Observations on latest news items about Iran (10/15/11)


by FG

NEWS ITEM #1: "We support Syria" says Iran's ambassador to Damascus.

Unlike Turkey (Arabs everywhere  take note!).    I offer three bets:

First, those words ("We support Syria") and the Al Jazeera's recent popular video on how Iran treats protestors will circulate widely among Arabs..  

Secondly, Syria's demonstrators won't  stop, so Syria's economy will be kaput.  Thus, Assad is doomed.

Thirdly, Syria's majority will never forgot Khamenei's substantial assistance to Assad's thugs.

NEWS ITEM #2: Extremist Ahmad Khatami demands a pledge of allegiance to Supreme Leader.  

Complete this sentence: The last guy who demanded such personal oaths to the leader, NOT the nation or its people, was....?  

Will first graders be forced to swear allegiance?.   Woe betide those who reefuse!  Whereas Erdogan governs Turkey with deep popularity, Khamenei and Assad must rely totally on force, intimidation and bribery.  Having committed too many crimes, both rulers can no longer risk free elections, free speech, free press, etc..  Too much blood has been shed, too much injustice committed.

NEWS ITEM #3: Eight literary and cultural figures from Gilan-e Gharb in Kermanshah Province in western Iran have reportedly been sentenced to a total of 13 years in prison by a Revolutionary Court for “acting against national security”.

Khamenei's theory goes like this: Arab Spring protestors yearn for Iran's model with its heavy-handed government. "Trust me," he says, "Arabs can't imagine why Erdogan is so popular.  They actually love governments who rely on the inventive charges like I use to crush dissent--charges such as acting against national security, crimes against God, and propaganda against the state.

"Erdogan is gutless compared to me.  One of my favorite games is to arrest human rights defense attorneys who take their jobs seriously (he chuckles), Or how about shooting a protestor in the head then beating up on his mother when she tries to attend a funeral or visit his grave.  Cute, eh?  You see why Iranians and Arabs admire me so." 

NEWS ITEM #4: Ahmadinijad "is launching a new social network for youth, 'Heralds for Peace and Justice'."   

Hitler youth or young Pioneers, anyone?   Iran already has its SS (IRCG) and brownshirts (Basilj, Iranian Hezbollah), so why not?




more from FG

Hilarous video: TV debate on Assad ends in fist fight

by FG on



A loss of confidence in their currency could make Syrian entrepreneurs transfer their assets abroad. This has been an on-going process from the very beginning of the political crisis. According to the Byblos Bank, based in Beirut, deposits in Syrian accounts held by Lebanese banks dropped to about 24% by the end of April[34]. This transfer of assets out of Syria is the consequence of a loss of confidence in the currency, but will hasten the collapse of this currency. A possible ‘snow-ball effect’ should then not be excluded. As soon as a critical amount of Syrian entrepreneurs have ‘crossed the Rubicon’ and have defied state retaliation by selling their businesses and transferring their capital into a foreign currency, the majority is likely to follow, so as not to be the only ones to have lost everything.

This collapse thus seems very likely. Nevertheless, predictions are hard to make. A lot will depend on the amount of external aid the country will receive. It has been said that Iran has poured between one and four billion dollars into the Syrian economy since April.[35] In other words, the possibility of a collapse of the Syrian economy also depends upon Iran’s willingness and capacity to fund the delegitimised Assad regime and the crumbling Syrian economy.

(from an analysis by Armand Hurault entitled "It's the Economy Stupid" for Transnational Crisis Project). 


You may also be interested in the following report by the same writer on "An Imminent Collapse of the Syrian economy?" and how it is likely to undermine critical support for the regime.


ITEM: If you don't think economic conditions are going South fast in Syria then recall Turkey's planned sanctions still to come. (EA refers to Enduring America)

 Several of EA's sources are reporting that rolling electricity blackouts and oil shortages are getting worse across Syria, but some are saying that Aleppo, because of its high electricity and oil usage, may be hit the hardest. Now Josh Landis shares this story on Syrian Comment, where the full impact of sanctions is rapidly becoming clearer:

A friend writes that his parents cannot find cooking gas in Aleppo. The replacement bottles for the stove are unavailable in the market. Mazoot, or fuel-oil, which is used to heat homes, power taxis and farm equipment is also absent. Aleppo authorities also warn that extended electric cuts are coming due to lack of power. Syria is facing a cold winter. Older people are standing in lines to get small containers of mazoot filled. The Syrian pound has fallen to 54.25 to a dollar.



Very [bad] news, but not your fault for reporting them...

by Bavafa on

They are all informative, accurate and nicely put together.

'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



News Russian tanks arrive in Syria after bloodiest day yet

by FG on

Syrian activists describe Russia's position as shameful.   They also report that a new shipment of Russian tanks arrived Tuesday at the Syrian port of Latakia.   As you well know, Bassad has shown no reluctance at using tanks to machine gun and shell demonstrators.

See: Syria's 'bloodiest day' leaves scores dead


KAROUSH ASKS: We should care about the Syrian "people", why again?

Reason #1: Assad's downfall would be a major and demoralizing blow at Khamenei's tyranny.

Reason #2: An already isolated Iran won't easily find a substitute who can play Syria role. Iraq and Al Sadr would seem the most obvious candidate.  The catch is that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States won't let Iran get away with it.  Any Iraqi regime that supporets Iran will soon find a well-financed, well organized opposition.  Some IED's will make their way into Iraq, thus returning an Al Quds/Mahdi Army favor to the mullahs.

Reason #3: While stomping their people, Iran mullah rulers have aided Assad in oppressing his people.  Syrian's  majority won't forget.  You may then reverse your question for Syrians: "Why should we care about the IRANIAN people?"  The answer is self-evident in that case too.

Reason #4: Interdependence is critical to the Arab Spring.  Protestors must support one another against dictators, especially after victory. If they don't, surviving dictators will do everything possible to undermine new democracies whose examples become a threat unless removed. 



by KouroshR99 on

We should care about the Syrian "people", why again?


Bad News never stops for Syria & Assad too

by FG on

ITEM: French oil giant Total is reporting that the Syrian government has stopped paying them for their oil.

ITEM: Last week there was a report that Shell is also not being paid. This, in combination with the EU sanctions and the news from Turkey (see below) is yet another major development for the Syrian economy

ITEM: With the Syrian economy reeling, Turkey has announced two more moves that will have both immediate and long-term impact. Turkey has announced that it may cut the exportation of electricity to Syria, which will likely result in immediate shortages. The energy minister has also announced that Turkey will cancel plans for oil exploration in Syria, a move that will have longer implications.

ITEM: Another high ranking officer, Colonel Aref Muhammad Nour Al-Hamoud, has defected from the Syrian military, encouraging others to do so as well and warning that any who don't defect will regret it, and "regret later will be useless."

ITEM:The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is focused on a different narrative today, the kidnapping and murder of activists. First, they had this report:

‎19 unidentified dead bodies have arrived this morning to ‘National Hospital’ in Homs. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is concerned that these bodies could be for people who were kidnapped by ‘Shabeeha’ (regime’s loyalist armed men) over the last two days.


ITEM: Reuters is reporting that 69 people were killed in Syria yesterday, all of them in the southern half of the country. Not all of them were civilians, however:

The Syrian Organization for Human Rights said 34 soldiers and members of Syrian security forces were killed in clashes with suspected army deserters who attacked military vehicles in the southern province on Monday.



ITEM:  while the Russian Foreign Minister was speaking to the opposition, the government of Russia has announced that it will honor all arms contracts with Syria, and they will continue to sell arms to the Syrian regime.  (The Syrians won't forget how Russia aid Bassad's crimes too).

Source: Enduring America



News Item #5

by FG on

Ahmad Hakimipour has said that the Minister of Interior Minister, in a clear case of discrimination, has refused to issue a permit for a conference of reformists.

My Observation

Good.  The worst thing refomists can do now is run candidates or vote.  Absent reformist, who would vote for the hated clerics? 

A reformist boycott = Ahmadinejad faction victory = more feuding.  Should Ahmadinejad later triumph over the clerics, he'd be easier to oust than they would.

A clerical victory = disaster for all in the short run but would probably accelerate revolution.

Under what condition should reformers participate?  None. 

--Not even if all political prisoners were freed, rallis allowed and press and internet censorship ended.    As always, any pre-election liberalization would end right after elections, once reformers have been suckered once again.

--Not even if all reform candidates are allowed run by the Guardian Council and both Ahmadinejad and Khamenei promise "no election rigging this time."

If reformers did well at the polls, their votes will certainly be stolen regardless of any promise to the contrary.  Distrust for this regime runs so deep that its words, promises and claims and even any apologies or admissions of past guilt (extremely unlikely) count for nada.