• 21 December 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 11 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran

The BBC is reporting that clashes have taken place between members of the opposition and the government in wake of the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who passed away on Sunday, khoda biamorz. “Tens of thousands” reportedly joined the procession through the streets of Qom as the leading dissident cleric was finally laid to rest. Here’s more:

The reformist Jaras website said mourners chanted slogans in support of the cleric and also of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Mr Mousavi took part in the procession, along with fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi.

Another site, Rahesabz.net, said some members of the hardline pro-government faction Ansar Hezbollah tried to stop chanting in the crowd, but left “after clashing with some people”.

Many mourners were carrying green banners or wearing green – the colour of Iran’s opposition.

Footage broadcast on the internet showed crowds chanting against Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling him a “murderer” and saying his rule was illegitimate.

Other video showed thousands of mourners marching in Montazeri’s hometown of Najafabad, near the central city of Isfahan.

They beat their chests and chanted: “Oppressed Montazeri, you are with God now.”

While the government knows it cannot stop the funeral and mourning period from taking place, they have reportedly restricted the media and the movement of people even more.

Leading up to the funeral, buses carrying mourners were stopped and some passengers reportedly arrested.

The Jaras website said one of Montazeri’s students, Ahmad Qabel, had been detained on his way to the funeral.

Meanwhile, the BBC says fresh attempts have been made to jam its Persian television service to Iran.

Persistent interference started on Sunday shortly after the channel began coverage of the grand ayatollah’s death, the corporation said.

The Grand Ayatollah’s passing is a major loss for those seeking human rights and greater civil liberties in Iran. He will be missed.

Posted By NIAC

    11 Responses to “Opposition clashes with government at Grand Ayatollah Montazeri’s funeral”

  1. jimmy says:

    This video shows the immense size of the crowd in Qom:
    http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-372784

  2. Rob 1 says:

    The ball is rolling now. There is no stopping it. These thieves, murders, rapists, and charlatans will get theirs in this life and the next.

  3. Pirouz says:

    Well, the crowd was indicative of the passing away of a Grand Ayatolloh. That said, the Green Movement was able to mobilize and capitalize on the passing away of Montazeri (unlike when he was alive.) Mousavi and Karoubi were on the scene, evidently uncontested by any official means of denial. And the IRIPF appeared to allow the assemblage and procession to take place unhindered.

    To the many commenters who are cheerleading the imminent demise of the IRI, I’ve just one question for y’all: how exactly do you envision such a thing actually taking place? Keep in mind, the IRGC has yet to even mobilize in a street response. And Green representation (or sympathy) in the government can be considered negligible. So what means are available to the Greens? Do you honestly think that incidental (illegal) assemblies held on widely spaced state events or incidental occurrences will actually bring about the downfall of a nation? Absurd. Before that would happen, government would provide for a wider spectrum of representation, or more likely a street mobilization by the IRGC (martial law)would take place- which is not in any way imminent, given the relative lack of strength by the Greens so far. Now that could change; anything is possible. Just don’t hold your breath…

  4. John says:

    “Mousavi and Karoubi were on the scene, evidently uncontested by any official means of denial.”

    Just to point out your most absurd point, you know Mousavi’s car was attacked and one of his bodyguards injured by government security forces, right??

  5. Rob 1 says:

    Pirouz,

    Do you honestly think the IRGC or even artesh is going to mobilize and fight the civilian population with tanks and heavy guns? Some of the self-righteous may be delusional, but I’m sure many understand the reality and consequences of deploying soldiers within the context of history. You obviously do not remember before the downfall of the shah, when the people held ‘illegal’ assemblies, marshal law was declared, soldiers were deployed and civilians were killed. We saw how that played out at the end.

    However, I give the leadership too much credit. They will more than likely repeat history. Soldiers will be deployed. Civilians killed. Soldiers defect. People will rise. And another king will fall. But it will be the arrogance and confidence of the “Islamic” republic and their well-paid supporters which will lead to their ultimate downfall. And they will fall harder than the Shah.

    After the smoke clears, the criminals will be held accountable. And the hypocrites and opportunists that cheered the oppression from the comfort of free and democratic countries will be out in the open.

  6. Iranian-American says:

    Pirouz, you are something else brother. First you claim this would be a good gauge of the opposition’s ability to coordinate and mobilize, and then when, by almost all accounts, a huge crowd comes out to show their support for one of the biggest critics of the government, you credit the government for “allowing the procession to take place unhindered”, a claim whose absurdity has been already been pointed out by others, but deserves repeating. As John pointed out, Mousavi’s car was attacked. The government forces closed the main highway between Tehran and Qom, disrupted Internet access, and several senior opposition leaders were arrested on their way to the procession. Despite the government’s efforts, “huge crowds, wearing opposition green and waving green ribbons and flags, surged through the conservative heart of Iran as Ayatollah Montazeri’s funeral galvanized a protest movement that has refused to wither despite six months of repression.”[1]

    I agree that this movement is a long way from a revolution, but I also think that it is clearly moving (and accelerating) in that direction.

    Your unusual hesitation to give credit to the Green movement when it is so obviously deserved, and your increasingly far-fetched rationalization to give credit to Iran’s repressive government, leaves any reasonable observers to question your intentions. If you support the government, or you just don’t support the opposition movement, then come out and say it, and provide your reasons. But hiding behind claims that you voted Green and support the opposition movement seems, to any reasonable observer, to be a very poor ruse.

  7. Iranian-American says:

    [1] Montazeri’s death moves Iranian crisis from Tehran to holy city. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/story.html?id=2368673

  8. Alireza says:

    Dear Iranian-American,

    While we’re on the subject of a “very poor ruse”, I wanted to bring to your attention that a certain individual calling himself “Sargord Pirouz” has recently appeared on Iranian.com and has been posting comments that are eerily similar in content and tone to those of the ever irrepressible Pirouz. “Sargord Pirouz” claims to be an officer in the IRGC (or something along those lines). Seems a little fishy, no? Anyway, keep up the good work buddy.

    Regards,
    Alireza

  9. Someone says:

    “Pirouz, you are something else brother. First you claim this would be a good gauge of the opposition’s ability to coordinate and mobilize, and then when, by almost all accounts, a huge crowd comes out to show their support for one of the biggest critics of the government, you credit the government for ‘allowing the procession to take place unhindered’, a claim whose absurdity has been already been pointed out by others, but deserves repeating. … If you support the government, or you just don’t support the opposition movement, then come out and say it, and provide your reasons. But hiding behind claims that you voted Green and support the opposition movement seems, to any reasonable observer, to be a very poor ruse.”

    Yep. Thanks Iranian-American for taking the time to give your articulate response to Pirouz.

    And as they say in Persian “harfeh hessab javab nadarad.”

  10. Iranian-American says:

    @Alireza and Someone:
    Thank you. As horrific and brutal the actions of the Iranian government are against our family, friends and fellow Iranians in Iran, I think there is a silver lining here. I have recently felt an increasing sense of unity and brotherhood among most Iranians (in Iran and abroad, regardless of political affiliation), as well as a sense of hope, that Iran will one day have a government that is worthy of its people. Einshallah.

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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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