Archive for the 'Iran' Category

US Elections: The invisible Supreme Leader

Obama and Romney World

What I used to dislike about the Iranian elections is what I dislike about all national elections today: they’re all fake.

There is a choice but it’s not a meaningful one.

With the Iranian elections the argument would be: Ahmadinejad or Karroubi/Mousavi, it doesn’t matter, the real power is with Khamenei the Supreme Leader. So you can elect the Iranian President but you can’t elect the Supreme Leader. Well that’s the situation we’ve all got today, even in the US.

There is a Supreme Leader casting a long shadow over every national ‘democratic’ process. Continue reading ‘US Elections: The invisible Supreme Leader’

Hell yeah!

Shane and Sarah are free!
Shane and Josh are free!

Happy birthday Shane

Shane Bauer
Today I’m fasting for my mate Shane, who is 29 today.

Together with friends across the world, I’m protesting Shane and Josh’s detention in Iran’s notorious jail for political prisoners, Evin.

Shane was captured in a cross-border raid by Iranian forces while in Kurdistan in Northern Iraq in 2009, along with another of my friends Sarah Shourd (since released) and their mate Josh Fattal. Continue reading ‘Happy birthday Shane’

Robert Fisk: Why on earth is Iran holding Shane Bauer?


The fact that Shane Bauer is still in an Iranian prison, nearly two years after being snatched by Iranian forces while in Iraq, is an outrage. It’s also a heavy blow to all of us who think – perhaps naively – that working for justice provides its own support and protection. But most of all, it’s deeply sad for the Middle East itself.

Shane has done more for the people of the region than almost any Arab or Iranian I know.

He’s also a great guy.

Continue reading ‘Robert Fisk: Why on earth is Iran holding Shane Bauer?’

Why is Iran holding Pro-Palestinian activists?

Picture of Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd
New Website: FreeOurFriends.eu

It is almost a year since Iran detained my friends Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd (and their friend Josh).

It demonstrates just how empty the Iranian government’s claim to defend Palestinian rights really is.

Shane and Sarah – who were living in Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee camp at the time – have done more for Palestinians and against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that pretty much every Arab and Iranian I know.
Continue reading ‘Why is Iran holding Pro-Palestinian activists?’

Guardian’s Iran Shocker

guardians shocking iran article

I’ve been in Syria for the past six weeks so haven’t been reading the Guardian (or writing on this blog).

However, I just came across a May 22nd copy of the Guardian on Indymedia, which to be frank, was shocking.

The headline of the article reads: Iran’s secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq.

At this point, you might think: interesting story. However, at the end of the first paragraph, Simon Tisdall reveals his sources, writing “US officials say”.

Wow. How terrible is that journalism? The headline is not even in quotation marks. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to understand the skewed interests of ‘US officials’ and the likelihood of media manipulation.

Imagine if the Guardian broke a ‘story’ on its front page about US plans to carpet bomb Damascus, only to find out further down that their source was Iranian officials.

I must say I’m quite disappointed because I generally read the Guardian, although the Independent does have better Middle East coverage.

***
ps went to the Iranian Cultural Institute in Damascus the other day and was invited to a recital of Khomeini’s poetry. Would have been comedy. Happy 100th birthday AK.

Iranian Politics in the New Media Age

Iranian Student Protester at Amir Kabir University in Tehran

A student at Amir Kabir University in Tehran holds up a piece of paper during a visit by President Ahmadinejad that says: “Fascist president, the Polytechnic is not your place”

Continue reading ‘Iranian Politics in the New Media Age’

Iranian Elections and Politics 2006

On 15 December, Iranians will go to the polls to elect members of their local councils and the Assembly of Experts. These elections will not lead to visible changes in the Iranian regime; however, they provide important information about the direction of Iranian politics.

Khatami, Karrubi, Rowhani, Rafsanjani, Ghalibaf, Ahmadinejad, Mesbah-Yazdi

Continue reading ‘Iranian Elections and Politics 2006’

Khatami and Straw on “Britishness”

Mohammad Khatami at Chatham House

In the past week, Mohammad Khatami and Jack Straw have both called for British citizens to prioritise their ‘Britishness’. Halfiranian asks why.

Last Wednesday night, I went to hear the ex-president of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, give a talk entitled ‘Tolerance, Moderation and the Dialogue of Civilizations’.

I wasn’t that interested in the subject of his talk, I was more excited to see what kind of man Khatami really is. Unlike the demonstrators outside Chatham House, who see him as just another mullah in a theocracy with blood and torture on its hands, I left the discussion with a positive impression of the guy.
Continue reading ‘Khatami and Straw on “Britishness”’

How not to build bridges…

One of my very good friends in Iran is helping to organise the fantastic 5th Tehran International Animation Festival 2007. In response to the kind invitations that have been sent to universities and organisations worldwide, one US animator sent this:

Karimi,

I am sorry, but I boycott anything that comes from any nation that fosters terrorism, contempt for human life and freedom, and lack of courtesy to your men and women. Why? If you really want to know, read on:

Continue reading ‘How not to build bridges…’