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Thread: Observing Iran (catch all historical thread)

  1. #241
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Iranian Army turns?

    I am puzzled at this letter, having read the original article and some of the wishful thinking comments that followed. Pajamas Media is a new blogsite to me and appears sall I say slightly conservative in outlook.

    Given the skill shown by the Iranian state in diplomacy for many years could this skill have been applied to the "letter from the Army"? Would any Iranian military officer sign such a letter which issues a warning to the regime, I think not.

    Have any of the more Iran focused websites reported or followed up the story, which appeared in a Dutch magazine - Holland is a country not known for its Iranian links, in fact another country in the region has better relations with the Dutch (fill in this space at your leisure).
    davidbfpo

  2. #242
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default

    There is all sorts of buzz about the current goings-on in the MSM, to the point of some claiming that this could mean irrevocable changes (perhaps revolutionary?) in the status quo of that country.

    Thoughts or other observations?

  3. #243
    Council Member Charles Martel's Avatar
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    Default Doubtful that we'll see irrevocable changes

    Wish I could be more optimistic, but the Iranian regime will lash out violently at any hint of real rebellion. Our best course is to support democracy against tyranny and let the world draw their conclusions on who we mean. Lots of middle east countries fit the description. There is a real internal trend towards replacing the current Iranian regime, but it will take much more than we have seen. Best of luck to real freedom fighters (as opposed to terrorist poseurs).

  4. #244
    Registered User William Sidney Smith's Avatar
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    Default Iranian mutiny?

    The letter appeared on gooyanews. It is a little suspect. The language is a touch archaic. A similar recent document about the Iranian nuclear program also looks too good to be true.

  5. #245
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    Default A touch of the IO?

    I have suspicions that small scale riots, disturbances and, dare I say it, even stage-managed/deliberatly provoked incidents are being (whatever their original intention) perverted by ....not the US and Israel but rather the US based National Council of Resistance of Iran http://www.ncr-iran.org which was formerly a pro-Marxist/Socialist anti-clerical/Islamist organisation founded by former members of Khomenie's revolutionary Government who have since dropped their Marxist slant and adopted a pan-Iranian multi-ethnic programme and who attempted to get close to the former Bush administration when strikes on Iranian nuclear facilties were first being touted. However, the fact that the NCR is a US front for the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MeK) which is listed on the State Department's FTO list and whose status in Iraq still remains to be settled (they are, I belive still in US custody) muddies the waters. Anyway, what leads me to this conclusion, (although, of course, other "interested" parties inside and out of Iran may be involved too), is that reports about mutinous Army officers (and even IRGC personnel) comes from sources which have links to the NCR (among others). Amnesty International, while providing no dates on their web page states that 24 Army officers have been arrested since the "troubles" began http://www.amnesty.org/en/page/24-ir...icers-detained. However, the Washington Post stated that 16 "senior" IRGC officers were arrested back in July for maintaining contact with certain segments of the Iranian Army. The problem is that the source for the Washington Post article is a news item from the Cyrus News Agency which is known to have links, unofficial of course, with the NCR (again, amongst other dissident groups)http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblo...arrested-iran/. I am not for one moment proposing that every act of protest in Iran is backed by some external power (Iranians and Arabs are fond of conspiracies so we need not add to them) but then again that connection, especially in the manner in which the Western media appears to be being "played"/or complicit in creating the impression that what's going on in Iran is more than a storm in a tea-cup. It might be, but it seems that many of the reports such as that posted on pyjamas media appear to be convieniently slanted to create an impression of the fragility of a regime which is nothing if not the reverse.

    These are, of course, my (simple-minded) impressions of some of the news reports I have read. We'll wait and see while heeding old Kissingers warning that "there is no defence against preconceptions".
    Last edited by Tukhachevskii; 12-30-2009 at 12:28 PM. Reason: The Usual Sins of COC3 (Composition, Omission, Confusion, Conflation and Convalution)

  6. #246
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    Default Iran, A tale of two ashuras

    I co-wrote this article about Iran for some Pakistani websites (so please keep the target audience in mind, the tone and references are likely to be a bit off for some people here). comments welcome.

    http://wichaar.com/news/284/ARTICLE/...009-12-30.html

  7. #247
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    Default Iran Gearing up for another Tug-of-War on February 11

    The opposition in Iran has been organising ahead of the eagerly anticipated official day to mark the 31st anniversary of the revolution (Let's be reminded that the opposition to Ahmadinejâd in Iran has been using the officially-sanctioned holidays to voice its disapproval of the incumbent government). In spite of the outright threats issued by the government officials in Iran against protesters, the preparations for massive demonstrations are well underway:

    http://www.payvand.com/news/10/jan/1170.html

  8. #248
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Context from abroad

    A commentary on the situation in Iran: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...644083200.html.

    I am no expert on Iran and remain pessimistic on the outlook.
    davidbfpo

  9. #249
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    A commentary on the situation in Iran: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...644083200.html.

    I am no expert on Iran and remain pessimistic on the outlook.
    Interesting article. On your pessimism, let me elucidate that the mood amongst the opponents of the regime has been the contrary. In spite of the ruthless treatment (rape, muder, torture) that many of the ardent opponents of the incumbent government have been subjected to, the belief in the establishment of a democratic Iran and the positive mood had never so palpable ever since the overthrow of the shah (Perhaps that is why comparisons with the shah's regime are now in the ascendant). Of course, one thing that should be discerned about Iranian politics is the fluidity of people's alliances (in fact, this appears to be what the Mousavi camp represented by the Green Movement appears to be banking on). In other words, people can change sides very easily, and for the time being this trend has been in favour of Mousavi.

    Regards,
    Vahid

  10. #250
    Council Member graphei's Avatar
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    Default

    The Islamic Revolution took years to build up to the point of ousting the Shah. While I don't think it will take the 20+ years before something happens, it will probably take some more time. I want to wait and see what happens around that day and then I'll revise. Until then, I'm cautiously optimistic and here's why.

    1. My sources on the ground who were alive during the Islamic Revolution say there is a similar electricity in the air. More graffiti opposing the Supreme Leader has been appearing as of late. Considering not too long ago that would be unthinkable, I'd say a significant paradigm shift has happened.

    2. The administration admitted abuses were going on and closed Kahrizak. When this happened it shattered a whole lot of myths in the process. The notion that an Islamic Republic is some how immune to such abuses because each servant to the State would be the most pious was a big one. The Shah's forces committed similar abuses prior to be ousted and it's one of the angles the opposition, especially the Islamic ones, ran with to bolster popular support. The fact that an 'Islamic' government is resorting to the same tactics as the 'Atheists' pissed a lot of people off.

    3. People are dying at each protest. Unfortunate, yes, but they become icons for the opposition. The administration is either refusing proper Islamic burial, moving bodies around, or desecrating graves. Such practices are patently un-Islamic, and the Opposition knows it. People who were on the fence during the election are annoyed with how the administration has handled everything. Personally, I can't wait to see what happens June 20 when Neda's one year anniversary rolls around.

    4. This has lasted longer than the summer and shows no signs of slowing down.

    5. The government can turn off the net and cell phones all it wants, they usually don't do it fast enough to stop information being spread or people gathering. Even if they do turn all of it off all the time, the information will spread the good old fashioned way.

  11. #251
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    Default Iran executes two over poll unrest

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/mi...746634565.html

    Iran has hanged two men over widespread protests that followed the country's disputed presidential election in June last year, an Iranian news agency has said.

    "Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmani Pour whose cases were confirmed by a Tehran appeals court were hanged on Thursday morning," the ISNA news agency said.

    The pair were convicted of being "Mohareb" or enemies of God, and members of the Kingdom's Assembly, an outlawed pro-monarchist group and the People's Mujahideen, a religious movement.

    They were also charged with plotting to topple the Iranian government, ISNA said quoting officials.

    The executions were the first carried out for election-related incidents.

    'Show trial'

    Iranian authorities arrested around 4,000 protesters including journalists and reformist politicians in a massive crackdown in the weeks after the disputed election.

    The two were among 11 people sentenced to death on similar charges in the wake of post-election protests.

    But Nasrin Sotoudeh, Pour's lawyer, denied that her client had any role in the post-election disruption.

    "He was arrested in Farvardin [the Iranian month covering March-April] before the [presidential] election and charged with co-operation with the [monarchist] Kingdom Assembly," Sotoudeh told AFP.

    She also said she was prevented from representing Pour at his "show trial" in July and that many of the charges were brought against him when he was a minor.

    "He confessed because of threats against his family," she said, adding that she was shocked at the news of the executions since she and her client's family had still been waiting for word from the appeals court.

    Crackdown

    Baqer Moin, an Iranian author and journalist, said the execution was a "political decision", likely intended to "set an example and to frighten some of the people who may shout a slogans that are not of the liking of the authorities".

    "We don't really know which group they belong to, one of them is a monarchist and the other one is the Mujahideen group, obviously the Mujahideen group is not very popular but little is known about the monarchist group," he told Al Jazeera.

    "Their lawyers have said that these people were arrested much before the elections, I suppose that they have been used as an example specifically as we are approaching the anniversary of the revolution."

    He said: "It is an attempt to make sure that the radicals within the opposition movements are not going to take the lead in the anniversary of the revolution."

    The June 12 presidential election plunged Iran into its deepest internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution and exposed widening political divisions.

    The reformist opposition says the election was rigged to secure the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president.

    Denying fraud, Tehran portrayed the protests as a foreign-backed bid to undermine Iran's Islamic system of government.

  12. #252
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Another tug-of-war....

    Close allies of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits).
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...d-with-sorcery

    Abdul Alhazred on Tehran's general staff - who knew?
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  13. #253
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Can't tell the players without a score card
    The Iranian Death Spiral Resumes
    http://pajamasmedia.com/michaelledee...inglepage=true
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  14. #254
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's Intelligence Ministry claimed Saturday that it has arrested at least 30 people allegedly linked to a CIA-run spy network in accusations that also could spill over into the country's deepening political power struggles.

    The announcement on the alleged spy ring gave no further details and appear part of Iran's frequent claims of Western and Israel interference. But the Intelligence Ministry also is at the heart of a messy political showdown and could seek to boost its credentials as a front-line defender of the country.

    Last month, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad forced out the intelligence minister as part of government infighting, but the minister was immediately reinstated by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It touched off a high-level battle that included Ahmadinejad boycotting Cabinet sessions and Khamenei's loyalists warning Ahmadinejad he was on dangerous ground by challenging the ruling system.

    Hard-liners have since launched pinpoint strikes aimed at weakening Ahmadinejad and his allies before next year's parliament elections and the vote for his successor in 2013. The latest apparent blow was reported Saturday after a court ordered a four-year political ban on one of his vice presidents.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110521/..._mi_ea/ml_iran
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  15. #255
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    An ally of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been arrested, according to the country's media. Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh is reportedly accused of corruption and denies the charges. A number of people linked to the president have been dismissed and arrested in recent months.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13898232
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  16. #256
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's irascible, unpredictable but devout president, may be forced to resign in the coming weeks as a political crisis far greater than the massive street violence which followed his re-election in 2009 threatens to overwhelm him and his court favourites in the government.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion...d-2303671.html
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  17. #257
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Iran's eastern front fighting Sunni rebels

    A CSM article on Iran's struggle with Jaish al-Adl or Jaish ul-Adl, or Army of Justice alongside the drug smugglers; it's not all brute force there:www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2014/1030/Facing-its-own-Islamic-State-inspired-militants-Iran-wields-a-smaller-stick?

    I knew about the smugglers and some insurgency, not that it related to Iran's Sunni minority who live in the south-east, 10% of the national population.

    Zahedan is known as Iran’s lawless “Wild West,” where the bleak desert borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan intersect. Iranian officials, soldiers, and police have lost some 3,000 men during years of combat with heavily armed drug smugglers along a major opium and heroin route to Europe.

    .....a sophisticated attack on border post No. 171 in September. In tactics that mirror those used so effectively by the IS in Iraq, a vehicle packed with 1,300 pounds of explosives caused a “cataclysmic” blast that leveled the outer wall, as 70 insurgents in a convoy of six trucks raced to attack.
    Backgrounder by a Norwegain think tank, from May 2014, 8 pgs:http://www.peacebuilding.no/var/ezfl...4fd929c9c8.pdf
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-31-2014 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Add link
    davidbfpo

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