Wednesday, February 06, 2008

IRI Event at SOAS is Cancelled

My previous post on the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, hiring SOAS university facilities to celebrate the 29th victory of the Islamic Revolution, got some worthwhile publicity.
Iranvajahan, Harry's Blog and the Spectator all picked up on it. Soon the whole thing snowballed into a spontaneous protest by Iranians and non-Iranians. Decent people who could not remain silent for a British university to let its facilities be used as a platform for the very same regime that imprisons students and academics in Iran, protested using sound reasoning and rational arguments.

While we were planning to turn up to the event and hold posters of the latest detained students in front of the Embassy delegates during the event, emails started reaching me that the event has been cancelled.

The email read,
"I write on behalf of Professor Paul Webley, Director and Principal of the School of Oriental and African Studies. Thank you for your email expressing concern over this week’s scheduled event.
I would like to inform you that the event has been cancelled on procedural grounds.
Please contact me with any further questions

Which was also posted on Harry's Place. Yet I was still not convinced, for I was also getting reports that the event is still shown scheduled and unaltered on the Embassy's website. People who rang the embassy to enquire were also told the event was to go ahead as planned.

In the back of my mind, I was suspicious that perhaps this was the administration's plot to keep us away from the event. For this reason I did not want to say anything until I turned up at SOAS myself and saw with my own eyes that there is no Embassy event at SOAS. My main difficulty was to decide what to tell those who were planning to come from outside London.

Well tonight I can confirm that the celeberation of the 29th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran is not held at SOAS. When we turned up outside the Brunei gallery, some dipstick holding the poster upside down told us that the event had changed to the Imperial Hotel in Holborn. He was reluctant to say he worked for the embassy at first until his position changed to "I am sort of connected to the embassy but I do cultural work only". We told him it cannot be pleasant to work for an unpopular regime that represses its people, and again he said "But I only do cultural work"

I was told there were eight people in total who had turned up for the new venue at the Imperial hotel, which was soon reduced to five. The three artists Ali Nassirian, Hossen Yari and Golshifteh Farahani who had sold out their principles to promote the religious dictatorship in Iran must have felt so humiliated standing in front of an audience of just handful of embassy employees. A bitter experience for all artists who sell out and let their talents be exploited by repressive states.

The most difficult task now however is to convince the impotent Iranian media, that this is news worth reporting. It will hearten the combatants inside Iran and it will show them that any human rights abuse by the regime inside Iran can cost the regime outside of Iran.

My sincere respect for all those who did not remain silent and reminded a British university that while there are detained students in Iran and while there is "intellectual cleansing" going on in Iran's universities, there shall be no comfort zone for the Islamic Republic in an academic establishment outside Iran.

From SOAS we had to dash to the Listening Post studios who make programs for the Aljazeera English TV. They were doing a piece on Azeri ethnic issues in Iran, we did our bit to make sure there will be a voice against any separatist claptrap and that Azerabadegan was, is and will be an integral part of Iran. We shall see how much will be edited and included.


saggezard said...

This is a cause for celebration. I drink to you, and anyone who exposes the Islamic Repulsive Regime.

Anonymous said...

Great news.

Bahramerad said...

Well, done everyone.Another job well done!
Do you think that we can organise a SHAB_E_AID celebration in SOAS ?
I 'll like to see a sea of ATTLASI flowers and a great HAFT SEEN table in place of the where once the IRI idiots wanted to spread their nauseating propaganda.
Any one ...

Anonymous said...

You and your friends are amazing! I have followed your posts and end of year reports of your activities on your blog. I think you alone are a Party to yourself.
At a time when we see the Akhoonds in Iran win every situation even against the western countries, what happened at SOAS, although minor, is most welcome. Well done to all of you!

Winston said...

Well-Done. Thanks

Aryamehr said...

Great job!

Anonymous said...

excellent showing Potkin jaan. Good job.

Anonymous said...

This will be the extent of what you will be able to achieve. As you have said it yourself in the past, you can not fight a Petro-$ backed regime on a shoestring budget. Unfortunately the likes of you will never get a grant, no one is interested in organising protests.

If however you had a website and just wrote articles or copy and pasted news then you would have a good chance of getting some financial backing.

Anonymous said...

Good job man! Good job.

Anonymous said...

by the way, just to confirm my earlier comment, none of the news medias which receive grants from Europeans and Americans, Rooz, Gozar, Radio Zamaneh, VOA Persian, ... reported what happened. So don't get too excited Azarmehr. No one, but your friends and the few people who read this blog even know about what happened. 'Nezam' is much stronger than you can ever imagine.

Anonymous said...

So what? you have just proved you are against freedom of speech.

Bahramerad said...

By saying: 'So what? you have just proved you are against freedom of speech,' you show yourself to be so out of loop that I can definitely call you LOOPY.
Freedom of anything is coupled with responsibility and respect for the Freedom of others...Now tell me, When did the Embassy of the Islamic republic of Idiots (IRI) or their blood socked regime ever give freedom of any shape or form to any body and when did they respect and accepted responsibility for their murderous actions?
Liberal Democracy is not a tool that the Fascist Mullah Mafia's can use and abuse for their own benefits.
They will not be allowed to do that --- at least not-when there are people like us around and still have a voice and are determine to stop their actions.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is better that the Western backed Iranian news media failed to report this rebuff to teh Islamic Dictatorship. We here are only interested in fighting to free Iran. We are neither in the pay of Western or other interests nor do we need to grand stand to lien our pockets. Through teh efforts spearheaded by Potkin a handful of Iranian patriots reminded the Islamic dictators that their brutality and repression has a price ... for now that is enough.

Anonymous said...

Thank you anonymous,

I will appear on a program on ParsTV tomorrow morning. I'll be sure to report what Potkin has done. Those who need to know will know - as your very own cowardly and black-biled comments show.

Tomorrow morning, 4:00 to 7:00 LA time.
Be there!
Pars is on hotbird.

Does it burn?


Anonymous said...

You are amazing. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


Are you really comparing British democracy with the IRI's style of governance? Is that how you chose to prove your point against anonymous (who I recommend stops posting as anonymous - just make up a name bro).

And your interpretation of freedom of speech is terribly misinformed. You said, "Freedom of anything is coupled with responsibility and respect for the Freedom of others."

Let me point you to black police officers here in the U.S. protecting the rights of the Ku Klux Klan to express their racist ideology as they burn a cross.

That is freedom of speech/expression; not your diluted interpretation of what is essentially oppression undercover.


p.s. I'm really not impressed with what you guys accomplished, but then again, I really don't care because it is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

And also, do you not realize the irony/significance of celebrating a revolution in the very country that stymied Iranian progress and democracy in the 50s (by overthrowing the democratically elected PM Mossadeq and reinstating the tyrannical Shah). Who cares if you don't like the Mullahs, screw them, its not about them as much as they would like to think so. It's about Iranian independence; independence from British and American Imperialism.

ya marg, ya mossadeq!!!

saggezard said...

If the Iranian population said one short sentence every day about how they feel about the Islamic dictatorship ruling Iran then the Ayatollahs would be drowned to death. It takes just one sentence: Down with Islamic rule in Iran. We will continue exposing the brutal and barbaric regime and our numbers will grow every day. We will wash away this Islamic shame off, like a flash flood. You wait and watch.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You are either so stupid or so ignorant. The movement for democracy in iran have always been damaged by miserable clowns like you . There are report that more than 180 people have attended the event just yards away from SOAS . you and your idiot comrades just ruined the opportunity to protest against regime in an academic environment . all attendees just sympathized with Iranian Embassy and your silly act help them to have 2 more events in Cambridge university and Imperial College . they took this opportunity to propagandize the double standards in UK and it was what exactly they were looking for . shame on you !!!

Azarmehr said...

Shut up you anonymous tart!
First you say we "ruined the opportunity to protest against regime in an academic environment" then you say their event went ahead in Imperial College and Cambridge university, so why didn't you and your comrades go and stop them there???? Did we stop you?

Go and learn not to make contradictory statements in one paragraph or join something which becomes you, like a circus clown.

Anonymous said...

As I told you you are nothing but an Idiot .
Protesting against a regime in an academic Environment is some thing different from street protest in front of a hotel.
meanwhile you better focus on what happened in Imperial hotel and not to tell bullshits like ' only 8 people attnded the event'
you miserable scumbag should have a look at ICRO website and see the news about extended events in cambridge ,

Azarmehr said...

Mr. Coward No-Brain Anonymous who can't even say who you are!

Imperial Hotel is not an academic place but Imperial College and Cambridge uni are, so why didn't you and your imaginary "comrades" go there? Did I stop you?

Ring Imperial Hotel and ask them how many people can fit in the room the embassy had booked?

Also see the pictures on the icro site:

Not one picture of the audience and just look how miserable Hossein Yari and Golshifteh Farahani look, and also look at how the embassy feels bitter about the SOAS event being cancelled.

Anonymous said...

Azarmehr. Don't worry about the ("Ananymous") Islamic Republic propagandist that has been sending the above provocative messages to you. The fact remains that this was clearly a propaganda event by the Islamic Republic (see pictures of Khomieni & Khameni at the event on ICRO website) and thanks to your efforts and those of a few other true Iranians and true British liberals the event was thrown out of SOAS - this is how we can show our solidarity with the imprisoned students and people of Iran who have suffered so much and so long under the heavy Arabized hands of the mullahs.

In my experience there are always going to be some traitors to Iran (they are usually of Arab or Pakistani background) who will always attack any attempt to fight the Islamic Republic. I can only encourage patriots like you Azarmehr to continue to throw sand in their eyes.

Zende Bad Iran!