Saturday, February 12, 2005

No to economic sanctions!

One of the advantages we Iranians have over Iraqis and Afghans is that the reformist rhetoric that has been going on in our country for the past 8 years has - at least - allowed a more competent “civil society” to emerge and develop itself progressively.
(I consider weblogs as an extension of that civil society to the external world.)

The dynamic anti-war movement and activism that we see today within the Iranian blogsphere, which unfortunately the Iraqis could not afford before their invasion, should show the american administration that this time, they are dealing with a very distinct set of people!

People that can play an effective role as influential actors and watch the fruitful results of their activism whenever they stand by a common cause;
People that can now use that emerging power to let their voices be heard;
And, people who will compensate their government’s shortcomings whenever - for whatever reason (corruption, lack of integrity, or simply incompetence) - it fails to defend their rights!

As these “people”, I think we must not restrain ourselves to just contest a military intervention. I believe we must also react fiercely and stay vigilant when it comes to other means of undue pressure, especially to economic sanctions:

The German industrial ThyssenKrupp has caved to Washington’s pressures and pushed Iran to vacate its seat on the corporate's supervisory board.

General Electric Co has also announced it would not accept any new business in Iran.

And not surprisingly Halliburton Co. and British oil BP Plc have halted their activities too…

These are all bad signs of an upcoming broad economic sanction. We must all react to it. We must write letters, sign petitions and even initiate class action lawsuits (whenever applicable) against companies that renounce unilaterally to their obligations to our country based on political motives.

We must say no to war, in all its shapes and forms!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I ask what the Iranian expectation should be of non-Iranians in dealing with the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran? I agree wholeheartedly that a military action against Iran (and even hints of such), will not only be criminal as an act against Iranian people in the target areas but also serve to unify the Iranian people with the Guardian Council's Islamic clergy. However, what other way of registering one's disapproval with a governmental system can be enacted without economic, commercial, and diplomatic disengagement? I safely suspect that the aforementioned companies you name are only acting in their own self-interest, but I also feel a good prerequisite for any corporate involvement with a foreign country should require sending the CEO's family to live in that particular country of operation, and not within a walled compound. Thusly, a reciprocal level of human rights between partnering countries would be encouraged. The United States bent over backwards to give China the Most Favored Nation Status before its introduction to the WTO, and Chinese citizens still cannot form political parties freely, organize labor unions, expect journalistic protection, enjoy freedom of religion, and even the distribution of the famed iconic image of the lone man of Tian an Men Square facing down the tanks is literally an arrestable offense. Saudi Arabia being defended as a U.S. "ally" is reprehensible given its forced segregation, state-run media, imprisonment for diisidents, and different legal codes for those of different expressed faiths. The point is, engagement did nothing to alleviate totalitiarian contempt for human rights and the allowance for personal voice.
I fear that engagement by the United States before there is a genuinely Iranian non-MEK-involved demand resulting in evidence for press freedom, a transparent Judiciary, accounting for dead political prisoners (30,000 in September 1988 alone) and and enforcable timetable for the dissolution of the Guardian Council will only be interpreted by Iranians that the United States considers their demands for human rights to be subservient to business interests. Would this be or not be the case?
I thank you for your time and consideration. Please respond to this question as you see appropriate. Thank you.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering the reference concerning the Iranian political dissidents, and their alleged deaths hark back into the 20th century, and or decades or so ago. It could be safely concluded that political repression in Iran is on the wane, if not, non-existent.

Nonetheless, alluding to the failures in changing the behaviour of the repressive regimes, in Saudi, Kuwait, and China, through engagement, which is followed by a conclusion in a plethora of demands from Iranians that range from transparency to judicial accountabilities, not forgetting the freedom of the press .

Seeing as the referenced icon can be bought, sold, distributed, and even diluted in the water and drank, upon the individuals' choosing in Iran, and seeing as there never have been any attempts in hindrance of such activities reported by any of the NGO, we can safely accept that Iranian society is far more open than the caricatured image cultivated around in the west, in particular US.

Further, the manifest underlying assumption of “Amway or Noway”, patently giving rise to the demands listed. Are in fact a clear expression of “righteous indignation/aggression”, while summarily discounting the Iranian society's cultural imperatives.

Amway reliant on the threats of hellfire, and brimstones through the projection of US military power at any and all nonaligned nations, along with whimsical introductions of sanctions, and unilateral tariffs on goods and services, from any nation not dancing to the tune of Uncle Sam somehow is perceived as “just”, and “right”!

Although, starting with a question as to the expectations of Iranians from non Iranians, it would appear that the bulk of the comments render the initial question, rhetorical!

However, for what it is worth, Iranian expectations do not differ from the expectations of any other people, mainly respect for their cultural imperatives, the ending of the uncompetitive practices of the western economies, in particular US, and an end to aggression, and destruction, as well as adoption of policies that promote a symbiotic existence free from malice, fear, and aggression!

Finally considering the pitiful state of the media in US, and the almost sycophantic role of the right wing media in that country, does freedom of press mean the right to own one? As for the hysterical atmosphere in US that has brought on the systematic erosion of free speech, freedom of expression, and etc, would it not serve the citizens of that country to start putting their own house in order, before exporting democracy through the array of the killing machinery, which they are so easily disposed to make use of? Less said about judicial accountabilities that so far seem to have sanctioned torture, and indefinite detentions without any trails?


12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...Considering the reference concerning the Iranian political dissidents, and their alleged deaths hark back into the 20th century, and or decades or so ago. It could be safely concluded that political repression in Iran is on the wane, if not, non-existent...."

You link to an anarchist group source and you act as an apologist mouthpiece for ANY government? Turn in your cute little anarchist badge. Way to undermine the cause against sanctions, saboteur!!

I wonder if any of the Iranian bloggers linked from the PeaceIran blog site are a little, uhm, ..hurt by that claim?

Organize to boycott and press for sanctions against U.S. and Israeli products in retailiation, but do not DARE let hatred of idiotic Bush policy let you fall for a claim like THAT.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous 1066 said...

Evidently when it comes to Iran and or any other non aligned nation, the high bar of morality is arranged at Utopian levels, and any less is to not be expected and or accepted!

However, so far as the aligned nations are concerned, municipal elections for a town council representatives (mind no women can vote), are heralded as the wind of change blowing democracy across the Saudi, Never mind the Kuwait, UAE, etc which do not even entertain any such municipal elections!

While “Special Removal Unit” (CIA torture Jet), attends the various spots of the world to ship detainees purely for the reasons of rendition (surrender) of the supposed terrorists, to various torture spots of the world from Bagram in Afghanistan, to Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, etc. Since it is illegal to torture these individuals in US, and or Gbay is too soft of an option (extra judicial detentions). These incidents are not political repression. Although the catch all umbrella of the “terrorist” has come to denote any and all opposition to US imperialism, which is further simplified for the addled hamburger munching overweight citizens, in case they strain their brains by using it for thinking (a dangerous pastime)!

Ambassador Craig Murray gets the push out of his job in British foreign and Commonwealth Office for highlighting the indiscriminate and barbaric torture and murder of Uzbekistan nationals through the most inhuman methods including boiling these unfortunate victims alive, to the extent that their flesh is separated from their bones! Yet the warnings of political repression are against the US foreign policy and the ambassador gets the sack, without so much as mention of such events in any of the main stream media!

However, the endless harangues of; political repression, undemocratic, and abuse of human rights that are lavished upon any and all non aligned nations, as a matter of foreign policy of US, and known to be as such to all people around the planet except the Americans, whom consider such rants as aid to consolidation of human rights!

Fact that democracy and freedom are organic, and solely dependant on the local arrangements, and the consent of the indigenous population accepted, and practised paradigm, going missing, the charade goes on!

However, to defend any such non aligned nation, is perceived to be departing the realms of the accepted dogma, and deserving of the usual trite, and cheap shots!

Labels in a consumer society, are enough to accept or reject any ideas, and or notions, further labels represent the width, hence never mind the quality!

Although these days there appears to be hints of remote dissidents, and dissent by wire, that is supposed to reinforce the negative image of Iran in a bid to dehumanise that nation in preparation for impending imperial adventures. With the usual array of the carpetbaggers whom have attended, and qualified from Challabi School of Treason!

5:04 PM  
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