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:

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"