Unholy Alliances

Neo-Con conference pushes for war on Iran


Unholy Alliances
by Ali Fathollah-Nejad

On the first weekend of May 2008, Berlin was host to two extraordinary conferences. On the one hand, a crowd of altogether 1,600 predominantly young people from all over Europe met at the Humboldt University in order to discuss and reflect the turbulent, globally unfolding events of 1968. On the other, not far away, about 400 participants gathered at the classier, guarded »Auditorium Friedrichstrasse« under the theme of “Business as usual? The Iranian regime, the holy war against Israel and the West and the German reaction,“ organized by the recently created »Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin (MFFB)«. Astonishingly despite wide participation by journalist from major newspapers, there was no mention of the conference in the German media. The purpose of the following account is also to fill this crucial gap.

Also historically, not least due to the bitter experiences of the recent past and present, an examination of the Weltanschauung advanced at the conference bears importance: What has entered the political discourse in Washington in a dominant fashion since almost a decade now, namely the view of the so-called neo-conservatives, appears not only to sound the medial and political terrains in Germany, but be willing to offensively occupy them. As in the United States, Iran takes a prominent role here.

The very first event of this kind to take place in Germany, the MFFB’s “International Iran Conference” had set the target of intervening politically to bring about a radical re-orientation of Berlin’s Iran policy, one that is heading towards Iran’s complete isolation or “regime change.” At the same time, the addressees of such a posture were clearly named: Not only lies the “future of pro-Zionism” in the hands of the Right. But beyond the so-called Anti-Germans who are sympathizers anyway, the main task was to win over the whole left side of the political specter.

The introduction was delivered by the chairman of the German branch of the U.S.-based association »Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME)«, professor Diethard Pallaschke. SPME’s mission is to meet “anti-Semitism” and “anti-Israelism” as well as to support the security of Israel’s borders. In the United States, SPME is accused of acting, via so-called »campus watch« groups, against critical statements on university campuses about Israeli and also U.S. foreign policies in the Middle East. Amongst the most prominent victims of this curtailing of academic freedom are Norman Finkelstein (formerly at DePaul University and author of, most recently, Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, 2008) und Tony Judt (director of New York University’s Remarque Institute), who both have Jewish background.

Pallaschke branded Iran the “biggest threat in the history of mankind” and as such “to all civilized states.” The next speaker was Charles A. Small, professor of history at Yale University, who argued that Nazism and “radical Islam” had a common ideology. Even Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Israeli politician and longtime Brigadier-General, had alluded to the possibility of a “second Holocaust,” he stressed. There should be no support of Iran from students, scholars and European governments, especially as Iran’s President Mahmud Ahmadinejad “dehumanizes the other.” He hoped that all those groups would “begin to act and act quickly.”

Small further quoted the former chief of staff of the Israeli military, Shaul Mofaz, with his estimation that within a year an Iran armed with nuclear weapons was to be expected.1 But according to the Iran report by 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), released in December 2007, Iran does not maintain a nuclear weapons program. This finding was recently confirmed by Mohammad El-Baradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), when addressing the Middle East World Economic Forum in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Likewise IAEA reports state that there is no evidence for an Iranian weapons program. And if Iran ever decided to divert its civilian energy program to a military one, the NIE says that “[a]ll agencies recognize the possibility that this [nuclear weapon] capability may not be attained until after 2015” (p. 7).

A Preventive Nuclear Strike Against the “Satanic Ambitions” of the “Un-Civilization”?

Menashe Amir, former longtime director of the Persian program of radio »Kol Israel« (the Voice of Israel) and current head of the Persian website of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs »Hamdami«, said the Iranian regime was intent on “destroying the world order.” The “dictatorial regime” ruling the country had “satanic ambitions,” he claimed. The Iranian people should be assisted in bringing about a “regime change” – for the sake of both Iranians and the rest of the world. Amir finished by telling an anecdote about a private audience he had with U.S. President George W. Bush, to whom he said: “Iranian citizens are waiting for you to rescue them.” Bush responded: “You know, we’ve the same problem in Iraq where we are stuck.”

Benny Morris, professor of history at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel), began his remarks about “A second Holocaust? The threat to Israel” with a quotation of the professing neo-conservative and Washington Post political commentator Charles Krauthammer, foreseeing a nuclear power Iran already by 2009/2010. With a nuclear-armed Iran, Morris then argued, Israel would lose its significance. Apart from strategic losses, investment flows as well as the peace accords signed with Arab governments would be jeopardized. In order to forestall the strategic challenge of a ‘nuclear Iran,’ he suggested, Israel ought to intervene preventively and destroy the “Iranian nuclear project” by conventional but preferably nuclear weapons. This would certainly cause the death of many civilians, he admitted, but this prospect lies within the responsibilities of the Iranians themselves who after all have to account for such of regime – the “mad mullahs of Tehran.” All in all, a nuclear strike was preferable to a “second Holocaust” which was lurking from this “un-civilization,” Morris concluded.2

The „Third Option“: Positioning a Terror Organization Against the German “Steinmeier Policy”?

Paulo Casaca, Portuguese Member of the European Parliament (MEP), dealt with the role of the European Union (EU) and the “effectiveness of sanctions” against Iran. The latter would have to go beyond the present United Nations sanctions framework, he said. “We really need economic sanctions from Germany and the European Union.” Casaca, member of the socialist group of the European Parliament, then held up a picture he had obtained from “sources” of the “Iranian resistance.” It allegedly showed a tunnel built by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, a construction said to be in connection with a nuclear weapons program. The MEP did not hide that this “main Iranian opposition group” he was referring to was the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, or MeK) – a militant group listed as terrorist by both the European Union and the U.S. State Department. The “non-sense” of the MKO’s classification as terrorist organization ought to be removed, since, he claimed, it was all about supporting the “Iranian people.” In April 2004 Casaca had spent some days at »Camp Ashraf«, the shielded city and headquarters of the MKO, 60 kilometers north of Baghdad.

Matthias Küntzel, member of SPME’s Board of Directors, warned to turn the conference into an academic meeting.3 Quite on the contrary, its aim should be to intervene politically, and above all to win the political Left over, he emphasized. Küntzel, who regularly writes for the Wall Street Journal, concentrated furthermore on German–Iranian trade relations. With Germany being Iran’s number one European trade partner, Berlin was assigned the vital task to realize the isolation of Iran, he argued. All in all, a discontinuation of the trade relations between Germany and Iran would only represent a small sacrifice for the former, but in turn would minimize danger posed by the latter, Küntzel claimed. But in providing biased figures, he supersized the German economy’s importance for Iran.4 His criticism of the German industry’s role and his suggestion to have a sit-in in front of the headquarters of the business giant Siemens were well received by the assembled left-wingers whose attitude towards big business is rather skeptical. Even more as Küntzel also demanded that the business interest was not allowed to stand above morality. Finally, he also called for the break-up of diplomatic relations with Iran. He further accused the German media – except for some comments in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the country’s largest conservative daily – of severe defaults as to the presentation of the “Iranian danger.”

According to Morris, Bush had assured the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that Washington was taking care of the Iranian nuclear program. But given the situation in Iraq there was only little probability of a U.S. military strike, he added. However, if Democratic Senator Barack Obama was elected president in November, he believed, then Bush would order an attack on Iran. Despite low ratings and little support for war on Iran, the outgoing U.S. president would have nothing to lose by such an attack. The rationale behind such anticipation, which Morris did not attempt to hide, is that the ‘Iran problem’ cannot be devolved unto Obama – who has even promised unconditional negotiations with Iran –, but could eventually handed over to a Republican President John McCain. The latter has already insinuated that he would continue the administration’s foreign policy and Iran strategy.

Contrary to the nuclear strike option preferred by Morris, Casaca referred to a “third option” – beyond “appeasement” and military confrontation. This variant consisted of supporting the political leadership of the “Iranian opposition” – a reference made to the MKO. Amir noted that it was sufficient to eliminate a single “chain” of the nuclear program in order to paralyze it. Thus it would suffice to “only” bomb the nuclear plants of Natanz and Isfahan, he claimed. But the best way to bring about a regime change in Iran was to follow his five-point plan: (1) Providing a serious military threat; (2) expanding the sanctions to paralyze the Iranian economy; (3) helping the Iranian population and ethnic minorities, so that they could demand their rights; (4) financially supporting the majority of the Iranians; (5) organizing the 3 million Iranians in exile, so that they can exercise pressure upon Western governments to convince them of the “danger” the Iranian regime posed. If all these measures were carried out, there would be no necessity for military action, Amir pointed out.

To conclude the starting panel - whose title defined the “Iranian threat” in relation to Islamism, anti-Semitism, and the nuclear program – its moderator Alan Posener, chief commentator with the Welt am Sonntag, a German conservative Sunday paper, warned that one could not “fight dictatorships by over-cautiousness“ but only by “strength.” But the latter would not be part of the “Steinmeier policy.” In fact, Posener’s call signals the dissatisfaction of those pushing for a tough stance vis-à-vis Iran, a military option included therein, with the Iran policy as pursued by the Foreign Ministry that is under the aegis of Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Social-Democratic Party (SPD). Likewise, Volker Perthes and Christoph Bertram, respectively the present and former directors of the »German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)« – a Berlin-based think-tank advising the German government on foreign policy matters – were criticized by the conference participants as Steinmeier’s Iran policy is believed to take into account SWP’s input. Both Perthes and Bertram plead for a Western “strategic partnership” with Iran, while Bertram – also a former director of the »International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)« in London – just recently called for a détente policy vis-à-vis Iran as the strategy so far had clearly failed. On the other hand, the Iran stance by Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian-Democratic Party (CDU) is considered to be in line with demands from Washington and Tel Aviv.

Anti-War Intellectuals as “Purchased Vassals” of the “Iranian Theocracy”?

The following morning was dedicated to the “character of the Iranian Regime.” The Iranian writer Javad Asadian deemed the return of the Twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, to form the religious and ideological core of the “Iranian theocracy.” The final aim was the appearance of this Shiite Messiah. He further claimed that Iran needed the atomic bomb in order to use it against Israel. Thereupon the publicist Nasrin Amirsedghi drew a dark picture of women’s rights in Iran, a country which was stricken with the “deadly pandemic” called “Islamic republic.” There was a “virus introduced” by Iran’s Revolutionary Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, she claimed, which was the Islamic law Sharia, characterized by “incalculable aggressiveness.”

In addition, Germany’s prominent Islam and Iran experts Katajun Amirpur, Navid Kermani and Bahman Nirumand acted as “purchased vassals” of the “Allah state,” Amirsedghi asserted, and Asadian added that they must be confronted followed by large applause. Revealingly, those three public figures are admittedly known for their statements critical to the Iranian government, but at the same time markedly reject any ‘military solution’ to the conflict.

Finally, Miro Aliyar from the Austrian Committee of the »Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan« explained that Iran was a multi-ethnic state, and therefore the ethnicities represented therein were entitled to autonomy. It is reported that the Bush Administration is supporting separatism in the Iranian provinces of Kurdistan, Khuzestan, and Baluchestan in an effort to destabilize and disintegrate the country. Among the beneficiaries of U.S. and Israeli aid for that goal is the Iranian sister organization of the PKK, the PJAK, that has conducted cross-border raids into Iran.

Israel To Carry Out a Preventive Strike Against Iran

Under the title “The Holy War against Israel and the West” Ha’aretz journalist Yossi Melman, the U.S. neo-conservative figurehead Patrick Clawson and the German political scientist Alexander Ritzmann were due to speak. The latter underlined that the ‘Islamic danger’ was simmering inside Germany where the Lebanese Hezbollah maintained numerous offices. He also condemned the anti-Israel reporting of the Hezbollah broadcasting company Al-Manar, which despite expulsion from different satellite networks could still be received in Europe still via one network. Ritzmann, who is a Senior Fellow with the neo-conservative Brussels think-tank »European Foundation for Democracy«, opined that Iran could at any time activate these “Islamist” groups residing in Germany for political purposes, and will do so. Nearly all German politicians believe, Ritzmann claimed, that Iran represented a danger for Israel. However, the task was to make clear that Iran was also a danger for Europe and the whole world, he emphasized – indeed a challenge since based on the facts on the ground Germany’s policy-makers are far from conceiving the “Iranian threat” in such dimensions.

Following the same dictum, intelligence expert Melman described the threat of an irrationally acting Iran that would acquire nuclear weapons capability between 2009 and 2011. If diplomacy failed, he predicted, Israel had to act militarily; an approach agreed upon by most Israeli politicians and parties, he added. Following the so-called Begin Doctrine – named after a former Israeli Prime Minister and used as basis for the 1981 bombardment of the Iraqi nuclear plant »Osiraq« – his country would act preventively within one or two years from now: “I believe Israel will have to do it,” Melman concluded. Not sharing Morris’ suggestion of a nuclear attack on Iran, he stressed that conventional tools might be sufficient. Melman covers intelligence and national security issues for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz and is the co-author, with Meir Javedanfar, of The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran (2007).

Clawson, deputy research director at the neo-conservative »Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP)« – a think-tank ascribed to the Israel Lobby – was certainly the most prominent international figure speaking at the conference. He argued that in addition to economic pressures, political and security measures must be taken, such as accelerating the “military security” of Iran’s neighbors. Moreover, it must be openly voiced that “we will be prepared to deter Iran.” However, if diplomacy failed, he said to me in an interview, he fears that the military option will be employed. Clawson, one of the main players in the preparation of the “regime change” enterprise in Iraq, has over the years demanded an equal lot for Iran.

“Language of Sticks” as the “Only Solution”?

On the panel “Iran and Europe: Dialogue or confrontation?” Saul Singer, The Jerusalem Post’s editorial page editor, argued that Europe’s “appeasement policy” regarding Iran would press Israel towards war.5 The author of Confronting Jihad: Israel's Struggle and the World After 9/11 (2003) praised the event as ringing the “beginnings of a new anti-fascist Left.” Singer, who earlier in the conference referred to the “Iranian nuclear war program,” pointed to the Iranian President’s disputed statements regarding Israel and called for Ahmadinejad to be legally pursued. This ought to be done according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide whose Article 3(c) says that “[d]irect and public incitement to commit genocide” is punishable.6 However, one can doubt whether Ahmadinejad’s falsified statement – which verbatim reads “The Imam [Khomeini] said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e eshghâlgar-e Qods) must [vanish from] the page of time (bâyad az safheh-ye ruzgâr mahv shavad)” – can be interpreted as incitement to genocide, or is a call for a “regime change” in a country that in violation of the most basic principles of international law continues a decades-long occupation.

Singer continued stressing that it was not the Iranian nuclear program that posed problem, but the very existence of the regime. The West could act, and had to do so, particularly so as it “holds international legitimacy in its hands“ – in fact, a questionable judgment in the view of the reality of Western-led occupations in the last decade. Especially when it comes to the Iranian nuclear program, the majority of the international community has consistently supported Tehran’s position against Western accusations.

Finally, the well-known German journalist Bruno Schirra was convinced that the only solution regarding the “clerical fascist system” of Iran would be the use of the “language of sticks.” The author of Iran – Sprengstoff für Europa [Iran – Explosives for Europe] (2006) said that bombing Iran would only postpone the nuclear program to about five to ten years, so that in the end one would be forced to live with a nuclear-armed Iran.

There was no mention of the word “dialogue” included in the panel’s title, nor any suggestions in such a direction.

A “New Anti-Fascist Front” Against the “New Hitler”?

The final panel discussion was meant to promote “The need for a new antifascism.” Laying the foundational stone of the evening, Jeffrey Herf, professor of history at Maryland University, put Ahmadinejad on a level with Bin Laden and Hitler. It was a matter of defying “fanatic anti-Semitism,” he insisted, an ideological fanaticism that must not be underestimated.

The next speaker was Los Angeles-based Kayvan Kaboli, spokesperson of the »Green Party of Iran«. He considered the “Tehran regime [to be] of fascist essence,” which not only in a few years, but right now represented an international threat – just like “global warming” as he went great length to explain. Iran, Kaboli asserted, pursued a “program of territorial expansion” and used Iraq as stepping stone to eradicate Israel. The “clero-fascist regime” in Tehran planned to “islamize the world,” he said. And the European “appeasement policy” toward Iran “for the sake of juicy contracts” was “shameful.” Kaboli finally called upon Iranian “opposition” groups to declare support for Israel. After all, the “two fascisms” – Nazi-Germany and Iran – were the same and also equally dangerous. It was the formation of a worldwide anti-fascist front, he suggest, which presented a way out.

The highlight of the congress was the contribution made by Thomas von der Osten-Sacken. The founder and director of the NGO WADI, a German ‘relief and human rights’ organization mainly active in Northern Iraq, made it quite clear from the very beginning that what he called “Islam-Nazism” was very similar to Germany’s National-Socialism. Therefore anti-fascism was necessary, whose aim had to be to “bash these Islam-Nazis, put them in jail, and kill them” – a statement which was accompanied by large applause. As “anti-fascists” we had to “wage war,” not militarily however, but the war must be taken seriously, he insisted. Just like in the 1930s and 40s the universalistic vision must be to fight “despotism.”

Von der Osten-Sacken, who is considered a leading figure of the so-called “Anti-Deutschen” [Anti-Germans] – a well established ideological strand among the German Left which deems unconditional support for Israel’s policies as consequential lesson of Germany’s hegemonic strive in World War II and its Holocaust crimes – presented an agenda for the “democratization” of the Middle East. This included: secularization and “rule of law”; a “restructuring of the economy”; a “federalization” instead of nationalization, in which Kurdish efforts for independence would be considered; against „gender apartheid“; and against both Iran and Syria. These programmatic points, which strongly reminded of the 2004 U.S. initiative for a “Greater Middle East,” were supplemented by his very curious interpretation of the ongoing Iraq War. The countries of the region, such as Iraq, are “rotten from the core” so that one only had to “screw the cork” and war would inevitably break out.

Altogether, he denied a nuclear weapons-free zone, which follows that Israel would remain the only country in the Middle East possessing such weapons of mass destruction. To conclude, Von der Osten-Sacken outlined his “vision” for the future of the region. He wished one day to be able to take the Intercity train from Tel Aviv via Amman and Baghdad to Tehran without any passport check, then go to a Tehrani disco, drink beer and later on have a sunbath at the Persian Gulf.7

Broder’s Slander Volley

The last speaker of the conference, Henryk M. Broder, was the most prominent figure among the German participants. An author for liberal-left outlets, above all Germany’s most influential political weekly magazine Der Spiegel, is notorious for his defamatory polemics. In his 2006 best-seller Hurra, wir kapitulieren! [Hurray, we capitulate!], he accuses the West to “cave in” vis-à-vis Islamists and thus to promote Europe’s “Islamization.” Signaling his agreement with and referring to what his predecessor had outlined before, Broder quoted a Palestinian journalist friend whom he used to meet in Bethlehem with the sentence “It’s not about the occupation, it’s about the girls on the beach!” He stressed that the situation at hand was as “terrible and cruel” as in the 1930s. In an unmistakable reference to Nazi-Germany, Broder remarked that the topic Iran “looks somehow familiar to us.” But there was an important difference between 1939/40 and 2008, he added: nowadays, there was no Churchill who was able to act after negotiations failed. On his co-edited web-blog, Die Achse des Guten [The Axis of Good], which assembles a pool of writers and registers nearly 400,000 unique visitors per month, Broder called Iran the “Fourth Reich.” The “idea of war” was “horrifying” to him, but this option could not be omitted, he underscored.

Then, he contented himself with quoting passages from German daily papers of 2006 about the West–Iran standoff. The citations delivered the impression of European politicians constantly offering attractive incentive packages to the Iranians; but with resolute defiance, Tehran had been rejecting them. Furthermore, Iran had also repeatedly ignored ultimatums set by the West without shrugging its shoulders. This absurd lining up of newspaper excerpts caused a certain amusement within the audience. He did not need to read out the quotations from 2007, Broder added, because their content could easily be imagined. He finally quoted the Iranian president as saying “the Europeans are stupid,” and complacently added that Ahmadinejad might be right.

Then Broder turned to the »Arbeiterfotografie« (Concerned Photography). This group of politically committed photographers was the first in Germany to reveal the mistranslations of the Iranian President’s alleged “Israel must be wiped off the map” statements made during an anti-Zionism conference held in Tehran in October 2005. On its initiative the »Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung (bpb)« [Federal Center for Political Education], a public think-tank, ordered the examination of Ahmadinejad’s remarks by the translation service of the German Parliament, the Bundestag. As a result, Associated Press (AP), Tagesschau.de (website of Germany’s most widely watched TV newscast) and SpiegelOnline (the online edition of Der Spiegel) conceded their unchecked adoption of translations dispatched then by the major Western news agencies. However, they have not yet corrected their mistakes in previously published items.

The issue of Ahmadinejad’s actual words gained prominence as late as this March with an article appearing in the country’s largest daily, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, where the renowned Islam and Iran expert, Katajun Amirpur, pointed to the widespread mistranslation of this “Iranian key sentence” and the danger it harbors for serving as a pretext for waging war an Iran allegedly intent on “wiping Israel off the map.”

Not amused by Amirpur’s revelations then, at the conference Broder relinquished a rude tirade against “those who sparked the debate” with the bpb – a reference to the »Arbeiterfotografie«: Already calling the latter lumpenproletariat in a blog, Broder now added to this “troublemakers,” “cranks,” “bums,” “anti-social elements,” “subsidy receivers” and “madmen.” However, he stressed, the bpb had “elegantly” solved the issue kicked off by those “fools.” In fact, the website particularly provided by the public think-tank to open a discussion on Ahmadinejad’s statements and “Iran’s position” hardly presents a balanced, let alone educational account: From three contributions in total, one is by Matthias Küntzel and another – a polemic – by Broder himself.

The Auschwitz Lesson: Suspending Human Rights in Case of Emergency?

In the final discussion, the U.S. historian Herf called for a “new Atlanticism.” Such an “Atlantic alliance” should wage the “long war against radical Islam” – a phrase at the core of neo-conservative thinking. At the same time he predicted that if the “U.S. withdraws from the world,” especially from Iraq, then Europe will be exposed to greater danger.

Von der Osten-Sacken, on his part, claimed that a large majority of the Iranian population was in favor of “liberation.” He underlined that we were in a “state of emergency.” The lesson of Auschwitz meanwhile comprised the idea that “in some situations, human rights are to be suspended,” he was convinced. Finally, Kaboli recommended including each willing group – regardless of its democratic posture – into an “anti-fascist front.”

Fully in compliance with Küntzel’s initial desire, the conference at no time ran the risk of being only approximately academic. Following his desire for political intervention, some of the prominent Berlin conference participants intend to talk to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In order to likewise refer to the alleged danger posed by Iran and to require concrete action, they moreover wished for a Bundestag hearing and also intend to talk to German companies.

All conference participants agreed upon the notion of a “worldwide threat” posed by the new quasi-“fascist” state of Iran. They also agreed upon an iron fist as best response to this. 8 Among this sea of consent, there was only a single moment in the conference where a dissenting view was voiced. A bearded, Jewish man from the audience said that the picture drawn between Good and Evil was not so clear for him as presented by the panelists. Immediately, he was interrupted by the moderator and asked not to issue a statement (whereas others who agreed with what had been said were extensively allowed to make their case) but to ask a question. However, he was not able to do so, as the microphone was promptly taken away from him by one of the organizers.

Against Iran and Islam: Unholy Alliances of the “Anti-Fascist Front”

With the participation of key Berlin panelists, an almost identical conference, entitled “The Iranian Threat,” took place at the University of Vienna/Austria on the following day. The congress was organized by SPME Austria and »Stop the Bomb – Coalition against the Iranian extermination program«, an initiative endorsed by over 4,000 petition signees, who demand a total isolation of Iran. Among them are Austrian Nobel Literature Prize laureate Elfriede Jelinek and prominent Dutch writer Leon de Winter.9 In an interview for SpiegelOnline – the very popular online edition of Der Spiegel –, conducted by Broder, in August 2005, De Winter states: “Sometimes there is only the choice between disaster and catastrophe, and then one must remember that the first and foremost task of the state is to guarantee the life and security of its citizens. […] We deal with a new totalitarianism. No, this one is not new, but is only different. After the left fascism of the Soviets, after the right fascism of the Nazis, Islamism is the fascism of the 21st century.”10

»Stop the Bomb« emerged out of protest against ongoing trade relations between Austria and Iran. Especially the 2007 gas deal, worth of 22 billion euros, between the Austrian OMV (Österreichische Mineralölverwaltung), Central Europe’s leading oil and gas corporation, and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), is a thorn in the initiators’ flesh as it might undermine their much-desired, total isolation of Iran. In Berlin, the German journalist Schirra has uttered the wish to form a German variant of the »Stop the Bomb« initiative.

Unlike the German media, the Austrian daily Der Standard published a conference report headlined “Threats of War from the Lecture Hall.” The contents and threats that were uttered in Vienna led Der Standard’s Senior Editor Gudrun Harrer to assume that these both congresses must have been a concerted lobbying “roadshow” in an effort to push for war on Iran and to brand anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism.

The long-serving Mideast expert Udo Steinbach, director from 1976 to 2007 of Germany’s foremost Middle East research entity, the »German Orient Institute«, has called the Berlin conference’s goal to form an “AIPAC” in German-speaking countries. And indeed the resemblance to the »American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) – America’s pro-Israel Lobby« – deemed as of one of the most influential American lobbies – is hard to overlook. Akin to AIPAC, WINEP and other parts of the Israel Lobby and the wider neo-conservative movement, the German-speaking variant is beating the drums for war on Iran.

Next on the agenda is a date 31 May–1 June at Cologne University, which the audience was given notice of by flyers in the entrance hall of the Berlin conference: The “Kritische Islamkonferenz: Der Islam als politische Herausforderung” [Critical Islam Conference: Islam as Political Challenge]. The event is linked on the website of the right-wing, Islamophobic Politically Incorrect (PI), which in turn also links to Broder’s Achse des Guten weblog. PI is also sympathizing with Honestly Concerned, an initiative founded in May 2002 to counter anti-Israel stances in the media and also of the main supporters of the Berlin conference. By mid-May two major German organizations committed to fighting the “Islamization” of Germany and Europe merged into the »Bürgerbewegung (Citizens’ Movement) Pax Europa«.

The bolstering anti-Islam movement in Germany appears to enjoy privileged ties with emerging neo-conservative ideologues. Allegedly in favor of Israel, the United States, and European values, those groups have designed a new globally omnipresent threat – this time, Iran in the company of Islam – which they cultivate both in domestic (immigrant integration) and foreign policy (Iran and its “evil” allies) stages. Startlingly, for building such an unholy alliance strugglers against anti-Semitism have unconsciously joined with rightist extremists.

These agents provocateurs have specialized in distorting the realities (forcing on the “clash of civilizations” concept upon social and political conflicts) and in perverting the lessons modern history provides. In their “West against the (Islamic) rest” paradigm, they ruthlessly camouflage the horrendous consequences of their recent drum beats, leaving the over one million Iraqi victims of the ongoing occupation a lone footnote in their bloody efforts to “promote democracy.” The blunt assumptions and statements uttered at the Berlin conference expose – without further need of comment – their homophobic attitudes. Even more gravely, they invoke the memory of millions of Holocaust victims to suit their one and only agenda: the “long war.” The self-proclaimed “anti-fascist” supporters of Bush’s neo-conservative project are in reality anti-democrats; and certainly they are not pro-Israeli or pro-American – nor are they pro-Iranian: they are pro-war.

And: It remains to be seen whether the conference organizers’ will to win over the Left will succeed. The German Left Party plays a decisive role here as it must decide whether it is willing to continue the path of anti-imperialism and anti-war, or is ready to bury them at the altar of a grotesquely defined raison d’Etat – as Gregor Gysi, head of Die Linke’s large Bundestag caucus, has recently demanded. While Broder applauded him, he was boldly criticized by foreign and peace policy experts of the party-affiliated foundation who doubted if Gysi was really advocating a “leftist policy.” But despite the mobilization of “pro-Zionist” factions amidst leftist milieus, the huge crowd gathering at the Berlin 1968 Congress keep the hope astute that war-mongering will have a hard time selling its propaganda to sympathizers of the Left.

Version of 1 June 2008.

The author thanks Judith Schlenker (Germany) for translating an initial version of the report from German.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad is an independent writer focussing on the international politics of the Middle East, the foreign policies of France, Germany, the United States and Iran as well as politico−cultural issues of immigrant integration. He publishes in English, German, and French with his articles translated into Spanish, Italian, and Persian. He is the author of a detailed study on the U.S.−Iran Crisis, entitled Iran in the Eye of Storm – Backgrounds of a Global Crisis, Since 2006, he has delivered numerous lectures all across Germany.


1 According to Small, this statement was made at the conference “Understanding the Challenge of Iran,” organized late April 2008 by the »Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism« which is headed by Small himself.

2 In the aftermath of the conference, Morris voiced similar comments vis-à-vis the online editions of the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (7 May) and the Austrian Standard (11 May) dailies.

3 For the views expressed in his talk, please refer to both his articles “Ahmadinejads Mission” [Ahmadinejad’s Mission], Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, 25 April 2008, and “The Tehran–Berlin Axes”, The Wall Street Journal (Europe), 15 May 2008.

4 Küntzel’s presentation of figures in terms of German–Iran economic relations was biased. He estimated the German–Iranian trade volume to be at 5 billion euros, which is correct, but he did not mention that as a result of the sanctions imposed upon Iran in recent years, a pressure mainly exerted by the U.S. Treasury, German exports had halved to 3 billion euros for 2007. While trade with Iran equals less than 0.5 percent of Germany’s total export volume, Iran covered 40 percent of her imports from Germany, Küntzel claimed. In reality, Iran covers roughly 10 percent of its total supplies worth of over 60 billion U.S. dollars from Germany. Furthermore Küntzel claimed that about three-quarters of the small and medium-sized enterprises in Iran were dependent on goods imported from Germany. This is also rapidly changing with Iranian firms turning to Asian countries and at the same time making efforts to increase domestic production capabilities.

In conclusion one must note that Küntzel supersized Germany’s economic weight for Iran, thus serving the purpose of supporting his argument for a cancellation of German trade ties with Iran, which would then result in a quasi-total isolation of the Middle Eastern heavyweight. But the situation in a globalized world economy is more diverse than this simplistic assessment suggests. As a consequence of the U.S.-pushed sanctions regime imposed upon European economies, those have experienced significantly losses in trade shares with Iran. However, a complete breakup of the trade relations with Iran would have damaging long-term consequences for the world’s number one export nation, as the chairman of the “North Africa–Middle East Initiative of the German Economy,” Matthias Mitscherlich, emphasized in an interview on 29 November 2007. Meanwhile, European retreat from the lucrative Iranian market has made China, an EU rival, the most important trade partner of Tehran touching a bilateral trade volume of 25 billion dollars this year. The business volume with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has hit 12 billion dollars, 10 billion of which are Iranian imports. The UAE is believed to serve as bridgehead to the Iranian market for U.S. firms.

5 In early 2008, the Jerusalem Post announced that it will begin a partnership with the Wall Street Journal including joint marketing and exclusive publication in Israel of The Wall Street Journal Europe. Its current head editor is David Horovitz who in 2004 replaced current Wall Street Journal editorial board member Bret Stephens. In addition, in 2007, Dow Jones & Company, the owner of the Wall Street Journal – whose editorial board is considered as supporting neo-conservative foreign policy stances – was bought by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

6 Former German State Secretary Klaus Faber, an attorney from Potsdam/Germany and acting chairman of the »Wissenschaftsforum der Sozialdemokratie in Berlin, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e.V.« – a think-tank affiliated to the German Social-Democratic Party (SPD) – pointed out that former Canadian Minister of Justice, Irwin Cotler, had likewise called to “try Ahmadinejad for genocide calls”. Later in the conference, it was agreed upon that further to the political agenda this legal path should be simultaneously followed.

7 Due to Von der Osten-Sacken’s anti-Muslim agitation, the already independent WADI Austria recently dissolved from the main German organization to become what is now LEEZA.

8 At the conference were also present: Wahied Wahdat Hagh, political scientist, former member of MEMRI Germany (»The Middle East Media Research Institute«), online columnist for Welt Debatte and Senior Research Fellow with the Brussels think-tank »European Foundation for Democracy«; Klaus Faber, German State Secretary ret., attorney from Potsdam and acting chairman of the »Wissenschaftsforum der Sozialdemokratie in Berlin, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern« and co-editor of Neu-alter Judenhass: Antisemitismus, arabisch-israelischer Konflikt und europäische Politik [New-Old Jew-Hatred: Anti-Semitism, Arab–Israeli Conflict and European Policies] (Verlag für Berlin Brandenburg, 2006).

9 Other important signees are the Berlin and Vienna conference speakers Küntzel, Casaca, Kaboli, Herf, and furthermore Hermann L. Gremliza (editor of the ‘Anti-German’ weekly magazine konkret), Kazem Moussavi (foreign policy speaksperson of the »Green Party of Iran« in Europe), Karl Pfeifer (leading journalist with the Austrian, pro-Israel online journal Die Jüdische [The Jewish]), Sacha Stawski (editor-in-chief of the online Honestly Concerned), Ruth Contreras (member of SPME’s Board of Directors, coordinator for SMPE in Europe and chairwoman of SPME Austria), chief editors of »German Media Watch« (a pro-Israel media monitoring group established in 2001), Andrei S. Markovits (professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan and author of the German-language book Amerika, Dich hasst sich’s besser. Antiamerikanismus und Antisemitismus in Europa, published by konkret’s publishing house »Konkret-Literatur Verlag« in 2004), Micha Brumlik (who was present at the Berlin conference is professor for Educating Science at the University of Frankfurt/Main and co-editor of the political-scientific monthly magazine Blätter für deutsche und international Politik), Christopher Gillibrand (journalist with the neo-conservative The Brussels Journal – The Voice of Conservatism in Europe, which is published by the Zurich-based non-profit organization »Society for the Advancement of Freedom in Europe (SAFE)« and features articles from the American right-conservative daily The Washington Times), »Scottish Friends of Israel«, Raimund Fastenbauer (Secretary-General of the Austrian Federal Association of the Jewish Religious Community [»Bundesverband der Israelitischen Kultusgemeinden«]), and many others.

10 In own translation. The German original reads: “ Manchmal hat man nur die Wahl zwischen einem Desaster und einer Katastrophe, und dann muss man sich daran erinnern, dass es die erste und wichtigste Aufgabe des Staates ist, das Leben und die Sicherheit seiner Bürger zu garantieren. […] Wir haben es mit einem neuen Totalitarismus zu tun. Nein, er ist nicht neu, er ist nur anders. Nach dem linken Faschismus der Sowjets, nach dem rechten Faschismus der Nazis, ist der Islamismus der Faschismus des 21. Jahrhunderts.” The interview can also be retrieved via WADI’s website.


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iraj khan

Excellent report, thank you Ali Fathollah-Nejad

by iraj khan on

The report you have published is an excellent exposition of what goes on in the world of politics. Keep it up. You can measure your success by the hatefull and violent reactions of warmongers on this website. Keep on writing, keep on publishing. Thank you. 


Thank you Fred

by Free Thinker (not verified) on

You articlulated in the best fashion and with the most powerful style that which we could not have said better in a thousand years.

I hope the demagougues and their lackeys who are teeming this site are listening.



Not you nor I

by Fred on

Self aggrandizing Islamist/Anti-Semites and their likeminded lefty allies including Islamist wedding photographers of this cyber space should take things in context. The whole ruckus is not about their shattered dreams of an egalitarian lefty Shiite Islamist utopia taking over the vacant role of Communism in confronting Capitalism. Flash flash, the former Commie sources of Emulation, China and USSR, are so much into Capitalism that they have begun faulting U.S. for not being enough of a Capitalist. It is also not about sucker punching the Yankee for old times’ sake or regardless of the dire consequences poking his eye out. Furthermore it is not about winning a childish game of one-upmanship. And it certainly is not about any individual rabid Islamist Anti-Semite and his lefty hanger- on, I or any one in particular for all of us are miniscule beings in the grand prize of achieving emancipation for the enslaved Iranians and in the process saving unnecessary regional suffering initiated by the Islamist Republic’s Messianic doomsday based dogma some thirty years ago.  It is time to help Iranians, morally and materially, to get rid of the source of Emulation for worldwide Islamist terrorism, the Islamist republic.


that's right Free Thinker, I'm "afraid" of you!

by Q on

who exactly are you that you think people should be afraid of you?

I still want to know why some of you, including you Q, are so unhappy with my presence on these pages.
What kind of ego you must have to think people even think about you? Khejalat nemikeshi?

Most people aren't even aware of you. Nobody is certainly going to take advice from you regarding "fully transparent affiliations". What a joke!

Now who is being hypocrite Q?

Fred and yourself. You completely ignored the hypocrisy that started this whole thread which shows your inahrent bias and dishonesty and pretty much proves you are lying about everything else too. We're not fooled.

Your arguments are complete crap.
Well, if this was true then perhaps you can tell us why Iranian.com is being filtered by the regime?
this is likely done automatically because of the presence of certain words (for example "fascist" or "mullah") just like Porn sites. Somebody may be aware of the site at one point, doesn't mean the regime is reading it every day and cataloguing who is writing what. I really couldn't care less if you believe me or not, so this whole think is a waste of time.

Now that I think about it, I think you have emailed me and gave the same rant using another (fake) name. You writing is very familiar.


Why are afraid of me Q?

by Free Thinker (not verified) on

On my first sighting of your name "Q," I thought you were the reincarnation of the famed James Bond ally:
Alas! I was wrong. Instead we have a Q who is an ally of some of the ugliest products of the same Her Majesty's Britannic government, meaning the mullah! At, least the other Q had chosen the real "masters" as his bosses instead of, like our Q, choosing the lackeys of the same masters, meaning the mullahs as his mentors.

But, I still want to know why some of you, including you Q, are so unhappy with my presence on these pages. Is it because, I represent the voice of the people who live under the tyranny of your favorite regime, the IRI? or is it because I question your authenticity in a discomforting manner, or perhaps both?

You say: "I do not have a problem with Anonymity, but I have a serious problem with hypocrisy." I am sure you have no problem with anonymity Q. Because you don't need to be anonymous. You have called Ahmadinejad a "fascist" in an article on this site and went through Imam Khomeini Airport's passport control without any problem. What does this show? Are you suggesting that the Islamic regime authorities have no problem with the people who call their leaders fascist in English? Is it because they don't understand English well enough to know the meaning of the word — hardly so, I imagine. Or is it because they consider Iranian.com of such trivial importance that they can't be bothered to check who is writing what on this site? Well, if this was true then perhaps you can tell us why Iranian.com is being filtered by the regime? Or perhaps they are so afraid of touching you, lest it might incite people to revolt, that they are warned not to upset you at the borders checkpoints? Again, this may be true but can you tell us why are they so afraid of you? Or perhaps they respect you so much that they won't dream of asking you any upsetting question and Checkpoint Khomeini? Again I am aure we are all interested to know why your being so respected by the regime. Finally, none of the above may be the case. Is it not possible that they may have allowed you and thousands of others to go in and out of the country without a question, in order to entice more people back to Iran and possibly catch a few who genuinely threaten the regime - I mean those who not only say the regime is a fascist but all DO something about it?

In any case Q, our friend, Fred, had rightly asked a question and exposed the author for not being fully transpraent with his affiliations. Where is hypocracy in this? I think both Fred and Zion have left us in no doubt about their political sympathies and support. Why are you so alarmed when a member of the IRI lobby is exposed a little further than they pretend to be?

Now who is being hypocrite Q?


and one more thing, my little mini-me,

by Free Thinker (not verified) on

11. You are little fellow with a little brain. Let me repeat for your little ears: You will not force me to leave this site or register. I will remain and continue to answer your lies as long as the Islamic regime works against Iranians.

Mark my words, I will not be forced out.


From Free-Thinker to free-thinker

by Free Thinker (not verified) on

If you (free-thinker) think that by adopting my name and writing stuff, pretending to be me, will force me to leave this site or register, you are woefully wrong little fellow. Go read my previous comments and my opinion about the issues you have raised and you will find that I am not the same as the image you are trying to display. There are lots of differences between us:

1. I think in capital letters, you think in small letters.
2. I am pure, you are hyphenated.
3. I am the voice of the people trapped inside of Iran because they love their country, you are the voice of the people trapped in Calfornia because thet left their country.
4. I reach this site by skipping the filters, you reach this site without skipping the IRI filters.
5. You are not who you say you are, I am whom I say I am.
6. You support the continuation of the Islamic regime I support the capitulation of the Islamic regime.
7. You lie and try to picture me as being opposed to Zion and Fred and the other like-minded people, I tell the truth and fully support the position of Fred, Zion and those who think alike.
8. You say we got rid of the Shah without foreign aid and intervention, I say we did it precisely because of having foreign aid and intervention.
9. You say, promoting regime change is an act of opportunism on the brink of a war, I say regime change is the only opportunty we have to avoid a war.
10. You are about to go to bed in California, I am already late for work in Tehran.

Sweet dreams my little mini-me :))


Free thinker: you need to read more carefully

by Q on

First of all "Free Thinker", I seriously doubt you are from Iran.

My experience has been that people inside the country are much more intelligent, tactful and critical thinkers. Unfortunately, you have failed all three tests.

For these reasons and also given the fact that "Fred" pracically dropped off the face of the earth after I called him on his hypocricy, I don't think you are logging in from Iran and in any case I would believe JJ over an anonymous "Free Thinker" any day.

Had you bothered to read carefully and actually follow the dilectic, you would have noticed three points.

one: I do not have a problem with Anonymity, but I have a serious problem with hyprocrisy. If you read carefully you would have notice that I actually used your exact arguments against Fred. Why Fred? Because he shows up and insists on full disclosure, acts like he has bravely "discovered" some "hidden plot" just by asking a hypocritical question/ from who? From someone whose name, country, and affiliation is fully known. A whole paragraph is provided by the author of this piece, but that's not good enough for our little zionist ideologues.

two: You already know my name, if you do a little more research online you may be able to find that I have lived in Glendale, CA for years. At some point my phone number, picture and some of my photography work has also online and if you're good with computers you can probably still find it.

Of course, none of this is necessary for me to do, but I have done it. Leaving aside the question of "how much" one has to share to satisfy some no-name anonymous faker like yourself for second, at least I have shared much about myself. As much as it is reasonable for most people who write articles online. So if you yourself do not live in a glass house you would acknoweledge the vast difference between what you know about me and what I know about you, or what all of us know about Fred and Zion.

three: But of course, we know you are not about fairness because if you did have even slight inclination, you would direct your critique toward Fred who was the first to throw stones while living in a complete bubble of a house.

So, you are fooling nobody. Take it somewhere else.


Excellent reporting. Those

by free-thinker (not verified) on

Excellent reporting. Those of you not yet distracted by the rubbish Fred & Zion post(s), please have a look around at the news stories coming out. Things aren't pretty and sooner or later everyone will have to choose whether they are for or against war. Those promoting regime change in the middle of this mess are pathetic opportunists who have no faith in the intellect of their fellow countrymen inside Iran. Iranians can change things if they want to. Didn't they do it once? If/how/when they decide so, they certainly won't need traitors who've been nagging for 30 years from 1000s of miles away in the US or in Europe.


Show us your face, Q. Be

by anondfd (not verified) on

Show us your face, Q. Be brave! Practice what you preach.


In the name of Anonymity

by Free Thinker (not verified) on

Hi everyone

You may have seen a few comments, here and there, by me. I am "a newly emerged" character, as one commentator suggested, from the dark depths of the cyber space, who claims to reach this site from "inside" Iran, breaching the Islamic filters. In doing so, I instantly placed myself in JJ's bad books as he enjoys the status of being held as a "persona non grata" by the Islamic regime and any move which would compromise this privileged position is unwelcome. I also made the cardinal sin of implying that JJ may be associated with the "Compnay" as his new bright idea Peace Corps Recall revived memories of the Corps past associations with the Company. Anyways! It's sad that JJ hates me but I genuinely like the guy and think he is doing a great job. So if this comment doesn't see the light of day - well, as I said before, JJ, you are the best filter the IRI would have dreamt of :)

Now back to the main topic: Anonymity. As you may appreciate in the Western deomcracies, and not in Iran, anonymity is a right and so is the case on this site, hence my own identity. But I am surprized that certain people who insist on remaining anonymous, such as Q, critisize others for exercising the same right. Or am I missing something? Yes, I must be. Q is indeed Qumars Bolourchian "an Iranian Writer/Photographer living in LA area." But then I can't put any face to Q. Or perhaps he prefers to remain faceless, which is again his right to exercise. But unless Mr Bolourchian is a well known "real" individual known in the community, then he can be practically "anybody". So why does he insist on others to disclose their identity, an calls it an act of courage, while he prefers to remain effectively a Q(usetion mark)? Hasn't he heard:




by Zion on

Q: 'I myself went back...'

Yeah, I'm sure that proves a lot. :-)


SZ: yes, but incomplete

by Q on

as long as the paper bags were on head, nothing got done. Courageous individuals had to take physical risk (let alone "risk" from behind a keyboard sitting 8000 miles away) to get it done.

Only when millions of people took to the streets in spite of the SAVAK repression -without hiding their identity- was anything accomplished.

It's clear we don't have this kind of movement right now, or if we do, "Fred" is no where near it.

Lastly, it's one thing to understand general safety and be cautious. It's quite another to make righteous demands in the name of full disclosure but only from other people since apparently no one else's privacy is important. That kind of hypocrisy can only be described by excessive "roo".


Repetition of history

by sz (not verified) on

This cavalier attitude and warped line of reasoning of Mr/Mrs. Q is reminiscent of the way Shah’s supporters used to dismissively talk down to the opposition ridiculing theire concerns for personal safety and particularly the paper bags that were used to hide the identity during anti-regime demonstrations.


Fred: that's exactly what I thought, it's a selfish move

by Q on

I know people critical of the IRI who do go back and have no problems. I myself went back even after one of my articles called Ahmadinejad a "fascist." I have never heard of anybody being arrested because of things he/she wrote in English on Iranian.com. This site is actually filtered in Iran. (If know of such people, please share them.) If you actually think IRI is "monitoring" every comment section on every language on the Internet, you are so far out there, you are incapable of holding a normal world view.

By contrast many people inside and outside the US have gotten visits from homeland security for various bullshit reasons. If you don't trust me, just start advocating "overthrowing the US government" for a few weeks and see what what happens. The only difference is that this time I don't believe your fake name will save you from a "military tribunal."

But I grant you there is the possiblity of Iran giving you trouble when you use your Iranian passport to travel to Iran. This however, begs the question: if you are not willing to show the slightest courage, what business do you hvae lecturing the rest of Iran about what they should do about their own government? Do you want others to take all the risk so you can reap the benefits? Why did you bother coming out of Iran, if -even here- you're too scared to use your freedom?

If you really believe that Iranians are ready and willing to topple their own government, why don't you stay in Iran and organize resistance from there?

If you have concluded that the only way to overthrow the IRI is begging foreign Western powers to do it, I have news for you, that is the worst of all options and will likely backfire badly. If that's your position, you really do deserve to be detained by the hezbollahis. There will be no difference between you and the Rajavi-parast terrorists. Any other country would do exactly the same.


Verbal diarrhea

by Anonymous-today (not verified) on

Fred&Zion, you get off on your purple prose, don't you? What does your diatribe has to do with this article?


An Islamist/Anti-Semites&likeminded lefty


If you really want to know

by Fred on

The Islamist/Anti-Semites and their likeminded lefty ideological allies still have not grasp the full horror of their beloved Islamist heaven on earth, aka, Islamist republic. Were cemeteries full of the victims, multitude of dungeons, stone age tortures and overlapping security agencies solely tooled to hunt down and eliminate vociferous opposition of your heaven-travel-agency of a government were nothing but a bad nightmare, I and countless like me would not be forced to hide our identity. Just because you breeze through don’t think for a moment that is the case for the majority. Every time one goes through the checking-in procedures at any of the points of entries in Islamist Iran and again when departing that rapid heart palpitation and looks of fright on the faces dictates the need for this basic anonymity. The thousand of hours it feels while the personal hygiene averse uniformed Hezbollahi enters the passport data into his computer necessitates this sort of, in normal times ridicules, hiding.   So to those who really like to know and see who and what I and multitudes like me are, please help get rid of this Islamist regime and see and know to your hearts content.  A word of warning though, expect an acquired zeal for freedom, you will find nothing, absolutely nothing worthy of your curiosity.


Fred, what a valuable life-lesson you have shown us

by Q on

The horror you felt upon finding out that Rafsanjani wrote that piece must have immediately made you reject democracy and embrace tyranny right?

I really like suggestion that was made of you "in the interest of full disclosure".

How about it Fred & Zion?

It's OK, you dont have to answer. We already know: these rules and criticisms are for others you guys occupy a higher plane than the rest of us mere mortals. You don't have to follow the same advice yourself.


Last Gasp

by sharizie (not verified) on

GW and friends Last Gasp. EU's Good Neighbor Policy will change Iran - Once GW and gang are gone


what a terrific report

by serious reader (not verified) on

Thank you for such an informd and informative report. I must say I am flabbergasted by the position of the representative of the Iranian Green Party. Are Kayvan Kaboli's statements the official line of the Green Party?

We need more of this kind of reporting. This is independent media at its best.


Message & messengers

by Fred on

Quite recently I was reading a long speech on the benefits of democracy and how and why it is the most preferred method of governance and what a miserable system tyranny is. Having had neglected to read who was the author; the thought of reincarnated Thomas Jefferson crossed my mind. Lo and behold the author was none other than one Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani Bahremani. In this day and age the messenger is as important as the message if for nothing else it gives some contextual property to the message.


Take off your masks and come clean

by Anonymous-today (not verified) on

Why am I not surprised to see Fred&Zion here again attacking the writer and muddying what really matters. In service of disclosure why don't you two come out and say who you are. At least have the courage of your newly found friend Mr. Rashidian who not only puts his name to his pieces but his picture too. This is a solid piece of reporting on an important event and the writer is not hiding his political inclination. It’s there for all to see. And no_name, please don't contribute to the garbage with your anti-Semitic nonsence about Jews inventing communism. Hit the books, don't repeat cheap propaganda. All it does is to give ammunition to people like Zion to divert the conversation from what is really at stake.


Fred, attacking the messenger are we?

by AnonymousCoward (not verified) on

Please get a clue. Which part of report was inaccurate? His report is merely a collection of resources/links. I don't care if it was a terrorist who reported it, it wouldn't make the substance any less accurate.


CASMII lobby member

by Fred on

In the interest of full disclosure and for contextual purposes it should have been mentioned that the author is a member of the CASMII lobby. Additionally, according to the author both he and his wife are Islamist activists in Germany.

Farhad Kashani

Its not the "Neo" "Cons"

by Farhad Kashani on

Its not the "Neo" "Cons" who want war with the Iran, its the same "old" "fascists" in Iran who have been wanting war with the world for the last 30 years.


We have heard this before

by Zion on

'Many people may not know, but Communism was created by the jews'

Funny, this is what Hitler used to say. Why am I not surprised?


excellent reporting

by no_name (not verified) on

Thank you for the excellent reporting. Leave it to the zionofascists who have brought the gratest instability to the world to blame Iran.

They are good at playing the victim card, especially in Germany where they've got the Germans by the guilt ball and are not going to let go.

Many people may not know, but Communism was created by the jews, which gave us Eeast German's Secret police and USSR's KGB. Are you surprised they came up with Campus Watch.