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  • 16 October 2009
  • Posted By Bardia Mehrabian
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran

Hardline propaganda website misrepresents MP

With a bow to our friends at EA, who regularly post the “shocking news of the day.”

From Mir Hossein Mousavi’s Facebook page:

Torabi, member of the minority fraction of the Parliament (reformist) and the representative of people of Shahr-e-Kurd), in an interview said that a new website had been launched by the pro-Ahmadinejad hardliners that although calls itself “the wave of law” (www.mojeghanoon.com) but is full of illegality.

He added that this website had published an interview with another member of the parliament but has put my photo for that report!

Torabi by pointing out that this website quoted the representative of the people of Semnan saying that Mousavi should be prosecuted; added that he has checked with several MPs and they all denied that they did any interview with this website.
Torabi stressed that the pro-Ahmadinejad propaganda is trying to set the scene against Mousavi therefore is publishing lies and false quotes from members of the parliament !
  • 15 October 2009
  • Posted By Bardia Mehrabian
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Karroubi: “I Look Forward to My Day in Court”

Mir Hossein Mousavi’s Facebook page is reporting:

Mehdi Karoubi welcomed the recent remarks made by Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, the General Prosecutor, in which he promised to “take Mousavi and karoubi to court when the time is right.”

Karoubi said: “I very much welcome this event so that if…I have not raised some issues, I could do so in details then.”

Karoubi added: “This time not only I am not concerned about the “trial” but also I very much welcome it so that by this means I can emphasize my concerns that are raised from national and religious beliefs of the Iranians and Imam Khomeini’s ideas, and clearly reveal those who are opposed to these concerns.”

  • 13 October 2009
  • Posted By Bardia Mehrabian
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iranian Youth, Uncategorized

Student Unrest at Azad University in Tehran

As cited on Mir Hossein Mousavi Facebook Fan Page:

“For the third consecutive week, today (Oct 13, 2009) more than 2000 students of Tehran’s Azad University held a gathering in protest to the coup government and treatment of student activist. The students we chanting “Death to dictator”, “God is great…”, “Coup government, resign..resign” , “Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein” and similar Green slogans in protest. There are reports that around 100 Basiji forces that were brought to the University by two buses violently attacked the students with batons and tear gas and even locked up one of the students in the office of the representative of the Supreme Leader in this university. According to this report the students have been resisting these attacks and have been chanting slogans in university’s lobby and different floors.”

The citation is a brief translation of an article from autnews (Persian).

Here are videos of the unrest at Azad University, contributed to us by reader Jimmy:

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

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRzHuHrtP7M]

More videos of the unrest can be seen here.

  • 13 October 2009
  • Posted By Bardia Mehrabian
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Sanctions

Iran’s Bait and Switch

The Associated Press reported yesterday that Iran’s parliament has approved slashing energy and food subsidies over the course of five years. The proposed move would bring Iran’s domestic prices more in line with international market prices to offset the $90 billion spent annually in subsidies.

While attempts to reduce subsidies were made in the past, the government was met with an infuriated Iranian citizenry that took to rioting and protesting. This time, the Iranian government may be employing a clever “bait and switch” – present their reforms for subsidy removal as an area of weakness. If the U.S. bites and imposes a “gasoline sanction” to instigate further unrest in Iran, “Tehran could simply ease its subsidies while pointing to Washington as the cause of pain,” according to Vivienne Walt of Time Magazine.

The AP article elaborated:

“The latest proposal could present Ahmadinejad with one of his government’s most serious challenges since the violence and protests resulting from the summer’s presidential elections that critics and the opposition contend he stole through widespread fraud.

Some economists contend…that the plan would only serve to sharply drive up inflation, further squeezing a country grappling with already high inflation and shouldering the weight of international sanctions.”

However, other economists rebuff the statements saying, “No Iranian government could afford to maintain [the subsidies] at current levels.”

This event can be seen as maneuvering in advance of proposed refined petroleum sanctions that could be levied in the event that Iran does not cooperate in the multilateral talks with the p5+1. If the sanctions were to pass and be put into place, it would give the regime the perfect “scapegoat” to catalyze its subsidy removal by blaming Western powers, thereby quelling any serious protest to the action.

In the end, proposed petroleum sanctions would only be temporary and not effective, according to Richard Dalton, former British ambassador to Iran and current associate fellow at think tank Catham House. He is quoted in the Time article:

“Chinese firms and, until recently, India’s Reliance, have been working on massive upgrades of the country’s refineries. ‘If Iran can maintain its refinery upgrades, they’ll be self-sufficient in gas by 2013.’”

  • 25 September 2009
  • Posted By Bardia Mehrabian
  • 2 Comments
  • Nuclear file, Sanctions

Obama Transcript at G20 Denouncing Iran’s Secret Nuclear Site

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

___________________________________________________________

8:43 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Good morning.  We are here to announce that yesterday in Vienna, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France presented detailed evidence to the IAEA demonstrating that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qom for several years.

Earlier this week, the Iranian government presented a letter to the IAEA that made reference to a new enrichment facility, years after they had started its construction. The existence of this facility underscores Iran’s continuing unwillingness to meet its obligations under U.N. Security Council resolutions and IAEA requirements.  We expect the IAEA to immediately investigate this disturbing information, and to report to the IAEA Board of Governors.

  • 22 September 2009
  • Posted By Bardia Mehrabian
  • 3 Comments
  • Nuclear file, Sanctions, US-Iran War

Fear, not Free, Iran

[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9CmdaAdqyE]

This video was made by the American Jewish Committee to focus attention on Iran’s nuclear program before the UN General Assembly this week.  But if the AJC wanted to use scare tactics to push for war with Iran they didn’t need to hire a fancy video editor.

No, they could have done the same amount of fear-mongering (with the same degree of subtlety) by just flashing on-screen the words “Iran” and “Kill” in rapid succession.  The task is so simple in fact, that it doesn’t even matter that all 16 US intelligence agencies have flat out rejected their claim that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.  Nor does it matter that the IAEA has confirmed time and time again that Iran’s nuclear program is not being used to develop a nuclear weapon.   All anyone has to do is state unequivocally that “Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons must be stopped” and then anything goes.

Fortunately, the vast majority of Americans and the international community can see through this fear campaign, and recognize that nothing would precipitate an Iranian nuclear bomb faster than attacking them militarily.  With the historic round of talks set to begin on October 1, let’s hope this type of thinking will stay far away from the policymakers and diplomats who will actually be in the room.

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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