June 15, 2008 VOLUME 49


To our readers,

In light of UK's court ruling on May 7th to de-list Iran's main opposition group, the PMOI/MeK, from its proscribed list of terrorist groups, the Council of European Union is now legally obligated to follow suit. At the same time, Tehran's regime has began to lobby France for sponsoring the legally flawed listing of the PMOI/MeK and keep them on EU's black list of terrorist groups.

In a published report by Ahmadinejad's office, Tehran's regime admits "We should launch a series of diplomatic activities to prevent the removal of the PMOI (MEK) from the EU and the US list. We should ask the French officials to replace the UK and to prevent the removal of the PMOI (MEK) from the EU list. The French are aware of our sensitivities and our views but we have to emphasize the PMOI's illegal activities in France."

This will not be the first time Tehran has lobbied the French government to do its dirty work. For years, the mullah's regime have worked relentlessly to silence and limit the rightful and legal activities of its opposition in exile, particularly the PMOI/MeK. Five years ago, on June 17th, 2003, Tehran's regime under Khatami's presidency, managed to fool the French government and its security forces to raid the residence of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, exiled leader of the Iranian opposition. Up until the eve of the raid, Rajavi, a well known political refugee, was guarded by the French police in the suburb of Paris. Overnight, somehow, she became a terrorist because of the intelligence manufactured by Tehran's regime. In a publicized anti-terrorism attack by 1300 French security forces, Rajavi and many of her colleagues were arrested during the raids. This baseless and unlawful act backfired on the French government. Strong worldwide response by Rajavi's supporters, exiled Iranians, political figures and international personalities including US members of the House and Senate, led to Rajavi's release. The subsequent legal proceedings did not substantiate any charges against Rajavi or her colleagues in France. It, however, left a political embarrassing mark for the former French president, Jacques Chirac.

Given this experience, one hopes the French government have learned not to trust Tehran's regime and bow to its demands. The court's ruling calls for ending the black listing of the PMOI/MeK. Since the designation has no legal basis, the French government must stand on the side of law and end Tehran's foolish games. As they say: Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me!

E-Zan Featured Headlines

Agence France Presse - May 20, 2008

 Iranian authorities have blocked access to several websites and blogs of women's rights advocates and journalists critical of the government, a press report said on Tuesday. The move follows a new directive sent out by a committee tasked with identifying illegal websites to Internet service providers, the reformist Etemad Melli newspaper said without giving a source. "There seems to be a tougher approach this time as some sites and weblogs belonging to women's rights and human rights campaigners, writers critical of the government and well-known journalists" have been singled out, it said. Internet providers in Iran have in recent years been told to block access to hundreds of political, human rights and women's sites and weblogs for expressing dissent or deemed to be pornographic and anti-Islamic. The report said several feminist websites including Meydaan-e Zanan (Women's Field), Kanoon Zanan Irani (Iranian Women's Centre), Shir Zanan which covers women's sporting events, and "Change for Equality" have been blocked. The ban has targeted the "One Million Signatures" campaign websites launched in different Iranian cities as well as in Germany, Kuwait, Cyprus and California in the United States, the report said. The campaign seeks to change the Islamic republic's laws for women in marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody by collecting signatures online and in person. The ban has also targeted popular social networking sites and news sites, while several cyber journalists and bloggers have been detained. With more than half the 70-million-strong population aged under 30, Iran has one of the highest number of bloggers in the world. Persian-language blogs have multiplied since a crackdown on the reformist press in 2000.


Agence France Presse - May 22, 2008

A top Iranian customs official has called for imports of ties to be banned because they are "against Iranian culture," the Fars news agency reported on Thursday, amid a crackdown on unIslamic dress. "Imports of some apparel are not banned but serious action should be taken to stop the import of ties which contradict the nature of Iranian culture," state customs bureau deputy head Asghar Hamidi was quoted as saying.
"We need to change the country's import regulations to this end," said Hamidi, who is also head of a state plan for the "development of culture, chastity and the veil." The wearing of ties was promoted under the deposed US-backed shah. But has been banned in government offices since the 1979 Islamic revolution as a sign of Westernisation. Members of Iran's Basij militia on occasion even went out on to the streets armed with scissors to snip off the offending accessory in the post-revolution period. Iran launched an unprecedented moral crackdown on unIslamic dress last year, particular against woman who are obliged to fully cover their hair and body and against "Western" hairstyles. In recent years many women have pushed the boundaries by showing off bare ankles and fashionably styled hair beneath their headscarves or wearing tight overcoats and it has become increasingly popular for men, particularly doctors and businessmen, to wear ties.

Agence France Presse - May 26, 2008

A male defender of the feminist cause in Iran has been sentenced to a year in prison, the moderate Kargozaran newspaper reported on Monday without providing further details. Amir Yaqoubali is a supporter of the "One Million Signatures" petition campaign launched in June 2006. According to a feminist website he was arrested as he collected signatures. The campaign seeks to change the Islamic republic's laws on marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody by collecting signatures both online and in person. In recent months four feminists -- Rezvan Moghadam, Nahid Jafari, Nasrin Afzali and Marzieh Mortazi Langueroudi -- were handed down suspended sentences of six months in prison and 10 lashes by Tehran Revolutionary Court for disorderly conduct in public. They took part in March 2007 in a rally outside the same court to protest against the arrest of five feminists the previous June.The authorities have also arrested several feminism activists, some of whom are still in jail.

Reuters - May 27, 2008

Iranian women who suffer injury or death in a car accident will be entitled to the same insurance company compensation as men under legislation passed by parliament, the judiciary said on Tuesday.Rights activists say women face discrimination in the Islamic state. For example, compensation for the loss of a woman's life, "blood money", is half that paid for a man under Iran's Sharia law imposed since the 1979 Islamic revolution. This rule, which applies to physical injury as well, has also governed payments from insurance companies even though both sexes pay equal premiums. But judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi said the legislature had recently voted in favor of a proposed change, even though it must also be approved by a powerful constitutional watchdog controlled by conservative clerics. Iranian women's rights activists say they also face institutionalized discrimination in other areas of life, including divorce, inheritance and child custody.

NCRI Website - May 31, 2008

In past three months, the State Security Forces (SSF) -- mullahs' suppressive police -- stopped more than 200,000 people in the streets under the pretext of "importer dressing" in the northwestern Azerbaijan province and Isfahan in central Iran. Brig. Gen. Amir-Abbas Soufivand, chief of security in Isfahan, said, "In compliance with the plan to double the number of chastity patrols for combating improper dressing in the streets of Isfahan, this year, we will deal swiftly with men and women undermining the security… the security patrols have given oral warnings to 2,300 individuals with improper outfits. The police also have taken written pledges from the offenders not to repeat their actions. Since the start of the new Iranian year (beginning on March 20), more than 188,000 individuals have been stop on the streets of Isfahan for oral warnings," reported the state-run news agency Fars on May 28.  "The police have given 14,560 oral warnings and arrested 18 men and 49 women for immoral behavior [so far this year]," said Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Nosrati, a commander of the SSF in an interview with Fars in Azerbaijan on Wednesday.  Unable to deal with the increasing popular uprisings, in particular those of women and youths, the mullahs' medieval regime has implemented the so-called "boosting public security" since April of 2007.


The Associated Press - June 2, 2008

 A young Iranian activist and his lawyer said Monday that he had become the first man sentenced for participating in a campaign to change laws that discriminate against women. Amir Yaghoub Ali, 21, said he was convicted of acting against national security and sentenced to a year in prison for his role in the "Change for Equality" campaign, launched by Iranian women activists in September 2006. Ali said he was detained last July while collecting signatures for the campaign in a park in northern Tehran and spent 29 days in the notorious Evin prison before being freed on $20,000 bail. Ali told The Associated Press the court sentenced him for "acting against national security by propagating against the system." But he said he believes in his actions. "Changing discriminatory laws will benefit Iranians and will create a fairer social environment," Ali said. "Our call for change is considered by the ruling Islamic establishment as crossing the red lines. Authorities don't want to allow any changes in laws in support of women rights. That's why they seek to suppress such demands." Parvin Ardalan, one of the signature campaign leaders, said that along with Ali, about 50 women activists have been detained or summoned to court over the campaign. "This is a policy of intimidation by the authorities," she said. "But we won't give up."

NCRI Website - June 2, 2008

Head of the mullahs' Chastity Headquarters in the central city of Isfahan announced on Sunday that starting June 4, no taxi is allowed to offer service to women deemed wearing "inappropriately." "Our plan to stop women from riding bicycles has been successful. However, we have a lot more to do," added he. The repressive arm of the mullahs has fallen especially hard on Iranian women who are enjoined from wearing "inappropriate" makeup and clothes that show any part of the hair or the legs. Bright colors are out too. The State Security Forces' (SSF) -- mullahs' suppressive police -- list of social no-nos warns women against "wearing boots with short pants," which sounds like more of a fashion faux pas than an invitation to vice. Neither sex is to wear the T-shirts of "deviant groups," that is, Western rock groups and rappers.

Agence France Presse - June 10, 2008

Press reports say a major Iranian state-owned company has told its single employees to get married by September or face losing their jobs. "One of the economic entities in the south of the country has asked its single employees to start creating a family," the hardline Kayhan daily reported. The paper did not mention the name of the company but the reformist Etemad newspaper said that the firm is the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone Company - which covers Iran's giant gas and petrochemical facilities on the shores of the Gulf. "Unfortunately some of our colleagues did not fulfill their commitments and are still single," Etemad quoted the company's directive as saying. "As being married is one of the criteria of employment, we are announcing for the last time that all the female and male colleagues have until September 21 to go ahead with this important and moral religious duty." Sexual relations outside of marriage are illegal in Iran, which is for the most part a traditional society where young people normally are encouraged by their families to marry in their 20s and swiftly bear children. The country is also in the midst of an unprecedented moral crackdown which has seen tens of thousands of women warned by the police for dress deemed to be unIslamic. The directive uses some of the sayings of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed to encourage employees to marry. It says employees' contracts will be annulled by October 22 if they are still found to be single.

AKI Italian News - June 12, 2008

Iranian women have marked the fourth anniversary of a famous women's protest in silence. The government did not approve any protests, marches or sit-ins for "women's solidarity day" to mark the anniversary of 11 June 2005. On the first anniversary, 70 feminists were arrested and many others were sentenced to up to six years in prison for calling for a review of laws such as the abolition of polygamy and equal rights. Fariba Davoodi Mohajer is one of the feminists who were arrested in 2005. Several months ago, while in the US for several conferences, she was sentenced to six years in prison. Now the journalist and militant feminist lives in Washington. Davoodi Mohajer is an Islamic feminist who still appears in public dressed in a headscarf. "We are forced to be silent, for every request to meet peacefully is rejected," Davoodi Mohajer told Adnkronos International (AKI). "The youngest ones who are looking to meet women in public places to join the campaign, "One million signatures for Equality" have been arrested, offended and mistreated," she said. "In the last two years no Iranian media outlet, except those that are published or transmitted abroad, report a single line on the activities of groups that fight for the rights of women and all our websites have been blocked and are inaccessible inside the country." "Reformers, afraid of the government's extensive repressive network, are not protesting publicly their support for the women's rights movement. Women, besides the repression and the total censorship imposed by the government, must take into account the chauvinism of the parties and organisations that gravitate towards reform," she told AKI.

Agence France Presse - June 14, 2008

A former Iranian police commander detained for on accusations of "immorality" has been released on bail after spending around five months behind bars, state television reported on Saturday. Former Tehran province police commander Reza Zareie was released on bail of 500 million rials (about USD 54,000), the television said, quoting Tehran judiciary chief Ali Reza Avaie. "Brigadier General Zareie was jailed for four to five months over moral accusations and was retired as a colonel," he said. [See E-Zan Vol 46 for more detail ]

E-Zan Featured Reports

Iran: Tehran Opens Controversial Women-Only Park
By Farangis Najibullah
May 17, 2008

In an official ceremony in Tehran this week, Mayor Mohammad Baqir Qalibaf opened a new, sex-segregated park designed exclusively for women's leisure and sport.
In the new park, called "Mothers' Paradise," women can walk, jog, and engage in other athletic activities without having to cover their heads.
Men can reportedly not see inside the park since it is surrounded by green walls and covered by bright-colored materials.
Some Tehran residents welcomed the launch of the park as an opportunity for women to act freely. Many others, however, criticized it as yet another step in what they call widespread discrimination against women.
Sex segregation -- which has been a controversial issue in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution -- increased after hard-liner Mahmud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005. Before becoming president, Ahmadinejad was mayor of Tehran. One of his first decisions as mayor was to introduce female- and male-only elevators. Later, Iran launched women-only buses and taxis.
Segregated Cities?
Nasrin Sotodeh, a Tehran-based lawyer and women's rights activist, tells Radio Farda that such moves represent clear discrimination against women.
"They set up separate taxis for women, separate parks for women, separate hospitals for women," Sotodeh says. "Female patients can only be attended to by female medical workers. In the short-term future, we may see entire cities being divided into women's sections and men's sections. Or how about creating women-only and men-only cities? The [sex-segregated park] contradicts the international convention on human rights."
Recreation or discrimination? (courtesy jamejamonline.ir) "Mothers' Paradise" is not the only sex-segregated park in Iran. Similar parks exclusively for women have already been established in other Iranian cities, including Mashhad and Qom.
When the development of a new, 110-hectare women's park in the northeastern city of Mashhad was announced three years ago, Iranian officials were quoted as saying that men can't even see inside the park from above.
"According to the studies that we have carried out, even from an aircraft flying over the park, women will not be seen because of the special arrangement of plant and trees," said Sedigheh Ghannadi, the head of the National Council of Women. "We have chosen trees that have greater covering and they will be planted in four rows and form a green wall."
Likewise, men in Tehran cannot easily see inside the "Mothers' Paradise" park since its fencing is covered with white and orange canvas.
Tehran resident Ali says some curious men go to great lengths to try to take pictures of women inside the park, however. "Some men film women-only swimming pools using long-lens cameras or other means," he says. "It's going to be the same with the new women's park."
It is not clear if only female gardeners have been hired to take care of the park grounds.

Iranian Activists Criticize New Restrictions on Web Sites
By Thomas Erdbrink
May 21, 2008

The Washington Post
Iranian bloggers and activists on Tuesday condemned a move by a government panel to block access to several Web sites related to women's issues and human rights.
"It's like a big attack," said Parvin Ardalan, who works for http://www.change4equality.net, a Tehran-based feminist Web site affected by the new restrictions. "Now, most sites related to women's and human rights issues have been blocked in one day," she said.
Ardalan's site is part of a campaign to collect 1 million signatures aimed at pressuring the government to change what activists call discriminatory laws against women. "The authorities want to silence us," she said.
Web sites maintained by opposition groups, dissidents and even some supporters of the government have been blocked in the past. Iran also bars access to thousands of Web sites that show pornography.
The Ministry of Islamic Guidance and Culture's supervisory board for the media notified Iranian Internet service providers Saturday about the new restrictions, which affected dozens of sites, according to a report Tuesday in Ettemaad-e Melli, a newspaper in Tehran that is often critical of the government.
The supervisory board answers to the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, which determines the country's educational, scientific, cultural and social objectives. The 36-member council sets parameters for what is allowed on the Iranian Internet, but the board decides which sites should be blocked. It is unclear who sits on the board, although its members are thought to include representatives of the judiciary, the intelligence service and other government agencies.
The board has in the past effectively banned Web sites supportive of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Access to a blog by the wife of government spokesman Ghollam-Hossein Elham was restricted this year. Elham said that access was blocked because of his wife's critical articles about Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president and powerful anti-Ahmadinejad politician.
"The limits of the filtering are pornography and anti-revolutionary sites. This is illegal censorship," Elham said to the Khorasan newspaper in April.
The blog is now accessible in Iran, but some other sites supportive of the government remain blocked.
"Newspaper censorship, social oppression and filtering are not logical unless you look at them as sub-parts of overall oppression," said Asieh Amini, a journalist and activist in Tehran. Her blog, http://varesh.blogfa.com, has been blocked since Saturday.
From 1999 to 2005, Iran's judiciary closed dozens of newly founded newspapers critical of the government, prompting many journalists to move to the Web.
In 2003, Iranian authorities started restricting access to Web sites, a technique which can be bypassed by filter breakers or other tools to avoid digital censorship. These programs are slow, and filtered Web sites lose many readers.
According to Iranian blogging services, last year there were more than 700,000 blogs in Farsi, many of which are written from abroad.
"It makes one really depressed to see his or her site being filtered, but it also shows that the authorities are afraid," said Jadi Mirmirani, a human rights activist.
"It means: we do not tolerate any alternative news sources or any new ideas."

Iran: Khamenei Warns Of Western Evils, As Youth Give Views On Ayatollahs

By Farangis Najibollahi

June 6, 2008


Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned that the nation's "enemies" seek to weaken the country's youth by spreading immorality, prostitution, and drug addiction, as young people themselves express their frustration at hard-line social restrictions.
"Combating organized plots that push Iranian youth toward carnal desires, drugs, or sexuality is a prime duty of the Iranian people and especially the young," said Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters in the Islamic republic.
He made his remarks on the 19th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, his predecessor as Iran's supreme leader.
More than 60 percent of Iran's population is under 25 years old, and there are almost 8 million young people eligible to vote. Iran's youth played a vital role in the Islamic Revolution and have demontrated their power to bring change to the political system. Disillusioned with the restrictions the ayatollahs imposed on their lives, young people were instrumental in bringing reformist President Mohammad Khatami to the presidency in 1997.
The potential power of Iran's youth has led Iran's political and religious leaders -- such as Khomeini and Khamenei -- to try to gain the support of the country's younger generation. Khamenei wrote on his official website last month that in a mosque where he used to be the prayer leader, "the youth constituted about 80 percent of the people there, and this was because I always kept in contact with the youth."
The supreme leader even praised Iranian young people as "fashionable" and said they should not be judged by their clothes or physical appearance.
Increasingly Frustrated
Many Iranian youth -- especially in Tehran and other big cities -- have become increasingly frustrated by the social restrictions that hard-liners have brought into their everyday lives. The restrictions are everywhere -- women have to obey an Islamic dress code, music is prohibited, and people are jailed for drinking alcohol.
Mohammad, a young Tehran resident, told RFE/RL that even websites which have nothing to do with politics and Islamic values have been blocked by authorities.
"It's really ridiculous how websites are filtered here," Mohammad said. "Don't think that the authorities have only filtered sex-related sites. No, rules and laws do not apply here. News, music, and photos are all filtered. Until last week, I used to download music from some sites, but now they are blocked, too. They were Iranian music sites."
So-called morality police are stationed in every crowded place in Tehran, and they stop young women who violate a dress code by wearing tight overcoats or skimpy headscarves. Young men are not allowed to wear ties or to get a "funky" hairstyle.
Twenty-four-year-old Sitareh, one of the "dress-code offenders," says she has been detained and fined by the morality police.
"I was stopped in the street because my trousers were slightly short and my ankles were showing," Sitareh said. "Several other women were also detained. We were transported to the police station and police officers called my family. I spent a few hours in the detention center, and they would bring more girls from the streets. The police treated us in a somehow insulting and rude manner."
Sitareh said she has become more careful after the arrest but still pushes "the dress-code boundaries."
Want To Enjoy Their Youth
Mohammad and Sitareh say that, like young people elsewhere in the world, they want to enjoy their youth by dressing the way they like, listening to music, going to parties, dating, or surfing the Internet without having to deal with blocked websites.
In many countries, that's not too much to ask. But in Iran, a young woman who holds hands with a man who is not related to her can get arrested by the morality police, who seem to be increasingly present.
There are many young Iranians -- especially in the provinces -- who genuinely support the country's hard-line leaders. In cities like Qom and Mashhad, even local residents stop and reprimand women whose hijabs do not "sufficiently cover their bodies." Most of them regard Khomeini and Khamenei as iconic figures who are above the law, and everything else.
But many others find the social restrictions frustrating and suffocating. Younger women especially have been expressing their exasperation with the Islamic regime.
Raha, a Tehran-based young professional, told RFE/RL that "indeed, Iranian women have the right to education and work, but still there are many rules and laws that have turned the women into a half person."
"On the surface, it looks like we have the right to education. In reality, however, husbands have the right not to allow their wives to continue their education, and the government and the law take the sides of the husbands," Raha said. "It is written that women have the right to work but, in reality, the husband can take that right away from his wife."
Iranian student Kiyan told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that, for him, Khomeini's name is related to war and poverty.
"It's very easy to judge what we see here today. It's unemployment, devastation, a failed economy, war with the whole world," Kiyan said. "The foundation of all of these things was formed at the beginning of the Islamic Revolution. I think Mr. Khomeini's responsibility for problems that we face today should not be underestimated."
'Losing Patience'
Mohammad said he "couldn't care less about the supreme leader's speeches or warnings." Mohammad insists he is not interested in politics; however, he is "losing" his patience with the political and religious leaders "who are interfering in people's lives and taking away their most basic freedom, such as the freedom to listen to music."
It was social restrictions that caused students to spill into the streets throughout Iran in 1999 in the most serious unrest in the country since the Islamic Revolution.
There has been an upsurge in student activities and protests in Iranian cities in recent years. In recent months, officials have arrested dozens of leftist student groups whose main slogan is "Freedom and Equality."


Untold Stories of Iran

By Sabina Amidi

June 9, 2008

Middle East Times

Iran is infamous for its undercover police agents who patrol the streets of Tehran in search of immoral practices. Ironically the "secret police" are hypocritical and acting contradictory to the Islamic Republic's strict moral code, because they do not have the typical fundamentalist demeanor but are clean-shaven men and attractive women with makeup.
These informants, dressed in civilian clothing, tip off the authorities when citizens deviate from Sharia law, while at the same time toying with the psychology of the Iranian people – they could be anyone and found anywhere – by instilling fear into the public to keep them in line with the Republic's Islamic policies.
Last December a new policy was implemented that targeted young women who tucked their trouser legs into their boots. If caught they are taken to the police station where they have their mug shot taken and their boots confiscated.
A 19-year-old woman in a coffee shop said with amusement: "They think it's too sexy, they think it will catch a man's eye. But they're just shoes, and there is two feet of snow outside. So why don't they tell the men to look the other away?"
Oppression and economic inflation have been getting progressively worse in recent years due to an increase of funding to Hezbollah in Lebanon and religious reforms enforced since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president.
Consequently, the government's supposed charitable actions and attempt to rejuvenate Islam within society have continued to fuel the waning of religious fervor throughout the nation.
A taxi driver, who claimed to be religious, openly criticized Lebanon's Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah and the mullah regime: "That man steals money from the Iranian people. This country is falling apart and these mullahs want to throw money to Lebanon, they forget to feed and support their own people. They do not represent us, they represent their own cause."
Another young woman in a coffee shop said, "This country is full of thieves and liars who hide behind Islam. They corrupt and distort it and hold back the people, and the uneducated mullahs cannot support our needs in the 21st century."
Times have changed since the revolutionary presidency of Muhammad Khatami. That somewhat stable era allowed young men and women to express themselves through demonstrations against the injustices of the mullah regime and provided a normal social atmosphere for young people to interact.
It was considered a social norm for young people to go out to the movies or dinner, or grab a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop.
But now they are forced to meet secretly behind closed doors. Young Iranian women are putting themselves at risk by meeting men in their apartments, a dangerous act and that could potentially lead to rape. But tragically, any women who is sexually assaulted does not dare accuse her assaulter, because the government punishment would be far greater.
Trouble is also brewing in the economic arena. A middle-aged cab driver claimed that the policy of the Islamic Republic was to hold its people down so they don't demonstrate and will instead keep quiet.
"I have no future. It's only about surviving day by day to have bread on the table. They keep the people hungry to keep their mouths closed. They create problems in our lives to keep us busy. We have a hard time making a living to feed and support our families. We don't have time to think about politics."
An elderly restaurant waiter complained: "I had my own restaurant when the shah of Iran was in power. I had my own house and was my own man. But now look at me, I am nothing. The Islamic Republic destroys lives."
The economic recession is not just taking a toll on the older generations. Students straight out of college can't find jobs after they graduate. So instead they are forced to obtain low paying work to make ends meet, such as sweeping filth off the streets or driving a cab.
Despite the harsh reality, the government seems oblivious to the people's grievances. However, younger Iranians are rebelling against the government by retaliating against Islam.
On the 10th day of Ashura, a day that commemorates the martyrdom of Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala, young men and women have started the tradition of becoming intoxicated, playing Koranic verses, and driving around the streets to meet members of the opposite sex. They call this the "Husayn Party."
Despite the rising unpopularity of the government mostly among the young who constitute the majority of the population, the United States should not read this as a sign that military action against the Islamic republic would be seen favorably. Quite the contrary. A military attack against Iran would lose the United States the high rate of approval it currently enjoys among the Iranian public.

Iran-Iraq Security pacts?


Op-ed Contributor

June 10, 2008

There is a famous saying in Farsi which explains the intimate message Iranian media have been honing after Mr. Malekis visit to Tehran:
The saying goes, "He escaped the thief, and fell in fortune-teller's trap", meaning "Out of the frying pan into the fire". If we were able to gather collections of famed quotations of philosophers and ideologists of the century, I would think they would all agree that what we are experiencing as "Islamic fundamentalism" or best said "Islamic Khomeinism", is an evolved Islamo-fascism which has embedded all "historic elements of fundamentalism" , only to misrepresent as "progressive, anti capitalist leftist view that seeks to give the weak and the poor of the world a chance to fight the great bullies!".
This formulates the core element of deception which acts as appetizer for Moslem fundamentalists through out the world.
For more than three decades the people of Iran have gone through a painful process of disillusionment with Khomeinism and its demagogic promises, medieval philosophy, administrative incompetence, and reign of terror and extremely complicated exploitation under the name of religion.
Today we are witnessing a "Copy Paste" option of this version of "Islamic Khomeinism" - a catastrophic recipe - used for the Iraqi problem!
Khomeini was the first ruler of a Muslim state since 1258 - the year of the conquest of Baghdad by the Mongol ruler Hulagu Khan - to wield both political and religious power. A master of demagogy, he committed atrocities in the name of Islam. The magnitude of the tyranny taking place over the past thirty years in Iran is unparalleled in the nation's history.
He was the first religious "supreme leader" to leave a will of conquest to establish an Islamic caliphate through Iraq (the ancient sacred land of the Shiite Imams) to Gods.
He theoretically legitimized expansion and exportation of terrorism in his famous scripts on "Velayat-e- Fagih" concept printed in the beginning of his reign, where he stressed that "there are no real boundaries between Islamic countries."
A Recent Example of "deceptive Demagoguery"
A simple review of Khomeini's clever double blade position taken on the Iraq War in 1992 is helpful to understand the rhythmic repetition of this policy in use today.
"Fishing in muddied waters"?
When Iraq occupied Kuwait on August 2, 1990, the clerical regime played both sides to advance its goals. The mullahs' best interests lay in the eruption of a bloody war between Iraq and the Allies. Iraq would be eliminated from the regional balance of power, and the Arab members of the Allied coalition would lose credibility in the eyes of their own Muslim populace for relying on foreign powers. War meant Iran would have an opportunity to gain the upper hand. For this reason, the mullahs' policy was to push events toward an inevitable war.
Despite presenting themselves as neutral, in their private dealings with the Western countries the mullahs voiced their support for the Allied campaign and opposed the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. Behind the scenes, they also told the Iraqis that should war break out; Iran would rally to their help with all its might. In an editorial in Iraq's Al-Jumhuriya newspaper, Editor in Chief Saad Al-Bazzaz revealed that throughout the Persian Gulf crisis, Rafsanjani had encouraged Baghdad to adopt a hard-line stance:
The top Iranian official said, "I have much more than what you have asked for . . . We are on your side in the Kuwait affair. We request that you not take our official remarks as the only reflection of our stances. We stand beside Iraq and completely understand the circumstances and reasons for Iraq's position. Do not retreat from Kuwait. We will stand by you against America to the extent our strength allows and as much as we can."
The mullahs got the war they wanted in the Persian Gulf.
When it ended, Tehran took advantage of the chaos in Iraq to dispatch thousands of Revolutionary Guards and agents to Iraqi cities, with the aim of establishing an Islamic Republic.
From the start, the Iranian Resistance (NCRI and the PMOI) continuously revealed precise reports and information concerning the clerical regime's increasing meddling in Iraq and export of terrorism to that country. It said that while the Tehran's nuclear weapons program was a major threat to peace and tranquility in the region and the world, the dangers posed by the export of terrorism and fundamentalism to Iraq was far greater.
Tehran has employed all of its political, diplomatic, propaganda, religious, military, terrorist and economic assets to impose its dominance on Iraq. Its penetration is carried out by four agencies: the Revolutionary Guards Qods (Jerusalem) Force, Shiite clerics, native mercenaries and radio, television propaganda.
The Iranian regime has transferred the command headquarters of the Qods Force from Tehran to the Iran-Iraq frontier. (1) Many of the Force's generals and commanders are based in Iraq. At the same time, Tehran has dispatched thousands of clerics to Iraq to manipulate the religious sentiments of Iraqis, and organized tens of thousands of paid mercenaries and terrorists inside the country, taking control of many local agencies.
Previously, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei awarded a medal of merit to the Qods Force commander for "spreading the message and influences of the Islamic Republic among Iraqis."
As such, while a majority of Iraqi Muslims, especially the Shiites are neither fundamentalist nor seek a religious state, the mullahs have created a situation in Iraq where the democratic, independent and secular Iraqi forces cannot operate freely and a small minority is dictating its ways to majority Shiites. Meanwhile, the mullahs ruling Iran have consistently sought to weaken the position of independent Shiite clerics in Iraq.
A Strong Factor Destabilizing Iranian Infiltration in Iraq
On 7 June 2006, a Solidarity Congress of Iraqi People announced the support of 5.2 million Iraqi's to a declaration condemning Iranian regime's meddling in their country and supporting the role of the Iranian opposition's presence in Iraq (PMOI) "as a major obstacle to mullahs' fundamentalist ambitions in Iraq.'
This declaration was signed originally by 121 political parties and social groups, 700,000 women, 14,000 lawyers and jurists, 19,000 physicians, 35,000 engineers, 320 clerics, 540 professors, 2,000 tribal sheikhs and 300 local officials , and ordinary citizens tired of the Iranian affiliated proxies in Iraq.
While stressing in this declaration that "that the Iranian regime has astonishingly infiltrated Iraq's ministries, security agencies and public service institutes.", they reiterated "The solution and the only encouraging prospect for neutralizing these threats come through eviction of the Iranian regime from Iraq, closure of its embassy, and recognition of the status of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran which is the principle bulwark against the Iranian regime's interventions. Similarly, the PMOI's disarmament upset the strategic balance in this sensitive region of the world in favor of the Iranian regime".
So far unfolding developments have only proved this article to be a painful , but factual experience of two nations, that have much in common , but the most prominent of all which is " a Clear occupation of a religious fascism" that has proved to be "an ACTIVE WORLD MENACE".
The solution is dictated by both Nations:
Both Iranians and Iraqis unite on one issue spelt out loud and clear:
It is time for a regime change in Iran.
This can only be achieved through supporting the main threat to this regime, which is its main opposition the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran.

Iran: EU should start having real relations with the PMOI (MEK)

Speech by Finnish Euro MP: Mrs. Piia Noora Kaupi
June 13, 2008

In a press conference in Brussels on June 11, the regime's back-door efforts to prevent implementation of rule of law in Europe was condemned by Euro MP, Mrs. Piia Noora Kaupi, leader of the Finnish delegation in the Group of the European People's Party in the European Parliament. The following are excerpts of her remarks at the press conference:
The majority of the European Parliament wants us to stand by our democratic principles. I think it is totally absurd for the Iranian regime announcing that the court verdicts in Britain and in Europe which have ruled in favor of the [People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran] PMOI [MEK] are politically motivated because they have studied all the classified documents and every data available before ruling that there was no justification to keep the PMOI [MEK] on the terrorist list.
We at the European Parliament are very surprised and disappointed by the attitude of the Council of European Union.
In the past few years we have requested many times that the PMOI [MEK] should be removed from the list. It has already taken too long and the organization has been kept on the list without any grounds.
The only reason for the PMOI [MEK] to be on the EU list was the British government and after the court ruling in that country the PMOI [MEK] cannot be kept on the list and I have very little respect for any government, be it the British government, the French government or any government which would try to keep the organization in the list.
We in the European Union share this view that the PMOI [MEK] should be removed from the EU terrorist list immediately and we also should cooperate much more with this organization. The EU should start having real relations with the PMOI [MEK], because the PMOI [MEK] and the National Council of Resistance of Iran have the capacity for democratic change in Iran.
I have met Mrs. Rajavi, President-elect of the [National Council of Resistance of Iran] NCRI, and other officials of the Iranian Resistance many times and I can assure you that they are fully committed to the democratic principles. This is the only organization that can bring change to Iran. So, I think it is only natural and logical for the EU to start cooperation with this organization.
So once again I emphasize that we should get the PMOI [MEK] out of the EU list immediately and not give in to pressures by the Iranian regime to influence EU decision-making.
Removal of the PMOI [MEK] from the terrorist list is the will of the majority of the European Parliament as reflected in its January 31 resolution.

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Volume 49, June 15, 2008

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