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Posts Tagged ‘ Iran twitter ’

  • 19 October 2010
  • Posted By Lily Samimi
  • 2 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Khamenei is now following you on Twitter

Everyone in Qom, get out your cell phones and cameras, because the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei wants you to send him your videos and pictures of him when he visits today so that he can post them on his website.

Ironic that Khamenei is suddenly a champion of citizen journalism, considering that he and his government were attacking and silencing Iranians who tweeted, blogged, took videos, and emailed pictures during the 2009 election aftermath.

But a major PR blitz is underway as Ayatollah Khamenei ventures to Qom today, his 3rd official visit to Qom since his appointment as Supreme Leader in 1989, including the calls for Iranians to get involved through social media, and a campaign to paint people’s cars and vehicles calling Khamenei an Imam.

How can Khamenei promote social media when, at the same time he has a cyber police task force, stomping on people’s doorsteps anytime someone sends an email to their cousin in America insulting the Iranian government? This is the same government that worked to permanently suspend Gmail, filters the internet, and recently began blocking the web page of its former President. But now the Supreme Leader tweets.

Public relations stunts aside, there has been some speculation as to why Khamenei has decided to visit Qom now during such an interesting political climate both internationally and domestically. The main reason behind his visit seems to be because he’s getting a lot of criticism from the clerics. About two weeks ago, Ayatollah Ali-Mohammad Dastgheib criticized Khamenei for taking his role as Supreme Leader too far. He insinuated in a dense theological verdict, that the Supreme Leader’s role is technically more limited then the current role he plays. According to Dastgheib, Khamenei’s role is “to coordinate the efforts of the three branches of government and to prevent the violation of citizens’ rights by the three branches.” In addition, a group of dissident clerics issued a letter warning the community of clerics of Khamenei’s visit. Other critics of Khamenei include, Ayatollah Yusef Sanei and Ayatollah Assad Bayat-Zanjani.

With sanctions and nuclear pressure on the rise, not to mention upcoming talks with the P5+1 countries in November, it seems that Khamenei wants to unify the clerics to stand against “western influence”. But at the same time, he is trying to harness the same social media tools that are derided as being “western influence” when Iranians use them to promote civil rights.  Khamenei has said that “the media is more powerful and dangerous than nuclear weapons.” By getting into social media, it seems what he is trying to do is, “keep your friends close, but your enemies even closer.”

Some in Congress Get Smart on Iran

Cross-posted from the HuffingtonPost:

For more than two decades now, US policy on Iran has depended almost entirely on sanctions. Even now, Congress is set to pass the latest in a long line of “crippling” pressures: a gasoline embargo that both Republicans and Democrats believe is unlikely to alter Iran’s behavior in the slightest, but which some hope will cause enough pain for the Iranian people that they will protest a little harder than they already are.

But the yardstick for an effective Iran policy is not how much pain and suffering it will cause among innocent Iranians. Rather, changing the policies and behavior of Tehran’s repressive government should be our ultimate goal. This means that when it comes to sanctions, bigger is not always better. If Washington wants to do something on Iran, it should first stop helping the Ahmadinejad government repress its people.

Luckily, there is a chance that things are about to change. Just as most of Congress is stuck in the narrow mindset of draconian sanctions, two new bills have been introduced that offer a new way forward on Iran. The Stand with the Iranian People Act (SWIPA), led by Rep. Keith Ellison, and the Iranian Digital Empowerment Act (IDEA), led by Rep. Jim Moran, both seek to redefine how Congress approaches the Iran issue, in favor of a smarter, more holistic strategy.

  • 14 December 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 1 Comments
  • Congress, Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009, Sanctions

NIAC Applauds Proposal to Enable Iranians’ Online Activities

NIAC welcomes Congressional initiative to correct flawed Internet regulations

Contact: Phil Elwood
212.486.7091

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council welcomes today’s introduction of H.R.4301, the Iranian Digital Empowerment Act (IDEA) in the House of Representatives, and applauds the bill’s sponsors Representatives Representatives Jim Moran (D-VA), Bill Delahunt (D-MA), and Bob Inglis (R-SC).

NIAC President Trita Parsi welcomed the new proposal, calling it a “long overdue correction of one of the most glaringly self-defeating aspects” of US sanctions on Iran.  Due to ambiguities in current US sanctions law, companies and private citizens in the US are barred from sending software to the people of Iran, including important communication and anti-censorship tools that ensure the free flow of information.  The Iranian Digital Empowerment Act clarifies that US sanctions do not apply to software that enables the people of Iran to circumvent government monitors and censors as well as communications software and services.

(Click here for NIAC’s one page fact-sheet on IDEA)

“Sanctions alone are not going to alter the Iranian government’s behavior,” Parsi said, “but the last thing US laws should do is hinder the Iranian people’s ability to access information and communication tools online.” Recently, Microsoft and Google suspended certain instant messaging services in Iran, citing their obligations under US sanctions.  Facebook also considered cutting its service to Iran prior to the election, though ultimately decided against such a move, which would have deprived the Iranian people of a critical outlet for communicating post-election events to the outside world.  Still, current regulations are ambiguous about the legality of offering online services to Iran.

Representative Moran emphasized the importance of this legislation following its introduction: “Given the tectonic shifts in Iranian society following the fraudulent national election and emboldened democracy movement that rose from it, we need to move fast to make these sanctions smarter and more relevant to current technology,” he said.  “IDEA taks a smart approach to our existing sanctions policy by ensuring that Iranian fighting for change are strengthened–those at the front lines of the pro-democracy movement–and not the oppressive regime.”

  • 13 August 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Tweets from Iran continue

From Iranbaan:

Head of the judiciary’s order to follow up on Karoubi’s letter regarding prisoner abuse. http://tinyurl.com/p3sujk

Karoubi: Mr. Rafsanjani has forwarded the letter to Mr. Shahroudi who has ordered a follow up. #iranelection

Karoubi: Shahroudi has asked the prosecutor general to contact me & send people to take my points to authorities. #iranelection

Karoubi: How can they say these things in a society with serial murders where ppl are murdered & left on streets? #iranelection

Karoubi: I’ve heard people were being naked in Kahrizak, sat on & asked to make animal noises. #iranelection

Karoubi: Someone them were stripped, stacked upon each other & hosed off. #iranelection

Karoubi: I’ve even heard while they were torturing people they forced them to call their mothers !@#!$. #iranelection

Karoubi: Our people live in a society where Dr. Bani Yaghoub is taken for contacting people & her body is returned. #iranelection

Karoubi: A young person is attacked with batons for chanting & they are so harsh that some of them die. #iranelection

Karoubi: These swearings & criticisms will never force me to silence. I’ve heard these things for 20 years. #iranelectio

Karoubi: Some lords of the press talk such that Gabriel the angel reports for them. #iranelection

  • 12 August 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Tweets from Iran

From Iranbaan:

The “green shopping” protest planned for today turned into violence with police interference. #iranelection

Jewellers bazaar was closed due to security reasons & forces didn’t let shoppers stop & shop in bazaar. #iranelection

IRIB teams were filming the bazaar trying to create a video showing bazaar was calm. #iranelection

As of 3pm “a large number of people” started a protest in front of the roofed bazaar in 15th of Khordad ave. #iranelection

People were chanting “Down with the dictator” & “This poor government is illegitimate”. #iranelection

Plain cloths & special forces in Naser Khosro, Bouzar Jomehori & other streets leading to bazaar were beating ppl. #iranelection

This is the first time since #iranelection that protesters gather in Tehran’s bazaar

Protests & clashes in Tehran’s bazaar (FA) http://bit.ly/4CsXrc

Unrelated tweet from @attackerman:

Holbrooke: ‘Iran has a legitimate role to play… they are a factor, and to pretend they’re not doesnt make much sense’

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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