Deja vu - Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer taught history and International relations at Rowan University, Rutgers University, the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing as well as at Aarhus University in Denmark where she was a senior Fulbright professor. She is an affiliate professor at Haifa University. Her books include Israel and the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences and , International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights
Britain's foreign ministry has told Iran's charge d'affaires that comments by Iran's supreme leader, in which he accused the UK government of being among the"most treacherous" of Western powers, are"unacceptable".
Iran's ambassador to the UK was summoned to the foreign ministry in London on Friday to explain the remarks made by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier in the day, but the charge d'affaires attended in his place.
During a sermon in Tehran, Khamenei said Western nations were showing"their enmity against the Islamic Republic system and the most evil of them is the British government".
Posted on Friday, June 19, 2009 - 17:41
It is well known Mousavi (of Moses) is a Jew and the demonstrations in Iran are the work of Mossad agent provocateurs. The ordinary people of Iran are peace loving and would not wish to threaten the Islamic revolution. The agitators are funded by international zionism and the Jew owned international media, in thrall to the zionist oppressors, are running alongside.
Well, here comes the real deal:
The Jerusalem Post's routine online coverage of events in Iran has been cited as an ostensible key element behind the Iranian"Twitter Revolution," and characterized as being part of a purported Israeli conspiracy to stoke unrest in the Islamic republic.
In an online article entitled"Proof: Israeli Effort to Destabilize Iran Via Twitter" published on the Charting Stocks Web site, the unnamed writer charges:"right-wing Israeli interests are engaged in an all out Twitter attack with hopes of delegitimizing the Iranian election and causing political instability within Iran."
The"proof" cited was an online entry published on Sunday on the Post's"The Persian Abyss" blog, in which three very active Iranian Twitterers, whose tweets are still widely circulated, were mentioned as part of an online documentation of Iranians' reaction to the election results on social media outlets [their usernames were later taken down to protect them].
Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 17:51
Note the prevalent language! SATURDAY, JUNE 20TH IS TO BE A GLOBAL DAY OF PROTEST
Al Arabiya reports: Iranians worldwide protest" coup" of 2009
Iranians defy Dubai ban and protest against Ahmadinejad the third day in a row!
Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 17:53
Three Failed Plans to Wipe Israel Off the Map VBy Barry Rubin
Ignore All the Iran Experts By Charles Kurzman
A Muslim Nation's Successful Election by Rachel Ehrenfeld
Respecting the Faithful vs. Respecting the Faith by Raymond Ibrahim
Haifa university staff on Wednesday said they had been unhappy with Salah's appearance on the campus, but had been given legal advice recommending that they not prevent the event from taking place - out of concerns for violating free speech.By ABE SELIG
"But that free speech is obviously being abused when you host an event and then ban Jewish students from entering," Dana said."This is going too far."
Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 16:52
For months as I listened to all the" conversation" about the"green shoots" and watched the stock market going up and up, I had a funny feeling that something is not on the up and up but I dared not write a word. But last night and discovered I was not alone. I tuned in to the last minutes of the Charlie Rose show and heard Michael Lewis, the man Rose said was described to him"as best writer about economics today," express similar sentiments:
CHARLIE ROSE: And you think maybe more bad news is to come.
MICHAEL LEWIS: I do think that. I think that the scope of the losses has not been completely acknowledged by the government. I think that the approach that they’ve taken has been to sort of -- it has been -- you know, it works, up to a point. The Obama administration especially has been very good at creating false confidence, they have been very good at talking up the financial institutions, and it is true that.
CHARLIE ROSE: But it’s not just the Obama administration, I mean, it’s outside the Obama administration. I mean, I saw a ticker go today,"Bank CEOs suggest recovery by end of year."
MICHAEL LEWIS: Right.
You may wish to read (or listen to) the rest. It is not pretty!
Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 11:09
Today belongs to the opposition.Matthew Weaver interviews
Crucial point: This time the massive demonstration (a million?) invaded Ahmadinejad's stronghold in South Tehran. The bazzar was closed. They also marched to Enqelab square passed the foreign embassies. Said recommends staying away from mosques tomorrow to avoid trouble. See below.
Andrew Sullivan has twitters.
Tomorrow may see trouble Khameini to lead Friday prayers with Islamic militia
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will lead Friday prayers in Tehran in the presence of the Basij volunteer Islamic militia, the Mehr news agency said on Thursday.
"Alert Basijis... with their epic presence, will take part in Friday's prayers to be led by Ayatollah Khamenei," the agency quoted a statement issued by the militia.
The Basij, which has been at the forefront of the crackdown on protesters, also warned the defeated presidential candidates who have complained about the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that they must"explicitly dissociate themselves from the rioters".
Supporters of defeated challengers Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have said they will join the prayers, for the rare occasion they are being led by Khamenei.
The Basij called for all sides to"avoid provocative actions."
Excellent summation of where we are
Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 13:05
Leading Iranian Dissident Akbar Ganji was asked
Should the U.S. continue diplomatic outreach toward Iran, as the Obama administration is seeking?
Ganji: “Not with the government of Ahmadinejad, a government that people consider a coup d’etat government.”
The Egyptian government is also unhappy with Obama: Egyptian Government Daily: The International Community's Caution is Sending the Wrong Message to the Iranian Regime
Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 19:47
It has been quickly translated. If he did not start as a reformer, he has become one now.
I have come due to concerns of current political and social conditions - to defend the rights of the nation. I have come to improve Iran’s international relations. I have come to tell the world and get back Iran’s pride, our dignity and our future. I have come to bring to Iran a future of freedom, of hope and of fulfillment.
I have come to represent the poor, the helpless, and the hungry. I have come to be accountable to you, my people, and to this world. Iran must participate in fair elections. It is a matter of national importance. I have come to you because of the corruption in Iran. 25% inflation means ignorance, thieving and corruption.
Where is the wealth of my nation? What have you done with the $300 billion in the last four years? The next Government of Iran will be chosen by the people. Why do all our young want to leave this country? I know of nobody else who places himself ahead of 20 million other of a nation.
Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 20:11
Israeli forecasts regarding the impact of the demonstrations in Iran diverged on Wednesday, with former Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. (res.) Aharon Zeevi Farkash predicting the uprising in Teheran was the beginning of the end for the ayatollah regime.
A day earlier, Mossad chief Meir Dagan told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee the protests would die down in a number of days.
"What matters is the position of the [Supreme] Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenai], and this has not changed," Dagan said."The riots take place only in Teheran and one more region, they won't last for long."
Farkash disagreed and said that while it was difficult to accurately predict what would happen, the regime in Iran would never be the same. The demonstrators, he said, were protesting a number of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's policies but mainly the deteriorating economic situation.
Well, it could have been worse, you know what they say:"Two Jews three opinions." Of course, no one knows. Personally, I used to be with Dagan but am now in the Farkash camp. But we should not forget that the crisis that led to the 1979 Shah's abdication lasted months.
The first major demonstrations against the Shah began in January 1978. Between August and December 1978 strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the country. The shah left Iran for exile in mid-January 1979, and two weeks later Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Tehran to a greeting by several million Iranians. The royal regime collapsed shortly after on February 11 when guerrillas and rebel troops overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah in armed street fighting.
So, the winner will be the one with more perseverance. Indeed, one of the reasons the Western government are so reluctant to wade into the Iranian morass is the delay inherent in such an internal power struggle at a time when the nuclear clock is ticking.
That is one of the reasons El Baradei, who supports Obama's engagement policies, came clean and admitted that Iran wants nuclear weapons. I would forget Dagan's assessment that Iran will have a nuclear weapon weapon ready for use by 2014. That assessment does not dovetail with the high level of Western, not to mention Israeli, anxiety.
As negotiating with Ahmadinejad's Iran is as useful as negotiating with Kim's North Korea has proven to be, our only real home is an official or unofficial regime change. At this point, a Mousavi headed Iranian government may amount to such an unofficial change. If we are lucky such an unofficial change may only take weeks rather than months.
Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 20:48
Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - 01:36
Mousavi called for a day of mourning for the dead tomorrow.
A judge threatens death penalty for violence.
The cyber war escalates as Mousavi sympathesers strive to shut down government sites.
Photo of pro Ahmadinejad rally fixed up to look larger.
Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - 16:56
Why are Iranians questioning the validity of the election results? Well, consider the case of Kerman, a city of half a million located in the southeast part of the country. According to the election map published this morning in the NYT, Ahmadinejad won over 70% of the votes in Kerman province.
So what? you'd ask. Mousavi's influence is known to be limited to the big cities.
It is just that a few hours ago a video showing a very large pro Mousavi demonstration was posted on Youtube. Take thirty seconds to watch it.
Can such a demonstration have taken place in a genuine Ahmadinejad strong hold?
Now consider this piece of information found in Wikipedia:
Politics in Kerman are influenced by the former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, his brother and Vice President Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani, and the Vice President Hossein Marashi, both from the nearby Rafsanjan.
Rafsanjani is, of course, a major supporter of Mousavi. What are the chances that Ahmadinejad won over 70% of the votes there?
Photo of a Document prooving fraud can be found here.
Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - 14:27
In a superb article one of my favorite columnist, Brett Stephens, points out that Obama would much rather see"regime change" come to democratic Israel than to Theocratic Iran and, hence, can be expected to treat Netanyahu much more harshly than Ahmadinejad. Of course, nothing else can be expected from the man whose most beloved mentor is Jeremiah Wright.
Unfortunately, Stephens goes on:
Someday a future president may have to apologize to Iranians for Mr. Obama's nonfeasance, just as Mr. Obama apologized for the Eisenhower administration's meddling. But the better Eisenhower parallel is with Hungary in 1956. Then as now a popular uprising coalesced around a figure (Imre Nagy in Hungary; Mir Hossein Mousavi in Iran), who had once been a creature of the system. Then as now it was buoyed by inspiring American rhetoric about freedom and democracy coming over Voice of America airwaves.
And then as now the administration effectively turned its back on the uprising when U.S. support could have made a difference. Hungary would spend the next 33 years in the Soviet embrace.
The problem with the analogy is that Iran is not in the Soviet embrace. Ahmadinejad may be in Yekaterinburg, Russia and the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (I suspect Obama or Clinton would have love to stand there too) may be congratulating him on his victory and the Chinese foreign minister may be even mimicking Obama's language expressing"respect for the choice of the Iranian people" but there is zero change Putin will follow in Brezhnev's footsteps and send in the tanks.
Therefore, when all said and done, the fate of Iran 2009, unlike the fate of Hungary 1956, is solely in the hands of the Iranian people. If they show as much courage and the Hungarian did in 1956, they will win just as the Hungarians did. It was not to their own repressive government that the Hungarian people lost in 1956 and the Czech people lost in 1968 but to Soviet tanks.
Of course, it is possible that the Iranian army will follow in the footsteps of the Chinese one. Indeed, the much more apt comparison is with Beijing 1989. Then too, George H. Bush, to his eternal shame, refused to take sides. Indeed, I heard yesterday a pundit (sorry I do not recall his name) say that Bush the elder advised Obama to do the same. I guess some man do not improve with age.
To sum up, to succeed, Iranians must stay the course. The more gumption they display, the more international support they will garner. Everybody loves a winner. Already, a media coverage which begun with"they have no chance" evolved to"maybe." Only Iranian resolve will determine if it will evolve into"a good chance." Freedom has never come easy. Luckily, for Iranians, they have a good chance of succeeding as no outside forces stand in their way.
Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 12:30
The regime fails to block the stream of videos reaching the outside world. Some rather graphic
Mass opposition rally despite prohibition.
Protest in Esfahan
Getting shot in Esfahan
Protest in Ahwaz
Demonstration in Shiraz
Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 15:49
Watch Al Jazeera report. Don't you think that regional dictators must be shaking in their boots?
Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 15:57
Barack Obama expressed his feelings towards the man responsible for the death of seven Iranians, the injuring of dozens others, the arrests of hundreds and the virtual isolation of millions of his fellow Iranians, thus:
You've seen in Iran some initial reaction from the supreme leader that indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns about the election.
Imagine what an non empathetic leader would have done.
Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 20:10
Arya Diba, Tehran, Iran:
Today Iranians taste the bitterness of tyranny and dictatorship more than ever. This election is definitely infected by fraud. There was unprecedented turn out just because many people hoped to get rid of Ahmadinejad. The world must know the result is not what Iranians wanted. Meanwhile this morning the BBC is suddenly blocked!:S I'm accessing this page via a proxy.
There is a consensus that elections here were rigged and this is would be the first phase of a coup by IRGC. Bloody purges are b underway. please support the iranian people in ayway you can.
We need your help now more than ever.
Please post my comment. The election has been massively rigged by the ruling government. all the people voted for reformists. They wrote Mousavi on the ballots but the authorities read the ballots Ahmadinejad. A velvet coup is going on. Text message service is not working, internet is disconected in some cities, anti-riot police is battering people with batons, and most probably Karoubi and Mousavi are under home arrest. Please reflect what is going on in the streets of Tehran.
Hey world! this is NOT our president. we want you all to know, don't call him President, don't let him come to your country, don't invite him to meetings, here a Kudeta has happened by regime, here mas of fakes has happened in the election, the condition is extremely fragile and people are so angry. Current situation in Iran on Saturday night: Cell phone network is down. Facebook, Youtube, and news websites are censored (filtered) and police agents are beating people in streets.
Reza - Iran:
I see demonstrators carrying Death to Khamenei signs in the streets of Tabriz Some are setting government buildings on fire. Police are staying back some have even joined the demonstrators. This is happening all across the country.
Son of an Iranian diplomat - Iran:
54. The world must stand swiftly aside the Iranian people! This opportunity must not be lost! Immediately boycott the regime and they are gone for good! Support the Iranian people by calling for your governments to boycott this regime! It could be the first time in history in a globalised world, where people from all over the world can get rid of evil collectively! Mousavi and the others need international support in order to courageously confront Khamenei! This is a great opportunity!
Minoo - Iran:
WE TOLD YOU SO. This is the truth about Iran. To think the mullahs would allow the public to brush them aside through"democratic means" is insane. The Islamic Republic is incapable of reform and the ONLY solution for Iran is REGIME CHANGE. We do not need war or sanctions only REGIME CHANGE. The Iranian people showed the world they are ready for change through civilized means. We appeal to the people through out the world, the deceitful government of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad should not be recognized by the international community.WE WANT TO BE FREE.
Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009 - 00:49
Sheema Kalbasi provides an Iranian dissident view of the stakes:
It was supposed to be the perfect script. Mousavi’s victory was supposed to be hailed as the indication of Iranian rulers having “unclenched their fist”. It was supposed to be the perfect time for reconciliation with Mullahs. It was supposed to be the clearest sign yet of the success of Obama administration’s soft spoken approach towards the Muslim world. It was supposed to be the time for celebration of the Obama effect.
Ahmadinejad’s coup d'état changed the game altogether. It sent all the deal-makers and rapprochement enthusiasts of Washington think-tanks back to the drawing board.
The most important foreign policy implication is that the coup d'état government is dead serious about going nuclear. Any “grand-bargain” between Washington and Tehran under Mousavi would have led to concessions on Iran’s nuclear program. This would have been unacceptable for the Pasdaran commanders who will not be content with any less position than the one enjoyed by their Pakistani counterparts.
As the western governments and in particular US will be wrestling with the question of legitimacy versus negotiations, the coup d'état government will use the time to make as much progress as possible in its nuclear program. Unlike what many might think, the coup d'état government will in fact embrace doubts on its legitimacy to further complicate the issue and seize on it as an opportunity to blame the West for interference in Iranian domestic affairs. As the game continues, Israel will see no choice but to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. What will happen next is anyone’s guess.
This is all obviously conditioned on the success of the coup d'état which by no means is a given at this time. The arrests made by the coup d'état government yesterday has no significance other than a show of force. Rafsanjani is the only person who, as the head of the assembly of experts, has the authority to remove Khamenei from power. He has the will but the question is whether he has enough number of votes (i.e. enough support among clerics). Many believe that he is in Qom to make such assessment. Additionally, such high risk move has a chance of success only against the backdrop of mass dissatisfaction with the election results and at least some support from the armed and security forces.
A velvet change is underway. Whether it turns out to be a velvet revolution or velvet coup d'état remains to be seen.
Must read: Michael ledeen, The Iranian Circus
Daily Mail, Poll rioters rip Iran apart as Ahmadinejad rounds up opposition leaders while insisting election wasn't rigged
Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009 - 20:22
Last week when many including our president celebrated the"openess" of the Iranian pre-election debate, I warned that the Mullahs may be just opening a safety valve which would also enable them to do what Mao did, identify and rid themseves of their opponents. Will our president ever recover his voice?
Well, it repression has begun. George Roper posts a most touching letter from Tehran. Since one of the arrests was of John Simpson, a veteran BBC reporter, the BBC has become an excellent source on this subject:
Mir Hossein Mousavi, the defeated presidential candidate, has not been seen in public for a number of days. On Sunday, his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, denied reports that he was under house arrest.
Reports of the protests have been censored on TV and in the newspapers Ms Rahnavard was at a rally of students in Tehran on Monday. Reuters news agency quoted one of her aides as saying that she had been prevented from speaking at Tehran University on Sunday.
Overnight on Sunday dozens of students were arrested during a protest at their university.
Iran's deputy police chief, Ahmad Reza Radan, told the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) that about 170 people were arrested over the weekend.
Reports said that among the opposition politicians and activists rounded up were Mohammad Reza Khatami, brother of former President Mohammad Khatami.
AFP names Behzad Nabavi, a former deputy parliament speaker, Mohsen Mirdamadi, who headed parliament's foreign policy commission under Khatami, and Khatami's government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh as having been detained.
Radio Free Europe spoke to the wife of religious activist Taghi Rahmani, who described how her husband was taken away in a car by security forces from their home on Sunday night.
However, a number of news agencies, including the Associated Press, say that a number of people were released on Sunday and Mohammad Reza Khatami is mentioned as being among them.
It is not known how many remain in custody.
DOMESTIC MEDIA There has been a filtering of many web sites, censorship of newspapers before printing, and restrictions on the broadcast of news of the three losing candidates, according to the reformist newspaper Aftab-e Yazd.
Sarmayeh, another reformist newspaper, has reported that Kalameh Sabz (Green Word), the paper run by Mir Hossein Mousavi, was nowhere to be found in Tehran on Monday. The Associated Press is quoting an unnamed editor as saying that the paper was blocked at the printing house because the authorities were upset with statements by Mr Mousavi reported in it.
Sarmayeh's censored article on Green Word also discussed the suspension of Velayat, a newspaper circulating in Qazvin, a town to the west of Tehran.
According to Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based group that campaigns for press freedom, a number of leading journalists had been arrested. They included Reza Alijani, Hoda Sabaer, Ahamad Zeydabadi and Taghi Rahmani.
There is no word of about 10 other journalists who have either been arrested or gone into hiding, the group says.
Over the last few days, fours of the main pro-reform newspapers have been closed or prevented from questioning the official election results.
Two Farsi-language TV stations were partially jammed on Sunday.
Reporters Without Borders said the editor of the news website Nooroz, Said Shariti, has been arrested and 10 or so pro-opposition websites have been censored.
The organisation reports that the internet has been very slow, as has the mobile phone network.
YouTube and Facebook are hard to access and pro-reform sites such as Khordadeno, AftabNews and Ghalamesabz have at times been completely inaccessible.
There have also been reports of a clampdown on independent media.
The Saudi-funded Arabic TV station al-Arabiya said its offices in Iran were shut down for"unknown reasons" for one week.
Reporters Without Borders says the Farsi-language satellite broadcasts of Voice of America were blocked over the weekend.
Access to the BBC's Persian-language satellite TV channel and the BBC's news website has been curbed.
German television network ZDF said on Sunday that its reporter in Iran and other reporters were being"prevented from doing their jobs in a massive form". The network said it was unable to show a broadcast feed from the network's correspondent depicting protests.
Italian state TV RAI said one of its crews was caught in a street clash. An Iranian interpreter was beaten by riot police and officers confiscated the cameraman's videotapes.
A spokesman for the Swedish network SVT said its reporter in Iran had been asked to"leave Iran as soon as possible because the elections are over".
Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009 - 13:55
Second, for real politics to happen you need space. There are a million things to hate about President Bush’s costly and wrenching wars. But the fact is, in ousting Saddam in Iraq in 2003 and mobilizing the U.N. to push Syria out of Lebanon in 2005, he opened space for real democratic politics that had not existed in Iraq or Lebanon for decades. “Bush had a simple idea, that the Arabs could be democratic, and at that particular moment simple ideas were what was needed, even if he was disingenuous,” said Michael Young, the opinion editor of The Beirut Daily Star. “It was bolstered by the presence of a U.S. Army in the center of the Middle East. It created a sense that change was possible, that things did not always have to be as they were.”
Imagine that! Not to alienate"the ONE," Friedman adds:
Finally, along came President Barack Hussein Obama. Arab and Muslim regimes found it very useful to run against George Bush. The Bush team demonized them, and they demonized the Bush team. Autocratic regimes, like Iran’s, drew energy and legitimacy from that confrontation, and it made it very easy for them to discredit anyone associated with America. Mr. Obama’s soft power has defused a lot of that. As result, “pro-American” is not such an insult anymore.
I am not sure. Indubitably, regimes prefer the kow towing of Barack Obama but the US is less popular in Iran than it has been under Bush. Iranians know Bush was on their side while Obama is on the side of the Mullahs.
Just listen to his roaming silence.
Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009 - 10:10