Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Derakhshan Enigma

'Iran doesn't have a policy of imprisoning people for the content of their blogs, as some human rights campaigners would have us believe.' - These were the words of Hossein Derakhshan, printed in the Guardian, May 7th, 2007.

But now the person who was responsible for writing that nonsense and a lot more nonsense on his blogs, especially on his blog in Persian, is supposed to have received 19 and half years in prison, or has he?

To me, Derakhshan just came across as a bisexual who liked his wine too much and so preferred to live outside Iran and enjoy the privileges and the freedoms in the West but at the same time he wanted the regime in Iran to survive, so that his rich daddy could finance his idle lifestyle. Which is more or less what can be said about many Lefties in the West, who although admire tyrants, still rather live in the centre of imperialism and rather not miss their intellectual progressive champagne parties.

Hossein Derakhshan is well connected in the elite circles of power in Iran. The Supreme Leader himself performed the wedding ceremony of Derakhshan's first marriage in Iran. His father is a wealthy Bazaar merchant and a member of the hardline Islamic Coalition Group in Iran. His uncle was a victim of the MeK bombing of the Islamic Republic Party Head Quarters in the eighties, the famous 'more than 72 martyrs' case, where IRI news agencies reported the casualties as 'more than 72 dead' to make it similar to the  battle of Karbala tragedy, where the prophet's grandson, Imam Hussein and his 72 companions were martyred in an unjust battle against the ruling Khalif.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dying to Tell a Story - Journalists Under Attack

I went to a meeting organised by Article 19 and POLIS at Free Word Centre in Farringdon last night. The organisers had gathered an impressive panel of journalists and others who had personal experiences of violence against journalists around the world. In the panel were Sorious Samura, Heather Blake, Uvindu Kurukulasuriya, Rodney Pinder, Christopher Cobb-Smith, Maziar Bahari, Nathalie Losekoot, Milica Pesic and the meeting was chaired by Charlie Beckett. I let you google these panelists yourself or click on the links to see who they are.

My first thoughts as I sat down were if these panelists were all Iranians and the meeting was for an Iranian audience, there is no way the chairman could manage to wrap up the meeting in its allocated two hours. In fact one more addition to the panel was via a Skype connection with a journalist in Mexico, but embarrassingly I have forgotten his name. Credit to Charlie Beckett though, he chaired the meeting really well and the whole thing despite the variety of its panelists went very seamless and remained focused on the issues and finished in time.

Monday, September 27, 2010

So Who Were the People Who Attended Ahmadinejad's Dinner in New York

They call them Sundis-khors in Iran. Sundis is a cheap soft drink handed out to those who participate in the government organised rallies as rent a crowd pawns. Sundiskhor means someone who drinks Sundis and is a reference to those people who for the sake of getting a free Sundis drink are prepared to take part in the pro-regime rallies. One can argue that the Sundis-khors in Iran have a valid reason and we should not be judgemental about them, they may be hungry and poor, but the ones in the footage below who attended Ahmadinejad's dinner in NY, are not poor and hungry. You need a little more than a cake and a drink to buy these greedy expats. They need at least a three course meal at a posh hotel.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Liars Have a Bad Memory

The most I have been dreading about Ahmadinejad's trip to UN is the thought of US news networks interviewing him. So much so that I left the following comment on my Facebook status:

'I hear Larry KIng will be interviewing Ahmadinjead in New York again. If this is true, can someone tell this idiot not to make this monster look like a cuddly celebrity by asking him soft questions and instead educate himself with what is going on in Iran'

If we are to go by past precedence, a typical UN trip by Ahmadinejad will be a propaganda opportunity for this tyrant to represent his government as the 'axis of justice' and all Western governments to be the real human rights abusers, followed by some stupid US anchormen who will interview him without doing much background homework on what is going on in Iran and throw some soft questions at him which will win him more popularity with more 'useful idiots' turning up at his dinner invitations to take photos with him, and at the end he will return to Iran with his state controlled media calling the trip a huge success that has won over many friends for Iran!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Defecting Diplomats and Detained Lawyers

What are the signs of a regime crumbling and falling apart? Antony Thomas who fought against apartheid in South Africa most of his life, says 'It is unreasonable to expect unarmed people to win over the armed security apparatus of a repressive system, what happens at the end is that the very people in the ruling establishment reach a conclusion that it is impossible to continue with the status quo'.

Over the last fifteen months we have seen the circle of those still loyal to the establishment getting smaller and smaller. Karroubi described the Islamic Republic ship to have been reduced to that of a dingy boat. Significantly this week, we have seen two major defections within the Iranian Foreign Ministry's diplomatic service. The number two Iranian diplomat in Finland and the Press Attache in Belgium defected this week and openly affiliated themselves with the Green Movement. No one should underestimate these defections. These were both senior diplomats with more than 20 years service in the Iranian FMA. It must have been exceptionally hard for them to leave their positions, their careers and their privileges and risk the consequences of their decisions which includes the safety of themselves and their families. The Green Movement has embraced these courageous men with open arms and must value their sacrifices.

These defections started with the Iranian consul in Norway, Mohamad Reza Heydari. Unfortunately the media is always limited by air time and by the number of words to disseminate all the information. For example I doubt any Western media or Persian media for that matter, have reported Heydari's services during the war against Saddam Hussein. Heydari is registered with the Martyr Foundation and is classified as having received 40% injuries during the war. "The 1979 revolution has deviated from its path and from its original goals. When we fought and defended the country against Saddam, we did not envisage the country to deteriorate into the situation it is in now. What we want is for our people to gain their own destiny again and be free".

When the system starts to crumble, even the law of the land itself goes out of the window. This is what we are seeing within the Iranian judiciary. The establishment has become so desperate in preserving itself  that the judiciary itself has become the biggest law breaker in the country. Prominent Human Rights lawyers like Mohamad Olyaifard and Nassrin Sotoodeh are detained for daring to defend their clients and even their lawyers and their families are threatened for publicising their plight.

The dinghy boat now seems to be full of holes, with the remaining elite forcefully and hurriedly trying to patch the holes or throwing off more passengers to continue their miserable survival.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Book is for Reading not for Burning

After the Islamic revolution, the zealot revolutionaries, ransacked Shapour Bakhtiar's home and destroyed all his books from his extensive library by burning them. Years later one of those zealots who had ransacked Bakhtiar's home, fled the Islamic Republic and seeked asylum in Paris. Repentant by what he had previously taken part in, he contacted Dr. Bakhtiar to express remorse and seek his forgiveness. Dr. Bakhtiar had replied "If you want forgiveness from me, all you have to do is read some of the books you destroyed"

I remember watching books being torn and set alight during the "cultural revolution" in Iran. It was a defining moment in my life. The horror of watching ignorant illiterate zealots destroy books was a horrifying experience. 

Those who kiss a book and those who burn books only show their ignorance. A book is for reading, you may like it or you may not like it but reading the book is the only way to treat a book.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

How Do Chants of 'Death to Moussavi' Help the Palestinian Cause?

You only need to look at these two video footages to understand the hypocrisy of the AlQuds rallies held by the IRI embassies throughout European cities. In UK, the rally is organised by an IRI funded body calling itself Islamic Human Rights Commission. Here in this footage one can see Massoud Shajareh, the Iranian head of IHRC. At first he says some very nice encouraging words, "coming together regardless of creed standing up to the oppressors", but then watch him when he is asked about the oppression of Iranian protesters:

And here you see some Pakistani participants in the AlQuds rally chanting 'Marg bar Moussavi', Death to Moussavi!

Why would a body that calls itself Islamic Human Rights Commission teach its puppets to chant 'Death to Moussavi' in a supposedly 'pro-Palestinian' rally? How does that help the cause of Palestinians?

These goons are taught to chant Death to Moussavi, someone who led Iran during the war against Saddam Hussien and are marching towards the rally point, where former Saddam and Uday Hussein stooge, George Galloway will be speaking to their cheers and applauses.

I really hope these people will educate themselves a bit about the facts or we will sadly carry on witnessing more of these inhumanes scenes in Pakistan (see below), where lynch mobs beat two innocent Pakistani brothers to death in front of the local Sialkot police chief in Pakistan. If you want to liberate others first of all put your own house in order:

The Al-Quds rally does not do anything for Palestine or Palestinians. All the Al-Quds rally shows is that there is so much freedom in this country that even its most hardened adversaries are allowed to march in the streets. I mean imagine if the UK embassy organised a march in the streets of Tehran with protesters carrying pictures of the queen and the prime minister! I don't think we need to think twice what would happen to them.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Somaye Zadeh in Pro-IRI AlQuds Rally in London

Somaye Zade, or Somaye Bagherzadeh (full name) is the daughter of former MKO member, Hossein Bagherzadeh.  As well as being a studio manager for BBC World Service, she is also an active member of Iran Campaign, the arch apologists for the Iranian regime. She has gone on record during a Stop the War Coalition meeting as suggesting Iran's homosexuals are not harassed and they are free as long as they change their sex'  :))

Here she is trying to remove an Iranian dissident and former political prisoner from one of the Campaign Iran meetings in SOAS before she was assisted by a number of embassy goons. SWP member Dominique Kavakabian is seen standing next to her.

When the post election protests erupted in Iran, on a number of occasions she tried to take pictures of herself and her SWP comrades handing out Campaign Iran leaflets, so that they could pretend the protests outside the embassy were in tune with the Campaign Iran apologists and not in favour of regime overthrow.

Of course she was kicked out every time she was spotted:

and here she was marching amongst the Iranian regime organised AlQuds march yesterday:

More pictures from yesterday's rally by pro-Iranian government supporters:

Hammer and Sickle flag of Communists aloft at the pro-Iranian government rally. Don't these stupid people know how many unGodly Communists have been killed in Iran? Another clear demonstration of the failure by the Iranian Left to tell their comrades what Islamic Republic is about.

As usual, no one from BBC Persian to cover the event.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

A Beautiful Family Reunion

As soon as you can see Norway's magnificent forests and lakes from your aeroplane window, you get a sense of a freshness and natural beauty. You won't be wrong either, it is a beautiful country, it is efficiently run and the only oil producing country which has not fallen victim to despotism, corruption and mass poverty. Norway is prosperous, its people are beautiful, hospitable, courteous and very civilised. This was my first visit to a Scandinavian country but I wasn't going there as a tourist. I was going to Oslo to be alongside the famous Iranian Human Rights Lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, in what turned out to be a roller coaster of emotional anxiety and waiting but fortunately a very happy ending.

Mostafaei got in trouble with the regime in Iran after he helped publicise the stoning case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Unable to get hold of Mostafaei, the Iranian intelligence ministry had resorted to the despicable act of taking his family members as hostages. Mostafaei's wife, his brother-in-law and even his elderly father-in-law were all taken into Evin prison. They were being held as hostages to get their hands on Mostafaei. The regime's desperate act of taking family members as hostages however, only exposed the backwardness and illegality of Ahmadinejad's administration. As someone once told me, Islamic Republic's worst enemy is itself. They accuse everyone who disagrees with them as 'threats to national security' but the real threat to national security is none other than their own backward laws, their intolerance and their disregard for human rights and normal behaviour.

This morning however all those terrible times were put behind the Mostafaei family. Finally common sense prevailed and a loving wife and daughter joined their dear husband and father.

I am not going to write much more, I let the mass media that were there to cover this joyful event, do a better job than me. Just one note however to finish this post. There was not a single Iranian journalist there, no one from BBC Persian, VOA Persian, Radio Farda or any of those well funded organisations. An observation that once again confirms what I have said, we do not have good reporters outside Iran. We have lazy journalists who at best like to interview people. 

Watch the footage of the reunion here:

Cry No More Parmida. No One Will Arrest Your Mum or Dad Now.