Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category
Nazenin Ansati and Jonathan Paris claim that “many in the [Iranian] Green Movement […] would like to see the international community exert pressure on the regime through a progressive set of smart, vigorous and targeted sanctions and more forceful advocacy of human rights” (“The message from the streets of Tehran“, IHT, Nov 7).
But haven’t “targeted sanctions” against the Iranian regime and a seemingly perennial “advocacy of human rights” been in place for decades? And what would any Iranian internal opposition movement ever gain from associating itself with foreign Powers, given the anti-Western-Governments paranoia widespread among the ruling classes, and the evidence of History suggesting that foreign intervention in Iran has invariably been for the worst?
Government representatives of more than 3.3 billion people have recently met in Yekaterinburg, Russia, for the first BRIC (Brazil-Russia-India-China) summit (16 June) and the ninth Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)’s Heads of State summit (15 June).
One for all major Western anglophone news channels, you’d think? Think again.
The only reason I have learned about it is because Iranian President Ahmadinejad attended the SCO summit in the middle of the election crisis. And the only reason why I remembered to mention it is an article in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, mysteriously available on the web only in Russian.
What is this sorry episode but another example of how the “free world” is victim of its own propaganda, that depicts a subservient, hapless globe whilst in reality there are powerful people seriously discussing how to contain the USA?
In the UK, and in Italy, and I am sure in the USA as well for what I can read on the International Herald Tribune, we are being bombarded by anti-Iran propaganda. There is no attempt at explaining, let alone understanding the complexities of the present situation, and one side is depicted as “good”, the other as “bad”.
Italian daily “Corriere della Sera”‘s home page a couple of days ago was literally drooling at the rumors of a “lake of blood” in front of the Majlis, the Iranian Parliament. Why? Because that would finally seal the concept of a violent, evil regime. Trouble is, there is an unfortunate number of dead but it has nothing to do with what you would expect from a violent crackdown by armed thugs and police firing live round on the crowd.
President Ahmadinejad’s fight against corruption is never mentioned, just as only few will have noticed that the opposition’s eminence grise is Ayatollah Rafsanjani, former President himself and whose sons appears to have “magically” become the richest people in Iran during that tenure.
What is requested by the opposition is never explained either. What has apparatchik Mousavi got to do with people asking to be freed from the long hands of the Moral Police, is left to the reader’s imagination. Supreme Leader Khamenei is belittled for having himself allied with Ahmadinejad and the Veterans of the Revolution.
What do we read instead in Western newspapers, but absurdist analyses showing very little respect for Muslimhood, let alone the Islamic Republic of Iran? (I’ll put a link about that soon…)
In this atmosphere it is clear that too many powerful, and truly evil forces, in Iran, in the USA, in the UK, in the Arab world and in Israel have a heavy interest in keeping Iran as a trouble spot and impeding a geostrategically completely natural alliance with the United States itself.
There isn’t much a person, or even a group of people can do. But denouncing the propaganda is one possibility.
Reuters: “Obama condemns Iran crackdown on protests” Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:45pm EDT
“we deplore violence against innocent civilians anywhere that it takes place,” [Obama] said
BBC: “‘Dozens dead’ in US drone strike” Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 13:22 UK
There have been more than 35 US strikes since last August – killing over 340 people – and most have landed in the North and South Waziristan tribal regions
Has President Ahmadinejad truly and fairly been re-elected? Will the violence in Tehran continue in the next days?
Unfortunately, there is no way to know. In-between the average Western-based person and Truth there are the Iranian Electoral Commission, the Iranian Interior Ministry, the Iranian Government, Iranian newsmedia and Propaganda, Western newsmedia and Propaganda, and Western Governments.
Chances are, whatever we read and see, including live TV and apparently evident pictures, will be manipulated to the extreme.
Let’s try to list instead whatever we can be sure about. First of all: there is too much of Iranian democracy at stake for the election to end up been seen in Iran itself as a “charade”. After a TV debate and photographs of the Supreme Leader of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei coming out of a mosque after having casted his vote like any other citizen, nobody can expect anything but a victory recognized by the vast majority of Iran to be enough for the Iranian society itself.
Cynically, one could say that either you have a democracy, or you do not. Any “hardliner” really in the business of blatantly manipulating the election, would have made a mockery of Ahmadinejad’s campaign and Khamenei’s voting effort.
If they have some kind of dictatorship in mind they better go for it, or face the consequences. For Khamenei, and even more for Ahmadinejad, it’s like facing the choice between getting rid of democracy as such, or look like buffoons
In fact, if things stand as they appear at this very moment, with a contested re-election for President Ahmadinejad, clashes in the streets, and arrests of members of the opposition, the long-term loser will be Ahmadinejad himself, no longer able to interact with the outside world as a legitimate leader of Iran. A new attempt at a Columbia University debate would be met with derision if not much worse.
Another obvious point concerns foreign interference. So far the barrage of news from Iran have been answered with anodyne comments from the Obama Administration and that is the way it should be.
Like in the Ukraine, if a sizable number of Iranians truly believe the elections have been stolen, it can only be up to them to claim their Nation back. For example if Ahmadinejad’s rival Mir Hossein Mousavi finds himself unprepared in the fact of the current situation, well, it’s better if he stays away from any position of power.
It’s just impossible from anybody to understand all the details from the outside.
Nobody has died so far. That can only be a good thing.
I do not understand the uproar against the words used by President Ahmadinejad at the UN Racism Conference in Switzerland. And what I specifically do not understand is why people feel compelled to add to the uproar, when it is as clear as daylight that he went to Geneva with the one and only goal of… causing an uproar, in order to go back home as a national hero right in the middle of his re-election campaign.
The most appropriate reaction to President Ahmadinejad’s outrageous remarks is therefore not a theatrical walkout in front of the TV cameras, nor a flurry of comparisons to Nazi Germany or calls for the “free world” to “wake up”.
We just have to call President Ahmadinejad’s behavior for what it is: electoral posturing, if not outright buffoonery. And far from an episode for the annals of Persian pride, just another of his “pickaxe blows” against the good international standing of the great people of Iran.
Roger Cohen (note the family name!) writes on the NYT/IHT:
Pragmatism is also one way of looking at Iran’s nuclear program. A state facing a nuclear-armed Israel and Pakistan, American invasions in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan, and noting that North Korea was not hit, might reasonably conclude that preserving the revolution requires nuclear resolve
Why would that be such a difficult thing to understand?