Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Angry Iranians burn petrol stations, chant slogans against Ahmadinejad



BBC-At least one petrol station has been set on fire in the Iranian capital, Tehran, after the government announced fuel rationing for private motorists. Iranians were given only two hours' notice of the move that limits private drivers to 100 litres of fuel a month.

Despite its huge energy reserves Iran lacks refining capacity, forcing it to import about 40% of its petrol. Tehran is trying to rein in fuel consumption over fears of possible UN sanctions over its nuclear programme. Iran fears the West could sanction its petrol imports and cripple its economy.

Another video on YouTube: Protests in Tehran

And all this is happening in Iran without the fuel sanctions in place yet...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My new Persian blog

If you are Iranian check out my new Persian blog here.

Hope you'll like it.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pro-democracy Iranians gather in Paris to overthrow the Islamic regime

National Review Online-This week Paris will host the largest gathering of Iran’s pro-democracy forces ever assembled to overthrow the Islamic Regime through a nonviolent civil disobedience movement. The Iran Solidarity Assembly (Hambastegi Melli in Persian) of Paris has been an enormous undertaking that has been three years in the making. Over 200 political luminaries will attend the invitation-only event.

The Iran Solidarity Assembly includes representatives of virtually all of Iran’s various political, ethnic, social, and economic groups who have assembled together for the first time ever to ask the free world to stand in solidarity with them as they begin to coordinate the efforts of pro-democracy forces inside Iran to over throw the Islamic regime.

More...

Iran curtails freedom In throwback to 1979

Robin Wright, The Washington Post-Iran is in the midst of a sweeping crackdown that both Iranians and U.S. analysts compare to a cultural revolution in its attempt to steer the oil-rich theocracy back to the rigid strictures of the 1979 revolution. The recent detentions of Iranian American dual nationals are only a small part of a campaign that includes arrests, interrogations, intimidation and harassment of thousands of Iranians as well as purges of academics and new censorship codes for the media. Hundreds of Iranians have been detained and interrogated, including a top Iranian official, according to Iranian and international human rights groups.

The move has quashed or forced underground many independent civil society groups, silenced protests over issues including women's rights and pay rates, quelled academic debate, and sparked society-wide fear about several aspects of daily life, the sources said.

..."The current crackdown is a way to instill fear in the population in order to discourage them from future political agitation as the economic situation begins to deteriorate," said Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "You're going to think twice about taking to the streets to protest the hike in gasoline prices if you know the regime's paramilitary forces have been on a head-cracking spree the last few weeks."

More...

Monday, June 11, 2007

A hero's welcome

The only reason I can think of for such extraordinarily surreal outpourings of admiration for a US President who whole-heartedly believes in the advance of freedom and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism, yet is loathed in almost every corner of what we know as "modern", "free" world is the fact that--to quote Mr Bush himself: "Albanians know the horror of tyranny." That's why Albanians are so tremendously thankful to the current leader of the free world --the dissident President as he proudly calls himself-- for what his predecessors, from Woodrow Wilson to Bill Clinton, have done to help lead Albania to freedom and idependence . This is what those self-righteous anti-American protesters on the streets of Berlin and Rome--unlike the ordinary people on the streets of Prague and Warsa-- will never get. Who knows? Maybe one day, when freedom and democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan finally take hold, the people of these two nations will show their appreciation toward the US much the same way.

Related:


...Even the war in Iraq is popular here. “U.S.A. have the right and responsibility for all the world to protect the freedom,” said Ilir Lamçe, 37, a financial analyst who was among those waiting for Mr. Bush, using English to express the views of many. “This is the right war.” Sami Berisha, who drove seven hours from Kosovo to see Mr. Bush, said he could not understand anyone who would take part in a protest against the president. “I think these are crazy people,” said Mr. Berisha, who is not related to the prime minister, “because democracy begins in America.”

Friday, June 08, 2007

Statement by Reza Pahlavi of Iran - Democracy & Security Conference

Democracy & Security Conference
Prague, Czech Republic
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I have come to Prague to ask for your solidarity with the people of Iran against a common enemy: Islamist preachers of intolerance who turn young men and women into walking bombs, shouting death to America, death to Israel, death to whosoever resists their murderous ideology.To the realpolitik cynics who say Islamist theocracy is a reality we have to live with, I respond: funny – they never said they can live with YOU! To those who say the theocrats can reform if we are nice to them, I say you do not know the difference between Islamist revolution and secular ones. Those who believe they speak with the absolute authority of Allah demand absolute submission.

As the Islamist regime of Iran develops nuclear weapons, to neutralize Western conventional superiority, to have a free hand to use low-intensity violence in support of exporting Islamist revolution, remember this: good strategy is not fighting the enemy’s strengths, at the nuclear negotiations table where they hold the cards, or on the streets of neighboring countries where they find sympathy. Good strategy aims at their weakness: Inside Iran, where the people know the theocrats' wretched reality, rather than neighbors who only hear their divine promise.

Islamist theocrats' incompetence in delivering a minimal level of welfare and freedom is driving Iran's women, youth, teachers, workers, ethnic groups and many others to resist Hizbullahi stormtroopers in Iranian cities everyday. All those courageous Iranians want is to join the Free World. The Free World must respond.

Four years of diplomatic jostling, of economic carrots and sticks, have proven the insensitivity of theocrats to external pressures. What has not been tried is tying external pressures to human rights in Iran, to boosting the morale of Iranians in their everyday resistance, to encouraging internal pressures that Islamists can feel.

From Iran's different faiths, ethnic groups and social sectors, from the left to the right of the political spectrum, from my brave countrymen and women struggling for human dignity and freedom, this is the message I carry to you: As you face our oppressors, do not turn your back to us. We are your best friends in the struggle against a common enemy, the enemy of peace on earth.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Editor's note

As you have most probably noticed, I haven't been able to sit down and blog on the most important political events of the day, specially those concerning Iran. For the time being, I'll only be able to post select articles or news in my Newsroom. But journalism and politics are two of the most insane passions of mine and I definitely look forward to putting in my two cents' worth again some time in the near future. Until then, stay tuned and enjoy the Newsroom.