• 23 October 2009
  • Posted By Sanaz Tofighrad
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Karroubi Attacked Once Again

Mehdi Karroubi was attacked by baton-wielding plainclothes militia at a press fair in Tehran on Friday.  Karroubi’s turban fell to the ground in the process.  He was attacked before at one of the Friday prayers in Tehran during the summer. 

According to Amir Kabir newsletter, Karroubi’s supporters at the fair started chanting slogans in his support upon witnessing the attack. 

Amir Kabir also reported that hundreds of visitors gathered in front the Fars News Agency’s booth and chanted slogans such as “Death to Dictator.”

Posted By Sanaz Tofighrad

    3 Responses to “Karroubi Attacked Once Again”

  1. Pirouz says:

    Sanaz, the AutNews report is deliberately misleading.

    Study the actual photos of the incident (the AutNews photo is an old file pic, it’s not even from the scene). The real photos are available at FARS and a couple of other news outlets. You’ll see that a few pro-establishment activists rushed Karroubi and a shoe was thrown, striking Karroubi’s head.

    Very important: the photos reveal that Karroubi is allowed his own street-clothed ARMED bodyguards, and during the incident he was also accorded additional uniformed police services.

    A main opposition political figure being allowed the use of personal armed bodyguards sort of contradicts the narrative of a so-called dictatorship. Anyway, I’ve never heard of such a thing being permitted in a truly authoritarian state.

    This past week, niacINsight has posted a number of items with un-sourced claims, which only serve to parrot deliberate misinformation or disinformation schemes. I don’t know if this due to an inexperienced staff or what, but it represents a disservice to the Iranian community.

    I know that Trita is a very busy man, but he appears to be the one with the strongest academic qualifications. Maybe it would be a good idea to run these posts through him before publishing them on the blog. After all, credibility is what’s at stake here.

  2. Alireza says:

    Pirouz says: “…contradicts the narrative of a so-called dictatorship”. Oh yeah, Iran isn’t a dictatorship. The IRI has killed well over 15,000 Iranians (the vast majority of them executed for opposing the regime). But it’s not a dictatorship. Sure.

  3. kevin says:

    “A main opposition political figure being allowed the use of personal armed bodyguards sort of contradicts the narrative of a so-called dictatorship.”

    Dictatorship: it doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    There is absolutely no choice for the people when it comes to who leads them. But it’s not a dictatorship. There is one supreme leader calling all the shots, with his own armies and rigged elections. But it’s not a dictatorship. There’s a silenced press or concerted effort to quell any demonstrations or displays of free speech. But it’s not a dictatorship.

    Pirouz, you need to read up on history and learn what a dictatorship entails. The Islamic “Republic” has evolved fully and undeniably into a dictatorship.

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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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