• 30 June 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Iran Updates – June 30

11:00 pm: 18-year old victim identified: His name was Ashkan
Neda Soltan has become the face of those killed during the post-election protests, however other victims include 18 year-old Ashkan Sohrabi. Rooz online interviewed his sister, Elham, who remembered Ashkan’s last words, “Don’t worry, I’ll come back.” According to Elham, he was shot 3 times in the chest.

5:22 pm: Mowj – Association of Journalists meeting cancelled because of intimidation

Association of Journalists had planned a gathering on Friday, June 2nd, to protest the restrictions placed on media.  However, according to Mousavi’s website, this meeting was cancelled upon an order from security forces.  The Association of Journalists believes that having this meeting is their right and asked the judicial system to immediately reconsider their treatment of members of this union (some of whom are still imprisoned) and remove the recent limitations put on freedom of media.

5:08 pm: (State Run) Kayhan Newspaper: Israel behind the twitter messages!

According to (the state-run newspaper) Kayhan, Israel sent 18 thousand twitter messages just two days before the elections in its “internet war against Iran.”

4:11 pm: Iran’s poet laureate speaks out – Iran’s national poet Simin Behbahani went on NPR and recited two poems inspired by the protests in Iran.  Listen to them here or watch on Youtube.

Stop Throwing My Country To The Wind
Simin Behbahani
Translated by Kaveh Safa and Farzaneh Milani
June 2009

If the flames of anger rise any higher in this land Your name on your tombstone will be covered with dirt.

You have become a babbling loudmouth. Your insolent ranting, something to joke about.

The lies you have found, you have woven together. The rope you have crafted, you will find around your neck.

Pride has swollen your head, your faith has grown blind. The elephant that falls will not rise.

Stop this extravagance, this reckless throwing of my country to the wind. The grim-faced rising cloud, will grovel at the swamp’s feet.

Stop this screaming, mayhem, and blood shed. Stop doing what makes God’s creatures mourn with tears.

My curses will not be upon you, as in their fulfillment. My enemies’ afflictions also cause me pain.

You may wish to have me burned , or decide to stone me. But in your hand match or stone will lose their power to harm me.

2:03 pm: Silicon Valley needs to get it in gear – Cyrus Farivar calls out Silicon Valley in today’s San Francisco Chronicle for not doing more to help Iranians get around government filters. This is a must-read.

Silicon Valley can and should be doing more to provide tech tools for protesters in Iran….

According to Dr. Siavash Shahshahanione of the Iranian academics who helped bring the Internet to Iran, the country’s national bandwidth is running at two gigabits, or less than half of the capacity that the country normally uses. Online calls to perform minor-league cyberattacks against government Web sites may, in fact, be causing more harm than good by blocking internal communications.

So instead of superficial support, like Twitter users changing their avatars to green to support Iran’s reformist movement, Silicon Valley minds and money should pool resources as a way to help Iranians get around this information blockade by providing easier-to-use proxies, anonymizers and maybe even unfiltered Internet access through hardware….

All of that may sound crazy, but not helping Iranian reformers at their darkest hour would be even crazier.

At a time when there seems to be little we in the West can do to help the situation in Iran, internet technology is one avenue that needs to be explored much, much more.  The people and companies who actually know about this type of technology need to be speaking loudly, with one voice, about what we can and should be doing to help the Iranian people maintain their communication with each other and the outside world.

11:59 am: According to Ahmadinejad’s website, as of today the following 35 countries have recognized him as the winner of the election:

-India  -Tunisia  -Malaysia  -Lebanon  -North Korea  -Kuwait  -Nicaragua   -Comoros  -Cambodia  -Senegal  -Cuba  -Belarus  -Sudan  -Syria  -Libya  -Algeria  -Turkmenistan  -Iraq  -Kazakhstan  -Indonesia  -Bahrain  -Yemen  -Sri Lanka  -Ecuador  -Russia  -Azerbaijan  -Qatar  -Tajikistan  -Armenia  -Oman  -Turkey  -Afghanistan  -Pakistan  -China  -Venezuela

10:57 am: Evin Prison – A Student’s Firsthand Account – “Reza,” a university student who was arrested and detained at Evin Prison, provided a firsthand account of his ordeal via twitter. (Independent confirmation is not available.)

Reza estimated around 200 people were in each room and there were not enough space to even sit on the ground. There was also an awful problem of only one toilet for all people in there and a impossible time limit of around 1 minute for each person. They didn’t open the plastic handcuffs for a day and half, and they randomly beat up people.  Reza said the only exception was they didn’t hit arrested people directly in the face.  He said in the second day some pain cloth people came with papers forcing people to sign them.  The papers were prewritten confessions all in different handwritings saying the signer is a member of a pro-Mousavi organization

Read the full series of tweets here.

10:29 am: A tweet [Persian] from a reliable source in Iran:

“Mohammad Yazdi, member of the Guardian Council announced: Mousavi will not be approved to run for future elections.”

10:25 am: Karroubi’s official website has announced that their website director and reporter Mojtaba Tehrany was arrested Saturday night as he left the office for his residence. No one has heard anything from him since Saturday, the report says. According to his family, Basij officials made an appearance at his residence the day before his disappearance and confiscated his laptop and various files.

“Only 11 countries have congratulated Ahmadinejad,” June 28 (http://mowj.ir/ShowNews.php?7349)

According to Mowj, Mousavi’s news portal, only 11 countries have congratulated Ahmadinejad and the heads of 181 other countries (members of the UN) have so far refrained from congratulating him.

Countries who congratulated Ahmadinejad during the past six days:

1. Tajikistan

2. Armenia

3. Oman

4. Russia

5. China

6. Azerbaijan

7. Qatar

8. Afghanistan

9. Turkey

10. Pakistan

11. Venezuela

According to Ahmadinejad’s website (http://www.president.ir/fa/?ArtID=16911, accessed June 30, 2009), the following countries have congratulated him:

1. India

2. Tunisia

3. Malaysia

4. Lebanon

5. North Korea

6. Kuwait

7. Nicaragua

8. Comoros

9. Cambodia

10. Senegal

11. Cuba

12. Belarus

13. Sudan

14. Syria

15. Libya

16. Algeria

17. Turkmenistan

18. Iraq

19. Kazakhstan

20. Indonesia

21. Bahrain

22. Yemen

23. Sri Lanka

24. Ecuador

25. Russia

26. Azerbaijan

27. Qatar

28. Tajikistan

29. Armenia

30. Oman

31. Turkey

32. Afghanistan

33. Pakistan

34. China

35. Venezuela

Posted By NIAC

    2 Responses to “Iran Updates – June 30”

  1. Gene says:

    Re. ‘Silicon Valley’, a relevant link.

  2. It’s a very interesting subject I was looking around about more information but you got really what i was looking for in your article so thanks and keep it up you have a great blog .

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Sign the Petition


7,350 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

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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