Orwell Would Have Loved This

Sunday, July 11, 2010 \PM\.\Sun\.

The head of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights speaks out on stoning:

The hard-line chief of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, the longtime political operator and insider Mohammad-Javad Larijani, says the sentence of stoning against an impoverished mother of two accused of adultery stands, even though it is under a required review. 
In other words, 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani could still be buried up to her neck and pelted with small rocks until she dies because she was convicted of having sex outside of marriage.

Larijani, a well-connected regime loyalist, blamed the Western media for making a big deal out of nothing.

“Our judicial system cannot change its course because of Western attack and media pressure,” he told the official Islamic Republic News Agency in a report published late Friday (in Persian). “The Western media’s attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran comes under a pretext every time, and in recent years it is the instructions of the Islamic religious law that have been the target of their attacks.”
No one’s quite sure what’s next for Ashtiani. Larijani said Ashtiani’s sentence of death by stoning had not been rescinded, contradicting a statement issued Thursday by the Islamic Republic’s embassy in London.

“Regarding this criminal, I must point out that first of all the punishment of death by stoning exists in our constitution but the esteemed judges issue this verdict on very rare occasions,” said Larijani, whose brothers include the head of the judiciary branch and the speaker of parliament. “This case has passed its long procedure, and the defendant was first sentenced to 90 lashes and then, in another court, to death by stoning. The review of this sentence in currently underway.”

Her lawyer said even if they halt the stoning, he’s worried they’ll put her to death by some other means. “We do not know which penalty will be substituted for stoning,” her lawyer told Babylon & Beyond.

He said he’s asked for her pardon four times, especially since no private individual is seeking her prosecution — just the government. “For the sake of the Islamic system and its reputation in the world, nobody should be stoned to death anymore,” said Ashtiani’s lawyer, Mohammad Mostafai. “If the judiciary branch is attaching importance to the prestige of the system in the world, then the stoning should be stopped.” Read the rest of this entry »


Protests Turn Violent in Iran

Monday, December 28, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

(Updates at the bottom of this posting below)

Peaceful protests turned violent as Iranian authorities have authorized deadly force.  Thus far there are fifteen (15) reportedly killed in Tehran and four (4) in Tabriz. 

More details have filtered in that some Iranian policemen have refused to fire on the protesters.  The hated Basiji Militia headquarters is up in flames and more reports of unconfirmed deaths from all over the country of Iran are pouring in view various media outlets.

Among those killed is the nephew of Mir Hossein Moussavi, the leader of the burgeoning opposition as well as the leading vote getter in the last election which was hijacked by the clerical ruling class.  Ali Habibi Moussavi, the nephew, was shot in the chest and died at the hospital.  Details are still sketchy.

The Islamic Iranian regime has barred all journalists, but pictures and footage have confirmed large demonstrations nationwide that have not been intimidated by the use of violent force.

Some showed huge crowds chanting slogans attacking President Ahmadinejad and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

President Obama has failed to respond to the growing violence in Iran outside of a standard White House response from Washington of a bland condemnation of “violence”.  His hesitancy has betrayed many in the Iranian opposition to the point that if there is a regime change the opportunity to build again good relations with Iran diminishes each day as our president dawdles away in his luxurious resort home in Hawaii.

Read the rest of this entry »


Military Mutiny Brewing in Iran?

Monday, December 14, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

When the Shah fell from power in 1979 it was after a year of strikes and demonstrations.  Revolutions in Iran tend to proceed at a stately pace.  After a stolen Presidential election in Iran in the late Spring, the Iranian regime found itself faced with an active and growing opposition.  The regime has been unable to crush it.  On December 7, huge demonstrations erupted throughout Iran on college campuses. Now cracks may be beginning to appear in an institution that is key for the survival of any dictatorship:  the military.  The below story was reported in Pajamas Media by Iranian exile Afshin Ellian, who fled Iran in 1983 and who is a law professor at the University of Leiden.  He is the sole source I can find for this report, so take it with a grain of salt.

On December 10, a statement signed by a number of officers and commanders of the Iranian army was released. The regular army of Iran had not been involved in the suppression of the population. The statement was signed by:

•Pilots and personnel of the aviation division of the regular army (Havanirooz)
•Commanders and personnel of the 31th artillery division of Isfahan of the regular army
•Pilots and airmen of the regular army
•Teachers of the Shaid Satari University of the regular air force
•Officers and staff of the logistics training unit the regular army
•Professors and lecturers of the Imam Ali University for officers of the regular army
•Officers, staff, and commanders of the chief of staff of the regular army

In summary, they wrote:

Together we fought in the war with our brothers in the Revolutionary Guards in order to defend the country, the people, and the honor of the nation. They also emphasize that “the value of the land means the value of the Iranian nation.” This is very interesting. 

Value of the nation.

Not abstract concepts such as Iran or Islam, but the value of the nation determines the value of the land. Therefore, the weapons of the army and RG are to be used to protect the nation: “When we fought together, we could never suspect that parts of the RG would ever use its weapons against the people.”

The last section of this brief but powerful statement will surely immortalize these brave officers: “The army is a haven for the nation and will never want to suppress the people at the request of politicians. We shall remain true to our promise not to intervene in politics. But we cannot remain silent when our fellow citizens are oppressed by tyranny.”

They go on: “Therefore, we warn the Guards who have betrayed the martyrs (from the war between Iran and Iraq) and who decided to attack the lives, the property and the honor of the citizens. We seriously warn them that if they do not leave their chosen path, they will be confronted with our tough response. The military is a haven for the nation. And we will defend the peace-loving Iranian nation against any aggression.”

Read the rest of this entry »


France Tells Obama To Cowboy Up

Friday, October 2, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

Obama Sarkozy

Never in a million years would I have expected a Frenchman, any Frenchman living today, to chide an American president to be a man.  Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan are rolling over in their graves as French President Nicolas Sarkozy reminds President Obama, our president,that “we live in a real world, not a virtual world“.

This episode between Sarkozy and Obama occurred prior to President Obama’s I have a dream of a world without nuclear weapons disarmament speech as chair of the United Nations Security Council meeting on September 24.  An American holding the chair of the U.N. Security Council was a first, so the foreign media was out in force attracting global attention.  Unbeknownst to the world at the time President Obama, as well as Sarkozy, had intelligence that Iran had an illegal uranium enrichment facility.

So instead of using the bully pulpit as the leader of the free world and his superior oratory skills to admonish Iran at the United Nations Security Council, Obama chose to give his I have a dream of a world without nuclear weapons disarmament speech. The New York Times reported “White House officials,” did not want to “dilute” his disarmament resolution “by diverting to Iran.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Iran: Two Former Presidents Speak Out

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Iran July 17, 2009

Many recent developments in Iran, all of them bad for the Iranian regime of Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader, with apologies to Fearless Leader of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Khamenei.  Huge demonstrations rocked Iran on Friday with crowd estimates ranging from 100,000 to over a million in Tehran.    Repression, brutal as it has been, is simply not stopping the Resistance from taking to the streets once a week.

Read the rest of this entry »


Marg Bar Diktator!

Friday, July 10, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

Marg bar Diktator!

 

Hattitp to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  In spite of the Iranian regime cutting off text messaging and cell phone service throughout the country, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Tehran on Thursday chanting “Marg bar Diktator!” , Death to the Dictator!  First rate coverage of today’s developments here at Gateway Pundit.  Great coverage here at Atlas Shrugs. Read the rest of this entry »


Iran: The Revolutionary Guards In Charge

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Free IranHattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. No doubt in part a response to the declaration on Saturday of the prestigious Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum that the election was illegitimate, spokesmen of the Revolutionary Guards, formally known as the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, announced on Sunday that the Guards had taken charge of all security in Iran and that no further debate over the Presidential election would be tolerated.

The Shia revolution of 1979 was based on the idea that a government controlled by the mullahs, motivated by pure Islam, would provide the best form of government in Iran.  Now each day brings more news of mullahs speaking out against the current regime in control of Iran.

“Over the weekend, Grand Ayatollah Assadolah Bayat Zanjani launched a broadside against the mass arrest of reformist activists and protesters.”

“Every healthy mind casts doubt on the way the election was held,” said the high-ranking cleric in a statement distributed online. “More regrettable are post-election large-scale arrests, newspaper censorship and website filtering, and above all the martyrdom of our countrymen whom they describe as rioters.”

The walls are closing in on Ahmadinejad, a former Revolutionary Guards member, and his puppet masters.  Mullahs speaking out have destroyed any remaining illusion that this regime is blessed by God.  The Revolutionary Guards is the last remaining support that this government has, and, if the Guards falter,  Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Khamenei and their cronies better have their bags packed and a plane warming up.  This could all happen quite swiftly.  The Resistance has called for mass rallies on Thursday.  If the dissident mullahs join them, the Iranians could witness mullahs being beaten by Revolutionary Guards.  Once that happens, I think armed revolt will not be far off.


Major Development in Iran

Sunday, July 5, 2009 \AM\.\Sun\.

Free Iran

Yesterday the most important group of clerics in Iran, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, called the Presidential election in Iran illegitimate.  It is now impossible for the Iranian regime to claim the Iranian Resistance is restricted to a handful of malcontents or foreign agents.  This is the grimmest news yet since the election for the Iranian regime, and the best news that the Resistance has received.  Good analysis here at Hot Air by Ed Morrissey.  Now the Iranian regime has to decide if they are going to arrest and hang these clerics who have been the mainstay of the regime as they have been hanging protesters.  The clerics speaking out indicates clearing that there is a strong division among the ruling elites in Iran as to whether Ahmadinejad and his puppet masters can stay in power.  This coming week could be decisive in Iran.


Iran: The Resistance Lives

Monday, June 29, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

No doubt the mullahs who rule Iran had begun to think that they had successfully crushed the resistance.  They thought wrong as the above video of a protest yesterday at the Ghoba Mosque in Tehran amply demonstrates.  Reports indicate that between 7,000-20,000 protesters participated.

Read the rest of this entry »


Banned in Iran

Friday, June 26, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

A bit repetitious of Darwin Catholic’s earlier post on this subject, but I think this is a movie very much worth seeing.  Topical doesn’t begin to describe the film The Stoning of Soraya M. that is opening this weekend.  Starring Shohreh Aghdashloo and James Caviezel, and based on the novel of the same name, the film describes in harrowing detail the story of the stoning of a young bride in Iran.  I would like to be able to say that such things do not really occur under mullah-ruled Iran.  Alas, such stonings are very much a grim reality.  Worthy of a Monty Python skit, stonings have been defended by the head of the Iranian Judiciary’s Human Rights Committee.

Read the rest of this entry »


Blood in Iran

Thursday, June 25, 2009 \AM\.\Thu\.

On June 24, the Iranian regime learned a, to them ominous, lesson.  The protests continued in the face of savage brutality from the ruling mullahs.  Atlas Shrugs has first rate coverage here. Gateway Pundit here has been on top of this story from day one.  Ed Morrissey has coverage here of what happened when protesters march on the Parliament building in Tehran today:

Read the rest of this entry »


Channeling His Inner Reagan?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

Obama-Iran

Well maybe not, but he is getting closer.  President Obama spoke out strongly yesterday against the attack by the Iranian regime on the Iranian protestors crying out against the transparently  rigged presidential election in Iran.

Read the rest of this entry »


Pity and Fear

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Aristotle taught that the purpose of tragedy is to inspire pity and fear in the audience, thence causing catharsis, a purging of emotion. I’ve always found his explanation of tragedy compelling, but as I get older (queue laughter at the thirty-year-old getting “older”) I find that I want to achieve catharsis much less than I used to. Not that my life is layered in tragedy or anything, indeed, far from it. But somehow, one just doesn’t feel as much like seeking out pity and fear at thirty as at twenty.

This has been running through my head as I’ve been reading about The Stoning of Soraya M.

Read the rest of this entry »


Neda Agha-Soltan: “The Voice of Iran”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

  • In a Death Seen Around the World, a Symbol of Iranian Protests, by Nazila Fathi (New York Times):

    Only scraps of information are known about Ms. Agha-Soltan. Her friends and relatives were mostly afraid to speak, and the government broke up public attempts to mourn her. She studied philosophy and took underground singing lessons — women are barred from singing publicly in Iran. Her name means voice in Persian, and many are now calling her the voice of Iran.Her fiancé, Caspian Makan, contributed to a Persian Wikipedia entry. He said she never supported any particular presidential candidate. “She wanted freedom, freedom for everybody,” the entry read.

  • Family, friends mourn Neda Agha-Soltan, Iranian woman whose death was caught on video, by Borzou Daragahi (Los Angeles Times). Neda Agha-Soltan, 26, ‘was a beam of light’ and not an activist, friends say. The video footage of her bleeding to death on the street has turned her into an international symbol of the protest movement.
  • In Iran, One Woman’s Death May Have Many Consequences, by Robin Wright. (Time) – Neda is already being hailed as a martyr, a second important concept in Shi’ism. With the reported deaths of 19 people on June 20, martyrdom provides a potent force that could further deepen public anger at Iran’s regime.

On the protests in Iran, see also From Tehran’s Streets: Hope and Rage – A Photo essay from LIFE Magazine. (NOTE: The Tehran-based photojournalist who made these pictures is now missing).


Iran: Protest Becomes Insurrection

Sunday, June 21, 2009 \AM\.\Sun\.

Rioting in Tehran Saturday is shown in the above video.  Protests are quickly developing into an insurrection.  The Iranian government is using brutal force to suppress the dissidents, but reports from Iran clearly indicate that the situation is moving well beyond the ability of the government to suppress it without massive bloodshed.  The Guardian has an hour by hour account of the events yesterday here.  Nico Pitney here has been doing yeoman work in covering the crackdown at the Huffington Post.  Ed Morrissey here has been doing his usual fine work covering breaking events at Hot Air.

Read the rest of this entry »


Where Is My Vote?

Thursday, June 18, 2009 \AM\.\Thu\.

Where Is My Vote

The above picture says it all regarding the attempt by Ahmadinejad and his mullah puppet-masters to steal the Presidential election in Iran.  Thus far the dithering statements by Obama on this matter are well-parodied by the indispensable Iowahawk here.

Read the rest of this entry »


Twitter good for something besides telling folks what you had for lunch.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 \PM\.\Tue\.

Keep up with the Iranian protests at:

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23iranelection.


Free Iran

Monday, June 15, 2009 \PM\.\Mon\.

In the proud tradition of news photos of beautiful women protesting against political oppression, the Boston Globe provides a series of photos of the protests over Iran’s apparently rigged presidential election, but the first is this one:

Free_Iran
(In all seriousness, this is some of the best photo journalism I’ve seen in a long time, go check it out.)

There’s some reasonable dispute as to whether it would help or hurt the protestors for the Obama Administration to break silence on the issue and speak in support of the protestors. Given Iran’s history and the fierce national pride across the political spectrum, if Obama openly supported the protestors it might give Ahmadinejad the ability to paint Mousavi’s supporters as stooges of the US. However, the US and the rest of the world should make it clear that a violent crackdown ala Tiananmen Square would be absolutely unacceptable.


A Coup in Iran?

Sunday, June 14, 2009 \AM\.\Sun\.

Gary Sick provides a rundown of recent events, prompting the question: has their been a political coup in Iran?

Read the rest of this entry »


Biden Was Right-Take II

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

biden

Well, somewhat to my chagrin I have to use the phrase “Biden was right” again.   With North Korea launching a missle that traveled 1900 miles before it crashed into the Pacific, Biden’s prediction of an international crisis early in the Obama administration is coming true again, and this time I doubt if doing nothing will probably work either short term or long term.

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