Friday, March 30, 2012

A Day Bradford Voters Will Regret

George Galloway "semi-Muslim" MP for Bradford West
Today will be marked as a day where Bradford voters will remember with shame and regret, for they have chosen the most tyranophile and insincere man in British politics who will sell his soul for money. George Galloway seems to have exploited the discontent by Bradford West voters with their mainstream candidates in their by-election and pulled the wool over their eyes by presenting himself as some kind of a Muslim crusader.

This former stooge of Saddam Hussein and his psychopathic son, Uday Hussein, who was prepared to denigrate himself on the Big Brother show for money by dressing up in a tight leotard and acting like a pussy cat drinking milk out of Rula Lenska's hand, went so far as to pretend to the Bradford Muslim community that he was the only Muslim in the village.

In this footage from one of his campaign rallies, he is introduced by StW activist, who goes on about consistency in justice and yet he forgets that StW are the most inconsistent of the campaigners. Then gorgeous George starts with "bismallah alrahman alrahim" and a few other Islamic vocabulary he has learned and tells the faithful that he does not drink alcohol. What more reason to vote for him?!

Who knows perhaps from now on UK parliament candidates will also circumcise themselves to win votes.

More than a hundred years ago during Iran's constitutional revolution, a hero of the revolution, Sattar Khan, an illiterate but wise freedom fighter and patriot was criticised by some of his supporters for having appointed a governor who drank alcohol. Sattar Khan replied to them, "I did not appoint a Friday Prayer leader for you, I appointed a governor, let me know if he is a bad governor"

It seems Sattar Khan was a wiser man more than 10 years ago than the Bradford West voters.
Below is the Iranian state TV's joy and delight at Galloway's win

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Iranian Opposition Minstrel Show at the European Parliament

"The Islamic Republic is its own biggest enemy and the Iranian "opposition" abroad, is its best friend" - Words of a wise man who told me this ten years ago and the statement still holds true. The Islamic Republic continues to shoot itself in the foot but the Iranian "opposition" abroad, through its inherent stupidity, knowingly or unknowingly, helps the regime climb out of the hole.

An amorphous bunch of narcissist individuals, who have no idea what must be done outside Iran, with too much time on their hands and only one expertise; how to apply for a grant for their pointless cyber activities and writings from some official body in the West.

Most that can be expected from these buffoons is to hold a meeting, where a group of like minded expats will gather and tell each other the 'Islamic Republic is bad' and then applaud each other for their tuppence worth speeches or some kind of cyber action like changing their Facebook profiles in support of some prisoner of conscience in Iran. An amorphous bunch who total up to a huge Zero!

This footage I came across today however, may top it all for the Iranian opposition abroad. It seems this is the best show they could put up in the European parliament, to present the Iranian New Year and the Nowruz celebration. This Haji Firooz, the mammy archetype like character, judging by its name "Haji" - a title bestowed upon Muslims after they have completed their pilgrimage to Mecca - is one of those Islamic imports into the pre-Islamic tradition of Nowruz, probably the worst face of Nowruz celebration which should be done away with. Nowruz is first and foremost a beautiful celebration of the new which replaces the old and certainly its time to replace these old dinosaurs with something newer in the evolutionary cycle.

I can just imagine how uncomfortable, some of the MePs must have been and how they must have been praying for this minstrel show of mammy archetype nonsense, with all its racist overtures, by the Iranian "opposition" abroad be over and done with. It is amazing that these Iranian "opposition" figures are still unaware of the references in the Western culture they live amidst.

Two of the biggest fibbers, Ahmad Rafat and Ebrahim Nabavi, that I have ever come across amongst the Iranian "opposition" figures in exile, "fighting for democracy in Iran" in the European Parliament:

It really is time for the new to replace the old!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Christopher de Bellaigue and his Ahmaghieh Supporter in the Frontline Club Audience

I went along to a Frontline Club meeting at the Royal Institute last night. The panelists were Ran Gidor, the Minister-Counsellor for Political Affairs at the Embassy of Israel in London, Azadeh Moaveni from the Time Magazin, Roberto Toscano, the Italian Ambassador to Iran for five years (2003-2008) and not previously announced Christopher de Bellaigue. The topic of discussion was Iran - Diplomatic Tensions and Power Struggles. The Israeli Minister-Counsellor was heavily outnumbered not just on the panel but also in the audience largely made up of BBC Persian and BBC Arabic staff.

It was when Christopher de Bellaigue started ranting on that my blood started to boil. Christopher de Bellaigue started reading a statement by the British Prime Minister addressed to Mossadegh in 1951 and recent statements by David Cameron and William Hague, drawing parallels between Mossadegh and the present rulers in Iran in standing up to the condescending bullies in Britain.

When my turn for questions came, I said this to de Bellaigue:
"Many people in the West think you are an Iran expert and you cater for a special niche in the market and make your money from it. I havent read your book about Mossadegh the Patriot yet but I hope you have written in the book that the British coup that you keep referring to failed and it was in fact the clerics and Ayatollahs who turned their thugs against Mossadegh and toppled him, but I think it is disgraceful that you compare Mossadegh with the likes of Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollahs ruling Iran today and use Mossadegh to justify the very people who overthrew him, but I want to refer to an earlier article you wrote about the people in a district in Tabriz where you refer repeatedly to the district as the district of Ahmaghieh, to those who understand Persian, this means district of stupid people, did you ever go to Tabriz or was some one having a laugh with you?"

See de Bellaigue's article and book where he mentions repeatedly the district of Ahmaghieh in Tabriz and claims huge support for Ahmadinejad in the district of stupid people!

de Bellaigue answered he meant a district called Aahmaghieh but because the sound of Aa in English is often written as A, the district was written as Ahmaghieh in his accounts. He then asked if there is anyone in the audience from Tabriz and knows this district? A girl in front of me whom I could not see her face from the back raised her arm enthusiastically and said "Yes, there is!" and the audience made up of mainly BBC staff sighed with relief applauded enthusiastically for her and their hero Christopher de Bellaigue.

After the discussion was closed, I went over to see who the "girl from Tabriz" was, it was in fact none other than Golriz Kolahi, an ubiquitous supporter of regime apologists. I asked her in Azeri, "Do you come from Tabriz?" but she said she didn't understand Azeri. "But you just told everyone you were from Tabriz?" and Golriz Kolahi just smiled as if to say well I fooled them all. "and you told this audience that there is a district in Tabriz called Ahmaghieh". Golriz said "No I said Ahamdieh". She was going for safety, Ahmadieh is a common name for districts but there is not a district called Ahmadieh either, Ahmad Abad in Tabriz is the nearest and in any case that is not what de Bellaigue said. He did not dispute whether there was a 'gh' in the district's name or a 'd', he said the name started with the sound of Aa as in Aardvark and not in Apple. I felt utter contempt for Golriz Kolahi, this daughter of a wealthy factory owner in Iran who likes to live in England and enjoy the privileges this country offers.

Then I approached de Bellaigue and asked him what part of Tabriz is this Ahmaghieh or Aahmaghieh that he has been writing about? Was it North, South, East or West of Tabriz? He couldn't answer. How can someone who has done anecdotal interviews with the people of a district not know which direction the district was in? "Who is the current MP for Ahmaghieh? This Ahmadinejad supporting district in Tabriz?" I asked de Bellaigue again and once again he couldn't answer. How can you do research into a district and claim they staunchly support Ahmadinejad and not know whether the district have gone for a pro-Ahmadinejad MP or not?

Here is a list of districts in Tabriz according to wikipedia:
None of which sound like Ahmaghieh. The only possible candidate is Akhmaqaya, pronounced like two words AkhmA qAyA from the Azeri words AkhmA meaning flowing and qAyA meaning rock.

Just to be double sure, I checked with a scholar friend of mine from Tabriz, in case the pronunciations have changed since I left Tabriz and anyone pronounced this place as Ahmaghieh. This was his response :
"There are two slightly different pronunciations, based on whether the person uttering the name is rural or urban. Urban Azeris go for Ākhmā - Gara, while rurals go for Ākhmā - Qayah. None of which are anywhere close to what De Bellaigue claims."

As I have not read de Bellaigue's book on Mossadegh, I cannot comment on it myself, but again I asked a couple of my Iranian historian friends. Their responses below:

First response:
"The book seems like a journalist account on the scene of what happened in Tehran those days. It doesn't really have a broad historical perspective. He keeps being convinced that the British were behind the events of 19 August and discounts the role of domestic actors quite heavily. There is very little mention of the clerical involvement, something he probably was advised to avoid in order to spend half the year in Tehran, as he claims to be doing. This really weakens the book. He also does not delve deep enough on the intrinsic weaknesses of the Mossadegh front, particularly the lack of a solid political organisation, and the National Front's aloofness and lack of discipline. Its all good to claim that Mossadegh's intentions are good and valid, but the problem as always in Iran is political agency. In this Mossadegh has severe flaws. De Bellaigue picks on one (the dissolution of the Majles) validly, but does not mention many others.

On a more detailed level, he completely misreads the actions of the Tudeh party in the days leading to August 19, by failing to account for the effect of the "Black Tudeh" crowds put into motion by the CIA, which effectively - and genuinely - turned the people against the Tudeh and to some extent against Mossadegh, because they were fearful of a reign of terror should the Tudeh gain power. He also gets it wrong on the famous rumours on the attempt to set up a republic after the Shah's flight to Rome - had he read the last issue of Bakhtar-e Emrouz, which is widely distributed, he would have seen denials all over the place of such an attempt. Mossadegh was against it and would never had supported it. This thesis is accurately described in some of the books De Bellaigue claims to have used, but he chose not to look upon it.

Another thing is that this book is billed as the cradle to grave account of Mossadegh's life, and such is said in the Introduction. But we have little or nothing of his exile in Ahmadabad and his effectively negative actions against the NF after 1953 (he singlehandedly disbanded the Second NF in the Sixties), nor do we have a real description of the single, major commemoration event after 1979, the 14 Esfand of Ahmadabad with a million people, which also marked the breaking up of his legacy amongst many organisations. No real mention of his legacy and his tortured memory today in IRI.

Second response:
"I have never had the emotional energy to read more than half a paragraph of CdB's writings. According to a friend of mine who is in the book business CdB contributes to the second hand book market in the UK, because a lot of people don't even want to keep his stuff after trying to  read them"

What annoyed me most about Christopher de Bellaigue was no matter what the panelist thought about the correct diplomatic strategy, they all confirmed that the Iranian regime is an evil dictatorship, but not once did de Bellaigue criticise the Islamic Republic for its despotism and human rights abuse track record.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Press TV Claims IRIB Channels Were Jammed

Press TV, today claimed the broadcast of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Broadcasting (IRIB) international channels on the Hotbird satellite provider were interrupted for two hours by jamming signals sent from an unknown location. Not sure whether this really happened or this is yet another Press TV made up story to win another prestigious award in the special category of cock and bull news stories.

The very first paragraph states the jamming signals were sent from an 'unknown location', which does not sound right. Hotbird providers will be able to pinpoint the source that sends jamming signals quite easily and if the jamming was not local and aimed at the satellite platform itself, it would affect other channels in the same bouquet of transmission frequencies, but the Press TV story does not mention the other non-IRIB channels affected.

Whether the story is true or not however, how would you sum up the IRIB/Press TV audacity in whining about this? Funded and controlled by a state which has led the jamming of other satellite channels, a state that sends its agents to burst into people's homes and destroy their satellite dishes and receiver equipments and deployed whatever means it can to deny the people of Iran their right to access free information, who are they to complain about 'two hours of jamming' that they have not even been able to substantiate?

What are the appropriate phrases that come to mind? Poetic Justice? Virtue Rewarded? Getting a taste of their own medicine?.......

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Regime Figures for Voter Turnout are All Over the Place

As usual it is very hard to make any sense of the regime figures. The numbers just don't add up.

Interior Ministry Information site quoted the Interior Minister, Mostafa Najar, who told the reporters in a press conference, 26,472,760 people voted and the turnout % was 64.2%

The same source two weeks prior said the number of people eligible to vote was 48,288,799. Using a basic calculator to divide the number of people who voted by those eligible times 100 comes to 54%. So even if we accept the interior ministry figures for the number of people who voted, the percentage of voter turnout is still not 64% and amounts to 54%

Iran's Centre fro Stats in the 8th Majlis elections in 2008 estimated the number of people eligible to vote in Tehran and Alborz Province to be more than 8,796,000. 
The number of people who could vote for the first time was announced to be around 4 million, which means 150,000 more should have been eligible to vote this time amongst first time voters.

Morteza Tamadon Governor for Tehran said the number of those eligible to vote in Tehran province was 5Million. As the number of eligible to vote in Alborz alone is 1,345,000; this means the number of eligible people to vote has some how been reduced by at least 2,600,000 in Tehran! When did so many people leave Tehran?!

If we just use the same figures for the numbers eligible to vote, which were announced in 2009 presidential elections, it means the voter turnout in Tehran has bee extremely low, much lower than the 50% official figures.

If we ignore the official figures and assume that the number of eligible voters has in fact increased since 2009, the turnout figure will be even drastically lower still.

Some examples of blatant cheating
In the town of Asara in Karaj 100% voted
Ilam which was announced to have 273000 eligible voters showed 380000 came out to vote

Amol Kala prison which holds 900 prisoners counted 1500 votes. There is fighting amongst the two candidates there. One is pro-Ahmadinejad and the other is the IRGC man

in Boroujerd, the head of the Election HQ announced 230,000 were eligible and 134,000 voted which means 134000/230000 * 100 = 58.3%
Yet the governor announced the turnout figure as 68%. Boroujerd governor obviously needs to go back to school.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Latest "Election" Gaffs

Iranian official from the Interior Ministry in charge of holding the Majlis "elections" on Friday is asked on state TV to confirm the official and unofficial turnout figures in the polls. He replies "the unofficial figures are not for him to confirm but the official interior ministry figures are just over 34% turnout in the elections" :)))

But it gets better, Mehr News Agency's earlier. The earlier copy of Mehr News site states 373,000 people are eligible to vote in the Ilam constituency.

After the "elections", and having forgotten the earlier published figures, the same news site claims 380,000 votes have been cast! DOH! Where did the extra 7000 come from?