What was going on inside the Iraqi government when it was caught off guard by the lightning victory of ISIS in the city of Mosul earlier this year?
When the Iraqi government asked for help, which country was the first country to help them, Iran or the US? Which one of them hesitated, and why? what were the consequences of such hesitation?
Has the experience of the Iraqi government with ISIS increased Iran’s influence and standing between Iraqi Kurds and Shiites?
These questions and more are answered in the latest Financial Times podcast, narrated by its chief Middle East correspondent Borzou Daragahi.
You can find the podcast here
none other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself.
Oh yes, 28th of October is the day when the village of Aradan in Iran’s Semnan province first heard the patter of tiny feet in 1956.
And since then, those very same feet have destroyed many things inside Iran.
But, you can’t say Ahmadinejad is not a man of miracles. How can you not believe in miracles when according to the Iranian regime in 2009 he won the presidential elections with votes cast for him in the state of Israel itself. Oh yes, those non-existent ballot boxes in Jerusalem were full of Ahmadinejad votes, thus allowing him to win his non-existent “people’s” victory.
But don’t be sad because you share a birthday with the man . There are people worse off than you. Feel bad for me. I spent so much time researching his life for his biography which I coauthored in 2007 that on couple of occasions I dreamed that I was speaking with him. I distinctly remember that in one dream I was asking him why in 2005 he said he father had died in 1993 when in fact he was alive. His father died in 2006 and not 1993. I can tell you one thing about that experience: at least I will never suffer from narcolepsy.
And we are not the only lucky ones. Today, on his 58th birthday the people of Iran received a brand new newspaper called HOMA (Havadaran-e Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) or supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. You can say what you want about the sanctions, from now on with this newspaper no one can complain about the lack of medication for insomnia in Iran.
So to all you birthday boys and birthday gals today, if you can’t beat the Mach-mood (Mahmoud in an Israeli accent) then join him. Put your dancing shoes on and start dancing to this funky video, made in honor of the man who put the MAD in AhMADinjead. Oh yeah…
To date, most of what we know about the life of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei comes from Iran’s state media. As useful as it may be, we have to remember that the media in Iran is heavily censored.
As the most powerful man in Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei’s background and experiences are important for Iran watchers around the world. After all, it is our experiences which make us who we are today.
The BBC documentary below is one of the few investigative programs which has been made about the life of Ayatollah Khamenei.
In it, members of his family (who now live abroad), his former cell mate and other figures who have met him are interviewed.
This documentary was made in 2011. In my opinion, it is by far one of the most informative documentaries made about the life of the man who has the last word regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
The news about the recent acid attacks against a number of women in my ancestral city of Esfahan in Iran came as a shock, mainly because of its severity.
The regime does crackdown against women. There are arrests and some are even imprisoned. But this kind of violent attack by unknown assailants is foreign to many Iranians. Mention acid attacks against women and most Iranians are likely to tell you that this is far more likely to happen in other countries where extremism is more prevalent among the population. One reason why you are likely to hear such a response is because it is believed that the women were “targeted for not being properly veiled”.
This recent attack should start ringing alarm bells. Whether the government will crackdown hard against such extremism against women is unclear. One member of the Iranian parliament has pointed to Israel as well as other foreign countries as being behind these attacks!!
These attacks are not the only sign which show how life for women in Iran has gotten worst after the 1979 revolution. There are several government imposed discriminations against them, in society and at the work place. This is despite the fact that women form the majority of University graduates in Iran.
Iranian women also suffer because of poverty, much like the rest of society. But because there are fewer opportunities available to them, over the years increasing number have been forced into prostitution. This includes married women, and young girls.
The short documentary below which was made in Iran discusses this phenomenon and interviews a number of prostitutes. They discuss why they chose this profession and what life in Iran is like for women, especially those who do not belong to the upper class.
So there was a fire/explosion at the Parchin military site in Iran earlier this week. This is one of the conclusions from the recent report by the U.S based Institute for Science and
Photo of Parchin from 2012- source The Institute for Science and International Security
International Security. The report is based on purchased satellite pictures. Another report by the Israel Defense magazine also confirms this claim, based on pictures obtained from a French satellite. Meanwhile the Jane’s publication believes that it was an explosion which occurred at the site.
This puts to rest the question as to whether the reported explosion/fire was at the Parchin site itself. The reason being that none of the Iran based news organizations actually stated that the fire/explosion took place at the Parchin site. The only news source which stated this was Saham News, which belongs to the pro- Karrubi opposition.
Parchin is where Iran allegedly experimented with detonation and fuze systems required to build a bomb. The Iranian authorities have not allowed the IAEA inspectors to visit the site since November 2005.
So the next question is: did the fire/explosion take place at the section of Parchin where Iran allegedly undertook the experiments with the detonators?
The Israel Defense publication believes that the explosion took place “adjacent to another installation” where Iran is suspected to have worked on the nuclear detonation devices. It goes on to say that the area where the event took place “consists of a sizable testing center and what appears to be an area with bunker-shaped structures.” These were mostly or all destroyed.
The Institute for Science and International Security is not sure. First and foremost because for “unexplainable reasons” parts of the satellite pictures from the site which it purchased were not delivered. It is waiting for these photos to be delivered to it. Until then it can’t reach a conclusion regarding this matter (and rightly so). It also believes that the site where Iran undertook the detonation testing was at another part of Parchin.
So there is a dispute as to whether the recent fire/explosion took place near the area where Iran allegedly undertook detonator testing.
But, the question remains: why did the Iranian authorities go to extensive lengths to ensure that none of the reports published in Iran stated that the incident took place at Parchin itself? What did they have to hide?
You remember that French anti-semitic comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala who came up with the reverse Nazi salute? He is in Iran now, attending a conference. So are a number of other Holocaust deniers. This is in addition to other anti-war activists.
According to Buzzfeed, quoting Iran regime mouthpiece PressTV:
The gathering’s goal is to unveil the secrets behind the dominance of the Zionist lobby over US and EU politics.
So to analyze such an issue, the Iranian regime needs the help of fervent haters of the Jewish people? Why? If this is only against Zionism, why does the Iranian regime need antisemites such as Dieudonné M’bala M’bala? Why does it need Holocaust deniers at this conference at all?
We all the know the answer. Anti-Semitic ideas are alive and kicking at this event. The organizers try to cover their tracks by saying its against “Zionism”, but the beliefs and background of some of its participants show that there is more to this.
This is not the only case which shows that antisemitism is rearing its ugly head again in Iran.
The state TV, which is controlled by the regime, not by the government (same applies to this conference) has started propagating centuries old lies against the Jewish people, again. Its trying its best to make the people of Iran anti-semitic.
This is shameful racism, and it must stop now. The Iranian regime is taking Iran to the dark ages, again. And Rouhani must speak up against such behavior.