Saturday, February 16, 2013

"Defending Syria is More Important than Defending Iran" - Mehdi Taeb

"Syria is our 35th province and a strategic province for us. If the enemy attacks Syria and Khuzestan [Iran's oil rich South West province] simultaneously, our priority will be to save Syria"

These revealing words were uttered by Hojjat-ol-Islam, Mehdi Taeb, the head of the Strategic Ammar Base, an institution set up to co-ordinate the active forces against the "Soft Ovethrow" plans of the "enemies of the revolution" and to monitor the activities of the counter revolution.

Taeb who was speaking to the gathering of Basij student officials, emphasised the importance of Basij forces in managing urban warfare by saying "Syria had an army, but this army was not able to deal with urban warfare, therefore Iran suggested to the Syrians to set up their own Basij. Syria then set up its own Basij with an initial force of 60,000 Hezbollahi forces and they replaced the regular army in dealing with the urban warfare"

Taeb's words have caused outrage amongst Iranians. Assieh Bakeri whose father and uncle are two of Iran's prominent war martyrs,  reacted by saying
"My father's body and my uncle's bodies still lay in the waters of Hoor. The land of Khuzestan is still the only source of comfort for us..Khuzestan is the resting place of my father..Mr. Taeb,  wherever your priorities may be, our priority will always be the soil of Iran"

Poor Bashar, if only he knew he was just another provincial governor and not a president.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Pilot Cleric, Latest Presidential Candidate

So far, two candidates have officially announced their candidacy for Iran's next president. The latest one is the pilot cleric, Mohammad Bagher Kharrazi, the head of Iran's Hezbollah Party.

Mohammad Bagher's father, Mohsen, is a member of the Guardian Council. One of his brothers, Kamal was the Iranian foreign minister, under Khatami and his other brother, Sadegh, was Islamic Republic's ambassador to France under Khatami. His sister, is also    the Supreme Leader's daughter-in-law.

Last week, Mohamad Bagher, chairman of Iran's branch of Hezbollah declared his candidacy to be Iran's next president, during a press conference in Iran's southern port of Bandar Abbas. In his speech he said
"Everyone knows I am a pilot and I have a Master's Degree, and God willing, I will soon have a PHD too. Hopefully I will arrive at the Presidential Palace with a plane that I will pilot myself. I want to do this so that people don't think I am one of those two to a penny clerics from the outbacks.

He rebuffed the way some Iranian officials go out of their way to show off their humble living and said there is nothing wrong with being wealthy and called himself a "de-lux cleric".

So far so good, and what about his plans and manifesto? Well these are what some of his plans are if he becomes Iran's next president:

- To build the biggest aeroplane factory in the world which will provide Iranians with Air Taxis.
   He also said that to have a private plane is not a luxury
-  Iranians must live in houses that are at least 1000 Metres [squared?]
- Iranians must drive the best and most beautiful cars, not these crappy cars that are currently assembled by Iran's two car making factories
- Every unit of Iran's currency will be equivalent to one Dollar
- He will change the capital from Tehran, but is not going to announce where the new capital will be yet, because speculators will go and buy land there and inflate the prices
- The Island of Gheshm will become Iran's Hong Kong and Iran's port of Chah-Bahar in the deprived South East province of Sistan and Baloochistan will become Iran's Singapour

Mohamad Bagher Kharrazi also said, there will be no "red lines" that he will not cross in his government other than that of the Supreme Leader. He said he has one and a half million activists to help him with his election campaign.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How to Ensure a Large Turnout

Behind the scenes during the regime sponsored anniversary of the revolution last Sunday 

See also previous occasions

Friday, February 08, 2013

Islamic Republic’s Mafia Elite

Iran's post-election protests in 2009 were a perplexing puzzle for Europe's Champagne Socialists. "Why would the Iranian population pour into the streets against a regime which is fighting the bad West that supports Hezbollah and Hamas? Why would they chant, 'Neither Gaza and nor Lebanon, I Die Only for Iran?' " The Left asked themselves in 2009.

As with all ideologues, when a phenomena does not fit within the framework of their ideology, they simply invent fantasy justifications. "It must have been the affluent Iranians protesting!" was the idealogical rationalisation of these la-dee-da Leftists who wouldn't recognise a working class man if they ever met one.

George Galloway dismissed the protesters in Iran as "North Tehran affluent kids" and Stop the War which was outside the Egyptian embassy every day during the protests against Hosni Mobarak, sided with IR stooges in CASMII and thought the protesters in Iran were simply "bourgeoise dissidents".

Of course, none of their nonsense was true. The post-election protesters in Iran were in fact mainly lower middle-class and working classes of Iran, it was a protest by decent courageous people who were standing up against a terrible tyranny and the super rich elite in Iran feared the collapse of the system, which has allowed them to become over night billionaires, most.

One of the figures which was identified during the protests and I wrote about him back then, was the gun wielding man on the back of a motor bike, chasing the protesters, Hassan Mir-Kazemi, seen in the picture below.

Mir-Kazemi is the head of the Baseej in Al-Haadi Mosque in Shams Abad, Tehran and also the proprietor of World of Metal factory in Karaj. I also showed a document which showed he had taken an unsecured loan worth 175 Million Dollars for his three factories from the Bank of Agriculture without returning a penny on the loan.

After last Sunday's fracas at the Majlis between Ahmadinejad and the Majlis speaker, Ali Larijani, another wealthy Iranian by the name of Babak Zanjani has come under limelight in Islamic Republic's endemic factional corruption saga. Babak Zanjani, who is said to have a Danish passport too has become a multi-billionaire in just under five years. He is involved in everything, buying and selling oil, football club, airline and all the usual lucrative deals. He is seen in the picture above in his private jet with the gun wielding head of the Baseej in Al-Hadi Mosque.

Babak Zanjani is not shy to be pictured with guns himself neither. See pictures below. This is how he describes himself however: "I am a businessman looking after the interests of my country and I work under the banner of our Supreme Leader. If necessary, I will sacrifice all my companies, and myself included, for the country"

Babak Zanjani is listed in the sanctions, but the Left in the West seem to think sanctions are only hurting the poor in Iran :)

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Impeachment of the Labour and Welfare Minister Today

The impeachment of Abdolreza Sheikholeslami, the Minister of Welfare and Labour in the Islamic Republic, today quickly turned into a farce and became a slinging match between Ali Larijani, the Iraqi born speaker of the Majlis and Ahmadinejad.
While Ahmadinejad revealed an audio tape that showed the corruption of the Larijani brothers, Larijani went as far as accusing Ahmadinejad and his associates of having ties with MeK! Majlis also voted for the removal of the Welfare and Labour Minister.

Background to the Impeachment:

This was not the first time, Ahmadinejad's minister of Welfare and Labour, Sheikholeslami,  was facing an impeachment. In April last year too, the Majlis tried to impeach Sheikholeslami. The reason for his impeachment was the appointment of Saeed Mortazavi, a former prosecutor with a long list of charges and accusations against him ranging from murder, rape and embezzlement, as the head of the Welfare Ministry's Social Security Funds, a fund awash with money from pension funds of working people.
A deal was struck at the previous impeachment of the minister between the government and the deputies. The Welfare minister promised to remove Mortezavi from his position in return for the MPs revoking their signatures from the impeachment.

Saeed Mortezavi, even wrote a letter which was read by Hadad Adel, whose daughter is married to the Supreme Leader's son, to the Majlis deputies. In the letter, Mortezavi swore on his honour that he will go if the MPs revoked their signatures. The MPs revoked their signatures but Mortezavi remained in his position and simply moved his furniture into another room :)

Mortezavi's troubles were not over however, not only the Supreme Audit Bureau said his stay as the head of the Social Security Fund was illegal, the executive board also voted him out. Mortezavi ignored the board and the audit bureau and remained in his position with the firm support of Ahmadinejad.

Today, the Minister of Labour and Welfare had to face the Majlis deputies again for impeachment. Ahmdinejad gambled on his usual tactics, i.e. "if you go after my cronies, I will spill the beans on you!" A tactic which so far seems to have worked with the Supreme Leader.

Ali Larijani was warned by an Ahmadinejad associate before the session started that if the impeachment went ahead, Ahmadinejad will play an audio file. In a repeat of Ahmadinejad's pre-election televised debate with Mir Hussein Moussavi, he kept asking Larijani "Shall I tell? Shall I tell?"
Ali Larijani seemed to be at the end of his tether with Ahmadinejad however and risked to let Ahmadinejad play the audio file.

Ahmadinejad tried to put Larijani under pressure, saying members of the Majlis board had asked him not to play the audio because it was so explosive, but Ali Larijani ignored his threats and said "Go Ahead, Say it all and don't miss out on any bits".

Ahmadinejad said the audio file was only a snippet of the entire meeting between Ali Larijani's brother, Fazel with Saeed Mortezavi, a mere 25 minutes from a 24 hour recording. As the audio started, some MPs started to protest, the audio was not clear, so Ahmadinejad started to read a transcript of the audio. The transcript is too long to quote here word by word, but basically Larijani's brother, Fazel, wanted some quid pro quid favours from Mortezavi for some lucrative financial opportunities, giving examples of how in the past he had exploited the positions of his two powerful brothers, one as the head of the legislative powers and another as the head of the judiciary to pave ways and smooth things over for others. The transcript is like dynamite, it shows corruption, nepotism and cronyism spread to every core of the Islamic Republic. In any accountable and democratic country, this transcript alone would bring down the entire establishment.

Larijani however seemed unmoved by Ahmadinejad's audio and spoke after Ahmadinejad had stepped down from the podium. He accused Ahmadinejad and his clique as acting like Mafia and said "what if I had filmed your brother's meeting with me in which he talked about the corruption of your associates and their ties with the MeK!" - listeners who were following the live Majlis sessions on the radio, must have grasped for air at this point. This was Punch and Judy, Islamic Republic style. MeK or PMOI are the exiled organisation who sided with Saddam during the war and assassinated tens of Islamic Republic figures in the eighties, paying a heavy price with thousands of their members and supporters having been executed in retaliation by the regime. To accuse the associates of the head of executive power in Iran to have ties with the PMOI is no light hearted matter.

Larijani went on further and addressed Ahmainejad by saying "You do not even adhere to the elementary principles of ethics and it is such behaviours by you that are destroying the traditions and norms of the country"

Ahmadinejad wanted to get back behind the podium but Larijani said he had his chance. Ahmadinejad threatened to leave and Larijani said "please do". The vote was cast: 24 abstentions, 56 against the impeachment and 192 voted for the minister to be removed from his post.

Potentially this could lead to Ahmadinejad having to ask for a vote of confidence for his entire cabinet all over again. The constitution demands this if more than half of the cabinet ministers have been replaced. Ahamdinejad however has muddied the water by merging some ministries together and the Guardian Council will have to decide soon.

And what will the opposition outside Iran in receipt of all sorts of grants and fundings from various Western bodies do now? Hold yet another conference? light candles? Islamic Republic continues to survive because it has the most incompetent and most unimaginative opposition outside Iran.

Freedom to Choose to Wear the Veil

Aljazeera report, earlier this week, showed a Kosovan girl, Njozma Jashari, who was expelled from her school for choosing to wear the headscarf at school. The report also showed her classmates and friends refusing to attend their lessons in a show of solidarity for Njozma Jashari’s right to choose to wear the hijab.

People should be free to live according to their spiritual beliefs or choose not to be spiritual, so long as others are not harmed. A schoolgirl choosing to wear the headscarf is not harming anyone and she should not be expelled from her school on that basis alone.

So kudos to Njozma’s classmates who stood up for her, but I wish there were examples of veiled women who would stick up for the rights of those women who do not wish to wear the veil but are forced to do so.

Njozma's classmates rightly stood up for their friend's right to wear the veil but would women who wear the veil stand up for the rights of those who choose not to wear the veil?

Friday, February 01, 2013

Cuddling up to God's "Representative on Earth" gets you nowhere

The image on the left is a scan of Kaar newspaper from the 1980s. Kaar was the weekly publication of the Fedayeen, the Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group which started the armed uprising against the Shah from a town in North Iran, called Siahkal.

The headline says "Fedayeen (Majority), More Resolute than Ever, Under the Leadership of Imam Khomeini, Battle Decisively Against the Criminal America. This is Our Hard Punch in the Mouth of Imperialism's Lackeys"

After the revolution, the organisation split into two, mimicking the Russian Communists, one group called itself Fedayeen Majority (Bolsheviks). The other group never referred to itself as Fedayeen Minority (Mensheviks), for obvious reasons, but the name stuck with them.

The Fedayeen Minority stuck to their founding principles, but the Fedayeen Majority, influenced by the Soviet backed Tudeh Party infiltrations into their organisation, chose a more conciliatory approach with Ayatollah Khomeini and the hardliner religious elements. Their justification was that Iran's main "enemy" was none other than, the American imperialism. They had found a quote from Lenin, which said "petti-bourgeoise was the natural ally of the proletariat". Unable to fully understand the true nature of the Islamic Republic, the Fedayeen Majority, classified the clerics as petty-bourgeoise and concluded that they were the natural ally of the proletariat in the war against US imperialism. A naive and childish interpretation of the world, which is sadly all too familiar with many leftist organisations in the West today, like the SWP or whats left of it.

Since the split, the Fedayeen (Majority) did everything they could to get into bed with the hardline clerics. They even went as far as turning into informants for the regime and informing on their former comrades.

Needless to say all this cuddling up and performing mating rituals got the Fedayeen (majority) to nowhere. Once the Islamists had finished with everyone else, they came for the Iranian Fedayeen "Bolshevik" pretenders too,  and completely annihilated them.