Posts tagged ‘Iran’

2011/03/01

Iran: Report Of Mousavi, Karroubi Arrests


Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, and their wives, have reportedly been taken from their homes by security forces, according to the BBC.

Karroubi’s son told BBC he was told his father had been moved. A website tied to Mousavi is claiming the men have been taken to Heshmatiyeh jail in Tehran.

Iranian government officials denied the report, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

The arrests, if confirmed, come ahead of planned protests that are due to be held on tomorrow.

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2011/02/26

Want News From Tehran? Go To Boston

“I read it every day,” says Robin Wright, author of “Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East” and a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. “It offers a variety of views and analyses of Iran and it’s extremely timely. It’s not the same garbage from others who don’t know what they are talking about.”

Tehran Bureau was started by Iranian-born Kelly Golnoush Niknejad, a lawyer with two master’s degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, after she became frustrated with the “simplistic and dumbed-down” reporting about her native Iran.

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2011/02/21

Democracy The Iranian Way

2011/02/19

Rage, Rap and Revolution

Bobby Ghosh, the author of the below analysis, which focuses on the connections of the younger generation that has just toppled two tyrants, just gave an excellent interview on the Charlie Rose show. One important point he made on the show that is not included in the article is the military’s role in each of the countries experiencing protests.

In Egypt, the Army has traditionally seen its role as the protector of the country. In other states, however, the military’s role is the protection of the regime.

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2011/02/18

Obama’s Choice For Palestine


Obama’s Choice by Henry Siegman, President of the U.S./Middle East Project. This article is based on a study he prepared for the Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre (Noref) in Oslo.

Virtually overnight, the Arab Middle East has been irrevocably transformed. The implications for America’s vital interests in the region and for Israel-Palestine peacemaking will be far-reaching. Most observers seem to agree that Israeli fears of the growing political influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and of a resurgence of Hamas in the West Bank end what little prospect for an Israeli-Palestinian accord might have survived the latest deadlock in the US-brokered peace talks. But in reality there was never the slightest possibility of the parties reaching agreement. Benjamin Netanyahu and his government were convinced they had bested Obama in their confrontation over continued settlement construction, and could now continue gobbling up the West Bank with impunity, disregarding not only American interests but international law and all previous agreements committing Israel to halting the construction of settlements and dismantling all its illegal outposts. (Despite repeated promises, not only were the illegal outposts not removed, many were converted into full-blown settlements.) The long-planned goal of Israel’s colonial enterprise – establishing irreversible control over Palestine through its settlements – was clearly in sight, if not already an accomplished fact.

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2011/02/18

Battle Lines Harden Across Mideast, Africa


Security forces and government supporters employed a growing panoply of violent force — from tear gas and batons to shotguns and grenades — in pitched street battles with anti-government protesters in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen on Friday.

The clashes followed a week of deepening unrest as protesters, emboldened by the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, have called for swift revolutions in their own countries. The battle lines between protesters and authoritarian rulers across the Arab world appeared to be hardening, with governments turning to an increasingly brutal script in trying to quash the protests that have swept the region.

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2011/02/18

Jitters As Bahrain, Libya Bury Their Dead


Parts of the Middle East and North Africa are set for renewed displays of public anger toward their governments today, with the focus on Bahrain and Libya as protesters bury people killed in recent clashes.

Crowds have taken to the streets in Libya, Yemen, Iran and Bahrain over the last few days demanding at the very least more representation and at the most the overthrow of leaders.

The protests, inspired by popular revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that saw veteran presidents of both countries driven out of office, have forced the authorities to react, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Thousands of anti-government protesters were on the streets of Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi early on Friday, a day after “day of rage” demonstrations led to fatal skirmishes with the security forces.

BBC radio, quoting an eyewitness, said protesters against Muammar Gaddafi’s four decades long rule had clashed with security forces, who were using guns, and doctors had counted the bodies of 10 people.

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2011/02/17

Tweeting In Iran

2011/02/16

Israeli FM Says Iran Warships To Transit Suez Canal – Is ‘Provocation,’ ‘Insolence’


Israel’s foreign minister claimed Wednesday that Iran is about to send two warships through the Suez Canal for the first time in years, calling it a “provocation,” but he offered no evidence. The Egyptian authority that runs the canal denied it but pointed out that all ships were free to do so as long as they did not come from a country at war with Egypt.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the ships would cross later Wednesday, en route to Syria. He did not say how he knew it.

“This is a provocation that proves that Iranian audacity and insolence are increasing,” he said in a statement.

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2011/02/15

Brzezinski Discusses Unrest In Mideast

Former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s comments on the Egyptian Revolution and the US response, as well as the spreading unrest throughout the region.


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2011/02/15

Iran MPs: Execute The Reformist Leaders

Hardline Iranian lawmakers called on Tuesday for the country’s opposition leaders to face trial and be put to death, a day after clashes between opposition protesters and security forces left one person dead and dozens injured.

Tens of thousands of people turned out for the opposition rally Monday in solidarity with Egypt’s popular revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years in power. The demonstration was the first major show of strength from Iran’s beleaguered opposition in more than a year.

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2011/02/14

Iran Unleashes Fury On Its Protesters

Ed. Note: Apparently, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad think it’s fine for Egyptians to voice complaints but, as we saw after the contested election in 2009, when Iranians start to protest, they’re beaten like Persian rugs.


In Iran, thousands of opposition supporters defied a government ban and gathered at Tehran’s Azadi Square today, chanting, “Death to dictators.”

At least one person was killed and several others wounded during clashes with security forces firing rubber bullets, tear gas, and beating demonstrators with batons. Dozens were detained as they rallied in support of uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

The fiercest clashes were reported close to Azadi Square in the capital, and ambulances were seen coming and going. Witnesses told the Associated Press that at least three protesters were wounded by bullets, with dozens of others beaten by the security forces and taken to hospital.

The BBC reports sources saying similar protests are being held in the cities of Isfahan, Mashhad and Shiraz.

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2011/02/13

Iran’s Green Wave Calling For Protests


Al Jazeera is reporting that Iranian opposition leaders are calling for nationwide marches against the government on Monday.

Protesters, apparently inspired by recent demonstrations in Egypt and Tunisia, are said to be organizing marches across the country under the umbrella of the country’s Green movement. Also known as Green Wave, the movement made headlines after the disputed 2009 presidential re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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2011/02/10

The West Must Work With Dictators

The uprisings in the Arab world have prompted much hand-wringing among Europeans, who worry that the West has been too lenient with the region’s autocrats. Sometimes, however, tolerating dictators is very much in the West’s best interest.

The popular movements in the Arab world have generated surprisingly little political resonance in the streets of European capitals. There have been no significant expressions of sympathy for the demonstrators, and no angry protests in front of the embassies of those Arab countries where police and security services have shot regime opponents or beaten them to death.

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2011/02/10

Iran’s Dominos

2011/02/08

Rethinking Egypt, Israel Relations

Egypt, Israel And A Strategic Reconsideration
By George Friedman

The events in Egypt have sent shock waves through Israel. The 1978 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel have been the bedrock of Israeli national security. In three of the four wars Israel fought before the accords, a catastrophic outcome for Israel was conceivable. In 1948, 1967 and 1973, credible scenarios existed in which the Israelis were defeated and the state of Israel ceased to exist. In 1973, it appeared for several days that one of those scenarios was unfolding.

The survival of Israel was no longer at stake after 1978. In the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the various Palestinian intifadas and the wars with Hezbollah in 2006 and Hamas in Gaza in 2008, Israeli interests were involved, but not survival. There is a huge difference between the two. Israel had achieved a geopolitical ideal after 1978 in which it had divided and effectively made peace with two of the four Arab states that bordered it, and neutralized one of those states. The treaty with Egypt removed the threat to the Negev and the southern coastal approaches to Tel Aviv.

The agreement with Jordan in 1994, which formalized a long-standing relationship, secured the longest and most vulnerable border along the Jordan River. The situation in Lebanon was such that whatever threat emerged from there was limited. Only Syria remained hostile but, by itself, it could not threaten Israel. Damascus was far more focused on Lebanon anyway. As for the Palestinians, they posed a problem for Israel, but without the foreign military forces along the frontiers, the Palestinians could trouble but not destroy Israel. Israel’s existence was not at stake, nor was it an issue for 33 years.

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2011/02/06

Spy Trial of US Hikers Begins in Iran

New York Times

The trial of the three American hikers accused of espionage and illegally entering Iran began behind closed doors on Sunday, and not guilty pleas were entered on their behalf, their lawyer said.

The lawyer, Masoud Shafiee, said that no decisions were rendered in the case and that the trial would continue at a date to be determined.

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2011/02/02

The WikiLeaks Revolt

Ed. Note: Not sure if I’m particularly open to assigning blame to the GW Bush administration for the situation in Egypt – five consecutive administrations have been strongly supportive of Mubarak – but I did appreciate this commentator’s attempt to put some perspective on events.

The current popular unrest in the Arab world has a lot of lessons for Washington. Undoubtedly one of the most jarring is this: The leak of a simple series of cables from a U.S. ambassador in an obscure country — officially condemned by Washington — may have done more to inspire democracy in the Arab world than did a bloody, decade-long, trillion-dollar war effort orchestrated by the United States.

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