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Highlights from 2010:

Nov. 17: FDI joins Larry Klayman and Freedom Watch to examine policy options for the incoming 112th Congress toward Iran.

From left to right: FDMI President Kenneth R. Timmerman, FDI Advisory board member Reza Kahlili, Larry Klayman (speaking), FDI advisory board member R. James Woolsey

FDI briefs incoming House intelligence committee member Rep. Michele Bachmann on Iran.

(l-to-r: FDI president Kenneth R. Timmerman, FDI Sec/Treasury Bill Nojay, Rep. Bachmann, FDI Advisory board member R. James Woolsey)

e

Sept. 11, 2014: Westwood Neighborhood Council passes resolutions banning IRI business in Los Angeles. In a historic move, the Westwood Neighborhood Council, an elected body in a heavily Iranian-American neighborhood of Los Angeles, voted 17-1 last night to approve two resolutions banning local businesses from deceptive activities in violation of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The resolutions were the result of an investigation by Council member Roozbeh Farahanipour, a pro-freedom activist involved in organizing the 1999 student protests in Iran, who found that local businesses were advertising visa, passport, and notarial services on behalf of the Iranian regime. (Click images).

Farahanipour presented photographs of storefront signs advertising Iran Air, which is banned from doing business in the United States because of its ties to terrorism. He also showed photographs of signs that appeared innocuous in English, but which in Farsi advertised services in violation of U.S. sanctions.

"This is a great victory for the pro-freedom movement," Farahanipour told FDI. "Westwood is the heart of the Iranian community in the United States, and in recent years the opposition has not been very active. This shows that the opposition is still alive and well in Westwood."

In the first resolution, aimed at enforcing U.S. sanctions on Iran, noted that Iranian "service" bureaux in Westwood used same word "Khatamaat" as al Qaeda used in the 1980s and 1990s when it was recruiting jihadis to its cause in Afghanistan. It also called on Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz to review Farahanipourís evidence and to presaent a plan within 30 days "to safeguard the neighborhood against possible terrorist infiltration and illegal economic activities." (Read the full motion here).

The second resolution gave Westwood neighborhood businesses three weeks notice to remove "illeg
al signs, street banners, symbols and advertisements" promoting relations or business with the Islamic Republic of Iran "and its related institutions and companies."

Most significantly, the resolution also banned the display of the flag of the Islamic Republic, as well as advertisements for Iran Air, and accused some local businesses of "benefiting financially by conducting illegal business with the IRI, facilitating its presence in Westwood and establishing an atmosphere of fear among Iranian Americans in our area." (Read the full motion here).

California State Senator Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) flew in from Sacramento to speak in support of the resolutions at Wednesdayís hearing.

"Roozbeh is right to be outraged that in a post 9/11 America, any local business would advertise themselves as agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we all should be outraged, too," Anderson said. "The Islamic Republic of Iran is a well-recognized sponsor of terrorism around the world."

In his presentation to the Council, Farahanipour cited recent statements by David Cohen, Undersecretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, warning businesses that selective sanctions relief under the Joint Program of Action with the Iranian regime is not an invitation by the U.S. government suggesting that Iran is "open for business."

He also presented a broad selection of photos of local shopfronts advertizing travel, shipping, and other services with Iran. (Farahanipourís Powerpoint is available here).



April 9, 2014: Extraordinary admissions from former director of Iran's nuclear agency: we hid information from IAEA.
Fereydoon Abbasi headed Iran's Atomic Energy Agency under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In an astonishing interview with the Iranian daily Khorassan, he revealed that Iran hid design information it was required to provide to the IAEA on the Arak heavy water reactor because Western intelligence agencies were using that information to sabotage Iran's nuclear programs.

For example, he explained, if Iran reported that a certain pump had not yet reached Iran, Western intelligence agencies would "search the globe for companies that make the pump, and pressure them.
They would pressure that country or company not to transfer the parts or equipment to Iran, or would allow them to do so [only] after sabotaging [the parts]... For instance, if it was an electronic system, they would infect it with a virus, or plant explosives in it, or even alter the type of components, in order to paralyze [Iran's] system.
    Question: All these events [actually] happened?
    Abbasi: Everything I said happened..." Read the full intervi
ew at MEMRI.

March 31, 2014: Former hostage says U.S. should deny visa to hostage-taker 'ambassador.' Barry Rosen, one of the 54 U.S. embassy personnel held hostage for 444 days in Tehran by Iranian "students" from 1979-1981, urged the State Department to deny a visa to President Rouhani's pick to become the Islamic Republic's top diplomat in the U.S. Allowing Hamid Aboutalebi to become the regime's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York would be "an outrage" and a "disgrace," Rosen told FoxNews.

Update April 7: State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, after dodging questions on Aboutalebi, said the State Department found his nomination "extremely troubling" and had "raised our concerns" with Tehran.

March 15, 2014: UN human rights rapporteur says little change under Rouhani. Ahmed Shadeed releases his annual report, blasting Rouhani for taking only "baby steps" to improve the human rights in Iran, while regime forces continue are actively "working to suppress the rights of the people." Predictably, the regime still won't allow Shadeed or any of his staff visit Iran.

Shadeed admirably lists the names and alleged "offenses" of hundreds of political prisoners in Iranian jails, including Baha'is and Christians persecuted for their faith, human rights advocates, political activists, and Ethnic minorities. Download the full report.


March 14, 2014: Former U.S. intelligence officer says Kerry may be compromised.
A former Iran analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency is asking tough questions about Secretary of State John Kerry's relationship to his Iranian counter-part, Javad Sharif, as rumors fly that Sharif's son was the best man at the wedding of Kerry's daughter to an Iranian national. Larry Franklin also questions why Kerry did not disclose his daughter's recent  marriage to an Iranian until after he was confirmed by the Senate as Sec/State. Read the full story.

Jan. 14, 2014: Hassan Rouhani, nuclear cheat.
Now itís official: for Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, the nuclear deal struck with the West in Geneva in November was just an excuse to get sanctions relief, and Iran has no intention of scaling back its nuclear ambitions. îOur relationship w/the world is based on Iranian nationís interests,î Rouhani tweeted on Jan. 14. ìIn Geneva agreement world powers surrendered to Iranian nationís will.î

The Islamic Republicís ìmoderateî clerical president expanded on what he meant by the Westís ìsurrenderî in a speech in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan today. ìThe Geneva agreement means the wall of sanctions has broken. The unfair sanctions were imposed on the revered and peace-loving Iranian nation,' he said (with translation by the Associated Press). 'It means an admission by the world of Iran's peaceful nuclear program.'"


The Iranian side has a very different view on what they agreed to in Geneva than does Secretary of State John Kerry. Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi revealed that the two sides would be bound by a 30-page ìnon-paper,î which bore all the hallmarks of a secret side agreement ñ something the State Department was quick to deny.

Araqchi was crystal clear that Iran believes the deal means the continuation of all Iranian nuclear research programs and facilities. ìNo facility will be closed; enrichment will continue, and qualitative and nuclear research will be expanded,î he told the Iranian Students News Agency on Monday. ìAll research into a new generation of centrifuges will continue."

Rouhani publicly gloated over fooling the West in his last nuclear negotiation when he ran for president last year. In a televised interview, he explained in detail how he tricked the EU-3 negotiators in talks from 2003 to 2005. Instead of shutting down or even slowing its nuclear development, Rouhani boasted that centrifuge production actually increased, and Iran managed to finalize its Uranium Conversion Facility in Isfahan, all the while pretending it has "suspended" its enrichment program. without the conversion plant (often known as the "hex" plant, since that's where Iran transforms uranium yellowcake into Uranium hexafluoride for gaseous enrichment), there could be no enrichment. Permalink.

Jan. 5, 2014: Heshmatollah Tabarzadi
sent back to prison. Former student leader and human rights activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi has been ordered to return to prison, effective Jan. 6, after a year-long "furlough." In a letter explaining his reason for returning to jail, Tabarzadi said his temporary release was continent upon his silence, but that "the situation of the people and my country is such that I could no longer keep quiet." He blasted so-called pro-freedom activists who have embraced the new government of mullah Hassan Rouhani. With his forced return to prison, "These hypocrites can no longer claim to the international community that after the emergence of President Hassan Rouhani, Iran's human rights situation has improved," he wrote. h/t Banafhsheh Zand.

Jan. 2, 2014: Assyrian church in Iran pressured to close doors to Farsi-speaking Christians.
The Iranian regime, working through Quislings in the Assyrian community, has forced St. Peter's Church in Tehran to ban Farsi-speaking Christians from attending worship services, Mohabat News reports. As happens regularly where Christians are a tiny minority in Muslm lands, the Iranian regime appears to have used its "pet Christian," Assyrian Majles member Yonatan Betkolia, to enforce this ban, aimed at identifying and persecuting former Muslims who have come to Jesus. Betkolia has family members living in the United States, and is well known within the Assyrian community as the Secretary General of Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA). "He will do whatever the Iranian regime orders him to do," a prominent Assyrian activist told FDI. 

Jan. 1, 2014:Anti-Israel Lobby Teams up with NIAC to oppose Iran sanctions.
Anti-Israel conservatives, including the National Interest, are making common cause with NIAC and the Obama White House to oppose the latest Iran sanctions legislation being pitched by a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators led by Democrats Menendez (NJ) and Chuck Schummer (NY), and Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois. They argue that the latest sanctions are being driven by the pro-Israel lobby and have essentially ìout-sourcedî Americaís decisions of war or peace to Israel.

While this is a meretricious argument on its face (the U.S. Congress decides questions of war and peace, when it decides to assert its Constitutional authority), it reveals the panic that has gripped the pro-Tehran lobby over the new sanctions legislation.

The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 is significant because this is the first time prominent Democrats have bucked a veto threat from the Obama White House. It also is significant because it closes a major loophole in the petroleum sanctions that has allowed countries such as China to continue importing Iranian oil in the form of fuel oil, while cracking down on the oil-mixing trade sponsored by sanctions-busters such as Babak Zanjani, who has been running cargoes of Iranian oil to Labuan, Malaysia where he blends the Iranian oil with oil from other countries and then sells it as non-Iranian oil.

The new bill amends previous sanctions legislation by replacing the ban on ìcrude oil purchases from Iranî with an ban on ìpurchases of petroleum from Iran or of Iranian origin,î a new definition aimed to capture blended oil as well as fuel oil, condensates, and other forms of petroleum exported by Iran. It also expands sanctions beyond the current energy, shipping and shipbuilding to include certain ports and free economic zones, as well as any economic sector the President deems to be ìstrategic.î

The new bill also prevents the President from cutting staff or appropriations to the Treasury Departmentís Office of Foreign Assets Control, the primary U.S. government agency involved in sanctions enforcement, as happened during the brief government shutdown last year. (
Download the latest draft here).

The authors of the bill  clearly see the measure as a means of ìputting teethî into the ongoing diplomatic negotiations with the Iranian regime over its nuclear program, not as a means of impeding or prohibiting those negotiations. But Iranian foreign Minister Javad Sharif warned that if the bill passed, the negotiations were over and Iran would back out of the Joint Plan of Action.


Dec. 27, 2013: Zarrab family granted Turkish citizenship.
In the deepening corruption scandal  enveloping the government of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab has reportedly succeeded in acquiring Turkish citizenship "on exceptional grounds" for his immediate family. "Applicants can acquire Turkish citizenship on exceptional grounds after getting a nomination from the Interior Ministry and a decree from the Cabinet," according to Today's Zaman, a Turkish news site.

Dec. 25, 2013: Turkey Corruptio
n Scandal Hits Iran. The corruption scandal that has caused three government ministers to resign and threatens to ensnare Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan began when police investigators alleged that Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab had bribed public figures in Turkey. ìZarrab exports gold and I know he is involved in charity activities as well,î Erdogan told a rally in Istanbul, in an attempt to dismiss the growing scandal.

Zarrab told prosecutors"his chief" in Iran was "B.Z," widely believed to be Babak Zanjani, th
e Iranian billionaire sanctions-buster who has been blacklisted for sanctions violations by the U.S.  Treasury department. (In the photo at right, Zanjani can be seen in his private jet (wearing a white shirt) along with Hassan Mir-Kazemi, a bassiji "businessman" better known for getting photographed on a motorbike with his pistol during the repression of the 2009 post-election protests).

Police also arrested the general manager of the state-owned Halkbank, Suleyman Aslan, on allegations of illegal gold trading with Iran. ìI have no doubt that he [Aslan] is innocent,î Erdogan added.

Halkbank was at the center of a murky deal to transfer hard currency payments for Iranian oil, blocked by international sanctions, by Indian oil refiners. Also known as Turkiye Halk Bankasi SA, Halkbank is controlled by Erdoganís AKP party. Union Bank of India, the Indian bank that had been remitting payments for Iranian oil, contracted with Halkbank in August 2011 to serve as an intermediary for the payments, using a complex currency transfer mechanism designed to get around the U.S. financial sanctions.

Suspicious gold and currency transfers involving Iran and Turkey first came to light in October 2008, when the Turkish authorities seized a container said to contain $18.5 billion worth of U.S. dollars and gold bullion, originating in Iran.

The suspicious shipments continued into at least January 2013, when a mysterious cargo plane originating in Ghana made an emergency landing at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul and was discovered to be carrying 1.5 tons of gold, worth an estimated $1 billion.


Dec. 12, 2013: IRGC commander says "no red lines have been crossed" in nuclear negotiations.
Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jaffari said that Iran has already "given the maximum" in nuclear talks with the West and "received the minimum," but noted that so far "no red lines have been crossed." This is a clear reference to IRGC demands that Iran never give up uranium enrichment. Jaffari also acknowledged once again the IRGC presence in Syria. "We have announced before that we have specialized forces in Syria to transfer experience and training who undertake advisory roles, and this is obvious.î Jaffari's comments initially came as a challenge to Foreign Minister Javad Sharif, who claimed Iran could be destroyed with two [atomic] bombs, something Jaffari disputed. ìToday, Iran is a completely secure country from a security issues view. The enemies knows our capabilities in several dimensions of materiel and software. Since [2001] we have been in an asymmetric battle with the enemy. They saw Iranís abilities in the 33-Day and 22-Day Wars against an Zionist army armed to the teeth," he added. English translation via AEI's Iran Tracker. Persian from FarsNews.

  
- Khatami advisor adds: Nuclear agreement is the "Treaty of Huddabiya in Geneva." If any doubts remain as to how the Iranians see the Geneva agreement, this statement from political commentator (and former Khatami advisor)  Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini should set the record straight. Iran's missiles can now reach Tel Aviv; Obama was desperate for a handshake from Rouhani in New York, and the nuclear agreement was like Mohammad's temporary treaty of Huddabiya, made to be broken once the Muslim side was strong enough for military victory. Read a translation of his Syrian TV interview thanks to Memri.org.

Dec. 7, 2013: Basijis infiltrate student protest. Basijis posing as students infiltrated a student gathering at Tehran Polytechnic University on National Students Day today, "intending to undermine the gathering," according to Ghanoon Online (via the AEI Iran Tracker).
"The Basijis led chants of 'Allahu Akbar' [God is great], and 'Down with America.' The resident studentsí chants included 'Political prisoners must be freed,' Ghanoon reported. "A student who attended the rally said that 'At 11 oíclock, non-student individuals were dispatched to the university by bus. Extremist members of the Basij from Amir Kabir University arrived by the hundreds and led chants saying that political prisoners must be executed and that Rouhani must let go of student life.'" FDI Comment: this is just the latest example of the regime's robust counter-intelligence operation to infiltrate, mislead, misdirect, and confuse opposition elements inside Iran. But it also demonstrates the regime's ongoing fears of renewed protests.

Dec. 6, 2013: Khatami brother shows Iran's escape clause from nuclear deal. Speaking at Friday prayers in Tehran, Hojjat-ol eslam Ahmad Khatami, the brother of the former president, praised the regime's team of nuclear negotiators for sticking to the Supreme Leader's script. Then he described Iran's escape clause.
ìAfter the negotiations, Obama again noted that all options are on the table. He lied and said that we have an atomic bomb. What manners are these? We know that Obama is among the rudest leaders in the world. However, if there is the smallest indicator of a lack of adherence, the Quran says that you cancel the contract, and that if the enemy wants to betray you, there is no contract.î This reference to the famous "huddabiyah" contract Mohammad signed with Jewish tribes in Mecca served Arafat in signing the Oslo "peace" agreement with Israel, which he consistently violated, and is now being invoked by Iran.

Nov. 24, 2013: FDI calls the P5+1 nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran "a sham" FDI has carefully examined the public data on the nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran. While we applaud the efforts of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who held the line on a much worse deal at the previous round of negotiations, the deal announced today will imperil the security of the Iranian people, the region, and will inevitably lead to war.

Why? Because it allows the Iranian regime to maintain its nuclear breakout capability, imposes little in the way of serious verification, and thus serves as an encouragement to continued cheating.
In exchange for immediate sanctions relief offered by the United States and Europe, Tehran offered promises to limit centrifuge production, to delay construction of the Arak plutonium production reactor, and to suspend 20% enriched uranium for six months. Some deal.

In addition, FDI sources indicate that the Iranian regime continues to work on ICBM capability, including a MIRV'd delivery vehicle capable of carrying five warheads (three nuclear, two decoys). While fissures in the production of the missile casing have delayed the program, the agreement imposes no limits on this program.

We fully subscribe to the statement issued by UANI Chairman Ambassador Mark Wallace that condemns the nuclear deal for not including any rollback of Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions.

We also note that Ayatollah Khamenei views these negotiations as a subterfuge to attain the Islamic Republic's true goal of acquiring a militarily-significant nuclear arsenal for a first strike on Israel (see Nov. 20, below).

Nov. 21, 2013: "Moderate" Rouhani's defense minister help
ed murder U.S. Marines in Beirut. Hossein Dehghan, Rouhani's new defense minister, cut his teeth in Lebanon, where he helped forge Hezbollah into an operational arm of the IRGC. In the early , according to Israeli researcher Shimon Shapira, he helped recruit Imad Mugniyeh and devised the plan Mugniyeh carried out to blow up the U.S. Marine barracks at the Beirut airport on Oct. 23, 1983, killing 241 Americans, and simultaneously attack the French Marine barracks several kilometers away, killing 63 Frenchmen. The AP photo at right shows Dehghan in the Majlis recently. Read the full story from Tony Badran at the Weekly Standard.

Nov. 20, 2013: Khamenei says nuclear talks are a sham. In an address to Bassiji commanders, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic warned that any interpretion of Iran's "flexibility" in the current nuclear talks with the great powers was "a misunderstanding."

"Heroic flexibility" is a term many in Iran have used to suggest that President Hassan Rouhani was behind the nuclear deal with the West. Khamenei set them right: "'Heroic flexibility' means an artistic maneuver and the use of different tactics to reach different goals and ideals of the Islamic regime,î he told the Bassiji commanders.

Khamenei reminded them that Iran's "right" to enrich uranium was a "red line" that Rouhani's negotiations would not cross, according to an account of Khamenei's speech by FDI Strategic Information Program director, Reza Kahlili.

Nov. 12, 2013: Kharroubi, Moussavi and Zahra Rahnavard spend 1000th day under house arrest. Today marked the 1000th day that the three green movement leaders spent under house arrest, without the government filing any charges against them. Read more from HRW

Oct. 23, 2013: Iranian regime
Announces International "Down with America" award. Now that the U.S. and Iran are talking again, everythings going to be okay, right? After all, didn't Khatami and Javad Sharif, the smiling mullahs, say there would be no more "death  to America?" So now it's just "down with U.S.A."

The regime's hacking squad, "Cyber Hezbollah," has claimed responsibility for attacks on U.S. government websites. Now they are holding the "Great Conference of Down with U.S.A." in Tehran on Nov. 2 and sponsoring a "Down with U.S. Great Award." 
To plug the contest, they registered a new website using a Queensland, Australia proxy, PrivacyProtect.org. Sanctions anyone? For more, read today's column for FDI Strategic Information director, Reza Kahlili.


Oct. 19, 2013: AI Monitor carrying water for Iranian regime. Our friend Hassan Dai presents an illuminating analysis of AI Monitor's Barbara Slavin and her role in helping Rouhani and Javad Sherif trick the West into believing that hard-line comments from the regime leadership on the nuclear negotiations should not be taken seriously. In 2003, when serving as Iranian ambassador to the UN, Zarif played a similar game using Swiss Ambassador to Iran Tim Guldimann, Congressman Bob Ney, and Trita Parsi... Now the conduit for these authorized (and completely misleading) leaks is AI Monitor's Barbara Slavin.

Oct. 18, 2013: Listen to Iran's dissidents before believing the nuclear lies.
As negotiations resumed this week in Geneva over Iranís nuclear weapons programs, Iranian regime officials have taken an increasingly hard line, making it unlikely any progress will be made absent significant U.S. concessions.

Before Secretary of State John F. Kerry is tempted to give away the store in order to achieve a Pyrrhic victory, he would do well to listen to the voices of those the regime in Tehran has tried so hard to silence: its political prisoners. Among the most prominent is a dissident Shiite ayatollah, Seyyed Hossein Kazemeini Borujerdi, who has been imprisoned and treated with ruthless brutality for the past seven years.

What was his crime? Refusing to aocknowledge the role of Islam in politics, and rejecting the doctrine of absolute clerical rule, the founding belief of the Islamic regime in Iran.
Read more in today's Washington Times.

Oct. 17, 2013: Rep. Trent Franks offers new legislation to enforce "responsible" nuclear agreement. Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks is a staunch advocate of human rights and religious freedom. Today he has offered new legislation, the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act, H.R. 3292, to require the Obama administration to negotiate verifiable benchmarks with the Iranian regime. The Act requires that any nuclear deal include an end to Iran's uranium enrichment activities, the dismantling of Fordo, and an end to the plutonium-production reactor in Arak. Here is the text of the bill.

Shades of the Godfather: Quds Force chief appears with top regime leaders at his mother's funeral.
They all turned out for the funeral of Qassem Suleymani's mother: Mojtaba Khamenei, IRGC PID (intel) chief Hossein Taeb, IRGC commander Jaafari. Pictured at right: Jihad Mugniyeh (son of the late and unlamented terror chief, Imad Mugniyeh) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad chieftains Ramadan 'Abdallah Shallah and Ziyad Nakhala. MEMRI has the full report. H/t Banafsheh Zand

Oc
t. 13, 2013: Rouhani brother is former top security official. Unlike the president, Hossein Fereydoun kept his birth name. In Feb. 1979, he was one of Khomeini's security guard druing his fabled journey from the Tehran airport to Behesht Zahra Cemetary. Right after the revolution, he became a jailor/interrogator of former SAVAK intelligence agents. For 8 years after the Iran-Iraq war he was ambassador to Malaysia, building up the IRI's extensive financial and intelligence structures there. Rumored to have close ties to MOIS and to the Rafsanjani family, Hossein Fereydoun will undoubtedly be a player in the new administration. ht/ Banafshe Zand. Read more

Sept 29, 2013: Obama talks hostages with Rouhani.
A "senior administration official" told reporters over the weekend that President Obama asked Rouhani about the fate of three Americans currently held hostage by Iran: Robert Levinson, Saeed Abedini, and Amir Hekmati. Michael Ledeen has more about the administration's desperate outreach to the (latest) smiling mullah of Tehran; Newsmax analyst Fred Fleitz asks if Obama is "repeating past mistakes" on Iran.

Sept. 26, 2013: When Rouhani met Ollie North.
The original account in the Tower Commission report of the 1986 meeting in Tehran (with the Bible and the cake) referred to him only as "a senior foreign affairs advisor." Nowa more complete picture of Rouhani's role in Iran-contra is emerging....

Sept. 24, 2013: Quds Force chief said to be directing Assad's war in Syria. New Yorker magazine profiles Qassem Suleimani, (photo, left) the elusive chief of the IRGC's foreign expeditionary and terrorist Quds force, said to be providing strategic advice as well as manpower to the Assad regime.

Sept. 23, 2013: Jailed dissident cleric smuggles out letter for UN General Assembly.
Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Kazemeini Borujerdi, who was arrested in 2006 and has been jailed ever since, has smuggled a letter out of Evin Prison addressed to members of the UN  General Assembly. Ayatollah Borujerdi describes his plight as a hostage ìwithin a prison cell which is surrounded by a cruelty and brutality called religion and faith.î

He calls the regime in Tehran and the latest smiling mullah serving as a front man for the reign of the ayatollahs ìbrutal totalitarians [who] have plundered and stolen the wealth and national income of every Iranian," and ends his letter with a plea to ìfocus your gaze on that which goes on inside Iran and scrutinize the actions and blatant human and civil rights violations of this regime.î

Our take: Ayatollah Borujerdi represents a body of senior traditionalist clerics who reject political Islam, which the U.S. administration of Barack Obama has embraced from Tunisia to Afghanistan. That perhaps explains why the U.S. administration has ignored his plight, preferring the foolís errand of negotiating with a self-avowed liar, President Hassan Rouhani, who boasts of how he tricked the West as Iranís nuclear negotiator from 2003-2005. FDI began writing about his plight not long after his arrest.

His supporters are worried that long years of brutal detention, and the refusal by the regime to allow him to take heart medecine brought to him by his family, is contributing to his rapidly-deteriorating health.


Sept. 22, 2013: The "containment" trial balloon.
Former Clinton administration national security official Kenneth M. Pollock is again floating the containment trial balloon: don't worry about the Islamic Republic getting the bomb, just be prepared to prevent them from using it. As always, such analysis misses the point as to why the regime is seeking nuclear weapons capability, and the end times ideology driving Ayatollah Khamenei and his top advisors.

Sept. 4, 2013: JINSA task force report on Iran. Without a doubt, this is the best and most authoritative analysis and set of policy recommendations we've seen. The list of participants include hard-liners on Iran as well as advocates of accomodation; and yet the report comes down squarely on the side of a more rigorous policy toward the Tehran regime with verifiable benchmarks. Our main regret: human rights, political and religious freedom get short shrift - indeed, no mention at all. Of especial interest for scholars and columnists is the list of nuclear offers made by the U.S. and the EU to Iran since 2005 - no fewer than seven complete package deals, several of which would have allowed Tehran to continue enrichment, a very bad idea in our view.

August 9, 2013: Prominent political prisoners refuse to sign anti-sanctions letter. Despite heavy pressure from the regime and from more "compliant" prisoners, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and other prominent political prisoners pointed refused to sign a Quisling letter to President Obama, complaining about the effects of U.S. sanctions. If nothing else, the anti-sanctions letter, which appeared in London's Guardian newspaper, shows again the extent to which the regime has infiltrated and manipulated the opposition. Other prominent political prisoners who refused to sign the regime's letter including Majid Tavakoli, Ahmad Zeidabadiand Heshmat Tabarzadi. Read more

July 18, 2013: Pro-Tehran lobby finds more "useful idiots" in Congress. The pro-Tehran lobby is salivating at the possibility that the election of a smiling mullah in bed with the Islamic Republic oil lobby will pave the way to back door deals with Iran that will make them rich. Key to that strategy is convincing their supporters in Tehran that they can deliver support for rapprochement and an end to sanctions in Washington.

Our take: This latest letter, co-sponsored by Republican Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Democrat David Price of North Carolina, demonstrates why voters need to elect responsible adults to Congress. The U.S. has "engaged" the Iranian regime in dozens of meetings over the past decade, and the Iranian side has successfully delayed, denied, and deceived as they continued to spin the centrifuges and, through their lobby, Congress and the U.S. media.


July 1, 2013: State Department negotiating Iran sanction waiver. As the U.S. Senate was engrossed in the immigration debate last week and the House was preparing for the 4th of July recess, the State Department quietly negotiated a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran to establish direct flights between Tehran and New York, FDI has learned.

The deal involves a government to government Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and flights between the two countries operated by Iran Air, which is on the Treasury Departmentís list of Specially Designated Nationals and banned from all commerce with U.S. persons because of its involvement in terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

In a special advisory delivered this morning, FDI urged the appropriate committee chairmen and ranking members in Congress to immediately clarify with the State Department whether they have indeed negotiated an MoU with Iran, as the Iranian Foreign Minister announced last week (see our complete statement, here); and if so, to withhold funds from the State Department for the implementation of this MoU or further negotiations.

ìWaiving sanctions on Iran Air so it can operate direct flights to the United States would jeopardize most of the sanctions legislation currently on the books, and would expose the Treasury Departmentís designation process to charges of being arbitrary and political,î said FDI President and CEO, Kenneth R. Timmerman. Download a PDF version of the FDI statement

June 13, 2013 - Election update: Wealthy Los Angeles landlord pulls out from regime elections.

FDI has learned that Frank Rahban, a wealth real estate investor in Los Angeles, is the owner of the building the regime planned to use tomorrow in Santa Monica to hold its ìelectionî show, located at 401 San Vincente Blvd.

Mr. Rahban encountered public notoriety in 2009 when anti-billboard activists protested in front of his Brentwood home because he had used one of his properties to host a 6-storey billboard. He owns the Santa Monica property through a family trust with his wife and son.

California commercial records show that he operates Overland Investment Company on W. Pico Blvd, and is a partner or investor in at least five other real estate partnerships.

After receiving a torrent of calls from angry Iranian-Americans on Thursday, Mr. Rahban apparently canceled the rental agreement for his property and the Iranian Interests Section has removed the address from the list of active polling stations on its website.

Thanks to all who called!


June 13, 2013: Iranians chant anti-regime slogans at football match.
A brief video has surfaced of football (soccer) fans chanting anti-regime slogans at Tuesday night's Iran-Lebanon World Cup qualifiying match at Azadi stadium in Tehran. (Iran beat Lebanon 4-1). "Nah Ghazzeh, Nah Loobnan, Janam Fedaayeh Iran" - literally, No Gaza, No Lebanon, My life is dedicated to Iran" - was first chanted during the 2009 post-election uprising and shocked the regime more than outright calls for the death of the Supreme Leader. Why? because this regime spends more time and money to support Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon
than it does to provide clean water to the residents of south Tehran. The slogan is a direct repudiation of that policy. Sources tell FDI that large crowds chanted anti-regime slogans inside the stadium itself during the June 11 match as well. We will post more video as it becomes available. Watch the video here (Permalink).

 - Update: new videos posted (at Permalink)
 
Regime posts election show polling places: At around 3 PM on Thursday, the regime posted official polling places in the United States for Friday's election.
  • http://www.iranelection.me/WESTREN.pdf
  • http://www.iranelection.me/CENTRAL.pdf
  • http://www.iranelection.me/EASTERN.pdf
  • http://www.iranelection.me/MOUNTAIN.pdf
They have been very careful in the PDF tables not to include any identifying markers tying the list of venues back to the regime. One reason may be because two of the 19 locations are Islamic Centers owned and controlled by the Alavi Foundation, which since 2008 has had its assets frozen by federal prosecutors in New York on allegations that it is under the daily control of the Iranian regime. FDI has contacted the prosecutor to flag him of this potentially illegal misuse of assets that  are currently under U.S. court-supervised receivership.

June 12, 2013: Iranian regime flouts U.S. law, announces 19 election sites across U.S.
The Islamic Republic yesterday put up a rudimentary website with similar to graphics to the election website it used in 2009, to inform Iranian-Americans where they could vote in this Fridayís election show. Under U.S. law, it is illegal for the regime to engage in operations outside of a 25 mile radius of its permanent mission to the United Nations in New York, and the Interests Section in the Pakistani embassy in Washington, DC. Tuesdayís announcement that the regime would open 19 official polling stations around the United States was in open defiance of the law.

Today, the regime went further and issued a 4 page statement from the Interests Section, telling Iranian-Americans that the polling places were being set up in coordination with the local police departments in each city. ìIf you encounter any problems with securityî in reaching the polls, the statement said, ìyou should contact the local Police Department.î

"Staff
will have the number of the local police department and will post it" in the polling places in case of incidents," the statement said.

The statement also said that staff operating the polling places "will have the official stamp of the Council of Guardians" and will stamp both the individual ballots and the voter's Iranian passport (on page 40).

"Keep the official flag of the islamic Republic at the voting table and at the location," it added.

Canada is not allowing the regime to operate polling stations, a decision hotly criticized by Tehran. ìCanada had deprived many Iranians of exercising their legal right,î a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, said in Tehran.

Araqchi noted that even when Canada and the Islamic Republic maintained diplomatic relations, the Canadian government never allowed polling stations to be set up outside Ottawa.î

ìThis suggests that the United States government has given its approval to the regime to set up polling stations here in the United States,î said Roozbeh Farahanipour, a pro-freedom activist in Los Angeles.

According to a listing published at the regimeís election-show website, six polling stations will operate in California; two in Texas; two in the Washington, DC area; two in the New York city area; and others in Tampa, Philadelphia, Nashville, Chicago, Oklahoma city, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee.

FDI urges Iranian-Americans to report these sites to the local FBI and encourage them to shut them down because they are being operated in violation of U.S. law.

ìJoseph Stalin had elections. That didnít make the Soviet Union a democracy,î said FDI President and CEO Kenneth R. Timmerman. ìThe election show of the Islamic Republic of Iran is no different from the sham elections of the old Soviet Union. No one should be fooled.

ìIranians know what free and fair elections look like. And they know they wonít be seeing them this Friday in Iran.î Permalink

June 7, 2013: Erdogan's troubles in Turkey bode ill for Islamic Republic. As protests in Turkey spread to over 60 cities, Prime Minister Ergodan dug in his heels, blaming "foreign actors" behind the unrest. In fact, it would appear that the Islamist regime's heavy-handed response to a local protest over a an Istanbul park, contributed heavily to helping the demonstrations morph into widespread protests against the regime. For those who claim the Green movement in Iran is dead, former Al Gore advisor Larry Hass reminds us that you can never predict what will spark a popular uprising, once the underlying unrest is present....

June 5, 2013: Canadian Minister condemns human rights abuses in Iran.
In an extraordinary statement, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, today commended those who document human rights absues in Iran in an extraordinary statement blasting the "hollow regime" in Tehran for "systematic stifling of democratic freedoms."

June 4, 2013: Protestors in Isfahan chant "Death to the Dictator." Protestors at a funeral procession for dissident Ayatollah Taheri Esfahani, who died yesterday at the age of 91, chanted anti-regime slogans through the streets of Isfahan, apparently unchallenged. Ayatollah Taheri, a member of the Assembly of Experts, broke with the regime on June 30, 2009, when he published an open letter calling Ahmadinejad's presidency "illegitimate."

At another point during the funeral procession, protestors chant, "Moussavi, Karroubi, must be freed," a reference to Ahmadinejad's main opponents in the 2009 election show who have been under house arrest ever since. (Watch the videos here and here)

FDI note: The regime has desperately tried to play down the election ìshowî to prevent any outbreak of demonstrations as happened in 2009. But they may have been too cynical by half: this time, the protests are starting before the election ìshow.í

ï Pastor Saeed Abedini's wife to address UN. Neghmeh Abedini traveled to Geneva, Switzerland where today she will address the UN Human Rights Council, a body on which the Islamic Republic sits. Because her husband is being held in Evin "without a voice," she said, "I must, therefore, be his voice."Just two weeks ago, the jailed 33-year old pastor, who holds dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship, managed to smuggle out a letter to his wife, expressing his joy that his persecution has helped to unite people from different denominations and different countries."ìYou donít know how happy I was in the Lord and rejoiced knowing that in my chains the body of Christ has chained together and is brought to action and prayer," he wrote.

June 3, 2013:  White House issues new sanctions but ignores Iran unrest. President Obama today issued yet another executive order imposing new sanctions on the automotive sector in Iran and tightening currency sanctions, while ignoring reports of protests in Isfahan apparently sparked by widening protests in neighboring Turkey.

ï Federal judge tosses out Mohammadi case.
In an opinion issued late on Friday, U.S District Court judge Beryl Howell found that her court lacked juristiction to act against the Islamic Republic at the request of torture victims who were not U.S. citizens. In a statement issued today, Attorney Larry Klayman said he intended to take the torture and wrongful death case of Manouchehr and Akbar Mohammadi to Spain, where courts have handed down judgments against foreign sovereigns in similar cases. Read the full Opinion here.



May 27, 2013: FDI to Obama: support the pro-freedom movement. FDI  president and CEO Ken Timmerman told the Voice of America that the United States government needs to support the pro-freedom movement in Iran. In comments recorded Friday during a conference sponsored by U.S. Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va), Timmerman told VOA that the Iranian people showed in June 2009 that they were ready for change, but the United States government did not respond. ìThe United States must do its part and provide active support to pro-freedom groups inside Iran,î Timmerman said.

The VOA was reporting on a meeting hosted by the Iranian Solidarity Front, one of an increasing number of political groupings outside Iran aimed at generating support for the pro-freedom movement. (Watch the video).

Addressing that event, former ExIm Bank director Bijan Kian argued that the ìnewî political balance inside the regime between Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the IRGC has swung in favor of the Rev. Guards, and that this in turn decreases the likelihood the regime will accept any deal over its nuclear weapons program. ìTo say the Islamic Republic is reformable suggests that Islam can be reformed,î Kian said. ìWhile I am not an expert in islam, I doubt this is possibleÖ.î

Election update: FDI president Timmermanís oped on the upcoming Iranian ìelection showî is here. While Rafsanjani was rejected by the Guardian Council, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati would now appear to be Washingtonís top choice. Velayati has met on multiple occasions in Qatar and in Switzerland for secret negotiations with U.S. presidential envoy Valerie Jarrett, as first revealed by FDI Strategic Information director Reza Kahlili last October. (Kahliliís story was picked up by the New York Times and has subsequently been confirmed by senior U.S. and Israeli officials).

Former Tehran mayor (and IRGC  general) Mohammad Baqr Qalibaf and Khameneiís top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, are being touted as the ìfront-runnersî by pro-regime media. Given that the Guardians will deliberate in secret to determine the ìwinnerî of the June 14 election show, right now the only votes that count are Ayatollah Khameneiís and those of the Guardians.


May 12, 2013: Rafsanjani joins the [S]election show.
In a much awaited move, former president Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani announced today he would be a candidate in the June 14 presidential [S]election, saying that he was only running because Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had approved his candidacy. His announcement was prominently covered by the BBC and VOA Persian radio and TV services, and undoubtedly provoked a collective sigh of relief inside the U.S. State Department.

The Obama administration has intensified the on-again, off-again back-door negotiations with the Islamic regime that every U.S. president has conducted since Jimmy Carter.

According to FDI Director of Strategic Information programs Reza Kahlili, U.S. emissaries have met with Khamenei's top foreign policy advisor, Ali Akbar Velayati, more than 10 times over the past few years. Velayati is widely believed to have been Khamenei's hand-picked choice to succeed Ahmadinejad as president.

Also in the running are former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian and former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezai. All four have international arrest warrants outstanding against them with Interpol for their alleged role in the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 86 people. The Islamic Republic has engaged in intense diplomacy in recent months to get those arrest warrants removed and pledged to take part in a phony "joint investigation" into the AMIA bombings it claims to be conducting with the Argentine government of President Christina Kirschner.

Our take: Rafsanjani undoubtedly waited to announce his candidacy until he had gotten all his ducks in a row, from the Supreme Leader to prominent reformist leaders who hope he can help ease tensions with the United States and the international community. But make no mistake: this man is no reformer, nor is he likely to make any significant changes to the structure or behavior of the Islamic regime.

Rafsanjani is the father of the Islamic Republic's nuclear weapons program, having lobbied hard with Ayatollah Khomeini for its resumption when he was Majlis speaker in 1985. As president starting in 1989, he directed the intelligence services to track down dissidents and assassinate them overseas. As head of the Expediency Council he backed the crackdown against the student rebellion in 1999, and remained silent during the crackdown after the 2009 elections. He has never lifted a finger to help political prisoners, ethnic minorities or women, nor has he ever promoted a pluralistic democracy for Iran. And he has made public statements welcoming a "nuclear exchange" [ie, war[ between the Islamic Republic and Israel.

And yet, diplomats and leaders in many Western nations seem prepared to delude themselves once again that a smiley face on the Islamic Revolution will remove the threat that this regime poses to the world. Now more than ever, FDI believes it is time to help the Iranian people to raise their voice against dictatorship by demanding that Iran conduct free and fair elections according to the standards the Islamic regime agreed to as set forth by the Inter-Parliamentary Union in 1994.


May 10, 2013: Sec. Kerry picks wrong man as AfPak negotiator.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced last week he was appointing James Dobbins as the administration's point man on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Dobbins, who is a pro-Tehran apologist and lobbyist, is the wrong person for the job. His appointment sends a clear signal to Tehran that the Obama administration favors accomodation with a nuclear-armed Iran and will do nothing to compel the regime in Tehran to respect internationally-recognized standards of human rights or the political rights of Iranians. Read a profile of Dobbins at PJ media.

May 1, 2013: Update on Ahmadinejad detention. The Director of FDI Strategic Projects, Reza Kahlili, revealed this morning more details about Ahmadinejad's surprise detention on Monday afternoon and his interrogation by the head of Revolutionary Guards Protection and Intelligence Department, Hossein Taeb, and other top intelligence officers loyal to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. In his report, featured on WorldNetDaily, Kahlili said Ahmadinejad was warned not to make good on his threats to expose secret information that would embarrass the regime, in particiular a tape he reportedly was threatening to release that documented the regime's vote-rigging on his behalf in the 2009 presidential election.

April 30, 2013: Ahmadinejad temporarily detained in Tehran.
FDI has learned from intelligence sources in Iran that Ahmadinejad was temporarily detained in Tehran yesterday after traveling to two African countries last week on a mission to convert some $2 billion of U.S. dollar assets into gold. Ahmadinejad's main mission these days is to buy the upcoming presidential [S]election for his son-in-law and protege, Rahim Mashaie. More details as they develop....

April 28, 2013: Fakhravar pulls a no-show in Paris.
Iranian man of all seasons Amir Abbas Fakhravar, who has billed himself as the star attraction in the latest effort to pull together an opposition coalition, failed to turn up at the conference held in Paris this week. The National Council of Iran meetings began on April 27 after an on-line "election" showed that Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi was the most popular Iranian political figure among opposition activists.

April 20, 2013: NIAC condemned to pay damages.
A U.S. District Court judge has fined NIAC close to $200,000 and dismissed its defamation suit against Hassan Daioleslam, who called the group the "Iranian lobby" in the United States. NIAC and its president, Trita Parsi, repeatedly failed to comply with discovery motions ordered by the court and were found to have altered evidence in an attempt to hide their lobbying activities. The Court's final order was issued on April 9, after its earlier finding against NIAC last September.

April 17, 2013: Adopt an Iranian political prisoner.
Marziyeh Amirzadeh and Maryam Rostampour have just published Captive in Iran, a gripping memoir
of their time in Evin prison, where they were jailed because of their Christian faith. They argue that outsiders can help prisoners in Iran through the simple gesture of writing them letters, a practice long advocated by Amnesty International. Although the regime doesn't actually deliver the letters to the prisoners, they read them - and the more letters that arrive, the more uneasy the authorities become. ìThat really helped, and it embarrassed the regime. Outside pressure forced them to release us,î Maryam told FDI recently at an event organized by Nina Shea and the Hudson institute's Center for Religious Freedom. The two authors provide  the name and address of several prisoners of conscience as well as specific instructions for what to write - and what not to write - in these letters.
    - Update: Read Ken Timmerman's Washington Times oped, "Taking on Tehran, One prisoner at a time."
- Update 2: Video now available. In this interview, FDI president Ken Timmerman talks about the Mohammadi torture case; the section on Marziyeh and Maryam begins at 15:45
.

April 16, 2013: Read the record of the regime's use of torture. Manouchehr Mohammadi provides gripping testimony of the torture he was subjected to in the jails of the Islamic Republic in a federal court hearing in Washington, DC earlier this month. FDI president Kenneth R. Timmerman also testified on the regime's efforts to surveil and intimidate Iranian-Americans. Download the transcript from the hearing.

April 8, 2013: FDI joins Stop the Bomb! in calling for protests of Germany's Evangelical Academy for welcoming Iranian regime official.
The Lutheran Church's Evangelical Academy in Hannover, Germany, has announced it will host regime ambassador Ali Reza Sheikattar on April 18, to talk about "strenthening Iranian civil society." While FDI opposes granting any Iranian regime official the legitimacy of appearing in public fora in the West, for a church organization to host a regime official is an insult to Christian believers everywhere.
Calling evil, good, will not make the evil go away: just ask the Mohammadi's, who suffered the scourge the Tehran regime meets out to those who dare raise their voice in support of freedom (see April 4, below).

Not surprisingly, this event is being co-sponsored by the German Ministry of Foreign and Development Aid as a means to promote German exports to Iran, in cynical defiance of international sanctions. German companies such as Siemens have sold surveillance gear to the IRI that has helped them to track dissidents; Mercedes has sold trucks used as missile launchers; scores more have provided nuclear, chemical, and missile technologies.

Please join us in sending protest emails to the following persons in charge of this event. (click here to read the FDI email, which you are free to adapt as your own).

Evangelical academies Germany:
  • Klaus Holz, General Secretary: office@evangelische-akademien.de
  • R¸diger Sachau, Director: sachau@eaberlin.de

"Evangelische Akademie Loccum":
  • Marcus Schaper, Organizer of the conference: marcus.schaper@evlka.de
  • Stephan Schaede, Director: stephan.schaede@evlka.de

Members of the "Konvent" of the "Evangelische Akademie Loccum":
  • Bj–rn Th¸mler, CDU: bjoern@thuemler.de
  • Thela Wernstedt, SPD: Thela.Wernstedt@lt.niedersachsen.de
  • Stefan Schostock, SPD, Mayoral nominee Hannover: buero@stefan-schostok.de
  • Arno Brandt, "Institut f¸r Regionalwirtschaft": Brandt@cima.de
Learn more about the event from Stop the Bomb!

April 5, 2013: Iranian FM threatens Iranian dissidents and activists in Austria.
Iranian Foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi responded with scarcely veiled threats to a small protest during his trip to Austria earlier this year, reminding Iranian Kurds of the regime's assassination of Abdelrahman Qassemlou and threatening Austria with terrorist attacks if it permitted dissidents and European citizens to highlight the regime's terror record. FDI applauds the courage of activist Simone Dinah Hartman and Stop the Bomb! and is happy to partner with them in the U.S.

April 4, 2013: Iranian regime continues to harrass Irania
n exiles in the United States. In testimony before U.S. District Court today, FDI president Timmerman detailed the ongoing harrassment by Iranian regime agents in the United States of exiles and political dissidents, as well as the regime's illegal actions in organizing election bureaux around the U.S. for presidential and Majlis elections. "These bureaux operate as offices of the Iranian regime, which is prohibited by law from having a presence outside its two declared representative offices at the UN in New York and the Interests Section in Washington, DC," Timmerman told the court. The goal of these offices is to "harrass and intimidate Iranian-Americans, who depend on the regime for passport, notarial, and other legal services," he added. (Photo: Timmerman and attorney Klayman with the Mohammadis outside the courthouse).

 April 3, 2013: FDI President to testify in landmark human rights case.
Kenneth R. Timmerman, President of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI), will testify on Thursday, April 4, in a historic lawsuit against the Islamic Republic of Iran for its systematic torture of political prisoners.

The case, brought by the family of slain Iranian political prisoner Akbar Mohammadi, will be heard before Judge Beryl A. Howell in United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Attorney Larry Klayman is lead counsel for the plaintiffs. Read the complaint here.

Timmermanís testimony, which will include a narrative of his own interaction with Mohammadiís brother Manouchehr before the two were arrested in 1999, is scheduled to start at 3 PM in Courtroom 15.

Where: Courtroom 15
U.S. District Court for the District of Washington, DC
333 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC. 20001

When: 3 PM, Thursday, April 4, 2013
FDI began using the Internet as a tool for bringing out timely information to document human rights abuses by Iranian regime in the mid-1990s, and was one of the first human rights organizations to publish photographs of the assault by regime thugs on students at the University of Tehran dormitories in July 1999, when the Mohammadis were arrested. Click here to view some of the chronology of that summerís events.
Click here for a PDF version of this press release.

March 26, 2013: UN Rapporteur for Human Rights says elections "not free and fair."
In an oped appearing on the BBC Persian website, United Nations Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran blasts the Tehran regime for violating the fundamental rights of Iranian citizens. "[T]he 2009 presidential election and violent post-election events demonstrate that rather than offering an opportunity for people to assert their basic civil and political rights, elections in Iran have seemingly become a time when rights are subdued and choices imposed," writes Dr. Ahmed Shaheed. He blasted the regime for imposing restriction on the choice of candidates for public office, and concluded: "the  conditions for free and fair elections are sadly not present in Iran."

In a separate statement, Dr. Shaheed said that the regime was intensifying the persecution of Christians, Bahai's, and other religious minorities in Iran, even jailing young Christian women nursing newborn children. ìThe persecution of Christians has increased. It seems to target new converts and those who run house churches," Dr. Shadeed said.


March 24, 2013: FDI reveals 3rd new nuclear site, surrounded by giant ballistic missile field. Stunning satellite imagery, obtained by the director of FDI  Strategic Information programs Reza Kahlili, reveals the existence of a previously undisclosed buried nuclear site 15 miles northwest of the Fordow enrichment plant. The new facility, known as "Qods" (Jerusalem), is surrounded by giant missile fields, with more than 380 half buried "garages" for mobile missile launchers that will give the IRGC the ability to "shoot and scoot" with mobile Shahab-3 missiles, just as Hezbollah did during the 2006 war against Israel with smaller missiles. According to FDI sources, the buried facility has the capacity to house 8,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges, although it's not known at present how many - if any - have been installed.


FDI invites analysts and government officials to use the coordinates posted near the end of the video (click on the image at left) to corroborate this information using Google Earth and classified imagery. The enhanced video clearly shows that the dedicated high tension lines bringing power to the underground Qods facility as well as the extensivve perimeter fence and the vast missile fields.

March 22, 2013: Kerry exposes Iranian family tie. In a stunning admission right up front in what has become a pro-forma Nowruz greeting to the Iranian people, Secretary of State John Kerry exposed a secret journalists and academics have been agonizing over for the past month: the fact that his daughter has married an Iranian-American who has extensive family ties to Iran.  "I am proud of the Iranian-Americans in my own family, and grateful for how they have enriched my life," Kerry said in his NowRuz greeting, Kerry also said he was "strongly committed to resolving" the differences between the United State and the Islamic Republic of Iran, "to the mutual benefit of both of our people."

Politicians like to keep their family's off limits to the press, a decorum enforced vigorously when it comes politicians in favor with the national media but ruthlessly discarded for others. But in Kerry's case, there could be larger ramifications.

Since its inception, the FBI has vetted U.S. government officials involved in national security issues, and generally rejects granting clearances for individuals who are married to nationals of an enemy nation, or who have family members living in that country, for fear of divided loyalties or more simply, blackmail.

Behrouz (Brian) Nahed and Vanessa Kerry Nahed are both residents as Mass General in Boston. An Iranian government website first published pictures of the married couple in February, just as Kerry was up for confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Dr. Nahed's family lives in Los Angeles, but he has relatives still in Iran. The Iranian website reported that shortly after their marriage the young couple visited those relatives in Iran.

Was the Iranian publication itself a subtle form of blackmail, aimed at letting Kerry know that the regime is fully aware of his son-in-law's extended family in Iran? The Islamic Republic systematically puts pressure on family members of prominent Iranian-Americans (for example, individuals who work at the Persian service of Voice of America), to make sure that they do not engage in hostile statements or activities against the Tehran regime.

Certainly, Secretary Kerry has long favored a U.S. rapprochement with the Islamic Republic. He has repeatedly appeared with groups such as the American Iranian Council (AIC), and has taken money from Iranian-Americans for his political campaigns, including at least one illegal donation from an Iranian woman in 2002 who did not have a green card. So he didn't need to have an Iranian-American family member to believe that the United States should forge direct relations with the Islamic Republic or ease U.S. pressure on the regime.

Kerry may have figured that by revealing the family tie himself he could diffuse the situation, and make it more difficult for the regime to put pressure on his son-in-law's family - of course, assuming that as Secretary of State, Kerry in fact plans to do anything that angers the regime.

But what if the regime simply decides to round up Nahed's family members and torture them? Or sends its goons to visit them at home? Or exerts some form of more subtle pressure on them that gets no publicity, and then makes it known they want the United States to release Iranians jailed in the United States on terrorism charges or for attempting to procure weapons technology or military spare parts? Should Congress be asking Senator Kerry how he would respond in such a case?

March 1, 2013: Regime ayatollah issues fatwah against opposition figure in exile. Senior Iranian cleric Ayatullah Nasir Makarem Shirazi has issued a fatwa against Roozbeh Farahanipour, the founder of Marzepor Gohar, a nationalist opposition grouop active in Iran. Farahanipour was jailed in 1999 for his role in heloping to organize the July 1999 student revolt. Ayatollah Shirazi is infamous in Iran for his fatwas against dogs, his calls for death by stoning for adulterers, harsh punishment of homosexuals, and repeated anti-Semitic statements.

Feb. 26, 2013: London conference brings
Balouchis together.
Leaders of Balouchi groups in Pakistan and Iran joined together at a one-day conference in London at the Royal Society put together by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). The main focus was on Balouchis in Pakistan, with Mir Soleiman Daud, the Khan of Kalat, calling for Pakistani Balouchis to form a united front to pressure the Islamabad government for their rights. Also presenting were Nasser Boladai, President of the Baluchistan Peopleís Party, and Hammal Haider Baloch, spokesperson of the Baloch National Movement. U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R, CA), called for the Pakistan government to allow a referendum on Balouchi independence, adding to his previous calls for separatist movements in Iranian Kurdistan and Azerbaijan. For more details, go to the Baloch Human Rights Council Facebook page.

 

Feb. 24, 2013: Media starts to pick up Hagel's pro-Tehran ties.
Some Senators may not be aware of the information first revealed here on Hagelís ties to the pro-Tehran lobby, or of Hagel's disastrous 2009 report calling for the deployment of US troops between Israel and the Palestinian territories. If so, here's the latest:

- A WorldNetDaily story by Jerry Corsi that quotes the FDI revelations about Hagelís ties to the pro-Tehran lobby:

- A separate story from Breitbart.com about a 2009 report Hagel co-authored calling for U.S. Troops to deploy as part of a multinational force on Israelís borders to impose peace on Israel and the Palestinians.

Call your Senators TODAY. The vote on Hagel
is now scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 26.


Feb. 18, 2013: Steady drip-drip exposes Hagel's ties to Tehran.
Bit by bit, it's all coming out. The DailyCaller today reveals that Hagel's speech at Rutgers in 2007 was at Tehran-funded Middle East studies unit headed by prof who boasts on his CV of getting funding from the Alavi Foundation
, the Iranian regime's biggest U.S. front organization. The feds busted Alavi in 2008 after uncovering a treasure trove of documents in a series of court-ordered search warrants that showed Tehran was directly managing its day-to-day affairs. (FDI first disclosed the photo at the top of this website, taken during yet another Hagel speech with Amirahmadi in 2007,  on a deep dive of Internet archives).

The Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens piles on, with this juicy detail about Amirahmadi:
"
Though he portrays himself as a reformist, Iranian-Americans who follow him describe him as a "Rafsanjanist" eager to make the regime's case in Washington. In 2009, the New York Post quoted Mr. Amirahmadi as saying that "Iran has not been involved in any terrorist organization," and that "neither Hezbollah nor Hamas are terrorist organizations."


Stephens notes that Amirahmadi "makes no secret of his political leanings and ambitions. Did nobody on Mr. Hagel's or the [Senate Intelligence] Committee's staff vet his speaking gigs before he gave them?"

Feb. 11. 2013 ñ Join Ken Timmerman on MardomTV today at 2 PM Eastern
. FDI president Ken Timmerman will join Parsa Sorbi to talk about Sundayís protest against auto-makers such as Mercedes and Nissan who refuse to leave Iran, and the Obama administrationís new national security and foreign policy team and the prospects for US-Iran talks. Join him online today at 2 Eastern time.

Feb. 10, 2013 ñ Baltimore Jewish Times covers auto-show protest.
Click here for a preview of Sundayís rally in front of the Baltimore convention center.

Feb. 8, 2013: Join FDI this Sunday in Baltimore to protest rogue auto companies still dealing with the Tehran regime. FDI is joining UANI, the Baltimore Zionist District, the Endowment for Middle East Truth and a host of others to call on major auto makers (Nissan, Daimler Benz, BMW) to get out of Iran.
Download the complete flyer with meeting info.

- Could Hagel be toast?
That's what former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy thinks. Contributing to Hagel's problems: ties to Hamas, ties to NIAC, and ties to Amirahmadi. FDI's information brief on Hagel and the pro-Tehran lobby has been gaining traction.

- New satellite photos show possible emergency activity at
Fordow nuclear site after alleged explosion. The Digital Globe satellite photo at right, obtained by WorldNetDaily, shows what appears to be a mini-van entering through one of the security gates to the underground Fordow nuclear complex on Jan. 21, the day of the alleged explosion. More photographs with a detailed explanation by FDI Strategic Information coordinator Reza Kahlili can be found here.

Michael Ledeen wrote today that his own sources in Iran are confirming the explosion. Even more intriguing is a Jan. 27 report from a UPI correspondent embedded in this account that says the explosion was so powerful it was felt in a three mile radius, while local sources complained about the "imposition of a 15-mile no-traffic zone, and hours-long closure of the Tehran-Qom highway."

Feb. 6, 2013: New video details the problems with Hagel.


Jan. 30, 2013: FDI President makes the case against Hagel.
In a column published in  today's Washington Times, Ken Timmerman argues that Hagel's policies toward the Islamic Republic regime in Iran should disqualify him to become Secretary of Defense.

Jan. 28, 2013:
Letter against Hagel. FDI and prominent national leaders issued a joint letter, calling on members of the U.S. Senate to reject the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to become secretary of defense. While ì[w]e honor and appreciate Mr. Hagelís service to our nationÖ we are deeply concerned by Mr. Hagelís record and views on a broad range of national security issues, and we fear that his confirmation as defense secretary would send a dangerous signal to our enemies about Americaís willingness to do what is necessary to defend ourselves and our allies,î the letter states.

Joining FDI on the letter are Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, and Sarah Stern, president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth.  The full letter is available here.

FDI has made available to Senate offices a detailed Fact Sheet on Sen. Hagelís record when it comes to Iran. We are disturbed by Hagelís confirmation day ìconversionî when it comes to a wide range of serious issues related to Iran, since it contradicts a consistent track record over the past dozen years where Hagel has repeatedly rejected any U.S. pressure on the Islamic regime in Tehran, whether over its nuclear program, its support for terrorism, or its human rights abuses.

Jan. 21, 2013:Attorney who won Iran-9/11 case dies. FDI president Ken Timmerman joined the family and friends of Thomas E. Mellon, Jr. over the weekend in Doylestown, Pa, to celebrate the life of the man who won a historic judgment against the Islamic Republic of Iran for its involvement in the 9/11 attacks (Havlish et al v. Osama bin Laden et al). Timmerman was the lead outside investigator in the case that Mellon and his team of attorneys argued successfully before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in December 2011. Read an official obituary here

In the photo at right, Mellon (2nd from left, with the orange tie) celebrates his victory in the Iran-9/11 links case in front of U.S. District court in lower Manhattan on Dec. 15, 2011. From left to right: Thomas E. Mellon, Jr., plaintiff Grace Godshalk, plaintiff Ellen Saracini; 2nd row:
lead plaintiff, Fiona Havlish; attorney Ed Rubenstone, plaintiff Tara Bane, attorney Mary Beth Haley, attorney Richard Haley, FDI president Timmerman
,
attorney Jack Corr; back row: attorney Donald Winder, attorney Evan Yegelwel.

For more photos of Mellon and the Havlish case, visit Kenís Facebook page.


Jan. 17, 2013 - FDI President takes Hagel objections to Congress. FDI shared its objections with the nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel to become Secretary of Defense with Senators and Congressional staffers on Capitol ill this week. Here, at a forum hosted by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), Timmerman pointed out that Hagel's nomination has been welcomed by the Islamic Republic's official media. Video coming soon.

- Read the facts about Chuck
Hagel and his long-standing ties to the pro-Tehran lobby.

From that page, you can also download FDI's background briefing on the Hagel nomination and what it signifies for U.S. deterrence, Iran, and U.S. national interests.


Jan. 16, 2013: IRI confirms death sentences against 5 Ahwazi Arabs.
The Iranian supreme court this week confirmed the death sentences of five Ahwazi Arab political activists. Read more from Sharif Behruz and the Ahwaz Human Rights Organization.

Jan. 12, 2013: What's behind the triple Murder of Kurds in Paris?
Amir Taheri dives into this Parisian murder mystery. His prime suspects? A Syrian government hit team, an Iranian-backed Hezbollah hit team, or PKK dissidents unhappy with ongoing negotiations between PKK leader Abdallah Ocalan and the Turkish government.

Jan. 11, 2013: Join FDI President & CEO Ken Timmerman on Mardom TV.
Ken will be talking about FDI's opposition to the Hagel nomination, about t
he Pentagon's latest report on Iranian regime intelligence operations in the United States, and much more.  Update: complete video is now available.

Jan. 10, 2013: FDI Announces its Opposition to the Hagel nomination.
The Board of Directors of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran today released a detailed memo in opposition to Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination to become U.S. Secretary of Defense.
The FDI memo includes excerpts from Hagel's own statements on Iran, and new details of his relationships to the pro-Tehran lobby in Washington, DC. It also includes new information on Hagel's efforts as a private citizen in 2009 to lobby the Russian government against joining a State Department-led effort to step up pressure on Iran.

"Over the past four years, Congress has helped steer the U.S. administration toward policies that have increased the pressure on the Islamic regime in Tehran, while expanding on work done by the two previous administrations to build an international coalition to slow down the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iranian regime," FDI wrote.

"Chuck Hagel actively opposed these polices of confronting the Islamic Republic when he was in the U.S. Senate, and has continued to do so since then...

"At no point has Hagel shown the slightest concern for human rights abuses, religious liberty, the lack of political freedom, or the threats made by Islamic Republic leaders to Israel, to Jews worldwide, or to Americans. Instead, he has publicly stated that the United States should not seek or promote regime change, merely a change of ìbehaviorî by the current leadership. This is not just bad policy; given the nature of the clerical leadership, itís a call to genocide...
" FDI has never called ñ and is not calling today ñ for U.S. military strikes on Iran. However, for U.S. military power to have any impact on decision-making in Tehran, the Islamic Republic leadership must believe in U.S. resolve.

Senator Hagelís confirmation as Secretary of Defense would send a message of weakened U.S. resolve to the leaders of the Islamic Republic, which could serve as an inducement for aggressive behavior.

For these reasons we urge the Senate to reject Senator Hagelís nomination."

Read the full statement, with hot links to original sources and documents and additional photos.

Download a 2-page PDF version.

- Protests planned across Europe, Canada against bloggers' execution.
Human rights activists have planned a series of demonstrations in Europe, starting tomorrow, to protest the impending execution of bloggers Loghman and Zanyar Moradi, who have been in jail for the past three years. For people living in the U.S. and Canada, you can sign an on-line petition to Catherine Ashton, the European Union's top diplomat, asking for the EU to add its voice to those calling on the Islamic Republic to release the Moradi's and other political prisoners. Click here for the list of demonstrations. Read Zanyar Moradi's letter from prison.

Jan. 9, 2013: FDI joins call to investigate al Jazeera.
FDI is proud to join forces with pro-freedom advocates, journalists, and national security experts in calling for a Congressional investigation of al Jazeera, in the wake of the pro-jihadi media group's growing investments in the United States. Read the announcement. Read the letter.

Jan. 8, 2013: FDI Salutes New
York State Assemblyman Bill Nojay. FDI is proud to salute our board member Bill Nojay as he is sworn in today to his new duties as a newly-elected State Assemblyman for the 133rd district of New York. In addition to his popular radio show, his thriving international law practice, and his extensive volunteer work (that includes long years of democracy promotion around the world, in addition to working with his local fire department as an EMT and ambulance driver), Bill has been working with FDI for the past five years to help the pro-freedom movement in Iran. We invite you to read more about Bill's action-packed career, and join us in saluting him as he sworn in today. Send Bill a message of support!

Jan. 7 , 2013: Support FDI while enjoying the spectacular Shen Yun music and danse performance at the Kennedy Center.
Visit our special page to learn more about this amazing dance troop or book your tickets directly. After choosing your seats, make sure you apply the Promo code "KTKC" so FDI will get credit for your purchase. We thank the Shen Yun Performing Arts company for their willingness to support our cause with a percentage of the ticket sales for the Jan. 31 performance.


Jan. 6, 2013: More Complaints about VOA Persian Service. The Wall Street Journal today published a stinging criticism of VOA's Persian service for continuing to give voice to pro-regime "experts," while frustrating the pro-freedom movement. This waste of U.S. taxpayer dollars must be reformed - or shut down.

Dec. 26, 2012 -
Pastor Yousef back in jail. Iranian media sources are reporting that Pastor Yousef Naderkhani, who was released in September after nearly two years in jail, was rearrested on Christmas Day by the authorities in Rasht. Pastor Yousef's attorney has also been jailed and has been in Evin Prison for the past three months.

Dec. 20, 2012 - Pro-Tehran group seeks an end to sanctions.
The National Iranian-American Council, NIAC, which has consistently lobbied the U.S. government to end sanctions and engage in direct negotiations with the Tehran regime,has sent a letter to President Obama signed by 24 U.S. and European "experts," arguing that sanctions will not compel the regime to halt its nuclear weapons program. NIAC's goal, once again, is to get U.S. sanctions lifted and to provide "cover" to the Obama administration for its efforts to craft a "grand bargain" that would guarantee U.S. recognition for the Islamist regime in exchange for window-dressing concessions by Tehran. According to Hassan Daioleslam, who won a landmark defamation suit against NIAC earlier this year (see our Sept 20, 2012 entry, below), this latest NIAC letter received a "warm reception in Tehran," where a group of former regime diplomatsreported on the NIAC effort with the title, "Did the Iran Lobby Speak Out?"

Dec. 19, 2012 ñ American Pastor Arrested, Held in Evin Prison.
An Iranian-born American pastor, Saeed Abedini, has been arrested in Iran and is being held in Evin Prison on unknown charges. Abedini fled Iran with his Iranian-born wife in 2005 after threats of persecution because of his work with the underground ìhouseî church movement in Iran.

Abedini converted to Islam at the age of 20 after falling into depressing during forced recruitment by the regime to become a suicide bomber. ìChristianity saved his life,î his wife said. "When he became a Christian, he became a criminal in his own country. His passion was to reach the people of Iran.î

The State Department needs to instruct all US diplomats to name Pastor Saeed and other prisoners of conscience in Iran in ALL encounters with Iranian officials, and demand their release. This is what Reagan did ñ and it works.

(Many thanks to Lisa Daftari for reporting this story at FoxNews and to the American Center for Law and Justice for representing Pastor Saeed and his American family. 

Dec. 17, 2012: Call to Action:
Help Kick Khamenei off Facebook!

 The ìSupreme Leaderî of the Islamic Republic today boasted about opening a Facebook page, the BBC reported. Many outraged Facebook users have already ìlikedî the page, hoping in that way to post negative comments.

FDI urges supporters to take a different approach, and to use Facebookís own reporting feature to demand that the page be taken down. We've posted the steps you can take right here. It's as simple as 1-2-3-4!

Just last month, the regime jailed and then murdered Sattar Behesti for blogging and and posting to Facebook comments that were critical to the regime. He was arrested by the regimeís ìcyber policeî for ìactions against national security on social networks and Facebook.î

Khamenei should not be given the courtesy of exploiting Facebook for cynical purposes when his regime mercilessly murders activists who use it as a vehicle of political expression. "Democracy is a two-way street," says former student leader Roozbeh Farahanipour, founder of Marzeporgohar. "They can't have it both ways."

Please report the Khamenei page to Facebook NOW and demand that it be taken down. Not only is it offensive to all freedom-loving individuals, it is in clear violations of U.S. sanctions.


Dec. 12, 2012: FDIís Director of Strategic Information reveals Tehranís latest terror plot.
In collaboration with World Net Daily, FDIís Director of Stategic Information, Reza Kahlili, today revealed the latest plot by the Islamic Republic of Iran to conduct terror attacks on U.S. soil. The plot involves highly-trained Iranian regime agents, most of whom are already in the U.S., who have recruited local assets and are being funded by an Iranian-American businessman who travels frequently to Tehran. All logistics are being handled directly by the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Qods Force, General Qassem Soulemani. Targets are being cleared with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials have been made aware of the plot and are working to thwart it.

Dec. 7, 2012: A Worthy Debate.
Loghman Ahmadi, the foreign affairs representative of the Kurdish Democatic Party of Iran (KDPI), describes the debate that took place at a recent leadership coalition meeting in Prague over the relationship between Iranís minorities and the state.

While FDI does not take a position on domestic Iranian political issues, we feel strongly that Iranians need to have these debates, and we will continue to use our good offices as honest broker to generate this type of honest and forthright discussion. From our many years of experience in these debates, however, one word of caution: little is to be gained by using ìhot wordsî (such as ìseparatistî)  to condemn the parties who feel passionately about these issues. Kurds, Azeris, Balouchis, Lurs, Bakhtiaris and others are just as Iranian as those Iranians who identify themselves as Persians.


Nov. 29, 2012: FDI discloses 2nd new nuclear site


As part of its Strategic Information Project (SIP), FDI works with sources inside Iran, former intelligence officers, defectors and other                 sources to expose the secrets of the Iranian regime.  The Strategic Information Project is led by Reza Kahlili, the pseudonym for a former CIA officer who worked under cover for more than a decade inside the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards Corps on behalf of the CIA.

In partnership with WorldNetDaily, the premier investigative news site, FDI  today disclosed a 2nd secret nuclear weapons-related site in Iran, following on the heels of earlier revelations of a facility used to develop the neutron initiator for a nuclear weapon. clandestine nuclear site

The new site, code-named ìFateh-1,î appears to include extensive underground laboratories hidden beneath above ground facilities, and is located outside the small city of Shahrokhabad in Kerman Province in southeastern Iran. The plant is engaged in transforming uranium ore into yellowcake. Kahlili hints at the possibility that the underground part of the facility could be a secret centrifuge enrichment plant.

You can support FDIís Stategic Information Projects and our other programs by making a tax deductible contribution. Email us for further information.

Oct. 21, 2012: What of Obama's "October Surprise?"
Michael Ledeen calls it, ìa big nothingburgerî - talks about more talks with Iran. But in what bore all the hallmarks of an orchestrated White House leak, the NY Times on Saturday revealed that the senior Obama administration officials ìhave agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iranís nuclear program.î

FDI has consistently argued that only regime change can resolve the nuclear standoff between the West and the Islamic Republic of Iran. As the latest roundup of Christians shows (see below), the regime will cynically dangle sketchy ìprogressî on the nuclear issue in front of the United States, while arresting, torturing, and murdering its own people with impunity. FDI President Kenneth R. Timmerman, now a candidate for Congress, has issued a separate political statement on this latest development.

Oct. 19, 2012: Hundreds of Christian House Church members rounded up.
As the Iranian regime faces economic collapse because of its mismanagement of the nationís vast economic and natural resources, it once again is attempting to find scapegoats for its failures. This week, it sent the secret police to found up hundreds of members of Christian house churches, apparently in an effort to intimidate former Muslims who have become Christians.

Firouz Khandjani, a council member of the ëChurch of Iraní house church movement, told reporters earlier this week that ì at least 100, but perhaps as many as 400 people, have been detained over the last 10 daysî in Tehran and at least three other cities.

"We know that many have been forced to say they will no longer attend church services in exchange for freedom,î he said.

When Ahmadinejad first took office in 2005, he announced that one of his priorities would be to ìcrushî the house church movement in Iran. FDI calls on supporters of freedom in Iran to pray for imprisoned Christians and to lobby their governments to demand that the Iranian regime release these and other prisoners of conscience.

Oct 18 ñ Pressure mounts against EU parliament trip to Tehran. Pressure mounted this week to cancel the five-member EU Parliamentary delegation planning to visit Tehran on Oct. 27. On Oct 17, Bnai Bírith called on the EU to cancel the trip, noting that ìit would be counterproductive to the efforts being made to isolate Iran.î Also on Thursday, the EU Parliamentís Vice President, Alejo vidal-Quadras, called for the trip to be cancelled. ìSuch visits would give credit to the mullahs and is [sic] completely for the benefit of the Iranian regime to justify the repression, violation of human rights and export of fundamentalism and terrorism,î he said in Brussels.

Sept. 26, 2012: Statement from FDI President Kenneth R. Timmerman on the de-listing of the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq) by the State Department:

F
DI has long advocated for keeping the MEK on the State Departmentís list of international terrorist organizations because of its proven involvement in the murder of U.S. military officers and defense industry officials in Iran in the late 1970s. We also believe that the MEK operates as a cult, and that its brand of Islamic Marxism offers little real change from the Islamic Republic.

That battle is now over. The State Department and the Obama administration have decided to impose a statute of limitations on murdering Americans overseas. This sets a very dangerous precedent and endangers all Americans, not just our diplomats and military.

Delisting the MEK does not mean, however, that the group should get a free pass or that the FBI should abandon ongoing investigations into alleged money-laundering and racketeering charges against MEK members here in the United States.

Going forward, FDI believes that the Treasury Department should also remove the Free Life Party of Iranian Kurdistan, PJAK, from its list of international terrorist organizations.

Unlike the MEK, PJAK has never murdered Americans, has never advocated murdering Americans, and has strongly supported the United States. PJAK is a strongly secular group that stands as a bulwark against Islamist ideology. It also rejects separatism or any assault on Iranís territorial integrity.

In addition, FDI believes Congress should investigate groups such as the National Iranian American Council, NIAC, to determine whether it is operating as an unregistered foreign agent in its advocacy for pro-Tehran positions.

Sept. 20, 2012: Judge vindicates Hassan Dai.
The Free Beacon newspaper in Washington, DC wrote a detailed account of NIACís failed lawsuit against Iranian-American human rights activist Hassan Daioleslam. FDI president Kenneth R. Timmerman, now a candidate for Congress in Maryland, who is quoted in the article, pledged to conduct a Congressional investigation into NIACís alleged ties to the Iranian regime and for potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, FARA.

Sept 14, 2012: The End of NIAC as we know it.
A federal judge in Washington, DC on Thursday dismissed the long-standing NIAC lawsuit against Iranian-American activist Hassan Daioleslam, who has claimed in numerous news articles and opinion pieces that NIAC founder Trita Parsi acts as a ìlobbyistî for the the Islamic Republic of Iran. You can download the judgment here. Judge Bates also ruled that NIAC was liable to pay Dai seventy percent of his expenses, which could amount to several million dollars. This will effectively bankrupt NIAC ñ unless, of course, his masters decide to foot the bill. Parsi has become the darling of the George Soros Left. Since President Obama took office, Parsi has been invited to the White House and to private dinners with Sec/State Hillary Clinton.

It may be no coincidence that, as Mark Langfan argues in this compelling analysis, the Obama administration seems to have developed a tragic new concept of ìred linesî when it comes to dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran: ìLet's wait to attack Iran until Iran actually builds a nuclear bomb, and then we can't attack Iran because Iran has the nuclear bomb. ì Drawing on the unclassified annual ì721 reportî the CIA presents annually to Congress on the WMD capabilities of rogue states, Langfan argues that the overwhelming majority of Iranís stockpile of enriched uranium was produced since 2009, ìso Obama can't blame Iran's U235 enrichment on Bush. The 721 reports prove Iranian enrichment happened on Obama's "watch."

In his opinion, Judge Bates cites email exchanges between Hassan Dai and FDI founder and CEO Kenneth R. Timmerman (NIAC tried unsuccessfully as part of its harassment campaign to compel Timmermanís testimony in the case). Judge Bates noted on p 14 that ìTimmerman pushed [DAI] to muster more factual support for his allegationsÖIn other words, Timmerman asked precisely the sorts of questions that an editor should, and defendant apparently responded to them appropriately.î

Timmerman commented: ìI am pleased that I was able to assist Hassan Dai in firming up his important research into the lobbying activities of Trita Parsi and NIAC, which always seemed to correspond to the letter to the policy goals of the Islamic Republic of Iran.î

Sept 2, 2012: Why NIAC and IRI apologists are mobilizing against Ken Timmerman.
Please read this important post by FDI advisory board member, Dr. Arash Irandoost, regarding malicious, defamatory emails being circulating by NIAC sympathizers in Texas.

Aug 30, 2012: FDI joins letter to Rep. Rohrabacher.
FDI CEO Kenneth R.  Timmerman has joined Iranian-Americans and other activists in a letter to Rep. Rohrabacher that sets out the history of Azeribaijan's ties to Iran. The letter ends with an exhortation to Mr. Rohrabacher to avoid the mistakes made by Obama, who ignored the cries of the Iranian people in June 2009 and turned a deaf ear to the murder of  Neda.

- Ban Ki Moon: UN supports freedom in Iran. After being roundly criticized for lending legitimacy to the regime by traveling to Tehran for the Non-Aligned Movement summit, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon gave a brilliant speech to Iranian academics calling for greater freedom and respect for human rights by the regime. We have our serious concerns on the human rights abuses and violations in this country," he told the group. Ban also warned the regime to loosen its stranglehold on political dissent. "Restricting freedom of expression and suppressing social activism will only set back development and plant the seeds of instability," he said. It is especially important for the voices of Iranís people to be heard during next yearís presidential election. That is why I have urged the authorities during my visit this time to release opposition leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and social activists to create the conditions for free expression and open debate." Surely not the music the regime had been expecting!

Aug. 29, 2012: Iranians join on-line petition against Rohrbacher letter.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's July 26 letter to Sec/State Hillary Clinton (see below) has ignited a firestorm within the Iranian-American community. FDI invites our supporters to sign an on-line petition calling on Mr. Rohrabacher to retract his letter. "Any calls for separatism, such as the statement from Rep. Rohrabacher, are dangerous, ill-informed, and contrary to the expressed desires of the overwhelming majority of the people of Iran," said FDI founder and president Kenneth R. Timmerman, who has signed the petition.

Aug. 27, 2012: Iranian defector blasts Fakhravar.
Former Iranian intelligence officer Hamid Reza Zakeri released a second document purporting to be an MOIS letter granting a passport to self-styled "student" leader, Amir Abbas Fakhravar, for use in overseas operations. Zakeri explains his allegations on Mardom TV (starting at 1h:15min in the program.


Aug. 24, 2012: No Political Prisoners? Iran has "no political prisoners," according to  Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary to the judiciary's so-called "human-rights committee." Read Washington Institute analyst Mehdi Khalaji's excellent Wall Street Journal oped about the "human rights opening" in Iran." Meanwhile, this week Supreme Leader freed 130 "political prisoners" from jail as part of an annual amnesty to coincide with the Eid el-Fitr celebrations. So which is it?

Aug. 23, 2012: Women barred from science, industry.
Nobel peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi  sent a letter to the United Nationsl today complaining that the regime has decided to bar women from studying dozens of subjects, including nuclear physics and materials engineering, both key for the oil industry. Also closed to women starting this year are computer science, civil engineering, English translation, and chemistry. "For the coming academic year, 36 universities have closed 77 academic fields to women," she said.

Aug. 22, 2012: Christian pastor faces new charges. In their ongoing persecution of Christian pastor Youcef Naderkhani, the regime appears to have dropped apostasy charges, but now plans to try him for "banditry and extortion." This is yet another outrage from a regime that has vowed to "break" the effervescent house church movement inside Iran. Naderkhani's lawyer, who was disbarred by the regime earlier this year, will apparently be allowed to attend his trial in the coming days, although he was told international human rights groups that he is "not aware" of the new charges against his client.

Aug. 18, 2012: Escalation from Tehran. On Friday, Ahmadinejad proclaimed Israel ìan insult to all humanityî and 
ìa tumorî that needs to be wiped out, during a speech marking ìJerusalem Dayî in Tehran. Meanwhile, on Saturday Revolutionary Guards General Amir Ali Hajizadeh warned that any Israeli strike on Iran would provoke swift retaliation, allowing Tehran to "dump [Israel] into the dustbin of history."

In comments broadcast by the regimeís English language network, Press TV, Gen. Hajizadeh threatened nuclear retaliation. ìIf the loud cries of the leaders of the Zionist regime are materialized, it would be the best opportunity for obliterating this fake regime from the face of the earth and dumping it into the dustbin of history,î Hajizadeh said.

Aug. 16, 2012: MOIS Defector releases document on Fakhravar.
A defector from the Islamic Republicís Ministry of Intelligence, Hamid Reza Zakeri, has released a series of documents revealing alleged operational ties between a self-styled ìstudentî leader, Amir Abbas Fakhravar, and MOIS.


The third of five documents, released today, purports to be a letter from September 2004, signed by an MOIS official named Heshmatollah Mahdavi, giving instructions to a judge to release
Fakhravar from prison, where the letter states he was serving time for illegally excavating and selling antiquities. In the letter, stamped TOP SECRET, Mahdavi asks the court to waive the rest of Fakhravarís prison sentence ìin exchange for pending service to the ministry in a classified operationî that Mahdavi will describe to the chief of the Revolutionary court in person.

After Zakeri began releasing earlier documents in this series, Fakhravar allegedly sent him a number of Facebook messages, including these,where he threatened ìto cutî Zakeriís wife and child, an MOIS euphemism for ìmurder.î

Fakhravar has denied the authenticity of these documents, and FDI is not in a position without seeing the originals to determine their authenticity.

Fakhravar is a divisive figure who burst on the scene in the United States in 2006, miraculously ìescapingî from Iran on a fresh Iranian passport by flying to Dubai, where he was met by supporters who arranged for him to come to the United States. He has claimed to be a leader of the student uprising of 1999, although he has told FDI that he was then serving as a medic in a local police hospital where he helped treated student casualties, or (in another version) as a law student.

Several people who later got to know Fakhravar when he was transferred from the criminal Qasr prison to the political wing in Evin prison have provided testimony shedding doubt on his claims to be a political dissident. Interviewed in different countries over a period of several years, they all pointed to his close ties to the prison warden, his ability to acquire street clothes, a cellphone, and other amenities forbidden political prisoners.

Fakhravar's supporters have swept aside this testimony as rumor and hearsay from his political enemies and have provided an extensive account of his counter-claims. For additional background, see this Nov. 2011 article in the New English Review.

Last September, a group of 102 former student activists and leaders wrote a confidential letter to the Library of Congress, claiming that the student organization Fakhravar claims to head is a fake. ìThe student confederation you refer to is a small group in [the] Washington, DC area that has no base among the Iranian students within the country or other locations in the world,î they wrote.

Aug 15,  2012: NIAC lobbies candidates and incumbents.
In a brazen lobbying email sent to Members of Congress and candidates, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and its left-wing allies offered an ìoff-the-record policy and messaging webinarî on Iran policy, featuring NIAC president Trita Parsi, to be conducted on Sept 12 at 2 PM Eastern time.

NIAC and its associates have consistently sought to lobby Congress and the executive branch to remove sanctions on Iran and negotiate with the Iranian regime.  During the 2008 election campaign, NIAC blasted the outgoing Bush administration for failing to ìreach outî to Tehran, despite the fact that the U.S. held no fewer than 28 high-level negotiating sessions with Iranian regime officials from 2001-2008, to no avail.

Aug. 13, 2012: War by Oct. 1?
The next IAEA report is expected to detail new progress by the Iranian regime in uranium enrichment. According to Debkafile, the report will show that Iran will have 250 kilograms of 20-percent enriched uranium by October 1. This is enough to make a 1945-generation nuclear device ñ and enough for several more sophisticated weapons. Debkafile believes Israel will be compelled to launch military strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities after the U.S. national political conventions at the end of this month ñ and at the latest by October 1.

July 26, 2012: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher calls for U.S. to back Azeri separatist movement.
In a bizaare move, California Republican Dana Rohrabacher has written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging the United States to support the "reunification" of Iranian Azeris with Azerbaijan. This is precisely what the Soviet Union tried to do in 1947 when it backed a breakaway Azeri Republic in Iran - a move that led President Truman to threaten the use of nuclear weapons against the Soviets at the very start of the Cold War. "The people of Azerbaijan are geographically divided and many are calling for the reunification of their homeland after nearly two centuries of foreign rule," Rohrabacher wrote. "Aiding the legitimate aspirations of the Azeri people for independence is a worthy cause in and of itself," he added.

FDI has consistently supported the rights of ethnic minorities in Iran in their quest for political freedom and human rights, and we have moderated a number of workshops and conferences where various forms of federalism or confederation within the confines of a united Iran
were discussed. In his understandable desire to make life more difficult for the ruling Islamic Republic, however, Rep. Rohrabacher is openly advocating separatism, a stance that only plays into the hands of the Tehran regime.

July 1, 2012: Former VOA reporter
Jamshid Charlangi interviews FDI president Kenneth R. Timmerman.

June 4, 2012: Iranian-Americans urge California legislature to adopt sanctions. In a letter to California state Senator Samuel Blankesless, a group of Iranian-Americans urged the adoption of S.R. 29, which would require the St.ate of California to impose tough new sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

June 2, 2012: Iranian regime allows Nazi Propaganda website to go live.
In a country where the state strictly controls Internet access, it is no accident when an outrageous Nazi propaganda website suddenly goes on line, praising Hitler for transforming Germany. Meanwhile, in the U.S., Code Pink and 1970s feminist Gloria Steinem shower the Tehran regime with praise. No surprise there.

May 25, 2012: FDI CEO Kenneth Timmerman column on Iran negotiations.
In a column with the Daily Caller, Timmerman warned of the dangers of phony negotiations with the Islamic Republic leadership over their nuclear program. In the lead-up to yet another round of negotiations with U.S. and Western government representatives in Baghdad, Timmerman warned that the regime's goal was to keep on "talking about talks, not about substance," all the while buying more time so the uranium enrichment centrifuges could keep spinning.

May 5, 2012: Iranian-Americans protest appearance by pro-Tehran lobbyists Trita Parsi in Sweden.
More than 1,400 Iranian-Americanssigned a letter to the Swedish Foreign Ministry to protest their hosting an event with Parsi in Stockholm, one month after a U.S. court rejected NIAC defamation experts in their harrassment lawsuit against Hassan Dai.

April 17, 2012: Iranian regime says it "will not tolerate" fall of Assad.
Syria's Assad has been a staunch ally of the Tehran regime since the earliest days of the revolution, and Tehran is backing him to the hilt as he brutally suppresses protestors. Now the Islamic Republic claims to have established a "joint war room" with the Syrian leadership, while ordering Hezbollah into action to defend Assad.

March 8, 2012: Ten minutes to midnight on the Iran War clock.
FDI is happy to to take part in the Iran War Clock project of the Atlantic Monthly, even though it includes many "experts" we don't consider experts on Iran, as well as some people we normally wouldn't exchange greetings with. The conclusions are a mathematical averaging of our views, not a consensus. For example, FDI's view is that there is an 85% chance of war - why? Mainly because of the appeasement policies of Obama and the pro-mullah regime lobby, which is also represented on this panel, and their acolytes in Congress.

Feb. 28, 2012: Your letters count. Regime appears to back down on Pastor Youcef death sentence.
The international outcry against the death sentence handed down last week against pastor Youcef Nadarkhani for "apostasy" - that is, for becoming a Christian and refusing to recant his faith - appears to be having an impact. FoxNews reported yesterday that despite official statements from the regime that Pastor Youcef's was "immanent," as of Sunday he was still alive and in good spirits. FDI President and CEO Ken Timmerman will talk about what you can do to help Pastor Youcef tonight on the Michael Savage show at around 8:30 PM Eastern. The American Center for Law and Justice has set up a special website with activists' tools - twitter, facebook, on-line petitions - so you can add your voice to the outcry to set free this prisoner of faith.  In addiiton, Representatives Trent Franks, Frank Wolf, Joe Pitts and Keit Ellison are sponsoring H.Res. 556 that condemns the Iranian regime for its ongoing oppression of religious minorities.

Ahmadinejad pledge when he took office in 2005 to "break" the underground church in Iran, and has relentlessly persecuted house churches and Muslim converts to Christianity. On Monday, a court in Kermanshah, in Western Iran, condemned schoolteacher Masoud Delijani to three years in prison, solely because of his Christian faith. Arrests of Christians in Kermanshah has intensified following an edict from the intelligence services on November, calling on the police to monitor the activities of foreigners, Christians and other minorities.

Feb. 19, 2012: Former Mossad operative: Thailand hit team fit Iranian government M.O. 
Apologists for the Iranian regime say Iran couldn't possilby have been behind the recent spate of anti-Israeli attacks around the world because of the amateur-ishness of the would-be bombers. But former Mossad operative Michael Ross says otherwise in this piece from Canada's National Post.

Face of an alleged terrorist?: One alleged member of the Bangkok hit squad escaped and fled back to Tehran, a woman named Leila Rohani. FDI sources have provided us with a copy of what purports to be her oficial passport.

Feb. 17, 2012: Iranian regime bombers in Thailand.
Authorities in Thailand yesterday released this photograph of three Iranian-born bomb suspects partying with local Thai women in Pattaya, during a stay in the resort town shortly before an aborted terror spree in Bankok. Israeli officials believe was the Bangkok hit team was part of a worldwide series of Iranian-government attacks on Israeli diplomats. Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh, left, was arrested in Malaysia, Mohammad Khazaei, center, was detained at Suvarnabhumi Airport, and Saied Moradi was lost a leg when a grenade he tossed at police bounced back at him. The day before their arrest, other terrorist cells believed to be tied to Tehran attacked Israeli embassy personnel and their families in India and Georgia.


Feb. 12, 2012: Day of Infamy in Iran.
For some two million Iranians who fled tyranny in their country and came to America to embrace our freedoms, February 12 will forever remain a day of infamy. FDI has been dedicated to helping the pro-freedom movement in Iran. Read executive director Kenneth R. Timmerman's commemoration of this day of infamy, and his message to the Iranian people. "We must finally understand that itís not the behavior of the regime that poses a threat to world security; itís the very existence of this regime," Timmerman writes.Watch the video here


Feb. 11, 2012: Internet going down in Iran. How you can help.
The Tor Project, a non-profit venture that provides anti-censorship proxy tools free of charge to users in countries such as Iran, just announced a crash effort to circumvent newly-erected cyber-walls around local ISPs, as the regime attempts to erect a CyberCurtain around Iran in the approach to next month's parliamentary elections. TOR is asking users with spare computer capacity in the West to set up "obfuscated bridge" servers. "This kind of help is not for the technically faint of heart but it's absolutely needed for people in Iran, right now. It's likely that more than ~50,000 - ~60,000 Tor users may drop offline," Tor Project's Jacob Appelbaum said. Technical instructions are here, and more complete information is available at Tor-talk. CNET is reporting that Internet-savvy users in Iran also are circumventing the blackout using VPN - virtual private networks - in addition to TOR and similar tools, CNET is reporting.

Jan. 16, 2012: Iranian-American researcher murdered in
Houston - the intel wars begin? According to initial police reports, someone walked up to Gelareh Bagherzadeh's car as she was about to park by her parents home in Houston, and shot her three times in the head through the window. They excluded robbery as a motive, since the assassin made no attempt to steal her purse, which was sitting on the front seat.

Gelareh had been photographed taking part in anti-regime demonstrations organized by Sabz Iran, a pro-green movement group in Texas, but so far the FBI has not opened an investigation - just as they have never opened an investigation into the alleged "suicide" of Ahmed Rezai, son of former Rev. Guards commander Gen. Mohsen Rezai, in Dubai on Nov. 12.

Jan. 13, 2012: "War or regime change," financial analyst says. In a refreshingly clear-headed exchange on Bloomberg television, financial analyst and author James Rickards examined recent talks between U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner and the Chinese authorities and said they were all aimed at warning the Chinese that U.S. sanctions would be imposed on Chinese companies if they continued trading with Iran, and reassuring China that it would get the oil it needs to drive its economy. "It's about making sure they get replacement oil," Rickards said.

War with Iran "began two years ago," he said. "2010 was the year of cyber warfare. 2011 was the year of special operations," with the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists and sabotage of facilities. "2012, it's a full scale financial war." How Iran responds to the mounting pressures against it will determine the outcome. "Either there's going to be a regime change in Iran, or the Iranians will steer away from their nuclear program, or there's going to be a shooting war in Iran. It will be one of those three options."

Rickards didn't hold out much hope that Iran would back off its nuclear ambitions, and at the end of the program shortened his short list: The "divide and conquer game has been going on for three years. It's over... It's going to be war or regime change."

Jan. 4, 2012: Grover Norquist, Mullah's Ally.
Anti-tax campaigner Grover
Norquist has used the resources of his Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) organization to help hard-left and pro-Tehran groups lobby against U.S. sanctions on Iran, a new report reveals. Norquist ally, Michael Ostrolenk (see photo), offered the ATR office suite to host a meeting to establish an anti-sanctions lobbying coalition in November 2007 that was spearheaded by Trita Parsi and his National Iranian-American Council (NIAC). Ostrolenk's group, the American Conservative Defense Alliance (ACDA) was "a founder and leader" of the anti-sanctions effort, known as Campaign for a New American Policy for Iran (CNAPI), the report states.

Norquist appears to have understood he was skating on thin ice, and never publicly signed on to CNAPI's pro-Tehran lobbying campaign, even though he allowed them to use the ATR office for organizational meetings.  As Parsi himself pointed out in an email to other members of the anti-Bush administration alliance, Norquist was a big get. "He exemplifies not just a powerful voice in the Republican Party, but also an important figure that can provide transpartisan legitimacy to our efforts," Parsi wrote.

CNAPI's efforts against U.S. sanctions on Iran were supported in part by George Soros through his Open Society Institute, which paid the salary of a CNAPI staffer. The coalition included the hard-left Institute for Policy Studies; the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), J Street, and the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) .

"The founder of NIAC, Trita Parsi is an unpopular figure within the Iranian-American community, as can be seen from his high disapproval ratings in a July 2011 poll of over 1800 Iranian Americans taken by the Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran," writes Iranian-American activist Manda Zand Ervin. "If Mr. Norquist is supporting these apparently unabashed lobbyists out of a humanitarian concern for the people of Iran, he should know that a large majority of Iranian people have no problem with economic sanctions if they result in the removal of this illegitimate, dictatorial regime," she added.

ï Iran again asks Germany to expel German citizen...! During a meeting with German parliamentarians in Tehran on Wednesday, the head of the Iranian majles Human rights commnission asked Germany to expel PJAK leader Abdulrahman Haj Ahmadi, on allegations of terrorism, Fars News agency reported. Zohreh Elahian demanded that extradite Ahmadi to Iran, neglecting to mention that he has been a German citizen for decades.

The Iranian regime has repeatedly demanded that the EU arrest and deport Ahmadi, and at one point managed to get Interpol to issue a Red notice for his arrest, as we reported last year. This latest Iranian demand comes less than one week after PJAK forces kileld 8 IRGC members and local Kurdish militiamen working for the IRGC during a clash near the Iranian Kurdish city of Baneh on Dec. 28. In its version of events, PJAK claims the regime is trying to violate the 5-month old ceasefire in Kurdistan and pin the blame on PJAK. If the regime continues these attacks, "we will use the right of self defence and respond to them as we did in July last year," a PJAK spokesman in Europe told FDI.

Jan. 3, 2012: Tabarzadi's Video from Prison. A former student leader who has been in and out of jail for years managed to send an unusual 15-minute cellphone video message to the outside world and get it posted on YouTube. Heshmatollah Tabarzadi apparently filmed the message from Rajayishahr prison, where he predicted that the regime's attempts to silence dissent would fail. "I believe freedom is the essence of being human," he said. "Without freedom, choice has no meaning."  The Tabarazadi video and an earlier one of prominent political prisoners taken inside Gohardasht prison are "example[s] of social media providing Iranian activists a platform on which they can express themselves more freely than through other, frequently heavily censored media,"
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty commented.

 



 

 

 

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