“We seek a win-win game and this is possible… We are prepared to enter serious and meaningful negotiations with determination and without wasting time, and if our opposing party is equally ready, I am confident that the concerns of both sides will be allayed through dialogue.”
With his nuclear opponents on the ropes, Rouhani is focusing on the 2016 parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections. But his comments Aug. 19 at a meeting of his Cabinet with the governors of the provinces has drawn the ire of his critics, including the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Mohammad Ali Jaffari.
Rouhani said, “The honorable Guardian Council is a supervisor, not an administrator. The administrator of the elections is the administration. The administration is responsible for carrying out the elections and agencies have been predetermined to supervise so that violations of the law do not take place.”
He continued, “The Guardian Council is the eyes and the eyes cannot do the work of the hands; supervision and administration should not be mixed. We have to completely pay attention to the constitution and act upon it.”
While Rouhani is accurate that the elections in Iran are carried out by the administration in office, and the Interior Ministry also does have the authority to approve or disqualify candidates in the first step of registration of parliamentary elections, his comments were viewed by critics as attempting to limit the Guardian Council’s role in the elections.
Without addressing Rouhani directly, Jaffari responded Aug. 20, “This kind of language that would weaken one of the pillars of the Islamic Revolution, as in the Guardian Council, damages national unity.” He asked Iranian officials not to “question the beliefs and values of the revolution” in order to “appease the dominant powers and the Great Satan.”
Conservative Iranian MP Ahmad Tavakoli also rejected Rouhani’s comments about the Guardian Council, saying, “The first point is that the legal discretion of the Guardian Council is to determine the qualification of candidates and the second point is how the Guardian Council proceeds to determine the qualifications. It’s not clear which of these two responsibilities the president objects to; apparently, [with] the example he gave, he objects to both of them.”
Tavakoli added that he was surprised that Rouhani, a legal scholar, would not know that constitutional role of the Guardian Council.
While Rouhani appears to be focused on post-nuclear-deal Iran, there seems to be confusion domestically about who would ratify the deal. Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), said Aug. 20 that the council is in the final stages of reviewing the nuclear deal. This is while 201 members of the conservative-led parliament earlier issued a statement to Rouhani demanding that a final nuclear deal be approved by them and to set up a special committee to review the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Arash Bahmani wrote in Al-Monitor about the battle between the SNSC and the conservatives in parliament over the approval of the nuclear deal.
Die Jury der 65. Berlinale hat ein politisches Zeichen gesetzt: Der regimekritische Iraner Jafar Panahi erhielt für seinen Film „Taxi“ den Goldenen Bären. Er selbst durfte nicht anreisen. Einen Silbernen Bären erhielt der deutsche Regisseur Sebastian Schipper.
Taxi (Persian: تاکسی) is a 2015 Iranian drama film starring and directed by Jafar Panahi. It premiered in competition at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival. Similar as Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten and A Taste of Cherry, it has been described as “a portrait of the Iranian capital Tehran” and as a “documentary-like film is set in a Tehran taxi that is driven by Panahi” with passengers who “candidly confide[e]” to Panahi. According to Jean-Michel Frodon, the passengers include “Men and women, young and old, rich and poor, traditionalists and modernists, video pirates vendors and advocate of human rights, [who sit] in the passenger seat of the inexperienced driver [who they refer to as] Harayé Panahi, ‘Mr. Panahi.’” The passengers are played by non-professional actors, whose identities remain anonymous.
Like his previous two films This Is Not a Film and Closed Curtain, it was made despite Panahi’s 20-year ban from making films.His previous two films had been shot in extreme secrecy in Panahi’s apartment and in a private house. In this film Panahi filmed out in the open on the streets of Tehran.
Shortly after the film’s premiere at Berlin was announced, Panahi released an official statement in which he promised to continue making films despite the ban and said ““Nothing can prevent me from making films since when being pushed to the ultimate corners I connect with my inner-self and, in such private spaces, despite all limitations, the necessity to create becomes even more of an urge.” At the Berlin Film Festival, the film won the FIPRESCI Prize.
A British-Iranian woman who was arrested in Iran after trying to attend a volleyball match has been sentenced to one year in jail, local media says, quoting her lawyer.
Ghoncheh Ghavami, a law graduate from London, was arrested in June at a Tehran stadium, where Iran’s national volleyball team was to play Italy.
The 25-year-old went on trial last month.
„According to the verdict she was sentenced to one year,“ her lawyer Alizadeh Tabatabaie was quoted in Iranian media as saying on Sunday.
He said the judge had shown him the sentence, but no reason was given for the conviction.
Iranian officials have said Ghavami was detained for security reasons unrelated to the volleyball match.
Britain said on Sunday it was worried about the case and the way Ghavami had been treated.
„We are concerned about reports that Ghoncheh Ghavami has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for ‚propaganda against the state‘,“ the foreign office said in a statement.
„We have concerns about the grounds for this prosecution, due process during the trial and Ms Ghavami’s treatment whilst in custody.“
The „Free Ghoncheh Ghavami“ Facebook page, where her friends and family campaigned for her release, features photographs of her set against the slogan: „Jailed for wanting to watch a volleyball match.“
An update on the page on Sunday appeared to corroborate the one-year sentence but bemoaned the closed-door legal process that has prevailed in the case.
„This morning Ghoncheh’s family and lawyer returned empty handed from branch 26 of revolutionary court,“ it said.
„It is not clear to her family and lawyer as to what the current legal basis of her detention is. A fair and just legal process according to Iran’s legal framework is the basic right of every Iranian citizen. Why are these rights not upheld in Ghoncheh’s case?“
Ghavami’s arrest came after female fans and women journalists were told they would not be allowed to attend the volleyball match at Azadi stadium in the capital.
National police chief General Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam said it was „not yet in the public interest“ for men and women to attend such events together.
Women are also banned from attending football matches in Iran, with officials saying this is to protect them from lewd behaviour among male fans.
Foto: Elisa Marie Rinne
Im Iran ist es Frauen untersagt, öffentlich solistisch zu singen. Sängerinnen haben es dort dementsprechend schwer. Von der Unterdrückung der weiblichen Stimme handelt der Dokumentarfilm “No Land’s Song”. Er begleitet eine junge Komponistin, die ein besonderes Konzert auf die Beine stellen will. Besonders deshalb, weil bei dem Konzert nur Frauen singen sollen. Der Film ist im Rahmen des DOK-Festivals nun auch in Leipzig zu sehen. Die Regie geführt hat Ayat Najafi. Er ist in Teheran aufgewachsen und lebt mittlerweile in Berlin.
Ayat Najafi im Gespräch mit mephisto97.6-Moderatorin Anne Eichhorn
In „No Land’s Song“ begleitest du eine Komponistin, die ein Konzert organisieren will, bei dem Frauen solistisch singen sollen. Diese Komponistin heißt Sara Najafi und ist keine Geringere als deine Schwester. Was hast du gedacht, als deine Schwester dir von ihrem Vorhaben erzählt hat?
Es ist besser zu sagen: Wir haben diese Idee zusammen entwickelt. Wir beide wollten dieses Konzert machen und ich habe gedacht, dass man mit einem Film dieses Konzert unterstützen kann. Wir haben also gleichzeitig angefangen. Sie hat sich um die Musiker gekümmert und auch um die Zensur, also um die gesamte Organisation des Konzertes. Ich wiederrum habe versucht, mit dem Film diese Geschichte zu erzählen.
Die Kamera war also von Anfang an dabei. Wie haben sich denn die Dreharbeiten gestaltet?
Wir hatten zwei Pläne. Der erste Plan war, alles mitzunehmen, was passiert. Das heißt, wir mussten immer bereit sein. Manchmal musste Sara sofort ins Kulturministerium kommen und da blieb uns nichts anderes übrig, als auch sofort aufzubrechen. Diese Situationen konnte man nicht planen. Der zweite Plan war unser Drehbuch. Dabei haben wir einige Momente geplant, zum Beispiel in das alte Theater oder in den Musikladen zu gehen und damit ein Bild von der Musikszene im Iran zu zeigen. Natürlich haben wir auch die Proben für das Konzert geplant, die in Teheran und in Paris stattfanden.
Gab es denn größere Einschränkungen, mit denen ihr während der Arbeit zurechtkommen musstet?
Also eigentlich kann man überall drehen. Aber man muss wissen, wie. Ich kann aber leider nicht meine Tricks verraten. Wenn ich das sagen würde, könnte ich nicht mehr im Iran arbeiten. Also tatsächlich durften wir nur im Kulturministerium nicht drehen, aber das darf man ja in Deutschland auch nicht. Etwas anderes war viel wichtiger: Die Leute wussten nicht immer, dass wir filmen, obwohl wir es ihnen hätten sagen können. Aber sie hätten sich dann anders verhalten. Sie hätten sich mehr kontrolliert und politisch korrekt gesprochen. Jetzt im Film sprechen sie frei, ohne Selbstzensur. Sie sagen einfach, was sie wollen.
Für welches Publikum ist der Film bestimmt?
Wir können den Film im Iran nicht zeigen. Er ist also für ein internationales Publikum bestimmt. Das können auch Iraner sein. Ehrlich gesagt: Wer geht denn schon ins Kino, um einen Dokumentarfilm zu sehen? Es ist im Iran genau so wie in Deutschland: Es gibt nur wenige Leute, die sich Dokumentarfilme anschauen. Es gibt natürlich diese Möglichkeiten wie das DOK Leipzig, bei dem man viele Zuschauer für den Dokumentarfilm gewinnen kann. In Teheran gibt es auch so ein Festival. Aber „No Land’s Song“ ist eigentlich nicht für den Iran bestimmt. Meine Hoffnung ist, dass die Iraner später den Film auf DVD sehen können oder dass er in einem Fernsehsender läuft, den man auch im Iran sehen kann. Genau so wie bei „Football undercover“, meinem ersten großen Film. Den kennen auch einige Menschen im Iran.
Du hast dich früh für Schauspiel interessiert, später hast du Bühnenbild studiert. Deine Schwester ist Komponistin. Kommt ihr denn auch einer Künstlerfamilie?
Ja. Mein Vater ist Architekt und ein großer Filmliebhaber und meine Mutter ist Musikerin.
Das heißt, die Kunst hat immer eine große Rolle bei euch in der Familie gespielt?
Sie hat eigentlich die einzige Rolle in unserer Familie gespielt.
Mit neunzehn Jahren hast du eine Jugendtheatergruppe in Teheran gegründet. Wie hat das funktioniert?
Das war sehr schwierig. Aber man muss wissen, dass die Kulturszene im Iran sehr aktiv und dynamisch ist. Es gibt einen großen Unterschied zwischen der Position des Kulturministeriums und der offiziellen Position der Kunst im Iran. Was wir in der Universität lernen, darf man im Iran eigentlich nicht machen. Wir lernen nichts über die Zensur, sondern wir machen, was wir wollen. Es gibt natürlich einen Untergrund und es gibt die Berge. Ich habe alle meine Proben in den Bergen gemacht. Da kommt niemand, um uns zu beobachten. Auch die meisten unserer Aufführungen fanden im Untergrund statt oder zuhause oder in kleinen Ateliers in der Uni. So haben wir gelernt. Seit den fünfziger Jahren herrscht ja im Iran die Diktatur. Erst war es die Diktatur des Shahs, dann die Diktatur der Mullahs. Beide haben ihre Regeln, aber die Künstler haben sich trotzdem durchgesetzt. Man sieht iranische Filme im Ausland, man sieht iranisches Theater und man hört iranische Musik … Die iranischen Künstler haben es geschafft, auf diese internationale Ebene zu kommen.
Eure Dozenten haben euch also empfohlen, in den Untergrund zu gehen?
Klar. Die haben das selber gemacht. Die meisten haben auch im Ausland studiert und sind dort mit internationalen Künstlern in Kontakt gekommen. Es gibt auch sehr viele Austauschprojekte. Das Theaterfestival in Teheran ist sehr aktiv. Dort kommen unter anderem viele Theatergruppen aus Deutschland hin. Auch die Staatstheater, wie zum Beispiel das Berliner Ensemble, kommen nach Teheran und machen Projekte mit iranischen Künstlern. Also diese Dynamik gibt es. Aber die Zensur gibt es natürlich auch. Das ist ein alter Kampf.
Was könnt ihr mit eurer Kunst erreichen, wenn sie versteckt bleiben muss?
Das ist nicht alles versteckt. Die Theaterszene in Teheran ist groß. Wenn man in Teheran ins Theater gehen will, muss man sich erst mal fragen, wohin man will, denn es gibt sehr viel. Wir Künstler lernen im Untergrund, aber später spielen wir vor Publikum. Wir benutzen die Spielräume. Viele iranische Filmer, die im Ausland erfolgreich sind, sind auch offiziell im Iran in den Kinos, wie „Nader und Simin, eine Trennung“ von Asghar Farhadi, der bei der Berlinale den Goldenen Bär gewonnen hat und später den Oscar. Dieser Film hat einen riesigen Erfolg im Iran und er läuft dort in der gleichen Fassung wie in Deutschland. Was ich sagen will: Es gibt Spielräume, die die Künstler nutzen können. Aber ich war nie jemand, der diese Spielräume benutzen wollte. Deswegen habe ich den Iran verlassen. Jetzt versuche ich, freier zu arbeiten und das internationale Publikum anzusprechen.
Wie steht denn das iranische Publikum der Kulturpolitik der Regierung gegenüber?
Dafür ist die letzte Szene in meinem Film ein gutes Beispiel. Dort sieht man, wie stark das Publikum im Iran so ein Projekt unterstützt.
Quelle: mephisto 97.6 – Lokalradio der Universität Leipzig
Hardliner mobilisieren um Besetzungen in Parlament und Expertenrat.
Im Iran geht ein tiefer Riss durch die Führungsriege. Nach dem Tod des einflussreichen Expertenratchefs Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi-Kani in der vergangenen Woche beginnen die Hardliner hinter den Kulissen für zwei wichtige Wahlen 2015 zu mobilisieren: Das Parlament und der Expertenrat müssen neu besetzt werden.
Im Expertenrat, jenem 86-köpfigen Gremium aus Geistlichen, das die Arbeit des Obersten Geistlichen Führers Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei beurteilen, und ihn (ab-)wählen können, brodelt es hinter den Kulissen der Führung gewaltig. Schon im vergangenen Monat wurde die Wahl eines Nachfolgers für Mahdavi-Kani, der seit Juni im Koma lag, überraschend verschoben.
Furcht vor moderatem Kandidaten
„Es war so, dass sich die Hardliner im Expertenrat davor gefürchtet haben, dass ein moderater Kandidat als Nachfolger bestimmt wird und somit ihre eigene Macht beschneidet und den Einfluss des als moderat geltenden Präsidenten Hassan Rohani forciert hätte. Daher wurde diese Variante eines Interimschefs gewählt“, analysiert ein Teheraner Politologe.
The presidency of Hassan Rouhani is being carefully analyzed for signs that the Iranian regime is changing its dangerous and threatening behavior. Optimism in some circles has been encouraged by a change in rhetoric and tone from Rouhani and other senior regime figures. However, while the new Iranian President speaks the language of conciliation, as it stands, the regime’s nuclear program and odious behavior continue.
UANI released a comprehensive report on Rouhani’s first 100 days in office, analyzing whether Rouhani had brought demonstrable change in three key areas: Iran’s nuclear program, human rights and role in Syria. Unfortunately, UANI found that President Rouhani’s record during his first 100 days in office failed to match his promising rhetoric. UANI developed the 100 Days concept in conjunction with Congressmen Ed Royce and Eliot Engel, Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, respectively. They publicized the concept in a September 25 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, „U.S. needs action, not words, from Iran.“
As Rouhani’s presidency progresses, UANI will continue to carefully scrutinize his record in office to see if his rhetoric matches his actions. The „Rouhani Accountability Tracker“ reviews the day-to-day actions of the Iranian regime.
“So basically I’m very sensitive about the question of citizenship rights, of the rights of minorities, the rights of the ethnic groups. I am glad that when every prisoner leaves the jail – the prison, I rejoice in that… So I will spare no effort to ensure that those who are currently in prison will see an opening door.”
|Political prisoners jailed in Iran||895+|
|Political prisoners freed in Iran
*Many of those released completed or were near completion of their prison terms. The government has failed to follow through on its September 2013 announcement to release more than 80 prisoners of conscience.
|U.S. citizens imprisoned in Iran||4|
|Cooperate with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, and allow him immediate entry into the country.||
|End Internet censorship and permit access to blocked social media websites like Facebook and Twitter that regime officials themselves use.|
|End the morality police’s harassment of Iranian citizens and routine violations of Iranians‘ human rights.|
|End discrimination and harassment against persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, particularly the Baha’i.|
|Decriminalize consensual same-sex activity between adults.|
“We should stop the civil war. We should pave the ground for negotiations between the opposition and the government… We should pave the way and prepare the ground for elections and ballot boxes so that Syrians voice their opinions and then we should all respect the results.”
|Does Iran continue to provide the ruthless Syrian regime, which has used chemical weapons against its own people, with extensive military and economic support in order to keep President Bashar al-Assad in power?|
The Rouhani Meter is an attempt to monitor the performance of the recently elected president Rouhani by documenting what has been achieved as opposed to his promises.
73 Recorded Promises to Date
Source: The Campaign to Free Political Prisoners (CFPPI)
|Mohammad-Reza Pourshajri||53||Central Prison||Karaj||4 years||Acting against national security
Insulting the Supreme Leader
|Diabetes, kidney stones, heart attack, enlarged prostate||2010|
|Dr. Sayed Madani||Central Prison||Bandar Abbas||6 years||Acting against national security
Civil rights activist
|Dr. Nader Babai||Evin, ward 350||Tehran||74 lashes and 6 years suspended sentence||Social and civil activist arrested during the 2009 protests for helping his student Omid Dana.
war vet for Iran/Iraq war
|Vahid Roohbakhsh||Evin, ward 350||Tehran||18 months suspended sentence||he was arrested during the 2009 protests on charges of protesting/gathering and propagating propaganda against the regime||due to severe beatings during torture he has lost 70% of his hearing and needs a hearing aid||2010|
|Dr. Haani Yazloo||59||Evin, ward 350||Tehran||6 years||propaganda against the regime
he was previously arrested and sentenced to 1 year in prison and 15 years in exile
|He has had 2 open heart surgeries and suffers from extremely high blood pressure.||2012|
|Pajman Abdodlhossein Zade||Evin, ward 350||Tehran||Held for 1 year||Green movement activist from 2009 and arrested before and this year again||Broken arm during arrest||2012|
|Mehdi Khodai||Evin, ward 350||Tehran||7 years||human rights activist
acting against national security
|Injured jaw and gums (due to beatings)||2012|
|Zaniar Moradi||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||Death-hanging||enemy of God
alleged killing of the son of an Imam
|Broken spine and unbearable pain as result of routine torture, paralysis||2008|
|Loghman Moradi||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||Death-hanging||enemy of God
alleged killing of the son of an Imam
|Broken spine and unbearable pain as result of routine torture||2008|
|Yashar Daralshafa||Evin||Tehran||5.5 years||acting against national security
insulting the President
|Problems with spine and disc||2009|
|Saeed MatinPour||38||Evin||Tehran||8 years||acting against national security
contacting with foreigners
|Extreme back pain and numb legs||1997|
|Ahmad Doneshpour||Evin||Tehran||Death||Supporter of the MEK||Crohn’s and intestinal bleeding||2009|
|Ayatollah Hossein Boroujerdi||54||Evin||Tehran||One year in Tehran and 10 years exile||Accused of acting against national security, holding lectures and public incitement against the regime and Islamic Constitution||Due to torture he is suffering from Parkinson’s diseases, heart disease, kidney failure, pulmonary edema, edema of the legs, diabetes, high blood pressure, 90% loss of vision in the right eye and many other ailments||2006|
|Rasool Badaghi||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||In prison 6 years||Teachers Union board member||Severe debilitating headaches||2009|
|Reza Shahabi||Evin ward 350||Tehran||4 years prison and 5 years ban on union activities, 70 million Tomans fine||Union worker activist member of imprisoned workers union||high blood pressure and neck and low back pain||2010|
|Mohammad Jarahi||Tabriz Prison||Tabriz||5 years||Workers Union member||Thyroid gland tumor which has developed to cancer||2011|
|Mohammad Ali Taheri||54||Evin ward 209||Tehran||7 years prison, 900 million Tomans fine and 64 lashes||Apostasy, violating national security establishment of a spiritual center( Erfan-e Halghe)||Has been on hunger strike 9 times and has serious infection of the mouth and jaw|
|Hamid Navid||Evin ward 350||Tehran||Death||Lymphatic cancer|
|Ali Alaee||Evin||Tehran||7 years||Collaboration with a hostile enemy government||Heart disease and spinal cord pain/injury|
|Mostafa Daneshjoo||Evin — intelligence /security section||Tehran||in prison without sentencing||part of the Dervish Gonabadi group||Lung disease, difficulty breathing||2011|
|Reza Entesary||Evin||Tehran||Webmaster, blogger (blog: Majzobane Noor)||Injury to left arm||2011|
|Assadollah Hadi||Evin||Tehran||5 years||Ex-political prisoner in ’80s
acting against national security
|Severe heart disease along with problems with the meniscus of the knee||2009|
|Asghar Ghattan||Evin ward 350||Tehran||5.5 years||Ex-political prisoner in 80’s
connection to MEK organization
|Kidney and heart problems along with prostate issues||2010|
|Mohmmad Salemi||64||Evin ward 350||Tehran||3 years||Ex-political prisoner in 80’s
connection to MEK organization
enemy of God
|Heart disease and spinal sciatica and kidney problems||2009|
|Mohammad Sadigh Kabodavand||Evin||Tehran||10.5 years||establishing a human rights organization and acting against national security||Prostate problems||1997|
|Kamyar Sabeti||Evin||Tehran||5 years||spying||Heart disease|
|Sina Azeemi||Evin||Tehran||5 years||spying||Problems breathing/lung issues|
|Mohsen Daneshpour||67||Evin||Tehran||Death||acting against national security
enemy of God
connection to MEK organization
|Heart and prostate disease||2009|
|Hassan Faraji||Evin ward 350||Tehran||7 years||spying||Heart disease, spinal cord injury, intestinal disease||2009|
|Alireza Ahmadi||30||Evin ward 350||Tehran||Collaborating with enemy||Broken legs during interrogation as a result of being kicked||2012|
|Tasavor Taghipour||Evin ward 350||Tehran||7 years||member of human rights organization and thus propaganda against the regime||Jaw and gum problems||2012|
|Mohammad Davari||41||Evin ward 350||Tehran||5 years||Acting against national security||Knee and lower back joint problems along with mouth and teeth injuries||2009|
|Amir Khoram||51||Evin||Tehran||8 years||Member of the Freedom Movement – conspiring against national security||Jaw and gum injuries||2009|
|Amir Eslami||Evin ward 350||Tehran||No sentence arrested in 2011||Member of Darvish Gonabadi and webmaster, blogger (blog: Majzobane Noor)||Severe heart and intestinal pain||2011|
|Rahman Ghahermanpour||Evin ward 350||Tehran||3.5 years||spying||Spinal cord pain, nose, ear and throat issues||2011|
|Esmael Barzagari||Evin ward 350||Tehran||No sentence arrested 2011||Acting against national security||Gum and jaw issues||2011|
|Nader Jani||Evin ward 350||Tehran||3.5 years||Assembly and collusion against national security||Spinal cord, heart lung problems||2012|
|Saeed Mohammad Ebrahimi||Evin ward 350||Tehran||5 years||insulting the Supreme Leader
Acting against national security
involvement in a soft Coup
|Asthma and intestinal issues plus lower back Joint problem – herniated disc||2010|
|Hamid Reza Moradi||Evin ward 209||Tehran||No sentence||Member of Darvish Gonabadi
acting against national security
spreading lies and propaganda
|Hossein Zarrini||Evin ward 350||Tehran||4 years||Assembly and collusion against national security||epilepsy||2010|
|Behnam Ebrahim Zade||Evin ward 350||Tehran||5 years||Workers Union Activist||Arthritis in the neck and ear, jaw and kidney pain||2010|
|Saeed Abedeeni||Evin ward 350||Tehran||8 years||Establishing and running a church from his home||Bleeding from stomach and bladder||2012|
|Farzad Rohi||Evin||Tehran||3.5 years||Propaganda against the regime and insulting Islam||Sinusitis||2010|
|Assadollah Assadi||Evin ward 350||Tehran||10 years||Collaborating with enemy||Lung problems/disease||2010|
|Gholamreza Hosseini||Evin ward 209||Tehran||10 years||Collaborating with enemy||The destruction of the hip joint, and leg – gum issues||2010|
|Majid Assadi||Evin ward 350||Tehran||4 years||Assembly and collusion against national security||Anxiety and severe headaches||2008|
|Nader Karbassi||58||Evin||Tehran||No sentence||Communicating with opposition groups||Joint problem – herniated disc||2011|
|Mohammad Banazade Amir-Kheezi||68||Evin ward 209||Tehran||5 years||Communicating with MEK organization||History of surgery and has severe bone pain||2010|
|Mushallah Hatteri||61||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||15 years||Ex-political prisoner in the 80s
protesting in 2009 demonstrations
|Has had heart surgery and suffers from brain hemorrhage||2009|
|Riazollah Sobhani||68||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||4 years||Professor of online Baha’i school, member of the Baha’i faith||History of heart surgery. arthritis in hands and feet||2011|
|Jamal Khanjani||80||Evin||Tehran||20 years||Member of the Baha’i faith
Accused of spying for Israel
|Mohammad Saifzadeh||66||Evin ward 350||Tehran||8 years||Establishing human rights organization and acting against the regime||Stroke, numbness of hands and feet. Severe chest pains||2011|
|Farhad Sadaghi||67||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||4 years||Professor of online Baha’i school and member of Baha’i faith||Kidney stones, gall bladder stones and cataracts||2011|
|Kayvan Samimi||65||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||6 years||Questioning the 2009 election results and calling the results fraudulent||Severe heart disease – joint problems – need for internal operations||2009|
|Sharokh Tanef||64||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||4 years||Being a member of the Baha’i faith||Joint pain||2008|
|Karim Ma’rof Aziz||70||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||Life in prison||spying||Diabetes – old age||1995|
|Behrooz Azizi Tavakoli||62||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||20 years||Member of Baha’i faith
Spying for Israel
|Coronary Heart – Arthritis and herniated disc||1997|
|Fariba Kamal Abadi (female)||Evin||Tehran||20 years||Member of Baha’i faith
Spying for Israel
|Mahvash Shahriyari (female)||Evin||Tehran||20 years||Member of Baha’i faith
Spying for Israel
|Osteoporosis and depression||2008|
|Hassan Fatali Ashtiani||64||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||15 years||Communication with MEK organization||Joint pain||2007|
|Kamran Mortezai||61||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||5 years||Member of Baha’i faith
Spying for Israel
|Severe back and knee pain||2011|
|Rajai Shahr||Karaj||5 years||Member of Baha’i faith
And a teacher of the faith online
|Diabetic, heart disease and history of open heart surgery||2010|
|Favad Moghadam||62||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||5 years||Member of Baha’i faith
And a teacher of the faith online
|Swelling of the arteries and herniated disc||2011|
|Adelle Naemi||61||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||11 years||Member of Baha’i faith
Spying for Israel
|Heart disease, diabetic and past gall bladder and intestine surgery||2011|
|Neymat Rashidi||21||Evin||Tehran||No sentence||Member of the minority group of Kurdistan
communications with opposition groups
|Pain from injuries caused by torture||2011|
|Ali Ma’ezi||59||Central prison||Karaj||One year in prison – suspended||Enemy of God and supporter of MEK organization||bladder cancer||2011|
|Reza Joshan||27||2.5 years in prison and 3 years exile||Enemy of God||Vision and heart problems and increased blood platelet count||2010|
|Mijagh Bozdannejad||27||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||13 years||Communication with MEK
And paying tribute to those executed in 1988
|Mohammad Ali Mansouri||53||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||18 years||Communication with MEK||2007|
|Saeed Maasoori||48||Gohardasht||Karaj||Life||Communication with MEK||Heart disease painful gums,, back pain||2000|
|Shahram Radmehr||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||9 years||Propaganda against the regime and insulting Islam|
|Behnoud Gholizadeh||Rajai Shahr||Karaj||9 years||Propaganda against the regime and insulting Islam|
|Sedigheh Moradi||54||9 years|
|Motahareh Bahrami||60||Evin||Tehran||10 years||Enemy of god and connection with MEK||2009|
|Kobra Bannazadeh Amirkhizi||62||Evin||Tehran||5 years||Enemy of god and connection with MEK|
|Peyman KasNezhad||Evin||Tehran||3 years||Connection with Israel|
|Davoud Asadi||78||Kianoush Sabouri|
|Omid Shahmoradi Sanandaji||Evin||Tehran||3 years||Acting against national security||2011|
|Mahdi Sajedifar||35||Evin||Tehran||Connection with foreign government||2011|
|Morteza Rahim Tayefeh|
|Majid Mohammadi Moien||Evin||Tehran||4 years||Connection with foreign government||2012|
|MohammadHossein Yousefpour||Evin||Tehran||5.5 years||Propaganda against the regime and apostasy||2009|
|Abdollah Momeni||36||Evin||Tehran||Propaganda against the regime and apostasy||2009|
|Alireza Ousivand Karimi|
|Omid Kokabee||31||Evin||Tehran||10 years||communicating with a hostile government||kidney problems some stomach issues||2011|
|Zeynab Jalalian||33||Dizel-Abad||Kermanshah||Life||enmity against God (moharebeh)||losing eye sight||2007|
|Hossein ronaghi||28||Evin||Tehran||15 years||Acting against national security||Kidny disease, stomach bleeding, several hunger strikes in prison||2009|
|Sakhi Rigi||Karoon||Ahvaz||20 years||Acting against national security, Webmaster, blogger, Jondollah supporter||Issue with his Thyroid gland|
|Ebrahim Rigi||Karoon||Ahvaz||11 years||Acting against national security and Jondollah supporter||Bladder, Kidney and urine tract|
|Esmael Vafavi||Karoon||Ahvaa||25 years||Acting against national security and Jondollah supporter||Seizures, severe headache and deformed in the region of the scalp due to lashing|
|Syed Zia Navabi||Karoon||Ahvaa||10 years||Acting against national security, Support for right of education||Gum and tooth infection|
|Majid Doori||Karoon||Ahvaa||6 years||Acting against national security, Support for Right ofEducation||Gum and tooth infection|
|Yousef Fotuhi||Karoon||Ahvaa||9 years||Connection with PEJAK||Suspicious painful lump between his shoulder|
|Kazem Khosh Namak||Karoon||Ahvaa||10 years||Collaborating with enemy||Extreme weakness of vision|
Imagine a group of people. They look just like you. They have families, lives, interests, hobbies, everything you know from your own life. The only thing that is different in their lives than those of yours is the job they chose to do: They elected to be journalists in the Islamic Republic of Iran. So now they’re in jail, and no one knows when they will be set free again.
It wasn’t supposed to be like that. Upon his election, Hassan Rouhani was perceived as being a great hope in that aspect. In fact, as early as his first speech in office, Rouhani said “The government that takes its legitimacy from its people does not fear the free media; we will seek help from their constructive criticism.”
Well, apparently that’s over with; Washington post’s Tehran’s correspondent Jason Rezaian (along with his wife Yeganeh Salehi), has been arrested in July. Since then, there have been numerous calls for his release, but the president has remained silent, and has done nothing to aid in that cause, nor has his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Rezaian’s story is a sign of the perils of trying to become a reporter in today’s Iran: “The two have been held for more than eight weeks without explanation or charges. They have not been permitted to meet with their lawyer”, says Douglas Jehl, the Washington post’s foreign editor.
This raises the question about the connections between the Iranian president and those kidnaps, but Mr. Zarif’s recent admission, about not even knowing all of the charges that Rezaian was tagged with, brings to mind the question of control in Iran – and it seems that no one in the government really knows what’s going on inside those Journalists’ prisons cell.
Rouhani brings to these conversations the sharp debate skills of his varied experience — as a cleric, a bureaucrat, and a retail politician who served five terms in Iran’s boisterous parliament. His performance in televised interviews and press conferences, as well as his compelling memoir of the early nuclear negotiations, demonstrate that unlike Ahmadinejad, he is capable of engaging in a genuine give-and-take. Here are some of the questions I’d put to Iran’s president during his U.S. visit this week:
- Eighteen months ago, when you were considering a bid for the presidency, you noted that „conditions [within Iran] are ripe for a moderate way of thinking.“ Do you still believe this to be the case, and can moderate leadership overcome the continuing role of those Iranian political forces that advocate more extreme policies?
- Each of your predecessors has experienced significant difficulties in advancing his agenda due to domestic opposition in his second term, if not earlier. Do you think you can avoid a similar fate?
- Your presidency follows 16 years when the executive branch was led by men who were, in very different fashion, quite polarizing within the Iranian establishment, reformist Mohammad Khatami and hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. You have sought to carve out a less factionalized presidency, one that draws upon the entire political elite from hard-liners to reformists. But you have experienced vocal opposition to many of your policies and appointees. Is it possible to transcend Iran’s well-entrenched factionalism?
- You worked closely with Mir Husayn Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi in their respective roles as prime minister and speaker of the parliament during the 1980s and 1990s. They have now spent more than three and a half years under a very severe form of house arrest. Have you personally sought to secure their release?
- You have openly advocated expanding internet access and removing filtering and other forms of censoring the web. However, there is still powerful opposition within both the government itself and among many prominent clerics, and Iranians are still forced to use circumvention techniques to access applications like Twitter that you and your ministers use routinely. How can your government overcome the objections within the political establishment to unfettered internet access and, more broadly to lifting other restrictions on freedom of speech?
- Your economic agenda has sought to mitigate the impact of sanctions while your diplomacy has focused on eliminating them. Do you believe that Iran could survive and prosper if the current sanctions remain in place indefinitely? If there is no agreement, and new sanctions are imposed targeting Iran’s remaining oil exports, can your efforts to create jobs and growth while reducing inflation succeed?
- What role, if any, did the behind-the-scenes talks between U.S. and Iranian officials that took place prior to your June 2013 election have in persuading Iranian leaders that it was time for a shift in their approach to the nuclear negotiations?
- If a comprehensive agreement cannot be reached by the November 24 deadline, would you support efforts to continue diplomacy with the P5+1? How will Iran react if a deal is not concluded and the U.S. Congress moves to adopt new unilateral sanctions against Iran?
- Having personally led the negotiations on the nuclear issue in the early years of this impasse, do you support proposals by some Iranian officials to link the nuclear talks with cooperation on the regional crisis? Would broadening the agenda of the negotiations with the P5+1 be constructive or would it undermine the prospects for resolving either set of issues?
- Do you have confidence in President Obama’s capability to fulfill any commitments made as part of a comprehensive nuclear agreement? Are you concerned about the U.S. electoral cycle, and the possibility that the president’s successor may not be willing to adhere to a deal?
- You recently told an American interviewer that a „close relationship between the two nations [Iran and the United States] can resolve many problems…We have to look at future more than the past.“ Are there issues on which you believe Washington and Tehran could engage constructively or even cooperate? Would you support revising the „no contact“ policy that both governments still adhere to in all diplomatic interactions except for the nuclear talks?
- You have described the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS as „ridiculous“ and this week’s airstrikes on the group’s positions in Syria as „illegal.“ Are there any conditions under which Tehran would support a political solution to the Syrian civil war that removed Bashar al Assad and his inner circle from government? Given Iran’s longstanding alliance with the Assad regime and the horrifying toll of this conflict on the Syrian people and the security of the region, what is Iran prepared to do to facilitate an end to the bloodshed?
- This week marks the 34th anniversary of the Iraqi invasion of Iran. How did this experience shape your view of the world, and that of other revolutionary leaders? Since you, like the supreme leader and many other senior Iranian officials, were deeply involved with the war effort, how do you view Iran’s relationship with Iraq and role in Iraqi politics today? Is it possible for Iran play a constructive role in building a democratic, nonsectarian Iraq?
- In Yemen, Houthi rebels who have long been backed by Tehran have just ousted the country’s prime minister. Will you support a democratic, inclusive Yemeni government? How will the shift in Yemen impact your efforts to promote rapprochement with Riyadh?
- During your New York stay, you are scheduled to meet with David Cameron, a first for an Iranian president and a British prime minister since the revolution. Last year, you spoke with President Obama by telephone during your UNGA visit. Can these unprecedented personal overtures to the leaders of countries with which Iran’s relations have been strained provide a pathway to a durable bilateral rapprochement?
- In recent weeks, there have been news reports of several sizeable trade deals signed by Iranian and Russian officials. Do you see Moscow as an attractive economic and strategic partner for Iran? Based on your long bilateral history, and Russia’s performance in the construction of the Bushehr power plant, do you have confidence in Moscow’s reliability to fulfill its commitments to Iran?
- Iran has recently undertaken joint naval exercises with China in the Persian Gulf. Would Iran welcome a more substantial role for China in ensuring the security of energy flow from the region?
- Earlier this year, there was a controversy surrounding Iran’s nominee for its United Nations envoy, Hamid Aboutalebi, over his role as a translator to the students who overran the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and held its staff hostage for 444 days. President Obama signed a bill with overwhelming Congressional support to reject Mr. Aboutalebi’s visa request. Mr. Aboutalebi continues to serve as your deputy chief of staff for political affairs and an important advisor. Were you surprised that the Embassy seizure remains such a sensitive issue for Americans? Will Iran nominate another individual in his place?
- Beyond the Iranian diaspora community, there is still very limited direct contact between Americans and Iranians today. In 2006, one of your predecessors, Mohammad Khatami, engaged in a U.S. speaking tour. If you could invite one American – a politician, a business leader, or a cultural figure – to Iran to see the country and hear from its people first-hand, who would that be?
- You were awarded a doctoral degree by Glasgow Caledonian University, which makes you the first Iranian president since Abolhassan Bani Sadr, who was impeached and forced to flee the country in July 1981, to have studied in the West. How does that impact your views of Iran’s relations with the world? Would you advise future Iranian leaders to explore opportunities to study in Europe, America or elsewhere in the world?