Freitag, Oktober 31, 2008

Los Angeles Times: U.S. policies may have contributed to Iran revolution

By Borzou Daragahi
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles Times

U.S. policies "may" have contributed to Iran "revolution"

A report based on declassified documents suggests that the Nixon and Ford administrations, angry with the shah for his support for raising oil prices, worked to curb his ambitions.

A new report based on previously classified documents suggests that the Nixon and Ford administrations created conditions that helped destabilize Iran in the late 1970s and contributed to the country's Islamic Revolution.

A trove of transcripts, memos and other correspondence show sharp differences over rising oil prices developing between the Republican administrations and Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi in the mid-1970s, says a report to be published today in the fall issue of Middle East Journal, an academic journal published by the Washington-based Middle East Institute, a think tank.

The report, after two years of research by scholar Andrew Scott Cooper, zeros in on the role of White House policymakers -- including Donald H. Rumsfeld, then a top aide to President Ford -- hoping to roll back oil prices and curb the shah's

ambitions, despite warnings by then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that such a move might precipitate the rise of a "radical regime" in Iran.

"The shah is a tough, mean guy. But he is our real friend," Kissinger warned Ford, who was considering options to press the monarch into lowering oil prices, in an August 1974 conversation cited by the report. "We can't tackle him without breaking him."

Analysts and historians often contend that President Carter, a Democrat, fumbled Iran, allowing the country to eventually become one of the chief U.S. opponents in the region. But the report suggests that his Republican predecessors not only contributed to the shah's fall but also were inching toward a realignment with Saudi Arabia as the key U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf.

The examination of pre- revolutionary Iran has special relevance today. Cooper said Iran's economic situation just before the revolution resembled its current state, this time with big-spending President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad banking on high oil prices to sustain his power.

"Ahmadinejad's fiscal recklessness is eerily reminiscent of the shah's, with Iran's inflation rate running at approximately 30% and Iran's current deficit approximately $12 billion -- not to mention widespread underemployment and unemployment," Cooper said in an e-mail.

The report, based mostly on documents stored at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Mich., opens a window on an unruly period more than 30 years ago that precipitated Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, which established a template for religiously inspired Muslim movements throughout the Middle East.

As high oil prices in the early 1970s began strangling the U.S. economy, Washington began to sour on Iran, the documents suggest. After an oil embargo over American support of Israel ended in March 1974, U.S. officials considered the shah the principal culprit in keeping oil prices from falling and wanted him to put on the brakes. At one point, Rumsfeld, who later served as the current President Bush's Defense secretary, warned Iran's chief arms procurement official that Tehran was losing friends in Washington.

"Don't try to get around me," he reportedly told Gen. Hassan Toufanian, in an encounter described by the Washington Post three decades ago and cited in the report. "Remember, Kissinger and I have to approve all [arms] exports."

Chief among those advocating pressure on Iran was William Simon, who served as Treasury secretary and energy czar under the Nixon and Ford administrations. He blamed the shah for high oil prices and wanted the U.S. to use weapons sales to Tehran as leverage.

"He is the ringleader on oil prices, together with Venezuela," Simon told President Nixon in July 1974, referring to the Iranian ruler. "Is it possible to put pressure on the shah?"

Over the years, Kissinger advocated a friendlier line on Iran and the shah, who had been brought back to power by a U.S.-engineered coup in 1953. The report suggests that Kissinger had special insights into the country's instability. At the time, university campuses in Iran were in turmoil, and guerrillas were attacking U.S. facilities and assassinating key officials. Even in 1974, a CIA analysis sounded the alarm, saying the shah's ambitious buildup of the country was causing economic polarization and cultural clashes that were roiling Iran.

By late 1976 the shah was in deep financial trouble, facing a huge cash crunch. He wanted the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries oil cartel, or OPEC, to raise oil prices by 25%, a move the U.S. opposed.

"There is unanimity among my advisors that the world economy health is not good," Ford told Iranian Ambassador Ardeshir Zahedi in December 1976, according to the archives. "Any increase in the price of oil would have a serious impact on the world financial structure."

But U.S. officials, especially Simon, had been working with Saudi officials behind the shah's back to seek help on oil prices in exchange for political and military support for the Arab kingdom. The Saudis stunned OPEC by announcing at a December summit in Doha, Qatar, that they would boost production to 11.6 million barrels a day from 8.6 million barrels, driving down prices.

"We should get credit for what happened at OPEC," Kissinger told Ford. "I have said all along the Saudis were the key. . . . Our great diplomacy is what did it."

But it would prove to be a Pyrrhic victory in terms of one American ally. Iran was cash-strapped, having spent much of its reserves on American weapons and the shah's Great Civilization programs, which spurred inflation by flooding the country with money.

The shah was broke. Declining oil revenue amid continued inflation forced him to abandon ambitious plans to modernize his country.

"The collapse of the Doha summit, and the Saudi decision to undercut the price of crude and boost its output to try to flood the market, rushed the Iranian economy to the precipice," Cooper writes in his report.

The shah's government, shaken by the loss of oil revenue, imposed a harsh austerity budget that threw thousands out of work, collapsed investor confidence and panicked middle-class Iranians. Economic chaos and unemployment quickly spread.

Within a year of the Doha summit, the first mass demonstrations that grew into revolution broke out on the streets of the Iranian capital.,0,7529887.story

Mittwoch, Oktober 22, 2008

Der Iran richtet weiter Kinder hin/ Es gilt Vergeltungsrecht / Hinrichtungen werden öffentlich inszeniert

Der Iran richtet weiter Kinder hin

Die "Justiz" ist nicht zuständig!

Symbolbild Amnesty International und Human Rights Watch gegen Hinrichtung von Jugendlichen, Quell: DW/ AP

Ob ein Jugendlicher, der einen Mord begangen habe, hingerichtet werde oder nicht, entscheidet nicht die Justiz. Die Entscheidung liege bei den Hinterbliebenen der Opfer. Denn nach iranischer Rechtsprechung gilt bei Tötungsdelikten oder schwerer Körperverletzung das Recht auf Vergeltungsstrafe: Demnach entscheidet die Familie des Opfers, ob sie ein Blutgeld fordert, mit dem der Täter quasi eine Entschädigung zahlt, oder ob sie verlangt, dass die Todesstrafe ausgeführt wird. Dieses "Auge-um-Auge"-Recht könne den Familien nach islamischem Recht nicht verwehrt werden. Das sind nach Dokumentationen von ai allerdings 99 Prozent der Fälle, in denen die Todesstrafe gegen Minderjährige verhängt wird. Oftmals handelt es sich dabei um Jugendliche, die zwar wegen Mordes verurteilt wurden, deren Taten aber nach internationalen Standards nicht als vorsätzliche Tötung gewertet werden dürften, sondern

Amnesty International fordert, dass die Todesstrafe für Minderjährige im iranischen Strafgesetzbuch generell abgeschafft wird. Wenn diese gesetzlichen Grundlagen geschaffen würden, gäbe es auch keine Interpretationsmöglichkeiten mehr.

Ina Rottscheidt

Montag, Oktober 20, 2008

Spiegel': Bundesregierung will Kurs gegenüber Iran verschärfen

Kurs gegenüber Iran

Die Bundesregierung will nach einem Bericht des Nachrichtenmagazins 'Der Spiegel' ihren Sanktionskurs gegenüber dem Iran deutlich verschärfen. Demnach plant die Koalition, deutsche Unternehmen der Banken- und Versicherungswirtschaft sowie der Energiebranche von neuen Geschäften mit dem Iran abzubringen. Auf diese Weise solle das Land zum Stopp seines Atomprogramms bewegt werden.

Bisher beharrt die deutsche Industrie darauf, nur gesetzlich verbotene Geschäfte zu unterlassen. Der deutsche Handel mit dem Iran stieg laut 'Spiegel' im ersten Halbjahr um über 16 Prozent gegenüber dem Vorjahreszeitraum. Dies sorge bei anderen westlichen Ländern zunehmend für Unmut. Die Bundesregierung lehnt eine Stellungnahme zu dem Bericht bisher ab.

Freitag, Oktober 17, 2008

Iran's Judiciary announces a STOP to CHILD EXECUTIONS

Iran's Judiciary announces

On behalf of the Stop Child Executions organization I would personally like to THANK YOU for your efforts in our campaign.

We hope this latest news of Iran's desire to end the death penalty for minors is sincere and abide by their word . We are pleased that Iran is taking the right step forward but we are being cautious as we have seen announcements before where the Islamic Republic of Iran's officials have reneged on their statements . We at Stop Child Executions are hopeful that this is a battle that can be won. Our voices together really do make a difference and are being heard and addressed worldwide!

For a full report by Stop Child Executions please read below.

Thank you for being a part of the solution,

Nazanin Afshin-Jam
President and Co-Founder
Stop Child Executions

Iran's Judiciary announces a STOP to CHILD EXECUTIONS

Stop Child Executions organization welcomes with joy Iran’s announcement to abolish juvenile executions.

According to Iran's Assistant Attorney General for Judicial Affairs, Hossein Zabhi, a memorandum has been sent to all bodies of the Judiciary in Iran to stop child executions and instructed Judges to issue a maximum sentence of life imprisonment with possibility of parole after 15 years in lieu of execution.

Over the last few years, Stop Child Executions has continuously put pressure on Iran to abide by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Charter of the Rights of the Child (CRC) to which it is state party and put a permanent end to executions of children who have committed an offence before the age of 18.

In September 2008, Stop Child Executions organized “Ahmadinejad’s Wall of Shame" rally outside of the United Nations in New York. A list of recommendations was issued urging Iran's Supreme Leader, Head of Judiciary and the Parliament to immediately stop child executions and implement the changes into law in Iran’s Parliament.

Stop Child Executions was also among 300 other NGO’s from 82 countries who called on the UN General Assembly in its recent annual debate on the Rights of the Child to take urgent action to end the death penalty for minors.

SCE would like to congratulate and thank all its supporters who have signed the petition including human rights defenders, lawyers, government officials, and journalists around the world who have been fighting along with them to end child executions in Iran.

While Iran is the worst offender of child executions with over 140 minors on death row and six executions of children this year alone, Stop Child Executions calls on other countries including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan and Pakistan to follow Iran’s lead in calling for an end to child executions.

All the volunteers at Stop Child Executions wish this overdue decision would have been implemented long before and give their condolences to the families of the 26 minors who have been executed in vain since 2005 and others prior to this date.

Stop Child Executions hopes Iran will abide by their announcement and looks forward to seeing the implementations of its other recommendations to Iran into law.

Link to recommendations:




For more information visit Stop Child Executions organization at

Freitag, Oktober 10, 2008

The judge said, 'We have to see the movie and then decide what we're going to do with you.'

Golshifteh Farahani plays Leonardo DiCaprio's love interest in 'Body of Lies' and fears exile from IranIran

Leonardo DiCaprio had to spend three months in Morocco filming his CIA thriller, "Body of Lies." But Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani, who plays his love interest, could face an even longer exile.

The gorgeous 25-year-old, one of Iran's biggest stars, is the first Iranian-based actress to appear in a Hollywood film since the 1979 Islamic revolution. She wonders about returning to her homeland now that a court there is weighing whether she broke Islamic law by making the film without permission.

"I had a lot of problems because of this movie," she told us at Sunday's New York premiere, where she caught up with co-stars DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Oscar Isaac and director Ridley Scott. "[Iranian officials] took my passport. The intelligence service interrogated me several times. In the end, the judge said, 'We have to see the movie and then decide what we're going to do with you.'"

It's hard to see what would bother them. Farahani plays a nurse who treats DiCaprio's character, but is wary of his advances, insisting that he first meet her family. She won't even shake his hand.

Though her passport has been returned, she doesn't know whether the hard-line government will seize it again if she returns. "I'm on trial," she said, turning down a waiter offering a glass of wine. The actress, who has been living in France with her husband, Amin Mahdavi, said, "I'm totally in love with Iran. I have family there. But now, if they want to see me, they have to leave."

Last month, Saudi Arabia's chief judge threatened to execute satellite broadcast providers who import "deviant" Western movies. It's no wonder Farahani is reluctant to venture even to relatively liberal Dubai, where "Body of Lies" is to be screened at the country's film festival.

"I'm going to stay here," she said. "I lost one opportunity to do a screen test, for 'The Prince of Persia.' I'm not ready for that again."

Sonntag, Oktober 05, 2008

MOMINATION Adib Boroumand for The 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature

We are hereby honored to nominate
Abdolali Adib Boroumand,
for the 2009 Nobel Prize for literature

October 03, 2008

The Swedish Academy Committee for Nobel Nominations in Literature

Källargränd 4, Gamla Stan Stockholm, Sweden

Subject: The 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature

Dear Sirs/Madams,

We are hereby honored to nominate Mr. Abdolali Adib Boroumand,
Iran’s National Poet, political and human rights activist,
for the 2009 Nobel Prize for literature.

Mr. Boroumand, Born 1924, in the city of Isfahan, a lawyer by academics and profession, a linguist and literary icon, has been one of the most renowned poets of Iranian modern history. His seven books of poetry are collection of hundreds of poems he has written all in support of people’s struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights. His latest collection of poems in support of freedom movements around the world named “Message of Freedom” has been translated into 8 other languages such as English, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean Tagalog and Esperanto, and is being translated into a dozen more. His fans in Asian and western countries are dubbing him as an “International Poet” and setting up a multi-lingual site in order to make his works accessible internationally. His other books of collection are called “Moaning of Motherland”, “Familiar Pain”, Song of Liberation”, Secret of Flight” and “Fruits of Being” among others.

What makes Mr. Boroumand a special case in literature, aside from the literary quality of his poems and their delicateness and sensitivity, is the fact that he has been a political activist all his life, opposing tyranny and corruption, and struggling for democracy and human rights. Because of his political opposition activities during the Pahlavi monarchy and the Islamic Republic, he’s been jailed, refused media access or otherwise limited in public activities. He’s been addresses by colleagues and people who know him as Iran’s undisputed national poet. He has been in serving in the leadership council of Iran National Front, Iran’s oldest and most respected democratic political party and is now the head of INF Central Council as well. Upon invitation by the esteemed Academy, his full biography, works and support letters and signatures by many Iranian and international professors of literature and linguistics from the universities in Iran and abroad will be provided.

Respectfully submitted,

Kourosh Zaim, President