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Posts Tagged ‘ economy ’

  • 19 May 2010
  • Posted By Sanaz Yarvali
  • 1 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Uncategorized

The Iranian African Connection

Since Iran has a difficult time in making friends with the West, it has been keeping its eye on Africa for partnerships over the past decade. Why reach out to Africa? According to an Iranian MP, “Iran looks at these countries through a humanitarian view based on prominent Islamic values”. Like Iran, governments such as the Sudanese and the Democratic Republic of Congo have a well known history of human rights violations. With that in mind, one cannot help but wonder what this “humanitarian view” consists of.

Instead, Iran’s efforts are political and economic.  Sudan turned to Iran two years ago for a military cooperation when China and Russia decreased their military aid. According to Sanam Vakil, an expert on Iran at the Johns Hopkins University, “Iran has been successful in strengthening ties with Sudan because the two countries have an ideological link. They are standing up against the West and imperialism”.

Meanwhile, Iran and the Democratic Republic of the Congo recently signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” forming a joint commission on economic cooperation, lifting visa requirements and political consultations. For those not aware of the DRC’s history, it is currently trying to recover from “Africa’s World War’, where approximately three million lives were lost between 1998-2003. The war was partly to blame for economic reasons, as the country has valuable mineral wealth. While one of the Congo’s two main religions is Islam, I would not be shocked if Iran is more interested in reaching out to engage in economic cooperation.  For its part, the Congolese government is planning to open up an embassy in Tehran in its efforts to expand bilateral cooperation.

  • 4 March 2010
  • Posted By Nayda Lakelieh
  • 5 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran

It’s the Economy, Ahmagh

Time reports that the Iranian economy is in a dire state, more than Tehran would like to reveal. The Iranian government has even stopped reporting economic statistics, as financial anxiety is encroaching upon the Islamic Republic’s stability.

Although the Iranian government has ceased official economic reports, unofficial sources still report the growing labor problems; one report states that a privately owned industrial-parts company in Isfahan has not paid 200 of its employees for the past 7 months. Additional problems were reported in an Isafahani steel plant, where workers started a hunger strike to protest vast discrepancies in their pay. In Shiraz, Gorgan, and cities all over Iran, more reports assert that workers  have gone unpaid for months, with some employers even failing to pay state insurance, letting working conditions steadily diminish. Still, there is no official recognition of the growing economic problems.

An Iranian journalist explains “they have manipulated the definition of who is jobless so they can keep the figure close to 10%. But now every family has one jobless person in their home.”

“They cannot believe all those optimistic figures given by the government. The government says that inflation was less than 30%, but they go to the grocery store and find everything is double and triple the price that it was four years ago.”

The official figures fall short of Iran’s targeted economic development plan, while unemployment is predicted to be over 24%. Ahmadinejad was elected on the campaign platform of economic success, yet has failed to deliver upon his promise.  Iranian media continues to depict a thriving economy, while ordinary Iranians feel the brunt of inflation, adding yet another shaky ingredient to the Islamic Republic’s future.

  • 31 October 2008
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • 0 Comments
  • Diplomacy, Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Neo-Con Agenda

If wishing made it so…

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stepped up his rhetoric since the onset of the current financial crisis, predicting “an end to capitalism” and declaring that “the bullying powers are on the verge of collapse.”

Though Iran is not without its own economic troubles, its financial sector has been largely unaffected by the crisis gripping the West. This fact has led to a greater-than-usual amount of smugness from the Iranian firebrand, who honestly seems to believe the Western economic and political systems are on the verge of destruction.

To me, these outlandish declarations from Tehran are a symptom of a much larger problem, which is not only confined to Iran, but which some in Washington suffer from as well…

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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