Monday, January 31, 2011

BBC Persian Does it Again!

When Nasrollah's anti-Persian video went round the internet and inflamed the feelings of Iranians, it was some BBC Persian reporter who sawed the seeds of doubt by claiming the video was a fake. In fact it was totally genuine, the text of Nasrollah's speech was available on Hezbollah's website and confirmed exactly with what was said on the video of his speech.

On Saturday, BBC Persian made another similar suspicious error. The demonstration by some Afghans is clearly against the Iranian regime and the recent executions in Iran. The banner clearly says 'We condemn the execution of political prisoners by the Iranian REGIME', yet the BBC headline says 'Anti-IRANIAN Protests across several Afghan Cities'.
The claim that this is some anti-Iranian protest is not just in the headline, it is also included in the main text. It says, anti-Iranian protests in Afghanistan started at the ...

BBC Persian seriously needs to review its personnel seriously sharpish.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Azadi Sq. (Tehran) v Tahrir Square (Cairo)

Look how many "affluent North Tehran" kids took part in the protests in Tehran (Left) and nearly 'all sections' of the Egyptian society turning up to Tharir Sq. in Cairo (Right)

This is reported as 'Mass Demonstration' by the Western Mainstream media

and yet Iran protests were so under reported. Why? Because IRI quickly kicked out foreign journalists and cracked down hard on any one seen with a mobile phone camera.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, the Differences

It is of course always heart warming to see people any where in the world overcoming despotic regimes. As the Iranian historian Kasravi said 'Nothing is as rapturous as when the people win their freedom'. The recent events in Tunisia and in Egypt, the people power challenging a despotic regime, had many similarities with the events in Iran last year, but there are stark differences which may explain why it seems the concessions won in Tunisia and Egypt have been gained so much quicker.

Watching the pictures from Tunisia and Egypt, it looks the crowd sizes in Iran were much larger. None of the protests in Egypt or Tunisia came any where near the three million crowd who came to the streets in Tehran, six days after the fraudulent elections in June last year. The repression by the regime in Iran was many times more brutal and savage than that in Tunisia or Egypt however. People in Egypt and Tunisia were not attacked in their homes and pulled from their roof tops for simply chanting Allah Akbar at night. The injured protesters in Tunisia and Egypt were not attacked in hospitals and dragged from their hospital beds. Protesters were not arrested and bused into detention centres like Kahrizak and raped in Tunisia and Egypt like they were in Iran.

The Iranian regime is one that seized power through a revolution and is thus well experienced in how to avert a revolution. As a friend of mine in Iran quoted his revolutionary guards commander "we will do everything the Shah didn't do and not do any thing that the Shah did during the 1979 revolution. Just one concession will open the floodgates and increase people's confidence in overthrowing the regime, we will not give one concession to the protesters"

Just one reminder of how brutal the repression in Iran was, watch the video of attack on student dormitories here, which resulted in five students killed:

Foreign journalists were not kicked out in Egypt and Tunisia as they were in Iran quickly after the protests erupted.

When Iranian protesters used social networking tools like Facebook and twitter and citizen journalists uploaded their mobile phone pictures and videos, the Iranian protesters were quickly labeled by rich Western Left-wing intellectuals as "affluent North Tehran kids" who did not represent the country.

Had these pictures been taken in Iran, these girls would have been labeled as middle class elite:

In Tunisia, Trade Unions with several thousand members existed and could be used to organise the protests. In Iran, the smallest gathering and organisation which is not sanctioned and controlled by the official channels is impossible to survive.

Obama and other Western leaders were quick to condemn violence in Egypt and Tunisia, yet when it came to Iran, they dithered and fretted in case their condemnation of killings was interpreted by the Iranian regime as Western interference!

Overthrow of any fierce dictatorship needs the broadest possible coalition, but many Iranian expats did all they could to undermine such coalition and propagate divisions.

Watching all this perhaps nothing was more annoying than the filthy Press TV hypocrite, Yvonne Ridley claim "What the Egyptian people are doing is so courageous because what they are facing, as we can see on our screens, is this terrible machine which seeks to instil fear and brutalises the people."

Yvonne Ridley of course ignores the courageous people who rose up against the terrible state terror machine of her pay masters in Iran.

Stop the War Coalition who through out the protests in Iran refused to express any solidarity with the Iranian protesters by using the excuse that "we are only concerned with war situations" did not lose any time to express solidarity with the people of Egypt. Next Wednesday, they will hold a public meeting in Conway Hall in solidarity with the Egyptian uprising, with speakers like George Galloway and John Rees, God help the Egyptian people from such solidarity expressions!

As Mark Urban said on BBC tonight, "all such revolutions are of epic importance and consequences, the outcome however is uncertain and any extremist violent minority group could seize power as they did in Iran in 1979 and in Russia in 1917"
The chances of a violent minority group seizing power through protests in Iran last year was always much more remote, because of the tolerance and peacefulness displayed by the protesters throughout the protests:

Monday, January 24, 2011

So what Happened with Stuxnet?

Friday Prayer leader of Mashad, NE Iran, is well known for his outrageous and beyond stupid sermons but I think one his claims, made two years ago, that the Hidden Imam (the Lord of All Ages) is helping Iran's nuclear industry, tops all of his shows.

In an interview two years ago with Raja News, Seyed Ahmad Alam-al-Hoda, claimed that Iran's nuclear scientists had been to see him in Mashad the year before and told him that to move forward with obtaining the nuclear technology, they had purchased a machinery equipment. "The machinery did not work however until the Hidden Imam pointed out there were tiny little holes in it which could not even be observed with the most powerful microscopes!!"

He then went on to say, "some dismiss claims that the management of the country is being aided and supervised by the Hidden Imam, they seem to think that after 1200 years of occultation, the Hidden Imam has become some idle figure living on an island with his family. Some ignorant people say that this island is the same Bermuda Island but the Americans have gone there and have said there is no Hidden Imam there."

Some may really have believed Alam-al-Hoda, when he made the claim about Hidden Imam advising the nuclear scientists about the defects in the machinery that had been purchased, but I wonder if they now ask, so why didn't the Hidden Imam do anything about the Stuxnet virus? Does he just advise on hardware defects and not software issues?

Alam-al-Hoda did however ask a valid question in that infamous interview with the Iranian hardline daily, Rajanews. He asked, those who think the Hidden Imam is not playing a role in running the world and managing Iran's affairs but instead is resting until he is called upon, should ask why would there then be a need for a 1200 year old Imam, when the Almighty might as well create one overnight and send him before it is the right time?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mossad Agent or Pro-Ahmadinejad Intelligent Officer?

When Majid Jamali Fashi was paraded on Iranian TV as the Mossad agent who had assassinated Iranian physicist, Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, it wasn't so much his calm demeanour that prompted questions in my mind but something he said that didn't sound right. Majid Jamali talked about landing at Tel Aviv airport and the visa officer at the airport, who only spoke Hebrew, started giving him problems until the Israeli officer in charge of the operation, waiting in the queue behind him,  stepped forward, showed his ID card, sorted out the misunderstanding and took him through.

First question that came to my mind was, if someone was recruited to carry out such an operation, would they go through the normal visa channels in the airport? and even if yes, wouldn't the officer in charge, go up to the visa desk first and explain what is going on, then ask the recruit to come forward? Also  where in the world, apart from in Dulles Airport, Washington, do Visa officers at the airports not speak some English?

With these questions in mind, more information about who Majid Jamali Fashi is, has come about. Pictures of him taking part in a kick-boxing tournament in Australia in July, 2010 appeared.
He is seen in this picture standing outside the ring with a camera, while the other member of IRI kick boxing team, Ashkan Tahmasebi, draped in an Islamic Republic flag, is waiting to start his bout.

Just to make it 100% certain that it is him, the tattoo on his left arm gives the game away:


In his televised confessions, Jamali claims to have gone to Israel via Baku, Azerbaijan. Fars News and other martial arts websites on the other hand report he was one of the medal winners during the tournament there in August 2009. People who know Majid Jamali, have claimed he is a die hard Ahamdinejad supporter, who took part in beating up peaceful demonstrators during the widespread street protests by the Green Movement. 

There are more questions about the assassination of Iranian physicists too. Just a handful of them:
- Why would such elite units of foreign agencies assassinate two physicists who had nothing to do with the nuclear program? Both AliMohammadi and Shahriari were Iran's representatives on the SESAME project. A regional research project which even includes Israel as one of the project participants.

- Why were these elite units so successful in eliminating two research physicists but failed so miserably in assassinating Fereydoon Abbassi, who is working on the nuclear program and who has been on the sanctions list and a member of the revolutionary guards?

- Why did these elite units choose to carry out their assassination in such an attention grabbing way in middle of Tehran traffic in broad day light, with a high probability of getting caught?

- Why were no cctv footage or appeals made for the witnesses to come forward with information about what the assassins looked like, what their motor bikes were like etc. Compare this with the trouble the intelligence ministry goes to when they want to identify someone who has taken part in a peaceful demonstration.

- What did the reported encounter between the former Iranian Science Minister and his Israeli counter-part during the SESAME project conference in Jordan, while the two assassinate Iranian physicists were there, have to do with these assassinations? Did the physicists come across something they should not have?

Most important of all, why are no Western media asking any of these questions and just repeating what the official IRI line is? Are the Western intelligence agencies and Israeli intelligence agencies actually enjoying these stories, because it makes them look more powerful than they really are? Is it actually to the benefit of the Israeli hardliners to have a hardline Iran uttering hardline rhetoric? 

The Superstitious Nonsense on Iranian State TV

I remember six years ago, we had gone along one of the polling booths held in London, when Ahmadinejad first stood as a candidate for president of the Islamic Republic. We were asking people why they were voting? Some would talk to us and most would ignore us. One Iranian woman voter who did talk to us gave a particularly strange answer. She said 'My 16 year old son and my husband are both against this lot [the ruling clerics], but I always come and vote for Imam Zaman [12th Shiite Imam who went into occultation many centuries ago and will one day return to rid the earth form oppression and corruption]'.

A bizarre answer that prompted my question 'But dear lady, Imam Zaman is not standing as a candidate in this so-called election?!' and she just shook her head and said 'well thats who I am voting for' and went passed me.

I wondered what the source of all this ignorance and superstition was at the time that did not even spare an Iranian woman living here in UK.

These clips from Iranian state TV are just a glimpse of constant bombardment of superstition and nonsense beamed at viewers. Just like the 'If you see Sid...Tell him' commercial from British Gas which still managed to attract 200,000 share applicants from the public who could have bought the BG shares cheaper, in the aftermath of the stock market crash, from any other broker, it proves how powerful Television propaganda is and no matter how much nonsense it blares out, it will still attract an audience.

In the clip below, presenters are presenting the question of whether the Imam Zaman has married and whether he has any children? Some have even sent pictures of Imam Zaman's family to the program:

and in the clip below, the program guest describes the conditions required for the Hidden Imam's return. Apparently some signs that tell His return is imminent have already manifested themselves, like:
'Increase in money lending, Increase in music, women dressing their hair like "camel humps", women riding horses, sky scrapers,..., more people playing chess...'

and the signs that have not manifested themselves yet, amongst them being discussed by "scholars":
"The sun rising form the West"!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fear of the Consequences of Talking

The hardest thing to explain to a Western apologist of dictatorships, is the fear people have of looking over their shoulders or their fear of the consequences of what they say. The useful idiots simply can not understand that when they talk to a passer by in a dictatorship, he or she will not tell them what is really in their hearts.

I remember when human rights activist, James Mawdsley was released from Burmese prison and returned to England, one of the first things he appreciated was this feeling of not having to look over your shoulder when you say something.

This fear of who you are talking to and what you say can best be demonstrated in this footage below. Two documentary making students have a permit to make a documentary about Neda Sultan, presumably to make yet another ridiculous claim about how Neda was murdered. They are simply asking the residents and passers by where Neda was nurdered, if they know what had happened in that street? Not one person wants to answer:

Regime's Revenge on Sotoudeh will Backfire

The independence of Iran's judiciary has now become a subject for comedy and satire and with the latest harsh sentence against the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, any pretence of its independence will now only be made by some half wit or a sycophant with a vested interest other than the truth.

11 years prison sentence, 20 years ban from working as a lawyer and 20 years ban from leaving the country, was the court's sentence against Sotoudeh. The breakdown of the sentence is 1 year for propaganda against the regime, five years against their favourite charge, 'action against national security' and five years for appearing without a hejab in a video she had sent to the International Human Rights Organisation of Italy, a non-governmental organisation which had awarded her the International Award of Human Rights in 2008, because she was unable to receive the prize herself after being banned form leaving the country.

Sotoudeh's interrogators from the intelligence ministry had told her she would remain in prison for more than ten years and yesterday's sentence by Judge Pir-Abbassi was nothing other than obliging to the wishes of the intelligence ministry which now effectively runs the judiciary in Iran.

This sentence was a warning to other lawyers in Iran, who dared defend dissidents and activists. Even defending dissidents and activists is now a crime in the Islamic Republic of Iran. A regime which as described by other Iranian clerics is neither Islamic, nor a Republic nor Iranian.

Just like the Burmese government was unable to diminish the status of Aung San Suu Kyi by sentencing her to a long term prison sentence, nor will the Islamic Republic have any success in reducing Sotoudeh's status as a national hero of Iran for eternity.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Nearly Reached 100,000 Unique Visitors in a Year

I can't believe it has been five years since I started this blog, but quite pleased about the stats. A steady rise every year in the number of people who read the blog. Of course 2009 was an exceptional year but I am pleased the increase in viewers continued into 2010.

The Useless Studio

Remember all the regime hype about the Great Conference of Iranians Abroad? How Galloway started his speech with the opening verse of Koran's chapter, and reported it as a huge show of approval for Ahmadinejad's administration by Iranians from all walks of life from around the world? How an unknown man claimed he was an expat businessman who had turned down a multi-million Dollar deal because the contract included a slight disrespectful remark towards Ahamdinejad and kneeled in front of him after uttering all that nonsense?

One of the many huge budgets allocated for this propaganda stunt was a $200,000 budget dedicated to a TV studio that would report the post-conference activities of the Council of Iranians Abroad headed by non other than Rahim Mashaei, who is being groomed as Ahmadinejad's successor. It was said at the time, that the dedicated studio will record and broadcast news related to the activities of this entity on a daily basis.

In fact there has been ZERO programs made since. Far from Galloway's claims that the conference was a show of approval towards Ahmadinejad's administration by Iranians from all walks of life, it seems the whole show has amounted to nothing more than an opportunistic attempt by some treacherous Iranian expats for a free flight and holiday to Iran with nothing else to follow up afterwards.