• 29 June 2009
  • Posted By Sanaz Tofighrad
  • Uncategorized

Rafsanjani Has Not Caved

Guest post by Jill Marie Parillo, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Very little press reported on Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s speech Sunday June 28, and I just don’t buy the analyses that are out there on it.  CNN does have a better piece, which is more neutral.  Most analyses claim that Rafsanjani is caving to Khamenei. For one, the speech does not sound to me (what I have heard translated into English) like a clear statement in support of Supreme Leader Khamenei, and it’s never a good sign when PressTV claims it to be true.

Rather, Rafsanjani said that he supported Khamenei’s decision to extend the Guardian Council’s time (by 5 days) to consider complaints of election fraud.  In some ways this is only confirming that he thinks there was fraud and complaints need to be heard.  Coming as no huge surprise, the 12 member Guardian Council confirmed today, after a partial recount, that the election was legal and Ahmadinejad is still President.

Rafsanjani also said Sunday that “suspicious” sources are involved in protests. This does not mean that he has the same perspective as Ahmadinejad and Khamenei, who are stating that “foreign sources” are provoking the unrest.  Rafsanjani could be referring to terrorist groups, like the Mujahedin (MEK/MKO) who were blamed by protestors to be behind the bombing of

Ayatollah Khomeini’s tomb.

On Sunday Rafsanjani said;

“The developments following the presidential vote were a complex conspiracy plotted by suspicious elements with the aim of creating a rift between the people and the Islamic establishment and causing them to lose their trust in the system.”

This part about the Islamic establishment likely means that Rafsanjani supports the Islamic Republic.  It does NOT say that he fully supports recent activity by the current Supreme Leader.  He could still come out against Khamenei and for the Islamic Republic.

Rafsanjani is very powerful in Iran. He became President of Iran in 1989, after being the primary fund raiser for Supreme Leader Khomeini during his exile and speaker of the Majles (Iran’s Parliament) for nine years (1980-89).  Rafsanjani is now Chairman of the powerful Expediency Council.  The current President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has far less influence and power than Rafsanjani had as President.

It is true that the well paid and violent Basij forces are coming out in large numbers to quickly bash down any type of demonstration lately, but Iranians are still coming out to protest Basij violence and the election results.  Only time will tell if this green movement will produce political change. It’s not over yet.

Posted By Sanaz Tofighrad

    4 Responses to “Rafsanjani Has Not Caved”

  1. MNPundit says:

    What developments can you point to, to say that it isn’t ending? It looks like any attempt at opposition is stamped out before it can spark anything.

  2. Jill says:

    Yes, it is true that protests are being stamped out, but we really do not know yet what will happen from the inside. In fact, we may not know what will happen from the inside power struggle for awhile.

  3. surrey says:

    He is very powerful in iran. He became president of iran in 1989.but now he is the Chairman of the powerful Expediency Council.

  4. zheegool says:

    Rafsanjani is an Iranian Oligarch with huge economic interests.
    His interests have been threatened by the economic ascendancy of the Revolutionary Guard under Ahmadinejad, so he is pushing to counter this with Mousavi.
    I guarantee you that he will come out on Friday in support of conciliation and give some token concessions to the aspiration of the reformists. His interest still remain in keeping the regime intact, but ensuring he is not cut off from the action
    Ahmadinejad made very direct threats to investigate Rafsanjani during the debates. The Supreme Idiot came out in his public address defending Rafsanjani.
    Rafsanjani was the one who was instrumental in getting Khamenei to become Supreme leader after Khomeini died despite his low clerical ranking.
    Rafansjani is no democrat. He was responsible for the “chain murders” of dissidents (see references here http://tiny.cc/uQwFH).
    The mullahs are thick as thieves. Unfortunately there are an estimated 3 to 500,000 of them in Iran – like rats infesting society and spreading the disease of religion and backwardness.

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Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
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Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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