• 9 September 2009
  • Posted By Lloyd Chebaclo
  • 1 Comments
  • Congress, Diplomacy, Sanctions

Iranian Opposition Leader Karroubi Against Sanctions

The outspoken opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi says he is against further Western sanctions against Iran, according to an interview with the L.A. Times published yesterday. The former presidential candidate has been at the forefront of Iran’s opposition since the disputed June 12 presidential elections, despite calls from for him to be arrested by hardline clerics, IRGC commanders, and even Ahmadinejad.

“Generally, I do not agree with any outside pressure on any government, as at the end of the day the ordinary people will suffer,” Karroubi said.

“I feel I am obliged to defend the rights of people,” Karroubi told the L.A. Times, explaining why he continues speaking out, despite the threats against him. He added, “I won’t go underground.”

Congressional leaders have expressed their intention to move forward with “crippling” sanctions as early as mid-September if Iran does not accept a U.S. invitation to talks on Iran’s nuclear program. Congress is currently considering sanctions that would expand unilateral sanctions and target companies exporting refined petroleum to Iran.

The sanctions bills have gained the support of nearly three quarters of both houses, due in part to the testimony of some Iran experts who have stated that many in the Iranian opposition would support the measure.

However, Karroubi said sanctions would not be helpful. “If foreign governments want to help, they must just stop being hostile toward us,” he said.

Iranian Opposition Leader Karroubi Against Sanctions

The outspoken opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi says he is against further Western sanctions against Iran, according to an interview with the L.A. Times published yesterday. The former presidential candidate has been at the forefront of Iran’s opposition since the disputed June 12 presidential elections, despite calls from for him to be arrested by hardline clerics, IRGC commanders, and even Ahmadinejad.

“Generally, I do not agree with any outside pressure on any government, as at the end of the day the ordinary people will suffer,” Karroubi said.

“I feel I am obliged to defend the rights of people,” Karroubi told the L.A. Times, explaining why he continues speaking out, despite the threats against him.

Congressional leaders have expressed their intention to move forward with “crippling” sanctions as early as mid-September if Iran does not accept a U.S. invitation to talks on Iran’s nuclear program. Congress is currently considering sanctions that would expand unilateral sanctions and target companies exporting refined petroleum to Iran.

The sanctions bills have gained the support of nearly three quarters of both houses, due in part to the testimony of some Iran experts who have stated that many in the Iranian opposition would support the measure.

Karroubi disagreed. “If foreign governments want to help, they must just stop being hostile toward us,” he said.

Posted By Lloyd Chebaclo

    One Response to “Iranian Opposition Leader Karroubi Against Sanctions”

  1. Megan says:

    Karroubi is only trying to save his own neck. He knows he will be arrested any day now.

    People of Iran have long passed both Karroubi and Mousavi who both are trying to save the Islamic Republic. Saving a regime that is neither republic nor Islamic is a lost cause. If Mousavi and Karroubi fail to face this reality, they are not on the side of people and nothing they say or do mean anything.

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Sign the Petition

 

7,349 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.

Sincerely,

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