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  • 7 August 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • 1 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

European Union will not congratulate Ahmadinejad

According to BBC Persian, in light of Ahmadinejad’s inauguration the European Union has indicated that they will not congratulate Ahmadinejad for his presidential victory. Members of the EU have justified the decision to be as a result of the harsh reaction of the government of Iran to the demonstrations.

Typically, the EU would have sent a letter on the occasion of Iran’s inauguration ceremonies.  Ahmadinejad clearly flouted the EU decision in his inauguration speech, however, saying: “not congratulating me is an insult to the vote and the systemic organization of our nation” and “no one is waiting for your praise, the people of Iran don’t care for your criticisms nor do they care for your praise.”

The United States also did not send a congratulatory letter to Ahmadinejad.

  • 7 August 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Last night’s demonstrations in Vanak Sq.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E76dwqxClGc]

The chant being heard is: “death to the dictator”

  • 6 August 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • 2 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Yesterday’s events: “martial law, demonstrations, empty seats, arrests and a helicopter ride”

Kodoom news has a breakdown of yesterday’s events surrounding the inauguration of Ahmadinejad.

  • Basij and plain-clothes intelligence agents were reportedly stationed in hospitals and major city centers to prevent people from gathering and to monitor the protestors.
  • Train operators for the Tehran Metro system were reportedly ordered not to stop at Baharestan and Melat stations, citing security concerns.
  • Among the arrested was Hale Sahabi, an activist and daughter of Ezatollah Sahabi who is the manager and editor of the banned newspaper ‘Iran e farda’ who was arrested in December 2000. Hale Sahabi is a women’s right activist and reports indicate that she was assaulted by plain-clothed individuals and arrested.
  • Ahmadinejad reportedly traveled to the inauguration ceremonies via helicopter in order to avoid the demonstrators. His camp has vehemently denied these reports, emphasizing that he traveled by car so ‘he could be among his people.’ But reporters and eyewitnesses attending the inauguration contradicted that claim, saying he traveled to the Baharestan Sq by helicopter.
  • Parleman news has indicated that out of 70 reformist members of Parliament only 17 of them attended the inauguration and some left as soon as Ahmadinejad began to speak. In fact the majority of the seats of the Parliament were empty and had to be filled with guests invited by Ahmadinejad’s party.
  • Among those absent were prominent clerics and political leaders such as Hashemi Rafsanjani, Khatami, Mousavi, Karroubi, Nateq Nouri, Mohsen Rezai, Ghalibaf, while many international guests and ambassadors also avoided the inauguration.
  • 5 August 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • 8 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Iranian backlash against Nokia

nokia billboards

Over the past few weeks Iranians have turned their backs on Nokia. There are widespread reports that many are boycotting the brand while rumors are swirling about a huge bonfire in Tehran, which allegedly consisted of Nokia phones and products.

There have also been reports of vandalism against Nokia posters and billboards. The picture above shows a vandalized Nokia billboard on a major highway in Shiraz. The billboard is covered in green paint.

Nokia

Also there is this poster, which describes a “new Nokia product, produced with the cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Iran” that is “capable of identifying, torturing and killing Iranian youth.”

These images show Iranian anger against the wireless company after it was revealed to have provided the Iranian government with sensitive surveillance technology that aided in the post-election crackdown.

Iran’s “Flying Coffins”

Cross posted from The Huffington Post:

Last year in August I had the distinct “pleasure” of flying to Tehran on board of an Iran Air Boeing 747. In light of the fact that Iran’s air industry has had two plane crashes and two more in-flight emergencies in just the past 3 weeks, it is important for Americans to understand that US sanctions are partly the cause of these disasters–and that they can be prevented.

I arranged my trip last year so I could attend my cousin’s wedding. As a dual Iranian-Canadian citizen, I am able to travel to Iran with relative ease, and despite common stereotypes, travel to Iran is perfectly safe–that is, except if you are traveling with Iranian airlines.

Needless to say after the trip I swore never to fly with Iran Air again.

  • 5 August 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • 2 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Etemadmeli: “Parliament to investigate the death of 12 year old demonstrator”

alireza

Etemadmeli (Karroubi’s official newspaper) reports that a member of the investigation committee of the Iranian parliament has indicated that the parliament intends to investigate the death of a 12 year old boy who died as a result of getting hit on the head by a baton. Hamid Reza Katozian

Ali Reza Tosali, was attending the demonstrations that took place last week on Thursday with his father. These demonstrations were held in Tehran’s cemetery (Behesht Zahra) to commemorate the passing away of those that died during the demonstrations. Ali Reza reportedly got separated from his father and was fatally hit in the head with a riot police officer’s baton.

His body was held for a period of four days by authorities before being returned to his family on Monday. According to Iranian officials, Ali Reza is the first child to die during the demonstrations.

  • 5 August 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Massive deployment of security forces

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daiITf19ym8]

This video was taken today from Baharestan Sq. The video portrays an immense number of motorcycles belonging to security forces. There are reports that security forces have been given direct order to be on standby and to address any demonstrations with the use of force.

  • 3 August 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • 3 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Forced Confessions

A reader spotted the following political cartoon by Nikahang Kousar:

Pic 1

Translation:

“we were…..revolution…..velvet matches……I’m sorry the interrogator’s hand writing is not readable.”

In a related note, the popular radio show This American Life recently told the story of Omid Memarian as he discussed  how Iranian intelligence agents forced him to confess to things he’d never done in 2004.

  • 31 July 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Video-forceful arrest of demonstrator by members of the basij

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg8a-OvYa-0]

This video depicts members of the basij forcefully ambushing and arresting a demonstrator. The demonstrator is forced onto a motorcycle where it is presumed that he will be transported to a prison.

  • 31 July 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • 1 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Iran Radio: “Shajarian’s music will never be played on radio again”

According to BBC Persian, Mohammad Hossein Sofi the deputy head of Iran’s state radio (seda) indicated yesterday that the musical works of prominent and world renowned Iranian singer/musician Mohammad Reza Shajarian will never be played on the radio again.

This has been deemed to be the reaction to Shajarian’s requested that his music not be played in the past month. Sofi has gone as far as indicating that “Shajarian’s music will not even be played during the Holy month of Ramadan”.

This follows up on NIAC’s live-blogging report from June 17, in which we quoted Shajarian in an interview with BBC Persian:

“Don’t broadcast my voice on Seda va Sima ever again: my voice is like ‘dust and dirt,’ and it will forever remain ‘dust and dirt!’”

Shajarian has been protesting the use of his music by the state media since the presidential elections. He has applied for legal proceedings against the state controlled media (Seda Sima). According to his lawyer, Shajarian’s works have been used to highlight the government and this was done without the permission of Shajarian.

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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