Archiv für den Monat Februar 2012
Nikahang Kowsar “Defrosting the Elections” — His journalist to the Supreme Leader, “Haji, be careful that your beard doesn’t get burned!”
1829 GMT: All the President’s Men. The one-year prison sentence of Ali Akbar Javanfekr, President Ahmadienjad’s media advisor, was confirmed today by an appellate court.
Javanfekr, who is also editor of Iran newspaper, was charged with “insulting the Supreme Leader” because of comments on his blog. He was also given a five-year ban from political activity. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Iranian Protesters Raise Flowers, 30 July 2009Parisa Hafezi and Zahra Hosseinian report for Reuters:
Mina and Mohammad stood on opposite sides of the political barricades when protests against Iran’s rulers erupted into mass street violence; she, a student demanding democratic reform, he a member of the hard-line Basij militia that helped crush the greatest challenge ever to the Islamic Republic.
Now the two, both 27, are brought together for the first time in a small sitting room in central Tehran. Two years have passed. Iran faces painful trade sanctions over its nuclear program, prices soar, the opposition is silenced and parliamentary polls loom for Mina as an empty promise of democracy. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Iran Special: The Week in Civil Society, from Arresting Mountain Climbers to Strangling the Internet (Arseh Sevom)
Police display confiscated satellite dishes
Arseh Sevom, the non-government organisation promoting civil society in Iran, has started a weekly review of developments in the country — this inaugural article covers 19-25 February. Read the full entry or jump to an individual item:
Hunger Strikes and Heresy: Prisoners of Conscience in Danger
Opposition Calls for Voters to Stay Home
The Call for Free and Fair Elections
Jammin’ and Jammin’ and Jammin’… Jam No More
Coming to Your TV: Iran’s Outrageous Confession Videos
Strangling the Internet
More Pressure on the Baha’i
Sixty Percent of Workers Under the Poverty Line
More Limitations on Who Can Stand for Office: If Brazil’s former president Lula da Silva were Iranian he Wouldn’t be Allowed to Run
Publishers Come Under Scrutiny: “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself” Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Syrian President Bashar Assad (left) with Iranian President Ahmadinejad (right
Post revolution Iran’s relations with Syria have grown in strength since 1980. The constant visits by Iranian and Syrian officials between Tehran and Damascus, their shared hostility towards Israel and the U.S. and common interests in Lebanon are the pillars of the strategic relationship which has kept their bilateral relations at a high level.
Iranian Support of Syria’s Crackdown on Civilian Protests:
- “Support for the Syrian government and nation is one of the priorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran” - Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi at the height of Syrian unrest against Assad.
- Iran sends warships to Syria in response to the United Nations vote condemning Syria for human-rights violations against its own people.
- U.S. President Barack Obama :“The Syrian people have shown their courage in demanding a transition to democracy. President Assad now has a choice: He can lead that transition, or get out of the way.”
“So far, Syria has followed its Iranian ally, seeking assistance from Tehran in the tactics of suppression.” Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Opposition Leader Mir Hossein Mousavi’s Daughters Send Him A Heartwarming Letter on the Occasion of His Birthday
February 28th, 2012 – [Kaleme] On the occasion of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi’s birthday and on the eve of March 1st 2012, his daughters wrote him a heartwarming letter describing the last time they went to Akhtar street to find out about their parents’ condition and the fact that they have had no news from them for a very long period of time. The full content of the letter as provided to Kaleme is as follows:
In the name of God the kind, merciful and ever present companion of the noble and freehearted behind bars,
“Alas…things are not what they seem
…a prison is a beautiful garden to the freedom fighters
…and torture, flogging and chains
shall not weaken human beings
rather, they are a measure of his values” Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Following the approval of legislation by Iran’s Guardian Council for a revised Islamic Penal Code, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) has become increasingly concerned by the circulation of false and misleading claims about the nature of these changes in Farsi language media and social networks. Some of these claims include assertions that the new Code abolishes the death penalty for juveniles and eliminates the punishment of stoning to death for the crime of adultery.
Over the course of the last month, in an effort to provide accurate information about the nature of these changes, IHRDC has published several legal essays from Iranian lawyers and commentators that analyze the limitations in the revisions to the Code. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, issued the following statement today regarding Amnesty International’s new report, “‘WE ARE ORDERED TO CRUSH YOU’: Expanding Repression of Dissent in Iran:”
Amnesty International’s latest report details the sheer brutality and lawlessness of the Iranian regime, as well as the gruesome actions it takes to stifle dissent. To prevent the Arab Spring from spreading to Iran, the regime last year intensified its efforts to repress human rights defenders, and conducted four times as many public executions as in the previous year. Amnesty also confirms that the regime executes juveniles and homosexuals, burns and rapes prisoners, taps phone lines, and shuts off SMS services during times of political protest.
Eye on Iran: Amnesty International: Iran Publicly Executed 4 times as Many People in a Year of Crackdown
AP: ”Iran put to death more than twice as many people in 2011 as it did the year before, Amnesty International said Monday in a new report. The rights group said that the rate of executions in public increased even more dramatically, in an apparent bid to suppress political dissent and promote a climate of fear among those who might defy harsh Iranian law. ‘Casting a shadow over all those who fall foul of Iran’s unjust justice system is the mounting toll of people sentenced to death and executed,’ said the 70-page report, released in the run-up to Iran’s parliamentary elections on March 2. ‘There were around four times as many public executions in 2011 than in 2010, and hundreds of people are believed to have been sentenced to death in the past year,’ it said. In Iran, prisoners are usually executed by hanging. The report said the heightened pace of executions ‘may be a strategy to spread fear among the population and to deter protests. As the repression of dissenters widens, the risk of further death sentences and executions cannot be excluded.’” http://t.uani.com/xeLAzT
Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
By Bruno Tertrais
Since the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published its last report on 8 November 2011, detailing the military dimensions of the Iranian nuclear program, the parameters of the Iranian crisis have significantly changed. The United States and Europe have adopted and are progressively implementing unprecedented financial and oil sanctions against Iran. Tehran acknowledges that sanctions are hurting its economy but denies that the nuclear program is being negatively impacted. For its part, Tehran has embarked on a new campaign of terrorism against Israeli interests in Asia, further intensifying the debate over a possible Israeli strike against Iran.
The latest IAEA report, dated 24 February, is a mix of both good and bad news.
The good news is that after more than a decade of work, Iran is still operating old-technology, IR-1 centrifuges, and has not been able to switch to experimental, next generation machines.  Although the number of IR-1 centrifuges in operation continues to increase, the fact that there has been no noticeable upgrade in technology implies that sanctions, which target (among other items) the material and spare parts needed to transition to next generation machines, are working. Absent the sanctions, Iran would almost certainly have a rapid “break out” capability.
The bad news is twofold.
In the past four months, Iran has nearly tripled its production of 20% enriched uranium. Iran’s official justification is that the increase is necessary to meet the demands of fueling the Tehran Research Reactor. However, as Iran has already produced enough fuel for the next twenty years, this explanation is, at best, dubious. This inconsistency is compounded by the fact that Iran’s rationale for the new, underground Fordow enrichment facility has changed twice in the past three years.
Additionally, Iran refuses to provide information regarding its weaponization activities. After the November 2011 report, two IAEA missions were sent to Tehran in January and February to obtain information regarding what the Agency calls the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program. Unfortunately, these missions ended in failure. In particular, the IAEA delegates were refused access to Parchin, a key military facility at which it is believed significant weaponization-related activities take place. (According to David Sanger and William Broad of The New York Times, British and Israeli intelligence believe that Tehran may already have made the decision to build the bomb.) 
At the same time, just days before the November report was issued, Tehran replied positively to a letter sent months earlier by the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany). The letter was particularly noteworthy as it did not contain Tehran’s usual preconditions and vague demands for the restarting of talks. This could be an indication that, as a result of the sanctions, Iran is genuinely interested in negotiations.
So what does Iran want?
There are at least two possibilities:
Iran may be deliberately trying to divide and confuse the international community by making an apparent diplomatic concession while it simultaneously escalates the violence abroad and accelerates its production of enriched uranium. Some might be tempted to view Tehran’s approach as mimicking that of the P5+1, but this would be incorrect. The P5+1 have not engaged in the deliberate killing of Iranians and, though the assassinations of Iranian scientists are widely attributed to Israel, there are other credible hypotheses.
It is also possible that Iran’s leadership is deeply divided over the appropriate course of action and these divisions may be amplified by the sanctions and the upcoming elections on March 2. The faction backing Ahmadinejad may be pressing for a resumption of negotiations, fearing that further sanctions – or a possible military action against the country – could destabilize the regime. The Quds force , on the other hand, may have decided on its own or with the approval of the Supreme Leader, to target Israeli interests.
While the answer is important for diplomatic purposes, it does not alter the fact that Iran is gradually moving closer to a nuclear capability. No other currently non-nuclear member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty has invested as much in a nuclear military option.
In sum, there is probably still time for a non-violent resolution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but the time is growing shorter by the minute.
 For details see David Albright et al., ISIS Analysis of IAEA Iran Safeguards Report, Institute for Science and International Security, 24 February 2012.
 David E. Sanger & William J. Broad, « Iran’s output of nuclear fuel tripled », New York Times, 25-26 February 2012.
Dr. Bruno Tertrais
Dr. Bruno Tertrais is a Senior Research Fellow at the FONDATION POUR LA RECHERCHE STRATEGIQUE (FRS). He formerly was Special Assistant to the Director of Strategic Affairs at the French Ministry of Defense. Dr. Tertrais graduated from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP) de Paris. He also holds a Master’s degree in Public law and a DEA in Comparative Politics from the University of Paris, as well as a Doctorate in Political Science from the IEP Paris. His fields of expertise include international relations, strategic and military affairs, nuclear issues (proliferation, deterrence, disarmament), US strategy and transatlantic relations. Dr. Tertrais has published several books and studies on these questions.
Iran: ‘We are ordered to crush you’: Expanding repression of dissent in Iran
Index Number: MDE 13/002/2012
Date Published: 28 February 2012
The net of repression is widening in Iran. The authorities are arresting filmmakers, bloggers, human rights defenders, women’s rights activists, lawyers, students, journalists, political activists, religious and ethnic minorities – simply for speaking out against the government or expressing views with which the authorities do not agree. This report shows the lengths to which the Iranian authorities are prepared to go to isolate people in Iran from the rest of the world, and to try to hide information on human rights violations.
WashPost: ”Iran dramatically boosted its production of a purer form of nuclear fuel in recent months, with much of the increased output coming from a newly opened plant built inside a mountain bunker, U.N. officials said Friday, further exacerbating worries about Iran’s march toward nuclear-weapons capability. The finding, in a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, showed a nearly 50 percent jump since the fall in Iran’s stockpile of a kind of highly enriched uranium that is closer to weapons-grade than the type normally used in nuclear power plants. More than a third of the increased output came from a formerly secret installation called Fordow, which began enriching uranium last month from inside a heavily fortified bunker carved into a mountain in northwestern Iran, the IAEA inspectors found. Iran already has enough enriched uranium to build four nuclear weapons, if it decides in the future to do so. The shift to underground bunkers and a larger stockpile of the highly enriched uranium, however, could shorten the amount of time needed for Iran to develop a weapon, U.S. officials and nuclear experts say.”http://t.uani.com/w0JaNO Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Activist Hossein Jafar Ali Jasbi Is the Latest on Billström’s Delivery List to the Islamic Butchers in Evin; Deportation Date of 6 March 2012 – TAKE ACTION!
Hossein Jafar Ali Jasbi was born on 22 September 1972 to a family is among the tens of thousands of families that have suffered in the hands of the “men of God” and their gallows in Evin and other slaughterhouses. By the time he was 10 years old, Hossein had lost his beloved older sister Mehri, age 27, and a brother Reza, age 25; they were among those tens of thousands executed in the 1980s.
Hossein’s father, who wasn’t even politically active, was put behind bars like the hundreds of mothers, fathers, and relatives who have been arrested, jailed tortured, forced to confess to activities that they had nothing to do with, and then even put on “trial” in Islamic “courts” and sentenced to years-long imprisonment or – as in so many cases – even executed. Hosein’s father not only lost 2 children to the gallows of the keeper of Evin, but spent many years in that hell too. He was released only in 1989. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Tehran Is Ramping Up Nuclear-Fuel Output
Over the past three months, Iran has more than tripled its monthly output of uranium that has been enriched to a fissile concentration of 20% at Natanz and Fordow, according to the IAEA. Such nuclear fuel, compared with the 3.5% used in most nuclear-power reactors, brings Iran dangerously close to the weapons-grade level needed to make atomic weapons, according to nuclear experts.
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation, including by not implementing its Additional Protocol, the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.
‘Major differences’ with Iran on nuclear drive: IAEA
The UN atomic agency bemoaned on Friday “major differences” with Iran after two fruitless visits probing suspected nuclear weapons work, adding that Tehran had substantially boosted uranium enrichment. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
On Sunday night, Ashgar Farhadi’s A Separation won the Oscar for Best Foreign-Lanugage Film. Accepting the award, Farhadi delivered a short speech in English, “At this time many Iranians around the world are watching us, and I imagine them to be very happy….At a time when talk of war, aggression, and intimidation is exchanged between politicians, the name of their country Iran is spoken here through her glorious culture”.
In Iran, even Fars, the outlet linked to the Revolutionary Guards, is joining in the celebrations, noting Farhadi’s dedication of the award to the “values shared by all cultures and civilisations”. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Director Ashgar Farhadi holds the Oscar for his “A Separation”, winner of Best Foreign-Language Film — see separate feature (Photo: Reuters)
1123 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Syrian Front). Press TV publishes an attack article claiming that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London, and the British Government are fabricating tales about the violence in Syria:
[There is[ serious doubt about the truth behind its stories as they are weirdly in line with and helpful to London’s Syria policy, which supports the ouster of Syrian president Bashar al-Asad.It is also interesting that London claims Asad’s government is violating human rights principles in dealing with ‘protestors’ while revelations earlier this month showed the British government is training and providing arms and other support to terror squads in Syria to wage violence under the guise of demonstrators. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
On Eve of Bar Association’s Independence Anniversary, Legal Profession Under Assault
(26 February 2012) Today marks the 58th anniversary of the Iranian Bar Association’s independence. In February 1954, after a tireless campaign by some prominent lawyers, Iran’s legislators passed a law recognizing the independence of the Bar. This victory was in part meant to allow lawyers to defend the rights of their clients without repercussions and state intervention. Nonetheless over the last 58 years Iranian authorities have continually infringed upon the work of lawyers and eroded the independence of their Bar Association.
Independence of lawyers and the legal profession is essential for the promotion and protection of human rights and the fair administration of justice. Independent lawyers can advocate on behalf of clients, even when the clients are part of minority groups, are poor, criticize the powerful, hold unpopular opinions, or are accused of horrid acts. By doing so, lawyers can advance the rule of law, challenge government abuse, and ensure that the even weakest among us has a voice and a fair trial. At their best, lawyers help guarantee that no one is deprived of their freedom, rights, or life without being able to first defend themselves. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Im Iran sehen sich religiöse Minderheiten mit wachsendem Druck konfrontiert: Vor allem die seit 1983 verbotene Gemeinschaft der Bahai bekommt dies zu spüren. Seit der islamischen Revolution wurden 200 Anhänger hingerichtet.
Von Ulrich Pick, SWR-Redaktion Religion, Kirche und Gesellschaft
Im Gegensatz zu manch anderem Land im Mittleren Osten hat der Iran einen Schutz für religiöse Minderheiten in seiner Verfassung. Die Folge ist, dass im Teheraner Parlament auch drei Christen (zwei Armenier und ein Assyrer), ein Jude sowie ein Zoroastrier vertreten sind. Der Schutz der religiösen Minderheiten im Iran ist allerdings begrenzt. So ist es den etwa 140.000 einheimischen Christen, etwa 25.000 Juden und etwa ähnlich vielen Zoroastriern beispielsweise erlaubt, eigenen Religionsunterricht zu erteilen, iranische Staatsbeamte können sie aber nicht werden.
Qualitätsarbeit, Pünktlichkeit, gegenseitiger Respekt und die Sicherheit – das sind für Farzin Akbari Kenari die schönen Seiten seiner zweiten Heimat.
Der heute 41-jährige Iraner, der in seiner Heimat politisch verfolgt wurde, bekam erst nach sieben Jahren Aufenthalt und fünf Widersprüchen Asyl in Deutschland. In diesen Jahren lernte der Psychologe sehr gut Deutsch und half mit seinem Können und Wissen anderen Asylbewerbern, ihre psychischen Probleme zu bewältigen. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Lisa Daftari discusses the sentence issued by Iranian court
پروین فهیمی، مادر سهراب اعرابی جوان ۱۹ ساله ای که در راهپیمایی حوادث پس از انتخابات سال ۸۸ به ضرب گلوله کشته شده بود به سرخسبز می گوید: سهراب آگاهانه به خیابان رفت، خواسته های سهراب نه تنها خواسته های مردم ایرانی بلکه خواسته های همه مردم دنیا از جمله مردم سوریه هم است. خواسته هایی نظیر آزادیِ انتخابات، آزادیِ احزاب، آزادی اقلیت ها، مذاهب، آزادی اندیشه، چرا من نمی توانم بروم صدا و سیما حرفم را بزنم؟ چرا نماینده ی من نمی تواند کاندیدا شود. اینها خواسته هایی است که باید به آن توجه بکنند.
خانم فهیمی یکی از اعضای تشکل مادران صلح معتقد است که فرزندش را در راهپیمایی ۲۵ خرداد سال ۸۸ از دست داده است و اینک در گفتگویی که با مسیح علی نژاد انجام داده است می گوید: بسیاری از جوانان آگاهانه و با خواسته های مشخص به خیابان رفته اند و اگر الان هم شاهد سکوت آنها هستیم این به معنای رضایت نیست. نمی شود این خواسته های مردم ایران را از روی اغفال یا احساسی دانست، من افتخار می کنم که سهراب عضو کوچکی از جنبش سبز بوده است و مطمئن هستم مردم تمام کسانی که سال های سال در راه کشته و شهید شده اند را فراموش نخواهند کرد.
وی همچنین در این گفتگو با برشمردن خاطراتی از فرزند خود می گوید: مطمئن هستم سهراب ها هیچ گاه فراموش نمی شوند اگر دوری و نبودنِ سهراب مرا آزار می دهد در عضو کسانی که فرزندان ما را کشتند هر روز و هر روز دچار عذاب وجدان خواهند شد. کسانی که بچه های ما را کشتند حلقه شان روز به روز تنگ تر خواهد شد.
گفتگو: مسیح علی نژاد
Time is running out for a Canadian resident on death row in Iran.
Saeed Malekpour, 36, was convicted on charges he was “desecrating and insulting Islam” by running a pornographic website. He was sentenced to death in October 2011. The punishment was upheld by the Iranian Supreme Court in January.
Malekpour’s supporters say all he did was design a program which unbeknownst to him, some pornographic websites then used to upload pictures.
Journalist Marzieh Rassouli (see 0550 GMT)0738 GMT: Unity Watch. Hassan Ghafourifard has declared that, despite the proliferation of factions for the Parliamentary elections, the effort for a “grand coalition” of principlists has not been “dissolved”. It is only suspended, he said, awaiting the decisions of Ayatollahs Mahdavi Kani and Mesbah Yazdi, the leaders of the rival Unity Front and Islamic Constancy Front.
In contrast, Gholam Hossein Elham, the former spokesman for the Government, said the pro-Ahmadinejad Resistance Front could never join the Unity Front: “We will not let go of Ahmadinejad. We believe in his discourse.” Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
On the surface, the story is a tribute to the fortitude of the human spirit — or at least the fortitude of making money, no matter how difficult the situation — and the global power of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Amidst the economic doom and gloom of international sanctions, which has affected supplies of rice, grains, and palm oil to Iran, businessman Amir Hossein Alizadeh said KFC and its iconic founder, Colonel Sanders, would soon be appearing in the country. The first franchise had opened in Karajnear Tehran, according to Fars, and others would open in the capital and other major cities. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
February 25th, 2012 – According to reports by Norooz, incarcerated reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh’s daughter Arefeh Tazjadeh and his son-in-law Ali Tabatabai, received a notice to appear at Evin’s Shahid Moghaddas court in the next 20 days. Although they both currently reside abroad, the summon also stated that they have been banned from traveling and leaving the country. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
A man sweeps up discarded flyers for the Parliamentary campaign
1815 GMT: We are taking a Saturday night break, but we will be back at 0600 GMT with the latest news.
1735 GMT: Bank Fraud Watch. Voice of America has posted video of Amir Mansour Khosravi, the man at the centre of the $2.6 billion bank fraud, detailing bribes of 600 billion Toman (then about $500 million) to officials from Transport, Industry, & other Ministries, as well as banks. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Woman Passes Election Posters in TehranSaeed Kamali Dehghan writes for The Guardian:
This is the time of year when Iranians prepare for the most important holiday of the Persian calendar, Nowruz, the ancient Zoroastrian festival marking the spring equinox. Carpets are washed, furniture wiped down, tables set with painted eggs and children are bought new clothes. Family come to visit: there are many faces you get the chance to see only once a year.
This year, the 13-day family celebration which is meant to blow away the fatigue of winter is clouded by the fear of war, exhaustion and public anger caused by political discontent at home and western economic sanctions. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags