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Iran In Focus: 2004-02-06

| 13 Comments | 4 TrackBacks
This special briefing focuses on Iran, courtesy of Project: Free Iran at ActivistChat.com. WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON INSIDE IRAN? If you've been trying to follow the events in Iran over the past several weeks and still aren't quite sure what the heck is really going on, don't fret, you're not alone. Long forgotten is the Earthquake in Bam that killed 43,000 people. The media is now focusing on the so-called "crisis" or "dispute" between elements known as the "reformers" and "hardliners". Project: Free Iran's views on this situation can be found in this adjunct editorial over at The Command Post. Throughout this report we will do our best to provide you with articles that give a more detailed explanation and analysis of the current "crisis". We'll also take a look at what some bloggers, policy makers and others have been saying. Other Topics Today Include: The Iranian Circus; Congressional Staffers to Visit Iran?; Have you seen "Forbidden Iran"?; Event in Beverly Hills; Regime Kills Protesting Workers; After the Earthquake in Bam; Donna M. Hughes on the Sex Slave Trade; Oscar Nominations & Beauty Pageant Winners; Hot Discussion Forum; Going to a Demonstration Soon?; The Show (Joke) will go on.
* JK: If you're wondering about this whole "crisis" thing, we covered it on Wednesday. Oxblog and Dan Darling had particularly good briefings. Iran's Quest for the Bomb * Is the Iranian regime secretly trying to build a second and more advanced uranium enrichment plant, in parallel to the large facilities in the town of Natanz revealed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last year? The International Stage * Last week some American politicians announced a plan to send congressional staff members to Iran after a meeting with Iran's ambassador to the United Nations. Of course this proposal was met with much opposition from Iranians inside Iran who faxed letters of opposition to this proposal, as well as supporters of Iranian freedom on the outside such as: the SMCCDI (Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran), Pejman Yousefzadeh (an Iranian blogger). * Michael Ledeen's The Seventh Level attacks U.S. senators and others who have received money from the regime, and who aren't exactly playing to the tune of their country's or the World's best interest. * Former Imperial (Pre-'79 Revolution) Iranian Ambassador to Norway, Mr. Hasem Hakimi, has written a strong letter in opposition to Senator Arlen Specter's proposal. We highly recommend reading it as well as faxing it to the Senator himself. Let him know that appeasing terrorist regimes will be disastrous to our efforts in the War on Terror, especially when the Iranian people are counting on 100% support from America. In this case, sleeping with the enemy will truly undermine any hope for democracy and freedom in the Middle East. Contact Senator Specter: Telephone: 202-224-4254 Fax: 202-228-1229 Email: arlen_specter@specter.senate.gov * FYI: The Islamic Regime's Ambassador to the UN, who met with Senator Specter and others last week, is Mr. Javad Zarif, who just so happens to be a member of the student gang who in 1979 took American diplomats hostage for 444 days. (Just some food for thought) Iranian Voices * JK: Pedram of The Eyeranian offers a history of Iran post-revolution, and the pattern he presents is clear - a revolution that has steadily eaten its young, one after another. Eye-opening. * JK: Grand Ayatollah Montazerri is also less than thrilled with the way the revolution has progressed. He is Iran's most senior Shi'ite cleric - and (you'll appreciate this, Pedram) if Khomeni was the Iranian Revolution's Lenin, Montzzaeri is surely its Trotsky. * If you have not yet seen "Forbidden Iran", an expose of the Islamic Regime's tyranny, by Canadian journalist Jane Kokan, then click here to watch it now! Note: The version that PBS aired in the United States was a cut/edited version. The actual version that was shown in England, on satellite tv and elsewhere was a more graphic version that showed executions, amputations, and other brutal atrocities committed by the clerical regime. * JK: Even Iranian MPs seem to be getting in on the blogging trend. * On January 23rd Iranian security forces and Kerman Province's special guards brutally attacked and killed several protesting workers at the Nazkhaton's Copper Smeltery in the City of Babak, Province of Kerman. The merciless attack was in response to a sit-in and protest held by workers and their families. To this day clashes with security forces are still occurring in different parts of the city, half of the city has been closed, and residents are demanding immediate identification of those responsible for their killings. * The news reports also note that helicopters with special police units were sent into Babak to break up the protests. You almost have to wonder, where were the helicopters and special forces when 43,000 Iranians were suffocating under the rubble of Bam in late December? * Apparently the Alliance for Workers Liberty is asking international labour organizations to protest against these actions taken by the regime in Babak and also to directly investigate the situation that led to the shooting, killing and injury of workers and their families. Socio-Economic Developments * JK: Bargeboo discusses the role of women in Iran: Harams in 21st Century. * As of February 4th, the official death toll following the earthquake in Bam was set at 43,000. That's the equivalent of fifteen Sept 11ths. This is incomprehensible. And to think that many deaths could have been prevented if the regime in Iran actually put some of the billions it makes via the oil and gas business back into the country's infrastructure rather than spending it on palaces, security forces, nuclear technology, and lobbyists in Washington and elsewhere. * It's advisable to read the following articles when you get a chance, and also sign the Bam Earthquake Plea for Justice! (Bam Earthquake-related Pieces: Bam Earthquake Genocide,Iran's Political Quake, and Natural Tremors, Political Temblors). * Donna M. Hughes, a professor at the University of Rhode Island, reports in her recent article entitled "Sex Slave Jihad", that following the recent earthquake in Bam, orphaned girls have been kidnapped and taken to a known slave market in Tehran where Iranian and foreign traders meet. This however is only a small glimpse at the interlocking hands of a corrupt theocratic dictatorship and the modern sex-slave traders who make millions off the current state of despair in Iran. This is a must-read if you don't mind getting angry! Entertainment & lighter news * JK: Blue Bird offers us "Snowflakes", a message of hope for those who feel trapped in winter's chill. Or the spiritual equivalent. * Iranian-American actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, has been nominated for an Oscar for her supporting role in the new film "House Of Sand And Fog." Ben Kingsley has also been nominated for an Oscar for his leading role. * Shermineh Shahrivar, has won the Miss Germany beauty contest. Miss Shahrivar has an Iranian father and a German mother, and was chosen from among 4,000 conestants. Ali has commented on this win and tells us that his "weak point" is also chocolate. * Nazanin Afshin-Jam, an Iranian-Canadian, has been named 1st runner up in the Miss World 2003 competition. The Free Persia blog comments on this win for yet another Iranian. An Activist's Chat * If you're looking for a message forum with in-depth analysis, wholesome discussion, and good people who all support the Iranian people in their struggle, then visit the ActivistChat.com Discussion Forum. * On February 11th there will be an event in Beverly Hills entitled "From a Great Civilization... Iran... To the Axis of Evil?" with speakers such as Kenneth Timmerman, Larry Elder, and Bijan Kian. This looks like it's going to be very good, so if you're in the area you may want to check it out, otherwise please email C-SPAN at events@c-span.org and encourage them to give coverage of this very timely event. * Going to a pro-freedom demonstration sometime soon? Or do you want some way of showing your support for the Iranian people during your day to day activities? If so, then visit GotAMullah.com where you will find tons of colorful artwork and designs on activist wear and gear! * Remember:The theatre in Iran will continue to hold performances up until the day of election. Regardless of what happens, who is allowed to run, etc.. The entire regime is illegitimate and the Iranian people will soon take a stand. It will be up to all of us on the outside to stand with them and not be fooled by the twists and turns of the puppet masters. We leave you with an article by Michael Ledeen, entitled "The Jihad on Iraq". Remember, only you can prevent forest fires :) !

4 TrackBacks

Tracked: February 6, 2004 7:17 PM
Iran in 30 links from Inoperable Terran
Excerpt: Via today's Cox & Forkum, Joe Katzman has a terrific set of news about Iran that you won't see anywhere else....
Tracked: February 6, 2004 8:11 PM
FLOODING THE ZONE from Pejmanesque
Excerpt: That's what Joe Katzman is doing regarding coverage of Iran. Be sure to check out his informative post....
Tracked: February 6, 2004 9:03 PM
Iran News Roundup from Solomonia
Excerpt: The folks from Blog Iran have done a Winds of Change Iran news roundup. Lots of links to lots of news....
Tracked: February 7, 2004 12:23 AM
More on what's happening, or not happening, in Iran from Strange Women Lying in Ponds
Excerpt: The other day, SWLiP wondered, What is happening in Iran? Today, in a post entitled, "What's really going on inside Iran?"Winds of Change comes somewhat to the rescue: If you've been trying to follow the events in Iran over the

13 Comments

RE: Miss Germany, Shermineh Shahrivar:

"She got her highest marks in question and answer section of the contest. This Iranian beauty is studying political science and psychology at the university in the city of Achen."

I think our blog team needs a new member....

I have to second that FOR SURE!

One might also note that the same time as this US diplomatic visit is being announced this week, Iran is hosting a terrorist summit whose attendees include members of al-Qaeda. And this less than a week after the Irbil bombings ...

You would like to think that the big media would give some sort of coverage to these events...Ahh.. that is what the BLOG is for ;)

Diplomatic mission to Iran,

It could be an intel meeting for the coming attempt to either de-stabilize or attack Iran.

We need more good chess players.

Donna M. Hughes is tilting at windmills (not modern wind turbines :-) ).

The surest way to reduce this sort of thing is to reduce poverty. The selling of girls into slavery has a very long history. The practice only declines with wealth.

So is Donna building factories? Designing new products? Employing people?

No. She is doing things the liberal way, crying to the wind.

It is all about making Donna feel good. It is not about solving the problem. Mother Teresa (cursed be her name) had the same affliction. She was not concerned with tthe eradication of poverty, only in enrolling the poor in her church. And for this the church made her a saint. Ptah and feh.

Is it about doing good or being a do gooder?

Sorry, losing you man! This whole mess is made possible by the regime that is in place. Sure you are right about the economic factors that directly affect such behavior - but PLEASE, COME ON - the economic problems in IRAN are all the fault of the regime...

patriot,

I agree. I would have some little respect for Ms. Hughes if she was calling loud and long for regime change.

Instead her main focus is not the political and economic forces that cause the problem as a side effect. In other words her focus is on symptoms not causes.

I will repeat it is all about making Donna feel good. It is not about her doing good.

Simon

The regime surely contributes. Changing the regime may not necessarily solve the problem - but as long as the mullahs are still in control, we can be very sure that the economic problem will not be solved.

So, I agree with both of you. As noted in the link, sex slavery is a world wide trade. It is indeed linked closely (but not always) with poverty and disorder. To fix it requires a combination of taking out the organized rings, and raising people out of poverty. Probably not what you expected to hear from a conservative.

But to get there... I'm with Patriot. Changing the regime is a necessary step, and part of the sequence.

The sex trade issue also has particular resonance in that Iran's rulers justify their rule in the name of enforcing divine morality. This sort of thing, carried on with the complicity and even involvement of regime functionaries, badly undermines that claim. Even in a religious culture prone to blame the victim.

Dear M. Simon
Liberals do a great job of spoting the things wrong in this world. The only problem occurs when they are allowed to try and fix them.

Dear M Simon,

Well - not everyone writes an article that hits every single target - although she doesn't call for regime-change, she exposes some major problems that continue to persist due much in part to the virus of the Mullahs.. For example

"..the ruling mullahs have enforced humiliating and sadistic rules and punishments on women and girls, enslaving them in a gender apartheid system of segregation, forced veiling, second-class status, lashing, and stoning to death."

or

"..The exposure of sex slave networks in Iran has shown that many mullahs and officials are involved in the sexual exploitation and trade of women and girls. Women report that in order to have a judge approve a divorce they have to have sex with him. Women who are arrested for prostitution say they must have sex with the arresting officer. There are reports of police locating young women for sex for the wealthy and powerful mullahs.."

This should not be happening and as caring individuals on the outside WE MUST TAKE A STAND and do as much as we can to stop this from happening.. And this is only one symptom of the Islamic Regime -- there are HUNDREDS more!

The combining of church and state was one of the greatest European blunders. Freezing thought, creativity, learning, culture; and placing it all under the control of the state, which was then controled heavily by the church. If you found a new scientific discovery such as the roundness of the earth, and it violated church law then you were doomed along with all your work and anyone who dared follow it.
Fortunatly we evolved past this night mare after much burning, destruction and nashing of teeth. Due to this ever evolving freedom to which people in the west are so blessed to have, comes much scientific, cultural, and creative display. As the world changes, and change it does, the freddoms allowed to us allow for a dynamic inter play as society evolves with out the government crumbling or mass genocide.
The middle east is going through the same evolution europe did all those many years ago. Struggling to cotrol every aspect of peoples lives though there interpretation of the Koran. Enphisising "there" interpretation. Everyone seeks there purer self by nature, there is no fault in that, but interpreting for your self what human goodness is and using it as a weapon to dominate the lives of everone around you is were theocracy breaks down. The middle east will never find any peace or quality of life until this seperation is made, and will always be troubled by western powers who are baffled by why they do not change there structure for the the greater good of everyone.

helo chelsea i love chealsea

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