Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Makhmalbaf: Secrets of Khamenei's life - part 2 - His entourage and Household operations

This is part 2 of a 4-part series.
For part 1 - His interests, please click here.
For part 3 - His wealth, please click here.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf, internationally renowned filmmaker and the Iranian opposition's main spokesman abroad since the disputed presidential election, posted an article, entitled 'The secrets of Khamenei's life,' on his web site on Monday, December 28, 2009. Makhmalbaf has been living in exile in Paris. The original article in Farsi can be read here.

The following is a translation of the second part of the article. My notes are in italics.

Note: The term 'beyteh rahbari' has been translated as the Leader's Household in the broadest sense, which includes Ali Khamenei's personal office and inner circle.


The Secrets of Khamenei's Life - Part 2

Mohsen Makhmalbaf

I compiled this text which is based on information relayed to me by former staff members of the Leader's Household and the Intelligence Ministry who have escaped abroad.

Khamenei's relationship with his wife and children
Khamenei's wife is called Khojasteh. She is very much under Khamenei's thumb, but she is also dominated by her brothers. The oil company's hospital was once closed off so Khojasteh could have liposuction performed on her stomach. She was twice operated in London for an inflammation of the large intestine. Mojtaba, Khamenei's second son, has great influence on his father, but he can count on his mother's support if there are any shortcomings in that regard.

L to R, Massoud, Mojtaba, unknown, Mostafa, Meysam
Khojasta is about 67 years old. One of her brothers was linked to the Mojahedin Khalgh (NB Also known as the MKO, an armed resistance group which is broadly disliked by Iranians because of its collaboration with the Saddam government during the Iran-Iraq War) and has escaped to Sweden. Apart from the exiled brother, she has three other brothers who are involved in very large business operations. Khojasteh's brother Hassan has the run of the Islamic Republic's television broadcaster. He has a monopoly on commissions from the sale of Sony cameras and monitors. Iranian television's total purchases of Sony equipmenet, from cameras to editing systems, do not represent a large figure: about $50 to $60 million per year. But the people buy about $500 to $600 million of Sony equipment a year, of which 7% goes to Hassan, Khojasteh's brother. An Iranian in Dubai initially had the exclusive license to sell Sony equipment in Iran, but he was threatened and he gave up his license out of fear. Despite a prosperous lifestyle, Khojasteh is constantly worried that their life may appear too simple to outside observers. She has three ladies-in-waiting. She never goes to beauty salons outside of the house and has hairdressers brought to their home. She likes massages and a Korean woman is her masseuse.

Batool, [Islamic Republic founder Ruhollah] Khomeini's wife, really disliked [Khojasteh] and believed that she was arrogant like her husband and that [Khojasteh] considered herself to be Leader of Iranian women ever since Khamenei had become Leader.

Khojasteh used to cook, but it has been seven or eight years since she has been able to carry out that task. An old man called Seyed is in charge of cooking now.

Khojasteh is in charge of choosing husbands and wives in Khamenei's home. She first selects families close to the Leader's Household or top clerics and gets to know them by socializing. Her investigations are completed by the Intelligence Ministry, special division. Then the Khamenei daughters and sons make their choice among the candidates selected by their mother and approved by the Leader. These marriages sometimes encounter serious problems. The fact that Mojtaba's wife (Haddad Adel's daughter (NB Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, a regime apologist in academic circles and a former Speaker of the Majlis)) had difficulty getting pregnant almost led to divorce. In Massoud's case (married to Ayatollah Kharrazi's daughter), political differences have split the couple and Soussan Kharrazi has returned to her father's home in order to obtain a divorce.

Appearances within the family are strictly maintained in the presence of outsiders. For example, the children refer to their father as Agha (NB Sir, mister, or gentleman), Leader, or His Excellency the Ayatollah. Khamenei also employs honorifics when calling his children. He usually says, Agha Mostafa, Agha Mojtaba, Agha Massoud, or Agha Meysam. His daughters' names rarely come up in such encounters, except in family reunions. On such occasions, he refers to them as Boshra Khanoum or Boshra Sadat, Hoda Khanoum or Hoda Sadat.

If the topic of conversation turns to Mr. Khamanei's election [as Leader] by the [Assembly of] Experts, the children, especially Mojtaba say, 'The Experts did not elect Mr. Khamanei, but rather discovered him. He is the surrogate of the Imam Zaman (NB The Messiah figure in Shiism, the Hidden Imam who will return at an undisclosed time) and God endowed the Muslim scholars and Experts with the ability to discover him.'

This form of respect is maintained by the executives and employees of the Leader's Household. Whenever an individual comes out of an audience with Mr. Khamenei, these executives and employees tell the person, 'May your pilgrimage be accepted [by God]' (NB Ziarat ghaboul, in Farsi. Pilgrimage is used in the sense of visiting a sacred place). No one in Mr. Khamenei's office is allowed to say he is going to meet Mr. Khamenei or has a meeting with him. Rather, he must say, 'I am going to be honored' or 'I am going on a pilgrimage.' More than anyone, Hejazi (his chief of staff (NB Asghar Hejazi)) insists on this form of respect.

Communal prayer at the Leader's Household
(NB Communal prayer or namazeh jamaat takes place when an imam stands in front of a group of worshippers and leads them in any one of the five daily prayers.)
Communal prayers are performed at the Household three to four times a week. About 15 people have the honor of being led in these prayers. Ten of them, executives in the Leader's Household, are regulars and five to four people are guests. The guest slots have a price. The bazaar merchants who have problems to resolve participate in the Agha's (NB Khamenei's) prayers and seek his advice, and their business picks up. They are willing to pay the 'lease' on the guest slots, about 500 million toumans (NB About $500,000), to Hejazi or Mohammadi Golpayegani (NB Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani). These prayer followers make back their payment of 500 million toumans severalfold through the Agha's advice. Therefore customers of the Agha's communal prayer are usually bazaar merchants. Those within the security apparatus who seek promotion are also frequent worshippers at the communal prayer.

Khamanei's relation with his devotees
When Mr. Khamanei visits Mashhad and takes a sugar cube out of a sugar bowl, that bowl becomes sacred for his devotees. When he walks past a place on his way to a pilgrimage, his followers kiss the ground he has walked on. Videos of devotees kissing Khamanei's footprints are available on YouTube. It is unclear how shocked these dovotees would be if they found out about Khamenei's gadehs (NB Explained in part 1 of this article) and how Mullah Rashed's vulgar jokes have him in stitches. Would they consider the leftover sugar cubes from his tea to be as sacred?

Khamenei's catchphrase for the past twenty years has been, 'Do this, but don't let the people find out' or 'Do that, but make sure no one finds out.' And those who hear this phrase know that all the power of the Leader's Household depends on keeping the people ignorant of the secrets of Mr. Khamenei's life and the behind-the-curtains activities of the Leader's office.

Until the Friday Prayer that took place a week after the election (NB June 19, when Khamenei led Tehran's Friday Prayer and cast his lot with Ahmadinejad in a fiery speech against the opposition), Khamenei never took responsibility for anything and people believed that he played the role of an arbiter who maintained a balance of power between the various factions. But that Friday Prayer suddenly revealed everything and showed Khamenei's biased role in politics and his guilt in the oppression.

Those in charge of Khamenei's protection
[Islamic Republic founder Ruhollah] Khomeini's protection team consisted of 200 people, but 10,000 individuals guard Khamenei (reminiscent of the Shah's Javidan Guard (NB The Immortals) whose numbers never diminished). The two key players are Din Shoari and Hossein Jabari, who stand guard outside his door at night and are the only individuals allowed to be armed around Khamenei. They have been Khamenei's main bodyguards for thirty years. But the individuals in charge of Khamenei's protection team over the years have been the following:
1. Khosro Vafa (head of the Janbazan unit)
2. Asgharzadeh (Majlis representative)
3. Motevalian (Sepah (NB Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps))
4. Ramezani (Sepah intelligence)
5. Nejat (Security Council (NB Supreme National Security Council))
6. Cheyzari (He is the current head of the protection team)

The close guards, who consist of 200 individuals and who witness the trips and the life in the palaces, each possess a home which is worth at least one billion toumans (NB about $1 million). Those who consider Khamenei to be pious and who lead austere lives themselves are not permitted to enter the first ring of guards, lest they become conflicted. These selfless guards are not allowed to marry the daughters of senior bodyguards, even if they fall in love. Marriages are organized within the senior political families or clergy. But those who kiss the ground Khamenei has walked on, steal sugar cubes from sugar bowls rendered sacred by Khamenei, and are prepared to sacrifice themselves for him have never been considered worthy enough to marry the daughter of a senior figure.

500 individuals guard the family members. (The extended family of 40 is guarded: The daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters, sons, brothers, brothers-in-law, and even some of the children of the brothers and brothers-in-law.)

Entering the bodyguard team requires passing three security clearances and takes a very long time. The monthly salary of bodyguards is at least $1,000 and at most $12,000. When someone enters the bodyguard team, he is helped to purchase a residence. The individuals also have access to an official residence in the place where they are stationed.

About 1,000 of the 10,000 bodyguards are women and usually no one knows that they are bodyguards.

Khamenei's medical care
Former health minister Dr. Marandi is Khamenei's medical coordinator (NB Professor Alireza Marandi. Alireza Marandi's son is Seyed Mohammad Marandi, professor of North American Studies at Tehran University, a vocal supporter of the regime and one of the few people in Tehran who has no problem obtaining a satellite feed to be interviewed by foreign news outlets. In July, CNN's Fareed Zakaria asked Seyed Mohammad Marandi if he had any problem appearing like 'a mouthpiece for a dying repressive regime:')


Marandi chooses the team of doctors and brings them to him when necessary. The Leader's Household has an underground hospital with four doctors on duty 24 hours a day. A mobile hospital follows Khamenei during his land trips. A bus-hospital with an operating room also follows Khamanei on his land journeys. An airplane hospital with two operating rooms is available for long-haul trips. Khamenei has been operated three times in the past thirty years: on his hand after the explosion in the early days of the revolution (NB A failed assassination attempt in 1981 paralyzed his right hand), on his small intestine, and on his prostate.

Whenever Khamenei is ill, differences boil to the surface at the Leader's Household. People who have committed crimes and fear that the people will take revenge on them when Khamenei dies become worried about their future. But as soon as Khamenei's health improves, everything is quickly forgotten.

A lady who is the sister of Deputy Defense Minister Ahmad Vahid Dastjerdi and is a gynecologist is the personal physician of Khamenei's wife, daughters, and daughters-in-law. (NB This sentence appears to indicate that Makhmalbaf prepared at least this section of the report in the summer. The 'lady' in question is Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi who was confirmed by the Majlis as the new Health Minister on September 3, 2009.)

Depression
Khamenei has suffered from depression for years. Some doctors believe it is caused by his habit of listening to recordings before bed. Given that only recordings of people speaking against Khamanei are considered noteworthy, Khamenei is constantly listening to recordings of remarks against himself. In order to preserve his system, Khamenei usually listens to 20 minutes of recorded conversations against himself, between opponents or even officials, every night before sleeping. This contributes to his depression. Every night before sleeping, he reaches the conclusion that no one loves him and the next morning he opens his eyes onto people who plead their loyalty in order to attain power and wealth or in order to avoid his rage.

[His wife] Khojasteh, who has sometimes listened to these recordings, has little patience for the daily groveling of many people. More than anyone, she says that the Iranian people are fawning liars and traitors.

Khamenei sometimes gets a massage from an Iranian physiotherapist. The massages initially focused on the hand that was disabled in the explosion, but later and on the recommendation of physicians, it became a part of the weekly schedule.

The system of recordings
Once Khamenei became Leader, Ahmad Ghadirian was responsible for the recordings for a period of two years. But Taeb has been in charge of this task for 15 years now (NB Possibly referring to Hojjatoleslam Hossein Taeb, former head of the Basij and currently in charge of the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards). The recordings are divided into three parts: recordings of senior officials, recordings of security officials, and recordings of the people. Even the bedrooms of security officials are tapped in order to keep an eye on any possible treachery. The conversations of ordinary people are recorded to understand the climate in the country and allow Khamenei to confront it. This third type of recording is a form of poll.

Two main centers are tasked with the recordings, one in Tochal and the other at the telecommunications center. A team which is based behind Khamenei's residence on Pasteur Street compiles the recordings related to Khamenei into a 20-minute segment and prepares a two-page report. Five minutes of the recordings concern the society's morality. All of Khamenei's meetings are openly recorded and he even tells the attendees that they are being recorded. For example, he records all of his meetings with [Assembly of Experts and Expediency Council chief] Hashemi Rafsanjani, [former President Mohammad] Khatami, [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, and other officials. The main people in chargeof the recordings are Taeb and Engineer Hamid, Vahid Haghanian's brother.

In this way, Khamenei possesses secret files on all officials and knows their strengths and weaknesses. But very few people know about Khamenei, except Reyshahri (who in Khomeini's time was responsible for investigating all officials, including Khamenei), and in recent years Hejazi (NB Asghar Hejazi, chief of staff) and Mohammadi Golpayegani, who know all the secrets. (NB Ayatollah Mohammadi Reyshahri, aka Mohammad Mohammadi Nik, former Intelligence Minister).

Reyshahri wanted to become the trustee of the town of Rey (NB His birthplace and the reason he has the alias Reyshahri, which means from the town of Rey), and even though he opposed this, Khamenei gave him the town as a bribe. In Khomeini's time, Reyshahri would investigate the sexual, financial, and political background of all officials, including Khamenei.

In the political field: When [current opposition leader Mir Hossein] Mousavi was the prime minister (NB 1981 to 1989) and Khomeini supported his economic policies, Khamenei was president but did not legally have the same power as Mousavi within the goverment. Khamenei would criticize Khomeini's support for Mousavi in private.

In the financial field: Khamenei's interference in commisions from oil sales was under question.

In the sexual field: Khamenei's two temporary wives in Mashhad had been discovered (NB Sigheh. Explained in greater detail in part 1).

Of course, none of these issues dispelled Khomeini's trust in Khamenei. But if the story of his two sigheh women in Mashhad, which took place when he was young, had been divulged, his reputation may have suffered. There have been no reported cases of his womanizing after the revolution.

Khamenei's travels
Khamenei travels about 100 days out of the year. He resides in the palace he has built in Mashhad (NB His birthplace) for one month in the summer, one week for the Nowrouz holiday (NB Iranian new year's day, first day of spring), and one week in the winter. Also around Nowrouz, he spends a week in the Dezfoul air force base in Khuzestan province, which enjoys a good climate in that time of the year. He also spends a month along the Caspian Sea, usually in Ziba Kenar, Sari, Ramsar, or Bisheh Kenar. He spends every Thursday and Friday (NB The Iranian weekend) in Niavaran Palace, Jamshidiyeh Palace, or Lavasanat Palace. When Khamenei is traveling, a plane carries officials back and forth once a day. Three protective rings are set up around his place of residence. All of his close guard and the second circle of bodyguards, 1,200 individuals in all, must travel with him. Consequently, every day of his travels costs a minimum of 50 million toumans (NB About $50,000).

When he is in Mashhad, an A330 airplane usually transports his and Mojtaba's favorite horses and various articles of furniture.

Khamenei sometimes wants to travel like ordinary people. To this end, a special bullet-proof bus was built at a cost of 500 million toumans ($500,000). The bus is equipped with two bedrooms, a lavatory, and a bathroom. It also has a small kitchen, in which Seyed, the Agha's trusted cook, prepares meals. The Agha's escort secretly precedes and follows the bus.

This is part 2 of a series.
For part 1 - His interests, please click here.
For part 3 - His wealth, please click here.

27 comments:

  1. As always, thanks so much for translating!!

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  2. you the man; this is an awesome article; I have shared it with all my friends and family members; humanizes this greedy bastard

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  3. In order to understand how to deal with a system, we need to understand that Iranian governing system is a state capitalist system, Khamanei is just a figure and changing him will not do any good, we need "GENERAL STRIKE" in order to change the System, please talk about "GENERAL STRKE" to let every one know about such tactic to over trough the system. thank you

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  4. I feel terrible for those Iranians who go to bed hungry every night and for those Iranian girls who go to Dubai to be prostitutes to feed their families back in the country. Shame on the Islamic Republic

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    1. hamin moonde ajnabiyi mese to biyad be ma bege.........shero ver ke shakho dom nadare.......monafeghe vatan foroosh........

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  5. Not an A330 (no such plane exists in Iran's fleet). They meant C-130 cargo plane

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  6. Well done. This must have taken up a lot of your time.

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  7. Winston may be right about the A330. But I doubt Khamenei's personal transport is a C-130. Perhaps the author is referring to a lower numbered Airbus A300 series? Or is just mistaken.

    Very interesting details, if true. The 10,000 "guard" figure is very high. Perhaps it is referring to the elite Seyed-ol- Shohada Corps? If so, this unit is non exclusive as a guard for the SL.

    The wiretapping and investigative services are very much reminiscent of America's Nixon administration and the longtime FBI Director of the time, J. Edgar Hoover.

    By US standards, the figures for Khamenei's "close guards" seem relatively comparable, as are their appraised residences. And his transport costs are quite economical by US head of state standards. I believe the price of Khamenei's bus (RV?) is actually less than that of one US presidential limousine.

    Again, very interesting details, if true. Looking forward to part 3.

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  8. My thanks to Winston and particularly Mark for their insight and analysis.

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  9. link
    FARZAD BAWANI'S LETTER TO THE EDITORS OF MONTHLY REVIEW ABOUT MOHSEN MAKHMALBAF.

    Dear Editors,

    "In your issue of November 2001, I found an article on Afghanistan, by an Iranian filmmaker, Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Your editorial note introduced Makhmalbaf as “Iran’s most celebrated film maker and a political prisoner under the Shah.” However, to many of us (Iranian activists of the 70s and 80s), Makhmalbaf’s record is far from this strait forward presentation.
    Mohsen Makhmalbaf was imprisoned under the Shah’s regime for his attempt to disarm a police officer. Based on his own account, he was a young man with extreme religious tendencies, whose opposition to the Shah was colored by his hatred of the ex-regime’s policies of secularization (albeit superficial secularization). Following the revolution, Makhmalbaf became the regime’s most active watchman in the movie industry of Iran. In his early interviews (between 1979-1983), he proudly spoke of his role in purging the cultural scene from secular thought. His discourse frequently abused Iranian secular filmmakers, and vilified Iranian Left. During the first three years of revolution, he hailed the fundamentalist oppression of women, students, minorities, and Iranian Left as an authentic Islamic campaign against counter-revolutionary forces. =46ollowing the consolidation of power in 1981 by the fundamentalists, Makhmalbaf extended his cooperation by joining their campaign of terror. When mass arrests, brutal tortures, and summary executions were the order of the day, Makhmalbaf not only supported their policy of terror and torture, but also offered his film making expertise to launch an assault on truth.
    For his movie, Boycott, he was allowed inside one of Iran’s most dreadful prisons. There, amid daily atrocities of torture and interrogation, he shot his story using actual leftist political prisoners who were coerced into playing roles for Makhmalbaf’s feature film. The story of this film depicted leftist activists as rigid Stalinist villains, worthy of contempt and scorn. Ironically, Makhmalbaf and company forced these political prisoners into such self-denigrating roles as part of a =93corrective exercise.=94 Tragically, not long after the completion of this movie, a number of these young activists were executed, and their bodies were hastily buried in unmarked graves. I have personally identified and traced the fate of these victims, whom many of us used to know personally. In the history of cinema, I can think of no filmmaker who has committed so blatant an assault on helpless individuals as Makhmalbaf has done without any shame or remorse. Nor, I can believe the indifference that the world has demonstrated with regard to his actions. Appallingly, one can readily purchase this film, a product of forced labor and torture, on videocassette via Internet!"

    the rest is at the link above.

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  10. http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/639.php?nid=&id=&pnt=639&lb=brme


    "Most Iranians express acceptance of the outcome of the Presidential election. Eighty-one percent say they consider Ahmadinejad to be Iran's legitimate president, and 62 percent say they have a lot of confidence in the declared election results, while 21 percent say they have some confidence. Just 13 percent say they do not have much confidence or no confidence in the results. In general, eight in 10 (81%) say they are satisfied with the process by which authorities are elected, but only half that number (40%) say they are very satisfied.

    Among the 87 percent of respondents who say they voted in the June presidential election, 55 percent say they voted for Ahmadinejad. Only 14 percent say they voted for Mir Hossein Mousavi, the leading opposition candidate, and 26 percent refused to answer. Asked how they would vote if the election were held again, overall 49 percent say they would vote for Ahmadinejad, 8 percent for Mousavi, 13 percent say they would not vote, and 26 percent would not answer.

    "The extremely high number of people refusing to answer questions about their voting preference--something not found in response to any other questions--suggests that people have some discomfort with this topic," says WPO's Kull. "Thus these findings on voting preference are not a solid basis for estimating the actual vote."

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  11. In response to the last two comments:

    Thank you for using this free forum to exchange ideas, although I would have preferred something a bit more substantial than a cut-and-paste job.

    - Yes, Makhmalbaf supported the Islamic Revolution. No, he was not a key proponent of the regime's efforts to create an Islamic revolutionary culture, even though he probably supported it. This policy was spearheaded by organizations like the Sazemaneh Tablighat (headed by the infamous Ahmad Jannati. Makhmalbaf, in his early 20s at the time, was a minor figure in this body.) and the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution (led by people like Hassan Habibi, Mohammad Javad Bahonar, and Abdolkarim Soroush).

    I'm glad that the personal intellectual journeys of Makhmalbaf and Soroush have brought to them to their current positions against the regime. I wish that the same had happened to Jannati. If it had, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now. Didn't Karroubi commit transgressions? (He attacked Montazeri at the time of the Hashemi scandal in the late 1980s) Wasn't Saanei involved in humiliating Ayatollah Shariatmadari? Didn't Mousavi stay silent as thousands of political prisoners were executed in the late 1980s? The answer is yes. But thank God they have evolved and have shown in old age that they are willing to put themselves on the line to defend something noble. You appear to want to rebuild Iran with a group of saints (perhaps you consider yourself among them) who do not exist.

    No one is lily white and a future democratic Iran has to learn to live with all its citizens. Those who have killed, raped, and tortured need to be jailed, not killed, but most Iranians will have to live within a diverse society. If a truth and reconciliation committee were set up in Iran today, I doubt Makhmalbaf's youthful errors, outrageous behavior to you, would even register as a blip compared to the serious crimes committed by this regime.

    - As for the poll... You should have read the methodology for this poll available in PDF format at the site whose link you have posted ( http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/sep09/IranUS_Sep09_quaire.pdf ). From outside Iran, they called random people in Iran on their landlines and asked the poll questions by telephone from August 27 to September 10. Do you seriously think that anyone in their right mind, sitting at home and receiving such a call after the regime's crackdown involving killing protesters, raping them in prison, etc, would honestly answer such questions? 52% of the people refused to answer. Of the 48% who did answer, how many do you think were truthful with a stranger over the telephone? Funnily, of the people who did answer, only 55% said that they voted for Ahmadinejad which is lower than the official figure of 63%. What a joke and what a waste of money for the University of Maryland which was behind this ludicrous effort.

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  12. So how large were the pro-government demonstrations?
    Hundreds of thousands. More links for you.

    A nation divided Alireza Doostdar
    http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/953/re3.htm

    The revolution and the rural poor. Brookings economist Djavad Salehi-Isfahani:
    http://djavad.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/the-revolution-and-the-rural-poor/
    http://djavad.wordpress.com/page/2/

    Iran elections. What happened? A debate (video)
    http://newamerica.net/events/2009/irans_election

    http://southissouth.wordpress.com/2009/06/14/conversation-with-grandma-after-irans-elections/

    The country is divided. Tehran is not Iran.
    And no I'm not a supporter of the regime. But then there aren't many regimes I'm am supporter of.

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  13. To the last comment by anonymous:

    - You ask how large the pro-regime demonstration on December 30 was and then answer the question yourself: 'Hundreds of thousands.' Could you please explain how you reach this figure? To fill a street which is 20 meters wide, you need a procession that's between 700 meters to 1 kilometer long, depending on the density of people per square meter. That means from Enghelab Square to between the start of Laleh Park on Keshavarz Boulevard (700 meters) to the Water company (Sazemaneh Ab). That would represent one hundred thousand people. Did you see a procession that long? But you go even farther and say there were hundreds of thousands. Another hundred thousand people would take you past the northern end of Laleh Park. You think there was a procession of people that long?
    While the regime kills and beats protesters, it ordered that schools and government offices be shut on that day, then bused loads of people in, gave them soft drinks and sandwiches,etc.

    - You also say that Tehran is not Iran. I completely agree. To view the regime's support in other towns, I invite you to check out the videos of pro-regime demonstrations in Karaj and Kermanshah that I've posted on my blog:

    http://homylafayette.blogspot.com/2009/12/regimes-million-man-march-in-karaj.html

    http://homylafayette.blogspot.com/2010/01/regimes-million-man-march-in-kermanshah.html

    - I don't really care of you're pro-regime or not. You're welcome to comment here.

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  14. Here's another video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wTGrGouhOc&feature=player_embedded#

    And here's a link that mentions you.
    http://iranfacts.blogspot.com/2009/12/mousavi-and-karoubi-warn-that-following.html

    Don't feed into the paranoia of those who don't know a damn thing about iran, or "Eye-rack."

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  15. In response to the previous comment:

    I would have preferred it if you had responded to my detailed comments and questions (perhaps too long...?) instead of providing links. I welcome you to do so if you have the time.

    Here are my responses:

    - The AP video whose link you posted mentions 'tens of thousands' of pro-regime supporters, which I think is definitely closer to the mark. I repeat my question, how do you come to the figure of hundreds of thousands?

    - The link that you provide takes us to a article where a reader (actually someone who is kind enough to have signed up on this blog) has commented 'I have expressed my dismay to homy lafayette about having translated this piece of trash ... as I feared it has spinned out of control in this highly dubious Enduring America weblog,' referring to the alleged statement of some members of the military.

    My article on this alleged statement can be read at http://homylafayette.blogspot.com/2009/12/iran-army-statement-against-crackdown.html

    I believe I wrote a balanced piece. Nowhere in this article do I say that the statement is definitely issued by the Iranian military. In fact I consider the possibility that the statement is disinformation and I write, 'The veracity of source of the statement cannot be confirmed.' and 'It does not seem credible, for example, that dissenting professors at the Imam Ali University for officers, which has a relatively limited number of professors, would so clearly identify themselves.'

    What exactly about this article 'feeds into the paranoia of those who don't know a damn thing about iran', as you say?

    I (and others) translated an alleged statement and commented on it. This statement was then discussed broadly, out in the open, often by people more knowledgeable than I on the topic of the military. That's how it should be in an open society. The thing that feeds paranoia and conspiracy theories is dissimulation and censorship, not open exchange.

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  16. I supplied a lot of links. You pick and choose the least important.

    The quote "hundreds of thousands" is comes from AFP: Agence France-Presse. I think you know them.
    The video said tens of thousands and showed a very large crowd. Your video shows hundreds. Iran is divided you make it seem otherwise.
    I worry about Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. I support reform in Iran but even the reformers are in favor or Iran having nuclear power, and probably even the option of weapons. I'm oppose to both, but I understand their concerns. Does you audience?
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/01/06/think_again_irans_green_movement

    " 'The Green Movement Is Winning.'
    Yes, but over time. The answer depends on what "winning" means. One thing Western observers should have learned from 30 years of second-guessing Iran and Iranians is that second-guessing Iran and Iranians is often a mistake, and predicting the imminent demise of the Islamic theocracy is unrealistic.
    What is evident is that if we consider Iran's pro-democracy "green movement" not as a revolution but as a civil rights movement -- as the leaders of the movement do -- then a "win" must be measured over time. The movement's aim is not for a sudden and complete overthrow of Iran's political system. That may disappoint both extremes of the American and Iranian political spectrums, left and right, and especially U.S. neoconservatives hoping for regime change."

    Do your readers understand that? Do you?




    Respond to the links I supplied, not to me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. "I worry about Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel."
    That is to say, I worry about them more than I worry about the Iranian regime. They're all more dangerous to the world at large.

    As long as I'm tossing links, for your other visitors, here's another.
    http://niacblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/hostage-john-limbert-speaking-with-khamenei/

    ReplyDelete
  18. you're a fucking traitor and will burn in hell for what you are trying to do to iran.

    ReplyDelete
  19. this is bullshit, naturrally you would expect people to be highly emotional after the election results, thus they will try to create discord among people who follow him

    i love the fact, after the results so many contridicting stories came to light hahaha

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dear editor, I wish you were right in the fact that some of IRI know criminal leaders were in fact evolved and reformed. But if history is a witness...Makhmalbaf and his ilk stayed silent all the way through June 12th...their new found support for democracy and human rights were because of expediency and nothing else. Look at Akbar Ganji...do you really think he is evolved?

    Khomeini was evolved as well...when it was expedient he spoke of justice...equality of sexes...tolerance of minorities ...etc...all changes as soon as he took power....


    Islamists have mastered the art of lying for personal gains!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I will not make any comment on the accuracy of the whole article, but I have to mention that I personally knew 'sardar Nejat' he is originally from Shiraz and his brother was my best friend back then. I had been to his parents house many times and once in his house in Tehran. He actually had a less than average house and was a great man. dont get me wrong guys I hate this regime as much as all of you, but that part of article was just nonsense.
    by the way ' nejat' is not his real last name. its 'zibae nezhad '
    And I also remember that he wouldnt help his brother ( my friend) to relocate his military service station because he believed it wasnt fair and just.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is just American & British propaganda against the Law-full leaders of IRAN, to hide their(American & Europeans)War Crimes. as the IRAN is the only Nation which is standing stronger and raising the voice against these Devils(ISRAELS& Americans) so they want to stop this while placing such fake articles. And I request all the readers of this article not to belief it as it is nothing but a joke without any authenticity. And also request to view the link posted below to know the Real fact about the IRANIAN Leaders.

    Copy & Paste the following link in your browser for the Truth.

    http://www.shiatv.net/view_video.php?viewkey=639acb17b035ab8963f1

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is just American & British propaganda against the Law-full leaders of IRAN, to hide their(American & Europeans)War Crimes. as the IRAN is the only Nation which is standing stronger and raising the voice against these Devils(ISRAELS& Americans) so they want to stop this while placing such fake articles. And I request all the readers of this article not to belief it as it is nothing but a joke without any authenticity. And also request to view the link posted below to know the Real fact about the IRANIAN Leaders.

    Copy & Paste the following link in your browser for the Truth.

    http://www.shiatv.net/view_video.php?viewkey=639acb17b035ab8963f1

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am speechless just i can say why

    ReplyDelete