• 29 April 2010
  • Posted By Darioush Azizi
  • Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009, Sanctions, Uncategorized

InsideIRAN.org interviewed Mohammad Reza Heidari, the Iranian diplomat in Norway who defected over the June 12, 2009 elections and the aftermath. The full interview can be found here but we’ve highlighted some of his comments below:

I have friends in the IRGC, the basij, the Ministry of Intelligence, Iran’s radio and television, and other places who are against the government. They have to cooperate with the government because if they do otherwise, they will face many severe challenges. This issue requires a national will. Strikes are on the way. Teachers, who went on strike, have started the right thing. Iranian laborers are on the same path.

They have gathered a bunch of commoners around them to protect themselves. They try to associate the Green Movement with the rich and then tie them to Western countries. They are terrified. I am from the lower classes and I worked for the government for many years. All my friends are the same. The government has to spend large sums of money to feed people and bus them into cities in order to generate crowds for pro-government demonstrations.

Sanctions must be smart and targeted and only go after the ruling elite. These sanctions should not affect the Iranian people. Countries should not issue visas for the leaders of Iran and their families. Companies should be banned from dealing with the IRGC. The last issue I would like to mention is human rights. Western countries must make human rights the priority. Iran has made such a big deal of the nuclear program to divert attention from its human rights abuse.

Posted By Darioush Azizi

    4 Responses to “Ex-Iranian diplomat in Norway: target sanctions, talk up human rights abuses”

  1. Pirouz says:

    So we’re told by certain elements of the opposition as well as biased Western based analysts that the IRGC is the government; this disgruntled diplomat claims his friends in the IRGC are against the government.

    Strikes are on the way? We’ve been hearing this since last July. There have been no widespread strikes, certainly nothing noteworthy from the Bazaar and oil industry.

    “They” are terrified? President Ahmadinejad appears at town and cities, as he always does. During the Ashura riots, Iran’s ruling elite carried on with their planned activities, and Iran’s system of government has not missed a beat during this entire period of time.

    The reality is that sanctions are a step toward war- plain and simple- and human rights issues are selectively applied in conformity to a greater agenda based on confrontation not associated with the issue itself.

    It’s possible this diplomat found northern Europe an attractive place to reside on a permanent basis. Now he’s furnished himself the means to do so.

  2. Iranian-American says:

    “It’s possible this diplomat found northern Europe an attractive place to reside on a permanent basis. Now he’s furnished himself the means to do so.”

    That in itself shows how crazy this looney is. Leaving a country as prosperous and comfortable as Iran, where access to healthcare, education and food is provided to everyone, and rainbows with pots of gold at the end appear everyday over the clean fresh air of Tehran, for northern Europe?!!? We should discount everything he says, along with all the other accounts of dictatorship, totalitarianism and human rights violations by the Iranian government.

    After all, no one (who is not in jail) in Iran is complaining. It is clear that those in Iran that “demand their rights” are criminals (since they are in jail), and those who leave Iran to report of crimes by the Iranian government are either crazy or liars, or both.

    Therefore, Iran is perfect. QED.

    You can’t argue with that logic. You can try, but it’s ill-advised.

  3. Persephile says:

    Hey, Pirouz. How’s the view from the asylum? This guy risked far more than he could ever get back in “cushy” lifestyle.

    Or is it that you’re the Iraqi Information Minister with a new gig?

  4. Eric says:

    The dictator and his little henchman cannot keep controlling the people forever, as they have a huge demographic problem. Once the older generations die and the younger guys grow up, the dictator may meet the fate of other failed dictators. Pirouz can then apply for North Korean citizenship, or maybe Venezuela, and tell us how those two countries are the most humane! Ha!

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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.



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