Canada Condemns Saudi Arabia’s Planned Beheading of Female Activist

Local Editor

 

Human Rights advocates said Israa al-Ghomgham, along with five other activists, are being tried by the country’s terrorism tribunal on charges “solely related to their peaceful activism”.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland inflamed tensions with a single tweet last month, in which she expressed concern surrounding the imprisonment of activists in Saudi Arabia.

The dispute escalated and Saudi Arabia cancelled all flights to Canada on the state airline, recalled students studying in the North American nation, cut investment and issued threats.

Following the news of the planned beheading of Israa al-Ghomgham, a Foreign Affairs Department spokesman renewed Canada’s concerns in a statement.

They said: “As Minister Freeland has previously stated, Canada is extremely concerned by the arrests of women’s rights activists.

“These concerns have been raised with the Saudi government.

“Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, including women’s rights and freedom of expression around the world.”

Ghomgham’s trial started earlier this month, almost three years after her arrest in late 2015.

The Shia female activist was part of a political movement which continued until 2014.

The European-Saudi Organization for Human Rights commented on Ghomgham’s activism, saying: “She called for fundamental and basic civil and political rights, such as peaceful assembly and expression, for the release of prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders, and expressed her peaceful opinions on social media platforms.”

State prosecutors are seeking to sentence Ghomgham with the death penalty, and if delivered, it will mark the first time a female activist is executed in Saudi Arabia for their political activities.

According to the Human Rights Watch, Saudi authorities have also been holding five other activists, who are facing the death penalty, in pre-trial detention without legal representation for over two years.

The next court date is scheduled for October 28, 2018.

146 people were executed in Saudi Arabia last year, according to Amnesty International.

Beheading is the most common method of execution in Saudi Arabia.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said: “Any execution is appalling, but seeking the death penalty for activists like Israa al-Ghomgham, who are not even accused of violent behaviour, is monstrous.

“Every day, the Saudi monarchy’s unrestrained despotism makes it harder for its public relations teams to spin the fairy tale of ‘reform’ to allies and international business.”

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

 

See Also

ليث شبيلات: الأردن من عميد (إسرائيلياً) إلى ملازم

 الأردن حليف لإسرائيل بدرجة عميد والآن خُفِضت رتبته إلى ملازم 

 لا وجود لرئيس وزراء والمجلس هو مجلس مستشارين
 إحياء «الموك» وترامب يريد أن يقاتل برجالنا

نستطيع أن نقول لا لصفقة القرن إذا حضر للملك الوعي وجمع شعبه حوله

شهدت نقابة المهندسين الأردنيين، خلال أيار الماضي، انتخابات اتسمت بإبعاد الإسلاميين لأول مرة منذ ربع قرن عن مفاصل إحدى أكبر النقابات وأدواتها في الأردن. الجدل الذي حدث حول النتائج شارك فيه واحد من أبرز نقبائها السابقين ليث شبيلات. انخرط شبيلات في الحياة السياسية البرلمانية وعرف بمعارضته للتطبيع والوجود الأميركي في الأردن، وكان من الشخصيات الإسلامية التي انتقدت الحركة الإسلامية والمعارضة، كما النظام. دخل السجن مرات عدة، وأطلق سراحه الملك بنفسه في إحداها. نقد شديد وجّهه شبيلات من خلال مقابلة مع «الأخبار»، للنظام بأركانه على مواضيع عدة داخلية وخارجية، أبرزها غياب القرار السيادي

 هل تمثل الضغوطات الاقتصادية الحالية إرهاصات لانفجار اجتماعي لم يشهده الأردن قبلاً؟

لا شك، الكل يدرك ذلك. لذلك، الأردن في هذا الوضع الذي هو فيه عرضة للبيع والشراء، والآن هو معرّض لكي يُضغَط عليه كي تُشترى مواقفه، ولا أكتم سراً حين أقول إننا معتادون البيع والشراء. هذا ليس بأمر جديد علينا.

 يصف رئيس الوزراء هاني الملقي أهل الأردن بأنهم في عنق الزجاجة، هل توافقه على هذا التقدير؟ 
هل عندنا في الأردن رئيس وزراء؟! ليس هناك رئيس وزراء في الأردن، ولا حتى مجلس وزراء، ما هو موجود مجلس نُظّار مثل الذي كان موجوداً وقت تأسيس الإمارة في عام 1921، وهو مجلس مستشارين لا يرقون إلى مستوى وزير. فهذا الأخير صاحب سلطة سيادية ومسؤولية جماعية مع زملائه. أما الذي ينفذ فقط شؤون وزارته، فهو مدير يطيع مسؤولاً أكبر منه، وها نحن نعود بعد سنوات بعد أن تقدمنا بحكومات وطنية مثل حكومة وصفي التل صاحب الإرادة المستقلة كشخص، عدنا إلى حكومات تافهة لا أحفظ حتى أسماء 80% من وزرائها. سُئلت مرة عام 1986 عن سبب بروزي، فأجبت لقد فسد الزمان إلى أن بات ما أفعله يعتبر بطولة، بينما كان آباؤنا يعتبرون تركه نذالة.

 الضغوطات التي وصفها وزير الإعلام المتحدث باسم الحكومة محمد المومني، بأن الجبال لا تتحملها، هل هي إملاءات من نوع جديد، أم تداعيات لنهج اقتصادي؟ 
نحن نعرف أننا تحت ضغوطات لا تتحملها جبال، وسببها سياساتنا، في أي سلة وضعنا عنبنا، وأية قرارات استراتيجية اتخذناها، وهو يقول أسوأ من ذلك، أن 49% من الانتقادات مسيّرة من سوريا! كلام سخيف يسخر منه الشعب ويتندر به. وكأنه يقيس بميزان الذهب النسبة، ويملك حساس اليورانيوم ليستشعر الوجهة التي جاءت منها الانتقادات ولا يدله الحساس على الشكوى الداخلية الحقيقية، وكأن الشعب ينتظر إشارة من سوريا ليعبّر عن فراغ الأمعاء والجيوب الخاوية.

 ما قراءتك للإضراب الذي دعت إليه النقابة، وما أفق الاستجابة للمطالب؟ 
النقابات دعت إلى الإضراب، في وقت جميع شرائح المجتمع دون استثناء متضايقة فيه وخائفة من مشروع قانون ضريبة الدخل. فنجاح الإضراب اليوم متوقع بنحو لا مثيل له في السابق، وأقول لك هذا وأنا نقيب منذ خمس وثلاثين سنة، ولم نفلح في جمع ما نتوقعه اليوم. انظري حولك، جميع العاملين في مكتبي خارجين للاعتصام أمام النقابات. ولكنني لست مرتاحاً لقوة شخصيات مجلس النقباء وقدرتهم على إدارة الأزمة التي ستكون جماهيرها أكبر مما يتخيلون (ليس اعتصاماً ديكورياً كما تعودنا سابقاً)، وعندها إذا تلكأوا بالقيادة في المرحلة التالية سيقلبون أنفسهم ضمناً كأدوات تنفيس تمرر في النهاية ما تريده الحكومة. إذا حدث ذلك، وهو ما أتوقعه من خبرتي بمستوى قيادتهم، فسينقلب المشهد إلى قول جرير: زعمُ الفرزدقُ أن سيقتل مربعاً … أبشرْ بطولِ سلامةٍ يا مربعُ.

الحركة الإسلامية في الأردن تفّهت نفسها وصغّرت من دورها

 هل ضرب النظام تماسك الحركة الإسلامية في الأردن؟ 
الحركة الإسلامية في الأردن للأسف حركة تفّهت نفسها وصغّرت من دورها الذي كان كبيراً، وكان يجب أن يكون لها دور كبير. بدأت تتفّه نفسها منذ ثلاثين سنة باتخاذها قرارات خاطئة، فاتخذت موقعاً تظن أنها ستنتصر به، ولكن في نهاية المطاف خسرت. الحركة الإسلامية الآن في الوضع السياسي القائم شبه غائبة، ولا سيما في هذا الإضراب الكبير ضد قانون ضريبة الدخل ونظام الخدمة المدنية، هم أكبر تنظيم في البلد، الإخوان المسلمون وجبهة العمل الإسلامي، من المفترض أن يكونوا هم من يملأون الشوارع، إن وجودهم في أكبر أزمة نمرّ بها اليوم ثانوي وليس رئيسياً. لقد تم (ضبعهم) واستيعابهم كلياً بسبب من سوء إدارتهم السياسية في العقود الثلاثة الماضية.

من هم أعداء الأردن، خصوصاً مع التطورات التي طرأت على المنطقة في العشرين سنة الماضية؟ 
العدو التاريخي هو إسرائيل والمشروع الصهيوني الذي لم يتوقف ولن يتوقف، وهذه الدولة التي لم تكتب دستورها تجنباً لتحديد حدودها كما وصف بن غوريون. ليس هناك إلا عدو واحد، ومن يكبّر أي عداوة أو خصومة أخرى، يصبح جزءاً من العدوان، لأن ذلك يخدم المشروع الصهيوني.

عاد السفير الأردني لدى تل أبيب وليد عبيدات إلى المركز في وزارة الخارجية منذ بداية أيار الماضي ضمن تنقل روتيني، كيف يمكن قراءة هذه العودة، ولا سيما أن الأردن لم يسمِّ سفيراً جديداً، والملك عبد الله لغاية اللحظة لم يتقبّل أوراق اعتماد السفير الإسرائيلي الجديد في إشهار إعلامي كما هو معمول به عادة؟ 
المخابر غير المظاهر! وأستطيع القول بأن نظامنا يجرؤ على أن يُعصي إسرائيل، وخاصة بعد أن قفزت بأحلافها فوق رؤوسنا إلى الخليج. وأكثر من ذلك، أعتقد أن أكبر مسيّر لنا هو جارنا الصهيوني الذي يحسب له ألف حساب، والتعامل مع حادثة السفارة العام الفائت دليل على ذلك.

هل هناك تراجع في العلاقات الأردنية – الإسرائيلية المباشرة؟ 
الأردن كان حليفاً لإسرائيل بدرجة عقيد أو عميد، والآن خُفِضَت رتبتنا لملازم، وجاءت السعودية الآن برتبة جنرال!

على ماذا يؤشر السخاء العسكري الأميركي للجيش من مساعدات مالية مميزة وتدريبات مشتركة دورية تُعَدّ الأكبر والأضخم في المنطقة؟
في عام 1990، وكنت نائباً في البرلمان في حينها، انفردتُ مع نائبين آخرين، هما منصور مراد ويعقوب قرّش، بإصدار بيان ضد الوجود والتدريبات والقواعد الأميركية العسكرية في الأردن، ولم يجرؤ آخرون على ذلك. المشكلة ليست فقط في الحكومة، بل في جبن قيادات المعارضة والمجتمع الكاذبة التي سكتت في البرلمان عن فساد وجود هذه القوات وتناميها منذ ذلك الوقت (30 سنة)، وعن تغيير العقيدة القتالية لجيشنا العربي المصطفوي من العدو الصهيوني إلى محاربة الإرهاب وقوات سلام عالمية، وإن هي ذكرت الموضوع يكون بمواربة. قبل الحديث عن ماذا تفعل هذه القوات، يجب أن نقول إن الجريمة الكبرى يرتكبها المصلحون (نحن) الذين لا نقف سداً منيعاً في وجه حكوماتنا، إذ سمحت باحتلال إرادتنا، وكذلك السماح بوجود عسكري أجنبي على أراضينا.

هل ترى دور الأردن في المرحلة القادمة كمعبر لوجستي آمن في المنطقة؟
الأردن من زمن سابق معبر يستخدمه الكيان الصهيوني لتمرير بضاعته للخليج. فهناك علاقة بينهما ظهر أنها تفوق علاقتهما بنا، حتى منذ تقسيم الخريطة استُثني الأردن من الكيان الصهيوني الموعود تمهيداً لطرد الفلسطينيين إلى أراضيه وإعطاء فسحة للدولة الوليدة لتأخذ قوتها، ومن ثم إما يعاد ابتلاع الأردن أو يُبقى الفلسطينيون هنا.

 إبقاء الفلسطينيين في الأردن وتجنيسهم ومعاملتهم وفقاً للمادة الثامنة في معاهدة وادي عربة هو شكل التوطين الجديد، أم أن كل موضوع التوطين أصبح أسطوانة قديمة مكرورة؟ 
التوطين موجود كما ذكرت في اتفاقية وادي عربة، والإسرائيليون لا يزال عندهم خطط حقيقية لتفريغ أراضي 1948 والقدس والضفة الغربية من العرب، ولكن أهلنا وأحبتنا يمثلون قدوة، وهم من صبروا وبقوا في فلسطين بعناد، رافضين أي خطط مستقبلية لتهجيرهم، حتى لا ينفرد الإسرائيليون بيهودية الدولة.

هل يستطيع الأردن رفض صفقة القرن؟ 
نستطيع أن نقول لا، إلّا إذا حضر للملك الوعي وقرّر أن يجمع شعبه حوله. سنجوع كثيراً ونعاقب بشدة، ولكننا في واقع الأمر رقم صعب وموقعنا الجيوسياسي صعب، وعليهم أن يعقدوا صفقات أفضل معنا. الملك بإمكانه أن يفعل كما فعل أبوه في أيام حرب العراق؛ حيث كان الأردن منفرداً برفض الغزو الأميركي للعراق بالرغم من وجود قوات عربية في غزو العراق عام 1990 (ومنها مصر وسوريا)، ومورست علينا ضغوط مرعبة، لكن التفاف الشعب حول الملك حسين جعلنا نتخطى المأزق، وكانت تلك الأيام من ناحية دولية أصعب بكثير من الآن حيث ما عادت الولايات المتحدة منفردة وحدها في العالم، بل حتى أوروبا اختلفت اليوم مصالحها وسياساتها معها، فضلاً عن الصين وروسيا، وكذلك في الإقليم تحرر إيران وتركيا عن الإرادة الأميركية.

في موضوع القضية الفلسطينية، يهتم النظام في الأردن بملفين: القدس الشرقية عاصمةً للدولة الفلسطينية، والوصاية الهاشمية على المقدسات الإسلامية والمسيحية، فما مجال المناورة بهما؟ 
كنت أرغب في أن أصدق وجود مثل هذا الاهتمام. ففي الظاهر، نعم هناك اهتمام بهذين الملفين، ولكن لم أؤمن في يوم بأن هذا الاهتمام عميق واستراتيجي وأنهم مستعدون ليقاتلوا من أجله. كان والدي رئيساً لديوان الملك عبد الله الأول المؤسس، وقد روى عن الأخير بأنه كان يقول لغلوب باشا: باشا إذا علمت أنه ستكون هناك مناوشات عسكرية في القدس، وأنا أعرف أن اليهود يريدون ابتلاعها، أطلب منك أن تخبرني لأني أريد أن استشهد على أسوار القدس. هذا كان رأي مؤسس المملكة في موضوع القدس، وأنا أشك في أن يكون للملك الحالي الرغبة والاهتمام نفسيهما.

ما مدى أهمية الوصاية الهاشمية على القدس بالنسبة إلى النظام الأردني؟ 
لا يدرك الملك بعمق قيمة الوصاية التي أورثه إياها أبوه. فجده الأكبر قائد الثورة العربية الحسين بن علي، مدفون هناك، جده الملك عبد الله الأول استشهد في القدس، هناك علاقة دم بين العائلة الهاشمية والقدس. من ناحية أخرى، من الذي على الأرض أولى من الهاشميين بالوصاية على القدس؟! ولكن هات هاشميين يعون عظم المسؤولية ومستعدين للشهادة دفاعاً عنها.

 لماذا أُشرِكت مصر في ترتيبات المرحلة القادمة فيما بقي الأردن وحيداً، مع العلم بأن كليهما وقع معاهدات سلام مع إسرائيل؟ 
حجّمت مصر دورها في المنطقة، حتى إسرائيل لم تعد تنتبه لها بعد أن كانت تعتبرها الجائزة الكبرى. ولسنوات كان الكيان الصهيوني يعتبر الخليج المرحلة الثانية في فرض واقعه في المنطقة ومصر المرحلة الثالثة، ولكن بكل أسف المرحلة الثالثة تحقّقت مبكراً، والخليج أهم كثيراً لتل أبيب بعد انفتاحه وتراجعه عن شعارات التحرير ومعاداة إسرائيل بل بإظهار التحالف العلني مع إسرائيل بعد أن كان التحالف طيّ السرية لمدة طويلة جداً. وتهجمهم على الفلسطينيين واعتبار أن الفلسطينيين هم من باعوا أرضهم وغيره من كلام ساقط.

لماذا هناك تخوفات أردنية من العملية العسكرية المرتقبة من قبل الجيش السوري على درعا؟ 
هناك عدة جوانب لهذه المخاوف، أولها من دخول لاجئين جدد ومن هرب الجماعات الإرهابية إلى داخل المملكة والبدء بتنفيذ عمليات في الأردن، خاصة أن هناك ثأرات بهذا الموضوع مع النظام. من زاوية أخرى، هو خائف بالإنابة عن حليفه إسرائيل التي لا تريد من إيران وحزب الله الاقتراب من الحدود، ولا حتى في كل سوريا، حيث إن هذا الأمر سيحدث حرباً أكبر مما يلزم لتطهير الجنوب السوري، فكل طرف سيحاول أن يطهّر الآخر، ليس من المستهدَف الأول فحسب، بل من خصومه في الخندق الواحد أيضاً.

هل سيتدخل الجيش الأردني في معركة الجنوب السوري؟ 
لغاية الآن أشك، مع أن رئيس أميركا الدب الهائج يريد أن يقاتل بأموالنا ورجالنا، مثل الإنكليز في الحرب العالمية الأولى حين كانوا ينهبون الهند ويرسلون فرقة هندية لغزو العراق مثلاً.

من حليف الأردن في الملف السوري؟ 
يتراقص الأردن هنا وهناك، ولا شك في أنه كان ضالعاً في التآمر على سوريا، وهنا توجد غرفة «الموك»، وهي غرفة عمليات أميركية خليجية أردنية إسرائيلية. وإذا عملنا مقاربة بينها وبين هيكلية الشركات، فسيكون في مقام المدير التنفيذي لها المقيم في عمّان في ذلك الوقت الأمير محمد بن سلمان، ومن في مقام رئيس مجلس الإدارة كان الأمير بندر بن سلطان، ومن فترة أعادوا إحياء الموك.
مع ذلك حفظ النظام خطاً مع سوريا بأنه لم يندفع أكثر عمقاً من ذلك، وأبقى على علاقات واتصالات مع السلطات في سوريا، وهذا أمر يحمد له، ويحاول من وقت إلى آخر تحسين هذه العلاقة، ولكن بسبب فقر موارده وإمكاناته الاقتصادية لا يستطيع الاقتراب أكثر، فذلك يغضب الخليج.

لماذا لم تعد هناك مساعدات سعودية وخليجية كما السابق، وهذا ملاحظ من المنحة الخليجية التي جاءت على شكل مشاريع تنموية قدمتها دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي باستثناء قطر؟ 
المساعدات شحّت كضغط على الأردن. أما لماذا أصبحت المساعدات على شكل مشاريع تنموية بسبب من الشك المشروع في أمانتنا من حيث المعاملات النقدية، فهم لا يثقون بإرسال أموال لا يعرفون أين تصرف، لذلك جاءت هذه المشاريع المرفقة بفواتير واضحة تُدفَع. وللأمانة، السعودية وباقي دول الخليج لم يكونوا ظالمين. نحن ظلمنا أنفسنا في ذلك، ولم نحسن التصرف في النقد الذي كان يأتينا، ولو كنت مكانهم لأوقفت النقد، أو لفعلت كما فعلوا، إلّا في حالة وجود حكومة موثوقة عفيفة أمينة. أما قطر، فلم تلتزم بالمنحة الخليجية.

هل أنت مع بقاء النظام السوري؟ 
عندي ملاحظات كثيرة لن تعجب النظام السوري، ولكن هناك أمور أدافع بها عن الدولة السورية، في ذات الوقت هناك مواقف لي لا تعجب المعارضة السورية أبداً. أنا مع الدولة السورية وضد انهيارها وضياع أراضيها وتقسيمها، وهذا إن أعجب أصحاب المواقف الهوجاء أو لم يعجبهم لا يكون إلا بوجود الرئيس الأسد. إن شعار إطاحة الرئيس الأسد كان شعاراً دولياً وخليجياً بامتياز لاقى قبولاً وفرحاً عند المعارضين الذين أخطأ معظمهم إلا من رحم ربي بإقامة علاقات تبعية مع القوى الغربية والخليجية أفقدت تحركهم أية شرعية قانونية في ما عدا الشرعية الانسانية التي تحمي أرواحهم وممتلكاتهم من التنكيل والاضطهاد. فأنا بكل تأكيد ضد هدم الدولة السورية وإعادة سيناريو العراق، وإن درء المفاسد أولى من جلب المنافع كما تقول القاعدة الشرعية، وفي بداية الحدث رجوت الرئيس الأسد الذي خالفني في أن الثورة ستصل إلى بلده قائلاً له: إن حدثت ثورة أرجوك أن تسند ظهرك للشعب ضد مراكز القوى، في وقتها نفى لي أن يكون هناك مراكز قوى. لكننا شهدنا تأثيرها عندما غيّر خطابه في أوائل نيسان وتأخر في إلقائه وجاء بغير ما وُعدنا به كمراقبين عرب من حول سوريا، واختير الحل الأمني في التعامل مع الاحتجاجات بدلاً من الحل الانفتاحي المستوعب للناس كافة بصبر وتودد وإصلاح. أما المعارضة، فمنذ أن تسلحت من الأجنبي وتمولت منه، فهي أصبحت خادماً له، وفي بداية الأزمة لم يكن هناك روسي وإيراني وحزب الله، لكن البادئ في إدخال الأجنبي كان مجلس إسطنبول للمعارضة وهو مجلس برعاية فرنسية تركية أميركية، وكذلك ما سمي مؤتمر (أصدقاء) سوريا، ولم يقرأ المتحركون بهذا الاتجاه التاريخ الحديث ليعلموا أن المؤتمر السوري الأول في القرن الماضي والذي عقد في باريس ضد الحكم العثماني لم يحقق الاستقلال لسوريا، بل الانتداب والاحتلال ومعركة ميسلون ودخول الجنرال غورو دمشق. وكنت قد نصحت الإخوان المسلمين علناً من خلال مقال كتبته في صحيفتهم «السبيل» في نهاية 2011 بعنوان «الإخوان المسلمون: بيضة القبان بين معارضة وطنية ومعارضة مع الناتو»، أن يبقوا على معارضة وطنية وأن لا يتقاطعوا مع المشاريع الاستعمارية المستهدفة سوريا، فوجدت منهم من هو على نفس موقفي، لكن الغالبية الساحقة كانوا منتشين بما بدا من انتصارات لو تحققت لكان نتاجها الاستدارة للقضاء عليهم.

هل ما زلت تميل إلى القطرين في الخصومة الخليجية؟ 
أنا عجيب، وليس عندي في السياسة أبيض وأسود، فهناك رمادي واسع لأن الملفات السياسية كثيرة وليست ملفاً واحداً، كما هو معروف قطر والسعودية ضالعتان في ما يحدث في سوريا، وأنا أنتقدهما بشدة في ذلك، لكن أنا ضد أن يظلم القطريون بهذه الطريقة، وأنا أعني الشعب، والمشكلة أن من يتناول الموضوع الخليجي يتحدث وكأنه لا يوجد هناك شعب يدفع ثمن خلافات الساسة. متى ندرك أن الشعب أهم من تميم وسلمان وعبد الله الثاني والأسد. على كلٍّ، أرجو أن يكون هناك صحوة، وأنا سمعت أن هناك اتصالات بين القطريين والسوريين لإصلاح العلاقات بعد الحصار الذي تعرضوا له.

هل التخوفات الأردنية من إيران مبررة؟ 
إيران دولة عريقة ولديها برنامج، وخلافي معهم عندما تغيّر برنامجهم ولم يعد إسلامياً وتحول إلى وطني قومي وهنا أتصادم معه، ولو بقي برنامجاً إسلامياً كمظلة جامعة لكان شيئاً جيداً. أما ما حدث، فإيران دولة أخذت قرارها الذي تغلب عليه القومية والمذهبية وهي كأية دولة قوية تبحث عن مناطق نفوذ، وهي توسع نفوذها بما يزعج جيرانها بشكل كبير، ولكن جيرانها ليس عندهم دولة مركزية برؤية استراتيجة، بل يتصرفون مشرذمين كردّ فعل لا كفعل. أما الفعل، فإن بعضهم، وأعني الخليجيين، يرغبون في تمويل فعل أميركي إسرائيلي ومساندته ضد إيران. والصراع على النفوذ أمر ينطبق أيضاً على تركيا التي هي أيضاً دولة عريقة تاريخياً ومتجذرة في المنطقة وفي دول الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق الناطقة بالتركية، وهي كما إيران من الدول الكبرى في المنطقة تتصرفان وفق مصالحهما وتبحثان عن دوائر نفوذ لهما. أما نحن، فلا مشروع عربياً، ولا دولة تدافع عن عروبتها، خاصة بعد غزو العراق واستهداف سوريا.

بين المشروع التركي والإيراني، ما المشروع الأقرب إلى مصلحة الأردن لو كان لديه خيار عقد تحالف جديد؟
برأيي مع كليهما. إن تحدثنا عن إيران، فسيقولون: “شيعة”، على اعتبار أننا سنّة، وإن من يقود المشروع السني زعماً حالياً ابن سعود، وهي لا تليق به، إذ رماه في أحضان الصهاينة والأميركان. لكن تركيا أيضاً تقود السنّة، ومع ذلك ليس هنالك عداوة بين إيران وتركيا، بل كثير من مجالات التعاون السياسي والتعاون الاقتصادي العميقين، رغم أنهما تتصارعان عسكرياً بالوكالة على الأرض السورية وعلى حساب الشعب العربي السوري. وبذلك هما تتعاملان سياسياً كجارين تتقاطع مصالحهما كثيراً وليس مذهبياً، حيث يتقدم وقتها الصدام غير المجدي على العقل والحكمة. ومع أن كل طرف متمسك بمذهبيته، ولكن لا يعنون معركته بأنها معركة مذهب، بل هي سياسية، وهذا سبب التقارب بينهما مع روسيا. أردنياً، يجب التقارب معهما معاً، فهما ضد التدخل الأميركي الكبير في المنطقة، وتركيا لم تعد خاتماً بإصبع أميركا والناتو، وعند الأتراك برامج تتصادم معنا، ولكن ما يجمعنا أكثر، وكذلك الأمر مع إيران.

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Former UK Envoy Says Bahrain all but a US, Saudi Colony

Local Editor

29-05-2018 | 11:13

Ex-British Envoy to Bahrain Peter Ford said the Gulf island has almost turned into a vassal state for the US and Saudi Arabia out of fear for its existence in the face of popular protests.
Peter Ford

In an interview with Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen TV on Sunday, Ford said that “Bahrain has almost turned into a Saudi and American colony since the beginning of the protests” in 2011.

The ruling Al Khalifah family has been capitulating to Riyadh since this dynasty became scared, said Ford, who served as Britain’s accredited ambassador to Manama for three years.

This fright is also the reason behind the proximity of Bahrain’s position to the anti-Iran stance of the United States and “Israel”, he added.

Over the years of protests, scores of people were martyred and hundreds more imprisoned during the regime’s crackdown on peaceful protesters. Many more Bahraini nationals have also been stripped of citizenship, following accusations of being involved in acts of “terrorism” or measures to undermine national security.

The ruling Bahraini regime has further aligned itself radically with the US, Saudi Arabia, and “Israel” in their bid to demonize and isolate Iran.

Ford stepped down as an adviser to the Bahraini royal family after those remarks.
 The British Foreign Office, Ford said, did not welcome the resignation but the decision generated some “positive reactions” inside Bahrain.
“The Bahraini media were absolutely silent on this issue, and British Foreign Office officials were not happy with my resignation,” he said.

Ford also warned Bahrain against throwing itself into regional disputes, saying the tiny island would seriously be hurt if a wider conflict broke out.

“Bahrain will be at risk more than any other region in the event of a widespread conflict between “Israel” on the one hand, and Lebanon, Syria and Iran on the other, due to its proximity to Iran and the instability of Bahrain.” 
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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Portman and Corbyn

April 22, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

Last Thursday, The Genesis Prize announced it was cancelling its so-called “Jewish Nobel” prize ceremony in Israel in June because its 2018 recipient, Natalie Portman, said she would not take part in light of “recent events.”

The Jewish foundation said that Portman’s representative notified it that “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

According to the Forward Portman didn’t reject the prize itself, but said she could not “in good conscience” share a stage with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

So again, the Israelis are upset. Gilad Erdan, Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information wrote to Portman to tell her that she had been hoodwinked by Hamas propaganda and invited the Jerusalem-born Hollywood star to come and see the truth.

“It is not surprising that you have seen the media reports which have distorted the truth and portrayed the recent riots on the Israel-Gaza border as peaceful demonstrations, and Israel’s response as disproportionate. It is in fact precisely this narrative which Hamas hoped to portray when it organised the riots. Unfortunately it appears that this Hamas-designed narrative has impacted your decision.”

Is Erdan, as it seems, admitting that Hamas has defeated him and his Hasbara ministry in the propaganda war?  I would like to correct Erdan, ’riots’ isn’t really the appropriate description of a mass protest by those incarcerated in the biggest open air prison known to man. Outside the Jewish ghetto it is seen as a ‘Liberation struggle.’

Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev lambasted Portman, saying she had “fallen into the hands” of the BDS campaign that aims to isolate the Jewish state.

Likud MK Oren Hazan demanded that Israel cancel Portman’s Israeli citizenship, and labelled her

“an Israeli Jewess who on the one hand makes cynical use of her origins in order to advance her career and who, on the other hand, prides herself on having avoided being drafted into the IDF.”

The take home message is simple and devastating. Tolerance and pluralism don’t seem to be the prime characteristics of Jewish politics. What we see instead is the expectation that the entire tribe adhere to a single ideology. It seems that Israel’s leading party does not accept that Portman is openly upset by the images of Israeli soldiers shooting Palestinian protesters as if they were sitting ducks.

Sadly, this form of authoritarian behaviour is not limited to Israel. Here in Britain the Jewish ‘so-called’ representative bodies exercise the same tyrannical tendencies.

Recently  we watched an  organised Jewish campaign against Labour leader  and life long anti racist, Jeremy Corbyn.  When Corbyn celebrated the Passover dinner with Jewdas, a radical progressive Jewish group, other British Jewish organisations reacted with the same intolerance.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC Radio, Jonathan Arkush, the President of the BOD, a body that claims to ‘represent British Jews’  said: “What Jeremy Corbyn did last night was the very thing which we wrote to him about last week…stop giving credence to ultra-fringe groups that say anti-Semitic things, who are far from representative.” One would expect the BOD that claims to ‘represent Jews’ to represent all Jews including the so-called Jewish fringe.

The Jewish Labour Movement said Mr Corbyn’s attendance at the Jewdas Seder “topped off the worst week on record of awful relations between the Labour party and the Jewish community.” Apparently the Jewish Labour Movement also do not approve of the Jewish Fringe. Campaign Against anti-Semitism called Mr Corbyn’s meeting with Jewdas a “two-fingered salute against mainstream British Jewry”. I would remind the Campaign Against Antisemitsm that what is seen by some as a ‘two fingered salute’ is seen by others as a ‘V’ for victory.

I thank Natalie Portman, Jonathan Arkush, Gilad Erdan, the Jewish Labour Movement, Campaign Against Antisemitism and of course Jeremy Corbyn.  Together they provide a window into authoritarian tribalism. In fact it would be impossible to fully grasp the tragic continuum known as Jewish history without prospecting the Jewish present as it fully unveils itself.

If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

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Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

 

TIGER FORCES LIBERATE KEY TOWN IN CENTRAL PART OF EAST GHOUTA (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

Breaking: Syrian Army seizes full control of imperative rebel town in east Damascus

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:39 P.M.) – After short but high-pitched battle, elite forces of the Syrian Army have taken full control of an imperative half-way point in Damascus’ East Ghouta region – the town of Beit Sawa.

According to military-affiliated sources, insurgent fighters of Faylaq al-Rahman and Jaysh al-Islam abandoned their positions in Beit Sawa after the Syrian Army breached their main defensive line on the town’s outskirts and entered its center.

Elite Syrian assault troops had their operation to take the town backed up by tank and artillery forces as well as airpower.

The capture of Beit Sawa has now burst open the door for the Syrian Army to advance on a major militant stronghold in East Ghouta – the town of Masraba – from its southern and eastern approaches.

It is yet to be seen if the Syrian Army commits to fully-fledged attack on Masraba tonight (Wednesday) or holds off operations against the rebel stronghold for another day.

 

TIGER FORCES LIBERATE KEY TOWN IN CENTRAL PART OF EAST GHOUTA (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

South Front

07.03.2018

Tiger Forces Liberate Key Town In Central Part Of East Ghouta (Videos, Photos)

Click to see the full-size map

On March 7, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces liberated the key town of Bayt Siwa in the central part of the East Ghouta pocket, according to the Hezbollah media wing in Syria.

Furthermore, Syrian pro-government sources reported that the SAA had captured several farms and the Tank Base around the town of Hawsh al-Ash’ari, south of Bayt Siwa. The SAA also imposed fire control over the strategic town of Misraba, according to sources.

Tiger Forces Liberate Key Town In Central Part Of East Ghouta (Videos, Photos)

Click to see the full-size image

Tiger Forces Liberate Key Town In Central Part Of East Ghouta (Videos, Photos)

Click to see the full-size image

In the northern part of the East Ghouta pocket, the SAA resumed it military operations in the Harasta district and captured several buildings east of the al-Bayrouni hospital in its northeastern part, according to the Syrian pro-government news outlet Damascus Now.

Meanwhile, civilians in the towns of Hammuuriyah and Kafr Batna continued their protests against militants. In a video released by Damascus Now, protestors have called for a withdrawal of militants from their towns and have accused them of committing crimes over the last 7 years.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdimashq.now%2Fvideos%2F1560022197456720%2F&show_text=0&width=560

According to Syrian pro-government activists, the ongoing protests and the rapid advance of the SAA in Misraba will led to the collapse of the militants’ defense in the center of the East Ghouta pocket soon. Should this happens, the militants-held areas will be split into two pockets, which will allow the SAA to increase pressure on them.

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نقاط على الحروف من طهران: ماذا يجري في إيران؟ ناصر قنديل

 

نقاط على الحروف من طهران: ماذا يجري في إيران؟ ناصر قنديل

يناير 9, 2018

– تسنّى لي خلال زيارتي لطهران مشاركاً في مؤتمر مخصّص لاستراتيجيات الأمن الإقليمي في غرب آسيا تنظمه الرئاسة الإيرانية، أن أتلمّس الكثير من المعطيات والوقائع والتحليلات التي ترتبط بالأحداث الأخيرة التي عاشتها إيران، والتي وضعها الغرب وجماعته من العرب تحت عنوان بدء تداعي نظام الجمهورية الإسلامية، وأيام ولاية الفقيه باتت معدودة، ونموذج سورية يتكرّر في إيران. ولعلّ الجامع المشترك مما تسنّى لي مشاهدة وسماعاً وتحققاً، هو أنّ الإيرانيين ليسوا في هذا الوادي، فهم في وادٍ آخر، هم يفكرون بما تعلّموه من هذه الأحداث، وكيف سيواجهون استحقاقاتهم المقبلة، بضجيج أقلّ ومن دون السماح لخصومهم بالدخول على خط استخفافهم بمشاكلهم أو بخلافاتهم. وهم لا يشعرون بالحرج بالقول إنهم ليسوا دولة من دون مشاكل وليسوا مجتمعاً من دون خلافات، لكنهم دولة ومجتمع مجمعون على عدم الوقوع ضحايا تجارب شبيهة بتجربة «الربيع العربي»، واثقون من أنّ خياراتهم الإقليمية والدولية النابعة من التمسّك بدولة الاستقلال الوطني، وبالمسؤولية تجاه مقتضيات الأمن الإقليمي. هي الخيارات التي تصون مصالح الشعب الإيراني، وهي الخيارات التي صنعت وتصنع لبلدهم هذه المكانة وتلك المهابة، ولا يصدّق عاقل بينهم أنّ تعارضاً ما يوجد بين مصالح الشعب الإيراني ومقتضيات ما صنع لهم المهابة، في عالم تحكمه شرعة الأقوياء كان سيتناتش لحمهم لو لم تكن لديهم هذه المهابة وتلك القوة.

– في إيران بعد الأحداث يفكّرون أكثر بمسؤولياتهم الإقليمية وفي طليعتها خيار المقاومة، والالتزام بفلسطين. بفضل هذه وتلك بَنَتْ إيران قوّتها ومهابتها، وصانت بالتالي استقرارها، وصارت كلمتها مسموعة ومهابة، وحمت وحدتها. لذلك فالنقاش في مكان آخر، مكان حيث للاقتصاد ضرورات أبعد من حدود الرهان على الانفراج في العلاقات الدولية، ومقتضيات تأخذ بالاعتبار أنّ اقتصاد الحرب وحدَه يتناسب مع واقع إيران التي لا تريد أن تخضع وتستسلم لمشيئة راعي البقر الأميركي الذي يشاهد الإيرانيون كيف يفرض الأتاوات على الذين يُسلسون له التبعية، كما يشاهدون كيف ترتعد فرائصه عند ذكر اسم بلدهم، وكيف يتلعثم عندما يكون أمام قرار يتصل بهم. والنقاش في إيران بمثل ما هو حول الخيارات الاقتصادية، هو حول كيفية جعلها استراتيجية تحظى بالإجماع كما تحظى الخيارات الكبرى، فتكون خارج التنافس الانتخابي ولعبة تسجيل النقاط التي تفتح اللعبة لآخرين أوّلهم المتربّصون الذين دخلوا هذه المرة على الخط كما يدخلون في كلّ نقاش داخلي إيراني يتحوّل ضجيجاً أو يستسهل الإيرانيون خوضه في الشارع. وفي إيران نقاش حول مستقبل المواقع القيادية من الرئاسة المقبلة إلى منصب المرشد وما يدور حول شروط الترشح له، وإبعاد لعبة الشارع عن المرشحين لمنصب على هذه الدرجة من الجدية والحساسية.

– يعترف الإيرانيون أنهم فعلوا عكس ذلك خلال الشهور الماضية، فتفجّرت قضية المؤسسات المصرفية المتعثرة، ومعها مشاريع زيادة أسعار المحروقات. وصارت في الشارع المستعدّ أصلاً لتلقي الإشارات المتصلة بالتنافسات السياسية والفقهية وسواها، ليفاجئهم جماعة بقايا نظام الشاه بأنهم قد نظّموا صفوفهم بالمئات، ليكونوا قادرين على تنفيذ أعمال تخريب وشغب في عدد من المدن والبلدات والقرى، بعيداً عن طهران التي شهدت ليومين فقط تجمّعات بالعشرات. لكن التي فاجأ الإيرانيين أكثر هي ثلاثة أشياء: الأوّل أنّ التغطية والإحاطة الإعلاميين تجاوزا أضعاف الحقيقة بالمبالغات، والثاني أنّ الشعب على درجة من النضج أنه بمجرد استشعار محاولات الاستغلال والسير بالشارع إلى المجهول، تراجع المحتجّون، رغم أنّ قضايا الاحتجاج لم تكن قد سلكت طريق الحلّ، والشيء الثالث هو سرعة تماسك القيادات السياسية والفقهية فوق الانقسامات والتنافس لمواجهة موحّدة تقطع طريق العبث وتعالج المشكلات وتستخلص العبر والدروس وتستعدّ بهدوء لملاقاة المسؤوليات والاستحقاقات.

– يقول مسؤول إيراني كبير إنّ الرسالة التي أراد الأميركي والسعودي و«الإسرائيلي» توجيهها عبر الأحداث الأخيرة تستهدف الفلسطينيين لتقول لهم: لقد قُصم ظهركم، فعلامَ تستندون وتواصلون الحراك، ويضيف، أراد الإيرانيون بسرعة خروجهم من المحنة أن يوجّهوا رسالة للفلسطينيين تقول: لأجل فلسطين سيطرنا على الأزمة، لنقول للفلسطينيين، إيران بخير وملتزمة معكم قلباً وقالباً شكلاً ومضموناً فلا تجزعوا ولا تَهِنوا ولا تضعفوا، ونحن على العهد باقون.

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Saudi: 11 Princes Arrested over Demonstrating in Riyadh Royal Palace

January 6, 2018

Saudi Arabia Royal Guards

 

Saudi authorities arrested 11 princes who demonstrated in the presidential palace in Riyadh, Saudi media reported on Saturday.

Saudi online newspaper, Sabq, reported that 11 princes had gathered in the presidential palace in Riyadh after authorities banned them from some privileges related to electricity and water services.

Royal guards arrested the princes after they refused to do leave the palace, according to Sabq.

They were taken to Al-Hayer prison, the electronic newspaper said, adding that they will be prosecuted for refusing to obey the orders.

Saudi Arabia has been witnessing a massive purge since November 2017. Dozens of prominent princes, government ministers, and business people were arrested under the pretext of countering corruption. The move, led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, is seen as an attempt by the 32-year-old prince to tighten his control over the kingdom.

SourceNewspapers

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Iran Protests…CIA Fingerprints?

RonPaulLibertyReport

Is it just a coincidence that the biggest protests since 2009 have hit Iran shortly after a secret agreement was revealed between Washington, Tel Aviv, and Riyadh to destabilize Iran? And shortly after a new Executive Order was issued by President Trump allowing him to seize US assets of anyone he deems a “human rights abuser” …or anyone who aids a designated “human rights abuser”?

Iran Reformists Condemn Violence, US Support for Protests

January 2, 2018

khatami1

Iran’s reformist politicians on Tuesday condemned violence that has rocked the country in recent days, accusing the US of stirring unrest.

“Without doubt the Iranian people are confronted with difficulties in their daily lives… and have the right to peacefully demand and protest,” said a statement from the Association of Religious Combattants, headed by reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami.

“But the events of recent days have shown that opportunists and trouble-makers have exploited the demonstrations to create problems, insecurity and destroy public buildings, while insulting sacred religious and national values.”

The group said the violence seen through five days of protests across the country would help Iran’s “enemies”. “The enemies of Iran, headed by the United States and their agents… have encouraged the trouble-makers and the violent actions.”

Some cities of Iran have witnessed rallies in the past few days in protest at price hikes and economic woes, but some rioters have taken the protest so far by damaging public property and attacking police forces.

According to Article 27 of the Iranian Constitution, “public gatherings and marches are allowed so long as the participants do not carry arms and are not in violation of the fundamental principles of Islam.”

In the recent demonstrations in Iran, 10 people have been pronounced dead, while unconfirmed reports suggest that the death toll has risen to 21 on Tuesday morning.

In Najafabad, a city in the central province of Isfahan, a rioter opened fire to police forces on Monday night, killing one and injuring three others with a hunting rifle.

President Hassan Rouhani has stressed that the united Iranian nation will stand firm against a small group of foreign-induced rioters that have tried to hijack recent peaceful protests in the country, saying any protest should be organized in compliance with the regulations.

SourceAFP

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Rouhani: Iranians Free to Protest, Trump Has No Right to Sympathize with Our Nation

 December 31, 2017

As he said that Iranians are completely free to stage protests, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani stressed the actions of the protesters should not lead to violence or damage public property.

Meanwhile, the Iranian president hit back at Donald Trump noting that the US President has no right to sympathize with the Iranian nation after the latter described the Iranians as “terrorists.”

Rouhani made the remarks while addressing a Cabinet session on Sunday as he pointed to recent gatherings in protest against economic conditions in a number of Iranian cities.

“We are a free nation and based on the Constitution and citizenship rights, people are completely free to express their criticism and even their protest,” he said, according to Iranian media.

He emphasized that the settlement of some problems in the country was “not easy and takes time,” calling for cooperation between the Iranian government and nation to solve those problems.

The Iranian people have the right to voice their criticism with regard to all affairs, Rouhani said, adding: “We believe that the government and the country belong to the people and the people must properly express what they want.”

Meanwhile, Rouhani condemned Trump’s comments about the protests in Iran.

“This man who today in America wants to sympathize with our people has forgotten that a few months ago he called the Iranian nation terrorist,” the Iranian president said, adding, “This person who is against the Iranian nation from head to toe has no right to feel sorry for the people of Iran.”

“Anyone who calls the Iranian people terrorists do not have the right to sympathize for the people,” Rouhani stated.

SourceIranian media

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Iranian People Will Deal with Rioters, Lawbreakers: President Rouhani

January 1, 2018

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says the Iranian people will deal with a “small and minority group” of rioters and lawbreakers exploiting the protests against economic conditions in a number of Iranian cities in recent days.

Speaking in a meeting with a number of Iranian lawmakers on Monday, Rouhani said the nation would counter the small group that has used protests as an excuse to chant slogans in violation of the law and people’s demands, insult the sanctities and values of the Islamic Revolution, and damage public property.

“The enemy will not remain silent vis-à-vis the nation’s progress and greatness, but there are also deceived people among the protesters who have rightful demands,” he added.

The Iranian chief executive emphasized that the enemies of Iran could not tolerate the country’s achievements in the diplomatic arena, particularly in the confrontation with the US and the Israeli regime, and some of them had explicitly threatened that they would take regional problems into Tehran.

Rouhani stressed the importance of reinforcing national unity, particularly among the three branches of the government, as the best way to tackle such issues and the people’s problems.

“I believe that what happened in recent days was apparently a type of threat, which should be turned into an opportunity,” the Iranian chief executive said.

He noted that not all of those partaking in the protests were taking orders from foreigners and there was in fact a group of people who poured into the streets because of their “sentiments and problems.”

Since Thursday, groups of Iranian protesters have staged protests in several cities to voice their anger over rising prices and economic conditions. Sporadic violence has erupted during the protests, causing a number of deaths.

Addressing a Cabinet session on Sunday, Rouhani said the Iranian people were completely free to express their criticism of the government or stage protests according to the Constitution and citizenship rights, and in a way that would lead to the improvement of the country’s conditions.

“We are a free nation and based on the Constitution and citizenship rights, people are completely free to express their criticism and even their protest,” he said, reiterating that the manner of expressing criticism and protest must lead to the improvement of the country’s conditions and people’s lives.

SourcePress TV

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Iran protests: Western salivation, agitation & desperation

December 31, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker blog

Iran protests: Western salivation, agitation & desperation

I am on vacation and trying to stay away from politics to recharge my batteries, but a sane voice on Iranian politics in English is almost impossible to find, so….

Despite the Western media’s slobbering at the minor protests in Iran, there is no need to fear that Iranian democracy is about to “fall”. Allow me to get right to the heart of the matter and prove why:

What did the 2009 protests prove?

Firstly, that opposition to the Iranian system is obviously a minority, which was immediately indicated back then by the fact that the pro-Ahmadinejad counter-protests were larger – a rarely reported fact. Today there are major pro-government counter-protests now planned all over Iran, but good luck hearing much about that either.

Secondly, and more importantly – and this cannot be disputed whatsoever:

Exactly like in Venezuela this year – there is a hardcore, GRASSROOTS system of citizen supporters who will defend the Iranian Revolution with their lives…because they feel the Iranian Revolution (like Chavismo) has benefited the average citizen so very much. That’s why Venezuelan democracy didn’t fall – it was due to the common person attending a counter-protest, maybe even wielding a garden tool. This is what preserved Venezuelan democracy – not state military action – and this is also what happened in Iran in 2009.

So Iran 2009 and Venezuela 2017 proved that Mao was wrong when he said “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” – if you have enough of the People, all you really need is a makeshift club.

Because true politics – which is far different from pathetically snarky discussions on TV – is ultimately about People Power, and Iran’s government has the People clearly on their side. 2009 proved that if you push the Iranian People to the brink, you will be confronted with their power. (Iran is NOWHERE near the brink right now, of course.)

Iran’s Basij Resistance Bases – or volunteer militias, in Western terms – are far more deeply embedded in all levels of society than Chavismo colectivos. They are more more akin to the Chinese Communist Party (minus the formalised and incredibly rigorous testing and selection policy) as they compose perhaps 11 million people in an 80-million person country. Strikes are basically the only way to get any revolution going, but good luck getting an unjust strike past the Basij branches which are set up among unions, professional organizations, civil servants groups, student groups, industrial workplaces, etc.

And most of these members are unpaid. And they have families who likely feel similarly. And they have friends who clearly aren’t opposed to them…because they are still friends, after all.

So, you see…we are not talking about a “group” – we are basically talking about half of Iran.

Now you can ignore the ironclad reality of such grassroots (i.e. popular democratic) support all you like, but you will never defeat them internally. Never.

For that, as Libya proved, you need NATO bombs. There was huge internal support for the Libyan system: I was there when it started, and I witnessed pro-Ghadaffi protesters, and I was awed by their intensity – but they were overwhelmed by US and French bombs, 40 tons of illegal arms drops by France, a naval and air blockade spearheaded by the UK, Canada and all of Western Europe, etc.

So the analysis above should answer the question on every idiot Western commentator’s lips regarding a possible “fall” of Iran. I simply say: How do you account for the already-proven massive number of people willing to forget about political niceties/compromises and fight FOR Iran’s government?

This is not “tough talk” or “nationalistic talk” on my part – this is reality, and it must be accounted for in any discussion which claims to be serious (or worth having).

Foreign interventions and false flags – also not a worry for Iran

What must also be remembered is that Iran already had their “NATO intervention” – it was called the Iran-Iraq War. For 8 horrible years the West foisted Iraq on Iran, supplied Iraq with weapons, turned a blind eye to the worst chemical weapons atrocities since World War One, and did all they could to create, prolong and influence the deadliest war in the last quarter of the 20th century.

And it was still not enough.

A 2nd phony Western war would also totally backfire in 2018 – have no doubt about that. The Iran-Iraq War created a nationalist unity which Libya did not have; Libya’s revolution did create the highest standard of living in Africa and fewer poor people than the imperialist Netherlands (and free loans, education, health care, etc.), but it was never really tested. Syrians, on the other hand, will soon enjoy a nationalist unity also forged in the crucible of a horribly unjust war.

So there are simply not the type of divisions in Iranian society which the West was able to exploit in Libya. A 2nd phony Western war would undoubtedly be met with a largely-unified response to expel the invaders and Iran would never be fooled by their phony promises; this is evidenced by massive popular support for our right to nuclear energy, even though it is (allegedly) the main source of inhumane sanctions. The Iran-Iraq War not only “made the bones” of the Iranian system, but it is remembered and feared – a return to that will be wildly, massively opposed.

Iran is, in this sense, like Cuba and China: a revolutionary country full of many revolutionaries. There is no irony in their politics, nor any going back.

Iran is definitely one step ahead of Venezuela in another way: their government is not revolutionary, after all, but based on a democratic support for Chavismo that is fundamentally bourgeois (West European democracy). I am not denigrating Venezuela, but they have never instituted the fundamental, wholesale changes which countries like Cuba, China, Vietnam, Eritrea and others have implemented. This commitment to “playing by the rules” of a bourgeois democratic system leaves them very vulnerable and almost welcoming of the very forces which want to destroy the gains democratically won by Chavismo.

And it was not enough in Venezuela, too – Chavismo is still standing. It’s bruised, bloodied and shaky, but it’s still there despite the vast US-led effort against it. The source of the reactionary-foreign capitalist pact against Venezuelan socialism was because Chavistas are, correctly, starting to implement Cuban-style changes to their governmental structure in order to become less bourgeois and more poplar democratic.

What’s a more realistic fear? A Ukraine-style false flag operation.

recently re-broadcast a totally-ignored Italian report on 3 snipers who admitted they were paid to shoot at both sides at Ukraine’s Maidan. That caused the killing of 100 people, massive chaos, the subsequent discrediting of the government and then what still reigns today – horrible civil war.

However, Ukraine is no revolutionary society. The Iranian government would not, and should not, permit an encampment like at Ukraine’s Maidan. Iran is a country which has been besieged by foreign forces for decades, and is no position to allow an “Occupy” type of protest at Zuccotti Park in New York City (razed at night after less than 2 months, with more repression to prevent their return; that’s a slightly better democratic score than other Occupy protests in the US which were stopped much sooner; and a far better score than France, who rousted out their Nuit Debout protesters in Paris every single night, forcing them to rebuild the following day.) because we all know that it would be filled with 10 times more foreign operatives than in Ukraine, i.e., it cannot possibly be as democratic is it would claim to be. There would be Mossad, CIA, MKO, Al-Qaeda, ISIL, Mi5, DGSE and truly the worst of the worst in the world. You cannot compare the US and Iran; Iran is fighting for its life and its sovereignty, while the US government fights to preserve its capitalist inequality.

However, all those foreign, murderous groups will have no problem creating a sort of false-flag which kills hundreds and hundreds of innocent Iranians if it means installing a compliant billionaire puppet like in Ukraine – Iran is far, far richer than Ukraine, after all. And Iran is also the only thorn in the side of Western imperialist capitalism in the Muslim world.

With great power comes great responsibility, and thus Iran’s government is not about to allow a Ukraine-style Maidan to occur. Staggeringly, Iran has seen 17,000 people killed by terrorists since 1979; during this year’s ISIL attacks there was no overreaction such as installing a 2-year state of emergency like in France. Iran both does not mess around with risks and does not needlessly antagonise their own people (which actually means to make another risk).

Two people have died in the protests, and the government declared that security forces fired no bullets, and attributed the death to foreign agents. Given what has happened in Ukraine (and hundreds of other places over the years), and given the massive democratic support the government has…it would be insane and illogical to rush to judgment against the government.

Of course, this is exactly what the Western media is doing. They will desperately blow this out of proportion. They will salivate at the protests, dissimulate regarding their own hypocrisies, agitate for war, and all because they are so desperate to push their anti-Iranian agenda. This is textbook, and the historical modus operandi, and it will not change when the Western calendar turns to 2018 in around 12 hours.

It will likely work to great effect outside of Iran, but inside? No way. Iran is too busy trying to repair our issues – which every society has because humans are not perfect – to be fooled by tabloid journalism.

Are Iranians not permitted to have normal protests?

These protests are economic. Have you not noticed that these have swept much of the world for the past decade?

You might have an insane MKO cult member willing to burn a poster of Khamenei – giving the Western media the chance to blow that out of proportion – but this is an economic protest. But these are not a fruit-seller setting himself on fire, like in Tunisia, to desperately protest corruption, harassment and everyday brutality.

Protests are not unknown in Iran society: Has your country pulled off a silent march larger than Iran in 2009? Remember the silent marches of 2009? 1979 saw more than a small bit of protesting too, let’s remember. These protests are akin to the 3-500 protests per day in supposedly-undemocratic China: more effective government policies are being called for, not a whole new government!

Because these protests are economic, I will insist that the West give the Iranian government as much leeway as they take for themselves when confronted with similar demonstrations.

Waitaminut…I sure hope Iran is not THAT bad!

Because during the age of austerity I have been tear gassed too many times to count while covering economic protests in France. Only because I am a foreign journalist, I have not been among the thousands of arrested pro-democracy protesters; there have been hundreds of banned protests (how many more chilled into silence and thus strangled in the cradle?); plenty of harsh jail sentences of leading activists; countless people hurt by batons and water cannons amid total Western media silence; countless protesters cowed by invasive searches by riot police and the guarantee of rough treatment.

But where were the Western calls for “regime change” in France, like which are pouring from the mouths of Western commentators?

When Hollande and Macron forced through by executive order the widely-opposed capitalist laws which sparked the anti-government protests, where are their accusations of “authoritarianism”?

Of course there were none.

Ugh. I just remembered I’m on vacation…I shouldn’t be wasting me time trying to point out that Iran’s government doesn’t needs to defend their actions to Westerners….

But the crimes of capitalism do not take a vacation

The truth is that Iran’s economic policies – like China, Cuba and everyone else – have been negatively tainted by the anti-socialist and neoliberal ideas which swept the world after the fall of the USSR.

While Iran has implemented an army of pro-socialist ideas which have undeniably redistributed wealth in an amazingly effective fashion, they have also pursued some pro-capitalist and pro-neoliberal ideas – this trend has spared no nation since 1991. The recent economic choices of Cuba and China are no different, but even though Marx said we must use the tools of capitalism in order to create socialism…that necessarily creates economic problems.

Now without a doubt, the main problem with Iran’s economy is simple: international blockade. It is deranged to believe otherwise.

However, the protests can be interpreted as evidence that experimentations with capitalism have not worked – indeed, they never have and never will. Neoliberalism has led to what it always does – inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

These protests are the same as in France: against decreased purchasing power and unemployment. Can’t we have a “normal” protest, LOL? It is sad, but many have been led to believe that Iranians are aliens, but our problems are actually the same as yours!

But Iran does have much better alternatives, however: Khamenei’s pushing of a “resistance economy” – meaning a nationalist economy which rejects capitalism – is in direct opposition to neoliberalism. But – NEWS FLASH – Iran is a democracy; Khamenei is not anything close to an absolute ruler (the translated title of “supreme leader” is quite misleading, LOL); there are supporters of capitalism in Iran.

Thankfully, supporters of capitalism are a minority, as Iran follows what I have termed “Iranian Islamic Socialism”. These protests will lead to economic changes which implement more Islamic and socialist economic principles.

As we all know, these are two things which the Western media hates.

And thus, the Western media wants to ignore these complaints – which reflect near-universal economic hardship amid the Great Recession (even in non-blockaded countries) – and portray all protesters as pushing for the downfall of the Iranian system.

That’s nonsense, and it won’t happen. The reason why is simple: there is widespread democratic support for Iran and the popular, democratic revolution which set up the current system. Again, I am on vacation and I won’t waste more time telling people that the sky is blue – stick your head out the window and if you still disagree: it must be nighttime, you blockhead.

A minor point: a common Western trope is that these protests are in response to the “wasted resources” caused by lending support and solidarity to places like Palestine, Syria and Iraq. However, polls of Iranians show there is massive support for giving material and military support to these countries. (“In general, to what degree do you support or oppose Iran providing help to”: Hezbollah (71% approve), government of Assad (66% approve), Hamas (70% approve) Shiites and Kurds in Iraq fighting ISIL (88% approve), Iran should send military personnel to Syria(63% approve)) Clearly, the naysayers are in the minority: therefore, changing these policies would be undemocratic. Of course, the West would be ecstatic if Iran was no longer around to thwart their imperial projects. However, Iran’s politicians work in a democracy: if they want to win re-election, they will continue with these popular policies.

A final point: Why are democratic protests for policy reform a “sign of a vibrant and healthy democracy” when they occur in the West…but “an indicator people want to bring down the system” whenever they occur in non-Western countries? Ultimately, these protests will be heeded and, like all genuine protests, will make Iranian democracy stronger and the country better.

But as far as believing the Western media’s coverage of Iran’s protests – which is both uninformed and not remotely objective (and capitalist-imperialist, of course) — I suggest following my lead: enjoy your vacation instead.

Happy Western New Year to all!

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

What Is Happening in Iran? Is Another “Color Revolution” Underway?

Global Research, December 31, 2017

A familiar sight is taking place across Iran tonight and it has been for the last three days. Protests are taking place in numerous cities citing grievances and demanding that the Ayatollah and Iranian President step down. For a few days, the protests remained non-violent but now violence has indeed flared up as protesters have laid waste to a number of government properties and those belonging to “pro-government militias.”

Neo-cons in the American media and the U.S. President are all demanding that Americans stand with the “Iranian people” and the “protesters” in their “fight for freedom.”

The reason this sight is familiar is because we have seen it in Egypt, Libya, and Syria in the past as well as in Iran itself in the late 2000s. Protests that turn violent, a subsequent crackdown that either is violent or is reported as such, and the weight of American propaganda against the target government are all “Arab Spring” repeats that are themselves nothing more than the color revolution/destabilization apparatus that has been used by the West in countries all across the world for decades, particularly in the last twenty years.

What Do The Protesters Want?

The alleged demands of the protesters seem reasonable and legitimate enough. The Western media has, up until this point, been reporting that the main argument being made by the demonstrators center around economic concerns, i.e. falling living standards, unemployment, and rising food prices. However, as the third day of protests took place, the Western media began reporting that the protesters are demanding an end to religious dictatorship and policies of both the Ayatollah Khamenei andPresident Rouhani. According to some reports, female protesters have gone so far as to shout “death to Khamenei” and shed their hijabs in order to construct makeshift flags. Others say the protesters are focused on government corruption.

However, there is much question about these protests. The first question is “Are they organic Iranian protests?” This question has yet to be answered fully. Iran is most certainly a religious dictatorship and many Iranians want freedom from religious rule. However, it should be remembered that the United States and Israel have openly stated a desire to see Iranian influence broken and as recently as 2009, the United States attempted to engineer a color revolution in the country. The first three days of the Green Movement in Iran looked very much like the first three days of this current movement.

Clearly, economic concerns are a major issue in Iran, a country whose economy has been suffering for years under Western sanctions and whose own inability to capitalize on a state-owned National Bank. Official unemployment in Iran is around 12% and it is likely that the real rate is much higher. Despite lifting of some sanctions, there is hardly economic growth in the country, another result of neo-liberal economic and trade policies. Yet, it is also worth noting that Khamenei has also been critical of the poor economy and the handling of economic issues by the government yet Khamenei is being insulted at the protests.

These demands are not unreasonable by any stretch of the imagination. However, the religious protests come at a very odd time. Iran recently liberalized its laws regarding women’s forced head coverings, so why protest now over religious laws?

In addition, special attention must be paid to the concept of “government corruption,” a hallmark of color revolutions since government corruption is often more of a conceptual issue than anything concrete. A step down from power from a few key people, wrist slaps, and token reform can all achieve an “end” to corruption while more concrete demands need concrete applications and thus present a minor loss to those who will taking over the rains of power after the demonstrations have ceased.

There are also more concerning demands that can be found in the slogans being chanted by the demonstrators. First, in case it could be missed, the demonstrators are calling for the Ayatollah and the President to step down. In other words, they are calling for regime change. This is precisely what the United States, GCC, NATO, and Israel also want to see happen.

Second, numerous demonstrators are chanting “Let go of Palestine,” and “Not for Gaza, Not for Lebanon, I’d give my life (only) for Iran.” Again, protesters are now chanting foreign policy demands identical to that desired by the United States, NATO, GCC, and Israel. All this in a protest that is supposed to be about economic concerns.

Moon of Alabama, in its article entitled “Iran – Regime Change Agents Hijack Economic Protests,” reveals a number of important reports regarding the beginning of the protests and where they stand currently. MOA writes,

Protests against the (neo-)liberal economic policies of the Rohani government in Iran are justified. Official unemployment in Iran is above 12% and there is hardly any economic growth. The people in the streets are not the only ones who are dissatisfied with this:

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has repeatedly criticized the government’s economic record, said on Wednesday that the nation was struggling with “high prices, inflation and recession”, and asked officials to resolve the problems with determination.

On Thursday and today the slogans of some protesters turned the call for economic relief into a call for regime change.

. . . . .

Today, Friday and the weekly day off in Iran, several more protest took place in other cities. A Reuters report from today:

About 300 demonstrators gathered in Kermanshah after what Fars called a “call by the anti-revolution” and shouted “Political prisoners should be freed” and “Freedom or death”, while destroying some public property. Fars did not name any opposition groups.

Footage, which could not be verified, showed protests in other cities including Sari and Rasht in the north, Qom south of Tehran, and Hamadan in the west.

Mohsen Nasj Hamadani, deputy security chief in Tehran province, said about 50 people had rallied in a Tehran square and most left after being asked by police, but a few who refused were “temporarily detained”, the ILNA news agency reported.

Some of these protests have genuine economic reasons but get hijacked by other interests:

In the central city of Isfahan, a resident said protesters joined a rally held by factory workers demanding back wages.

“The slogans quickly changed from the economy to those against (President Hassan) Rouhani and the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei),” the resident said by telephone.

Purely political protests are rare in Iran […] but demonstrations are often held by workers over layoffs or non-payment of salaries and people who hold deposits in non-regulated, bankrupt financial institutions.

Alamolhoda, the representative of Ayatollah Khamenei in northeastern Mashhad, said a few people had taken advantage of Thursday’s protests against rising prices to chant slogans against Iran’s role in regional conflicts.

“Some people had came to express their demands, but suddenly, in a crowd of hundreds, a small group that did not exceed 50 shouted deviant and horrendous slogans such as ‘Let go of Palestine’, ‘Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I’d give my life (only) for Iran’,” Alamolhoda said.

Media and Neo-Con Support

While it is to be expected from a virulently anti-Iran administration and mainstream press in the United States, it is interesting how the U.S. President immediately has latched on the protests, encouraging Americans to stand with the protesters and their demands. This is coming from a man who rarely sees a protest that isn’t directed at him. Meanwhile, Neo-Con organs like FOX News are also repeating calls for Americans to support the brave “freedom fighters” in Iran. It is seldom, if ever, true that evil does good in the world so when Neo-Cons call for support to protests, eyebrows should be raised in skepticism.

It is also important to question just how popular these protests are. While mainstream western media and various terrorist organizations also conveniently supporting them paint them as involving tens of thousands at each demonstration, video and pictures tend to show only dozens to hundreds at the most while others wander about around them.

“A video of that protest in Mashad showed some 50 people chanting slogans with more bystander just milling around,” writes MOA. . . . . “Two videos posted by BBC Persian and others I have seen show only small active protest groups with a dozen or so people while many more are just standing by or film the people who are chanting slogans.”

Trump Administration/Israel Agreement

The protests taking place in Iran are taking place only a month after the White House and Tel Aviv met to discuss a strategy on Iran.

“A delegation led by Israel’s National Security Adviser met with senior American officials in the White House earlier this month for a joint discussion on strategy to counter Iran’s aggression in the Middle East, a senior U.S. official confirmed to Haaretz,” wrote Haaretz agency. (Israeli Delegation Met U.S. Officials to Discuss ‘Iran Strategy,’ Syria)

AXIOS provides a quote from the meeting:

[T]he U.S. and Israel see eye to eye the different developments in the region and especially those that are connected to Iran. We reached at understandings regarding the strategy and the policy needed to counter Iran. Our understandings deal with the overall strategy but also with concrete goals, way of action and the means which need to be used to get obtain those goals.

Could this apparent color revolution be the result of that US/Israeli meeting?

Color Revolution In Iran

The idea that a color revolution could be attempted in Iran is no fantasy. It would be a repeat of history. Remember, in 2009, an attempt at a color revolution deemed the “Green Revolution” was launched but was quickly put down by the iron fist of the Iranian government.

The Path To Persia

The plan for a Western or a Western/Israeli attack on Iran, along with the theatre of alleged US-Israeli tensions leading up to a strike and outright war, has been in the works for some time. For instance, in 2009, the Brookings Institution, a major banking, corporate, and military-industrial firm, released a report entitled “Which Path To Persia? Options For A New American Strategy For Iran,” in which the authors mapped out a plan which leaves no doubt as to the ultimate desire from the Western financier, corporate, and governing classes.

Screenshot from Brookings report: “Which Path To Persia? Options For A New American Strategy For Iran,”

The plan involves the description of a number of ways the Western oligarchy would be able to destroy Iran including outright military invasion and occupation (see table of contents above). However, the report attempts to outline a number of methods that might possibly be implemented before direct military invasion would be necessary. The plan included attempting to foment destabilization inside Iran via the color revolution apparatus, violent unrest, proxy terrorism, and “limited airstrikes” conducted by the US, Israel or both.

The report states,

Because the Iranian regime is widely disliked by many Iranians, the most obvious and palatable method of bringing about its demise would be to help foster a popular revolution along the lines of the “velvet revolutions” that toppled many communist governments in Eastern Europe beginning in 1989. For many proponents of regime change, it seems self-evident that the United States should encourage the Iranian people to take power in their own name, and that this would be the most legitimate method of regime change. After all, what Iranian or foreigner could object to helping the Iranian people fulfill their own desires?

Moreover, Iran’s own history would seem to suggest that such an event is plausible. During the 1906 Constitutional Movement, during the late 1930s, arguably during the 1950s, and again during the 1978 Iranian Revolution, coalitions of intellectuals, students, peasants, bazaari merchants, Marxists, constitutionalists, and clerics mobilized against an unpopular regime. In both 1906 and 1978, the revolutionaries secured the support of much of the populace and, in so doing, prevailed. There is evidence that the Islamic regime has antagonized many (perhaps all) of these same factions to the point where they again might be willing to support a change if they feel that it could succeed. This is the foundational belief of those Americans who support regime change, and their hope is that the United States can provide whatever the Iranian people need to believe that another revolution is feasible.

Of course, popular revolutions are incredibly complex and rare events. There is little scholarly consensus on what causes a popular revolution, or even the conditions that facilitate them. Even factors often associated with revolutions, such as military defeat, neglect of the military, economic crises, and splits within the elite have all been regular events across the world and throughout history, but only a very few have resulted in a popular revolution. Consequently, all of the literature on how best to promote a popular revolution— in Iran or anywhere else—is highly speculative. Nevertheless, it is the one policy option that holds out the prospect that the United States might eliminate all of the problems it faces from Iran, do so at a bearable cost, and do so in a manner that is acceptable to the Iranian people and most of the rest of the world.

Conclusion

While the situation in Iran continues to develop, it appears that another color revolution is underway. While many of the demands are legitimate, all signs are pointing toward Western treachery in an attempt to break Iran in the final domino to fall in the Middle East before an even bigger confrontation is ignited. Destroying Iran would also destroy Hezbollah, weaken Syria and Russia, and threaten Israel. Whether or not it will succeed will depend on the level of subversion that has been possible by the United States intelligence apparatus since 2009 and the ability of Iran to squash the revolt. If anything can be learned from the 2009 revolution, Iran will move quickly and will smash the protests with an iron fist. However, if the protests taking place in Iran today are indeed a color revolution and if the West is committed, the Path to Persia will likely see an escalation in activity, violence, and ultimately directly military confrontation by proxy and even by the U.S. military itself.

We will be following these protests in detail over the coming days.

Brandon Turbeville writes for Activist Post – article archive here – He is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The OutcomeTurbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

Iran – Regime Change Agents Hijack Economic Protests

By Moon Of Alabama

December 30, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –   Yesterday and today saw some small protests in Iran. They are probably the first stage of a large “regime change” operation run by the U.S. and Israel with the help of Iranian terrorist group.

Earlier this month the White House and the Zionist prepared for a new assault on Iran:

A delegation led by Israel’s National Security Adviser met with senior American officials in the White House earlier this month for a joint discussion on strategy to counter Iran’s aggression in the Middle East, a senior U.S. official confirmed to Haaretz.

Another report about the meeting quotes Israeli officials on the result:

“[T]he U.S. and Israel see eye to eye the different developments in the region and especially those that are connected to Iran. We reached at understandings regarding the strategy and the policy needed to counter Iran. Our understandings deal with the overall strategy but also with concrete goals, way of action and the means which need to be used to get obtain those goals.

This is probably a result of the above meeting:

Hundreds took to the streets of Iran’s second largest city of Mashad on Thursday to protest over high prices, shouting slogans against the government.

Videos posted on social media showed demonstrators in Mashad in northwest Iran, one of the holiest places in Shia Islam, chanting “death to (President Hassan) Rouhani” and “death to the dictator”.

The semi-official ILNA news agency and social media reported demonstrations in other cities in Razavi Khorasan Province, including Neyshabour and Kashmar.

video of that protest in Mashad showed some 50 people chanting slogans with more bystander just milling around.

Protests against the (neo-)liberal economic policies of the Rohani government in Iran are justified. Official unemployment in Iran is above 12% and there is hardly any economic growth. The people in the streets are not the only ones who are dissatisfied with this:

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has repeatedly criticized the government’s economic record, said on Wednesday that the nation was struggling with “high prices, inflation and recession”, and asked officials to resolve the problems with determination.

On Thursday and today the slogans of some protesters turned the call for economic relief into a call for regime change.

My hunch is that the usual suspects are behind these protests. Note that these started in several cities at the same time. This was not some spontaneous local uproar in one city but had some form of coordination.

Then there is this:

Carl Bildt‏ @carlbildt – 9:38 PM – 28 Dec 2017 from Rome, Lazio

Reports of signals of international satellite TV networks jammed in large cities of Iran. Would be sign of regime fear of today’s protests spreading.

A search in various languages finds exactly zero such “reports”. Carl Bildt is a former Swedish prime minister. He was recruited in 1973 as a CIA informant and has since grown into a full blown U.S. asset. He was involved in the Ukraine coup and tried to personally profit from it.

The only response to Bildt’s tweet was from one Riyad Swed‏ – @SwedRiyad who posted several videos of protests with one of them showing burning police cars.

I am not sure the video is genuine. The account has some unusual attributes (active since September 2016, 655 tweets but only 32 followers?).

Just yesterday one lecture at the CCC “hacker” congress was about the British GHCQ Secret Service and its sock-puppet accounts on Twitter and Facebook. These are used for acquiring human intelligence and for running “regime change” operations. Page 14-18 of the slides (11:20 min) cite from obtained GCHQ papers which lists Iran as one of the targets. The speaker specifically notes a GCHQ account “@2009Iranfree” which was used in generating the protests in Iran after the reelection of then President Ahmedinejad.

Today, Friday and the weekly day off in Iran, several more protest took place in other cities. A Reuters report from today:

About 300 demonstrators gathered in Kermanshah after what Fars called a “call by the anti-revolution” and shouted “Political prisoners should be freed” and “Freedom or death”, while destroying some public property. Fars did not name any opposition groups.

Footage, which could not be verified, showed protests in other cities including Sari and Rasht in the north, Qom south of Tehran, and Hamadan in the west.

Mohsen Nasj Hamadani, deputy security chief in Tehran province, said about 50 people had rallied in a Tehran square and most left after being asked by police, but a few who refused were “temporarily detained”, the ILNA news agency reported.

Some of these protests have genuine economic reasons but get hijacked by other interests:

In the central city of Isfahan, a resident said protesters joined a rally held by factory workers demanding back wages.

“The slogans quickly changed from the economy to those against (President Hassan) Rouhani and the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei),” the resident said by telephone.

Purely political protests are rare in Iran […] but demonstrations are often held by workers over layoffs or non-payment of salaries and people who hold deposits in non-regulated, bankrupt financial institutions.

Alamolhoda, the representative of Ayatollah Khamenei in northeastern Mashhad, said a few people had taken advantage of Thursday’s protests against rising prices to chant slogans against Iran’s role in regional conflicts.

“Some people had came to express their demands, but suddenly, in a crowd of hundreds, a small group that did not exceed 50 shouted deviant and horrendous slogans such as ‘Let go of Palestine’, ‘Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I’d give my life (only) for Iran’,” Alamolhoda said.

Two videos posted by BBC Persian and others I have seen show only small active protest groups with a dozen or so people while many more are just standing by or film the people who are chanting slogans.

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Videos published by the terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq [MEK], 12345, also show mostly small protests despite the MEK’s claim of Tens of thousands of people chant “death to dictator”. The MEK, or its “civilian” organization National Council of Resistance of Iran , seem to be most involved in the current protests. Its website is currently filled with the protest issue with a total of ten reports and its head figureissued a supportive statement:

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, saluted the heroic people of Kermanshah and other cities who rose up today chanting “death or freedom”, “death to Rouhani”, “death to the dictator”, and “political prisoners must be freed”, and protested against high prices, poverty and corruption.

She said, “Yesterday Mashhad, today Kermanshah, and tomorrow throughout Iran; this uprising has tolled the death knell for the overthrow of the totally corrupt dictatorship of the mullahs, and is the rise of democracy, justice and popular sovereignty.

This very early engagement of the MEK -its first report was published yesterday at 10:26 am- is extremely suspicious.

In 2012 it was reported that Israel had used the MEK terrorist organization to assassinate nuclear scientists in Iran:

On Thursday, U.S. officials speaking to NBC news claimed that Mossad agents were training members of the dissident terror group People’s Mujahedin of Iran in order assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists, adding that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama was aware of the operation, but had no direct link to them.

The U.S. officials reportedly confirmed the link between Israel and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), with one official saying: “All your inclinations are correct.”

In October a CATO Institute paper analyzed (and rejected) several options for U.S. handling Iran. Under Option Three: “Regime Change from Within” it noted:

In this approach, the United States would pressure the Iranian regime and simultaneously back groups that oppose it-whether the exiled extremist National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), pro-democracy Green Revolution factions, or ethnic minorities within Iran-a strategy advocates often compare to Reagan’s support for civil society groups in the Soviet Union.

[A] proponent of “coerced democratization,” the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz, urged President Trump to “go on the offensive against the Iranian regime” by“weakening the Iranian regime’s finances” through “massive economic sanctions,” while also “undermin[ing] Iran’s rulers by strengthening pro-democracy forces” inside Iran. This option appears to be gaining traction in the Trump administration’s ongoing Iran policy review and has received public support from Tillerson. CIA Director Mike Pompeo also favored such an approach during his time in Congress.

The MEK/NCRI noted that Senator Tom Cotton, who will likely replace CIA chief Pompeo when Pompeo moves to the State Department, issued a supportive statement for the protests.

The White House and the Netanyahoo regime agreed on a strategy towards Iran. Major members of the Trump administration are in favor of “regime change” by “pro-democracy forces” in Iran. A few weeks after an agreement was found, coordinated economic protests start in Iran which are soon hijacked by small groups of very active regime changers. A group of Iranian exile terrorists, well known for deadly collaboration with Israeli spies as well as for having operation cells in Iran, is highly engaged in the protest from very early on.

If this the “regime change” operation I presume, the protests will soon get bigger. When the people need money a few thousand dollars are enough to create a large crowd. Small groups will riot while hiding within the larger protests of maybe genuinely concerned people. The “western” media will engage with their usual pseudo liberal humanism and concern trolling. When the police in Iran tries to arrest those rioters who are raising havoc the media will scream “brutality”. Some “martyr” will be created and iconified. Rumors of censorship and suppression will be raised (see Carl Bildt above), fake news will come from everywhere and hundreds of sock puppet Twitter and Facebook accounts will suddenly be “Iranian” and breathlessly report “from the scene” of their Langley offices.

For the Iranian politicians and police the issue is tricky. Economic protests are clearly justified with even Khameni voicing support for the issue. But rioting in the streets must be suppressed before it further escalates and becomes uncontrollable. Weapons on the protesters site firing in all directions may soon become a problem. The Mossad and the MEK are not shy of killing random people.

But the Islamic Republic in Iran has genuine support in large parts of the society. There are big civil organizations that support the government – not on every issue but in its general framework. Most Iranian’s are proud nationalists and will be difficult to divide. If this is indeed the “regime change” attempt I suspect, I predict that it will fail.

This article was originally published by Moon Of Alabama 

Iranians Commemorate Epic 2009 pro-Islamic Republic Rallies

December 30, 2017

iran

Millions of Iranians across the country are commemorating the anniversary of the 2009 mass rallies that were held in support of the Islamic Republic and put an end to post-election unrest back then.

On Saturday, people from all walks of life took part in demonstrations and ceremonies in several Iranian cities to mark the “Dey 9 epic,” which refers to the historic rallies held on the ninth day of the Persian calendar month of Dey.

In the capital, Tehran, people gathered at the the Imam Khomeini Grand Prayer Grounds, while other cities were the scene of demonstrations to mark the occasion.

On December 30, 2009, millions of Iranians held nation-wide protests to condemn the foreign-orchestrated unrest, which had erupted following the presidential elections earlier that year.

People were especially angered by incidents that had taken place days earlier in Tehran, where a group of demonstrators offended the sanctities of the nation on the day of Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam.

The unrest was orchestrated by Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Musavi, two of the candidates who had lost the election, claiming that the results had been rigged. Both remain under house arrest on charges of provoking the public and harming the national security.

SourcePress TV

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Protesters call on Gaddafi’s son to lead Libya

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, attends a hearing behind bars in a courtroom in Zintan May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:30 P.M.) – Protesters in Bani Walid rallied on Saturday night calling for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, to lead the country.

“We call on the son of Libya Mujahid Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to lead the national movement to resolve the forms in Libya and to get Libya out from civil war,” al-Sayan tribe spokesperson Ahmad al-Shalahli said.

British-educated Saif al-Islam is a prominent member of Gaddafi’s remaining family.

After his father’s killing, he attempted to flee to Niger but was captured by a rebel group in November 2011. Saif al-Islam was released in the beginning of June, after spending five years in prison.

Despite his release, he is still on the wanted list by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. His current location is unknown.

More Chaos in Berkeley

I sometimes find myself wondering these days if we may not be headed for something akin to a civil war in America. This took place over the weekend in Berkeley, where Trump supporters and counter-protesters clashed…

Here is an RT report on threats made against student Trump supporters at UC Berkeley…

But it isn’t just Berkeley. Here is what took place at the capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota…

The anti-Trump leftists are now ironically on the same side as the deep state and the CIA. And the media are currently waging an open campaign to have Trump impeached. It’s worth recalling what took place at the Maidan in Kiev in 2014 when “protestors” showed up and started firing live ammunition basically in order to inflame the chaos even further. Will the deep state attempt something similar in order to effect a regime change in America? Hard to say for sure, but we’re kind of in uncharted territory here.

One more video, this one in Washington DC…

Congresswoman Says Berkeley Riot was “a Beautiful Sight’

 photo demings_zpsb0zdncgc.jpg

Rep. Val Demings (D-Florida)

More mass insanity. Val Demings is the representative to Congress from Florida’s 10th district. According to Demings, the riot which took place in Berkeley, California on Wednesday, Feb. 1–in which protesters set fires, smashed shop windows, and lobbed fireworks and Molotov cocktails–was “a beautiful sight.” What is even more bizarre is that Demings is a former police officer and the former police chief of Orlando, Florida.

Furthermore, according to Wikipedia, she is marred to Jerry Demings, who is currently the sheriff of Orange County, Florida. It would appear we have finally entered The Twilight Zone.

Demings was first elected to Congress in 2012. You can go here to see a list of her top contributors in her 2016 campaign. It includes a $42,230 donation from Emily’s List and a $24,760 contribution from JStreet, the pro-Israel lobby organization.

Seattle Protestor Says ‘We Need to Start Killing People’

Posted on February 3, 2017

Warning: the language is graphic. The protest reportedly took place in Seattle. The woman with the bullhorn engages in a five-minute tirade against white people, an outburst that includes the words, “We need to start killing people.” She also says, “The White House must die.”

It is unclear whether the woman is officially connected with Black Lives Matter, but if you watch the video  closely you will see that she is wearing a t-shirt that reads “Black Lives Matter” on the back. She also, during her speech, identifies herself as a pre-school teacher.

A Fox News report on the protest can be found here. Unfortunately, however, the article does not identify the woman by name.

Below is an edited version of the video without all the annoying screen pop-ups, and which also includes subtitles. Basically it just gives a clearer picture. I put up a post yesterday discussing the “mass insanity” currently sweeping America. This woman would seem to be another prime example. (H/T Jill rowan)

Trump Administration Appeals Order Blocking Travel Ban

February 5, 2017

The US Justice Department on Saturday appealed a temporary block of Donald Trump’s travel ban on citizens from seven mainly Muslim countries, after the president unleashed a fiery tirade and those with valid visas started arriving on American soil.US President Donald Trump

It was just the latest in a series of dramatic twists since the Republican billionaire leader issued his immigration order a week ago.

On Friday, a federal judge in Washington state put a temporary stay on the measures pending a wider legal review, prompting government agencies and global airlines to cease enforcing the ban.

Thousands of people from London and Paris to New York and Washington staged fresh protests against Trump, who took office on January 20 — little more than two weeks ago.

The Manhattan property mogul-turned-president, who was spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago vacation retreat in Florida, unloaded a barrage of angry tweets throughout the day.

He specifically targeted US District Judge James Robart — an appointee of Republican president George W. Bush — in an extremely rare attack on a federal judge from a sitting president.

“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” Trump tweeted early in the day.

In the evening, he posted: “The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy!”

Late Saturday, the Justice Department filed its motion to appeal, though the legal brief detailing its arguments has yet to come.

“We’ll win. For the safety of the country, we’ll win,” Trump told reporters.

The case will now move to a federal appeals court.

Nevertheless, government authorities began complying with the lower court judge’s ruling, reopening the borders to those with proper travel documents.

The State Department told visa holders from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen that they are again allowed to travel as long as the documents had not been “physically cancelled.”

The department earlier said up to 60,000 people had their visas revoked as a result of Trump’s order, although a Justice Department attorney put the number at closer to 100,000.

The Department of Homeland Security — which runs border agencies — also said it would cease implementing the order.

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