Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Refrandum or no refrandum, this is the question:

In a trip to Mashhad during the Iranian New Year, the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatol-lah Khamenei, issued a challenge to the West. Replying to the claim that Iran is being isolated, he said, " let us have a refrandum in the world of Islam to see who is more popular? Mr Bush, or Mr Ahmadinejad?" and went on to say" if you are not afraid of its disgraceful result, let us have this refrandum".
I have no idea if anyone in the West would take this issue seriously enough even to reply. But, what I do know, however, is this. About 70% of Iran's population are under 30 years old and have had no say in deciding the shape of the Iranian state. As Mr Khamenei seems so keen about refrandum to settle disagreement, could I suggest Sir, if you yourself are not afraid of "its disgraceful resutl", why do you not issue a decree to have one in Iran! I promise and give you my words, that if 51% of those who participate support your style of government, I would become one of your " devotees"!!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Akbar Ganji

This is Akbar Ganji, an Iranian political prisoner, just released from prison after six long years!
What did he do?
Did he rub any bank?
Did he damage anyone's property?
He had a pen and he wrote, and wrote, and wrote.
His story should be told and retold.
Some Iranians claim that Akbar " was" one of them! but, the fact of the matter is, if he remained one of them, he would not have been jailed for six long years! He would not have been tortured. By a good guess, he is about half his weight, a very long hunger strike while in prison, had almost killed him. But, it is good to see him alive, and it is good to see him free. It is encouraging that after all these years, to see him full of life. I wish you Mr Ganji all the best for the future and I wish you and your family, a very happy New Year! Welcome back, nice to see you Sir!

A disturbing picture:

Baztab, a news site alleged to be close to Reza’ee the former chief of Pasdaran, and the current secretary to the Arbitration Council in a recent piece offered a disturbing picture of for the Islamic Republic of Iran.
According to Baztab, in a survey in 11 Iranian universities, 78% of the students believe that the national politicians are involved in economic activities for personal gains. 86% consider the Iranian political system deeply corrupt and 76% of the students believe that the system is biased in favour of the rich. Only 15% of the students agree that Majlis, the government, and Law enforcing agencies are truly fighting against rent seeking and financial corruption. Only 17% believe that the legal system in the country is just, and 76% asserted that members of parliaments do not protect national interests. 85% of the students believe that Iranian politicians are more concerned about their own luxurious life style than serving the people.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Iran & US to negotiate.

If the news is reliable, the US has requested to negotiate with Iran on issues relating to Iraq and the Iranians have agreed to this request. It is good news for two reasons:
- The situation in Iraq is becoming a little too serious and the sooner a solution is found the better.
- Let us hope that this will not be the only issue that the two sides would start negotiating about. I hope that this experiment would lead to some confidence building on both sides and, they would start to negotiate on other issues of mutual concern too. To me as an Iranian, it looks silly that Iran does not have any diplomatic relationship with the US. At the same time, I think it is silly too that the US policy makers seem to think that they could have peace in the Middle East without effective participation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The sooner both sides realise this simple fact and take a more pragmatic view of life, the better for both nations and for the rest of the Middle East.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

All are equal, but, some are more equal...

Let me start by saying that I am against all weapon systems. Let me also add that as an Iranian I felt ashamed when Iran's President expressed a desire to" wipe out" Israel. I am also ashamed that a peaceful demonstration on the occasion of 8th March in Tehran, was attacked by thugs supported by the state. But, having said all that, let me also tell you that Mr Bush and Mr Blair are not that different from those who rule over Iran.
Both, are not telling the truth to their people. Both have an agenda different from the one they claim to have.
Commonality between the two sides goes much further:
Bush received his "instruction" from God to destroy Iraq, and Blair calls himself a "Christian", standing to be judged by God! In Iran, there is a holy government too!I am not a religious person, nor do I know much about Christianity or any other religions, but can someone who lies so openly, be a Christian or for that matter, a Muslim? Furthermore, is double standard acceptabe in any religioun? I said that I am against all weapon systems, but, if an allegation that Iran is planning for the bomb, " is dangerous for the world peace", how come that the real and kicking nuclear bombs in Israel and Pakistan are not seen by these " peace loving" leaders! Do they not exist? Or, shut up... these people are our friend!!
Am I missing something here?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Two mad men....

The stand off between Tehran and Washington is becoming increasingly more dangerous for the whole world. To me it does not matter, whether the American youth is killed in the battle ground, or whether it is Iranian wedding that would be bombed by the US plane- as they have bombed in Iraq and Afghanistan! I would mourn them both. To me, life is the most valuable possession of human being and no one, I repeat, no one, has the right to waste it in this way. Thinking about this, it reminds me of an Iranian saying that a mad man drops a stone into a well, and hundred wisemen could not take it out. What we have got here, is two mad men, one is in the White House and another, is in Tehran. The rest of us, have been caught up in cross fires between the two! While I am 100% against any weapon system, nuclear or conventional, but can not escape the fact that the mad man in Washington is using bullying tactics. At the same time, the mad man in Tehran, in my view, is focusing all his attention on nuclear power in order to divert attention from some serious problem that the Iranian economy is facing or soon would face. Had he had gone for solar energy- that is plentiful in Iran- it would be environment- friendly as well as not giving the mad man in Washington the excuse to bully.
What can I do here, except to write and nag!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Freedom in Iran!!

Given what is going on in Iran, this statement by the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament- Haddad Aadel- is a little rich: “Those who wish to serve the people would never have any problem with the free flow of information. Only corrupt people would have anything against the Free press and free expression”. These are fine words, but, why a government of which Mr Aadel is one of its main politicians is curtailing freedom and free press!
This said, the question then is, why the Islamic Republic of Iran is spending a huge sum of money to filter the Internet, and why have they closed down more than 120 newspapers in the last 3 years! Why there is a large number of Iranians in prison for simply expressing their opinion?