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Archive for July, 2008

Islamization of Universities under Mesbah Yazdi’s Guidance

Monday, July 28th, 2008
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Minister of Education Announcement:


A year after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed that the general atmosphere of ‎Iranian universities is “governed by secularism,” the ninth administration’s education ‎minister and several other figures close to the cabinet announced progress in the plan to ‎‎“Islamicize” universities under the guidance of ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi and institutions ‎affiliated with him. ‎
In recent years, radical right-wingers and especially Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have ‎repeatedly attacked universities for being “un-Islamic.” On one occasion, while speaking ‎to a group of university students, Ahmadinejad denounced Iran’s modern education ‎system for being ruled by secularism in the past 150 years, and called on students to help ‎him revamp the country’s educational system. A few months after Ahmadinejad’s ‎remarks, ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, who directs the Imam Khomeini Education and ‎Research Institute, blamed weak planning in the country’s affairs as well as conditions in ‎universities while meeting with central committee members of the Imam Khomeini ‎Relief Foundation (Komiteh Emdad Imam Khomeini), noting, “these universities don’t ‎teach students anything other than how to badmouth the regime and at times even Islam.” ‎
Now, following a plan devised by Mesbah Yazdi’s organization, recent reports reveal that ‎the education minister is attempting to fully Islamicize universities. At the beginning of ‎the week, education minister Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi, who was attending the tenth ‎grand conference of Basiji university lecturers from across the country in Mashhad ‎alongside Ahmadinejad, commented on the administration’s plans to Islamicize ‎universities: “Currently, several research institutes such as the Imam Khomeini Education ‎and Research Institute [directed by extremist cleric Mesbah Yazdi] are working on this ‎issue. The cost of the plan is not important for us, because it is the end result that matters ‎to us.” ‎
Denying any knowledge of the new “forced retirement of university professionals” the ‎education minister announced that many Basiji professors had joined the country’s ‎institutions of higher education since the beginning of the tenth administration in 2005. ‎Zahedi said, “In the past three years, many university presidents have been replaced, and ‎most of new presidents are either members of the Basij or have shown with their actions ‎that they are committed to and supportive of the administration.” ‎
While those close to the Ahmadinejad administration identify “Islamicizing universities” ‎as the “ninth administration’s concern,” universities are under pressure through the ‎summons and detention of students, as well as dismissal, removal or forced retirement of ‎prominent professors. ‎
Last Saturday, Morteza Aghatehrani, who is known as the “cabinet’s ethics teacher” and ‎is currently serving as Tehran’s representative in the eighth Majlis, noted, “our concern is ‎to Islamicize universities,” adding, “the universities’ committed students are not satisfied ‎with the culture and image of university.” A few days prior, commenting on content of ‎university textbooks, Aghatehrani had said, “university textbooks are neither native nor ‎Islamic.” ‎
According to Ketabnews website, this pro-administration cleric who is now a member of ‎the Majlis education and research committee also claimed during last Thursday’s speech ‎at a conference that “social sciences taught in the country’s universities are western and ‎originated in the West.” ‎
In recent weeks, many prominent figures closely associated with the administration have ‎lamented the un-Islamic character of Iranian universities. Minister of Culture and Islamic ‎Guidance Saffar Harandi, compared in a speech the “Cultural Revolution” of 1980 with ‎today’s events, saying, “At that time, our revolutionary students believed that pre-‎revolutionary studies should not be taught to students by the same professors who were ‎the theoreticians of the old regime. We don’t want our universities to be the breeding ‎grounds of forces opposed to God and his religion.” ‎

Source : Roozonline

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he Multi-Million Army

Sunday, July 27th, 2008
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‎200 % Increase in Basij Budget for Bases

As the commander of the Basij resistance force (affiliated to the Passdaran Revolutionary ‎Guards of Iran) announced a sharp increase in the budget of this military force, the ‎representative of Iran’s supreme leader ayatollah Khamenei in the Passdaran spoke of ‎‎“strengthening the Basij” and “speeding up” the development and expansion of the “20 ‎million or multi-million army.” These remarks come after Basij announced its readiness ‎to “confront the cultural threats” facing the country.‎
Hassan Taeb, who was recently appointed by Passdaran commander Mohammad Ali ‎Jaafari to be the commander of the Basij resistance force for Iran, announced in the ‎weekly Sobh Sadegh, the official weekly journal of the political office of the Passdaran, ‎of the “200 percent increase in the budget of the Basij resistance bases” during the ‎current year. ‎
This announcement follows earlier remarks by Taeb that the number of resistance bases ‎of the force stood at some 36,000 and had called on national organizations to pay greater ‎attention to the force.‎
In a separate but related announcement that was published two days ago by Mehr news ‎agency, the commander of the Basij force had announced the “readiness of Basij” to ‎confront “any cultural threats” facing the country. Hassan Taeb who had participated in a ‎seminar of the cultural officials of the Passdaran force from all the provinces of Iran said, ‎‎“The cultural wing of the Passdaran particularly in at the Basij resistance level must well ‎identify the cultural threats of the enemy and present suitable responses to them. The ‎Passdaran must implement self-reliant solutions in every province to confront any ‎cultural threat with suitable responses.”‎
In a related news, Shahab news agency quoted the Basij commander as saying, “There ‎must be resistance capability to confront the soft and semi-soft threats. Regarding the soft ‎threat which is primarily cultural, Basij is capable of confronting any measure.”‎
In addition to the remarks of the Basij commander, Ali Saidi, the representative of ‎ayatollah Khamenei in the Passdaran force also spoke of the force’s plans for “greater ‎sensitivity” to Basij by the public. He spoke of “the structural changes to and ‎developments in the Passdaran and the Basij resistance force and the creation of ‎Passdaran commands at the provincial level”.‎
‎“The Passdaran have shown so far that they are men of action and that it does what it ‎says,” said this religious figure in the Passdaran in reference to the creation of the 20 ‎million-man Basij force as originally announced by the founder of the Islamic regime, ‎ayatollah Khomeini. “The recent changes in the Passdaran are reflective of speeding up ‎the implementation of the 20-million man army,” and the strengthening of the Basij “for ‎the expansion of the 20 million man or tens of millions of men army,” he said.‎

Source : Roozonline

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The Whole World is Behind Us

Sunday, July 27th, 2008
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Ahmadinejad Makes another Claim

Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad told a group of clerics from the province of ‎Kahgiloie va Bovir, “The World is With Us”. Referencing his trip last year to New York, ‎he said that one of the presidential candidates in the US presidential elections had told ‎him, “Your words make resonance here.” And in a following speech in the city of ‎Mashhad, Ahmadinejad told his audience that he “would not negotiate any clear rights” ‎of the Iranians and announced that “thousands of new centrifuges would become ‎operational” for enriching uranium. ‎
In Mashhad, Ahmadinejad announced that, “After the setting up of hundreds and ‎thousands of uranium enrichment centrifuges the enemies had expressly retreated and ‎accepted the advancements of the Iranian nation, and now called on Iran not to expand its ‎nuclear activities. Fortunately, the enemy had been completely defeated. By attacking the ‎Islamic revolution, they had wanted us to retreat and regress. But with the resistance of ‎the nation, those who claimed that 10 years of negotiations would be needed for just 20 ‎centrifuge units to become operational, have now expressly retreated from their claims, ‎‎… and now call for the suspension of additional nuclear activities.”‎
These remarks prompted university lecturers belonging to Basij to label Ahmadinejad the ‎‎“national hero in the nuclear battle.” According to Mehr news agency, after bestowing ‎this title onto the president, the lecturers thanked him for “the resistance over the nuclear ‎posture of the Islamic republic of Iran.”‎
In his talk to clerics in the province of Kahgiloie va Bovir, Ahmadinejad spoke of ‎indications that the world had changed. According to Tabnak Internet news site, ‎Ahmadinejad told his audience that Iran was “not only in a state of battle on the political ‎and cultural fronts, but also in the economic sphere. Our enemies had made plans and had ‎announced that this regime had to be toppled. But they and their supporters erroneously ‎believe that they can remove the regime and the revolution. I have no doubts that they are ‎wrong. And what is our mission today? We must first understand the situation in the ‎world.”‎
He then reminded his audience that, “There are signs of this retreat all over the world, ‎including inside the US itself. When I was in New York last year, one of the American ‎presidential candidates told me, ‘I wish to advance in this country the very statements ‎that you make there.’ And when I asked him why, he said that people here like these ‎words. Your words resonate here and people embrace them. Today the heart of the whole ‎world is with us. The Iranian is dear wherever he goes around the world. I sent a message ‎to the US when I was in Iraq and asked what they were threatening Iran with. I have seen ‎and have specific information that your very soldiers and military force is with us.”‎
Commenting on the recent talks in Geneva, Ahmadinejad said, “During the recent trip ‎that Mr. Jalili, this pious young man, made and sat across seven or eight snake-wounded ‎individuals who had come with their private jets and pre-written speeches, the driver of ‎one of them told Jalili, on seeing him, ‘We are with you. As is the case all over the ‎world’.”‎
In his latest talk, Ahmadinejad called his task a “global mission” and claimed, “If the ‎world saw the resistance of the piousness and justice of the Iranian nation, it would come ‎to us in multitudes. The missing Imam is the symbol of all goodness and justice and we ‎have the task of inviting the world to a perfect humanity. The stronger this call is, the ‎stronger will be its effect and no one will be able to withstand it. The Velayat regime ‎‎(reference to rule of the clerics) means a loud call to accept the missing Imam, which is ‎the reason of the survival of the regime.”‎

Source : Roozonline

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Punishment, Even after Presidency ‎

Saturday, July 19th, 2008
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Supreme Leader’s Warning to Bush:

In his latest remarks yesterday, the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, Ayatollah ‎Khamenei, backed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the person “in charge” of the nuclear case ‎and issued a direct warning to George W. Bush that “[i]f George Bush orders a military ‎strike against Iran, even if he leaves it up to the next Administration, the Iranian nation ‎will sue and punish him even after his term in his office is over.” ‎

The supreme leader’s office provided the full transcript of Khamenei’s speech, which ‎was delivered on the birth date of the first Shia Imam, to the press yesterday. In part of ‎his speech, referring to military threats issued against Iran that are published as unofficial ‎news by some media organizations, Khamenei said, “[i]f anyone takes any stupid action ‎against Iran, our response will be decisive. The fact that the US government and Zionist ‎regime are talking in order to cover up their own internal problems is their business. Yet ‎if the plan to attack will be realized, they should know that the Iranian nation will cut off ‎the arm of those who attack it. For the Iranian nation, it does not matter whether this ‎criminal arm occupies a government post or not.”‎
Explicitly naming the current United States president, George W. Bush, Khamenei added, ‎‎“[i]f George Bush orders a military strike against Iran, even if he leaves it up to the next ‎Administration, the Iranian nation will sue and punish him even after his term in his ‎office is over.”‎
Commenting on the Islamic Republic’s position, the supreme leader noted, “[o]ur red ‎lines are clear and if the other parties respect the Iranian people, the dignity of the Islamic ‎republic and these red lines, our officials will negotiate as long as no one makes any ‎threats against Iran.”‎
Ayatollah Khamenei also made a distinction between Europe and the United States: ‎‎“[t]he Iranian nation makes a distinction between those who, like America, oppose [our] ‎right to achieve nuclear knowledge and this huge advantage out of malice, and those who ‎respect the Iranian nation and its right and respect the nation’s red lines and want to ‎discuss various issues, including the nuclear [issue].” ‎
Meanwhile, noting that “[t]he country’s officials are making fully informed decisions ‎about the nuclear issue,” Ayatollah Khamenei commented on disagreements among ‎country’s officials over whether the Islamic Republic should negotiate with the West: ‎‎“[t]he supreme national security council, headed by the president, is responsible on the ‎nuclear question. What the president and the officials say on the nuclear issue is the fruit ‎of a consensus of all the country’s officials and the heads of three branches and supreme ‎leader’s representatives in the National Security Council are dealing with this issue with ‎wisdom, commitment and responsibility.” ‎
The supreme leader’s supportive remarks of Ahmadinejad are made after several ‎international publications speculated last week about the possibility of disagreements ‎over Iran’s nuclear program between the president and supreme leader. ‎
Rumors of possible disagreements follow after former Islamic Republic Foreign Minister ‎‎(of 16 years) and current foreign policy advisor to Ayatollah Khamenei, Ali Akbar ‎Velayati, insisted in an interview with Jomhouri Eslami daily that it is in Iran’s best ‎interest to accept the proposed 5+1 package of incentives. An article authored by ‎Velayati titled, “Who Rules Iran?” was published simultaneously by several prominent ‎European newspapers. In it, Velayati declared that Ayatollah Khamenei has the last word ‎in Iran’s foreign policy and handling of the nuclear case. ‎

Source : Roozonline

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The Finger of the Revolutionary Guards on the Trigger

Sunday, July 13th, 2008
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Testing Shahab-3 with a 2,000-Kilometer Range

On Wednesday morning, news agencies affiliated to the Islamic Republic simultaneously ‎reported that nine updated Shahab-3 missiles with ranges of 2,000 kilometers and capable of ‎carrying payloads of one ton were successfully tested during the Revolutionary Guards’ military ‎maneuvers in the Persian Gulf. ‎

Minutes after the report, Fars news agency quoted Revolutionary Guards air force commander ‎Hossein Salami as saying, “The Guards’ hand is on the trigger to shoot thousands of missiles ‎toward any aggressor.” Salami added, “The purpose of holding this maneuver is to demonstrate ‎determination, willpower and might against enemies that have threatened Iran in recent weeks ‎with violent literature. We shoot these missiles in honor of Iran to show that this is only a small ‎part of Iran’s ability and defensive capability. We tell enemies who intend to derail the Iranian ‎nation from its holy path with psychological operations and real threats that we are always ‎prepared to defend.” ‎
Also, Commander Hejazi, deputy chief of the Revolutionary Guards commented on yesterday’s ‎maneuvers in an interview with ISNA: “Only a small part of Iran’s unshakable power was ‎demonstrated in this exercise.” ‎
Meanwhile, according to Fars news agency, Commander Najjar, Iran’s defense minister, said, ‎‎”Iran’s missile capability is rapid and accurate.” ‎
Israel within ReachYesterday’s testing of the missiles, if comments by military officials are true, shows that Israel is ‎now within reach of Iran’s missiles. Iran’s regions that are closest to Israel are between the ‎towns of Ghasr-e Shirin and Mehran in western Iran, which are about 1,200 kilometers from ‎Israel. If the Revolutionary Guards’ new missiles truly have a range of 2,000 kilometers, they ‎can, as a religious-military figure reiterated on Tuesday, target Israel and the city of Tel Aviv. In ‎addition, Revolutionary Guards air force commander Hossein Salami told Fars news agency ‎yesterday during his interview, “We think far beyond the Zionist regime, and do not compare ‎ourselves merely with the occupying Zionist regime. The range of our threats and confrontation ‎would go far beyond the Zionist regime.” ‎
The Revolutionary Guards is testing its new missiles at a time when Ali Shirazi, the supreme ‎leader’s representative at the Revolutionary Guards navy, delivered a speech yesterday on the ‎Islamic Republic’s possible retaliation in response to “any potential attack,” insisting that Iran’s ‎first response to any such attacks is to “destroy Tel Aviv and America’s navy.” Speaking at the ‎sixth annual political convention for navy employees, Shirazi said, “Today, the Islamic Republic ‎is at the height of its ability, power and preparedness, which is not comparable to any era in the ‎country’s history.” Shirazi added, “The Zionist regime continues to pressure the White House to ‎prepare its military aggression against Iran. If an attack takes place by them, Tel Aviv and ‎America’s navy in the Persian Gulf are the first targets that would be set on fire with Iran’s ‎destructive response.”‎

Source : Roozonline

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An Action against a Whistle-Blower?

Saturday, July 12th, 2008
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Shahbazi: They Tried to Kill Me

Abdollah Shahbazi, who is now labeled as the ‘second exposer’ after a former Majlis ‎member Palizdar made public revelations about flagrant corruption among senior Iranian ‎clerics and politicians, is reported to have escaped an assassination attempt, according to ‎news reports in Iran. He is said to have written a letter to President Ahmadinejad ‎asserting that an attempt was made on his life with the intention to kill him.‎
Edalatkhah website close to Iran’s president Ahmadinejad reported the claim on Tuesday ‎with details. “When the chasers discovered that Shahbazi was not in the vehicle they ‎were following, they beat up the driver and threatened him with a pistol. They then ‎attempted to kidnap the drive who after being hit in the head was forced to drive his car ‎off a curb and then ran out of the vehicle to flee. After a series of protest statements by ‎Shahbazi about corruption and fraud in real estate deals in the province of Fars, armed ‎men two nights ago chased his car and attempted to kidnap and assassinate him”, the ‎report on the website read.‎
This report was published by a site close to Ahmadinejad after Shahab News website ‎reported that the president and Shahbazi had been in contact. According to this report ‎Abdollah Shahbazi, a writer and a controversial historian who has made somber charges ‎against senior military and political authorities in the province of Fars, now claims that ‎armed men attempted to assassinate him.‎
A Researcher for the Security ApparatusAbdollah Shahbazi was a key member of Iran’s Tudeh communist party in the former ‎years of the 1979 revolution and was arrested with other senior leaders of the party in ‎early 1980s. But he soon turned into an active member of the intelligence community of ‎the Islamic regime and became a member of the Ministry of Intelligence. He was a ‎founding member of the Center for Political Research of that ministry and led it for more ‎than 10 years. According to him, while working at the research center, he was also active ‎at the Current History of Iran Studies institute (Moasese Motaleat Tarikhe Moaser Iran) ‎on direct orders from the Supreme leader of the Islamic state, an institute that is linked to ‎the Mostazafan foundation. During these years, he has been closely linked to right-wing ‎groups in the ministry of intelligence. ‎
In recent months, he began a campaign to discredit and ‘expose’ economic corruption ‎among some senior authorities in the province of Fars. He claimed to be close to the ‎special investigator to the president and Dawood Ahmadinejad (the brother of the ‎president and head of the presidential inspectorate general), implying that he was in ‎contact with the higher echelons of power in the country. In that connection, he published ‎documents regarding the secret talks among the most senior leaders of the country, that ‎included the remarks made by Supreme Leader ayatollah Khamenei on June 22, 1999 ‎about the murders that were carried out by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence, known ‎as the serial killings. He had promised to make more documents public in the future about ‎the secret events in the country.‎
These statements, or ‘revelations’ as they are also called, led to his arrest on June 19 by ‎the prosecutor in the town of Shiraz in Fars province. The charges that were brought ‎against him were ‘libel and disturbing public peace’. ‎
After Shahbazi’s arrest, the prosecutor’s deputy issued a 100 million Toman bond (about ‎‎$100,000) for his release and according to Islamic Republic of Iran news agency the head ‎of the judiciary of Fars province had threatened to detain and imprison Shahbazi if he ‎failed to provide the bond. Shahbazi provided the bond the next day and was thus ‎released on bail.‎

Source : Roozonline

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Window of Anguish
(Panjareh -e- Eltehab)


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