Ahmadinejad given bravery award for going to Columbia (& videos of new anti-regime demos in Iran)

October 11, 2007

* Among the chants of the Tehran students: “Give us freedom like at Columbia University.”
* “Muhammad al-Dura image” designated motto of Iran’s Education Ministry
* Iran’s crackdown on Baha’is
* Video footage and cartoons below



1. Ahmadinejad given bravery award for going to Columbia
2. Clips from Monday’s demonstrations in Tehran against Ahmadinejad
3. More on the anti-Ahmadinejad protests at Tehran University
4. NRO cartoons
5. “Muhammad al-Dura image” designated motto of Iran’s Education Ministry
6. Iranian Interior Minister: “Zionism is enemy of mankind”
7. U.S.: Iranian ambassador to Iraq member of elite Revolutionary Guard unit
8. Bahrain sets up missile shield against Iran
9. Iran’s crackdown on Baha’is
10. Shimon Peres: Columbia wrong in the way it invited Ahmadinejad
11. “Iran manufactures new Smart Bombs” (Fars News Agency, Oct. 9, 2007)
12. “Iran accuses Israel of ‘genocide’ of Palestinians” (Reuters, Oct. 5, 2007)

[Note by Tom Gross]

I attach various items from the Iranian media, or about Iran. (Earlier there was a dispatch on underreported news from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Muslim world.)



Some items from the Iranian media this week (in Farsi):

* Ahmadinejad given bravery award for going to Columbia.

See also here.

* Iranian Supreme Leader’s newspaper, “Kayhan,” features a front-page photo calling for Israel to be bombed.

* Picture of Iranian children celebrating Palestinian missile attacks on Israel at the “Rally to eradicate the Zionist entity”.



I posted the following at National Review Online on Monday:

Clips from this morning’s demonstrations in Tehran against Ahmadinejad
Monday, October 8, 2007
By Tom Gross

The following two videos have been posted of this morning’s demonstrations against President Ahmadinejad in Tehran.

Among the chants of the students: “Give us freedom like at Columbia University.”

In this link, calls are made for the release of jailed students, and one student leader is heard shouting “President Ahmadinejad, you talk so much about Palestine. Just as the people of Palestine are free to determine their future, the people of Iran must have this freedom too. We want you [Ahmadinejad] to place yourself before the vote of the Iranian public.”

In this clip, you can clearly hear students chanting “Death to the dictator”.



Pictures of the opposition students can also be seen on the front page of the reformist daily “Hambastegi”.

Iranian blogger Jadi says that many students were barred from entering the university, and that the date of Ahmadinejad’s appearance was changed at the last minute in order to prevent the anti-Ahmadinejad demonstrations from growing. He also posts pictures here.



* Following from the cartoons in my previous dispatches on this subject, here is one more Ahmadinejad cartoon, from Michael Ramirez in “Investor’s Business Daily”.

* The cover of this week’s “New Yorker” magazine pays reference to the recent “soliciting for homosexual sex” scandal involving an American senator, and Ahmadinejad’s ludicrous remarks about gays.



[This report refers to Muhammad al-Dura, who I wrote about in the Oct. 3 dispatch titled Israeli “invisible” jets foiled Russian radar in Syria (& UK Israel boycott ruled ‘illegal’),” and in other previous dispatches.]


Minister: Defending Doura, the motto of Education Ministry
Tehran, Oct 5, IRNA (Official Islamic Republic News Agency)

Minister of Education Mahmoud Farshidi said here Friday that defense of martyred Palestinian student Mohammad al-Doura is now the motto of Iran’s Education Ministry.

Farshidi told IRNA on the sidelines of the International Qods Day rallies that the world Muslims, specially students, have voiced solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian nation and Islamic justice.

He said defense for the prosperous Palestinian nation has always been on Iranian Education Ministry’s agenda.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Farshidi said the oppressed Palestinian people should not pay dear cost of Nazis’ acts in World War II.




Interior Minister: “Zionism is enemy of mankind”
Qom, Oct 5, IRNA (Official Islamic Republic News Agency)

Interior Minister Hojjatoleslam Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi said here Friday that Zionism, especially the occupying regime of Qods, is enemy of mankind and humanity and people worldwide should stand its inhumane crimes.

Pour-Mohammadi said wise move of the late Imam Khomeini in linking Iran’s Islamic Revolution with Palestine aspirations had been a divine move and a new initiative, which should be used by all Muslims.



The United States says that the Iranian ambassador to Iraq is a member of an elite fighting unit tied to the Revolutionary Guard, which the U.S. Congress has designated a terrorist organization. Speaking to reporters at a military base on Sunday, Gen. David Petraeus said that Ambassador Hassan Kazemi-Qomi is a member of the Quds Force, a unit of the Guard that the U.S. believes supports Islamist extremists around the region.



“The Gulf Daily News” reports that Bahrain is bolstering its defense with a new radar system to protect the Arab kingdom against possible missile attacks resulting from the growing conflict over Iran’s nuclear program.

The US Navy’s 5th Fleet is stationed in Bahrain.

The new $43.6 million radar system was delivered by the U.S. arms firm Lockheed Martin. It can detect both single and multiple targets, and track other targets, such as aircraft. Anti-missile missiles Patriot or Aegis can be used in the system.



Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is co-chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Iran Working Group and a member of the Human Rights Caucus. In an op-ed this week in the Chicago Sun-Times, he writes:

The Baha’i faith – a faith of tolerance and diversity of thought – was founded in Iran in the mid-1800s and has become Iran’s largest religious minority with over 250,000 members. In March 2006, just a few months into Ahmadinejad’s presidency, the Command Headquarters of Iran’s Armed Forces ordered the police, Revolutionary Guard and Ministry of Information to identify all Baha’is and collect information on their activities. Two months later, the Iranian Association of Chambers of Commerce began compiling a list of Baha’is serving in every business sector.

In August, Iran’s feared Ministry of the Interior ordered provincial officials to “cautiously and carefully monitor and manage” all Baha’i social activities. The Central Security Office of Iran’s Ministry of Science, Research and Technology ordered 81 Iranian universities to expel any student discovered to be a Baha’i; this year, 104 Baha’is were expelled from Iranian universities. In April, the Iranian Public Intelligence and Security Force ordered 25 industries to deny business licenses to Baha’is. Banks are closing Baha’i accounts and refusing loans to Baha’i applicants.

According to the U.S. State Department’s 2007 Report on International Religious Freedom, “Broad restrictions on Baha’is severely undermined their ability to function as a community. The Government repeatedly offers Baha’is relief from mistreatment in exchange for recanting their faith... Baha’is may not teach or practice their faith or maintain links with co-religionists abroad. Baha’is are often officially charged with ‘espionage on behalf of Zionism.’“ We have seen this movie before. What happened to our solemn promise of “never again” made in 1945?



The following are excerpts from the “Address by President Shimon Peres at the Opening of the [Israeli] Knesset winter session” yesterday:

“Columbia University was recently also confused and did not make a clear distinction between academic freedom and organized lying. The university must turn to its guest and demand, in the name of academic freedom, that he invite an Israeli spokesperson to present the full truth to Iranian ears.”

“Ahmadinejad, in his words, distorted the present truth and falsified the historical truth. He claimed, for example, that the Jews returned to Israel at the expense of the Arabs. He ignored the fact that there were Jews in Israel before the Arabs and that they were expelled from it by force.”


I attach two further articles below. The smart bombs referred to in the first article can be seen in the photo here.

-- Tom Gross



Iran manufactures new Smart Bombs
Fars News Agency (Iran)
October 9, 2007

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency) -- Iran has developed a new 2,000-pound (900-kilogram) smart bomb called ‘Ghadr’.

Ghadr is a guided optical bomb and is considered as a new version of Qased (Messenger), another 2,000-pound smart bomb manufactured by Iran earlier this year. Qased can be deployed by Iran’s F-4 and F-5 fighter jets.

The bomb, equipped with a smart guiding system, is produced by few countries due to the advanced technical know-how required for its production and Iran is the last in the chain of countries which have succeeded in developing the technology.

Qased has been successfully tested by such fighter jets as F4 and F5.

The Iranian defense ministry has recently launched several other production lines for manufacturing different military tools and arsenals.

Iran launched its own arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq in response to a US-led arms embargo, and since 1992 the country has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, and missiles.

Earlier this year, Iran started industrial-scale production of its own fighter jets, known as Azarakhsh (Lightning) and Saeqeh (Thunderbolt).

Iran last year test-fired an “ultra-horizon” missile, two powerful torpedoes and a Fajr-e Darya missile capable of avoiding radars and hitting several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads during extensive military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf.

Earlier this month, Iran showed off a new longer-range missile named the “Ghadr,” saying it had a range of 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles), in an annual military parade to mark the eight-year Iraqi imposed war.

The “Ghadr” (Power) appears to be an upgrade of Iran’s existing longer-range missile the Shahab-3, which according to Iranian officials has a range of 1,300 kilometers (805 miles).

Iran faces pressure from the western countries over its nuclear progress.

The United States and its ally Israel have never ruled out using military strikes to stop Iran’s nuclear progress.

Tehran has insisted it would never launch any attack against a foreign country, but it has also warned of a crushing response to any aggression.

“Iran is an influential power in the region and the world should know that this power has always served peace, stability, brotherhood and justice,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said.



Iran accuses Israel of “genocide” of Palestinians
October 5, 2007

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iran ‘s president accused Israel on Friday of using the Holocaust as a pretext for “genocide” against Palestinians.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who outraged the West in 2005 by calling Israel a “tumor” to be wiped off the map, said the truth should be told about World War Two and the Holocaust.

Six million Jews were killed in the Nazi genocide. “ Iran condemns fabricating such a pretext (the Holocaust) for the Zionist regime to commit genocide against the Palestinian nation and occupy Palestine,” Ahmadinejad said in a live broadcast to mark the annual Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day in the Islamic Republic. “The Iranian nation and countries in the region will not rest until Palestine is free and criminals punished,” he said in the speech before Friday prayers.

Ahmadinejad has questioned the Holocaust but denied during a visit last month to the United States he was saying it never happened, only that the Palestinian issue was entirely separate.

Opposition to Israel is one of the cornerstones of belief of Shi’ite Iran, which backs Palestinian and Lebanese Islamic militant groups opposed to peace with the Jewish state. Ahmadinejad repeated calls for Canada to accept Jews. “Europeans cannot tolerate the Zionist regime’s presence in their own region but want to impose it on the Middle East. Give them (the Jews) this vast land of Canada and Alaska to build themselves a home and resettle there,” he said.

Al-Quds Day was inaugurated by Iran ‘s 1979 Islamic revolution founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. It is held on the last Friday of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Tens of thousands marched in a rally to mark the day, including soldiers, students and clerics. Black-clad women with small children clutching balloons emblazoned “Death to Israel “ were among those flocking the streets of central Tehran. “Death to America, Death to Israel,” chanted the marchers, many carrying portraits of Khomeini and his successor Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Volunteer Basij militia, covering their faces with Palestinian headscarves, marched while roaring “Hizbullah fights, Israel trembles” -- referring to the Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim group Israel fought a war against last year. “We came here to show our support to the Palestinian nation and their resistance,” said retired teacher Abdollah Hassani, 58, who joined the rally with his wife, carrying a sign reading “Israel must be obliterated”.

State television showed footage of similar marches, held in cities across Iran on Al-Quds Day. Demonstrators in Tehran burned flags of the United States and Israel, which Iran refuses to recognize.

The United States and Israel accuse Iran of “interference” in Iraq, through backing Shi’ite militias, and of sponsoring terrorism, including the Palestinian group Hamas and Hizbullah. Tehran denies the charges.

The United States and Iran, who have not had diplomatic ties since shortly after Iran ‘s revolution, are also embroiled in a deepening rift over Tehran ‘s nuclear ambitions.

Ahmadinejad said Iran would continue its nuclear programme despite international pressure, adding “ Iran wants to remove international concerns over its atomic work through talks.” “But if they (the West) want to start a new game it will have no result for them but regret,” he said.

Six world powers agreed last Friday to delay toughening U.N. sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme until November at the earliest to wait for reports by U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei and European Union negotiator Javier Solana.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed two sanctions resolutions on Iran after it failed to suspend sensitive activities such as uranium enrichment.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.