The Daily Beast-An outspoken critic of the Iranian government—and son of a conservative cleric—has accused Ahmadinejad of being linked to a banking scandal.
The Iranian president is taking heat.
Speaking in an interview with Voice of America, Mehdi Khazali, the son of a high-ranking conservative cleric in Iran, recently accused Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of being directly involved in a $2.6 billion banking scam in Iran. Over the past few weeks, the scandal that has taken place inside the Iranian banking system (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed the latest governor of Iran’s central bank) has turned into a tug of war among Iranian political factions. Some even believe that the scandal could push the controversial Iranian president out of office. Continue reading Did Ahmadinejad Steal Billions?→
NEW YORK, Sep 23, 2011 (IPS) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s address to the United Nations Thursday followed the script of his previous six visits to New York, with strong criticism of the United States, messianic language, and vague utopian statements on how to govern the world, Iranian-style.
He accused European countries of “still us(ing) the Holocaust after six decades as the excuse to pay fine or ransom to the Zionists”, and condemned the U.S. for killing Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden instead of trying him in a court of law. That was enough to lead diplomats from the U.S. and some European countries to walk out of the General Assembly hall while he was speaking.
NEW YORK, Sep 14, 2011 (IPS) – Just 24 hours after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that two U.S. hikers who have been detained for nearly two years would be released on bail, the country’s judiciary insisted that the decision remains under review.
Ahmadinejad made the announcement during an interview with NBC News ahead of his departure from Tehran to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
The Daily Beast, August 27 2011– A controversial new movie explores the lives of lesbians forced to live in the shadows. Omid Memarian talks to women in Iran who say the movie doesn’t do their predicament justice.
Four years after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared there are no gays in Iran during a speech at Columbia University, an Iranian-American filmmaker courageously portrays an unusual story of two Iranian lesbians who struggle under religious and cultural repression to explore their sexuality.
Iranians are, in general, culturally hesitant to publicly talk about their private lives and sexuality, so the sex scenes between two schoolgirls Atefeh (Nikohl Boosheri) and Shireen (Sarah Kazemi) in Circumstance, take the viewer to the most extreme parts of Iranian underground lifestyle.
While Maryam Keshavarz’s portrayal is bold, and addresses a major taboo in Iran, many lesbians who actively live and love in the shadows there say the movie is not necessarily a true portrayal. Continue reading How Lesbians Live in Iran→
NEW YORK, Aug 8, 2011 (IPS) – Last week’s appointment of a ranking member of Iran’s influential Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as the country’s new oil minister could lead to a more unaccountable and unpredictable military with greater influence on the government in Tehran, analysts say.
The IRGC currently controls Iran’s most powerful intelligence- security arm, which played a key role in the post-election crackdown of 2008 and the intimidation, arrests and imprisonment of hundreds of political dissidents.
It has built up a sprawling business empire since the 1979 Revolution, with annual revenues estimated at some 12 billion dollars and investments in sectors ranging from oil, gas and petrochemicals to cars, bridges and roads. It also controls the paramilitary Basij militia. Continue reading New Oil Minister Cements Ties with Military→
The Slate, Tuesday, July 12, 2011 -This article arises from Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, the New America Foundation, and Slate. A Future Tense conference on the promise and limitations of using technology to spread democracy will be held at the New America Foundation on July 13. (For more information and to sign up for the event, please visit the NAF website.)
The Obama administration has begun taking action to bring Internet freedom to Iran. This sounds wonderful.
But this approach ignores two key factors: 1) Iran already has the upper hand in this battle; 2) the current approach is dangerous to activists and focuses on too few people. If the U.S. really wants to bring free-flowing information to Iran, it needs to rethink its current strategy.
I grew up in Iran and worked as a journalist there until 2004, when I—along with 20 other bloggers, Web technicians, and journalists—was arrested by security forces for my blog, in what was the first major raid against bloggers and online activists. After two months of mistreatment and solitary confinement, I was released and soon after moved to the United States. Continue reading Take That, Tehran→
Huffington Post, Posted: 7/5/11– Less than a week after the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed former Maldivian Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed as Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Iran, Head of Iran’s Judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, in a TV interview said, “accepting the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights is not our policy.”
In March, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution establishing a monitoring mechanism for Iran and appointing a Special Rapporteur. Last month, three candidates were considered for this position. The Iranian side, knowing that a Special Rapporteur would be immediately appointed soon, sent a message to Geneva that the Rapporteur on Iran should have three qualifications: Be a man, be a Muslim, and not be from an Arab country. One of the male candidates didn’t seem to cause any controversy for Tehran; Ahmed Shaheed’s appointment met all of Iran’s requirements. Continue reading Why Did Iran Say “NO” to the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights?→