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  • 26 June 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Iran Updates – June 26

10:30 pm: For further insight into how events are being portayed in Iran by the state media, we prove excerpts from the (hardline) newspaper Kayhan, which quotes Tehran’s sepah commander:

“These interferences in our nation are nothing but a plot set out by the British, American and the Zionists. They have been waiting for the right time to influence our politics. The must stay out of our affairs and their meddling must be brought to the attention of the public.”

With regards to casualties, he indicated that “the casualties have nothing to do with us, on the count that we were not in those areas.”

“The people of Iran have an agreement with Ayatollah Khomeini and Khamenei to protect the Islamic Republic and our values from foreign and domestic enemies, and this is a time that we must deal harshly with hooligans and agitators.”

Thanks to Ali for the translation.

5:26 pm: Vivid description of the basij breaking into Kalameh Newspaper:

According to Dr. Saeed Hosseini Beheshty, [Persian] one of the senior editors at Kalameh Newspaper, “on Monday, June 22, a group of individuals approached Kalameh’s headquarters. They were wearing regular street clothes and began to demand the newspaper’s security guard to open the doors. They identified themselves as intelligence officers. At this point, the chief editor of Kalameh approached the door and requested the officers to present an entrance warrant. However, they did not comply and began to force their way in and broke down the door. Upon entering they started to destroy office equipment and place employees under arrest. Some employees were also beaten up. The arrested writers and editors were transported to police penitentiaries. What they don’t know is they will never break our spirit and the spirits of the Iranian people.”

3:42 pm: ‘Iranbaan’ reported this earlier today:

“In the written agreement the martyrs families have to sign promising not to complain, a clause is inserted saying that Mousavi is responsible for the death of our loved ones and we do not have any complaints against the armed forces.”

3:08 pm: Green balloons


2:44 pm: Mir Hussein is essentially under house arrest

Gooya news [Persian] said today that Mousavi has been “essentially under house arrest since Monday,” according to the reports they have received. Therefore, said Gooya, “any event announced from now on is not linked to Mousavi and is only in his support.” Gooya news also said “all Mousavi’s associates have been arrested and every day more of them are detained. Therefore, Kalemeh website is no longer under the control of Mousavi’s close associates. Even Mousavi’s family members are under surveillance…according to reports by Mousavi’s associates, the number of arrested people has passed 1000 and there is no news about many of them.”

2:37 pm: Human rights activists “Iranbaan” reports that “Neda Agha Sultan’s father was brought on TV and her martyrdom was blamed on the ‘rioters.’”

2:36 pm: Could a strike by Iran’s oil workers succeed? – asks The National:

Iranican asks you to support Obama’s remarks on Iran


Last week, Obama became the first president to recognize the U.S. role in the 1953 coup against the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammad Mossadeq.  In response to the President’s historic speech, the Iranian-American community has shown its support for this gesture.  Iranican, a non-profit organization based in Silicon Valley which produces media reports to reach the younger Iranian community abroad, has asked Iranian Americans to take action and show their support for the President’s remarks by  contacting the White House and the State Department to leave their comments.

As Iranican deftly points out,

“Most of the time we don’t say thank you when we should. While we may not necessarily agree with each statement the president makes, thanking on good things increases our capacity [as Iranian Americans]  to criticize when bad things are happening.”

Check it out over at Iranican today!

Iranian Americans play active role in 2008 election, a US State Department publication for international audiences, published this report on the unprecedented level of Iranian-American involvement in the current election, including interviews with NIAC, PAAIA, IABA, and others. 

From’s Beverly O’Neal:

Los Angeles — Iranian Americans are well-integrated into their communities and are eager to have their voices heard in the 2008 presidential election, according to several Iranian-American organizations.

“Whether it’s volunteering for a campaign, leading fundraising efforts, organizing voter registration drives or get-out-the-vote efforts, Iranian Americans are in the thick of things in this election like never before,” Patrick Disney, assistant legislative director of the Washington-based National Iranian American Council (NIAC), told

Full article below the fold…

Rochester’s 200 Iranian Americans

Last night I had the pleasure of sitting down with about ten IAs at a restaurant in Rochester, MN.  The town of 99,000+, the third largest in Minnesota, is home of the renowned Mayo Clinic medical facility (treating the likes of George HW Bush, Henry Kissinger, Jalal Talibani, and King Hussein of Jordan), which employs about a third of the city’s working-age residents.  The Clinic, and its associated School of Medicine and various medical fellowship and residency programs are a big draw for Iranian American students and that is reflected in the Iranian American community that has been formed in Rochester.


So as you can imagine, we had a vibrant and eclectic conversation about our community’s political activism, healthcare laws, the Presidential election, and…  tax policy!! 

Uninformed or Apathetic?

A few weeks ago I met with an elderly Iranian gentleman who had come from Tehran to visit his family in the US. Because of his affiliation with an Iranian non-governmental organization (NGO) he is involved in the political arena as well as current social and political reform movements. Because of the various risks, I choose not to mention the name of this gentleman. However, for me, his perception of the Iranian America community and the general American society was very interesting. Being born in Iran and raised in Sweden, it is relatively easy for me to act as an unbiased observer and objectively gauge the flaws of American society. Interestingly, even with our different life experiences and age difference, we seemed to be in agreement on our perspective of this country.

Election 2008: The Importance of Involvement

Over the past few weeks I have been working feverishly gathering information and resources concerning the upcoming elections (both Presidential and Congressional). I remain amazed at the wealth of electoral knowledge and information that is easily available to everyone. No doubt many of the people who are reading this blog have already received NIAC reminders concerning the elections (as the notices are time sensitive those who have later primaries or caucuses will not receive theirs until later) and have seen how much information is really at your fingertips when it comes to voting and participating. It is our position at NIAC that every Iranian American can help initiate change and progress and to do so requires diligence and effort.

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.



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