Quarta-feira, 7 de Julho de 2010
EU expands safety ban on Iran Air flights
Via: IRAN FOCUSBRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union has extended a flight safety ban on Iran Air to exclude more of the carrier's aircraft from EU airspace, the European Commission said on Tuesday.Two thirds of the Iran Air fleet is now prohibited from flying into the airspace of the 27-country EU, Commission spokeswoman Helen Kearns said.She denied the move was linked to sanctions on Iran aimed at halting its nuclear programme, or to accusations the sanctions have prevented Iranian aircraft from refuelling in European airports."We deal purely with safety requirements -- our controls take place at a highly technical level to ensure security standards are being respected," she told a news conference.A Commission statement said an EU air safety committee had unanimously supported expanding the restrictions on Iran Air to cover its fleet of Airbus A320, Boeing 727 and 747 aircraft.Meanwhile, Indonesian carriers Metro Batavia and Indonesia Air Asia have been removed from the blacklist after improvements in the southeast Asian country's oversight.Blue Wing Airlines from Surinam was added to the banned list, following "a series of accidents suffered by this airline and serious deficiencies revealed during ramp inspections".


publicado por João Carvalho Fernandes às 13:00
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Quarta-feira, 23 de Junho de 2010
Green Movement moves to bypass its leaders
Via: IRANIAN.COMhas_0.jpgby Mahmoud Delkhasteh The gap between the reformist leaders of the Green movement and its supporters began to show itself when the initial question 'where is my vote?' was replaced by the chant: 'freedom, independence, Iranian republic'. The incompatibility between the reformist leaders' demands for a re-run of the election and the rank-and-file's revolutionary demand to replace this regime with a democratic government has resulted in a schizophrenic identity as each side attempted to pull the movement in its own direction. This has weakened the movement in some ways. But the continuation of the struggle has also hastened the process of the regime's disintegration. There is no longer just a clash between reformists and conservatives, but now the widening and deepening of fault lines between the rainbow coalition of conservatives whose support for the rigged election is now being exposed in public. One astonishing example was the anniversary of Khomeini's death on 3 June.After the regime failed to materialize the millions of mourners it had promised, it humiliated Khomeini's grandson, who had been invited by the supreme leader. Ahmadinejad arrived late to the platform, prolonged his speech to leave little time for Hassan Khomeini, and then organized heckling so that he had to stop unfinished at his grandfather's mausoleum. The supreme leader then kissed Hassan Khomeini as if nothing had happened. The repercussions of this performance were severe. Not only were armed confrontations between the guards prevented at the last minute, but some conservative leaders in the parliament, such as Ali Motahari, indirectly but openly attacked the supreme leader, who prior to the election had been treated as a demigod. If this was not enough, Rafsanjani wrote an open letter criticizing the supreme leader for remaining silent when attacked by Ahmadinejad's government. On an apparently different matter, Ayatollah Jannati, the arch-conservative head of the Guardian Council, openly chastised Ahmadinejad for speaking about violations of the constitution, reminding him that is not his place to talk about such issues.In other words, the regime is disintegrating just as it is meant to be demonstrating a united front. It seems to be trapped by the throes of a powerful death instinct. This process intensified when Khamenei turned a deaf ear to the movement's initial demands, effectively declaring war on Iranians. It seems he did not want to make the same mistake as the Shah, who famously stated: "I have heard the voice of your revolution." However, Khamenei's iron-fist policy has backed the regime into a corner, in which the slightest concession will have a snowball effect. It is left with no choice but to increase the levels of violence- a policy that has led to disillusionment and frustration at all levels of the regime.The leaders of the reformist movement have shown themselves abjectly incapable of using this as an opportunity to take the initiative and promote even their own, very limited agenda. Their lack of vision, initiative and decisiveness stands in stark contrast to the leaders of previous revolutions in 1905, 1951 and 1979. They neither understand nor accept the revolutionary nature of the movement itself, and have even recently begun talking about a return to the "golden years of Khomeini", as if Iranians do not know that these were tantamount to despotism, war, mass murder and many broken promises. So far, their only initiative was to ask the government permission to hold a silent demonstration on the anniversary of the last year's election. This was obviously refused, even though constitutionally there is no need to request permission for demonstrations anyway. Shockingly, they did not have a Plan B. Instead of developing one, such as asking people to stay home to demonstrate the regime's isolation by empty streets, they canceled the demonstration and even joined the regime in warning people to stay off the streets in fear of a crackdown. Despite this retreat, there were spontaneous demonstrations in universities and mainly in back streets and alleys to avoid the guards, still around 1200 got arrested. This sporadic, but under the circumstances extremely daring challenge was an unmissable sign that the movement is beginning to bypass its leaders. The move was even felt in London, where at a demonstration in front of the Iranian embassy on 12 June, unlike in previous protests, not a single chant was heard in their support.It is not only the ruling mafia that has trapped itself in its own doing, but also Karroubi and Mousavi. They are trapped in their reformist beliefs, but much more importantly, by their past. It might be that they know that if the regime does collapse, they will be called to account for many actions that closed down the democratic possibilities of the 1979 revolution and made it into what we see today. There is compelling information, for example, about Karroubi's role in clandestine agreements to delay the release of American embassy hostages until after Reagan's election, or about the harsh forms of oppression meted out during Mousavi's premiership, most notably the massacre of over three thousand prisoners in 1988.This possible dilemma is yet another reason for organizing a general amnesty for all those within the regime, based on principles of truth and reconciliation. The precedent is already being set; the latest example being the confession of Khatami's deputy Interior Minister, who in an open letter entitled "Father, mother, we are accused again" talks about the strangling of freedoms after the revolution. In any case, it is now clear that the Green movement is bypassing its reformist leaders. The hope is that before being bypassed completely, they will bypass themselves and actually join the movement, so that Iran's century-long struggle for democracy and independence will not be prolonged even a day longer.First published in HuffingtonPost.com.AUTHORMahmoud Delkhasteh is the author of 'Islamic Discourses of Power and Freedom in the Iranian Revolution'.


publicado por João Carvalho Fernandes às 13:00
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Quinta-feira, 4 de Fevereiro de 2010
We Refuse to Die
green_14.jpgVia: IRANIAN.comby Setareh Sabety These are both tense and exciting times in Iran and amongst the opposition abroad. In the build-up to 22 Bahman[1] which is yet another chance for the Green movement to use the cover of official demonstrations to come out en-mass to protest, the regime is showing signs of uncharacteristic and newfound anxiety. In what is believed by many to be an attempt to deter a repeat of the widespread and vociferous Ashura demonstrations, two young men who were defendants in the regime’s post-election Stalinist trails have been executed and eleven more have been charged, five for being a Mohareb, a warrior against God, which is punishable by death. As though the execution of the two innocent young men was not enough, Jannati, last Friday’s prayer leader, asked the judiciary to hasten the execution of more Moharebs. This hard-line Ayatollah, cursed with the illogic of the petrified, used verses from the Koran in order to justify the hangings. Jannati, in this way, sealed the sure repulsion-from-Islam of those urbanites that still may have held a soft spot in their heart for their ancestral religion. The gun-toting Hojjat-al-Islam of Ouroomieh, Hassani, who has a fetish for exposing his weapons in public, revived the medieval notion of punishment by suggesting the parading of the bodies of the executed on the streets of Tehran to put fear into the hearts of all the other Moharebs and dissenters. On the international front, the more “secular and educated” foreign minister Manuchehr Mottaki announced on Farid Zakaria’s show that the protesters were a violent minority who had not been targeted by the basij and the security forces but who had themselves fired guns, burned buildings and killed people.[2] Mottaki’s performance was so lame compared to his firm and fair interlocutor that Farid Zakaria would win a majority of Iranian votes if free elections were to be held today. Regime mouth piece Professor Marandi of Tehran University in his perfect mid-western accented English blamed the executed nineteen and twenty-some year olds for their own execution. The Senate passed sanctions against Iran which would have provoked much hatred a year ago but instead sparked a rapprochement between Iranian opposition groups and Senator McCain. The Senator whose video showing him holding Neda Aghasoltan’s picture and eloquently pleading the cause of Iranian Greens made it to all opposition sites and made us forget, for a moment, his ‘bomb’ Iran image. Many still oppose sanctions, especially Iranian-Americans and those on the left who have rightfully come to hate AIPAC and the neo-cons and cannot fathom that maybe, this once we share common interest with those much hated monsters on the Hill![3] Some find this hatred greater than their desire for a quicker resolution to the internal crises facing the people of Iran. The opposition disagrees with each other on many issues yet the disagreements should not be seen as sources of division but as signs of democratic maturity. It is almost as if the opposition has come to see that they can unite under the love of the right to disagree! The troika of Reform (Khatami, Mousavi and Karoubi) disappointed us once again with a too little and too guarded response. This time even the popular Karoubi minced words regarding whether or not he accepted the Supreme Leader as the leader. But Zahra Rahnavard stepped in to save the day, declaring that the reformist opposition had no intention of backing down showing us once again that women in this traditional society have more guts.[4] Once again the movement hijacked the reformist leaders and corrected their lackluster performance. A declaration by Karoubi and Mousavi expressing ‘regret’ towards the executions was widely disseminated as “condemning” the executions.[5] “Hush, let us put up with them until we get there then will impose our true wishes,” seemed to be the unspoken refrain of a movement that was from the start much more radical than its hesitant leaders! In times of tension and disappointment people pump hope into the Green movement. The mourning mothers joined the family of the imprisoned outside of Evin gates last Saturday. A crowd of two thousand demonstrated and cheered the prisoners that were being released.[6] The pressure from the crowd was such that reportedly much more than the promised twenty-three prisoners were released. In Rome, Rotterdam and Geneva Greens interrupted IR sponsored concerts and events.[7] In most cities candle-light vigils were held for the executed. Online, the activity of cyber warriors has doubled, everyone feeling the urgency to act-- to give one last push to this unwanted and feared regime. The cherry on top of the icing of recent protests were reports yesterday of the Iranian Ambassador being roughly handled by the French gendarmes after he had tried to attack some demonstrators. This was cheered by the opposition who saw in this minor incident much symbolism and justice.[8] In Neuphle le Chateau, where Khomeini held his last court in exile thirty-one years ago, his ambassador was humiliated by the French police. The same police who had protected the opposition in ‘78 now protected the Greens who had come to this quiet little town, where a commemorative event was planned by the embassy, to protest against the Iranian regime. The Islamic Revolution, it seemed, had come full circle to where it first gained stature in order to lose it. Despite numerous warnings of the Green’s demise due to lack of leadership or working class following, the chaotic, multifaceted opposition movement keeps surprising everyone, ourselves included. It reminds one of an Iranian picnic where no one really organizes anything but everyone brings food and good will to make, in the end and despite much pandemonium, a great feast. In fact the resilience of the movement is such that it has made experts try to revise theories of revolutions and uprisings. In many ways it is a first: it is a first movement of a middle-class Muslim society against its Islamist leaders; it is a first counter revolutionary uprising coming a good thirty years after the revolution; it is the first YouTube uprising, the first Twitter revolution and the first Facebook struggle. What makes this movement so inspiring is its refusal to die even when faced with the increasing brutality of a formidable and heartless enemy. The first great Islamic revolution is now facing the first great anti-Islamist uprising. It is the first leaderless revolution which also lacks ideology or even a clear-cut agenda. It is the first revolution that does not need leadership nor ideology because it is fueled by a basic, unrelenting need for freedom and justice that is so strong it is self-correcting and self-propelling! This is not just a civil rights movement; this is not merely a reform movement. This is a new kind of Revolution. It is a mature Revolution one that mistrusts leaders and isms one that knows what it wants but refuses to make a religion out of it. It is a struggle that wants freedom in its purest most individual sense. It is a reform movement that wants to replace lies with candor; corruption with accountability and state monopoly and mafia economics with a free and fair market. It is a revolution that demands a democracy that does not translate into the tyranny of the masses. It is a revolution of those who recently tasted the bitterness of a revolution that did not answer their needs or fulfill their dreams. NOTES [1] Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of ‘79 [2] YouTube.com. Last viewed Jan 31, 2010. [3] InsideIran.org: Iran: Sanction, or Not? Hossien Askari’s gives the most thorough defense of the need for economic sanctions. Mahmood Delkhasteh argues against any ‘intervention’. I agree with the former. I think that Iran is not Iraq so sanctions can work at this point I also think that we are in a post imperialist world were Iran is no longer threatened with imperialist aspirations of superpowers and we have reached a maturity as a nation were we will not mistake aid for intervention. [4] Fereshteh Ghazi very vocal Green activist/journalist interviewed Rahnavard for Roozonline. [5] Facebook: Mousavi and Karoubi Condemned Recent Executions. Last viewed Jan. 30, 2010. [6] Persian2English.com: More than 2000 people gather outside Evin tonight [7] Iranian.com: Greens interrupt concert. Last viewed Jan. 31, 2010. [8] Iranian.com: Mehdi Mir Abu Talebi


publicado por João Carvalho Fernandes às 10:00
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Segunda-feira, 4 de Janeiro de 2010
Ex-Islamic Republic - Iranians want regime change
Com a devida vénia ao IRANIAN-comex_3.jpgby Afshin.Ellian Six months ago, Iranians went to the streets, chanting "Where is my vote?" This is how the Green Revolution started. The protesters now no longer merely seek democratic elections but want regime change. Their new slogans are: "Khamenei is a murderer and his rule is unjust," "Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, I only give my life for Iran," and "Independence, Freedom and an Iranian Republic." In other words, they demand a stop to Iran's support for terrorists in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq; the separation of state and religion; and consider Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as public enemy No. 1.By answering this summer's peaceful calls for democratic elections with violence, the Supreme Leader may have sealed his own fate. In June and July alone, more than 5,000 protestors were arrested and an unknown number of them killed. The use of such extreme violence at a time in which mass communication is no longer the monopoly of the government has led to the steady decline of the regime's credibility. The lies no longer work. Nobody in Iran believes the state media's propaganda that blames Israel and the U.K. for the death of Neda Agha Soltan, the young woman murdered by security forces, whose death throes captured on a phone camera shocked the world.The revelations of rape and torture in the Kahrizak detention center by security officials who invoked the name of Allah and the Shiite Imam as they tormented their young victims particularly outraged Iranians. This type of rape also occurred in the 1980's, but back then no one would believe those stories. But this time it is different. The victims are speaking out and, as importantly, they have found prominent support in Mehdi Karroubi, a clergyman and former president of the parliament. Many ayatollahs not linked to the regime have voiced their horror as well. The unity which was forced between the religious cast and the regime has been torn apart by these events. As a result, the rulers' moral standing has suffered a blow from which it may not recover, for it is the religious authority of the ayatollahs which gives the theocratic regime its legitimacy.These dissident ayatollahs—such as the late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who in a famous fatwa last summer declared the regime neither Islamic nor a republic—are no longer alone in turning against Khamenei. Even religious scholars who until recently did not openly defy the regime, have now joined the calls of the opposition. There is the well-respected Ayatollah Yussuf Sanai, for example, who was a friend of Khamenei, who went so far as to state that Khamenei's continuing struggle for power is against Sharia law. There is Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili, the former president of the judicial branch of Iran, who this summer openly declared his solidarity with the dissident Ayatollah Montazeri. And there are the ayatollahs Bayat Zanjani, Dastghaib, and Taheri who have aligned themselves with the protesting masses. Even Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in neighboring Iraq—who is held in great esteem by Shiites also in Iran—has declared that the oppression of the demonstrators is un-Islamic.All this is significant because it broadens the protests to a truly popular movement. The students and educated class don't need fatwas to turn against the regime. But due to the criticism by prominent ayatollahs, the regime is losing its moral legitimacy even in the eyes of less educated and more pious Iranians.The regime is not only losing the clergy but also the military. The communiqués from opposition groups and those that reach me personally all indicate that a large part of the Revolutionary Guards is no longer willing to be used as an instrument of oppression. Video images from nearly every demonstration show Revolutionary Guards members joining ranks with the protesters. A declaration signed by air force and army officers and published on the Internet warned radical Revolutionary Guards members to "Stop the violence against your own population."This rift also explains why the much-anticipated "China Model" of ruthless and widespread use of force against the population, with thousands of deaths and executions in a matter of days, never happened. If Khamenei could have been sure about the loyalty of the military, he would have used it a long time ago to crush the rebellion for good. The only element of the Revolutionary Guards which still seems to be loyal to the regime is the Quds division, a hodge-podge of terrorists from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and other regions.***This does not mean this regime will go out with a whimper. During these past six months, the Iranian regime has undergone a dramatic change of character. It has eliminated all pragmatic forces within its ranks. For religious support, they rely on a small but extremely radical group of ayatollahs such as Mesbah Yazde and Ahmad Janati. These are apocalyptic worshippers of the twelfth Imam, or Mahdi. Understanding this group is of the utmost importance for Western policymakers. The Mahdi is viewed as a Messiah-like figure whose return will bring peace on Earth. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad frequently refers to him in his speeches, including those held before the United Nations. While most twelver imam Shiites believe that the Mahdi will appear by his own accord, this radical group believes that his appearance can be triggered by creating the apocalyptic conditions necessary for his emergence. Iran's nuclear weapons program must be seen in this context. Ahmadinejad and the radical fringe group to which he belongs see themselves as the army of the Mahdi in his final jihad.The regime's theological nature gives it a very different perception of reality. Despite the popular unrest and growing rift between the regime and the military and clergy, Ahmadinejad has no reason to see himself as weak or illegitimate. In his world view, bolstered by people such as Mr. Yazde, his regime does not rely on the consent of the people or dissident ayatollahs. Instead, it gains its legitimacy by its obedience to Allah. The regime surely fears the people, but controlling the masses serves the greater cause of obedience to Allah and therefore the interests of the people are of no real importance to this regime.What's at stake here are not only the lives of the Iranian protesters and the future of the country, but global security. If the apocalyptic ayatollahs manage to survive this crisis, then the U.S, Israel and the region—judging by Iran's theological doctrines, nuclear aspirations, and existing conventional arsenal—will face a mortal danger. The emergence of a democratic Iran is therefore not only a moral imperative but should be the foreign policy priority of every cold-hearted realist as well as multicultural engager. That's why it is so incomprehensible that the Obama Administration still prefers dialogue with the apocalyptic ayatollahs over uncompromising support for the people crying out for freedom.If the protesters shake off the yoke of theocracy and savagery, their success could herald the failure of political Islam way beyond Iran. At this turning point in history the West has no logical alternative but to unequivocally support the Green Revolution. The fate of this movement far outweighs the useless nuclear talks that will only buy the regime time and undeserved international legitimacy. The demonstrators in Iran on Dec. 7 rightfully exclaimed: "Obama, are you with them [the regime] or with us?" History will not judge him lightly if he chooses the wrong side.AUTHORAfshin Ellian was born in Tehran. He teaches philosophy of law at Leiden University. This article was first published in the Wall Street Journal.


publicado por João Carvalho Fernandes às 12:30
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Sexta-feira, 6 de Novembro de 2009
Back in the Streets
Via IRANIAN.COMPhoto essay: Thousands in Tehran defy ban on protest demonstrations Protests against election results still continues in Tehran after about 5 months since presidential elections. Thousands of people demonstrated downtown and police forces attacked them with tear gas and batons. It seems central streets of Tehran is still convulsive >>> demotix.com BBC: Security forces have used batons and tear gas to disperse opposition supporters in the Iranian capital, Tehran, witnesses and state media say. Unconfirmed reports said the authorities had also opened fire. Video footage and photos showed what appeared to be large crowds of opposition supporters being chased by security forces in riot gear. It came as an officially backed demonstration was held to mark 30 years since the seizure of the US embassy. Thousands were present at the anti-American rally, about 1.5km (1 mile) from where opposition supporters gathered in Haft-e Tir square. Other groups turned out in other parts of the capital to voice their opposition to the regime >>> 13amir001.preview.JPG13amir002.preview.JPG13amir005.preview.JPG13amir010.preview.JPG13amir014.preview.JPG13amir015.preview.JPG


publicado por João Carvalho Fernandes às 10:00
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Domingo, 20 de Setembro de 2009
Alive & kicking
Via IRANIAN.COMBBC: The clashes and arrests that marked Friday's Qud's (Jerusalem) Day marches have underlined once again how deep and unresolved the crisis and divisions in Iran remain, more than three months after the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the face of severe repression, the opposition movement had not been able to stage any show of strength on the streets for two full months. The protest turnout on Friday, defying warnings from the hardline authorities, showed that the movement is still alive and willing to take risks to show it is still in contention. But qualitatively, it produced nothing new, and the scale was considerably smaller than the massive displays of outrage that came in the early days after the announcement of Mr Ahmadinejad's huge official margin of victory. qods2d001_preview.jpgqods2d002_preview.jpgqods2d003_preview.jpg


publicado por João Carvalho Fernandes às 21:30
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Terça-feira, 21 de Julho de 2009


publicado por João Carvalho Fernandes às 17:00
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Segunda-feira, 20 de Julho de 2009
Thirty-six army officers arrested in Iran over protest plan
Via IRAN FOCUSOfficers planned to attend sermon by former president Hashemi Rafsanjani in military uniformanti_riot_police_1.jpgRobert TaitThe Iranian army has arrested 36 officers who planned to attend last week's Friday prayer sermon by former president Hashemi Rafsanjani in their military uniforms as an act of political defiance, according to Farsi-language websites.The officers intended the gesture to show solidarity with the demonstrations against last month's presidential election result, which was won by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but which has been clouded by allegations of mass fraud.Rafsanjani used the sermon at Tehran university to challenge the authority of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, by questioning the result in the presence of the defeated reformist candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, and tens of thousands of his supporters.Security forces used teargas and arrested dozens of those in attendance in a sign of the authorities' nervousness over the event.The officers were rounded up on Friday morning by army intelligence agents who had caught wind of the plan. They are said to have been arrested at their homes and taken to an unknown location.Peiknet, a Farsi website, said the officers had agreed the action at a weekly prayer meeting the night before at the Shah Abdolazim religious shrine in Shahr-e Rey, on Tehran's southern outskirts. "They decided to attend the Friday prayer in their military clothes as a sign of protest against the cruel massacre of people by the basij and revolutionary guards and to show their objection against this process and support for the people," the site said. It named 24 of the officers, who included two majors, four captains, eight lieutenants, six sergeants and four warrant officers.The arrests expose the authorities' sensitivity to signs of mutiny among the various branches of the security forces.Reports last month suggested that a senior revolutionary guard commander, General Ali Fazli, had been arrested for refusing to obey orders to suppress protests against election result. The reports were later denied but some sources say Fazli remains under pressure to toe the line.While the army is considered to be secondary in importance to the revolutionary guards in the regime's military hierarchy, it is still under the command of Khamenei, who yesterday appointed a cleric, Hojatoleslam Mohammad Ali Al-e Hashem, as the new head of its political ideology section.Khamenei has declared the election result fair and overseen a fierce crackdown that has led to at least 2,000 arrests and a death toll the government puts at 20 but which some human rights groups say could be in the hundreds.


publicado por João Carvalho Fernandes às 13:00
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Quarta-feira, 8 de Julho de 2009
United for Iran - A global day of action in solidarity with the people of Iran
UnitedForIRAN.jpgJoin us on July 25, 2009 for a rally in your city in support of the Iranian people and in condemnation of the human rights abuses being committed by the Iranian government. Learn how you can get involved by emailing Hadi Ghaemi at united4iran@gmail.com.United4Iran does not promote any political agenda; our only aim is to support the people of Iran in their struggle for democracy, freedom and basic human rights.در روز 25 جولای برابر با سوم مرداد در شهر خودتان برای حمایت از مردم ایران در محکوم کردن دولت ایران در برابر جنایتهای ضد حقوق بشر ملحق شوید. برای اطلاعات بیشتر و همکاری با ایمیل ما تماس بگیرید


publicado por João Carvalho Fernandes às 21:12
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Terça-feira, 30 de Junho de 2009
Green Street
Via: IRANIAN.COMIrao29062009.jpgThe Iranian people have proven that they desire a free, democratic societyby Slater Bakhtavar29-Jun-2009 To All Humanity: My freedom is yours. You won't be free unless you help me to get my freedom. Don't remain silent while in the dark of night you hear screams of mothers for the lives of their kids. Don't cover your ears when you hear the cries of the children for their mothers and fathers who have been shot by hooligans. They're trying to silence them and me and take away the thirst for freedom when they are done with us they will look for you. Yes, my friend, my freedom is your freedom. Therefore, I beg you, to please post on this site any media that can show injustices to freedom fighters. – Jabi, on Facebook For the Iranian people everything begins on June 12, 2009, with their 10th presidential election since the 1979 Islamic Revolution: the challenge was between the outgoing president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the opposition’s leader, Hossein Moussavi. Their decision today is largely whether to keep hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power for four more years, or to replace him with a reformist more open to loosening the country's Islamic restrictions and improving ties with the United States. Another candidate, Mehdi Karroubi, is more closely associated with the core causes of the Iranian reformist movement, including the freeing of political prisoners and women’s rights, but, as a former prime minister in the 1980s, Mr. Moussavi is given great credit for having managed Iran’s economy effectively during the war with Iraq. We are hearing reports from Iran that text-messaging has been blocked all over the country. Independent observers are not allowed to be present at the voting. Results are expected to come in early on Saturday in Tehran. Mr. Moussavi’s supporters say they remain concerned about the possibility of fraud, but a determined campaign, led by Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a two-term former president and one of Iran’s richest and most powerful men, has kept that issue in the public eye. In an extraordinary public letter on Tuesday, Mr. Rafsanjani urged Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, to prevent any fraud, and on Thursday he met with the ayatollah for three hours. “If the system cannot or does not want to confront such ugly and sin-infected phenomena as insults, lies, and false allegations made in that debate, how can we consider ourselves followers of the sacred Islamic system?” Mr. Rafsanjani wrote. On June 13th, the Interior Ministry, controlled by Ahmadinejad, announces that he has been elected in the first round with 62.6 percent of the vote, compared with less than 34 percent for Moussavi. Turnout is an extraordinary record: 86 percent of the 46.2 million eligible voters. But the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that, according to the Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, officials from Iran’s Interior Ministry would have contacted Mr. Moussavi after the polls closed on Friday night, saying that he would have won the election, and asking him not to make any announcement. As vote-rigging often leaves traces in the results, let'shave a look at some interesting items: * After a legal and controlled investigation, Iran’s senior panel of election monitors says that, in 50 cities, the number of votes cast exceeded the actual number of voters;* Even if candidates usually win in their home districts, especially where their ethnicity should help them, Moussavi, an Azeri, lost in Azerbaijan and Karrubi won only 5 percent into his native district, with a 10th part of his 2005 votes;* With paper ballots, a speed count is suspicious, but for this election the Interior Ministry declared victory for Ahmadinejad only two hours after polls have been closed and results were immediately authorized. The disbelief on the part of the international community is shared by many Iranian citizens. And while the defeated candidate launches a legal appeal, what ensued on the streets of Tehran,is the largest public demonstrations in the Islamic republic’s 30-year history. There are now hundreds of thousands of people protesting in the centre of Tehran. Security forces — who vastly outnumbered the small group of demonstrators — beat the protesters gathered on Tehran's Baharestan Square with batons and fired tear gas canisters and rounds of ammunition into the air. All three Ahmadinejad's challengers in the election have made public allegations of fraud after results showed the president winning by a 2-to-1 margin, so, on June 16th, the Guardian Council, made up of clerics and experts in Islamic law and closely allied to Mr. Khamenei, having the apparent authority to nullify an election, is called to certify the results. Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders, a media rights group, is urging nations not to recognize the results of Iran's presidential election, citing censorship and a crackdown on journalists. Some days later, the Guardian Council announces – in a rare acknowledgment – that there have been voting irregularities in 50 districts, including local vote counts that exceeded the number of eligible voters, but that, however, these discrepancies are not widespread enough to affect the result. The Guardian Council warned that some material on the web is ''creating tension'' and must be removed to avoid ''legal consequences.” After confining foreign journalists to their hotels, bloggers are the new target of the regime. The Guardians of the Revolution consider the web as a threat and to keep images and stories on events in the country from being published on the Internet, the regime has threatened those who use social networks to spread information. Blogs and social networks have been and are crucial for the Iranian opposition to let the world know what is happening. Facebook and YouTube have been playing an important role in this too, with the former hosting longer manifestos and idea exchanges, and the latter hosting grainy film of protests and police attacks captured on cell phone cameras. But for "front line" news bulletins, Twitter has emerged as the preferred mode of clandestine communication. Meanwhile, a few days later Ahmadinejad visits Russia – which has long-time political and economic ties with Iran, where it is building a nuclear power site at Bushehr. The Foreign Ministry in Moscow declares he respects the election result: disputes about the vote "should be settled in strict compliance with Iran's Constitution and law" and are "exclusively an internal matter." In New York, UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon urges an "immediate stop to the arrests, threats and use of force." On June 19th, the U.S. House of Representatives passes 405 to 1 the following bipartisan resolution, introduced by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.6) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Cal.28), to support Iranian dissidents and (1) expresses its support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law;(2) condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the Government of Iran and pro-government militias, as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cell phones; and(3) affirms the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections Lastly and most importantly, the resolution expresses Americans’ unqualified support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law. America is freedom and in this cause the American people will not be silent. There is no intention here to pick sides in the Iranian election, but to simply stand by those who stand up for freedom. Monday June 22nd will go down on history for Neda Agha Soltan’s death, whose video circulated worldwide, with her proud wonderful eyes. What we have seen through her last glance is a powerful desire on the part of the Iranian people to be free. Caspian Makan, her boyfriend, said the 26-year-old woman had not been deterred by the risk of joining protests. She was a philosophy student and loved poetry: Iran's Rumi and America's Robert Frost were her favorites. He told an Associated Press reporter during a telephone call that "she only ever said to want one thing: democracy and freedom for the people of Iran." Iran state radio blamed civilians’ murder like Soltan’s on "saboteurs" – not the pro-regime Basij militiamen who have been beating the protesters. To verify reports on demonstrations, clashes and casualties is quite impossible: Iran has ordered reporters to stay in their offices, barring them from reporting on the streets. Reporters Without Borders put at 34 the figure of reporters detained since the protests began. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said 13 are still in custody. State radio reported today that Iranian authorities arrested at least 457 people after post-election clashes that left 10 people dead, as the nation's clerical leaders battled to contain the worst crisis since the Islamic revolution.Perhaps do detaining journalists for reporting news and commentary indicate the government has something to hide? Only on June 23rd, eventually, in response to critical comments from Sen. John McCain of Arizona and other Republicans, President Obama condemns the Iranian government for its crackdown against election protesters and accuses Iran’s leaders of fabricating charges against the United States. If only he would have read the new nationwide public opinion survey of Iran conducted by Terror Free Tomorrow – The Center for Public Opinion (“TFT”), the New America Foundation, and KA Europe SPRL (“KA”), he would know that Iran has been deprived of the benefits of globalization such as the import of new ideas, technologies and practices. Inside their houses, the lifestyle of Iranians suggests that they are following almost every contemporary trend, from fashion to the use of technology, above all in Teheran, but, as a student wrote on Facebook, Iranians don't want to have to worry about too many rules: “We want the rest of the world to be open to us too. Ahmadinejad doesn't think bigger than Iran, he thinks that Iranians will be happy if he gives us a bag of potatoes. But we want more." More than 70 percent of Iranians also favor Iran providing full inspections and a guarantee not to develop or possess nuclear weapons in return for outside aid and investment. In another consistent trend over the past two years, 77 percent of Iranians back normal relations and trade with the United States. Sixty-eight percent also favor Iran working with the United States to help resolve the Iraq war, while 60 percent back unconditional negotiations with the U.S. The Iranian people have proven that they desire a free, democratic society and due to social sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube the world can no longer ignore them.


publicado por João Carvalho Fernandes às 19:00
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