Archiv für den Tag 7. Juni 2013

Berlin: Künstler vorm Vergessen bewahren – Akademie-Gespräch geht es um Künste und Menschenrechte im Iran

Der iranische Oppositionsführer Mir Hossein Mussawi (Bild: AP)Der iranische Oppositionsführer Mir Hossein Mussawi (Bild: AP)

Künstler vorm Vergessen bewahren (anhören)

Im Akademie-Gespräch geht es um Künste und Menschenrechte im Iran

Klaus Staeck im Gespräch mit Susanne Brinkmann

Der iranische Künstler Mir Hossein Mussawi ist Thema beim 49. Akademie-Gespräch in der Akademie der Künste in Berlin. Klaus Staeck spricht mit der iranischen Menschenrechtsaktivistin über die Situation der Künste im Iran.

Über die Umstände von Mir Hossein Mussawi und seiner Ehefrau wisse man derzeit wenig, sagt Klaus Staeck, Präsident der Akademie der Künste in Berlin. „Aber seine Situation ist mit Sicherheit keine gute.“ Hausarrest sei ja auch immer eine milde Form von Gefängnis. Mussawi sei zur Galionsfigur der Grünen Bewegung im Iran geworden, eine direkte Anklage gegen ihn gebe es nicht. „Aber das ist ja das Problem, Menschen wie er werden weggesperrt.“ Auch deshalb finde die Ausstellung mit seinen Arbeiten statt. Die Menschenrechtsaktivistin Shirin Ebadi, die extra aus London anreist, habe der Kooperationsrat der Grünen Bewegung in Paris vermittelt.

Von dort stammen auch die Blätter mit Arbeiten des Künstlers Mussawi . Woher die Blätter kommen, gehöre zu einem, der Geheimnisse, „die wir erfragen, aber nicht beantwortet bekommen“, sagt Staeck. Angeblich seien sie schon länger im Westen, aber wie und woher die Arbeiten stammen, das könne man nicht so genau sagen, „Wir freuen uns, dass wir sie haben“, sagt Staeck.

Mit Mussawi verbinde die Akademie der Künste, dass der früher auch mal Leiter der Kunstakademie in Teheran gewesen sei. Mit der Ausstellung wolle man Künstler vorm Vergessen bewahren, die wegen ihrer Arbeit und wegen ihres politischen Engagements mit Gefängnis bedroht werden.


Iran’s Presidential Candidates Debate Cultural Issues In New Format

Report by Radio Zamaneh; photos by Mehdi Dehghan, Jame Jam

The second round of presidential candidate debates was aired on Iranian state television on June 5 with a focus on cultural and social issues. The session opened with the moderator indicating changes in the debate format. The structure of the first debate had been widely criticized by some of the candidates as well as some media outlets.

In the second session, each candidate got a chance to present his points and later the other candidates were given a chance to critique their peers‘ statements. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Iran Today: Is US Pressing for Regime Change?



While Iranians are preoccupied with the Presidential campaign, including Wednesday’s second debate among the eight candidates, another story — one likely to have impact far beyond the June ballot — has been taking shape.

In the last 10 days, the US Government has expanded sanctions against Tehran on four occasions. Those measures have not only reinforced existing restrictions on the energy and shipping sectors; they have extended into areas far removed from Iran’s nuclear programme. Among the new steps, confirmed by President Obama’s executive orders, are sanctions against the automobile and petrochemical industries.

Even more significant is the ratcheting-up of measures designed to cripple Iran’s financial transactions. One of Obama’s orders this week threatens punishment of any firm trading in Iranian Rials or even holding Rial accounts — the step is no less than an attempt to collapse the currency, which fell 70% last year.

All of this is taking place as Iran’s oil exports continue to fall to historic lows. In April, the Islamic Republic exported only 741,000 barrels per day, a 30% decline from March and less than 1/3 the amount sold in 2011.

Meanwhile, the US, Israel, and European allies are banging the drum loudly over Tehran’s purported nuclear threats. Over the last week, there has been a series of „leaks“ to compliant journalists, recycling old stories as new menaces — notable among these have been stories about Iran’s developing heavy-water reactor at Arak, converted in the articles to a producer of plutonium for a Bomb.

All of this begs the question: is Washington going beyond pressure on Iran to the pursuit of regime change, through the cracking of the economy? If so, does the US have a vision of who and what might succeed the downfall of the current system? Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

What the world will learn from Iran’s election

By Robin Wright

The field of candidates may be limited, but the outside world can still learn a lot from Iran’s 2013 presidential poll. The election will provide three pivotal metrics about the Islamic republic now that the Ahmadinejad era is ending.

      First, the (real) turnout at the polls will indicate how many Iranians still have an interest in the world’s only modern theocracy. The government is quite obsessed with the number of people who vote to prove it still has a public mandate. Voting has become almost an existential issue for the ruling clerics.
      “A vote for any of these eight candidates is a vote for the Islamic Republic and a vote of confidence in the system and our electoral process,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a public appeal on June 4. He charged that the outside world was plotting to ensure a low turnout. Leaders clearly hope at least 60 percent of the estimated 50 million voters will turn out.
            Second, reaction to the results will signal whether the public deems the election process itself legitimate. It’s no small issue. Many Iranians believed the 2009 presidential poll was fraught with fraud—and that Ahmadinejad was not really reelected. The reaction sparked the greatest challenge to the Iranian regime since the 1979 revolution. It gave birth to a new opposition movement. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Latest on the Race: Debate on Culture, Women

Garrett Nada

            Iran’s eight presidential candidates clashed on issues of culture, personal freedoms and women’s rights at the June 5 debate. Hassan Rouhani and Mohammed Reza Aref repeatedly criticized government censorship of the internet, press and academia. They argued that censorship had prevented Iranian artists from creating quality productions and led people to watch foreign television shows and movies. Rouhani and Aref opposed the confiscation of satellites dishes and interference in people’s private lives. Even two conservative candidates ―Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf (below in black) and Ali Akbar Velayati― challenged government filtering.

      But Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel and Saeed Jalili defended state social controls. Jalili claimed that movies like “Argo” and “Lincoln” have furthered U.S. policy goals. He called for the production of movies to promote the Islamic revolution.
      Candidates also took opposing positions on the rights and role of women. Rouhani (left) promised to establish a ministry of women’s affairs if elected. “We must give women equal rights and equal pay,” he said. But Jalili argued that women should fulfill their family role at home. His campaign seemed to temper his statement with a tweet pointing out that his wife, a doctor, is a working woman. The following is a rundown of remarks and points made by each candidate during the debate.

Persian Press on the Race: June 6

June 6, 2013

  • During the televised presidential debate on culture last night, candidate Mohammed Reza Aref criticized the current government for wasting an important cultural opportunity when Asghar Farhadi, the director of the Oscar-winning film “A Separation,” gave his acceptance speech as a message of peace to the world. “We weren’t able to use this opportunity or its potential for cultural diplomacy with the world,” said Aref.
  • An op-ed in Jahan News highly criticizes candidate Mohammed Reza Aref and asks, “Mr. Aref, how well do you know your cultural figures?” During the presidential debate on culture, Aref mentioned Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi and world-renowned Persian classical singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian. The article reveals photos of Farhadi and Shajarian shaking hands, sitting next to each other, and cheek-kissing unveiled women, which is frowned upon in the eyes of the Islamic Republic.
  • Asr-Iran has conducted it latest poll and asks its readers, “No matter who you want to vote for, after watching the second debate regarding culture and society, which candidate in your opinion sounded the most logical and practical (about culture)?” As of Thursday afternoon, over 65,000 people voted and overwhelmingly chose Hassan Rouhani as he led with 57%. Coming in second was Mohammed Reza Aref with 15%, and Mohsen Rezaei following him with 12%. All the other candidates had 5% or less.
  • Tabnak posts a set of photos of Mohsen Rezaei campaigning in the city of Shahrekord in the Bakhtiari province. Large amounts of supporters came out to hear his speech in the main square where Rezaei pledged to diversify Iran’s economy and wean it off oil revenues if elected president.
  • Campaigning for village and local city councils around Iran began today. There are over 126,000 seats up for grab around the country.
  • BBC Persian has filmed a new documentary about the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad titled, “The Man with the Spring Coat.” The documentary provides an in-depth look of all aspects of his tenure as the president of Iran, such as his populist agenda both inside and outside of Iran, Iran’s nuclear program, domestic political infighting, the disputed 2009 presidential race, and other interesting topics.
  • Fars News posts two sets of photos of ordinary Iranians campaigning in public streets for their respective candidates. Voters are passing out flyers and posters to other perspective voters in cars and on sidewalks.
  • YJC.IR (Young Journalists Club) English reports that activist Bahman Sharifzadeh is still holding out for President Ahmadinejad’s right-hand-man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei to be allowed to run in the presidential election. Sharifzadeh said, „We will not lose hope until the last moment that Mashaei may appear on the electoral scene. As Mr. Ahmadinejad said we will not lose hope until the last moment, because there is some basis to our hope.”
  • YJC.IR News posts photos of the presidential candidates in the “green room” preparing before last night’s debate, as well as a series of photos of ordinary Iranians watching the debates on television. YJC.IR News also posted a series of photos shot around the Khorasan province of candidate Mohammed Bagher Qalibaf’s campaign promotions.
  • On a Facebook page created for Mohammed Reza Aref, a short video clip is posted that shows Aref during a television interview explaining why “he is worried and upset.” He describes his vast experience in government and says, “I am worried for the children that we had a revolution for (in 1979), I am worried about the relationship between the first and second generation of the revolution, and I am worried about the advancement of this country.”


Protestaktion gegen die undemokratischen Präsidentschaftswahlen im Iran!Berlin, 14.06.2013, um 14.00Uhr, iranische Botschaft

Aufruf zur Protestaktion gegen die undemokratischen  Präsidentschaftswahlen im Iran!
Freiheit für alle politischen und andersgläubigen Gefangenen!
Nein zur Islamischen Republik Iran!

Berlin, 14.06.2013, um 14.00Uhr, vor iranischer Botschaft

Im System der Islamischen Republik Iran sind freie Wahlen aufgrund der Geschlechter Apartheid, Ausschluss der Andersdenkenden und der reaktionären Verfassung völlig ausgeschlossenDie Kandidaten, die vom Wächter für die diesjährigen Präsidentschaftswahlen bestätigt wurden, gehören den hochrangigen Machthabern an, die an den systematischen Verbrechen in den letzten 35 Jahren beteiligt waren. Die Konstellation, der bestätigten Kandidaten und der Ausschluss einiger  Kandidaten, zeigt den internen Machtkampf auf und die Konflikte, die innerhalb der verschiedenen Flügel des Regimes vorhanden sind. Zum Beispiel Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, ein Mitbegründer des Systems, Ex- Staatspräsidenten und der Vorsitzende des Schlichtungsrats, ist einer der mächtigsten Machthaber des Regimes. Diese Kandidaten sind für Tausende von Hinrichtungen, die brutalen Menschenrechtsverletzungen und den Staatsterrorismus verantwortlich gewesen. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Im Bundestag notiert: Widersprüche gegen Entscheidungen von SGB-II-Behörden

Im Oktober 2012 lagen den Jobcentern circa 186.000 Widersprüche gegen Entscheidungen von SGB-II-Behörden vor. Zu selben Zeit wurde ein Bestand von ungefähr 202.000 Klagen aus dem Bereich der Grundsicherung für Arbeitssuchende ermittelt. Das schreibt die Bundesregierung in ihrer Antwort (17/13449) auf eine Kleine Anfrage (17/13232) der Fraktion Die Linke. Daraus geht auch hervor, dass 53 Prozent der im Oktober 2012 abschließend bearbeiteten Widersprüche zurückgewiesen und zehn Prozent der Klagen abgewiesen wurden.

Eye on Iran: Dictator’s Account – Now Also Pressure on Twitter

Top Stories

Die Welt (German): „Twitter is now subject to criticism for hosting the accounts of Iranian officials who are forcibly denying their electorate access to the internet in their country. Recently, the American lobbying organization United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) appealed in an open letter to Facebook, calling for a shutdown of the Supreme Spiritual Leader Ali Khamenei’s site. Now the initiators have contacted Twitter in relation to Khamenei’s account: ‚The Iranian regime is using the account to spread its propaganda, while it excludes its own citizens from Twitter,‘ reads a letter from UANI boss Mark Wallace, who was the U.S. ambassador to the UN from 2006 to 2008. Wallace also reminds Twitter CEO Dick Costolo of the cruel persecution of opposition supporters who used the platform to publicly protest in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 presidential election. But the restriction of Internet freedom in Iran is also associated with brutal repression in other ways. Just last year, the well-known dissident blogger Sattar Beheshti was arrested and died in prison – apparently as a result of torture. The UANI activists are asking Twitter CEO Costolo how this fits with his own remarks praising Twitter’s role in the ‚Arab Spring‘ and declaring that the short message service could ‚change the world‘ by giving a voice to ‚people who have not previously had one.‘ Unlike the oppressed Iranian opposition, the Supreme Spiritual Leader used his Twitter account for rabble rousing. Thus, the letter quotes Khamenei’s tweets to the protesters of the ‚Arab Spring‘: ‚The activists of the Islamic awakening must be vigilant against the unpleasant and horrific experience of Western lifestyle.‘ Or: ‚Israelis a vile entity in the Middle East, which will undoubtedly be destroyed.'“  Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

DW’s new multimedia project sheds light on Iran’s theocracy

Iran’s presidential election is scheduled for June 14. In light of this event, Deutsche Welle presents the country from various angles in its multimedia project „Beyond the veil: Iran’s theocracy.“

Negative images of Iran are common. The country is often associated with the mullah regime, the nuclear program and sanctions. But how does real life look in this Persian Gulf nation of nearly 80 million people? Government censorship and widespread restrictions on information and press freedom hinder the flow of credible, objective information out of the country.

How do people live in a country where the government takes drastic measures to counter any form of criticism? In a country whose economy is in bad shape, not only due to Western sanctions? In a country where religion and politics are tightly interwoven, forming a system with little transparency? How has everyday life changed for Iranians in the four years since the presidential election and the Green Revolution of 2009? Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

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