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Posts Tagged ‘ Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ’

  • 20 October 2009
  • Posted By Sanaz Tofighrad
  • Iran Election 2009

Former minister gets the shoe

(Via Mowj Camp)

(Via Mowj Camp)

A protesting student at Tehran University threw his shoe at the Saffar Harandi, the former Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance of Iran under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, reports Mowj Camp.

Mowj Camp also reports that students delayed Harandi’s speech by chanting slogans such as “Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein” and booing him.  Eventually, Harandi had to leave the university to avoid further confrontation.

  • 9 October 2009
  • Posted By Matt Sugrue
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Amnesty International Issues Statement About Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani

Amnesty International released a statement today asking the Iranian government to review the October 8th death sentence handed down to Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani. The release states that,

Zamani, 37, was sentenced to death by a Tehran Revolutionary Court on Thursday after he was convicted of “enmity against God for membership of and activities to further the aims of the terrorist grouplet Anjoman-e Padeshahi-e Iran (API)”.   

The API is an exiled opposition group which advocates the ending of the Islamic Republic and the establishment of an Iranian monarchy.

He was also convicted of “propaganda against the system”, “insulting the holy sanctities”, “gathering and colluding with intent to harm national internal security ” as well as of leaving the country illegally to visit Iraq where he was alleged to have met US military officials.

Mr. Zamani is the first of the 100 prisoners arrested after the June election protests to be sentenced to death. Amnesty accurately describes the trials that led to Mr. Zamani’s conviction as “show trials,” as well as a “mockery of justice.”

The international community must loudly condemn the conviction of Mr. Zamani based on a confession that was almost certainly obtained through torture.  It’s unconscionable to think that a government would execute one of its citizens for exercising their right to voice their opinion. Tehran’s decision to proceed down this path shows that it has truly gone beyond the pale in its efforts to repress dissent and hide from the legitimate suspicions that surround the disputed elections that took place in June of this year.

  • 5 October 2009
  • Posted By Darioush Azizi
  • Culture, Israel

Javedanfar: Ahmadinejad does not have Jewish roots

The debate continues as Iranian-Israeli Meir Javedanfar, a Middle East analyst, presents evidence in an article published in today’s Guardian newspaper (UK) that clearly refute those presented by the Daily Telegraph last week. Below are a few excerpts, but the full article can be read here.

Professor David Yeroshalmi, author of The Jews of Iran in the 19th century and an expert on Iranian Jewish communities, disputes the validity of this argument. “There is no such meaning for the word ‘sabour’ in any of the Persian Jewish dialects, nor does it mean Jewish prayer shawl in Persian. Also, the name Sabourjian is not a well-known Jewish name,” he stated in a recent interview.

Yeroshalmi, a scholar at Tel Aviv University’s Center for Iranian Studies, also went on to dispute the article’s findings that the “-jian” ending to the name specifically showed the family had been practising Jews. “This ending is in no way sufficient to judge whether someone has a Jewish background. Many Muslim surnames have the same ending,” he stated.

Regarding the evidence in the Daily Telegraph that stated Jews in Iran are weavers, Javedanfar states:

Carpet weaving or colouring carpet threads are not professions associated with Jews in Iran.

And he continues…

Ahmadinejad’s father Ahmad was in fact a religious Shia, who taught the Quran before and after Ahmadinejad’s birth and their move to Tehran.

Moreover, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s mother is a Seyyede. This is a title given to women whose family are believed to be direct bloodline descendants of Prophet Muhammad.

The reason that Ahmadinejad’s father changed his surname has more to do with the class struggle in Iran. When it became mandatory to adopt surnames, many people from rural areas chose names that represented their professions or that of their ancestors. This made them easily identifiable as townfolk. In many cases they changed their surnames upon moving to Tehran, in order to avoid snobbery and discrimination from residents of the capital.

  • 4 October 2009
  • Posted By Darioush Azizi
  • Culture, Diplomacy, Human Rights in Iran, Israel

Daily Telegraph: Ahmadinejad has Jewish roots

Evidence uncovered by the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph shows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has Jewish roots. A picture of the Iranian leader  flashing his shenasnameh, identity card, reveals his former last name to be “Sabourjian.” More from The Daily Telegraph:

The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed its name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth.

The Sabourjians traditionally hail from Aradan, Mr Ahmadinejad’s birthplace, and the name derives from “weaver of the Sabour”, the name for the Jewish Tallit shawl in Persia. The name is even on the list of reserved names for Iranian Jews compiled by Iran’s Ministry of the Interior.

Experts last night suggested Mr Ahmadinejad’s track record for hate-filled attacks on Jews could be an overcompensation to hide his past.

A London-based expert on Iranian Jewry said that “jian” ending to the name specifically showed the family had been practising Jews.

“He has changed his name for religious reasons, or at least his parents had,” said the Iranian-born Jew living in London. “Sabourjian is well known Jewish name in Iran.”

The Iranian leader has not denied his name was changed when his family moved to Tehran in the 1950s. But he has never revealed what it was change from or directly addressed the reason for the switch.

And what happens to those who innocently question his background?

Mehdi Khazali, an internet blogger, who called for an investigation of Mr Ahmadinejad’s roots was arrested this summer.

And what do the Israelis have to say about this?

A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in London said it would not be drawn on Mr Ahmadinejad’s background. “It’s not something we’d talk about,” said Ron Gidor, a spokesman.

  • 29 September 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

More student protests: Sharif University, Tehran

Thanks to reader Jimmy:


  • 23 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran

Embattled Science Minister now faces plagiarism charges

The conservative news website Alef is reporting that Kamran Daneshjou, the embattled Minister of Science in Ahmadinejad’s government who has faced harsh criticism for some pretty questionable irregularities having to do with his resume, allegedly plagiarized an article he published earlier this year.

Nature has more:

Large chunks of text, figures, and tables in a 2009 paper co-authored by Kamran Daneshjou, Iran’s science minister, are identical to those of a 2002 paper published by South Korean researchers, Nature has learned. Daneshjou served as the head of the interior ministry office which ran the disputed presidential elections in June, which returned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power. Daneshjou is also a former governor general of Tehran. The paper by Daneshjou and Majid Shahravi from the department of mechanical engineering at the Iran University of Science and Technology in Tehran is entitled “Analysis of critical ricochet angle using two space discretization methods“, and was published in the journal Engineering with Computers in 2009. In many places the text duplicates verbatim that of an earlier paper: “Ricochet of a tungsten heavy alloy long-rod projectile from deformable steel plates“, published by South Korean scientists in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics in 2002. Other sentences in Daneshjou’s paper are identical to those in a paper given by other researchers at a 2003 conference. The scientific credentials of Daneshjou, who was appointed as science minister earlier this month, have been the subject of controversy, with the Los Angeles Times reporting in late August about question marks over his PhD. According to his university webpage at the time, the PhD was awarded by the ‘Manchester Imperial Institute of Science and Technology.’ The webpage this afternoon has changed and says that the PhD was awarded in 1989 after working at Imperial College in London, but that the defence of the thesis was held in Amirkabir University of Technology in Iran.

Many Iranians have criticized Ahmadinejad’s choice of Cabinet appointments, citing a stunning lack of experience for some.  Daneshjou was a close ally of Ahmadinejad during the disputed 12 June election, and came under criticism this summer for listing a fictitious university on his resume.  He later changed his resume to list a PhD from one of the most prestigious universities in the UK, though the Imperial College of London has no record of his thesis.

During the Parliament’s vote of confidence, one of the members of the Majlis called him “a pin in the grenade” that will explode when the universities open.

  • 22 September 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Human Rights in Iran

New York Says Welcome, Mahmoud

“The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran is circulating mobile billboards protesting recent violence and extensive human rights violations in Iran. The mobile billboards are circulating in midtown Manhattan, near UN headquarters, to focus the attention of the diplomatic community on the human rights crisis in Iran.” – ICHRI press release

  • 22 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran

Plane Crash In Iran

From Associated press on Tuesday:

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Iran is stronger than ever and warned that its military will “cut the hand” of anyone who attacks. But a military parade where he spoke was marred when an air force plane crashed, killing seven people, according to state radio. State TV showed video footage of burning wreckage from the military plane surrounded by fire trucks in farmlands south of Tehran. There was not immediate word on the cause of the crash, but the Iranian military — as well its civilian airlines — have been plagued by lethal accidents. The crashes are blamed in part on U.S. sanctions that make it difficult for Iran to get spare parts, but experts have also said airlines are strapped for cash and often have poor maintenance. State radio and television did not specify the type of plane that crashed, saying only it was used for transport. The parade marked the anniversary of the start of the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war in which an estimated 1 million people were killed.

  • 21 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Diplomacy, UN

Mottaki in New York

This morning from Press TV:

Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has arrived in New York to take part in the general debates of the 64th session of the UN General Assembly. Mottaki’s arrival comes a day before President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s scheduled arrival, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported Monday.

Other than President Ahmadinejad, the US President Barack Obama and the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are among other heads of states that will address the General Assembly with quite different perspectives. While President Ahmadinejad’s speech is expected to focus on the need for establishment of a global peace, a world without nuclear weapons, and security in the Middle East, it is widely expected that Netanyahu’s address will focus on blaming Iran’s nuclear program as a threat to its security and ‘global peace’. According to the American UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Obama’s speech will address topics such as terrorism, genocide, mass atrocities, cyber attacks, nuclear activities in Iran and North Korea, pandemic diseases and international criminal networks.

  • 18 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Nuclear file, UN

Ahmadinejad Crisis Not Over Yet

The Economist has published a very provocative piece on how, three months after his disputed re-election, Ahmadinejad is still failing to reassert his grip on power.  This view is only underscored by today’s mass demonstrations in cities all across Iran, in direct defiance of a government ban on opposition activities.

Though it has crushed street protests, jailed dissidents, mounted show trials and hardened censorship, Iran’s ultraconservative, military-backed government remains shaky as it faces a string of testing challenges, including a looming diplomatic showdown over its nuclear ambitions. For sure, it has a physical hold on the Islamic Republic. Its increasingly militarized look, its uninhibited resort to coercion, its domination of parliament and the state-controlled press, and the tacit approval all this gets from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, show its determination to prevail at any cost. But opposition has not faded. Not only do the two defeated reformist presidential candidates still insist they were cheated, but other powerful figures, including top clerics, persist in decrying the abuse of human rights.

A lot of ordinary Iranians, including many who used to back the conservatives, scorn Mr Ahmadinejad’s claim to have foiled a foreign plot. Instead, they have added charges of the rape, murder and slander of its opponents to the regime’s alleged initial sin of massive voting fraud in the June election. Some argue that the scale and brutality of the regime’s crackdown reflect not strength but desperation. Such worries have already prompted Mr Ahmadinejad to cancel several public observances, an unusual step in the anniversary-obsessed Islamic Republic.

This could hurt Mr Ahmadinejad as he embarks on the first important foreign tour of his second term. Next week he is to join a host of leaders in New York, where he will address the UN General Assembly shortly after America’s president, Barack Obama. Mr Ahmadinejad may eschew the inflammatory talk that prompted a walkout at a UN gathering last year in Geneva. But Iran’s diplomatic isolation will be exposed on September 24th, when Mr Obama is to chair a Security Council summit on nuclear proliferation. American diplomats, keen to help Mr Obama in his stated intention to engage Iran, have been careful to portray the Security Council’s agenda as broad—and targeted at no particular country. Security Council members, such as Russia and China, behind a stiffening of the economic sanctions imposed on Iran in 2006, after it refused to obey a demand by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, to suspend the enrichment of uranium. The aim is to make Iran more co-operative at multilateral talks due to start on October 1st, probably in Turkey.

That much-anticipated meeting will confront Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator with representatives of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members plus Germany. Earlier this month Iran countered the so-called P5+1 group’s longstanding demand for talks with a flowery proposal for broad strategic negotiations that would bury the nuclear issue. But since Mr Obama dropped his predecessor’s more-stick-than-carrot approach, the big-power enforcers may let the Islamic Republic pose as having won respect for its nuclear rights. Such diplomatic forbearance may not endure for long, if Mr Ahmadinejad shows the same disregard for world opinion as he does for his own voters.

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7,350 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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