Monday, August 31, 2009

Anxiety: Iran's map after Ahmadinejad's 5th term

This picture reflects the core of Iran's anxiety about Ahmadinejad. This was on the Iranian news network; and it was clicked very frequently.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I was going to update the below post that I recognized a NUMBER of gross typos (even more numerous than my usual ones). I wish to apologize for this. I hope you forgive this to the fact that English is my second language, that I am a bit dyslexic, and that while typing these news translations, I am also typing away on totally unrelated and unpolitical technocratic matters, from which I earn my living.
Regards, Naj

The Butcher of Press is Promoted!

He was SACKED yesterday from being Tehran's general prosecutor. Yesterday there was no news of his new appointment and Iran was celebrating and calling for his arrest and prosecution.

Today, the head of the judiciary has "promoted" (** See update below) him to deputy of the General prosecutor (of country)!!! From being the butcher of Tehran, he is now promoted to Butcher of Iran!!! He is now going to be the deputy of Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi, the Minister of Intelligence who was sacked one week prior to Ahmadinejad's inauguration (because he protested to Ahmadinejad appointing his other peach, Mashayee, as deputy president--a position that does not need parliamentary vetting!!

This happened JUST now!

Is Larijani trying to put the SAME criminals in one camp agian, or is he trying to make them keep an eye on one another if they are not from the same mafia camp? Or, what does this man HAVE on Larijani or Khamenei to coerce them into such corners??!! He is known for using blackmail to prevent being prosecuted for his sexual indiscretions and unprofessional behaviors as a judge ...



The report on IRNA is short; and not flowery either. I think EVERYONE is shocked!! Something really ominous is brewing ...

(**)Whether this is indeed a promotion is being disputed. The new position is higher in rank and may come with more money. However, law experts do not think it is a high profile job; as they point out the boundless power of Tehran prosecutor (having judiciary power over all political, cultural and financial powerhouses of Iran, which are clustered in Tehran).

Moreover, as a friend of mine points out in comments, this may have been a "smart" appointment: keep friends close, keep enemies closer. Mortazavi is now placed under Mohseni-Ejehi, who is no longer in good terms with Ahmadinejad. This is likely to help rein in this rouge "judge" (Mortazavi) and keep him in check, preventing "Ahmadinejad" from appointing him to an unsupervised position.

Shariatmadari no longer in Butcher Mortazavi's protection bubble!

Today, Hossein Shariatmadari, the mouthpiece of fascism and one of its master minds, the editor in chief of Keyhan, which has been sued frequently for false accusations and defamation campaigns (and still operates with freedom to slander, while reformist papers are closed) was supposed to appear before the court.

But, he has asked for his hearing to be delayed, So he can settle out of court with the people and organizations who have sued him. Here's a list of those who have sued him. "Representative of the head of Tehran's court; ministry of intelligence, ministry of science; the legal counsel of the parliament, the director of legal affairs of interior ministry, the director of the public affairs of Golestan province, Mohsen Kadivar, director of Tehran's security, tehran university and some of the student victims, islamic association of Tehran U law school, dean of science and etchnology university, head of payam-e noor university, lawyer of the oil ministry, head of the national oil and refinery corporation, head of Iran's steel industry, head of fisheris department in Yazd, Mazandaran's office of environment ptotection, Health department of Aligoudarz, Bank of Worker's Prosperity, Islamic associations of some towns, Islamic association of students of several universities, Head of Clean Iran party, newspapers Toos, Neshat, Asre-Azadegan, a reproter and several private individuals!! "

How is he going to do this?
And why is this news out just now?
Could it be because he has lost his security bubble? The Butcher of the Press, Ghazi Mortazavi?

Ahmadinejad breaks the law AGAIN: enters the parliament floor with his bodyguards!!

What is this 63% popular president afraid of?!!

This is just in; and happened about half an hour ago! Some of the members of the parliament have angrily protested to this move!

Here a translation of Ahmad Tavakoli's (Conservative representative of Tehran) criticism of Ahmadinejad's unlawful manners (Today, he is on the floor of Majlis to defend his cabinet!)

"Although we don't have a good experience about Mr Ahmadinejad's willingness to consult the parliament, but what is the message Mr Ahmadinejad is trying to convey by releasing the cabinet candidates to media before introducing them to the parliament? Isn't this regressive?" He also criticized sending different proposed ministers to give a speech before the Friday Prayer sermon this week. Tavakoli said: "wasn't it better if Mr president had spent his time with different parliament committees instead of spending it in Ramadan feasts to lobby the representatives? {Ahmadinejad's been throwing lavish Eftar parties for teh parliament. He just buys his vote by food].

The representative of Tehran then pointed out the history of unlawful behavior of the president and said: "The government has broken the law in relation to presenting the budget in years 2008 and 2009; fuel imports, reduction of work hours during the month of Ramadan" [by not seeking parliamentary approval before implementing them].

In another part of his statement, Tavakoli pointed that the proposed Minister of Science has been Ahmadinejad's campaign manager, and that at least in academic circles his credentials are controversial. He also mentioned that the Minister of Guidance and Islamic culture is biased to a certain group and is incapable to address the criticism of the artist community. [Ahmadinejad shouts back: instead of appointing someone who has conducted one of the cleanest and best regulated of our elections as minister of science, you expect me to appoint people who have created chaos with the password of "election fraud" ... What the FFFF!!]

Tavkoli said, when the world is accusing the government of violation of freedom, why is a military man appointed to the interior ministry?

Regarding proposed women ministers, he mentioned that they lack experience and efficiency and parliament's vote, whichever way it goes will create division.

Tavakoli also questioned the elimination of the rest of the ministers, pointing out that in the four years of Ahmadinejad's presidency there was only ONE minister who has sustained 4-years of working in a ministry.

Tavakoli warned that this time around they will not overlook Ahmadinejad's unlawful practices.
(Source Khabaronline, 12:18 AM tehran time)

Reading more on what's happened today: hilarious ... what a bunch of losers are running Iran ... yuck!

Apparently, Larijani has ordered the bodyguards to leave the floor and they have.

Iranian state television has lost 60% of its viewers!

This hunk is called Ezat-Ollah Zarghami! He is in charge of our state media (Seda o Seema [sound and picture]). He has no media credentials, he is a building engineer!!!

He has been heavily criticized for his bias towards Ahmadinejad; falsification of the news, and spreading propaganda against the reformists. Because of all this, Iranians have been decidedly boycotting the IRIB.
He has now admitted that since election the IRIB has lost over 60% of its viewership! It must be that +60% who have voted for Ahmadinejad!

But what is significant is that he is admitting (not withstanding that he seem to be one of those who shifts with the winds!)

"The IRIB's biased and one way coverage of the news in Iran has upset many Iranians".

Yesterday, Mortazavi was sacked (shake in prisons); today Media's trying to mend breaks with the public. Also, some conservative member of the parliament has admitted yesterday that the secret burials of unknown bodies had in DEED taken place. These are the items on Hashemi's "solution", which he stated no only in the very first Friday prayer sermon he gave after the election, but also last week.

To PULSE media: You wanted to know about torture in the Islamic Republic of Iran?


PULSE media didn't ask me about this. PULSE media has just kept awfully silent about this; and has only published a half hearted (by no means the fault of the writer, who has no access to direct news from Iran--but doesn't also cite any of information that are available by English-speaking Iranians, or translations that are increasingly emerging) commentary.

Well, PULSE, I like to bring a few details about tortures of the Islamic Republic of Iran to your attention.

You cannot bash Israel for violation of the human rights and then let the champion of Israel-bashing, Mr Ahmadinejad and his bearded father (Khamenei) do the following to those who have been the true anti-imperialists, anti-dictators. Indulge me, will ya?

Yesterday, Akbar Ganji drew attention to the silent killer of the Islamic Republic of Iran: SHAME!

Have you, as an alternative and successful source of independent news, expressed any indignation on the so called public trials, where ministers of the reform government, members of press, reporters, intellectuals and social scientists are put in line next to petty crooks, and forced to confess on television that they have been trying to deceive the country in the entire course of the career, that they do not believe in any of things they have ever talked about like freedom, law, dignity; that all that is against the principle of Velayat-e Faghih (the supremacy of the jurisprudence); that they think talking about a republic is nonsense because the rule must be that of the supreme leader who is the god's replacement on earth; that their friends who are NOT imprisoned yet are traitors too and need to be put on trial and sentenced to highest punishment! The most elaborate publication of your site was some nauseating article by professor Hosseinzadeh who may be some useful economist but considering that he has been in the US since 1974; that he has not even one Persian article that will show he has ANY grasp of what is happening in Iran; you would be wiser to look for citations from other Iranians who wax theoretical about what is happening in Iran based on SOME real tangible connections to the country. It is this bias of yours that I find disturbing.

Now, let's get back to torture!

Ganji, who used to be one of the revolutionary guards until he turned journalist and exposed some of the inner crimes of the Islamic Republic, a man who has spent many years in these prisons and has gone on several hunger strikes to draw your PROGRESSIVE attention to the crimes that are happening in Iran--where Ahmadinejad allocated 20 million dollars to "exposing incidences of America's violation of human rights" (even before the parliament gives his cabinet a vote of confidence; even before consulting the parliament, as he must; even when the very legitimacy of his government is under question by the mere fact of how it has handled civil protests to his presidency) --writes:

"Ramadan's offering to me this year is the broken faces of my comrades [...] The pictures of the detainees in Stalinist courts shatter one's soul and body. The unfolding crimes are not limited to bodily torture, they are assassinating their characters. Don't even think of the extent of the grief of the families when they see their broken loved ones, imagine them when they go back to their solitary confinements and are left alone with the guilt of why they succumbed to these tyrants. This is what we do not see. This is the big crime that no one thinks about. This is what gives the interrogators and the "king" utmost pleasure!

I knew a great one, who melted away bit by bit and passed away. They used to put diarrhetic drugs in his food and did not take him to toilet. When he dirtied his clothes in the cell, the interrogators gathered and laughed at him that "such a great man cannot hold himself". I was in prison when he passed away and thousands participated in his funeral. The murderers carried his casket, and the man who had ordered his arrest appropriated his dead body by sending condolence messages! It was night and I was crying in my solitude. The guy in charge of security walked in and asked "what is the matter?" I said "You killed him; and now are holding a funeral for him." [I just saw this report that preventing detainees from using bathroom has been a common torture in Kahrizak (which was run by Hossein Fadayee, a member of the parliament!!!!!)]
Of course, the littler guys, the unknown ones, are tortured with usual gruesome techniques. Yesterday, I met a woman who through tears was telling me how her father, who had an acquaintance in the local neighborhood Basij office, had been successful to trace their neighbor's missing 23 years old son--who was kidnapped on return from university. The Basiji official had told him that he was too bruised up to be released and that they were waiting for his wounds to heal before letting him out? How bruised was he? Broken jaw; pulled finger nails, slashed feet. Slashed with razors; to prevent from running. This is what his family saw after begging and pleading and signing papers to give guarantee that they will NOT show any of it to the media, or the investigative committees.

I left a comment on your blog yesterday, in reaction to the "prudent" leftist exclamation that “one cannot simply overlook the fact that similar events had inspired little or no coverage in the past.

This is the why I explained:
  1. Many of the victims of torture are in Iran on “conditional” release from prison. They do not want to further jeopardize themselves by talking about torture. Yes even if you were released from prison 20 years ago, you are still not “free”.
  2. Many have been continuously protesting the human rights abuse in Iran (e.g. the cases of Zahra Kazemi, or the torture videos of the wife of Saeed Emami, or the stoning videos and ect) but a lot of us Iranian bloggers have kept silent about these things BECAUSE we have been under threat of military attack by Bush. When he called Iran an axis of evil, he forced us all into siding with evil. We kept silent; and kept focusing on the full half of the IRI glass. We have also not sided with the “human rights lobby” in the US because of their links to neoconservatives. But we have had human right activists like mohammad-e baghi who has decried to America to STOP funding these human-right advocacy lobbies BECAUSE of the pressure they put on activists INSIDE Iran. This is why we have stayed silent to not have our friends in IRan accused of foreign conspiracy.
  3. The tales of 1988 mass executions and tortures have been part of the common Iranian knowledge. They are out in the open on the web site of Ayatollah Montazeri. He was dismissed from his appointment (it was HE who was supposed to be the supreme leader, but because he protested about those torture and executoins he was dismissed as a “lunatic” as they are trying to do now to Karoubi–and this is why Khamenei became the supreme leader, without even having any of the religious credentials that are necessary according to Iran’s constitution.) That you are hearing about them now has to do with globalization of media (viva blogger and wordpress!), and also with the fact that Mr Khamenei doesn’t have the same legitimacy and charisma that Imam Khomeini had, when he put a cap on that fire in 88.
  4. Many of the victims of the 88 torture and murders were from Mojahedin-e Khalgh. This group fell out of grace with Iranians when they set up camp in Iraq and participated in attack against Iran with Saddam’s forces. Therefore, people lost sympathy for them. Those who “repented” were stripped of their passports, stripped of right to education, and forced to ‘normal life’ (a condition of release of someone I knew was to get married ASA getting out and to never participate in university entrance exam–she WAS a genius and they didn’t want to have to kick out someone with rank one in the exam out of university.)
  5. Now, they have put a Rank-One and gold olympiad medalist university student (who happened to belong to a family who has sacrificed at least two sons to defending IRan during the Iran-Iraq war), Jalayee pour, in prison, and then have started these sham courts, which are televised, bringing out old ministers, stern intellectuals and journalists, to come out and make a 180 degree turn from ALL they have believed before! It is THEY who have made obvious the evidence of their own brutality. No one else could expose their ass better than themselves! Some may be VERY right that Israel has an investment in this or is taking advantage of this. I really think it does. But Israel’s wishes seem to be carried by Ahmadinejad … more and more people have started to talk about links between the ideological movement that supports Ahmadinejad (hojjatiyeh) and Mossad.
  6. Considering the TOTAL chaos that Ahmadinejad’s created, and his blatant aim to install fascist regime in Iran, considering that his chief of staff, Mashayee (the man that supreme leader had to force out of proposed position of deputy president!) says:”in fact from the 24 million vote for Ahmadinejad, only 4 million were his. The other 20 million were people who were not happy with the system and wanted it changed!” is an indication that the REVOLUTION is indeed intended and designed by Ahmadinejad’s minority. This minority cannot keep the cap on anymore; the tides are against them.

Your writer Jasmin Ramsey writes: "That the IRI continues the horrors of the Iranian monarchy is ironic, tragic and necessary to condemn." According to many of those who have experienced BOTH of these prisons (for example, see Mohammad Maleki's post), what Shah's SAVAK did pales in comparison to IRI's actions ...

The saving grace of your treatment of Iran, Mr and Miss PULSE media is one sentence in your article: "That being said [after she implies that this all may be a Western propaganda--which prompet my response], anyone who believes in human rights must stand in solidarity with those who have been forced to endure the horrors of torture and political persecution regardless of the charges that have been brought against them."

Let me also inform you, tortures are not limited to Tehran! Yesterday, an Isfahani boy who was just released after two months of torture committed suicide; jumping in broad daylight, off of a bridge, because "they had come to take him again" ...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Good news!


The Iranian blogsphere is ecstatic!

Azam Taleghani Scolds the Iranian Parliament for Straying Far From People (and Islam)

This is Azam Taleghani. She is a true model for Muslim women, hence one who will NEVER be picked or concede to be part of an Ahmadinejad Cabinet.

She is a true revolutionary! Like Ayatollah Montazeri, she has stayed true to the principles for which she followed her father's leadership in the 1979 revolution.

Her father, Ayatollah Taleghani, the second man to Khomeini, but the first in respect and reason started the tradition of Friday Prayers in Tehran. It is thus more dismaying to her to see that her father's tribune has turned into an opportunity for Ahmadinejad's fascist propagandist clerical mercenaries who DENY truth in the light of the day.

I translate excerpts of her yesterday's open letter to the parliament. She is raising serious alarm that Ahmadinejad's camp roots in deep animosity with the principles of the Islamic Republic; and for the first time lays direct charge that the religious minority who supports Ahmadinejad may be a foreign installment, seeded in the heart of Iran's government to infest it into death.

Here, or there, you can find the entire letter in Persian.

She starts her letter with:

Beware of god's heavy wrath!

She then reminds the parliament that they are drops in the ocean of people, who will dry fast if fall apart from the sea, that people expect them to defend their right and reflect their opinions and complaints and then she goes on to report on some of the sufferance of her constituents (she used to be a member of parliament and is a nationalist-religious activist for women's rights.)

'According to what is said, the common question on people's mind is that the past two months during which much peril has befallen this nation, heavy prices are paid, innocent bloods are shed on streets, unofficial detention centers like Kahrizak are identified, well-liked political, social, cultural and student activist have been jailed and have not seen the light of anything but their interrogators, and more than 4000 innocent civilians are arrested, have marked a dark page on our history. People expect from religious leaders, from the political and intellectual elite, and especially from the parliament to apply all their power and courage and stand behind the people; and be steadfast in this goal and know that even if they are jailed (too), whatever they confess will not tarnish their image but will eternalize them in history and in future.

When Mr Ahmadinejad's chief of staff (Mashayee) states: "I believe for return of Emam Zaman (Shiite's messiah) not all world should be muslim. We have reached the conclusion that to prepare for [armegedon (he says conditions of return of Imam, but according to Shiite belief this return is a bloody one and follows a showdown between good and evil. And the apocalypse will happen not too long after this "return of the Imam"! I don't know what the proper term in English would be, if you know let me know please.)] we have to focus on common human terms such as justice, fighting tyranny, love and faith in one god.", he continued his analysis by: "considering the signs of the "return" time, such as frequent mentioning of Imam Zaman's name in streets and gatherings, we believe we are in the times of 'return'." Mashayee then talked about what role he was supposed to play as the first deputy [a position that Mashayee was assigned to but after much protest was stripped from by a terse order from Khamenei] in facilitating the "conditions of return". Then Mashayee said:" of the 24 million votes cast for Ahmadinejad, 20 million are critical of the system, and in this criticism they are even more serious than the 13 million [who voted for Mousavi], because those 13 million only questioned Ahmadinejad's government, but those 20 million [who voted for Ahmadinejad] questioned the entire system and said no to the whole of the regime before Ahmadinejad. In fact, Ahmadinejad only won 4 million votes."

[this is why] The sham courts are staged to drive home the objectives that Mr Mashayee has already planned for, putting all their efforts to prove that anything that the previous administrations have done have been wrong. This project will have consequences because [i don't know what she means, but I think she says something tongue in cheek that Ahmadinejadists are considering themselves as replacements of god on earth.]

He [Mashayee] says: "Mr Ahmadinejad only had 4 million votes and the other 2o million belongs to those critical of the regime". Does this mean that the entire system in the past 30 years, including Mr Ahmadinejad himself-who has been the head of the executive branch, have been on the wrong? How come no one protested to this questioning of the regime, but the intellectual and well-meaning critics or protesters to the election results are harassed by thugs and crooks, and that in conditions where the families of individuals such as Taj Zadeh, Zeid abadi, Behzad nabavi, Ghoochani and others are kept in total dark?

People wonder why you representatives do not support the plight of Mousavi, Karoubi and Khatami, which reflects the current suffering of the social conscience; and do not follow up on their complaints with concrete action to improve this wonderful system! Are you selected representatives? The public opinions doesn't seem to find you in line with itself.

People are united in wanting to keep an Islamic Republic, but if the Islamic republic doesn't evolve and does not give priority to the will of the people, what remains of [the republic] to be kept? What is "keeping the system?" The closest person to this system [the president] who has questioned the system, all the blood that is shed for this revolution, all the sacrifices that are made, has security! But, those who have tried their best in various ways in the past 30 years do to something for this "system" are jailed in frightening and unknown dungeons. These critics only asked: "What did you do to our vote? We didn't vote for someone whose withdrawals from the public vault and country's income is opaque; someone who has not answered for billions of lost dollars, and will not answer either. Why is the head of the system [Khamenei] still defending this government with its obscure financial record? What's the meaning of these behaviors?" People ask "are you given a share of those missing billions?"

Our history is full of sects who gained power and operated as tyranny until it fall open to the public that they were installed by foreign plot. Publication of books like "the decade of return [of Imam Zaman]" and similar books that are published in Arabic in Lebanon, and are freely sold, despite their bizarre and dangerous content; and no government-related organization has objected to them. In these books Mr Ahmadinejad is likened to the "commander in chief of Imame Zaman", Mohammad Khatami is to be assassinated; and Mr Ahmadinejad's mission is to rescue Quds (Jerusalem) and then there will be a peace treaty with NATO Similar to "Hadibiye peace" [??] and the killing of the Sunnis will begin! [!!!!!] Those who have seen and read these books are worried about a sect that is taking advantage of national assets and ruin the country, because this sect [Hojattiyeh; which was outlawed by Khomeini but has followers such as Mesbah Yazdi (Haghani Circle) and Jannati who are backing Ahmadinejad] is based on principles dangerous to clergy and to Iran.

In any case, honorable representatives, people's anxiety and worry is serious and if you do not act with courage and honesty, and do not support Mrs Mousavi and Karoubi, if you do not arrest and prosecute the torturers and those who have committed heinous crimes, sexual rape, and martyring the young protesters, this nation will strip you of all trust. They say that those prisoners who were interviewed by the parliament's investigative committee have disappeared, and their fate is unknown. You have to ask the judiciary system to provide safety and security who have been the victims of these crimes so they can appear before the house and show the evidence of these infectious sores that have been growing in these years, so we can open those wounds

To be Continued (i must rush out now--please help my edit this, if you wish)

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Human Rights lawyer, Abdulfattah Sultani, on his illegal detention

After over two months, Abdulfattah Sultani, member of the Defenders of The Human Rights in Iran is released on bail. He intends to suit people who ordered his ILLEGAL arrest.

1) He was arrested 4 days after the election with a warrant that was dated 2 days BEFORE the election, charging him with participation in the chaos (term used for after-election unrest!)

2) in the 27 hours after his arrest, he was charged with: doubting the election results, while there is no such term in law, and that it is not a crime to doubt election results!

3) He is a human rights lawyer who had no participation in anyone's election campaign!

4) He was also charged with "propaganda against the regime", and "creating a group to act against national security"--a charge that Soltani categorically rejects!

Four years ago, Soltani (or Sultani) was arrested for revealing evidence to defend his client. He was charged then, and imprisoned for 7 months for "propaganda against the regime" and "revealing secret documents"!

This time, he was kept in solitary confinement for 18 days; with no access to books, communication, pen or paper and NO SHOWER!


What's New in Iran?

After evidence of rape were confirmed; after evidence of hidden burials were revealed; after Hashemi gave Khamenei a middle finger and laid out the name of the game, Khamenei comes out and blabbers more nonsense and between his nonsensical blabbers he also squeezed that he cannot accuse the leaders of recent events (i.e. the green leaders) of collusion with foreigners!

After Khamenei's blurbs; and after more accusations were thrown at Hashemi's children, and after Ajmadinejad asked for more violence and elimination of all opposition parties, the Reformists push back; by president Khatami shouting back: No way Jose would we let you thugs take over the legacy of our revolution and Islamic republic! He stressed that more than before is is resolved to restore the rule of law in Iran.

Ahmadinejad claims that recent rapes in HIS prisons were plotted and executed by the enemies who have also not accepted their defeat in election!!! (He is now calling Mousavi a rapist!!!) He wants Mousavi and Hashemi prosecuted!!!!

The conservative faction in the parliament (majority) has reached consensus to not give vote of confidence to female ministers; excuses lack of experience for one; financial corruption for the other; and allegation of being a Mousavi-supporter for the last one!!

Ahmadinejad's proposed minister of education (Kamran Daneshjoo) turns out to have faked his PhD degree; claiing to have obtained it from University college London, Imperial College of London, Manchester University, and no trace of any schooling anywhere! Kamran Daneshjoo has been one of the instrumental figures of Coup D'Etat!

After Iran's Communication Organization has gone public, the revolutionary guard is posed to buy almost all of its shares; putting the militia in TOTAL control of all of Iran's communication: i.e. wiretapping standardized!

The New minister of Intelligence is talking of 70-million staff for his ministry! Iranians have shown the middle finger to that before; they will do again!

For my Persian friends: a research article by Dariush Sadjadi; linking Ahmadinejad's group to Israeli hawks ... ;Note, this article was written 7 years ago; and it is tracing Mossad footprints in Iran's post-revolution tracks ...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ahmadinejad's giving the West more advantages that the reformist ever would!


In these days, the hardworking government [of Ahmadinejad], that considers itself first ranking in all matters, has been giving unprecedented advantages to the West:

Re America, Ahmadinejad has congratulates Obama and has shown inclination to restart relations and negotiations.

Re United Kingdom, they released the British soldiers, gave them gifts and the president had warm and amicable meetings with them.
Re France, they released the French woman who was arrested on the charge of participating in [post-election] unrests.

All the while, many of the political figures of the government are still in detention, without any legal grounds.

Also, Re Israel, Mr Mashayee (Ahmadinejad's chief of staff) has expressed enough friendship and solidarity.

Now I want to ask the honorable readers and officials, if any of these events h ad taken place in the Reform government, would the right-wing press have remained silent? Would we not have had hundreds or protest rallies by the ready-to-die [hardliners]? Wont they have charged the [reform] government with hundreds of accusations?

But now, there is no news! Absolute silence! What a luck!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

SHAME on Islamic Republic of Iran: these trials will not bring them legitimacy

After his miraculous return from death after being shot in neck by Saeed Asgar, Hajarian, now disabled and incapable to talk or move, is on trial. He is being helped by fellow prisoner; who are is not given the dignity of wearing clothes and are put on trial in pajamas. 
Hajjarian confessed to big treacherous crimes: 
being influenced by philosophers like John Keane,  Jurgen Habermas and Max Weber! 
Today, a friend of Hajarian wrote how Hajjarian had predicted that even at the expense of turning Iran to Lebanon, Ahmadinejad's camp would not concede to his loss in election.
His assassin, Saeed Asgar, with a record of "organized" terrorism, is FREE.
In a country that underaged individual are put on death row for killing someone in self-defense, Saeed Asgar was given a 15-years sentence; but released shortly.

Begging a cartoon!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rebuttal to world headlines: Hashemi-Rafsanjani DID NOT concede to Khamenei's orders; he ordered Khamenei what to do.

This is one of those ironic instances when the headlines of Voice of America (VOA)  and the Islamic Republic's News Agency (IRNA) read the same:

"Hashemi Rafsanjani asks all to abide by orders and guidelines of the supreme leader!"

But, both of these news snippets (as well as those coming from BBC and other IRI-hating sources) factor out the contextual subtleties of Hashemi's statements.

Therefore I consulted Hashemi's official web site to find out if my theory (that Hashemis' trying to get back the wheel of power under his control, by keeping up the appearance of the supreme leader, while secretly advising the supreme leader on how to save his wasted status)  holds water.

This is the official announcement on Hashemi's web site: I color code words that are critical to subtextual message of this statement.
HEADLINE: Again, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani counted shift from sensationalism to rationalism the way to cross through the crisis. The media and different tribunes should prove, in practice, their loyalty to the "unity-centric view of the leadership".
This is the headline which is sanctioned by Hashemi's news channel; i..e. his official web site. The subtlety of this headline is in word "again", which means re-iteration of Hahsemi's previous prpoposed solution. the second subtlety is in reiteration of the situation as crisis. But most important is that he is addressing the "media" to abide by leader's command to unity. Remember that presently, the media is under full control of the conservatives; with the last reformist news paper "Etemad-Melli" being ordered shut! Previously too, Hahsemi had criticized the bias of media (i.e. the state television) in false representation of the facts.

BODY: In presence of the majority of the members, The head of The Expediency Council, again reiterated that the passage through current problems becomes possible by shift from sensationalism into rationalism and emphasized: The media and different tribunes should prove their loyalty to leader's unity-centric vision in practice.
The meeting of The Expediency council was held on Saturday, with majority of its members in attendance. At the beginning of the meeting, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani congratulated the start of the holy month of Ramadan, month of feasting with divinity, month of spiritual self reflection and social justice; and expressed hope that in the spiritual light of this divine month should lead to strengthening unity and conciliation.
He pointed out the necessity of increased compassion and unity of the officials with the people, to enable passage of the country through its internal and foreign problems and stressed: "acting with wisdom, principle and due diligence will make this into an attainable and practical objective." 
Hashemi Rafsanjani stated the essentiality of  respecting leader's orders and guidance; creating appropriate situations to abide by the constitution beyond group interests; opposing deviation from the law and confronting the law-breakers from either side[keep in mind that in the past few month, the law-breakers have been the Khamenei rookies!], replacing the emotional atmosphere with a rational one, and creating an environment for free criticism, reasoning and providing legal and reasonable responses to fair criticism in current situation; and added: "if these conditions are met, then the impact of the foreign media who is often tainted by colonial intentions will diminish and attention to local news sources will increase and the confrontations on the surface of the society and between different factions will move to media and internal news sources." [i.e. he is emphasizing freedom of press, again.]
In conclusion, the head of the expediency council emphasized that the guidelines of the supreme leader with respect to recent arrests, compensation for those whose rights have been violated, and punishment of the out-laws [i.e. the torturers] open a way through current problems and said: "All, in any position, must abide by these [principles] and those with tribunes, influence and media [again this is addressing the current rulers] have to avoid divisionism, labelling [referring to Ahmadinejad and Keyhan news paper's campaign of defamation], controversy; and help unity and reconciliation of the society.
He expressed hope that the independent and elite members of the Expediency Council will be the first to walk in this path."
So the highlights of his statements are not "everyone should say yes to leader" BUT

  1. Leader wants unity (even if he doesn't, Hashemi's publicly forcing him to say he wants unity) THEREFORE, we shoudl listen to his orders for unity!
  2. No one is above the law (including the president)
  3. Free press (to prevent impact of foreign propaganda)
  4. Compensation for those whose rights are violated 
  5. The expediency council should set the tone of reconciliation (on his right sits the new head of the judiciary; and his left the speaker of parliament; to the right of Larijani sits Mohsen Rezayee, the founder of the revolutionary guard. Usually, it was Ahmadinejad who sat to the right of Hashemi. Unusually, he was not present in this meeting ...)
Hashemi has not deviated, even an inch from his Friday-prayer sermon! Instead, he has made a powerful alliance with the new kids in the block, the Larijani brothers, while kicking Ahmadinejad out of the elite loop.

Here you may listen to his actual speech.
(he is warning about the upcoming September-Pressures by the  5+1; he is stressing that we need to regain unity to face the upcoming internal channel; starts by emphasis on respect for constitution by not only people but also officials; emphasizes need for debate and talking especially in press; "for now, as much as I thought, I concluded that the best solution is Leader's orders re arrests, protests, prisons"; avoid creating headline-making controversy; the Expediency council should be exemplary and in leading roles.)

It's very short indeed! And there is no SL-ass kissing in it what so ever! However, I should emphasize that the statement I translated from his web site is significantly more "elaborate" than his actual opening. And indeed, according to this voice file, he just gave an opening statement; and not a speech.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

From an Old Professor, to a New Professor: Mohammad Maleki answers Ahmadinejad's Letter to Bush

You may remember Ahmadinejad's letter to George Bush in May 2006. (Before I began this blog). That letter may have captured the anti-American and anti-imperialist sentiments of some. At that time however, a brave Iranian academic, Dr. Mohammad Maleki, first post-revolution chancellor of Tehran University, and a veteran of religious-nationalist opposition to Pahlavi (and now to Velayat-e Faghih) wrote a rebuttal to Ahmadinejad and highlighted a few hypocrisies in his scorning Bush vis a vis the IRI's conduct! Below, I have translated his letter. Quotations from Ahmadinejad [in yellow] are taken from the Washington Post, and if necessary edited to match the quotations in Dr Maleki's letter.

Today, Mohammad Maleki, 78, under treatment for prostate cancer, was arrested ... Ironically, he was also highly critical of the conservatism of Mousavi and Karoubi masquerading under reformism [Persian].

In the name of Hagh [God]
In the name of liberty, Knowledge and Justice
Open Letter
Dr Mohammad Maleki
Ordibehesht 1385 (May, 2006)

Honorable Mr Ahmadinejad,

1.Like a world savior, and a divine prophet, you have drawn attention of the American President to a few issues. However, unlike what appears in the holy books of prophets like Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohamad (pbuh) and all other champions of peace, who first adopted a peaceful and inviting language to address the tyrant before resorting to violence to rescue people from tyranny, you have started your presidency with a violent discourse unbecoming of a leader, and now have adopted the soft language of diplomacy.

2. I try to hear you from your statements; although you seem to be interested in saving the world community while your students are questioning you about the Iranian society.

Mr Ahmadinejad;

You start your letter with the following sentences, that I quote directly:
Mr. George Bush, president of the United States of America

For some time now, I have been thinking, how one can justify the undeniable contradictions that exist in the international arena -- which are being constantly debated, especially in political forums and amongst university students. Many questions remain unanswered. Those have prompted me to discuss some of the contradictions and questions, in the hopes that it might bring about an opportunity to redress them. Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him), the great Messenger of God, Feel obliged to respect human rights, Present liberalism as a civilization model, Announce one's opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and WMDs, Make "War on Terror" his slogan, And finally, work towards the establishment of an unified international community -- a community which Christ and the virtuous of the Earth will one day govern, But at the same time, Have countries attacked. The lives, reputations and possessions of people destroyed and on the slight chance of the presence of a few criminals in a village, city, or convoy for example, the entire village, city or convoy set ablaze.

Mr Ahmadinejad,
As I said before, because I am a teacher, I am often asked various questions. Once a student with a touch of Azeri accent asked me: "Professor, I wish you answer a questions that has been boggling my mind for a few years, as it involves events because of which I have lost several of my closed associates and my life has turned upside down. You know that at the beginning of the revolution, the Revolutionary Guard and the militia attacked several villages like "Quarna" and "Inderquash", killing a large number of women and children, not even sparing animals; on the excuse that several anti-revolutionaries has infiltrated these villages. Tell me, what kind of a government that calls itself Muslim and representative of the prophet of mercy and kinship, and which what kind of a logic or law could have committed such despicable acts?" Interestingly, later on, the Friday-Prayer speaker of Orumiyeh (Mr Hasani) and Mr Jalayee-pour, who was the governor of Mahabad at that time, and a chamption of reform in this time, had responded to this question of a Khajeh-Nasir [a University in Tehran] student had responded angrily that: "why are you bringing up the Kurdestan issue again? This story is over; whoever in power would have done the same." But, another student had interjected: "Then why are you protesting the chain murders now?!".

Mr Ahmadinejad,
In those days you were part of the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij that committed these acts; or at least was fully aware of them. You answer me. These acts correspond to which of the Islamic values to which you subscribe? To Mohammad's; to what is in Quoran; or Imams' manners?

Mr Ahmadinejad,
In continuation of your article [letter to bush] you point to mind boggling topics. You have written:
You might know that I am a teacher. My students ask me how can these actions be reconciled with the values outlined at the beginning of this letter and duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him), the Messenger of peace and forgiveness?

There are prisoners in Guantanamo Bay that have not been tried, have no legal representation, their families cannot see them and are obviously kept in a strange land outside their own country. There is no international monitoring of their conditions and fate. No one knows whether they are prisoners, POWs, accused or criminals.

European investigators have confirmed the existence of secret prisons in Europe too. I could not correlate the abduction of a person, and him or her being kept in secret prisons, with the provisions of any judicial system. For that matter, I fail to understand how such actions correspond to the values outlined in the beginning of this letter, i.e. the teachings of Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him), human rights and liberal values.
Mr Ahmadinejad,
Once in a class a student got up and asked me: "Professor, I have heard that you have been imprisoned both in the Monarchy and in the Islamic regimes. I cannot understand how they can jail a university professor; and essentially I want to know that in an Islamic Regime, what a prison looks like and what they did to you." I said "my son, in 1339 (1960) when I was a student like you, was arrested because I was distributing leaflets against the Shah's dictatorship. I am not going to talk about the crimes and horrendous tortures of the Shah's prisons because whatever they did, they didn't ascribe their actions to God and the prophet and Islam. But in the Islamic Republic, I have witnessed scenes and I have undergone perils that recounting them helps nothing but reviving the pain of suffering those cruelties. I witnessed daily executions of tends of older than 15 years of age youth; and many who couldn't withstand the pressures and died under torture. In "Gezel Hesar" [name of the prison] I saw something called "Ghiyamat" [Doomsday] which is perhaps unprecedented in the entire world. It is there that I witnessed hundreds of young girls who had gone insane because they were sexually violated. These are small parts which are not myths; you can read a small portion of these crimes in the memoir of Ayataollah Montazeri, who was the deputy of the supreme leader at that time. After I was arrested in the the 60's [i.e. 80s, AD] my family was not informed of my whereabouts for months. And when I was arrested in the 80th [i.e. 1999]; I was in a hidden prison where my family could not visit me. Now if I want to describe the prison conditions, my tale takes a ton of paper. Hopefully, one day the truth will be revealed and all will realize the harrowing crimes that have taken place in the prisons of the Islamic Republic, in the name of God and Religion.

Mr Ahmadinejad.
You speak of Guantanamo prisons. It is evident that Bush hand other Imperialists and capitalist organs don't shay away from any crime to protect their interests, and tomorrow they will be judged on how their actions matched the teachings of the Jesus, the human rights [conventions] and the freedom principles. But, you have certainly witnessed the scene of the Evin prison and you have yourself been one of the operators [/executioners] in that system. If you have conscience, how are you going to respond to God and Mohammad (PBUH) and the religious Imams in whose name you are ruling?

Mr Ahmadinejad,
in letter to Bush, you have written:
All governments have a duty to provide security and peace of mind for their citizens. For some years now, the people of your country and neighbors of world trouble spots do not have peace of mind.
Do you remember that in the 60s [80's] Mr Khomeini said that to watch the actions and the movements of one's neighbors is a religious duty? In those days, that in the position of a Guard or a Basiji you were responsible for execution of this order, what did you do to families? So many a citizen whose heart stopped by the slightest sound around their house; your committees knocked on any door they wished, and when asked for identity card, showed their guns. Let me tell you something that you are well aware of: On 12 of Tir, 1960 (2nd of July, 1981) when they came to arrest me, who were well known and at that age not interested in running away, they raided my house at 2 am, when my wife and children were sleeping, and arrested me savagely. These few samples were not committed by American soldiers in Iraq, but in Tehran and by the "unknown soldiers of Imam-e Zaman". You who claim a close relationship with this Imam, tell me, is he pleased with such actions in a government that considers itself Muslim and a follower of Mohammad (pbuh)?

Mr Ahmadinejad,
In your letter to Bush you have made a statement that if my students ask me about it, I will have no answer. Please you answer:
In countries around the world, citizens provide for the expenses of governments so that their governments in turn are able to serve them. The question here is "what has the hundreds of billions of dollars, spent every year to pay for the Iraqi campaign, produced for the citizens?" As Your Excellency is aware, in some states of your country, people are living in poverty. Many thousands are homeless and unemployment is a huge problem. Of course these problems exist -- to a larger or lesser extent -- in other countries as well. With these conditions in mind, can the gargantuan expenses of the campaign -- paid from the public treasury -- be explained and be consistent with the aforementioned principles?
Mr Ahmadinejad;
You participated in the Iran-Iraq war and after Liberation of Khoramshahr, most probably supported the continuation of the war and chanter of slogans such as "Path of Quods passes through Karbala" or "War War till end of evil in world" or "Till KArbala, remains one Allah-u Akbar". In your view as a commander in that war [Ahmadinejad was NOT in war though, he had an administrative job] you surely know that continuation of the war besides tremendous loss of human life cost this people billions of dollars; impacting the poverty line of the Iranian people, according to your own official statistics. Answer the students whether the outcome of this prolongation of the war was anything but poverty, corruption, unemployment, and eventually the "drinking of hemlock" by Mr Khomeini? If Mr Bush has to answer the Pasifict Jesus Christ, how do you justify your actions Islamically?

Mr Ahmadinejad,
You have written:
Did we intend to establish justice or just supported special interest groups, and by forcing many people to live in poverty and hardship made a few people rich and powerful -- thus trading the approval of the people and the Almighty with theirs? Did we defend the rights of the underprivileged or ignore them? Did we defend the rights of all people around the world or imposed wars on them, interfered illegally in their affairs, established hellish prisons and incarcerated some of them? Did we bring the world peace and security or raised the specter of intimidation and threats? Did we tell the truth to our nation and others around the world or presented an inverted version of it? Were we on the side of people or the occupiers and oppressors? Did our administrations set out to promote rational behavior, logic, ethics, peace, fulfilling obligations, justice, service to the people, prosperity, progress and respect for human dignity or the force of guns, Intimidation, insecurity, disregard for the people, delaying the progress and excellence of other nations, and trample on people's rights? And finally, they will judge us on whether we remained true to our oath of office -- to serve the people, which is our main task, and the traditions of the prophets -- or not?
Mr Ahmadinejad,
Some students state that they are asking the same questions of you. That you, who have been part of this regime since the onset, and participating in power in position such as Governor, Provincial premiere, Mayor of Tehran, university professor and a general of the Guard and etc, are speaking of "which" notorious prisons? Are there any prisons more notorious than Evin, Gezel-Hessar, and others across the country? Refer to your conscience. Was what you promised people in election right? Have you treated the people with justice and mercy or have your actions against the Buss driver's union and women activists and others most violent? Indeed, who is telling the truth and who is lying? Mr Ahmadinejad, you answer students in a press lrelease! Indeed, are you abiding by the Prophet's rules, especially Islam's?

The justice that is spread by the Islamic Government is where? Billion-dollar palaces, sky scraping towers, quick wealth of some of the relatives of the Regime, and next to them, tin-houses and plastic-houses [slums]; and hundreds and thousands of homeless is the sign of justice in your Regime. You are just staring outside the country. Think a little about our own conditions to feel a little ashamed of calling yourself a follower of justice-seeking Islam, Ali's governance of justice, and expectatnt of Imam-e Zaman--who comes to spread justice!

Mr Ahmadinejad,

You have written:
According to divine verses, we have all been called upon to worship one God and follow the teachings of divine Prophets.
Indeed, where in Quoran and in Imams' traditions you are told to kill, in one day, thousands of prisoners who are spending their sentences? Did you not know of the details of this order? How about the chain murders? You were not aware of the torture of students? How about Zahra Kazemi's death? Mr Ahmadinejad, for God's sake don't take people for fools. People know you and your ilk too well to be fooled by you and yoru words. Let me end my letter with words from your own letter.
Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.
Yes the world is heading towards faith in a God that loves humans and has mercy, not your God who hangs women in hell for showing two strands of hair; cruicifies men for slightest error, burns them in hell eternally and unleashes on them the "ghashiyeh" snake [snake of hell], but is kind to despots and criminals for two penny worth of their fake prayers!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ahmadinejad has killed this man; Kianush Asa, 25

Ahmadinejad's "Peach"

This is Kamran Lankarani; Ahmadinejad's outgoing minister of health.

In his TV appearance last night, Ahmadinejad praised him as one of the most able administrators of his previous cabinet and said:"I have a special personal interest in him, a pious and faithful young man. Once I said he is like a peach [with a 'cute' intonnation], one wants to eat him!"

In Iran you will either call little babies peach, or your female lovers and only in private tell them that you want to eat them!

I wish we could borrow John stewart for a while!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A little FANTASTIC treat

Please see Homeyra's lovely blog: Forever Under Construction.

Players: نوازندگان:سیامک آقایی،علی بهرامی فرد،بهمن بهرام،بشیر فرامرزی، روزبه رحیمی
Siyamak Aghayee; Ali Bahrami-Fard; Bahman Bahram; Bashir Faramarzi; Rouzbeh Rahimi

The instrument is Santur: The Santur was invented in Mesopotamia, in ancient Babylon/Assyria over 3500 years ago. Ancient Assyrian and Babylonian illustrations depict santurs.

These players are taking the instrument far beyond its traditional capacities. As far as I know, Ardavan Kamkar pioneered modernization of the instrument, with an album he distributed in the year that I left Iran, but released it internationally just recently.

New York's Jewish community gives Ahmadinejad a gift!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The IRI's conundrum

They have put far too many "religious" high-profile individuals in jail; have clearly tortured them; have forced them "confess" that they are spies and etc!

  • if they free them, they will eventually talk and tell what happened to them in jail!
  • if they kill them (which seems to be an option on the table) they have signed their own death sentence!
The game of chess is getting more intriguing.

A couple of hours ago, Karoubi, the more outspoken opponent of Ahmadinejad, has released the name of one of his "witnesses" that had spoken to Karoubi about the pressure his family was put under to issue a statement to the "fact" that Taranhe Mousavi was their sister in-law who lived in Canada!

Taraneh Mousavi was one of the very first victims of torture, who was hospitalized with severe rape-injury and later died. Basically, the IRI is refusing to accept that a woman by name of Taraneh Mousavi has ever existed--as they have brought officials from the central registry office to state that in the whole of Iran, there are only three people with this name! But according to Karoubi's source, the IRI has been coercing the victim's family to shut up, while coercing another family to say the "taraneh mousavi in question" is their healthy daughter in law who lives in Canada!)

The story becomes interesting, though, when Karoubi writes an open letter to a conservative news paper, revealing that his source (i.e. the brother in-law of the alive Canadian Taraneh Mousavi) is also a relative of Hosein Ta'eb, the notorious head of the Basij!

Is karoubi "Flushing House"?

Or, has Ta'eb or someone set a trap for Karoubi, to catch him providing false evidence, and to put him in jail and "administer" 80 lashes to him, as called for by conservatives?

I fear this because Karoubi's latest open letter is a response to a letter published in Jaam-E Jam[Persian] (a conservative newspaper) written by the witness source "brother-in-law". He had expressed dismay that Karoubi had not told his story correctly!

In response, Karoubi wrote something like: "thanks for coming forward because I was trying to conceal your identity and this is why I didn't tell all that you said to me! By the way, I just figured out you are a relative of the thug in chief of basij, Hosein Taeb"--of course he didn't say it so UNdiplomatically! But you get my figure, right? By the way, his letter is not on the Jam-e Jam web site anymore!!

I am hearing that AGAIN the riot commandos and the Basiji forces are getting in full gear. Anticipation is growing that they have the arrest of Mousavi and Karoubi on tomorrow's dish. Khamenei is acting as a total fool! Although, after some of the high priests of Quom have criticized his son's unconstitutional and unwarranted involvement in the affairs of the country, he seem to be acting as if more in command. But, it is obvious he is in a checkmate position. Maybe, little choice is left for him than to put up his final act as a Gorilla [Persian]!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ahmadinejad's "female" cabinet!

This one is Fatemeh Ajorloo! She is a clinical psychologist, who is also trying to get a PhD! Although in Iran, after age of 40 you are not ALLOWED to apply to a PhD program, she is a 43 years old PhD student AND a member of parliament--something that Mr Ahmadinejad declared illegal when criticizing Mousavi's wife's credentials. Ajorloo's biography and CV is outright unimpressive! She has been a volunteering nurse during the war; and the rest of her job descriptions read: University's "Basiji Bitch". In my university days, the basiji bitch were these ugly women who harassed and hassled any girl who was dressed well, who looked pretty and how appeared to be happy! She is nominated to become the minister of welfare and social security!!!

This one is Dr. Marziyeh Vahid-Dastjerdi! She is a scientifically incompetent Gynocologist who was appointed by one of the Larijani brothers as the director of one of Tehran University's hospitals (Roo'inTan Hospital). She has been a member of parliament and has membership on a bunch of health-policy committees on her CV; but that doesn't say much about her actual public health credentials (see previous post on nepotism!)

There is rumors of a third female minister circulating as well!

Now, all readers of this blog BEWARE:

When you hear members of the IRI sporting academic titles or high professional profiles, do not assume that they are necessarily talented or deserving of their positions or degrees! Indeed it is the opposite!

In Iran, to become "someone" you need to be part of the system, most preferably related to someone at the helm of the IRI ruling class by marriage or by blood. If one looks at the family charts of the IRI elite, one will find a pretty intricate web of incest!! If you are a woman, and you want to make it to the top, a) you need to abide by the patriarchic bases of the Islamic Sharia; it means that you have to be subject to your husband's, father's, brother's or if they are dead, uncle's wishes and permissions; b) you need to cover yourself from tip to toe and abstract all your femininity in a black veil. (I may have argued elsewhere that the nature of veil and a two-piece bikini in objectification of the female character are identical); c) you need to be a defender of men's right to higher 'value of life', right to polygamy, right to double inheritance, right to physical abuse, and etc.

Of course, the 'beauty' of all things in Iran is that just as its secularists cannot stand the sight of its mullahs; the mullahs of left and right leaning cannot stand the sight of each other nor the sight of secularists, feminists are also caught in irreconcilable discourses. On the one hand we have religious feminists like Zahra Rahnavard (the wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi and the first woman to appear in public on the campaign trail of her husband) and A'zam Taleghani (one of the founders of Iran's islamic feminism), on the other hand are creatures like Fateme Rajabi (a hardliner member of parliament who believes men have to beat up their disobedient wives) or Dastjerdi (Ahmadinejad's pick for ministry of health who believes in segregation of health care system); and all above in opposition to secular feminists who challenge the Islamic fundamentals of discrimination against women.

Therefore, appointment of these women to the cabinet in a country where activists of the 1-million signature campaign for gender equality are arrested; where Shadi Sadr, a human rights lawyer and women rights activist is kidnapped in broad daylight; where a death Fatwa by Ahmadinejad's spiritual mentor is hovering over the head of Iran's peace Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, I will not be impressed nor fooled by this ridiculous appointments!

Nevertheless, I am very curious to watch this play out. Already, complaints are popping that Ahmadinejad has BROKEN YET ANOTHER RULE by releasing a partial list of his cabinet to the media--while he had to first propose his cabinet (in full) to the parliament. I suspect this will become another untenable case where the populist efforts of the fundamentalist president will be nipped by his fascist supporters. Let's wait and see!

Sickening Nepotism!

Read here!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to tales of resilience: Navid Mojahed

Half of the glass is always full, such is the nature of nature!

Today, after a week of intentional break, I opened my news page to more stories of rape, more confessions to false confessions and despicable acts by thugs running Iran. But I also came across the sad news of the death of an enchanted young man, Navid Mojahed. I never knew anything about this man. On a friend of his was drawing attention to the death of this 22 year old "genius", the founder of forum enabling the Iranian disabled to blog, to exchange ideas and to push for awareness of social challenges faced by their neglected community in Iran. Navid suffered a muscular disorder that had fully paralyzed him starting the age of 10. Hence, more triumphant is his tale of resilience. I wrote to his friend, and asked for some information on Navid (Navid in Persian means good news.) but why wait when I have already found an interview conducted by another Persian weblog: Mojhdeh (Mojhdeh, too, means good news.)

Below, a translation of what Navid Mojahed had to say about himself:

First, tell us about your age, education and interests:

I am Navid Mohajed, 22, and a resident of Yazd. Because I suffer from Duchenne Dystrophy, with total reliance on my father's efforts, I could study until grade 5. However, due to advanced symptoms, my father decided to home-school me. I wasn't satisfied with school materials only, therefore I study other books that my father provided me. First I studied novels and then was drawn to history, astronomy and science fiction. Then, after learning about computers, my interest shifted to programming. Presently, blogging, web design and programming are my major interests. Recently, I have started working from home, programming for an established computer programming company.

I think our readers are curious to know about your physical condition:
I have Duchenne Dystrophy, a genetic disorder that leads to gradual loss of muscles. I could walk until 12 years ago but I slowly lost my ability to walk. I use wheelchair now, but my arms are getting weak too. As you know, the physically impaired individuals are a huge burden to themselves and to their family; and here I wish to express my gratitude to my family. I owe my success to my father.

How come you were drawn to computers and Internet?
Ten years ago, my father bought me a computer and encouraged me to learn it. At the beginning it was difficult to understand computer books, because I only had elementary education. But, with help from my father I began learning English, and QBasic. Because of my physical disability I was enthralled by creating virtual programs. After gaining some basic knowledge, my father brought me a tutor to teach me advanced topics. And then I started programing in PASCAL. Around two years ago, I started html design and programming. My first project was to design a site with ASP to allow university students access their records via Internet. [This may look trivial to you, but in a Yazd University, electronic education is not commonplace!] After this web site, the Free University of Yazd adopted this program as well. Presently I am working on I could not use any courses to learn about programming and all I know is owed to numerous books that my father has provided me. I have to think him for that here.

How many years have you worked in this field?

Four years, approximately.

You have dedicated most of your weblog's attention to transferring knowledge to your readers. Why did you choose this path?

I want my weblog to benefit its readers, so they won't leave it empty-handed. If we write about our own specialties in our weblogs we elevate public knowledge. This is why I am dedicating attention to educational matters. Of course, I don't oppose personal weblogs. Those weblogs also share their experiences with their readers.

What is the special topic you write on?

Mostly, I write educational material on Movable Type system administration. This is one of the most powerful weblog management systems in the world and is very popular among Iranian bloggers. This system is so wide spread that the need for education about it is tangible. I hope my posts have been useful for readers.

Apparently, you have been encouraging those with physical disabilities to join the web, tell us about that.

Those with physical disability are limited in communicating their opinions and their problems to the outside. Therefore, people are ill informed about the ideas, problems and ... of the disabled. In my view, a web log is the best place for a disabled person to express his problems. In this domain, I have not denied any assistance. So far, I have made two blogs for the disabled:

Getting to Know a Spinal Cord Disabled and
I and MS

How many visitors have you had and what has been the response to your blogs. What do you think of blogging in general? And whom do you recommend it for?

Weblogs have generated a great change in the Persian content of the internet. Presently, if you search a [Persian] word in search engines, you will find the results in the Persian weblogs. In the past, a lot of web sites were built but updating them was was not trivial. Weblogs increase the speed of new-content generation.The greatest impact of weblogs for me has been to get to know different people. Before, in the chat-time, you could not learn about beliefs and knowledge of different individuals. This is more problematic in case of the disabled. The disabled who cannot get out of the house have very limited contact with the society; but blogging allows them to communicate with the outside world. I particularly recommend blogging to the disabled.

Navid has indeed set up an elegant forum for the disabled to communicate on a range of topics! Apparently, the Iranian bloggers feel a great debt to his generosity in sharing knowledge and advancing the infrastructure of Iran's [Green] E-revolution.
May he rest in peace.