Monday, April 27, 2009

Obama and Iran by Campaign Iran

Went along to a public meeting at SOAS tonight organised by Campaign Iran. The speakers were :

Jon Snow former Trotskyst and current Channel 4 News reader, Mehri Honarbin-Holliday, leading member of Campaign Iran, Ali Fathollah-Nejad, CASMII 'Political Scientist' and councillor and John Rees from Stop the War Coalition.

The meeting was chaired by none other than the silver spoon fed Iranian born aristocrat ex-public school girl, turned Marxist-Leninist, turned Shiite Muslim feminist and now referred to as People's Peer in the House of Lords, Haleh Afshar.

If you have been to any of these CASMII or Campaign Iran or any similar meetings with Haleh Afshar, the script by the speakers is quite predictable and it is along these lines:
The Islamic Republic is a victim state of American arrogance, imperialism and sanctions and if only the West found a way to accept and come to terms with the Islamic revolution and guaranteed the security of the Islamic Republic then everything would be honky dory, all will live in peace and prosperity, no one will pay taxes and all will live happily ever after.

So according to the script, Ali Fathollahi-Nejad spoke first about his version of US
history of arrogance towards the Islamic Republic and how the US should come to terms with the Islamic Republic and that although there are some optimistic signs in the Obama administration, the Neo-con elements are still at large and are hampering the efforts to normalise relations between US and the Islamic Republic.

Most preposterous speech however was by Mehri Honarbin-Holliday. She went through all the malaise in the current Iranian economy and claimed to have spoken to representative samples of all layers of the Iranian society during her regular trips to Iran. From the wealthy Bazaaris, to the unemployed workers, the teachers, student activists, private sector businessmen, state owned enterprise managers and all had suggested everything bad in the economy was due to the US sanctions!! No mention of widespread nepotism in delegating illiterate managers, complete mismanagement of the economy, corruption, unaccountability, complete squandering of the $270 Billion Petro-Dollars or any of the things the current candidates for presidency like Mir Hossein Moussavi or Karrubi are bringing up to appeal to the public but no according to this woman, all our problems were due to US sanctions! and we had to believe her extensive sampling of opinions in Iran.

Jon Rees went on about how the Shah was a puppet of the US imperialism and how the Islamic revolution in 1979 shattered the US hegemony in the region etc. I wonder if he has ever changed the tape in his tape recorder, although there was one thing in his speech that I had not heard before. Rees said, Islamic Republic is not intrinsically anti-Imperialist by nature, but it is forced into that corner and if the US reached some deal with Iran, then Islamic Republic would no longer be anti-imperialist. This made me think, if being anti-imperialist is such a good thing to these people why do they want to campaign for some deal to be reached which would stop Islamic Republic from becoming their anti-imperialist icon?!

Finally Jon Snow arrived late and as pompous as usual, started feeding the audience with some half truth and some complete crap. And just as usual he was full of himself, either implicitly or explicitly. For example did you know that the UK sailors were released because he managed to stage a live interview in Farsi with Ali Larijani? :))

Extrapolating on the same warped logic of how talking to the Islamic Republic officials and treating them with respect opens doors and overcomes problems, Snow mentioned how during the US embassy hostage crisis he was in Iran and how the Islamic Republic foreign minister at the time, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, had appealed through Snow to the Americans to negotiate through him for the release of the hostages but his appeal had fallen on US deaf ears, 444 days later however, the Americans had come to their senses and negotiations through Algerians had finally led to the release of the hostages.

Little did the unknowing audience know that When hostages were first taken, Ibrahim Yazdi of Mehdi Bazargan's provisional government was the foreign minister. Any one who has read about the US hostage crisis will know that the Carter administration made every effort to negotiate through Yazdi but when Ayatollah Khomeini endorsed the hostage taking on state TV, the entire provisional government resigned. Sadegh Ghotbzadeh who was until then, the head of the state controlled TV became the foreign minister but was executed shortly after. Only Jon Snow can tell us what negotiating through Sadegh Ghotbzadeh would have achieved? The entire operation was a planned coup by the hardline clerics to hijack the revolution and monopolise the power.

Anyone who knows anything about the hostage crisis also knows that the US hostages were finally released not because the US eventually decided to sit and talk to the mullahs through the Algerians but on the contrary the Islamic regime was worried that the new US president will take a harsher approach than the Carter administration, and after all, the objectives of the operation by then had been achieved and the hostages had passed their sell by date and were in fact becoming a liability.

I tried to ask a question after Ali Fathollah-Nejad's speech, my question was that given the fact that every US administration had tried to approach the Islamic Republic, was it not the hardliners in Iran who were blocking the normalisation of relationships and therefore should their campaign not be aimed at the hardliners in Iran? But to an audience who had heard so much crap about the Islamic Republic being the victim of US arrogance, I had to first give examples of how so many approaches were made in the past by successive US administrations, but the chair, Haleh Afshar did not give me the chance to ask my question and quickly cut me short saying I was making a statement and not asking a question.

We were used to such tactics by these people, similar thing had happened at a previous SWP meeting in Hackney when we were given no chance to ask questions at all on that occasion.

Before the meeting we handed out a leaflet based on my previous post on Haleh Afshar and our heckling got us enough attention that prompted many people to come up and talk to us outside the hall. So we had some effect, most people who spoke to us outside realised and understood what our message was and all in all it was better that we turned up and the CASMII and Haleh Afshar bullshit did not go unchallenged.


Arash said...


Just to let you know, I'm the guy who came up at the end and shook your hand, though by the sounds of your blog entry maybe quite a few people did that.

Anyway, your post pretty much sums up what I feel. Mehri Honarbin is totally clueless, she seems to talk and look like a progressive woman of the 21st century, however even though she's not under a chador she's pushing the Mullah agenda onto an audience of very impressionable students most of which have no clue about Iran, and are liable to believe her lies.

All of Iran's problems are not due to the USA's sanctions. The meteoric rise of Rafsanjani, or Akbar Shah as he is fondly known, through a combination of nepotism and corruption to become one of the richest men in Iran is not only due to the USA. The fact that the Mullah regime gives the Iranian people's money from our oil and gas to terrorists like Hezbollah and Hamas whilst there are millions of heroin addicts in Iran is despicable, and the fact that she refused to even mention these things is unforgivable.

In all fairness though, I knew the meeting would be doomed from the minute I set foot in the place and saw a PressTV microphone on the table. Also, the abundance of Mullah apologists in the audience and the general lack of those in favour of human rights and democracy saddened me, especially when that man who was thrown out of the lecture theatre for telling the truth about the student activists in Iran.

I consider myself to be a liberal, left wing and democratic individual, however the SWP and their agenda really does disgust me, I've seen them in other meetings too, they literally cannot stand debating or discussing with anyone who opposes them, instead they get their cronies in the audience to shout at that individual. Disgraceful.

Anyway, I've enjoyed reading some of your previous blog entries this evening, thank you.


Azarmehr said...

Thank you Arash. Interestingly I did not realise the cameras there were from the Islamic Republic Press TV. Doesn't surprise me though, as you rightly say these organisations are not interested in a debate but to fill the minds of gullible audiences who know very little about Iran and try to paint a rosey picture of the ruling theocracy in Iran.
Thanks for your useful comment.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you noticed Akbar Etemad in the audience? He was sitting next to a couple of CASMII activists behind me. Under the Shah, he would bend down to the floor when he kissed Shah's hand, now he has changed with the wind and promotes the mollahs.Just another unprincipled Iranian in that audience.

barmakid said...


The Iranian State is not a victim of American arrogance, but the expat opposition movement is a victim of it's own arrogance.

Azarmehr, do you realize how many names you called that woman? What right do you have to pass judgment on that woman's "spoon-fed" life? If that's the case then what would you call the former Shah? I don't even know what Campaign Iran is, but judging from the way you summed up that statement it has to be the complete opposite of what you said.

I'm not going to make exaggerated claims about what will and won't happen, but from what I understand the Islamic Republic will not be defeated by any "outside" forces. There biggest enemies and most potent threats are within the country.

What good would it do for this rag-tag conference to denounce human rights abuses in Iran? We all know it has no effect but to instigate more rhetoric about Israeli human rights abuses that have nothing to do with the people of Iran.

Yet, I understand your frustration with how people gloss over these abuses and paint the Islamic Republic as the victim; that's clearly horsesh#t.

But the people of Iran have endured direct and indirect consequences of US and British efforts to topple the "revolutionary" regime. This has come in the form of aiding Iraq against Iran in the war, causing millions of Iranian casualties and vast destruction.

This has come in the form of discriminatory IMF, WTO, and World Bank policies that ultimately have the largest effect on the poorest of the poor in Iran.

You have to distinguish between policies that hurt the IRI and policies that try to hurt the IRI by pressuring the people economically and socially.

Democracy and human rights cannot be pursued from without, they must be pursued from within.

Did some democracy in a far far away land bring civil rights to black people in America? No, they fought and died for it themselves. Don't you think it would have antagonized Americans if the Soviets took up the cause of American blacks? And wouldn't the Americans have said, "well, look at what you're doing to your people!"

Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's (during the Vietnam War) second tenet of diplomacy is to empathize with your enemy.

If you try to empathize with Iranian leaders, you will see that when we denounce human rights violations in Iran they sincerely find it hypocritical, because to them the US and Britain are supporting a regime that commits even bigger human rights violations (Israel). True or not, that's what they believe.

We have to stop playing their game the way Bush did, the way Regan did, but thankfully, not the way Obama will.

I respect your passion, but you're misguided. We have tried your strategy for 30 year now. Only blithe fools would want to continue such a tested and failed policy (and thankfully Sarah Palin and John McCain weren't elected:))

be salamat,

p.s. I'm on your side. So please don't disappoint me by calling me an IRI apologist.

Azarmehr said...


Everything I have said about Haleh Afshar is from her own quotes in the BBC religion program. The Shah may have been aristocratic too but so what?? He didn't then become a Marxist! The irony of this Haleh Afshar is that she makes out she was some kind of armed warrior partisan in her youth, total bollocks, and she chops and changes her alliances as suits her.

Now tell me if these groups were not funded by the Islamic Republic why were Press TV cameras there? Read Arash's comments.

I also disagree with you on your other pathetic point, every successful change of despotic regime has enjoyed the support of the international public opinion. If these CASMII type groups want to paint a rosey picture of the Islamic Republic, you can bet your bottom Dollar that we will be there and won't let them go unchallenged.

Anonymous said...

Some useful information for you regarding the two Campaign Iran members who organised the meeting last night.

Dominique Kavakeb - He is half Iranian, president of the Essex Student Union. He claims to have lost family members to the regime but is strongly opposed to creating any publicity for prisoners of conscience in Iran saying any publicity will make things worse for them.

Somayeh Zadeh - She works in the BBC, she is on the record as having said, gays had rights in Iran (to changetheir sex)

Good to see you there last night and standing up to these traitors.

M said...

it looks like these fellows were merely reading the text of the Friday Prayer Sermons in Tehran :)

if the translation is done any sooner, the next meeting might
take place on a Saturday ;-)

Nadir said...

Afshar has not just been appointed in the House of Lords, she was also appointed to the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours list of June 2005.

See the Queen's message on the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution where she congratulates the Iranian people on their 'National Day' and understand who advises the Queen on such matters.

Uncle Napoleon did have a point.

Anonymous said...

"they literally cannot stand debating or discussing with anyone who opposes them"

Might it help somewhat if you didn't rant and rave like lunatics? The irony of course is that you did not want opposing voices heard, which is why you sought to disrupt the entire meeting - not the other way around.

How about you organise your own meeting if you like the sound of your voice so much?

Azarmehr said...

Look anonymous, first of all you do not have the courage to say who you are, so I have little respect for you, secondly you know full well we had no other choice and they didn't let us ask any questions. Thirdly I think with all the help of Press TV and Channel 4 broadcasting Ahmadinejad's alternative Xmass message, you and your Islamic Republic apologists have enough platforms, don't begrudge us for a little heckling when outrageous lies and crap were fed to the audience. You want to feed the gullible audiences with your crap, we will be there to challenge you.

Anonymous said...

Enough platforms? You have the whole of the mainstream media plus the rulers of the world who agree with you. Don't expect the violins out anytime soon. Your voices are positively booming.

And if I recall, you were picked to ask a question, one of the first of the meeting, no? And yet you continued to disrupt the whole way through - that is, until Jon Snow came out and then you were very good and sat quietly.

But what can one expect from those who align themselves with the aggression of the West?

As for me being anonymous, I might as well call myself Joe Bloggs. You don't know me, but after last night, unfortunately I do know you.

Azarmehr said...

Oh yes, I am on mainstream media every day and not Haleh Afshar!

I was picked to ask a question but as soon as Afshar realised I was trying to break the perception that Islamic Republic is a victim state she didn't let me finish.

As for aligning myself with the aggression of the West. Why do your type always talk bollocks, you can't debate so you make up things. This blog has been up for 3 - 4 years now. Show me one post where I have advocated a military aggression against Iran?

And tell me what were Islamic Republic Press TV cameras doing there last night?

Don't worry about calling yourself Joe Bloggs, spineless coward who talks bollocks will do.

Mehrtash said...

Unfortunately, I have become sceptical about Obama. I think he is not the world hero/saviour that people think/believe/wish him to be. He is a clever American President - he saw the flaws in Bush's attempt to spread the Bald Eagle's empire, as it consisted of gung-ho acts of hostility and aggression. Obama is there to further the American empire, endorsing the subtle approach instead. By engaging in respectful dialogue he almost becomes the 'friend of the east'. To put it in another way, if you want to be invited for dinner, you have a better chance of getting in by being polite and friendly, rather than bang your fists on the front door trying to force your way in.

The fact that Afshar has not just been appointed in the House of Lords, she has also been appointed to the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours list of June 2005, speaks volumes about the support the British powers give to maintaining a weak and crippled society in Iran. It is right there staring us in the face - IRI is supported by the British secret government.

It was an honour to be there last night to witness Potkin stand up against the lies that were being fed to the lemmings who were hungry for it. I agree with the principle that heckling is not the correct manner; however, it was not a philosophical debate where we must respect each others views - this was a panel who sought to lie and defend a government who has violated and annihilated the rights of the Iranian people for 3 decades. This was dirty politics, and the only way to stop blatant lies, not conflicting views, is to heckle, as they would not have permitted it otherwise.

literatur said...

Hi Azarmehr,
I was at the talk last night, and I thought it was a shame they didn't let you finish your question.
You're vocal in your criticism of the Iranian regime. You advocate a democratic, secular Iran - but would you consider writing a post a bit more about what you stand for? (or have you already done one?)
What's the best way for Iran to move to a more progressive, democratic society, that is more open and less repressive? What should the role of the US be? Etc.

Azarmehr said...

Hi Literatur

What I stand for is on my profile, democracy, nationalism, secularism and meritocracy and throughout my posts.

I believe the will for change and an open society in Iran is there amongst the population especially the young. What is stopping this change from taking place is the repressiveness of the regime and the real centres of power in the Islamic Republic which consider any change as their death nail.

In order for the forces of change to win, we should do whatever we can to reduce the ability of the Islamic establishment to repress the pro-democracy forces.

One way to do this is to solicit the help of the international public opinion. Believe me if this didn't make a difference, the Islamic Republic would not have invested in so many lobby groups and cover organisations like CASMII.

By international public opinion of course I do not mean any state or government, I mean the ordinary people, I believe governments do not care about human rights and democracies in other countries, they care about their own interests. Ordinary people however do care about other human beings and we must make sure their good will is not exploited by Islamic Republic apologists and lobbyists.

literatur said...

Hi Azarmehr,

Thank you for the reply, that makes a lot of sense. Cheers.

Vitalina said...


Even more shameful was the way that young Iranian chap near the door was grabbed by the neck by several organisers who then dragged him out of the room. He was only trying to ask a question too. I was in front of him when this happened. What seemed strange was that as soon as he arrived some people in the room whom I think were from the Iranian embassy, spotted him and were trying to stop him from enetring. I felt thoroughly ashamed that I couldn't help rescue the young Iranian.
I read the flyer handed out by the protesters afterwards and never again will I go to such meetings.

Anonymous said...

Y don't u organise your own meetings?

Azarmehr said...

We do from time to time and when we can.
For example I was invited to speak at a conference by the Campaign for Free Education which led to the election of the imprisoned Iranian student at the time, Ahmad Batebi, to the honorary vice president of the NUS.

Or I was invited to the FPA to speak in the aftermath of Ahmadinejad becoming the Iranian president.

Or we have organised meetings in the UK parliament:

If we were professional revolutionaries we could do more meetings like CASMII but we have day time jobs and bills to pay.

Anonymous said...

how would u like it if u were disrupted by some lunatics in ur meetings?

Azarmehr said...

anon, although I am not sure which one, this is reply to the one asking how would we like hecklers.

Generally speaking we allow people to counter argue and have a debate so the need for heckling doesn't arise. We are not there just to shove one way of thinking down someone's throat we are just as interested in learning from others.

There was an ex-British Intelligence officer now working for Press TV who was causing some problems once in one of our meetings but thats about it.

Bahramerad said...

We Iranians who are old enough to have witness how our country was raped by the likes of PEE-NUT Carter, Callaghan and Gescar Destan - YAZDI - GHOBTZADEH -KHALKHALI - RINGO-MONTAZERY etc... will never forget or forgive what was done to our beloved country.

As Iranians we have suffered in the hands of the IRI for the last 30 years - but we are only too pleased to have also witnessed the clammily that was perpetrated against the west by those bastards who replaced our constitutional monarch ( good or bad )with Khomainie and his band of taleban mullah mafia.

All the terrorist activities of the PLO in the eighties and nineties, The Iran Iraq war, the Gulf war the Afghan tragedy, the Al-Qaeda, Taleban, Ben Laden, the 9/11 , the demise of the Soviet Russia and now the crumbling of the American Capital system -have all emendated from the dirty machinations of PEE-NUT Carter and his henchman men .

These new up and coming traitors like Haeleh Afshar and her band of political prostitutes are nothing new for us.

We have seen much worse then them and a lot more professional in their dastardly acts then these johnny come lately IDIOTS.

Please see :
and : --- in FARSI ---

Bahramerad said...

We Iranians who are old enough to have witness how our country was raped by the likes of PEE-NUT Carter, Callaghan and Gescar Destan - YAZDI - GHOBTZADEH -KHALKHALI - RINGO-MONTAZERY etc... will never forget or forgive what was done to our beloved country.

As Iranians we have suffered in the hands of the IRI for the last 30 years - but we are only too pleased to have also witnessed the clammily that was perpetrated against the west by those bastards who replaced our constitutional monarch ( good or bad )with Khomainie and his band of taleban mullah mafia.

All the terrorist activities of the PLO in the eighties and nineties, The Iran Iraq war, the Gulf war the Afghan tragedy, the Al-Qaeda, Taleban, Ben Laden, the 9/11 , the demise of the Soviet Russia and now the crumbling of the American Capital system -have all emendated from the dirty machinations of PEE-NUT Carter and his henchman men .

These new up and coming traitors like Haeleh Afshar and her band of political prostitutes are nothing new for us.

We have seen much worse then them and a lot more professional in their dastardly acts then these johnny come lately IDIOTS.

Please see :
and : --- in FARSI ---

Anonymous said...

hey...what happened to your friend Fakhravar ??????? why don't you write a bit about him ?!!! you use to do that on a daily basis....I wonder what has happened ?!!! :)

Azarmehr said...


Why are you wondering with so many question marks and exclamation marks? Looks like you are getting very excited over something.
Of course I dont knwo whether to refer to you as he/she/it as you are anonymous.

Fakhravar is well and good, you can go to his blog or watch his programs from Pars TV. Hope that information has cooled down your excitement.

barmakid said...

I wish I was at this meeting. Anyways, I can imagine Azarmehr didn't know what the hell he was talking about. How do I know? Because you make statements like these:

"I also disagree with you on your other pathetic point, every successful change of despotic regime has enjoyed the support of the international public opinion."

So the 1979 revolution enjoyed the support of international public opinion? Hmm... How can anyone believe anything you say? You make fun of people who read books for God's sake!

I'm pathetic? Or the fact that your life has been reduced to breaking up Press TV exercises and obsessing over Haleh Afshar is pathetic?

Why do I make personal attacks? Sorry Mehrtash, but because your ogre friend Azarmehr balad nist mesle adam goftogoo koneh.


Azarmehr said...

Yes the 1979 Islamic revolution definitely had the support of the international public opinion. As well as serious funding from foreign states.

The international public opinion pressure mobilised by the then confederation of Iranian students manifested itself in many public protests against the Shah, one in Berlin even resulted in the death of a German student. The one in Washington cause tear gas to be fired which even made the Shah and Carter look tearful on camera.

You know jack shit Barmakid as you have proved on numerous occasions.

barmakid said...

Hahaha... that's what you call international support? How did I know you were going to bring up Carter. Obviously, you believe the facts you want to believe, so I'm not even going to mention the international "support" that came in the form of sanctions that have lasted decades, an aggressive war by Iraq backed by "the international community," the withdrawal of all diplomats by GERMANY and other European states until Khatami's term, and many many other examples...

The hallmark of a fool is not when he doesn't know, but when he knows and still tries to convince himself otherwise.

You might be able to convince your cohorts, like winston and co., but your not fooling anyone who has read more than 2 books since 1979. I guess under that standard, you'd be fooling yourself too.


Azarmehr said...

where your two cell brain fails Barmakid is that you do not understand the difference between a foreign state and the international public opinion of the grass root people.

I wasn't referring to Carter pressurising the Shah, I was referring to the demonstration by anti-Shah students and their American colleagues which prompted the US police to use tear gas in a way that Carter and the Shah, who were near the protests, also suffered from the smokes from the cannisters. I doubt if these kind of events were ever mentioned in the shite you read.

The aggregate result of these kind of protest actions which were blasted all over the media in those days, was that the anti-Shah forces gained confidence, they realised they are not on their own and at the same time some of those close to the Shah started wavering and losing their bottle. This is how the balance of power tips, this is how revolutions begin when people gain confidence and the ruling classes lose confidence.

This is the problem in Iran now. People want to see the mullahs thrown out but they lack confidence they don't think the media, the international public opinion is on their side. they see the regime too secure and able to repress.

The aim should be to tip this balance in favour of the pro-demcracy forces. This is why the Islamic Republic invests so much in groups like CASMII and NIAC and other lobby groups to make sure the Iranian people feel alone and with no backing.

Mehrtash said...

Potkin I am up for setting up a meeting of our own, as challenged.

As for having hecklers - you are all welcome. Heckle away; however, it must be to prove a truth, when you know we are lying - only good luck, for you won't find a lie in what we reveal.

Last night, the only 'heckling' that took place was the one to expose the fallacy, the lies that were streaming out of their mouths like verbal diarrhea. Those who condemned it are either afraid of the truth, or are complicit in covering up the truth.

Throwing out that innocent man who was making a robust point on student demonstrators in Iran only serves to demonstrate the type of people that were organising and supporting this ghastly event. My regret is that I did nothing as he was dragged out; he had a right to be there as much as any other person in that room.

barmakid said...

Well then, if that's the case how come the worldwide grassroots movement/protest against the War in Iraq didn't work. How come the international grassroots movements against the Israeli occupation isn't working?

Where were the internatioal grassroots movements when the Bolsheviks had their revolution? They were nonexistent. They succeeded partly because the German state was funding and suporting them.

If you think that a few rag-tag protests against the Shah outside of Iran had more to do with the outcome of the revolution than the other factors I cited you are severely mistaken.

You can say, "every successful change of despotic regime has enjoyed the support of the international public opinion." That's fine, they "enjoyed" it, but it had nothing to do with the outcome and it's "pathetic" to think it had more of an impact than sanctions or an 8 year war. Come on man.


Azarmehr said...

The grass root movement against the Iraq war went wrong because they did not condemn Saddam Hussein. despite the large protests, the majority of the people were not against the removal of Saddam Hussein by military intervention. They went wrong because there was no alternative to Saddam Hussein.
You are not comparing like for like, the anti-Iraq protests were not backing a revolutionary movement against Saddam Hussein, they came across as a movement that wanted Saddam to stay in power.

I remember I taught you about the German funding for the Bolsheviks, at least you have learned some thing from me, the Bolsheviks ceased power not as a result of a revolution by the masses, they won as a result of a putsch in a power vaccum.

International protests against the Islamic regime has already paid dividends. Compare the Islamic Republic now with that of the 80s, in 1988, more than 5000 Iranian political prisoners were massacred and no one raised an eye brow, more than 100 Iranian opposition figures were murdered outside Iran throughout the 80s and 90s, but since 1999 and after the Mykonos trial the killings of dissidents outside Iran seems to have stopped. We have to keep the momentum going not give up now.

barmakid said...

1. The anti-war protests came across to YOU as pro-Saddam, not the people protesting. Don't get it mixed up.

2. You did not teach me anything about the Bolsheviks. I learned what I was referring to from "The Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations Volume II."

3. I'm not telling you to stop the momentum, but to change your tactics (again, I'm on your side - you seem to forget or not understand that). And if you are making the inference that the changes the Islamic Republic have undertaken are because of a movement outside of Iran you are again misguided. Though I am not saying certain actions taken overseas haven't been successful, what am saying is that mixing up those actions and the results they produced with the action taken at this conference is preposterous.


Azarmehr said...


I do distinctly remember that you thought Stalin was born after the Russian revolution. But it is so typical of you to talk the biggest load of bollocks and then try to sound like an academic expert on the subject.

At that CASMII conference we managed to change many people's views, we stopped CASMII and Iran Campaign's speeches painting a rosey picture of the Islamic Republic from going unchallenged.
We made people aware of who Haleh Afshar was. I am happy with what we achieved.

I can't think of what you can be happy about though?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I see now, Barmakid has been playing devil's advocate all along. Thanks for the service old chap ;)

barmakid said...

I can be happy that people like you, in your generation, still care and are unabashed in their opposition to the IRI surrogates overseas. That can be a good thing (even though it's not my style; we're different people).

I hope your children get to go to Iran and adopt your fervor.


p.s. What does Stalin's birthday have anything to do with what I said? begzareem :))

Anonymous said...

This is my report of the event:

No to imperialist war and sanctions!
No to the Islamic Republic!

Ben (

Azarmehr said...


Shame none of you lot on the Left like to have a debate. You all always like to give your version of events.

I notice that on the write up you did there is no room for comments.

It is true I did tell the SWP newspaper seller outside to F off and called him an Ayatollah supporter, but I didn't even notice you.

You also failed to mention that we handed out a leaflet explaining who Haleh Afshar is, which was what really made Haleh Afshar uncomfortable.

And when you say I shouted 'It worked in South Africa' you conclude that I am in favour of sanctions period. I have made it clear what kind of sanctions I am in favour of throughout my blog. See the post about Nokia and Siemens, as just one example.

And to call us objective pro-imperialists! All four of us who were there to challenge the crap the meeting organisers were handing out to th egullible useful idiots come from families who were involved in the oil nationalisation struggle in the 50s. If you really want to know who is pro-imperialist, I suggest you read the leaflet we handed out about Haleh Afshar, and her OBE award handed out by the queen and the extent of her family's service to the imperial court before the Islamic revolution.

But I let you off because at least you could see what CASMII and Haleh Afshar were up to and the essential bits that Press TV wanted to show, which was the entire aim of the show.

Anonymous said...

Don't be surprised at John Snow, he is after all a son of a cleric [i.e. agha zadeh :)] himself, no wonder he likes the regime in Iran