Archiv für den Monat Mai 2013

Executive Order 13622 Designations; Iran Sanctions Designations; Non-proliferation Designations; Counter Terrorism Designations


Specially Designated Nationals Update

The following individuals have been added to OFAC’s SDN List:
ARABNEJAD, Hamid; DOB 16 Apr 1961; alt. DOB 03 May 1956; nationality Iran; Passport E1929795 (Iran) expires 25 May 2010; alt. Passport V08716254 (Iran) expires 15 Jul 2011; alt. Passport V11630399 (Iran) expires 20 Jun 2012; alt. Passport U8356901 (Iran) expires 09 May 2011; alt. Passport H10395121 (Iran) expires 18 Jan 2012; alt. Passport K11946257 (Iran) expires 27 Oct 2012; alt. Passport X13567677 (Iran) expires 02 Jul 2013; alt. Passport D14818825 (Iran) expires 16 Mar 2014; alt. Passport F16438158 (Iran) expires 18 Nov 2014; alt. Passport R19234531 (Iran) expires 02 Nov 2015; alt. Passport L95280222 (Iran) expires 23 Jul 2016; alt. Passport L95273714 (Iran) expires 22 Aug 2016; alt. Passport P95418009 (Iran) expires 27 Apr 2017 (individual) [SDGT] [IFSR].

KARNER, Mihael (a.k.a. TOPOLOVEC, Jozef), Locnikarijeva ulica 7, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Rozna Dolina, Cesta IV 44, Ljubljana, Slovenia; V Murglah 177, Ljubljana, Slovenia; DOB 13 Mar 1975; POB Ljubljana, Slovenia; nationality Slovenia; Passport PZ2420022110 (Slovenia); alt. Passport PB06005902 (Slovenia); Personal ID Card 00246412491303975500493 (Slovenia) expires 17 Dec 2018; alt. Personal ID Card 002464124 (Slovenia) expires 17 Dec 2018 (individual) [SDNTK].

KIM, Lidia (a.k.a. KIM, Lidia Egorovna; a.k.a. KIM, Lidiia; a.k.a. KIM, Lidiya); DOB 23 Mar 1955; citizen Kyrgyzstan; Passport 02NO133036 (Russia); alt. Passport AN1912357 (individual) [SDGT] [IFSR].
MERHEJ, Rodrigue Elias (a.k.a. MERKHEZH, Rodrig); DOB 1970; alt. DOB 1969; alt. DOB 1971; POB Lebanon (individual) [SDGT] [IFSR].
NOORZAI, Haji Kotwal (a.k.a. „KHOOTWAL, Haji“; a.k.a. „KHOTWAL, Haji“; a.k.a. „KOOTWAL, Haji“), Quetta City, Balochistan Province, Pakistan; Girdi Jangle, Balochistan Province, Pakistan; DOB 1961; alt. DOB 1960; alt. DOB 1962; alt. DOB 1958; alt. DOB 1957; alt. DOB 1959; POB Nahr-e Saraj Village, Nahr-e Saraj District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan; nationality Afghanistan (individual) [SDNTK].
SANCHEZ ARELLANO, Luis Fernando; DOB 24 Oct 1973; POB Baja California, Mexico; nationality Mexico; citizen Mexico (individual) [SDNTK]. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Would You Marry Me? Child Marriage in Iran

This week our design intern Patryk has been working with Maral to produce an image that uses data gathered from Ebtekar News  and the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child. At first glance the bold numbers jump off the page, leading us to delve deeper into the narratives behind the numbers.

The 13 hidden in the background?

Sharia law recognises girls as adults when they turn nine, and while the minimum age for marriage in Iran is 13 for girls and 15 for boys, younger children can be married off with the approval of their guardians and the court.

85% of the nearly 2 million Iranians under the age of 19 to marry over the past 6 years were girls.

More than 200,000 Iranians under the age of 15 were married; 97% of them were girls.

In 2010, 716 Iranian girls younger than 10 were married.

Who is asking, „Would you marry me?“

The Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Ahmad Shaheed, wrote in his latest UN report that he is ‚deeply concerned about reports that the Legal Affairs Committee of the Iranian Parliament has announced that the law that prohibits the marriage of girls below the age of 13 is considered to be “un-Islamic and illegal”‘.


Small Media’s Election Monitoring Series

This is the first report in Small Media’s Election Monitoring series. Our research and design teams are working with research specialist Ali Honari to analyse and interpret data collected on Twitter, Facebook and other sources regarding the 2013 Iranian presidential elections.

In this baseline report we look at Tweet frequency, key words, and we introduce you to the template and layout of the reports.

In our upcoming reports we will break down the data and look at sentiment, hot topics, candidate controversies, and social media spats. The story of this image is clearly Rafsanjani’s last minute application for candidacy, and his subsequent disqualification.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be looking at each of the candidates in more depth, now that we know who they are!

Visualisation of Social Media Data about Iran's 2013 Presidential Elections


Iran’s Presidential Hopefuls to Face Off Friday

Source: VOA

​The eight men vying to become Iran’s next president are set to face off in the first of three televised debates.

Friday’s debate will be the first chance for the Iranian public to see the eight men on the same stage since campaigning began last week. So far, the candidates‘ public appearances have been limited to brief campaign stops and some short appearances on television and radio.

On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned all the candidates to be truthful and respectful during the debates.

According to remarks published on his website, he said the candidates „should refrain from tarnishing their opponents and the realities of the society just to attract votes.“

Four years ago, televised debates between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and pro-reform opponents Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi produced several heated exchanges.

Some candidates have already complained of censorship by authorities. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Barring women from presidential office in Iran a serious rights violation, UN experts say

Source: UN News Center

A group of United Nations experts today warned that measures preventing women and other citizens from running for presidential office in Iran constitute a serious violation of rights guaranteed by international law.

An Iranian woman registering as a candidate for president

Last week, Iran’s Guardian Council, a 12-member body of theologians and jurists which vets presidential candidates, approved only eight individuals out of the 686 people registered for the 14 June election. The 30 female candidates that applied were disqualified, as well as other key political figures, raising concerns about the fairness and transparency of the vetting procedures.

„This mass disqualification including that of women wishing to stand in the presidential elections is discriminatory and violates fundamental right to political participation, and runs contrary to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Iran has ratified,“ said the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed.

„Any restrictions on this right must be based on objective and reasonable criteria without distinction of any kind, including race, gender, religion, and political or other opinion,“ the expert said in a news release from the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR). Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

View What links here Iran: grim choices for president


Which candidate will be in a better position to weaken the Supreme Leader? Which will be less detrimental in terms of economic mismanagement? And which candidate less dangerous than the others in terms of brazen violations of human rights and civil liberties?

The mass uprising after the electoral coup of 2009, which came to be known as the Green Movement, involved a wide-ranging array of secular, left, liberal, and moderate religious elements. It was defeated mainly because of the unbelievably brutal suppression of the activists, which included killing, maiming, and raping arrested protesters. But the movement’s leadership also played a role. Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoobi were both establishment figures; while they sought reforms, they did not want to challenge the regime in its totality. And the fact that the members of street movements failed to link up with workers and employees who had the power to shut down factories and other institutions as they had done during the Iranian Revolution of 1979, also contributed to this failure.

The situation is much worse for the democratic forces in Iran for this round of presidential elections than was the case in 2009. This is true despite the fact that the ruling cliques’ infighting has reached an unprecedented level, anddifferent groups of the “Principlists” (ultra-right religious fundamentalists) who were united against the Islamist reformists during the last elections, are now openly fighting each other. The leadership hopes to prevent the election of any candidate that would not be loyal and subservient to the Supreme Leader. The manipulation of the electoral process in the Islamic Republic is now a long-standing tradition that takes place in two stages. Firstly, candidates must be approved by the twelve member Guardianship Council (appointed by the Supreme Leader). Secondly, when the electoral process starts, they mobilize a sophisticated machinery to ensure their favoured candidates’ emerge as victors when the polls close, either by actual or fabricated votes. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Think Again: A Nuclear Iran

Why it won’t be the end of the world if the mullahs get the bomb.


„Iran is an irrational actor“

Wrong. It’s as clear as day that the Islamic Republic pursues goals in the Middle East that put it on a collision course with the United States. Iran is opposed to Israel as a Jewish state, for instance, and competes for regional influence with the conservative Gulf Arab monarchies. But that doesn’t mean it is irrational: On the contrary, its top leadership, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is deliberative and calculating. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s antics and often wild rhetoric shouldn’t obscure the fact that the Islamic Republic is interested in its own survival above all else. When contemplating the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, we should all be grateful that notions of martyrdom and apocalyptic beliefs don’t have a significant pull on Iranian decision-making.

Iran’s possible pursuit of nuclear weapons capability is motivated by deterrence, not some messianic effort to bring about the end times. The Islamic Republic has a relatively weak conventional military that is no match for U.S. and most Western forces — most of its regular naval and ground forces operate equipment from the 1960s and 1970s. It has tried to make up for this through a doctrine of asymmetry: It has supported terrorist and insurgent groups across the Middle East and created a „guerrilla“ navy, which — at best — might be able to swarm U.S. ships and interrupt shipping in the Persian Gulf. This is all meant to prevent U.S.-driven regime change.

Nukes could provide the ultimate deterrent for an insecure regime. And Iran has a lot to be insecure about: It is a Shia and Persian-majority theocracy surrounded by hostile Sunni Arabs, which has recently watched the United States overrun unfriendly regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq with relative ease. The regime perceives both conflicts as having damaged U.S. credibility and power — but knows this is no guarantee it can protect itself in a future conflict against the vastly superior American military without a nuclear bomb.

As dangerous as it is, Iran’s possible pursuit of nuclear weapons makes logical sense. And it isn’t an effort that is unique to the Islamic Republic: Any Iranian political system, whether imperial, theocratic, or democratic, would at least consider a nuclear weapons capability. Although a nuclear-armed Iran would be a dangerous development, a closer look demonstrates that it could well be a containable challenge for the United States and its allies. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Neda Agha-Soltan – 20. Juni 2009 | Ein Leben ging – eine weltweite Solidarität folgte

Neda Agha-Soltan (persisch ‏ندا آقا سلطان‎‎; * 1982; † 20. Juni 2009 in Teheran) war eine Iranerin aus Teheran. Sie wurde durch ein im Internet verbreitetes Video weltweit bekannt, das augenscheinlich ihr Sterben zeigt. Sie soll nach Augenzeugenberichten während der Proteste nach den iranischen Präsidentschaftswahlen 2009 durch den Pistolenschuss eines Mitglieds der Basij-Milizen getötet worden sein.[1]

Der Vorname Neda, der auf Persisch „Stimme“ oder „Ruf“ bedeutet, wurde in den Folgetagen von Protestierern gegen die angenommene Wahlfälschung in Teheran und auf Solidaritätsdemonstrationen in Europa und den USA skandiert und damit zum Symbol für den Widerstand der iranischen Opposition.[2] Die britische Tageszeitung The Times kürte Neda Agha-Soltan im Dezember 2009 zur Person des Jahres.[3]

Das Grabmal von Neda Agha-Soltan wurde sehr schnell von Blumen der Besucher bedeckt.

Das knapp 40 Sekunden dauernde Video zeigt eine junge Frau, die inmitten einer Menschenmenge rückwärts zu Boden einer Straße fällt, während sich eine Blutlache unter ihrem Körper ausbreitet. Zwei Männer versuchen ihr zu helfen, pressen ihre Hände auf ihren Brustkorb. Nach wenigen Sekunden rollen ihre Augen zur Seite, Blut quillt aus ihrem Mund und ihrer Nase; die Augen brechen, während die Männer schreien. Dann bricht das Video ab.[4]

Ein zweites Video zeigt dieselbe Szene aus einem anderen Blickwinkel; für einen kurzen Moment ist zwischen den schreienden Männern das blutüberströmte Gesicht der Frau mit bereits gebrochenen Augen sichtbar.[5] [6] Ein drittes Video zeigt eine junge Frau mit einem Begleiter im gestreiften Hemd – offenbar einem der Männer, der auf den anderen Videos als einer der Helfer sichtbar ist – als Teilnehmer an einer iranischen Protestdemonstration.[7] Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

The Ayatollah Under the Bed(sheets)

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, all politics may not be sexual, but all sex is political.


In the early years of the Iranian Revolution, an obscure cleric named Ayatollah Gilani became a sensation on state television by contemplating bizarre hypotheticals at the intersection of Islamic law and sexuality. One of his most outlandish scenarios — still mocked by Iranians three decades later — went like this:

Imagine you are a young man sleeping in your bedroom. In the bedroom directly below, your aunt lies asleep. Now imagine that an earthquake happens that collapses your floor, causing you to fall directly on top of her. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that you’re both nude, and you’re erect, and you land with such perfect precision on top of her that you unintentionally achieve intercourse. Is the child of such an encounter halalzadeh(legitimate) or haramzadeh (a bastard)?

Such tales of random ribaldry may sound anomalous in the seemingly austere, asexual Islamic Republic of Iran. But the „Gili Show,“ as it came to be known, had quite the following among both the traditional classes, who were titillated by his taboo topics, and the Tehrani elite, who tuned in for comic relief. Gilani helped spawn what is now a virtual cottage industry of clerics and fundamentalists turned amateur sexologists offering incoherent advice on everything fromquickies („The man’s goal should be to lighten his load as soon as possible without arousing his woman“) to masturbation („a grave, grave sin which causes scientific and medical harm“). Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Iran: Erotic Republic


When someone mentions Iran, what images leap into your mind? Ayatollahs, religious fanaticism, veiled women? How about sexual revolution? That’s right. Over the last 30 years, as the mainstream Western media has been preoccupied with the radical policies of the Islamic Republic, the country has undergone a fundamental social and cultural transformation.

While not necessarily positive or negative, Iran’s sexual revolution is certainly unprecedented. Social attitudes have changed so much in the last few decades that many members of the Iranian diaspora are shellshocked when they visit the country: „These days Tehran makes London look like a conservative city,“ a British-Iranian acquaintance recently told me upon returning from Tehran. When it comes to sexual mores, Iran is indeed moving in the direction of Britain and the United States — and fast.

Good data on Iranian sexual habits are, not surprisingly, tough to come by. But a considerable amount can be gleaned from the official statistics compiled by the Islamic Republic. Declining birth rates, for example, signal a wider acceptance of contraceptives and other forms of family planning — as well as a deterioration of the traditional role of the family. Over the last two decades, the country has experienced the fastest drop in fertility ever recorded in human history. Iran’s annual population growth rate, meanwhile, has plunged to 1.2 percent in 2012 from 3.9 percent in 1986 — this despite the fact that more than half of Iranians are under age 35.

At the same time, the average marriage age for men has gone up from 20 to 28 years old in the last three decades, and Iranian women are now marrying at between 24 and 30 — five years later than a decade ago. Some 40 percent of adults who are of marriageable age are currently single, according to official statistics. The rate of divorce, meanwhile, has also skyrocketed, tripling from 50,000 registered divorces in the year 2000 to 150,000 in 2010. Currently, there is one divorce for every seven marriages nationwide, but in larger cities the rate gets significantly higher. In Tehran, for example, the ratio is one divorce to every 3.76 marriages — almost comparable to Britain, where 42 percent of marriages end in divorce. And there is no indication that the trend is slowing down. Over the last six months the divorce rate has increased, while the marriage rate has significantly dropped. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

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