Omid Memarian

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A few days ago I was watching CNN’s coverage of Bush’s speech at his Texas ranch. He was talking about the Iranian Ahmadinejad administration’s decision to begin the Uranium enrichment activities at Isfahan Uranium plant. Bush had nothing to say; He was just about to cry. Bush administration has lately been passive towards Iran’S nuclear ambition and possible threats that they have been talking about for years. It is Evident that the Bush administration does not have a clear approach towards other issues conserning Iran such as human rights, terrorism or even the much debated missile program. The Bush administration seem to have given up on the struggle with the high clerics of Iran. It would be of no surprise in the coming future if we see a change in arguments for the advantage to have a close relation with iran.

In Iran, many of inttelectuals quess that there are many similarities between the Bush administration and Iranian regime. So because the similarities, it is confusing for Bush blind administraion to confront with poeple who have the same tactics and strategy at their policy makeing methods. For instance both of theses administrations think that's a god will to expand thier missions around the world. The Iranian Islamic officials try to export the Islamic regime to the world as a god's will and the Americans are trying to export democracy as a God will. Both of them ignore the pubilc opinion. (I will finish this comment tomoroow...)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Division Among Ideologues
Published on Rooz online daily

“By appointing individuals to government Ministries, some perhaps have wrongly concluded that the appointees need not engage in policy planning and intellectual engagement, but simply to implement what the president has thought through.” These are not the words of opposition politicians in Iran or reformists, whom conservative newspaper Kayhan calls individuals who “cannot speak calmly, judge fairly and talk without being angry”, but the words of the chairman of the Culture Committee of the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) when speaking about ideologues and ideology driven politicians.

Professor Afroug, the sociologist, who visited the president along with members of the Culture Committee of Majlis, views the cabinet ministers that have been presented to the Majlis for confirmation as “executive agents”, meaning they only receive and carry out orders. In the same meeting, president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said “the formation of the next government will depend on the internal, performance as well as on the executive and scientific performance of the members.” He further said that uniformity, single mindedness and unity in purpose shall constitute the nature of the new government, adding that he hoped the problems of the country will be resolved with their brave decisions and scientific programs.

Only a day after the explicit criticism of Khoshchehreh, another ideologue, of the role of the power and wealth mafia on the president’s selection of his cabinet members, Dr Afroug responded to Ahmadinejad’s statement about his expectations from the cabinet members, in the following words: “I used to think that each and every one of the twenty one individuals selected to lead a government agency, would be the most powerful, effective, and strategic thinking person. He then called on the Majlis representatives to be very careful in their decisions to confirm or reject the cabinet posts warning that if the wrong decision is made, the country will be thrown into more challenges and tension. This is the very same Majlis that political analysts have said will confirm the cabinet ministers, even if their biography and accomplishments do not exceed a single paragraph.
While the traditional conservatives and ideologues who, connect to the central circle of technocrats in a very lose way, were under the impression that the advice of Majlis deputies and religious “elders” would be decisive in the selection of at least some of the cabinet members, eventually had to form a group comprising three representatives of conservative and right wing ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, three representatives of the president, and three Abadgaran members from Tehran’s City Council to come up with a list of cabinet ministers.

The plan to bring the Abadgaran who have close ties to the notorious elements of the intelligence community that had a direct hand in the serial killings of dissidents, on board had already been reveled before this. When a few days before the presidential elections of last June the rug was pulled from under one of the ideologue candidates, the process of filtering out the non-inner circles elements became clear, indicating that serious differences exist even among apparently single minded ideologues and conservatists. The second phase of this filtering was more difficult to implement due to the uniformity of the Majlis and conservative groups who had waited for eight years to take control of the executive branches of the state. The project of “unity of purpose and heart” that Ahmadinejad had proclaimed would fail with the slightest mistake and create the rift that it was created to avoid. So the list of cabinet members was sealed behind doors that could disregard opinions and “advice” of those Parliamentarians and ideologues that did not belong to the inner security-military establishment. The ten cabinet level nominees who instead of high government or even private sector experience carry powerful security and military baggage some of whom have only seen a lower government bureaucrat as their highest boss, is the product of this agreement. Mesbah Yazdi sends his students and Ahmadinejad’s friends to the key government Ministries, including Intelligence and Guidance.

The warnings of the chairman of Majlis’ Culture Committee are made under these circumstances. He preaches to a president who does not listen to anybody’s advice in these words: “Those around the president have either not conferred with him or have not made their opinions known.” “My concern is doubled when I know that these words have already been communicated to the president, without any consideration on his part, thus leading to the presentation of this weak cabinet.” The chairman openly criticizes the choices of the president revealing the division within their ranks, something that was not supposed to happen before the vote on the cabinet ministers.
He continues his criticism by explaining the difference between “yes men” and policy makers, as cabinet ministers. Since these words are similar to those of Majlis deputy Mohammad Attrian who was immediately rebuffed by the ultra conservative Kayhan newspaper, one should expect the same response to the chairman’s statements from the enlightened editors of Kayhan.

Whatever the outcome, the criticism and the way it has been carried out demonstrates the deep division within the ranks of the ideologues and ideology driven politicians with possibly more resistance towards the president in the coming days. Afroug even predicts that if the president does not modify his cabinet candidates, then the ministries themselves will undertake the task of pushing the unaccepted cabinet ministers out.

Conservatists against conservatists is the theme now. And this is really the message that the Culture Committee chairman is sending to the president, who is not playing the game by the set rules. With the internal competition intensifying, will we be seeing a wider divide in which yet another group within the ideologues responds to grasp still more power for itself, or will the conservatists remain quiet so as to portray the image of “unity in hearts” as the president had predicted

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Iranian President Interoduced his cabinet to the parliament. Most of them have experiences at the intteligence service and also Military institution. Many poeple here are socked by the suggested ministers. Some of the are tollaty low profile to govern the Ministries. No woman is at th cabinet too. I have written 2 comments about the circumstances that formed the suggested cabinet names in roozonline. I am going to talk about this issue more.....

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Creation of Hate

Today some Iranian Stıdents protested against the UK embassy in Tehran to show their hate about what this country and the other western countries have done during the war between Iran and Iraq(1980-1989). Look at thier faces. Are they Civil Society activists that organized the protest non governmentally? or they are organised by the gorernmental and Islamist oranizations? Who are they?

I think we don't need much time to recognize the new changes in Iran. For us everything is clear. After revolution that's the Islamist groups that organize these kind of protest that is exactley the voice of the government. To be precise, a part of government. It shows a creation of hate against the west between the youth generation. The conservatives work on this issue as we can see the similiar models in the middle east. i think the most dangerous think for the Future is not the concerns about the Nuclear Weapons. it is about extrimist who potentially can be sucide bombers. it is the hate that is created. I really fear about the youth who enter to this road. However many poeple in Iran dont believe at these kind of activity. But this voice, as the civil society is gettin weak and controled, is getting stronger. That a real threat for the Iranian Society.

here is my Stroy about the Iranian Civil Society at Roozonline pro reformist website . i have talked about the concerns of civil soceity and what is happening in this arena.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Bush And Ahmadinejad Drink Coffee at White house

US has let the new Iranian president to go to US next month. I think the American officials, especially President Bush are confused about Iranian new government. I was listening the Bush allegations about the Iranian decision to start the Isfahan enrichment program. He was absolutly confused what to say. And I think now, they understand whom they are facing with. Iran clearly is following the nuclear program and Americans have no agenda to confront with this issue. iran refused the European proposal becasue the conservatives knew that all they are saying is just show off and no sanction or other preventable tools can stop Iran and they International community must give them mor advantages, That's the point that Americans didn't understand. I dont know who give advises to the american authurities but I know the way that they have chosen, just impower fundimentalism in Iran.

They have talked about putting the Iranian case on the UN table nut everybody knows that becasue of the oil price and as Iran is the second producer of oil after Suadi Arabia, they can not.
IAEA has told Iran to stop enrichment. I think they are joking. Now,the ball is at the European countries playground. look at the Hezbollah letter to Iranian society and imagine whom I ma talking about . So, Imagine such a hardliner groups has acces to nuclear..... Imagine that!

p.s: Perhaps President Bush has decided to talk with Mr. Ahmadinejad to solve their problems with Iran.(really?) perhaps he is going to invite the Iranian president to white house for a coffee. who knows? when you have no agenda and principles in politic, you can help drink tea with somebody and at the same time, you can plan for colapsing him. like the same that happend for Iraq. So look forward the reasons that poeple in middile east have no confidence to the American Policies about what is happening in middle east.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Heroes and Iranian Society

In recent years much has been said about the notion that the period of heroes in Iranian society has passed. Perhaps President Khatami’s emphasis that he is not a hero has added to this trend. In my opinion the presence or absence of individuals who are raised to the status of a hero depends on idealism and look to the future, rather than the realities of a society or the trends in it. In fact, we like our society to be at such a developed state that socio-political change would not need supermen and their extra-ordinary deeds. In other words, it should not be necessary to risk a life to have a law or a government program changed. Our ideal is that social change is carried out through social and political institutions. A society in which power is transparent while corruption, in any of its variations, costly.

SHahraf rafzadeh, Akbar Ganji, I and Roozbeh Mirebrahimi, the arrested Journalists at the last meetin with Akbar Ganji

Change in such a society takes place through the appropriate and constructive instruments. Law is supreme and above people. It is this process that is key, while they too can be changed. In such a society Akbar Ganji (political prisoner currently on a hunger strike in protest against his detention conditions) would not be in jail for 62 months. Ganji’s imprisonment is the product of a politically undeveloped society which has no institutions for socio-political change. Therefore any social change comes at great social and individual cost.

The absence of a solid civil society that can respond to power, of strong political parties, of a political system that cultivates a variety of political structures leads to a darkroom and in the final analysis to underdeveloped social and political movements in which the burden of change falls onto the individual rather than appropriate institutions.
Akbar Ganji is a person who has had to pay dearly for such a change. In a society where many institutions for social movements are dormant, Ganji’s resistance and struggle for acknowledgement of what he considers a right, are heroic. But more than telling us about Ganji, it tells us about what kind of a society we have.

Heroes are born in societies where any social change, small or large, requires personal sacrifice. The shifting of red-lines, the expression of issues that are covered up, the creation of energy in dormant forces and the creation of situations where political activists can function are only some of the changes that bear a price. So when social and political institutions lack the power to effect social change, individuals and the price they have to pay become the saviors.

With this perspective, Iranian society has produced many heroes. Individuals who have lit a shinning candle regarding an issue and thus thrown light and hope where darkness prevailed. Today, all those who struggle to acquire the due rights of women and change the laws relating to their status, deserve to be called heroes. These individuals struggle in a social atmosphere in which there is no institution or even law to support them. And they are the citizens of this land. Similarly, the journalists who despite the rough treatment they themselves and their families have been subjected to during the tough recent years continue to hold their pen and write to enlighten and to expose deserve to be recognized as heroes. As do politicians and political activists who present new perspectives in society to the youth. Many of these individuals have done their deed at a golden moment. One can even add the names of those webloggers who have through their writings exposed something, and forced the politicians and decision makers to contemplate.
All of these individuals who have done something heroic at their golden moment, deserve a hooray .In a way, this is like the gold medals that are awarded to winners. They get their medal for a specific act that may be surpassed in the future. But each has done his/her deed at a particular moment and their heroism is never diminished no matter what. It is this golden moment that effects our destiny and provides energy to the Iranian society.

If we take a look around us and look at the events of this nation during its recent and contemporary days, we will notice many successful social movements and events which owe their mark on the numerous heroes who risked their life, health, freedom, sanity and family. Let’s not be stingy in praising and recognizing them.

*This comment is published in Roozonline daily in Farsi and summerized in English