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Welcome To Roj Bash Kurdistan 

Iran 40 years of Islamic suppression since the revolution

A place to talk about domestic politics in Middle East (Iran, Iraq , Turkey, Syria) Also includes topics about Assyrian, Armenian, Chaldean .

Re: Iran: 1979 hijab protests and updates on recent protests

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:59 pm

False 'Iranian Protest' Videos Surface Online
By Arturo Garcia 3 January

Some social media users attempted to pass off footage from past demonstrations and other countries.

As protests spread around Iran in the waning days of 2017 and early 2018, some social media users began spreading misinformation regarding what they claimed was “footage” from the Iranian anti-government demonstrations.

In one example, a conservative Twitter user posted what she claimed was video of 300,000 protesters marching down a street:

    Whoa! 300,000 March for democracy in Iran! Incredible! #IranProtest #SundayMorning #HappyNewYear pic.twitter.com/BQZuXDbh11

    — Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) December 31, 2017

But the video was quickly debunked by Marc Owen Jones, a lecturer at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies in the English city of Exeter.

Jones noted that the footage in question actually depicts a February 2011 protest in Bahrain. Several other videos corroborate Jones’ argument:

Similarly a separate user, which claims to be a “parody account,” posted a video on 29 December 2017 like so:

But this post, too, was a misrepresentation: as evidenced by the Spanish-language remarks heard in the video it was not filmed anywhere near Iran or Kurdistan. The footage was actually filmed (and posted online) amid a series of demonstrations in Argentina earlier that month:

At least 20 people have reportedly died during the demonstrations in Iran, which began in late December 2017 and were spurred by concerns over both widespread youth unemployment and a struggling economic climate.

Officials responded by blocking access to social media platforms that might help organize further protests—and as such, images from inside the country have been limited in comparison to demonstrations in 2009, when images and videos of massive protests were widely shared on social media.

On 3 January 2018 Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, who heads the country’s Revolutionary Guards, said that the “sedition” had been quelled.

Link to Article - Fake Videos:

https://www.snopes.com/2018/01/03/false ... ce-online/
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Re: Iran: 1979 hijab protests and updates on recent protests

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Re: Iran: 1979 hijab protests and updates on recent protests

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:49 am

Iranian Kurds hesitant about joining protests

Shirin is unsure about what to make of the recent protests that have rocked Iran, including the 35-year-old's hometown of Sanandaj in the heart of Iranian Kurdistan. The region is afflicted with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. “The atmosphere in Sanandaj is intimidating, with so many armed security forces standing by the side of the streets,” she told Al-Monitor on the popular messaging app Telegram, which had 25 million daily active users inside Iran before the authorities reportedly moved to start filtering it. “People’s patience is wearing thin; they have lost the ability to meet their basic needs.”

Simmering discontent with mismanagement of the economy, high unemployment and the government’s declared intention to soon remove some of the critical subsidies that the poor have come to rely on for survival — all while spending huge sums of money on adventures in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen — are voiced by some protesters in confrontations that have left at least 22 people dead.

While Kurds in the main urban centers in western Iran have taken to the streets to voice their anger, many of their ethnic brethren in small towns and cities have refrained from joining the protests. They say the regime uses Kurdish separatism as an excuse to militarize the Kurdish areas and use brute force to crack down on protests. This fear appears to have some merit in the light of a reported Jan. 3 confrontation between Kurdish militants and Intelligence Ministry agents.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) has claimed that its forces inside Iran, known as “urban peshmerga,” clashed with security forces in the village of Ziwa, near the town of Piranshahr on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan. The KDPI claims that six members of the Iranian security forces were killed in the incident. The following day, on Jan. 4, the Tasnim news agency, which is close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), quoted a “security official” who linked the clash to the recent wave of protests. The official said the confrontation in Ziwa was carried out by “armed counterrevolutionaries” whose aim was to carry out “explosions, killing and to prolong the recent riots in the country.”

Iran’s economic woes have, however, cut across religious and ethnic lines and united the poor in their opposition against the establishment — including the government of President Hassan Rouhani, which hoped to improve living standards by removing the crippling sanctions via the nuclear deal. But dispute has lingered between Washington and Tehran with the coming to power of President Donald Trump, who campaigned with a pledge to abolish the landmark accord.

“Many people hoped that ‘Barjam’ would improve the quality of their life, but it did not,” Shirin said, referring to the nuclear deal by its Persian acronym. Quality of life has gone down for many Iranians since the UN Security Council first imposed sanctions over Iran's nuclear program back in 2006.

While the official unemployment rate stands at 12%, the real figure is believed to be much higher — particularly in the country’s Kurdish areas. Kermanshah, which has seen constant protests in recent days, has the highest official unemployment rate in the country at 22%. This level of joblessness coupled with endemic corruption are two of the main reasons why people have taken to the streets in Iranian Kurdistan.

A 31-year-old female teacher from Sanandaj who knows several protesters who have been arrested in the city cited "unemployment, poverty, injustice, lies, theft and discrimination" when asked by Al-Monitor about the root causes of the current protests.

Amer Kaabi, a member of the Iranian parliament’s economic commission, said the government lacks a genuine will to fight corruption. In a recent interview with Tasnim News Agency, he said, “There are numerous laws enacted in the parliament to fight corruption and poverty, but there are no guarantees for their implementation, and [successive] governments have not taken serious steps.” He added, “Corruption destroys the economic pillars of the country.”

Economist Hossein Raghfar said the lack of genuine will to control unchecked corruption is a result of the entry of some sectors of the security forces and the clerical establishment into the economic sphere. In an interview with the Fararu news website Jan. 1, he said, “With the entrance of these institutions and individuals, there was no chance to uphold transparency, and the corruption that we see in the country is the result of a lack of transparency.”

However, officials in Tehran have focused on foreign enemies rather than corruption as a cause of the unrest. "In recent events, the enemies of Iran united by using different tools in their disposition, including money, weapons, politics and intelligence, in order to create problems for the Islamic system," Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a congregation Jan. 2, promising more detailed remarks “when the time is right.”

Several Iranians Al-Monitor spoke with ridiculed the idea that foreign governments were behind the protests. "Severe economic pressure is the reason why people are on the street protesting,” one resident of Sanandaj said. “The honest truth is that people in Iran cannot afford to eat three meals a day.”

Even though she has intentionally avoided the protests for fear of a vicious crackdown by the authorities, Shirin sympathizes with the demonstrators. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Persian literature and has finished a separate course in accounting. Yet she only earns 250,000 tomans ($69) a month working for a food wholesaler in the city. She lost custody of her only son two years ago when she separated from her husband because she was not deemed to be earning enough to care for him by the judge. She now lives with her parents. Still, Shirin considers herself one of the lucky ones, being able to rely on family support. She told Al-Monitor, "One of my friends who has a degree in graphic design is earning even less than I am. She earns 150,000 tomans ($42) per month.” Shirin added, “Many single women who cannot even find a low-paying job are resorting to other means — prostitution. In a country with so many natural resources, why should the majority of people be poor?"

For now, Iranian Kurds, who are often at the forefront of protesting against government oppression, are weighing their options, even as Kurdish opposition groups support the protests. A possible crackdown by the IRGC is a double-edged sword that could either put an end to the protests or embolden Iranians — including in the country’s Kurdish areas — to widen the rallies against the regime.

“These problems [protests] are neither caused by imperialism nor by celestial forces," Raghfar said in his interview with Fararu. The economist added, "These are the results of three decades of postwar management that has created a deep crisis in the country."

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/origin ... nshah.html
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Re: Iranian protests: the TRUTH the LIES the FAKES

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:44 pm

Atmosphere of terror as Iran deploys Revolutionary Guards

Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) have been deployed to three Iranian provinces to quell anti-government protests that have rocked the country for the past week.

"Today we can announce the end of the sedition," said Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, IRGC commander.

He announced he had dispatched forces to Hamadan, Isfahan, and Lorestan provinces and said that a “large number” of protesters “who received training from counter-revolutionaries” had been arrested.

Most of the at least 21 deaths have occurred in these three provinces.

“We can feel an atmosphere of terror in the city,” a witness in Kermanshah told the Kurdistan Human Rights Network on Wednesday. Anti-riot forces and plainclothes officers are deployed throughout the main square to prevent any gathering, the witness said.

Meanwhile thousands joined officially sanctioned pro-government rallies, chanting “Leader, we are ready” and carrying pictures of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and signs reading “Death to seditionists.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Wednesday that he “hopes protests in Iran will end in a few days,” Hurriyet Daily News reported, citing Turkish presidential sources.

Iranian state-media reported Rouhani told Erdogan security forces faced protests in a "calm and organized" and the people of Iran showed their support for the government by joining the pro-government rallies on Wednesday.

Erdogan stressed the importance of maintaining peace and security in neighbouring Iran.

Iranian officials have continued to blame “enemies” of the Islamic Republic like the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia of hijacking the protests in order to destabilize the country.

The protests, however, appear to be spontaneous expressions of frustration with the ruling classes by protesters who are overwhelmingly young.

“The protesters don’t have a leader, it’s a leaderless movement, and I call it the movement of the hungry, the starved people,” Mohammad, a protester in Karaj told The Guardian. He explained that people are fed up with unemployment and poverty.

The United States has kept up its support for the protesters.

“Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!” President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

His government is considering sanctions, a senior official told Reuters anonymously.

Trump’s administration wants to collect “actionable information” to “feed that into our sanctions designation machinery,” the official stated.

On Tuesday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said she would be asking for the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session to discuss the situation in Iran.

Iran is not currently on the council’s agenda, Security Council President Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan ambassador to the UN, said. But they are “ready to work on this” if a member raises it.

He said they are following events in Iran but was adopting a “wait and see” position.

Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres is also following the protests.

“We regret the reported loss of life, and we hope that further violence will be avoided,” his deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Wednesday.

“We expect that the rights to peaceful assembly and expression of the Iranian people will be respected,” he added.

Contrary to the United States’ vocal condemnation of government in Tehran, European nations have adopted a more muted tone, in light of their desire to see the nuclear deal with Iran survive.

UK Secretary of State Boris Johnson has called on “all concerned to refrain from violence.”

Berlin has called for Tehran to resolve matters raised by the protesters “though dialogue.”

France’s Emmanuel Macron urged Rouhani to act with “restraint” and a planned visit by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to Tehran has been postponed.

Kurdish parties in Iran, backing the protests, have called for the international community to adopt stronger positions condemning violence against the demonstrators.

Abdullah Mohtadi, secretary general of the Komala Party, tweeted on Tuesday that economic sanctions would be welcome.

    Full & open political and moral support by US, Europe & the world, warning the Iranian authorities that using violence against demonstrators will be punished by harsh economic sanctions, give the Iranian people a voice by providing free internet, summoning ambassadors, et.
    — Abdullah Mohtadi (@AbdullahMohtadi) January 2, 2018

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iran/030120183
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Re: Iranian protests: the TRUTH the LIES the FAKES

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:45 am

Iran Bans English in Primary Schools to Block ‘Cultural Invasion’

Iran has banned the teaching of English in primary schools, a senior education official said, after Islamic leaders warned that early learning of the language opened the way to a Western “cultural invasion.”

“Teaching English in government and nongovernment primary schools in the official curriculum is against laws and regulations,” Mehdi Navid-Adham, the head of the state-run High Education Council, told state television late on Saturday.

“This is because the assumption is that, in primary education, the groundwork for the Iranian culture of the students is laid,” Mr. Navid-Adham said, adding that noncurriculum English classes might also be blocked.

The teaching of English usually starts in middle school in Iran, around the ages of 12 to 14, but some primary schools below that age also have English classes.

Some children also attend private language institutes after their school day. And many children from more privileged families who attend nongovernment schools receive English tuition from day care through high school.

Iran’s Islamic leaders have often warned about the dangers of a “cultural invasion,” and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, voiced outrage in 2016 over the “teaching of the English language spreading to nursery schools.”

Ayatollah Khamenei, who has the final say in all state matters, said in that speech to teachers, “That does not mean opposition to learning a foreign language, but (this is the) promotion of a foreign culture in the country and among children, young adults and youths.”

“Western thinkers have time and again said that instead of colonialist expansionism ... the best and the least costly way would have been inculcation of thought and culture to the younger generation of countries,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, according to the text of the speech posted on Leader.ir, a website run by his office.

While there was no mention of the announcement being linked to recent protests against the clerical establishment and government, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have blamed foreign enemies for fomenting the unrest.

Iranian officials said at least 21 people were killed and more than 1,000 arrested during the protests that spread to more than 80 cities and rural towns, as thousands of young and working-class Iranians expressed their anger at graft, unemployment and a deepening gap between rich and poor.

A video of the ban announcement was widely circulated on social media on Sunday, with Iranians calling it “the filtering of English,” jokingly comparing it to the government’s blocking of the popular app Telegram during the protests.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/07/worl ... hools.html
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Re: Iranian protests: the TRUTH the LIES the FAKES

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:49 am

In jab at hardliners, Rouhani says Iran protests were not only economic

Protests that shook Iran were not just aimed at the economy, President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday, remarks suggesting the real targets were powerful conservatives opposed to his plans to expand individual freedoms at home and promote detente abroad.

The pragmatic cleric, who defeated anti-Western hardliners to win re-election last year, also called for the lifting of curbs on social media used by anti-government protesters in the most sustained challenge to hardline authorities since 2009.

“It would be a misrepresentation (of events) and also an insult to Iranian people to say they only had economic demands,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

“People had economic, political and social demands.”

Iran’s influential Revolutionary Guards said on Sunday the security forces had put an end to a week of unrest fomented by what it called foreign enemies.

The protests, which began over economic hardships suffered by the young and working class, spread to more than 80 cities and towns and has resulted in 22 deaths and more than 1,000 arrests, according to Iranian officials.

Hamid Shahriari, the deputy head of the Judiciary said that all ringleaders of the protests had been identified and arrested, and they would be firmly punished and might face capital punishment.

An Iranian lawmaker confirmed on Monday the death of one detainee in prison.

“This 22 year old young man was arrested by the police. I was informed that he has committed suicide in jail,” Tayebeh Siavashi was quoted as saying by ILNA news agency.

Many of the protesters questioned Iran’s foreign policy in the Middle East, where it has intervened in Syria and Iraq in a battle for influence with rival Saudi Arabia.

IRANIANS CAN CRITICISE “EVERYONE”

The country’s financial support for Palestinians and the Lebanese Shi‘ite group Hezbollah also angered Iranians, who want their government to focus on domestic economic problems instead.

Rouhani won re-election last year by promising more jobs for Iran’s youth through more foreign investment, as well as more social justice, individual freedom and political tolerance - aims questioned by his main challenger in the contest.

Echoing some of his campaign rhetoric, Rouhani said on Monday people should be allowed to criticise all Iranian officials, with no exception.

Demonstrators initially vented their anger over high prices and alleged corruption, but the protests took on a rare political dimension, with a growing number of people calling on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down.

The Supreme Leader is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and appoints the heads of the judiciary. Key ministers are selected with his agreement and he has the ultimate say on Iran’s foreign policy. By comparison, the president has little power.

“No one is innocent and people are allowed to criticise everyone,” said Rouhani.

Rouhani also dismissed calls from hardline clerics who had asked the government to permanently block access social media and messaging apps.

As protests have ebbed, the government has lifted restrictions it imposed on Instagram, one of the social media tools used to mobilise protesters. But access to a more widely used messaging app, Telegram, was still blocked. The government has said the restrictions would be temporary.

“People’s access to social media should not permanently be restricted. We cannot be indifferent to people’s life and business,” Rouhani said.

State television showed live pictures of more pro-government rallies in several cities, including Sanandaj in western Iran, as marchers carried posters of Ayatollah Khamenei and chanted slogans in his support.

Iranian Vice-President Masoumeh Ebtekar tweeted on Monday that Rouhani has insisted that all detained students should be released.

Mohammad Bathaei, the education minister said on Monday there were many school children among the detainees and he was asking for their release before exam season.

Amnesty International said last week that more than 1,000 Iranians had been arrested and detained in jails “notorious for torture and other ill-treatment over the past seven days”, with many being denied access to families and lawyers.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iran- ... ce=twitter
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Re: Iranian protests: the TRUTH the LIES the FAKES

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:24 pm

NCRI Women's Committee - Iran: 3,000 young
women have run away in six months since March


3,000 young women and girls have run away from home in Iran during the period spanning between March and September 2017.

In an interview with the state-run Tasnim news agency, head of the Social Emergency of the Welfare Organization, Hossein Assadbeigi, said, “Compared to the previous year, the number of runaway girls has increased in the first six months of the Persian year.”

Assadbeigi said the Welfare Organization had been informed of a total of 5,000 runaway girls, last year. This number includes girls who have reported themselves in to the centers of the Welfare Organization, as well as those who have been reported as being on the run. However, the actual figure should be considered much higher. (The state-run Tasnim news agency – January 10, 2017)

According to the Welfare Organization, verbal abuse, humiliation and domestic violence are some of the major reasons girls run away from home.

Runaway girls can stay up to three weeks in one of the four centers of the Welfare Organization in the capital. Based on the organization’s laws, however, the girls who need support for a longer period have to move to other centers called, Safety House (khaneh salamat). These houses have limited capacity and are actually not safe. There have been numerous reports in the past indicating that girls are sexually abused in these houses and ultimately sold to human trafficking gangs.

http://women.ncr-iran.org/iran-women-ne ... ince-march
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Re: Iranian protests: the TRUTH the LIES the FAKES

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:31 pm

Rouhani’s first interview after protests backfires

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s first televised interview after the recent unrest appears to have failed to alleviate much of the public's angry feelings.

Popular TV host Reza Rashidpour, who is a Reformist, was chosen for the first time by Iranian state TV to interview Rouhani. While he promised viewers a challenging interview, this did not happen, and both the public and analysts slammed both the interviewer and Rouhani.

In the televised interview conducted Jan. 22, the moderate Rouhani answered detailed questions and rumors about himself and the country, turning the show into the first presidential interview in which Rouhani — known as the “diplomat sheikh” — didn’t once talk about foreign policy or mention the nuclear deal.

Asked about the recent weakening of the rial, Rouhani said, “We have no shortage of foreign exchange and this fluctuation is not long-term.” He also denied rumors that the government was seeking to address its budget deficit by intentionally not supplying enough currency to the market to benefit from the arbitrage between the official and open-market exchange rates.

Mentioning the recent unrest even though the subject was not brought up by the interviewer, Rouhani said, “Protest within the framework of the law is accepted, but undue tensions and unrest cause concerns for the people.”

In response to a question about failing credit — and financial institutions that haven’t been able to return the money of depositors — Rouhani said, “Some [financial institutions] defrauded people by empty promises of [high] interest [rates], but we will fully solve the problem.”

Raising the issue of dust pollution in southwestern Iran, Rouhani said the government has started a comprehensive plan to address the domestic source of dust. “Air pollution is one of the people's top concerns, and I will never forget the people of Khuzestan and other provinces' kindness,” he said.

The president also addressed the recent debacle over the temporary blocking of Telegram, saying the government has suffered for unblocking the popular smartphone app. Rouhani further explained that his attempts to unblock Twitter have failed so far.

The interview didn’t lead to the outcome Rouhani and Iran's state TV appear to have sought. Sadegh Zibakalam, a prominent Reformist analyst, tweeted afterward, “I wish Mr. Rouhani could realize that every time he talks to people, he loses another part of his 24 million votes. I wish he could understand that he is insulting people’s intelligence by [focusing on] artificial nonsense and superficial questions and answers instead of addressing serious and real issues and problems in the society.”

Mohammad Hashemi, a moderate figure, slammed state TV for their questions to the president, telling local media, “The main problems were the questions that were given to the [TV] host. These questions were [designed] by the state TV — critics of the president — and they just sought to make him promise [things to people] and harm him.”

He added, “Superficial and detailed questions during the [show] led — for example — the president not to give a four-month report [of his government performance]."

Iranians also took to Twitter to express their opinion of the interview. A user named “Majidazarpey” tweeted, “The irony here is that Rouhani raised the [issue of] the [recent] protests in his response to other questions, but [TV host] Rashidpour didn’t [bring up any question relating to these events].”

Another Iranian by the name of “Shayanvalipour” tweeted, “The problem with [Iran’s state TV] hosts is that they try to act as journalists but fail. We have [other] great journalists in Iran who can challenge the president with their questions.”

A user who identified himself as “Pooriua” tweeted, “Rouhani is preventing tension between society and the ruling system. He is doing the right thing, but the way he has [chosen to do this] will result in the government and himself paying all the costs.”

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/origin ... ption.html
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Re: Iranian protests: the TRUTH the LIES the FAKES

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:14 am

The plane journey that set Iran's revolution in motion

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini sat in the first-class compartment of the chartered Boeing 747, looking out through the window at the country he had had to leave 15 years before

I stood over him, with my cameraman beside me, and asked how he felt now that his exile was over. No answer.

An American correspondent repeated the question. "Hichi," replied Khomeini. "Nothing".

The supporters of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who had been forced into exile a few days earlier, were scandalised by this lack of feeling.

But what he meant was that his return was not a matter for human emotions; the will of God was all that counted.

When I interviewed him the previous month at his place of exile outside Paris, Neauphle-le-Château, Khomeini had shown implacable determination.

"The monarchy will be eradicated," he assured me. "There are aspects of life under the present corrupt form of government in Iran which will have to be changed... Drugs such as alcoholic beverages will be prohibited."

"We are hostile to foreign governments which have forced the shah on Iran."

It is still like that, even today.

At first, it had seemed impossible that the Islamic Republic could endure, but now it has lasted 40 years.

At election after election, Iranians turn out in their millions to vote for candidates who, though they have been carefully selected, represent the liberal and conservative tendencies in politics, and the liberal candidates usually get a majority.

But once they are in power, they find they cannot change anything.

Under Iran's constitution, the conservative forces - the clergy, the Revolutionary Guards, and so on - have a controlling interest, whoever wins the popular vote.

The supreme leader ranks above the elected president, and the conservatives are prepared to fight to keep their power.

Immediately after the 2009 presidential vote, the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner even though the liberal candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, had probably got a majority.

There were angry demonstrations for days on end, and it looked briefly as though a new revolution might be starting. But the conservatives hunted the demonstrators off the streets with great brutality.

The Islamic Revolution was back in power.

More than 90% of Iran's Muslims are Shia, and back in 1979 the ousting of the shah by Shia Islamist revolutionaries shocked and electrified the Islamic world.

Shia in countries like Lebanon and parts of the Gulf stopped accepting that they were at the bottom of the social and political pile, and demanded more say.

Sunnis in the region were deeply worried, yet they too were fascinated by the overthrow of a leader backed by the West.

The Americans were humiliated, and no-one in the Middle East would forget it.

Between 1980 and 1988 Iran was caught up in a savage war against Iraq, and it was obsessed with the need to survive.

But after 2003, when the US invaded Iraq and destroyed the power of the minority Sunnis there, Iraq's Shia majority began to dominate the country with the strong support of Iran.

Iran became a regional superpower - courtesy of President George W Bush. The irony could scarcely have been greater.

Nowadays, Israel and US President Donald Trump's administration see Iran as a major threat.

The UK and the European Union see things differently.

They accept that Iran is difficult and confrontational, but they think it is still willing to follow the lines of the agreement which former US President Barack Obama, with strong European support, reached with Iran over its nuclear ambitions.

Today, Iran is a lot more easy-going than most outsiders imagine.

The rules about women's dress are sometimes enforced harshly, but the Islamic Republic has never clamped down on women's rights in the way you see routinely in Saudi Arabia.

Iranian women run businesses, own property, drive cars and play an important part in politics.

The present government is probably more liberal than any other since the revolution.

Ayatollah Khomeini probably would not have approved, but this approach has helped to protect the Islamic Republic over the years.

As far back as 1986, when I was first allowed back after the revolution, I worked out a formula to express what I felt about the new Iran: it was stable, but not permanent.

That still seems to be the case.

There is a lot of anger about corruption, but not as much as there was under the shah.

Iran seems mostly relaxed, because there is no serious threat to the system. But it is hard to think that the strange balancing act between a weak liberal government, elected with mass support, and a tough and determined conservative core, can carry on forever.

The ferocity which Khomeini, vengeful and unsentimental, brought back from exile with him on his Boeing 747, has eased a lot. But it is still there.

And until there is some basic compromise between liberals and conservatives about the way the country should be run, Khomeini's revolution will always feel unfinished.

Link to Article - Photos - Videos:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-47043561
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Re: Iran 40 years of Islamic suppression since the revolutio

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:57 pm

Iranian women:
before and after the Islamic Revolution

The Islamic Revolution of 1979 brought seismic changes to Iran, not least for women. One area that has come under scrutiny is the way women dress and wear their hair - the old Shah, in the 1930s, banned the veil and ordered police to forcibly remove headscarves. But in the early 1980s, the new Islamic authorities imposed a mandatory dress code that required all women to wear the hijab

Here are some images showing what life was like for Iranian women before the institution of clerical rule, and how it has changed since:

Before the revolution

Click image to enlarge:
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Studying at Tehran University in 1977: While many women were already in higher education at the time of the revolution, the subsequent years saw a marked increase in the number attending university. This was in part because the authorities managed to convince conservative families living in rural areas to allow their daughters to study away from home.

"They tried to stop women from attending university, but there was such a backlash they had to allow them to return," says Baroness Haleh Afshar, a professor of women's studies at the University of York who grew up in Iran in the 1960s.

"Some educated people left Iran, and the authorities realised in order to run the country they needed to educate both men and women."

Click image to enlarge:
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Friday picnic in Tehran in 1976: Families and friends tend to get together on Fridays, which are weekend days in Iran. "Picnics are an important part of Iranian culture and are very popular amongst the middle classes. This has not changed since the revolution. The difference is, nowadays, men and women sitting together are much more self-aware and show more restraint in their interactions," says Prof Afshar.

Click image to enlarge:
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Hair salon in Tehran in 1977: "This is a scene you would no longer expect to see in Iran - but even after the Islamic Revolution, hairdressers continued to exist," says Prof Afshar. "Nowadays you wouldn't see a man inside the hairdressers - and women would know to cover up their hair as soon as they walked out the door. Some people may also operate secret salons in their own homes where men and women can mix."

Click image to enlarge:
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Walking down a snowy street in Tehran in 1976: "You cannot stop women walking in the streets of Iran, but you wouldn't see this today - her earrings and make up so clearly on show," Prof Afshar says. "There is this concept of 'decency' in Iran - so nowadays women walking in the streets are likely to wear a coat down to her knees and a scarf."

After the revolution

Click image to enlarge:
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Women rally against the hijab in 1979: Soon after taking power, Iran's new Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini decreed that all women had to wear the veil - regardless of religion or nationality. On 8 March - International Women's Day - thousands of women from all walks of life turned out to protest against the law.

Click image to enlarge:
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Family heads to Friday prayers in 1980: "Friday prayers are a time for people who are believers or supporters of the Islamic authorities who don't want to be labelled as dissidents to go out and get together - it's a moment of solidarity," says Prof Afshar. "But they are still very much within the male domain. The woman would not be allowed into the same room as the men - they would sit in a separate area for prayer, away from the men."

Click image to enlarge:
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Wedding dress shopping in Tehran in 1986: "The wedding dresses on display are all western - Iranian women will essentially wear what they want as long as it's behind closed doors," Prof Afshar explains. "Weddings and parties are supposed to be segregated, so it doesn't matter what you wear if there are only female guests present. But there are mixed-sex parties that do still go on - some people hire bouncers to watch the door, others pay the local police to turn a blind eye."

Click image to enlarge:
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Walking in Tehran in 2005: Not all women in Iran opt to wear the black chador, a cloak that covers the body from head to toe and only leaves the face exposed. Some prefer to wear loosely fitted headscarves and coats. "The real question is how far back do you push your scarf? Women have their own small acts of resistance and often try as far as possible to push their scarves back," says Prof Afshar.

Click image to enlarge:
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The saddest photo of all :((

Link to Full Article - Photos:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-47032829


Last bumped by Anthea on Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:57 pm.
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