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Read the State Department's 2007 report on Human Rights abuses in Iran (released March 11, 2008)
Read the latest Mideast headlines here.
line during VOA broadcast. The regime's
cut the phone line of Parastou Forouhar in Tehran, as
she was being
interviewed live on Voice of America by Bijan Farhoudi
Nov. 22. The VEVAK action shows the continued
sensitivity of the regime
to any mention of the Forouhar murders, which continue
to provide a rallying point for opponents
of the regime.
URGENT ACTION: Nov. 13, 20008: PROTEST NIAC CAPITULATION PLAN
Call Sen. Carper's office: 202-224-2441, and Rep. John Tierney's office 202-225-8020 using the script below
NIAC is at it again. Now they are
together with pro-Tehran regime policy analysts, to
disastrous “new” policy for the incoming Obama
According to a report from the Associated Press today, they will present their proposals next Tuesday in Congress. Key among the proposals: the U.S. should "back off" on economic and military threats.
"Threats are not cowing Iran and the current regime in Tehran is not in imminent peril," according to a copy of the report obtained by The Associated Press.
The NIAC-sponsored report, written by former U.S. ambassadors Thomas Pickering and James F. Dobbins, Columbia University scholar Gary G. Sick and 17 other experts, calls on the new administration to "open the door to direct, unconditional and comprehensive negotiations at the senior diplomatic level,” the AP reported.
Recall that Pickering and Dobbins have been working for many years with another pro-regime lobbyist, Hooshang Amirahmadi, and his discredited American-Iranian Council. As for Gary Sick, he coordinated Iran policy in the White House of Jimmy Carter – a credential that ought to disqualify him from uttering the name of “Iran” ever again.
Amirahmadi was recently humiliated during several trips to Tehran by regime government ministers who ridiculed him for trying to curry favor in Washington and Tehran.
URGENT ACTION: CALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO PROTEST THIS GATHERING.
I am calling to urge you to oppose a new plan being proposed to the Obama administration next Tuesday, that calls for negotiations without preconditions with the clerical dictatorship in Iran.
This plan is being proposed to you by a group of well-known pro-Tehran lobbyists, with no claim of representing the Iranian people or their aspirations.
The Foundation for Democracy in Iran and other pro-democracy groups strongly reject negotiations with the Tehran regime. Negotiations will only embolden the regime to continue its support for terrorism abroad and repression at home. Negotiations are the wrong policy at the wrong time.
[And if you have more time, you can include this]:
Instead of loosening sanctions, as NIAC and the pro-regime lobbyists are urging, I urge you to support stronger, multilateral sanctions at the UN Security Council, and continued financial sanctions through the U.S. Department of Treasury.
A senior French government official, recently visiting Washington, urged the new administration to abandon the folly of negotiations with Tehran.
“We’ve been negotiating with the Iranians since 2003,” said French nuclear advisor Therese Delpech. “We came to the conclusion that they are not interested at all in negotiating, but in buying time for their military (nuclear) program.”
The Good Guys: Call these members to urge them to intervene with their colleagues to cancel this meeting:
• Sen. Joe Lieberman (D, Conn). Since the report will be presented by law professor Richard Parker of the University of Connecticut, Sen. Lieberman needs to be kept in the loop and can help. Tel: 202 224-4041. Key staffer on Iran: Joe Goffman and Vance Serchuk.
• Rep. Eric Cantor (R, Va). 202-225-2815. Chief of staff, Rob Collins.
• Rep. Trent Franks (R, Az). 202-225-4576 Key staffer: Rebeccah Heinrichs.
• Rep. Brad Sherman (D, Ca). 202-225-5911. Key staffer for Iran: Don MacDonald.
• Rep. Steve Rothman (D, NJ). 202-225-5061. Key staffers: Bob Decheine and Shelly Stoneman
• Rep Steve Israel (D, NY). 202-225-3335. Key staffer, Michael Ryan.
• Rep. Roy Blunt (R, Mo). 202-225-6536. Retiring as minority whip but staying in the House. Key staffer: Brian Diffell.
• Rep. Paul Broun (R, Ga). 202-225-4101
The Bad Guys: Call these members to shame them for supporting a radical, terrorist regime that continues to murder Americans in Iraq, that represses its own women, jails its journalists, and murders its children.
•Sen. Chuck Hagel (R, NE). Hagel is retiring after this term, but has been a strong NIAC supporter.202-225-4224.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D, MD). Van Hollen has helped NIAC in the past and is the chair of the DCCC. Tel: 202-225-5341. Chief of Staff: Karen Robb.
• Rep. Jim Moran (D, Va). Moran is arguably NIAC’s biggest supporter. He needs to be shamed.202-225-4376. Chief of Staff: Phil Sunderland
On the Fence: Call these members to urge them to get involved.
• Rep. Howard Berman (D, CA). Rep. Berman is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs committee. 202-225-5021 Key staffer for Iran: Alan Makovsky.
Demonstrations continue at Ahmadinejad dinner.
has pictures of this protest, across from the
Grand Hyatt in
(which is owned
Obama's National finance chair, heiress Penny
Spearheading this protest were the 911 Families, ACT
for America, the
alliance of Iranian Women, Concerned Women of
America, the Center for
Security Policy, StandWithUs, and two dozen other
organizations. A full
list of the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Shame (the
guest list) is
available from www.925rally.org.
In a glowing report entitled "My Dinner With Ahmadinejad," Wall Street Journal reporter Farnaz Fassihi revealed shocking comments made by the bearded boy wonder to a room that periodically (according to Fassihi) burst into sympathetic applause. "If you don't fix your attitude," Ahmadinejad warned the United States and the West, "then Iran will uproot all the equations in the world and replace it with justice."
Sept. 24: Assadollah
dies in Los Angeles. A figurehead of the
community in the United States passed away on
Morovati, who arrived penniless in America after the
Revolution, displayed the resourcefulness and
patriotism that is the
hallmakr of the Iranian-American community. After
turning a significant
profit on a small real estate investment, Mr Morovati
earnings not in self-indulgent pleasures, but in
Voice of Iran (KSRI),
whose satellite broadcasts into Iran became a voice of
Iranians. FDI mourns the loss of a man who was a
patriot to his home
country and to his adopted homeland here in America,
himself to freedom as few people ever do. RIP.
Sept 23, 2008: FDI joins human rights groups in letter to UN chief, protesting treating of political prisoners.
In a letter sent to UN Secretary
Ki-moon, FDI joined other 11 human rights
organizations and two Iranian
political organizations in
demanding that the government of the Islamic
Republic of Iran "release
all Kurdish and Iranian political prisoners of
conscience." The letter
came after 29 days of an "unlimited" hunger strike
that began on Aug.
25, 2008 by more than 200 Kurdish prisoners of
conscience in Iranian
jails. Most of these prisoners "have been subjected
torture, arbitrary arrest, and denied the
right to an attorney,"
the letter states. "Many have signed forced
confessions under torture,
and are ill treated in prison, where their dignity
and civil rights are
being violated on a regular basis."
Among the signatories were the Leadership Human Rights Council, the American Kurdish Association, the Kurdish American Education Society, the Ahwaz Human Rights Organizaiton, the Society for Human Rights in Iran, Willing Heart Mission, american Friends of Baluchistan, and the Free Life Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PJAK).
Sept 22, 2008: Mass protests of Ahmadinejad visit to the UN in New York. Over 20,000 protesters gathered in New York on Monday, Sept 22, on the eve of this year's visit to the UN by Ahmadinejad, at an event across from the UN.. The protest organizers had initially invited Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY) and Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin to address the rally. But after the Obama campaign urged Hillary Clinton pulled out, Jewish Democrats "disinvited" Sarah Palin and the demonstration was a dud. (The New Yortk Here was a great opportunity for a display of bi-partisan determination to stop the Islamic Republic from going nuclear, sabotaged by Democrats for partisan political purposes.
2008: Opposition journalist executed in Zahedan. A
Iranian Baluchi journalist, Yaghub Mehrnehad, was
executed in public in
the capital of Iranian Baluchestan on Monday.
Mehrnehad was a
member of the secular nationalist Marze Por Gohar
party, but was
accused by the regime of ties to Jondollah, a
violent group based in
Pakistan that has slaughtered Iranian policemen and
Guards soldiers after taking them hostage. In a
statement released in
Los Angeles today, MPG called the allegations that
Mehrnehad had ties
to Jondollah "a smear," and called him "a true
"In the Islamic Republic of Iran,
destined for conviction and execution, are usually
numerous and outrageous offenses in order to prevent
organizations from coming to their defense," an MPG
According to Amnesty International,
was arrested in May 2007 after an article he wrote
in the reformist
newspaper, Mardomsalar ("People's Rule"), angered
the regime. Mehrnehad
also had founded an NGO called Sedaye Edalat ("Voice
July 27, 2008: Opposition group demonstrates at Tehran funeral. Supporters of Marze Por Gohar, a secular nationalist party inside Iran, demonstrated at the funeral of prominent Iranian actor Khosrow Shakibai in Tehran last week, in defiance of regime officials. MPG supporters carried anti-regime political posters, with the MPG logo clearly in evidence, and booed a regime official when he attempted to read a message from president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (Go here for more pictures from the funeral). Shakibai, who made his first film in 1982, became a cult figure when he starred in the 1989 film, Hamoun. (Read the Wiki bio of Shakibai here).
The Iranian regime is starting to pay attention to the activities of MPG, whose founder, Roozbeh Farahanipour, was a key figure during the 1999 student uprising in Tehran. At the time, Farahanipour worked closely with Khosrow Seif, who succeeded Darioush Forouhar as secretary general of the Iran Nation's Party after Forouhar and his wife Parvaneh were brutally murdered in their Tehran home in November 1998.
During this year's anniversary of the 1999 uprising,
Farahanipour appeared with Khosrow Seif and other
leaders of the 1999
student uprising on a day-long satellite program
beamed into Iran by
PARS TV, based in Los Angeles. According to PARS TV
Shadjareh, the Iranian regime responded immediately to
the broadcast by jamming
PARS TV signals in the
following days so the channel could not be
seen inside Iran. The
jamming was "no accident," Shadjareh said. "This act
happened immediately after the special program
commemorating the 18th
of Tir [July 9th] Student uprising of 1999...."
June 19, 2008: NIAC reportedly spent U.S. Congressional funds on regime-affiliated agencies in Tehran! In stunning revelations that appeared inFrontpage magazine today, Iranian research Hassan Daioleslam reveals that the National Iranian American Council used money from a 2002 grant from the National Endowment for Democracy to train officials at an Iranian state-affiliated agency in Tehran, contrary to the stated purpose of the NED grant. While the money was appropriated by Congress to promote civil society in Iran, NIAC "spent these funds on trivial activities aimed at enhancing false-flag Iranian NGOs, that were in fact managed and controlled by Iranian Deputy Ministers or high level officials - making a mockery of the term “Non-Governmental," Daioleslam writes. Among the Tehran-based "NGO's that were assisted by NIAC under the NED grant was an outfit called Hamyran, which "is not an NGO but a government initiated false flag agency... managed by the deputy minister and undersecretary of health, Hossein Malek-Afzali," Dailoleslam added. A second "NGO" aided by NIAC under the NED grant was the Family Planning Association, also headed by Malek-Afzali and Iranian government official Safieh Afshari.
June 1, 2008: The latest report from the IAEA secretariat to the Board of Governors shows that Iran is rapidly expanding its uranium enrichment installations in Natanz. In the report, the IAEA says Iran has operated its first 3,000 centrifuge "unit" for the past year, and is in the process of isntalling four other similar-sized units. (A single 3,000 centrifuge unit has the capability, if so used, to produce enough highly-enriched uranium for a bomb per year, according to most estimates). Since February 2007, Iran has fed 3,970 kg of UF6 into the cascades.
The report also includes an appendix listing the documents IAEA received - and now has shown Iran - relating to alleged nuclear weapons work and design of a nuclear-capable warhead for the Shahab-3 missile.
The full report can be downloaded
May 29, 2008: Monarchist reportedly faces imminent execution in Tehran. Dr. Forood Fouladvand, a self-styled monarchist who disappeared along with two associates on the Turkish border with Iran on Jan. 17, 2007, now faces imminent execution by the Iranian authorities, Iranian exiles in London tell FDI. According to these sources, Dr. Fouladvand will be executed tomorrow. "He is like the Robert Spencer of Iran," one supporter in London said. "He has been studying Islamic texts and using them to convince people to leave Islam" on radio and satellite television broadcasts from London.
Dr. Fouladvand heads a group called Anjomane Padeshahi Iran (API), the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, which advocates restoration of the constitutional monarchy abolished by the Islamic Republic in 1979. He had gone to Iran, apparently lured by promises from an opposition group that was either infiltrated by the regime or that had been cooped by the regime. Fouladvand was traveling with a fake passport under the name of Jahangir Irani and disappeared along with two supporters, identified on his website as Simorgh and Kouroshe Lor.
Over the past few years, The Kingdom Assembly of Iran
staged a number of high-profile protests against the
regime in Europe,
prompting the British authorities to raid
Fouladvand's offices in London on June 17, 2005,
the day of the
Iranian presidential elections, According to the
report, Scotland Yard issued a search warrant under
the Terrorism Act
of 2000 on the grounds that "Fouladvand has been been
campaign for the
overthrow of the Iranian government via satellite
broadcasts" and was
"raising money to facilitate this action" on
television. In addition to
beating Dr. Fouladvand and several supporters, and
computers and other documents, the British authorities
briefcase containing £7,262.41 in cash which they
been raised "for the unlawful overthrow of the Iranian
far, the British government has not apologized for its
returned the money.
NIAC and Parsi file lawsuit
against critics. The
National Iranian American Council and its president,
Parsi, have filed a civil lawsuit in the District
Court for the
District of Columbia against Hassan Daioleslam,
alleging that recent
he has published defamed and
harmed their reputation. In a press release today,
NIAC claimed that
Daioleslam "mischaracterized NIAC's anti-war and
activities as serving the interest of the Iranian
government." (Gee, if
this were true, it sounds like what the New York
Times does with
Republicans every day!). "[D]despite NIAC's efforts,
continued to do nothing but defame
NIAC through defamation," the press release
states. The group,
which Daioleslam has called "the Iranian lobby" in
the United States,
then tossed out a piece of malicious slander of its
own, alleging that
Daioleslam "has been identified by former members of
terrorist-listed Mujahedin organization as a member
of the group's
executive committee," an allegation which they know
In the complaint, NIAC claims that
assertions made by Daioleslam "are false," even
backed up those assetions with documents made
Internet links so that readers could judge the merit
of his claims.
NIAC and Parsi take issue with Daioleslam's account
of how NIAC was
founded, its relationship to Iranian oil consultant
and middle man,
Siamack Namazi, the efforts of former Iranian deputy
Sadegh Kharrazi to encourage the creation a
pro-Tehran lobby, and
Parsi's part in releasing to the public a 2003
negotiation offer by the
Iranian regime, which Washington rejected after
Tehran was caught
backing the May 2003 al Qaeda attack in Riyadh,
In a recent interview with Frontpage magazine, Daioleslam describes in detail the Iranian government strategy to create a pro-regime lobby in the United States, and attributes that strategy to Sadegh Kharazzi. Trita Parsi and Siamak Namazi used precisely the same logic in a 1999 paper they co-authored and presented at an international conference, in which they advocated the creation of an "Iranian-American lobby... needed in order to create a balance between the competing Middle Eastern lobbies." (Daioleslam's response in Persian is here.)
In recent months, Iranian-Americans have protested NIAC events in California and elsewhere. So far, Iranian-Americans have responded overwhelmingly in Daioleslam's support. "We should treat this lawsuit as if we were all sued by NIAC," one UCLA student wrote. "It should be treated like a political campaign, where Mr. Daioleslam should not have to worry."
Update: Dr. Mohammad
director of MEHR, has taken apart NIAC's recent
efforts to recast
themselves as a human rights organization. "Being exposed and on the
run, NIAC has
discovered that to remain an active promoter of IRI,
a little lip
service to human rights doesn’t hurt," Dr.
May 14, 2008: Protests in Tehran and Bandar Abbas over bad blood. A group of Thalassemia patients who receive blood every month have protested poor health conditions and tainted blood in Iranian hospitals in Bandar Abbas and Hormozogan province. (The slogan on the yellow jersey worn by the young woman at left reads "Clean Blood.")
Yesterday, a patients rights group presented a letter of protest to Minister of Health and Treatyment, Dr. Kamran Bagheri Lankarani, requesting that the ministry correct problems that led to patients contracting Hepatitus and HIV from tainted blood. "Mr. Minister, these are some issues of great concern which we humbly request you to act upon; but if you cannot do anything for us Thalassemia patients of Iran and in particular of the Hormozgan province, then we demand your resignation." Dr. Lankarani has agreed to meet with representatives of the Thalassemia patients this Saturday. Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that makes patients anemic and that is normally treated through regular blood transfusions.
For more coverage, including photographs of slogans carried at the demonstration in Bandar Abbas, go here.
April 7, 2008: Iranian-Americans petition Sen. Feinstein to withdraw from NIAC event. The Mission for the Establishment of Human Rights in Iran (MEHR) has launched an on-line petition, asking Sen. Diane Feinstein to withdraw from tomorrow's NIAC event on Capitol Hill. Noting the Senator's reputation as a human rights advocate, MEHR said, "NIAC is a group that lobbies for the unconditional relations with the religious dictatorship in Iran and for making this possible has tried hard to de-emphasize the daily human rights violation in Iran. Reza Pardisian has included full contact information for Sen. Feinstein. And Dr. Saeed Ganji has faxed a more detailed letter to Sen. Feinstein, urging her to withdraw from the NIAC. event.
Dr. Mohammad Parvin and Hassan
reveal in "Flirting
the Mullahs" that an Iranian-American Democrat
party activist, Afshine
played an active role in the "Iran lobby," setting
up the Iranian Trade
Association in 1997 to introduce U.S. oil companies
to senior Iranian
April 4, 2008: Death sentences commuted for Ayatollah Borujerdi followers. Ten followers of dissident cleric Ayatollah Borujerdi, initially sentenced to be executed this May, have been given jail sentences ranging from two years to five years by the Special Court of the Clergy in Tehran. While none of the ten are clerics themselves, their "offense" was supporting Ayatollah Borujerdi's belief in secular government. The ten were:
most prominent pro-regime
lobbying group in the United States, will
lobbying Congress next week to
"reassess" U.S. policy
toward Iran and to "break the U.S.-Iran stalemate" -
as if U.S. actions
had caused the Islamic Republic to deny basic human
rights to its own citizens, develop nuclear weapons,
Americans in Iraq. The NIAC event on Tuesday, April 8, 20008,
will be hosted by
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D, CA). California residents
and other concerned
citizens can contact
at 202-224-3841, or by fax at 202-228-3954. Download
a sample letter
sent to Sen. Feinstein by Dr. Saeed Ganji
of the National Union for
Democracy in Iran.
2008: Dr. Amir Farshad Ebrahimi reveals "Salvation
Committee" to help
Iranian defectors. In an
with Newsmax.com, Dr. Ebrahimi describes his
role in the
escape of Gen.Alireza
Ebrahimi said that Asghari later expressed concern
intelligence analysts were "cherrypicking" his
information, to make it
appear that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons
program, when this was
not the case. He urged
Ebrahimi to help other
defectors to escape Iran, and effort that FDI
2008: More on Ebrahimi release. Since
returning to Germany, Dr. Ebrahimi reconfirmed to
FDI that the Iranian
authorities were seeking his extradition in
connection with his role in
facilitating the defection of former deputy defense
Alireza Asghari, who fled Iran early last year and
provided key details
of Iran's involvement in international terrorism and
weapons programs to the West. The LA
Times has written
this story here.
Ebrahimi thanked the Foundation for our efforts in obtaining his release. "I appreciate the work FDI and other organizations did to help me during this difficult time," he said.
In addition, the Foundation has
received a letter
from "Bahram," the spokesman for the Organization of
the Iranian People
Fedaii Guerillas, applauding our "courageous and
timely decision" to
intervene with the Turkish authorities on Ebrahimi's
behalf. "I feel
obliged to appreciated your continue[d] support,
responsibility, and humanitarian spirit," Bahram
wrote. [PDF file
of the Fedaii letter].
2008: FDI thanks U.S. government
for its help in securing the release of Dr. Amir
Farshad Ebrahimi, who
was returned to Germany this afternoon. After
several hours in
a German hospital, where his bruises from being
beaten by the Turkish
airport police were treated, Amir Farshad is now
special thanks to the foreign
service officers who labored throughout the night to
Farshad's release. We have just learned that instead
of putting him on
the 8 AM flight to Tehran, as the Islamic Republic
Istanbul had demanded, the Turkish authorities
allowed him to fly back
to Germany on Turkish Airways flight 1723 this
“Under international law, if the Turks do not want to admit him to Turkey they are required to send him back to Germany, where he was a political refugee, and not to Iran,” a U.S. official told FDI. “This was handled at a very high level,” the official added.
Without these efforts, and the
human rights groups in Los Angeles, Stockholm, and
Farshad would be back in Iran and undoubtedly dead
Instead, he is now back in Germany, where he remains
surveillance by both the German authorities and by
intelligence. We also want to thank the Turkish
embassy in Washington,
DC, which transmitted letters of concern from FDI
and from other human
rights organizations to the Foreign Ministry in
Ankara, and the U.S.
regional security officers who worked beyond the
call of duty.
FDI is concerned not
with the case of Amir Farshad Ebrahimi, but with
refugees now living in Germany who live in a state
of constant fear,
under double harrassment from the Iranian regime and
from the German
government. We have seen several other cases
with legitimate travel documents have been denied the
ability to board
aircraft by the German authorities, on the pretext
they had not cleared
their travel first with the German government. As the
demonstrated so clearly, freedom of movement is one of
requirements of a free society. FDI calls on its partners and
to use their influence to convince the U.S.
government to make it
easier for Iranian political refugees to come to
this country, where
they can live freely and without fear.
UPDATE 9 PM Eastern, March 27, 2008: In a subsequent call from his mobile, Dr. Ebrahimi said that a Turkish lawyer he had called for help had come to the airport, but was not allowed by the Turkish authorities to visit him. After she tried to reach him, Dr. Ebrahimi says that he was beaten by the Turkish guards, then locked in a bathroom in the detention center. According to Pooya Dayanim, a Los Angeles-based activist who spoke to Dr. Ebrahimi later in the evening, the Turkish authorities were planning to deport him on the 8 AM Iran Air Flight to Tehran on Friday, March 28.
2008: URGENT APPEAL. Iranian
Human Rights Arrested in Turkey, threatened with
Iran. Turkish authorities arrested
an Iranian human
rights activist on Thursday as he was getting off a
plane from Germany
at Istanbul airport, and are threatening to deport
him to Iran. The
activist, Dr. Amir
fled Iran in 2003 and has become an outspoken
opponent of the Tehran
regime. FDI reached him shortly before 6 PM
Eastern time on Thursday on
his mobile phone while he was in a holding
cell at the Istanbul
airport. Dr. Ebrahimi confirmed that an Iranian
who identified himself as Mohammad Taghi Esfahani,
had just arrived in
the holding area and had presented an official
document to the Turkish
police demanding that Dr. Ebrahimi be immediately
deported to Iran. See
reporting on Dr. Ebrahimi's plight at Newsmax.
FDI has no doubt
Ebrahimi will be tortured and executed if he is
returned to Iran,
and calls on all activists and human rights
immediately contact the Turkish embassy in Washington,
DC, and Turkish
consulates elsewhere in the United States and Europe,
as well as the
German embassy and consulates. Dr. Ebrahimi is a
political refugee and
is a legal resident of Germany.
20, 2008: Rev. Guards Air Force overflies northern
from FDI sources inside Iran and from northern Iraq
confirmed that Rev. Guards aircraft have been
flights inside northern Iraq this morning in areas
controlled by PJAK
guerillas. This is the first time that Iranian
government aircraft are
known to have violated Iraqi airspace in recent
years. Meanwhile, Rev.
Guards artillery units continued to shell
PJAK-controlled areas near
Qalat Dizeh this morning, according to local reports
and PUK media.
2008: Tehran police chief arrested in sex scandal.
You thought it only happened in Miami Vice? Or
with Eliot Spitzer
in New York? How about Tehran human trafficking? The
Tehran police, Gen. Reza Zarei, was quietly arrested
earlier this month
after he was found in a house of disrepute, naked,
in the company of
six prostitutes. (Hat tip to Yari in Los Angeles and
to the reporting
news of Zarei's downfall surfaced two days ago in a
newsletter at Amir Kabir university who reported
that Judiciary chief
Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi personally ordered the
arrest out of fear
that Zarei was being protected by chief Tehran
Mortezavi. One rumor currently making the rounds is
that Shahroudi has
60 hours of video-tape of Gen. Zarei in various
states of undress with
both female and male prostitutes. Given that the
rumors of Zarei's
behavior were circulating widely around Tehran, the
reportedly feared massive popular unrest if Zarei's
allowed to go unpunished.
13, 2008: Iran and Turkey resume joint shelling of
PJAK areas in
northern Iraq. FDI sources in Iran and in
northern Iraq report
this morning that Iran and Turkey have resumed joint
on PJAK-controlled areas in the Qalat Dizeh area of
northern Iraq along
the Iranian border, hundreds of kilometers to the
east of the area
invaded by Turkish troops near Dohuk last month. (The photo at left
shows a Kurdish village that was hit by shelling
in the same region
last August. ) Plans for this latest
attack on anti-Iranian regime Kurds were finalized
during a two-day
visit to Ankara by Iranian deputy foreign minister
last week, FDI sources in Tehran reported. Iranian
units are preparing for a "new round of major
against PJAK," our sources added. Last night, the
Mehr news agency,
which is affiliated with the Tehran regime, reported
that two teams of PJAK
rebels clashed with regime forces inside Iran and
quoted the deputy
Governor General of Kurdistan province as claiming
that all members of
the PJAK teams had been killed. From FDI's own
experience with PJAK
fighters (see below), the
Iranian government claim
exagerated. PJAK repatriates
slain fighters and
buries them in a special cemetary in the Qalat Dizeh
2008: On the eve of sham
elections, Iranian parliament hears apostasy law.
Parliament is considering legislation that would
make apostasy a crime
punishable by death. While similar provisions are in
Shari'a law courts in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the
new law if adopted
will become part of Iran's penal code. Article 5 of
the proposed law
institutes the death penalty for anyone who is born
of Muslim who
professes another religion after the age of majority
and includes an
extraterritoriality provision that enables Iran to
"apostates" around the world. "This proposed law
goes against all human
rights norms and standards, including international
treaties that Iran
itself has agreed to," said
Bani Dugal, the principal representative of
International Community to the United Nations. "The
text uses the word
Hadd, meaning that it explicitly sets death as a
fixed punishment that
cannot be changed, reduced or annulled," said Ms.
Dugal. "In the past,
the death penalty has been handed down -- and also
carried out -- in
apostasy cases, but it has never before been set
down in law. Click
here for a Persian
language PDF of the draft law; here for an English
footage of mass pro-freedom demonstration
in Tehran. Cellphone
video footage of "Arya Shahr" pro-freedom march in
Tehran in early
march, 2008. Demonstrators chant, "We don't want
Feb. 14, 2008: New footage of group hangings smuggled out. Activists working with Marzeporgohar, a nationalist party operating clandestinely inside Iran, have smuggled out video footage of a group hanging that took place last month in the city of Sanadaj.
Feb. 11, 2008: Torture of students continues at Evin Section 209. Scores of students arrested over the past three months continue to be tortured inside the notorious "political section" of Evin prison, aaccording to the Iranian Political Prisoners Association. Some have have exhorbitant amounts, ranging from $53,000 to $107,000, to get temporarily released on bail. Student activist Emada-Aldin Baghi was tortured so severely that he was transferred to the prison hospital on Dec. 26, 2007.
6, 2008: In testimony before the Senate
Select committee on
Intelligence today, the Director of National
Intelligence, Admiral Mike
McConnell, appeared to walk back the most dramatic
conclusions of the
much-disputed NIE on Iran released in December.
Under questioning from
skeptical Senators, McConnell said, “I think I would
change the way
that we described the nuclear program. I would
argue, maybe even the
least significant portion — was halted and there are
other parts that
continue.” Democratic Senator Evan Bahr excoriated
NIE for “unintended consequences that, in my
own view, are
damaging to the national security interests of our
Dec. 11, 2007: Germany ignores protests, frees assassins. Reuters is reporting today that the German government has granted early release to two men given life prison sentences for the 1992 Mykonos restaurant killings of Kurdish dissident leaders despite widespread protests. Germany's Chief Federal Prosecutor Monika Harms decided in October there was no legal reason to delay the early release of Iranian Kazem Darabi and his Lebanese accomplice, Abbas Rhayel. German government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said both men had been released and were being flown out of the country.
The two were released on Dec. 10,
International Human Rights Day. "This was a slap in
the face of the
people who were killed," said Iranian dissident
Sardar Hardar. "This
just sends the wrong message, a message of weakness
Here is the latest reporting on the disputed National Intelligence Estimate on Iranian nuclear weapons development:
Nov. 8, 2007: "This Pretty Much Kills the Iran Democracy Program," former State Department official Scott Carpenter tells the New York Sun. In a stunning interview, Carpenter warned that sending the $20 million set aside for Iran democracy programs to the newly-created Office of Iranian Affairs office "pretty much kills the Iran Democracy Program." He also revealed the intense, behind-the-scenes battle at State to scuttle the program from the get-go.
"From the beginning there was a concern among the foreign service that was magnified when David Satterfield when took over as principle deputy assistant secretary, that the Iran democracy program was not being coordinated well enough with the rest of Iran policy. They thought it was too provocative and too forward leaning," Carpenter said. "It would complicate the relationship, even the prospect of a relationship, with Iran."
David Satterfield was hastily sent to
2004 after he was identified as a "person of
interest" in the
AIPAC/Larry Franklin case, thus making him
unavailable to federal
prosecutors eager to identify government officials
who may have
provided classified information to individuals not
2007: FDI letter a success. Turkish Prime
himself "happy" with his White House meeting
yesterday with President
Bush, but State Department officials said the
President refused to give
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan a green light to
invade northern Iraq.
According to FDI sources, the President told Prime
that invading northern Iraq "would only benefit
Iran," and would "harm
U.S. interests" in Iraq, and told the Turkish Prime
minister such a
move would jeopardize U.S.-Turkish relations.
2007: FDI has sent a letter to President
George W. Bush, urging
him not to give Turkey a green light to invade
northern Iraq. In the
letter, delivered via National Security Advisor
Stephen Hadley, FDI
presented the President with the conclusions from a
tour of Iranian Kurdish bases in Northern Iraq, and
warned against the
military and strategic alliance between Turkey and
the Islamic Republic
to fight the Kurds. "A Turkish invasion of northern
Iraq will not only
destabilize a peaceful, prosperous, and pro-American
region of Iraq: it
will directly benefit the interests of the Islamic
Republic of Iran,"
Turkey and Iran are claiming that the Party of Free Life of Iranian Kurdistan, commonly known as PJAK ,s the Iranian "branch" of the PKK. "Indeed, it is our opinion that Prime Minister Erdogan, is acting as a stalking horse for the Islamic Republic of Iran in this matter," the letter states.
The letter describes PJAK as the "only Iranian opposition group that has launched a comprehensive political and military struggle against the Iranian regime.
Furthermore, the letter describes PJAK as "an independent, pro-American group, totally separate from the PKK, that has served America’s strategic interests since 2003 by preventing the infiltration of Iranian-backed insurgents and weapons into Iraq from Iran in the areas of the Qandil mountains under their control."
The FDI letter was co-signed by the
Beasely (former Governor of South Carolina), Frank
of the Center for Security Policy, and the leaders
of ten other
complete letter here. Read the letter on the web.
Ken Timmerman reported on his trip
to PJAK rebel
bases in northern Iraq at
Newsmax.com, and wrote in detail about the origins
2007: Masoume Mansoori, a student at Amir
kabir University, was
detained on Oct. 25 while collecting her father's
belongings from the
public prosecutor's office. Her arrest follows the
arrest of her
father, and threats to other family members not to
speak about the
the Iranian Political Prisoners Association).
2007: Two Kurdish students at Tehran university
Section 209 of Evin prison. The Iranian
today that the two students, Hedayat
Ghazali and Sabah Nasri,
were sent to Evin's notorious political prisoner
block after 55 days of
confinement and torture in Sanandaj.
Sept. 25, 2007: Elisa Davidovitz tears up her Columbia journalism school diploma to protest Columbia University's invitation to Ahmadinejad yesterday. Click here for the story. Go to Newsmax.com for more coverage. (Photo by Kenneth R. Timmerman/Newsmax.com)
FDI and dozens of
other groups at Columbia University on Monday,
Sept. 23, 2007 from 1-3
PM (W. 116th and Broadway)
FDI President Kenneth R. Timmerman will be speaking at the rally and on CNBC's Power Lunch at 1:40 pm Eastern. (Please note: Because of the rally, we will not be updating this site on Monday).
Read Timmerman's column on the Ahmadnejad visit in Monday's edition of FrontPage magazine
FDI will also be joining the World Council for Cedars Revolution and the Reform Party of Syria at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza - Across from the UN, 12 Noon; (2nd Avenue at 47th Street).
STUDENTS ATTENDING THE AHMADINEJAD SPEECH: HERE are a few suggestions of "how to behave" with Ahmadinejad from the Yari National Group:
1. If you know of a streaker....
2. Female students who are attending, please dress as little as it is possible to dress, expose much of your body.
3. Have pages of "Satanic Verses" by author, Salman Rushdie re-printed and give it as handout/gift to his entourage attending his speech.
4. Female students, remember 1970's women's liberation Movement? Please do burn your bra's front of Mr. Ahmadi Nejad! This action will be in support for your bonded sisters in Iran who are constantly being beaten, tortured and imprisoned for requesting equal rights with men.
5. All of you try your best to shake hands with Ahmadi Nejad. Specially the female students. This action will also break his fasting and will bring major protest from his Mullah Bosses in Iran.
try to do your best to make it very
uncomfortable while he is among
you. Show him what true democracy is all
After all, back home, for simplest student complaint, they will land in jail and sometime hanged!
Sept. 21, 2007: Columbia University speech is on. Bloomberg News service apparently confused last year's cancellation by Columbia of Ahmadinejad with this year. The Monday afternoon speech is on - and has been cleverely scheduled to correspond with the main anti-Ahmadinejad demonstration at UN Plaza in New York organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.
Newt Gingrich revealed on FoxNews
that the New York Times editorial board will host
Ahmadinejad for lunch
at the Four Seasons hotel on Monday. "That is
like hosting Adolf
Hitler to lunch in 1940," said Dave Bossie of
Hotair.com said this afternoon that the NY Times
"joke," but Ahmadinejad is planning to meet
the press - via a live
with the National Press Club in Washington,
this one does NOT appear to be a joke!
4:41 PM: Ahmadinejad tells Scott Pelly of
CBS 60 Minutes he is
"amazed" that Americans are upset about him going to
Ground Zero, and
hints he may drop that part of his trip. But don't
bet on it. You can send
an email to the
US Secret Service, who will handle his
security (now that NYPD says
it won't), to protest their action.(More phone
Michelle Malkin links to this hotair.com
from Sen. John McCain, who says Ahmadinejad
"physically restrained, if necessary" to prevent him
• Update, 1:45 PM: The latest is that
Ahmadinejad will attempt to desecrate Ground Zero at
10 AM on Monday....
today: Despite the refusal by the NYPD, Foxnews reported
this morning that
Ahmadinejad still plans to come to Ground Zero
on Monday, and will only
be barred from the
September 11 memorial area.
FDI will be
there! Along with partners
in the Washington, DC area, we will be
chartering buses to bring
freedom-lovers to New York on Monday to prevent
desecretating hallowed ground.
financial support, and your bodies. Please
email us directly if you can help or read
more about our appeal and
what we plan to do.
Here are a few additional steps you can take.
[breaking]: President Bush answering a
question about the
Ahmadinejad trip at his live press conference: "I
can understand why
[the NYPD] would not want somebody who's running a
State sponsor of
terror down there."
to Ahmadinejad tour: The New
Times reported two hours
after comments started streaming into to Mayor
following our blast email (below) that the
has denied the Ahmadinejad request.
Mitt Romney, a Republican, and Hillary Clinton,
a Democrat, vigorously
denounced the proposed Ground Zero visit. But
that didn't deter
Columbia University from maintaining its
invitation to the man who
openly says his goal is to "destroy America" and
to "wipe Israel off
the face of the map." Major American Jewish
groups are planning
a mass protest
of the Ahmadinejad visit. We will update
our readers on protests
planned by Iranian-Americans as more details
2007: Iran cuts off Google and gmail
access. In an apparent
response to the recent Israeli airstrike on Syria,
Iran confirmed today
that it had cut off access to Google, gmail, and
servers, the quasi-official Mehr news agency
reported today. "I can
confirm these sites have been filtered," said
Shahriari, the secretary of Iran's National
- State Department releases religious freedom report. The State Department's annual report on the status of religious freedom around the world found continued repression on religious ground of minorities in Iran. The government in Iran continued to harass non-Shia Muslims and excluside them from universities and government employment, while offering to lift those restrictions if they abandoned their faith and converted to Jaafari (Shia) Islam, the report found. While President Ahmadinejad "called for an end to the development of Christianity in the country," nevertheless "Christian groups outside the country reported the growth of underground churches in the country during the reporting period." Read the report (PDF document)(hot link to State Department website).
2007: French foreign mininster Bernard
warned that Iran's leaders that war was coming
didn't halt their nuclear programs.
2007: The Islamic Republic authorities have
Ahwazi activists, Ahwazi
activists said today.
Abdolareza Nawaseri, 34, who was put to death today
was the older
brother of another Ahwazi activist hanged in Ahwaz
city in March 2006.
Fifteen Ahwazi political activists have been
executed in recent months,
according to the London-based British-Ahwazi
Sept. 6, 2007: Sen. Lieberman voices strong support for democracy program. In a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Sen. Joe Lieberman urged Congress to restore the full $75 million the administration had requested to fund pro-democracy programs in Iran. Lieberman blasted colleagues who sought to decrease funding for the programs, arguing that the money only provoked the regime."Do we give less to democracy advocates in Myanmar or Zimbabwe or Belarus when they are being harassed by the regime? On the contrary, it is precisely when dissidents are under attack that they need more help, not less, from the United States," Lieberman said."Does anyone in this chamber seriously believe that, if we give less money to the civil society leaders in Iran that the Iranian regime will repress them any less?" Read Lieberman's full statement here.
"Call It War, Mr. President." Column by FDI
proxy war in Iraq.
Aug. 6, 2007: Killing spree. Ahmadinejad and the ruling clerics have gone on a rampage of executions in recent weeks, killing more than 118 people, including four who were stoned to death. A professionally-made video of the latest hangings was posted this morning. Amir Taheri, writing in today's Wall Street Journal, calls it the"largest wave of executions" since 1984, and quotes Said Mortazavi, the chief Islamic prosecutor, warning that at 150 more are scheduled to be hanged or stoned to death in the coming weeks.
Two Iranian Kurdish
Hassanpour and Abdolvahed "Hiva" Butimar, were
convicted of spying for
political parties and foreigners during a secret trial
ten days ago, and
have been sentenced to death. Hassanpour,
30, hails from Marivan and works for ASO, a bilingual
newspaper. Boutimar, 29, is also from Marivan and was
the founder of an
French foreign minister
Bernard Kouchner has appealed to the Iranian
regime for their
release, and on July 31, Rep. Frank
Wolf (R, Va) sent a
letter of appeal to Secretary of
State Condoleeza Rice [PDF file],
asking her to urgently
far, the State Department has remained silent. Family
told the Leadership Council for Human Rights, chaired
Kathryn Cameron Porter, that the two men were
petition in support of the two condemned men as
a Word file, or sign
petition for their release on-line.
Aug. 3, 2007: Iranian scholar Hassan Daioleslam dissects the "disinformation campaign" by pro-Iranian regime circles in policy think tanks. Focusing on Ray Takyeh of the Council on Foreign Relations, Daioleslam argues that they have attempted to paint the regime as pragmatic, cooperative on terror, reasonable on nuclear issues, and no threat to U.S. security or regional stability. According to this view, "All US has to do is to offer more carrots to the Iranian regime to have them behave in a friendlier manner," he argues.
In earlier articles, Daileslam has exposed NIAC (see below) for championing the viewpoint of Tehran in Washington; most recently, NIAC has attempted to appropriate the issue of human rights, he wrote.
NIAC carefully filtered access to the July 26 event, preventing more than a dozen Iranian-American human rights activists from expressing their views. Among those prevented entry to the Congressional meeting room were Dr. Manouchehr Ganji and Manda Zand-Karimi.
See also Sen. Jon Kyl's policy
July 25, 2007: Policy alert: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and sponsors in Congress will host a panel this Thursday, July 26, that will be chaired by Trita Parsi, a Swedish-Iranian also known as the "mullah's voice" in Washington.
The informal hearing will take place from 12:00-2:30 PM in room B369 of the Rayburn House Office Building tomorrow. In a Frontpage magazine column this week, FDI President Kenneth R. Timmerman explains that Parsi and his group have consistently opposed U.S. Assistance to pro-democracy groups in Iran, and have advocated in favor of expanded U.S.relations with the Iranian regime, making his presence at such a panel a travesty.
This is still time to prevent this from happening. FDI calls on supporters to call Alex Arriega at Amnesty International, the nominal sponsor of the event. She can be reached at 202-544-0200. Alternately, phone Amnesty' Middle East Advocacy director, Mr. Zahir John Mohammad, at 202-675-8755.
Please also call Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D, MD), who booked the room for this outrageous event. His office: 202-225-5341.
There are plenty of authentic victims of Iranian human rights abuses available in Washington, DC for such a hearing, as well as authentic spokespersons for those victims. Trita Parsi is not one of them.
2007: Trita Parsi and NIAC are trying to silence
writer and freedom activist Hassan Daioleslam,
who for years had worked with the Liberation
Movement of former Prime
Minister Mehdi Barzagan, by sending threatening
letters to Voice of
yesterday by Omid Biniaz
at the American Thinker, Parsi and NIAC were
attempting to use
"bullying and intimidating tactics" against VOA by
fake threats of
legal action. Ms.Biniaz welcomed legal action by
NIAC, since "Iranians
would welcome the opportunity to hear Mr. Parsi,
under oath, explain
his relation with Tehran and a potpourri of felons
close to them."
press release in April,
NIAC openly slandered Mr. Dailoleslam by calling him
Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO) supporter," because an
had picked up one of his articles exposing NIAC's
to the Iran oil mafia.
In fact, in a statement released today, Mr.
Dailoleslam said that while
many Persian-language websites picked up his
article, "This by no means
suggests I am affiliated to any of them." He accused
NIAC of launching
a "disinformation campaign to create a smoke screen
disguised relations with mullahs," and stated
categorically, "I have
never been in MEK or worked with MEK."
It is also worthwhile noting most public references in English to the Mujahedin-e Khalq use the abbreviation MEK, but that the Iranian regime in its publications almost always refers to the group as MKO.
Mr Dailoleslam revealed
in his statement
that in addition to working with Barzagan in Iran,
he was in charge of
collecting donations in Europe along with two other
Barzagan's Freedom Movement, an opponent of the MEK.
June 22, 2007: Human Rights Action Alert; Regime vows to execute dissident Ayatollah Kazemini Borujerdi on Monday, June 25.
Placed under house arrest in
July 2006 after addressing a massive gathering of his
family compound was
assaulted by regime agents in October, who
demonstrators who had gathered in his
Borujerdi fell afoul of the
to acknowledge the role of Islam in politics,
and for his
rejection of the doctrine of velayat-e fagih, absolute
Associates say he has received support from Grand
Ayatollah Ali Sistani
in Iraq, Ayatollah Vahid Khorassani, and Grand
Rouhani, also under house arrest in Iran (and the
brother of FDI
founding board member, Dr. Mehdi Rouhani), who so far
powerless to win his freedom.
After the assault pictured here,
Borujuderi was seized along with his family and thrown
prison, where he has remained ever since.
May 31, 2007:
more than 250 Iranians from a broad spectrum of
society prepare to meet
in Paris for a "Solidarity" conference, some Iranian
political figures continue to launch old-style attacks
competitors. Thus Amir-Abbas
a self-styled "student" leader who spent time in Evin
prison with Ahmed
Batebi, viciously attacked student leader Ali Afshari
reformist publisher (and founder of the IRGC) Mohsen
Fakhravar accused Afshari of being a "lackey" of the U.S. government because he had received a grant from the NED (National Endowment for Democracy), and alleged that Sazegara was beholden to Israel because he has been a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Curiously, his accusations were picked up word by word, along with the photo from Fakhravar's blog site, by asre-iran, the website run by Allah Karam, head of the pro-regime Ansar-e Hezbollah thugs in Tehran. Coincidence?
In Washington, DC, Michael Ledeen writes in today's National Review Online that the Iranian regime has taken five U.S. hostages - ironically, most of whom favor U.S.-Iran dialogue. "The Americans were taken hostage for the same reasons the regime has routinely taken foreign hostages from the first year of its existence: to resolve internal power struggles, to demonstrate to the Iranian people the hopelessness of their condition by directly challenging the infidels to do anything about the humiliation of their countrymen, and to impose their will on a Western world the mullahs view as feckless and paralyzed," he writes.
Timmerman dissects the U.S. Iran talks in
Frontpage magazine, and gives a foretaste of the
Iran conference in Paris.
May 19, 2007: 23 murdered in Tehran Security crackdown.
persons were beaten to death last week in a security
last week in the south Tehran neighborhood
Sarsabel, FDI has
from sources inside Iran.
The crackdown, ostensibly aimed at
homosexuals, prostitutes, drug addicts,
pornographers and vendors of alcohol, was carried out by a special vice squad, who rounded up suspects on Molavi street and brutally beat them in front of witnesses.
In one of the photographs, shown below, a suspect has
collared with a red aftabeh,
a clear sign of public humiliation. (The aftabeh is a
device normally used
in Iran to wash the anus after defecation.)Until now, no
international news agencies have reported
murders, although reports have appeared on the
baztab.com website and
with the Pars News Agency in Farsi.
News organizations interested in reporting on this massacre are invited to contact FDI for additional information and graphic photographs.
“This crackdown on so-called “alvats” [perverts] is a
violation of commonly accepted standards of human
rights,” said FDI
chairman, Nader Afshar. “When coupled with the recent
arrest of Haleh
Esfandiari, who has long been an advocate of
rapprochement between the
United States and the Tehran regime, it shows that
hard-liners are not
only clearly in charge, but they are warning their
opponents that no
deviation from their policies will be tolerated,”
May 12, 2007: Voice
America's Persian TV service hosted
debate on Iran sanctions
and the Divest Terror campaign between pro-regime
Pourzal, and Roozbeh Farahanipour, a leader of the
July 1999 Tehran
uprising and secretary general of Iranians for a
Pourzal's Campaign against Sanctions and against
Intervention in Iran refers to President Bush's
January 2002 State of
the Union speech as the "infamous
of Evil speech,"
calls the invasion of Iraq "illegal," and chides the
United States for
"war crimes" in Abu Ghraib, Falluja, and elsewhere.
contrast, has been
testifying in public
on behalf of California State legislator Joel
Anderson's Divest Terror
legislation (see entry for April 24, below), and has
and divestment a middle ground between appeasement and
war, both of
which he opposes.
At the end of the hour-long debate, VOA host Bijan
pointed out that for the past 27 years, the Voice of
America had tried
without success to invite a representative of the
Islamic Republic to
express their point of view. In Rostam Pourzal, he
added, they finally
May 4, 2007: In an unbelievable ad carried by the International Herald Tribune (April 25), the Economist (p111 of last week's edition), Iran Daily, and other newspapers, Iran's Atomic Energy Organization called for international bids to construct "two large-scale nuclear power plants"in Busheir. It requires bidders to make a non-refundable deposit along with their bid to an account with Austria Bank-Creditanstalt in Vienna, and to post a performance bond of twenty million euros "delivered to AEOI's representative office in Vienna" by Aug. 2, 2007. The United Nations Security Council has banned all nuclear trade with Iran. In an almost equally-unbelievable response to questions from journalists, theInternational Herald Tribune defended its acceptance of the advertisement, despite the fact that it cleared flouted international law.
As Claudia Rosett of the Foundation for the Defense
in an oped today,
at first glance the ad appeared to be a joke. "It
smacked of Iranian
nose-thumbing so extreme one had to wonder if it was a
spoof. It's no
May 3, 2007: May Day protestors in Tehran say No to nuclear work.
The banner reads: "We don't want nuclear energy, we don't want your minimum wages. We work to live but we don't want to live to work!" (Hat-tip to Winston)
time for Iran's economy will hit on May 21, when
goes into effect.
Iranian drivers will be limited to three litres per
day at the
subsidized cost of 40 cents per gallon. They will be
purchase more than the three litres, but anything
beyond the limit will
be at market prices, according to Resource
2007:FDI Executive Director Kenneth
Timmerman testified today in
Columbus, Ohio in support of
an Ohio state bill to divest the state pension funds
doing business in Iran. For more on Timmerman's
testimony, provided in
his own name, see the April 27, 2007 edition of Frontpage
magazine. The Ohio bill was crafted by Republicans
Mandel, a 29-year old Iraq war Marine Corps
April 24, 2007: The California Assembly's Judiciary committee today passed unanimously (10-0) historic Iran Divestment bill. AB 221 now goes to the Appropriations committee, chaired by San Francisco Democrat Mark Leno early next week. Committee members Fiona Ma (D, San Fracisco) and Jose Solorio (D, Santa Ana) co-sponsored the bill authored by San Diego republican Joel Anderson. Burbank Democrat Paul Krekorian has already voted for the bill in the Judiciary committee.
Speaking in favor of the bill was Roozbeh Farahanipour, chairman of Iranians for a Secular Republic, who described how he was tortured after the July 1999 student uprising using a technique called "chicken kabob.". Assemblyman Anderson called his testimony "gripping," and included excerpts in a press release on the bill.
2007: FDI Executive Director Timmerman comments
Human Events on the growing unrest among
minorities, but warns against encouraging ethnic
would a tragic error for this or any U.S.
administration to encourage
ethnic revolt [in Iran] because we would then
alienate 95% of the
pro-democracy forces in Iran." Instead, "what we
need to be doing is
finding a way to get all of these groups to work
together rather than
supporting separate wars. What’s needed is a
nationwide movement. A violent revolution will only
open a Pandora’s
box for a future dictator.”
favor of California bill 221 to disinvest state
pension plans from
companies doing business in Iran. Reza Pahlavi also
has sent a letter
to the speaker of the California State assembly,
Fabio Nunez, in
support of the disinvest campaign. "This act will
hearten Iranians by
demonstrating Californian's solidarity with their
plight and national
struggle against tyranny, injustice and
2007: The California Assembly will hear
on Wednesday, March 28, at 9 AM, that would
State pension funds to disinvest from companies
doing business in Iran.
The pro-Tehran group NIAC has come out against the
bill. Why? Because
it just might convince major multinational companies
to rethink their
business in Tehran. Four trade unions have already
come out in favor of
Last week, legislators in Maryland
round-up of the current Disinvest Terror
calling for international action in
support of freedom in Iran. FDI applauds the
efforts of Amil Imani
other activists in drafting a
comprehensive list of steps freedom-loving nations
can take to support
the pro-democracy movement inside Iran.
As we have been saying for many years, the United
States does not need
to send the 82nd Airborne or B-2 bombers to take out
sites. A better course is to increase pressure from
the outside through
a package of sanctions and other measures described
in the petition,
and from inside Iran by support for the
March 7, 2007: Rev.
General defects. Could reveal dramatic
on Iranian nuclear program, Qods force, and more.
6, 2007: State
Department releases Human Rights report. New
to this year's compendium of horror under the
Islamic Republic are
accounts of "white torture" of political prisoners,
as recounted by
Amir Abbas Fakhravar; reports of a prisoner
sentenced to have his eyes
"surgically removed," a chronology of repression
against ethnic Arabs,
details of the persecution of Christians, and more.
Department report noted the irony of the Tehran
regime sending Interior
Minister Mostafa Purmohammadi as its
representative to a
of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva in
"Purmohammadi has a history of human rights abuses,
participation in the 1988 mass execution of several
prisoners at Evin Prison and the 1998 murders of
writers and dissidents
throughout the country," the
In presenting the report, Assistant Secretary of
State for Democracy,
Human Rights and Labor Barry F. Lowenkran told
reporters pointedly that
the administration would not take the advice of
former U.S. ambassador
to the United Nations John Bolton, who said last
week the U.S. should
support regime change in Iran. "I am focused on
behavior change," Lowrenkran
Also today in Washington: Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns described the administration's efforts to ratchet up international sanctions on the Tehran regime, all the while opening a dialogue with Iran and Syria on Iraq. Burns told House Foreign Affairs committee Tom Lantos (D, Ca) that the U.S. opposed new legislation proposed today that would make mandatory U.S. sanctions on foreign companies that invested in Iranian oil and gas projects. After describing efforts to get Europe, Japan, Russia and China on board in stiffening UN sanctions, he said, "If the focus of our policy is to sanction our friends and not Iran... it might undercut that coalition."
Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007 (H.R. 1400),
jointly by Lantos and ranking Minority commitee
Ros-Lehtinen, also rescinds the Clinton exception to
imports into the
U.S. of Iranian dates and carpets (used some believe
to finance Iranian
intelligence operations in the U.S.), and places the
IRGC on the
March 2, 2007: Know your friends - and your enemies. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R, NE) will address two events sponsored by the American Iranian Council today. The AIC is a lobbying group with 501(c)3 status that consistently takes positions in sync with the Tehran regime, which has been seeking to get the US to lift sanctions on Iran for years. Sen. Hagel has been a strong AIC supporter, as today's events show. In New York, Sen. Hagel is the featured guest at "an exclusive" closed-door AIC fund-raising luncheon. At 3:30 PM, he will address a public event, hosted by AIC at Rutgers university. AIC specializes in upbeat economic bulletins on the Islamic Republic of Iran and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an apparent effort to attract international investment to Iran.
Feb. 23, 2007: FLASH NEWS: Reports from FDI sources in Tehran say that Wednesday's demonstration (2/21) by Iranian teachers in front of the Majles buildings continues to worry government officials, who fear that the teacher's could make good on their threat of a general strike starting on March 6.
Demonstrating teachers called for improved salary and benefits, and lew legislation governing teaching standards. Regime media outlets reported that "hundreds" of teachers took part in the demonstrations, but strike organizers said more than three thousand teachers took part in the march, under the watchful eyes and batons of national police. MOIS agents filmed the demonstrators, FDI sources said.
At the end of event, demonstrators stated that if the government did not accept their requestss, they would launch a general strike on Tuesday March 6. In public statements yesterday, regime officials said they wanted to avoid an escalation of tensions that could induce other government employees to join striking teachers.
- Also today: FDI Executive Director exposes NIAC Dirctor Trita Parsi as "the Mullah's Voice," at Frontpagemag.com
- In a symposium with Michael Ledeen, Patrick Clawson, Andy McCarthy, and Steve Schippert, FDI Director Timmerman argues that the United States should increase pressure on the regime on human rights and other issues, roll up their networks in Iraq, and insist on compliance with UN Security Council resolutions without further negotiations. Read the details here.
Feb. 22, 2007: In its latest report on Iran's nuclear program, the IAEA released new test results taken from Iranian centrifuges, which showed particles from "another country" similar to those found on centrifuges removed from Libya. However, contrary to some press reports, the report found no evidence of cooperation between Iran and Libya. Rather, the particular contanimation showed that both Iran and Libya had purchased centrifuges and enrichment equipment from the same source: A.Q. Khan and his black-market network. Some of the equipment may have come from Pakistan, but some may have been manufactured in Khan factories in Malaysia. Read the full IAEA report in PDF format.
Feb. 16, 2007: In a briefing in Baghdad on Sunday, the U.S. military presented new evidence of IRGC Qods Force involvement in Iraq. The evidence included Iranian-made weapons used by insurgents, Iranian-made IEDs, and IRGC identity cards captured from senior al Qods officers. You can download the PDF file (700 kb) of the 16-page briefing here.
Feb. 13, 2007. IRGC commentator acknowledges Iranian role in Karbala attacks. In a commentary (didgah) appearing in Sobh-e Sadegh, the weekly bulletin of the Islamic Republic Guards Corps dated Monday, Feb. 12, 2007, a senior member of the IRGC political bureau, Ali Rahimi, acknowledged Iran's responsibility in the Jan. 20, 2007 kidnapping and murder of 5 U.S. soldiers in Karbala, Iraq.
Based on internal IRGC analysis, "the security and intelligence strike against U.S. forces in Karbala prompted the Americans to act against elements they believed responsible," Rahimi wrote. Among those Iranian "elements" arrested by the Americans in retaliation for the Kerbala attack was "the second secretary of the Iranian embassy in Baghdad," Rahimi added. (The original can be found at http://sobhesadegh.ir)
Feb. 8, 2007: Senator Tom Coburn (R, OK) today released a bombshell report, finally saying out loud what many of us have been whispering for years:Voice of America's Persian Service TV broadcasts are actually harming U.S. national interests by giving "a significant amount of airtime to guests and content that undermine U.S. policy on Iran, often even supporting the propaganda of the Islamic Republic of Iran." For more, including links to Sen. coburn's documents, go here.
Jan. 8, 2007: Rafsanjani says road to be named after the "Martyr" Ahmadinejad. With Tehran swirling with rumors regarding the pending demise from cancer of Supreme Leader Ali Khamene'i, the ultimate power jockey, Hojjat-ol eslam Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, hinted recently that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could be forcibly removed from power if he doesn't resign voluntarily.
Following December's widely-boycotted elections, Rafsanjani has now taken over as head of the Assembly of Experts, the body that under the Islamic Republic constitution will name the Supreme Leader when Khamenei dies. In an otherwise fawning paeon to Khamenei ("whose death will have a shattering effect on the Iranian public, who idolize their leader and would largely view his loss as a catastrophe" [sic]), Stratfor notes that "[i]t might be no coincidence Rafsanjani, in a recent talk with journalists, described a new highway currently under construction in Tehran, as the "highway of Shahid (martyr) Ahmadinejad." Hat tip to Gary Metz for pointing out the Stratfor piece.
Jan. 7, 2007: Read "Impending Iran Crisis," by FDI Executive Director Kenneth R. Timmerman, in today's Washington Times.
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