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Posts Tagged ‘ Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ’

  • 6 August 2012
  • Posted By Jessica Schieder
  • 0 Comments
  • NIAC round-up

Iran News Roundup: August 6, 2012

Iran tests upgraded version of short-range missile, says can hit sea targets
Israel’s envoy to U.S. jumps the gun, blames Iran for Sinai attack
Olympics wrestling: Reihanpour Soryan claims Iran’s first ever gold
Iran rial sinks 5 pct vs dollar as devaluation expected
Israel hardens missile shield

‘Bootleg chicken’ sold for record prices in Iran
Iran warns against foreign intervention in Syria
Syria rebels threaten to execute Iranian captives
Iran Denies Iranians Seized in Syria Include Military Members
Iran plans to host meeting on Syria
Iran airs “confessions” in killings of nuclear scientists
Iran’s Ahmadinejad to Attend Mecca Summit Next Week, Office Says
Obama associate got $100,000 fee from affiliate of firm doing business with Iran
India HPCL begins rupee payment for Iran oil
Notable Opinion: Five Myths about the U.S.-Iran Conflict

  • 14 March 2012
  • Posted By Angie Ahmadi
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Iran’s Parliamentary Vote: The Beginning of the End of Ahmadinejad

Cross-posted from Huffington Post:

Last Friday, Iran held its first elections since the controversial 2009 presidential contest, after which millions of voters poured into streets of Tehran. Unrest following the announced re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad culminated in mass detention, torture and the death of many protesters. It also led to the near-elimination of pro-reform political forces in the Islamic Republic. For this very reason, the parliamentary vote last week should be viewed as an unrepresentative sham — nothing more than a selection process amongst the ruling conservative elite.

As the dispute between Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad runs deeper, this election is widely interpreted as a battle between these two political heavyweights. With the ballot boxes now counted, the outcome categorically declares Khamenei as the winner — as was broadly anticipated. But placing Iran’s future policy trajectory in its proper context requires caution against reaching hasty conclusions. The results clearly show that candidates openly associated with Ahmadinejad and his chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie failed to enter the parliament. However, the Islamic Revolution Durability Front, backed by ultra-conservative Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi and fairly close to Ahmadinejad, performed relatively well, thereby lessening the possibility of a solid opposition to the president emerging in the new parliament.

Akbar Ganji: “The Worst Scenario for Iran: A Different Look”


On June 15, 2011, Akbar Ganji published an article,"The Worst Scenario for Iran: A Different Look," on BBC Persian, examining the economy of Iran and the effects of the international sanctions on it. NIAC's Ali Tayebi and Sahar Fahimi have translated this article from Ganji's original pen, Persian, to English.  

“The Worst Scenario for Iran: A Different Look”

Two factors could open a small breathing space and create opportunities for the opposition within the upcoming year; first- the dispute between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s team and the other conservatives; second- the creation of targeted subsidies and its consequences.

In mid-April, the dispute between the conservatives and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began to escalate, and, in the past few weeks, the majority of political news has been dominated by this topic. In these circumstances, less attention was paid to the economic conditions; a circumstance that is due to structural issues, creation of targeted subsidies, and economic sanctions. This article discusses the second matter and its political outcomes.

The Quest for Nuclear Immensity

Manners and methods of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, has and continues to display that he is not willing to back down from his stance. His strategy in every situation is offensive. For example, in the case of the United Nations, he advises that instead of awaiting the feedback and criticism of Western governments and civil societies of human rights violations in Iran (the passive approach), Iran should be on the offense, because Western governments are the largest actors in human rights violations of people and governments (the active approach). Or, in the case of women, instead of the West condemning and questioning us for ‘restricting’ our women, we will condemn and question the Western world, for objectifying their women.

In the past 23 years, the supreme leader’s “quest for nuclear immensity” has been activelty persued. He has been firmly against retreating on this matter, and has always commanded the active persuit of this project. He instructed Mohammad Khatami, at the end of his presidential term, to abolish the uranium enrichment suspention agreement with European nations and begin production. Thus, he is not open to compromise and agreement on this matter.

What has been the reaction of Western governmnets? They have passed a few sanctions on Iran through the United Nations. Aside from the international boycotts, the United States and the European Union have independently put more sanctions on Iran. These sanctions have been followed by political ones, the latest of which was an American sanction on June 19,2011, against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Basij paramilitary, Iran’s national police and its chief, Esmael Ahmadi Moghadam due to major human rights violations.

  • 24 May 2010
  • Posted By Sanaz Yarvali
  • 0 Comments
  • Diplomacy, US-Iran War

Peace in our time!

The era of threat and force is over! At least according to President Ahmadinejad. During a meeting last Thursday in Tehran with Kuwaiti Speaker Jassim Mohammad al-Kharafi, Ahmadinejad stated:

Those, thinking that they can be influential through threat and force, should know that the era of such behaviors is gone.

The thought of Ahmadinejad claiming to want to engage in “logic and dialogue” instead of using force and threats to solve global issues gives a little bit of hope to peace loving individuals everywhere. Of course, I’m not holding my breath.

Iran has been reaching out to several states in an effort to strengthen bilateral ties, given the uncertainty at home. In regard to “Iran-Kuwait ties, President Ahmadinejad said both countries can run the region along with each other and guarantee full security there”. In addition, the Kuwaiti speaker has said that it has always been ready to remain by Iran and that it proved that it ” seeks fully peaceful nuclear energy and follows diplomacy of dialogue to solve all problems”.

What is ironic is that a few weeks ago, Iran was accused of running an espionage ring in Kuwait after seven people were arrested in connection with a spy cell. Iran denied it and said that the Kuwaiti government should “not be trapped by tricks”. “The claim discussed by some media on discovering a spy cell in Kuwait seeks undermining bilateral ties,” the Iranian embassy in Kuwait said in a statement.

  • 3 February 2010
  • Posted By Nayda Lakelieh
  • 4 Comments
  • Diplomacy, Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran

Bartering Prisoners? Ahmadinejad hints at detained hikers’ release.

The Associated Press reports (via Washingtonpost.com)  Ahmadinejad has hinted at the possible release of three jailed US hikers… in exchange for Iranians currently serving time in US prisons.

“There are some talks under way to have an exchange, if it is possible,” he said. “Recently they (the U.S.) have sent messages, we answered to bring them (the Iranians), to bring these people (the hikers). We are hopeful that all prisoners to be released.”

No specific Iranian prisoners were mentioned by Ahmadinejad, but he had previously released a list of 11 Iranians believed to be detained in the US.  The list, released in December, includes a nuclear scientist that had disappeared in Saudi Arabia, an Iranian arrested in Canada on charges of trying to obtain nuclear technology, and a former Defense Ministry official who vanished in Turkey.

“I had said I would help in releasing them, but the attitude of some of U.S. officials damages the job,” said Ahmadinejad. “There are a large number of Iranians in prison in the U.S. They have abducted some of our citizens in other countries.”

Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Josh Fattal are all UC Berkeley graduates that were detained 6 months ago on accounts of “suspicious aims” while hiking in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region. Their families state that the three accidentally crossed the border into Iran, but Ahmadinejad disputes this, stating that there were “indications they knew they were crossing into Iran.”

In late December, Iran’s foreign minister said that the three US detainees would be tried in court, but failed to mention any specific charge or when the trial would actually begin.

2 More Executed in Iran

The NY Times reports that Mohammad-Ali Zamani and Arash Rahamipour were hanged before dawn for their suspected role in the April 2008 mosque bombing in Shiraz, Iran. The mosque bombing killed 13 people and left 200 others wounded. 9 others were also found guilty of “moharebeh”, or being enemies of God, as they were arrested in the midst of the December Ashura protests.

This is being viewed as an attempt to frighten protesters before the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Republic on February 11, where anti-government rallies are to be expected.

“Following the riots and anti revolutionary and foundation-breaking actions of last few months, especially on the day of Ashura, Tehran’s revolutionary court has sentenced 11 people to death,” the semiofficial ISNA news service reported.

Amnesty International further reports that Iran is second to China in rate of executions; President Ahmadinejad’s execution rate has nearly quadrupled, from 86 in 2005, the year he initially took office, up to 346 in 2008. Human rights groups additionally report that over 115 have been killed since the disputed June presidential elections and Ahmadinejad’s August inauguration.

Notably, Zamani and Rahamipour’s family members state that the two were arrested before the election, and were not involved in the post-election protests.

In an interview in October with the Rooz Online Web site, Mr. Rahmanipour’s lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, said that his client was actually arrested in late March or April. “He has nothing to do with the election or the post-election events,” Mr. Sotoudeh said at the time. “They tried to create fear when he was arrested and even arrested his pregnant sister.”

Adding to the confusion of Mr. Alizamani’s arrest, some Iranian news sites report that he was detained before the protests. Regardless of the causes of arrest, the executions are seemingly intended as defense; the Iranian governments is apparently gearing itself for another round of opposition come February 11th.

  • 27 January 2010
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 1 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran

Zahra: No compromise, no recognition of Ahmadinejad government

“We have made a shield of our chest and are ready for any kind of attack and terror,” stated Zahra Rahnavard, wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi, responding to a question about the prices their family has had to pay. “These prices have not been paid for Mr. Mousavi, but for the Green movement. We are not focused on the individual and individualism and our family is no different than the rest of the people making sacrifices and paying a price.

In an interview with Rooz Online (via Payvand.com/news), Dr. Rahnavard also lashed out at rumors that the Green trifecta – Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohammad Khatami – had made a back-door compromise to recognize Ahmadinejad’s government.

This is absolutely not true, no compromise whatsoever is in the works. I don’t see any compromise in [Mousavi’s latest] statement, rather I believe it lays out the minimum desires and aspirations of the people of Iran that the current regime could easily fulfill.

Interesting use of the term “current regime,” no? She’s appearing as pragmatic as possible – which is good considering the position they’re in. Speculation remains on whether or not this government – this regime, rather – can make a compromise.

When asked whether or not she believes they’ll compromise, she gave the typical vague Persian answer best embodied in the term, “Khoda midaaneh.”

I cannot foresee what will happen in the future. I can only hope that whatever happens is in the best interest of the people of Iran and that it honors our nation. I want to emphasize the fact that we neither acknowledge the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad’s government, nor are we making any behind the scenes compromises.

For more, please click here.


  • 25 January 2010
  • Posted By Nayda Lakelieh
  • 7 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Karroubi ‘recognizes’ Ahmadinejad…

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports (via www.payvand.com) that opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi recognizes Ahmadinejad as being the head of Iran’s government, although he is quick to maintain that the June presidential election was rigged.

Karrubi’s new found stance could demonstrate a ploy to extract similar concessions from the ruling elite–sort of a quid pro quo.   Hossein Karrubi, the opposition leader’s son, explained to RFE/RL’s Radio Farda that his father still believes the presidential election was tarnished by fraud.

Karrubi, who stood against Ahmadinejad in the disputed June vote, was asked by the semiofficial Fars news agency whether he recognized “the lawful and elected president of the Iranian people.”

He was quoted by Fars as responding, “I still maintain that there were problems, but with regard to your question, I should say that I recognize the president.

A opposition source adds that security fears told RFE/RL that Karrubi’s comments did not represent a shift in his previous stance.

He didn’t say he recognizes Ahmadinejad as the elected president, he said he recognizes him as the head of the government. There is a government in the country and its head is Ahmadinejad,” the opposition source said in a telephone interview from the Iranian capital.

Many are anticipating more protests next month following the commemoration of the 1979 Islamic Revolution; perhaps Karrubi’s seemingly calculated stance is a consequence of the Revolution’s impending 30th anniversary.


  • 25 January 2010
  • Posted By Nayda Lakelieh
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Even More Crackdowns on Iranian Media

Radio Zamaneh reports ( via www.payvand.com)  that Iran’s Ministry of Culture has cautioned fifteen newspapers for publishing criticism of Iran’s domestic unrest following the June presidential election.

Iran’s Ministry of Culture has issued warnings for 15 newspapers for “spreading rumours” and “representing a false image of the country’s situation.” Seven of them were reprimanded for publishing the statements of Mohammad Khatami, the former president, who is currently considered as one of the chief leaders of the opposition.

Five other dailies were reprimanded for printing statements by Ali Motahari, a conservative member of the parliament.

In an interview, Ali Motahari had criticized the actions of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the candidate debates of the presidential campaign and claimed they were at the root of the “sedition” that took place after the elections.

Motahari thus added that “if leaders of the sedition are to apologize to the people, it is only fair that Ahmadinejad also apologizes to the people too.”

Following Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in June, the Iranian government’s crackdown on objective media and the detention of journalists has increased significantly.  Reporters Without Borders is reporting that the Iranian government currently has 42 journalists and bloggers imprisoned.

  • 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.

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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