Sunday, May 31, 2009

Artist, and university chancellor Zahra Rahnavard campaigns to become Iran's upcoming "First lady"!


Many Iranians have no clues what their presidents' wives look like, as heads of government, even the reformist Mohammad Khatami, mostly kept their spouses out of the spotlight and shied away from appearing with them at political events or on foreign trips.

But with a prolific academic and artistic background, Rahnavard is to many a household name in her own right, especially those who studied at Tehran's all-women Al-Zahra university, where she was chancellor for eight years. Since her husband announced his bid for the presidency, she has appeared at most of his campaign rallies and has given numerous speeches, notably criticising Iran's treatment of women, especially under hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"It is very ordinary, natural, sensible and religiously-accepted" for a president's wife to have an active and visible role alongside her husband, she said in an interview with popular youth weekly Chelcheragh this month.

Rahnavard has for years been an advocate of equal rights for women and called for their economic empowerment and a change to Iran's laws deemed as discriminatory to women.

The 64-year-old grandmother, whose husband served as Iran's last premier before the post was abolished in 1989, has said that mothering three daughters has made her more sensitive and concerned about women's issues.

Despite appearing in public in the traditional black chador favoured by conservative women, she sports flowery headscarves and bright coats underneath, and says she did not wear the Islamic veil until her early 20s.

The sculptor and painter says she enjoys rap music and her favourite accessory is a bohemian handbag adorned with Iranian tribal motifs.

Rahnavard has slammed Iran's tough police crackdown on "un-Islamic" attire over the past three years as "the ugliest and dirtiest patronising treatment of women".

At a pro-Mousavi rally in Tehran on Saturday, she urged young supporters to vote for a new government that will "not have political and student prisoners" and one that will fulfil the wish of "removing discrimination against women."

In 2005, shortly after Ahmadinejad's election, she invited Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi to speak at Al-Zahra university -- a move which did not go down well with hardliners who condemn Ebadi over her criticism of human rights in Iran. Rahnavard was replaced as university chancellor less than a year later.

She met Mousavi at one of her exhibitions in 1969. The two shared a love of the arts and a common cause of overthrowing the shah.

In 1976, as the former regime stepped up its pressure on political dissent, Rahnavard left Iran for the United States with her two children and returned shortly before Islamic revolutionaries seized power in 1979.

She holds a PhD in political science and served as an advisor to Khatami, who was president from 1997 to 2005. She has also been a Koran researcher and authored several books on art and politics.

A picture of Rahnavard and Mousavi leaving a rally holding hands has been circulating in cyber space, sparking positive comments on many blogs -- although conservatives frown upon public displays of affection even between married couples in Iran.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tehran Bureau: Mousavi is a Mossadeghist

This is the author’s fifth article in a series on Iran’s presidential election. Part I described the political and economical landscape in Iran. Part II provided a brief history of the important political groups in Iran after the revolution, their place on the political spectrum and their present position on the issues. Part III profiled the four candidates and Part IV described the latest developments.The present article continues describing the important developments of the past week, including several unexpected ones.Iran’s Presidential Elections, Part V: the Hard-Liners in a panic


[TEHRAN BUREAU] Only two weeks remain to Iran’s 10th presidential election and the campaigns of the four candidates are in high gear. To kick things off, we’ll turn to who’s supporting who.

  • Mir Hossein Mousavi

As described in Parts III and IV, with few exceptions, Mr. Mousavi has secured the support of just about all the major reformist/democratic groups in Iran. But, as a further sign of the strength of his candidacy, the Society of Teachers and Researchers of Qom’s Seminaries (STRQS), known in Iran as the Majma’ Modarresin va Mohagheghin-e Hozeh Elmiyeh Qom, which consists of left-leaning clerics who teach in Qom’s seminaries, declared its support for Mr. Mousavi. Note that STRQS did not support any candidate in the 2004 election.
In addition, 2500 university professors have also endorsed Mr. Mousavi. At the same time, some major figures in the conservative/principlist camp, led by Mr. Emad Afrough, the Tehran deputy to the 7th Majles (the parliament), announced the formation of a committee in support of Mr. Mousavi. The reformist minority caucus in the Majles, which refers to itself as the Imam’s Line Faction, also threw its support behind Mr. Mousavi.Sedaa-ye Edaalat (Voice of Justice), a reformist newspaper, also announced its support for Mr. Mousavi, as did Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Islamic Republic), a principlist daily (originally founded by Ayatollah Khamenei).

In a subtle but unmistakable sign that, if elected, he would work with Mr. Mousavi, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei paid a visit to Mr. Mousavi’s ailing father on May 16.

The Supreme Leader pictured here at candidate’s father’s house.

Another sign of Mr. Mousavi’s increasing strength were two huge rallies, one held in Tehran and another in Tabriz in the Azerbaijan province. May 23 was the 12th anniversary of the election of Mr. Mohammad Khatami to the presidency in 1997, which the reformists celebrate as the birthday of the reform movement in Iran. 
A huge rally marked this event in Tehran.
 Thousands of youth flocked to this event donning a piece of green cloth, which is the color of Mr. Mousavi’s campaign logo. While Mr. Mousavi was not present at the rally, campaigning in another city, his wife Dr. Zahra Rahnavard, Mr. Khatami, and many other notable figures participated in the rally and harshly criticized Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mr. Khatami declared that, “A magnificent country like Iran cannot be run only by the judiciary and security and military officials,” a reference to the quasi-military government of Mr. Ahmadinejad, whose brutal crackdown of critics is supported by the judiciary. Another speaker, the movie director Kambouzia Partovi, declared, “Over the past four years a [political] dwarf [Mr. Ahmadinejad] has humiliated us.”

The Ahmadinejad camp retaliated by accusing Mr. Mousavi’s supporters of acting like supporters of Adolf Hitler (who used to wear brown outfits), propagating lies, and creating divisions among the people. Mr. Ahmadinejad himself went so far as saying that it was illegal for his competitors to criticize his government!

About 50,000 people gathered for Mr. Mousavi’s rally in Tabriz, which is the provincial capital of East Azerbaijan, home to Iran’s Turkish population. Mr. Mousavi, a Turk himself, spoke in part in Azeri, the language of the Turkish population there, which provoked huge roars of approval.

A major strength in Mr. Mousavi’s campaign has been his wife, an artist and university professor, who has tirelessly campaigned for him.

She has been present at all the major rallies, delivering tough speeches criticizing the government, and promising a much more open government if her husband is elected. This has generated considerable support for Mr. Mousavi among the women.

  • Mahdi Karroubi
The Office for Consolidation of Unity (OCU), an umbrella group representing the vast majority of university student organizations, announced its support for Mr. Karroubi. It issued a long statement in which it analyzed Iran’s present political situation, and referred to Mr. Karroubi as belonging to the “moderate wing of the political establishment,” not as “a leader for fundamental changes.” It stated that its representatives met with those of Mr. Karroubi and presented them with a list of questions and demands. After it received satisfactory responses to its demands, the OCU declared, it decided to support Mr. Karroubi, since Mr. Mousavi’s campaign was unresponsive to their request for a meeting. The OCU also criticized those who have called for the boycott of the election on the ground that they are not democratic.

In addition, Mr. Karroubi has attracted the attention of many Iranians in the Diaspora, because he has spoken courageously and with much clarity about the problems that Iran is facing. He has attacked the military/security establishment, accusing them of interfering in the electoral process. He has also spoken clearly about the need for respecting human rights, particularly women’s rights, and the rights of ethnic and religious minorities.

In a bid for attracting more support, Mr. Karroubi announced that, if elected, he will appoint Mr. Gholamhossein Karbaschi, his campaign manager and former popular mayor of Tehran, and who is a member of the Executives of Reconstruction Party (ERP, a reformist group; see Part II), as his First Vice President. (There are eight vice presidents in Iran.) The ERP is, however, supporting Mr. Mousavi.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, one of the most influential conservative clerics, and Secretary General of the Association of Militant Clergy (AMC, of Tehran Province), the most important conservative clerical group, announced his support for Mr. Ahmadinejad. This was much less than what Mr. Ahmadinejad’s supporters had hoped for (they wanted the support of the AMC itself). As described in Part IV, the central committee of the AMC could not agree on supporting Mr. Ahmadinejad. There were widespread rumors that heated discussions took place among the members of the central committee of the AMC. According to these rumors, most senior members of the AMC were opposed to supporting Mr. Ahmadinejad.

The principlist faction in the Majles could not agree on supporting Mr. Ahmadinejad either. Only about 57 of the deputies supported Mr. Ahmadinejad. Most tellingly, the Speaker, Dr. Ali Larijani, and at least 50 other principlist deputies refused to support Mr. Ahmadinejad. Supporters of Mr. Ahmadinejad tried to retaliate by preventing Dr. Larijani from getting elected as the Speaker for the 3rd year, but did not succeed.

  • Mohsen Rezaee [blaaah!]

As discussed in Parts III and IV, Mr. Rezaee does not have an independent social base of support. Thus, no major group has supported him. However, a surprise announcement was made by Dr. Larijani, the Majles Speaker, in which he declared his support for Mr. Rezaee. More than anything else, the announcement (which some websites close to Mr. Ahmadinejad denied) indicates the deep fissures within the ranks of the conservatives.

Scandal and Rift in the Military

A major scandal broke out regarding the support of the high command of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) for Mr. Ahmadinejad. Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of IRGC ground forces, wrote a letter to Mr. Ali Saeedi (a mid-ranking cleric), the political representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC high command (whose job is to convey the Leader’s views to the armed forces), saying,

"As I told you in our [recent] meeting, the issue of the presidential election has created fissures among the commanders of the ground forces of the Sepaah [the IRG]. Please advice us on how to address the problem,"

hence indirectly soliciting the Supreme Leader’s view on the election. In response, Mr. Saeedi wrote,

"Dear brother General Pakpour, commander of the ground forces of the Sepaah, the explicit view of the Supreme Leader is the re-election of Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It is mandatory for the commanders of the Sepaah to follow the Leader’s view and also convey it to their personnel."

The exchange was published in Yaa Lesaaraat-e Hossein, the mouthpiece of Iran’s Hezbollah (which has not supported Mr. Ahmadinejad), and was apparently distributed widely within the IRGC and the Basij militia. The exchange created a huge uproar. It forced the public relations department of the IRGC to issue a denial, which no one believed since Yaa Lesaaraat had printed copies of the original letters. The exchange also took place right on the heels of an interview in which Mr. Saeedi, who is also a member of the AMC, said:

I am asked whether we should obey the explicit orders of the Supreme Leader [that he has only one vote to cast, and the rest is up to the people], or consider and interpret what he has said implicitly [that people should vote for someone who would stand up to the West, i.e., Mr. Ahmadinejad]. I say that we should follow the direction that the Leader has identified for us, which is as clear as the sun, although some people do not see it,
hence implying that Ayatollah Khamenei supports Mr. Ahmadinejad. The uproar over Mr. Saeedi’s position was so strong that the websites and newspapers close to Mr. Ahmadinejad accused the reformists of being behind such a plot to discredit him.

Nationally-Broadcast Speeches

Under huge public pressure and after scathing criticism from the reformist camp, the National Iranian Radio and Television (NIRTV) network allocated airtime to all the candidates on its major channels. The candidates used this platform to speak directly to the nation in a live broadcast.

Mr. Mousavi’s speech was particularly impressive. In addition to harshly criticizing Mr. Ahmadinejad for his domestic and international misdeeds and the woeful state of the economy, Mr. Mousavi spoke like a true nationalist, bolstering his patriotic credentials and reinforcing what the late Mahdi Bazargan, the first Prime Minister after the 1979 Revolution and himself a major nationalist figure who had also served in the government of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh, had once said about Mr. Mousavi, “He [Mr. Mousavi] is a devout Mosaddeghist,” an ultimate compliment to a former revolutionary. The main criticism about Mr. Mousavi’s nationally-broadcast speech was that he put too much emphasis on the significance of the first few years of the 1979 Revolution. But, then again, those were Mr. Mousavi’s formative years as a national politician.

Likewise, Mr. Karroubi strongly criticized Mr. Ahmadinejad, declaring that, “no one — professors, students, workers, teachers, anybody — has been secure over the last four years.” He criticized the claim by some of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s supporters that they are in contact with Mahdi, the Shiites’ 12th Imam who is supposedly hidden and will come back one day. Mr. Karroubi spoke in defense of the rights of citizens and minorities, and other aspects of civil society. He declared his willingness for improving relations with the United States.

Mr. Rezaee played up his military experience and declared that, “If the government falls into our [able] hands, Israel and the U.S. will not dare to attack Iran, because Israel knows that I can destroy it with a single counterattack.” He also declared that Mr. Ahmadinejad had taken Iran to the edge of a terrifying abyss.

Mr. Ahmadinejad tried to counter the attacks and criticism by presenting a softer image of himself, talking about all the progress that Iran has made during his presidency (which is disputed by most experts), particularly in the area of uranium enrichment and the confrontation with the West over the issue.

Several Iranian websites reported that support for Mr. Mousavi has sharply increased after his nationally-broadcast speech. It remains to be seen whether this translates into a larger turn-out on voting day, the key to the outcome of the election.

NIRTV has scheduled six one-on-debates between the candidates, starting June 3.

The Revolutionary Guards are Worried

Despite the obvious fissures, even among the IRGC commanders (see the above), the ideological propaganda division of the IRGC has tried to present a united front against the reformists, and has harshly criticized their two candidates. This has led to rumors and speculation about what the IRGC might do if a reformist is elected president.

In its May 25 issue, News and Analyses, an internal daily bulletin published by the ideological department of the IRGC and distributed among its commanders, strongly criticized Mr. Karroubi and accused him of presenting a bleak picture of Iran, and threatened to take him to court over his criticism of the Government during his nationally-broadcast TV speech.

In its latest issue, published on May 25, the weekly Sobh-e Saadegh (True Dawn), published by the political department of the IRGC and distributed among the armed forces and the Basij Militia, accused Mr. Mousavi and his supporters of “violating the Supreme Leader’s order not to harshly criticize the Government,” and, “presenting a bleak image of Iran, similar to that in the last years of the imperial rules [in the 1970s].” It then described some of Iran’s progress under Mr. Ahmadinejad and concluded that, “These claims [the reformists’] are baseless.”

In particular, in a strongly-worded article, Mr. Yadollah Javani, a hard-liner who writes regularly for Sobh-e Saadegh, criticized Mr. Mousavi, and claimed that Mr. Khatami has major differences with him, only two days after the huge rally in Tehran in which Mr. Khatami declared his full support for Mr. Mousavi. The website Basirat, which is run by the political department of the IRGC, called Mr. Mousavi “A man from the past that has been thrown into the present times.”

Uranium Enrichment as a Campaign Issue

Mr. Ahmadinejad and his supporters consider Iran’s uranium enrichment program their own major achievement. Never mind that the program had actually started much earlier, in the late 1980s. But, boasting about the program is not the only thing that Mr. Ahmadinejad and his supporters do. They also attack the administrations of Messrs Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani for incompetence on the issue and making too many concessions to the West, hence attempting to discredit the reformists.

Last week, in the latest round of accusations and counter-accusations and in a campaign speech in Semnan, Mr. Ahmadinejad declared that the Sa’dabad Agreement was “one-sided and was imposed on Iran by the Western powers.” He came very close to declaring its signing by the Khatami administration treason. Recall that the Sa’dabad Agreement (named after Iran’s presidential palace in Tehran) was signed by Iran, Britain, France, and Germany in October 2003, according to which Iran suspended voluntarily its uranium enrichment program, and began carrying out the provision of the Additional Protocol of its Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, even though the signing of the Additional Protocol had not yet been ratified by the Majles (it still has not been ratified). Mr. Hassan Abbasi, a leading supporter of Mr. Ahmadinejad and who is considered an ideologue of the conservatives, also accused the Khatami administration of “promising a ten-year suspension of the enrichment program.”

In response, the Center for Strategic Studies (CSS) of the Expediency Council (a constitutional body headed by Mr. Rafsanjani that arbitrates the differences between the Majles and the Guardian Council), headed by Dr. Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator during the administration of Mr. Khatami, declared that, “ We warn the government for the last time that if it does not stop such propaganda, and use this important issue that the nation is facing as a tool for its goals, we will have to publish a lot of documents that would demonstrate the heavy price that the nation has paid for the incompetence of the government.”

The CSS also declared that, “Everyone knows that the European countries wanted to pressure Iran into a long-term suspension of its uranium enrichment program, but Dr. Hassan Rouhani, the then Secretary General of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, did not accept it. Indeed, the statement issued after the signing stated explicitly that the suspension was for a limited time and on a voluntary basis.” It then called the claims by Messrs Ahmadinejad and Abbasi “a sheer big lie.”

Given that Dr. Rouhani is a conservative who does not belong to the reformist camp, such accusations and counter-accusation only show the deep fissures in the ranks of the conservatives.

Cold Hard Cash

Mr. Ahmadinejad and his supporters have been trying to literally buy votes. The government has been distributing cash and gold coins among various social groups, including teachers, nurses, university students, retirees, social workers, and peasants. But, last week, the government took the buying spree a notch higher. Etemaad (Trust), a leading reformist daily, reported that the government has sent letters to the Majles deputies, giving them checks for 20 million toumans (about $2000) and telling them that they can spend it any way they deem necessary in their districts. The government has also promised to compensate businesses that have suffered as a result of the worldwide recession. It is rumored that the government has spent up to $5 billion so far in this vain.

This has provoked widespread condemnation and protest, even among the conservatives. Dr. Rouhani demanded that the judiciary investigate “such unlawful payments.” The Hezbollah issued a strong statement accusing the government of breeding a “culture of money worshiping.” The National Inspection Organization, an arm of the judiciary that investigates corruption, has threatened to investigate the issue.

Will such tactics and generosity be effective? No one knows. But, as Mr. Akbar Ne’mat Zadeh, a former deputy oil minister and an aid to Mr. Mousavi said, “The people are shrewd. They take the money, but will not vote for him [Mr. Ahmadinejad].” After all, it is clear that the Government has suddenly become so generous — so close to the election!

With only two weeks left, election fever has spread throughout the country. All indications, ranging from the scathing criticism of the reformists by the Revolutionary Guards, to fissures among the conservatives, and distribution of cash among people, are indicators that the conservatives are terrified by prospects of a reformist victory.

The key remains the turn-out.
Copyright © 2009 Tehran Bureau

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Iran's SMS Election Campaign

TEHRAN (Reuters) – "If you plan not to vote, just think about June 13 when you hear Ahmadinejad has been re-elected."

Young, urban mobile phone users in Iran are being bombarded with this and similar text messages in run-up to the poll on June 12 when hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will seek a second term.

Emails and blogs are also playing a big part for the first time in a country more used hearing political messages blared through loudspeakers on small trucks, seeing gaudy posters and being herded to campaign rallies.

The government, whose support base centers on the rural poor, is sending its own texts and emails lauding Ahmadinejad's achievements, but is also showing signs of concern.

Hardline backers of Ahmadinejad have complained about the sometimes rude jokes aimed at their leader via text messages and the official IRNA news agency said the Tehran prosecutor's office would crack down on messages offending candidates.

Popular networking and content-sharing site Facebook was shut off on May 23, joining political and human rights websites which had already been blocked.

The Facebook ban was lifted on May 26, following strong criticism from moderate candidates.

More than 150,000 Iranians are Facebook members, and young voters make up a huge bloc, which helped former reformist president Mohammad Khatami win elections in 1997 and 2001.


Mirhossein Mousavi, Iran's prime minister during the 1980-88 war with Iraq, and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karoubi are two moderates running against Ahmadinejad along with a former head of the conservative Revolutionary Guards.

Mousavi and Karoubi see motivating young voters as key and consider texts and the web some of the best ways to do it.

One Facebook page campaigning for Mousavi, who has Khatami's backing, had more than 5,200 members.

"Vote for Mousavi and send this text to 10 others, if not you will have nightmares," an SMS message send by Mousavi's supporters reads.

Messages backing the conservative president include: "Vote for Ahmadinejad who supports the poor" and "Iranians love Ahmadinejad who preserved their dignity."

An e-mail hails the achievements of his government since taking office four years ago on a pledge to revive the values of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

"Vote for our brave President Ahmadinejad to help build a stronger Iran," it says, urging people to send it on to friends.

More than 23 million Iranians in a country of 70 million have access to the Internet. Over 45 million have mobile phones.

Many are based in cities, while Ahmadinejad's socially conservative supporters tend to live in the countryside, cut off from modern technology.

Moderates say the government wants to force Iranians to rely on sources such as state-run media, which they say favors Ahmadinejad and could put young people off voting altogether.

"We need a high turnout to win the election," said Mohammad Sedaghati, a campaigner for Karoubi.

"If Iranians boycott the election, we will lose to Ahmadinejad whose supporters will surely vote."

(Editing by Philippa Fletcher) (source: Reuters)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Iranian Election!

Iran's upcoming presidential election has four contenders:

Mahmoud Ahmadiejad (see pictures of his "Iran" campaign!)
Mohsen Rezaee (the ultimate crook!)
Mir Hossein Mousavi (see pictures of his green campaign)
Mahdi Karrubi (see a Newsweek interview with him)

I dislike them ALL!

But, to invigorate hope in Iran's really desperate youth, and to help bring more average Iranians to the political sphere, I will get behind  Mir Hossein Mousavi.

I doubt his effectiveness, but Ahmadinejad's gone too far in his deceptive internal policies; and too far in his international circus act. He needs to go!

I am pleased that Ali Larijani's re-elected as the house speaker. I wish he ran for presidency. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Obama, another puppy on Israel leash!

"“We’re not going to have talks forever,” Mr. Obama told Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu of Israel after a two-hour session in the Oval Office."

What are you going to do President Obama? Bomb Iran for being a signatory to NPT and claiming its RIGHT to nuclear technology?!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

IRNA and ISNA headlines: May 16

This morning, i feel like awakening to a bizarro world:

IRNA: MohammadReza Khatami compares the current state of the country with Mongol's Invasion!!
IRNA: Government's speaker: "Fighting press censorship is our priority"!!
ISNA: Press deputy of the Minister of Guidance: "Publication of 'Yas-e No' is banned!"
IRNA: America asks Israel to stop ranting against Iran!!
IRNA: Ahmadinejad's captured America's backyard (reference to his popularity in South America)!!

Actually, something these mullah's have done is mutilating the Persian language! I have no freaking clue what kind of a grammar is this. Euh! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Cinematic Anthem

This is really invigorating to an Iranian because some of Iran's most popular filmmakers sing one of the most poignant national anthems (pre-rev) on an Eisensteinian montage of some of the most iconic images of Iran's popular films! What better device to unite a nation than through image and sound, and Persia's modern-day poetry: Cinema?

I wonder what effects it has on non-Iranians. I'd love to hear your take, please.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Uhuuh! Delara's hanging was just another political act to curtail IRAN/US rapprochement ... no not Iran's government's fault!

"The execution, which happened on Friday, caught everyone by surprise. Not only had there been no formal notification 48 hours before the hanging, as required under Iranian law, but, just a fortnight earlier, Ms Darabi had actually been granted a two-month stay of execution by the head of the judiciary. The day before their daughter would end up being walked to the gallows, her parents had even visited her in jail where she had excitedly informed them there was to be an appeal so new evidence could be heard. Twenty-four hours later, she was dead.

Rights groups inside and outside Iran reacted with horror over the weekend as news of the secret hanging seeped out. "It appears Iran's head of judiciary has no ability to control his own judges," said Zama Coursen-Neff from the children's rights division of Human Rights Watch. "This is an outrageous violation of Iranian as well as international human rights law, and a callous affront to basic human dignity." Amnesty International said that the decision to rush the execution through in secret "appears to have been a cynical move on the part of the authorities to avoid domestic and international protests which might have saved Delara Darabi's life". The Independent

I would hang these judges for treason! (No I won't I am opposed to death penalty; it is too easy an exit given to any criminal! In Iran, the human rights movements are focusing on stopping execution of women to pave the ideological way for abolishing it entirely out of the criminal law. Also, I should remind my fellow American friends that many American state are just as DRACONIAN as Iran is in such cases!)

Now, the "West" is given an opportunity (since the Nuclear ticket didn't seem to get them far in biasing public opinion against Iran) to demonize Iran!

Well tough luck! We are beginning to see a pattern emerge here as well: Roxana Saberi; now this UNLAWFUL execution ... Someone's stirring some shit ...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sickened ...

vomitose ...
This sort of crap makes me feel disillusioned; makes me want to delete my blog; makes me want to give up my Iranian citizenship.
But, I have also lived long enough, and read enough to know that these are the last breaths of the monster of threatened male egos. Retards! Ugly, dirty, filthy, rapists are the judges who hand out these sentences ... someday history will spill their beans ... i wish them eternal damnation ...

Friday, May 1, 2009

What are they doing?

Really nice pictures of Iranian labour force at work. People often talk about political and religious revolution/repression in Iran. an often forgotten fact is that Iran's revolution in 1978 was much owed to labour unionists who brought Shah's regime to a halt by going on massive strike. The labour plight in Iran continues; but the IRI has a more heavy handed approach to dissident unionists than the Shah did! 
But, we rarely hear about it. We rarely hear about it in the west because those labour disputes sound a bit "socialistic". and if the generally capitalist members of the Western hemisphere hear about it, they might admire IRI's "crushing communism!" ;)(Which is what IRI did effectively, by massive execution of the leftist labour activists in the 80s!) Anyways, these are nice pictures--testimonials to Iran's passage to the age of modernity.

Yes they are humorous at times.
But Iran is a funny country, where people don't take life AS seriously as an average citizen of the industrial world does.

I am one of those who is skeptical about Iran's rush for industrialization. I want the Old Persia preserved. 
But, I have the luxury of not needing a job or a better life in Iran. I have had the luxury of feeding from earth, from water, from trees, from plants for generations before me and generations after me. I have had the luxury of not having to labour to be fed. 

It is against my luxurious past that many a workers, many a farmers rebelled. What happens in a country, irrespective of the political will imposed from "above", is the sum total of the bottom up aspirations f its people. And to the will of my people, I can only humbly submit. I only pray that we won't loose the spiritual essence of our Persian heritage in the process.