Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- May 16, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 05/15/2004 9:11:13 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. Most Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
The Summer of Discontent Looming in Iran
May 13, 2004
The US Alliance for Democratic Iran
Who Is Abu Zarqawi?
May 15, 2004
Robert S. Leiken & Steven Brooke
Who killed Nicholas Berg? His grief-stricken family blames the U.S. government for the appalling videotaped beheading of their son in Iraq. A more fitting object of outrage is the executioner. For the terrorist who claims credit for the killing of the Jewish-American civilian is no walk-on, no lackey or even lieutenant of Osama bin Laden. Instead, he is an independent operator with a long history in global jihad--sometimes coordinated with al Qaeda, sometimes not--who may be challenging bin Laden for the leadership of global Sunni terrorism.
Abu Musab al Zarqawi is hot right now. He masterminded not only Berg's murder but also the Madrid carnage on March 11, the bombardment of Shia worshippers in Iraq the same month, and the April 24 suicide attack on the port of Basra. But he is far from a newcomer to slaughter. Well before 9/11, he had already concocted a plot to kill Israeli and American tourists in Jordan. His label is on terrorist groups and attacks on four continents.
Zarqawi was first thrust into the global media spotlight in February 2003, before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, when Secretary of State Colin Powell at the U.N. called him an "associate and collaborator" of bin Laden and part of a "sinister nexus between Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network." Zarqawi, however, is not Osama's man, and still less was he Saddam's.
Zarqawi was born Ahmed al-Khalayleh to a Palestinian-Jordanian family in 1966 and grew up in a shabby two-story dwelling in a dusty mining town 17 miles north of Amman. The town was called Zarqa--hence the nom de guerre. But while we know the details of bin Laden's privileged youth, we know next to nothing about Zarqawi's impoverished early years. His parents are dead, and few near relatives have been uncovered by the press. His passport picture is on a U.S. poster offering a $10 million reward for him, but his height and weight are listed as "unknown." Nor do we know what he studied in school; only that he dropped out of high school and locals say he was "pious." Until recently, the mystery man rarely claimed credit for his terrorist exploits. U.S. intelligence once thought he'd been injured in the American assault on Afghanistan and had taken refuge in northern Iraq, later traveling to Saddam's Baghdad to have his leg amputated; now they're not so sure.
We do know that like thousands of Muslim youths he rallied to the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan and gained renown as a fighter. Returning to Jordan after the Soviet withdrawal, he may have joined the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which merged with al Qaeda in 1998. While in Jordan he also associated with Hizb ut Tahrir, an angry, anti-Semitic conclave devoted to the restoration of Islamic rule. Released in 1997 after five years in a Jordanian prison for plotting to replace the monarchy with an Islamic state, Zarqawi fled to Europe. He returned to Afghanistan in 2000 and built his own network of training camps near Herat, seizing control of the clandestine routes between Iran and Afghanistan.
In his camps, Zarqawi dispensed his specialized knowledge of chemical weapons and poisons to loyal followers, who then dispersed to the Middle East and Europe. The week of April 19, Jordanian police broke up a Zarqawi-financed and orchestrated plot they estimate would have detonated 20 tons of chemicals and released a cloud of poisonous gas into central Amman. The blast could have killed some 80,000 civilians and destroyed the U.S. embassy and Jordanian intelligence headquarters. In a videotaped confession shown on Jordanian TV, the head of the cell admitted, "I took explosives courses, poisons high level, then I pledged allegiance to Abu Musab al Zarqawi, to obey him without any questioning."
ABU ZARQAWI knows no limits and many continents. Investigating the Hamburg cell after September 11, German authorities came across another terrorist group called al-Tawhid (unity), made up mainly of Palestinian militants trained in Zarqawi's Afghan camps. Tawhid operatives told investigators they got their start in Europe selling stolen and forged documents to militants traveling between the Middle East and Western Europe.
With the outbreak of war in Iraq, Tawhid converted its alien-smuggling and document-forgery ring into a two-way underground railroad between Western Europe and the Middle East. According to European press reports, networks in Spain, Italy, and Germany send recruits into Iraq via Syria. U.S. military officials in Iraq now blame the most heinous terrorist attacks on "the Zarqawi network." But Zarqawi's alien-smuggling system also dispatches Middle Eastern jihadis into Europe via Spain, Turkey, Italy, and Greece. In November 2003, Italian wiretaps recorded two Tawhid operatives speaking of "the jihad part" and its "battalion of 25-26 units" of suicide bombers.
If Zarqawi's underground railroad demonstrates the terrorist uses of illegal immigration, the investigation into the Madrid bombings reveals new connections to Zarqawi every week. Zarqawi's lieutenant, a 36-year-old Moroccan named Amer el Azizi, planned the Madrid terror and is the living link between al Qaeda, the Zarqawi network, and the Moroccan immigrant cell that set the Madrid bombs. Azizi also organized and presided over the 2001 meeting in Spain where Mohammed Atta and al Qaeda leaders put the finishing touches on the September 11 plan.
Azizi fled Spain in November 2001 as Spanish authorities dismantled the al Qaeda logistics cell. He jetted to Afghanistan via Iran, where Zarqawi's cross-border networks helped him elude the coalition. While falling in with Zarqawi, Azizi kept an eye on Spain and his Moroccan colleagues, who managed to set off bombs in Casablanca in May 2003. Shortly before the Madrid 3/11 train bombings, Azizi left Iran via Turkey and slipped into Spain to witness the carnage firsthand. He is still at large.
PROBABLY THE MURKIEST and most intriguing feature of this man of many mysteries is the question of Zarqawi's relations with Osama bin Laden. Though he met with bin Laden in Afghanistan several times, the Jordanian never joined al Qaeda. Militants have explained that Tawhid was "especially for Jordanians who did not want to join al Qaeda." A confessed Tawhid member even told his interrogators that Zarqawi was "against al Qaeda." Shortly after 9/11, a fleeing Ramzi bin al-Shibh, one of the main plotters of the attacks, appealed to Tawhid operatives for a forged visa. He could not come up with ready cash. Told that he did not belong to Tawhid, he was sent packing and eventually into the arms of the Americans.
Zarqawi and bin Laden also disagree over strategy. Zarqawi allegedly constructed his Tawhid network primarily to target Jews and Jordan. This choice reflected both Zarqawi's Palestinian heritage and his dissent from bin Laden's strategy of focusing on the "far enemy"--the United States. In an audiotape released after the recent foiled gas attack in Amman, an individual claiming to be Zarqawi argued that the Jordanian Intelligence Services building was indeed the target, although no chemical attack was planned. Rather, he stated menacingly, "God knows, if we did possess [a chemical bomb], we wouldn't hesitate one second to use it to hit Israeli cities such as Eilat and Tel Aviv."
The Tawhid cell uncovered in Hamburg after 9/11 scouted Jewish targets, including businesses and synagogues. Zarqawi's operatives have been implicated in an attack on a Mombassa hotel frequented by Israeli tourists and an attempt to shoot down an Israeli jetliner. He is also suspected to have played a role in the Casablanca bombings of a Jewish community center and a Spanish social club. In February 2002, a Jordanian court sentenced him in absentia to 15 years' hard labor for his involvement in a failed plot to kill American and Israeli tourists at the turn of the millennium, a scheme coordinated with Abu Zubaydah, a top lieutenant of bin Laden. And another Jordanian court sentenced him, again in absentia, to death for the assassination of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley. Zarqawi is also the prime suspect in the August 2003 truck bombing of the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad.
Zarqawi has been associated with other groups besides Tawhid. Most notorious is Ansar al Islam, a largely Kurdish organization operating out of Northern Iraq, which U.S. officials have linked to al Qaeda. Before the war, Ansar al Islam ran chemical warfare camps in northern Iraq. Last year British counterterrorist investigators traced poisonous ricin found in Manchester to those camps. Zarqawi has been linked with two less-known al Qaeda splinter groups, Beyyiat el-Imam, implicated in attacks in Israel as well as the November 2003 attack on a synagogue in Turkey, and Jund al-Shams, a Syrian-Jordanian group blamed by Jordanian authorities for the assassination of Foley. Zarqawi has also been linked to Chechen jihadis, and Indian intelligence says he belongs to Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), a Pakistani Sunni group responsible for slaying hundreds of Shias in South Asia.
The slaughter of Shias touches on another Zarqawi beef with bin Laden. While both men follow the strict code of Salafi Islam, which reckons Shias as apostates, bin Laden prides himself on being a unifying figure and has made tactical alliances with Shia groups, meeting several times with Shia militants. Zarqawi, by contrast, favors butchering Shias, calling them "the most evil of mankind . . . the lurking snake, the crafty and malicious scorpion, the spying enemy, and the penetrating venom." American military officials hold Zarqawi responsible not only for assassinating Shia religious leaders in Iraq, but also for the multiple truck bombings of a Shia religious festival this past March, which killed 143 worshippers.
But though bin Laden and Zarqawi differ on strategy, Zarqawi too cloaks his plans for mass murder in the language of the religious zealot. To Zarqawi, "religion is more precious than anything and has priority over lives, wealth, and children." He considers Iraq ideal for jihad especially because "it is a stone's throw from the lands of the two Holy Precincts [Saudi Arabia] and the al Aqsa [mosque, in Jerusalem]. We know from God's religion that the true, decisive battle between infidelity and Islam is in this land [Greater Syria and its surroundings]. . . ." On the tape of the beheading of Nick Berg, entitled "Sheikh Abu Musab Zarqawi executes an American with his own hands and promises Bush more," Zarqawi rages, "Where is the compassion, where is the anger for God's religion, and where is the protection for Muslims' pride in the crusaders' jails? . . . The pride of all Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and other jails is worth blood and souls."
The CIA has verified that Zarqawi himself spoke on the tape and personally beheaded Berg. Similarly, the videotaped beheading of Daniel Pearl of the Wall Street Journal in February 2002 was carried out directly by another jihadi leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The latter, like Zarqawi, never swore allegiance to bin Laden. In this bloodthirsty crowd, it appears that slitting the throat of an American Jew wins laurels.
IN JANUARY 2004, Iraqi Kurds captured a message from Zarqawi in Iraq to bin Laden. Zarqawi offered bin Laden a chance to expand al Qaeda's role in Iraq. Victory, Zarqawi instructed, meant fomenting sectarian war between Shiites and Sunnis. There are no indications that bin Laden responded, and there are now signs of cooperation between some Iraqi Shia and Sunni militants. Are bin Laden and Zarqawi running competing terrorist organizations in Iraq?
Zarqawi's letter is addressed to a colleague or even a potential competitor rather than to one he regards as his sheikh or emir. He offers darkly, "We do not see ourselves as fit to challenge you." Zarqawi gives bin Laden two choices: "If you agree with us . . . we will be your readied soldiers, working under your banner, complying with your orders, and indeed swearing fealty to you publicly and in the news media. . . . If things appear otherwise to you, we are brothers, and the disagreement will not spoil [our] friendship."
Zarqawi exemplifies Sunni terrorism after 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, what some call "al Qaeda 2.0." The Western counteroffensive decimated al Qaeda's leadership, stripped the organization of safe havens and training camps, and disrupted its command and control. Former al Qaeda subsidiaries became franchises, receiving inspiration from bin Laden's occasional messages but operating independently. Historically speaking, the dynamic of revolutionary movements favors the most radical faction--the Jacobins, not the Girondists, the Bolsheviks, not the Menshiviks. If this dynamic prevails in contemporary Sunni terrorism, Abu Musab al Zarqawi represents the future.
Robert S. Leiken, author of Bearers of Global Jihad? Immigration and National Security after 9/11, is the director of the Immigration and National Security Program at the Nixon Center. Steven Brooke is a program assistant at the Nixon Center.
From the May 24, 2004 issue: What we know about the terrorist leader who murdered Nicholas Berg.
05/24/2004, Volume 009, Issue 35
Iranian Protesters Rally at British Embassy
May 16, 2004
TEHRAN -- Hundreds of students have rallied outside the British Embassy in Tehran, witnesses say, as Iran's clerical elite turns up the rhetoric against the U.S. and British occupation of Iraq.
A Reuters cameraman said about 200 people chanting "Death to Britain, Death to America" pelted the building with stones and burnt British flags. A British diplomat said the crowd on Sunday was small.
The demonstration came after supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for U.S. forces to leave Iraq and condemned the United States for their "shameful and stupid" actions in Shi'ite holy cities.
Senior cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Gerami, a source of emulation for Shi'ites, was quoted by the ISNA students news agency on Saturday as saying that war damage to Shi'ite holy sites justified attacks on British and U.S. interests worldwide.
The United States has no embassy in Iran. Diplomatic relations were severed in 1980, after radical students held more than 50 Americans hostage for 444 days following the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Iran's Shi'ite clerical leadership had until recently been relatively muted in its criticism of the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of its western neighbour, while calling repeatedly for the occupying forces to leave Iraq as soon as possible.
But revelations about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. personnel and the incursion of U.S. military forces close to some of the holiest Shi'ite shrines in the Iraqi cities of Najaf and Kerbala this week have stirred Iranian anger.
"The Americans' military aggression against holy Shi'ite sites is a rude, shameful and stupid measure," Khamenei said in a speech, extracts of which were reported by the official IRNA news agency.
"Muslims and Shi'ites in Iraq and other places will not remain silent regarding this aggression and rudeness," he added.
Khamenei also called plans to hand over control to the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council on June 30 "deceitful".
"Iraqi politicians should know that any of them who come to power, if they are appointed by the Americans, they will be just as hated as the Americans," he said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a weekly news conference on Sunday U.S, forces should leave Najaf and Kerbala as soon as possible.
"Otherwise the American government will be responsible for the consequences of disrespecting holy places," he said.
Clashes rock Shahinshar in Esfahan province
SMCCDI (Information Service)
May 15, 2004
Violent clashes rocked, on Friday evening, the center of the industrial City of Shahinshar located in Esfahan province opposing hundreds of protesters to the Islamic regime forces.
Tens of protesters were arrested and other were injured, including several security agents, during these clashes in this city which seemed to have been pacified following the Soccer Movement riots few years ago. Public buildings, buses and several Patrol vehicles were damaged by the angry crowd who retaliated to the clubs, chains and Tear gas by using pieces of stones and Molotov Cocktails.
The security forces had to close the Ferdowsi area in order to avoid loosing the control of the city.
The clashes erupted as groups of young residents opposed the arrest of several women for not fully complying with the mandatory veil.
The situation in the city nearing the rebellious City of Esfahan is very tense and security measures have been increased especially around the industrial area which is one of Iran's main centers.
Ferdowsi's official commemoration leads to Kaveh's popular riot in Toos
SMCCDI (Information Service)
May 15, 2004
Clashes rocked, yesterday, the Northwestern City of Toos as many residents sized the occasion offered by the official commemoration of Ferdowsi, the father of Iranism born in 940 AC, in order to protest against their poor conditions and the official corruption.
The clashes erupted as the security forces intended to close the perimeters leading to Ferdowsi's Mausoleum and to break brutally the peaceful protest demo in order to allow the officials to organize the ceremony. Clubs and chains were used against the residents who retaliated by throwing pieces of stones to the regime's agents and their vehicles.
Several were injured and arrested during these clashes.
It's to note that Toos, located near Mashad, is the born place of the most respected of all times Iranian poets and scholars and its residents, who cherish like millions of Iranians the legacy of the one known as the "Father of Iran", were upset about the misuse of his name by the Islamic regime.
The Mullahcracy which tried, till few years ago, to oppose Ferdowsi's legacy and even intended to destroy his statues, is trying, in our days and by such celebration, to reverse a little bit its increasing unpopularity and to play the national feelings of some naive Iranians especially living abroad.
Hakim Ferdowsi was the author of the famous Shahnameh ("The Epic of Kings"), and the Persian national epic, to which he gave its final and enduring form, although he based his poem mainly on an earlier prose version.
The new born Islamic republic regime faced a fiasco trying to ban Ferdowsi's book as for nearly a thousand years, Persians have continued to read and to listen to recitations from his masterwork in which the Persian national epic found its final and enduring form. It is the history of Iran's glorious past, preserved for all time in sonorous and majestic verse. The language, based as the poem is on a Pahlavi original, is pure Persian with only the slightest admixture of Arabic.
His great epic, The Shahnameh (The Epic of Kings), to which he devoted most of his life, was originally composed for the Samanid princes of Khorasan. During Ferdowsi's lifetime, the dynasty was conquered by the Ghaznavid Turks, and there are various stories in medieval texts describing the lack of interest shown by the new ruler of Khorassan, Mahmoud Ghaznavi, in Ferdowsi and his lifework.
The Shahnameh is one of the definite classics of the world. It tells hero tales of ancient Persia. The contents and the poet's style in describing the events takes the readers back to the ancient times with a sense and feel the events. Ferdowsi worked for thirty years to finish this masterpiece.
Compiled during the poet's early adulthood in his native Tus, the Shahnameh contains 60,000 rhyming couplets making it more than seven times the length of Homer's Iliad. The poem deals first with the legendary Persian kings: Gayumart; Hushang; Tahmuras; and the most famous of the group, Jamshid, who reigned for 500 years.
The evil rule of the Arab Dahhak, or Zohak followed this happy period. Dahhak was tempted by Ahriman, his own blood relative. As a result, Dahhak fell into sin, becoming more and more evil until Kaveh, an old Iron smith, rebelled and established his leather apron as the banner of revolt. Finally, the tyrant was bound and confined beneath Mount Damavand. Many Iranians are making the analogy between the rule of Dahhak and Rooh-ollah Khomeini and his dark legacy and ideals having resulted to the creation of the Islamic republic regime.
Soon after this point in the poem, an episode of considerable beauty is inserted; it recounts the love of Zal, of the royal line of Persia, and Roudabah, the daughter of the king of Kabul. Their union resulted in the birth of the hero Rustam, who occupies a position in Iranian legend somewhat analogous to that of Hercules in Greek and Latin literature. The epic progresses through Persian legend to historic times, tracing the reigns of the Sassanian kings down to the Muslim conquest and the death of Yazdegerd III in 651.
In addition to his poetic incentive, Ferdowsi had a distinctly patriotic motive in writing the Shahnameh. He desired to keep alive in the hearts of his people the faith of their ancestors and the glories of their deeds so that the Persians would not forget their heritage.
The Shahnameh is perhaps best known to English readers through Sohrab and Rustum, a poem by English poet Matthew Arnold that is based on the Persian epic.
Opposition members protest against Ebadi's presence at UCLA
SMCCDI (Information Service)
May 15, 2004
Tens of Iranian activists protested, yesterday, against Shirin Ebadi's presence at the UCLA and her controversial stands in line with the Islamic regime's so-called "reformist" faction and foreign policy.
Protesters distributed templates and tracts while shouting slogans against Ebadi and in condemnation of the Islamic regime's persistent rights abuses outside the conference room. In addition, several of them were able to introduce themselves in the closed door meeting and to shout slogans and questions to which an embarrassed and interrupted Ebadi did not respond. These questions were mainly focused on the evil nature of the Islamic regime and it's repressive policies or asking from Ebadi to respond clearly if she's rejecting the rights abuse in Iran.
Each time the security forces rushed to oust out the protesters and also those who deployed tissue banners denouncing the Islamic republic's crimes. Several opponents were brutalized by young naive Iranians supporting Ebadi and who are blinded by her Iranian adjective. An Iranian woman activist was reported as agressed by Kazem Alamdari, one of the speech organizers who does frequent travel to Iran and who has obtained the authorization from the repressive Islamic regime to publish his books in Iran. The latter and his wife Nayere Tohidi, both UCLA professors, were in their younger age part of a Marxist guerilla group involved in several murders and which contributed to the victory of the Islamic revolution.
But instead of any real compassion for the genuine rights activists, Ebadi contented to make a monologue stating, "Democracy is a long process than can be compared to a flower that needs constant arosing". She omitted to mention somehow that the flower of Iranian Democracy has been arosed, for the last 25 years, by the blood of thousands of Iranians and that many are executed each month under false labels. Ebadi who's brother is the special adviser to Mr. Aref, the current Vice President of the Islamic regime, evidently tries to buy more time for the ruling theocracy.
Responding to a question on the hot subject of women's mandatory veil, Ebadi even declared that any action or way of living, inside Iran, must be according to the laws existing in the boundaries under the control of the Islamic republic. She added that as an Iranian she has to respect the mandatory veil while being in Iran. Such shameful statement is in total disrespect of Iranian women's well known struggle against sexual discrimination and it's Ebadi's official declaration of submission to the laws of a well recognized repressive and unreformable regime. Of course, she omitted this time to interfere in France's internal affair and to reiterate her opposition against the French law banning the Islamic veil from public schools.
Make note that Ebadi's astonishing submission to the current bad laws of Iran is in total contrast with the position she had in the late 70's when she endorsed the Islamic revolution.
Many regular participants also protested to the fact that their written question about the regime and rights abuses were not read and answered while "some" selected questions on US-Iraq and Israel-Palestine issues were. These participants were stating loud that they are hearing the same type of propagandas by viewing the regime's Satellite TV network and radio and that they were hoping that Ebadi would have shown another face than the one portrayed by the opposition which seems, now, to be correct.
Ebadi, known for her anti-US rethorics and claiming to speak for the World and not just Iran, slammed the US presence in Iraq but avoided to condemn the presence of the Islamic regime's militiamen in Iraq and Lebanon spreading unrest. Instead, she focused, as expected, most of her speech on US, Israel, Iraq and Palestine rather than defending her own countrymen who are subject to a terrorist and tyrannical regime. She spoke about Guantanomo bay and Iraqi prison abuse scandal while she did not mention the case of the beheaded American hostage, the names of the Iranian students held at Evin or the public executions, amputations, stonings or tortures carried in Iran by the Islamic regime.
Looking as if defending the well known repressive and terrorist rule of the overthrowned Taliban regime, she pushed forward in her usual demagogic speeches and went ahead by slamming some US media. She stated, "US media is affiliated to lobbies which created the psychological ground for the US attack against Afghanistan by making fear to Americans about the danger of chemical substances." She avoided to talk about the responsibilities of the Taliban in the 9/11 tragedy and well known repression of Afghanis especially their women.
In addition to the yesterday's protest at the UCLA, many Iranians are expressing their anger by calling Iranian Talk radio and TV shows and denouncing the Nobel laureate's rejectable stands. Of course it was by knowing the big possibility of such of reactions, especially in a city where thousands of Iranian exilees are residing, that Ebadi in contrast to her speech made at Harvard in Boston, refused to have this time the Islamic Republic's flag behind her during the UCLA speech. Her picture making the Harvard speech beside the illegitimate Islamic republic flag has fueled the already existing angers among the Iranian Diaspora and many of those living in Iran.
To better understand the situation, one must remember that many Iranians first welcomed Ebadis sudden nomination for the Nobel Peace Price by believing that she could be a catalyst for change. Tired of nearly a quarter of a century of a dictatorial and theocratic rule by Iranian mullahs and deceived by seven years of empty promises on even small possibilities of "reforms within the frame of their current regime," many Iranians preferred to see her as a light glowing at the end of a dark tunnel by not discussing the strange conditions of her rushed nomination coinciding with a short three-day trip to France. Her nomination was all the more tarnished by Polands 1983 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Lech Walesa's critique and the Nobel Committees advanced excuses of not being able to reach her sooner, which were at first ignored by many Iranians.
SMCCDI had raised concerns following Ebadi's sudden nomination last year. A Statement entitled "The Nobel Peace Prize and an Historic Mission" warned, on October 13th, Ms. Ebadi on any kind of future deviation from the aspirations of the Iranian people striving for Freedom and Democracy. A Persian copy of the statement was emailed to Ms. Ebadi and a hard copy of it was remitted to her at the Paris Airport by the Movement's representative in France telling her that "She's carrying the hopes of many Iranians and may that she doesn't deceive them". The English translation of the Movement's prediction was posted on the SMCCDI's webiste and mas emailed. http://www.daneshjoo.org/article/publish/article_3080.shtml
Back from her short trip, thousands of Iranians sized the occasion by gathering at Tehran Airport and shouting slogans in favor of freedom and against Iran's current leadership including its "reformist" President. But deception soon took place when Iranians witnessed that their "Angel of Freedom" started to shift from many of her initial positions by becoming more of a governmental speaker than a rights activist like the brave and courageous Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar. Many Iranians were shocked when Ms. Ebadi stated that "she kisses the hands of the Islamic Parliament members" and called for a "massive participation for their re-election of the very same MPs" that saw their mass rejection in the boycott of Iran's last elections by a majority of Iranians tired of such games. Ebadi's countrymen's deception reached its culmination when they heard her saying that "she would have voted for Mr. Khatami if he could have run again." In their minds, their first Nobel peace prize recipient became the advocate of the very same rejected and incompetent President asked to resign by thousands of Iranian demonstrators defying his brutal and evil regime.
Worst, they saw her taking the defense of Taliban and Al-Qaeda members held at the afar Guantanamo Bay for mass murder and terror while she kept silent about the fate of hundreds of brave Iranians and students held at her nearby Evin and Qhasr prisons for the crime of aspiring for freedom and democracy. The only prisoners having benefited from Ms. Ebadi's public support were at a certain point part of the 1979 revolution or close to moderate religious circles. Held secularists or those calling, like many Iranians, for a Referendum were not able to benefit from her public support as they have put to question the existence of the regime in its totality. Maverick Iranian women also saw their hope in Ms. Ebadi dashed when she intervened on several occasions against the French law on the ban of the Islamic veil and any religious signs in France's traditional secular public schools. They were astonished at how she affirmed on several occasions her obeisance to her countrys repressive law of the mandatory wearing of the veil by women and her keeping her silence on the fate of thousands of her sisters killed, injured, arrested or fined for having chosen to defy the discriminatory and cruel law existing in Iran.
SMCCDI issues a second statement, on December 9th and at the occasion of the December 10th "International Human Rights Day", in which it criticizes sharply Ebadi for her stands and statements. http://www.daneshjoo.org/article/publish/article_3102.shtml
Most likely, knowing the deception she has caused among a young population aspiring for secularism and tired of seeing its genuine aspirations to be somehow labeled by foreign diplomats as variances of Religious Protestantism or Reformist Islamism, and especially the big possibility of a popular hostile demonstration were the main reasons behind the organization of her second return to Iran in a very silent and strange manner. This time, despite having officially received the Nobel award, she returned by one of the Tehran airport's small doors. The official invoked the reason was the fear for her life due to a tract attributed to one of the several hard-line Islamist groups which Iranian leaders and their strategists have shown so many times as their Savoir de faire in their sudden opportune creations.
Of course, it is of note that in any case Ms. Ebadi would not have risked her precious life if she would have only kept her initial word of staying afar from political issues instead of choosing to become an advocator of rejected factions of the current regime and Iran's minor soft opposition from within the Islamic republic.
I think that it's too - too late an action. The second revolution is coming. Yes it is.
Britain doesn't believe in Democracy for others - only for themselves.
Brits are great allies, but I don't trust the British with any form of foreign policy - they don't believe in spreading democracy - they're content with aiding dictatorship as long as it doesn't get in their way.
Yeah, they're sneaky.
I was really agreeing with the last part of that.... "the United Nations, a majority of whose member-states do not believe in free elections and people's rule? " Like THAT group is gonna be a big help forming a democratic gov't in Iraq.