Friday, December 29, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Amnesty International's interview with Shirin Ebadi

To all of you proponents of military action against Iran, who also believe in forcing Iraq-style "mockery of democracy" in Iran:

http://www.amnestyusa.org/magazine/winter_2006/contrary_opinion/print.html

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

NIAC says UN sanctions on Iran not bringing U.S. closer to solution

Washington DC, December 26, 2006 - Antagonistic US and Iranian behavior is causing diplomacy to fall victim to an endless cycle of provocations. As the Security Council today imposes its first bill of punitive sanctions on Iran, without eliminating preconditions to talks, the possibility of a negotiated settlement sinks further out of reach unless it is coupled with renewed diplomatic efforts from all sides.

Read NIAC's official press release at:
http://www.niacouncil.org/pressreleases/press505.asp

Let me know what you think. Do you agree, disagree or simply think that all of this is nonsense?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

United Nation's Security Council unanimously approves Iran sanctions

There we go again!

http://player.omroep.nl/?aflID=3620603&md5=b101c6826cd3e386a5c303bb20f2bff2

2007 Asian Nations Cup draw places Iran in an easy group

Iran is in Group C along with Malaysia, Uzbekistan and China.

Here are the groups:

Group A: Thailand, Australia, Oman, Iraq
Group B: Vietnam, Japan, Qatar, UAE
Group C: Malaysia, Iran, Uzbekistan, China
Group D: Indonesia, South Korea , Saudi Arabia, Bahrain


The toughest group is Group D with two traditional powerhouses of South Korea and Saudi Arabia along with an emerging Bahrain as a strong Asian team. Groups A and B are equally strong in my opinion. Group C is the easiest group.

Here is the link to Asian Football Confederation's media release:

http://www.the-afc.com/english/media/default.asp?mnsection=media§ion=newsDetails&newsID=7670

Friday, December 22, 2006

Holiday season & coming of 2007





Wishing everyone a joyful and safe holiday season...

I wish for 2007 to be the best year of your lives yet!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Shabe E Yalda شب یلدا

May the longest night of the year also be the best night of the year for all of you!

For some background on Shab E Yalda click below:

http://www.persianmirror.com/Article_det.cfm?id=1041&getArticleCategory=56&getArticleSubCategory=64

&

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yalda

آجیل و هندونه یادتون نره

Ex-Bush advisor protests White House censorship

From the National Iranian American Council (NIAC):

Washington DC, December 18, 2006 - Iran expert and former Bush Administration advisor, Flynt Leverett, accused the White House of improperly intervening to block the publishing of an editorial piece he submitted to the New York Times calling for a US-Iran Grand Bargain. Participating alongside Leverett at a Center for American Progress (CAP) panel to discuss Iran political, diplomatic and, military options, panel moderator Joe Cirincione suggested that in spite of recent power shifts and other Washington developments, a one in four chance of a military strike on Iran remained.

Click here for the full story from NIAC:

http://www.niacouncil.org/pressreleases/press502.asp

Monday, December 18, 2006

FIFA lifts Iran's international ban, does not give any detailed explanation

FIFA's President Sepp Blatter announced the lifting of the ban on Saturday, but did not really explain how he reached his decision. I wonder how the issue was resolved since FIFA had a set of conditions and a deadline. I believe that an understanding was reached where FIFA told the Iranian officials not to ever take such actions again and in return the ban was lifted. The Iranians got their way again! Either they are very good negotiators or the Europeans just give in easily!!! What do you think?

Blatter thanked Asian Football Confederation president Mohammed bin Hammam for his mediation. He further stated: "I'm grateful to the political leaders in Iran for understanding that we're not dealing with the internal running of their country," and added: "If you participate in FIFA everybody has to abide by the FIFA statutes, otherwise they can stay in their country."

I first told you about the ban on November 25 and its temporary lifting on November 28. You may check the Archive for both stories.

Here is the BBC story announcing the lifting of the ban:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/internationals/6178284.stm

Iran's Women's Rights Movement and the One Million Signatures Campaign

Please take some time to read this interesting and important article:

http://www.payvand.com/news/06/dec/1174.html

Friday, December 15, 2006

A pictorial tribute to female Iranian athletes at the 2006 Doha Asian Games


Mahrooz Saei, Taekwondo, 72kg Bronze medalist



Mahrooz Saei



Trap Shooter



800m runner



Afsaneh Sheikhi, Taekwondo, +72kg Bronze medalist



Atousa Pourkashiyan, Chess, Mixed team's Classical Swiss Bronze medalist


Atousa Pourkashian





U.S. House of Representatives condemns Iran's Holocaust Convention, reaffirms alliance with Israel

From the National Iranian American Council (NIAC):

Washington DC, December 13, 2006 - The House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution (H. Res. 1091) on December 8 to condemn Iran’s two day conference titled, "Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision.” The conference has drawn strong criticism from Jewish groups and reformers within Iran as well as leaders from several western countries including Germany, France, Britain, and the United States who labeled the conference “an affront to the entire civilized world."

Click here for the full story from NIAC:

http://www.niacouncil.org/pressreleases/press501.asp

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A good day for Iranian athletes in Doha

Today was a glorious day for the Iranian athletes competing at the Doha 2006 Asian Games, as they managed to double their gold medal count to ten and bag four more bronze medals along the way.

Iranian freestyle Wrestlers swept all of the three gold medals at stake for the day while Iran's Karate team bagged two gold and two bronze medals. Iran won two more bronze medals in Wushu.

When the day was finally over, Iran jumped seven places from 13th to 6th in the medal count and very well in position to advance to the 5th by the end of the Games.

GO IRAN!!!

Here is the online link to the medal count:

http://www.dohaasiangames.org/gis/menuroot/medals/InfoMedal.aspx

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

IAo Commentary: What to do about Baker-Hamilton Report...

After weeks of anticipation, the Baker-Hamilton Report (Report) was released last week with two major recommendations of calling for the U.S. forces to leave Iraq much sooner rather than later and the U.S. to hold direct talks with Iran and Syria.

While pundits have supported and dismissed various recommendations of the Report, former Secretary of State Baker has stated that all recommendations of the Report should be implemented as a whole and one can not pick and choose certain recommendations.

What? Are you kidding me? So at the end of the day what new recommendations did the Report offer? Does anyone know? Do Mr. Baker and Mr. Hamilton even know?

The President has already said that troops will not leave in 2007 and talks with both Syria and Iran are on hold for the near future. He even went further to say that talks with Iran is contingent upon them stopping uranium enrichment. What kind of nonsense is this? His Administration has always treated the issues separately and has strongly criticized any notion of bringing up the nuclear issue during talks about Iraq.

The Administration is in no hurry to announce its policy changes regarding Iraq based on the Report until next year and of course, the Democrats are all silent now that they have won both houses of Congress. They don't want to rock the boat until 2008. Great!

So we are basically exactly where we started.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Iranian government sets conditions for resumption of flights to Anatalya

The Iranian government wants Turkey to:

Stop Iranian women from walking on Anatalya's beaches wearing their bikinis; not allow them into bars/clubs and; require them to only stay at what it calls "Islamic hotels".

Iran stopped its flights to Anatalya last year following President Ahmadinejad's watching of bikini-wearing Iranian women in Anatalya on Turkish TV. Why was he watching such a vile program anyway if he claims to be such a devout Muslim?

It's bad enough they are controlling people's lives in Iran and now they are demanding the same from their neighbor!!! Whatever!

Your thoughts?

Here is the Radio Farda link (Farsi):

http://www.radiofarda.com/Article/2006/12/07/f2_Bikini-Iranian-women-Turkey.html

Friday, December 8, 2006

New U.S. Defense Secretary and Iraq Report urge diplomacy with Iran

The following is extracted from National Iranian American Council's (www.niacouncil.org) Webpage:

Washington DC, December 7, 2006 - To complement the Democratic takeover of the House and Senate in November and the resignation of UN Ambassador John Bolton, Secretary of Defense Nominee, Dr. Robert Gates, was confirmed yesterday by the full Senate by a vote of 95 to 2. In the same week the Iraq Study Group (ISG) report, which Gates participated in drafting, expectedly called for diplomacy rather than any military strike on Iran.“

[Regarding] any problems that we have with Iran, our first option should be diplomacy and working with our allies to try and deal with the problems that Iran is posing to us. Military conflict with Iran could be quite dramatic. And therefore, I would counsel against military action, except as a last resort and if we felt that our vital interests were threatened,” soon-to-be Secretary of Defense Gates asserted in response to questioning from the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Gates also played down the importance of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad within Iran’s political system, saying that “there are higher powers than he [President Ahmadenijad] in Iran.” Furthermore, while accusing Tehran of lying when declaring their nuclear program peaceful, Gates still insisted that the program had defensive purposes. “They [Iran] would see their nuclear capability in the first instance as a deterrent,” he said.

Thus the new Secretary of Defense, who won overwhelming approval to replace former Sec. Donald Rumsfeld, indicated a willingness to consider positions that may not coincide with those long espoused by the Bush Administration.

In discussing the need for diplomacy with respect to Iran, and the response Iran would give to any military attack on their soil, Gates said that the Iranians could “close off the Persian Gulf to all exports of oil, damage our interests further in Iraq, and unleash a significant wave of terror through Europe and the Middle East.”

The Iraq Study Group also countered the Bush Administration’s current policy with respect to Iran by recommending that “the US should actively engage Syria and Iran in its diplomatic dialogue, without preconditions…The United States and Iran cooperated in Afghanistan, and both sides should explore whether this model can be replicated in the case of Iraq.”

By engaging Iran in constructive diplomacy that, “emphasizes political and economic reforms instead of advocating regime change,” along with other incentives, the ISG report suggests that Iran can help the US in Iraq, specifically to help “stem the flow of arms and training to Iraq, respect Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and use its influence over Iraqi Shi’a groups to encourage national reconciliation.”

Responding to the ISG’s report and the Bush Administration’s current policy, Chair and Co-Founder of the 73-Member “Out of Iraq” Congressional Caucus, US Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) stated, “I also agree with the ISG report’s recommendation that the United States talk to Iran and Syria as part of any plan to end the war in Iraq, and I hope that President Bush will set aside his intractable posturing and meet the leaders of those nations.”

For more information or to view a copy of the Iraq Study Group report visit, the United States Institute for Peace’s website at: http://www.usip.org/isg/.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Commemoration of Students Day (Rooz E Daneshjoo) at Tehran University












Above are some pictures from www.kosoof.com, Arash Ashoorinia's Web page.

Official figures number around 300, but spectators' figure number at least 3000!

Pictures are louder than words, so I won't say much. I am awed by their courage.

What a brave show of civil disobedience! Some signs read: "Socialism and Equality" & "3 suicides, 2 deaths, 1 homicide in one week. This is university."

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

RAISE Awareness - RAISE Pride Campaign: a message from persianmirror.com

The following is from Shabnam Rezaei, founder of www.persianmirror.com
& co-creator of “Babak and Friends” animated children series:

We are hard at work behind the scenes on a brand new cartoon entitled "Babak & Friends - A Persian Journey". As some of you know, while we have had great feedback and response to our first film A First Norooz, we not been able to cover costs. This holiday, we need your help to raise $50,000 to put towards our next film, in which Babak and his cousins visit some of Iran's fantastic historical sites and partake in fun cultural traditions.

To help raise this money, we have an awesome new black Persian & Proud T-Shirt. If you want to support our work, help us and buy one, two, ten, or as many as your can and hand them out as gifts this holiday season. They are only $19.99 but this will go a long way in helping us with the high costs of animation.

You can buy T-shirts in our online store [www.babakandfriends.com]
. Thanks again for your continuous support. We hope with your help, we can continue our work in the coming year.

Shabnam
Shabnam Rezaei
Norooz Productions
Culture Through Entertainment
www.babakandfriends.com

Interesting article: How Jew-Friendly Persia Became Anti-Semitic Iran

http://www.momentmag.com/features/dec06/2006-12_Iran.html

Let me know what you think of the article's historical perspective.

Monday, December 4, 2006

IAo Exclusive - Bush meeting with Al-Hakim: Part II - What could this mean?

What does this meeting mean for Iraq? Why would the U.S. President meet with a Shiite leader whose organization is arguably the closest group to Tehran? What does this meeting mean for U.S.-Iran relations? I will attempt to answer these questions and shed some light based on my own knowledge and research.

Al-Hakim's SCIRI has enjoyed the support of the Islamic Republic's leadership since its foundation 24 years ago. One of its main founders is the current Head of Iran's Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi. And yet President Bush has apparently been requesting a meeting with Al-Hakim since February 2006. Few would dispute Islamic Republic of Iran's influence over SCIRI, but no one really knows SCIRI's level of independence or I should say dependence on the Islamic Republic. Is SCIRI merely a proxy or it has managed to emerge as a credible and independent political party with a strong local base since the 2003 invasion? I believe that the answer lies with a little bit of both.

Iraqi government's outreach in foreign policy that finally has surfaced in the last couple of weeks may have been designed to signal to demonstrate it strive towards independence from any foreign element to the rest of the world. Iraq and Syria restore ties after more than two decades; the President of Iraq travels to Tehran to meet with his Iranian counterpart; the Prime Minister Al-Maliki apparently snubs the U.S. President for a dinner in Jordan after a report indicating the U.S. lacking confidence in Al-Maliki surfaces; Al-Sadr, in a rather symbolic move, threatens and pulls out of the Parliament and the government in protest of Maliki's visit with President Bush; and now Bush is meeting with Al-Hakim in the White House. These are all indicators of a sovereign nation, not an occupied one. SCIRI is part of the political and social mosaic of Iraq and has therefore been a part of this policy shift designed to demonstrate to the world Iraq's independence and willingness to resolve its own crises.

What about the notion of a proxy for the Islamic Republic of Iran? I believe that the use of the term proxy is not totally accurate. SCIRI's history is embedded in Al-Hakim family's legacy, one of the most respected Shiite Iraqi families that has a long history of fighting Saddam. Moreover, SCIRI has clearly and repeatedly stated that although it favors a government based on Islamic principles, it does not want an Iranian-style form of government in Iraq and it desires a government that respects the rights of all Iraqis. I think it's a mistake to lump groups such as SCIRI or even Hezbollah with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iranian experience with the Islamic Republic has failed, as everyone including the Iranian establishment in Iran has reached this same conclusion, so no group looks at it as a model. Instead such groups see the Iranian experience as the only Shiite authority that has demonstrated independence, power and influence in the region and therefore they all look up to it in a way. But this does not mean that they are proxies and yes they get financial as well as spiritual support from Iran, but as far as the Iranian government is concerned, at least in principle it is helping movements that are fighting occupying forces in cases of both Iraq and Lebanon. You and I may disagree, but the Iranian government makes a pretty solid case for its support.

I hope that I have been successful to at least incite you to ask more questions about the facts and my own personal opinion stated above.

Lastly, what does this meeting mean for U.S.-Iran relations? I don't believe that it means much, except that it will even embolden the Islamic Republic of Iran more than before as they will claim that the U.S. President has personally invited AL-Hakim, someone very close to the Iranian establishment, to the White House and the Iranian establishment will further affirm their arrogant but partially true assertions that they are now a regional power broker and nothing gets done without their approval. On the other hand, the U.S. Administration and establishment has finally admitted that their Iraq policy has failed and are trying to begin living with the notion that they need the Islamic Republic's help in their mission to restore order in Iraq. As usual, nothing is simple in the Middle East!!!

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Event Announcement: Iranian American Democrats of Los Angeles

Members and Friends of IADLA,

We would like to invite everyone, IADLA current and former members, your friends and relatives, to come and celebrate with us the Democratic control of the Congress.

Join us for an open discussion on the role of IADLA in empowering our community and its democratic ideals
&
Join us for pizza and wine!

IADLA will also have its informal General Election at the end of the program.

Please make plans to attend this very important meeting.

Place & Time:
December 5th, 2006 at 7:00 pm
2500 Broadway Ave in Santa Monica
For further information contact us at:
IADLA Board of Directors
P.O.Box 3351
Santa Monica, CA 90408
Tel: (310)535-5800

iad_la@yahoo.com
www.iadla.com


IAo Exclusive - Bush meeting with Al-Hakim: Part I - SCIRI

The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) was founded in Tehran back in 1982 by some of the leadership and members of the Islamic Dawa Party in exile after the party was decimated and weakened in Iraq by Saddam. The goal of SCIRI was to overthrow Saddam's regime and install an Islamic government based on the Iranian model in Iraq. Naturally, SCIRI has been supported by the Iranian regime since its foundation. SCIRI was led by Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir Al-Hakim until his assisination in August 2003 afterwhich his brother Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim took over the leadership.

After the fall of Saddam Hossein, SCIRI emerged as the strongest Shiite party, rivaled only by the Al-Sadr movement. Furthermore, SCIRI has toned down its stance and rhetoric and claims to be committed to democracy and cooperation with other political groups while trying to distance itself form Al-Sadr. Nonetheless, SCIRI, the Al-Sadr movement, Prime Minister's Al-Maliki's Dawa Party and some smaller parties form the United Iraqi Alliance coalition, the largest coalition in the parliamrnt and the governemnt.

Al-Hakim has recently stated that the current crisis in Iraq is political in nature and not a civil war. Therefore, it should only be resolved through political means with the cooperation of all Iraqis, including Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and Turkmen as well as Shiites.

There you have it: IRANian AMERICAn observer's exclusive about the history of SCIRI.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Bush to meet with Shiite cleric with strong ties to Iran

Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, a senior Shiite cleric with strong ties to Iran will meet with President Bush at the White House on Monday. Bush first invited the cleric to Washington on February 2005. While political pundits see this development as a possible beginning for U.S.-Iran relations, Al-Hakim's aide Haitham Husseini has stated that the two will discuss major political issues in Iraq.

Stay tuned for a background analysis and possible implications of this meeting later today.

Here is the link to Iran Mania's story:

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=47711&NewsKind=CurrentAffairs

Friday, December 1, 2006

Let's tell our Congress to rescind Bush's war starting powers and terminate the authorization for use of military force

Please click on the link below, which explains why we need to take action immediately and send our requests to our members of Congress and local newspapers.

ACT NOW!

http://www.peaceteam.net/aumf.php

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Brief discussion and analysis of Talabani's Tehran trip

Iraqi President's three-day trip to the Iranian capital signaled a policy shift as it followed the recent restoration of ties between Iraq and Syria. For the first time since the liberation and the subsequent occupation of Iraq, its central government clearly showed some independence in its foreign policy.

The U.S. policy has either clearly failed or lacks the needed perseverance by the Iraqis, Americans and the countries surrounding Iraq. I personally believe in the former of the two. Iraq is in the midst of a civil war and in danger of being partitioned into three entities plus Baghdad.

This is neither in the interests of the Iraqis nor the Iranians, Syrians, Turks and even the Saudis. The region's stability is at stake and this may have been the single most important message delivered by Talabani to the Iranian government, the most influential neighbor of Iraq. The Iraqi government is not interested in the controlled violence directed from Iran and Syria. Instead, it is extending its hands to both neighbors, asking their assistance in preventing the break up of Iraq and making the case for a united Iraq being better for the region. Inevitably, Iraq has to make some concessions and assurances to both Iran and Syria. Some see this as appeasement, but I see it as diplomacy. The questions is, will the Syrians and the Iranians be satisfied with concessions and help stabilize Iraq? Will they have a positive influential role in Iraq? Or they will continue to use their influences only for their gains?

Let me know what you think?

Iranian woman in INS jail needs your urgent help!

Friend:
An Iranian Refugee woman who has escaped Iran and has applied for asylum at the U.S. border has been detained by INS for over 14 months while her asylum request is being considered. The laws enacted after tragic 9/11 event has caused her to remain in INS jail while her asylum application is being considered.

She has no relative in the U.S. to help her and the INS has set a bond of $10,000.00 for her release while her asylum application is being considered.

This fellow countrywoman needs our help. An American church in San Francisco is pledging to raised $5000.00 of the money. But we need to raise the rest from our own community. Timing is crucial. Because of her fragile mental condition and the danger that her bail may be revoked, we have to get her out ASAP. Another local church group has pledged shelter for her once she is out.

Please help and donate as much as you are able to. The woman has endured so much just to escape Iran and then to get to the U.S. border and now she is breaking up for being jailed for nearly 15 month. She has committed no crime except for being an Iranian refugee with no family or friends in the U.S.

Please send you checks ASAP to Ali Golchin, Esq. and make a notation in trust for “Mahroukh” release account. We have a deadline of December 6, 2006 to meet for her release.
If you wish to wire the money please e-mail me the amount you are sending also:
Wells Fargo Bank, Attorney-Client Trust Account:

Routing #: 122000247
Account#: 8836187024

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Event announcement in Atlanta (Saturday, December 2nd): Iran Crisis and its Exit Strategy

An Event Organized by the Esmail Khoi Foundation on the 8th anniversary of the assassination of Parvaneh and Daryoush Forouhar

Iran Crisis and its Exit Strategy

Speakers: Dr. Mohammad Parvin from MEHR (www.mehr.org)& Dr. Siavash Abghari

4:00 PM, Saturday December 2, 2006
Iranian Community Center in Atlanta (Kanoon)
5920 Roswell RD. Suite A-209
Atlanta, GA 30328
For information please call:
Tel: (770) 698-0851 ; (770) 846-0933

Ahmadinejad forwards his second letter to the U.S., addressed to the American people

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again criticized the Bush Administration for its bullying tactics and the "Zionist" government of Israel in a letter that was released by the country's UN mission in New York. Ahmadinejad once again reiterated the government of Iran's call for the U.S. to leave Iraq and blamed the U.S. for the destruction of Iraq. For a government that has a horrible human rights record, Ahmadinejad's appeal to resolve world's problems through integrity sounded very hypocritical to me!

Here's an online link to the news story:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20061129/wl_mideast_afp/iraniraqdiplomacyus_061129184413

And here's a Link to the text of the letter:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15952309/

I want to know what you think!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Surprise! Surprise! Khamenei sees U.S. leaving Iraq as key to stability


In today's meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Tehran, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has said that the key to peace and stability in Iraq lies with the U.S. troops leaving the country. He has further stated the instability in Iraq is detrimental to the whole region. Talabani has asked for an all-out expansion of ties between Tehran and Baghdad.

Yesterday, in his meeting with his Iranian counterpart President Ahmadinejad, Ahmadinejad pledged that Iran will do all it can to help Iraq.

This is a first time when the Iraqi President openly seeks help from Iran in restoring peace and stability in Iraq.

For BBC's coverage of the story, below is the online link:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6190662.stm

FIFA President announces temporary lifting of Iran's suspension

FIFA President Joseph Blatter's announcement will enable Iran to compete in the 2006 Doha Asian Games football tournament in December and will give the Iranians an opportunity to defend their 2002 title. The lifting of the ban only applies to Iran's under 23 team and the 2006 Asian Games. I first told you of the suspension on November 25 in "FIFA suspends Iran Football Federation".

Click on the online link below from the Asian Football Confederation's Website for further details:
http://www.the-afc.com/english/national/default_NA.asp?action=newsDetail&nationalID=76&newsID=7543

Monday, November 27, 2006

NEWS ALERT: Talabani has arrived in Tehran

Now let's see if this meeting produces any real and tangible results! He'll be in Tehran for at least two more days.

Talabani is set to fly to Tehran today

After postponing his trip due to continuing violence in Baghdad and subsequent closure of Baghdad's airport, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is flying to Tehran today to hold talks with his Iranian counterpart, Talabani's spokesman stated. The talks are aimed at helping curb sectarian violence in Iraq. I will report on the actual visit, if it ever happens!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Iraqi President postpones his Saturday Tehran visit

In the midst of fresh violence on Friday that claimed more than 200 lives in Baghdad, which resulted in a curfew and closure of the airport, Iraqi president Jalal Talabani postponed his visit with his Iranian counterpart in Tehran scheduled for today. He insisted that he will fly to Tehran as soon as the airport is reopened and the trip is still on. Through his spokesman, Talabani called the earlier reports of a three way Talabani-Ahmadinejad-Asad summit in Tehran on Saturday as false. I first reported about the story here:

http://iranianamericandiary.blogspot.com/2006/11/iran-to-host-iraqi-president-and.html

FIFA suspends Iran Football Federation

Last Thursday FIFA suspended Iran Football Federation (IRIFF) after it determined that IRIFF had violated Article 17 of the FIFA statutes, which forbids government interference in football matters of its member associations. Following Germany 2002, IRIFF President was forced out from his position after members of the Parliament passed a resolution that essentially called for his removal. FIFA considers his removal a direct violation of Article 17. The suspension will not allow Iran to play in any FIFA sanctioned matches and will be removed following IRIFF taking the necessary steps as identified by FIFA.

FIFA is right on!!! Let me know what you think.

Here is the link to FIFA's press release for further details:

http://www.fifa.com/en/media/index/0,1369,126229,00.html

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Iranian actor in sex video scandal talks for the first time publicly, denies being a collaborator in the film

Iranian actor Zahra Amir Ebrahimi finally breaks her silence publicly and talks to The Guardian regarding the notorious homemade film circulating all over Iran and the Internet. Ebrahimi denies being the woman in the film and points to the production and circulation of the film as an act of revenge by her former fiance for her breaking up their relationship a year ago.

Here is the link to the full article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1954552,00.html

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's is an excellent article from The Christian Science Monitor about the history of Thanksgiving in the U.S. if you actually have enough patience to read it in entirety. It's entitled "The first Thanksgiving" and here is the online link:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1127/p13s02-lign.html

Maybe it will clear up some historical inaccuracies for you or maybe not!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Iranian student activist calls for support of Iranian opposition groups

National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Washington DC, November 20, 2006 - “The United States government should lend spiritual and financial support to opposition [student] groups in Iran so they can come together with a specific plan of action [against the regime],” Iranian student activist Manouchehr Mohammadi, said at a recent, 30-minute press conference at Freedom House in Washington DC.

Here is the link to the full story on NIAC's Website:
http://www.niacouncil.org/pressreleases/press491.asp

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Update on Osanlou's arrest

Two days after Osanlou was arrested and taken away by plainclothes intelligence agents, the Judicial Branch speaker finally confirms his arrest, stating that Osanlou was arrested after he ignored the Judiciary's summon and warrant.

Read about his arrest here: http://iranianamericandiary.blogspot.com/2006/11/mansour-osanlou-was-arrested-in-tehran.html

Iraq and Syria restore ties after 24 years

A day after the announcement of President Talabani's trip to Tehran, it was finally confirmed that Iraq and Syria have begun the process of restoring ties 24 years later after the two cut all diplomatic relations during Iraq's war with Iran. Syrian Foreign Minister Muallim has been in Baghdad since Sunday talking and signing an agreement with his counterpart to offically begin the process.

What a strange world we live in! Who would have thought there will be a Damascus-Baghdad-Tehran Axis? having Syria and Iran at the table will definitely reduce the violence in Iraq, but will it benefit the Iraqis in the long run or will it benefit the Syrians and Iranians? I want your opinions.

Iran to host Iraqi President and perhaps President Asad on Saturday

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani will be in Tehran on Saturday, following an invitation by his Iranian counterpart, to discuss scurity issues in Iraq. President Asad of Syria is rumored to join the two, although many doubt that he will. Here is the link to the BBC story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6166794.stm

Folks, as much as no one wants to admit, the key to a secure Iraq lies in the hands of Syria and Iran along with Iraq's other neighbors. This is a regional issue, which will only be solved by regional cooperation and the will of Iraqis themselves.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Will the French elect their first woman President?

Last Thursday, Ségolène Royal won the Socialist Party's nomination for President of France in next year's election, as she became France's first-ever female presidential candidate representing a major party. She is currently a member of the National Assembly as well as the President of Poitou-Charentes region.

According to Wikipedia, On the issue of Iran's development of nuclear technology, Royal initially took a harder line than even U.S. President George W. Bush. In a televised debate, Royal contended that any nuclear power program must be prevented since it would inevitably lead to weapons production. When she was criticized by French politicians for not understanding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which gives signatories the right to nuclear power for non-military purposes, Royal softened her position and, through a spokesman, said that a civil nuclear program should be allowed as long as United Nations inspectors were permitted to conduct spot checks. Perhaps her election may soften France's stance against Iran's nuclear program.

Mansour Osanlou was arrested In Tehran, again!

Mansour Osanlou, President of Tehran’s Bus Drivers Syndicate, was arrested Sunday morning in Tehran, near Resalat Square, by some plainclothes undercover intelligence agents. Apparently, Osanlou had just gotten out of a car to buy a newspaper when he was surrounded by the undercover agents and after a brief scuffle during which he and Ebrahim Madadi, the VP of the Syndicate, were both beaten several times, Osanlou was rushed into a car and disappeared. Although there has been no official report of his arrest, Osanlou's wife has been notified by the authorities that he has been taken to Evin prison, where high profile political prisoners are held.

Osanlou was just released three months ago on bail following his arrest and subsequent imprisonment back in January 2006. His case is still pending, as the governemnt has stated that it will not tolerate any union or syndicate that has a political agenda against the Islamic Republic. Osanlou's supporters state that his only crime was educating the bus drivers regarding their rights under the Islamic Republic's Constitution.

From my own experience, the Iranian authorities are notorious for arresting dissident leaders a few weeks before anniversaries of the events that led to their arrests. So I'm not surprised. My guess is his VP will be arrested soon as well and they will both be released in Februray 2007.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

حالا فارسی

خوب به هر حال بیخودی که اسمش رو نگذاشتم "ایرانی ان آمری کن". اما راستش بیشترانگلیسی خواهد بود چون
فارسی من زیاد جالب نیست. می خوام اگر یک روز هوس فارسی نوشتن کردید مطمئن باشید که من حتما" جواب خواهم داد... در انتظارنوشتنی های شما

Friday, November 17, 2006

Simply the premier post...

... and not much more, really! You ask: What's this blog going to be all about? IAo (that is I) says: It's simply daily observations of a person who happens to be Iranian-American. IAo believes it's going to be an interesting blog, because it offers a different and personal perspective. Of course, the focus will be on the IRANian-AMERICAn-ness of stuff! Welcome to IAo's world as IAo sees it!