Archiv für den Tag 26. Juni 2013

Who Is Hassan Rouhani ?

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In April 2006, Rouhani was caught on tape, boasting that while talks [on Iran’s nuclear program] were taking place, Iran was able to complete installing equipment for the conversion of yellowcake — a key stage in the nuclear fuel process — but at the same tine convince the Europeans that nothing was afoot.

by Banafsheh Zand

The eleventh Iranian elections are over but were not really open and fair. No election can be fair when the candidates have been handpicked and propped up by one man: the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. The entire event, mostly a show for international consumption, was orchestrated within a police state. „I recently heard,“ Khamenei said, „that someone at the U.S. National Security Council said, ‚We do not accept this election in Iran.‘ We do not give a damn.“

Khamenei has often said, „Any vote that is cast for the candidates who have been picked, is a vote for the Islamic Republic. In fact all voting is a vote of trust and support for the regime.“ Iranians who voted were not electing a president but validating the Velayat’eh Faqih (the absolute mandate of jurists).

Iranian media and the internet are totally censored; the actions of the regime’s elite never reach the people inside. Additionally, both foreign and domestic media have been banned, with the exception of CNN, who sent American reporters. Part of that coercive measure has included the imprisonment of various Iranian journalists.

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Hassan Rouhani, the only cleric among the candidates, is a relic from the early days of the Revolution. His birth name is Hassan Feridoon — a more Persian name then his Muslim name, Rouhani, meaning spiritual. Since the government takeover of the Islamic Revolution, Rouhani has held multiple positions, including Secretary and Representative of the National Security Council, member of the Assembly of Experts, member of the Expediency Council, President of the Center for Strategic Research, and various positions in the Iranian Parliament. In the early days of the revolution he was put in the position of Military Coordinator where he purged the existing military and replaced them with Khomeini loyalists. During the Iran-Iraq war, he served as Rafsanjani’s right hand man. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Rouhani: Rival Constituencies

Alireza Nader

Hassan Rouhani now faces the hard part. Iran’s president-elect won a decisive and surprising victory because he appealed to three conflicting constituencies— conservatives, reformists exiled from the political system, and Iranians dissatisfied with the status quo. Now his ability to govern will depend on satisfying disparate factions. Each has its own set of expectations—and each is also intent on coming out on top.
      Rouhani may be able to deliver results precisely because he is an insider. Since the 1979 revolution, he has served in some of the Islamic Republic’s highest positions. Before his 2013 election, Rouhani was Iran’s national security advisor for 16 years and then head of a government think tank. So he has close ties to Iran’s military and national security establishment. Rouhani has also been a deputy speaker of parliament and a member of the Assembly of Experts ― the only constitutional body with the authority to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader. Among 686 candidates who registered, he was one of only eight allowed to run for the presidency. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Rouhani: Challenges Ahead

Haleh Esfandiari

            The decisive election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s new president has been greeted around the world as a sign that Iranians are tired of hardline policies at home and abroad and are ready to embrace change. But the outcome also raises the question of how the new president might go about it, given Iran’s powerful clerical leadership and long history of quashing reform efforts.
      Rouhani will inherit from his predecessor a host of difficult, even insurmountable problems. In the past eight years, such limited freedoms as existed have been severely eroded. The economy is in shambles due to Western-imposed sanctions and outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reckless spending and misguided policies. With few real friends, Iran is internationally isolated, and its relations with the US and the Europeans are under strain over Iran’s nuclear program, its support for Assad in Syria, and its inflammatory rhetoric on Israel. Negotiations between Iran and the so-called 5+1 (five members of the UN Security Council and Germany) about Tehran’s nuclear program have been deadlocked.
While he is considered a moderate, Rouhani comes to office as an insider. For sixteen years he was head of Iran’s National Security Council (NSC) and for two years Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator. Even today, he sits on the NSC as the personal representative of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. He served five terms in the Majlis, or parliament. He sits on two major state councils, one of which, the Assembly of Experts, will elect Khamenei’s successor whenever he passes away. In holding high office, Rouhani was more a team player than a maverick and continues to support many existing Iranian policies. On Syria, since his election he has offered only the formulaic non-answer that the Syrian people should decide their own future through elections.
            Critics have noted that Rouhani spoke in support of the harsh crackdown on student protesters at Tehran University in 1999—he later explained he was in the government at the time and could have not done otherwise. He also was silent when security forces brutally crushed protests following the contested 2009 presidential elections, and his explanation for that silence remains unconvincing: he was not then in the government, he said, the nature of the protests had changed, and the protesters were obligated to act within the laws. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Rouhani in his own words: On Nukes, Talks

 

      In mid-2005, President-elect Hassan Rouhani gave a detailed speech outlining Iran’s nuclear needs and its negotiating strategy with the outside world. The 39-page speech is the best indication – in his own words—of his views on Iran’s controversial program. Most notably, he told senior Iranian officials that the government could have avoided problems with the international community if it had been more open about its nuclear activities from the start. Rouhani also claimed Iran “never wanted” to build a bomb. These are excerpts from his briefing to Iran’s Supreme Cultural Revolution Council shortly before he resigned as chief nuclear negotiator after differences with then newly elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—who is now his predecessor.

On Iran’s Nuclear Needs
            “The Islamic Republic of Iran 15 or 16 years ago ― that is in [the Islamic years] 1366 or 1367 [1987‐1989 on the Western calendar] ― started to pursue fuel cycle technology. We pursued this technology because we always wanted to make use of nuclear energy, wanted to have nuclear power plants, and wanted to be able to produce the needed fuel for those plants ourselves…
            “The argument that because Iran has oil and gas, it should not have this technology is not a correct argument. The United States maintains that Iran does not need nuclear power plants, but the Europeans say it is Iran’s right to have nuclear power plants and it should have them .Iran has the right to worry about its long‐term future. Iran’s oil and gas resources will be exhausted one day, and it should have this technology…
            “If we can reach a political agreement to work with the world and activate our fuel cycle, that would be very desirable. We think there is a chance we would be successful in this undertaking.”
On Secrecy
            “Some of you say that if wehad said from the start that we wanted to have the fuel cycle, the situation would havebeen easier. Yes, if we had decided to declare our intention at the beginning, if we hadtold the IAEA that we intended to build a UCF (uranium conversion facility) plant at the same time that we started construction at Esfahan, if we had announced our facilities at Natanz from the start, we would not have any problems now, or our problems would have been far less than they are today.
            In fact, this is the very reason that our case has become so complicated. Theyask: If you truly were after fuel cycle, why did you do it secretly?! This is the root of all problems. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Rouhani College Thesis: Islam Flexible

 

      As a graduate student in Scotland, President-elect Hassan Rouhani wrote about two deeply debated issues: the flexibility of Islamic law and the separation of powers in an Islamic democracy. His work in the mid-1990s echoes many of the reformist ideas at the time.
Glasgow Caledonian University released abstracts from his master’s and doctoral degrees shortly after his election in response to new public interest. Rouhani attended the Scottish university under his birth-name Hassan Feridon. Rouhani, which means “spiritual,” was added after he became a cleric. The following are abstracts with links.   Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

IRI authorities responsible for human rights and sexual abuse of women among presidential candidates

50x70 feet print

In anticipation of the June 14 presidential election Justice for Iran (JFI) held an international symposium to mark the completion of a project documenting more than three decades of cases involving sexual torture of women. The symposium held in London on Saturday 8 June entitled “When Sleeping Women Wake, Mountains Move“, featured talks by prominent human rights advocates and victims of genocide, mass murder, rape and sexual torture in Rwanda, the Sudan and Iran. In this light, JFI presented its policy brief “Raped out of Paradise: Women in Prisons of the Islamic Republic of Iran” based on its two-volume report “Crime and Impunity: Sexual Torture of Women in Islamic Republic Prisons” detailing torture and sexual violence against women in Iran since 1979.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, provided statistics on the violation of women’s rights, including the widespread use of mental and sexual torture, and noted the absence of Iranian women in the top echelons of the national political system, including the presidential election. He discussed abuse, especially against women’s rights activists, by referring to the existence of harassment, arrest, torture, and ban from foreign travel. Furthermore, Dr. Shaheed noted the importance of JFI’s efforts in documenting the abuses against women in Iran with the aim of including such information in future truth commissions or tribunals. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Healing torture survivors: A call for action on the International Day in support of victims of torture

“I was savagely beaten and repeatedly raped,” says Sabeen, a Syrian 24-year-old refugee and torture survivor. “I had my hands and feet bound and was held captive for three weeks.”

Sabeen is tall and shy. She recounts the events of March 2012 when, along with her cousin and brother, she was kidnapped by armed men and taken to a home in a nearby community. “During the captivity I was forced to watch as my cousin and brother were beaten and then murdered.”

With her remaining family members, Sabeen managed to flee to Amman, Jordan. The effects of the torture started to show: she suffered from headaches, chronic pain, depression, anxiety and nightmares.

She was referred to the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) by her mother, who had attended a community awareness raising event in which CVT staff explained the effects of torture and how survivors could receive help.

CVT, a non-governmental organization that provides mental health, physical therapy and social services to victims of torture, was awarded at the end of 2012 a twelve-month emergency grant by the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture to provide direct assistance to Syrian refugee torture survivors in Jordan.

The Fund, which is entirely reliant on annual voluntary contributions received from Governments, the private sector, and individuals, disburses grants to a wide variety of organizations that provide psychological, medical, social, legal and economic assistance to victims of torture to rebuild their lives. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Justice for Iran Goes Online with Documentary on Sexual Torture in the Islamic Republic

In anticipation of 26 June, the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, JFI is announcing the on-line release of its documentary Final MomentsIn this groundbreaking production victims and witnesses recall experiences involving rape of virgin girls prior to execution and sexual torture at the hands of Islamic Republic prison authorities since 1979.

The film was premiered at JFI’s recent international symposium on 8 June in London, United Kingdom, marking the completion of its two-year-long research project on the issue of sexual torture over the past 34 years in Islamic Republic prisons. During the symposium JFI focussed on its bipartite in-depth report, Crimes and Impunity, highlighting the illegal nature of state policies that have left thousands of victims without legal recourse to physical or emotional rehabilitation and compensation. “The Islamic Republic authorities deny their role in subjecting countless citizens to torture of any kind and justify sexual torture, such as rape of virgins prior to execution, in the name of Islam,” said Shadi Sadr, the Executive Director of Justice for Iran.

Almost two hundred victims voluntarily provided testimonies pertaining to horrific details of various forms of torture they were subjected to while in custody. In addition to Crimes and Impunity JFI produced a policy brief Raped Out of Paradise outlining illegal Islamic Republic policies tantamount to crimes against humanity, and steps foreign policy makers, the international community including the European Union and the United Nations, must take to end the culture of impunity prevalent among Islamic Republic authorities and agencies.

Through the on-line release of Final Moments JFI calls on the Islamic Republic of Iran, a signatory of the International Bill of Human Rights, to live up to its state responsibilities by both protecting the rights of Iranians who have been subjected to torture in Islamic Republic prisons and preventing future violations.

To mark this UN international day a number of independent experts have highlighted the practice of torture throughout the globe, the need for a victim-centric approach to its elimination and the steps necessary to not only seek reparation but to prevent future violations. The call for action to mark this important day is available at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/Acallforactioninsupportofvictimsoftorture.aspx

To find out more about JFI and its recent publications and production on sexual torture in Iran, and to arrange an interview email Media Desk at: info@justiceforiran.org

 

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