Archive for January, 2009
Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
Culture Minister Will Not Back Down
Iran’s minister of Islamic Culture Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi voiced renewed warnings against the BBC Farsi-language television network following a cabinet meeting.
Announcing, “BBC Farsi television network’s activity in Tehran is illegal and those who cooperate with this network inside the country will face repercussions,” Saffar Harandi added, “Various sources have announced that the network’s activity in Tehran is illegal.”
This is not a new subject and BBC’s activities in Tehran had been brought up by Iranian officials earlier. Now, the ministry of culture has issued a statement asking Iranian journalists and reporters to refrain from cooperating with the network.
The Islamic Republic’s confrontation with BBC Farsi takes place despite the fact that BBC’s English service has an office in Tehran and so is legally present and available without any problems. In this connection, responding to the question that, “What differences exist between BBC Farsi and BBC English, and why can BBC English operate in Tehran, but BBC Farsi cannot?” Saffar Harandi noted, “The two are different from one another. A network broadcasted in our national language focuses on Iran’s issues and so is different from BBC English. BBC Farsi is engaged in peculiar operations and we cannot be simpletons about it.”
Also responding to the comment, “It is said that BBC Farsi will prepare programs through BBC English network’s office in Tehran,” Harandi noted, “If English BBC abuses the opportunity that it is given by law and prepare programs for BBC Farsi, it is obvious that it would be confronted according to law.”
Saffar Harandi also noted that “The country’s intelligence community and ministry of culture have repeatedly explained issues regarding cooperation with such networks and warned individuals about them,” adding, “The aim behind this Farsi network is not well-intentioned and those who love their country must distance themselves from this dangerous current.”
In his other comments, the minister of culture and Islamic guidance warned about activities of domestic actors in Hollywood, noting, “Obviously those who act outside appropriate frameworks and in an illegal manner would face problems.”
Although Saffar Harandi did not specify the nature of such “problems” an instance of the ministry’s problem-making took place some time ago for Mitra Hajjar, an Iranian actress who had left Iran in 2006 for about four months to participate in various film projects.
She signed three agreements for television series immediately upon her return to Iran. However, a few days following the official announcement of her involvement in the projects officials at the Islamic Republic Broadcasting Corporation announced to producers of these projects that Hajjar is not authorized to appear in television series because of her involvement in an American movie and television series without proper Islamic covering.
Saturday, January 24th, 2009
Former Prime Minister Breaks Silence
While a week ago several political activists speculated that Iran’s last Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi would break his long silence at a seminar titled, “Fourth Decade of the Revolution: Necessity for Compromise and Reform, Model for Muslim Living,” Mousavi waited and in fact broke his twenty-year silence a week later.
Following Mousavi’s remarks, conservative media outlets responded coldly to his return to the political scene. The conservative website Entekhab claimed that, in a recent meeting with prominent reformist and conservative figures, Mousavi has announced that he will run in the upcoming presidential election.
While Entekhab website published news of Mousavi’s candidacy, the website “Kalameh,” which is run by Mousavi’s most serious circle of supporters, has not yet responded to such speculation. Meanwhile, what constitutes the source of the report published by Entekhab and other media outlets close to conservatives is the website’s interview with Mousavi, which has been cited by several other sources. That interview constitutes Mousavi’s first interview after a twenty-year silence.
The interview concerns mostly with the experiences of the war-time Prime Minister when he was in charge, though it contains a message for today: “I believe that our nation embraces a kind of ethical economics and ethical politics, and that we cannot communicate with our own people in any other way. If we want to have independence, if we want to have true growth, if we want to move forward we must embrace ethical economics.”
Although Entekhab’s report regarding Mousavi’s candidacy cannot be considered an official announcement of his candidacy, the two reformist and conservative camps have reacted differently to the news. Isa Saharkhiz, who continues to regard Abdollah Nouri as the most suitable candidate after Khatami, has told Yari News that the choice of “Khatami as President and Mir Hossein as Vice-President” is interesting.
Salamati, the president of the reformist Mojahedin Enghelab Party also suggests that “Khatami and Mir Hossein Mousavi serve side by side in executive matters.” However, reformist lawmaker Mostafa Kavakebian noted, “Mir Hossein Mousavi is the first choice in the upcoming election.”
Among the Principalists (Iranian ideologues), however, the story is different. The news website Raja News affiliated with Ahmadinejad, considers Mousavi’s policies to be close to Ahmadinejad’s and accuses Mousavi of attempting to copy the President’s plans. However, in his recent interview, Mir Hossein Mousavi said, “It is natural for every human being to change. Like any other human being my thoughts from the past have changed. I was very different in the 1980s than today.”
Reacting to the news of Mousavi’s candidacy, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) attempted to portray Mir Hossein Mousavi as an ineffective candidate yesterday. Quoting Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash, central committee member of the Principalist faction in the Majlis, IRNA reported, “The public is not too excited about Mousavi’s candidacy.”
Meanwhile, Principalist lawmaker Hamid Rasaei told IRNA, “If Mir Hossein Mousavi wishes to participate in the election, he must clarify why he remained silent during the eight years when all principles and values of the revolution were under attack by the revolution’s enemies.”
Tehran’s representative in the Majlis Asadollah Badamchian noted, “Mir Hossein Mousavi continues to remain in his own particular mindset, and the question is whether his economic views are conducive for today’s conditions or not.”
Sunday, January 18th, 2009
see more here
Today was a great day for My wife and me. We went to “Opening Inaugural Celebration” at the Lincoln Memorial. there were a huge people there and we heard nice song like is “Bruce Springsteen” , “James Taylor and Jennifer Nettles” , “Shakira, Stevie Wonder and Usher” , “Bono and The Edge of U2 perform” , “Josh Groban and Heather Headley” , “John Mellencamp” , “Sheryl Crow and will.i.am” , “Garth Brooks” and finally “Beyonce”.
Also, today President-elect Barack Obama gave speech.
this is my new report for Rooz Online :
Government is Exploiting the Crisis
Statement of Tahkim Vahdat Organization on Gaza
The first statement that Daftare Tahkim Vahdat student organization issued a while ago regarding the crisis in Gaza was used by the conservative media in Iran to create an atmosphere that provided the conservatives in the country with the justification to ban a newspaper and the Ministry of Science – which supervises the management and activities of institutions of higher education in Iran – to declare this student group as “illegal’. Two days ago, Tahkim Vahdat issued another statement in which it accused President Ahmadinejad’s administration of exploiting the crises in Gaza.
While mentioning former president Khatami’s administration’s “relatively rational policy” towards Palestine, this statement criticizes the current government’s Middle East policy and writes, “The contradictory, tension-building and counter national security policy that is pursued by the ninth (current) administration, which talks of ‘eliminating Israel’ from the map of the world while at the same time talks of ‘friendship with the people of Israeli’ and defends this policy, has resulted in the loss of Iran’s position in region and has discredited this country’s standing in the international community. The negative consequences of this tension building on Iran’s national interest are obvious and do not require any explanation.”
Tahkim Vahdat is Iran’s largest student organization which has in recent years gradually become critical of Ahmadinejad’s administration’s domestic and foreign policies. In its most recent statement the organization says, “This administrative and its supporters follow exploitative policies that have created greater obstacles, more crackdowns of independent forces and have redirected society from their real problems and domestic crises. Among the measures the administration has embarked on are launching a destructive campaign against Daftare Tahkim, creating problems for a Nobel Peace Prize winner Ms Shirin Ebadi, arresting more than eleven students from Shiraz University, increasing the number of civil and social activist arrests, and the laying of the foundation for even greater crackdown on Islamic student societies and student activists. These have been advanced through the fabrication of news and scenarios by such media as Keyhan, Fars news agency and the state-run television.”
While blatantly criticizing the policies of the ninth administration, the statement further reads, “One can believe the claim of supporting the people of Palestine, as is made by the ideologues, only when they first implement these human rights standards for the Iranian people … . An evaluation of the behavior of the government indicates that its key motivation in this regard is to exploit the Gaza crisis for its own domestic and foreign purposes, while at the same time monopolizing the issue of support for the people of Palestine into its own exclusive domain.”
But the criticism of the student organization is not limited to the current administration. Like its first statement, this one condemns the policies of Israel while at the same time reminding its readers that, “Exploitation of the people of Palestine is one of the most painful aspects of this long crisis. “Governments and political groups who believe that their interests lie in regional unrest have tried to use Palestine as a political card for their own benefit. The best example of this practice was what Saddam Hussein did in this regard. Unfortunately some Palestinian groups too are only interested to attain power, expand their ideology and survive at any cost while disregarding the rights and public interests of Palestinian people, including their legitimate resistance.”
“The wrong strategies of some Palestinian groups in their calculations also impact the outcome of this issue. It is clear that one cannot confront the well-equipped and advanced military might of Israel with hand-made rockets which only destroy the security, peace, and life of Palestinian people and weaken the newly founded Palestinian state. In this state of affairs, the negative and destructive consequences of these actions on the Palestinian people, including the threats that are imposed on them, do not seem to be important to these groups. The disorderly arming of Palestinian groups and factions in recent years, and the exploitation of these groups by certain terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida which lack any responsibility to their impact on the region have resulted in the threat to the life of innocent people in the region,” the statement reads.
Saturday, January 3rd, 2009
In Preparation for Confronting Israel
Following the strikes on the Gaza strip in Palestine, once again locations in Iran are witnessing volunteer registrations for suicide operations against Israel.
Jame Rohaniyate Mobarez (Association of Militant Clergy, AMC), the key forum of conservative clerics in Iran, announced yesterday through a long Internet message its readiness to fight with Israel, and referenced the message to a call from the supreme leader of the country. The reference is to ayatollah Khamenei’s strongest ever message on Sunday in which he said, in response to Israel’s strikes at Gaza, after announcing two days of morning, “All pious people of the Islamic world have a duty to defend the women, children and defenseless people of Gaza and anyone who dies in this justifiable and holly defense is proclaimed a martyr.”
In addition to the AMC, Ali-Reza Zahedi, a leadership member of student para-military group Basij also announced that it was registering students in its suicide stations at universities across the nation. Fars news agency too announced that 271 students from Amir Kabir University had already registered to engage in suicide operations against the Zionist regime. Islamic Republic of Iran News Agency (IRNA) too quoted yesterday a leadership member of the Student Islamic Association that some 7,000 of its students in Isfahan had registered themselves for suicide missions.
In a related news, Ali Motahari, the son of the MP in Tehran spoke on Sunday about a “direct war with Israel”, while other military and political officials of the Islamic Republic joined in the call. Speaking at a rally in Tehran in support of the people of Palestine yesterday, Abdullah Araghi, commander of the Mohammad Rasoolallah brigade of the Passdaran Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) of the greater Tehran area told Fars news agency that there was a large pool of Basij volunteers (to fight with Israel) “to fight along with the innocent people of Palestine and liberate Palestine”.
Also, General Mirfeisal Bagherzadeh, the head of the Foundation for the Preservation and Dissemination of the Values of the Holly Defense (a group advancing the ideals of the 8-year Iran-Iraq war) told Fars news agency, “The most important task is to provide military assistance to the defenseless people of Gaza and the time is now come for Islamic countries to put the military option on their agenda.”
The naval wing of the IRGC too issued a statement on the subject in which it condemned “the crimes of the usurper Zionist regime” and wrote, “Freedom loving people of the world and the innocent people of Palestine will not leave the crimes of Israel unanswered.”
In addition to the reactions of military authorities, some political personalities too joined those protesting Israel’s military strikes against Gaza. The secretary of Iran’s State Expediency Council, Mohsen Rezai said, “If there were no political considerations in place and my presence was in the interest of Palestinians, I would have resigned from all my government posts and I would have gone to Gaza in 48 hours and would have carried out jihad in the name of God.”
In addition to these, a number of other agencies and organizations announced their readiness to fight with Israel. According to Shahab News website, at the end of a joint session of a meeting of the provincial planning and deputy administrators from the Ministry of Islamic Guidance on Monday issued a statement in which they announced their readiness to give their life for “the holly defense of the innocent people of Gaza”.