Is the U.S. suffocating reform in Iran? "'Despite sporadic verbal concern with the condition of human rights in Iran, the U.S. is protecting and providing clandestine support to the right-wing conservatives in Iran,' says Sayed Ali Asghar Gharavi, a member of the banned but tolerated Iran Freedom Movement (IFM), the country’s leading opposition party. 'The U.S. government in no way favors the coming to power of the reformist groups in Iran and is secretly supporting the religious conservatives.' Government insiders in Iran allege that the deal, first proffered by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, is simple: If the hard-liners quietly support the United States in Iraq, Washington will quietly support them. U.S. State Department officials declined to comment."
It seems unlikely that the Bush administration would side with the mullahs, but considering the U.S.'s troubled history
with Iranian democracy, it's not inconceivable. Perhaps this is why Michael Ledeen's cries of alarm
aren't being heeded.
posted by homunculus
on Feb 6, 2003 -
A War Crime or an Act of War?
But the truth is, all we know for certain is that Kurds were bombarded with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. This is not the only distortion in the Halabja story. ..
This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target.
And the story gets murkier: immediately after the battle the United States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a need-to-know basis. That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas. (NYT)
posted by y2karl
on Jan 31, 2003 -
15 months after the first waves
, Blogging seems to prove so popular among young Iranian boys and girls that now the number of Persian (or Farsi) weblogs has jumped to more than 9,000. Almost half of them are using Blogger.com
's free service and other half are using a similar but more Persian-friendly online application, created by Iranian programmers, called Persianblog.com
. Tomorrow, they are gathering in a big conference hall in Tehran to meet other colleagues and bloggers and to share what they've experienced during their lovely days of a rare thing in Iranian history: absolute freedom of expression
posted by hoder
on Dec 26, 2002 -
On this day, 23 years ago, thousands of radical Iranian students, demanding the return of the shah, overran the U.S. embassy and took about 90 people captive
. Most Iranian officials and even ordinary people supported their action. However, today about %75 of Iranians
want better relations with U.S.
posted by hoder
on Nov 4, 2002 -
PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Western Union are advertising on Hezbollah television. The Iranian-backed and funded group has been implicated in the attacks against the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Americans in 1982.
posted by semmi
on Oct 27, 2002 -
Motorbikes the new craze for Iranian Women.
More taboos crumble in Iran, as women sign-up in their thousands for motorbike riding classes. Women have been allowed to drive cars, but not ride bicycles or motorbikes since the Islamic Revoluion. The problem now is to find women motorcyclists able to train those who have shown interest.
posted by Jimbob
on Oct 27, 2002 -
"No sir, that's not my fido."
Iranian cleric denounces the "moral depravity" of owning dogs, and calls for their arrest. (Both dogs and owners.) "In our country there is freedom of speech, but not freedom for corruption," he said. Why do we pretend to understand the culture of the middle east?
posted by woil
on Oct 14, 2002 -
are being credited with being at the forefront of an underground movement which is undermining the fundamentalist hierarchy. Perhaps we should blog Iraq.
posted by Fat Buddha
on Oct 5, 2002 -
Only in Iran, kissing a mid-age actress
on an award ceremony could be so politically effective, both actress and the young director are in court now
. Hardliners gathered at a mosque and ranted against reformists and western culture. The day after, a high-rank official was arrested
because he had let those guys go after the ceremony. What would happen if Oscars was held in Iran?
posted by hoder
on Oct 3, 2002 -
as a weapon of mass subversion? Netanyahu is suggesting that the US broadcasts such subversive programs as Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210 in Iran...
posted by titboy
on Sep 15, 2002 -
Export Restrictions on a website?
I had to agree to this before downloading stuff from Oracle:
I am not a citizen, national or resident of, and am not under the control of, the government of: Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, nor any other country to which the United States has prohibited export.
posted by arnab
on Sep 10, 2002 -
eu seeks closer ties to iran
This approach has got to be better than calling states 'evil'. This is the same as the US keeping links with China, a less than perfect regime, and one that could be called a sponsor of terrorism.
" Mr Patten told the BBC: "It can't seriously be anybody's idea of a good way of promoting stability in the region to think that we should isolate and cut Iran off for ever."
He said there should be recognition of the strength of the reform movement and be aware that there were other elements which were far less friendly to the West.
"If you don't talk to the reasonable people, you fetch up with fewer reasonable people to talk to."
it's been over a decade since i was in Iran (1992) and the reformers/moderates ahve gained very significant ground since then. The Axis of Evil speech did tremendous harm for moderate Iranians, as it seemed to justify the hardliners stance on the west.
posted by quarsan
on Jun 17, 2002 -
America Can Persuade Israel to Make a Just Peace
An op-ed piece by former president Jimmy Carter that is going to get a lot of play in the media. Unfortunately, Mr. Carter seems to suggest a rather easy solution: give back the Palestinian lands and have the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist. Put the pressure on Israel by withhold financial aid till they do as we bid.
Problem: Palestinians being subsidized by Iraq, Iran, EU and Syria. What about pressure on them? And: Palelstinian issues still in need of resolving: capital and Right of Return....with this left out, we are still not going to get peace. Does Carter simplify or is he on target? reg reqd.
posted by Postroad
on Apr 21, 2002 -
Middle East war predictions
"..what we are witnessing looks like joint preparations by the Palestinian Authority, Syria, its Lebanese client, Iraq, and Iran, for war on a regional scale, against both Israel and U.S. interests. I fear we may face a major, sudden, external assault on Israel, meant to precede U.S. action against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, and indeed prevent the U.S. from going there by enmiring it in the defence of Israel. [From The Ottowa Citizen, lead link in today's Wall Street Journal Best of the Web]
posted by Voyageman
on Mar 27, 2002 -
Can the opening of a countires 'cyber-borders' contribute to the liberalisation (small 'l') of the society?
Iran has a rapidly increasing
population, as well as a rapidly increasing online percentage, they have sports sites
(they seem to like soccer), portals
and the 'IranMania'
Can un-censored access to the internet help build tolerance
posted by asok
on Feb 22, 2002 -
Chef says bin Laden fled to Iran.
"Osama had three offers of escape," he tells the Christian Science Monitor. "One from Iraq, one from Iran, and another from some mafia types.... We received a lot of Iranian currency, and the commanders distributed it to the soldiers," he says, adding that he received 700,000 rials ($1,400) for his own personal use." He also says that bin Laden prefers quail for dinner.
posted by thescoop
on Feb 6, 2002 -
China, North Korea, and Iran
will have nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States by 2015, says the CIA. Other delivery methods are mentioned as well, but this news certainly does make missile defense sound like a good idea.
posted by insomnyuk
on Jan 10, 2002 -
50 tons of weapons smuggled from Iran on a Palestinian ship. Palestinians claim the ship has nothing to do with them, even though Israel asserts that the ship's captain and officers are all Palestinian Naval officers. Palestine says it is an Israeli attempt to ruin the mission of the American, Zinni. I think Palestinians are lying here (similar to what they have always done) ... What do you think?
posted by yevge
on Jan 4, 2002 -
The Iranian Secular Opposition Movement.
I came upon this via another item
I found on Plastic.com. (Where, BTW, one of the more cogent comments in the related thread was by one MayorBob) So, I'm wondering where does this lead to? The first line of that wretched 60s hit Eve Of Destruction
does come to mind... Has anyone else heard anything about this?
posted by y2karl
on Oct 25, 2001 -
MSNBC reporting 5 Americans arrested in Afghanistan near Iran border and that they are part of a special ops team.
posted by slowlightning
on Sep 29, 2001 -
Meanwhile, fair and open elections in Iran lead to reformist win.
Khatami seems to be headed for a 75% win in an election where voter turnout was the highest in years. I'll let others ponder the significance of that in comparison to, say, the hideously low turnout in American elections over the past two decades, or the win by Britain's Labour
party, which also saw record low voter turnout. I'm sure someone smarter than me will figure out something to say about the idea that Iranians seem to care more about the political process than the big Western Republics do.
posted by Ezrael
on Jun 9, 2001 -
So have you heard the one about the Golden Persian Princess Mummy?
Discovered in October by Pakistani police during a murder investigation of an antiquities smuggler, this story has only gotten weirder. Said to be 2,600-years-old, the body of a young woman has been preserved using the Egyptian
mummification process but bears cuneiform inscriptions in Old Persian: "I, daughter of Xerxes, the great king, I am Ruduamna". Since its discovery, the governments of Iran and Afghanistan have each claimed ownership of the mummy and all three countries are now engaged in a bitter war of claim and counter-claim. Now some experts are starting to say that the whole thing looks like it's just an elaborate hoax
posted by lagado
on Dec 26, 2000 -
The overthrow of Premier Mossadeq
Last week the NYT posted PDF files of a CIA report detailing the overthrow of Premier Mossadeq of Iran in 1953. Names of Iranian participants who assisted in the operation were digitally "removed" because of fears that there families would face retribution when their status as foreign agents was revealed. John Young of cryptome
discovered that the redacted text was not really gone -- by cancelling the PDF rendering at a certain point, the hidden names were revealed. He contacted the NYT and after some discussion told them he would not post the full files; the Times removed their copies of the files until they could edit out the names more securely. Young has since heard that other people also noticed the flawed redaction and has concluded that the information is therefore public. He is now posting the full text of the files (first installment
up now) with the names restored. Is Young playing fast and loose with people's lives? Or does belief in a free press obligate this sort of thing?
posted by tingley
on Jun 22, 2000 -