Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More Pictures from Stop the War Rally on Saturday

A man holds a placard, calling for Independent Trade Unions and Freeing All Jailed Workers in Iran, in the middle of the Stop the War rally in London, last Saturday. The man holding the placard is immediately attacked by STW "peace activists". Presumably having free independent trade unions and jailed workers released from prisons in Iran is not in tune with STW's peaceful anti-imperialist aspirations.

But more than welcome amongst the STW ranks are these two "peace activists", ardent supporters of the Supreme Leader

And of course pictures of the child murderer, Bashar Assad are also welcome by STW "peace activists":

While Bashar's picture is carried in the streets of London, more children lose their lives in Syria:

How Dare You wish for a 'Free Iran' in a Stop the War Rally?

Here are some more pictures from the Stop the War rally that was held outside the US embassy in London on Saturday

How Dare You Wish for a Free Iran during a Stop the War Rally?

Arch Useful Idiots and Benn and Corbyn look on and rant with their speech as Iranian pro-democracy activists are beaten up in front of their eyes

Stop the War activists and Supreme Leader supporters happily join in to bring down the Free Iran banner

Sorry can't have you in the rally, you are a pro-democracy activist!

Iranian Green Movement sympathisers in the rally

Two friendly "peace activists" in the Stop the War rally

Bashar Assad supporters with their Ba'athist flags in the Stop the War rally

Where would we be without these complete fucking idiots?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Stop the War 'Peaceniks' Attack Iranians Opposed to the Islamic Republic

Here is a film footage which shows the true face of Stop the War tyranophiles. The Iranian supporters of Green Movement were saying 'No to War and No to Dictators' but 'the No to Dictators' part was too much for the supporters of the Islamic Republic and supporters of Bashar Assad who had filled in the pitiful ranks of the Stop the War 'useful idiots' in a demonstration outside the US embassy in London on Saturday.

Supporters of Bashar Assad and the Islamic Republic carried pictures of their beloved tyrants in the protest and were helped by Stop the War and Socialist Workers Party activists in physically attacking Green Movement protesters in bringing down their posters and banners.

The speakers at the rally were the usual friends of dictators in the past, Lindsey German, Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn and the arch stooge of the Islamic Republic who supports Islamic Republic's jamming of satellite TVs, Imperial College lecturer, Abbas Edalat.

1min 34secs into the footage, the speaker gets Iran and Iraq mixed up :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Press TV is not Off the Air

I doubt if any UK licensed television broadcaster has ever broken so many Ofcom laws as Press TV has. False news, unlawful accusations of innocent people, parading people on TV under duress,  enticement to violence, state controlled editorial and the list goes on and despite all these contraventions of Ofcom rules, Press TV has received the most gentle treatment by the useless independent regulator in UK, Ofcom.

Even an open and shut case referred to by the Iranian journalist, Maziar Bahari, to Ofcom, that he was being interviewed by Press TV under duress while he was in prison in Iran, took Ofcom two years to finally issue a mere pathetic £100k fine.

Apart from breaking all Ofcom rules, there are other justifications to close down Islamic Republic controlled Press TV's UK operation. Islamic Republic regularly jams other TV stations and it has expelled all foreign journalists. Islamic Republic restricts Iranian people's access to information and fears free access to information as its nemesis. So a tit for tat treatment for Press TV will be welcomed by many Iranians. Lets not forget that Press TV is not the only Islamic Republic media outlet operating in UK, Press TV is its English speaking propaganda on air.

Over the last months, Press TV have on several occasions wrongly claimed that Ofcom have taken them off air - yet another contravention of Ofcom rules, i.e broadcasting false news. Finally,  Ofcom announced yesterday they are revoking Press TV's licence. At the end, it was a bit like the case of Al-Capone, who was imprisoned not for the gangster related crimes which he committed but for his non-payment of taxes. Press TV's licence was revoked not because it committed so many offences but because it simply refused to pay its fine to Ofcom and refused to have its editorial in UK rather than in Tehran - ( so much so for Roshan Salih's claim in the Guardian, Press TV Speaks for itself), despite all offers of assistance by Ofcom.

The initial euphoria that Press TV's operation in UK has been halted, quickly subsided however. Ofcom have only removed Press TV from BSkyB. Press TV's UK operation will continue and UK viewers will be able to watch Press TV in more than 11 ways. So Press TV - the Voice for the Voice Stranglers - have hardly been silenced and they seem to be as happy as pigs rolling in the shit with their new status of TV martyrdom. Press TV have been crying victimisation non-stop since the news broke out. They are blaming the Royal family and the UK government's rage at the station's coverage of UK police brutality and many other unrelated reasons.

George Galloway, that gallant champion of the oppressed masses with his £25000 monthly income from Press TV, wrote on his facebook page:  "Champions of liberty, the British govt, have now taken Press TV off Sky". More than 121 useful idiots 'liked' his Facebook post and over eighty of them left comments of how 'shocked' and 'saddened' they were at not being able to watch their Gorgeous George
on Sky!

Just a random selection of some of the comments under Galloway's Facebook post:

Kieran Gallagher: Why?
Salma Al-Ali: I'm just wondering where are all the "Freedom Of Speech" whiners now..

Alex Simpson They've done what? This is the first I have heard of this, what a disgrace. Who would have thought that in the 21st century, our "civilised" governments would be fighting to surpress the truth! I think Press TV makes a complete mockery of our mainstream "news" channels, and this is what they are running scared of. More and more people are waking up to the realities of the practice of our governments that lie behind their carefully constructed realm of public relations, a term coined by Edward Berneys as an alternative to the word PROPAGANDA. Well, here we have it.... I think that by taking such ridiculous measures of banning real credible and news worthy sources, our governments just make themselves look even sillier than what they already do....

Curtis Francis Bloomin eck whose brilliant was that ofcom i shall be writing to them To give them more food for thought. Arseholes

Tafara Ndiya Press tv advocates for truth and justice,it is only the evil doers wh

Michael Luscombe I had not heard of Press TV until this news broke. I am now watching it as much as I can. Surprising what censorship can do to encourage the opposite.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pictures of Attack on Commander Alaei's House

When Even the Most Implicit Criticism Has Consequences

On January 7, 1978, an article that was published in an Iranian daily sparked the Islamic revolution, three decades ago. The article scorned landowners who were trying to reverse the Shah's land reforms and mocked how in their desperation they had tried to get the clergy on their side but only one suspicious Indian born cleric had taken up their cause. The article explicitly named Seyyed Rouhallah Khomeini aka 'Indian Seyyed' as the backward reactionary cleric from the dark ages who, fifteen years earlier, had unsuccessfully tried to oppose the land reforms and women having the right to vote.

Two days later, Khomeini's supporters and seminary students in Qom marched through the streets of Qom and demanded other Grand Ayatollahs to condemn the article and issue a fatwa to kill the author. The Shah deployed his troops and it is said that six of the protesters were killed. I remember clearly reading about the crackdown in the newspapers, which included a picture it claimed was of seminary student protesters covering their faces and chanting with their raised fists.  These protests continued and escalated and in less than a year, the likes of those seminary students I saw in the picture printed in the newspaper, had taken over the power in Iran and our lives changed forever.

On 9th January, 2012, Thirty Two years after the Qom riots that sparked the Islamic revolution in Iran, Naval Commander Hossein Alaei, wrote an article to commemorate the Qom uprising. Former Naval Commander Alaei is the founder of the IRGC Navy forces in 1985 and a prominent war time commander. Apart from the head of the Navy, he has also been the head of Combined Armed Forces, head of the Aeronautical Industries and is a member of the Imam Hossein university scientific committee, where Islamic Republic officers are trained.

Alaei's article to commemorate the Qom uprising was on the surface addressing the Shah, but Iranians are too familiar with these similar improvisation tools that Iran's poets have used over centuries to speak the unspeakable. It was clear that Commander Alaei was not just addressing the Shah and was referring to the present situation in Iran.
Alaei finishes his article with this Koranic verse : "فاعتبروا يا اولي الابصار"
So learn the lessons, you men of vision"

See the translation of the main parts of the article at the bottom of this post.

It took one day for the Commander to fall from hero to zero and the hardline papers and newspapers started their campaign to vilify the former war hero.

Baseer (Insight) site called him a despondent element who had cut his former ties and relied on his track record at the front, during the war, to act as his shield.

Raja News also berated him and compared him to the author of the article in 1978 that set off the Qom riots.

Fars, also accused Alaei for drawing parallels between then and now and said Alaei and his hypothetical questions from the deposed Shah is an attempt to compare the crackdown then with that of the recent 'sedition'.

Some of the other news sites which had copied the original article quickly removed the article. 

But it is never enough to just write against a person who dares to criticise the Supreme Leader, physical threats usually continue next, and true to form, hardline newspapers are reporting hundreds of "mourners" marking the 40th day after the anniversary of Imam Hussein's martyrdom, have gathered outside Commander Alaei's house, chanting slogans against him.

"Commander Wake up!", "Commander Alaei, You Have Failed", "Alaei, Shame on You, Shame on You".

Translation of Alaei's article in commemoration of the Qom uprising:

“9 January 1978 is the beginning of a popular and pervasive uprising which, in about a year, was able to expel the Shah from the country and bring an end to 2,500 years of monarchy in Iran,” Alaei writes. “But this incident was ignited very easily, and the regime itself provided the pretence.

“The wrongful behaviour of the Shah’s security forces had amplified the people’s dissatisfaction with the monarchy and helped maintain it,” the former commander continued. “As the number of people killed on the streets, imprisonments and political prisoners rose, the Shah’s regime essentially lost its valour too.”

“Up until that point, the people would not address the Shah directly in their protests and would [instead] try to voice their criticism regarding the lack of freedom of speech, the lack of political freedoms and the maltreatment exercised by state agents such as the Imperial Guard. But a continuation of the state’s violent conduct and a harsh clampdown on protests caused the people to direct their opposition against the Shah himself and to demand a fundamental change in the ruling system.”

“The writing of letters to the Shah was [soon] under way and he was rightfully pronounced as the person behind all the country’s upheavals.”

In his piece, Alaei argues that the 1979 Islamic Revolution was aimed at preventing another “lifelong rule” and allowing Iranian “to determine their own destiny through free elections.”

Alaei then raises a number of questions he says the Shah “probably” pondered after being forced into exile, questions that might serve as an “important lesson for others.

“Would the situation have not ended in a better way, had I shown restraint at the funeral of Imam Khomeini’s son and refrained from provoking the population with an offensive article written by my information Minister under an alias? If, after the publication of the article in a state-owned newspaper, I had allowed for it to be responded to, wouldn’t my rule have lasted longer? If I had allowed for the people to hold peaceful protests … wouldn’t the affair have ended there? Wouldn’t I have obtained better results, had I not ordered agents to shoot at protesters … ?”

In an apparent reference to the illegal house arrest of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, Alaei writes that the Shah probably asked himself, “If instead of placing prominent [political leaders] under house arrest and exiling them to remote cities and imprisoning political activists I had paved the way for a dialogue, would I have been forced to flee the country?”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Today's Assassination in Iran

This is what I wrote after the last assassination in Iran: "Assassination of Iranian Scientists a Convenience for All" . None of the questions I asked back then, have been answered and today's assassination has even posed more questions.

Almost all of Western media have referred to today's victim as a nuclear scientist. In fact the victim, Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan was a 32 year old with a degree in Chemical Engineering. The official Iranian media said he was a deputy manager at the Commerce Department in Natanz nuclear site. Almost immediately a 32 year old with a degree in Chemical Engineering became a nuclear scientist in the Western media headlines.

The assassination took place near one of the main buildings of the Intelligence Ministry, i.e in a zone where there is even further extra security.

If you only stop anywhere near the building protected by high walls, you will be surrounded by plain clothes agents. Yet once again assassins on motor bikes in broad daylight and in middle of the rush hour traffic can blow up a car and not even be chased or apprehended.

Once again no CCTV footage is made available. There are no calls for witnesses to come forward and give descriptions of the assassins. Reason would demand that the area is cordoned off and a detailed investigation be carried out. Instead the blown up car is quickly toed away and the crime scene is almost immediately cleared up. One witness who works near the spot where the assassination happened heard the explosion and was intrigued that there was a heavy police presence there just before 8:30 am when the assassination took place.

At the end of the day, there are only two possibilities. Either this assassination was again a home grown assassination, with a variety of possible reasons for why Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan was the target. May be the victim was punished for approaching IAEA with information or may be he was responsible for buying faulty parts, who knows? Or it was the work of the Israelis and other agencies who are trying to stop IRI's nuclear program through covert actions, , as the Western media suggests. In which case it proves, the IRI Intelligence Ministry who claim they can read everyone's emails and have an omnipotent presence everywhere and quickly stifle any dissent are in fact completely incompetent and unable to provide protection for Iran's citizens.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Supreme Leader is Reviewing Request for Hoder's 'Release'

Hossein Derakhshan Supposedly
on Leave from Prison
The Iranian website Alef, has published an article today claiming that the Supreme Leader is reviewing a request, signed by a number of 'academic, media and cultural' figures in Iran to release Hossein Derakhshan, better known as Hoder in the West.

The article has included some of Derakhshan's revolutionary pedigree, which includes his uncle, a victim of the Islamic Republic Party HQ bombing, the Supreme Leader having performed Hoder's first wedding ceremony and the late Ayatollah Beheshti, one of the founding figures of the Islamic Republic, having recited Koran verses in his ear when he was born.

The article also praises Derakhshan and his English language skills for all the work he did in the West in justifying the regime to the Western audiences and defending the Islamic Republic's stance against the West as well as demeaning the opposition to the Islamic Republic. Simply put for the 'Useful Idiots' in the West: "His English language skills and knowing how to bamboozle the Useful Idiots, won many friends for the Islamic Republic".

Well there you go, Hoder's services for the Islamic Republic praised from the horse's mouth itself. Although it is claimed Hoder is spending his time in prison, no other political prisoner in Iran say they have seen him amongst other inmates. I wouldn't be surprised if we see Hoder once again, using his English language skills, openly serving the establishment soon.

Derakhshan on one of his Press TV appearances:

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Abbas Milani's Eminent Persians

Over the last few days, whenever I have had a moment to myself in the midst of all the festive mayhem, I have been reading Abbas Milani's Eminent Persians. As it says on the back cover of the book, Eminent Persians provides a panoramic narrative of what made modern Iran through the lens of individual lives, between 1941 and the Islamic revolution in 1979.

I have always been interested in reading biographies and been fascinated to learn why people become who they are and how the environment and the era shapes their way of thinking. Eminent Persians is like a fun way of reading tens of biographies in one book within the context of what happened between 1941 and 1979 in Iran. Its not the first book by Abbas Milani I have read, Persian Sphinx was the first book which I got to know him by, and what I like most about Mialni's books, is that through painstaking research and candid examination backed by documented evidence, Milani doesn't just collate the myths as the definite history, he is in fact a myth buster. No mean task in a culture that revels in the cult of martyrs and the political factions which measure their success by offering "untouchable" heroic icons and number of martyrs they have offered to the struggle.

There is no need to read the book from the beginning to the end, each chapter is a short condensed biography of an Eminent Iranian who in various ways helped shape Iran's modern identity and can be read at one's own choice and preference, but what makes reading the book an absolute delight is the honest revelations of the hidden facts and withheld information that the followers of each iconic figure have either been desperately trying to cover up or dared not to investigate. There is also plenty of good quality research into myths, which were cultivated against or for the public figures at the time, in order to promote various political agendas in Iran. Each time you come across one of these moments of discovery, an involuntarily shaking of the head, expressing disbelief, or an uttering of 'Oh My God!' in one's head, marks the moment.

The first two chapters I read were about the industrialist Khayami brothers and another successful businessman at the time, Hojabr Yazdani.

My interest in the Khayami brothers, successful businessman who had become rich not from inheriting land but by their industrious entrepreneurship, was their philanthropy activities, a rare trait amongst rich Iranians, and my reason to read the chapter on Hojabr Yazdani next was because I had heard my father curse him so often as the 'pathetic gangster and a crony of the Shah's regime'.

Hojabr Yazdani started in sheep farming and eventually controlled much of Iran's banking. The things I heard about him, personified him as one of the gangster types in Al-Pacino's Scarface movie, because of  his armed bodyguards who accompanied him everywhere and his ostentatious taste in wearing jewellery. The hearsay amongst the public reputed him as the symbol of cronyism and corrupt excesses of that era.

Reading about the Khayami brothers and Hojabr Yazdani, it was interesting to find out that both had offered their help to the Shah to save his throne from the 1979 revolution. Contrary to my previous perception that all of the Shah's supporters and his elite had quickly packed their bags and fled as soon as the going had got tough, there were others who could have fled but were willing to stay behind and dig their trenches to save the Shah's rule. It was the man they were loyal to, however, who had no stomach to carry on the fight.

The chapter I really want people who are interested in Iran's current affairs and what led to the present situation in Iran to read; is the one on Ali Shariati. He is the man who I always blame for mixing up the minds of the Iranian youth with his version of political Islam. Shariati created an intellectually appealing shopfront for political Islam which pushed so many of Iran's youth towards a dangerous cocktail of Islam and Marxism. If someone asks me who do I blame most for what happened in Iran in 1979? The one person I would name without hesitation, would be Ali Shariati. I remember many of my friends and contemporaries falling for his nonsense after reading his books and how I was the lone voice in saying the guy was a fraud hell bent against our national interests. The hero of Shariati's writings was an Arab bedouin and one of the first converts to Islam, Abu-Dhar Ghaffari, whom Shariati venerated in his writings as the first Islamic Socialist! Reading about Shariati in Abbas Milani's book, I found out a lot more about him that I didn't know.

How Shariati got his scholarship to study in France for a Doctor d'universite, not on the same par as a PHD according to Milani, was one of those myth busting moments I was talking about earlier, where one shakes his head in disbelief. Shariati, a mediocre student himself, made sure that all other students in the class were downgraded in their exams, including the top student in the class, so that he got the top marks himself. Thus Shariati ensured the state scholarship was awarded to him and his wife and newborn baby who accompanied him to France.

I remember years ago, reading one of his letters to his son, where he was saying if his son was a student in his class, he would treat him just like any other student with no special privilege, yet he got his own scholarship in the most unscrupulous way by denying others who deserved it more. What a hypocrite!

Shariati's subject of study was the Persian text of an old manuscript, the Virtues of Balkh. Did the country really need to set up a scholarship to send someone accompanied by his wife and new born baby to study Virtues of Balkh in France? Was this manuscript the most pressing issue in the country's development? What was the state thinking of? And like many of the Iranian students on government scholarships who went to the West at the time, they came back as radical Marxists or Islamists with the overthrow of the regime, which had provided them with the scholarships, as their main objective in life.

The next revealing moment in the chapter on Shariati, is how the Shah's secret police, SAVAK had insisted the Tehran university to give him a job but because he failed the requisite test that was given to all applicants, SAVAK then successfully convinced the Mashad university to hire Shariati as the assistant professor of history.

Even his famous lectures at the Hosseiniye Ershad, where he delivered sermons that combined Lenin's theories of avant-garde intellectual leadership with Shiism cult of martyrdom, were at first viewed and approved by SAVAK as a way of diverting the youth away from Communist ideas which were growing in popularity at the time. It took SAVAK a 'long time to realise, Shariati was taking them for a ride', Milani writes in his book.

Finally Shariati's death at Southampton, England, according to all the medical records was due to coronary heart failure and nothing to do with SAVAK having poisoned the man who advocated martyrdom to become another martyr himself, as the myths surrounding his death claimed.

There are interesting and thought provoking myth busters in the other chapters too. Mossadegh's opposition to Reza Shah for the construction of the national railway system, for example, or the role of Tudeh Party hero, Khosrow Roozbeh in the murder of the journalist Mohammad Masoud and even in the murder of his own comrades, and how someone like Khalil Maleki, a fearless pragmatist without the radicals' pretence of purity was ignored by his contemporaries.

If you are interested in Iran's contemporary history, I definitely recommend you read Milani's Eminent Persians.