers and those who think negotiating with the hardliners may bring fruits by giving numerous examples of the outcomes of such moves in the past. Like when Madeleine Albright officially apologised on behalf of the US for its role in the 1952 coup, to the very mullahs who took part in the downfall of Mossadegh, and how such apologetic gestures only resulted in her Islamic Republic counterpart wanting to sue the US now that they had admitted to their role :)) or how Islamic vigilantes attacked a bus full of US academics, keen to open a dialogue with the Islamic Republic, with sticks and stones :))

The tragedy of Ahmadi-nejad's mismanagement of Iran's economy and how all the petro-dollar wealth is wasted and misspent by a president who despises economics and economists, is also explained very clearly by Naji. I wish Naji would also have said how this is very much in line with Ayatollah Khomeini's infamous statement that 'economics belongs to the donkeys'.

And for myself who am not a nuclear expert and have not had time to follow the nuclear issue of the Islamic Republic in much detail, Naji's chapter on Iran's Nuclear Quest was very useful too.

Naji after all is not an exiled opposition, he has worked as a journalist in Iran for many years and is also the husband of BBC's former correspondent in Tehran, Frances Harrison, therefore he has been in an excellent position to understand the complexity and contradictions of the Islamic Republic and who runs Iran today beyond what is presented by the cleric's fancy shop windows to the outside world.

I definitely recommend reading the book to all who want to be updated on Iran.

Shortly after I read Kasra Naji's book, I came across a clip of him with Jon Snow in the frontline club. See:

Watch how the pompous ex-Trot, Jon Snow, a son of a clergyman himself and a university drop out and a beneficiary of nepotism in journalism, tries to sound all knowing but gets some very basic news facts wrong. For example he says Ahmadi-nejad was the only non cleric candidate, Naji reminds him that was not the case. At another point, Jon Snow claims the root of the problem is that the US has never accepted the Islamic Revolution as a fact and come to terms with it, then he goes on about the Europeans and the British who in contrast have come to terms with the Islamic revolution and as he rants on, he realises himself that also hasn't got anyone anywhere!

Most ridiculous Snow statement however is his suggestion that the US should carpet bomb Iran with laptops to overthrow the Iranian government! Hmm, what about the slow speed of the internet, the huge cost, the filtering of the sites etc. all mentioned in Naji's book. Watching the clip I wondered at times if Snow had even read Naji's book?!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Arash is Released

At last, common sense has prevailed and Arash was released, without bail, from the detention centre this evening, pending his appeal hearing for asylum. I am optimistic that his new lawyer will do a better job than his previous one and present all the evidence the way it should be.

I want all those who helped, to rejoice at the news of Arash's release from the detention centre but at the same time lets not get complacent until all is resolved.

Arash asked me to thank all those who helped publicise his plight and hopes to thank you all in person soon. He also asked me to write on his behalf that 'Our friendships should be stronger than our political inclinations'.

Children of Cyrus! United we will be strong! Apathy, envy and infighting will destroy us and bring us humiliation. We did not have to become refugees and be locked up in detention centres before and we will not have to in the near future either. These dark times will come to pass and the era of the turban heads will be but a temporary glitch in the history of our country.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

US Embassy in London Shopped Arash to the UK Immigration

Last Monday I made an appointment with the Longstanton detention centre, outside Cambridge, to see Arash Mohajeri-nejad. I was told I could not take any food, drink or any camera devices. I asked Arash what he wanted me to bring and he asked for a book to read and a CD with Iranian patriotic songs to keep up his spirit. I got him the CD he wanted and a hefty book on the history of Iran before Islam.

I don't know why, but on my way to the detention centre, I imagined the security guards to be something like the illiterate Homeland Security officers I have come across in Dulles airport, Washington. I kept repeating to myself on the way to Longstanton, 'I must not lose my cool and come to blows with them'. In fact I was very wrong, the guards at the detention centre are ever so polite and respectful, not just with me but with all the visitors and the detainees too. They asked me for a photo ID and my visit number at the gates, then a quick search before they drove me up this long drive in their vehicle. The detention centre was an old RAF barracks, and I think the visiting place must have been a part of the canteen before. I waited for Arash. All detainees wear a light coloured vest, so that they are distinguished from the visitors and not swap places and escape I suppose.

Arash looked tired but he managed a smile when he saw me, we shook hands and he thanked me for the book and the CD. I asked him how he was treated and he said he got on well with the guards and how kind and considerate they were in treating all the detainees. I spent the first 10 - 15 minutes on some friendly banter and some shared memories just to cheer him up first. When I thought the time was right I asked him about what had happened.

'You know I have been waiting for my asylum application for the last five years. The unreasonable reasons why the Home Office rejected my first application and how my lawyer messed up lodging my appeal in time and failed to submit all the evidence I had given him. Not having a status and being a non-entity for all these years was eating me up. They say one's twenties are the best years of one's life. For me it has been a living hell. I made a rash decision and decided to go along to the US embassy, I thought they would be more sympathetic if I applied for a visa there. After all, my brother is in US and I thought because of his high profile, they would know about him. I explained to the visa officer that I had been active against the Iranian regime before I fled Iran and that I have been active here in the UK too, but it all seemed to go in one ear and come out of the other, he just asked me what my legal status in UK was and I told him. Next he told me to wait while he sorted out some paper work. For a moment I thought this was the end of my hell. When he came back, they escorted me to a certain exit, and outside, the UK authorities were waiting for me and handcuffed me as they identified me with the photo they had.'

I listened with disbelief, and clenched my fists in rage. I had to ask him again 'So the US embassy shopped you to the UK authorities?'
'YES' He confirmed again.
'Are you 100% sure?' I asked him again.
'Potkin, when I came out of the embassy exit, the UK police were waiting outside with a faxed copy of my photo. It was the same photo I had given the US embassy for my application and I did not used that picture anywhere else' Arash told me with absolute confidence.

'Those stupid small minded no good bureaucrats, he probably didnt even know where Iran was' I said with utter disgust. I kind of imagined how Kavoussifar was handed over by the US embassy in Abu Dhabi to the Islamic Republic, only to be publicly hanged once he was back in the Islamic Republic.
'Sounds a bit like what happened to Kavoussifar in Abu Dhabi' I said to Arash.
'I promise you, if I am to be hanged, just like Kavoussifar, I will show no fear and smile just like Kavoussifar did with the rope round his neck'. This time, I think Arash was trying to raise my spirits.

'Arash, why on earth did you not discuss this with me?' I asked him holding my head in my hands.
'I thought in the worst scenario they would reject my application, not shop me to the UK authorities to arrest me and then deport me back to the mullahs. The US is against the mullahs Potkin, no?'
I shook my head and raised my eyebrows with disbelief. Arash is a great kid but obviously naive at times.

It has taken me a week to ponder whether I should write about this. I have asked for advise from those whose judgement I trust. My initial reluctance was because I thought this would demoralise further the Iranian Diaspora from getting involved in Iran related politics. I thought the message to them would be, you have the might of the Islamic Republic against you as well as that of America and UK, therefore you don't have a chance, just get on with your lives and don't get involved. This is in fact what we hear from those who don't get involved, they think they don't have a chance and the Americans and the UK want to maintain this regime. If I revealed the US embassy shopped Arash, it would confirm their suspicions.

At the end and after a week of much consultation, my English friend, Simon, convinced me with some powerful arguments which were as follows:

1 . What they did to Arash they may do to someone else. If these things are not publicly challenged then they dont get changed. Other dissidents in London or elsewhere may make the same mistake with the same consequences. Simply because they do not know what the embassy is likely to do because it is not publicised - the other case you talked about [Kavoussifar] was where somebody had killed a corrupt judge - they will think if they are a peaceful dissident and not involved in violence they wouldnt get the same treatment. Some may even be deported because of this misconception that the US is on their side. The least you should expect from the US embassy is that they do not call the authorities on them if they do not want to help them.

2. What the US embassy did seems to me this. Someone looks up something in a rule book and then follows it. That simple, that brutal. Now does Bush personally know what is in the rule book? Or McCain? (still less likely - I would have thought he would be very annoyed about this) Even Condoleeza Rice might not know - at least that's what she would say if publicly challenged. Do not make the mistake of thinking that because this is done the whole administration the whole political system the whole country is against you. This is negative thinking.

3. I don't see how it would really demoralise the opposition unless it is presented in a very negative way (blaming the whole country/administration etc). The whole world is not against you. Only people with vested interests, people on the regime's gravy train and jobsworth types at embassies and immigration departments and some hypocrite politicians. In reality a very few people who run like rabbits when they are exposed for what they are. That's all. You must stay positive.

So there you go! It was some small minded embassy bureaucrat who had no idea where Iran was or what was happening in Iran that looked up a rule book and shopped an Iranian pro-democracy activist to be deported back to the Islamic Republic! I can't be any more positive than that after a week!

"And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you. The United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."
George Bush State of the Union Address in 2005.

What bullshit and was there more to this speech that we did not hear, perhaps "When you stand for your own liberty, we will tell our embassies to deport you back to Iran"??

Monday, September 01, 2008

Dispatches - Undercover Mosque

It made my blood boil watching the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, Undercover Mosque, tonight. To think that secular pro-democracy activists, like Arash, who stood up to theocracy in Iran are locked up in Britain's detention centres waiting for deportation, while Saudi sponsored preachers of hate like Um-Saleem and others, shown in the documentary, are free to enter this country and spread their gospel of hate and destruction is beyond the comprehension of any sane person.

I am tired now, but watch this space tomorrow when I reveal how the US embassy in London shopped Arash to the UK immigration authorities.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Arash (Abu-Ali) Mohajerani-Nejad in Imminent Threat of Deportation from UK

UK Home Office's inadequate lottery system for accepting asylum seekers, which has let so many Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists into UK, has once again failed a genuine bona fide Iranian secular pro-democracy activist, who has been seeking political asylum in UK.

Arash (Abu-Ali) Mohajerani-Nejad is also the brother of prominent Iranian pro-democracy dissident and student activist, Gholam-reza Mohajerani-nejad, who fled Iran after the 1999 student uprising. Arash was arrested and detained in Charing-Cross police station and can be deported back to the Islamic Republic any moment, where he will face grave consequences for his life and liberty and that of his comrades in Iran.

Below is a VOA(Persian) radio recording of how Arash was attacked by Islamic Republic agents during the Islamic Republic sponsored Al-Quds day [Jerusalem Day] march in London few years ago:

If Arash is deported back to Iran, the message sent by the UK Home Office will be as follows:
While Islamic Republic sponsored supporters are free to march in the streets of London, and pretend they care for the Palestinians, Iranian pro-democracy activists are being deported back to the Ayatollahs, the very sponsors of Hezbollah, Hamas, Moqtada Sadr and other terror organisations!

Please write, fax, phone or email Tony McNulty, Home Office minister who also happens to be the MP for the constituency where Arash lived and politely inform him of the grave mistake the Home Office is making.

25th Aug, 2008 - See important note by Harry Barnes, retired MP himself, on how you can help, in the comments section below.

New contact details for Home Office contacts:

Private Office to The Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP
* Telephone: 020 7035 0198
* Fax: 020 7035 0900
* Email: Privateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Private Office to The Rt Hon Tony McNulty MP
* Telephone: 020 7035 0201
* Fax: 0870 336 9035
* Email: Privateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Private Office to Liam Byrne MP
* Telephone: 020 7035 0195
* Fax: 0870 336 9034
* Email: Privateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Pictures of Arash: