Friday, December 28, 2012

NIAC Profiteering from Deceit

When I first read the Guardian news about Manouchehr Esmaili-Liuisi, the young Iranian teenager dying as a result of sanctions denying the haemophiliac drugs to Iranians, I got very suspicious. There were no ambiguities in the title as to who was to blame for the tragedy; it read "Haemophiliac Iranian boy dies after sanctions disrupt medicine supplies"

There were many reasons for my suspicions about the news being accurate. First of all Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi, the Health Minister who was sacked yesterday by Ahamdinejad,  and many other Iranian health ministry officials have been going out of their way publicly saying that the medicine crisis is not because of the sanctions but because the government and the Central Bank have not given the promised allocated currency required to import the much needed drugs and medical equipments. Instead many Iranians, health ministry officials as well as Majlis deputies have been saying how luxury cars, cosmetics, horse saddles and other unnecessary goods have been imported with the subsidised currency that the Central Bank of Iran should have allocated for importing essential goods.
"We can circumvent the payment restrictions, the problem is not the sanctions, we haven't been given any currency by the Central Bank to buy the essential medicines" The Health Minister has been repeatedly saying before she got the sack yesterday.

Not only medicines are excluded from the Iran sanctions list but the German government has even made special provisions for banking transactions for medicine exports to Iran, this was even published in Iranian dailies.  On top of all of the above, it was only two years ago that amidst much pomp and ceremony, Islamic Republic declared that Iran has become self-sufficient in producing haemophiliac drugs - one of the rare good news that has recently come from Iran. Another Iranian website only today, has published a story on the satisfactory situation of the Haemophiliac medicines.

Guardian readers are a niche of their own however and they need to read the kind of news they like to think is true, but when I saw NIAC- whom many regard as an Islamic Republic lobby group in US, a sort of US equivalent of CASMII -  trying to cash in on the sanctions ignorance, I was even more disgusted.

Credit to the Times newspaper who investigated the news of the Iranian haemophiliac teenager and found out the real truth of the tragedy.  Sadly however, perhaps because of having been published over the festive period, the relevant article has gone largely unnoticed or at least not received the same publicity that the bogus Guardian news received.

Times investigations suggest that the unfortunate Iranian teenager, Manoucher Esmaili-Liuisi did not die because the hospital could not provide his medicine as a result of the sanctions against Iran, but because the unfortunate teenager suffered a cut during a hiking accident and he was too far from the nearest hospital in Dezful to be saved.

NIAC have also come up with an even more ridiculous story to emotionally blackmail Iranian-Americans. NIAC's gullible and naive supporters are not informed by NIAC about the real reasons for the medicine crisis in Iran, i.e. the corruption and mismanagement but are told that it is the sanctions which are killing innocent Iranians.

In an appeal for more donations from these out of touch Iranian ex-pats, NIAC have come up with a story of an unnamed "aunt of an American Iranian" who was taken to hospital and needed IV fluid but the hospital had run out of IV fluid and couldn't buy any more because of the bad bad sanctions. NIAC claimed he unnamed "aunt of an American Iranian" was instead given a water drip  and died as a result. So what can the super wealthy out of touch Iranian ex-pats living in America do to help their compatriots in Iran? Send IV fluids and medicine to them? No! Send money to NIAC!

I personally talked to at least ten hospitals throughout Iran and enquired about the possibility of something like this happening. All ten without exception laughed at me and confronted me with the question "Do you think we import IV fluid from the West? It is one of the most basic things we produce and even if it is badly required in remote parts; at a minimum we can produce a saline solution with common salt".

How sad is it that some people donate their hard earned money to this man?


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Einstein Was a Shiite Muslim

Javanoline said to be close to the Revolutionary Guards in Iran, has reported on information being circulated on the cyberspace that proves Eisntein had converted into Shia Islam. It claims that Einstein was corresponding with the late Ayatollah Boroujerdi and had admitted Shia Islam was the most scientific and just religion in the world.

Sadly because of fears that such information will cause a major international security threat that will come about as a result of a global religious conversion upheaval, Einstein's written correspondence with the late Ayatollah are kept in a safe box in London belonging to Professor Ebrahim Mahdavi. The article however publishes the special code for the safe box which is  B-۱۲-D.E/۱۷-V.A.E

The author then agonizes that if only Einstein's latest handwritings, known as Die Erklarung, be published, there would be a massive global "religious revolution" in the world.

In this secret correspondence between Ayatollah Boroujerdi and Einstein, which was clandestinely translated by a hand select number of translators appointed by the Shah, Eisntein confirms his relativity theory is mentioned in the holy Koran and some of the Hadith from the Shiite holy book, Nahjolbalagheh and the writings of the 16th century Shiite cleric, Alameh Majlisi. Einstein admits in his letters that only Shiite Islam provides the theological proof for relativity and no other religion does so.

Iran's equivalent of Youtube, Aparat, also has this interesting video about Einstein's conversion to Shia Islam:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gilad Atzmon, the Useful Idiot who Plays the Saxophone

Gilad Atzmon is a jazz saxophonist who describes himself as a "devoted political artist". Jazz gives me a headache and I know nothing about it, so this post is not about Atzmon's musical abilities.  I want to write about what he has become more famous for i.e. "political artistry".

Gilad, who is born Jewish, is one of those Jews who always condemns Israel, he is also known as a "holocaust revisionist", a quintessential Kevin Klein type from a Fish Called Wanda, who reads Nietzsche; he is therefore loved by the likes of Press TV. If Press TV want to make a propaganda point and sound "impartial" they will call Gilad and he will love the free publicity he will get for being controversial.

Last time Gilad was on Press TV, was when Eutelsat removed the Islamic Republic's TV channels from broadcasting on its Hotbird frequencies. Gilad Atzmon was unequivocal in his condemnation, he wanted to be the champion of free speech and play his windbag for the oppressed nations who were looking to him as their lead windpipe. "Freedom of Speech Enters Dark Age" was Atzmon's leading tune and Press TV was loving this useful idiot.

Of course the first time satellite TV stations faced signal jamming was when the Islamic Republic started jamming opposition TV satellites back in 2003. The regime embraced this new technology in two ways, either by sending local interference signals in selected districts in Iran which meant the target districts could not receive clear TV signals for the duration of the jamming or by disabling from the broadcasts from source which meant no one anywhere could watch the channels. The local jamming is said to carry huge health hazards for the residents. Many residents who frequently experience local jamming have reported headaches, nausea, fatigue and there have been many medical reports that describe the health risks from these signal interferences.

The jamming from source however, not only totally disables the targeted TV station but it also disables the other TV stations broadcasting from the same bouquet of frequencies. Eutelsat not only did not pay compensation for the Iranian TV stations the Islamic Republic disabled but also further punished the victim stations for the loss of airtime faced by other channels in the same bouquet of frequencies! A double victory for the Islamic Republic, silence the channel and make them pay for it too! Of course Gilad did not utter a word or play a note on his saxophone in protest to this blatant act against freedom of speech.

During the 2009 post-election protests in Iran, the Islamic Republic not only jammed opposition TV stations but also disabled news channels like the BBC Persian and VOA Persian as part of its campaign to cut off the lifeline of the Green Movement, i.e. free access to information. At the same time that all these contraventions of international broadcasting conventions were taking place, the Islamic Republic  TV channels continued unhindered on Eutelsat's Hotbird and other platforms, promoting violence, enticing people to riot by pure propaganda and spreading misinformation.
Of course Gilad did not utter a word or play a note on his saxophone in protest to this blatant act against freedom of speech.

In Iran, even having a satellite dish and satellite receiving equipment is illegal and carries consequences, but Gilad Atzmon never says a word on that. Not once has this "devoted political artist" spoken against the Iranian regime taking away the inalienable right of the Iranian people to choose what TV channel they want to watch.

For years Ofcom ignored legitimate complaints against Press TV. When people complained about how Press TV implicated innocent citizens for murder or claim they were wanted by Interpol even after Interpol had denied such claims, Ofcom never took any actions. When Press TV incited people to violence, When Iranian citizens were shown on Press TV confessing under duress, Ofcom never took any actions and Press TV continued unhindered. A slap on the wrist was the most Ofcom was prepared to do. Not once did Gilad Atzmon protest against Press TV slandering innocent citizens or parading Iranian victims of the regime making confessions under duress.

Ofcom finally had to act as a result of the persistence and courage of one man, Maziar Bahari, who had lodged a complaint against Press TV breaking the Ofcom rules. When Maziar Bahari was in prison in Iran, he was shown on Press TV as if he was conducting a normal interview in jail, making voluntary statements, while the Press TV presenter and cameramen knew full well a security agent, standing behind the curtain, was watching Maziar Bahari's every words and the "interview" was nothing more than forced confessions of a man under duress. Maziar Bahari's complaint went unheard by Ofcom for over two years, and at the end it wasn't even Bahari's complaint that struck Press TV off the Sky platform. Press TV did not bother to declare where its editorial was, whether in Tehran or in London. It did not matter where the editorial decisions were made, Press TV just had to declare it but Press TV chose to ignore this Ofcom request. Press TV also failed to pay a fine of £100,000 for broadcasting Maziar Bahari's interview from prison, otherwise it could have continued unhindered on Sky. Even after Ofcom had no choice but to strike Press TV off Sky, you could watch Press TV across 11 platforms, including Hotbird, internet and on your mobile phone. Hardly a comparison with actions against freedom of speech committed by the Iranian government. Useful idiot supporters of the Iranian government were mobilised everywhere to cry "Freedom of Speech! Freedom of Speech"; how utterly pathetic!

Finally Eutelsat surprised everyone and decided the jamming of its clients by the Iranian government was enough and decided to remove the IRIB channels and Press TV. The likes of Gilad Atzmon were furious, they just could not stay silent. Their concerns for "Europe Entering a Dark Age" and the erosion of freedom of speech touched the hearts of all tyrants everywhere. Gilad appeared on Press TV, not to play his saxophone of course for Jazz is not deemed very Islamic, but to defend press TV and the tyrannical regime of the Islamic Republic, this religious apartheid state.

Of course, the Iranian channels are back on Eutelsat's Hotbird again. We don't know what kind of a deal was made but they are nevertheless back. You can watch them on

Hotbird 13E
27500 H

But its best for Gilad Atzmon and his kind to keep quiet, after all such "devoted political artists" only become vocal when they are asked to do so by the repressive regimes.

Gilad Atzmon, this champion of the oppressed and this defender of political speech also refuses to meet me. Despite having asked to meet up with him for a coffee on several occasions, he chooses to ignore me. After all why listen to all sides of the story and then make up your mind?! Lets play the saxophone where there is more cheese and wine!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Ehsan Naraghi on Iran’s Clerics

Ehsan Naraghi, who died earlier this week at the age of 86, could trace his ancestry to prominent Iranian Shia clerics in the Qajar era.

His great grandfather, Molla Ahmad Naraghi was an influential cleric   during the reign of the Qajar King, Fathali Shah, who issued a fatwa for Jihad against the Tsarist Russian troops. Like many descendants of the clerics, Ehsan Naraghi too became one of the intellectuals of the Pahlavi era.

After studying law in Tehran university, his father sent him to Switzerland where he got a degree in Sociology from university of Geneva and won a scholarship to study for his PHD in Sorbonne university. During his student years, like many of the Iranian students who were sent to Europe in those years, he first developed Left wing tendencies and became a supporter of  the Tudeh Party, Iran’s Soviet puppet Communist Party.

His Communist tendencies didn’t stop him from marrying into money. He married the daughter of one of Shiraz’s biggest landlord feudals.

During the oil nationalisation movement of the 1950s, Naraghi developed strong ties with Ayatollah Kashani who was also related to him, [Ayatollah Kashani was his father’s nephew]. Ayatollah Kashani and his mob were instrumental in the overthrow of  Mossadeq after the US/UK coup to topple Mossadeq failed.

Naraghi was also related to the former Empress Farah and during the peak of the Shah’s rule, through his family connections with the Empress, Naraghi got his foot in the Imperial Court  as an advisor to both King and the Queen. The Imperial Court saw him as a useful person in countering the growing Left wing tendencies of the Iranian youth at the time.

Naraghi was appointed as the head of Institute of Social Research and Studies, the Office of Youth (part of UNESCO) and Head of the Institute of Research and Scientific Education Programming.

Some of the people who trained under him, like Abolhassan Bani Sadr, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh and Hassan Habibi, became important figures of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

After the 1979 revolution, he was imprisoned on three occasions. In one of his interviews I saw him mention himself that he was released after Ali Khamenei, the president of the Islamic Republic at the time, requested his release by writing a letter to Lajevardi, the butcher of Evin prison. How Ali Khamenei decided to release this former advisor of the Imperial Court, when teenage supporters of dissident groups were being executed at the time for handing out hand bills is a mystery to me. After this, he travelled freely back and forward to Iran. Those who disliked Naraghi described him as a man on a mission to make Islamic Republic look acceptable to the rest of the world.

Naraghi was a master of compromise and openly advocated compromise. He abhorred revolution saying “Revolution is an illusion and a damaging act, you never know who you are bringing to power” and openly boasted “I can work and survive with any regime”.

Nothing about Ehsan Naraghi was appealing to me, neither his background and upbringing, nor his 180 degrees turn arounds, nor his intellectual status and nor his advocacy of compromise, but more than his books and more than his research, I will remember him for what he is caught saying on this video:

Don’t be tricked by the clerics, the lowest form of man in the 20th century are the Shiite clerics, they will tell you all sorts of lies

And at another point when the person off the camera criticises the mixing of politics and religion and states how impossible it is for someone to be a politician and at the same time claim to 'represent God on earth', Naraghi interrupts in his usual brash manner and says
“One must fuck the mother and sister of that God who has appointed such a person as His representative on earth”

After all, because of his background and family connections, Ehsan Naraghi knew the clerics inside out and probably knew what an Iranian cleric is all about!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Will Mashaei Reveal More?

When writing the last post "They Deceive, and to Appease God, they Pray”, I wasn’t quite sure who the Maddah [Shiite Mourning Ceremony Eulogist] in the vulgar audio I was writing about was, so I started listening to some of the other Iranian celebrity Eulogists whose video and audios are available on the internet. I think I can now say with 99.99% certainty it is the voice of none other than the Supreme Leader’s favourite eulogist, Haj Saeed Haddadian.

Here is the audio file of Haj Saeed Haddadian, when he spearheaded the attacks against Ahmadienjad’s Chief of Bureau and father of his bride,  Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei. In this audio, Haddadian describes Mashaei as the "penis of Ahmadinejad" and asks God to help him kill Mashaei that very night.

And with a huge apology to the Persian speaking readers, the vulgar audio file that was spread round the internet can be heard below. The voice and even the laughters and the delivery is all the same. This audio which is said to be secretly recorded and released on the internet, may well have been done so by Mashaei’s supporters and may be the first of many more in Mashaei-Ahmadinejad’s arsenal of embarrassing revelations of the rival factions for power bartering purposes in the next few months.

In the above audio file, the person who sounds very much like the Supreme Leader’s most favourite Eulogist, Saeed Haddadian, ridicules just about anything which is sacred in the Islamic Republic system, in front of a boisterous private party crowd using the most x-rated language.

Monday, November 26, 2012

They Deceive, and to Appease God, they Pray

Islamic Republic’s Most Famous Maddahs
having a Birthday Party
I had attempted to describe what a Maddah is, in a previous post and the nearest equivalent I could find was panegyrist or a eulogist with the added explanation that they have good voices and they sing/recite and praise the Shiite saints during the frequent Shiite mourning anniversaries.

They should be pious people, they certainly wear their piety on their sleeves to the extreme during their performances. As always from my personal experience, those who go the extra mile to display their piety to the public, arise my suspicions and my alarm bells start ringing. I find the most genuine spiritual people are those who keep their spirituality to themselves and find no need to show off with it. Iranian poet Hafiz has a famous poem on this topic:

On the pulpit, preachers, goodness display
Yet in private, they have a different way.
I have a question to ask of the learned in our midst
Why Confession-Priests, their own repentance delay.
Perhaps they don't believe in Judgement Day
They deceive, and to appease God, they pray

The mannerism of the Maddahs suggests they are nothing but louts making a few bob on the back of people’s religious beliefs. Today an audio file has been doing the rounds in the Iranian cyberspace. The audio file description posted on youtube suggests it is a secret recording of a famous Maddah [doesn’t name him] in a private party. The content of the audio, on a richter scale of vulgarness, is the maximum it can ever be. It is so vulgar that it may embarrass the listener for just listening to it even in private solitary.

The Maddah who sounds very much like Haj Saeed Haddadian, seen on the right in the photo above, makes the most vulgar jokes about the clerics, Iran’s ethnic groups, women and even the most sacred Shiite figures. It is like a Bernard Manning stand up to the power of ten mixed with some excellent singing voice which again sounds very much like the same old Haj Saeed Haddadian, one of Supreme Leader’s favourite Maddahs.

The question many people often ask, how much of that genuine pure religious and ideological convictions in the early days of the revolution remains after three decades of the Islamic Republic? The answer seems to be very little; even amongst the most “pious” pillars of the establishment. 

New Icon for Western "Progressives"

I would like to introduce a new heroic icon, Hojat-al-Islam Panahian, to the Western "progressive" intellectuals who admire the Islamic Republic as the beacon of the struggle against US imperialism.

It is said that Panahian is one of two people in Iran, whose words can be regarded as the very words of the Supreme Leader himself and this tireless cleric was speaking at the Tehran university five days ago.

In his inspiring speech to the university students he made the following avantgarde statements:

"They say our youth in universities must be mixed, yet in America itself they separate boys and girls with a curtain on the buses and say we are not animals to have sexes mixing together"

"See how evil the Zionists are? they kill human beings in the worst possible ways, but in their peak of hideousness they have an institution called Hollywood and Hollywood too wants to destroy human beings. Zionists even refer to humans as 'two legged animals'"

"It is haram for the appearance and facial features [of the faithful] to resemble that of the non-believers, when wearing a suit became fashionable in Iran, we didn't have a strong clergy otherwise it should have been declared haram from the start for sure"

"I have no idea why the house prices rise as more multi-storey buildings go up? We have many narratives that say get as close as you can to earth at night time."

"Over sleeping is from drinking too much and drinking too much is the result of over eating. Hence you can not pray, you become more atrocious at heart, your ability to think is reduced. They asked Ayatollah Behjat what can one do to sleep less and he replied sleep while sitting. His son showed me a chair and said that is his sleeping chair"

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ayatollah Khomeini's Grand Daughter on Compulsory Veil

"Because I have lived both in London and in Toronto for a while, I am well placed to judge some of the differences between these two cities with Tehran. I know that a young girl in Tehran when she leaves home faces a lot more problems than that of a young girl in a city like Toronto. There, a young girl or an elder woman are no different to a man and no one bothers them and the safety level is high. When I say safety, I don't mean the dictionary definition of the word. I think Iran is safe and Tehran compared to other Metropoles is safe too, what I mean is the social safety and the safe keeping of the respect for values. A girl faces much more discourtesy in a city like Tehran than in a city where there is more freedom. I believe making the veil compulsory and the limitations put on women has caused this."

The above statement was made by Naeemeh Eshraghi, she is the grand daughter of Ayatollah Khomeini and she said this in an interview with the Jamaran website. She was 24 years old when Ayatollah Khomeini died.

Naeemeh Eshraghi was also asked if she wears a chador, to which she replied:

"Yes, I wear the chador, I personally like the chador and have a positive outlook about it, but in truth, I find it difficult. When a woman is is draped from head to toe in black, it isn't visually appealing, it is also very uncomfortable and it can cause accidents for the person wearing it, but chador is the tradition in our household and as the grand daughter of the Imam Khomeini, if I don't do this, I would be breaking the tradition and I don't like this. Also the chador in our household is very symbolic and I don't want to transgress from this. I think if someone is related to a great man like Imam Khomeini, who is known by everyone from the East to the West, the most honourable man I have seen in my lifetime, it creates a commitment in you and this commitment for me could mean doing things contrary to my personal preferences"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hassan Nasrallah, the Nemesis of Iranian Bloggers

From Sattar Beheshti’s last post on
his blog
Sattar Beheshti, the Iranian blogger, who was killed under torture in the Islamic Republic dungeons had probably never met Omid Mir Sayafi, another Iranian blogger who died in prison in 2009, but nevertheless there seems to be a link between them; that of referring to Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, on their blogs.

Omid Mir Sayafi, was not a political activist, he wrote about music, mostly Persian classical music on his blog; except on one occasion, when he wrote  “Mr. Khamenei love me as much as you love Seyyed Nasrallah’s son’.

Sattar’s last post on his blog carried a picture of Nasrallah and quoted Hezbollah’s leader “If it wasn’t because of Iran’s help, Lebanon’s reconstruction would not have come about with such swiftness”. It then showed pictures of Lebanese beauty contesters in their bikinis and juxtaposed it with the desperate poverty of Iran’s children. The picture asked what most Iranians ask themselves, “why should so much of our wealth and resources be given to the Hezbollah, when our own children need it most? Why is there not the same urgency to help Iran’s recent earthquake victims who are still homeless and facing the cold? Why can’t we enjoy life like the party going Lebanese do?”

We don’t know who the interrogators and the torturers who dealt with Omid and Sattar were but it seems any critical mention of Nasrallah infuriates them so much that they end up killing their prisoners. Nasrallah seems to be so revered by Islamic Republic torturers that any “balsphemous” mention of him by Iranian bloggers can lead to their death in prison.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Blogger Sattar Beheshti is Confirmed Dead

Iranian blogger, Sattar Beheshti, was buried yesterday in Rabat Karim cemetery. Close relatives who were allowed to attend the burial, said they managed to see a glimpse of Sattar's face, as he was buried. Islamic Republic security agents watched over the burial.

There was a glimmer of hope that Sattar had not died but that hope was dashed away as his family confirmed he was buried.

Another hero is fallen and the evil still prevails in Iran.

Fate of Iranian Blogger Still Not Certain

He was a simple labourer from a poor neighbourhood in South Tehran, who spent his earnings by looking after his elderly ill mother. Most of his wages would be spent on buying medicine for her.

Sattar Beheshti also loved his country and he was enraged by the injustices he saw around him. In his blog, My Life for My Iran, he questioned why Iran's wealth and resources should be spent for the Hezbollah in Lebanon? He juxtaposed the pictures of Lebanese party goers and the desperate poverty of Iranians living in a rich country full of natural wealth and resources on his blog.

On his last post he reported how Islamic Republic's security forces had been threatening him.
"They have sent me a message saying, tell your mother she will soon be wearing black because you don't shut your big mouth. I tell them but I am not doing anything, I only write what I see and hear and they tell me I will die and no one will know or hear about me" and Sattar continued on his last post:
"As an Iranian I say, I can not remain silent in the face of so much sorrow, you are destroying the country, I will not remain silent even at the moment of my death, stop this tyranny and we will then close our mouth"

Cellmates at Evin prison, section 350, reported he was badly hurt after one of his interrogations. "His body looked like he was crushed".

Nine days later after his arrest, his brother-in-law received a phone call "Go and buy a grave and receive his body. Prepare his mother for the news".

The family has been devastated since, only nine days after security forces had burst into Sattar's home and ignored his mother's please to at least give Sattar time to put his shoes on, the family were faced with this menacing phone call.

In their desperation, all the family could do was to tell the opposition media outside Iran and the news spread quickly across the cyber space which prompted another call to the family, mixed in with the usual cocktail of insults and profanities, Sattar's sister was told "Why did you talk to anyone? Why did you say he is dead? he is on hunger strike, but he will wish he is dead soon"

As at the time of writing this post, it is still not certain if Sattar is dead. His family have still not been able to see Sattar's body, but have been told that he is already buried.

Such is the cruel games the Islamic Republic play. They are not happy with just killing and torturing a dissident, they want to torture his family too.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Is the German Ambassador in Iran for Real?

Here is a state TV report about the recent visit to Iran by the German delegation. While members of the German delegation seemed camera shy and shunned talking to the state TV cameras, the German ambassador to Iran was more than happy to oblige. In fact he seems to go the extra mile and praise the religious tolerance in the Islamic Republic!

Is the German ambassador for real? Is he really not aware of the religious apartheid in Iran? Does he not know that in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the rights of a citizen is based on his or her religion? That a citizen's religion, can exclude him or her from many professions and official posts?

Does the German ambassador to Iran even realise that some religious minorities like the Bahaiis don't even have any rights in Iran, and that they can not receive higher education? 

Does the German ambassador to Iran know where he is? It may be that what he said is reported differently by the state TV, but then again the ambassador should know better that the state TV will only broadcast what they can use as good propaganda and if he is mis-reported, he should put the record straight.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Iran Tribunal in the Hague - "I will bear this pain forever"

It may only have been a symbolic trial, but it is also a documentation of the worst terror years in the post 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.

Witnesses who survived the massacre of Iranian political prisoners in 1988, gathered in the Hague, in front of international judges and lawyers between 25th and 27th of October and described the terror of the eighties and how 5000 men and women, young and old were summarily executed without even a proper burial.

Below is the witness statement of just one of them, whose account of what he saw, shook the audience:

Q- You were imprisoned in 1981 for 6 months, what happened?

A- I was arrested after the 20th June demonstrations against the new regime. One of my relatives and I used to re-write the anti-regime handbills and hand them out. He was arrested first and he had given them my name under duress. When they first came to our house to arrest me, I wasn't there, they took the books and the handbills they found in the house. They also took my sister and said to my mother, we will release her whenever Mehdi gives himself up.

Q- Why was your sister hospitalised?

A- After they arrested me, my sister thought she would be released but instead her interrogator told her, not only she would not be released, but that she will be executed. My sister went into a shock, when she went back to her cell, she felt she was being choked and collapsed, other female inmates started shouting she is dead, she is dead, Guards then came and took my sister to hospital and returned her the next morning. But she suffered from the after effects of this trauma for the rest of her life.

Q- How long was your sister kept in prison after that?

A- They released her after a day. They took me to the Nazi-Abad Committee, they kept me there for seven days, because they said there wasn't enough room in Evin prison. I was finally taken to Evin prison, at first we had to sleep in the corridors until they found a cell for me and I was there for six months.

Q- You said to your interrogators that you hadn't done anything and you were repentant

A- Yes, I really believed I hadn't done anything that bad. I kept saying to them I am not interested in politics, thinking they would release me sooner. This was what some of the prisoners had decided to do, they agreed to declare themselves as repentants, thinking they would then be freed.

Q- How did you have to prove to them that you were repentant?

A- They called me once and asked, "Have you repented?". I said, Yes. They asked, "are you prepared to take part in the execution of prisoners?"
I thought by answering them like this, they would release me. Unfortunately they took me and someone from my cell as well as some others from other cells and gave us a head cover that covered our eyes, but I could see from under it. They took us to a room first, more and more came and then they put us on a mini-bus and took us to a place of execution. I still thought they were bluffing and testing us. I never thought they would give us guns. I saw the guards standing with guns. They told us who were standing behind the guards to take our blindfolds off. I tried to control myself but couldn't bear what I was seeing. They brought those who were to be executed and put them a few yards in front of the guards.

Q- How many were to be executed?

A- On my left, I counted 7 or 8, on my right there were many more as far as my eyes could see.

Q- Were there men and women together?

A- Yes they were

Q- Did you guess their age?

A- Yes where I was standing there was a man standing next to a girl and next to her was a young boy, he was really a kid, the girl was young too, she was wearing a headscarf, I couldn't say how old she was exactly. Three of the four [Witness breaks down in tears, complete silence in the room]

Q- Can you continue?

A- [witness composes himself] Yes..this scene has remained with me for 28 years. I saw two more, who couldn't have been older than 15.  There was a girl whose voice was shaking as she hailed her political organisation.

Q - What happened next? Can you describe it?

A- They told us to walk up to the guards. They told us to put our fingers on the triggers, I did as they told me, they recited the Koran, they then ordered, Fire! and shots were fired. One of the Guards came towards me and said, 'why did you not fire?' I stepped back. Someone walked up to the  bodies on the ground and did the coup de grace. There were many who were executed. Repentant prisoners who didn't go forward to fire, were told to pick up the corpses and put them in the back of a truck. Two at a time were picking the bodies from their hands and feet and throwing them into the back of a truck. They took us back in the mini-bus. We were not blindfolded, we were all dazed and shocked. Some had blood on their clothes because they had picked up the bodies.

I am a religious person and have religious convictions. When I was doing my prayers afterwards, only God the Almighty could understand what I was going through. I cried so much during my prayers that I don't remember what happened to me after. Since then, I have erected a wall all around me, and I have kept myself behind this wall ever since.

Q- Is there anything else you would like to add?

A- What happened to me was like an emotional rape. Like other forms of rape, it sits so deep inside your soul and emotions that it never heals. I had become an accomplice in murder, my hands were stained in the blood of another human being, I had assisted the murder of a freedom seeking human being, I will bear this pain for ever.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ghabel's Funeral - Farewell to a Man of Honour and Integrity

As an Iranian committed to help bring about secularism in Iran, it may surprise some people, that there have been many Shia clerics who have won my full admiration. Perhaps none more than Ahmad Ghabel, the Iranian Shia cleric and Islamic scholar who died yesterday at the age of 55.

Ghabel was also the man who exposed the unreported mass executions in Mashad's Vakilabad prison. His life, dedicated to standing up to tyranny, deserves much more than this humble post.

During the Iraqi invasion of Iran, Ghabel voluntarily went to the war front on several occasions. A mortar shrapnel piece lodged close to his spine, remained with him for the rest of his life which ultimately brought about his illness and demise. Ghabel's older brother, Abolghassem was martyred in the war and his other brother Mahmoud is recognised as a 'Jaanbaaz', meaning those who have survived the war but have serious debilitating injuries as a result of their participation in the war.

Despite being a Shia cleric, Ghabel voluntarily disrobed himself in 1991. He commented later about his action by saying “God makes no distinctions between men and neither should the clothes we wear. No one should enjoy special privileges for wearing clerical robes. “

In 1997, Ghabel was imprisoned for the first time after the revolution, the first of six imprisonments to come. In 2001 he spent 125 days in solitary confinement after his third arrest.

In 2009, and during the height of the post-election protests in Iran, Ghabel was arrested again on his way to attend the funeral of the dissident Ayatollah Montazeri. In 2010 he was taken to his trial with his feet and hands chained together but he said in his trial “I see nothing but splendour in these chains”. His heroic defence during his trial became a trial of the regime itself.

Ghabel was given the rank of Ijtihad by Ayatollah Montazeri, which meant he could issue fatwas and answer religious questions. Of his most famous fatwas was that Islam does not make it mandatory for women to cover their face and hair, as well as his staunch opposition to stoning.

Ghabel was laid to rest on Wednesday with hundreds attending his funeral while plain clothes security agents watched and filmed those who attended his funeral.

Ghabel was a fearless man, a good man who did not stay silent when evil prevailed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ghabel, Free at Last

Hojat-ol-Islam Ahmad Ghabel, Muslim Shia cleric, Iranian theologian and seminary lecturer, researcher and author and most notably a prominent Iranian dissident died yesterday in hospital. Finally the good man "who saw nothing but splendour in being chained" to defend freedom and justice was truly set free.

Ghabel was arrested several times and appeared before the Special Court for Clergy. His last arrest was in 2009 on his way to Qom to attend Grand Ayatollah Montazeri's funeral. He was freed on bail after 170 days  but then re-arrested a year later when he exposed the secret mass executions at Vakilabad prison in Mashad.

Ghabel had the rank of Ijtihad and one of his ground breaking fatwas was about hijab, where he argued it was only obligatory for women to cover their body. He was a good man who lived his life as he preached. May he rest in peace now.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hero Pilot: 80 of My Passengers were Russian Nuclear Scientists

Captain Hooshang Shahbazi, the Iranian hero pilot who managed to land the Iran Air 727 Moscow-Tehran flight safely after the plane's landing gear malfunctioned during a flight last October, has today revealed that he has been forced into early retirement, nine years ahead of his contractual retirement date.

Despite his spectacular emergency landing which was captured on video,  see below, Shahbazi was initially ordered not to fly any planes for two months. Captain Shahbazi complained at the time, that despite having saved the lives of 94 passengers and 19 crew members, authorities had not even called him to say thank you.

But after he was initially ignored and grounded, which baffled everyone, he was finally hosted a hero and appeared on state TV describing how he managed to land the plane. Shahbazi then became an active campaigner for lifting of Western sanctions that restrict the import of civilian plane spare parts. He even went to Geneva last March to attend the 19th UNHRC session and spoke to some panels about how the Western sanctions related to Iran's air industry, violated Iran's human rights.

Today, Captain Shahbazi seemed to have fallen out of favour again. He complained on his Facebook page that despite all his efforts to lift the sanctions on Iran's air industry, he had been forced into early retirement 9 years early. Interestingly he also revealed that 80 of his 727 flight passengers in October last year, were Russian nuclear scientists.

Russian nuclear scientists who had become unemployed after the Chernobyl disaster, seem to have done very well from Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Meaning of PEPSI

PEPSI, is just an abbreviation for "Pay Each Penny Saved, to Israel", according to Dr. Hossein Ravazadeh. Islamic Republic is never short of crackpots, many of them have high ranking official posts and run the country.  The seminaries just keep churning more and more clerics who are a few cards short of a full deck.

Dr. Ravazadeh who supposedly promotes "Islamic and traditional” medicine makes a living out of uttering outrageous and balmy statements. Cedar trees for example, are nothing but a Western plot according to the esteemed doctor. They have no shadows and bear no fruits,  they deprive other trees of water and they were imported to Iran by the Americans to destroy our agriculture!

Below is a footage of the latest manifestation of Dr. Ravazadeh's vast knowledge and wisdom. PEPSI stands for Pay Every Penny Saved, to Israel!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Offensive Cartoon in IR Publication

Yet again another cartoon has offended religious sanctities and sensitivities. This time however, the cartoon was published in an Iranian hardline publication, the monthly Kayhan Caricature.

The cartoon depicts the biblical Joseph, also revered as one of God's prophets by the Muslims, as a half naked effeminate cat walk model in a fashion show, watched by infatuated women besotted by Joseph's beauty.

Just as in the biblical story, the infatuated women watching Joseph on the stage are holding a knife and an orange, but distracted by Joseph's handsomeness are not realising that they are cutting themselves with the knives instead of peeling their oranges. To make sure there were no ambiguities left as to what the cartoon is about, the caption for the cartoon read, "Zuleika Fashion Show". Zuleika is known by Muslims as Potiphar's wife who wanted to prove to her aristocratic friends how handsome Joseph was.

Yesterday the publication was shut down because of the offensive cartoon and the 'accountable manager' for the monthly apologised for having published it.

So there we have it, what will follow now? Will there be attacks on the Islamic Republic embassies? will there be violent protests and burnings of the Islamic Republic flags throughout the Abrahamic world? Will the mobs demand the blood of the cartoonist? I hope not.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Ken Livingstone is Back on Press TV

According to Andrew Gilligan's blog in the Telegraph, Ken Livingstone has decided to return to Press TV. Last night, he  hosted Press TV's flagship program, Comment, in the absence of his comrade, George Galloway, who is on a trip to Venezuella .

"My parents spared me religion" is how I remember Ken Livingstone boasted about his atheism on TV. Yet the man who wore his atheism on his sleeve, quickly dropped his scruples for votes and for money.

During his bid to become the mayor of London again, he was so desperate to pick up Muslim votes, that he pledged in Finsbury Park mosque, to make London a beacon of Islamic values!

And now by deciding to return to Press TV, Red Ken, this icon of UK Left, advocator of international socialism, defender of gay and lesbian rights and champion of feminism is once again working for a religious dictatorship that has massacred thousands of Iranian socialists, represses gays and lesbians, persecutes religious minorities in Iran and treats women as second class citizens. How hypocritical is the UK Left?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Families of War Martyrs Express Support for Shargh Cartoonist

Families of 25 martyrs and veterans of the 1980s Iran-Iraq War have signed an open letter in support of Hadi Heydari, cartoonist for the Shargh newspaper, which was closed down on Tuesday.
Despite all the efforts by the Ministry of Guidance and the hardliners in the Islamic Republic to use their self-interest driven interpretation that the cartoon printed on the back page of the Shargh newspaper, was an  insult to the war veterans and war martyrs of Iran, the people who matter most, i.e. families of war veterans and martyrs, have expressed their support in an open letter for the Shargh cartoonist, Hadi Heydari. 
Twenty five family members of some of the most prominent war veterans and martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war said in an open letter that they have always admired Hadi Heydari's 'awareness raising' and 'thought provoking' cartoons over the years. 
The open letter addressed as 'Dear Brother Hadi Heydari',  said "We see that these days, some are misinterpreting your latest cartoon and using it as an excuse to silence the pens...We are familiar with you and your work and back your sincerity and honesty".
So there we have it, if anyone should have been offended by the cartoon, it should have been the families of the war veterans and war martyrs but in fact they see nothing offensive about the cartoon and back the cartoonist of Shargh newspaper.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Closure of Shargh Newspaper

At the same time that Ahmadinejad was speaking at the UN  on Wednesday and while bamboozling the useful idiots around the world with his rhetorics of "justice", "freedom", "human integrity" and the coming of the saviour Messiah to rid the earth from tyranny and corruption, another newspaper, Shargh Daily, was closed down in Iran.

The official reason for the closure of Shargh, was this cartoon that was printed on the back of its pages. The cartoon that shows people blindly following one another and tying up each other's blindfolds, was interpreted as deriding the martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war going to the fronts!!

More than 100 hardline Islamic Republic MPs also signed a petition to close down the newspaper. Member of the Cultural Commission of Majlis, a parliamentary body in IR, Hojat-ol-Islam Ali Taheri,  who was a signatory to the petition, admitted he had not seen the cartoon but nevertheless signed the petition to close the newspaper! Perhaps the best case of manifesting the spirit of the controversial cartoon itself.

In the Islamic Republic, all the newspapers have to appoint someone as the "Accountable Manager". Basically if anything goes wrong and if anything outside the red lines is printed, the buck stops with the "Accountable Manager" and it is his neck which will be on the line.  The closure of Shargh, not only resulted in all its staff losing their jobs overnight but also the arrest of Mehdi Rahmanian its accountable manager and the cartoonis, Hadi Heydari.

Rahmanian has served 18 months at the war front and the cartoonist, Hadi Heydari, is son of a war martyr.

Yet somehow employing this Saddam sycophant by Press TV is not an affront to Iran's war martyrs!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Mossadeq Deception

Ask a useful idiot or an Islamic Republic apologist how they justify the tyranny and the religious apartheid in Iran and you can bet your bottom Dollar that they will mention the Mossadeq affair.

What happened in 1953 is their panacea for anything that can not be justified in the Islamic Republic. "Iran has suffered a lot, the CIA overthrew the popularly elected Prime Minister Mossadeq" is their cliche reply and they say it in such a pompous way as if they are the most learned scholars of Iranian post-war history.

Except that the story they have been taught to regurgitate isn't quite what happened. Mossadeq was not elected by the people, he was appointed by the Shah and when the CIA backed coup failed, it was the clerics led by Ayatollah Kashani, the darling of the ruling clerics in Iran today, who let the thugs and hoodlums loose and toppled Mossadeq.

I have written about this before and I have also written about some of the animosity and utter contempt that Iran's ruling clerics have towards Mossadeq.

Today, I came across an old cartoon from Iran's satirical magazine, Towfiq, which back then was the most popular of its kind. It shows the Shah trying to flee Iran with his wife but the clerics are frantically trying to grab him, pleading with him not to leave them. It is written Ghanat Shams Abadi on the second mullah pulling the Shah. If I am not mistaken it is a reference to Shams Ghanat Abadi, the cleric seen here below on the right next to Ayatollah Kashani, sitting under the portrait picture on the wall.

Below is the translation of one of Ghanat Abadi's speeches at the Majlis during the Mossadeq time:
"I am afraid respected representatives. If no thought is given to the hungry and unfortunate people, this country  will fall into Communist hands and Communism will swallow Iran and our Muslims. Have they not told you that once again the Communists have beaten up some of our patriotic workers?...."

How the Islamic Republic apologists have turned the Mossadeq affair into a way of rallying support by Western Lefties for the Islamic Republic is a major achievement in public deception.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Man Who Cannot Read Numbers

You would forgive this man for not being able to read a number larger than a million if he was an ordinary layman, but he is in fact Deputy Minister of Economy and General Director of Privatisation in the Islamic Republic. In a regime where meritocracy has no place and only cronies are promoted, one can not expect more:

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Galileo's Second Inquisition

One of the most vivid memories I have from the "Cultural Revolution" was before the final onslaught, when a leader of one of the gang of thugs who was sent to beat up the students and rip up the posters  became confused when he came across a notice on the wall which had no pictures or insignia and was just writing.

Poor hoodlum couldn't read or write and didn't have a clue what the notice was about and was asking others if it was dissident writing. I had gone along to one of the universities with my other school friends to help the students who were resisting the orders to evacuate the university grounds and looked at my friend and remarked "Look at this goon, he can't read or write and he wants to say how universities should be run!"

Today I came across an interview with Hojat-ol-Islam Nabavian, a disciple of Ayatollah Messbah Yazdi, in this website in Iran, Mashregh News. The title immediately grabbed my attention, "Galileo's Theory was the Origin of Man's Diversion from Monotheism/Universities are the Manifestation of Satan".

To make the long story short, they think the "Cultural Revolution" in the 80's has failed and Iran's universities remain secular, which is why the university graduates are not pleasing the establishment. Therefore another cultural revolution is needed and Hojat-ol-Islam Nabavian, who also became an MP in the last Majlis "election", explains in this interview that Iran's universities are copied from Western universities and they need to become Islamised and teach religious-science. Nabavian is also a member of the Education and Research Commission of the Majlis and heads its "Expert Committee".

Hojat-ol-Islam Nabavian, like most other clerics in Iran, has to show that he is a well read man. His interview with Mashregh News is full of name doppings. He mentions Descartes and the Aether medium, he quotes George Holyoake, gives examples of what happens to car running at 50 "miles" per hour, if its engine is suddenly switched off and at the end of all that; he gets Galileo and Newton mixed up!

Another version of the illiterate hoodlum I remembered who wants to tell others how universities should be run.

Iranians in Holland Join the Syrians Against Bashar Assad

Iranians in Holland join the protest march by the Syrians to condemn Bashar Assad’s crimes against humanity:

video by Persian Dutch Network

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Festival of "Useful Idiot" Film Makers in Tehran

Once again, the Islamic Republic with the help of its petro-Dollars has gone the full monty in gathering a wide selection of "useful idiots" for another conference in Tehran. This latest gathering by "useful idiots" is named "Festival of Independent Film Makers" and is hosted by none other than Mohammad Ali Ramin, the Neo-Nazi crony of Ahmadinejad who had organised the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust, or better put, gathering of holocaust denying fruit cakes.

One of the "Independent" film makers who is attending this festival is the Italian female film maker, Santa de Santis. Seen in the picture above, wearing the compulsory scarf while being interviewed by the IRI state TV and contributing greatly to the propaganda efforts of a tyrannical regime. Of course, this beautiful "Independent" film maker, doesn't always wear the hejab, in Rome she dresses rather differently and a lot more provocatively, as seen in the picture above on the right.

One thing which has always puzzled me about the "useful idiots" in the West, is that they regard themselves as "progressive" when they stand up for the right of women to wear the hejab, good for them, I too support this choice; but they are always silent when it comes to defending the right of women not to wear the hejab. A choice which they take for granted and probably never think about.

Amusingly, Santa de Santis also posted this interesting status on her Facebook. I used the FB translator to unravel her status in Italian and it said this:

Bless the useful idiot, Santa de Santis, for she has just realised that connecting to Facebook from Tehran is very difficult! I wonder if she has ever thought why connecting to Facebook and surfing the internet , something else she must take for granted, is so difficult from Iran.

In fact, I wonder if she has thought about many more things before attending a conference hosted by a neo-Nazi sympathiser? For example has she thought what would happen to Iranian film makers if they attended a state organised conference outside Iran? Does she even know about the film makers jailed in Iran? Does she realise how demoralising her attending this conference is for her Iranian colleagues who do not have the same privileges as her? Will she ever speak up for them? or as is more likely the case, she will just enjoy the attention and wining and dining she always craved for?

Mohammad Ali Ramin, opening the conference yesterday:

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Supreme Leader Praises the Great Leader

You can tell a lot about a man, from the friends he keeps and what better friend for the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic than North Korea?

IRI websites enthusiastically reported the meeting held, during the recent NAM conference in Tehran, between the Supreme Leader and Kim Yong Nam, the North Korean Chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly, or as some suggest the de facto head of state in the People's Democratic Republic of Korea.

"During the meeting, the Supreme Leader reminisced about his trip to North Korea, when he was a president and praised the late North Korean leader, Kim Il-Sung".

Supreme Leader praised the Great Leader sort of thing, it is a usual tradition amongst big huge leaders.

Supreme Leader's trip to North Korea during his presidency, must have been a big landmark in his life, on his official website he claims it was after his speech in North Korea that the late Ayatollah Khomeini remarked about his potential to be the next leader of the Islamic Republic:
 "When Ayatollah Khamenei was visiting North Korea, the late Imam watched the T.V. reports including a large number of people who gathered to welcome him, as well as his marvelous speeches and debates. Then he said that Ayatollah Khamenei really deserves to be a leader."

Every year, the Supreme Leader edges Iran more towards becoming another North Korea and lets not forget the small detail that slipped through on Russia Today Television, when it mentioned the Supreme Leader as one of the notable alumni of the Patrice Lumumba University. The RT program was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the university.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Iran Poets Whereabouts Unknown After Arrest

Islamic Republic security forces entered the home of Iran's satirical poet, Seyyed Mohammad Reza Aali Payam, aka Haloo and confiscated his computer and writings and took him away on Tuesday 14th August.

Haloo is yet another popular Iranian poet who has been arrested in recent times. The arrest happened after the recent earthquake in NW Iran, when Haloo derided the regime's pre-occupation with other causes and the apathy the regime showed for the people of Iran, by writing this couplet  in his blog:

Who says we are an untroubled government?
We always care for the problems of the Arab people

Don't keep going on about the earthquake in Ahar
For right now Damascus and Aleppo are our trouble

Haloo also announced on his blog, one day before his arrest, that the Amirkabir Literary Society, where many of Iran's poets recited their poetry to the enthusiast audiences, had been shut down by the security apparatus.

Almost ten days later after Haloo was taken away, there is no news of his whereabouts.

Below is one of his poetry recitals at the Amirkabir Poetry Society, where he is reading one of his masterpieces, "Cowards"

Why is the Guidance Ministry so scared of women's hair?
What is so scary about the flowing hair in the wind?

Put on dark clothes, brown or black
For they are scared of bright and happy colours

They destroy the remnants of our ancient civilisation
For they fear from what will remind us of the past

In Yasuj they fear the statue of Aryobarzan and his sword
[referring to the regime bringing down the statue of pre-Islamic Iranian hero, Aryobarzan]
And in Sari they tremble from the statue of Arash

The same way the Taliban feared from the statue of Buddha
"Our Friend", is also scared of stone, plaster and steel

You have to only kiss his hands and say Yes Sir, Yes Sir,
For he shivers from things like thought, logic and talent

Look the other way and pretend you didn't comprehend
For he fears anyone who has caught on

He is scared of the redness of the flower and the greenness of its leaf
He fears that tall cedar that is resolutely standing its ground

Not only he fears our sharp tongues and our able minds
He is startled by the rebellious aroma of the stews we cook

Then he interrupts his poem and say please remember this poetry is meant for Yemen, don't think I am referring to anyone in Iran! then he continues:

There was a time when he was scared of large crowds
But now he is scared of each single one of us

The same person whose trait is shouting and hurling insults
is so scared when we too want to shout

Strike your blows on our heads and bodies
My dear, when was the mountain bothered by Farhad's axe?

Gone are those days when the gazelle ran away from the hunters
Today each hunter trembles at seeing his own shadow

The dove flies along with the swallow
and the owl fears that it has lost its reputation

There was a time that he who knew, shirked from sticks and truncheons
But now the club fears the heads that understands

Salmon does not fear the fisherman's net no more
Now its the net and the hook that fear the salmon

The pine trees no longer fear the ax and the sickle
For today, its the ax that fears the tallness of the Pine tree

Gone are those days of fear my dear, today its the monsters
Who run away from the children of this ruined land

And I wonder if the day will come
Where this reversal will go on
and it will be the mother-in-law who fears her son-in-law

Laugh my countryman, laugh aloud, These laughters are a thorn
in the eyes of those who fear these happy hearts

Friday, August 17, 2012

Al-Quds Parades in Iran Today

Today is the Al-Quds Day in Iran, the day marked by Ayatollah Khomeini in the Islamic Republic's calendar to show the state's commitment in "liberating" Palestine. There will be parades all across Iran and throughout the world, including London and other European cities. In fact in London, this year, the Advertising Standards Agency, had allowed the advertising for the Islamic Republic sponsored demo to be publicised on the back of London's buses.

The footage below is from the Iranian state TV today, from Khorram Abad, West Iran. Huge megaphones ask the crowds to chant Allah Akbar in support of Palestine, but no one chants back. The speakers repeat the calls for Allah Akbar and still nothing. So the state TV plays Pirates of the Caribbean theme music and moves on

And this one is from Sari, North Iran. This time the huge megaphones chant "The Blood of the Martyrs of the Nation Boil/ The Supreme Leader of Iran Roars", but no one roars back. Everyone is busy talking to each other or playing with their mobiles!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cabinet's Family Trip to Saudi, While the Quake Victims Suffer

Seldom do you come across a government who cares so little about its own and yet places such high priority on someone else's cause. Saturday's devastating earthquake in NW Iran, was another manifestation of such disregard for the people of Iran by the Islamic Republic.

Iran's state controlled television simply ignored the news about the earthquake and carried on with its normal programming. People were mostly alerted about the earth quake via the social media and foreign satellite TV stations. Worse still just to add salt to injury, the IR state TV, in complete indifference to the plight of its citizens in Azerbaijan, started to show one of its few cheap tasteless comedy programs, Khandeh Bazaar - Laughter Bazaar.

Iranians gritted their teeth and whined that had the devastation taken place in Gaza or Lebanon, the state TV would be showing their suffering non-stop.

The fury and backlash was such that even the hand selected and pre-approved MPs for Azerbaijan voiced their anger at the shameless state TV and demanded an apology.

Only one day after the earthquake and while citizens were waiting to be rescued from under the rubble, Ahmadinejad and several of his ministers packed their bags, not to go to the quake zone but to Saudi Arabia, with some ministers like Science Minister and the Guidance Minister taking their family and relatives along with them too for presumably some fun and shopping.

The usual protocol at times like this by other heads of the state, is to rush to the disaster areas and be with their people even if its just for symbolic purposes. Even if they are in middle of a foreign trip, they would cancel their arrangements and rush back home.

Included in this untimely cabinet trip to Saudi, is the Minister for Roads and Housing, Ali Nikzad. One would think someone in charge of Roads and Housing would be the most required official to be on the scene and evaluate the damage, especially if the minister himself is born in Ardebil and Azerbaijani himself.

This disaster once again shows that the people ruling Iran today are nothing but foreign occupiers, alien to our history and to our culture and apathetic to the suffering of our people. No wonder the post-election protesters were chanting "Neither Gaza Nor Lebanon, I Die Only for Iran"

Friday, August 03, 2012

BBC Wrongly Blames Sanctions for Soaring Chicken Price in Iran

The soaring chicken prices in Iran and the ridiculous/condescending statements made by the authorities and religious figures in the Islamic Republic that followed the chicken price hike, made the headlines in several Western media. As usual however, most of them got the headlines right, but when it came to the nitty gritty details, either lazy journalism or other personal considerations let them down. One of the authors, Ali Hamedani, who works for BBC Persian, I  could confidently describe as the quintessential lazy journalist.

This BBC Report however,  didn't even get the headline right and blamed the soaring chicken prices on sanctions! "Growing Anger in Iran Over Cost of Chicken as Sanctions Bite".

The fact is, as the Iranian MP, Ali Aliloo, member of the Majlis for Shabastar, E. Azerbaijan, pointed out in Iran's Islamic Consultative Assembly - (Majlis) - the chicken feed had been imported and was cleared by the customs, but it was not distributed to the chicken farms, in order to artificially push up the prices. In an interview with Enekas, Aliloo rightly blamed 90% of the ills in Iran's economy on the 'economic mafia' which is strangling the country. 

The headline in Shomal News  article, asks the question "Who is the importer of the chicken feed?". A very good question. Indeed, who is this sole importer of chicken feed who has caused so much misery to so many hard working families for the sake of profiteering for himself? 

Despite the lengthy article in Shomal News in trying to answer this question and the author's efforts in describing "rent seeking behaviour", mis-spelled as "rent seejing behaviour", no one is still any wiser as to who has the monopoly on chicken feed imports and the power to manipulate the markets for his own personal profits?

The best answer one can extract from the article, are the importer's initials: "M.M"! 

Undoubtedly "M.M" is a very powerful figure within the Islamic Republic establishment, whom no one can touch or even talk about. 

The truth is whether oil is $10/barrel or over $100/barrel and whether there are sanctions or not, it makes no difference to the people in Iran. What is left from all of Iran's riches and resources is always the very bottom of the barrel. The top cream always goes to the establishment elite, their relatives and cronies and to the "liberation movements" and the "lobby of useful idiots"!

BBC Persian reporter, Ali Hamedani, during last year's Al-Quds Parade, organised annually by the Islamic Republic, more interested in cuddling up to the IRIB reporter than reporting the counter demonstration behind him.