Archiv der Kategorie: Aktionen

Menschenrechtsbeauftragter Strässer besorgt über Gesundheitzustand hungerstreikender Häftlinge in Iran

Anlässlich aktueller Meldungen über den kritischen Gesundheitszustand von neun inhaftierten und seit einem Monat hungerstreikenden Anhängern des mystischen Nematollahi-Gonabadi-Ordens, Angehörige einer religiösen Minderheit in Iran, erklärte der Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Menschenrechtspolitik und humanitäre Hilfe im Auswärtigen Amt, Christoph Strässer, heute (02.10.):

Zusatzinformationen

Mit größter Besorgnis erfüllen mich Berichte über den kritischen Gesundheitszustand der neun inhaftierten Anhänger des Nematollahi-Gonabadi-Ordens. Diese waren aus Protest gegen anhaltende Repressionen gegenüber Angehörigen der religiösen Sufi-Minderheit in Iran vor einem Monat in Hungerstreik getreten.
Iran hat sich mit der Ratifizierung des Internationalen Paktes über bürgerliche und politische Rechte verpflichtet, auch das Menschenrecht auf Religions- und Weltanschauungsfreiheit zu achten und zu schützen. Die Unterdrückung religiöser Minderheiten steht dazu in eklatantem Widerspruch.
Ich fordere Iran auf, seiner Verpflichtung nachzukommen, die Menschenrechte Aller unabhängig von religiöser oder ethnischer Zugehörigkeit zu achten und alle Personen, die aufgrund ihrer religiösen oder politischen Weltanschauung inhaftiert sind, unverzüglich frei zu lassen.
Darüber hinaus appelliere ich an alle Verantwortlichen in Iran, den Hungerstreikenden umgehend dringend benötigte medizinische Behandlungen zu gewähren.

Hintergrund:

Die Situation für ethnische und religiöse Minderheiten in Iran ist besorgniserregend. Während Juden, Christen und Zoroastrier laut der iranischen Verfassung als religiöse Minderheiten anerkannt sind und zumindest offiziell Religionsfreiheit genießen, werden Angehörige mystischer Orden innerhalb des Islams (z.B. des schiitischen Nematollahi-Gonabadi-Ordens), auch Sufis oder Derwische genannt, häufig diskriminiert oder durch gewaltsame Übergriffe an ihrer Religionsausübung gehindert.

Anfang September 2011 gab es schwere Übergriffe der Sicherheitskräfte in vielen Landesteilen, v.a. in Kavar, im Zuge derer eine Vielzahl von Sufis sowie Mitarbeiter der zum Nematollahi-Gonabadi-Orden gehörigen Website „Majzooban-e-Noor“  und deren Verteidiger festgenommen wurden. Neun der Inhaftierten – zu Haftstrafen von viereinhalb bis zehneinhalb Jahren verurteilt – sind aus Protest gegen die andauernde landesweite Verfolgung des Nematollahi-Gonabadi-Ordens und gegen die schlechten Haftbedingungen am 31.08.2014 in Hungerstreik getreten. Es handelt sich um die im Teheraner Evin-Gefängnis inhaftierten Omid Behrouzi, Mostafa Daneshjou, Afshin Karampour, Farshid Yadollahi, Mostafa Abdi, Reza Entesari, Amir Eslami, Hamidreza Moradi Sarvestani sowie Kasra Nouri im Nezam-Gefängnis Shiraz. Ihnen wurde u.a. „Propaganda gegen das Regime“ und „Handeln gegen die nationale Sicherheit“ vorgeworfen.

Mother of Rayhaneh Jabbari, Iranian woman sentenced to death makes plea for daughter’s life

Reyhaneh Jabbari

The mother of an Iranian woman sentenced to death for killing her would-be rapist made a desperate plea to the government to spare her daughter’s life in a FoxNews.com interview Tuesday, just hours after the execution was postponed.

A distraught Shole Pakravan, whose daughter, Rayhaneh Jabbari, 26, has spent seven years in prison awaiting execution, spoke to FoxNews.com via Skype and begged for her daughter’s life.

“The only thing I want … from God, from people around the world … in any way, in any form, is I just want to bring Rayhaneh back home,” Pakravan said in Farsi, which was translated by FoxNews.com. “I wish they would come tie a rope around my neck and kill me instead, but to allow Rayhaneh to come back home.”

Jabbari was convicted in the 2007 fatal stabbing of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former employee of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry. Jabbari, who worked as a decorator and was just 19 at the time, says Sarbandi drugged her and tried to rape her after the two met at a cafe and she agreed to go to his office to discuss a business deal. Jabbari allegedly stabbed Sarbandi with a pocket knife and fled as he bled to death.

Jabbari’s execution was postponed in April in the wake of pressure from the international community, including a petition with nearly 200,000 signatures. But Jabbari believes her execution is imminent, and her mother says after Jabbari called her to tell her the prison planned to carry out her sentence, she was handcuffed and taken away.

“In reality, they didn’t want her to have any contact with her family and they didn’t want her cellmates to even see,” Pakravan said. “I told her, ‘Rayhaneh, this is impossible! It’s illegal! They can’t do this! Your case is up for re-evaluation. None of this makes sense!’ … Rayhaneh replied, ‘My dearest mother, you can rationalize this however you’d like, but they are taking me to kill me.’”

Pakravan and her family have been protesting outside of Rajaiy Shahr Prison in hopes of drawing attention to Jabbari’s case.

“The only thing I want in this universe is for Rayhaneh to be released. I have done everything I can think of,” Pakravan said. “I am a mother. No mother can accept the death of her child.”

The desperate plea came as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in New York meeting with world leaders at the UN General Assembly, and seeking to put a moderate face on the repressive regime. Supporters of Rouhani hoped his election last year would usher in a more tolerant era than the one of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, particularly regarding human rights. But advocacy groups say the number of executions and violations have increased.

The death sentence for Jabbari has gained widespread condemnation from human rights groups who say it exemplifies Iran’s backward legal and punitive system.

“This abhorrent execution must not be allowed to take place, particularly when there are serious doubts about the circumstances of the killing,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa deputy director at Amnesty International. “Instead of continuing to execute people, authorities in Iran should reform their judicial system, which dangerously relies on processes which fail to meet international law and standards for fair trial.”

Earlier this week, Mohsen Amir Aslani, a former psychologist was executed for heresy in Iran after eight years in prison for allegedly giving religious classes where he propagated a new interpretation of the Koran. He was also accused by the authorities of insulting the Prophet Jonah.

Watch the full interview with Shole Pakravan in the video above.

FoxNews.com’s Lisa Daftari contributed to this report.

EXTREMELY URGENT! Iran Executing „Iran’s Mandela,“ Dissident Hero Ayatollah Boroujerdi

Now that the world’s headlines are dominated by ISIS, and while Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is at the UN, Iran is using these distractions to step up its executions, its mass-arrests of minorities, and now its execution of Ayatollah Boroujerdi — that is if Iran, by again withholding crucial medical attention, does not passively execute him first.

Iran’s Prosecutor of the Special Clerical Court, Mohammad Mohavadi, stated that the punishment for these crimes of „anti-government views“ is execution, and said that all those who had a hand in publishing Boroujerdi’s book will also be killed. When Boroujerdi suggested an open, public debate, Mohavadi announced that his office did not participate in debates, just trials and punishments [executions]. The regime has been trying to kill Ayatollah Boroujerdi for the past 8 years of his 11-year prison sentence.

The threat of execution comes only one day after Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s latest letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Days before Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani addresses United Nations General Assembly, Ayatollah Hossein Kazamani Boroujerdi, the prominent dissident clergyman was informed that he will be executed for „anti-government views“ — that is if Iran, by again withholding repeatedly-requested medical attention, does not passively execute him first.

Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, in better times (left) and in his prison cell (right).

According to reliable sources inside Iran, „Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s health condition is worse than ever, and prison doctors have said that if the prisoner does not receive immediate medical attention, he will die within days or even hours….“ The authorities have been refusing medical intervention.

Ayatollah Boroujerdi has spoken out against political Islam and been strong advocate of the separation of religion and state, for which Iran sentenced him to 11 years as an Iranian political prisoner.

The Human Rights and Democracy in Iran Agency reported that on September 23, 2014, Mohammad Mohavadi, prosecutor of the Special Clerical Court visited Ayatollah Boroujerdi in Ward 325 of Evin prison. Mohavadi informed him that the contents of Boroujerdi’s book were „heresy“ against the leadership and insulted the Supreme Leader of Iran.

Mohavadi continued that the punishment for these crimes is execution, and stated that all those who had a hand in publishing the book will also be killed. When Ayatollah Boroujerdi suggested an open, public debate with the Special Court regarding his views, Mohavadi announced that his office did not participate in debates, just trials and punishment [execution].

This threat of execution comes only one day after Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s latest letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was published, on September 22. In this letter Ayatollah Boroujerdi strongly criticizes the government of Iran for mishandling the country’s economy, through corruption and by financing causes in other Muslim countries, instead of spending money on its own citizens, addressing unemployment, rampant poverty and the desperate need for health care.

Boroujerdi, who has an enormous number of supporters and is known worldwide as „Iran’s Mandela,“ has also implored the United Nations to help the people of Iran for the sake of history and future generations.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has been trying to kill Ayatollah Boroujerdi for the past 8 years of his 11-year prison sentence. The authorities have done this through torture, denial of urgent medical care and even a fire in his ward on July 1, 2014. So far, possibly wary of the global outcry that would ensue both inside and outside Iran if the regime were to execute Boroujerdi, the authorities have refrained from executing him.

However, now that the world’s headlines are dominated by the beheadings, mass-murders and lightening expansion of ISIS, Iran is using these distractions to step up its executions and mass-arrests, and to arrange the imminent murder of Ayatollah Boroujerdi.

Source: Gatestone Institute

Radio 91,2| Steinmeier drängt auf Lösung im Atomstreit mit Iran

In den Atom-Verhandlungen mit dem Iran drängt Deutschland auf eine baldige Lösung. Außenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier mahnte am Rande der UN-Vollversammlung in New York, die Chancen für eine Einigung jetzt auch zu nutzen.
Bundesaußenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (l) begrüßt am am Rande der UN-Generalversammlung in New York den Präsidenten des Iran, Hassan Ruhani. Foto: Daniel Bockwoldt

Bundesaußenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (l) begrüßt am am Rande der UN-Generalversammlung in New York den Präsidenten des Iran, Hassan Ruhani. Foto: Daniel Bockwoldt

«Es liegen viele Angebote und Vorschläge auf dem Tisch», sagte Steinmeier am Donnerstagabend (Ortszeit) nach einem Treffen mit dem iranischen Präsidenten Hassan Ruhani. «Es ist jetzt die Zeit, den Konflikt endlich zu beenden.»

Der Iran steht seit vielen Jahren im Verdacht, unter dem Deckmantel eines zivilen Nuklearprogramms an der Entwicklung eigener Atomwaffen zu arbeiten. Die Regierung in Teheran weist dies zurück.

Die Verhandlungen zwischen dem Iran und den fünf ständigen Mitgliedern des UN-Sicherheitsrates – USA, China, Russland, Großbritannien und Frankreich – sowie Deutschland (5+1) liefen auch am Rande der Vollversammlung weiter. Letzter Termin für eine Einigung ist eigentlich der 24. November. Als wichtige Wegmarke gelten die Zwischenwahlen in den USA Anfang November.

Steinmeier betonte nach seinem etwa 45-minütigen Treffen mit dem als gemäßigt geltenden iranischen Präsidenten, in den vergangenen Monaten habe es durchaus Fortschritte gegeben. «Jetzt ist es an der Zeit, den Abschluss zu suchen.» Zugleich dämpfte er Hoffnungen auf einen baldigen Durchbruch. «Der letzte Teil der Strecke, der jetzt noch vor uns liegt, ist vielleicht der schwerste. Es sind noch Hürden zu überwinden.»

Von iranischer Seite gab es zu dem Treffen zunächst keinen Kommentar. Irans Vize-Außenminister Abbas Araghchi sagte jedoch, insgesamt habe sich sein Land von den Verhandlungen in New York mehr erhofft. «Bei den Streitpunkten haben wir immer noch erhebliche Differenzen», wurde Araghchi von iranischen Medien zitiert.

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Iran Brief—Nuclear investigation “not an endless process” and other news

The IAEA director general urged Iran to fulfill its transparency obligations, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei criticized U.S.’s strategy against ISIS, and more in this week’s edition of the Belfer Iran Brief, covering September 9—September 15.

By Henry Rome

Highlights:

  • IAEA said its investigation is “not an endless process,” as Iran pledged to complete transparency measures.
  • Two-thirds of Iranian youth use the internet and 70% said they use software to evade government’s censorship of sites, according to a new poll.
  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said he rejected U.S. appeals for assistance against ISIS, telling reporters: “I opposed it and said we will not cooperate with the Americans in this regard since they have a corrupt intention and stained hands.”

Diplomacy and nuclear issue

  • IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano addressed Iran’s failure to meet several transparency milestones, saying “this is not an endless process.” He predicted that if Iran cooperated with the IAEA investigation, conclusions could be made in 15 months or less. But Amano added that IAEA would publish findings regardless, allowing member nations to draw their own conclusions. (Reuters, 9/15;AP, 9/15)
    • Reza Najafi, Iran’s ambassador to IAEA, rejected assertions that “deadlock” exists between Iran and IAEA over nuclear program and said “we are ready to complete” additional measures. (Reuters, 9/9)
    • Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, one of Iran’s nuclear negotiators, said a “difficult road” lies ahead during negotiations. (AFP, 9/11)
    • Iranian negotiators are slated to meet with E.U. representatives on Wednesday in New York. (Press TV, 9/14)
  • A recent Iranian exhibition of nuclear components said to be sabotaged “reveals the importance of non-Western countries, such as China, as key locations for Iran’s dual-use procurement.” (King’s College London, 9/4; also see related report by Institute for Science and International Security, 9/10).
    • Additionally, “exhibition of allegedly sabotaged equipment has highlighted Iran’s long-known preference for European and US-origin dual-use controlled goods, such as vacuum pumps and pressure transducers.”
  • Iran’s atomic energy organization announced plans to construct two additional nuclear power plants in Bushehr. Iran said it was in final negotiations with the Russians on construction, which could begin in the next six months. (Press TV, 9/15; Fars News, 9/15)

Sanctions and Iran’s economy

  • Iran is expanding its capability to store crude oil on land, which could free up oil tankers to broaden oil trade. (Reuters, 9/11)
  • Russian officials visited Iran to pledge increased economic ties between the two countries. Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said: “God willing, we will quickly increase the level of relations up to more than 10 times.” (AP, 9/9)

Iranian domestic politics

Two girls use Facebook in a Tehran coffee shop
October 13, 2013 – Two girls use Facebook in a north Tehran coffee shop. A recent survey found that two thirds of Iranian youth use the internet. (Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images)
  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei was discharged from a Tehran hospital after prostate surgery. (Press TV, 9/15)
  • A new United Nations report criticized President Hassan Rouhani for failing to live up to promises to improve human rights, including religious freedom and freedom of expression. Iran rejected the accuracy of the report. (Reuters, 9/12)
  • Two-thirds of Iranian youth use internet and 70% said they use software to evade government’s censorship of sites. (Tehran Times, 9/9)
    • When asked for their biggest worries, 30% indicated financial concerns and another 30% selected unemployment.
  • Iran is fielding Khalij Fars (Persian Gulf) anti-ship ballistic missile system to “operational units.” With reported range of 300 km, “it is capable of threatening maritime activity throughout the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz,” according to a Pentagon report. (Jane’s 360, 9/8)
  • Iran’s Culture Ministry reportedly has shut down several conservative news sites critical of Rouhani. (Al-Monitor, 9/10)

US-Iran relations

  • Henry Kissinger, on heels of the release of his new book, told NPR “I consider Iran a bigger problem than ISIS. ISIS is a group of adventurers with a very aggressive ideology. But they have to conquer more and more territory before they can became a geo-strategic, permanent reality. I think a conflict with ISIS — important as it is — is more manageable than a confrontation with Iran.” (NPR, 9/6)
  • See “Geopolitics and Iran.”

Geopolitics and Iran

  • Khamenei said Iran rejected U.S. requests to coordinate actions against ISIS. He said that Secretary of State John Kerry and Undersecretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman both requested Iranian assistance.
    • Khamenei, quoted in state media: “I opposed it and said we will not cooperate with the Americans in this regard since they have a corrupt intention and stained hands. And how could we have cooperation with the Americans under such conditions?” (Fars News, 9/15)
    • Neither Iran nor Syria were invited to Paris conference regarding ISIS.
    • Kerry said he would not rule out non-military cooperation with Iran, but later added, “We are not coordinating with Iran. Period….I’m not going to get into a back and forth.” (AP, 9/15; Reuters 9/15)
    • Iranian border guards arrested three people from Afghanistan and Pakistan suspected of attempting to transit Iran to join ISIS. (AP, 9/9)
    • ISIS’ advance has derailed planned completion of natural gas pipeline between Iran and Iraq. (AP, 9/10)
  • Revolutionary Guard forces repelled attack from militants based in Pakistan, who sought to seize base near Saravan, Iran. (Press TV, 9/9)
  • Rouhani congratulated Iraq on selection of new Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi. (Tehran Times, 9/10)

Israel

  • Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon visited Azerbaijan to meet with senior officials and support Israeli defense companies participating in Azeri exhibition. (Globes, 9/10; Times of Israel, 9/10) Note: It was the first visit by an Israeli defense minister to Azerbaijan, an Israeli ally.
    • Israeli drone shot down by Revolutionary Guard in August may have originated in Azerbaijan, Iran said. Meanwhile, Iran requested that IAEA condemn Israel’s alleged drone surveillance. (Press TV, 9/10)

Source: Henry Rome is a research assistant at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

The Boys Are Back in Town: Iran’s Annual Charm Offensive Begins Amidst Fading Hopes for a Deal

In an autumn rite of passage that has become as predictable as the start of school and the changing of the leaves, this week has seen the launch of the Iranian government’s annual American charm offensive, as senior officials began arriving in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meetings. This year, as last, Tehran’s typical U.S. agenda of speeches, media appearances, gala dinners and other festivities is amplified by intense talks on the nuclear issue.

However, in contrast to last fall, when Iran’s UNGA activities seemed to herald a historic breakthrough on the nuclear impasse and even, perhaps, on the bilateral estrangement, the mood has dampened significantly. The stalemated nuclear negotiations have replaced anticipation with anxiety. The flurry of bilateral and multilateral discussions that will take place around this year’s UNGA will determine if a comprehensive nuclear accord can be achieved. This increasingly looks to be a make-or-break moment for diplomacy with Tehran.

As New Yorkers know all too well, the annual UNGA meetings transform the city into a carnival of world leaders and motorcades. But for Iran, the gatherings inevitably assume outsized significance, offering a rare opportunity for the country’s leadership to occupy the world stage from its adversary’s home turf.

During his own eight-year tenure as president, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — who now serves as Iran’s supreme leader — made the New York trip only once, a 1987 visit that happened to coincide with a U.S. raid (and subsequent destruction) of an Iranian mine-laying ship in the Gulf. During the same session, American efforts to win a UN Security Council arms embargo on Iran ended with a statement by the permanent five Security Council members threatening sanctions unless Tehran accepted a cease-fire with Iraq. Needless to say, it was not a particularly amicable visit.

Another decade passed before Iranian leaders began contemplating a return to UNGA. Reformist president Mohammad Khatami’s multiple speeches in New York, where he promoted his vision of a ‚dialogue among civilizations‘ helped energize his embattled supporters at home and won Iran new respectability in the international community. Khatami’s hard-line successor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, astutely recognized the public-relations bonanza offered by UNGA, and over the course of his two terms in office managed to use his annual New York bully pulpit to provoke offense, outrage and ridicule among Iranians and the world.

Rouhani’s maiden American voyage last year came on the heels of his unexpected election. It was preceded by a well-scripted drumbeat of signals from Iran, such as the release of several prominent political prisoners, innovative Twitter diplomacy by Rouhani and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and a conciliatory Washington Post op-ed piece penned by the new president.

The preparations paid off; the 2013 UNGA saw a series of unprecedented overtures between Washington and Tehran, including a bilateral discussion among the Iranian and American foreign ministers and a telephone conversation between the two countries‘ presidents. Although secret talks were already well underway, the dialogue that took place on the sidelines of UNGA provided an official imprimatur for the newly revitalized process, as well as significant momentum toward hammering out the November 2013 interim deal.

This time around, however, with the deadline for concluding a final agreement only two months away, the mood is decidedly downbeat. Even after a year of serious and somewhat productive nuclear talks, the core issue of Iranian enrichment capabilities remains unresolved, and all available evidence suggests that the Supreme Leader has dug in his heels. From the start, both sides understood enrichment would prove one of the toughest issues to resolve; however, Tehran’s unwillingness to contemplate any reduction in its current enrichment capacity undercuts the implicit bargain undertaken last November, in which Washington backed away from its maximalist position on enrichment in expectation that Tehran would do the same.

UNGA will provide plenty of opportunity for working through these and other differences, but a creeping pessimism has infected even the biggest boosters of diplomacy with Iran. If Khamenei were prepared to compromise, the deal would already be done; Iran gains no real leverage from the perpetuation of severe multilateral sanctions that have eroded its economy. The alternatives to a diplomatic breakthrough remain profoundly unattractive for all sides. However, unless the discussions over the course of the next few weeks generate a quantum leap forward on the essence of this dispute — Iran’s proximity to nuclear breakout — watch for the debate to shift markedly over the course of October.

Reflecting the prevailing cynicism, this year’s UNGA endeavors have included little preemptive Iranian fanfare to smooth its delegation’s U.S. welcome. Instead of happy homecomings for imprisoned dissidents, this year’s visit was preceded by the announcement that a group of young Iranians who filmed themselves dancing to the pop song „Happy“ had been sentenced to lashes and jail terms. Zarif’s Twitter account has been silent for months, and Rouhani only publicly confirmed his decision to travel to New York earlier this week. And — so far — the Obama administration has wisely refrained from fueling the kind of breathless speculation about the possibilities for a presidential rendezvous that some U.S. officials indulged in last year.

Still, the show must go on. A bid to join the Rouhani revelry remains a hot ticket, and even if Iran’s standard public relations juggernaut seems a bit stale, half the American punditocracy will line up to hear Zarif’s justification for the two-month detention of an Iranian-American journalist as a purely internal matter. (Not surprisingly, he has yet to be asked about any other imprisoned dual nationals, such as former Marine Amir Hekmati who has now spent more than three years in Iranian prisons on trumped-up charges.) And the regional context provides a convenient distraction for the Iranians‘ audiences, as the rising threat posed by the dystopian furies of extremist violence in the Middle East overshadows the world’s persistent concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Meanwhile, the real action will unfold off-stage, among the teams of negotiators seeking to hammer out a formula for ending the impasse over Iran’s nuclear program. Everything else is a sideshow.

Source:

Suzanne Maloney

Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for Middle East Policy

Spiegel| Kampf gegen IS: Iran schickt seinen gefährlichsten General

Von

Kassim Soleimani: Chef der berüchtigten Kuds-EinheitZur Großansicht

AFP

Kassim Soleimani: Chef der berüchtigten Kuds-Einheit

Der iranische General Soleimani ist Spezialist für geheime Auslandseinsätze, er führt die berüchtigten Kuds-Einheiten an. Seine neue Mission: Er schult Iraker im Kampf gegen die IS-Milizen, mit ersten Erfolgen.

General Kassim Soleimani ist nicht der Typ, der zu Hause bleibt, wenn seine Männer in die Schlacht ziehen. Er ist der Chef der Kuds-Einheiten, einer Taskforce für Auslandseinsätze der iranischen Revolutionsgarden. Der 57-Jährige könnte bequem im Hintergrund bleiben. Er zeigt sich aber lieber an der Front.

Zuletzt tauchte Soleimani mitten im Kessel von Amirli im Nordirak auf. Er wurde per Hubschrauber eingeflogen – ein riskanter Flug über die Stellungen der Miliz „Islamischer Staat“ (IS). Zwei Monate lang war die schiitisch-turkmenische Kleinstadt Amirli vom IS belagert worden, bevor es dort erstmals gelang, eine Stadt gegen den Ansturm der Radikalen zu verteidigen, ein beachtlicher Erfolg unter Federführung Soleimanis.

Überschwänglich ließ sich der Iraner von seinen irakischen Gefolgsleuten mit einem Jubeltänzchen feiern. Das entsprechende Video fand sich später auf YouTube. Sichtlich genießt Soleimani den Mythos als Iransgefährlichster General, der ihn umrankt.

Er gilt als mutig und ungeduldig bis an die Grenze zur Tollkühnheit, als ehrgeizig, intelligent und extrem charismatisch. Im Sog des Aufstands gegen den iranischen Schah trat Soleimani schon als junger Mann den Revolutionsgarden bei.

Soleimani beriet auch schon das syrische Regime

Seine Missionen sind streng geheim. Iran ist ausgesprochen wortkarg, was den Einsatz der Revolutionsgardisten im Ausland angeht. Erfolg bedeutet für sie auch, dass wenig über ihr Engagement bekannt wird – sei es im Irak, in Syrien, im Libanon oder in Gaza.

Vom derzeitigen Einsatz im Irak ist lediglich bekannt, dass Soleimani als Militärberater die irakischen Milizen in Amirli unterstützt. Dies hatte ein Vertrauter von Ajatollah Ali Chamenei dem Iran-Korrespondenten der „New York Times“ bestätigt.

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Drought triggers protests in Iran

Fun boats lie on the bank of the dried-up Zayanderood River in Esfahan, 450 kilometers (281 miles) south of Tehran, June 27, 2008.  (photo by REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)

Drought triggers protests in Iran

The water crisis in Iran, where several important rivers and lakes have dried up, has become so seriousthat in certain areas of the country, citizens have been demonstrating and protesting to express their concern.

From the early hours of the morning on Aug. 30, thousands of residents of Esfahan and the smaller cities and villages nearby demonstrated near Zayanderood River, holding placards, protesting the drying up of Zayanderood and officials not paying proper attention to this issue.

Zayanderood is the biggest river of the central Iranian plateau and is 200 kilometers (124 miles) in length. It starts in the Zagros Mountains, particularly the Zard Kuh Bakhtiari Mountain, crosses the central Iran desert toward the east and, after passing the city of Esfahan, eventually ends in the Gavekhuni swamp. After 14 consecutive years of drought, climate change and mismanagement, parts of the river in areas near Esfahan have turned into dry riverbed.

Mohammad Reza, an environmental activist who took part in this demonstration, said, “The number of residents who had turned up for the demonstration was astonishing. It is beautiful to see that people care this much about the future of our water resources and environment, and it is tragic that the officials refuse to seriously look for a solution to this crisis.”

According to Reza, the demonstration was peaceful. People were chanting, “We only want water” and “Where is my river Zayanderood?” This last slogan, however, shows that the demonstrators have yet to forget the protests following the 2009 presidential elections. In those demonstrations, people protested the contested election by chanting: “Where is my vote?”

The water crisis of Zayanderood will have terrible consequences, including the destruction of the river’s ecosystem, loss of different life forms and destruction of wells and streams. It will also destroy agriculturearound the river and will deeply affect the industrial sector as well.

In March 2013, a group of farmers had staged a demonstration protesting the drying up of Zayanderood. In June, a group of residents of East and West Azerbaijan provinces held a similar demonstrationprotesting the drying up of Lake Urmia.

It appears, however, that the water crisis is not unique to Azerbaijan or Esfahan. Back in May, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s minister of energy, Hamidreza Chitchian, issued a serious warning on the future of water in Iran: “In the past 10 years, we witnessed the average rainfall in the country drop from 250 millimeters (9.8 inches) to 242 millimeters (9.5 inches), and we are facing serious problems regarding our water and water sources.”

On Aug. 19, the CEO of Iran Water Resources Management Company, Mohammad Hajrasooliha, cited a 52% drop in surface runoff — the water from precipitation and other sources that moves across the earth’s surface — and had said that at the end of the fourth month of the year, after a drop of about 10% compared to the previous year, the amount of surface runoff in the country had fallen to 39.267 billion cubic meters. He said, “Last year, the number was 42.442 billion cubic meters.”

It is notable that only four months prior to this, in April, Hajrasooliha had presented a different set of numbers and had said: “The amount of surface water in the country had been estimated to be about 90 billion cubic meters, but the real amount is only 55-60 billion cubic meters.”

An environmental expert who lives in Tehran told Al-Monitor, “People are alarmed. The numbers are different, but according to the Ministry of Energy the amount of renewable water has dropped drastically, almost by 50%, in the post-revolution decades.”

In 1979, the amount of water allocated for each individual was 4,000-4,500 cubic meters. Right now, the number is less than 1,500 cubic meters, more or less. We are witnessing a serious drop. The population has grown and the underground water sources are shrinking due to illegal and irregular exploitation, and currently we don’t have anything to replace these water sources.

Chitchian has also said that underground water sources are shrinking. At the end of a session in parliament, Chitchian told members of parliament, “Unfortunately, there are a lot of illegal wells and even those with the proper license have been exploited beyond their sustainable level. This has resulted in a drop of about 100 billion cubic meters in the static underground water supplies. The number has reached 11 billion [cubic meters] in the past year.”

Chitchian said, “The presidents who took office in the post Iran-Iraq war era, Hashemi Rafsanjani, [Mohammad] Khatami and [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, were all interested in structural management and thus destroyed the crucial water sources and the underground water supplies and none of them are taking any responsibility for their actions.”

On Aug. 24, Masoumeh Ebtekar, the head of the Iranian Department of Environment, warned that environmental problems in Tehran have reached a critical level. She said Tehran had reached its ecological limit in 1996 and any industrial expansion in Tehran should have been stopped after 1996.

According to Ebtekar, natural resources in Tehran are being exploited seven times more than their normal capacity. Given that in Tehran the amount of drinking water is limited, experts have issued serious warnings in the past few months regarding the level of nitrate in the drinking water in Tehran.

State-owned media, including IRIB, repeatedly ask citizens to use water economically. This is while Parviz Fattah, who served as the minister of energy during Ahmadinejad’s first term as president, had said thatagricultural use accounts for 92% of Iran water usage, and that “on average, only 70% of water should be used for agriculture and therefore the numbers show that Iran has 22% more water usage than the international average.”

Although government officials constantly warn about water crisis and drought, they are yet to introduce a serious solution or management method that would help solve the water crisis. However, on Sept. 6, Ebtekar said that Rouhani’s administration was trying to help farmers reform their irrigation methods.

A senior professor of sociology at Tehran University told Al-Monitor, “All these years we were discussing economy, politics, society and democracy. Now, however, these discussions all sound absurd to me. Given the current situation, we will either die of thirst or run away. I am no longer sure there was any point in all those discussions.”

Source: AL-Monitor

Berlin| PRESSEFREIHEIT IM IRAN – ZWISCHENBILANZ DES HOFFNUNGSTRÄGERS ROHANI

                 

 

PRESSEFREIHEIT IM IRAN – ZWISCHENBILANZ DES HOFFNUNGSTRÄGERS ROHANI

 

Es diskutieren:

  • MARKUS LÖNING, ehemaliger Menschenrechtsbeauftragter der Bundesregierung 
  • FARHAD PAYAR, Chefredakteur von Transparency for Iran 
  • WALTER POSCH, Iran-Experte und stellvertretender Forschungsgruppenleiter der Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik

Moderation:

CHRISTOPH DREYER, Pressereferent und Iran-Experte bei Reporter ohne Grenzen 

DIENSTAG, 30. SEPTEMBER 2014 18:30 Uhr

MAGNUS-HAUS, AM KUPFERGRABEN 7, 10117 BERLIN-MITTE

 

als Hassan Rohani bei der Präsidentenwahl im Iran vor gut einem Jahr schon im ersten Wahlgang mit über 50 Prozent der Stimmen gewählt wurde, war dies eine echte Überraschung.

Mit Rohani an der Spitze des Landes keimten Hoffnungen auf Reformen in der Islamischen Republik Iran auf. Das seit Jahrzehnten autoritär regierte Land verweigert seiner Bevölkerung systematisch grundlegende Menschenrechte wie Presse- und Meinungsfreiheit. Gegen Andersdenkende geht die Regierung mit Einschüchterung und Gewalt vor. Die Demonstrationen im Spätsommer 2009 haben gezeigt, wie stark der Drang nach Freiheit und Mitbestimmung in der jungen iranischen Gesellschaft ist. Die Proteste haben aber auch verdeutlicht, zu welchen Maßnahmen das Regime zu greifen bereit ist, wenn es sein Macht- und Meinungsmonopol bedroht sieht. So gehört der Iran zu den Ländern, aus denen Reporter ohne Grenzen in den vergangenen Jahren die meisten Hilfsanfragen verfolgter Journalistinnen und Journalisten bekommen hat. 

Gesteht der Iran unter der Präsidentschaft Rohanis seinen Bürgerinnen und Bürgern mehr Meinungsfreiheit zu und lockert die Zensur der Medien? Mit welchen Unterstützern und Widersachern muss Präsident Rohani bei entsprechenden Reformen rechnen? Kann Präsident Rohani die großen Erwartungen erfüllen, die viele Iraner in ihn und seine Ankündigungen für mehr Respekt vor den Menschenrechten gesetzt haben? Wir laden Sie herzlich zu einem informativen Diskussionsabend ein!

Für die Anmeldung folgen Sie bitte diesem link: https://shop.freiheit.org/#!/events/id/odeuk

Zur rückwirkenden Befreiung vom Rundfunkbeitrag

Seit dem 01.01.2013 gibt es in Deutschland den geräteunabhängigen Rundfunkbeitrag. Die Beitragspflicht ist nicht mehr an das Bereithalten eines Rundfunkempfangsgerätes gebunden, sondern an das Bewohnen einer Wohnung: Jeder Wohnungsinhaber muss – unabhängig davon, ob er ein Rundfunkempfangsgerät bereithält sowie von deren Art und Anzahl (zur verfassungsrechtlichen Problematik etwa hier) – einen pauschalen Rundfunkbeitrag von 17,98 € im Monat bezahlen.

Beitragsservice fordert rückwirkend Beiträge nach

In hiesiger Praxis häufen sich seit Mitte 2014 die Anfragen von Beziehern von Leistungen nach dem SGB II, die bisher keine Rundfunkgeräte besessen haben und die nun vom “Beitragsservice” der öffentlichen Rundfunkanstalten rückwirkend ab 01.01.2013 angemeldet und zur Zahlung der offenen Beiträge aufgefordert werden, die sich mittlerweile auf rund 400 € belaufen.

Was verschwiegen wird: Eine rückwirkende Befreiung ist möglich

Worauf der “Beitragsservice” der öffentlichen Rundfunkanstalten nicht hinweist: Die Vermutung, dass die angemeldeten Wohnungsinhaber Beitragsschuldner des Beitrages in Höhe von 17,98 € monatlich sind, kann nach § 14 Abs. 5 des Rundfunkbeitragsstaatsvertrages  (RBStV) durch Übersendung der “Bescheinigung über den Leistungsbezug zur Vorlage bei dem Beitragsservice von ARD, ZDF und Deutschlandradio”, die jedem ALG II Bescheid als letzte Seite angefügt ist, widerlegt werden. Bezieher von Leistungen nach dem SGB II (ALG II) werden dann rückwirkend ab 01.01.2013 von der Beitragspflicht befreit.

Wer bereits gezahlt hat: Frist 31.12.2014 beachten!

Leistungsberechtigte, die für Zeiträume, in denen eine Befreiung möglich gewesen wäre, bereits den Rundfunkbeitrag bezahlt haben, müssen sich sputen: “Eine Erstattung bereits geleisteter Rundfunkbeiträge kann vom Beitragsschuldner nur bis zum 31.12.2014 geltend gemacht werden.” (§ 14 Abs. 5 Satz 3 RBStV)

Wichtig: § 14 RBStV gilt nur für die sog. Ersterfassung!

Die Übergangregelungen nach § 14 RBStV gelten nur für die nach dem neuen Beitragsrecht erstmals angemeldeten Beitragsschuldner, vor allem also die bisher mangels Empfangsgeräten nicht angemeldeten Personen (vgl. § 14 Abs. 2 RBStV). Danach ist § 4 Abs. 4 RBStV zu beachten:

“Die Befreiung oder Ermäßigung beginnt mit dem Ersten des Monats, zu dem der Gültigkeitszeitraum des Bescheids beginnt, wenn der Antrag innerhalb von zwei Monaten nach dem Erstellungsdatum des Bescheids nach Absatz 7 Satz 2 gestellt wird. Wird der Antrag erst zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt gestellt, so beginnt die Befreiung oder Ermäßigung mit dem Ersten des Monats, der der Antragstellung folgt. Die Befreiung oder Ermäßigung wird für die Gültigkeitsdauer des Bescheids befristet. Ist der Bescheid nach Absatz 7 Satz 2 unbefristet, so kann die Befreiung oder Ermäßigung auf drei Jahre befristet werden, wenn eine Änderung der Umstände möglich ist, die dem Tatbestand zugrunde liegen.”

 

Quelle: Sozialberatung Kiel

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