Targeting a journalist

The Iranian regime is now targeting Iason Athanasiadis (aka Jason Fowden) of _The Washington Times_. According to Hossein Mohseni Ejeii, Iran’s intelligence “minister”:http://www.reuters.com/article/Iran/idUSTRE55N1Q920090624:

bq. “Some people with British passports were involved in recent riots,” he said. “One of the detainees collected information needed by the enemies under the guise of a reporter.”

Such an unfair focus on one person, without regard to their rights or due process, is deeply worrying and authentically totalitarian.

Shy and retiring

_The Financial Times_ claims that Ahmadinejad is remaining in the shadows temporarily to calm things “down”:http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c3bcecde-603c-11de-a09b-00144feabdc0,dwp_uuid=be75219e-940a-11da-82ea-0000779e2340.html. If true, this means has had finally had a good idea. He can make this a great idea: make it permanent.


Emanuele Ottolenghi simply and effectively takes apart a newly minted friend of “Iranian democracy”:http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/ottolenghi/71191.

A partial record of the suffering in Iran

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has a partial list of those killed and arrested in “Iran”:http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2009/06/list/. The roll call of names is long, the sadness worsened by the knowledge that there are many more unaccounted for.

Who is helping the bad guys?

Eli Lake at _The Washington Times_ had this article in “April “:http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/13/europe39s-telecoms-aid-with-spy-tech/about how some European companies have been helping the Iranian regime. He also reports the same companies do a lot of business with the United States government (i.e. your taxes). Maybe they should choose between the dollars of a democracy and the blood money of a dictatorship?

Confused in Tehran

Press TV, one of the Iranian regime’s slimey organs, is confused. The headline on a report about President Obama’s comments today is:

bq. US supports street rallies in Iran

The report “states”:http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=98873&sectionid=351020101:

bq. US President Barack Obama has criticized the Iranian government’s response to street rallies but rejected that US was instigating the protests.

Obama dismissed accusations that the US was instigating massive protests as ‘patently false and absurd’.

So which is it?

How much do taxpayers spend on them?

There is an organization out there that competes with the Iranian regime for the clueless gold medal. Not clueless in the treatment of its citizens/democracy sense, but in its understanding of the world beyond its shores. It is called the U.S. government. Billions of dollars on intelligence later and they still “don’t know”:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/world/middleeast/23diplo.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all.

Are we worried?

Iran’s Guardian Council has asked for an “extra five days”:http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran24-2009jun24,0,4945198.story to review the election (full text “here”:http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2009/06/23/breaking-five-more-days-of-assessment.aspx). The Guardian Council had previously said the election was just “fine”:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/5608671/Irans-Guardian-Council-rules-out-annulment-of-election.html, there having been “no major polling irregularities.”

So what’s happening? Maybe, they are cooking up an explanation. Maybe there is behind the scenes quarreling. Or maybe, there is some sad guy sitting there filling in the extra ballots to justify Ahmadinejad’s supposed victory. Here’s what the conversation was probably like:

bq. Scene: a smoke filled room, loads of empty candy packets and empty coffee cups.

bq. Boss: How are the ballot papers coming along?

bq. Sad dude: Fine.

bq. Boss: When will those 20 million papers be ready?

bq. Sad dude: Soon

bq. Boss: How soon is “soon”?

bq. Sad dude: Next week

bq. Boss: Are you nuts? What am I gonna tell the Ayatollah?

bq. Sad dude: Five more days?

bq. Boss: Let me see what I can do. By the way, no need to put “Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” just put “Ahmadinejad”

bq. Sad dude: Now you tell me

Rounding up the usual suspects

Here is a list of some of the journalists under arrest “in Iran”:http://cpj.org/2009/06/iranian-newspaper-raided-25-employees-detained.php. As we now know (and that for the comment on this), all Iranians are now journalists. Still, there is somebody in the Iranian secret police methodically working his way down the list of journalists: “40 arrested, 70 million to go.”

What is the problem with this picture?

Thumbnail image for 23iran2-600.jpg

The gentleman has omitted the definite article: “Down with the British” not “Down with British.”

The lights are on, but is anybody in?

Iran will not attend the upcoming G-8 summit in Italy. Not because Iran refused to. Because Iran simply has not answered. Here is what the Italian foreign minister “said”:http://www.reuters.com/article/gc08/idUSTRE55L5GQ20090622:

bq. “With three days to go, I still do not have a reply: I must consider that Iran has declined the invitation,” Frattini, who will host the summit, told Italian television. “Iran has lost an opportunity by not participating in the conference.”

This was Iran’s first opportunity to respond to President Obama’s offer of engagement, an opportunity to demonstrate that Iran might be able to play a positive role in Afghanistan. Clearly the Iranian regime has another engagement that is more pressing.

Musavi’s latest message

From Raye “Man Kojast?”:http://raymankojast.blogspot.com/ (Where Is My Vote?) who pulled it off his “twitter”:http://twitter.com/mousavi1388/status/2284258029 page:

bq. be persistent in defending your rights also don’t adhere to violence

You cannot be serious–now with update!

A commenter suggested this was a more appropriate video for the post “You cannot be serious!” Enjoy.

Welcome Daily Dish readers

Andrew Sullivan kindly linked to this blog. Thank you and thank you for visiting. More soon.

Electoral fraud for dummies

Here is a “youtube”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw5qJa4NJ-8&eurl= video that explains why the Iranian election result is problematic–even the interior ministry’s own figures do not add up. Also, “Josh Muravchik”:http://www.nypost.com/seven/06192009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/junk_poll_boosted_tehran_tyrants_175090.htm?page=0 takes apart a “Washington Post”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/14/AR2009061401757.html?hpid=opinionsbox1 article that tried to claim that the June 12, 2009 election reflected the will of the Iranian people. One of the authors of that article, who organized the so-called opinion poll, Ken Ballen, will be speaking at the “New America Foundation”:http://www.newamerica.net/events/2009/irans_election tomorrow. With him will be “Flynt Leverett”:http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23745.html, a leading light in what should be called the American Friends of Ahmadinejad.


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