Skip to comments.Must Read Iran Posts: Your online briefing on Iran.
Posted on 12/28/2003 9:17:30 PM PST by DoctorZIn
The quickest way to catch-up on the events in Iran..
You will find here some of the finest resources on the Free Republic and the web about Iran.
If you have questions that are not being addressed here, please send me a private freepmail and I will try to address it in some way for you.
I hope this proves helpful to you.
Iran General Information
TheEarthquake of 2003
These posts provide general information on the people of Iran, their political system, etc.
Irans Reformed Movement
These posts provide news posts on Irans failing reform movement.
The reformed movement is a failed movement which has been attempting to reform the Islamic Republic of Iran from within. In the late 1990s this movement sought and obtained popular support. They sought to gain power in the Iranian parliament and executive braches of their government. They promised greater personal freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, human rights, etc. They were elected to office in huge numbers. The western world diplomats have been trying to support this movement ever since.
But Irans parliament and executive branches have little real power. The hardliners in Iran control all the real vital levers of power. This power lays with their Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and behind the scenes the former president Hashemi Rafsanjani (now one of the richest men in the world today, owning businesses and exclusive properties even in the US and Canada). Ayatollah Khamenei has effective control of the courts, the military, paramilitary bodies (designed to counter any attempt by the military to stage a coop), most intelligence services, etc.
Efforts by the parliament to enact serious changes have been stopped by an agency of the government called the Guardian Council, which reviews all legislation to ensure its compatibility with Islam.
President Khatami had public support of the Iranian people for a number of years. Recently the reformers sought to eliminate the power of the Guardian Council to vet candidates for public office. Many of the reformists leaders were not considered loyal enough Muslims and not permitted to run for office. But in spite of their huge numbers in the Iranian parliament they have not forced any significant changes. Therefore, the masses no longer support the reformed movement. Proof of this can be seen by the lack of participation by Iranians in the last election. Tehran had a voter turnout of approximately 10%. This in a country were the vast majority of its citizens normally vote.
The masses now refuse to vote any longer in future elections because they say it only legitimizes the regime. The regime will soon have elections (March 2004) and the hardliners expect to retake the parliament and executive branches at that time. These posts will help you understand this movement and their current supporters in the US and around the world.
Irans Student Movement
This provides news posts on Irans Student Movement.
The Student Movement in Iran is essentially a movement of Iranians Students seeking a nationwide referendum on the nature of Irans future government. Most of these students are seeking a secular democratic government. They have clearly rejected the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Khatami. They see the Islamic government as corrupt. Participation in the Mosque is gone down significantly. People openly curse the mullahs.
They have taken to the streets to protest several times of the past only to have the protests broken up by the regime and its leaders (by the thousands) imprisoned, murdered, or disappear. On Jun 10th of this year, these protests broke out again. This time the protests included more than just students, but began to attract in large numbers people from every facet of society. Even leaders in the Shiite Islamic leadership began to support the protests. They see the corruption of the regime is causing the nation to leave Islam. This is also the reason why Shiite leaders in Iraq are no longer pushing for an Islamic state.
The regime very cleverly was able to control these protests with a combination of foreign security forces (Arab) that the people despise as well, shutting down the press, satellite TV broadcasts, cell phone interruption, even filtering the internet. The technology to jam broadcasts, cell phones, etc has been purchased from European nations (France is a principle provider of such technology).
The Jamming of the media in Iran
The protests effectiveness has been curtailed as a result of losing most of its leaders. But they continue and more are planned.
The Political Arrests of Journalists, Students, and Others in Iran
Murder in Iran
This provides news posts on the arrests in Iran of all those posing a threat to the regime.
Mr. Taheri is one of the most widely published and respected Middle Eastern journalists. He himself is an Iranian Shiite and is a strong supporter of the US administrations efforts in the Middle East. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, and The Washington Post. In 1988 Publishers' Weekly in New York chose his study of Islamist terrorism, "Holy Terror", as one of The Best Books of The Year.
Dr. Michael A. Ledeen, works for the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., is one of the world's leading authorities on intelligence, contemporary history and international affairs. In a few years in government, he carried out some of the most sensitive and dangerous missions in recent American history. This is a man who has helped shape American foreign policy at its highest levels."
Michael is the founding editor of the Washington Quarterly, and Contributing Editor of National Review Online, he is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, The International Economy, the American Spectator, the New York Sun, and National Review.
Since the establishment of the clerical regime in Iran, and the passing of his father, the late Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi has been a leading and vocal advocate of the principles of freedom, democracy and human rights for his countrymen. In 1978, Reza Pahlavi, then Crown Prince of Iran, left his homeland to complete his higher education in the United States. Reza Pahlavi has lived in Morocco, Egypt and, since 1984, the United States. Born on October 31, 1960, in Tehran, Iran, Reza Pahlavi is the eldest of four.
The grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini, the late Iranian cleric who hated America and founded the Islamic state that rules Iran. Hossein Khomeini is now blasting his own country's clerical regime, calling it, the worst dictatorship in the world and suggesting that U.S. military force might be needed to remove the regime. Hossein Khomeini, a Muslim cleric himself, says of U.S. military intervention, I think the [Iranian] people would accept that. I would accept it, too, because it's in accord with my faith.
Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. Mrs. Ebadi, is a 56-year old lawyer and human-rights campaigner. The state-controlled media tried to ignore the news of the Nobel Peace Prize and ended up by announcing it in a 12-word item. That was followed by a barrage of personal attacks on Mrs. Ebadi. One leading Khomeinist, called Mrs. Ebadi "an agent of American and Zionist conspiracies."
Mrs. Ebadi was a symbol of the modernization of Iran that was halted when the mullahs seized power in 1979. She was among the first women to study law and took her degree from the Tehran Law Faculty in 1967 at a time that Iranian women were asserting their presence throughout society. Mrs. Ebadi was among the first women to be appointed as a judge in 1974. Having lost her job as a judge, Mrs. Ebadi was not allowed to work even as a lawyer until the ban on female barristers was lifted in 1990. Since the teaching profession was still open to women, partly because men had been sent to the war against Iraq in the 1980s, Mrs. Ebadi was able to obtain a post as university lecturer.
That was the start of her comeback. She took on the defense of the defenseless, including beaten women, Afghan and Iraqi refugees exploited by their employers, minorities, especially Bahais and Jews, terrorized because of their faith, and children raped in prisons by mullahs. In 1999 she spent nine weeks in the notorious Evin Prison, where an estimated 100,000 men, women and children have perished since 1979.
She is now calling for the release of all of Irans political prisoners.
President George Bush.
George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States.
Colin L. Powell serves President George W Bush as Secretary of State. Prior to his appointment, Secretary Powell was the chairman of Americas Promise The Alliance for Youth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing people from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of young people.
Secretary Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held myriad command and staff positions and rose to the rank of 4-star General. He was Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from December 1987 to January 1989. His last assignment, from October 1, 1989 to September 30, 1993, was as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including Operation Desert Storm in the victorious 1991 Persian Gulf war. Secretary Powell was born in New York City on April 5, 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx.
First sworn into the US Congress in 1995, Congressman Bob Ney is currently ranked the 11th Most Powerful Member of Congress by an independent, non-partisan poll. Since 1995, Congressman Bob Ney has represented Ohio's 18th Congressional district, which today encompasses 16 counties in Ohio. He once worked in Iran as a teacher and is a major supporter of the reform movement in Iran. Working in his office is an Iranian Trita Parsi, a Swedish citizen who supports the reform movement.
Trita Parsi is a Swedish citizen who works for Congressman Ney as a foreign policy analyst. He supports the reform movement in Iran. He is also the president of NIAC (National Iranian American Council).
Gary Sick is a regular expert on numerous arguing in support of Irans reformed movement and against Irans Student Movement. He served on the National Security Council staff under Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan. He was the principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis and is the author of two books on U.S.-Iran relations. He was the deputy director for International Affairs at the Ford Foundation from 1982 to 1987, where he was responsible for programs relating to U.S. foreign policy. Mr. Sick has a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, where he is Senior Research Scholar and adjunct professor of international affairs. He is a member of the board of Human Rights Watch in New York and chairman of the advisory committee of Human Rights Watch/Middle East. He is the executive director of Gulf/2000, an international research project on political, economic and security developments in the Persian Gulf, being conducted at Columbia University with support from the W. Alton Jones, MacArthur and Rockefeller Foundations.
Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was the shah of Iran from 1941 to 1979, except for a brief period in 1953 when Prime Minister Muhammed Mosaddeq overthrew him. Mosaddeq was in turn overthrown with assistance from the U.S., and the shah was returned to power as a U.S. ally. He greatly modernized Iran and established social reforms, many of which angered fundamentalist religious leaders. In 1979 the religious opposition, lead by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, drove the shah into exile. Khomeini sought the capture of the shah, and when it was learned that he had been admitted into the United States for medical treatment, Iran's response was the start of the hostage crisis at the U.S. embassy in Teheran. After dismissal from the hospital the Shah fled to Panama, then Egypt. He died on July 27, 1980, at the age of 60.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Shiite cleric who led an Islamic revolution in Iran, perceived himself above all as an avenger of the humiliations that the West. Khomeini was angered by the interference of foreign powers in Iran. Foreign governments often supported Iranian leaders who promoted modern policies that violated Islamic traditions. The first of these leaders was Reza Shah Pahlavi. In 1921 he overthrew Iran's first constitutional government with the support of the Russian government. Khomeini wrote this of Pahlavi's government in 1941, "all orders issued by the dictatorial regime... have no value at all." Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi came to power in 1941 with the help of Great Britain, France, and the United States. Then in the early 1960s Pahlavi proclaimed a White Revolution in which he introduced many Western ideas. Khomeini vehemently attacked the shah's policies, prompting the shah to expel him from Iran in 1964.
Khomeini then forged his doctrine of the "Rule of the Jurist," which called for the clergy to govern, and spread his ideas through a network of 12,000 students. He urged Iranians to topple the shah and his American allies. The Shah was finally overthrown and forced to flee the country in January of 1979. In December of 1979 a new constitution was passed declaring Iran an Islamic republic, and Khomeini was named imam (a successor of Muhammad) and supreme leader for life. He died in 1989.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current supreme spiritual leader of Iran was born in 1940 in Mashhad, Iran. In 1958 he studied in the holy city of Qom where he studied for six years. Ayatollah Khomeini inaugurated his Islamic revolution in 1963 and Khamenei played a vital role in spreading his message to all of Iran. Due to his harsh criticism of the government he was imprisoned. After his release from prison he was vital in creating and conducting the activities of the Mujahidin Ulama League. The league coordinated the millions who marched and demonstrated against the Shah of Iran in 1977 and 1978. Then after the revolution, Khamenei held many high posts, including the commander of the revolutionary guard and membership in the revolution command council. Then after Khomeinis death in 1989, the council of experts elected him to his current position.
President Mohammad Khatami.
Mohammad Khatami is the current President of Iran. He was swept into office by millions of Iranians chafing under the social constraints of radical Islam. He was elected the fifth president of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1997. His "civil society" platform garnered him broad support among the young, women and the educated, and he won by a landslide. But the admiration and hope of his supporters have given way to resentment and frustration as their expectations remain largely unfulfilled. Khatami, a relative moderate, had promised wide political and social reforms, but can affect only so much change under the current political system. Khatami took office on Aug. 3, 1997, but he has never been and never will be truly in charge of the country's affairs. As president, he ranks second in the hierarchy of power. The supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei, has final say in all matters of state. Their relationship is not one of cooperation. Not only do Khatami's ambitious progressive plans sit in opposition to the hard-liners Khamenei sides with, the opponent he roundly trounced had been hand-picked by the ruling clergy.
Khatami's overwhelming victory was, in effect, a referendum by a population weary of the stifling restrictions imposed by a complicated religious constitution, and a call to relax strict anti-Western social policies. Since taking office, Khatami has made overtures to the West unprecedented since the revolution. He has met with the pope, expressed a willingness to repair rifts with Arab neighbors and called for a "dialogue and understanding" with the United States. It's has not been able to make much headway given that foreign policy is ultimately determined by Khamenei. The supreme leader leans away from détente and toward the belief of his predecessor that the United States is "the Great Satan."
Rafsanjani, Hashemi, born in 1934, Iranian religious and political leader, president of Iran (198997). A Shiite clergyman and supporter of Ayotallah Khomeini, Rafsanjani was imprisoned several times during the 1960s and 70s for his political activities. After the ouster of the Shah (see Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlevi), Rafsanjani helped found the Islamic Republican party and built his political power base as speaker of the parliament (198089). From 1988 to 1989 he was also acting commander in chief of the armed forces. In 1989, Rafsanjani was elected president, receiving some 95% of the vote. A pragmatic conservative, he sought to revive Iran's badly flagging economy on free-market principles and moved to improve relations with the West, reestablish Iran as a regional power, and gradually reopen the country to foreign investment. He was reelected in 1993 with two thirds of the vote but was barred from seeking a third term in the 1997 elections. In 2000 he was narrowly elected to parliament, but he soon resigned his seat.
Irans Nuclear Program.
Iran insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. U.S. officials have said repeatedly they believe Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.
Iran's Missile Program.
Based on the North Korean Nodong-1 and modified with Russian technology, the Shahab-3 is thought to have a range of 810 miles. Iran says it is intended to serve purely as a deterrent and has not declared how many Shahab-3 it has been able to manufacture.
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