• 23 July 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Conservatives Attack Rahnavard’s Brother

Ghalam News and BBC Persian report:

Zahra Rahnavard, wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi, has denied the accusations that have been published against her brother and said that she will take legal steps against those that frame him of crime.

Zahra Rahnavard’s brother, Shahpour Kazemi, who has been imprisoned for one month, is not a political figure, and it appeared that he would be freed soon.

But recently important anti-Reformist figures and newspapers have published stark accusations against Mr. Kazemi.

Elyas Naderan, a Principlist member of Majles, wrote a letter to Ransanjani following his Friday prayer sermon that called for releasing prisoners, and told him: “If the brother of the wife of Mir Hossein is one of the foremost creators of chaos in the country, he is responsible for some of the rioting. And from 10 years ago he has a history of creating discord with his wife, and he has confessed that she engineered part of the current riots, and she has taken many trips every year to America, and she has even acquired a green card to ease her travel between Iran and America. You’re telling me this man deserves to be free?”

The newspaper Javan, which is associated with the IRGC, reprinted Naderan’s letter and referred to Shahpour Kazemi as a “corrupt official of Iran’s banking system.”

Rahnavard announced today: “I am announcing that if they force a confession out of Mr. Kazemi or publish a hundred pages of accusations against him, neither I nor the people of Iran will believe it.”

Zahra Rahnavard’s birth name was Zohreh Kazemi, but she used the nom de guerre “Zahra Rahnavard” to engage in public criticism of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi during the Revolution, and she kept this name following the Revolution and is now known by it.

Zahra Rahnavard said her brother is 62 years old and “One of the best known experts in the field of communications in the nation.” He has a wife and three kids and his wife would travel to America for treatment of her disease and for “the transfer of knowledge and new technologies in the field of communications.”

She added: Having a green card is not a crime, unless those who seek to send him to prison are trying to use it to tarnish his name.

She asked about the validity of a member of Majles speaking about judicial accusations in a public form and, “Considering that judicial information and research is confidential, what gives a member of Majles the right to publish it?”

“I have not spoken about this issue before because, as my brother is a good man deeply concerned with the fate of the country, I expected him to be released soon. But I have witnessed that some trouble makers have turned the keys of projects that are illegal and disrespectful and naturally the authorities will be pursuing them.”

Posted By Patrick Disney

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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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