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  • 28 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

More Green in NY

There was a “green” protest in front of Ahamdinejad’s Hotel, the Intercontinental Barclay in NYC. Here you can also find pictures from marching with the green scroll across the Brooklyn Bridge.


This video is of Ahmadinejad meeting with American students.  The meeting was arranged ahead of time, and participants were given specific questions to ask and topics to discuss.  Unsurprisingly, the post-election protests were not open for discussion.  However, that didn’t stop an Iranian student from challenging Ahmadinejad about the recent events in Iran.

  • 24 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Video: Green Scroll across Brooklyn Bridge

March with the Green Scroll across the Brooklyn Bridge: Protest in NYC against Ahamdinejad and in support for human rights in Iran.


  • 24 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Neda or Marwa?


CBS News Anchor Katie Couric interviewed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hours before his planned address to the UN on Wednesday evening. Ahmadinejad spoke on various issues including “his crackdown on election protesters.”

When Couric asked a question about Neda and her death, Ahmadinejad changed the subject.

Ahmadinejad on July 16 in a letter called on the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon to investigate the killing of Egyptian veiled lady Marwa el-Sherbini who was stabbed to death in a German courtroom. Iran issued a commemorative set of stamps (it is said only about 1000 sets were printed) to honor her “martyrdom.”

Many Iranian criticized the government for honoring an Egyptian martyr while simultaneously denouncing victims of its own repression like Neda Agha Soltan.

Read more for excerpts from Katie Couric’s interview:

  • 24 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009, UN

Empty Seats

Empty UN

According to khabaronline, even the members of the Lebanese delegation were absent during Ahmadinejad’s speech at the General Assembly yesterday.

The Iranian government has won many friends in Lebanon and amongst the Palestinian people by railing against Israel, the occupation of the Palestinian territories, and its military action in Lebanon. In the annual Quds Day rally in Iran, people are encouraged to pour into the streets and show their firm support for the oppressed people in the Middle East who are against Israel.

That changed this year, though, when the occasion turned into an opportunity for Iranians to protest their government. Many asked themselves why they should sacrifice for Palestine and Lebanon while people in Iran are suffering from state-violence, discrimination, and injustice themselves.

“Not Gaza, Not Lebanon, I sacrifice my life for Iran” was among the slogans that people chanted during Quds Day rallies in Iran last Friday.

  • 24 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Iran Election 2009, UN

Video: Yesterday’s Green Protests

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  • 23 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran

Bike for Human Rights in Iran

Bike for HR in Iran

From CHRI website:

Cycling for Human Rights in Iran is inviting everyone to join them for a Manhattan bike ride starting at Columbus Circle/Central Park ending at Iran’s Mission at 40th St. & 3rd ave. This ‘community ride’ will follow Broadway and pass Times Square, Union Square and Washington Square.

We all know Mr. Ahmadinejad will be addressing the UN on the 23rd of September. By cycling a all over New York City, we intend to draw attention to the widespread and systematic human rights abuses that have, and still continue to take place in Iran. We ask you to join us to show solidarity with the people of Iran and condemn the violation of human rights worldwide.

  • 23 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran

Embattled Science Minister now faces plagiarism charges

The conservative news website Alef is reporting that Kamran Daneshjou, the embattled Minister of Science in Ahmadinejad’s government who has faced harsh criticism for some pretty questionable irregularities having to do with his resume, allegedly plagiarized an article he published earlier this year.

Nature has more:

Large chunks of text, figures, and tables in a 2009 paper co-authored by Kamran Daneshjou, Iran’s science minister, are identical to those of a 2002 paper published by South Korean researchers, Nature has learned. Daneshjou served as the head of the interior ministry office which ran the disputed presidential elections in June, which returned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power. Daneshjou is also a former governor general of Tehran. The paper by Daneshjou and Majid Shahravi from the department of mechanical engineering at the Iran University of Science and Technology in Tehran is entitled “Analysis of critical ricochet angle using two space discretization methods“, and was published in the journal Engineering with Computers in 2009. In many places the text duplicates verbatim that of an earlier paper: “Ricochet of a tungsten heavy alloy long-rod projectile from deformable steel plates“, published by South Korean scientists in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics in 2002. Other sentences in Daneshjou’s paper are identical to those in a paper given by other researchers at a 2003 conference. The scientific credentials of Daneshjou, who was appointed as science minister earlier this month, have been the subject of controversy, with the Los Angeles Times reporting in late August about question marks over his PhD. According to his university webpage at the time, the PhD was awarded by the ‘Manchester Imperial Institute of Science and Technology.’ The webpage this afternoon has changed and says that the PhD was awarded in 1989 after working at Imperial College in London, but that the defence of the thesis was held in Amirkabir University of Technology in Iran.

Many Iranians have criticized Ahmadinejad’s choice of Cabinet appointments, citing a stunning lack of experience for some.  Daneshjou was a close ally of Ahmadinejad during the disputed 12 June election, and came under criticism this summer for listing a fictitious university on his resume.  He later changed his resume to list a PhD from one of the most prestigious universities in the UK, though the Imperial College of London has no record of his thesis.

During the Parliament’s vote of confidence, one of the members of the Majlis called him “a pin in the grenade” that will explode when the universities open.

  • 23 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Ahmadinejad’s NY presser

From Associated Press:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged President Barack Obama to see Iran as a potential friend instead of a threat ahead of addresses both leaders will give to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday. The Iranian leader also said in a wide-ranging Associated Press interview Tuesday that he expects “free and open” discussion of nuclear issues at a meeting next week with six world powers, but stressed that his country would not negotiate on its own nuclear plans.

He sought to open a wider nuclear dialogue with the West, and said the onus should be on the United States and other major nuclear powers to give up their weapons and to expand opportunities for all countries to make peaceful use of nuclear power. Speaking to AP reporters and editors just hours after arriving in the United States, Ahmadinejad said he will seek a quick resolution to the case of three American hikers jailed in Iran. He dismissed last week’s U.S. shift away from a planned long-range missile shield in Europe, meant to guard against an Iranian strike, as “a respectful way of buying out” Russian objections. “I heard Mr. Obama saying the next threat is Iran. Iran is an opportunity for everyone,” Ahmadinejad said. The Iranian leader said Obama is not the first U.S. president to believe Iran is a threat and said the president should read up on history “to see what the fate is of viewing these problems from this perspective.” “Historically, whoever made friends with Iran saw a lot of opportunities,” Ahmadinejad said. The Iranian president’s remarks on those and other issues in an hour-long interview at his New York hotel appeared designed to present his country as open to a broad international dialogue and to soften Iran’s image as a rogue nation bent on spreading its Islamic revolution. Ahmadinejad reiterated explicitly that Iran is not building nuclear weapons. “I hope that Mr. Obama will move in the direction of change,” Ahmadinejad said. At another point he said, “The sources of insecurity around the world need to be discussed.”

When asked about the three American hikers, Ahmadinejad said they broke the law by illegally entering Iran. Nevertheless, Ahmadinejad said he will ask the Iranian judiciary to treat the case with “maximum lenience.” Ahmadinejad also was asked about the case of an Iranian-Canadian journalist, Maziar Bahari, who was working for Newsweek magazine and imprisoned while covering the social unrest in Iran after the disputed June presidential election. Ahmadinejad did not reply about Bahari, limiting his remarks to the case of the hikers. The ambassador at Iran’s mission at the United Nations, Mohammad Khazee, said later that he hoped the case of Bahari would also be resolved.

Ahmadinejad said he regrets the deaths of protesters in the violence that followed his country’s disputed presidential elections, but denied that his government had any role in the killings. Ahmadinejad said those who died were “not at fault.” He instead said the responsibility lies with Iranian opposition politicians and with “European and American politicians” who he said fueled the violence. “We believe what they did was very wrong,” he said. Iran’s pro-reform opposition has staged dramatic protests, claiming that Ahmadinejad’s victory in the June voting was fraudulent. The Iranian government waged a bloody crackdown and opposition groups say at least 72 protesters were killed. Government officials maintain that only 36 people died, and Ahmadinejad repeated that claim. “It is all very regrettable,” Ahmadinejad said, adding that he has directed Iran’s judicial system to investigate each death. “The government has no role in these events.”

Ahmadinejad muted his remarks on the Holocaust, an event he has frequently questioned as a matter of historical fact. Using markedly less confrontational language than he has in the past, Ahmadinejad said he is not interested in debating historical details. Instead, he said he wants to focus on what he calls the wrong done to Palestinians who lost their land when the state of Israel was formed. Ahmadinejad said the Holocaust is used as a pretext for the repression of Palestinians. He grouped the deaths of Jews during World War II with those of millions of others who died. Ahmadinejad repeated his nation’s interest in cooperating to help stabilize Afghanistan and help Iraq, but blamed the United States for having created chaos in the war-torn country on Iran’s eastern border. “The occupying forces or the groups that have sent in the military to these two states, if indeed their policy has led to further instability, what do they want us to do?” Ahmadinejad said. “What exactly can we do for a car that has decided to speed up and basically crash down the hill? I don’t see exactly what we can do under that scenario.”

  • 22 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Nuclear file, Sanctions

P5+1 talks in Geneva

Today from Press TV:

With the world awaiting a meeting between major powers and Iran to resolve the country’s long-wrangled-over nuclear case, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana says the negotiations will take place in Geneva. Solana, who has headed the Western negotiating efforts with Iran, named Geneva as the venue for the much-awaited talks. The new location was picked as he had earlier said that, “I think very likely it will be Turkey.”

The chief Western negotiator told reporters in New York on Tuesday that the powers will not put forward new proposals to convince Tehran to halt its debated uranium enrichment program. “It’s freeze for freeze,” Solana said, referring to a proposal under which Iran would freeze its enrichment program in exchange for economic incentives and a halt to further UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The remarks came as six powers are set to hold a ministerial meeting to discuss Iran’s nuclear case on Wednesday on the sideline of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Meanwhile, Solana said he did not expect the Wednesday session of the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain — the five permanent veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council — plus Germany on Iran to produce any ‘substantive decision.’ Addressing the possibility of further sanctions against Iran, Solana said he does not expect Russia, China to rule out such new sanctions. “I don’t think that the Russians and Chinese will say … never again,” the EU chief said.

  • 22 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran

Ahmadinejad on his way to NY

Fars News Agency reported on Tuesday that the Iranian President left Iran to attend a UN General Assembly meeting on Wednesday.

Ahmadinejad left Tehran Tuesday morning (local time) to attend the 64th UN General Assembly meeting in New York. A number of high-ranking Iranian officials, including eight lawmakers, are accompanying Ahmadinejad on his 3-day visit to New York. He is due to address the UN General Assembly meeting on its inauguration day along with US President Barack Obama and Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi.

You can find more news of Ahmadinejad’s presence at UN here.

Meanwhile, FNA also reported that:

On Tuesday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili once again underlined Tehran’s preparedness to sit at the negotiating table with the six world powers for just and fair talks. “The Islamic Republic of Iran has voiced its preparedness for fair talks based on collective undertakings and commitment to the reinvigoration of global peace, justice and progress,” Jalili said, addressing a formal session of Iran’s Experts Assembly – a top clerical, vetting body selecting the country’s Supreme Leader and supervising his policies and course of action. He further pointed to Tehran’s updated package of proposals for talks with the Group p-5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany), and added, “Iran presented its package of proposals, which is aimed at constructive interaction and cooperation” for strengthening world peace, justice and progress. Jalili further stated that the October talks will be conducted based on Iran’s proposed package. Elsewhere, Jalili recalled the Islamic Republic of Iran’s undeniable capacities in national, regional and international levels, noting that the world has recognized realities about Iran.

Sign the Petition


7,350 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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