BERKELEY, California, Dec 29 (IPS) - News that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is withdrawing a billion dollars from the country’s Foreign Reserve Fund in order to complete Phases 15 and 16 of the gigantic South Pars gas project has generated concern among Iranian analysts, who believe the move reveals the military organisation’s excessive power over Iran’s economy.
In view of looming sanctions from the United States and the United Nations Security Council over Iran’s nuclear programme, the IRGC’s control over the country’s sensitive oil, and gas and nuclear industries could provoke a serious crisis, they warn. Read more
December 29, 2009 5 Comments
HuffPost- It took more than six months for the White House to “strongly condemn” the excessive use of force against the protesters in Tehran, and God knows how long it will take President Obama to conclude that compromising universal values, including human rights, at the expense of erratic negotiations with the Iranian government. It will not change the behavior of the Iranian government although it will undermine America’s moral authority. Read more
December 29, 2009 9 Comments
BERKELEY, California, Dec 31 (IPS) - The Iranian government has intensified its pressure on political and human rights activists since the harsh crackdown on protesters on the holy day of Ashura, arresting major political figures and even their family members, including Noushin Ebadi, the sister of Noble Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi.
Even the Shah, before the 1979 Revolution, was hesitant to use violence against demonstrators during the religious ceremonies on Ashura, the day that the grandson of the seventh-century Prophet Muhammad and the third Imam of Shiite Muslims was killed. Read more
December 29, 2009 Leave a Comment
HuffPo-The Iranian government has announced that they will try the three American citizens who strayed across an unmarked border into Iran in late July. But the question remains how can the U.S. government help free them? And what should the families do to make this perplexing story be over?
Considering similar patterns in the past, it’s almost clear that the three young adventurists are not spies. In fact, if the Iranian authorities had any evidence in this regards, they would have presented it months ago in a public trial to embarrass the U.S. government; something they thrive on.
At this time the families are facing two scenarios. Read more
December 16, 2009 2 Comments
The DailyStar-Last week, six months after Iran’s June 12 presidential elections, thousands of students protested against the government in universities across Iran – a strong signal that Iran’s domestic crisis is far from over, and moreover, entering a new phase.
Six months ago, the major focus of the hundreds of thousands of protesters who marched the streets of Tehran was to show their anger and dissatisfaction with the election results, which many believed were rigged and resulted in not only Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election, but also beliefs that this pre-planned coup was orchestrated with the support of the Revolutionary Guards, the para-military Basij, and the military intelligence.
December 16, 2009 2 Comments
insideIran.org- Omid Memarian, an Iranian journalist, has helped Human Rights Watch document the post-election violence in Iran. In an interview with insideIRAN.org. Memarian shared his thoughts on the current situation of human rights in Iran and the international community’s responsibility to shed light on the matter.
Q: Iran’s lack of cooperation in the nuclear negotiations, coupled with the increasing human rights violations in Iran, are placing more pressure on the Obama administration to speak out against the torture and repression in Iran. What is your view? Do you believe that if President Obama publicly criticizes Iran this would provide the leadership with evidence that the United States is interfering in Iran’s internal affairs?
A: I agree that the Obama administration is in a tricky position. On one side, Iran’s nuclear program is a matter of international security and aims to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons or moving toward any program that is easily convertible to a nuclear weapons program. This seems urgent in order to avert an arms race in the Middle East. Read more
December 2, 2009 1 Comment