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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Is Washington Planning a Military Strike?

Spiegel:It's hardly news that US President George Bush refuses to rule out possible military action against Iran if Tehran continues to pursue its controversial nuclear ambitions. But in Germany, speculation is mounting that Washington is preparing to carry out air strikes against suspected Iranian nuclear sites perhaps even as soon as early 2006.German diplomats began speaking of the prospect two years ago -- long before the Bush administration decided to give the European Union more time to convince Iran to abandon its ambitions, or at the very least put its civilian nuclear program under international controls. But the growing likelihood of the military option is back in the headlines in Germany thanks to a slew of stories that have run in the national media here over the holidays.

Is Ahmadinejad "truly in charge" in Iran?

Marsha B. Cohen in G2K: ...........Israeli declarations about the political
power of the Iranian presidency--in the case of Khatami, he(Safdari) quite correctly recalls that Khatami was ridiculed as a straw man with no power to change Iranian policies for the better, while Ahmadinejad, Khatami's successor, is depicted as a plenipotentiary head of state with unlimited power to make them worse.

As for whether Ahmadinejad is "truly in charge" in Iran, I think the short answer is that no one, including Khomeini, was ever as "truly in charge" as he was made out to be in the foreign press, or as he himself might have wanted to be. Khomeini had to balance and play off various factions within his revolutionary government against each other, while never allowing any one faction to gain the upper hand for very long during the decade between the revolution and his death in 1989. Since 1989, no
one else has been able to do this again with equal success, and no one individual has been "truly in charge." Does Ahmadinejad have the political skill to gain total control in such a way that Khomeini himself could not do, or even to match Khomeini's skill as a political manipulator? Early results make this seem unlikely.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Theory of Conspiracy & Dr.Matthee

I just interviewed Rudi Matthee who wrote Pursuit of Pleasure(1500-1900,Drug & Wine history in Iran).Interview will be published in coming weeks on WashingtonPrism.org.
Here is one question about Theory of Conspiracy:

You wrote in an article that conspiracy theory, a very popular theory in Iran which speculates that foreigners are manipulating the country’s affairs, is a 20th century theory, and it did not exist in the 19th century in Iran. What were the reasons which gave rise to this theory in the early 20th century in Iran?

First of all, I think it is true that there was no such a theory until the late 19th or early 20th century, but I will say that the context of Iranian history and its social ambiance was a fertile breeding ground for such a theory. Iranians were suspicious about foreigners coming to Iran. If these foreigners claimed that they had come for curiosity or to learn about Iranian culture, Iranians would not have believed them. Rather, Iranian were convinced that such foreigners had hidden motives.

Another important element is the realisation that, in Iranian culture, everything is either black or white. In the pre-Islamic period, there was good and bad, but with Shi’ism it became Hasid/Imam Hussein, and then, in the contemporary period, the Shah/ Khomeini. But an influential event happened in the early 20th century: a secret accord was reached, an Anglo-Iranian agreement that would have given the British control over Iran. The agreement, of course, was suspended after the Majlis refused to ratify it when various forces mounted enormous opposition to it. In the early 20th century, Iranian students came back from Europe, especially Berlin, greatly influenced by anti-Britain propaganda in Germany. After World War I, Germany was present in Iran and spread anti-British propaganda there, too. I explained that these are some of the elements that explain the emergence of a conspiracy theory, but in order to understand more of the reasons, more research must be done. Ahmad Ashraf has done great work on this issue, and he also believes that a conspiracy theory is a 20th century

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Israeli Perceptions of Iranian Threat

I hope Peace fighter overcome war lovers!

Sun Sentinel
At an Iranian government-backed conference in Tehran, whose goal was contained in its title, “The World Without Zionism” Iran’s new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad endorsed this theme by declaring that “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
His statement was immediately condemned by a wide range of Western leaders.For example, the European Union’s members issued a response warning that “calls for violence, and for the destruction of any state, are manifestly inconsistent with any claim to be a mature and responsible member of the international community.”

It is virtually unprecedented for a country to call for another state’s
destruction. Indeed, advocating the erasure of another state, people, and cultureis known by the term “genocide,” which is regarded by the international community as a crime against humanity. Opposing such behavior is the very raison d’etre of the UN Charter, and is the cornerstone of international law. Only Israel has been repeatedly subjected to such threats in the last half-century; only the Jewish right
to nationhood and self-determination has constantly been branded as illegitimate.

While Ahmadinejad’s statement was by no means unique, there are good reasons why it attracted special international attention, denunciation, and even strident diplomatic counteraction.
First, Ahmadinejad is not merely an Iranian official but the head of the country’s government. His regime is more radical than his immediate predecessors, and he is someone capable of dangerously adventurous action.Many of his top officials come from backgrounds in Iranian intelligence and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards where they were involved in fomenting international terrorism.

Second, he made this statement at a time when world concern over terrorism has reached an all-time high. Since the Iranian government has long already been the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, what level might that policy reach with the escalated threats made by Iran’s new president. Iranian backing for terrorism is not restricted to words.
For years Iran has funded, supplied, and provided operational guidance to the Hizballah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations in their war on Israel’s civilian population. Such incitement encourages young people to become terrorists, while Iranian funding and logistical assistance facilitates their efforts to do so.

Third, Iran is driving to obtain nuclear weapons and already has long-range missiles capable of delivering them. In other words,Ahmadinejad may soon be capable of carrying out his threat to wipe Israeloff the map. As Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Pierre Pettigrew, put it, his threats are made “more troubling” given Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons.

Finally, the threats against Israel are part of a broader behavior and ideology espousing the pursuit of ongoing conflict between the Iranian brand of Islam and just about everyone else, especially the West and all moderate Arabs and Muslims. No one made this clearer than Ahmadinejehad himself. In the same statement he called for eliminating the United States from the world and backing terrorism against any Muslim country that made peace with Israel.

The world must realize that Israel is not Iran’s only target. It is a matter of record that Iran has encouraged and sponsored terrorist attacks against others, including Gulf Arab and European targets as well as against American targets.

The international community must stand fast in its determination to prevent such a perilous eventuality, which will threaten not only the Middle East, but also global security and stability at large.

History has shown time and again that ignoring threats of genocide in the hope that they are mere rhetoric is a sure guarantee that even greater carnage will surely follow.

The fanatic radical regime of Iran is extremely dangerous. The world should wake up.

Absence of political parties in our culture

One of the biggest failure of Iranian "elites" in exile ( I mean US and Europe),is their inability to launch democratic parties or movements.Please don't accuse Shah & Ayatholahs that they did not give us freedom for democratic growth! what's about being in the West for two DECADES!!! What is outcome? Nothing. No democratic front,party or meeting....Couple of years ago Republican movementwas born to become an alternative to mujahedin & Royalists.I think they have become an invisible group rather than an alternative to something....It is really a question I try to answer were are roots of our failure..No doubt that there are a great number Iranian academics in US and Europe but almost none is involved with politics.........

Remember Nouri, a Brave Heart Cleric!

BBC:October 1999,Abdullah Nouri, the former Iranian interior minister and close associate of President Mohammad Khatami has been found guilty by a special clerical court on 15 charges including But Mr Nouri has also been accused of challenging some of the basic tenets of Islam, such as beards for men, headscarves for women and a ban on dancing, and of questioning the absolute authority of the country's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
About Israel, he said if Arafat and Palestine authority want peace,then Iran should not do any obstacles.
A Brave cleric and influential Minister was sent to jail and Khatami did nothing.Yes,some are brave some are fearful!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Shah & Israel in Nahavandi's Roots of Revolution

About two decades ago Iranian sociologist & university professor in Brussels,published a book in French " Roots of Islamic Revolution". She writes that Iranian Shah let SovietUnion used Iranian space to make an air bridge to Egypt when this country was surrondered by Israelian army. This event made relation between two countries deterioated. Dr.Nahavadi adds during Iranian revloution, radio Israel (persian service) was broad cating news like BBC or other western radios without backing Shah.In 1978, Israel made peace agreement with Egypt and really started not to care too much about Shah.

Ahmadinejad in 2005

When he became President of Iran in summer 2005, almost everybody got surprised.Ahmadinejad continued to surprise people by his behaviour and words.Syria complained because he did not respect diplomatic protocol when President Asad visited Iran, Saudi Arabia complained about same thing, but this time Ajhmadinejad was visitor. His words about Israel & Holocasut attracted new friends for Iran: European Neo Nazi!!!He failed 3 times to impose his Minister of Oil to Iranian deputies. Some people ,who supported him actively in his election as President, started to protest against his choices for key post: Just Family members!His second candidate to get Oil Minister post was a revloutionary guard with more than 20 million dollar fortune!!! But finally he made a point: Azad university fees were reduced and Rafsanjani family started to retreat in Iranian economy life.I think it is a positive point for Ahmadinejad's supporters and ordinary people who consider Rafsanjani a symbol of corruption.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ahmadinejad is ACTION MAN, Reformists Must Learn the Lesson!

Ahmadinejad forced Azad university to reduce its inscription fees. He attacked directly to Rafsanjani's family's interests. He send a clear message to Azad University's owners a few days ago: Either you do it or I will do at your place!
Azad is a real cash cow for 23 years! An non govermental university with expensive fees and not a good reputation for its quality. At head of university is Mr.Jasebi,Rafsanjani's brother in law. Rafsanjani & his family are a real symbol of corruption in Iranian eyes. Ahmadinejad likes challenges and has no fear to push things forward. Khatami with much more popular support than Ahmadinejad, was a fearful guy, running away challenges and hiding behind smile,tears or "beautiful" words. If reformists want to come to power again they must learn lessons from Ahmadinejad, Action Man.

Brown Bear was Killed in Tabriz!


BBC Persian: A Bear who was lost in Tabriz and found refuge in Tabriz Azad university
was killed by govermental agents.Iranian Asscoiation for Environment Protection said it did what it could to save Bear's life.

Tehran: Azad University's Fees Go South!

BBC Persian:For the first time in 23 years of exsitence of Non govermental Azad University, inscription fees will be reduced.President Ahmadinejad pushed university to take this decision. Azad University's president is nobody else than Mr.Jasebi borther in law of Rafsanjani.

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen in Interview with WashingtonPrism

Former Danish Prime Minister,European deputy and President of European Socialists PartyWashington Prism:WP: What is your Party’s position on globalization?
PR: The view of the Party of European Socialists, of which I am the President, and the other socialist and social democrat parties, is that the market economy must be a servant of people, not their master. In the European Union, we must frame the economic market in such a way that we avoid exclusion of the people in our society.

WP: Does the EU view the rise of India and China as a threat or as an opportunity?
PR: First of all, the economic history of the world, and particularly of Europe, has clearly demonstrated that when a part of the world experiences economic growth, the rest of the world has benefited as well. China and India are not threats; they need to buy goods and services from us. Years ago, in another context, the same fear arose concerning Japan. Eventually, however, both USA and Europe have benefited from Japan’s growth. In Europe, we must be in front of the added value chain, and we must invest in the knowledge sector and technology. We will see the benefits with such a move.
In Europe, we have cohesion between services, distribution, access to education, transport and other elements that allows a civil society to function properly. In India and China, this cohesion between different elements doesn’t exist, and it has a long way to go in both countries. We in Europe are determined to emphasise workers’ rights in the world, and that includes China and India.

WP: Tell us your view on Turkey’s membership in the European Union.
PR: I don’t know whether Turkey will become a member of the European Union or not. We must avoid focusing too much on this Islamic fundamentalist issue. In Turkey, the separation of religion and state is fundamental which is good. But Europe has emphasized that Turkey must make some essential changes if it wants to join the European Union. Europe demands that human rights for ethnic and religious minorities as well as women’s rights must be respected. Europe follows a dynamic foreign policy in the Mediterranean region, Africa, Turkey, Iran and Iraq.

“CONTENT” IS ONLY THE MEANS TO AN END

Rebecca MacKinnon:
Global Voices Summit 2005:Put it this way: for a conventional media organization, “content” is the end goal and “content creation” is the primary activity. For a Conversation Community like Global Voices, “content” and “content creation” are means to a larger end: conversation and dialogue. The first step towards conversation is having one’s voice heard around the discussion table. By linking to people’s blogs, our editors and contributors are in effect inviting people to the discussion table and moderating the conversation.

Nobody has ever done this before, so we’re sure to make lots of mistakes. You don’t learn any other way. In the coming year we will be working to figure out how best to bring more people to the conversation table, how to ensure that their voices are heard and not drowned out, how best to structure the conversations so that they can be meaningful, and how to maximize the impact of these conversations. It’s an exciting project. Please help us figure it out!

Monday, December 26, 2005

One day strike is over

Bus drivers will be back to work Monday. Mr.Ghalibaf, Tehran's Mayor, will support
them and take in consideration their requests.

Bus drivers started their strike

Tehran's Bus drivers started their strike in defense of their arrested collegues(Union leaders/representatives).They also ask for better work conditions. Iranian goverment has sent revloutionary guards to drive buses in Tehran.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Wafa Ben Laden.....

GQ Magazine published Wafa Ben Laden's(sexy!) photos.She’s not the model niece Osama bin Laden’s looking for - but she is modeling.

Bus Strike in Tehran

Global Voices:According to blogger Carne, Bus Workers Union (Syndicate) in Tehran has announced on Sunday 25th of December a general bus strike in defense of their colleagues who were fired. Union also wants better conditions for work and a salary raise.
According to Harfi baraye Goftan (a word to say) a few responsibles of Union have already been arrested.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Persian Site shows Holocaust Pictures

click on Gooya to see Holocaust Pictures:Text is in Perisan, but it just refers to historic facts that Holocaust exsited!

Khatami, first post on blog & 300 comments!

Former reformist President Khatami wrote his first message on his blog.He talked about solidarity and ....thanked people who left more than 400 comments on his blog before he starts writing. Comments are very interesting: Negative Positive...
It shows that people still can communicate with Khatami....or atleaset they believed that. By the way blog was a gift to Khatami and he said he can not use internet but hoping to learn that.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Iran glued to TV comedy that tackles tough issues

Yahoo:
TEHRAN (Reuters) - At eight o'clock each evening, Iran grinds to a halt and tunes into a ground-breaking television comedy that candidly broaches often uncomfortable facts of life in the Islamic Republic.
The bazaar at Tajrish in northern Tehran, normally teeming with bargain hunters, is eerily quiet and stall-holders are glued to "Barareh Nights."

This comic soap opera may be set about 70 years ago in the little village of Barareh, but Iranian viewers see its corrupt councilors, rigged elections and vocal women's rights group as a microcosm of Iran today.
Barareh even "enriches" its staple foodstuff, peas, in a clear parallel with Iran's disputed uranium enrichment program, that Washington says is aimed at developing atomic weapons.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Waiting for Rapture in Iran

CSM:Among the true believers is Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who predicted with "no doubt" his June election victory, months in advance, at a time when polls gave him barely 1 percent support. The president also spoke of an aura that wreathed him throughout his controversial UN speech in September.

"O mighty Lord," Mr. Ahmadinejad intoned to his surprised audience, "I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the promised one, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace."

Later, at a private meeting with a cleric that was caught on video, Ahmadinejad shared his views of the moment. "I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed, and for 27 to 28 minutes the leaders did not blink," he said. "They were astonished.... it had opened their eyes and ears for the message of the Islamic Republic."

Monday, December 19, 2005

Conservative Keyhan Editor: Holocaust a Myth!

Accroding to Gooya news: keyhan editor, a conservative journal, in a meeting with Amsterdam university students & Professor Aarts, called Holocaust a myth and repeated
Ahmadinejad's point of view. He added he was in Germany and he saw "so called chamber of gaz" and he believes they were constructed after World war II!!!

Iran's President Bans Western Music

Yahoo: Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has banned all Western music from Iran's state radio and TV stations — an eerie reminder of the 1979 Islamic revolution when popular music was outlawed as "un-Islamic" under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.......
The ban applies to state-run radio and TV. But Iranians with satellite dishes can get broadcasts originating outside the country.

Shirin Ebadi:"Nothing Can Keep Us from Our Work"


Qantara
:The nuclear issue, the president's anti-Israeli tirades — what we have been hearing from Iran recently has been disturbing news. At the same time and almost without provoking attention, the lawyer Shirin Ebadi continues her work in the country. Kathrin Erdmann spoke to her:
Shirin Ebadi: "We have more political freedom now than we did under the Shah. On the other hand, under the Shah we had more individual and social freedom." | Two years ago you were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. What did that bring you personally?

Shirin Ebadi: It increased my self-confidence.

Does the political leadership here show more respect for you as a result?

Ebadi: No, their view of my work and their attitude have not changed. Since I won the Nobel Peace Prize I have been accused of offences and brought before the courts three times.

The last time you were called before the Revolutionary Court was after you had taken part in a press conference at which prisoners reported on their experiences in solitary confinement. There were plans to hold such press conferences once a month. What has happened to that idea?

Ebadi: There is a press conference once a month. The next one is in a few weeks time, and nothing can keep us from our work. Even if they imprison me or execute me, my friends will continue on this path.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Iranian President Warned Students not to be involved in Politics!

Ahmadinejad warned university students not to join political parties and not to create a political environment in universities. Apparently he knows students in universities are against his politics.BBC Persian

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Greens want Iran World Cup expulsion; Fifa refuses

Bangkok Post
Berlin (dpa) - Germany's Green party called early this morning for Iran to be expelled from next year's World Cup, but world football's ruling body,Fifa,immediately rejected the demand, saying politics had no place in
sport.

The Greens proposed the punishment amid outrage over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who this week denied that the Holocaust had happened as described in history books and called for a relocation of Israel.

"A country with that sort of president, who drags his country into isolation, has no business at the World Cup," said Angelika Beer, a German Green in the European Parliament, in an interview with RBB radio in Berlin.

Volker Beck, the party's federal whip in Berlin, agreed: "We should show Iran that this is not right and that this leads to consequences," he told Netzeitung, a Berlin online newspaper.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Greens co-chairman in the European parliament, called for a review of Iranian participation, saying, "This will get a serious-minded debate going in Iran."

Fifa spokesman Andreas Herren rejected the call. He told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa: "As far as Fifa is concerned, the issue doesn't come up. We strictly separate politics from sport."

He said Iran had properly qualified for the tournament, which is being hosted by Germany next year.

"We always tell politicians to keep out," he said.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Many killed in Tehran plane crash

BBC:The building was engulfed in flames after the crash
An Iranian military plane with 94 people on board has crashed into a building in a heavily built-up suburb of the capital Tehran.
There was a huge explosion and fire in the 10-storey block. Police said everyone had died on the plane and many deaths were feared on the ground.
State television said the C-130 plane encountered a technical problem shortly after take-off from Mehrabad airport.

All of Tehran's hospitals have been put on alert to receive casualties.

The semi-official Fars news agency said so far at least 40 bodies had been recovered.
According to Fars news: Among passengers,nobody survived.Several collaborators of Fars agency died in crash.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

God, President Bush & President Ahmadinejad

When Mr. Ahmadinejad talked about his "Divine" experience in United Nations where he was "coverd" by " Light", all western media made fun of him. Bu nobody compared ( according my knowledge)Ahmadinejad's declartion to Mr.Bush references to Divine interventions.President Bush said he heard a voice to invite him to invade this or that country....Problem is that US goverment has a very good marketing team but Iranian goverment has none!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Time to Learn from Afghanistan

I think it is time that we, iranian, look at our neighbour and learn from them. In Afghanistan Parlement pro goverment deputies will sit beside Taliban and former communist regime members. Can you imagine one day in Iran,Moujahedine,Hezbollah,Liberals,Left wing deputies come together.It is time for us rather than looking Western democracies,turning our head towards a country with no oil.Afghanistan!