Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We Don't Need Virtual US Embassy Web 'Shite', Stop the Satellite Jamming

Well it did not take long for the latest "gift" by Hilary Clinton to the people of Iran, the Virtual Embassy Web Site/Shite, to prove absolutely worthless, as I predicted after it was announced. The so-called virtual embassy was blocked by the Islamic Republic internet censors within almost minutes. Just another totally useless endeavour by the US administration who just don't listen or listen but then chase their own tail in futile projects.

On the other hand, Islamic Republic's Achilles' heel, information for the people of Iran via satellite TV, the technology that can reach the majority of Iranian people is being ignored. The Islamic Republic government, with the help of technology acquired from the Russians, is preventing millions of Iranian viewers from receiving news and information, and yet it uses the same technology provided by Western satellite companies to propagate its false news, fabricated propaganda and forced confessions.

Satellite companies like Intelsat, based in Luxemburg with offices in Washington, is able to do business with the Islamic Republic despite the US embargo, because of a license from the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. Intelsat vice president and spokeswoman Dianne Van Beber justifies doing business with the Islamic Republic by saying "If a customer - Islamic Republic Broadcasting - is in good standing and in compliance with the terms of our agreement, then they have the right to broadcast their content". So there you go, I get hassled by illiterate Homeland Security airport staff when I go to US but the Islamic Republic state broadcasting is "in good standing".

Making satellite companies pull out from providing broadcasts for repressive states is possible as it was shown with the EU barring any broadcasting technical aid to Gaddafi.

It is not just an obscure blogger like me who is urging the West not to allow the Islamic Republic to go unpunished for breaking all international broadcasting conventions and apply similar measures that were applied with the Libyan broadcasting, but prominent Iranian opposition figures like Shirin Ebadi and Ali Akbar Moussavi Khoeini, who are quoted in this revealing article published in the Wall Street Journal, are too. In fact rather than repeating what is said in the WSJ, I urge people to read the article.

When you read the article please make sure you remain secure and steadfast in your chair,  as you read the comment by U.N Agency's Space-Services Department, Yvon Henri, in case you are overcome with an extreme attack of laughter and fall off your chair:
The interference "appeared to be emanating from Iran." Iran said it couldn't find the source of the jamming, according to the chief of the U.N. agency's space-services department, Yvon Henri. The agency urged Iran to keep trying to find it and to "eliminate it as a matter of highest priority.
Mr. Islamic Republic! Could you please try to find the source of jamming and eliminate it, please! :))

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Iranian Blogger, Siamak Mehr, Hands and Feet Chained in Court

Who would you expect to be chain bound, hands and feet, and surrounded by revolutionary guards special units as he is taken to appear before the revolutionary court? A dangerous criminal? In fact, the person you see hands and feet bound in the footage below is a gentle and polished man, who has lost a kidney as a result of tortures he has suffered in prison. He is Siamak Mehr, an Iranian blogger, whose articles have infuriated the religious dictatorship ruling Iran. He is charged with"insulting the Prophet of Islam" and "enmity with God", charges that could bring the death penalty.

"Dear Mitra,
 Remember I am not just a person, but I am also a notion. A notion which is deep rooted amongst Iranians, and I am extremely hopeful that finally we shall overcome this evil, this anti-human anti-freedom and anti-life source. Therefore never regard my physical destruction as the destruction of this flourishing notion" - Siamak Mehr's letter to his daughter. 

Farewell Havel

"Love and Truth Must be Triumphant Over Hate and Lies" - Vaclav Havel

Farewell to one of my all time heroes.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Response to Seumus Milne'S Article in the Guardian

The last paragraph in Seumas Milne's latest article in the Guardian, 'War on Iran Has Already Begun', concludes in this way

Maybe it won't happen. Maybe the war talk is more about destabilisation than a full-scale attack. But there are undoubtedly those in the US, Israel and Britain who think otherwise”

Just in this paragraph alone, it is clear for an unbiased reader that Milne has conveniently forgotten to include the other side of the equation, i.e. 'those in the Islamic Republic' who are craving for a full scale attack. The entire article is in fact riddled with convenient half baked information, like the assassination of Iran's nuclear scientists just to name one, posed as facts to back up his ideologically motivated presentation.

First lets remind ourselves with just a few proponents of 'full-scale attack', some of the real warmongers Seamus Milne conveniently forgot to even mention.

Former head of the Revolutionary Guards, Rahim Safavi, now special military advisor to the Supreme Leader, in a conference held two weeks ago, in Lanjan, near Isfahan, said this:
We should confront the enemy with offensive actions and not just with words and slogans. Our enemies are like dogs with rabies and we should strike them in the head with a stick. We must adopt an offensive strategy”

Safavi's statements came a few days after Amirali Haji-Zadeh, the head of the Islamic Republic's aerospace, who said “A military attack on Iran is our wish”.
General Firoozabadi, the hugely overweight head of Iran's Combined Armed Forces, a medical doctor by training who has no military experience and was purely promoted to the rank of General by the Supreme Leader for his vulgar servility, resonated similar aspirations by saying “I thank God twice a day that I am getting closer to martyrdom”

And these are the words of Commander Naghdi, the head of Baseej militia, in a televised interview:
I tell you, if on this very day, the Islamic Republic attacked America, the Americans will not have the military capability to respond, they will stretch their hand out for negotiations saying come on lets somehow sort this out, not only they can't attack us but if we attack them they won't be able to respond either, really this is how it is, with what economy? With what public opinion backing do they want to attack?. ...I tell you the Baseej's most muted response to the slightest attack by the Zionist regime will be the liberation of the Quds(Jerusalem) nothing less for sure. ...for reasons of secondary edicts and some international considerations and the current priorities we are biding our time, otherwise everyone (Baseej Members) is counting down the moments for an excuse to come up, so we can go and finish off these Zionists'

Readers may be interested to know that the Iraqi born Commander Naghdi, was dismissed during the Khatami years for having been involved in a number of armed robberies, thirteen murders and several rapes and tortures. When Ahmadinejad became the president, Naghdi, a long time partner with Rahim Mashaei, the favourite deputy of Ahmadinejad and the father of his daughter-in-law, was reinstated in an official government position and became the head of the HQ in Fighting Smuggling Goods and Currency. It was like appointing Al-Capone as the head of tax collections. Ahmadinejad was soon forced to dismiss Naghdi, as part of a damage limitation exercise, after Naghdi's part in smuggling petrochemical commodities was exposed. The Supreme Leader, knowing Naghdi's capabilities in brutality and crackdown of peaceful protesters, appointed him as the head of the Baseej in order to contain the escalating post-election protests in 2009.

Such warmongering statements by Islamic Republic officials are of course nothing new. When Rafsanjani was still in the circle of the power brokers in Iran, he had said during a Friday sermon “Iran will be able to destroy Israel completely with just one nuclear bomb, but it will be much more difficult for Israelis to destroy all of Iran, as we are many more times the size of Israel”.

I am sure that Seamus Milne, nor the people in his niche market to whom his writings appeal to, have never even heard of a pamphlet titled “The Final Six Months”, widely distributed amongst the most zealous supporters of the regime for the last ten years. The prognostic pamphlet clearly spells out who is actually looking forward to the “final confrontation” and how the recent events in the region are all fulfilling the prophecy that requires the final confrontation.

Such warmongerings by the Islamic Republic officials are never mentioned by the likes of Seamus Milne. This is typical of those whose minds are seized by an ideology. Facts are put through a sieve and only those which fit within the beloved sacred ideology are strained while the rest just go down the sink hole. It is no wonder that with such blinkered visions, Seamus Milne believes Ahmadinejad won the elections and sees him as a popular hero 'who stands up for the country's independence, fights against elite corruption and uses Iran's oil to boost the incomes of the poor majority'.

Is Seamus Milne even aware of the level of corruption by Ahmadinejad's cronies? Has he even heard about the recent $3Bn banking scandal, the biggest fraud in Iran's history, by Ahmadinejad's associates? Milne's illusions of Ahmadinejad being the hero who champions the poor are fantasies too familiar by Milne's predecessors of Western useful idiots about other tyrants in the past.

Milne's blinkered outlooks and one sided analysis cast doubts on the genuineness of this former public school boy turned Marxist tyrannophile, in opposing war. Is he concerned about a military confrontation like most people are? or is his one sided exploitation of the issues just a means to serve his ideology?

Perhaps Seamus Milne too is craving for a large salary from Press TV like former Saddam Hussein sycophant, George Galloway, with whom he has repeatedly shared a platform.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

United We Will be Stronger

With the Syrian protesters on Saturday:
I was privileged to be given the chance to speak to our Syrian friends

And its all about these children like Ayub, for a better future for them, so they don't have to look over their shoulder when they speak their mind

With the other Iranians at the protest:

Syrians remember their fallen

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"The Wall Street Uprising" and Iran's Prisoners of Conscience

Ever since the Wall Street protests started, the Islamic Republic has been at full force to claim ownership of it. The "Wall Street Uprising" as the regime calls it, is yet another manifestation of the 1979 Islamic revolution. Friday Prayer Sermon leaders have time and time told the faithful in the Friday Prayers that the "Uprising" will be the end of America and the Islamic Republic will emerge victorious. Ayatollah Janati, who thanked God when his MeK son, Mohammad Hossein, was killed by the regime, said in one of his sermons, "The Wall Street Uprising was because of the Islamic revolution and the annual Qods marches throughout the cities in Europe and abroad, sowed the seeds of this uprising by raising awareness about the Islamic revolution". There have been solidarity marches with the Wall Street Protesters and even a website has been put up by the Baseej to support this "uprising". Iran's Minister of Intelligence, Heydar Moslehi, told the people in Iran that America has filtered Facebook and Twitter and slowed down the internet speed in order to contain the Wall Street movement and of course Press TV can't get enough footage of the Wall Street "uprising" and images of police brutality against the protesters.

But amidst all this pomp and ceremony for Wall Street protesters by the Islamic Republic, they have been ignoring another development in the Wall Street movement. The Wall Street protesters not only have not shown any sympathy for the Islamic Republic, they have actually been holding posters of Iranian prisoners of conscience. Campaign 99, are a group of Iranian activists who are raising awareness among protestors at Occupy Wall Street Movement on the situation of political prisoners and the
on-going repression of dissidents in Iran.

“The idea is simple ...”  says Campaign99.  “We have decided to talk with 99 people engaged in
Occupy Wall Street Movement around the world. We will listen to each person's narrative of why
s/he has joined the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Then we will narrate the life story of an Iranian
prisoner of conscience for that person.  After this mutual exchange of stories, we will ask the person
to send a message to and make a poster for that Iranian prisoner. While s/he is holding the poster,
we take a picture. This is for global solidarity.”

Below are some pictures of the Wall Street "uprising" Press TV will rather not show, but why is the Western Press not showing them either?

Wall Street protesters holding a Free Arya Aramnejad poster:

Wall Street protester holding a picture of Iran's imprisoned secular Ayatollah Kazemeini Boroujerdi:

Wall Street protester, Joseph, holding a poster of Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, who is on hunger strike right now:

See more pictures here : http://www.facebook.com/Campaign99

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sacked Worker Throws His Shoe at Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad was commemorating the second anniversary of the death of his former interior minister, Ali Kordan, in Sari, North Iran. The very same minister who was disgraced when his Oxford PHD qualification was found out to be absurdly fake.

Some out of work textile workers managed to enter the room and raise a banner, which increased the tensions during the speech and minor scuffles broke out.

As Ahamdinejad was praising the memories of his fraudster interior minister and ranting on about his plans to bring economic prosperity to all Iranians, a sacked textile worker who was owed months of backdated wages managed to sit close to the podium and throw his shoe at Ahmadinejad. Three security agents immediately seized the worker and started working him over until law enforcement forces managed to rescue the poor unemployed worker.

The entire program came to a halt and even the promised lunch to the pupils, who had been shuttled in to build up the numbers, was cancelled.

Meanwhile useful idiots in the West continued to praise Ahamdinejad as the champion of the workers in Iran.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Remembering the Martyrs of the Ashura Uprising Two Years Ago

If Ashura is known by Shiite Muslims as the day of the uprising against tyranny, no other Ashura was as symbolic as the one in Iran two years ago. It became the peak of the protests by the Iranian people against the tyrant of our times, the "Supreme Leader", Ali Khamenei. For the first time in years, on the anniversary of Ashura, the people in Iran did not suffice to just carry out the traditional symbolic rituals to mark the day but actually went out on the streets and battled against all odds with the mighty forces of evil.

One of the brave who fell on the anniversary of Ashura  two years ago, was Amir Arshad Tajmir, son of the well known Iranian state Radio and Television presenter, Shahin Mahinfar.

"He had chosen his path, he took part in all the rallies and was with the people and alongside the people in their struggle and died with integrity and with his head held high" Shahin Mahinfar says about her late son.

"He had tried to rescue two girls on the day who were being beaten up by the security forces. I told him not to go out on that day, he said I am going for my country. I told him you are my country and he said don't be so selfish mom, your country is the 70 million people of Iran, and I am going for them." Shahin describes her last conversation with her beloved son and continues "One of the girls whom Amir  was trying to rescue came to his graveside once and told me everything. The girls were getting beaten up and the crowds were booing the security thugs, but Amir said booing won't do any good, lets try and help them. Having said that, he went and pushed one of the security agents. A law enforcement car then ran over Amir from behind.."
Amir fell but they couldn't just leave it at that. They were furious that someone had dared to fight back security forces who were beating up two female protesters.

"Another law enforcement force vehicle then drove over his body, not once but three times, my beloved Amir was ran over three times, his body was crushed, they killed him three times. I don't know what to call them? I believe even animals have honour but these ..." Shahin describes the last moments of the son she raised and her contempt for her murderers.

"I am proud I brought up a good kid like Amir, an Iran lover who loved his people, a young man with integrity. He has made me feel proud, but I feel my back is broken with sorrow. Amir's father and I are both proud of him, he gave his life to save two others. He was my son and he is gone now, but these days every young person whom we meet, tell us they are our Amir. We gave one Amir and we got thousands back. I still hear his voice on the night of Yalda, when he whispered in my ear, 'I love you mom'. It was as if he knew he was saying it for the last time." Shahin continues with pride and with pain and asks the unanswered question:
"what was the crime of our kids? All they wanted was freedom and prosperity for their compatriots. Two years have gone by but he is resurrected in my mind every second, they keep killing my child in front of my eyes and I can do nothing about it. But I am not the only one, I know there are many more mothers like me, I just ask sometimes, does God never hear the cries of mothers like us? In all these years, does he not hear the cries and the curses of so many mothers? Where is that just God they taught us about?"

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Eagerness for Crisis and Conflict

The regime we know as the Islamic Republic of Iran is imploding. The parallels with the writings on the wall which pre-announced the collapse of the Soviet Union are even more striking in the case of the Islamic Republic. The mismanagement of the economy, the astronomical levels of corruption, the international isolation, the factional in-fighting, the widespread popular discontent, the social catastrophes, the high levels of nepotism, the lack of support for the establishment by the society's elite and the intellectuals and the list goes on. The leaders of the IRI Co. also know this, only the most optimist delusional regime fanatic imagines the show will go on for much longer.

So what are the leaders of the IRI planning to do, to prolong their livelihoods? They look back at their track record of just over three decades and how generating crisis after crisis has saved them. One of those generated crisis moments was the US embassy hostage taking in 1979. Until then, the provisional post-revolutionary government included liberals and moderates and there was some naive cheerfulness similar to what we see today in Tunisia and Egypt.

Carter's hapless administration and lack of resolve to deal with the situation, and his clueless advisors who were referring to Khoemini as a new Gandhi, meant the hostage taking went on for 444 days. The result was a total take over of power by Iran's hardline clerics who saw their moment and seized the complete power.

The eight year war with Iraq also helped the hardliners ruthlessly destroy all dissent and opposition to the religious dictatorship.

Three decades have gone by and a new generation of young Iranians look with bemusement at the actions of the previous generation and ask why their parents led their country and their future into such abyss? The days of the gullible Carter administrators in the West also seem to be over and good riddance too. Only two groups seem entrenched in a time capsule and imagine things are the same as they were thirty years ago. The ruling Iranian clerics and the Western tyrannophiles.

What dismays me about the Western tyrannophile useful idiots is not that they want to stop a military conflict, who in their right mind wants that? It is the fact that they are barking up the wrong tree and they can't see who is beating the drums of war. I am pretty sure not one of them is even aware of a pamphlet called the Final Six Months, widely distributed amongst the Baseej militia. The pamphlet is a prophecy of a huge imminent conflict which will bring about the return of the Lord of All Ages, the Hidden Imam.  The recent events in the region have partly fulfilled the prophecy according to the pamphlet. The uprising in Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the conflict in Iraq were all meant to have happened and soon there will be more.

The enthusiasm for a conflict is all too apparent in the statements made by the head of Baseej, Commander Naghdi, just like the former head of IRGC, General Rahim Safavi, they are not talking about preparing for defence, they are talking enthusiastically about taking the initiative to attack:

'I tell you, if on this very day, the Islamic Republic attacked America, the Americans will not have the military capability to respond, they will stretch their hand out for negotiations saying come on lets somehow sort this out, not only they can't attack us but if we attack them they won't be able to respond either, really this is how it is. With what economy do they want to attack? with what support from their own people do they want to fight? with what support amongst the international public opinion? with which high spirited army? They are surrounded by us every where.The Americans are surrounded everywhere in the world by the Hezballoahi troops, where ever they make a move. Their fifth navy fleet is in Bahrain, their air base is in Qatar, they are surrounded by us every where, in Kuwait...I tell you the Baseej's most muted response to the slightest attack by the Zionist regime will be the liberation of the Quds(Jerusalem) nothing less for sure. I mean whatever happens, the Baseej members are counting the seconds, based on what is written in Imam Khomeini's thesis, its not as if it is a secret, every Muslim is duty bound to go to wherever Muslim land is occupied and join the uprising and he does not even require the blessing of the local Imam, This is a fatwa, but for reasons of secondary edicts and some international considerations and the current priorities we are biding our time, otherwise everyone is counting the moments for an excuse to come up and go and finish off these Zionists'

Sunday, December 04, 2011

'US Has Filtered Facebook and Twitter and Slowed Down the Internet'

If there was ever an Olympic event of 'lying through your teeth with a straight face', the Islamic Republic officials would always be the top candidates for sweeping the gold medals. Last week however, they must have broken their own world records. There were numerous outrageous lies uttered by the elite members of the establishment, but amidst all the news of the attack on the British embassy and the mysterious explosion in Isfahan, one super outrageous lie by the Islamic Republic's intelligence ministry, Heydar Moslehi, which made the newspaper headlines in Iran, went unnoticed in the West: "US has filtered Facebook and Twitter"

The Iranian minister of intelligence, Heydar Moslehi, speaking at the Baseej National Conference, told the devoted Baseej members:

"The internet and the social networks which were created by the enemy have now become their own nemesis. Obama stated twice in the Congress and once in his public speeches that social networks were created to confront the Islamic revolution with. Fortunately these plans have been defeated. Because today as a result of the Wall Street uprising, social networks like Facebook and Twitter have been filtered in the US. The internet speed also for security reasons, has been drastically reduced by the American government, in order for them to be able to manage the Wall Street movement"

You would have thought even the brainwashed Baseej would be able to verify the above claims, but then again the Baseej doesn't ask questions, it just obeys orders, is kept in the dark and fed on crap.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

UK Embassy Attack

Often pictures speak louder than words.
The flag of the Islamic Republic replaces the Union Jack in the UK Embassy compound, albeit upside down. Sign of things to come?

Down with English!

Pulp Fiction poster, probably the biggest gain from yesterday's action:

Yesterday's hero, hiding behind the prize booty:

Riot police putting up a stiff resistance against the looters

This is the same riot police which crack downed so efficiently on thousands of  Iranian protesters after the June elections in 2009.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Man They Could Not Arrest

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, quickly climbed up the promotion ladders after the 1979 Islamic revolution. Soon after the revolution he was sent to Madrid to head the Islamic Republic News Agency, IRNA in Spain. He was deported from Spain after he openly called for the murder of Salman Rushdie during a radio program. The expulsion served Javanfekr well however and he was promoted to the head of IRNA in Khamenei's office when he was the president of the Islamic Republic and later the head of IRNA in the Supreme Leader's office, when Khamenei became the Supreme Leader. It was said that no news or telext leaves the Supreme Leader's office without Javanfekr's approval.

Javanfekr managed to get back to Spain in year 2000 during Khatami's presidency until he left IRNA and joined Ahmadinejad's office when he was the mayor of Tehran. He has remained loyal to Ahmadinejad ever since and is now the press advisor to Ahmadinejad as well as the head of the government organ, Iran Press Institution. Hence as an important effective Ahmadinejad ally, he has become one of the targets by the 'principalists' in the factional infighting.

Last Sunday, the courts sentenced him to six months prison for publishing 'vulgar' pictures in an article 'incompatible with Islamic values and standards', as well as a three year ban on any journalistic work. The controversial article for which he was sentenced was an article in Khatoon, one of the magazines under his responsibility, which simply discussed and questioned why the chador, favoured by the religious hardliners as the 'superior dress code for women', should be regarded as the 'superior veil'?

One day after Javanfekr's sentence was passed, he was holding a press conference at the Iran Press Institution, when judiciary and intelligence agents came to arrest him. The attempts to arrest him however were met with stiff resistance by the employees, many of whom have ties and connections with the intelligence ministry and even took part in suppressing the post-election protests. Even tear gas was said to have been used inside the building. Footages of the event released on youtube, show employees burning paper to counter the effects of tear gas. While the massive melee was going on, Javanfekr was frantically making phone calls to stop the judiciary agents from arresting him. Ahmadinejad's threats to take counter measures and 'spill the beans' finally convinced the judiciary to issue the order for retreat and although more than 30 newspaper employees were injured and arrested, Javanfekr was spared.

Javanfekr then made statements which said 'stating a different opinion is not a crime and the country should not be dragged into a situation where there is no freedom to criticise'. Rich words from someone who himself has had a hand in cracking down dissent. Of course the freedom, Javanfekr is talking about is for his own faction's freedom only and not for anyone else.

There are important conclusions from this incident.

- If you have strong connections in the Islamic Republic, even a court sentence against you can be useless
- On the contrary, you can be imprisoned and put under house arrest like Moussavi and Karroubi, along
with your other family members, without even a trial or a sentence passed against you
- Unlike Khatami, Ahmadinejad stands by his loyal troops
- Ahmadinejad's faction have information so sensitive at their disposal which can always stop the principalists at their track

This is Islamic Iran

This is Islamic Republic! Three decades after the 1979 Islamic revolution which was supposed to rid Iran of all social malaise, what is left of the revolution is just the fancy slogans. A total failure in all fronts. The dangerous cocktail of mixing religion and politics now awaits the other countries in the Middle East.

Today is the anniversary of the state murder of Iran's great historian and literary figure, Ali Akbar Saeedi Sirjani.  A great visionary who through his works warned the nation of the terrible consequences of a religious dictatorship.

"When religion and state intertwine
A mighty power will emerge
Capable of doing wrongs with ease
That not even the King would dare"

From his great work, The Cleric of Duplicity

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Freedom of Expression and Thought on Trial in Tunisia

I was so saddened to learn about the trial in Tunisia over the broadcasting of the animated movie, Persepolis. The Tunisian revolution which was supposed to be about the overthrow of a dictator will soon descend into a religious dictatorship, if the secular Tunisians remain silent about this sort of thing. Once again, my favourite quote by Edmund Burke "Evil Only Prevails, When the Good Remain Silent" manifests itself in our own times.

The animated movie, Persepolis, is not about attacking sacred values at all. Only a religious zealot moron could come to such a conclusion. It is in fact a brilliant depiction of how a revolution against dictatorship is hijacked by such extremists. It is a movie that pre-warns ordinary people what will happen if they remain silent and allow the extremists to take over.

All Iranians who have experienced religious dictatorship will identify with the Persepolis movie. I remember watching it with my elder son in cinema. When the little girl, the main character of the film, stood up to her teacher, who was regurgitating the official revolutionary propaganda, and delivered the real truth, I was so overwhelmed that much to the embarrassment of my 10 year old, I got up in the middle of the movie and started clapping, only to have my shirt pulled by my 10 year old and be told "we just sit down and watch the movie ok? no clapping".

The nonsense of the trial however can best be summed up by the following statement made by Nabil Karoui, the owner of the private Nessma television, which broadcast the movie:
"I am very sad when I see that the people that burned my house are free while I am here because I broadcast a film which was authorised" and he rightly described the trial as the "death of freedom of expression".

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Poster in the Aftermath of Saturday's Explosion

A huge explosion shook most of Tehran on Saturday. At first it was said a CNG fuel depot had exploded but finally the official confirmation was the explosion had happened at the Modares base in Bidganeh village 50 km SW of Tehran. Even though the explosion was well outside Tehran, almost all residents of Tehran, even to the East of the city, said they either heard or felt its shock waves.

There have been many speculations as to the real cause of the explosion, one common rumour has been that it was the Israelis who had attacked and destroyed the base, because it stored Shahab 3 missiles. Whatever the real cause of the explosion, I thought this poster by a group calling itself the Cyber Soldiers of the Supreme Leader was worth posting on my blog. The caption reads "Just one depot shook all of Tehran, See what will happen if it falls day and night on Tel-Aviv"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Arya Aramnejad Arrested Again

Islamic Republic is at the point of imploding. Huge astronomical fraud and embezzlement is draining the country's coffers dry. Iran's environment is in danger, one of the most beautiful lakes in Iran, the Lake Oroumiyeh is on its death bed. Iran's national heritage is facing damage beyond repair. Today it was reported huge cracks are appearing at Iran's ancient site of Persepolis, the very embodiment of Iran's  identity. The state's enthusiasm for brinkmanship is threatening the country with a terrible war and further sanctions.

But none of the above are considered a threat to Iran's national security, instead what the state is more worried about is the likes of young Arya Aramnejad who dare to criticise and stand by their convictions.

Last Tuesday, Arya Aramnejad attended the court in Sari, which was set up to review his appeal sentence. On his way back, he was kidnapped by state security apparatus and taken away. His whereabouts is still unknown.

His friends in Babol, issued the following statement addressed to the Supreme Leader, after Arya's disappearance:

"In the Name of God who Stands by the Innocents and is the Enemy of All Tyrants

It has to be said, without much introduction needed, that you jail the best sons and daughters of this country. Not a single day goes by where the disgraceful actions and scandals of your men doesn't shock the world. The events around the world are proving that no amount of brutal crackdown and suppression can stop the just demands of the people and yet you continue to clamp down on the slightest of dissent.

You tolerate all the huge multi billion embezzlements and corruption around you and yet you can not tolerate the slightest criticism by the best sons and daughters of this country. What untold secret are you trying to protect with these arrests and imprisonments? What scandal do you think you will be covered up by arresting Arya?

You accused your opponents of lacking insight and two years later we see how much insight you had when you backed those whom you are now referring to as the 'deviant trend' of exorcists and sorcerers. Is it not so that you are enraged because it is clear it is the likes of Arya who have the insight and not you?

Would it not have been better that instead of all these arbitrary arrests which are proving to be useless, you apologised to the people and made up for your dark past deeds?

The arrest of our kind and wise friend Arya will serve you nothing and shows the depths of your imprudence. We advise you before your time runs out to choose wisdom and righteousness.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Wall Street Protester: Free Peyman Aref

So we are told just about every protest, every cry for freedom and every liberation movement around the world is in support of the Islamic Republic and its Supreme Leader. Today, the Supreme Leader's message to these liberation movements was read on state TV while video footages of these protests was played over the Supreme Leader's voice as his message of solidarity to the protesters not to give up and stay resolute to the end was broadcast to the dispossessed and the downtrodden across the world.

The Baseej has even set up a website - http://www.wsfall.com/ - both in English and in Persian in support of the Wall Street occupiers.

The only thing is though, you never see any of these protesters carry a picture of the Supreme Leader or any other IRI figures. Instead sometimes you see them actually carrying pictures of the very victims of the Supreme Leader's absolute rule or express solidarity with the dissidents in Iran. Like this protester in Wall Street who is showing a picture of Peyman Aref, the Iranian dissident student who spent two years in prison and received 74 lashes. Peyman has once again been imprisoned for having prayed by Neda's graveside last week:

It is such simple acts of solidarity that undermine the entire investment of despots to jump on the bandwagon and their hollow propaganda in claiming their leadership of protests.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Former Founder of the Islamic Republic Warns the Tunisian People 'Don't make the same mistakes as we did'

Ebrahim Yazdi is in his eighties now, but three decades ago, he was instrumental in bringing about the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was always seen next to Ayatollah Khomeini during the Ayatollah's stay in Neauphle-le-Chateau, helping to conduct and translate Ayatollah Khomeini's numerous interviews with the Western media. Yazdi also accompanied Ayatollah Khomeini on his flight back to Iran and became the deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister in the first provisional government after the revolution.

During the terror months of the post-revolution era, some say Yazdi even presided as the judge in the revolutionary kangaroo courts that summarily executed thousands of people accused of being part of the Shah's regime and some say that Yazdi and Bazargan supported a general amnesty. In any case Yazdi was seen in many summary trials like in the footage below, sitting on the left telling General Rahimi to order the surrender of his men:

As always however, revolution devours its own children and as the clerics consolidated their power in the aftermath of the US embassy hostage taking, Yazdi's fall from favour also became inevitable. The clerics no longer felt they needed to fool the population with their useful idiots. Unlike their promises before the revolution, they were not going back to the mosques and letting the politicians do the dirty work of politics and government. Once intoxicated with power, they wanted to rule alone and many more internal purges were ahead.

Yesterday, Yazdi now in his eighties and perhaps somewhat wiser than three decades ago, wrote an open letter to Rached Ghannouchi, the Islamist leader of Hizb Al-Nahdah which won the recent election in Tunisia, advising him not to make the same mistakes made by Yazdi and his generation of Iranian revolutionaries in 1979.

In the letter Yazdi says "We overthrew a dictator only to replace one dictatorship with another" and asks Ghannouchi to safeguard three important principles in order for the Tunisian revolution not to become another failed revolution:
1 - To respect, accept and encourage pluralism
2 - To be tolerant of different views
3 - To apply co-operation and compatibility amongst the different political factions

I never thought one day I would help disseminate the words of someone like Ebrahim Yazdi, but the words of a former revolutionary Islamist who helped bring about the Islamic Republic in Iran will perhaps have more mileage amongst Tunisia's Islamists than mine.

Perhaps the Iranian Left should also now pull their fingers out and start educating Europe's Left about how the Leftists in Iran were destroyed and massacred by the very people they helped bring to power.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Clinton's Cyber Embassy Gift

I remember when I took part in an IVLP visit five years ago, we had a brief welcome meeting with a US state department official for the Middle East region. I can't remember her name, Dianne something but I remember she told us she was Egyptian by birth. What I remember most about our conversation however, was when she said "We are not after a regime change in Iran, we want to change the behaviour of the regime!"

"That's good", I replied as I was tapping thoughtfully on my forehead with a pen. "And how do you want to change the behaviour of the regime?" I asked with immense curiosity.

"We have a website" came the sobering reply from another state department official who was sitting across the table.
Hearing his reply, I dropped my pen on the table in shock and said "Vow! That must be some website" and asked for the site's url and visitor stats. I never got the visitor stats but the website was the biggest load of cyber bollocks I had ever come across. It was also no surprise to me that no one I was in touch with had ever heard of it.

Today, I had the misfortune of watching Hilary Clinton  talking to a popular VOA presenter and answering the questions Iranians around the world had apparently sent for her. Watching Hilary Clinton's interview reminded me of that farcical conversation with the US state department officials during the IVLP welcoming meeting five years ago.

In answer to one of the questions, Hilary Clinton talks about the effectiveness of the Islamic Republic in filtering the internet and limiting all kinds of information access with the outside world. A huge problem indeed for the pro-democracy movement in Iran whose lifeline is access to information.

Traditionally the VOA presenter asks his guests at the end of his program to look at the camera and say whatever they like to the viewers in under one minute. Hilary Clinton too was asked to do the same and it was in her one minute uninterrupted message, where she unravelled her 'big gift' to Iran's freedom fighters, ANOTHER WEBSITE! A cyber US embassy for the people of Iran! What are the chances of the regime in Iran, not filtering this cyber embassy, now that it has been announced by the US Secretary of the State?

At a time, when the Islamic Republic is shutting down the VPN ports and tightening its internet filtering technology and is said to be six months away from creating the "Clean Internet", the US secretary of state thinks a US Cyber Embassy by the end of this year, is of any use??

What happened to the 'Internet in a Suitcase' plans? Was that all marketing hype too?

But why not take the most effective step? Stop the regime from jamming TV satellite stations which they do with such impunity. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ahmadinejad's Latest Porkie Pie in Birjand

"In an interview with an American reporter, I told him in the last 25 years, none of Iran's presidents or deputy presidents ever met with the Libyan dictator, although we have been friends with the people of Libya, but you show me one European president or prime minister who didn't travel to Libya"

The above was part of Ahmadinejad's speech to the people in Birjand, NE Iran, during his latest one of his provincial tours, as reported by Iranian news sites.

and below are some pictures from 25 years ago:

Parviz Davoodi, one of Ahmadinejad's deputies four years ago in Libya:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Solidarity with Wall Street Protesters, Baseej Style

One thing that most of my generation of Iranians learned from the 1979 revolution was, not to chant death to something, if we did't have something better to replace it with.

In the above AP video, the Baseej "students" are demonstrating outside the Swiss embassy, US interest section, in Tehran. They are expressing solidarity with the "Wall Street Uprising" and the "American Spring". The video starts with chants of 'Death to Capitalism' - is the Islamic Republic not a capitalist economic system? - and at (00:08) their banner is shown which reads:
'Student Solidarity Protest On Wall Street Unti Capitalism Movement'

It took me a few seconds to try to understand what the banner was supposed to mean but of course they meant they were expressing solidarity with Anti and not Unti Capitalist Movement as the writing on the banner suggests. Still we should be pleased that it didn't say 'Student Solidarity Protest on Wall Street Auntie Capitalism Movement'.

Not the brightest kids on the block, the Baseej students of course, for if they had a two digit IQ, they wouldn't be in the Baseej militia in the first place.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mummy is Never Coming Back

Nasrin Sotoudeh's family, her husband Reza Khandan, her daughter Mehraveh and her four year old son, Nima visited the recently freed Iranian student activist, Peyman Aref today.

Peyman Aref is still convalescing from the 74 lashes he received for insulting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a punishment he received on top of spending two years in prison for his peaceful protests against the fraudulent presidential election results in June, 2009.

The visit by Sotoudeh's family was yet another solidarity gesture by Peyman Aref's well wishers who have been shocked at the barbaric flogging of this 29 year old student activist.

As Sotoudeh's family were leaving, Peyman told Nasrin Sotoudeh's four year old son, Nima, "Next time I see you, I hope it will be with your mummy". When Nima replied, "mummy is never coming back", Peyman said he felt himself choking and struggled to hold back his tears until Nima had left and he could pour out his tears at the injustice of a paranoid regime which is hurting so many innocent lives.

This morning another student, 22 year old Amin Niayifar, top student in Tehran's Technical University, also received thirty lashes as part of his sentence for insulting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Niayifar who was arrested during the Ashura protests had been sentenced by the notorious Judge Pir-Abbassi to six months in prison, 18 months suspended sentence and 30 lashes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tragic Fate of War Martyr's Daughter, Ameneh Zanganeh

On the day Ameneh died, Iran's VPN ports were already shut down. Access to the worldwide web was cumbersome and limited but suddenly some reported that their mobile networks had stopped working too. Usually this is a sign that something has happened and the regime is trying to stop the spread of some news.

The news in this case was the tragic fate of AKU student, Ameneh Zanganeh, the only child of a war martyr, who had worked hard to get into the university as a post-graduate student, studying polymers.

Her death was a series of blunders which describe the incompetence of Iran's current officials.
Ameneh should have been allocated a place at the uni's dormitories as she was entitled to but instead she had to sleep in the uni's prayer room which lacked basic facilities like shower and bathroom.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Payman Aref Receives His 74 Lashes

Iranian student activist, Payman Aref, was sentenced to one year in prison for his role in the post-(S)election protests, but he was also sentenced to 74 lashes for insulting Ahmadinejad. In fact the 'insult' was nothing other than a polite open letter to Ahamdinejad. Today, Payman Aref received his 74 lashes.

US anchormen who carry out uneducated interviews with Ahamdinejad seem unable to challenge him when he spurts out sentences like 'Iran is the freest country in the world and anyone can criticise me' and it is left to people like Payman Aref and Somayeh Tohidlou who show the hollowness of Ahmadinejad's regurgitations  with their wounded flesh and skin.

The Autumn Wind May Flog the Green Trees
But the Wind Goes and the Trees Stay Upright
And they will be Green Again

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Regressive Moral Values of an Iranian Opposition Website

It was a palpable story. The suicide of two young Iranians, Nahal and Behnam, had all the elements for a gripping movie, a mixture of love, social pressure, politics and the sheer feeling of gloom and despondence felt at present by so many young Iranians in the repressive state of the Islamic Republic.  When the story hit the headlines, for me however, the most important headway was that the world also learned about the kidnapping and disappearance of Iranian human rights activist, Kouhyar Goudarzi and the shameful imprisonment of Kouhyar's mother, who was dragged out of the bath by security forces in her home, and is now imprisoned in Kerman prison. 

This was one of those rare opportunities where the news story had a spin which appealed to mass audiences across the world. Newspapers all over the globe from US, to Italy, to Turkey and many more that I have probably not come across yet, duplicated the story. One would have thought Iranian expat opposition would then cease the opportunity and use this international awareness to campaign for the release of Kouhyar and his mother. It seemed the death of Nahal and Behnam may not have been in vain and some good may come out of it. That is until, the Iranian expat 'journalists' and Iranian 'opposition' websites started meddling in the story.

It seemed for these so called Iranian opposition journalists, the most important thing was not to use the story to pursuit Kouhyar's case but to find out whether Nahal and Behnam had sex or not?! Their method of investigation was also not the tedious procedure of going through Nahal's facebook and blog posts to build a picture of what went on but the more laid back option of talking to Nahal's immediate family on the phone. Calling Nahal's father for example, knowing full well the social pressure at least, which he must be under to talk freely and asking questions which more or less implied, 'where they having sex?'  or "was your daughter against the regime?" and expecting the poor father to tell the truth about his divorced daughter going out with a much younger boy and being a supporter of the Green Movement.

Roozonline, an Iranian opposition website, with a limited and specific readership and columnists who all more or less represent very similar points of view, a narrow spectrum of Iranian elite intellectuals, printed one of these silly 'investigations' in finding out whether Nahal and Behnam had consummated their relationship. The website went one step further however, they even imposed their backward values on a picture of Nahal by photoshopping, see picture above, a small part of Nahal's belly which was showing as she raised her arms in the air while standing on top of a hill.

This is the very same website which lampooned the hardline Islamic Republic daily, Kayhan, for photoshopping Catherine Ashton's picture. A clear case of the pot calling the kettle black by a site which claims to represent Iranian opposition and is probably receiving a grant from some European body.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Prepare for Global Operations

Watch the video. The exact translation of Hassan Rahimpour Azghadi's speech, made last Friday, is written below. Hassan Rahimpour Azghadi is the strategist and theoretician for the ruling hardline faction in Iran and has been a member of the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council for nine years. Some of the former political prisoners in Iran also claim he was one of their interrogators.


'Whereas before the operational units had to go to the fronts in the South and West of the country, they should now prepare themselves to go to North Africa, go to East Asia, go to the heart of Europe. We now have to be prepared for global operations. My generation is getting old, the next generation must now be trained for the next three or four decades, to be prepared to go to the help of their Muslim brothers in North of Africa, in the South of Africa, in East Asia, in Middle Asia and free Muslims in the heart of Europe.

Its all done now, it has become global, the revolution is exported, we kept saying the revolution must be exported, the revolution IS exported now and on its way, our units are now present throughout the five continents and they are fighting everywhere against the imperialist oppressors , we have to make the preliminary preparations for the coming of Imam and prepare for an international Jihad and not be scared of anyone.

This America and the West, they go and bomb, loot and occupy any where they like and even officially say we came and we will come again too. Yet if we say quietly, we provide moral support for our brothers in Iraq and Palestine, they say 'you shouldn't, you are terrorists'. No, we should provide explicit support, you explicitly say you come to occupy and we should explicitly say and we are here to confront your occupation, we have a religious duty. The Islamic revolution of Iran is the mother of all Islamic revolutions, and Iran is the second home of all the Jihadi combatants around the world.

These were what Imam Khomeini said in his speeches, have you forgotten them? Imam Khomeini said, we should eliminate Israel, we should free Quds, and yes we will, we are doing it. If they say we can't, we will reply, well we have been doing it until now and it is happening. Look at Lebanon, look at Gaza, we will liberate the rest too. Put your heads up and say yes you explicitly say you occupy and we explicitly say we are standing by our Muslim brothers. This is all in our constitution.

Sadly after Imam Khomeini, some came and said we want to ease the strained relations with the West, with imperialism. What does that mean? Did Imam Khomeini try to do this? Imam said the war between the poor and the rich, the war between the dispossessed and the oppressors, the liberation of Muslims and used to say, we will not allow you to have any interests.

You think its a joke that within 7 months, four Arab regimes collapse? God willing, three or four more will also collapse in the next few months and few years. We have to prepare for a global battle, our intelligence units, operation units and subversion units [laughs] have to be prepared, instead of when they were told go to this part or that part of Iran, they should now be told they have to prepare to go anywhere in the world. They have to be prepared to go and fight in Latin America, go to East of Asia and fight, go to Middle Asia and liberate their Muslim brothers, go to the heart of Europe, just like when our units set foot in Lebanon, the situation n Lebanon and Palestine changed. When they went to Bosnia, the situation in Bosnia and the Balkans changed, until then Muslims in Bosnia kept getting hit, its only when the message of our martyrs and the style of our Jihad went to Bosnia that the situation in Bosnia changed. The cards only turned when they went to Lebanon, Palestine and Gaza. Everyone says the Gaza resistance is the work of Iran, The Israeli Prime Minister said himself, there is an Islamic Republic in Lebanon and there is an Islamic Republic in Gaza. Now another Islamic Republic is being set up in the Sinai desert in Egypt after the recent operations. If the Israelis retreat in the West Bank, there will be another Islamic Republic there too. On the whole the Israelis thought they would encircle our revolution but in fact we have encircled them'

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why Greenpeace Will Not Campaign for Lake Orumieh

Ever since the warning cries by the environmentalists in Iran about the demise of the Lake Orumieh and the crackdown against them by the Islamic Republic, I have been keen to solicit the help of environmental groups around the world. I simply can not accept that the world will sit by and watch a beautiful lake disappear, resulting in catastrophic climate change, major population displacement and loss of wild life. Specially as experts claim the demise of the lake is not environmental and simply the release of water from the 88 dams which have stopped its water supply, at least during the rainfall season, can have immediate effect in reinvigorating the lake’s prospects.

With the above in mind, I started writing to the major environmental groups I knew of, i.e. Friends of the Earth, The UK Green Party and Greenpeace. The first two did not even reply to me, but Greenpeace UK told me to contact Greenpeace International, which I did and this is what Greenpeace International wrote back:
"Dear Potkin Azarmehr,

Thank you for this email. Greenpeace are organized in a geographical manner, and no office would get involved with an issue unless the local office invited them. As there is no Greenpeace office in Iran, the ‘local’ Greenpeace office would be Greenpeace International –

Greenpeace International
Ottho Heldringstraat 5
1066 AZ Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 718 2000
Fax: +31 20 718 2002

So what does that mean? Greenpeace will let dictatorships destroy our planet and will only take direct action in democratic countries where doing so is safe? where normal democratic campaigns to persuade voters will also suffice?

Apparently so, as this further correspondence shows:

Hello Potkin,

I’ve checked with Greenpeace International and their response was that as we don’t have any presence in Iran, we don’t want to get involved in an Iranian issue. I appreciate that all you’re asking for is a statement, but we try not to have that sort of limited involvement – we either campaign on something, where we become expert on the issue and have a strategy to change it, or we try to stay clear.

There are reasons for this – we want to make the most effective use of our resources, and so put them all into the four or five issues where we’re focussed.

I’m very sorry to have to disappoint you.

Best of luck,

Graham Thompson
Supporter Services
Greenpeace UK

Which is absolutely pathetic. Even if Greenpeace is unable to take “direct action” inside Iran, because they have no offices in Iran, the Islamic Republic have many representations and centres of interest across Europe and the rest of the world where they can be targeted.

In conclusion what kind of a message does that send to dictatorships who are plundering the environment with impunity? If you want groups like Greenpeace off your back, simply make sure they don’t have a local office.