Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Iran Police Shoots Himself in the Foot

It was supposed to be a show of prowess in shooting skills by Iran's anti-terrorist special forces [NOPO]. To begin with, everything was going well. The balloons were going up and between the three of them, they were managing to shoot down the balloons with precision shooting and ease. 
Just when it was all about to finish well and the special forces were about to leave the crowds dazzled and overawed however, one of the special forces policemen, shoots himself in the foot!

In a way, very  symbolic of the Islamic Republic itself. On the surface it looks strong and invincible but given time, it will soon manage to shoot itself in the foot!

Still, the good thing is, no one in the crowd got hurt. Safety of the innocent bystanders not usually the top concern for the regime.

video

Link to the original video :
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1005167926166563&pnref=story

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

For they will open the doors of deceit and hypocrisy instead

The compulsory fake cries of Rouhani's cabinet members as he recites a eulogy for Ashura.
"Lord, do not admire them for closing down the wine taverns/ For they will open the doors of deceit and hypocrisy instead"



Friday, October 17, 2014

#EUIranForum - Islamic Republic Needs More PR!

I was following via twitter, the Europe-Iran Forum that was held in Grosvenor Square Hotel in London, over the last couple of days.

Although the claim was that the Forum intended to gain "practical insight from experts" and get "most relevant, up-to-date information from Iran and Europe", the tweets suggested most speakers were painting an unrealistic super rosey picture of the Islamic Republic.

Not once did I see a tweet about how the IRGC are putting a stranglehold on Iran's economy or the rampant corruption that has become so prevalent that it no longer surprises anyone, regardless of its astronomical magnitudes.

Nor did I see any tweets about leading businessmen in Iran frequently becoming escape goats for the country's malaise that so many of them have applied for St. Kitts & Nevis passports to safeguard them against a rainy day.

Nor was there anything about the endemic nepotism in Iran or the huge brain drain from the country or most important of all, the intrinsic animosity and suspiciousness by the Supreme Leader and the hardliners towards anything considered Western. At times it seemed the forum was about a different country altogether.

To cap this all, the selectiveness of the Forum organisers in which press organisations could attend the Forum did not help to inspire confidence. WSJ and TehranBureau for example were barred from attending the event, while Press TV, IRNA and IRIB [Iran state TV channels] were warmly welcomed to report from the conference.

But the one tweet I saw from Dina Esfandiary of IISS, made me laugh most:


So its the lack of PR that's the problem?! How much more spin is needed by these network of lackeys and lobbyists to make a backward theocracy and a religious apartheid that is run by a mafia economy to look like a normal country?

At the same time that the forum was going on and the attendees were being dazzled with the bright horizons ahead, the British-Iranian Ghoncheh Ghavami who went back to Iran after voting for Rouhani and was arrested when trying to go and watch a volleyball match, was tried behind closed doors charged with "propaganda against the regime". Not once since her arrest, has she been able to see her lawyer.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Mistranslation that Saved the Day in the UN General Assembly

A huge embarrassment of monumental proportions was avoided at the UN General Assembly on Friday, when the translator of Rouhani's speech, conveniently mistranslated the derogatory Persian word of "Zangi" used to describe black people in a negative way, simply as "madman"!

Right after Rouhani blamed the terrorism and anti-Western feelings in the region today as a reaction to the racism of the West, he went on to say "Certain Intelligence agencies have put the blade in the hand of the drunken Zangi" but the "drunken Zangi" was simply translated as "Madman" by the UN translator. [see 3:59 video below]



"Zangi" is actually a Persian derogatory word used in a negative way to describe black people. It refers to the black slaves from Zanzibar and East Africa. This expression has its origin in Rumi's Mathnavi (book 4, section 53*). A verbatim translation of Rumi's verse is "It is better to put a sword in the hand of an intoxicated negro than "that knowledge" should fall to a worthless fool.“

I can just imagine how the East African delegations and in particular, the members of the Zanzibar delegation in the UN would have reacted, had they understood fully well what Rouhani was referring to! The translator definitely saved the day and avoided a huge diplomatic egg on the face for Rouhani.


In the past,  Mohammad Javad Larijani, the head of the Human Rights Council in the Islamic Republic used the nearest thing to the "N" word in Persian, i.e. Kaka Siah, to demean the US president, Barack Obama.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Special Ray Produced by Men That Makes Women Age Quickly

On the same day that the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hasan Rouhani, was portraying his regime as a beacon of moderation and progress in the region, the following program was broadcast from Iran State TV:


The program guest and her daughter were shown wearing the full neghab and in order to convince other Iranian women to do the same, they justified the benefits of wearing a neghab by saying that “recent scientific medical progress has proved men’s eyes produce a special ray which when encounters a woman’s face, causes early ageing of the woman’s face”

So there you go, if women want to look young, they should forget all other cosmetic advice and fully cover their face. May I also add that to further prolong their youthful looks, they should ask their husband to wear a blindfold.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Epic Documentary on the 1979 Revolution in Iran

I have a five year old son whose thoughtful and profound questions often startle me. One such occasion was when I was walking with him to his school and as I was holding his hand, he totally rattled me when out of the blue, he asked me the following question:
"Daddy, you know when the baddies came to your old country, why didn't you stay behind and fight them?"

Not expecting to be asked such a question on my daily walk with him to school, I lamented with a lump in my throat and with some shame "They were too strong, we didn't think we had a chance of winning against them". As usual however, giving him an answer resulted in a follow up question from him "But if all the people got together then they could beat the baddies couldn't they?"
I replied with the bitter truth "But most of the people were with the baddies at the time"
"Why?"
"They were tricked"
"How?"
His last question was the hardest question to answer. How could I possibly begin to explain to a five year old, the intriguing plot by the Leftists and Islamists which was helped by a regime that was taken over by sycophants who were eager to say "Yes, Sir!" but had no stomach to take on such a powerful adversary? Where would I begin to explain a 25 year plan by Soviet influence agents in Iran that was so expertly executed to coerce a whole nation to lead themselves into the abyss?

I am hoping however that one day my son will grow up and be able to watch a five part documentary on the 1979 revolution in Iran which was aired this week from Manoto TV. The ten hour long documentary which has captivated the people in Iran finally tells the truth about the 1979 revolution with some amazing archive footage not shown until now and an in-depth research that took over a year.

The documentary is not dubbed or subtitled into English yet, but I hope it will be in the near future. It is just as important for non-Iranians to watch this and I hope it will answer my boy's questions too.

[Episode 1] :http://manoto1.com/videos/51036/vid5642
[Episode 2] :http://manoto1.com/videos/51037/vid5647
[Episode 3] :http://manoto1.com/videos/51038/vid5650
[Episode 4] :http://manoto1.com/videos/51039/vid5655
[Episode 5] :http://manoto1.com/videos/51040/vid5660






Friday, September 05, 2014

Ghoncheh Ghavami Imprisoned After Trying to Watch Iran Play Volleyball

On 20th June this year, Ghoncheh Ghavami had gone along to watch Iran's national volleyball team play against the Italian side. In any normal country, this would have been a joyous event, but in Iran for Ghoncheh and other women it carried a risk. Women are not allowed to enter sports stadiums in Iran and watch men play sports like football or volleyball.

Ghoncheh and some other women, who had seen this as an opportunity to protest against this discrimination against Iranian women, were arrested. They were later released on the same day after signing a pledge not to engage in such actions again. Their personal belongings however were kept by the security forces for further examination.

Ten days later, Ghonche went to collect her personal belongings but was arrested again.  Security agents then searched her house and collected more of her belongings. Ghoncheh was transferred to the notorious Evin prison and spent 41 days in solitary confinement. Although her interrogation is reportedly now finished, they have extended her detention by another 2 months.

Her family until now had decided not to publicise her arrest, thinking that it would further harm her case and she would be released after a brief period. Since yesterday however, the opposition site Kalameh, published her arrest and continuous detention.

I knew Ghoncheh from London. She had dual British-Iranian citizenship. Ghoncheh in Persian means bud and she had lips that immediately reminded you of a red rose bud. She told me once, when she was born, as soon as her father saw her lips, he decided he could only call her Ghoncheh.

As attractive as she was, Ghoncheh was extremely and frustratingly naive when it came to Iran politics. I remember having endless arguments with her about the new administration in Iran. Ghoncheh was delighted with the election of Rouhani, as the new president of Iran. She was convinced that Rouhani was the right man to set the catastrophes of the past 8 years right and lead Iran into the future. My continuous advice to her that this was just a window dressing for the outside world and inside Iran, it will be business as usual, did not resonate with her.

I remember explaining to her that every Iranian presidency repeats the same pattern on three fronts:
1- They all start with magnificent slogans and promises
2- They all blame the previous administration for all the ills and shortcomings in Iran
3- They all continue to blame their rivals are putting the spanners in the wheels and preventing them from setting things right.
And so they keep on stringing along the new generation of voters.

But again, sharing my experience with this young naive 25 year old was to no avail. She decided not to listen to my advice and to go back to Iran, thinking she can better support Rouhani's government from inside Iran.

I was last due to see Ghoncheh on the opening night of the movie, King of Sands, made by the Syrian director, Najdat Anzour. I had two extra tickets for Ghonche and her friend but they could not make it and I never saw her again. I was not aware she had gone back to Iran and did not know she was a prisoner until yesterday.

I could say she was a victim of her own naivety but I could also say that at least, unlike many other Iranian asylum seekers who are promoting the Iranian regime while being paid benefits by the UK government, she went back to help the person she believed was the right man to save Iran. It will be a painful lesson for her, but perhaps her plight will open some other eyes.






Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Gift to Ban Ki-Moon that Was Misappropriated

Hand woven Persian carpets have long been a quintesential Iranian gift. Some of these hand woven carpet gifts, like the one made by the Tabriz weavers with the picture of the American Howard Baskerville,  have occupied a permanent place in Iran’s recent history.

Howard Baskerville was an American teacher in the Presbyterian Missionary School in Tabriz , who was killed fighting alongside Iranian freedom fighters during Iran’s Constitutional Revolution in 1909. Tabriz weavers then made a carpet with Howard Baskerville’s face in recognition of his courage and sacrifice as a special gift to Baskerville’s mother.

It looks like the hand woven silk carpet gift, given to the UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-Moon,  by Ahamdinejad, will also occupy a place in the Iranian history, although for much less noble reasons as the one that was made for Howard Baskerville.

Ahmadinejad presented the carpet gift, shown in the above picture, to Ban Ki-Moon, three years ago. The carpet displayed a woven map of Iran with the words of the unofficial Iranian national anthem above it. Ahamdinejad presented this gift as “A symbol of Iran’s culture, civilisation, peace and friendship to the General Secretary of the United Nations”.

Now, three years later, it turns out the carpet was never Ahmadinejad’s to give as a gift to anyone in the first place. The carpet belongs to an Iranian businessman, Asghar Taslimi, from Isfahan, who had left the piece with the National Iranian Carpet Centre as a demo sample, so he could get  approval for a loan to mass produce that design.  Taslimi was told to go back to Isfahan and someone would contact him with an answer, but no one ever did. His efforts to have his demo sample returned to him were to no avail either and he was passed from one department to another. Taslimi had given up on ever seeing his carpet again, until one day; his family phoned him and said they had just seen the sample he had left with the National Iranian Carpet Centre,  on the state television news, being presented to Ban Ki-Moon by Ahmadinejad, in New York!

The Iranian businessman swears he was never paid for the carpet nor did he ever give consent for his sample to be given to anyone as a present, and so technically the General Secretary of UN, Ban Ki-Moon is now in possession of stolen goods.

The Carpet Woven in Honour of Howard Baskerville






Monday, August 18, 2014

Riding on the Waves of the Success of Iran's Female Mathematician

Rouhani's PR savvy team who update his tweets, came up with another master tweet in English to gloss over his international image outside Iran. In this tweet shown on the left, not only Rouhani congratulates the Iranian mathematician for being the first ever female to win the mathematics Fields Medal, but also places a picture of Maryam Mirzakhani without the mandatory hejab that she would have to wear if she still lived in Iran; hence inducing the idea of a moderate Iranian president that the Western media is so fond of believing.

The truth however is that had Maryam Mirzakhani stayed in Iran, like many other Iranians, not only she would not have had the opportunity to excel in what she is good at, but she would have been treated as a second class citizen for being a woman. Her success is partly due to her decision to leave Iran and the opportunities that living in a free country has brought her way. Many of Iran's elite brainiacs decide to leave Iran, in what has become known as Iran's brain drain.

Thirty four years ago, the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, made a prologue to Iran's so-called "Cultural Revolution" catastrophe, by saying:
"They keep talking about a brain drain, to hell with them leaving. Let these educated people who constantly talk of science and Western civilisation leave, These hypocrites say there is a brain drain. Let them go. We don't need this kind of Western science and civilisation"

Maryam Mirzakhani was fortunate to be able to leave Iran, she was also lucky to survive a bus crash that killed seven of Iran's elite mathematics pupils in February 1997.



Maryam Mirzakhani is seen in this photograph below, taken two years before the fatal crash, with other Iranian elite brainiac pupils. She is the third from the right in the front row.


And below is a brief tragic tale of what has happened to some of the other Iranian elite pupils and geniuses who were unfortunate not to be able to leave Iran:

Foad Sojoodi Farimani - a PhD student at Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran. He registered two inventions, both related to robotic surgery, was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to eight years in prison, for insulting Islam, "acting against national security" and insulting Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei

Mitra Aali - Bio-Material graduate from Sharif university, who had come 7th in the national university entrance exams, was arrested in 2009.

Omid Kokbai - won the physics olympiad in Iran, arrested as he was about to leave Iran, now serving a 10 year sentence.

Ali Akbar Mohamadzadeh - Also a Sharif university graduate sentenced to 6 years in 2009

Amin Niayifar - Also one of the elite pupils who graduated from Tehran Technical university in Mechanical Engineering, was flogged for insulting Iran's officials.

Arman Rezakhani - winner of the national Mathematics olympiad, also arrested in 2009. Now studying computer engineering in Texas university.

Soroush Sabet, winner of a bronze medal in the Computing Olympiad and a silver medal in the Mathematics Olympiad, was sentenced to two years prison in 2009.

Maryam Mirzakhani's husband is not Iranian, he is from the Czech Republic. Their 3 year old daughter, Anahita, therefore can not get a visa to travel to Iran, unless Mirzakhani's husband officially converts to Islam. According to the laws of the Islamic Republic, the marriage between a Muslim woman with a non-Muslim woman is not officially recognised.

And this is how Maryam Mirzakhani's picture was published in the Iranian newspapers to avoid the Hejab problem, her head was merged into the blackboard, so the faithful don't get tempted by seeing her hair!




Thursday, July 31, 2014

Compulsory Hejab by ISIS and by IRI- So Which Is More "Backward"?!

This is yet another classic gaff by the official Islamic Republic news agency, Fars News or as some call it, "False" News Agency.

The news that appeared on the Fars news site, was that of ISIS in Syria, making the wearing of Hijab compulsory for all girls in the fifth grade and above.


The news article above, then added a commentary by saying "Political analysts believe this decision by ISIS is a result of this terror group's cultural backwardness which is aiming to take Syria back to the middle ages".

The irony is that in the Islamic Republic of Iran, wearing the Hejab is compulsory for all girls from the first grade and above!

The above news was removed from the site  shortly after :))


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Hate Sermons Against the Jews on Iran State TV

video

This is a sermon given by an Iranian cleric, broadcast on Iran's State TV, about the Jews and their global aspiration to rule the world, and this is an exact translation of what he says below, [Don't miss the last part about Einstein]:
"This Star of David emblem that you see on the Israeli flag, if you pay close attention to it, then you will know what the Jews want, it contains the entire objective of the Jews in itself. The Jews want one thing and thats to take over the world. But they have to take the world in three stages. The first stage is the Qods, they have to base themselves there, in Palestine. The next stage of their operations is to takeover the area from the Nile to the Euphrates. The third stage is to conquer the entire world.
This is what the Star of David tells you. Its a six sided star as you know. The tips are arrows, this star is supposed to rise from Jerusalem, once the star has risen, the two horizontal lines below are then supposed to locate in their rightful place, those two blue lines are the Nile and Euphrates.
The tips of the arrow are then to be fired off in all directions across the globe and meet each other again.
So to recap, Jerusalem first, second, Nile to Euphrates and three, the rest of the world that they have to capture.
In their global pursuit, they have ranked the people of the world into three categories. In their vision, the people of the world are classified into three categories, the first class, the second class and the third class people.
The first class are themselves, the Jews, the Israelites, they think God has created the world for them only, God has told them to conquer the world and folded his arms on his chest waiting for them to conquer the world. God cant put his arms down until they have conquered the world. This is the summary of what they say.
The second class people according to them are those who are not of the Jewish race, they are not the children of Jacob, but accept that the Jews to be the first class, these are the second class citizens. They have the right to live, so long as they serve the Israelites. They have to be the servants of the Jews as it says in their Talmud: 'Just as you feed and care for a horse to give you a ride, help the stranger who lives near you and accepts you by feeding him, so that he serves you.'
So the second class citizens are the non-Jews who accept the superiority of the Jews and serve them.
Now the third class citizens are those who are not Jewish and they don't accept the Jewish supremacy.  They say who says all this? God has created all men as equal.
What do Jews think these people deserve? One metre below the surface of the earth for them they say! This is from the Talmud: 'kill them as cheap as possible. If you can kill them by stones do not kill them by your sword, for you blunt your sword.
So what category does that make us? Third class. In other words in the global rule by the Jews, the one people who must be completely annihilated are the Muslims.
Because Muslims do not accept the supremacy of the Jews, they must all be killed.
Let me tell you something now. Who benefits from the nuclear bomb in the world? whose is it?
You see the only school of faith, who for the sake of global rule, needs to kill on a mass scale, are the Jews. We are currently 1 billion and 400 million Muslims. No Muslim accepts the Jewish racial supremacy. So for the Jews to rule the world, they have to kill all the Muslims as they are instructed to do so. They have to kill 1 billion and 400 million Muslims. well if they try to kill so many people with ordinary weapons of destruction, with missiles and nuclear[sic] warheads, sorry with ordinary war heads, a typical non-nuclear war head, may weigh a tonne, if they use something like that, then may be 500 people will be killed.
But to kill 1 billion people you will need 10 million one tonne war heads. they don't even have a place to store them. So they will need a weapon that will annihilate on a massive scale, so that 400,000 people or 500,000 are killed in one go. Thats what nuclear bomb can do. Thats the sole purpose of nuclear bomb, its no good otherwise. And who needs to kill on such a large scale to rule the world? The Jews!
So the nuclear bomb belongs to them. Do you know who invented the nuclear bomb? It was Einstein!
Einstein was an honourable figure in mathematics but in the world of politics he was a disgrace, why? because he was a Zionist, he was Jewish and he was one of the founders of the state of Israel and they did not create the state of Israel until they tested the nuclear bomb, its theirs."
---
There you go, hope you get the gist of what is blared out of Iran's state TV.
Whats really confusing me now, is did Einstein embrace Shia Islam or was he a Zionist? There seems to be a clerical dispute over this matter!


Monday, July 07, 2014

When Shevardnadze Met Khomeini

Eduardo Shevardndze's demise today, reminded me of when he met Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989.
Khomeini had written a letter to Gorbachev, warning him of the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union and had called him to embrace Islam instead of Communism.

video

The Soviets with enormous benefits in keeping good relations with the Islamic Republic had decided to maintain a conciliatory and diplomatic response. In fact thousands of Iranian Communists were being executed in the Islamic Republic jails at this time and the Soviet Union was totally indifferent to the slaughter of thousands of young misled Iranians who looked at the USSR as the utopia of the working class masses! 

In this video, Shevardnadze starts with some over the top diplomatic flattery of Khomeini and then states  "your letter contained some in-depth philosophical context; all the soviet officials have read your letter; and without a doubt we agree with many fundamental issues but with some (of the issues) we can disagree"

Khomeini then replies "...but tell him that I wanted to open a bigger space in front of you". The translator however must have though what the hell is the Ayatollah on about and translates differently by saying "Thank you for your message, tell him that I would like to talk to him more about general matters."

While the conversation is still going on (interpreter is translating), Khomeini suddenly stands up to leave. Shevardnadze wants to continue with the conversation but  poor Shevardnadze and his delegation get totally confused as what to do, they stand up, Shevardnadze makes a sheepish bow and tries to at least offer a handshake, but Khomeini ignores him and places his hands behind his back, then makes a point of turning round and walking through the delegation without any customary pleasantries, not even an eye contact :))

The moral of the story is flattery and boot licking gets you nowhere with the Islamic Republic.


50 Lashes for Iranian Journalist, Marzieh Rasouli

Iranian journalist, Marzieh Rasouli, was first arrested two years ago, as part of a general crackdown on Iran's journalists.

Charged with the usual "Acting against the national security", Marzieh and two others were accused of being agents for the BBC Persian broadcasting.

Iranian State TV and its English speaking arm, Press TV, showed a documentary they called "Eye of the Fox", in which the accused journalists were shown making forced confessions on how they collaborated with the BBC Persian from inside Iran and "collected sensitive data".

At most, if any of these accusations were true, it is far less than the sort of things IRIB and Press TV reporters freely do in UK.

Marzieh Rasouli was freed on bail in February 2012. Today, she was summoned to serve her sentence; two tears imprisonment and 50 lashes.

Rahman Bouzari, another Iranian journalist, whose father is a Shia cleric and comes from a very religious family, received 74 lashes in August 2012.





Friday, June 20, 2014

Neda's Music Teacher Dies on the 5th Anniversary of her Death

Hamid Panahi seen here with Arash Hejazi
desperately trying to save Neda
Hamid Panahi, Neda Sultan's music teacher, who was with her during her last moments, died today. Chillingly, today also marks the 5th anniversary of the day Neda was killed.

Panahi was the man with the long white pony-tail hair who was heard in the video shouting "Neda stay, Neda don't be scared"

Neda's music teacher was put under intense pressure by the regime after the video went viral and displayed the cruelty of the Islamic Republic to the world. Panahi was interrogated and threatened for hours and finally succumbed to pressure to appear in a shameful Press TV documentary and say things that the regime wanted him to say.

Those close to Panahi say he went into a severe depression after he appeared on the Press TV program and never managed to get over it.

Panahi is seen here playing the piano and singing a song one year before Neda's death.
The song goes:
Her eyes were like a Sky of mirrors
She who faced me like a mirror
Damnation and torment on departing
The destiny of this departure was in His hands
Don't cry if destiny removed me from you
For it will once again join us together
....
video



Monday, June 09, 2014

The Absurd Drive to Increase Iran's Population

Figures and statistics from Iran's economy are indicative of an imminent collapse. Officials warn of water shortages, gas and electric shortages. The living standards of a people who live in a country which is the fourth largest oil producing country in the world has been steadily falling since the 1979 Islamic revolution and in the last 8 years, the decline in the standard of living of Iranian people has been tantamount to a free fall.

While Rouhani and his administration keep warning of the necessity to tighten the belts further, the Supreme Leader and his commissars are singing an entirely different tune, they want Iran's population to double. Iran's handpicked lawmakers who have had to go through the rigorous pre-selection by the unelected Guardian Council are intent on banning vasectomies, condoms and other birth control measures.

Any sane person would shake his head in disbelief at this paradox, How can doubling the population at a time when Iranians are told to either tighten their belts or face an economic abyss, make sense? Where is the money to support and sustain thispopulation explosion going to come from?

Clerics appearing on state TV curse the previous birth control programs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhfasoZfRFg&feature=youtu.be

They tell the faithful viewers “for the love of the holy Zahra and for the love of Imam Ali, the prince of the faithful, save yourselves from this ominous culture of one child or two children nonsense ” one cleric tells the viewers.

He encourages them to choose an auspicious Shiite number for the number of children they should have. “Have five children as in the Five of the Purest, or eight children as in the eighth Imam of the Shiites, the holy Imam Reza, the only Shiite Imam buried in Iran, or have twelve children in the name of the twelve Shiite Imams or fourteen in the names of the 'fourteen sinless' “

Imagine if every Iranian couple listened and had fourteen children in the names of the “Fourteen sinless”! - by the way only one of the fourteen sinless is a female!

So what is the cause of this madness? Is it simply yet another sign of sheer ignorance by the mullahs? Is it as some have suggested to make sure there are enough Shiite soldiers to fight a holy war? Are they expecting a holy war soon and fear being outnumbered? A cartoon by the exiled Iranian cartoonist, Mana Neystani, showing a Shiite combatant holding his wife like a rocket propelled grenade launcher firing children at the enemy through her legs went viral in the Iranian cyber space.

http://iranwire.com/features/5890/

Or is this all simply a way to continue survival for the mullahs, as it is often the reason behind their mad policies? One thing ideological dictatorships hate most is a thriving middle class. An affluent middle class is moderate and shuns extremism, it is liberal minded and wants to be part of the mainstream world. The thing that worries the mullahs most is the striking contrast between themselves and the population. Anyone who travels to Iran can notice this contrast. This is a regime which does not represent the population. The two seem to be on different parallel universes. By keeping Iran's middle class a small minority, the mullahs will be able to rely on a poor majority which are easier to manipulate and easier to string along with meagre hand outs.

The declining Iranian middle class and its tragic consequences which will limit Iran's economic revival is an issue that the renowned Iranian economist, Mohsen Ranani often writes about. He refers to the systematic destruction of Iran's middle class as “historic treason”.

http://fararu.com/fa/news/186459/10-%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B1%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D8%AA-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C

Ranani fears an increasing polarised class divide in Iran, a very rich small minority and a majority below the poverty line population.

Ranani wrote before Rouhani's second phase of targeted subsidy removals, “A bench test for the health of the Iranian middle class, is to see how many people will not bother to register to receive the cash handout program. If the number of those who did not register for the cash handout program is below five million, it means we have gone back to a pre-developing country period and we should be prepared for unpredictable social storms”

Less than 3 million Iranians, at the end, decided not to register for the cash hand out program

Monday, May 26, 2014

About the Director of the Iranian Version of the Happy Video

The end credits for the much publicised Iranian version of the Farrell Williams' "Happy Video", showed the director's name simply as "SOL". He was the only one of those involved in making the video, not to have his real name shown and was the last one who was arrested. He is also now the only one who has not been released on bail.

Sasan Soleimani, who was shown simply as "SOL" in the end credits of the video, was in fact actively involved in Rouhani's election campaign. In this article published before, he says he took all the studio photos of Rouhani used for his election campaign posters and banners. Soleimani also claims that it was him, who suggested the colour violet to become Rouhani's campaign colour.

Sasan Soleimani often argued with Iranian expats on the  social media chats, saying they should not paint such a bleak picture of Iran and that "things are not as bad as they suggest".

Perhaps some times you can not see the forest for the trees!

Sasan Soleimani seen with Rouhani, second from  the left


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Iranians Told to Have 5, 8, 12 or 14 Children!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhfasoZfRFg#t=51

Supreme Leader and his appointed clerics are intent on doubling Iran's population by curbing birth control measures but this cleric on Iranian State TV is appealing to the Shiite population inside and outside Iran to have up to 14 children.

"For the love of the holy Zahra and for the love of Imam Ali, the prince of the faithful, save yourselves from this ominous culture of one child or two children nonsense ” The cleric tells the viewers.


He encourages the Shiite population inside and outside Iran to choose an auspicious Shiite number for how many children they should have. “Have five children as in the Five of the Purest, or eight children as in the eighth Imam of the Shiites, the holy Imam Reza or have twelve children in the name of the twelve Shiite Imams or fourteen in the names of the 'Fourteen Sinless'  saints“.

Luckily, I fall outside of the "ominous culture of one or two children only" zone but still way to go to 14 :(

Monday, April 28, 2014

If They Are Iranian, Why are they Ashamed of Having Iranian Names?

videoAyatollah Montazeri, was once designated to replace Ayatollah Khomeini as the Supreme Leader of Iran, instead he ended up under house arrest for much of his later life and the man who was once destined to be the next Supreme Leader, died as a dissident under house arrest. 
Ayatollah Montazeri often said the Islamic Republic of Iran is neither Islamic nor a Republic" and I have always added,  "and it is neither Iranian".

The video above is one segment of the controversial documentary "I am Rouhani". It was made by the media agents of Tehran mayor, Ghalibaaf, in response to Rouhani telling Ghalibaaf "I am a lawyer and not a general", during the last televised presidential campaign debate. 
In that famous televised debate, Rouhani set out to show himself as a moderate man with a different approach to Ghalibaaf's harsh combative style. The full documentary about Rouhani, however shows that actually Rouhani has not always been such a moderate man that he now makes out to be, but I need another post to discuss the documentary in full.
For now, I have just posted a segment of the documentary where Rouhani explains why he changed his surname:
"when I entered the seminary school, my seminary student friends criticised my original surname, Fereydoun. They mocked me by saying, one day you will become an Ayatollah, how can an Ayatollah have a name like Fereydoun?" and so this led him to change his surname to Rouhani.

Fereydoun is a popular Iranian name, it is the name of a major figure in the Iranian mythology. The rightful king, who along with Kaveh the blacksmith, led the popular revolt against the tyrannical usurper, Zahak. 

If these people are Iranian, why are they ashamed of having Iranian names?


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Question to Jimmy Wales on Aljazeera Head2Head Program

This episode of Mehdi Hassan's Head to Head program was aired on Aljazeera English on April 4th. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, was Mehdi Hassan's guest and the topic of discussion was "will the internet set us free" as well as inevitably talking about wikipedia itself. The program was recorded in the famous Oxford Union debate hall back in December. I was also in the audience and managed to get this question across to Jimmy Wales:



I thought Jimmy Wales was an exceptionally able and articulated speaker and answered the questions very well. You can watch the entire program here:
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2014/02/will-internet-set-us-free-201421392117702994.html

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Abduction of Iran's Border Guards

There is much to be learned about the nature of the Islamic Republic and its modus operandi from the way the regime handled the kidnapping of five Iranian border guards by the Jeishaladl terror group.

Soon after the soldiers were abducted it was the usual regime sabre rattlings and threats. Brig. Gen Hasan Shah-Safi, head of the IRGC Air Forces, claimed "If  a single strand of hair goes missing from our soldiers, our reconnaissance teams will identify the probable hiding places of the terrorists and then reduce them to dust" 

Then it was said that the regime is sending its elite special forces, the Saberin, not just to the Sistan and Balouchistan province in South East Iran but even beyond the borders into Pakistan territory to rescue the abducted soldiers. 

Despite all the sabre rattlings however, sadly more than a single strand of hair went missing from the kidnapped soldiers and not only nothing was reduced to dust, the Saberin special forces never arrived either. Jamshid Danaei-far, the only ranked soldier who was amongst the five kidnapped, was executed by the Sunni terrorist group in revenge for a relative of one their members who was executed by the Islamic Republic during the time the five soldiers were held captive. 
Ten days prior to the execution of Jamshid Danaei-far by JeishalAdl terrorists, his wife had given birth to their first child. The father and son never got a chance to see each other. Danei-Far's wife was never brought on state TV to appeal to the kidnappers to release her husband as one would expect in other countries. The news that she had given birth to their son ten days earlier, only came about after Danaei-Far was executed.

The kidnapping of the five Iranian conscripts caused a nationwide outrage amongst all Iranians, including those who oppose the regime. The five were just innocent conscripts who were told to guard the borders and not accomplices in the regime's repression. 

The video of how they were captured was posted by Jeishaladl and it showed how ill equipped the soldiers were. All five were stuck in a tent, in the middle of no-where in a God forsaken land with virtually no facilities. Seeing how poorly Iran's borders were being guarded caused further outrage against both the regime and the Jeishaladl terrorists. 

The regime tried to deflect the attention to Pakistan, saying that Pakistan was harbouring the terrorists and it was Pakistan's responsibility to help release the Iranian soldiers. Pakistan's ambassador was summoned and told that Iran expects Pakistan to secure the release of the five abducted soldiers.

Iranians took to protest outside Pakistan embassies and their other representative offices. The spontaneous call for protests outside Pakistani embassies was welcome by all Iranians at home and abroad, amongst the opposition and the supporters of the regime. The calls for the protests were even given coverage in the regime backed news sites.

Yet in Tehran, the regime's security forces decided to attack the peaceful protesters outside the Pakistani embassy and some of the protesters who were identified as opposition activists were arrested. In Mashad however, the protests outside the Pakistan Consulate went ahead peacefully. This showed once again that there is not one coherent centre for making decisions in the Islamic Republic. Some security official in Tehran obviously feared any gathering which was not organised and controlled entirely by the regime and some security official in Mashad had decided it was ok and could be tolerated.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Tasnim Aslam, reacted to Islamic Republic's claims and said "Iranian officials never contacted Pakistan to follow up on the abducted soldiers". Aslam added "a joint committee was set up to co-ordinate the search for the soldiers but after that the Iranians never contacted us".

The regime's indifference to the plight of its abducted conscript soldiers was all too obvious. A simple comparison with how the regime reacted to the plight of its "pilgrims" captured in Syria and that of its conscripts on the border with Pakistan clearly demonstrated this indifference and incompetence.

While the abducted soldiers were missing, I was discussing the situation with a former Iranian Major, Mohamad Baqer Bani-Ameri, who had served in the Sistan-Balouchistan province for years and knew the area and the people in the province well. I asked the former major, if he was serving in the area now and was ordered to find the abducted soldiers, what would he do? The Major replied, "the only way to resolve this is to appeal to the elders in the area, get their support and get them to put pressure on the kidnappers to release our soldiers".

At the end, what the former Major told me, was exactly how the situation was resolved. Molavi Abdol-Hamid, the Sunni Friday Prayer leader of Zahedan and other elders in the province persuaded the JeishalAdl terrorists to release the remaining four soldiers.

Finally the good news came and the four soldiers were released but they did not quite get a hero's official state welcome, like Shapour Bakhtiar's assassin, Ali Vakili-Raad had received. Ismail Kowsari, the Majlis member of the National Security and Foreign Policy commission asked for the released soldiers to be punished. Kowsari, referred to the video of their abduction and said the soldiers were all sleeping in the tent instead of being on guard. Pictures of Iranian MPs sleeping during the Majlis sessions soon went viral on the Iranian cyberspace, in response to Kowsari's ridiculous call for punishing the released soldiers.

Molavi AbdolHamid, the Sunni releigious leader whose appeal to the JeishalAdl kidnappers helped secure the release of the soldiers did not receive a thank you or special recognition either. The official Islamic Republic newspaper [Jomhouri Eslami] scolded him instead by asking "Why did Molavi AbdolHamid not appeal to the terrorists from the beginning and how is it exactly that he has so much influence on JeishalAdl that they listen to him and release the soldiers? " 
Officials then started congratulating the Supreme Leader instead for securing the release of the soldiers.

So in summary, the following observations are noteworthy: 
The sabre rattling and use of special elite forces by the regime came to no use at all.
Iran's mainstream opposition once again showed it is a responsible opposition which will put the national interests and national unity above it's opposition with the regime.
The life of a conscript is worthless for the regime.
The regime will suppress any peaceful gathering or protest which is not in its control or it has not organised itself, even if the gathering or protest is not against the regime.
Lastly, the Islamic Republic establishment will not credit anyone but the Supreme Leader himself for success while failures are always blamed on others.


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Former US Embassy Hostage Takers

The recent appointment of Hamid AbuTalebi, as Islamic Republic's new envoy to the UN, quickly made the headlines in the West, as it was suggested by Bloomberg that the new appointee was a former US embassy hostage taker in the 1980s. Bloomberg also mentions the website Taskhir which has a picture of Hamid AbuTalebi as a young hostage taker. Taskhir, meaning capture or takeover in Persian, is in fact a website run by former Muslim Students Following the Line of Imam, or those who climbed the US embassy walls in November 1979 and took 52 US embassy staff as hostages for 444 days.

AbuTalebi on the other hand has denied he was one of the hostage takers and claimed he only acted as a translator and helped with the negotiations.

Reading about all this, I started rummaging through the Taskhir website. It has an interview with one of the former hostage takers, Mohammad Hashemi who mentions Hamid Abutalebi, as one of their representatives who was sent to Algeria to take part in a conference of "Liberation Movements" from around the world.

Another former hostage taker, Faezeh Moslehi, one of the female Students Following the Line of Imam,  also mentions AbuTalebi being sent to Algeria to represent the student hostage takers. She refers to him as "Brother AbuTAlebi".

But there are even more interesting facts that I picked up. For example another one of the former hostage takers is identified as AbdolHossein Rouhalamini, whose son, Mohsen Rouhalamini, was arrested during the 2009 protests, taken to Kahrizak and died as a result of severe beatings. i.e. Father was a US embassy hostage taker and son was killed by the regime's security forces, three decades later.

Another interesting name that came up was Ali Tayebnia, the widely reputed competent and able current Minister of Economy. Tayebnia also studied in the London School of Economics under Professor Laurence Harris. So presumably he managed to get a UK student visa after having taken part in the US embassy hostage takeover.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Majlis Commission Confirms : "Luxury Cars were imported instead of medicine"

Maserati Celebrations in Iran
It was a story that started in the Guardian by Saeed Kamali, the pro-Rowhani Iranian journalist who nominated Hasan Rowhani for the Nobel Peace Prize. Manouchehr Esmaili-Liousi, a haemophiliac patient had died as a result of a hiking accident and never even got to the hospital, but the story of the tragic accident was changed into a haemophiliac boy in Iran "dying in hospital after his family failed to find the vital medicine he desperately needed for his disease."

"Sanctions are Causing Medicine Shortage in Iran and Killing Patients" soon became the sexy preferred headline in the Western media. Western newspapers and news sites raced each other with similar news headlines and the Islamic Republic lobby groups in the West had a feast with yet another too common phenomenon of lazy journalism in the Western mass media. See also NIAC Profiteering from Deceit. Only the Times of London reported what was actually taking place on the ground in Iran.

Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, Ahmadinejad's health minister at the time, was not saying what the Western media were regurgitating, she kept publicly complaining that the $2 Billion in the annual budget, allocated to import medicine with,  was not received by the health ministry.

It was a bizarre situation in which, Iran's health minister kept repeating the medicine shortage was nothing to do with sanction and yet the Western media kept repeating, sanctions were causing the medicine shortage in Iran!

Islamic Republic's first female health minister, Marzieh Dastjerdi,  finally paid the price for her outspoken remarks and was unceremoniously sacked by Ahmadinejad. Now 18 months after, the Islamic Republic's Article 90 Majlis Commission, has endorsed her claims. The allocated $2 Billion with subsidised currency rate which should have gone to the Health Ministry to import medicine with, was  instead being used to import luxury cars.

Nader Ghazipour, the MP for Oroumieh and a member of the Majlis team investigating the luxury import of cars corruption said the list of companies who used subsidised currency rate to import luxury cars, amounted not to just one or two pages but to several pages and names of some government officials can be seen amongst them.

"The crime of Mrs. Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi, who was sacked by Ahamdinejad, was that she exposed the secrets. She said luxury cars were being imported with the medicine money and she was right" - Ghazipour told the Majlis.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Snapshot of IR's Assembly of 'Experts'

My last post was about the head of the Islamic Republic's Assembly of "Experts", Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, showing off his expertise on Einstein and the theory of relativity.

This picture on the left is a snapshot from the 15th official gathering of the Assembly of "Experts", the powerful body which at least on paper, is supposed to choose the Supreme Leader and make sure the leader acts appropriately Islamic.

In the picture, you see Rafsanjani, the former head of the Assembly of 'Experts' sleeping. The overweight "expert" sleeping behind him is Ali Razini, the former head of the Special Court for the Clergy. Next to Razini, is Ayatollah Haeri Shirazi who is holding his head and is about to join his comrades and fall asleep any minute.

Finally the picture in the front row, placed on the chair, is that of Ayatollah Khorram Abadi who has passed away but nevertheless a bottle of water is left for him, in case his spirit joins the session and gets thirsty.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Iran's Head of Assembly of "Experts" Speaks about Einstein!

The man shown in this video below, is Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani. He is the head of the Assembly of Experts in the Islamic Republic of Iran. A powerful body which will even decide the next 'head honcho' i.e. the next Supreme Leader of Iran.

Mahdavi Kani is also the head of Imam Sadeq university.

To understand what kind of people run the Islamic Republic and who these "experts" are, watch this video of Mahdavi Kani [English translation below]

video

"Einstein wrote something in which he said he had converted to Islam and had become a Shiite Muslim and that he was a disciple of Imam Ja'far Sadeq, says so in foreign books. Einstein says 'when I heard about the ascension of the prophet Mohamad' where he had ascended to heavens and come back and the house door was still shaking, a process which was faster than the speed of light. The prophet went quicker than the light that walks, I don't know how much is it? 300,000 km per second! The door knocker was still shaking and the prophet had come back and he had seen all the heavens too. This is the very same relativity movement that Einstein had understood. Similar to what Mullah Sadra had understood before him, a quintessential movement, not a positional movement like crossing the road taking ten minutes, a movement of light or rather a spiritual movement faster than the light moves, Einstein said 'when I heard about the narratives of the prophet Mohamad and that of the Ahle-Beit [prophet's household] I realised they had understood these things way before us"  

Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, who is 83 years old, has been kept alive in the past 25 years by British heart surgeons who have been treating him in St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Seven Years Prison for Iranian Student, Maryam Shafiipour

Maryam Shafiipour
Iranian female student activist, Maryam Shafipour has become the first Iranian student to be sentenced to long term prison for political activism since Rouhani became the president of the Islamic Republic.

Maryam Shafipour was an active member of Karroubi's Women's Committee election campaign team. She received a suspended sentence in 2010 on usual charges of "spreading propaganda against the 'holy establishment' of the Islamic Republic" and was banned from continuing her higher education. 

In July, 2013, Maryam was detained again and spent 60 days in solitary confinement with no access to a lawyer. 

Yesterday she received a seven year sentence by the notorious judge Salavati after seven months of being interrogated in prison and refusing to repent for her peaceful activism. 

Amnesty international issued this statement on Maryam's plight in January this year:
Jack Straw and Lord LeMont may have the impression that things have changed in Iran and "Tehran resembles any European city like Madrid", but the truth is despite the nice shop front window for the outside world, its business as usual inside the shop.

Friday, February 28, 2014

A Public Execution in Iran with a Slight Twist

Public executions in Iran have sadly become a normal event since the Islamic revolution in 1979. Astonishingly some of those who go to watch these medieval displays, take their young children with them too. Adults along with their children watch masked executioners put the rope around the condemned's neck while the condemned accepts his fate and submits passively to the executioner.

Last week there was a public execution in Iran that didn't quite go according to the plan. The stocky man that was about to be executed asked to see his mother for one last time, but his request was refused. The stocky man who looked strong, struggled with his executioners and broke his handcuffs. Another law enforcement officer tried to walk up to him and was toppled over as the condemned kicked the officer in the chest. The crowd cheered the condemned as the officer fell off the scaffolding, but finally he was subdued by seven officers and the rope was tied around his neck. The condemned man struggled as his neck dangled from the noose until his neck broke. The same crowd who had cheered him kick the law officer in the chest, cheered again when his neck broke and he became restless.

Its all good entertainment on a typical early morning in the lovely Islamic Republic that Jack Straw described as buzzing like Madrid:
http://youtu.be/P2k665GkAZM




Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Pathetic Khatami and Iran's Reformists

I have said this before, the political faction in Iran, represented by the likes of former president Khatami, often referred to as "reformists" in the West are not in the business of bringing about any meaningful reforms in Iran by organising peaceful civil disobedience types of actions, they are not in the business of organising and mobilising the masses to bring about any change, as would be expected of a normal reformist movement, the "reformists" in Iran are in the business of organising "Total Obedience" to support the establishment.

What I claim above manifested itself again yesterday. The regime always keen on having large numbers turn out for its masquerades, once again resorted to Iran's reformists to call on Iranians to turn up and participate in the parades marking the 35th anniversary of the 1979 revolution.

Former president Khatami and others in the "reformist" faction urged Iranians to take part in the parade, saying it will be an occasion to show unity and to "resolve our contentions".

Huge posters which read "The People Demand the Leaders of the Sedition to be Tried" while pictures showed them being hanged and included Khatami himself, was how yesterday's parades helped to "resolve the contentions"!

A Gary Glitter look alike, straight from the loony bin in yesterday's parade to bolster the numbers:


Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Man Who Announced the Victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979

It was a decisive moment in February, 1979, when the popular Iranian TV host,  Mirali Hosseini, who like many of his colleagues had decided to back the revolution against the Shah by going on strike, appeared on the national television, after it had been captured by the revolutionaries and announced "This is the voice of the revolution!".

Capturing the state television is a huge psychological milestone in an uprising. He who controls the state TV is the one who appears to be in charge of the country. After Hosseini's famous announcement, the momentum of the collapse of the Ancien Régime  accelerated.

Mirali Hosseini didn't last very long however. Contrary to his disillusions and that of many other Iranians, the revolution did not bring freedom, it did the reverse, it took away our personal freedoms and it brought about misery and a harsher despotism.

This is Mirali Hosseini speaking three decades after that momentous occasion, when he anounced "This is the voice of revolution!"

Watch Mirali Hosseini talking about his expectations in 1979

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Commodity Basket Handouts

"This house became a ruin since the day,
     our thinking and reasoning became dark and grey"

It is still mind boggling how millions of Iranians, intellectuals, Western educated and the middle classes included, came out into the streets in 1979 to destroy their own freedoms, their own standard of living and the future of the next generations of Iranians.


Yesterday, was the anniversary of the return of Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran after a 15 year exile.  A day which most Iranians today regret, but thirty five years ago, they were swept by a wave of frenzy and incredible stupidity to welcome him.
"when the demon flees, the angel will return" -they chanted, demon was supposed to be the Shah and their angel was Khomeini!

"Do not be content that we will only build you houses, make your water and electricity free, do not be content with just such things, we will provide you with spiritual greatness and dignity" Khomeini promised the zealous crowds after his return from exile.

Today, many Iranians had to queue up in the cold to receive their "commodity baskets".

Commodity baskets were promised by Rouhani as part of his election campaign to offset the decreasing purchasing power of cash for subsidy they started to receive when the subsidies were removed.


Each commodity basket consisted of :
- Four eggs
- 800 g of cheese
- Two bottles of cooking oil
- 10 Kilos of rice
- 4 frozen chickens

""This house became a ruin since that winter,
      When it's breadwinner became a foreign usurper"

Many who had queued for hours were told they were not entitled to receive commodity baskets.

Before 1979, average Iranian income was three times that of South Koreans and more than three times income of the Turkish people. Today, the Islamic Republic of clerics has turned Iranians into beggars and scroungers, despite having had the most oil revenue in the last eight years than the entire cumulative oil income of previous governments ever since oil was discovered in Iran.


Seeing these pictures makes my heart weep with sorrow. Thirty five years of a religious dictatorship by clerics from the dark ages over Iran has resulted in such misery and indignity. A minority of cunning priests who call themselves representatives of God on earth, have brought about so much tragedy for Iran, not just financial, not just in terms of human lives, not just for our freedoms, not just for the environment etc. but they have broken our spirit.

"How did we become so low and desperate?
  How did we dispose of our wit and wisdom?

By God if we had foresight and vision
 We would not have had this terrible fate and destiny"