Friday, May 06, 2005

Numbers from hell

Every morning, I wake up, turn on my computer and wait for my Yahoo Homepage to load so that I see "today's" number of people killed in Iraq! One day, it says 15 killed in a car bomb, another day its 50 by a suicide bomber. Some mornings I start off my day with "only" 10 (which is an indication that I would have a good day!). Sometimes they're civilians, sometimes police cadets, sometimes "insurgents", somedays ordinary people at the local market...Today it was 24 by a "twin attack"! 24 is fine I guess! It's probably the average.

Sometimes, the number increases when I refresh the page. It goes from 24 to 25 or from 50 to 56 with just a click! Try it, its fun! You just have to forget that each number represents a precious life.

These numbers are now part of my daily routine! I got used to them and I bet everyone else has too!

I'm thinking of playing lottery with them. I bet I can play every week for the next ten years!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Mr. Abtahi's reply to the forged letter

Few days ago, a forged letter attributed to Mohammad Ali Abtahi (reformist vice-President of Iran) allegedly ordering coercive relocation of "ethnic Arabs" (Arabic-speaking Iranians) was largely distributed among people of Iran's Khouzestan province and created violent protests.
Mr. Abtahi has denied several times having written such letter and has explained that ordering such measures is neither within his scope of competence nor consistent with his beliefs. However, despite the Vice-President’s numerous attempts to clarify his stand and to calm the situation, Khouzestan separatist groups, largely backed by the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network, are intentionally fueling the confusion and trying to profit from it.

Mr. Abtahi's response to the forged letter has been largely censured by Iran's own conservative media (including the national TV) whom is seeking to exploit the situation in this pre-election atmosphere, and by many western newspapers whom seem to seriously lack credible sources.

I have taken the liberty to translate Mr. Abtahi's recent letter to Iran's ministry of Intelligence, which he posted on his weblog, so that non-Farsi readers don't have to rely on Jerusalem Post, Al-Jazeera or other politically motivated media:


Dear Mr. Younesi
Honorable Minster of Intelligence

Last week I received few emails through my personal website containing a letter, allegedly signed by myself during my tenure as the President's chief of staff, ordering the relocation of ethnic Arabs from the province of Khouzestan and a remodeling of the population with [Azeris].

The content of the letter would have obviously betrayed its authenticity since [the measure prescribed in it] were neither consistent with the Islamic Republic's policy nor within the scope of the Chief of staff's authority. For these reasons, I [initially] considered the letter as an Internet prank and refrained from giving it publicity and ignored it for a couple of days. However, after having heard that a copy of the letter had been widely distributed in [the province] of Khouzestan, I immediately proceeded to deny its authenticity in my website.
Unfortunately, my response was not taken into consideration by any News agency and was only covered by Eghbal (reformist newspaper) on Tuesday April 12.

I am puzzled by the fact that the conspiracy has been directed toward me, while I, of all other political figures, have always stressed the importance of establishing good relations with Arab countries.

The unfortunate events of the past two days have shown that this conspiracy was a pre-planned effort to allow separatists to profit [from the instability]. Some internal newspapers have covered the event in such way that one would think that they would not mind blaming internal problems and the "reformist provocation" as the source of this tragedy.

As an Iranian citizen, I would like to ask you to comply with the president's order and seriously proceed in finding the source of this deceit.
While the government has the duty to protect the legitimate rights of our minorities within the framework of the Constitution, and this duty was given special consideration during President Khatami's tenure where minorities, especially ethnic Arabs of the Khouzestan region, were elected in democratic processes and ascended to high local council and governmental positions, it is not to be forgotten that the priority of all Iranians, including Arabs of Khouzestan, is before all "Iran". Provocations, such as this forged letter, are too hazardous to be ignored.

I wish you success in promptly unveiling with detail the identity of the conspirators and informing people.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Iran's Chalabi

1- Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea for people like Mr. Ledeen, whom still promote interference in Iranian affairs, to assess Mr. Sazgara's popularity among young Iranians before and after he came to the U.S to "seek help".

A good start would be to surf among Iranian blogs, have the posts translated to english, and count the pejorative words!

2- For my english speaking journalist friends who don't read Farsi and consequently cannot accurately decode the reactions among Iranian bloggers, I would like to add that Mr. Sazgara, despite all his past services to the reform mouvement and his often courageous stands (which made him popular among many students), has now been dubbed as Iran's Chalabi!
It is so unfortunate...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Dr. Rice: We don't know what we're doing!

Friday, March 18, 2005

HANDS OFF IRAN!

Mossadegh
Today, as an Iranian, I celebrate the 54th anniversary of the nationalization of the oil industry in my country;

Today, as an Iranian, I reaffirm my loyalty to the noble principles of my forefathers and swear allegiance to their legacy;

Today, I reaffirm my strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of my land;

Today, I celebrate the determination of my compatriots to democratization and progressive political reform;

Today, as an Iranian, I insist more than ever that democracy in my country could only emerge and flourish in a climate of independence, stability, peace and economic prosperity and strongly condemn any coercive measure susceptible to destabilize our democratization process and setback my people’s hard gained achievements;

Today, as an Iranian, I reaffirm my grave concern about the implicit and explicit menaces of military intervention and threats of broader economic sanctions directed toward my country by the prominent figures of the current American administration;

Today, as an Iranian, I call for the strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence of my country by the United States of America and its allies;

Today, I call for the respect of the homebred democratization process in my country;

Today, to all external and internal powers that do not respect the people’s will, I say:
HANDS OFF IRAN

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

March 19th: Hands off Iran!

We are three days away from March 19th. (The day we stood against the whole world to nationalize our oil industry!).
I had previously suggested that we all change the titles of our weblogs on the anniversary of this day to a slogan that would show the world that we (iranians) still stand by our sovereignly and are still committed to the same noble principles that made us fight for our rights 54 years ago.

Many people have come up with great suggestions for the slogan. My favorite one is "Hands off Iran". I think it is simple and has a good connotation to it.

Off course, everyone is free to add other words to this slogan if they wish to, but I suggest that we keep "Hands off Iran" as the common denominator.

We just have three days left, so I encourage everyone to promote the campaign on their weblogs and invite others to join.

سالروز 29 اسفند نزدیک است و همان طور که قبلاً پیشنهاد شد، از دوستان دعوت می کنم تیتر وبلاگهایشان را به این مناسبت به شعاری تغییر دهند که بیانگر پایبندیمان به اصل حاکمیت ملی و مخالفتمان با هرگونه تعرض بیگانه باشد. تا به حال پیشنهادهای خوبی برای شعار دریافت کرده ام که به نظرم شعار

Hands off Iran

به دلیل سادگی اش و بار تاریخی که دارد از همه مناسب تر آمد. البته هر کس آزاد است در پیشوند یا پسوند این شعار کلمات دیگری اضافه کند اما توصیه می کنم این سه کلمه در همه شعارها پایه ی ثابت باشد تا پیام مشترک محفوظ بماند

هرچه بیشتر باشیم اثر رسانه ای بهتری خواهیم داشت پس خواهش می کنم تا می توانید دیگران را از این حرکت دسته جمعی آگاه سازید



Monday, March 14, 2005

Where is the incentive here?!

A bully takes your schoolbag from you and would only return it upon obtaining your lunch!
Off course, both the schoolbag and the homemade lunch rightfully belong to you, but the stubborn bully wants to make you "negociate" on them: He wants you to give up one right in order to acquire the other.

At this point, your schoolbag is no longer considered as your legitimate "right" but rather as an "incentive" he's clemently giving you!

Speaking of bullies,
it's really nice of the U.S to promise to drop its objection to Iran applying for membership in the WTO if Iran gives up its right to enrich uranium, but I still haven't figured out where the incentive is in there?

I know this argument might sound a bit too legalistic, but aren't both "uranium enrichment" and "accession to the WTO" Iran's legitimate rights under the NPT and the Marrakesh agreement?

See:

Article IV of the Non-Proliferation Treaty

1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination...

2. All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also cooperate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.

Article XII of the WTO Agreement:

Any state or customs territory having full autonomy in the conduct of its trade policies is eligible to accede to the WTO on terms agreed between it and WTO Members.