Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sting Makes an Appeal for Iran's Detainees

A big thank you to sting for making an appeal for Iran's detainees. This is just the kind of international support the people of Iran need. Imagine having been sentenced to 12 years in Islamic Republic prisons, as Kian Tajbakhsh has been, and then learning that in your hours of loneliness and despair, a famous international celebrity is backing you and you are not that alone.
Well done Sting.

“The false imprisonment of Iranian/American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh and 100 other activists involved in the ongoing democracy movement in Iran deserves our immediate attention.

I urge those of us living in a democratic society to speak out against the current Iranian regime’s system of political repression and human rights violations threatening to silence these activists and journalists.

Without freedom of speech and the right of dissent, there can be no viable democracy.” stingsignaturesmall.jpg

UK Secular Muslims Stand up to Extremists

UK's secular Muslims today decided to stand up against the Islamic political extremists, the Al Muhajiroun, who call for the abolition of democracy and imposition of Sharia Law in Britain. And guess what? the Al-Muhajiroun decided not to show up!

The Iranians who showed up today to support the secular Muslims also explained the forthcoming 4th November protests in Iran. Hopefully many people from today will stand in solidarity with the Iranian people and the Green Movement on Wednesday, outside the Islamic Republic Embassy between 6-9 pm. Lets show the world that the Green Movement is alive and moving forward.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A New Kaveh Emerges

I have talked about one of Iran's mythical heroes, Kaveh the Blacksmith before. The mythical Kaveh is a blacksmith who challenges the demon King, Zahak, in his presence and in Zahak's imperial court and then leads the Iranian resistance against Zahak's tyranny. Yesterday news reached us of a new Kaveh who challenged the modern day Zahak, i.e the Supreme Leader, in the very midst of the demon's own den.

Only this Kaveh is not a blacksmith, he does not seem to have the biceps we were used to seeing in the paintings of Kaveh in our text books, the new Kaveh is in fact a young Iranian computer programming genius, called Mahmood Vahidnia and a student at Sharif University who dared criticise the Supreme Leader face to face.

It was supposed to be a typical Supreme Leader sermon, where the Supreme Leader ranted on and the audience sheepishly listened and followed. The audience on this occasion were Iran's gifted academic elite who have won honours and medals in international academic competitions.

Mahmood Vahidnia however did not want to just sit there sheepishly and nod along with the others. After much waving of his hand and asking to be allowed to ask a question, the Supreme Leader himself pointed at him and asked him to come up.

'I have been reading the newspapers and magazines more seriously in the last five years, yet I have never seen any criticism of you. Those surrounding you have turned you into an idol." Vahidnia shocked the congregation. The Baseej students started protesting by shouting 'Finish him' and 'Time is up' but Vahidnia continued to lambast the state broadcasting by saying how can anyone think the state TV has accurately reflected the recent events of last months in Iran? 'Since you appoint the head of the state broadcasting either you are responsible for the biased coverage or you have lost all control of it' Vahidnia asked applying his computer programming logic.

While the Baseej were gritting their teeth, the rest of the elites heartened by Vahidnia's fearlessness started clapping and cheering him. Vahidnia on a roll then continued 'How is unity achieved? by speeches? no it is as a result of the way the state behaves towards the people...'

In repsonse, the Supreme Leader tried to distance himself from the State broadcasting by saying 'it is impossible for him to watch every program and approve of it but there is so much progress in the country that the state TV is not showing you youngsters.' He also denied that he does not welcome criticism and said on the contrary he welcomes it. Nevertheless the Supreme Leader was so visibly annoyed that he left the stage without leading the prayers which were supposed to take place at the end of the program.

The encounter was reported on the Supreme Leader's own website.

Confronting the Revolutionary Guards

In his latest daily recorded videos, Mohsen Sazegara, explains to the people of Iran what the status quo of the Green Movement is and how each hurdle should be overcome. His daily recorded videos which are passed on from person to person inside Iran are extremely popular and have become one of the main roadmap tools of the Green revolution.

In his latest video, Sazegara talks about confronting the Revolutionary Guards. It is now as clear as crystal that the main confrontation in Iran is between the people and an elite military complex bent on controlling all aspects of Iran's economy.

I don't mean to start translating Sazegara's videos on a daily basis, that intended audience is obviously the people inside Iran, but yesterday's recorded footage which explains the confrontation between the people and the Revolutionary Guards will be useful for those who are following Iran's events to gain an understanding that no regime, no matter how repressive, is still fallible if the people of that country decide not to co-operate with it and if the people of the world lend their support to the struggle of their fellow human beings for freedom and liberty.

Part of Sazegara's video yestrday:

'...and now on to the third subject: our main topic of discussion regarding our strategy to confront the Revolutionary Guards, which I will endeavour to explain one by one on this board.
As we explained before the Revolutionary Guards is now standing to oppose a whole nation.

The strategy of confronting the Revolutionary Guards:

1. The first point is that we have to be careful to divide the Guards' track record into three distinct periods:
- The first period, the war years, where many volunteers join to defend Iran and became martyrs, I call this period during the imposed war years, 'The Martyr Army'.

- The second period starts after the war, where the Guards enter economic activities, parasite economic activities which I refer to as "The Middleman Army" period, because the RG becomes the middleman in many of the projects and factories.

- The third period which starts after the reform period, I call it the "Murderer Army" which continues to this day and is the section of the Revolutionary Guards which has started killing the people.

When confronting the Revolutionary Guards, its very important that we distinguish between these three periods, because every time we challenge the Guards and say they are killing the people and a number of commanders are plundering the country's wealth, they try to hide behind the "martyr army", we have to show that these three periods are distinct and different.

Making Contacts with the RG Members

2. Making contactss with the RG members and encouraging them to leave the Middleman and Murderer Army

We must make contact with the RG members, which the Baseej has also become dissolved in the RG (official part of the RG). We must talk to each Guard member who is our neighbour, in our work place, in our families and ask them to leave this middleman murderer army and ask them why they are co-operating with an organisation which has its hands up to its elbows stained in people's blood and is plundering the country's wealth? An honourable member of the RG, a rank and file member of the RG and the commanders who share the pride of the war years must separate their ways from the middlemen and murderers of today. If a member refuses to do this, then we need to disclose his name, we need to talk to his family and to his children, we need to stick pictures of our martyrs in front of their houses, we need to pressure them in different ways so that they will separate their ways from the middlemen and murderers.

Acceptance by the Nation

3- Openly embrace those who join the people
It is very important that we make it clear when we speak to the RG members and always emphasise to them that the people will embrace anyone who distances himself from the middlemen and murderers. In every action, in every contact, in every public discussion and even during street clashes, we have to make this reminder that people will embrace anyone who joins them.

Disclosure of Middleman and Murderous Activities

4. Disclosure of the middleman and murderous activities of the RG for the people

Information about the economic activities and crimes carried out by the RG, sections that repress, those who are involved in these activities, must be publicised to the public by whatever means the information is obtained.

This is not meant to be information about the military capabilities of the country, of course those are part of the state secrets and not what we mean, but any information regarding the economic activities of the RG, whatever monetary interference by the RG and whatever parts they take in killing people, imprisoning people, torture houses, rapes which a minority of the RG taking part in must be told to the nation by whoever has access to such information so that they can be prevented.


5. Selective Boycott of Goods and Middleman Activities of the RG

One of our important resistance tools is that we should boycott goods produced, distributed and imported by the Revolutionary Guards and their other economic activities, but because things have got to the point that the RG have a hand in just about all economic activities, inevitably we have to be selective, it has to be a step by step boycott.

Regarding the RG's purchase of the country's telecommunication, we have a plan which with the help of friends inside the country and a section of specialist friends outside the country will soon be finalised and I will present to you as ways in which we can challenge the telecommunications takeover. Or from amongst the foreign cigarettes that the RG imports, (we are studying which one is the most profitable brand) so that we can include the brand in our boycott and burn the brand packets and show we do not want it. Just as we saw how effective it was when we boycotted the RG imported rice or the Mehr Deposits or other things and they had to step back. Therefore we have to select and target a handful of goods and activities and involve the whole nation in their boycotts.'

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Defend Secular Democracy in UK

Its all very well for us to support the establishment of a secular democracy in Iran but lets not forget that our new homes are also under threat from fundamentalists and extremists. We have all enjoyed the privileges of living in secular democracies after our exiles, its time we make sure history is not repeated and we stop extremist dogma right at its infancy.

Lets join the rally against the Al-Muhajiroun extremists at Piccadily Circus - 1 PM, 31 October 2009.

The demonstration has been called by secular Muslims, see the video below.

Shaaz Mahboob, vice-chair of British Muslims for Secular Democracy says:

“Our counter-demonstration is based on our belief in, and commitment to, those liberal values that define the British state, including legal and constitutional equality for all, equal rights for women and minorities, and religious freedom, including the right to be free of faith”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Getting Ready for 4th November

There was a time when the Islamic Republic basked in its official days. Through its sophisticated rent a crowd techniques, the regime would bring out large crowds who would chant the official slogans and hold up the official banners and placards. Now days the official days have become a nightmare for the regime, just as the Al-Quds Day parades proved to be. The official days actually provide a good cover as to why people should come on the streets and when people find strength in numbers the official day becomes a protest day. See how the Qods Day became Iran Day here.

The next day of protests is now 4th November, it is the National Pupils Day and it also coincides with taking over the US embassy in Tehran and its staff as hostages in 1980 by students who were being manipulated by the hardliners to hijack the revolution.

There will be protests inside Iran and there will be solidarity actions outside Iran. We want as many non-Iranians and people of different nationalities to join the solidarity actions. Lets remind the world leaders that the movement inside Iran is alive and if they deal with the coup administration they will be dealing with losers and they will be remembered as the enemies of our people. One of the main slogans will be 'Obama yA bA oonA - yA bA mA' Obama, you are either with them or with us.

Of course lets not forget the regime is preparing for 4th November as well. Here are pictures of their anti-riot manoeuvres in Isfahan designed to scare the population.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Seven Causes of Forgetfulness

This clip from Islamic Republic's state TV broadcasting just goes to show the depth of the tragedy that has befallen the cultured and intelligent people of Iran. The TV presenter is quoting some Hadith from the prophet and he keeps repeating that the Hadith he is reading is a credible and verified one with numerous references that back it.

According to the Hadith and the state TV presenter, prophet Mohammad tells Imam Ali, his successor 'Ali, there are SEVEN causes that bring about forgetfulness'

So what are these SEVEN items that the prophet is supposed to have identified as the causes of forgetfulness :

1- Eating sour apples
2- Eating Coriander
3- Eating Cheese
4- Eating Mice droppings [The presenter adds that this may not be so relevant for us city dwellers but the countryside folk should pay more attention]
5- Reading the writings on graves
6- Walking between two women
7- Throwing lice
8- cupping behind the head
9- Urinating in still water

Apart form the above being the most ludicrous causes of forgetfulness you could ever come across, there appears to be 9 items and not 7?!

Then they wonder why people watch BBC and VOA!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Karroubi the Lion Heart at Press Exhibition

Hired thugs attacked 71 year old Karroubi the courageous at the Press Fair today but people responded by defending Karroubi. Today's Press Fair became another display of Green unity against the coup administration and its hired thugs. Moussavi will attend the Press Fair tomorrow.

Update: The Russian official representing the Russia desk at the Press fair ran away when he heard the crowds chant 'Down with Russia'

Arrests During Prayers

Around thirty people, friends of Shahabedin Tabatabaii, were arrested while holding a prayer vigil for him after he was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. The arrests included wives and children.

Three vans were used to take those arrested to unknown locations. Some of those arrested include Mohsen Mirdamadi's wife and child, Ramezanzadeh's wife and his brother, Morteza Alviri's wife, Dr. Kianoosh Rad along with his wife and daughter.

After thirty years of Islamic Republic, even wives and children are arrested for taking part in a prayer vigil for their loved ones.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

More Harsh Sentences Announced

Although Maziar Bahari's release is most welcome, especially before his wife is due to give birth to their first baby, he is of course one of the lucky ones. Maziar Bahari had the backing of news media and his colleagues, human rights groups and government officials lobbied well on his behalf.

Iranian journalist, Massoud Bastani, will not see the birth of his first born however, he got six years in prison.

On the same day that Bahari arrived in UK, Kian Tajbakhsh, a graduate of UCL and Imperial College in London, received a harsh 12 years prison sentence.

Shahabedin Tabatabaii, head of the Participation Front's Youth organisation and a member of the press guild in Iran got five years. Tabatabaii is also former president Khatami's nephew.

The regime mistakenly thinks these people were the leaders of the protests and by putting them in prison they will decapitate the Iranian pro-democracy movement. Yet as the massive protests planned for 4th November will show the authorities, each street, each district now has its own protest committees and that kind of organisation can not be decapitated.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How Uncivilised to Throw Your Shoe

Hypocrisy is a word that can be defined in two words, Islamic Republic. If a suicide bombing happens elsewhere, its the 'peak of consciousness', its the 'ultimate martyrdom'. The martyr who blew himself up will surely go straight to heaven unless of course the martyr blew himself up and killed revolutionary guard commanders as a result. Similarly throwing a shoe at someone you don't like is good if its against the likes of Bush but if the Iranian students get fed up with the hypocrisy of the former Ahamdienjad's Guidance Minsiter and throw a shoe at him, it is uncivilised!

This is what happened when Ahmadienjad's former Minister of Islamic Guidance, Saffar Harandi, appeared at Tehran's Technical University and accused Moussavi of attempting to organise a coup by not accepting the election results!

One of the students who could no longer take this insult against their intelligence threw her shoe at him, which didn't reach him but hit a female Baseej student on her head sitting in the front, see below as she holds the shoe asking who threw this?

The Baseej student then handed the shoe to Saffar Harandi who held the shoe and said 'How uncivilised of you to do this'. How hypocritical of you to say such a thing Mr. Saffar Harandi, for you were the one who was organising shoe throwing competitions a while ago!

Watch students chant 'Murderer Out' at Saffar Harandi:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Neda's Mother Rejects Regime's Overtures

First they killed her daughter, Neda, then they denied there ever was a Neda and that the video was a fake. Then they stopped her from holding a proper ceremony to grieve the loss of her daughter. Even on the fortieth day anniversary of Neda's death, her family were prevented from attending her daughter's grave.

When Arash Hejazi, the doctor who witnessed Neda's death came to England,they said the doctor is a fugitive wanted by the Iranian intelligence minister and the Interpol. A claim which was repeated by their puppet Press TV and despite numerous complaints, the dubious OFCOM watchdog, has remained silent. Interpol almost immediately denied that they had anyone called Arash Hejazi on their wanted list, but they did have several officials of the Islamic Republic including a minister on their wanted list.

Then they concocted the most bizarre story of them all, that the BBC had paid hitmen to kill Neda and filmed the killing. Neda's fiancée, Caspian Makan, was arrested and tortured to make him say it was the MeK who had killed his fiancée. The Islamic Republic ambassador to Mexico,Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri, suggested it was the CIA who killed Neda.

But bad liars soon dig their own graves, for there was an easy answer to all these ludicrous claims, if Neda's murder was an international plot, then why not hail her as a martyr of the Islamic Republic? Surely if Neda was killed by the international enemies of the Islamic Republic, the state should show as much reaction as it did towards the tragic murder of the Egyptian Muslim woman, Marwa Al-Sherbini.

So after all these preposterous claims, they have tried to offer Neda's family money. A sick overture which was promptly and swiftly rejected by Neda's mother as shown in this interview.

'Neda died for her country not so that I could get a monthly income from the Martyr Foundation. If these officials say Neda was a martyr why do they keep wiping off the word martyr which people write in red on her gravestone?..Neda died like Sohrab and Ashkan and the other kids, there was no plot'

Moussavi Condemns the Suicide Bombing

Mir Hussein Moussavi was quick to condemn the suicide bombing against the elite revolutionary guards that resulted in the killing of more than 40 people in the Sistan and Baluchistan province of Iran, including some of the top revolutionary guards generals.

Suicide bombing, assassination and terrorism is not the way of the Green Movement and Moussavi was right to condemn the act swiftly and decisively.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Green Became the Immortal Iran

Time for today's last post, and what better than this great motivational song. I will be listening to this while training tomorrow morning. I am sure it will boost my stamina.

In the dark silence of this green land,
A Green humming started
and touched our tired bodies
laughter blossomed from its warmth
and the world heard the chorus of our hopes
But the tyrants feared it
and fired their bullets at the flowers of the fatherland
and they ripped the hearts of the lovers
and so from the blood and the cries
Green became the immortal Iran again

Stay motivated everyone and keep your spirits up.

Daughter of Ahmadinejad's Advisor Applies for Asylum in Germany

Nargess Kalhor is the daughter of Ahmadinejad's media relations advisor, Mehdi Kalhor. Two days ago Nargess who was taking part in the Nuremberg human rights film festival with her film "The Rake", an adaptation of a story by Franz Kafka about torture, refused to return to Iran and applied for asylum in Germany.

Ahmadinejad's close advisor, Mehdi Kalhor, confirmed his daughter's decision and said she was exploited by the enemies of the revolution. Nargess on the other hand hoped her father would see the errors of his judgements and join the people of Iran and the Green Movement.

As one of the employees of the Islamic Centre in London quietly told me, the Green Movement has penetrated every layer of the Iranian society, its not a question of if the Green Movement wins, its just a question of when.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our Brother Has Nothing to do with MeK

'There is a God, I have done nothing wrong and surely He will protect me in the end.' This is how Nasser Abdolhosseini, accused of being an MeK member and sentenced to death in Iran's Stalinist show trials comforted his brothers when they came to see him in Evin prison.

In an interview with Mojtaba Samiinejad, Abdolhosseini's brothers reveal the depths in which the coup administration will go in detaining totally innocent people, making them confess crimes they know nothing about and then sentence them to death just to intimidate the population from taking part in any future protests against the authorities.

Nasser Abdolhosseini is seen in this footage here during his trial, looking gaunt and confused, it is as if he is reading his confessions from an autocue, only he does not even know what a cocktail molotov is and calls it a cocktail molophone!

Nasser's brothers say he has never been political and has never been arrested before, he is just a working class kid from South Tehran, who makes a living by selling car spare parts. He was arrested on June 26th, without any incriminating evidence. 'Nasser has no computer, he does not even have an email, how was he sending information outside Iran as it is alleged?' Nasser's brothers ask in disbelief.

According to Nasser's brothers, he was duped into making the confessions by his interrogators who had promised him an early release if he did so. 'But contrary to their promises not only he was not released, he has now been sentenced to death. They took advantage of Nasser's naivety. Our parents don't even know about the death sentence, we have not had the heart to tell them. They think Nasser will be released soon. Our father is a war veteran who lives on his pension. Their son has been charged with waging war against God, Nasser has never harmed anyone in his life'

Nasser's brothers are also very critical of his court appointed defence lawyer. 'In all his trial, the appointed lawyer has only contacted our brother twice and has not followed up his case'

Who knows why God has abandoned the people of Iran for the last thirty years, for He is supposed to work in mysterious ways but where are the human rights organisations who are more than happy to appear in front of Press TV cameras?

Five Death Sentences Now

The number of death sentences announced by the Stalinist show trials in Iran has now increased to five. The names of those to be executed by hanging are Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani, Arash Rahmanpour, Nasser Abdolhosseini, Hamed Rouhinejad and Davood Fardbacheh.

More information about the above reveals that at least three of them were not even arrested during the post election protests. Mohammad Seifzadeh, the defence lawyer for Hamed Rouhinejad, see picture on the left, has revealed that his client is a student of philosophy at Beheshti university, he was arrested forty days before the election results were announced and suffers from MS.

As yet I can not find anything on the websites of Reprieve or Human Rights Watch about the latest death sentences in Iran. Representatives of Reprieve and Human Rights Watch regularly appear on Press TV which is funded by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, but never talk about human rights abuses in Iran.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Solidarity with Hengameh Shahidi in London

More than hundred supporters of the Green Movement in UK held a protest outside the Iranian embassy in London today in solidarity with Hengameh Shahidi, the Iranian female journalist who has been detained for 100 days now.

Hengameh Shahidi, a SOAS university PHD graduate, is also a feminist activist and was Karroubi's advisor on women's affairs. Hengameh's brother, Saeed Shahidi was present at the protest today and spoke about the latest news of his sister who suffers from heart problems and despite many promises by the authorities to release Hengameh on bail, she still remains in custody.

Hengameh's 100th day in captivity today also coincided with her 35th birthday.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Political Trials under the Shah and in Islamic Republic

The trial shown in the first footage below is that of Khosrow Golesorkhi, during a famous memorable political trial under the Shah which was shown on the state television back then. I think just about anyone of my generation remembers watching the trial on TV. Everyone at my school was talking about it the next day. Golesorkhi was accused of being a member of a Marxist group who had planned to kidnap and assassinate members of the royal family.

In the trial, seen in the first footage below, the accused are allowed to appear in their civilian clothes not in pyjamas and slippers in Islamic Republic 'trials'. Golesorkhi, starts his defence by reciting one of his poems. Reading his poem goes on for the first two minutes before this Marxist-Leninst poet recites a verse from the Koran, and follows by quoting statements from the Shiite saint figures like Imam Hussein and Imam Ali, calling them the great martyrs of the middle east's masses and the first socialists, more than 1400 years ago before capitalism ever existed.

Golesorkhi then quotes Marx and describes how similar Shiite Islam and Marxism are, and that he and his comrades were like Imam Hussein's small army of devotees who became martyrs in an unfair battle against the almighty Khalif, Yazid. Golesorkhi briefly mentions why he was arrested and that he was tortured while in prison before mocking the Shah's land reforms which distributed the land to the peasants from the landowners, saying all it did was made Iran into a consumer society and a super market for selling the overproduction of imperialist goods. The judge finally interrupts him and tells him, 'this is your last defence, you are allowed to defend the charges against yourself'. Golesorkhi refuses to end his TV political broadcast and says he has nothing to say to defend himself, he is there to represent and defend 'his' people only. Then asks the judge if he does not have the freedom to defend himself he will finish and sit down. The judge reminds him again that he is free to say whatever he wants but what Golesorkhi is saying has nothing to do with the charges against him. Golesorkhi had made up his mind and decided to sit down. His other comrade Daneshian is not seen in this footage but I remember his defence clearly too. Daneshian also went on with a political broadcast in which he named other international 'Liberation' movements which met with his approval, including the Basque Liberation Front. Again the same thing happens and he is reminded by the judge and the prosecutor that he is not there to perform a sermon but to defend himself against his charges.

The point I am making is not judging Golesorkhi and his comrades, but to compare the political trials under the Shah with those in the Islamic Republic. It is clear that they were not coerced to read a pre-written text and make confessions.

Below are footages of trials in the Islamic Republic more than three decades since Golesorkhi's trial under the Shah. These are ordinary citizens arrested during post election protests. They have not plotted to kidnap anyone or assassinate anyone, most have taken part in post election protests asking 'where is my vote?'. Some are just journalists and there is even a young French female student amongst them. They are not being tried, they are not given a chance to defend themselves, they are made to read out what they have been told to say. Comparing the political 'trials' in Iran today with that of Golesrokhi's more than 30 years ago, makes the Shah truly a saint compared with this lot in power in Iran now.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The First Death Sentence

When the evil Tehran Friday prayer leader, Ahmad Khatami, demanded in his sermon that the harshest methods be used against the detained protesters so that others would become aware of consequences of opposing the Islamic establishment, it was just a matter of time before the first execution sentence would be announced.

Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani, 37, is the first to be sentenced to death. He is said to be a member of the Iran Monarchy Association. I am no fan of this exile group, if you have followed my blog, you would know what I think about the group and its lunatic leader, Manoucher Fooladvand, whose followers claim he was killed as he crossed borders to Iran but others say he has retired to Spain.

Defending the accused on these show trials is not about whether you see eye to eye with the political views of the accused, for this masquerade can not even be called a trial, its a show confession, it is an affront to basic human values. We have no idea about what is going on other than the coup administration has physically and mentally put our fellow countrymen under inhumane pressures to make public confessions, so that the messianic junta can promote their warped justifications of keeping Iranians in captivity.

I wrote previously about others like Behzad Nabavi and Mohammad Malekiand some commented that I should not write about these people because they were part and parcel of the regime at some stage. Who they were and what they did is not the issue here, even if in the future Ahamdinejad is put on such show confessions, I will defend him. A Kangaroo court is no place for justice. This is exactly the mistake our previous generation made. When they summarily executed the Shah's military men and officials in their kangaroo courts after the 1979 Islamic revolution, those who were not in favour of the monarchy didn't show much concern, then when they went for the MeK, others who didn't support the MeK didn't show much concern, and so they went for the Communists and those who were not Communists didn't show much concern and then they went for the nationalists and the religious minorities and the trade unionists and before we knew, we were all in it with no one left to defend us.

The news of Ali Zamani's death sentence is a test for the coup and a test for us. As Mohsen Sazegara correctly mentioned in his daily video today, we are all united against the coup. The regime often dips its toes first and tests the water, it wants to test the world's reaction, if we stay silent because Ali Zamani is not one of us, there will be many more.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Dawn of Liberation is Approaching

Finally found the song I was looking for. I was talking to a friend who is good at making clips and was asking him why none of the clips made about Neda so far had this most fitting song, which includes Neda in its lyrics, as the background music to the clip, and he was saying he had never heard of it. They say when you talk about songs that others haven't heard of, you are getting old :( But here is one performance of the song I found on you tube

'From the way my comrade looks at other comrades,
A message (Neda) is reaching towards us
The era of liberation and freedom is approaching

After this terrible night, dawn will come
The new day will be ours with blossoms all around

Another Footage from the Al-Qods Day that Became Iran Day

Crowds chant 'Even God is Weeping From the Tyranny of this Regime':

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Former Rapist and Armed Robber is Appointed as the New Commander of Baseej

Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naghdi is the Supreme Leader's newly appointed head of the much hated Baseej militia. He is born in Najaf, Iraq and is part of the Iraqi migrants who came to Iran known as Moavedin.

Naghdi has an extensive track record of brutal torture and violence, even rape and armed robbery against ordinary citizens. He first became a public figure during the trial of Tehran's successful and competent mayor, Gholamhossein Karbaschi and his deputies in 1997 who were subjected to horrific tortures. Naghdi personally supervised the brutal interrogations at what became known as the Vessal detention.

Naghdi was the key organiser of the pressure group Ansar Hezbollah, which attacked political rallies and meetings in the late 90s including the raid on student dormitories in 1999.

In 2001, a series of armed robberies gripped Tehran and became known as the chain armed robberies. One robbery however led to the disclosure of General Naghdi himself in the robberies. Police were alerted by a neighbour when a wealthy Iranian merchant's house was being robbed, but the merchant was lucky because his daughter was married to an officer in the air forces. Police arrested the robbers but they were quickly released. As a result of the merchant's connections in the armed forces, he was encouraged to make a complaint in the courts. The merchant's son-in-law also took the complaint to the president's office and to Karroubi's office as well as the parliament's article 90 commission, which investigated complaints against the judiciary. As a result of the merchant's persistence, the investigations revealed that Genral Naghdi and eight members of the Law Enforcement Forces were behind more than 100 armed robberies, 13 murders and many cases of rape against ordinary citizens.

Naghdi was tried behind closed doors and sentenced to three months prison but the sentence was never carried out and although he was removed from his office, he became a special advisor on military affairs to the Supreme Leader.

In 2005 when Ahmadinejad became the president of the Islamic Republic, Naghdi was appointed as the head of the Committee to Combat the Drug and Currency Commodity Smuggling. In reality however Naghdi wasn't there to 'Combat' the smugglers, as Karroubi previously revealed in the parliament, the Revolutionary Guards themselves were carrying out the smuggling. An operation which nets an estimated annual income of 8 Billion dollars for the IRGC. Naghdi was merely protecting the smugglers not combating them.

Iran is now ruled by the most criminal elements in the society who instead of being behind bars, head the very establishments which are supposed to protect the public.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Ahmadinejad's Jewish Background

I am surprised by how much controversy yesterday's article in the Daily Telegraph regarding Ahmadinejad's Jewish past has created, after all this is nothing new. Kasra Naji, the author of the book, Ahmadinejad, claims the name was changed from Sabaghian - meaning dye masters - to Ahmadienjad by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's father, when the family moved to Tehran, but Naji doesn't mention anything about the family having Jewish background.

The first time I came across Ahmadinejad's Jewish background claims was when I was reading Mehdi Khaza'li's blog. . Mehdi Khazali is the son of Ayatollah ‎Khazali, a former member of the Guardian Council who is an ardent supporter of President ‎Ahmadinejad. Mehdi, however, is among Ahmadinejad's most vocal opponents and at loggerheads with his clerical father, so much so that his father has publicly disowned him.

Mehdi Khazali claimed that Ahmadinejad's family name was changed from Saburjian and his forefathers were Jewish converts into Islam. This was also reported by Al-Arabiya, RFERL and the Guardian.

The clearest picture I can see of Ahmadinejad showing his birth certificate at the polling station used in the Telegraph article, is here and to be honest with you as much as I have looked at it, I can not clearly see anywhere that it says his name was changed to Ahmadienjad from Saburjian. On the top left hand page all I can read is From something to Ahamdienjad, and that something reads more like Sabaghian, but I could be wrong.

As much as I have looked at my Persian dictionaries, and that includes the online ones, I can not find any entries for the word Sabour.

There is more certainty around other hardline figures in the Islamic regime whose ancestors were converts into Islam from Judaism. Figures like the medieval super wealthy bazaar merchant and head of the conservative Islamic Coalition Society, Habibollah Asgarolladi. It is also said that Saeed Emami, the organiser of the extra judicial killings of Iranian dissidents in the late 90s was born into a Jewish family. There are also similar claims that Ahamdinejad's relative and controversial advisor, Rahim Mashaei, comes from a tribe of Jewish converts in the 17th century from the village of Masha near Ramsar.

Whatever the real story is, people's genealogy do not interest me. What does it matter if someone's father was a Christian, Jew, Communist, king, pauper or whatever. I am not interested in what someone's father and forefathers did or said, what religion their father practised or what political ideology their father held. I am interested in what people say or do themselves. I am not interested in whether Rahim Mashaei's forefathers four hundred years ago were converts to Islam or otherwise, I am concerned about understanding the esoteric nonsense Mashae comes up with today.

An example I have always used in Iranian history, to counter argue with someone who brings up something about someone's father and use it to condemn or praise someone else, is that of Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri, an extremely reactionary cleric who was against Iran's constitutionalist revolution, his son however was a freedom fighter of the revolution and was cheering with others when his father was hanged and the Sheikh's grandson turned out to be the General Secretary of the pro-Soviet Iranian Communist Party, so as you can see we are all who we are, not what our fathers were and that is the most important thing.

As we say in Persian, 'Geeram pedare tow bood fazel, az bahre pedar tow ra cheh hasel?'
- best I can translate 'I accept your father was a learned man, but what have you learned from your father?'

Father's Tears for his Martyr Son

Amir Javadifar, 24 year old Industrial Engineering Iranian student, was detained during this years's July 9 peaceful protests in Tehran. Two weeks later, Amir died of injuries he had suffered as a result of his constant beatings while in prison.

A friend who saw Amir's body told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that he had been tortured: "He had a fractured skull, one of his eyes was almost crushed, all the nails on his toes had been extracted, and all of his body was bruised."

In this footage from Amir's mourning ceremony, his father Ali is seen clutching Amir's photograph and kissing it. How can we ever forgive these Neanderthals who have caused our nation so much suffering?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Dalai Lama Backs the Iranian Freedom Movement

Nazanin Afshin-Jam doing a fantastic job by soliciting support for Iran's freedom movement from the Dalai Lama:

Green Movement Wins the Football Derby Match

The rivalry between Persepolis and Isteghlal (formerly Taaj) has been there ever since I remember. The Persepolis reds against the Taaj blues, just like West Ham v Spurs, Man U against Man City or any other major derby.

But such is the mood of this green movement in Iran that the reds and blues joined together today and made green. Despite all the security measures, massive police presence and restrictions in ticket sales, nothing can stop the Iranians these days from chanting against Ahmadinejad:

As one of the employees in the Islamic Centre quietly told me 'The green movement has taken up roots in all levels of the Iranian society, victory is not a matter of if but when'