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Posts Tagged ‘ Basij ’

  • 8 January 2010
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • 6 Comments
  • Events in DC, Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran

Assassination attempt against Karroubi fails

There was an attempted assassination attempt against Mehdi Karroubi several hours ago, when the cleric and leading opposition figure arrived in Qazvin for a mourning ceremony of opposition supporters killed in protests.

One of Karroubi’s family members gave this first-hand account to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran:

“Members of the Basij and Revolutionary Guards gathered at their garrisons prior to Mr. Karroubi’s arrival. As soon as he entered Qazvin, they appeared. Their actions were fully coordinated with Fars News Agency. As soon as Mr. Karroubi entered the private home where he was staying, Fars News reported it. The coordination between the Revolutionary Guards and Fars News was extensive.

When the Basij and Revolutionary Guards members assembled to protest Karroubi’s presence in Qazvin, two bullets were fired at his car. Fortunately the car was bullet proof. The front windshield was much stronger and only cracked. Otherwise the bullets would have entered the car and caused serious injuries.

I believe the message to Mr. Karroubi is that he is not safe anywhere he goes and if he doesn’t restrict himself to his house, he will be targeted.”

Fars News is closely affiliated with the IRGC.

  • 16 December 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 2 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Uncategorized

“70 Percent of University Students Oppose Government: Iranian Official”

Rooz Online (via Payvand) is reporting that Mohammad Mohammadian, head of the Supreme Leader’s Office of University Affairs, stated today that “According to the existing data, 70 percent of students voted against Ahmadinejad.” The situation in the universities nationwide is growing more chaotic very quickly, the article states. Here’s more:

Even for a while prior to the Student Day, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s supporters had lost the chance to speak at university campuses, their speeches or question and answer sessions often being interrupted by student protests.

The remarks of the supreme leader’s advisor in university affairs are made as student protests against the Ahmadinejad administration have grown in an unprecedented manner, with the university administration practically losing control of several large universities in Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashad and Hamedan.

Security forces affiliated with the ministry of intelligence have been dispatching Basij and Revolutionary Guards foces into university campuses to oppress and stop the further spreading of peaceful student protests.

Mohammadian called for a firmer response to the students and professors allegedly “weakening the regime.”

Meanwhile, yesterday a group of professors from the Tehran University’s technical campus issues a statement blasting the Basij and Revolutionary Guards’ interference in the university’s affairs.

Professors from the Tehran University’s technical campus warned that the continuation of the situation would undermine the safety of university students, professors and staff, and demanded an immediate halt to the security forces’ presence in universities.

  • 27 October 2009
  • Posted By Lloyd Chebaclo
  • 1 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iranian Youth

Student Protests Continue at Azad University

[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPV0m3hExII”]

Nearly 2000 students of Tehran’s Azad University protested the Iraninan “coup government” and its treatment of student activists. Students gathered and chanted slogans for the green movement including “Death to the dictator,” “Coup government, resign, resign!”, and “Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein!”

The protests persist in the face of threats and pressure from security forces. Basij and security forces are also reportedly trying to intimidate protesters by filming them.

  • 9 October 2009
  • Posted By Lloyd Chebaclo
  • 1 Comments
  • About, Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran

Abdo: “The Rise of the Iranian Dictatorship”

Geneive Abdo, Iran analyst at the Century Foundation, wrote an article in the October 7, 2009 edition of Foreign Policy about the expanding power of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran.

Abdo writes:

“The secretive paramilitary group became a dominant institution in Iran — socially, politically, militarily, and economically — during Ahmadinejad’s first term. He appointed IRGC members to positions as ambassadors, mayors, cabinet ministers, and high-ranking officials at state-run economic institutions. The IRGC returned the favor during the electoral campaign. Before the election, the chief of the IRGC, Mohammad Ali Jafari, encouraged the guards to “participate” — a not-so-subtle directive to do whatever necessary to guarantee Ahmadinejad’s re-election. They did so, both by intimidating opposition members and even, some in Iran allege, single-handedly rigging the vote.”

The newly appointed commander of the Basij paramilitary group under IRGC control is Mohammad Reza Naghdi, a senior military officer who was sanctioned by the UN for links to Iran’s ballistic missile program.  Adbo highlights his role as “a key player in organizing and financing Ansar Hezbollah, a militia that orchestrated the 1999 attack on student dormitories at Tehran University” among his other involvements with severe crackdowns on dissidents in Iran in illustrating what she refers to as the titular “Rise of the Iranian Dictatorship”.

Abdo’s views ring true with other analysts and scholars on Iran, as well as some current developments. Rasool Nafisi, professor from Strayer University, recently discussed the increasing military stronghold on Iran socially, politically, economically at a NIAC briefing on Capitol Hill as part of its US-Iran Policy program. Recently a company affiliated with the IRGC purchased a majority share of Iran’s telecommunications monopoly for nearly $8 billion. Kenneth Pollack of the Saban Center recently spoke of the silencing of more moderate opposition and reformist voices in Iran since the June election and the continuing rise of hardline elements in the Iranian government at a recent discussion on Middle East affairs.

Abdo also writes about how the militaristic expansion in Iran causing stirs on all sides of the political discourse:

“Khamenei’s appointments come amid a fierce debate inside Iran. Even conservatives are unnerved by the militarization of the state. They argue that the military’s intervention in Iranian politics is against the revolutionary ideals of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who founded the Islamic Republic in 1979. Khomeini established the IRGC to defend the revolution from internal threats after the fall of the shah. In 1988, he established the Basij forces on university campuses across Iran to ensure that students, long known for political dissent, would remain loyal to the republic.

Now, Khamenei has given the militias under his control unprecedented power. This will surely lead to a more restrictive society at the precise moment a broad-based opposition movement seemed to promise real change for the first time since the 1979 revolution.”

This trend has created fears of a descent into a Junta-like system in Iran.

  • 30 July 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Trust: The latest casualty in Iran

A contact in Iran called after attending Friday prayer when Rafsanjani spoke on July 17 . Although he was pleased with Rafsanjani’s comments, he described a Seinfeld-esque scene with larger implications.

He had survived the tear gas used to disperse not only Mousavi supporters like himself, but the devout who pray every Friday. Despite the hundreds of Basijis placed in the square to prevent crowds from gathering- the young, old, religious and political had united peacefully with a heightened sense of camaraderie.

However, all the comfort he felt with his fellow citizens disappeared when the crowd had dispersed and he realized he had lost his cell phone. He told me that while searching for his phone, a Basij approached him and asked what he was doing.

  • 22 July 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • 2 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Basijis: Iran’s culture cops

A look into the Basiji history and values from 2007.

This is a video from 2007 that depicts the ideals and motivations of the Basij through their own words. At a time of escalating conflict among the Iranian people, with the Basij playing an increasingly important role, this video becomes very relevant to today’s events.

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.852654&w=425&h=350&fv=]

  • 16 July 2009
  • Posted By Sanaz Tofighrad
  • 1 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Hardliners mobilizing to disrupt Rafsanjani’s sermon

Mowj Camp, a pro-Mousavi website created recently, has reported that the hardliners “are extensively preparing to prevent the presence of [Mousavi supporters]” at the Friday prayer.

“After hearing about the decision of Mousavi supporters to attend and the possibility of a green movement to form at the Friday prayers, supporters of [Ahmadinejad] have become extremely worried and are trying to weaken the presence of the greens and overshadow them.”

According to reports received by Mowj Camp, Mansour Arzi and Saeed Hadadian, two Ahmadinejad supporters, are responsible for mobilizing people to participate at the Friday prayer to interrupt Hashemi’s sermon by chanting slogans against him.  The first 10 rows have reportedly been designated to these individuals.

Other government authorities, Basijis and students at a military university are also mobilizing Ahmadinejad supporters to attend and disrupt the sermon.  “Many of Pasdaran soldiers have been denied an off day so they fill up the grounds and prevent the presence of green supporters.”

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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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