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Protests against Stonings by the Iranian Islamic Regime

Supporter of the One Law For All Campaign | 08.07.2010 10:14 | Gender | Repression | Social Struggles

Come and join us in our protests against Stoning in Iran

Iran Solidarity will be protesting outside the IRI (Iranian) embassy in London on Friday evening from 5pm against the stoning sentence of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani and in memory of the student uprising in Iran in 1999. Members of IS will stage a stone-in act.

IRI embassy, 16 Prince's Gate SW7 1PT
Friday, 9 July

And on Saturday 10 July Iran Solidarity will be doing a caravan through London against stoning in Iran. We will be meeting at 2pm on Trafalgar Square to do a stone-in act and then move towards other points in London staging more stone-in acts and to raise awareness of Sakine's sentence.

If you are interested to join us this Saturday or to stage your own acts against stoning please contact us: or call 07507978745

Supporter of the One Law For All Campaign


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Here we go again - fake photo to demonise Muslims

09.07.2010 07:10

pic taken from:
pic taken from:

Apart from the Neda photo the others are fake, staged photos to demonise Muslims.


Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran

09.07.2010 07:15

from the archives:

Reading More than Lolita in Tehran: An interview with Fatemeh Keshavarz

Monthly Review, 12 March 2007

Fatemeh Keshavarz, author of Jasmine and Stars: Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran, on how literature can be used to create or destroy stereotypes.

Q: How did Jasmine and Stars: Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran come to be?

A: You might say Jasmine and Stars has been in the making for years -- at least for a decade. During these years, when many books and media reports about Iran were published, I would search for the Iran that I know, for my friends, for myself. But we wouldn't be there. Usually in these books and news reports, everything would revolve around religion or politics, and people would be villains or victims. A typical example was Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi, in which a teacher and seven of her female students come together to read world literature and talk about their lives in Iran after the 1979 revolution. I felt like saying to people, "This picture is full of holes! That is not about me! The culture I grew up in has its flesh and blood just like yours. It has good and bad things just like every culture. Shake my hand and you will feel it!" In a sense, Jasmine and Stars is that cultural handshake. It is the opportunity to feel the warmth, the tenderness, and the laughter that I describe from personal experience in present-day Iran. Both Iranians and Americans have been barred from this handshake by the political perspectives that make every American a greedy imperialist and every Iranian a petty fanatic. In Jasmine and Stars I suggest we say enough is enough and talk to each other -- we will be surprised at how similar we are.

Q: Does one need to have read Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books to fully appreciate the message of Jasmine and Stars?

A: If you have read Reading Lolita in Tehran, you might be amazed at the bleakness of the picture that you have seen and crave a balancing perspective. But you don't have to have read Nafisi's book to appreciate this one. Jasmine and Stars is an independent book. Its main purpose is to search for a meaningful way to approach an unfamiliar culture, a way in which the humanity and depth of that culture is felt and enjoyed rather than masked from view. At the same time, it critiques the lopsided and exaggerated presentation of the eastern cultures in current western writings, a trend that I call the New Orientalist narrative. Reading Lolita in Tehran is only one example of this kind of writing. However, since I do criticize that book rather sharply, I devote a full chapter to it so I can explain to readers the specifics of my criticism.

Q: Both Reading Lolita in Tehran and Jasmine and Stars feature a photo of two Iranian women on their jackets -- and yet they seem to convey very different messages. Tell me about your book's jacket photo.

Native Informers and the Making of the American EmpireA: The cover of Reading Lolita in Tehran has caused controversy because it presents a cropped image. The full image depicts two young girls, involved in the election of the reformist Iranian President Khatami. The girls are reading a newspaper in anticipation of the election results. In the cover image the newspaper is taken out, leaving two young faces with downcast eyes framed by black scarves. The full and cropped images would send two very different messages about Iranian women to the reader. Critics have compared the book to its cover image because it also omits the aspects of the culture that show that Iranian women have agency and are actively improving their lives. The jacket of Jasmine and Stars shows a full image of two Iranian women in a demonstration outside Tehran University in 2005. The women hold signs that say they object to injustice to women and demand equal rights with men. They smile and look directly at the camera. The goal is not to show a rosy picture of gender equality in present-day Iran -- had that been the case, there would be no need for the signs these women carry. The point, however, is that the picture demonstrates women's agency in the face of all odds and their active presence in the public domain. In other words, the cover shows that Iranian women are not passive victims.

Q: What, in your opinion, was the greatest omission in Reading Lolita in Tehran?

A: The greatest omission in the content of Nafisi's book is that it overlooks the agency and presence of Iranian women in the social and intellectual domain. That is ironic particularly because the book's main claim is to tell the untold story of women in post-revolutionary Iran. If Reading Lolita in Tehran is the only book you have read about Iran, you would not be able to imagine that vibrant Iranian women writers such as Shahrnush Parsipur, Simin Behbahani, and Simin Danishvar ever existed, let alone imagine that they wrote during the same period that Nafisi's book covers. You would not guess that post-revolutionary Iranian cinema has women writers and directors as outspoken as Tahmineh Milani and Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, or that women activists such as the Peace Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi spoke and wrote about women and children's rights during the same period. And these are only a few examples.

Q: In your introduction, you acknowledge that there are gaps in what our information sources tell us about the world. How should we go about filling these gaps?

A: There are many ways, and we can each choose what works for our taste, lifestyle, and background. Meeting people from other parts of the world is always at the top of my list. Of course, the experience of these people will be personal and subjective. But it is also real and heartfelt. By the time you have met the third intelligent and outspoken Iranian woman, you know they cannot be voiceless victims. Reading translated fiction is another very important way to understand a culture. Fiction does not always emphasize facts, but it almost always contains details that bring depth to our perspective and humanize the people depicted in these works. I am delighted to say that more and more fiction (works of Shahrnush Parsipur, Simin Danishvar, Forough Farrokhzad, for example) is translated into English on a regular basis. A third way would be to learn new languages and to travel as much as possible. Learning another language is a means of plugging into a new cultural realm. It is one of the most delightful ways to learn about other cultures, and with the educational tools available in this country, it is doable. As for the news sources, the Internet is becoming a major tool with the presence of news agencies and blogs. Of course, each of these sources would have their particular perspective -- some will be the official sites of certain governments. I would say the best way is to alternate between several sources rather than sticking to one regularly. Nothing is more effective than comparing various perspectives.

Q: Jasmine and Stars introduces us to many members of your family, including your uncle, who was both a painter and the head of the personnel office in the Shiraz army. Why did you choose to dedicate your book to him?

A: I have dedicated my previous book, Recite in the Name of the Red Rose, an analysis of 20th century Persian poetry, to my father -- my first and best teacher of poetry. My father was as emotional, fussy, and talkative as the poets themselves. Jasmine and Stars, however, is about stars: those who brighten the world by simply existing. Rumi, the celebrated Persian poet of the 13th century said, "If you lose your way in the desert you look at the stars to decide which way to turn. Do the stars speak at all?" His point was that stars teach simply with their presence. That is my uncle the painter; he brightens the lives of those who are around him and shows them the way, often without uttering a word. He is a great painter, yet his greatest artistic achievement is his life. I had to dedicate the book to him.

Q: Why do you think that works that you call the New Orientalist narrative, including Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and Reading Lolita in Tehran, are so extraordinarily popular? What kinds of debates have they spurred in the American Muslim community?

A: The works in this category are very different from one another. The Kite Runner, for example, is a more effective story and, at least in parts, shows more depth and nuance than Reading Lolita in Tehran. One would need to look at each of these works independently to be able to provide a more meaningful critique of their appeal to the public. As a category, however, they do share some broad features that explain their popularity to some extent. For example, they are almost always "eyewitness" accounts, which speak to the general public's curiosity and deep bewilderment about what seems to be going on in that part of the world. These works often do not demand that their reader know a lot of information about the context -- the books themselves do away with bothersome details. So, "to know" what is going on, which in reality requires a good deal of discussion about the context, becomes relatively easy. Finally, most of these works appeal to an ongoing post-9/11 sense of insecurity in the reader. They say that the discontented people in the problem-ridden areas in the Middle East are by and large the monsters that you are afraid of. This quick validation of fears brings something of an immediate relief. However, I must say most readers do still feel that these books do not give them the full picture and continue to search for more.

Q: What aspects of Jasmine and Stars do you think readers will find most surprising?

A: I think what is most surprising to the reader would be the humor and the openness of the people I write about. We would hardly see a picture of a smiling Iranian face in the media or hear about their openness to other cultures. When I tell my friends that The Da Vinci Code is a bestseller or that Bill Clinton's My Life has sold thousands of copies in Persian translation this year, even the people who know something about the rest of the world are surprised. Similarly, people have no idea that in Tehran alone, Iranian Jews worship in over 20 synagogues on a daily basis. These are facts that are simply omitted from the picture.

Q: Your introduction of the Iranian female poet Forough Farrokhzad and the Iranian female author Shahrnush Parsipur are sure to inspire interest in their works. Are the works of both authors widely available in translation?

A: Yes, quite a few of the works of these writers -- and those of others like them -- are translated into English. We need more translations for sure, but there are already quite a few. It is becoming more and more possible to find out about the works of these writers by doing a Google search on them.

Q: Your feature, "Windows on Iran," is available on the American Muslim website at What can visitors to the site expect to find there?

A: I started an e-mail list to keep a relatively small number of friends and colleagues informed about Iran. This was mostly because alarming news -- sometimes coming from unknown sources -- makes worrisome claims, such as the Iranian government is going to force the Iranian Jews to wear a uniform or the use of foreign words is going to be banned in Iran. I started sending messages to make clarifications about such "news" items. Because art and culture are a great source of information, I included sections on literature, cinema, and paintings in present-day Iran. And because the average American reader does not see many pleasant visual representations of Iran, I added PowerPoint slide shows of cities and of art works. The list grew so large that the computing services department of my university had to turn it into a listserv. Then the web master of American Muslim asked me if they could post it on their site, something I thought was a great idea. We are hoping to archive these windows independently online, which will make them more accessible to the public.

Fatemeh Keshavarz
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Humanitarian Imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War

09.07.2010 07:23

Humanitarian Imperialism
Using Human Rights to Sell War

by Jean Bricmont
Translated by Diana Johnstone


“In this stimulating book, Jean Bricmont effectively deconstructs ‘humanitarian interventionism’ and makes a good case that leftists who support it are the ‘useful idiots’ of imperialism. He also provides a broader critique of the Western left and offers a number of constructive suggestions. This insightful book is chock full of enlightening case studies and provocative arguments.”
—Edward S. Herman, Professor Emeritus of Finance, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

“Jean Bricmont’s provocative and carefully argued book deserves to be widely read and debated in the progressive, ecological, peace, and human rights movements. It may not be the last word on this subject but the issues Bricmont raises cannot be ignored.”
—Alan Sokal, Professor of Physics, New York University

Since the end of the Cold War, the idea of human rights has been made into a justification for intervention by the world's leading economic and military powers—above all, the United States—in countries that are vulnerable to their attacks. The criteria for such intervention have become more arbitrary and self-serving, and their form more destructive, from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan to Iraq. Until the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the large parts of the left was often complicit in this ideology of intervention-discovering new “Hitlers” as the need arose, and denouncing antiwar arguments as appeasement on the model of Munich in 1938.

Jean Bricmont’s Humanitarian Imperialism is both a historical account of this development and a powerful political and moral critique. It seeks to restore the critique of imperialism to its rightful place in the defense of human rights. It describes the leading role of the United States in initiating military and other interventions, but also on the obvious support given to it by European powers and NATO. It outlines an alternative approach to the question of human rights, based on the genuine recognition of the equal rights of people in poor and wealthy countries.

Timely, topical, and rigorously argued, Jean Bricmont’s book establishes a firm basis for resistance to global war with no end in sight.

Jean Bricmont
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The great divide: Iran and leftists

09.07.2010 07:27

from the archives:

The great divide: Iran and leftists

by Gary Sudborough, 27 June 2009

There seems to be a great divergence of opinion among liberals and leftists about what is really happening in Iran. There are those who think Iran is in somewhat of a vacuum and is only trying to have a democratic election against theocracy and a repressive attitude to women's rights. Other leftists think because the Bush administration in the past had contemplated military action and also covert actions by the CIA against Iran that these facts, among others, argue for an attempted coup taking place, especially given the enormous number of successful and unsuccessful CIA coups which have occurred in the past 60 years. I have an excellent book entitled Killing Hope-US military and CIA interventions since World War 2 by William Blum. I would say that the only countries or continents not to have at least CIA spies in them would be places like Greenland or Antarctica that have little interest for multinational corporations because they are covered with huge ice sheets. Of course, this could change with global warming. You might be served a burger and fries by an Eskimo at the grand opening of McDonalds in Greenland.

Noam Chomsky seems to want to take a middle ground and say that no elections in the US or Iran are really democratic because in the United States only the very wealthy get to choose those candidates who are to run and in Iran it is the clerics who decide the question. He is correct, of course, but that does not solve the problem of whether the CIA and US covert actions are being used in Iran.

Norman Solomon, a leftist writer for Common Dreams and other publications, had an article titled "Full Spectrum Idiocy- the GOP and Hugo Chavez." One of the points of his article is that anyone who thinks like Hugo Chavez and suspects a CIA-instigated attempt to overthrow the Iranian government is an idiot. This is somewhat belligerent. When I wrote my article about Iran entitled: " Iran- Amnesia, Ignorance or Stupidity," and gave my reasons why I suspected CIA involvement in Iran, I at least didn't call those with differing ideas idiots, but gave them three choices, all of which are better than idiot. Hugo Chavez has already suffered one CIA -backed coup in April 2002 in which a portion of the Venezuelan military arrested him, imprisoned him on a military base and installed a Chamber of Commerce man named Pedro Carmona as President of Venezuela. Pro-Chavez supporters in the thousands stormed the Presidential Palace, removed Pedro Carmona and in a while Hugo Chavez was released from military custody, during which he said two uniformed military men from the United States took part. Is Hugo Chavez an idiot or paranoid for suspecting that CIA coups have been perpetrated or are presently taking place in other countries, having experienced one himself? I think he is being perfectly rational, especially since Ahmadinejad is a man like himself in certain respects. Both Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez are spending the profits from the sale of oil to improve the lives of the poor in their respective countries.The ruling class of the United States hate this situation. They would rather have the rich in power in other countries so that American corporations can move in, privatize the oil and all other corporations, privatize health care and any benefits like Social Security for the poor and establish sweatshops with no recognition of worker's rights, unions, safety regulations in the workplace or product quality and safety. In other words, they want what Michael Parenti calls a client state government. I call it a puppet government. As Michael Parenti has said: "There is only one thing the rich have always wanted and that is everything."

I have discovered a very interesting thing about Venezuela. The CIA is still organizing coups against Hugo Chavez. The Cato Institute, a right wing think tank in the United States, recently paid an anti-Chavez student organizer a half a million dollars to stir up trouble against Chavez. It is called the Milton Friedman Award, but let's get real. This is nothing more than a bribe to help overthrow a democratically elected government. The student's name is Yon Goicoechea. I couldn't get a break in remembering this name by having him called Juan Gonzalez or some other easy name. If I had accepted money from a foreign government, let us say the Soviet Union when it was in existence, to overthrow the government of the United States, I would be classed as a traitor and either executed or would be spending a lot of time behind bars, probably in solitary confinement. However, Yon Goicoechea is now in Mexico from certain reports and probably spending his half an million dollars and enjoying himself immensely. Is Hugo Chavez an idiot for thinking that perhaps Iranian students, like Venezuelan students in Venezuela, are being paid money by US institutions to foment revolution in Iran? I think not and believe the real idiot to be Norman Solomon.

Another very prominent leftist in the United States is Michael Moore. He is a man who has done great work with movies like Roger and Me, Fahrenheit 9-11, and Sicko, with a new movie coming out in October on all the thefts and frauds committed by the banks and financial institutions of the United States that have contributed to the present world-wide depression. I give him enormous credit for at least keeping track of the carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan and posting on his web site the news of the latest US drone strikes that have killed numerous civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, he is another who sees the situation in Iran in isolation and thinks it is all about democracy. Michael Moore has long been a union man and I believe it was his father or another relative who was involved in the famous sit down strike at General Motors in the 1930s. I, too, have long held a passionate affinity for unions. Some of the earliest books I read were about the IWW in the United States and their heroes like Joe Hill, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Big Bill Haywood. I am just speculating here, but I think one of the things which swayed Michael's opinion on Iran was that the bus drivers union came out in support of the protesters and threatened a strike. The real tragedy here is that unions in other countries have often been infiltrated by the CIA.
In Latin America there was an organization called The American Institute for Free Labor Development. It was ostensibly run by the AFL-CIO, but was funded almost exclusively by the Agency for International Development and was an instrument of the CIA. One of its missions was to teach the unions in Latin America to be virulently anti-communist and to help with strikes any coups that the CIA was organizing in Latin America. Consequently, it is a big mistake to think that unions are always on the moral, just and democratic side of an issue.

One of the greatest problems that I perceive confuses many Americans, including many leftists, is a separation in their brain between domestic and foreign events. Most Americans realize the effects of capitalism at home. After all, in just the last 30 years there have been the scandals of the sub prime mortgage swindle by the banks, the Enron debacle where some people in California actually lost their lives due to planned blackouts, the accounting crimes of Arthur Andersen and others, which caused stocks to be greatly overvalued and led to a stock market crash and finally to the great savings and loan theft, which cost every American family approximately 5,000 dollars to remedy. They, also, realize that a great deal of their tax money is going to the very rich people who robbed them in the first place. The amazing thing is that these same Americans often believe that their foreign policy is motivated by humanitarian and democratic concerns, instead of the greed and avarice they experience at home. They point to the humanitarian aid given to other countries. Incidentally, much of this so-called humanitarian aid is actually money to build the roads and ports so that American corporations can make even more profit by not having to pay for these expenses. What American aid there is in terms of food, medicine and other things which are truly humanitarian is very miserly, especially since the demise of the Soviet Union, when there was obviously a competition between the countries. Now, US humanitarian aid is near the bottom in terms of that aid given by the other industrialized countries. Americans, also, point to the Marshall plan to rebuild Europe. That was obviously meant to prevent all the countries of western Europe from going communist because most of the resistance movements against German fascism in those countries were lead by communists. Finally, there is the American fascination with the "good war." I am speaking of World War 2, when American forces actually did fight on the right side against German and Japanese fascism. They relate that to other wars and think the United States is always correct when it decides to intervene in other countries.

Finally, let us return to the question of why if domestic policy in the United States is determined by very wealthy capitalists, why that same greed and desire for profits and power should not also extend to foreign countries? Those who own a country also control the repressive apparatus of the state. In other words, the police, army and the national security apparatus are in the control of the capitalists. If one doubts this fact, look at the history of Europe. Weren't nearly all the wars caused by the territorial and monetary aspirations of the rich nobles and kings? Does one notice any massive demonstrations by the poor for a war which does not benefit them in the least? Consequently, if the ruling class of the United States control the armed forces would they not use that army to satisfy the same hunger for wealth and power which they exhibit at home? I believe the answer is an emphatic yes, and all those leftists who believe the United States is not involved in the least in Iran are dead wrong.

Going to very popular leftist web sites and finding myself seemingly all alone in this opinion, I was very despairing that people who understood capitalism could not understand its consequences, namely imperialism. Now, I see that Paul Craig Roberts, Phil Wilayto, James Petras and others have joined me in my opinion. Michael Parenti once called the CIA, "Capitalism's International Army," and I couldn't express the situation any better.

Gary Sudborough
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A memory abused: No rest or peace for Neda Agha-Soltan

09.07.2010 07:33

Editorial note: The ruthless exploitation of the death of Neda for political purposes is an egregious example of a propaganda war being waged by the enemies of Iran – everyone should be concerned, however, since the manipulation of the media and public opinion is a feature of domestic news coverage in the West as much as it is of reporting on a Middle Eastern state, notes Reza Esfandiari and Yousef Bozorgmehr.


A Memory Abused: No Rest or Peace for Neda Agha-Soltan

by Reza Esfandiari and Yousef Bozorgmehr, 24 November 2009

The tragic death of Miss Neda Agha-Soltan continues to reverberate five months after her shooting in Tehran. Documentaries have been made about it on British and American television and a scholarship has been awarded by no less than Oxford University in her honour. The pertinent question that needs to be asked is: why?

Why does the international media focus so much macabre interest in the dying moments of an Iranian woman? Why is there is such callous disregard for her right to privacy that her death should be viewed all over the world on Youtube and Twitter?

The answer, of course, is simple: Neda’s murder has been scurrilously exploited by those who seek to put a beautiful name and face to the “struggle for freedom” in Iran. These same people have decided to posthumously call her the “Angel of Freedom [1].”

Miss Agha-Soltan, it should be remembered, was not shot while in the act of any demonstration – the incident happened in a side street at least a kilometre away from where the protests were occurring. Moreover, the unassuming young woman was neither a political activist nor had any affiliation to a civic organisation. She was a student of Islamic philosophy with musical interests and who had a desire to become a tour guide.

If she intended to take part in any protest, she was certainly not any different from the hundreds of thousands who also did. And, unlike some of the more riotous elements among the demonstrators who also lost their lives, Neda did absolutely nothing to provoke any hostility from the security forces, let alone being shot at. She was a threat to none.

Yet we now have begun to hear that she was a high-profile “natural leader” [2] of the protest movement, “committed to the overthrow of Ahmadinejad” whom the Iranian regime had every reason to fear. And if that isn’t enough, she was determined not allow Iran to suffer the fate of a “tyranny worse than that of the Arab and Mongol” invaders of the past [3]. We are also told how she was prepared to be “shot through the heart” [4] in her pursuit of “freedom and democracy for the Iranian people”.

Of course, all of this is utter nonsense that only the most naive of individuals cannot see through. There are several points that the “investigative documentaries” failed to account for or delve into in any way.

A letter sent by the Iranian embassy in the UK to the Provost of Queen’s college [5], which has awarded the Neda scholarship sponsored by an undisclosed British citizen, correctly states that Neda had a high-resolution camera trained on her for a full 20 minutes before the incident took place – this, along with other important observations [6], does give the appearance of it being a pre-rehearsed and staged scenario.

The letter goes on to the mention the fact that Dr Arash Hejazi, a publishing student and medical doctor at Oxford Brookes university, had arrived only two days prior to Neda’s death and left the day after anxious to tell the story to the British media of an innocent woman being shot by a Baseej militiaman – this despite the fact that the Baseej never ever carry firearms outside of military compounds (they use sticks, chains and other household items).

The media has since accepted his testimony uncritically, in particular Times of London correspondent Martin Fletcher, who has been nothing short of an obsessed anti-regime propagandist in the wake of the June election. Indeed, Dr Hejazi changed his story early on – he had initially claimed that the assailant was a rooftop sharpshooter [7], but later said that Neda was shot by a man on a motorcycle [8].

Anyone with even a measure of circumspection would be suspicious of Dr Hejazi’s actions and motives as well as his possible involvement with British intelligence which regularly approaches Iranian students and residents in the UK to serve as informers in Iran. Yet, he is hailed as the “man who heroically tried to save” a bleeding Neda (although there is very little to show for it).

The stolen/lost ID card of a certain Abbas Kargar Javid, posted on the Web with the intention of inviting vigilante-like retribution [9], and the video of a semi-naked man being accosted by demonstrators [10] prove absolutely nothing. There is nothing that links any member of the Baseej force with the murder of Neda. These two pieces of “evidence” were both produced after several months had passed, indicating that they were most likely dug up among the myriad of video footage and documents from the days of the unrest. Moreover, other witnesses present at the scene deny that there was any security presence.

It is inconceivable that an Islamic regime which understands the power of martyrdom in its own culture would sanction the cold-blooded murder of an innocent and ordinary young woman on the streets of Tehran.

However it is every bit conceivable that those who thought the opposition movement needed a symbol and icon of resistance – recipients and supporters no doubt of a $400m CIA-backed destabilization program for Iran [11] - would have arranged this horrible murder and try and pin it on the Iranian authorities.

It is especially salient that the British TV station, Channel 4, whose investigative “Dispatches” program had exposed that policewoman Yvonne Fletcher had not in fact been killed by Libyan diplomats but by underworld operatives linked to the American Government [12], would be so compliant with the official version.

The appalling and brutal murder of an Egyptian woman, Marwa El-Sherbini, in a German courtroom in July of this year has – just a matter of weeks after Neda’s death - has largely been ignored even though it is one of the worst racially-motivated and Islamophobic killings in recent times. Will Mrs Sherbini, “the headscarf martyr”, be honoured in any way by a German university or have films made in commemoration of her? Of course not.

The ruthless exploitation of the death of Neda for political purposes is an egregious example of a propaganda war being waged by the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran – everyone should be concerned, however, since the manipulation of the media and public opinion is a feature of domestic news coverage in the West as much as it is of reporting on a Middle Eastern state.
















Reza Esfandiari
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It may not be a human rights issue to you but it is to me...

09.07.2010 08:41

Hi All,

I am against the Islamic Regime of Iran and any Islamist regime out there. That is because Islamist regimes are by their nature totalitarian. They do not ask: do you want to be ruled by Islamic Law...they impose it on people, even on people who do not want to be muslims anymore. Unfortunately much of the so-called "Muslim world" is only muslim because muslims are not allowed to leave their faith like other believers can. If they were allowed to do so, millions would leave right away, especially many women who are oppressed in such a society. Millions are being held to ransom, by oppressive Sharia rules.

Left wing liberals though turn a blind eye to this, saying that the muslim world should be allowed its own "cultural identity", for fear of being labelled "Imperialist". But Human Rights and Freedom of Conscience are "Universal" and should be available to all. They are not "Western imperialist" notions, but the rights of every human to enjoy. I as a left winger who believes in free speech, freedom of conscience cannot stand idly by and pretend that "Cultural relativism" is OK, when in this instance a repressive regime is destroying the lives of millions of people. I want to liberation of Iran from oppression, and that of other people under oppressive regimes. For me, Iranians are not muslims, they are human beings who deserve freedoms just like we have here in the West.

I am against the stoning of human beings because of Sharia. I do not see what this has to do with "Western Imperialist ambitions". And if you choose to label me an "imperialist" for being a freedom loving person, then I will be glad to wear that label and so should other left wingers. If you choose to call me an "Islamophobe" for believing that human beings should be allowed to choose their religion, then again you have the right to call me that. So I will protest against stonings, because for me such barbarity outweighs all others. Can you imagine the kind of psychlogical damage it must cause to people who watch such spectacles. It is worse than even the barbarity of Roman gladiator games, because at least gladiators had the chance to escape death. Here you are stoned to death with onlookers watching and stones of right size are thrown for maximum impact, so you do not die too soon and too easily and you are powerless to move. And why are these women being stoned to death for? Because they chose love outside marriage over a loveless arranged marriage? Barbarity indeed!

Supporter of the One Law For All Campaign

Are there no limits to apology for barbarism?

09.07.2010 12:22

So what if the photo is not of an actual stoning - I doubt the Iranian authorities take kindly to to outsiders taking photos of stonings. That stonings take place isn't in dispute. Just think of it - a woman is buried to her shoulders before a crowd and stones are specially selected to be not too large to kill her immediately but not too small to do too little damage. And all for the crime of adultery.

It seems some people have such a crude division in their worldview between the "evil West" v "harmless victims of imperialism" and such a simplistic "the victim must be good" mentality that they have to defend the Iranian regime even when it tries to stone a woman for adultery by saying objecting to stoning is "demonising Muslims".

Stop stoning

Sanctions and war threats against Iran: Who cares about the Iranian people?

09.07.2010 12:51

Women Against War's billboard displayed in Albany, New York (April-June 2008)
Women Against War's billboard displayed in Albany, New York (April-June 2008)

Sanctions and war threats against Iran: Who cares about the Iranian people?

Kourosh Ziabari, 1 July 2010

The world countries are competing with each other in imposing new financial sanctions against Iran. While the Iranian people still hasn't forgotten the bitter memory of 8-year war with the Baathist Iraq which was masterminded and fostered by the United States and its European allies, new rounds of crippling sanctions directed against the most strategic industries of Iran come after one another in what is claimed to be the international movement of preventing Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Although the International Atomic Energy Agency and the G5+1 have so far failed to put forward hard evidence that demonstrates the deviation of Iran in its nuclear activities towards military purposes, the fourth round of United Nations Security Council sanctions was agreed on June 9, 2010, targeting a number of Iranian companies and individuals who have allegedly participated in Iran's nuclear and missile program.

The Iranian people still remember the painful days of war with Iraq under the late dictator Saddam Hussein who was armed and equipped by the United States and 14 European countries. The First Persian Gulf War cost the lives of more than 500,000 Iranians and imposed some US $500 billion damage on Iran.

On June 9, 1992, Ted Koppel reported on ABC's Nightline program that Saddam Hussein received much of its financing, intelligence and military help from the United States and the administration of George H. Bush. In 1982, Iraq was removed from the U.S. list of State Sponsors of Terrorism and this enabled the Reagan Administration to transfer a huge amount of dual-use technology to Iraq. According to a May 1994 report by the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, pathogenic (disease producing), toxigenic (poisonous), and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq [during the 8-year war with Iran] pursuant to application and licensing by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The United Kingdom, Soviet Union, Netherlands, Italy, France and Germany also played their own role in helping Saddam massacre and slaughter the Iranian people. Britain was said to have exported thiodiglycol (a mustard gas precursor) and thionyl chloride (a nerve gas precursor) to Iraq in 1988 and 1989. France sold first-line Mirage F-1 fighter-bombers to Iraq, as well as providing Super Etendard attack aircraft. Between 1977 and 1987, Paris contracted to sell a total of 133 Mirage F-1 fighters to Iraq. In 1984, Italy's state-owned Agusta helicopter manufacturer sold $164 million worth of helicopters to Iraq. In early 1987, Moscow delivered a squadron of twenty-four MiG-29 Fulcrums to Baghdad. Soviet Union also helped train the Iraq's infantry and delivered a number of surface-to-air missiles, air-to-air missiles, helicopters and interceptors to Baghdad.

The erosive war was claimed to be a counterbalance to the post-revolutionary Iran which was experiencing the first years of extrication from the monarchy of a U.S.-backed Shah. It was declared to be a battle against the newly-established government; however, it paralyzed the economy of the country, killed thousands of innocent civilians, immersed the nation into a long period of social crisis and aggravated the daily lives of ordinary people.

Seemingly, the history is being repeated once again. The western leaders send sympathetic messages to the Iranian people and declare that they want the well-being of our nation. They express their understanding of the status of Iranian people and assert that they want to empower the "subjugated" and "oppressed" Iranians. In a March 2010 televised message directed at Iran, the U.S. President Barack Obama stated the willingness of his country to provide the Iranians with the facilities of a more hopeful future. He said that his country believes in the dignity of every human being. He vowed the pursuance of diplomatic efforts to incorporate Iran into the international community and expressed hopes that his country can reach out to the Iranian people in peaceful, constructive ways.

"Our offer of comprehensive diplomatic contacts and dialogue stands," Mr. Obama said in the video. "Indeed, over the course of the last year, it is the Iranian government that has chosen to isolate itself and to choose a self-defeating focus on the past over a commitment to build a better future.

However, the United States and its European allies, in long with their past trajectory, are recurrently failing to practice what they preach. The financial sanctions which have been imposed on Iran by the UNSC, U.S. and EU tend to worsen the daily life of ordinary Iranians whose are inextricably dependent on the state revenues of oil and gas industry. Already stricken with the consequences of continued domestic failures in economy and growing inflation, the new sanctions will harm the Iranians by doubling the prices and reducing their purchasing power.

The new sanctions against Iran have nothing to do with the government of Iran which the western leaders are entangled in a tedious and uninteresting conflict with. These sanctions, and any kind of unpremeditated actions like this, will only injure the ordinary people of Iran who should suffer from the effects of power game between the governments.

Kourosh Ziabari
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The main discussion here is mainly about stoning ...

09.07.2010 13:23

Hi Kourosh,

The main issue in discussion here is the issue of stoning, which is barbaric and has no place in any human society.

In regards to Iran though -

What the "Iran Solidarity" campaign whom I support want is:

1. The immediate release of all those imprisoned during the recent protests and all political prisoners

2. The arrest and public prosecution of those responsible for the current killings and atrocities and for those committed during the last 30 years

3. Proper medical attention to those wounded during the protests and ill-treated and tortured in prison. Information on the status of the dead, wounded and arrested to their families. The wounded and arrested must have access to their family members. Family members must be allowed to bury their loved ones where they choose.

4. A ban on torture

5. The abolition of the death penalty and stoning

6. Unconditional freedom of expression, thought, organisation, demonstration, and strike
7. Unconditional freedom of the press and media and an end to restrictions on
communications, including the internet, telephone, mobiles and satellite television programmes

8. An end to compulsory veiling and gender apartheid

9. The abolition of discriminatory laws against women and the establishment of complete equality between men and women

10. The complete separation of religion from the state, judiciary, education and religious freedom and atheism as a private matter.

Moreover, Iran Solidarity call on all governments and international institutions to isolate the Islamic Republic of Iran and break all diplomatic ties with it. They are opposed to military intervention and economic sanctions because of their adverse affects on people's lives.

If any of you agree with these principles too, you can sign their petition at: and join the campaign

Supporter of the One Law For All Campaign


09.07.2010 15:49

There seem to be an overlap between the various UK groups expressing solidarity with Iranian reformist/green movement . Is Iran Solidarity so different to the Hands Off the People of Iran group (HOPI) ? - their policies seem almost identical . Both organisations seem to have many of the same prominent supporters - people like Yassamine Brown and the gay rights activist Peter Tatchell who is on the steering committee of HOPI .

Iran Solidarity says that it is “opposed to military intervention and economic sanctions because of their adverse affects on people's lives.” HOPI also positions itself on the anti-war , anti-western interventionist end of the spectrum of groups the CIA and Mi5 have cobbled together to call for regime change in Iran. HOPI calls for " regime change from below" and always prefaces its regular five thousand word denouncements of Iran with a perfunctionary sentence opposing an imperialist attack .

Surely these two groups , Iran Solidarity and HOPI , should get together .They missed a golden opportunity when HOPI held a fund-raising cricket match against a House of Commons team last year .Around the same time , Iran Solidarity was being launched by Peter Tatchell at the invitation of Dick Taverne in the The House of Lords .

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Iran's Made-in-the-USA "Green Revolution"

09.07.2010 16:30

Color revolutions, old and new

by Stephen Lendman, 1 July 2009

Iran's Made-in-the-USA "Green Revolution"

After Iran's June 12 election, days of street protests and clashes with Iranian security forces followed. Given Washington's history of stoking tensions and instability in the region, its role in more recent color revolutions, and its years of wanting regime change in Iran, analysts have strong reasons to suspect America is behind post-election turbulence and one-sided Western media reports claiming electoral fraud and calling for a new vote, much like what happened in Georgia and Ukraine.

The same elements active earlier are likely involved now with a May 22, 2007 Brian Ross and Richard Esposito ABC News report stating:

"The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a 'black' operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on The sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity....say President Bush has signed a 'nonlethal presidential finding' that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions."

Perhaps disruptions as well after the June 12 election to capitalize on a divided ruling elite - specifically political differences between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader/Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on one side and Mir Hossein Mousavi, former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri on the other with Iran's Revolutionary Guard so far backing the ruling government. It's too early to know conclusively but evidence suggests US meddling, and none of it should surprise.

Kenneth Timmerman provides some. He co-founded the right wing Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI) and serves as its executive director. He's also a member of the hawkish Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) and has close ties to the equally hard line American Enterprise Institute, the same organization that spawned the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), renamed the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) for much the same purpose.

On the right wing web site, Timmerman wrote that the NED "spent millions of dollars during the past decade promoting color revolutions in places such as Ukraine and Serbia, training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques." He explained that money also appears to have gone to pro-Mousavi groups, "who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that (NED) funds."

Pre-election, he elaborated about a "green revolution in Tehran" with organized protests ready to be unleashed as soon as results were announced because tracking polls and other evidence suggested Ahmadinejad would win. Yet suspiciously, Mousavi declared victory even before the polls closed.

It gets worse. Henry Kissinger told BBC news that if Iran's color revolution fails, hard line "regime change (must be) worked for from the outside" - implying the military option if all else fails. In a June 12 Wall Street Journal editorial, John Bolton called for Israeli air strikes whatever the outcome - to "put an end to (Iran's) nuclear threat," despite no evidence one exists.

Iran's rulers know the danger and need only cite Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other examples of US aggression, meddling, and destabilization schemes for proof - including in 1953 and 1979 against its own governments.

On June 17, AP reported that Iran "directly accused the United States of meddling in the deepening crisis." On June 21 on Press TV, an official said "The terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) has reportedly played a major role in intensifying the recent wave of street violence in Iran. Iranian security officials reported (the previous day) that they have identified and arrested a large number of MKO members who were involved" in the nation's capital.

They admitted to having been trained in Iraq's camp Ashraf and got directions from MKO's UK command post "to create post-election mayhem in the country." On June 20 in Paris, MKO leader Maryam Rajavi addressed supporters and expressed solidarity with Iranian protesters.

In 2007, German intelligence called MKO a "repressive, sect-like and Stalinist authoritarian organization which centers around the personality cult of Maryam and Masoud Rajavi." MKO expert Anne Singleton explained that the West intends to use the organization to achieve regime change in Iran. She said its backers "put together a coalition of small irritant groups, the known minority and separatist groups, along with the MKO. (They'll) be garrisoned around the border with Iran and their task is to launch terrorist attacks into Iran over the next few years to keep the fire hot." They're perhaps also enlisted to stoke violence and conduct targeted killings on Iranian streets post-election as a way to blame them on the government.

On June 23, Tehran accused western media and the UK government of "fomenting (internal) unrest." In expelling BBC correspondent Jon Leyne, it accused him and the broadcaster of "supporting the rioters and, along with CNN," of setting up a "situation room and a psychological war room." Both organizations are pro-business, pro-government imperial tools, CNN as a private company, BBC as a state-funded broadcaster.

On its June 17 web site, BBC was caught publishing deceptive agitprop and had to retract it. It prominently featured a Los Angeles Times photo of a huge pro-Ahmadinejad rally (without showing him waving to the crowd) that it claimed was an anti-government protest for Mousavi.

Throughout its history since 1922, BBC compiled a notorious record of this sort of thing because the government appoints its senior managers and won't tolerate them stepping out of line. Early on, its founder, John Reith, wrote the UK establishment: "They know they can trust us not to be impartial," a promise faithfully kept for nearly 87 years and prominently on Iran.

With good reason on June 22, Iranian MPs urged that ties with Britain be reassessed while, according to the Fars news agency, members of four student unions planned protests at the UK embassy and warned of a repeat of the 1979 US embassy siege.

They said they'd target the "perverted government of Britain for its intervention in Iran's internal affairs, its role in the unrest in Tehran and its support of the riots." Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hassan Ghashghavi, wouldn't confirm if London's ambassador would be expelled. On June 23, however, AP reported that two UK diplomats were sent home on charges of "meddling and spying."

State TV also said hard-line students protested outside the UK embassy, burned US, British and Israeli flags, hurled tomatoes at the building and chanted: "Down with Britain!" and "Down with USA!" Around 100 people took part.

Britain retaliated by expelling two Iranian diplomats. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded an immediate end to "arrests, threats and use of force." Iran's official news agency, IRNA, reported that the Iranian Foreign Ministry rejected Ban's remarks and accused him of meddling. On June 23, Obama said the world was "appalled and outraged" by Iran's violent attempt to crush dissent and claimed America "is not at all interfering in Iran's affairs."

Yet on June 26, USA Today reported that:

"The Obama administration is moving forward with plans to fund groups that support Iranian dissidents, records and interviews show, continuing a program that became controversial" under George Bush. For the past year, USAID has solicited funds to "promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Iran," according to its web site.

On July 11, 2008, Jason Leopold headlined his article, "State Department's Iran Democracy Fund Shrouded in Secrecy" and stated:

"Since 2006, Congress has poured tens of millions of dollars into a (secret) State Department (Democracy Fund) program aimed at promoting regime change in Iran." Yet Shirin Abadi, Iran's 2003 Nobel Peace prize laureate, said "no truly nationalist and democratic group will accept" US funding for this purpose. In a May 30, 2007 International Herald Tribune column, she wrote: "Iranian reformers believe that democracy can't be imported. It must be indigenous. They believe that the best Washington can do for democracy in Iran is to leave them alone."

On June 24, Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor to Gerald Ford and GHW Bush, told Al Jazeera television that "of course" Washington "has agents working inside Iran" even though America hasn't had formal relations with the Islamic Republic for 30 years.

Another prominent incident is being used against Iran, much like a similar one on October 10, 1990. In the run-up to Operation Desert Storm, the Hill & Knowlton PR firm established the Citizens for a Free Kuwait (CFK) front group to sell war to a reluctant US public. Its most effective stunt involved a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl known only as Nayirah to keep her identity secret.

Teary eyed before a congressional committee, she described her eye-witness account of Iraqi soldiers "tak(ing) babies out of incubators and leav(ing) them on the cold floor to die." The dominant media featured her account prominently enough to get one observer to conclude that nothing had greater impact on swaying US public opinion for war, still ongoing after over 18 years.

Later it was learned that Nayirah was the daughter of Saud Nasir al-Sabah, a member of Kuwait's royal family and ambassador to the US. Her story was a PR fabrication, but it worked.

Neda (meaning "voice" in Farsi) Agha Soltani is today's Nayirah - young, beautiful, slain on a Tehran street by an unknown assassin, she's now the martyred face of opposition protesters and called "The Angel of Iran" by a supportive Facebook group. Close-up video captured her lying on the street in her father's arms. The incident and her image captured world attention. It was transmitted online and repeated round-the-clock by the Western media to blame the government and enlist support to bring it down. In life, Nayirah was instrumental in Iraq's destruction and occupation. Will Neda's death be as effective against Iran and give America another Middle East conquest?

Issues in Iran's Election

Despite being militant and anti-Western as Iran's former Prime Minister, Mousavi is portrayed as a reformer. Yet his support comes from Iranian elitist elements, the urban middle class, and students and youths favoring better relations with America. Ahmadinejad, in contrast, is called hardline. Yet he has popular support among the nation's urban and rural poor for providing vitally needed social services even though doing it is harder given the global economic crisis and lower oil prices.

Is it surprising then that he won? A Mousavi victory was clearly unexpected, especially as an independent candidate who became politically active again after a 20 year hiatus and campaigned only in Iran's major cities. Ahmadinejad made a concerted effort with over 60 nationwide trips in less than three months.

Then, there's the economy under Article 44 of Iran's constitution that says it must consist of three sectors - state-owned, cooperative, and private with "all large-scale and mother industries" entirely state-controlled, including oil and gas that provides the main source of revenue.

In 2004, Article 44 was amended to allow more privatizations, but how much is a source of contention. During his campaign, Mousavi called for moving away from an "alms-based" economy - meaning Ahmadinejad's policy of providing social services to the poor. He also promised to speed up privatizations without elaborating on if he has oil, gas, and other "mother industries" in mind. If so, drawing support from

Washington and the West is hardly surprising. On the other hand, as long as Iran's Guardian Council holds supreme power, an Ahmadinejad victory was needed as a pretext for all the events that followed. At this stage, they suspiciously appear to be US-orchestrated for regime change. Thus far, Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Basij militia, and other security forces have prevailed on the streets to prevent it, but it's way too early to declare victory.

George Friedman runs the private intelligence agency called Stratfor. On June 23 he wrote:

"While street protests in Iran appear to be diminishing, the electoral crisis continues to unfold, with reports of a planned nationwide strike and efforts by the regime's second most powerful cleric (Rafsanjani) to mobilize opposition against (Ahmadinejad) from within the system. In so doing he could stifle (his) ability to effect significant policy changes (in his second term), which would play into the hands of the United States."

Ahmadinejad will be sworn in on July 26 to be followed by his cabinet by August 19, but according to Stratfor it doesn't mean the crisis is fading. It sees a Rafsanjani-led "rift within the ruling establishment (that) will continue to haunt the Islamic Republic for the foreseeable future."

"What this means is that....Ahmadinejad's second term will see even greater infighting among the rival conservative factions that constitute the political establishment....Iran will find it harder to achieve the internal unity necessary to complicate US policy," and the Obama administration will try to capitalize on it to its advantage. Its efforts to make Iran into another US puppet state are very much ongoing, and for sure, Tehran's ruling government knows it. How it will continue to react remains to be seen.

"Swarming" to Produce Regime Change

In his book, "Full Spectrum Dominance," Engdahl explained the RAND Corporation's groundbreaking research on military conflict by other means. He cited researchers John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt's 1997 "Swarming & The Future of Conflict" document "on exploiting the information revolution for the US military. By taking advantage of network-based organizations linked via email and mobile phones to enhance the potential of swarming, IT techniques could be transformed into key methods of warfare."

In 1993, Arquilla and Ronfeldt prepared an earlier document titled "Cyberwar Is Coming!" It suggested that "warfare is no longer primarily a function of who puts the most capital, labor and technology on the battlefield, but of who has the best information about the battlefield" and uses it effectively.

They cited an information revolution using advanced "computerized information and communications technologies and related innovations in organization and management theory." They foresaw "the rise of multi-organizational networks" using information technologies "to communicate, consult, coordinate, and operate together across greater distances" and said this ability will affect future conflicts and warfare. They explained that "cyberwar may be to the 21st century what blitzkrieg was to the 20th century" but admitted back then that the concept was too speculative for precise definition.

The 1993 document focused on military warfare. In 1996, Arquilla and Ronfeldt studied netwar and cyberwar by examining "irregular modes of conflict, including terror, crime, and militant social activism." Then in 1997, they presented the concept of "swarming" and suggested it might "emerge as a definitive doctrine that will encompass and enliven both cyberwar and netwar" through their vision of "how to prepare for information-age conflict."

They called "swarming" a way to strike from all directions, both "close-in as well as from stand-off positions." Effectiveness depends on deploying small units able to interconnect using revolutionary communication technology.

As explained above, what works on battlefields has proved successful in achieving non-violent color revolution regime changes, or coup d'etats by other means. The same strategy appears in play in Iran, but it's too early to tell if it will work as so far the government has prevailed. However, for the past 30 years, America has targeted the Islamic Republic for regime change to control the last major country in a part of the world over which it seeks unchallenged dominance.

If the current confrontation fails, expect future ones ahead as imperial America never quits. Yet in the end, new political forces within Iran may end up changing the country more than America can achieve from the outside - short of conquest and occupation, that is.

A final point. The core issue isn't whether Iran's government is benign or repressive or if its June 12 election was fair or fraudulent. It's that (justifiable criticism aside) no country has a right to meddle in the internal affairs of another unless it commits aggression in violation of international law and the UN Security Council authorizes a response. Washington would never tolerate outside interference nor should it and neither should Iran.

Stephen Lendman
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Black is White, White is Black!

09.07.2010 21:00

"The core issue isn't whether Iran's government is benign or repressive or if its June 12 election was fair or fraudulent. It's that (justifiable criticism aside) no country has a right to meddle in the internal affairs of another unless it commits aggression in violation of international law and the UN Security Council authorizes a response. Washington would never tolerate outside interference nor should it and neither should Iran."

Quite a confused post!

To start with, your final comment states that no country has the right to meddle in the affairs of another state, which is entirely correct. But what has been going on in Iran is a genuine attempt to bring an awfully abusive regime to an end. There has been electoral fraud in Iran and that is a very serious matter. The regime has also been carrying out appalling human rights abuses. People are being hanged in public from temporary scaffolding rigs, a man has recently had his hand cut off in an industrial metal press, women are sentenced to being buried up to their necks before being stoned to death, the rate of executions for 'proscribed' offences has jumped alarmingly.

All these things are extremely serious violations of international law, international law that Iran is signitory too.

The pressure it is under is well formed and derived from a genuine, heart-felt, refusal by the Iranian people to accept a religious Government that has no respect for its people and no value for human life.

Yes the United States is a nation with its own appaling human rights record, yes the United States has engaged in war without any competent oversight leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, yes the United States is endlessly trying to meddle in the affairs of nations which block the rising tide of capitalism...

But Yes the United States is also a nation that puts inordinate amounts of effort into trying to convince the entire world its hand is in everything, Yes the United States likes the world to believe it thought of everything first, Yes the United States encourages the worlds population to believe that it has spies absolutely everywhere, its satellites are watching you every minute, every phone call you make, it is listening to! This is simply the politik of the worlds most industrially capitalised nation. In reality, the United States is just another nation using rhetoric to try to convince the world it is bigger than it is.

This is the reason why we in the West believe it to be the worlds largest super-power (it isn't), why we believe it is the richest nation in the world (it is simply the nation with the largest debt liability), why we believe it has the most advanced military (almost nothing in its advanced military arsenal actually works!), why we believe it has the most competently trained and well equipped infantry in the world (actually one of the worst the world has ever seen).

In your post above, you even postulate that the US Rand corporation even thought of 'swarming' first. This is actually called 'clouding' and it didn't originate from the US. Its just that the US are most likely to take the credit for it, as they always do!

The RAND corporation is often put forward by the US media as being at the forefront of critical academic thinking but in reality it is a research organisation that has a remit to 'hijack' already existing critical theory, insight and trends in order to reformulate/regurgitate for US business & industry. Almost nothing it does is actually original!

And your comments re Maryam Rajavi and the MEK are straight out of the Iranian RG security services handbook! The Iranian Government believe, and want the people to believe, that the MEK are acting in concert with the US and are trying to de-seat it from within because anything is better than the truth, the truth being that the Iranian people have had enough. The reality is that the MEK don't have enough support to be able to pull off the kind of internal dissent we are seeing taking place in Iran. What used to be the MEK has now morphed into another organisation.

That other organisation has just gathered in Paris and has finally announced that they will only seek a peaceful outcome to the current situation. They now recognise that the Iranian people are the only people who can determine their own future and that a military confrontation involving the US is highly undesirable and isn't wanted.

Oh, and in your post you only obliquely touch on Camp Ashraf. You forgot to mention that the Iranian regime have all but lost control of their covert political wing in Iraq and have been reduced to fabricating stories about Iraqi judicial arrest warrants being issued for the leadership of the PMOI despite those warrants having no jurisdiction outside of Iraq & being all but impossible to enforce inside Iraq. In order to enforce judicial warrants, you must have political control, and the clerics don't.

The appallingly violent religious regime in Qom are simply trading off the back of current anti-us feeling in order to buy enough time to overcome their current difficulties. In this, they recognise the 'left' as key allies and they hope to set Socialists on the left in Europe and elsewhere against the interests of the Iranian people by flooding the West with contrived histrionic rubbish to prop themselves up once again.

The nub of it is, that the Iranian religious regime has identified a thread of anti-us feeling that exists within western europe that it thinks it can work with & by prodding this politik, it can dissolve the internal dissent it is experiencing by preventing international support from being given to internal domestic activists.

If this succeeds, this nasty, abusive & deeply disturbed regime will once again set upon their own people in yet another pogrom that will quietly end the lives of thousands of people who want nothing more than to be free.

We must support the Iranian people by supporting ONLY the Iranian people. We cannot support them by being distracted by 'Operational Editorial'.

Drip Feeder!

Islamic rules are against civil liberty and basic women's right.

09.07.2010 21:36

There is no need to use any fake photo to reveal the atrocity of the iran's Islamic regime against progressive people, Trade unionist, University student, Women's right activist, Kurdish activist etc.

Some might say it is Gods Country and some might say it is the Devils.

But in fact islamic regime has been a counter revolution, slaughtered hundred thousands of left activist, woman's right activist and trade unionist.

Majority of people in Iran including women's and progressive people are suffering under barbaric islamic law. islamic law imposes second class status on women and is incompatible with the standards of civil liberty and the basic principles of human rights that include equality under the law and the protection of individual freedoms. The islamic code mandates the complete authority of men over women, including the control of their movement, education, marital options, clothing, bodies, place of residence and all other aspects of their existence.

Iran's islamic regime is annually condemned by the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva because of the many violations of human rights in that country.
Freedom of the press is a thing of the past with many journalists in jail.
Political opponents of the regime have been killed by the secret services, and religious minorities (Christians, Baha'is, Sunnis and Jews) are persecuted. Ethnic minorities such as Azeris, Arabs, Kurds, Turkomans and Baluchis, are treated as second-class citizens. Women in Iran are struggling for their rights, hoping their lot will not be the same as that of their sisters in Afghanistan.
Iran is sensitive to criticism of its violations of human rights, but its answer is that Islamic punishments should not be carried out in public: Abdolnaser Qavami, head of the Majlis judicial committee. told the Iranian newspaper "Hayat-e-Now" (25 July 2001) that stonings, for example, should be carried out discreetly. This followed the stoning to death of a woman in Evin prison, Teheran (Christian Science Monitor 26/7) which was denounced by Amnesty International.
Human rights activists say Iran's sentencing practices put women at particular risk for this form of punishment. A spokesman for Amnesty International in London said: "While the death penalty is never less than cruel and unnecessary, it does seem that "moral offences" are penalized along patriarchal lines in Iran, with women suffering an excruciating death by stoning and - as in recent reported cases - men sentenced to be dispatched relatively quickly by hanging."

anti-barbaric law
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If you don't come to democracy...

10.07.2010 07:48

Shame on all those who sell their soul to the war propaganda machine!!!


I beg your pardon!

11.07.2010 17:36

"Shame on all those who sell their soul to the war propaganda machine!!!"

As opposed to selling your soul to an Iranian religious fundamentalist machine.

I dislike the American militarist machine as much as you, and it is matched by my dislike of the fraud that is the clerical regime in Iran.

I also know that supporting the Iranian people should not be used as an excuse to 'advertise' the human rights abusing US!

Anti-troll correction!

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