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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Iran State TV News Hoax on Capture of US Embassy by the Libyan Rebels

How can the Iranian state TV news program avoid getting the news wrong when the entire establishment is delusional about being the leader of the Arab Spring? Pro-government newspapers are full of it and the Friday Prayer leaders keep reminding the faithful during their sermons; Islamic Republic is the leader of the Arab awakening in the area and the people of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya want nothing other than an Islamic Republic based on the model in Iran!

Such declarations however, need some kind of tangible evidence to be backed up and if there is no such news, why not make it up?

Accordingly, the Iranian state TV here, used the Reuters footage which shows Gaddafi supporters ransacking the abandoned American embassy, five months ago as the footage for their incredible lie that the Libyan rebels have taken over the US embassy and kicked out its American personnel:

The news anchor confidently announces:
“The revolutionary people of Libya then went towards the US embassy and took it over. The US government has still shown no reaction to this action by the revolutionary people of Libya. “

See the Reuters visuals used in this incredible news hoax by Iran State TV news, broadcast from its channel one:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dampening the Sparks that Could Ignite the Powder Keg

What sparks off a revolution and how does this spark happen? The situation before a revolution is like the boiling water inside a pressure cooker or the potential for explosion inside a gunpowder barrel. On the surface, the potential stresses and strains may not be visible to all. Pent up social tensions and anger which is kept at bay and hidden, is held in place by a powerful force, but the tensions can blow up beyond control any moment with a single spark. This is what makes revolutions unpredictable and often embarrass the academics and diplomats who couldn't see the revolution coming. Often the spark is caused by a news which suddenly stirs the emotions to a breaking point. Examples can be seen in all uprisings and revolutions and throughout the ages.

Regimes which came about through a revolution, often know this too well and are experts in dampening the sparks or carefully letting off the steam before everything boils over. Islamic Republic which came about through a revolution and understands its mechanism very well, is perhaps one of the most skillful operators in quickly dampening the spark.

In the last year alone, we have seen three examples of this. In February this year thousands of Iranians, encouraged by the successes of Tunisian and Egyptians, poured into the streets, At least two people were confirmed to have been killed by Islamic Republic's security forces. The outrage felt against the hypocrisy of a regime, which was claiming to champion the Arab Spring, yet killed its own people for sympathising with the people of Egypt and Tunisia could have reached the boiling point. Instead the regime hijacked the funerals and claimed the two were killed by protesters! Families of the victims were put under enormous pressure to stay silent. When friends of Jale Sane, one of the victims, released his pictures wearing green wrist bands and standing next to Ayatollah Montazeri, the spiritual leader of the Green Movement, the regime responded by saying 'Jale was one of our undercover agents, who shopped the opposition members for us'.
Jale's family members were either forced to keep their silence, or those who did talk, were kidnapped or imprisoned. Of course the truth finally emerges but the immediate spark is avoided.

Another example was when the 54 year old Haleh Sahabi, was kicked and punched by security forces during her own father's funeral. The thought of this devout Muslim woman being kicked and punched by security forces which caused her death at her own father's funeral stirred the strongest of emotions in most Iranians. The regime quickly pretended to be whiter than white as if they had not imposed any restrictions or security crackdown on the funeral. State TV talked to the hospital staff who all toed the official line and said, Haleh had died of a natural heart attack, while ignoring all the witnesses who were at the funeral and witnessed the assault on Haleh.

The most recent example is that of Somayeh Tohidlou. Again a devout Muslim woman whose only crime for falling foul with authorities was her skillful campaigning for Moussavi, one of the approved candidates by the establishment itself. When Somayeh posted a heart wrenching statement of the humiliation she felt when her lashing sentence was carried out, the outpour of emotions was instantaneous and significant enough to gather further momentum. Her namesake with another Somayeh, the seventh convert to Islam, who was lashed and tortured to death, stirred the emotions even further. So much so that it is reported none of the female guards accepted to carry out the lashing and Somayeh was flogged by a male guard. The establishment sensed danger and the pro-government newspapers quickly denied she was ever lashed at all. No one however, believed the lies of pro-government news sites like Raja News. BBC Persian then came to the help and dampened the spark by saying they had talked to one of Somayeh's family members who told them the lashing was symbolic and did not cause too much physical pain.

The regime's intentions are blatant and obvious; to further humiliate the resistance while avoiding the spark which could consolidate the people into yet another push. Fake executions, one of the favourite punishments of prisoners in Iran can best describe these 'symbolic' punishments. A prisoner is made to believe it is the last seconds of his life, all the stage is set, the procession and the hanging gallows are all made to look real. The guards enjoy the fear and the trembling shown by the prisoner and mock the victim in order to break the spirit. It may all be 'symbolic' but the pain of humiliation which breaks the spirit is too real.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fifty Lashes for Somayeh Tohidlou

"Be happy, for if you wanted to humiliate me, I confess that I feel my entire body is suffering with degradation."

These are the words written by Somayeh Tohidlou on her blog after she received fifty lashes yesterday while her hands and feet were chained together.

Somayeh Tohidlou, a PHD student in Iran was one of Mir Hussein Moussavi's campaigners.

Somayeh was arrested one day after the 2009 fraudulent elections. Eight men broke their way into her house at 3:00 am and searched her residence for an hour, confiscating her camera, laptop and other belongings. She was sentenced to one year prison and fifty lashes but was finally released on a $200,000 bail. Her sentence of fifty lashes, for having insulted the 'president' remained however and it was executed yesterday.

Today, Somayeh's facebook page was inundated with messages of support. Mohammad Ali Abtahi, former advisor to Khatami, wrote: "Everyone who knows Somayeh Tohidlou, regard her as a symbol of   reasonableness, moderation and character. Today when I learned she had received 50 lashes for having insulted the 'very respectable president', I felt it was the Iranian pride which had been flagellated and not Somayeh's body. Somayeh, you are the only one who has not been humiliated as a result of this sentence"

And indeed, Somayeh should feel the proudest. It is this regime which has humiliated itself by whipping Somayeh and it is the rest of us who should feel humiliated for having allowed this to happen. It is us, Iranian men, who sit by and allow our mothers and sisters to be treated in this way who should feel the humiliation and it is us, the Iranian expats, who allow the likes of Ahmadinejad to travel around to UN and grab the limelight in his TV interviews and make absurd remarks such as 'Iran is the freest country in the world' and receive celebrity treatment by incompetent American interviewers, who should feel humiliated.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bashar's Soldiers Massacre Donkeys

I remember years ago, there were massive protests in UK against the cruel transportation of cattle from UK to France. Protesters were horrified that the cattle transported to be slaughtered for meat, were packed too close to each other inside the lorries and were not enjoying a comfortable ride.
One woman protester was even 'martyred' after she threw herself in front of a lorry that was carrying the cattle.

The unbelievable barbarity shown against fellow human beings in Syria however, has not resulted in any significant similar protests in UK and I wonder if this massacre of donkeys by Bashar's soldiers will either. In the footage below, you see innocent donkeys, completely unaware of Syria's political tensions, machined gun by Bashar's "courageous" army:

Despite all their valour in battle, one donkey seems to get away. The Syrian security forces are probably desperately seeking its whereabouts.

Times Seminar in Support of Prisoners of Conscience in Iran

I thought the Times seminar last night, held in support of the prisoners of conscience in Iran, was an excellent event to raise awareness for Iran's political prisoners.

The highlight of the evening for me was when British actress, Diana Quick, read Nasrin Sotoudeh's letter to her three year old son, Nima, which really stirred the emotions amongst the attendees at the Times seminar.

Iranian born comedian, Omid Djalili, did an excellent job of both making the audience laugh but also highlight the brutalities of the regime in Iran and the discriminations against Iran's minorities.

Fazel Hawramy, an Iranian Kurdish activist, also raised a very good point during the event. The vasts amounts of money, the Law Enforcement Forces in the Islamic Republic of Iran receive from UK and the EU, supposedly for fighting narcotics. Something to ponder about.

Times Newspaper Front Page, Today:

The Times full article on the event last night:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Press TV is 'Not Doing its Job Properly'

Press TV was the target of some harsh criticism last week, but this time surprisingly, the criticism was by a website in Iran affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards. Nedaye Enghelab - Message of the Revolution - a news website which reflects the views of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, published an article, Wednesday last week, with the headline, '$25 Million News Network with No News'.

The article's main criticism was Press TV's "weak" coverage of the UK riots or the "uprising of the UK's dispossessed" as it calls it. While Press TV's coverage of the student protests in UK was applauded, the article harshly criticised this $25 Million outfit for not taking more of a lead role in covering UK's "Justice Seeking Protests".

The criticism was directly pointed at the professionalism of the staff at Press TV. 'There can be no excuse of a budget shortage, the problem is purely lack of professionalism', the article categorically stated.

War Against War, is the subheading of this article, which explains why there has been so much investment by the Iranian government in this news network and what is expected from it in return. Below is a translation of the paragraphs after the subheading of War Against War, which explains what was expected of Press TV during the UK riots:

' To match the BBC Persian's 'provocations' during the post-election protests in Iran.

BBC Persian made 31 reports fabricating election fraud in Iran. These reports helped to make many people in Iran disillusioned with the accuracy of the election results. Hence Press TV which has a well equipped office in London, with several English reporters and analysts in its employment, including the former UK MP, George Galloway, who is receiving a huge salary, should have counter acted similarly and covered the UK protests more extensively as well as provided ideological leadership to the protesters.  Had Press TV done this,  not only it would have avenged the British government's role during the 2009 seditions but it would have also provided a pro-active offensive attack in the Soft War against Britain.

The second reason why it was necessary for Press TV to have gained the ideological leadership for the protesters, is Iran's extensive interests in Britain. Currently much of Iran's assets have been frozen in UK banks and the British government has carried out many sanctions against Iran, hence Press TV as the overseas arm of the Iranian government in its Soft War with the enemy had the means to take over the leadership of the protesters in UK to create a background for the Iranian regime to resurrect its interests in UK and be able to barter with the British government.

The most important reason for Press TV to have been more active during the protests however, is the need to support the protests movements across the world that seek justice. Islamic Republic is the flag bearer of the awakening movements in the world and the export of its revolution to the rest of the world. Had Press TV provided more of a leadership during the UK protests, it would have compensated for the weaknesses shown by our diplomatic services during the recent justice seeking movements in the region and beyond the region.

Although undoubtedly, if Press TV was unable to be useful during the recent events in England, this is just the beginning of the road for the English and in a not so distant future, we will witness the English masses raise the flames of their wrath from under the ashes once again. Hence our officials must appoint more committed and competent staff in this network to provide an appropriate reaction in the future events which will unfold on that island'

So there you go, from the horse's mouth itself and despite claims by the likes of Lauren Booth that Press TV is a 'UK registered company' and not led by the Iranian government, it is clear what is expected from this 'News Network'.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Fresh Protests to Save Lake Oroumiyeh

Tabriz and Oroumiyeh in Iranian Azerbijan were scenes of more clashes yesterday, between protesters and Islamic Republic's security forces. Protesters say government policies and mismanagement are the direct causes of Lake Oroumiyeh, drying up, which if not prevented will result in the  world's third biggest salt lake becoming a salt desert, causing an environmental catastrophe which will affect 14 million lives. The Iranian regime, as usual, has responded in the only way it knows, to any meeting and gathering not sanctioned by the regime, brute force and arrests.

Protesters in this footage chant "We are ready to lay our lives, We are all Babak's Soldiers" - Babak being the National hero of Iran from the Azeri province who resisted the Arab invasion for 22 years.

Youth who had participated in the protests are tracked down and arrested

So far the German Green Party, has issued a statement condemning the Iranian government's crackdown on protesters and its mismanagement of the lake. No word yet from UK environmental groups however. Perhaps Iranian activists should alert them to what is happening.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

About the Release of 100 Prisoners in Iran

So the Supreme Leader once again showed his magnanimity and released 100 political prisoners upon the Eid Fetr celebrations. Just like everything else, this show of magnanimity was nothing but a window dressing and a farce. Although the regime got the publicity it wanted and the Western media once again grabbed the headline without much looking into, the truth was rather different than the headlines would want us to believe.

First of all, the 100 was actually 70, but when has the regime ever been precise with figures? It reminds me of when the casualty figures were announced in the aftermath of the Islamic Republic party headquarter explosion; "more than 72 martyrs". Seventy two, of course being an emotive number, the number of Imam Hussein followers who were martyred at the battle of Karbala. What does more than 72 mean however? was it 73? 80? 100?

Lets not digress however, so instead of 100 political prisoners, there were seventy who were pardoned, these were mostly ordinary protesters who had been arrested during the post-election protests. Lets look at some individual cases to learn more about the magnanimity of his holiness, the Supreme Leader:

- Mohsen Mokhtari, sentenced to 12 months and had spent 11 months and 3 weeks of his sentence. i.e. he had one week left! Thank you, O divine Supreme Leader.

- Laleh Hassanpour, had spent more than half of her one year sentence and according to Iran's prison laws should have been considered for parole

- Susan Tabyanian, was sentenced to 18 months and had spent 16 months of her sentence, i.e. only had two months left.

- Artin Ghazanfari: Had spent 9 months of his 12 month sentence

- Kayvan Farzi, was sentenced to 2 years and had spent more than 18 months of his sentence.

- Nazanin Hassannia, would have finished her sentence in February, 2011.

- Rouhallah Mirzakhani - Has been in prison since April last year, without ever being sentenced. So the magnanimous Supreme Leader, released him without ever having sentenced him for a crime!

and the list goes on like this. What a supreme Supreme Leader!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Too Many Ties with Bashar’s Regime

Seeing pictures and footages of heroic protesters in Syria, where they too, like Iran’s citizens are fed up with their government’s constant meddling in Palestinian and Lebanese affairs, had prompted us to organise a joint counter demo with expat Syrian opposition to the annual Al-Quds parade in London, which is funded and directed by the Islamic Repubic. Yet I was horrified at the Syrian expat opposition’s lack of courage and enthusiasm and when I saw some of them actually take part in the Al-Quds march; it prompted me to become inquisitive as to who exactly were these so-called exiled Syrian opposition.