Archive for the ‘Iranian judiciary’ category

Finally, an Iranian Spring

January 2, 2018

Finally, an Iranian Spring, Al ArabiyaDr. Khaled M. Batarfi, January 2, 2017

Over 60 towns have joined the rebellion, so far. Iran is awakening. Iranians are demanding their freedom, democracy and rights. They regretted supporting a revolution that turned against them.

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When Iranians protested, mostly in Tehran, for the best half of 2009, they were angry about the rigged presidential election in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defeated his “reformist” rival Mehdi Karroubi. The “Green Revolution,” was about the government —not the regime change. It was led by an elite, educated and well-to-do metropolitans supporting to the reformist movement.

Recent protests are different in many ways. It started in Mashhad, a conservatively religious city, and the birthplace of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, where some 160,000 angry investors lost their life savings in a fraud residential project.

Banks owned by the Revolutionary Guards suddenly closed down wiping out all deposits. And many companies haven’t paid salaries for up to a year! For a couple of years, after the burning of the Saudi Embassy, Shiite tourists from wealthy Gulf region ceased to come and hundreds of business closed down.

Poor, unemployed and hungry people went out to call for a new revolution. They were calling Khamenei a dictator who lives in luxury while his people suffer, wishing him and President Hassan Rouhani death, as both of the are two sides of the same coin.

The city is governed by two of Khamenei top allies, Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda and Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi. The latter had participated and lost in the last presidential elections as representative of the supreme leader’s camp and the hardline movement.

Instead of calming the crowd, Alamolhoda advises the authorities: “If the law-enforcement agencies do not punish the troublemakers, the enemies will publish tapes and pictures telling the world that the regime of the Islamic Republic has lost its revolutionary spirit in Mashhad.”

These slogans summarize the sentiments of the Iranian people about their regime’s foreign policies and their devastating repercussions on development, economy and society

Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi

A religious and conservative town

Other cities followed. Isfahan, the third largest city in Iran, after Tehran and Mashhad joined the ranks. Teachers and retirees came out demanding their salaries and money lost in the failing banks and projects. The city is also a religious and conservative town. Its support of the Khomeini revolution in the late seventies was a decisive factor in its victory. Tens of thousands of their sons were killed in the Iran-Iraq war.

One protester has lost four sons in Iraq, and a fifth in Syria. Instead of rewarding him, they took away his pension, he complains. Now, he cannot support what is left of his family. He is not alone, according to official statistics, 20 percent of the population is below poverty line and 40 percent of them need food aid, that is 60 percent of the 80 million Iranians.

Twenty millions live in shantytowns. Not to mention an inflation rate exceeding 20 percent, and a currency rapidly losing value. The result is a hike in rates of crime, drug addiction and prostitution.

The slogans raised in the demonstrations are telling: “Neither for Gaza, nor for Lebanon, my life is only for Iran,” “Forget Syria, remember us!,” “May your soul rest in peace, Reza Shah,” “freedom or death,” “Release political prisoners,” “Leaders live in paradise, people live in Hell,” “Death to Hezbollah.”

Sentiments of the people

These slogans summarize the sentiments of the Iranian people about their regime’s foreign policies and their devastating repercussions on development, economy and society. While austerity measures worsened an already tough life, the Syrian regime received $20 billion to kill its own people, and Hizbollah gets $1,200 billion a year to do the regime’s dirty business.

Not to mention other costly expenses to support militias in Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain. As a protester put it, “We give an Afghan, Pakistani or Arab terrorist up to $1500 a month, with accommodation, food and transportation, while I live in a shack, and my hard-earned income of $250 is delayed or stolen.

Few former Iranian leaders sided with their people. Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has just revealed the existence of 63 bank accounts for the head of the judiciary Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani and the corruption of his brother Ali Larijani, the Parliament Speaker.

Others exposed the extent of criminality that reached the highest offices. Top bosses in ministries, banks, charities and religious institutions were found guilty of embezzlement, fraud, sexual harassment and child abuse. Worse, the leadership, including the Supreme Leader, has protected and defended the guilty and tried to hid their crimes.

If the large, industrial and commercial metropolitans groan, imagine the suffering in the remote and marginalized areas. The racist and sectarian regime has always ignored the mostly Sunni Kurdish, Baluchi, Kurdish, Azeri, Turkmen and Afghan communities. Shiite Arabs fared no better.

Over 60 towns have joined the rebellion, so far. Iran is awakening. Iranians are demanding their freedom, democracy and rights. They regretted supporting a revolution that turned against them. The world is watching, as it did in the spring of 2008. This time around it should interfere if the regime terrorizes its own people. Since they pretend to be a democracy, they should be held to its standards.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on January 2, 2018.
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Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi is a Saudi journalist and writer based in Jeddah.

Ahmadinejad to Khamenei: There is Little Hope for Improvement in Regine’s Status

December 2, 2017

Ahmadinejad to Khamenei: There is Little Hope for Improvement in Regine’s Status, Iran News Update, Jazeh Miller, December 2, 2017

According to Ahmadinejad, “due to heavy economic, propaganda and emotional pressures as well as political and psychological ones, many people and families are subjected to serious harms and breakdown, and a bleak outlook has been formed in the minds of all people, the youth in particular. Considering the country’s current conditions, hope for a better future has reached bottom low.”

In another part of his letter, Ahmadinejad focuses on his conflict with regime’s judiciary, saying “irregular, unjustified, and unlawful insistence on sticking to personal and political stances and involving those viewpoints in judicial process while taking advantage of judicial power in political, personal, and family relations has stripped the judiciary of any chance to address and improve its status, avoid mistakes and injustice, attempt to resolve the country’s major problems and realize people’s rights.”

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Revealing his recent letter to the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iranian regime’s former president has given new dimensions to the power struggle between regime’s rival factions while describing the country’s awkward situation.

On Monday November 27, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed a letter he apparently wrote two weeks ago to Ali Khamenei.

The letter was released a few hours after regime judiciary’s spokesman ‘Mohseni Ejei’ referred to Ahmadinejad’s attacks on the judiciary, describing him as a ‘thug who talks big’.

Although Ahmadinejad’s letter gives detailed description about the country’s current conditions, but he doesn’t mention how much his government and policies are responsible for today’s situation.

“Due to authorities’ ignorance and effectiveness of enemies’ plans, such crises like unprecedented economic slowdown, liquidity, banking problems, unemployment, poverty, wide gap between the rich and poor and production fall have reached such a critical level that could at any moment hit the country and people with unpredictable and unmanageable consequences”, says Ahmadinejad.

According to Ahmadinejad, “due to heavy economic, propaganda and emotional pressures as well as political and psychological ones, many people and families are subjected to serious harms and breakdown, and a bleak outlook has been formed in the minds of all people, the youth in particular. Considering the country’s current conditions, hope for a better future has reached bottom low.”

In another part of his letter, Ahmadinejad focuses on his conflict with regime’s judiciary, saying “irregular, unjustified, and unlawful insistence on sticking to personal and political stances and involving those viewpoints in judicial process while taking advantage of judicial power in political, personal, and family relations has stripped the judiciary of any chance to address and improve its status, avoid mistakes and injustice, attempt to resolve the country’s major problems and realize people’s rights.”

Ahmadinejad says he’s against Larijani brothers and their dominance over the country’s (judicial and legislative) branches.

He then refers to judiciary’s performance as the source of public discontent in the country, saying “having 17 million judicial cases means that an overwhelming majority of Iranian families are somehow involved in lawsuits. It clearly and totally mirrors the country’s conditions and the performance of different entities, and yet by itself is a proof and a clear sign of the judiciary’s awkward situation, judicial officials’ incompetence and real problems in the branch. Public discontent towards the status of the country and judiciary is unprecedented, so much so that the majority of people are shouting against injustice and improper relations.”

Ahmadinejad’s fierce attack on the judiciary is despite the fact that the branch played a key role in oppressing the 2009 uprising during Ahmadinejad’s second term. Nonetheless, Ahmadinejad never questioned or criticized the judiciary’s record at the time, nor does he refer to it now. But only now that the branch, amid clashes between regime’s rival bands, has targeted Ahmadinejad and those around him, he has started criticizing.

Regime’s former president, who never seriously opposed limitations and violating individual and social freedoms, now writes “any kind of criticism, protest, or freedom of expression is harshly blocked for different excuses while a few groups and known families seek to exclusively take the power and major positions stemmed from people’s revolution, so they can consolidate the rule of factions and owners of wealth and power.”

Considering the escalation of conflicts between regime’s former president and judiciary over the past few weeks, the release of Ahmadinejad’s letter to Khamenei could lead to even more heated conflicts.