Four cruise missiles in a barrage of 26 fired by Russia from warships in the Caspian Sea at targets in Syria crashed in a rural area of northern Iran, senior United States officials said on Thursday. Russian and Iranian officials dismissed the claim as nonsense. Iran s semiofficial Fars News Agency described the report as part of the West’s “psychological warfare” against the Russian-Iranian alliance with Mr. Assad.
Iranians have always enjoyed rich private lives, some following Western trends and fashions, but behind closed doors. The state tolerated that, but insisted that people adhere to the strict laws on appearance and behavior in public spaces that were laid down after the Islamic revolution in 1979. But now, following the election of a moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, and the signing of the nuclear agreement this summer, Iranians are increasingly taking to the streets, this time not to challenge the government but to reclaim public spaces.
Next Monday, on September 28 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly. That podium has hosted many bad characters who have used it to advocate their sinister policies. But Rouhani s presence stands out precisely because he blends in better than many of his predecessors. According to Amnesty International and other respected human rights organizations, the human rights situation in Iran is fast deteriorating under Rouhani. There have been some 2,000 executions in Iran in the two years that Rouhani has been in office, more than in any similar period in the past 25 years.
For the leaders of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran, keeping Syria on the Shi’ite axis as a link to their proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, was almost an existential need. Without Syria, Iran’s regional influence and its ability to control what is happening in Lebanon – to direct, arm and maintain Hezbollah as a central force – would have been crippled. For Putin, however, leaving Assad to his fate would have, at worst, lost the Kremlin some of its prestige. The Russian president’s decision to take a chance and invest resources in Syria after all was primarily driven by a desire to take advantage of the vacuum created by U.S. inaction in the Middle East.
In Iran the Military Industrial Complex is known as ‘Sepah Pasdaran’ or ‘IRGC’ (Iran Revolutionary Guard Corp). When Khomeini came to power his Mullah Regime decided that in order to solidify their position they needed to create their own army. The definition as per Wikipedia says Revolutionary Guards, is a branch of Iran’s military, founded after the Iranian revolution on 5 May 1979. Whereas the regular military (artesh) defends Iran’s borders and maintains internal order, according to the Iranian constitution, the Revolutionary Guard (pasdaran) is intended to protect the country’s Islamic system. The Revolutionary Guards state that their role in protecting the Islamic system is preventing foreign interference as well as coups by the military or “deviant movements” In reality it was the IRGC that fought the Irq war and through that was able to create a formidable force in Iranian politics. In time the IRGC has infiltrated all aspects of Iranian government and by now owns most of the Industries. During Ahmadinejad’s presidency the Guards even gained more economic influence by purchasing many vital national businesses for logistics and other important services. In this article titled “Ahmadinejad appears to have done a deal with IRGC” from 2011 an IRGC officer becomes oil minister A major surprise in Iran this week was the appointment of General Rostam Ghasemi — who held a post with the Revolutionary Guards — as oil minister. The Mullah regime is a corrupt regime without any vision to lift Iran from its current quagmire. The Revolutionary guards have enough financial interest and influence to maintain the status quo under the force of their guns. As you can see from these articles they are controlling all aspects of the Iranian government. All war mongers are profiting from this condition.
Rouhani may seem a moderate to the outsiders and posturing to battle extremist in his government but the fact is that since he came to power the number of executions have risen. It is obvious that while the message and posture to the outside world is one of reconciliation and normalcy of relations with the West, the Mullah regime is afraid of its own citizens and feels the need to instill fear in fear of being toppled.
Israel has been demonizing the Iranian regime, just as the Iranian regime denounces Israel in every Friday prayer all over the country. Looking back at the headlines over the past few years one can see that Ahmadinejad”s rhetoric made it easy to hold up the regime as a pariah. Iran has been using its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah to wage war on Israel. It seems that the hierarchy in Israel believes that using the nuclear issue is a good way to limit Iran’s ability to support its allies in the region. However, Israel’s rhetoric over the past 6 years recorded here hasn’t changed much and hasn’t materialized. Both Bush and Obama administrations have warned Israel of preemptive attacks as the consequences will be dire. Israel on the other hand has been using Iran as a deflection for its settlement policies. Mossad chief actually admitted that even a Nuclear Iran would not be a threat to Israel. Tamir Pardo says Israel using various means to foil Iran’s nuclear program, but if Iran actually obtained nuclear weapons, it would not mean destruction of Israel. It is important to step back and examine the history before jumping to conclusions. Here is an article in NYTimes from back in 2010 that states the same. Hmm, it’s August, things are quiet, time for another wave of hysteria over an imminent Israeli attack on Iran. We’ve seen this movie for a decade – Israel’s “red line” on the Iranian nuclear program has proved of spandex-like elasticity. It is important not to be swayed by every news article but consider news in context and make an attempt to get out of historical knots that continuously lead to disastrous consequences.
What kind of a world do we live in where gross and documented human rights abuses are denied by its perpetrators without much recourse. Human Rights violations in Iran include imprisoning activist and regular citizens for exercising their human rights or simply for being in the wrong place and the wrong time, executions, corruption on a massive scale that jeopardize peoples livelihood and their opportunity for prosperity and security. Is a regime and people responsible for such gross human rights violations ever capable of reforming. As a symbol of resistance I have chosen Nasrin Sotoudeh’s picture for this post. She is a human rights lawyer that was imprisoned, and now after her release she is denied practice of law in Iran. She is protesting this injustice daily. Here is a link to news on detention and torture of human rights lawyers in 2013, 2014 and 2015