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Posts Tagged ‘ Mohammad Khatami ’

  • 25 February 2013
  • Posted By Sina Toossi
  • 0 Comments
  • Diplomacy

Iran and the U.S. meet on the wrestling mat in Tehran

In an atmosphere of heavy sanctions and talk of war, wrestlers from around the world have come to Tehran to participate in the annual Wrestling World Cup. The event, which changes venues every year, has brought together wresting teams from countries not typically known for close ties, such as the U.S., Cuba, Russia, and Iran.

The advent of such kinds of sport exchanges between Iran and the U.S. actually hearkens back to the era of former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami. Khatami sought to foster such exchanges based on his advocacy of “people to people contact between the two nations to break the ice.” Perhaps initially a genuine effort to mimic the “ping-pong” diplomacy between the United and China that paved the way for President Nixon to visit Beijing, this initiative took off with the U.S. wrestling team making a landmark trip to Tehran in 1998. Indeed, this recent trip to the Wrestling World Cup by Team USA marked its tenth visit to Iran in the past decade. Since the late 1990s, various athletes from a variety of different sports have travelled between the two countries. A further sports exchange program between Iran and the US launched in 2007 has seen the U.S. send more than 30 athletes to Iran and more than 75 Iranian athletes and coaches visit the United States.

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.

  • 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
  • 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.

  • 27 December 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • 1 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Updated: Security Forces Kill Iran Protestors

Today’s Ashura protests have turned deadly. The AP is reporting:

Security forces tried but failed to disperse protesters on a central Tehran street with tear gas, charges by baton-wielding officers and warning shots fired into the air. They then opened fire directly at protesters, killing at least three people, said witnesses and the pro-reform Web site Rah-e-Sabz. A fourth protester was shot dead on a nearby street, they said.

Witnesses said one of the victims was an elderly man who had a gunshot wound to the forehead. He was seen being carried away by opposition supporters with blood covering his face.

More than two dozen opposition supporters were injured, some of them seriously, with limbs broken from beatings, according to witnesses. There were also violent confrontations in at least three other major cities: Isfahan and Najafabad in central Iran and Shiraz in the south.

The AP has updated the story to say one of the victims is the nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi.

The close aide to Mousavi says the nephew, Ali Mousavi, died of wounds in a hospital on Sunday.

The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears of reprisals from the government.

A reformist Web site, Parlemannews.ir, also says Mousavi’s nephew was killed.

The New York Times is reporting further:

In the evening, about 50 vigilantes armed with chains, batons and pepper spray disrupted a speech by Mr. Khatami at Jamaran Mosque in Tehran, the home mosque of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

Thousands of opposition supporters converged on the neighborhood, witnesses said, and government forces fired tear gas and threatened to shoot if the protesters did not leave.

“As the number of protesters increased, the government forces quickly brought in more forces and waged a very savage attack on people,” said a witness, interviewed by telephone. “I saw a 23-year-old woman stabbed.”

Tehran Bureau adds the Basij interrupted Khatami’s speech after he began drawing parallels between the opposition movement and the martyrdom of Imam Hossein. The NYT’s The Lede has the video.

Update: There are reports from opposition websites that another four protestors were killed in Tabriz.

  • 8 September 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Atefeh Imam – daughter of prominent jailed Reformist – freed from Prison

According to Mousavi-related news site Nowrooz News, Atefeh Imam — the 18-year old daughter of Mousavi’s Chief of Staff — has been released after one day in prison.

Nowrooz News runs the headline “Unbelievable New Details about the Arrest of Atefeh Imam“: (h/t New York Times)

Atefeh, the 18 year old daughter of Javad Imam (Mousavi’s imprisoned campaign Chief of Staff), after had been kidnapped and detained in an undisclosed location for nearly 28 hours was set free around dusk near Tehran’s cemetery yesterday in bad condition and without any money while her purse was taken! She was under pressure to “confess” to having unethical relations with some of the imprisoned political activists!

As Trita Parsi wrote in Huffington Post yesterday, the Islamic Republic’s arrest of Atefeh Imam represents the government making good on its threats to the Reformist camp. Atefeh Imam’s mother, Leyla Jalalzadeh, said in an interview with Mousavi campaign newspaper Kaleme that they arrested her daughter to put pressure on her father to make a confession.

Javad Imam was the Mousavi’s campaign’s Chief of Staff and a high-ranking Reformist politician.

  • 14 August 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Supreme Leader: Arresting Mousavi Would End the Islamic Republic

A reformist news website has obtained an Ahmadinejad-supported “fantasy plan” to arrest Mir-Hossein Mousavi and ten other high-level Reformist leaders. Khamenei’s opposition has prevented Ahmadinejad from carrying it out. Nowruz, run by Islamic Iran Participation Front, reports that the Supreme Leader believes that arresting Mousavi would end the Islamic Republic.

Nowruz writes that Ahmadinejad submitted this plan to the Supreme National Security Council. Because of the dire consequences for “the coup d’etat beneficiaries,” however, the Council opposed executing this plan.

Ahmadinejad supported the plan completely and he insisted on its production and submission to the Supreme National Security Council. The plan emphasizes that if Mir-Hossein and the ten leaders are not arrested, the protests will never end.

The list includes Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, Ayatollah Mousavi-Khoiniha, Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, Morteza Alviri, Mohammad Reza Khatami, and and one of Rafsanjani’s children. But the organizers did not include Mohammad Khatami because of his “international fame” — they thought the reaction would be “uncontrollable.”

Many thanks to Matthew below for first breaking this story from Mousavi’s Facebook.

  • 9 February 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • 0 Comments
  • Diplomacy, Events in Iran

Trita Parsi on Khatami’s Announcement

NIAC President Trita Parsi has written an analysis of Khatami’s decision to run for Iranian President on the Huffington Post.

Despite having been elected twice to the Presidency twice, Khatami faces several challenges:

“Khatami’s challenge now is to make sure that he can convince the Iranian populace three things. First, that he will show greater strength and willingness to challenge the political boundaries of the Islamic Republic. During his eight years as President, Khatami disappointed large segments of the population by being too timid and too unwilling to push the envelope to deliver on his promise of greater freedoms and reforms.”

The announcement also has implications for US policymakers:

“His decision to run will intensify temptations in Washington to hold back any effort to initiate diplomacy with Iran until after the election. These temptations should be resisted. The last thing Khatami needs is to be considered America’s candidate in the race. In fact, opponents to Ahmadinejad argue that out they will have an easier time pursuing diplomacy with the US if negotiations are initiated already under Ahmadinejad and the conservatives. It will simply be more difficult for the conservatives to oppose and undermine US-Iran talks if those talks began when a conservative held the presidency.”

The full article contains much more and is well worth a read.

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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