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History of Modern Iran: A Nuclear Islamic Republic | BBC Documentary

Iran and the West is the name of a three part British documentary series shown in February 2009 on BBC Two to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The documentary looks at the relationship between Iran and the countries of the west and features interviews with politicians who have played significant roles in events involving Iran, Europe and the United States since 1979. The series is produced by Norma Percy, whose previous series include The Death of Yugoslavia and Israel and the Arabs: Elusive Peace.

Militant Islam enjoyed its first modern triumph with the arrival in power of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran in 1979. In this series of three programmes, key figures tell the inside story.

Former US president Jimmy Carter talks on television for the first time about the episode that, more than any other, led American voters to eject him from the presidency. Iran’s seizure of the US embassy in Tehran and the holding of its staff for 444 days took more and more of Carter’s time and energy. His final days in office were dominated by desperate attempts to secure the release of the embassy hostages. Those who sat in the White House with him, planning how to rescue the hostages, how to negotiate their release and, finally, wondering whether anything could be rescued from the disaster, all tell their part in the story.

Other contributors include former vice president Walter Mondale, ex-deputy secretary of state Warren Christopher and former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. The other side of the story is told by top Iranians: Ayatollah Khomeini’s close adviser, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri; his first foreign minister, Ebrahim Yazdi; his negotiator with the US, Sadeq Tabatabai; and the founder of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Mohsen Rafiqdoust

Second episode in the documentary series marking the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. Inside stories are told by two ex-presidents of Iran, Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, by two founders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and by leading westerners including Secretaries of State George Shultz, Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright.

In part three of this landmark series from Norma Percy and the team that made the multi-award winning documentaries The Death of Yugoslavia and Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, contributors including Iran’s President Khatami tell the inside story of the West’s continuing nuclear confrontation with Iran. The film also shows a rare moment when they worked together.

US State Department insiders tell how, after 9/11, Iran played a key role in helping America to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan – only for President Bush to put Iran into his ‚axis of evil‘ immediately afterwards. Jack Straw, then foreign secretary, and President Khatami describe how Iran offered to help the US and its allies in their war against Saddam Hussein – help that, given Iran’s powerful contacts in Iraq and the West’s subsequent difficulties there, might have made a crucial difference.

Jack Straw, his successor Margaret Beckett, and Joschka Fischer of Germany describe how they struggled to find a compromise between Iran and President Bush’s hardliners over Iran’s nuclear programme. John Sawers at the UN reveals an extraordinary secret deal that Iran proposed a few years later.

 

Saeed Zeinali story

Saeed Zeinali, one of the students in the 18 Tir student uprising (July 9th, 1999), the most widespread and violent public protests to occur in Iran since the early years of the Iranian Revolution, has been missing since that time.
Saeed, a computer science major at Tehran University, was taken away by Intelligence and Security Units of the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) at his home on July 10th. The only contact his family has had with him was a phone call that he was permitted to make three months later. Since then, his family has not heard from him, has not seen him, and has no information about his health or his whereabouts.
Saeed’s mother Akram Naghabi and his sister have found that pursuing information about Saeed has not only been futile but also endangers his family. Saeed’s mother and sister were detained inside the Intelligence Ministry’s Ward 209 at Evin Prison for two months due to their interview with Voice of America about Saeed’s disappearance. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Iran Election Democracy Or ‚All For Show‘

Two Iranians living in the UK have different opinions on whether citizens‘ voices are heard under their country’s regime.

Mr Delkhasteh, an academic and author who moved from Iran to Britain in 1984, believes the regime is „totally incompatible with the rights of Iranians as citizens“.“Iranians are not even second-class citizens – they are zero-class citizens,“ the 57-year-old said.

He told Sky News how he fought in the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and how, at the time, he had been full of hope for change – despite fearing he would be killed.His own brother, Masoud, was shot dead while protesting peacefully during the revolution.At first the new regime seemed like „paradise on Earth“, he said, with people able to speak and debate freely.

But before long he saw the regime was failing to deliver the freedoms he had been expecting. He was fired from his teaching job for being too critical of the government.“Very early on, I started to see that something was going wrong,“ he said.“The people who I struggled with were all together during the revolution. Then they all started to separate.“How was it possible that you make a revolution for democracy and you end up in a worse state than before?“

Mr Delkhasteh is critical of the Guardian Council – the system approved by Iran’s supreme leader for selecting presidential candidates.

„The decision is made in advance who is going to be made president,“ he said.

„This is just a show election.“

At the last election, in 2009, when incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won against three challengers, concerns were expressed by the US and UK among others about alleged irregularities in the voting.

However, Abbas Edalat, who moved permanently to the UK in 1989, believes Iran has a stronger democracy than that seen in the likes of the UK or the US.

The computer science and maths professor at Imperial College, London, accepts the Guardian Council has „flaws“ – such as not allowing women to stand as candidates – but on the whole he believes Iranians‘ voices are being heard.

„Two thirds of the population are expected to take part in this election, so they don’t think this is a show,“ said Prof Edalat, 58.

„Anyone who thinks that is in a small minority of people who have an agenda for a secular regime in Iran, in line with the Western strategy.

„It was inevitable that there would be disillusionment after the revolution. The revolution was supported by 98% of the population, and I don’t think any government can keep 98% of people euphoric about the future – that can only happen in the heat of a revolution.

„The idea of Iran being undemocratic is a narrative in the Western media that’s been repeated thousands of times. If you listen to that all the time, you will become brainwashed and believe what you are told.

„But I have to counter that narrative – I would say that obviously there are flaws in the system in Iran, but there are more flaws in the way elections are run in the UK and the US.“

He says potential successors chosen by the Guardian Council have significant differences in both domestic and international policy, something he does not see happening in the West.

„Their differences are huge compared to the differences between the Labour Party and Conservative Party in the UK,“ said Prof Edalat.

„So the truth of the matter is that Iranians have a much bigger say in how the country should be run than the populations of the UK or the US.

„There is a Guardian Council in the UK and US too, but it’s invisible. It’s major political parties and corporations, donors – without their backing you don’t stand a chance as a serious candidate.“

 

‚Iran’s disinherited may clash with bourgeoisie‘

Said Kamali, euronews: „On the eve of the presidential election in Iran, with municipal polls…

Said Kamali, euronews: „On the eve of the presidential election in Iran, with municipal polls planned at the same time, on 14 June, we’re speaking with Bernard Hourcade. We will talk about the aftermath of the highly controversial elections in 2009, which saw clashes in the streets between protesters and government forces… as well as today’s tough questions surrounding Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, and unprecedented international economic sanctions against Iran.

„You’re the head of France’s National Centre for Scientific Research, specialising in Iran, and you’re also a professor of Geography at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations, in Paris. What does a presidential election in Iran mean for you?“

Bernard Hourcade: „It’s often said that elections serve no useful purpose, and that they’re rigged, and it’s often true. But something special about Iran is that we never know the result they’ll bring – even though the institutional framework is fairly restricted. The political stakes and debate are important, and I think it’s an important event for the future of the country, though it’s not exactly comparable to elections in France, Belgium or Spain.“

euronews: „As you’re aware, 686 people of all sorts registered to run for the presidential office; that was open to the public. The rules say it’s enough simply to show your birth certificate, copy of your ID, 12 ID-type photos, and be age 18 or over. Does that make sense to you? Why hold the door open to the public like that?“

Hourcade: „Part of it’s propaganda. The government and the constitution allow all citizens to be candidates, and that’s a very good thing. But also: the people really want to take part. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iranians have participated in political life. There are crackdowns sometimes, but they take part. There’s undeniably a political dynamic. Iran has political debate, and so this time there are 636 candidates; in 2001 there were 1,075 I think. Often there are three, four or five hundred. The main problem is that then the Constitutional Guardians Council goes in and chooses the candidates, ruling out 99 percent of those who registered, and keeping just, say, ten of them, maximum. The criteria are obviously quite variable.“

euronews: „After what happened in 2009, what marks this election apart? Obviously, there were the 2009 riots, then four years of heavy economic sanctions against the country, and the constant nuclear question. So, how is this election different, compared with others?“

Hourcade: „They’re about maturity. For the past 34 years, every day we’ve said ‚the Islamic Republic is about to collapse!‘ Well, it’s still there. It’s the most stable government system in the Middle East. We see that especially after the Arab Spring. It’s a country that can move forward. We always talk about the Supreme Leader getting his own way; it’s more complicated than that. There are checks on power in Iran. The current reformer who is talked about… the symbolic Green Movement in 2009 wasn’t a movement; it was a very strong dynamic in society, but it wasn’t organised; there is no Green political party or institution. And so Iranians who demonstrated against Ahmadinejad in 2009 found themselves all alone, getting beaten, or imprisoned or shot.“

euronews: „Among the key issues for the country – the regime, actually – is, evidently, the nuclear question. Said Jalili, the chief nuclear negotiator, is himself a candidate for the presidency. He said recently that whoever the future president is, Iran’s policy won’t change, and its enrichment of uranium will not be broken off. What are your expectations for the regime’s nuclear policy?“

 

Iran’s Supreme Leader: Vote for any candidate is a vote for Islamic Republic

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution said at commemoration service of 24th demise anniversary of founder of Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, that votes for any candidate of Presidential Election would be confidence votes for Islamic Republic and electionˈs authenticity.


Political Participation – cartoon by Mana Neyestani

According to an IRNA reporter at the commemoration service site at the courtyard of the late Imam Khomeiniˈs mausoleum, the ceremony was held in the presence of the heads of the three branches of power, the state and military officials, a large number of people form all walks of life, and representatives of different religions and foreign countries in Iran. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Khomeini’s Rebel Grandchildren

By Helia Ighani and Garrett Nada
On the eve of a pivotal election, Iran’s theocratic regime faces one of its most striking challenges from the grandchildren of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the revolutionary leader who mobilized millions to end more than 2,500 years of dynastic rule. Seven of the 15 grandchildren have openly criticized the laws and the leadership since the mid-1990s. Two have publicly disapproved of election practices in the 2013 presidential poll. Four supported reformist candidates in the disputed 2009 presidential election.


            Iranians “consider us faithful custodians of the thoughts of the Imam Khomeini, and so we get upset with whoever wants to move our country and our revolution away from the path outlined by the founder of the Islamic Republic,” Ali Eshraghi, a grandson, told the Italian Adnkronos International news agency in 2008. Eshraghi is an advocate of major reforms who was once barred from running for parliament.
      Khomeini and his wife Batoul had five children. After his death in 1989, Khomeini’s daughter Zahra Mostafavi was the first family member to challenge the regime. In an open letter in May 2013, she urged the supreme leader to reverse the Guardian Council’s barring of former President Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani from running for president. She heads a party that advocates for women’s rights and increased political participation. The following is a rundown on the seven rebel grandchildren.

View What links here Iran: grim choices for president

by SAEED RAHNEMA

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

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

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

The Ayatollah Under the Bed(sheets)

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

BY KARIM SADJADPOUR | 

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

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

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

Women, Law and Sexuality in Iran

Women, Law and Sexuality in Iran

Iran is a Muslim country with Shia majority. It has over 70 million populations with high percentage of young generation. According to statistical center of Iran, It is estimated over 73 percent of people are aged from 15 to 65 years old. Iran became an Islamic republic after revolution in 1979.Until then the country was served by Pahlavi’s dynasty for almost 50 years since 1925.Imam Khomeini was the leader of Islamic revolution known as supreme leader who approved the theocratic constitution. In 1980 Saddam Hossein invaded Iran. War of Iran -Iraq started and lasted for 8 years of hostility. After the death of Khomeini, assembly of experts appointed Ayatollah Khamenei as his successor in 1989. According to the constitution of Iran, president is the highest position of the executive power. During Khamenie’s leadership presidents of Iran were elected by people; Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-1997), Seyed Mohamad Khatami(1997-2005), and Mahmood Ahmadinejad (2005-2013). Mahmood Ahmadinejad is a conservative populist whose fraud in election 2009 made Iranians upraise against him for imposing himself to people. During his presidency, Iranians faced a lot of repression and injustice.  He established a highly fundamentalist cabinet; gender segregation policy, and creation of moral police was on the top of his controversial approach to Islamic fundamentalism.  Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Latest on the Race: Jalili on the Issues

  Chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili is a leading conservative candidate for Iran’s presidency. The secretary of the Supreme National Security Council shares the supreme leader’s hardline outlook on all key issues. The following are excerpts from various interviews, public remarks and campaign materials.

Nuclear Energy Program
            “We are against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The serious question today is which country has supplied Israel with nuclear arms. This is a serious question that needs to be addressed internationally.” February 4, 2013 at a press conference in Damascus
            “Uranium enrichment is one of these rights that every individual member state [of the Non-Proliferation Treaty] should benefit from and enjoy for peaceful purposes… Talks should be based on confidence-building measures, which would build the confidence of Iranians.” April 14, 2012 at a press conference in Istanbul after negotiations
            “The strategy of pressure is wrong and could not bring any results.” February 2013 in an interview with The Christian Science Monitor
            “The IAEA [U.N. nuclear watchdog] said they didn’t find one document showing any diversion from our peaceful program. Some of the great powers know this and they have made clear that they didn’t want confidence building – they just want to deprive Iran of its inalienable rights.”December 18, 2006 in an interview with the Boston Globe
            “We believe that the right to enrich is an inalienable right of the Iranian people ― whether we are talking about [to a level of] five percent or 20 percent.” April 6, 2013 according to AFP
Economy
            “Those who feel they can pressure the Iranian people through sanctions, are playing in our field; because this act allows for an enhanced Islamic Republic… That which is coming to an end is pressure placed on the Iranian people, for without doubt, difficulties result in further resistance and growth.” May 17, 2012 at a conference on Iran’s economy
            “Increasing privatization should not be limited to state supervision and authority.” In undated comments on his campaign website Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
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