Category Archives: Iran

Iranian 9/11, Jewish Barbarossa, Tooth Fairy of Qandahar………..

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Former investigators on the 9/11 Commission, which uncovered tantalizing but inconclusive evidence of Tehran’s ties to the plot, tell The Daily Beast they welcome the lawsuit, because they believe the U.S. government has done little to follow up on the commission’s evidence of Iranian complicity. The lawsuit, they say, may offer the best hope of getting to the truth about whether Iranian government officials had advance knowledge of the plot and worked with al Qaeda to make it easier for several of the hijackers to travel undetected in the year before the attacks. The suit, brought in the United States District Court in Manhattan on behalf of the families of dozens of 9/11 victims, is promising testimony from three Iranian defectors, all of them identified as former members of Iran’s central spy agency, who will implicate Iran and its terrorist proxies in Lebanon in the Sept. 11 attacks. In court papers filed last week that outlined their testimony, the defectors were not identified by name out of concern for their safety, said Thomas Mellon, a Pennsylvania lawyer and former federal prosecutor who is representing the families…………

I don’t know: this is like saying that the German Nazis were financing or plotting with the Jewish Agency to take over Palestine. Or that European Jews planned Operation Barbarossa (look it up). The mutual dislike and contempt between Shi’a Iran and Salafi Wahhabi al-Qaeda is that strong. This Thomas Mellon sounds like another D.A. Jim Garrison (google him and Kennedy and Dallas and Louisiana). It is not clear what they needed the Iranians for. They got all the money and leaders and volunteers from Saudi Arabia (with a couple of others). They had the planners in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Germany. As for the ‘Iranian defectors’ who will testify: I’d require blood tests on them first for alcohol, drugs, airplane glue, among other ‘substances’.

Okay, the truth is, I think it is the most ridiculous, nay most asinine, story I have read today. More ridiculous than the story about the prime minister of Bahrain, butcher of Manama, wondering why people can’t just get along. I may be wrong, I am wrong one in a while, but probably not on this one.
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Ahmadinejad on Water Wars, European Fears, and Emma Lazarus……….

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Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Emma Lazarus (definitely NOT Europeans)

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that Western countries are plotting to generate drought in some areas of the world, including Iran. “According to reports about climate, whose authenticity has been verified, the European countries have used certain equipment to discharge clouds and prevent rain-bearing clouds from reaching regional countries such as Iran,” President Ahmadinejad said on Thursday. He made the remarks in the inauguration ceremony of a domestically-built dam in the central Iranian province of Arak. Ahmadinejad said the matter would be pursued by Iran’s legal authorities, IRNA reported. The Iranian president said such measures by European countries are aimed at creating tension and hostility in the maritime borders of regional countries. “Just as it was said before, I believe that the war of the future will be the war over water.”……….

He is right in one thing although he is not original: that water will very likely become a cause of future conflict. It already is: from the water disputes between Egypt and Nile-source African countries to the ‘issues’ Iraq has with Iran and Turkey and Syria over control of river water. Even the long Iran-Iraq war which was a result of Ba’athist aggression had water as its main component: the Shatt al-Arab waterway. That is the part Ahmadinejad is right about.
As for the rest, I suspect he is out of his mind if he is serious about it. Europe has seen one result of the droughts and desertification in Africa: the waves of unwelcome immigrants crossing the Mediterranean. Europe is also now worried about the impact of the Arab revolutions on creating a new wave of immigration to its shores. The last thing the Europeans want is to create another drought in the Middle East with more immigrants creating more neo-Nazis like Geert Wilders and Le Pen and others. I am not sure about Sarkozy, though, playing Napoleon and a softer version of a racist Fascist, desperate for his reelection. (There is no European equivalent of Emma Lazarus and her immortal verses on Liberty Island).
Sometimes I think Ahmadinejad shoots his mouth without thinking, then is forced to stick to his announced position out of pride. It is a Middle East thing. I have suspected that his Holocaust “quasi-denial” is also along similar lines.
(Later a professor of environmental science at Tehran University politely but firmly refuted Ahmadinejad’s assertion of European-induced droughts).
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

The Iran ‘CIA’ Espionage Plot Thickens……….

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Government officials were among those netted in an Iranian counterespionage operation that Tehran’s intelligence ministry touted this weekend, a news website reported Sunday. The semi-official Fars news agency (link in Persian) reported “a number of Iranian government managers” were among the 30 arrested on suspicion of having ties with the CIA. Fars quoted “an informed source” as saying a manager of one of Iran’s ministries and a number of other officials employed by government bodies were arrested. One official had worked at one of Iran’s ministries for 25 years and was allegedly gathering information for U.S. intelligence with the aim of immigrating to the West and keeping his son out of military service, the source told Fars. The man allegedly had prepared “a very important package about the activities of this body, which included information on ways to sabotage it.” But he was foiled by intelligence officers “minutes” before he sent it off, the source claimed to Fars. Another official gathered information about “how to blow up and conduct espionage activities” at his employer but was arrested before dispatching the information, Fars said……..

This is becoming more interesting, if the published report is true (Fars quotes an ‘informed source’ which may indicate a certain degree of accuracy). Now they talk of plans for sabotage and explosions. This now seems to indicate that some higher officials, at least middle-tier managers, were involved. That is the official story. It requires careful reading to try and discern wtf is going on inside Iran’s intelligence community. Is Muslehi (intelligence minister and a mullah) anxious to show his credibility by hurrying arrests? Is he flailing around for culprits? Was there such an extensive network of sabotage? All of the above are possible: Iran has seen some bombings and assassinations of nuclear scientists over the past few years. They also had top scientists and military officers defect and/or kidnapped while outside the country. In this dame, anything is possible
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Gruesome Justice in Iran: Talmudic, Biblical, or Quranic…….

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An Iranian woman who was blinded and badly disfigured by an acid attack by a spurned suitor has expressed strong support for a retributive blinding sentence set to be carried out against her attacker. The court-ordered plan for “retribution in kind” is to place five drops of sulfuric acid in each of Majid Movahedi’s eyes for the 2004 incident, when he poured a bucket of acid on Ameneh Bahrami, ultimately leaving her blind and forcing her to undergo at least 17 operations.
The acid drops were scheduled to be administered at a hospital in the Iranian capital at noon local time on May 14. Bahrami, now 32, has insisted on Movahedi’s blinding despite being urged by the court to accept financial compensation from the attacker’s family instead. Since the judgment was handed down in 2008, Iranian and international rights activists have expressed horror at the prospect of its implementation…………


Truly a gruesome case. Carrying the concept of justice to absurd levels. Talmudic, Biblical, or Quranic, in its gruesomeness of “justice”. Even in places like Texas they wouldn’t go that far: sometimes they come close but not that far.
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Iran: Khamenei and the Club of Worried Leaders………

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“Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and a large number of Iranian elites in a meeting here on Tuesday discussed prevalence of justice in the society as among the tenets of the Islamic-Iranian paradigm of progress. At the second meeting of ‘Strategic Thoughts’ here in Tehran on Tuesday, the Supreme Leader called for maximizing prevalence of justice in the society, and said despite the massive efforts made to prevail justice in the Iranian society after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the country still has a long way to go, “since the Islamic ruling system is after maximized justice and full materialization of justice as an absolute value”. During the 4-hour meeting, the Leader said the holy Quran describes justice as the main goal of all divine religions, and said, “Religions have developed social systems in pursuit of justice, and justice has been the main goal for man’s move within the framework of religion.”. He further reminded that such a justice-oriented view cannot be found in any of the schools of thought presented by man. Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the need for serious efforts and consultations among intellectuals and thinkers to prevail the Islamic theory and view of justice in the country. ……”The use of two concepts of ‘Islamic’ and ‘Iranian’ is never meant to reject achievements and rightful experiences of others,” the Leader went on to say……..Fars News (Iran)

Also sprach Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to a meeting of “elites”, presumably properly revolutionary “elites”.

WTF: I have to admit that I could not figure this one out, not yet. I know he is gingerly tackling the sensitive issue that is not necessarily a dichotomy: “Iranian” and “Islamic” identities. He called it a paradigm. That is a tough one: Turkey has solved it by being as Turkish as ever, but slightly more Islamic. I know Khamenei is pushing the fundamentalist theocratic line, but there is more. I discern a certain amount of worry, uncertainty even as he speaks with the seeming certainty of a theocrat.
That is a good sign: when a leader in our region worries it is always a good sign for the people. They ought to start a Club of Worried Leaders, one that goes beyond the GCC and Jordan and Morocco (I think Libya and Yemen and Syria and Bahrain are beyond the mere worried, I hope I am right). Keep on worrying, y’all.
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Of Genomes, Iranians, Arabs, Jews, Gomorans, and Neanderthals…….

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Now that Stanford University’s Iranian Genome Project has been partly funded by a diaspora philanthropic organization, speculation is running wild in certain Iranian circles. The project’s expected medical benefits notwithstanding, Facebook is abuzz with comments about the potential unintended consequences of the racial revelations it may yield. A common Iranian lamentation is that virtually every major civilization has invaded us at least once: Greek, Roman, Arab, Mongol, Turkic, and European armies have all set up camp here. The odds are that the project will deliver a healthy shock to the racial purists among us. A similar project revealed that most Palestinians are not descended from Arab interlopers, as some Israeli ideologues argued, but from the ancient Jews who converted to Christianity and Islam. The idea of racial purity came to the Middle East in the 19th century as an extreme manifestation of nationalism. Soon, storms of Pan-Turkic, Pan-Iranist, and Pan-Arab agitation were brewing in tiny social teacups around the Middle East. Suddenly everybody was congenitally better than everybody else. Grandiose maps imagining new, ethnically correct national boundaries were drawn up and plans were made to recover national innocence by exorcising foreign words. I still remember the Pan-Iranists’ slogan of my youth: “Ahead to our own borders……. The chimera of racial purity led the to fabrication of new national myths and the systematic distortion of old ones. Some Iranians (like their Turkic and Arab counterparts) sought to escape their present inglorious existence in dreams of a golden past. In this spirit, much praise was showered in Iran on the national epic of Iran, Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh or Book of Kings………

Okay, they have discovered that most ‘Palestinians” were descendants of ancient Jews rather than Arabian tribes. What else is new, and what difference does it make? I never thought Palestinians were “Arabs” in the sense that their ancestors came from Arabia, anymore than that the ancestors of most Egyptian came from Arabia (they did not). Anymore than expecting the ancestors of blue-eyed blond Syrians to have been from Hejaz or Nejd. That is not how an “Arab” is defined by sane rational people.
But it is an interesting historical exercise: one day I shall undergo it to confirm if I am truly a descendant of the ancient Gods, or if that information was just a cruel hoax. I personally suspect that it is true.
Which makes me wonder: what if all our leaders are exposed (not a pun) to such Genome tests. Suppose the al-Saud, for example, discover that they were descended from, let us say, the Jews of Khyber. What would the Mufti Shaikh A Al Al Shaikh say (if he were rational, he would just shut up about it)? Suppose the al-Khalifa rulers of Bahrain discover that they are the descendants of some Sodomite tribe (meaning from that famous Biblical city of Sodom). That may explain their predilection for sexual assaults and rapes of male and female captive protesters. Sodomites (the people of Sodom) were notorious as sexual aggressors: that is just one version of the story. As for Qaddafi, I suspect he will end up being the descendant of the fraternization of some Roman legionnaire with a female sheep herder from the old Roman Province of Africa, Nothing Arab there, is there? There has already been speculation, mostly in Saudi media like Alarabiya (and Asharq Alawsat) that Iran’s Ahmadinejad is really Jewish and that he used to go by another name. I say: who cares? The only thing that changes is that he becomes entitled to do the Aliyah (עלייה)by the “right of return”: he could some day run for the Knesset. As for the al-Nahayan clan of Abu Dhabi (and the UAE)……..oy vey.
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Ahamadinejad as Oliver Stone, Osama au masque de fer……….

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Tehran: Al Qaida founder Osama Bin Laden was a prisoner in US custody for “sometime” before he was killed by the American military, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday. “I have exact information that Bin Laden was held by the American military for sometime… until the day they killed him he was a prisoner held by them,” the hardline president said in a live interview on Iranian state television. “Please pay attention. This is important. He was held by them for sometime. They made him sick and while he was sick they killed him,” Ahmadinejad added. He accused US President Barack Obama for announcing the Al Qaida leader’s death for “political gain”. “What the US president has done is for domestic political gain. In other words, they killed him for Obama’s election and now they are seeking to replace him with someone else,” Ahmadinejad said without elaborating……

It is starting, predictably. It is tempting for me to explain this as Ahmadinejad being just a ….Middle Easterner. Conspiracy theories and all that. But then there is another possible explanation. Maybe the Pakistani military or ISI leaked this tidbit of gossip to the Iranians, just to muddy the waters, and counter American anger. Okay, that in itself is also a conspiracy theory. I have another one: old Papa Bin Laden had many wives, many sons; suppose there was another man who looked exactly like Bin Laden, but without wearing an iron mask……..
(FYI: Alexandre Dumas is dead, actually both are dead; no copyright, no nothing).
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

A Theocracy’s Troubles, Islamic Republic or Iranian Republic?………

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad escalated an unusually public confrontation within the country’s leadership Saturday by firing three Cabinet ministers, defying Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his loyalists, who had warned him the move would be unconstitutional. Ahmadinejad accepted the resignation of the ministers of oil, welfare, and mines and industries as part of a plan to reshape the government by eventually merging eight of the country’s ministries into four, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency and letters posted to his own website………..”

Presidents usually calm down during their last year or two in office. By that time people start paying more attention to who will succeed them. Iran’s Ahmadinejad started his term of office with a bang and he seems intent on ending it with a bang, possibly a bigger one. It seems that before his final term of office expires in 2013, he will be confronting an entrenched field of rivals ranging from Ayatollah Khamenei to a conservative parliament. So far he has failed to chip away meaningfully at the powers of Khamenei, and he may now have trouble with the legislature. He did succeed finally in getting rid of Foreign Minister Mottaki. Mr. Ahmadinejad has an interesting group of people around him, including his in-law and chief adviser Mashaei who is apparently immensely disliked by the clergy. They seem to be trying to push the country toward a “softer” version of an Islamic republic, more an “Iranian” republic that is Islamic.
Mr. Ahmadinejad is the country’s third civilian president. The very first one was Bani-Sadr who had to escape to France in the early 1980s. Then there was the short-tenured Mr. Rajaie who as blown up to smithereens, along with many others, by a terrorist bomb. Then followed a succession of three clergy presidents (Khamenei, Rafsanjani, Khatami). Now it is possible that the theocracy will try to make sure the next president is a mullah: it has had nothing but trouble with civilian “presidents”. Yet that is not good for the regime, for it will give an even narrower tunnel vision. It will also make it “look” more theocratic.
Either way, we can look for tumultuous two years in Iranian politics. That will match the tumultuous next two years I expect to see in the Arab world.
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Following Laika and Armstrong: Abu Dhabi and Iran Head Into Space………

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The world could soon see the first Emirati in space, as the Global Space and Satellite Forum 2011 (GSSF)focused on developing the regional space industry’s experts of the future. During the final day of GSSF, senior representatives from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) delivered an interactive UAE Space Career and Exploration video uplink to a gathering of aspiring Emirati astronauts and space industry hopefuls. Dr Omar Al Emam, Voluntary Space Technology Advisor, Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF), spoke about the work of the NASA Lunar Science Institute in California and the importance of hands-on space technology for the youth of the region..……..

Space exploration sure has come a long way. Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space. I believe Alan Shepard (?) was the first American in space, although Neil Armstrong is the most known. In addition to so many humans having gone into space, there are many of other species as well. The Soviet Union, the first country to invade space, sent the first dog and first human into orbit in space (not together). Laika, a dedicated communist whom some Russians suspected of being a secret Trotskyite, was the first dog and her name means “barker”, as in woof woof. The Americans also sent many animals over time. The most popular animals for sending into space were your nearest cousins the simians. Which makes sense.
The UAE is hoping to send an astronaut into space aboard an American spaceship. The Saudis sent one of their princes on an American mission during the 1980s. When the prince landed back on Earth safely he was asked what was the toughest task he faced in space, and his answer was typical “I had a hard time determining which way to face Mecca”. The prince was a pilot but apparently he was no scientist. I understand that he was never asked another question again.
Back to the United Arab Emirates: it is not clear who they will send if NASA agrees, some years down the road. Can it be another shaikh? I doubt that Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed al-Nahayn, ruler of Abu Dhabi will go: he is probably too old and looks rather lumpy. Shaikh Mohammed of Dubai looks too damn serious for anyone to be locked up with in a small spaceship. All the other Bin Zayed al-Nahayan don’t look any more cheerful for company. I was going to nominate their foreign minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed al-Nahayn, Metternich of Abu Dhabi, but then who will run the march of our world toward peace and democracy in his absence?
The Iranians have also been threatening to send a man into space during this decade. They already have some satellites up and will launch more this year or next. They have not announced yet whether their spaceman will be a mullah (cleric) or a ‘civilian’. Ahmadinejad will be out of office by that time, which may mean something in this context, or maybe not.
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

An Iranian Exorcist, Saudi Muftis, Egyptian Abdelwahhab…………….

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Twenty-five close collaborators and supporters of Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his influential Chief of Staff, Esfandyar Rahim Mashai, have been arrested, allegedly including “exorcist” or “djinn catcher” Abbas Ghaffari. Many speculate this is due to a quarrel between Ahmadinejad and the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei over the resignation of Iran’s minister of intelligence. Last week, Morteza Nabavi, a conservative politician, accused [fa] team Ahmadinejad of thinking they were being empowered by djinns or genies. In a cabinet meeting on Sunday 8 May, 2011, Ahmadinejad responded by dismissing [fa] the notion that he has exorcists in his government as a joke. You can watch the video here [fa]……..

As if he has not had enough quarrels, Ahamadinejad is reported to have lost other allies, including his indispensable Jinn catcher. Many of us think, erroneously, that only Catholics have Jinn catchers, or exorcists. We all do. What do you think all these official Muftis are? Egypt’s al-Azhar Mufti was appointed by Hosni Mubarak from within his own ruling party, and his job was to chase away any notion that the rule of a dictator may be un-Islamic. He tried to do his job, condemning the revolutionaries before and after January 25. But he has seen the light, apparently. Then there is that other great palace exorcist, the Saudi Mufti Shaikh Al Al Shaikh. He did his best to exorcise the Jinns of revolution and protest from the streets of Riyadh and Jeddah, and he succeeded. Shaikh Al Al Shaikh failed in the Eastern Province, but then these guys (and gals) in Qatif and Dhahran are not supposed to be true Muslims anyway, according the the not-s-secret teachings of Al and his ilk.
One advantage of an exorcist being part of the regimes: he won’t go to prison and get flogged in Iran and he won’t get flogged and beheaded in Saudi Arabia.
(FYI, only for those who are new to my blog: Shaikh Al Al-Shaikh is a direct descendant of Shaikh (a k a Imam) Mohammed Bin Abdulwahhab after whom the term “Wahhabi” was named. He was from the Najd area and should not be confused with the late great Egyptian musician and singer Mohammed Abdelwahhab who was not a Salafi (nor a Shi’a nor a Mthodist). Did I write that there are many Al Al-Shaikhs in various high positions in the Saudi state? Did I also write that I enjoyed the songs of Abdelwahhab, including al-Gondool, Cleopatra, al-Nahr al-Khaled, etc)
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com