Omid Memarian

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Concerns Increasing

Last week BBC Persian held a roundtable with some the Iranian activists in social and political sphere. One of the Iranian reformist journalist that took part in this roundtable said that the way for reformists to continue their way to democracy is to follow their aims in civil society and associations. This idea was mentioned by some of the other reformists before. But the direction of Mr. Rfasanjani s speech in last Friday pray in Tehran has many messages. First of all it means the conservatives found this idea seriously and will pay attention to this side more and more. They know that the most important weak point of reformist is their relation with people in grassroots. So it is natural to seek a remedy for continue their activities. Where is the best place to make connection with people with grassroots? Probably NGOs and CSOs in all. As conservatives closed and stopped any connection between reformists and people (like closing 18 papers in a day) they will limited the civil society sphere more in the coming months.
Beside limitation of atmosphere in civil society they will try to establish some artificial NGOs to use them in vital point. For example when they some organization to talk about human rights or even women, they send these kinds of NGOs ahead and say:” here you are! These are people and public opinion.”
I will read a comment on this issue more later. Now it is 3 am and I fell sleepy deeply.

A seminar on Microcredit for poverty alleviation will hold next Saturday .I am involved in this seminar to publish a newsletter before and after it. At this time I am working on the context hard. I am alone. Like always. During the last three days I slept only 3 hours a day. Now I was looking on the websites. I wanted to read a few pieces of poem. So I started….My heart fell fresh and cool. A little Sohrab Sepehry a little Ahmadreza Ahmadi and a little Pablo Neruda

Nothing More

“I made my contract with the truth
To restore light to the earth

I wished to be like bread.
The struggle never found me wanting.
But here I am
With what I loved,
With the solitude I lost.
In the shadow of that stone, I do not rest.

The sea is working,
Working in my silence”
Pablo Neruda

Shargh newspaper will publish again wednesday. Shargh was banned 18 Feb for publishing the MPs letter to leader. But Yasseno never publish and reformists have to think about another magazine and me too.

George Tenet and civil society in Iran


Mr. Rafsanjani Iranian influential politician quoted a sentence from Goerge Tenet to continue the reform in NGOs

“Reformist will continue their efforts to establish democracy and promoting civil society in NGOs in early future.” Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani quoted this sentence from CIA chief George Tenet. It quotation has an ironic meaning for Iranian civil society activists. We can have a look to the recent years and the approach of conservatives about civil society organizations and understand what this sentence mean.
After coming president khatami to the power he tried to promote and faceplate process and policies for NGOs and CSOs. After a few years many NGOs established. But at the same time conservatives believed that they are trying to laying the groundwork to change the Islamic behavior and at last the Islamic regime. They mentioned that the role of NGOs in Iran society at this historical point is like the NGOs role in Soviet Union before falling down the communistic regime. They believe civil society it trying to do the same in Iran. Beside as many of NGOs that established after reconstruction period deals with modern concerns like environmental issues, human rights, democracy, social issues and so on, the non democratic part of government and specially the clerics institutions has not any influence on them. They have influence of Islamic groups or many charities as well. But not women NGOs of NGOs are working on human rights or democracy. So they tried to limit the activities of such NGOs by many ways. First thay tried to give them license for establishment in some issues. SO people who had concerned about this kind of subject had to establish NGO on another issue and try to cover their activity. Second way was to establish a second hand series of NGOs that are under their influence and has made an artificial civil society. Can you imagine it? They establish some NGOs that are representative of people actually. But they always mention them as people and send them International conference. When ever real NGOs object to something they are ready to be against them as people. But they are not. I can continue this story but to make a ling story short, after parliamentary election they know the only atmosphere to breathe is civil society and so the result of this quotation will embrace new polices to confront will real civil society. Mr. Rafsanjani always talks about things that will happen later. Opposite to president Khatami, who talks about things that never happen later?

Friday, February 27, 2004

Islamic Social reform begins!

When leader decreased the period of military service 24 to 20 months for youth in Iran by his governmental demand, nobody astonished. A few days before this demand commander of police announced that shops and restaurants can be open until 3 am. But it has not finished. A few days before 20feb parliamentary election in Iran municipality of Tehran informed that every youth boy or girl who is going to marry can use a 1000$ loan. The question now for ordinary people in the city is that what happened for the government and what these decisions means?
Remember that about two years ago the conservative police administration issued a bylaw to limit the duration of opening of the public places like parks, restaurants and libraries. Many of journalists and people objected about this demand. Because many Iranian people have more than one job and the time for going out for them with family could be after 11 p.m. It meant they had to leave streets because everywhere was closed. At that time I wrote a comment in HAYATENO paper and asked them why have you made this decision? And how? “Is it a result of any social research to decrease law breakers after midnight? Isn’t it better to increase the police control on the factors that make criminal actions? “I asked”. But as everyone knew it was a political decision, no one believed the answers of police to the questions. But the answers were not clear.
Beside, at this time that Tehran has many infrastructures difficulty to manage their affairs, and when many young couple divorce before ending the 3rd year of their marriage, what is the reason to pay loan to the youth couple by Mayer? is it a duty of municipality? As any body knows that there is more that 30 percent divorce for youth couple before ending their third year of marriage. And everybody knows that youth problem is not achieving 1000$ and marry. So isn’t it a propaganda? Leader, The police commander and Mayer could talk about these decision a few month ago of more. But why they tell their view about this kind of social affairs only a few days after election?
They showed a film about revolution a day before election that some women without HEJAB talked about their motivation for coming to Islamic demonstration. Consider that many of Iranian third generation have not seen any picture of women without HEJAB before. It means that even HEJAB is not the redline.
This kind of decision making can be continuing until presidency election. But how can they continue after that?
I believe that the conservatives have no problem with social reforms. Redlines is distributing and controlling the power. It makes no difference for them that what people do in the streets or what they put on in the streets anymore.
Last day one of my friends told me an irony joke. “The conservatives are ready to open brothels or bawdyhouse to show that they can solve the people’s problems.” he said.



Thursday, February 26, 2004

Military service decrease to 20 month!
A few days after election leader agreed to decrease the military service period to 20 month. “Decreasing the period of military service has created waves of happiness between youth”. The conservative’s papers announced today. What does it mean?

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Go out until 3 am. Here you are! Social freedom!

Today police department declared that people by considering Islamic rules people can spend time of leisure until 3 am. Two years ago police passed a bylaw and by that the restaurants and shops had to close after 12p.m.at that time many citizens objected to this rule and said that it is our right to use the midnight opportunity for rest. As many people in Iran and specially in Tehran has more than one job to earn money for their life, their free time to go out with the family is after 11 p.m. I wrote a comment in Hayate no newspaper at that time about this limitation .I wrote that the economical issues never arouse anyone to close shops and stores which can be active and beneficial after midnight. Most of politician believed that it was a political action. “We can not control and keep safe the city after midnight”. Police said. But under the curtain and when you put some of the similar action, you saw it was a project to say “Even after coming president khatami, Social freedom is in our hand”. And it was. Because police, judiciary and military likeness forces like Basij and Sepah could change everything.
But now, a few days after victory of conservatives in parliament election they are trying to say we can give you freedom little by little and if you want social freedom you have to ask it from us. A few days ago banned because they published MPs letter to leader. At the same time they closed some websites. They were not pornographic website who attach to the Islamic values. These are political websites. We have proverb in Persian who said “they treat you to die and when only the fever comes to you, you probably fell satisfy.” But if the meaning of freedom is things like this so why did revolution happened? Shah had made this kind of freedom in all level.(continue)

Conservatives muzzle the Internet during elections



"Iranian authorities have followed official harassment of pro-reformist newspapers with an attack against online news publications, said Reporters Without Borders, which protested at the latest development.
Judge Said Mortazavi announced on 23 February that he would shortly shut down the pro-reformist web site www.emrooz.ws
Calling for the site to be made available again in Iran, the international press freedom organisation said, "The Internet is now regularly used by Iranians to access independent news, despite controls put in place by the authorities.
"We call on conservative judges to halt their ideological censorship of the net, which has clearly intensified during this electoral period."
(Continued...)

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I had a interview with shirin Ebdai a day before going to italy. I publish this interview in a NGOs specialized magazine "Volunteer". It is about the effects of NGOs on womens movement. I will say you the link of the magazine lator

Postcards from Iran: Tehran party


Partygoers wear western clothes and enjoy western music

In the run-up to parliamentary elections in Iran, Pooneh Ghoddoosi of the BBC Persian Service gives a snapshot of an aspect of contemporary life in the Islamic Republic.

Analysis: What now for Iran?

Return of the revolution: Iran's religious right rules the roost again

"Iranian politics has taken a turn to the right, with the defeat of the reformists by resurgent conservatives in Friday's general election.
What now for the reform movement, and for Iran itself?
Four years ago, millions of Iranians swept the reformists into parliament on a tidal wave of hope.
With the presidency already in the hands of the reformist Mohammad Khatami, the expectation was that the reform movement would now be able to make good on the promises given and the hopes aroused

Why didn’t they attend? Why did they attend?

Fashionably-dressed Iranian girls walk in a Tehran mall. Iran's turbulent experiment with reforms was set to be halted, with conservatives and hardliners winning controversial parliamentary elections that most of their reformist rivals were barred from contesting(AFP/Patrick Baz)

A few minutes ago I had e interview with France Radaio (Persian Section). “Why many of Iranian youth didn’t attend in the election?” They asked. And also some question about young people who attended.
Here is a summary of this interview:
1-There are many factors that have effect of attendance in election. The participation of People who were involve in political issues during these days like as journalists, students, and cultural middle class in all ,was very low. They knew what is happening by make the election into two phases.
2-But there are many young people who believe that the political battles during these years had no effect of their life. Some of them say that politician can not change anything. Because they do everything they want. So their votes will be unworthy. It means that reformists had not a social project for youth during these years. A project who we can talk about the beginning and the end. Project who many of youth agreed on it. There was no social project. And so many of youth can not see any mentionable action especially in middle class and poor class.
3-A part of youth believes that the election is a show for Islamic regime to bring people to vote. This pessimistic part is not huge but you can find some of them in Tehran or the other cities… (Continued…)
4-As you heard the number of participant in election in large cities like Tehran and Shiraz and even Kermanshah was between 28 and 33. Most of them were conservatives that believe that participating in election is their religious duty. In the religious and conservatives and whom that earning a living by Islamic regime part, when they ordered them to participate or do anything, their faithful members come and vote. Although many of them are not informed about the reason who are mentioned by reformists of even conservatives group.
5-We have to mention another important part. People that have silent votes and who are not sensitive about the political events and vote occasional. Conservatives with multilateral mechanism such as state TV and radio and religious institution and even municipality gathered their votes. A few days before election municipality informed that they give 1000$ loan to every young man and woman who decided to marry. Is this really the duty of municipality?
6- I think we can talk more about the contribution of voters later. But this common categorizing can be mentioned with little error in large cities.

Last day Tehran was really cold. Very cold. I heard that Shargh newspaper will publish next week. But Yasseno paper won’t publish at all attrony of this paper had a hard argument with judge Mortazavi after closing the paper. It means don’t follow to read Yasseno again. ...

MPs Resignation Started!

"Fatemeh Haqiqatjou, bottom, adjusts her veil as she makes a speech as Iran's speaker of parliament Mehdi Karrubi, top, writes during a session in Tehran on Monday , Feb. 23, 2004. The parliament accepted the resignation of Haqiqatjou, a reformist lawmaker fighting for women rights, with a majority of votes. Haqiqatjou, is one of about 130 reformist lawmakers who resigned earlier this month to protest mass disqualification of liberal candidates."
Resignation of MPs at this moment has a symbolic meaning for politician. They are going out from sovereignty. Like that were done by Abdollah Noori (previous interior minister) and a close man to Ayatollah Khomeini and many influential authorities. Consider that many of MPs that are going to resign are involve in revolution from tiptoe to their necks. I mean they are completely sunken in the revolution. In the last round they leave. What does it mean?
(AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)

Perfidy to people’s votes?

I wrote a comment about the Mr. Roohani decision to close the newspapers. I said that I will write second part soon. Today president khatami said that he was not informed to ban the two newspapers last Wednesday. It means president clearly was not informed it during the decision making. But it is not enough. President khatami has responsibility to defend against any injustice. He really can not shrike too much like the other cases. But I don’t think he try nothing for the newspapers. When leader issued a command to close 18 papers in a day he was silent and did nothing. A few hours ago I was talking with a member of president khatami. “A few years ago the name of khatami was enough for people to pay attention to everything and to follow but in these days when people hear about khatami they don’t feel good. Some of them explicitly say khatami is treacherous. He perfidy to people’s hope. Now they are indifferent…”She said. “Perhaps it is very hard to attract the people to anything in short time at least”.
I like president khatmi yet. Although during his presidency many journalist sent to the jail, and some could never start their life again like it was before. Although many people lost their life for the reform that President promised to create. And Although I think the way to reform has to find a way to continue.

Monday, February 23, 2004

“Mohsen Sazegara” former of Sepah Pasdaran interview with BBC Persian about reformists defeat and disappointment. He says that the Islamic regime constitution has not a capacity for the reforms that they were looking forward it. He also mentions the major problem of regime is deficiency.

the resignation of Fateh Haghighat joo acceoted a few minutes ago

Karrobi and some of the reformists that decided to attend in the parliament’s competition broke the line of reformists. The results of the election shows they only helped the conservatives to make their celebratory weighty and profound. Some of the lawmakers a few days before election objected against Jamileh Kadivar and even Elias Hazraty who resigned during the sit in the parliament but after they qualified to be candidate, they turned their way and….

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Resignation in Parliament


Its 10:20 am. Lawmakers in the parliaments are arguing hard for resignation. A few minutes ago conservative’s lawmakers that in this period are minority mentioned resignation is illegal. Now are fighting there. Mr KArrobi that in the last days was unadventurous now talks radically. Perhaps there is nothing to defend for him.

Here is Niavaran in North of Tehran at 1:00 a.m(coming soon...)



Six Iranian journalist who left Iran during last two years
One of the Conservatives asked them to decide wisely for their future. Amir Mohebbian a conservative’s writer in Resalat paper mentioned that it is time to get closer to people by some practical action. This advice will be at the top of conservative’s action plan.
I am sure that the conservatives that the monopoly of all powerful media is in their control and beside many economical institutions and, will try to show people that we are here to solve your problem. But it is not extraordinary to increase and limit the political sphere.
During the two years some of the Iranian journalist left Iran. Ebrahim nabavi, Masood Behnood, Nooshabeh Amiri, Hooshang Asadi and recently my dear friend Sina Motallebi and Farnaz Ghazizadeh.
A few days go they summoned Shadi Sadr to court. Some of my friends informed me that the court agents called them and asked some questions….Closing Yasseno and Shargh –perhaps- is another message to say some unspeakable points…

Struggle between the numbers"
Reports on television and radio — a state-run monopoly — said that 60 percent of the country's more than 46 million eligible voters had taken part. But the reformist movement, which has struggled unsuccessfully over the last four years to dilute absolute clerical rule, contended on its Web site that its call for a boycott had been at least partly heeded. It said that turnout was between 45 and 47 percent nationwide, and under 30 percent in the major cities..."

Tehran: 32% came to poll box
Today some resources announced before starting election conservatives prepared program to show the participation of people in election more and more. Today after interior ministry said that the percentage of participation in Tehran is 32, guardian council objected about this number and also the population of Tehran and people who could vote. This is for the first that guardian council speaks about Iran or Tehran population. They speak bout everything. It makes no difference: talking about Nuclear weapon or life style or even the duties of women in houses and how to produce vegetables. Talking with no background rally is the legacy of mullahs.
Today the discussion about the population that came to the poll box was increased

Some lawmakers a few days ago in a meeting with President Khatami asked him about the reasons that he didnt go toward resign. President khatami had told them (perhabs with alittle humor) after election theywill send some of the lawmakers to the jail and it is necessary to pull them out....I am here to do it...

There is only one woman between the 200 chosen candidates from Khalkhal.(Ms.Morovvati)
The presence of women in this period in the parliament will decrease.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

From among 168 chosen candidate 110 are conservatives,49 are reformists and 9 candidates are independent.(17:00pm)...

Postponig the democracy, Ganji,Abdi and Mosaddegh


Akbar Ganji Iranian Journalist who sent to the jail by conservatives by talking about serial killing by some of the[...]
Last night I was thinking about the destiny of Akbar Ganji -a brave reformist journalist that after coming president Khatami came to the power-who criticized the conservatives and informed bravely that more than 80 academics, journalists, politicians and intellectuals killed during the period of economic reconstruction. Akbar ganji stood against Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (previous president) who some people say thought that he is the king of Iran and blemished his face as he never could attend in a democratic election and went to a non democratic part of government. They sent Ganji to the jail for more than 6 years. He has passed 4 years. I was thinking about ganji. How is he tonight in the prison after they announce him that Farhad Nazari the commander of police that issued a command to attack against the students 4 years ago and made the tragedy of university, is a lawmaker now and try to make a better Iran? What will he fill? I can not swallow my breath. Ganji and Abbas Abdi are the expenses of reform during the recent years. They are alive and the ways to democracy will countinue Perhaps in new lines and roads. We have to start again and people who will try to play will fundamentalists without pay attention to the background won’t forgive by history in the future. Like Americans that established the coup about 55 years ago against Mosaddegh. So I think it is a similar position. Many of Iranian believes that American postponed the democracy in Iran many years. I think it is better not to repeat this historical mistake again…

“Make Iran as Japan In Islamic world”

Haddad-e-Adel that seems is the first man in the list of candidates in Tehran told that they will try to change Iran like a Japan in Islamic countries. He said also about the progress of Iran. After 25 years old fundamentalists will try to make Iran as a Japan. It means they are trying to focus on the economical issues. The same that was done before by Shah. So at this time I want to ask that if the ideal for the conservatives is to be like Japan so why did they do revolution? Because 25 years ago the distance between Iran and Japan could be fill more easily that today. So if the ideal is to leave out the objectors and opponents and limit the political and social sphere, why we have to endure conservatives?


Iran Right Sweeps to Win Over Shackled Reformists

"Conservatives Sweep Iran's Elections "

The percentage of voters in Tehran according to the last announced is about 28 and 30. In small cities and provinces between 100 parliament’s seats, about 80 75 seat is in the hand of conservatives. At this time a few minutes to 12, Mr.Karrobi has gotten the rank of 45.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Shirin Ebadi in Italy


A few days ago I had an interview with Shirin Ebadi the winner of nobel peace prize. It was interesting. She was in a big hurry because she was going to Italy. Before me and my colleague a French journalist from Lo monde was there. Ebadi talked shortly. Now she is in Italy.... She talks about the conformity of Islam and human right. But after a non democratic parliament election in Iran I dont know how she can talk about it more. When she talks about Islam and democracy clerics become satisfied but she don’t pay attention to hejab and for example shaking with men. Points that are important part of Islam for the Iranian slerics and if you separate Hejab and things like that it is hard to distinguish the Islamic government. Ebadi has a good potential for go ahead. Clerics dont know what they can do with her?....I hope she can follow the file of Zahra Kazemi in the court well,where judge Mortazavi is against him. Judge Mortazvi is the same man that closed more than 18 papers 4 years ago in a day. He closed 2 newspapers last Thursday.
Some people think that she is brave enough to be a leader for human rights reform in the early future or even more…
Mohsen Armin MP, a few days after killing this journalist shouted in the parliaments against judge Moratazavi and charged him about interference in her killing.

"Iran Elections Point to Conservative Wins”
I was thinking that is it really a victory? They are preparing themselves to celebrate the results, but I think the election has many conclusions that will never have positive message for Islamic government will talk about later but mention that in a play with no serious rival victory is only deceit. But they used the state broadcasting for advertising conservatives candidates very well…I think for the reform movment in iran two side was interesting to follow its way to the end. Less number in votes and conservatives win and also make one-handed the government. It incline them.....

Islamic regime attempts to say the number of people in the election was incredible. This number is vital for the populist regime which people only for giving their votes only to the selected candidates shows them. I saw more than 12 ballot-boxes. In north of Tehran many of them were not crowded. In south in some cases it was more crowded. But we can not really compare this election with the previous one. Never. But I am sure that they will celebrate their show with any analyze and result….
I think it is good to see the institutional configuration of power in iran in picture below:

Rooydad website that is belong to the participation front part(Reformists part) informed that presence of people for voting in Kurd provinces and Mashhad was not good and the number in Tehran was less than 30 percent.

“Nasim e Saba” closed. “NAsim e Saba” was categorized in reformists papers camps.

Shargh won’t publish tomorrow but following up publishing this news paper is continuing. But be sure that “Yasse no” never publish again. Last day the lawyer of this paper had a serious argument with judge Mortazavi in the court.
Now at 19:20 a few minutes before finishing the election time, there are many contradictory reports about. A few minutes later I attend in live roundtable in BBC Persian that is hold by Masoud Behnood. Now ...

Shargh newspaper will publish tomorrow

Yesterday license holder of shargh newpaper sent a apologize letter to judge Mortazavi and sait they made a mistake to publish the lawmakers letter to leader and that letter was illegal....

Administry of justice cloed the office of participation front party( the reformist party) in Tehran last evening.

Why did Sheikh Hassan Roohani do it?
Looking on the conservatives political behaviors? (Part one)

Tonight conservatives closed the office of the participation front party. Last morning I went to see yasseno newspaper with some foreign journalist to see the building of paper. The justice administration locked the door and they made film and took some picture of this event. It was unbelievable for the journalist that why Sheikh Hasan e Roohani who is trying to make a good figure of him self and show a picture of next president interfere in the process of closing the papers? Why did he issue a demand for papers not to publish MPs letter to leader as secretariat of supreme Security Council? If he is the next president or they are trying to show this so why the conservatives burn their card? Aren’t they smart enough? Journalists that follow the Iranian changes ask these questions frequently. But what is really happening? But as the other subject let me tell you this is a complicated issue to analyze. As the other issues about them is like this. But at this time perhaps it is not bad to be a little closer in these questions and consider some answers. Why? Really, why you can not predict the cleric’s political action?
Let’s talk about it from the last to the beginning:
1-The clerics are not predictable because of many reasons. First of all they have learned the lessons of politics in streets and behind the pulpit, not in university. They have learnt it by experience but not a systematic process. They have learnt it by correct and error but not systematically thinking and acting. So if you want predict them as an academic politician, be sure that you will make a big mistake. Therefore they pay for some actions more than they have to. They get to their purposes with prices that are not really beneficial. For example they try to make some opportunities for bargaining in international atmosphere by access to nuclear power, but as they don’t know the players in this playground they surprise by some reaction and not only become powerless to bargain, but also forced to ignore all their expenses in this way. Suddenly this case that they think is an important issue to seat behind the desks changes its face as a big treat for nation and even themselves. You can find many similar like this in their political life. They are predictable because they don’t know the rules of politic. So they can do everything and astonish people and the others. Are they complicated? Yes, they are.
2-Why did Mr. Roohani Issue the oral demand to deputy of Culture Ministry (Ershad) to ask the papers not to publish lawmakers letter? Isn’t he enough smart to pass this critical point silently? Perhaps he is. But at that time only he could do this. Consider that in conservative’s camps they act according to order of hierarchy. So when “A” say do this, “B” or “C” do it immediately. Sometimes it is not beneficial for the persons. But they do it. On the other hands when they are in danger the hierarchy support them completely. Remember the story of Zahra Kazemi who killed cruelly by […] and even when the MPs shouted in majles against the judge Mortazavi to answer about it, nothing happened. Or remember the destiny of serial killing 6 years ago. Or remember the destiny of many economical file in the courts. What happened for them? Nothing. Because they support their balls in this play. So Mr. Roohani had to announce the paper not to publish lawmaker’s letter. Clerics showed to the world that they seldom think about the public opinion when they are in danger. So exactly a day before election they close two popular reformists paper. Yaseno and shargh. Is it wisely? Yes (in their mind)! Because when the reformists start to send letters to leader they will never stop it. What does it mean? It means that they can pull down the sacred position of him, that is made by millions and millions dollars. So they have to stop this and Mr. Rohani is coolie for this action. Nothing more. .(End of part one)
3-Be sure that closing the newspaper is a part of their project to make one-handed the parliament and the regime. After didn’t confirm the reformist’s candidate, after the challenges and letters that sent, beside by hearing the gossips about cheating and issuing many ID card …it shows they are doing their project part by part. Who knows?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Last Supper for reformist lawmakers


What do you think about the atmosphere surrounding the elections in Tehran? Today is Thursday and like any other weekend the streets are full of young people going to restaurants or taking walks in the park. The time for campaigning for the elections is over and you can see the pictures of the candidates on the walls. Not a lot of people are paying too much attention. During these days conservatives tried every method to encourage people to participate in the election. They announced all the time on the TV and radio that is their religious and spiritual duty to vote. They showed many interviews with people in the streets who will take in part in the election. But as in the past, many citizens know that all of these things are just for show. It is hard to believe the conservatives use these mechanisms to mobilize people in the streets 25 years after the revolution. If you pay attention to the words of conservatives you can only hear the word “people” not “citizens”. Do you know why? Because they don’t believe in the rights of the citizen. They only believe in the rules of a populist political system and nothing more.
I guess the number of people that will actually vote in the election in Tehran will be between 20 and 30 per cent ,and in the provinces about 50- 70, due to the issue of ethnicity. The conservatives crave to have more than 50 percent. Just 1 percent more than 50 and they will celebrate.
Will tonight will be the last supper for reformist lawmakers? Or conservatives? Who knows?

Last night judiciary authorities asked the two reformists newspaper not to publish the paper next day. At that time they didn’t tell anything about the reasons. But today after the command of administration of justice it is clear why? They mentioned in the issued command the role of lawmakers’ letter to leader. The newspapers put their foot over the redlines. Why? Because the leader is the redline.

It is 2:27 am and i am in sock.........
.....

Two reformist papers closed

This moment two reformist newspapers “yasseno” and “shargh” closed. One of my friends sent me a message and told me the bad news. It seems the last day is very important for conservatives that could not bear the papers to tell the people about the ordered election….It is because of publishing the letter of lawmakers to leader that in it they mentioned who is “thick-neck”? This word was used by him before. They attacked to supreme leader quietly. Guardian Council or reformists? People who don’t respect the votes of people or whom who are against people in any cases? What will they do next? ...Closing websites? Arresting the political men?
After retreat of president khatami and Mr, Karrobi, this action probably shocks the reformists. Khatami left his friends alone. Now khatami by his behavior shows that no one could count on his reaction. A few days ago he said:”I will insist om defending everyone that his rights has been stampeded. After that his managers and ministers resigned. But president khatami never follow them…it seems president khatami has finished for continuing there form for the next step…. But reforms will be continued. Who can give an answer to the end of these kind of carelessness? .......

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

The conservatives way to incresing their votes....

...

.

Lawmakers: A letter to leader

36 hours to ordered election…



A few hours before election I.R.I.B (Iranian TV channel) that is belonging to conservatives, advertise attending in election in early Friday in the middle and the end of programs. Fundamentalists know that this election has more function than the other elections before. Many people believe that in this election Islamic regime showed the real face of the mixing the clerics to politics… in this election more than the others gossip about cheating in number of votes hour to hour is increased….unbelievable.
What is the picture of next parliament?


Tuesday, February 17, 2004

SMS Objection Movement

During the recent days after starting time for advertising for MPs or lawmakers, people in Iran receive many SMS messages which ask them not to attend in election .the message was:” Votes box is a coffin for freedom. Don’t attend in the funeral of freedom”. Last day I was attending in a meeting with some of my friends and colleagues. During this short meeting we received afew SMS messages that mentioned not to attend in election. First of we though a friend of us is playing with others. But no one was sending the message. All last day I received many SMS not to attending in ordered election. It was very interesting for some of the journalists that have come to Iran for covering the news of election. People that send the messages for their friends or unknown numbers suggest them to send the message to others. Some people say that this method of objection is the same like Philippine when Estrada was in power. They believe a part of power that acted against the former president of Philippine was this kind of resistance and
Objection. It seems after weblogs that had many affect on publishing the ideas and expressing Iranian people view, SMS messages are getting another instrument to distribute the opinion. 25 years ago Islamic regime came to the power by using the effects of leaf sheets and radio. But today in the information society and use network there are other instruments that clerics never can....

Sunday, February 15, 2004

The number of Journalists and filmmakers is increased during the recent days. Today the declaration of European parliaments was very strong against the conservatives. I will talk about it more later...,....

Valentine Day and Iranian youth

Last day was valentine Day. Many streets of Tehran, shops, stors and shopping centers were full of people who were coming to the street to buy something for anyone who loved him or her. Perhaps it is incredible for the Islamic clerics that 25 years ago establish an Islamic republic to export their ideals to the world. At this time they are importing values that never advertised for it.

After the revolution the clerics forced people to use HEJAB as an Islamic symbol for decreasing connection between men and women and so to control the sexual energy of the nation. Any relation between men and women was interdicted and forbidden by hardliners in the street and every where that their agents and solider could see it. 25 years after revolution the exe head of National youth organization say that more than 50 percent of Iranian youth have girlfriend of boy friend and are proud with it. So when we compare the number of people in the anniversary of revolution and people that were involved in valentine day, it is hard to say which one was welcomed more?
When someone comes to a street of Tehran especially where youth gather, ask the same question that was mentioned by Mr. Karrobi, Head of parliament a few month ago during a battle between reformists and conservatives. He said, “Lets tell people why did we start the revolution?” youth asks these days really “why?” all that were thrown out and vomited, know is eaten again. There is no secret, there is nothing to hide, and here you are: Islamic Revolution!
Photo describtion:
Iranian women look for Valentine's Day gifts in Tehran, February 14, 2004. Iranian youths are becoming increasingly attracted to Valentines Day celebrations, to the dismay of Iran's conservative leadership. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl




Saturday, February 14, 2004

The election competition began two day s ago but the sphere is cold and as the Governmental TV and radio advertise to attend in it all the time, people are not sensitive about is.......

Friday, February 13, 2004

Today I have to work hard on our center website .Have you seen it before?

There is some question about the situation of political forces after the ordered parliament established. What will the reformists do at that time? What is the destiny of democracy? What is the destiny of clerics? Have we the happy ending.....or uneasy one?

The way to respect people.Is is a caricature of my friend Hadi Heidary

What a huge supporter...

Islamic regime Officials informed that Iranians attended in a gathering to mark the 25th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2004 and described it incredible. They love to show the numbers of people that come to the street. This is one the populistic specialty of conservatives that maneuver against the civil society and political parties with this number. They say the number of Islamic regime supporter; increase every year, But It is enough to walk only for an hour in the street or talk to the people. Specially, in these days the clerics deleted a large number of reformists in the competition for parliament. They gave no chance to some of the lawmakers that most of them are involved in revolution from beginning to now. Men and women that are called revolution’s Childs. They can not bear even a part of their body. You can imagine what the situation of other people is. You can find many people here that have no chance to participate in their society or even in economy issues. So when the Islamic cleric talk about people and citizens that point to a 10percent of people. Now monopoly of advertising with TV and Radio let them to say everything and give any number. But no one has forgotten the destiny of Saddam Hussein. He was the winner of and election with more than 99 percent. At that time many people in Iran believed that Saddam is popular in Iraq, but he was not….

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Today is the 25th anniversary of "22 Bhaman".(Victory of Revolution).Woh. I fell sleep. I am reading a book about “Global Activists". What a day.

American Dream!

This photo is published by AP in internet.Idont know what is its relation to the iranian society events....
Photo Describtion"Dr. Henry Kissinger, then-U.S. presidential national security adviser, seated, wearing eyeglasses, is flanked by Prime Minister of Iran Abbas Howeida, seated left, and U.S. foreign affairs assistant Joseph Sisco, seated right, as they watch a belly dancer in a hotel in Tehran, Iran, in this May 12, 1972, file photo. In Tehran in the early 1970's, miniskirts were the rage among women and sexy cinema posters were ubiquitous, although many considered them offensive. Now, women in Tehran must cover themselves from head to foot in public to abide by an Islamic dress code. (AP Photo/File)"

Charles effort for humanitarian aids


Dear Charile,
Let me tell you something. Many journalist and politicians are in the jail because the Islamic regime can not bear them. Many of students are hurt and injured by conservatives and a few days ago leader issued a command that most of the reformist deleted from the election. The action that in the beginning of third millennium, no one can believe it. But at that time prince Charles that is the symbol for colonization in Iran, entered. Exactly when people are going to boycott the election. Prince probably takes counsel with the foreign minister experts and knows that who has the benefits? In one view it means that Britain accept the legitimacy of the governing body in the recent days. In a view, of course. This is a view that is follow by many people. Anyway, last day one of my friend was describing the memorial about the Americans and Britain: "A few weeks ago in a meeting an American journalist asked British journalist that why don’t you have problem with shiee in Iraq but we have many problem with them and they kill our soldiers and...... The British journalist says because we do our job for 100 years but you have started new..." this is a symbolic answer that means British politicians know how to do everything . I am optimist. I appreciate price Charles effort for humanitarian aids and hope the note you mentioned be the exact point.

"Support for the reformers"

One of my friends Charlie,Sent me a comment and announced that perhabs the real cause for thePrince Charles’s trip to Iran is to support the reformer. and after that gave me a link to look at an other view. Thanks Charlie: " Omid:
You are absolutely correct that there are political implications to Prince
Charles' visit to Iran, but I think they are closer to the views of the BBC's
Paul Reynolds
in his piece yesterday.
He sees the visit as acknowledging Iran's importance in the world and, as a
European, to counterbalance our Bush administration's view that it is a part of
the "Axis of Evil." Also, his calling on Khatami provides (an admittedly mild)
support for the reformers. It will be interesting to see who else in the Iranian
government Charles has contact with, and how publically these contacts are
announced.

Why Prince Charles came to Iran?

Why Prince Charles came to Iran? What is the result of this historic trip for political forces? Untimely trip has many meaning for analysts. Who can believe that the consultants of king haven’t told him about the situation of Iran in political affairs? Who can believe that a few days after a most non democratic order in the world, prince of England come to country only by humanitarian purposes?
Is it really historical distrust to English political or it means that across the tendency of Mullahs to dictatorship and monarchy and Islamic Sultanism, or is a strategic decision for the Britains to outstrip the chances in Iran against US officials? Is there any promise for the conservatives? Can we tell that this is symbolic message? As we know prince is the head of Oxford Islamic studies center? IS this a good beginning for conservatives? Is this a same wrong step for Britain like the same Americans done it near the revolution? Who knows…?

The Government's royal gift to the ayatollahs


"Should the Government allow the Prince of Wales to be placed in the invidious position of calling upon President Khatami of Iran? Ministers must surely be aware that the visit might turn out to be used as propaganda by a theocratic regime that has been waging psychological warfare on the people since the Islamist Revolution of 1979...".(continued)

Last day was boring day. I met some of my friends that all were in shock about the last events that happend during these days. No one they can believe the reaction of President khatami....All day I was depressed. How ever I think this transformation can have many outputs for Iranian nation. First of all I think the boundaries between people and non democratic part of government got clear enough. Secondly, with this constitution, democratic reform in Iran is impossible. Thirdly, the next step for realistic reformist is referendum. Perhaps it makes the opposition in Iran and out of Iran near to each other.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Destiny of Khatami

There is some limited chioce face of president khatami after the leader command against reformist that meant leaving out or deleting from government. Resignation, Sit beside the conservatives, not to hold the election and challenge with them or...? What do you think....I have heard that Khatami preferred to be silent. He won’t that falling happen in his period. One time when he was a minister he resigned and showed how he was under the pressure of Hezbollah hidden forces. Can he do it for the second as a president? The picture shows his going out from his office. On the door has written exit-entrance....a symbol for the president

Islamic Caliphate instead of Islamic Republic

The command of leader about holding the election with all of ommited or deleted candidates, finished an Islamic Republic of Iran and Began the Islamic Caliphate of Iran. Of course from beginning of Islamic revolution the clerics could do everything even it was against the people request. But when leader two days ago issued an order about stopping the confirmation of the candidates and attacked to reformists and called them as "thick-necked" men, and changed the balance of power to conservatives and guardian council side, Republicanism died completely. Today, four reformists that 2 of them are journalists, recalled to court. One of them is a women activist. I think this is the beginning. Beside, I was talking with one of the khatamis family about destiny of voting and reaction of President Khatami. She told me Mr. Khatamis reaction about the leader command is inconceivable abnormal. I understood that president’s family is in shock by his decision about holding the election. But I think President khatami know that the Islamic regime has the potential for repression like the events in 1981-1982. They had a experience of revolution. So he know the next step for reformists was to talk about the....... but if they did, the conservatives that judiciary, sepah and Basij(two conservatives military forces) and so on, are ready to attack. I really feel it. The atmosphere here is very massive and weighty. So at this time analyzing the situation is very hard. But when i look at the destiny of Akbar ganji,Abbas Abdi,Hossein ghazian,Hashem Aghajary and many many people that in these years sent to the jail and some of them like these names even now are in the prison, then I can not tell you about my feeling...
Let’s talk more about it later

Friday, February 06, 2004

Far from democracy

Last Round: Hezbollah is coming


A few hours ago, Guardian Council informed that 206 of candidates for parliaments confirmed. This is the last list for confirmation. No one of the political activist and famous lawmakers are between them. Only 12 of lawmakers that were in long sit-in that was finished Thursday have confirmed. Lawmakers have said that they will resign and leader speech will have not effect on their decision. Reformists announced that the election is not lawful and legitimate. But Islamic regime has shown many times that legitimacy is not its concern. People means for them only 15 percent of population. I heard that President Khatami is going to hold the election in this situation….bad for democracy….
Today guardian council held a gathering with their supporter that were more than 30000.They say if leader say day is dark and night is lighted we accept. They really can attack to libraries, Bookstores, people who are opposite and critic them. They are coming. Witnesses reported that they gathered many bus (more that 200) in Tehran from all of the provinces too show off their power.

What will the reformists do after leader supported the guardian council? It is clear for everyone that leader support guardian council and wont pay attention to the reformists request ....I could not believe that the leader frankly defend them....people and reformist request for free election in one side, leader guardian council and conservatives another side.which side is heavier?

President Khatami has to choose

MP from Sanandaj (Iran province) said if President Khatami holds the election, it will be disloyalty and treachery for humanity in the history that is done by the name of Islam. i think this a hard reaction against the leader speech that mentioned that it is obligatory to hold the voting and threatened the reformists and said resignation is a part of enemies program. Now I think the final card is Mr. Katami .If they ask people to do something seriously and come toward citizens, he can change the play. It is correct that many people are not satisfied by Khatamis reaction to political events but even now, they have confident and certain with him. Khatami is silent. But I think he has to choose one way: Be confident for people of going to the Fundamentalists camp…Presidents choice is vital for reformist in next days

The picture shows a woman who is excited during Presidents speech in university.

Leader Said resignation is unlawful and prohibited. So the 125 reformist lawmakers that resigned a few days ago, at this time not only haven’t achieved their request but also threatened by leader. Some of the militant conservatives threatened the resigned officials to revolutionary reaction and behavior. It means, if they carry out their resign, perhaps they arrest the MPs. It has happen in these years for several.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

My friend called me a said two newspapers will close next week.

An Iranian candidate for Oscar Award


Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, born in Iran, but living in Britain is a candidate for oscar award. Many of iranian follow her news and are really hopeful for her winning.In recent years some of the Iranian films were candidate for Oscar awards but no one of them could win it. She can be he first Iranian that can Aghdashloo won the association's best supporting actress award for her role in the film 'House of Sand and Fog.
The nominees for best supporting actress in the 76th annual Academy Awards, announced Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2004, in Beverly Hills, Calif., are, from left: Renee Zellweger , 'Cold Mountain'; Patricia Clarkson, 'Pieces of April'; Shohreh Aghdashloo, 'House of Sand and Fog'; Holly Hunter , 'thirteen' and Marcia Gay Harden , 'Mystic River.' (AP Photo)

What a sunny day.

Referendum....!

Many Iranian believe that referendum can be solving the challenges. They say lets people say what they want, what they choose and what they want to do. Fundamentalists that power institutions and hidden power is in their hand never let people for referendum. They know really what people want...


An Iranian pro-reform student holds a sign of referendum during a student gathering at Tehran's Amir Kabir University, Feb.3, 2004. Iran's supreme leader opposes postponing the Feb. 20 elections, siding with hard-liners in a crisis that has paralyzed the nation's political system, a prominent lawmaker told The Associated Press Tuesday


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Today I have to write a proposal for a seminar about the relation between "NGOs and media".I will be very busy....

It is 6:oo am. Am. I can not countinue sleeping. I began to looking in the websites and...

What a legitimacy…The governments of angels

What a bad moments. I was hearing to the speech of the supreme leader about the election and the role of enemies for postponing it. He said some sentences that I was astonished. It is really too hard too anticipate what will happen next. Today the reformist were not satisfied about the meeting between Ayatollah Khameneyee and President khatami and Mr.Karrobi that was held last night. Supreme leader charged reformists that are under the influence of foreign forces as he always uses the word “Enemy” for it. Enemy? Who can believe that the belief of free election is the enemy’s request? Who believe that many confusions and disorganizations in our country are caused by enemies? The governments of angels. All things that are wrong caused by “enemy” ….Who believe to this …..What does it mean participating in a election that many people can not attend and many of them never confirmed. Because they are not in the family….Today I was talking with one of the officials who involves in poll process at 20 of Feb. She told me the number of participants in Tehran will be less that 20 percent….What legitimacy…The governments of angels….Woh!


Supreme leader condemn the reformist
Today a day after President Khatami Meeting with Ayatollah Khameneyee, He spoke against the reformists that had talked about resignation. He said that the election must be hold at the distinguished time.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

.

Monday, February 02, 2004

The way to democracy changes its direction

What is the next step?

What is the next step? This is the main and vital question among the reformist parties in Iran. What will they do after resignation and what will the conservatives do with them?
Today Participation front Party informed that they will not attend in the election and referendum is final destination for the political players. They asked for postponing the election but guardian council say that it is against the rule and law.
At the present time it seems that time is against the reformist to make people sensitive about the election and of course following the reform movement.
In public where people are not politicized by continually dispute between political players, resignation of the reformist has made them sensitive about the result. Perhaps the conservatives say that this is the same that we talk about it. But the reality is that people have the full of meaning objection that is shown by obstinacy against the Islamic regime. Conservatives believe if they capture the power they can give more social freedom to the citizens and even open a little more the borders to the world. But as the Islamic regime is, they will probably limit the political sphere and even press the social and political activists. However, I believe, the conservatives try to stop the radical part of Islamic fundamentalists. In all, the serious battle between two side of reformist and fundamentalists-conservatives in going to the last round. Who will win the play? Will reformist be radical? Is there any chance to formation of a strong opposition in the Islamic regime, is the next questions that will find its response soon.

Roohani and Zarif: What are they bargaining in overseas?
Coming Soon….

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Zarif and Americans MPS meeting


"Iran's foreign minister insisted there were no plans here to receive a delegation of US officials, just days after a US senator announced a group of congressional aides were to make a historic visit this month.” Said Dr.Kharazi, Iranian foreign minister. But In Tehran analysts believe that the meeting was matched with high ranking officials in Tehran. USATODAY mentioned that “Iran is considering admitting a U.S. congressional delegation in what would be the first official U.S. visit since Iran's 1979 revolution”.Zarif An Iranian Diplomat that admire by many of officials and is a man that believed that is able to negotiate with Americans in a appropriate level.

"It is not planned," Kamal Kharazi told reporters Sunday, and his comments were later echoed by foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi.follow the news: "Parliamentary delegations are not coming to Iran. It is not planned and it is not in our agenda," Asefi said in his weekly press conference. On Friday a US senator announced that a group of congressional aides were to go to Iran in February on the first official US visit there since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Senator Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, said the visit could set the stage for a later mission by US lawmakers. The United States severed relations with the Islamic government in Iran in 1980 following a crisis over hostages seized from the US embassy in Tehran. …”

Perhabs in the early days because of Iranian political crisic, we hear new news from efforts to improve tha relation between US and Iran. ...


Election And Resignation of reformist MPs

TEHRAN-" More than a third of Iran's parliament resigned Sunday, escalating a bitter political row on the 25th anniversary of the return from exile of the founding father of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini."



This is picture of Ayatollah Jannati the head of Guardian Council. A man who many people think that is a the most extremist in the conservatives camp. He didn’t accept to confirm the candidate for parliaments and a few days to election country confront a serious crisis. The question between the people in these days is" Can this battle finalize the destiny of Islamic regime to one side, Reformist way our fundamentalist’s way?

40 days after Bam earthquake

The mourning of 40 days passed after earthquake, will hold in Bam Tuesday. At this time the emergency needs has passed, but the Iranian officials are trying to change the situation of life for the people there. Establishing Bath system lavatory system is one the aim of the foreigners groups that are active in this region yet like Oxfam international. A group of journalists and artists will go to Bam for this mourning



Lets talk alittle about NGOs activities after this tragedy accured:. Some powerful charities immediately joined to the Bam people to send out the injured. One of them rent a helicopter for its activities. A day after disaster foreign aids came rapidly from many countries and Iranian officials accepted it immediately. USAID attend in Bam two days after earthquake with thousands of tons support.It was very interesting for many Iranians that Americans were mobilized and equipped completely.They done their job well....Two NGOs that are working in rehabilitation and children, mobilized their equipment to help the injured and children rapidly. It was only a few hours after the tragedy that they could attend in Bam and help people. Many of youth tried to join this help mobilizing at once to promote a campaign to help the afflicted people. Somehow, NGOs tried to find a way to help. This disaster aroused the sense of solidarity between people all around the Iran and the world.
Two networks of NGOs created during the first week after disaster to coordinate the process of giving help to the people and of course to collecting the aids and establish some aid stations in Bam. One of these networks is formed by Women NGOs and another is formed by some distinct NGOs such as NGOs that working on children, environment, NGOs resource centers, rehabilitations centers and so on.
Mny of NGOs members went to the region during the first week for need assessment. They worked on a short term and long term needs. So first of all they mobilized their potential capacities for short term needs. For instance One Women NGO, distributed protective gloves in Bam a few days after disaster. They assessed that the need for protective gloves for those people that are clearing out
debris thereby avoiding further injury is a emergent need.
NGOs Network has established two tents for coordination the NGOs activities and every one from NGOs could stay in bam in this place. After establishing the tents, a ten member’s team went to BAM every day to give psychological assistances for five days. Most of them were women that were specialized in this field. Some of the NGO members that went to bam helped the medical teams from the other country. The played a role as translator, nurse or co-workers.