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  1. Although old but this is a great speech given by Sayyed Hassan on the qualities of Imam Khamenei
  2. (bismillah) Reuters An Iraqi Shiite militia fighter takes his position during a patrol at the outskirts of Amerli, Iraq, on Sept. 2, 2014. The fight over Amerli in eastern Iraq has been one of the most important battles against ISIS, and a coalition of unlikely partners successfully defended the strategically located town. The response to ISIS's push against the town was likely formulated by Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' Qods Force and probably the Middle East's most effective operative. Suleimani leads the Guards' operations outside of Iran's borders, and has raked in a number of major strategic victories over the years. He was also reportedly on the ground in Amerli: Twitter Suleimani has never been content with hanging back in Tehran. He is a field commander, and his successes stem from his apparent willingness to be physically present in the midst of regional crises â as analyst Emile Hokayem tweeted, "Suleimani is effective partly [because] he is a professional fighter who lives like one and shows up on battlefield." He frequently traveled to Iraq during the most violent years of the U.S. campaign in the country, and coordinated the country's Shiite militias even during a time when the U.S. would likely have arrested him if given the chance. And he keeps close watch over battlefield dynamics from afar as well. Suleimani was responsible for Hezbollah's strategy at the Battle of Qusayr, which kept a strategically crucial border city under the Assad regime's control and is perhaps the definitive confrontation of Syria's civil war, according to Dexter Filkins' 2013 profile of Suleimani. Amerli could be a similarly decisive flash point in the fight against ISIS, and Iraq's army is hailing it as a "big achievement and an important victory." It's a mostly Shiite town about 100 miles to the north of Baghdad, just outside the borders of the Kurdish-administered section of Iraq and not far from the border with Iran. ISIS would likely have cleansed the city of its ethnic Turkmen, Shiite population, pushing its self-declared caliphate further to the south and east and establishing a beachhead in its fight against the Kurds and the Iranians â and the Baghdad government. The town was secured thanks to "an unusual partnership of Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers, Iranian-backed Shiite militias and U.S. warplanes," according to The Los Angeles Times, which reported that Amerli was the first town to successfully withstand an ISIS invasion. Suleimani's presence underscores the town's potential importance â and might hint at the degree to which Iran and the U.S. are coordinating their response to ISIS's advance through Iraq. As this map from the Institute for the Study of War demonstrates, Iranian-supported Iraqi militias, the Iraqi military, and the Kurdish Peshmerga broke the ISIS assault with the help of U.S. airstrikes. The U.S. acted as a force multiplier for a number of Iranian-backed arm groups â at the same time that the head of the Revolutionary Guard's foreign operations was present on the battlefield. Suleimani understands the potential significance of his presence during perhaps the biggest success that any of the region's militaries have had against ISIS. As University of Maryland researcher Philip Smyth notes, photos of Suleimani in Amerli were circulated by a web page affiliated with Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia, and one of Iran's most important proxy groups. The photos reinforce Tehran's image as the one power capable of stanching ISIS's advance â something the U.S. may eventually be forced to acknowledge. Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/suleimani-was-present-during-battle-for-amerli-2014-9#ixzz3CTJkQsuj video of him having good time https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=721402564598533&set=vb.463154817089977&type=2&theater
  3. جانِ ایران، جانِ افغانستان یک دستور از رهبر انقلاب: هیچ دانش‌آموز افغانستانی، از تحصیل بازنماند؛ حتی .غیرقانونی خبرگزاری تسنیم: رهبر معظم انقلاب چندی پیش دستور داده‌اند که همه کودکان افغانستانی، چه آنها که دارای شرایط قانونی حضور در ایران هستند و چه آنها که مدارک قانونی حضور در ایران را ندارد باید در مدارس دولتی ثبت‌نام شوند، این یک تصمیم بزرگ و تاریخی است. سرانجام موعد رسانه‌ای شدن یکی از مهمترین تصمیمات عالی نظام جمهوری اسلامی در تاریخ سی و چند ساله حضور مهاجرین افغانستانی در ایران فرا رسیده است. صحبت‌های ضمنی مبنی بر اعلام این تصمیم در تمام طول این یکی دو سال شنیده می‌شد. اما سرانجام مشخص شد که به‌صورت مشخص و واضحی این دستور از سوی عالی‌ترین مقام نظام جمهوری اسلامی ایران، مقام معظم رهبری صادر شده است: "هیچ کودک افغانستانی، حتی مهاجرینی که به‌صورت غیرقانونی و بی‌مدرک در ایران حضور دارند، نباید از تحصیل بازبمانند و همه آنها باید در مدارس ایرانی ثبت‌نام شوند". این البته برای همه کسانی که روش و منش رهبر معظم انقلاب سر مسئله « مهاجرین افغانستانی» را دنبال می‌کنند مسئله عجیبی نیست. مرور فقط همین 2 سال اخیر نشان می‌دهد که رهبر انقلاب با دستور به «تکریم همه مهاجرین افغانستانی» و بیان جمله «تهران؛ خانه افغانستانی‌هاست»، مشخص کرده بودند که سیاست عالی نظام جمهوری اسلامی در مواجهه با مهاجرین افغانستانی، همچنان طبق آرمان‌های اولیه انقلاب تدوین می‌شود و کم‌کاری‌ها و بدکاری‌های مدیریت بی‌آرمان و بوروکراتیکی که مهاجرین را به‌چشم «بیگانگان» نگاه می‌کند، انحراف از آرمان‌های انقلاب است و شخص رهبری جلوی این انحراف ایستاده است. و حالا این دستور، سند تضمین‌شده دیگری بر اولویت نگاه انسانی و اسلامی، در تصمیم‌گیران اصلی نظام‌ جمهوری اسلامی است. این دستور البته چند وقتی است که صادر شده است و چند ماه پیش نیز خلیل الله بابالو در دیدار معاون رئیس اجرایی دولت افغانستان با وزیر آموزش وپرورش که در ساختمان شهید رجایی برگزارشد به صورت کاملا رسمی این دستور را اعلام کرد و در سایت آموزش و پرورش نیز این ماجرا منعکس شد، اما در بقیه رسانه‌های خبری بازتاب چندانی نیافت. بابالو در جریان آن دیدار اظهار کرده بود: بعد از فرمایش مقام معظم رهبری مبنی بر «هیچ دانش‌آموز افغانی از تحصیل بازنماند» آمار ثبت نام از دانش آموزان افغانی در مدارس ایرانی بیش از 10 درصد افزایش داشته و همچنان اجرا می‌شود. وی از ثبت نام مهاجرین غیرمجاز نیز در مدارس کشور خبر داد و افزود: در خصوص ثبت‌نام دانش‌آموزان مهاجر غیرقانونی تاکنون هیچ گزارشی از عدم ثبت نام این‌گونه دانش آموزان به آموزش و پرورش نرسیده است. بابالو با بیان اینکه آموزش وپرورش اعتقادی به جداسازی دانش آموزان ایرانی از افغانستانی ندارد، خاطرنشان کرد: در بخشنامه‌های آموزش وپرورش به‌طور کامل تصریح شده است که هیچ نوع تبعیض و تفاوتی نباید میان دانش آموزان قایل شد. به نظر می‌رسد با این تصمیم، یکی از مهمترین موانع رشد و پرورش جامعه مهاجر در ایران به‌زودی برداشته خواهد شد. مدارس ایرانی از این پس از دانش‌آموزان مهاجر افغانستانی، بدون اینکه قرار باشد کاغذها و مهرها و مدارک روی آنها ارزش‌گذاری کند ثبت‌نام به عمل خواهند آورد و سال تحصیلی جدید، یک سال تاریخی و شیرین برای همه مهاجرین افغانستانی خواهد بود. این اتفاق پیگیری خواهد شد. http://www.tasnimnews.com/Home/Single/741883 Some parts translated here :
  4. :lol: :rolleyes: :lol: The union of Zionists and Khawarij, after Syria now the two brutal movements are going to befriend each other in Gaza! Feel sorry-- for those who were so naive to express their support for such groups (no matter what) because these groups were oppressed and were confronting Zionists and caring for Quds... so now, I hope the case is closed. ---------------------------------- Israel's secret cooperation with Hamas Link: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4650733,00.html
  5. Naturally, with the potential for an Iran Nuclear deal happening within the next few months, I've been wondering what the general situation is like inside Iran for the people. Regarding the economic sanctions how are things for the Irani people from an economic standpoint? Job market? Overall standard of living? Also, what is the general mood of people regarding the pending deal in Iran? How does the average Irani citizen feel about it? Living in the US you never get the news as to what is going on truly inside Iran. Thanks.
  6. Besmellah salaam, This is probably one of the best 2 minute video I have seen, mashAllah, very thought provoking and a snap back to reality! It that can be applied to EVERY aspect of our lives inshAllah! English Script: "Fatemiyah vs. Eid, should you wear black? They come and tell me "I don't know if I should wear black or not this Eid, they say it's not good to start your new years wearing black- now I don't know what to do!" O you!If you want to, wear it. If you don't want to, don't wear it! Even if you don't wear it on the day of Martyrdom, don't wear it, no one really cares. But if you think by wearing black for Hazrat Zahra (sa) at the beginning of the new year will ruin your year, you are 100% wrong! The black of Hazrate Zahra is Whiter than white. In fact, your respect to our Lady will make your entire year 'white' (pure), it will make your life 'white'(pure), it will make your life beautiful, your day will be blessed. In Fatimiyah, the blind knots in life are untangled . Why do we even wear black? Because these clothes are a flag, meaning that every time someone asks us "what happened, why are you wearing black?" we should proudly say "this is the black shirt for the martyrdom of Hazrate Zahra (sa)." This means YOU are keeping Fatemiyah alive! With all this Valentine's day propaganda, even the elderly folks are keeping an eye open not to forget this event! Why should Valentine's day be remembered more and more every year and Fatemiyeh forgotten?! The supreme leader of this country (Iran) says "I have received my one year provision from Fatimiyah... not my own provision, but an ENTIRE country's provisions come from Fatimiyah!" O you who says "these Hey'ati kids are always depressed and they only know how to cry." You don't seem to know, there is no one happier than these people, go see for yourself! You are the depressed one, constantly listening to all these music. Go see if a tear drop for the Ahlulbait (as) brings happiness or sadness. I'm not saying to go and simply ask, I'm telling you to go experience, go cry, and see how you feel. This cry is totally different than the crying you do for these movies and songs. Go ask these 'Hey'ati kids' that you make fun of saying they are depressed, go ask them' why are you so happy after you come out of a Mourning gathering? Weren't you just crying!? What happened? ' Crying for the Ahlul Bait (as) does miracles! This year, too, say "my Lady, I am not in Madina to look for your grave..but here, in this New year, I will remember you and respect you, with this black clothes of mine, I will be your Mourning Flag." Dear God, in the honor of Hazrate Zahra, don't just make this year Fatemiyah for us, make our whole lives Fatimiyah." Al-Fatiha ma'asalavaat! Eltemase duaa,
  7. Salam all, I am looking for information regarding going to ziyarat to Iraq and Iran this summer. Unfortunately, it does not seem that much information is online regarding how to plan for such a trip - what to bring, how to get there, where to live, etc. Do people only go through travel agencies these days? If so, what's a good travel agency in NY? I've only found one online which looks somewhat reliable. Jazak'Allah!
  8. Salaam Alaikum A brilliant opportunity for an educational trip, as well as activities, please email the email on the poster for any further questions. Would not miss this opportunity!
  9. As Hamas’ talks on a rapprochement with Iran reached their peak and in light of the preparations for its political chief Khaled Meshaal to visit Tehran, Hamas-Iranian ties have suffered a sudden setback when media outlets with ties to Hezbollah and Iran published reports that contributed to a “temporary disturbance.” A Lebanese newspaper close to Hezbollah reported Feb. 7 that the agenda of Meshaal's visit to Tehran was obstructing the renewal of ties with Hamas because of his insistence on meeting with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. The same day, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the information in the report had been fabricated and called for an end to reports that tarnish the image of Hamas. Leaked information was then published in Tehran on Iran's conditions for the restoration of ties with Hamas, including Meshaal’s resignation and for Hamas not to impose any conditions regarding the way Meshaal will be received in Tehran. Because these Iranian reports were published by an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-affiliated website managed by Mohsen Rezaei, a former commander of the corps and adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei, they are taken to express Tehran’s official policy. Contrary to what Iran and its allies' intentions by targeting Meshaal, a number of Hamas leaders confirmed that the movement supports Meshaal and rejects overstepping him in a bid to restore ties with Tehran. Hamas did not engage in media debates, fearing that relations with Iran could further deteriorate. Doha-based Hamas spokesman Hossam Badran told Al-Monitor, “For anyone desiring to establish ties with Hamas, the main key is its political office, headed by Meshaal.” Mohammed Madhoun, the former Hamas minister of youth and sports in Gaza, wrote in a Feb. 9 Facebook post that the Iranian attack against Meshaal is taking matters to the point of no return. The debate over the Iranian attack against Meshaal raged on social media networks, with contradictory reactions by supporters of both sides. Hamas cadres expressed their annoyance at what they viewed as an unprecedented Iranian interference in the movement’s internal affairs and an unacceptable prejudice against Meshaal as a person, even if they disagree with him on some issues. The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, has remained silent in the recent media discussion between Hamas and Iran regarding the campaign against Meshaal. A Hamas military official who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said, “The al-Qassam Brigades might be the biggest beneficiary from renewed ties with Tehran, given its need for military support. Yet, we will not receive a single bullet [in military assistance] from any party unless there is full consent from Hamas’ political leadership, headed by Meshaal.” He added, “The al-Qassam Brigades is a Hamas wing and not the entire movement. Therefore, it is committed to the decisions of the regulatory institutions, and we will be supportive of any rapprochement with Iran to the advantage of the resistance. Yet, our commitment to the cohesion of the movement and organizational structure, as well as the symbolism of the leadership, will not be subject to bargaining.” Iran's first official comment on the tension with Hamas came from Hussein Sheikh al-Islam, an adviser to parliament speaker Ali Larijani. He said that the arrangements for Meshaal's visit to Tehran were an Iranian responsibility, and that it is not up to Meshaal to set the rules for his reception, in a reference to his meeting with Khamenei and Rouhani. Speaking to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, Hamas sources denied the Iranian talk of a dispute with Hamas regarding the agenda of Meshaal's visit to Tehran and whether he will meet with Khamenei and Rouhani. They said, “The main reason behind the obstructed visit has nothing to do with protocol procedures. Rather, it is political and related to Iran’s desire to learn Meshaal's position on the issue of Syria.” They added, “Iran clearly wants Meshaal's long-awaited visit to result in Hamas retracting its previous position, which may reach the point of declared support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This is hard to achieve in light of the bloodshed across Syria.” This was confirmed by Mushir al-Masri, spokesman for Hamas' parliamentary bloc. He told Al-Monitor, “Recently, tepidness has prevailed over the Hamas-Iranian ties, which has affected Hamas' position toward the Syrian revolution.” Despite the campaign targeting Meshaal, Hamas does not seem willing to cause a rupture with Iran. On Feb. 7, a Hamas delegation consisting of Jamal Issa, Ali Baraka and Khalid Qaddoumi arrived in Tehran. They met with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein-Amir Abdollahian, who said that Iran's relationship with Hamas is good and solid, while ignoring the talk about Meshaal. Speaking to Al-Monitor, Osama Hamdan, head of the Hamas Foreign Liaisons, said Hamas is committed to a balanced and positive relationship with Iran. However, he also said there are parties — which he did not identify — that seek to obstruct this relationship by causing a disturbance. He added that there are communication channels with Tehran. A Palestinian official in Lebanon who previously served as mediator between Hamas and Iran told Al-Monitor over the phone on condition of anonymity, “The campaign targeting Meshaal clearly confirms that an influential current in Iran and within Hezbollah does not want a renewal of ties with Hamas, given the lack of internal consensus in Beirut and Tehran, to please the Syrian ally in Damascus who opposes any rapprochement with Hamas.” Finally, the internal debate within Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Beirut and Doha — where the movement’s decision-makers are based — confirms that between preserving the cohesion of Hamas, headed by Meshaal, or renewing its alliance with regional powers, including Iran, Hamas would rather take the first option while desiring not to give up its foreign ties. Yet, it clearly means that Meshaal's visit to Tehran will be postponed until further notice, so as not to cause a rupture between the parties. Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/02/iran-hamas-rapprochement-demands-meshaal-resignation.html#ixzz3SIgbXlVQ ------------------------------------- I still don't feel that Iran should resume relations with Hamas, but it is good to see that they have some conditions.
  10. What do you guys think about this ? Even if he controls 1billion dollars, is this right ? Part 1: A Reuters investigation details a key to the supreme leader’s power: a little-known organization created to help the poor that morphed into a business juggernaut worth tens of billions of dollars. The 82-year-old Iranian woman keeps the documents that upended her life in an old suitcase near her bed. She removes them carefully and peers at the tiny Persian script. There's the court order authorizing the takeover of her children's three Tehran apartments in a multi-story building the family had owned for years. There's the letter announcing the sale of one of the units. And there's the notice demanding she pay rent on her own apartment on the top floor. Pari Vahdat-e-Hagh ultimately lost her property. It was taken by an organization that is controlled by the most powerful man in Iran: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. She now lives alone in a cramped, three-room apartment in Europe, thousands of miles from Tehran. The Persian name of the organization that hounded her for years is "Setad Ejraiye Farmane Hazrate Emam" – Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam. The name refers to an edict signed by the Islamic Republic's first leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, shortly before his death in 1989. His order spawned a new entity to manage and sell properties abandoned in the chaotic years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Setad has become one of the most powerful organizations in Iran, though many Iranians, and the wider world, know very little about it. In the past six years, it has morphed into a business juggernaut that now holds stakes in nearly every sector of Iranian industry, including finance, oil, telecommunications, the production of birth-control pills and even ostrich farming. The organization's total worth is difficult to pinpoint because of the secrecy of its accounts. But Setad's holdings of real estate, corporate stakes and other assets total about $95 billion, Reuters has calculated. That estimate is based on an analysis of statements by Setad officials, data from the Tehran Stock Exchange and company websites, and information from the U.S. Treasury Department. Just one person controls that economic empire – Khamenei. As Iran's top cleric, he has the final say on all governmental matters. His purview includes his nation's controversial nuclear program, which was the subject of intense negotiations between Iranian and international diplomats in Geneva that ended Sunday without an agreement. It is Khamenei who will set Iran's course in the nuclear talks and other recent efforts by the new president, Hassan Rouhani, to improve relations with Washington. Related Item Minority report: Why Baha’is face persecution in Iran The supreme leader's acolytes praise his spartan lifestyle, and point to his modest wardrobe and a threadbare carpet in his Tehran home. Reuters found no evidence that Khamenei is tapping Setad to enrich himself. But Setad has empowered him. Through Setad, Khamenei has at his disposal financial resources whose value rivals the holdings of the shah, the Western-backed monarch who was overthrown in 1979. How Setad came into those assets also mirrors how the deposed monarchy obtained much of its fortune - by confiscating real estate. A six-month Reuters investigation has found that Setad built its empire on the systematic seizure of thousands of properties belonging to ordinary Iranians: members of religious minorities like Vahdat-e-Hagh, who is Baha'i, as well as Shi'ite Muslims, business people and Iranians living abroad. Setad has amassed a giant portfolio of real estate by claiming in Iranian courts, sometimes falsely, that the properties are abandoned. The organization now holds a court-ordered monopoly on taking property in the name of the supreme leader, and regularly sells the seized properties at auction or seeks to extract payments from the original owners. The supreme leader also oversaw the creation of a body of legal rulings and executive orders that enabled and safeguarded Setad's asset acquisitions. "No supervisory organization can question its property," said Naghi Mahmoudi, an Iranian lawyer who left Iran in 2010 and now lives in Germany. Khamenei's grip on Iran's politics and its military forces has been apparent for years. The investigation into Setad shows that there is a third dimension to his power: economic might. The revenue stream generated by Setad helps explain why Khamenei has not only held on for 24 years but also in some ways has more control than even his revered predecessor. Setad gives him the financial means to operate independently of parliament and the national budget, insulating him from Iran's messy factional infighting. Washington has acknowledged Setad's importance. In June, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Setad and some of its corporate holdings, calling the organization "a massive network of front companies hiding assets on behalf of … Iran's leadership." The companies generate billions of dollars in revenue a year, the department stated, but it did not offer a detailed accounting. The Iranian president's office and the foreign ministry didn't respond to requests for comment. Iran's embassy in the United Arab Emirates issued a statement calling Reuters' findings "scattered and disparate" and said that "none has any basis." It didn't elaborate. Setad's director general of public relations, Hamid Vaezi, said by email in response to a detailed description of this series that the information presented is "far from realities and is not correct." He didn't go into specifics. In a subsequent message, he said Setad disputes the Treasury's allegations and is "in the process of retaining U.S. counsel to address this matter." He added: "This communication puts you on notice that any action by your organization could prejudice our dispute in the United States and harm our position for which we hold you responsible." When Khomeini, the first supreme leader, set in motion the creation of Setad, it was only supposed to manage and sell properties "without owners" and direct much of the proceeds to charity. Setad was to use the funds to assist war veterans, war widows "and the downtrodden." According to one of its co-founders, Setad was to operate for no more than two years. Setad has built schools, roads and health clinics, and provided electricity and water in rural and impoverished areas. It has assisted entrepreneurs in development projects. But philanthropy is just a small part of Setad's overall operations. Under Khamenei's control, Setad began acquiring property for itself, and kept much of the funds rather than simply redistributing them. With those revenues, the organization also helps to fund the ultimate seat of power in Iran, the Beite Rahbar, or Leader's House, according to a former Setad employee and other people familiar with the matter. The first supreme leader, Khomeini, had a small staff. To run the country today, Khamenei employs about 500 people in his administrative offices, many recruited from the military and security services. A complete picture of Setad's spending and income isn't possible. Its books are off limits even to Iran's legislative branch. In 2008, the Iranian Parliament voted to prohibit itself from monitoring organizations that the supreme leader controls, except with his permission. But Reuters has put together the fullest account yet of the organization's holdings. They include:
  11. Iran commiserates with Saudis on king’s passingHomeFri Jan 23, 2015 8:57AMA view of the building of Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Iran has extended condolences to the Saudi government and nation on the passing of the country's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham condoled with Saudis on the monarch's demise, saying Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will, on behalf of the Tehran government, attend an official memorial service due to be held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Saturday. Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also extended condolences to the Saudi government and people on the monarch’s demise. King Abdullah died at the age of 90 on Friday and his 79-year-old half brother, Salman, succeeded him. The king reportedly died at hospital, where he had been receiving medical treatment for several weeks. King Abdullah, who was admitted to the King Abdulaziz Medical City in the capital Riyadh in late December, had been suffering from pneumonia and was reportedly breathing with the help of a tube. The Saudi king’s death has raised concerns about the future of the oil-rich country in the face of anti-government demonstrations. Salman was named Saudi crown prince in June 2012 after the death of Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz. Salman has recently represented King Abdullah at most public events because of the monarch's ailing health. Salman bin Abdulaziz, the new king, will also serve as prime minister and defense minister in the Arab state. But the 79-year-old is reportedly in poor health and is unlikely to rule for as long as his elder sibling. http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/01/23/394394/Iran-condoles-with-KSA-on-kings-demise
  12. Recently in a discussion on these boards an argument was made that how Iran and India are great countries because they don't get dictated to by the foreign powers. It was said to get to the Pakistanis who can't think straight because of their country's history of taking foreign dictation. While there are no two opinions about this in the case of Iran, and whereas Pakistan has often acted like a US client state, one has to question the assumption behind extolling India's position vis-a-vis foreign dictation. The easiest way is to compare Iran's and India's relations with the US for the last couple of decades to see through the argument. The United States had always viewed Indian (and Pakistani) nuclear programs as a threat to the West and its allies. But in early 1990s when India was reeling under IMF loans and US sanctions, the then Indian government entered into back channel talks to convince them that Indian nukes were not a threat to the US or the West and asked for the sanctions to be lifted. Americans bluntly told them to normalise relations with Israel to prove their sincerity. India complied. Magically, literally overnight, Indian nukes stopped being a threat and an era of US-Indian strategic partnership was entered into. This partnership got a fresh boost about which you can read the links below. Pakistan was told to follow Indian example when the US imposed sanctions after nuclear tests in the late 90s but Pakistanis refused. Which was unusual since Pakistan is supposed to be a client state in the Saudi model, doing what the Americans demand, but here the usual Indian and Pakistani roles vis-a-vis foreign dictation were reversed. This also tells us that foreign dictation is not an either/or proposition. Most developing countries are pushed to find a balance to resist dictation of powerful countries while at the same preserve their country's interests. Some countries are more successful in this than the others, depending on their internal politics, size and geostrategic location. Note that India is not a signatory to NPT (Nuclear non-proliferation treaty) whereas Iran is but we still get the following: Why? Because of this: It may be argued that the current Indian foreign policy is in line with its interests, that India doesn't need to keep speaking against injustice to harm its own interests. So its strategic partnership with the US and Israel is understandable. This may so but the pied pipers of Incredible India™ on these boards should be consistent when they criticise those camps that support US hegemony in the region through its Zionist proxy, and those that don't. Or those that exist to take foreign dictation (Saudi et al) and those that don't (Iran, Syria, Russia). There is a reason that, of all the emerging powers in the region (China, Russia, India), it is the latter which is a US strategic partner and not others. A useful summary from wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India%E2%80%93Israel_relations
  13. I have to ask. When I talk about some Afghan shias who live in the west. When I ask them about their opinion on Islamic countries they feel upset because many Afghans who fled Afghanistan travelled to the west because of its welfare system and they say that they would have preferred to remain in an Islamic country but no Islamic country offered them citizenship or welfare and as a result they feel Islamic countries are not as Islamic as the non Islamic EU, UK, Australia or US, in terms of its humanitarian causes. While I myself have never seen any other Islamic country besides Afghanistan I am told by my dad that he had no choice but to move to the UK because the Islamic nations did not want us. So it makes me wonder what the Islamic countries are willing to do for their Muslim brethren who have become refugees? And is there any kind of support available for Muslim families who want to move back to an Islamic country? I know Islamic nations are not as rich as the UK, US but do they have anything similar to a welfare system? Also my dad is looking to move our entire family back to Afghanistan I too agree with this since over the years people like us are more and more wanted to leave. I myself am looking to move my family back to an Islamic country if I am able, I am looking at Iran, but I have no idea what I am getting myself into or if I am making the right choice in choosing the leave the UK. Any thoughts?
  14. Salam, I am a lecturer in one of Iran's university and I am in touch with so many students. I am working in Art and Architecture department and as you may know In recent years, the number of young Iranian women who have been admitted to universities has risen dramatically. In the last five years alone, Iranian women have made up more than 60 percent of university entrants and in some fields like art and architecture female students are even more than 80%. Recently I have noticed that unfortunately, most of female students don't wear proper hijab. For example , in one of classes, there are 30 students and only 5 of them are male. among all 25 female students only one girl wears chador. the rest wear very awful hijab. tight and short Manto with very tight panty or jean. with out sock. high heel shoes, nails in red and bright colors , very heavy make up and colored hairs... and also it is not about their appearances only, they behave in very cheap ways...sometimes I feel they are in thought of attracting guys all the time even when they are in the class and I am making myself tired to put knowledge in their brains. I am not saying all of girls in Iran are like this, but I can say in big cities , most of girls don't wear proper hijab. you know that In Iran, wearing the hijab is legally required. maybe new generation don't like wearing hijab because it is an obligation in Iran and they haven't chosen it by their own will. Allahu A'alam! but I suffer so much... I suffer not because of their hijab only but because I can see during 30 years after Islamic revolution , new generation has gone so far from values however they have been living in a country with Islamic regime. I see Indonesian women with hijab and it is very beautiful that one who wears hijab, does it properly and one who doesn't at least respect to it. but it is not so in Iran. obligation on Hijab has made a very big gap between Islamic values and youth generation. I have seen so many pious parents who couldn't prove Hijab to their daughters and they have forced them to wear it or they have let them be free. I don't know if the regime remove obligation of hijab, what will be going to happen but I pray that we find very good solution asap. here you are, some of things that you will see in Tehran's streets...
  15. I read the post I quoted below in another thread and couldn't resist asking the question in separately, primarily to avoid derailing the thread. I apologise, for this topic has been discussed numerous times, between those who say there is no systematic or institutionalised discrimination against Afghans in Iran and those who categorically state that there is. But it's been done in a bickering mode, with considerable mudslinging, acrimony, and emotional vibe. This has been unsatisfactory as, at least to my understanding, no clear or credible picture has emerged at the end of the all those discussions. I am calling on both parties to make their case in a serous, objective and respectful manner and support their view with examples and evidence. Where does this anti-Afghan sentiment come from? Whom of the Iranian establishment want to treat Afghan refugees as such and why would they not want to address it, given the issue has been raised many times and it is not as if it's a not well-known phenomenon in the country? I know of the usual argument that Afghans are 'bad guys', alleged to be involved in drug trade and all kinds of conceivable social and economic charlatanry, from thievery to prostitution etc. But is this really a sound argument? Is this empirically verifiable? I mean, I can understand if crime amongst Afghan refugees is disproportionately more to their numbers (for which one can have explanations). But this hypothesis may or may not be true. If it is true then Iranian authorities have all the right to root out Afghan-led crime and deport refugees if necessary. But this excuse still can't be used as a blanket reason to mistreat a whole community no? How is it that Iranians don't see that but very clearly see the excuse Europeans make about crime being disproportionately great in their refugee/migrant community, a view which fuels migrant-phobia in Europe, and which, by various European research studies, has shown to be not always or usually the case, and which remains an incorrect perception of a people who have developed anti-migrant, anti-multicultural feelings for other, political reasons. I read from Whadat's post that 90% of Afghans in Iran are Hazaras and therefore Shia, (can somebody confirm this?) which makes the alleged discrimination even more tragic as they are, besides impecunious refugees of war, our Shia brothers and sisters and, therefore, ought to be treated with more social and political solicitude in a country which is guided by Shia principles. Please discuss.
  16. For a long time I have been saddened by the inhumane treatment and clearly unjust prosecution of Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, a cleric who advocates for the separation of religion and government and, more freedoms and human rights in Iran. He has been preaching a traditional form of Islam which separates religion from politics in a poor neighbourhood of South Tehran. He is at the moment suffering from multiple heart complications, including respiratory problems and kidney stone complications, a loss of 80% of his vision due to cataracts and as well as losing 36 kilograms, where he is not receiving proper care in prison. In October 2006, a warrant was issued for Ayatollah Boroujerdi's arrest, where many of his supporters, students and many others over a 1000 people surrounded his house to prevent him for getting arrested by authorities where police had to forcefully repel them. Ayatollah Boroujerdi was eventually arrested with hundreds of his staunch supporters. He was charged behind closed doors in June 2007 in the Special Clerical Court where he was deprived of access to an independent attorney. He was unfairly charged for "waging war against god", acting against national securitie, having links with anti-revolutionaries and spies, using the term religious dictatorship instead of "Islamic Republic" in public discourse and radio interviews and last of all, publicly calling political leadership unlawful. He was sentenced initially sentenced to death, but due to many appeals he was later sentenced to 11 years. Some of these charges are just obviously ridiculous and unjust and made up for political reasons, while this man is a pious, modest and religious man and also shouldn't there be any freedom of speech in this country? According to Amnesty International, he is living in unsanitary and poor prison conditions, and receives regular torture and ill-treatment, which has led to a deterioration in his pre-existing medical conditions. He is currently in kept in solitary confinement with his hand and feet in chains. The poor man has went on regular hunger strikes, to protest against his treatment and also suspension of visits and telephone calls from his family and lawyers. He is not allowed to leave prison to receive proper attention and medical treatment, what sought of authorities anywhere in the world would do all of these barbaric things to someone. Ayatollah Borouherdi enjoys a lot of support among Iranians and his bravery in the face of this regimes repression is truly breathtaking.
  17. Has anybody had any success in contacting al-Mustafa University in Iran? I have tried on several occassions to send them e-mails (to three different accounts linked to the university), but no reply as yet. I e-mailed one of their associated colleges and at least they gave my an automated reply to say they had received the e-mail. How am I supposed to contact the university to get further clarification from them about their hawza programme? I am in Australia, so it isn't possible to ring or visit. It's just frustrating me that, after thinking long about it, I decided several months ago that I would like to apply for hawza, but it's all just stopped because of a lack of communication. I even had a friend translate my e-mail into Farsi to speed up communication. I am at my wits' end as to how I can apply.
  18. Why President Rouhani’s “Economic Package” is Empty Neoliberal Economics Comes to Iran by ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH Tired of the oppressive financial hardship, wrought largely by the imperialist economic war against Iran, the Iranian people elected Hassan Rouhani president (June 2013) as he promised economic revival. He premised his pledge of economic recovery mainly on his alleged ability to bring the brutal sanctions against Iran to an end and integrate the Iranian economy into the world capitalist system. His promise of removing or alleviating sanctions, however, seems to have been based on an optimistic perception that a combination of the so-called charm offensive and far-reaching compromises over Iran’s nuclear technology would suffice to alter the Western powers’ sanctions policy against Iran. More than a year later, while Iran’s peaceful nuclear technology is reduced from a fairly advanced to a relatively primitive level (from 20% to below 5% uranium enrichment), critical sanctions remain in place and economic recovery remains a dream. To mitigate the oppressive burden of the so-called stagflation, a combination of stagnation and inflation, the president and his economic team recently crafted an economic package, “Proposed Package to Turn Stagnation to Expansion,” which turns out to be disappointingly devoid of any specific guideline or clear policy for economic recovery. Slightly more than 40% of the package is devoted to a withering criticism of economic policies of the previous (Ahmadinejad’s) administration, which is not only full of factual falsehoods and distortions but is also dubious on theoretical grounds. The rest of the package consists of a series of vague statements and general descriptions that fall way short of a meaningful economic plan or program. Reading through the package feels like reading through lecture notes of an academic economist on neoclassical/neoliberal macroeconomic theory, not a policy prescription or an economic agenda. Accordingly, the sentences and, indeed, the entire text of the package make use of an exclusively passive voice (which is characteristic of a theoretical narrative, or a self-protective language designed to avoid responsibility for action) instead of an active voice characteristic of a policy agenda to be acted upon. Implicit in the use of the passive voice in the composition of the text of the package is that the subject/agent, or do-er, is market mechanism, not public policy [1]. The purpose of this essay is not to show the emptiness of Mr. Rouhani’s economic package, as this is amply established by many other critics of the package [2]. It is rather to show why it is empty, and why this should not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with his economic outlook or philosophy, as reflected, for example, in his book, National Security and Economic System of Iran (2010). Neoliberal Economic Outlook President Rouhani’s economic policy package is devoid of specific development plans or industrialization projects because the president and most of his economic advisors subscribe to an economic doctrine that frowns upon government intervention in economic affairs—unless such interventions help “pave the way” for unfettered market operations. According to this doctrine, called supply-side or neoliberal economics, solutions to economic stagnation, poverty and under-development lie in unhindered market mechanism and unreserved integration into world capitalist system. Recessions, joblessness and economic hardship in many less-developed countries are not so much due to economic mismanagement or the nature of global capitalism as they are because of government intervention and/or exclusion from world capitalist markets. Neoliberal prescriptions that are portrayed as enabling the less-developed countries to harness “benevolent dynamics” of capitalism include: tax breaks for the wealthy and/or big business; privatization of public sector assets, enterprises and services; undermining labor unions and minimizing workers’ wages and benefits; eliminating or diluting environmental and workplace safety standards; deregulating markets; opening of the domestic market to unrestricted foreign investment/trade; and the like. The claim that President Rouhani is a proponent of neoliberal economics is no speculation; it follows from his many speeches and statements, from his recently proposed “economic package” to fight stagflation and, as mentioned earlier, from his book, National Security and Economic System of Iran [امنیت ملّی و نظام اقتصادی ایران]. It is also evident from his policy prescriptions. The president’s book deplores Iran’s “very oppressive” labor laws. It argues that the minimum wage must be slashed and restrictions on the laying off of workers eliminated if Iran’s “owners of capital” are to have the “freedom” to create prosperity. “One of the main challenges that employers and our factories face,” Rouhani writes, “is the existence of labor unions. Workers should be more pliant toward the demands of job-creators” [3]. Mr. Rouhani’s book also sheds important light on the link between his administration’s turn toward Washington and its plans to restructure the Iranian economy after the model of neoliberalism: “There is a close correlation between economic development and political stability, which means maintaining dialogue and friendly relations with the outside world. As stable international relations paves the grounds for economic development, economic development, in turn, makes a country more secure or stable as it makes the country less vulnerable to external threats. Thus, there is a positive correlation, akin to a virtuous cycle, between the goal of economic development and the policy of establishing or maintaining friendly relations with the outside world” [4]. This passage (among many similar statements the president has made on numerous occasions) explains why Mr. Rouhani has made the solution to Iran’s economic problems contingent upon political détente or friendly relations with the United States and its allies. In general, there is of course nothing wrong with the desire to establish friendly relations with the U.S., or any other country for that matter; it could, indeed, be of mutual benefits if it is based on mutual respect for national sovereignty of countries involved. The problem with the Rouhani administration’s pursuit of an amicable relationship with the U.S., however, is that it has tied the urgently needed solutions to Iran’s economic difficulties to that unpredictable and unreliable relationship. The administration’s misguided perception that the mere establishment of relations with the U.S. would serve as a panacea to Iran’s economic woes has basically made the fate of Iran’s economy hostage to the unforeseeable outcome of its negotiations with the United State and, therefore, hostage to the endless, and increasingly futile, nuclear negotiations with the group of the so-called 5+1 countries, dominated by the United States. This explains Mr. Rouhani’s dilemma: he has essentially trapped himself into an illusion, the illusion that a combination of charm offensives, smiley faces and diplomatic niceties (in place of Ahmadinejad’s undiplomatic demeanor) would suffice to change imperialist policies toward Iran. In reality, however, the U.S. policy toward Iran (or any other country, for that matter) is based on an agenda, an imperialistic agenda that consists of a series of demands and expectations, not on diplomatic decorum, or the type of language its leaders use. President Rouhani’s neoliberal economic views are abundantly evident from his occasional statements and speeches on economic policy. For example, in a 16 August 2014 (25 Mordad 1393, Iranian calendar) speech in Tehran, designed to explain his administration’s policies to fight economic stagnation, the president fervently maintained that state intervention in economic affairs is often more detrimental than beneficial, arguing that.> – needs to be paraphrased)ledent ionns inistration’ions wiht is that itmic developmment de world. As economic development can “the state must stay out of economic activities, and place those activities at the disposal of the private sector . . . . The private sector understands the economy much better, and it knows where to invest” [5]. (Incidentally, this statement is uncannily similar to what President Ronald Reagan famously said about the economic role of the government: “The government can help the economy by staying out of it.”) The neoliberal policies of the Rouhani administration are, however, best reflected in the actual economic measures the administration has adopted. One such measure has been drastic reductions in a number of import duties, or tariffs, including reduction of tariffs on imports that have competitive domestic substitutes. For example, Mr. Mahmoud Sedaqat, vice president of the Association of UPVC Window & Door Profiles Manufacturers, recently complained (during a news briefing in Tehran) that while domestic production capacity of this petrochemical is more than twice as much as domestic needs, the government reduced import tariffs for this product from 30% to 15%. Mr. Sedaqat further pointed out that government’s careless trade policy and a lack of protection for domestic producers has led to an atmosphere of confusion and uncertainty among domestic producers, which is contributing to further aggravation of the ongoing economic stagnation [6]. Another example of the neoliberal policies of the Rouhani administration is its policy of fighting inflation. According to the president and his economic advisors, government spending and/or excessive money supply are the major cause for the hyperinflation in Iran. This view of inflation is based on the notorious IMF diagnosis for the plague of inflation not only in Iran but almost everywhere in the world. The essence of this approach to inflation, which is part of the IMF’s so-called “Structural Adjustment Program,” can be summarized as follows: (1) excessive government spending contributes to the growth of money supply; (2) growth of money supply automatically leads to inflation; and (3) to control inflation, therefore, requires rolling back government spending, or implementing austerity measures. Real economic world is of course very different from this purely academic, nearly mechanical, correlation. An often-cited case in this context is the German experience of the immediate post-WW II period. Evidence shows that while the volume of cash and demand deposits rose 2.4 times and the volume of bank loans, both short and long term, rose more than ten-fold in the 1948-54 period, this significant rise in liquidity not only did not lead to a rise in the level of prices but it was, in fact, accompanied by a decline in the general level of prices—the consumer price index declined from 112 to 110 during that period. Why? Because the increase in liquidity was accompanied by an even bigger increase in output. While anecdotal, this experience nonetheless shows that, if or when used productively, a large money supply does not automatically lead to high inflation. While it is true that, under certain circumstances, excess liquidity can be inflationary, I also strongly suspect that the inflationary role of liquidity is often exaggerated in order to justify and implement the anti-welfare, neoliberal policies of economic austerity. To the extent that curtailment of social spending may lead to curtailment of inflation, it also leads to curtailment of employment, purchasing power, demand and, therefore, economic growth, i.e. to stagnation—a side effect which is much worse than the plague of inflation. This explains, at least in part, the failure of the Rouhani administration’s neoliberal fight against inflation: not only has it not curtailed inflation, it has also aggravated stagnation by cutting social spending and undermining demand. Like their neoliberal counterparts elsewhere, Iranian neoliberals view government spending as a cost that must be minimized. In reality, however, judicious government spending (whether on soft/social infrastructure such as education, health and nutrition or on physical infrastructure such as transportation and communication projects) is an investment in the long-term development of a society, not a cost. It is not surprising, then, that the IMF-sponsored curtailment of government spending in pursuit of lowering inflation has often led to economic stagnation and underdevelopment. One of the first victims of the neoliberal economic policies of the Rouhani administration was the government-sponsored housing project that was put in place by the previous administration in order to make home-ownership affordable to working and low-income classes. Called Maskan-e Mehr (Goodwill Housing), not only did it allow 4.4 million low-income families to become homeowners, it also significantly contributed to economic growth and employment. Despite its success, the Rouhani administration has decided to discontinue the project. Class Interests as Economic Theory Neoliberalism is essentially an ideology or doctrine that is designed to promote and/or justify policies of economic austerity, thereby serving the interests of the plutocratic 1% at the expense of the overwhelming majority of citizens. This is accomplished through an ad-hoc, utilitarian economic theory that postulates that unhindered market mechanism and unrestricted pursuit of self-interest lead to economic expansion and prosperity for all, that state-sponsored social safety-net programs are “burdens” or “costly trade-offs” in terms of lost productivity and that, therefore, government intervention in economic affairs must be avoided. This neoliberal ideology is promoted and propagated so effectively that it has evolved, more or less, as a religion, market religion—or as Alex Andrews of The Guardian newspaper puts it, “the market a god and economics a form of theology.” Indeed, the faith in market mechanism is more akin to blind cultism than rational belief of intelligent people in otherworldly religion. Viewing market mechanism as almost infallible and blaming capitalism’s systemic failures on the “irrational behavior of market players” is tantamount to some simplistic interpretations of religion that attribute humans’ misfortunes or miseries to their deviations from God’s ways; that is, in the same way that humans’ “sinful” deeds are said to condemn them to a wretched Otherworld, economic agents’ deviations from market rules are believed to lead to economic crises that would doom them to financial misery in this world. Cleverly, this theory is called supply-side economics, implying that economic policy makers should not or need not concern themselves with the demand-side of the economy, that is, with the purchasing power or the ability of the people to buy or demand. Instead, if policy makers only focused on the production side of the economy and created conditions favorable to expanded growth or a bigger supply, the resulting “trickle-down” effects would automatically benefit the demand-side of the economy. And what are those favorable conditions? They include market deregulations, lax labor and environmental standards, supply-side tax breaks, minimizing wages and benefits, removal of restrictions on international capital flows, long hours and subjection of labor to strict management discipline, denial of trade union rights and suppression of workers’ political actions, and the like. The division or dichotomy between supply-side and demand-side of an economy is, however, a scam: an artificial, utilitarian and arbitrary division that is crafted largely on abstract theoretical grounds, and for ideological reasons. A real world economy is a totality where supply and demand are two sides of the same coin, meaning that the two sides need to be dealt with simultaneously. For example, the need for health care coverage, the critical necessity of public education, or social safety need programs such as provision of subsistence nutrition for the needy cannot be neglected or put on the backburner in the hope of some illusory effects of “trickle-down” economics. Supply side is a façade, a misleading or obfuscationist theory that is designed to camouflage the neoliberal philosophy of social Darwinism. The experience of the IMF-sponsored “structural adjustment programs” in many “developing” countries around the world shows that curtailing critical social spending in the name of boosting the supply-side of the economy is a counterproductive policy that tends to undermine long-term growth and development by cutting vital investment in both social and physical infrastructures. This can also be seen, even more clearly, in the context of the crisis-ridden core capitalist countries since the 2008 financial collapse, where extensive neoliberal austerity cuts have resulted in widespread misery and escalating inequality without reviving the stagnant economies of these countries. While the supply-side doctrine has a long history (going back all the way to the classical economist Jean-Baptiste Say, 1767-1832, who famously expressed the doctrine as: “supply creates its own demand”), its latest revival started in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the U.S. and U.K., which brought forth two of its most effective propagandists: Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. It has since been systematically entrenched not only in the core capitalist countries but also in many less-developed countries, including Iran. In Iran, the turn to neoliberal economics started under the presidency of Hashemi Rafsanjani. It was somewhat contained under the presidency of Mahmud Ahmadinejad (although he too had his share of extensive privatizations); but with the election of President Rouhani it is once again gathering speed—Rouhani is basically picking up where Rafsanjani left off. To point out that President Rouhani and most of his economic advisors are advocates of neoliberal economics is not to say that they lack compassion, or that they do not care about the lot of the working and needy classes. It is rather to point out that their policy prescription to remedy the financial distress that plagues the overwhelming majority of the Iranian people is misguided. It rests upon the idea of capitalism as a benign sphere of human activity where innovating entrepreneurs generate wealth to such an extent that some of it is bound to “trickle-down” to the population at large. It is necessary to point out here that trickle-down theory may have had some validity in the earlier (industrial or manufacturing) stages of capitalism where the rise in the wealth of nations also meant expanded (real) production and the rise in employment. However, in the era of heavily financialized economies, where the dominant form of capitalist wealth comes not so much from real production of goods and services as it does from asset price inflations, that is, from financial bubbles, trickle-down theory has lost whatever minimal validity it may have had at earlier phases of capitalism. Illusion and Misconceptions President Rouhani and his economic advisors’ perceptions that the solution to Iran’s economic problems lies in an unrestrained integration into world capitalism and a wholesale privatization of the Iranian economy is overly optimistic. Abundant and irrefutable evidence shows that, during the past several decades, neoliberalism’s dismantlement of socialist, social-democratic and other welfare state economies across the world has invariably led to drastic declines in employment, wages and living standards of the overwhelming majority of the people, thereby further aggravating poverty and inequality on a global level. In many “developing” countries that are integrated into globalized neoliberal capitalism, the living conditions of the majority of their citizens have, in fact, deteriorated. To the extent that workers can find employment, they are often paid poverty wages; and they are increasingly forced to hold several jobs, often detrimental to their health and family life. As Ben Selwyn (among many others) has pointed out: “The contemporary world has unprecedented wealth, and mass poverty. Total global wealth was $241 trillion in 2013 and is expected to rise to $334 trillion by 2018. Yet the majority of people live in poverty. The World Bank and its defenders argue that global poverty has declined under neoliberalism. They can only make these arguments because the World Bank defines the poverty line as $1.25 a day, below which it is impossible to lead a dignified life. . . . Lant Pritchett, a critical World Bank economist, suggests a more humane $10 a day poverty line; according to his calculations, 88% of the world population lives in poverty [7]. Summarizing his study of the relationship between globalization of neoliberalism and its impact on the living conditions of the worldwide masses of citizens, Selwyn concludes: “Far from a ladder of opportunity, workers in globalized production networks are incorporated into economic systems that reproduce their poverty to sustain corporation profits” [8]. Contrary to claims of neoliberalism, major economic developments, critical infrastructural projects and significant industrialization achievements under capitalism have been made possible either directly by the public sector or by the state support for the private sector. For example, in the aftermath of the Great Depression and WW II, most European countries embarked on extensive state-sponsored industrialization and/or development projects under social-democratic, labor or socialist governments, not so much to bring about “genuine” socialism as it was to rebuild the war-torn European economies by mobilizing and pulling together national resources and funneling them toward development projects. Similar policies were successfully carried out in other major capitalist countries such as the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia and South Korea. In Iran too most industrialization projects and infrastructural developments since the 1979 revolution have taken place under direct or supervisory role of the state—when the country relied on its domestic talents, resources, and capabilities in pursuit of self-reliance in the face of hostile imperialist powers and their cruel economic sanctions. Such developments were brought about even under the highly inauspicious conditions of the war, the 8-year war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and brutal economic sanctions. By contrast, extensive privatizations and systematic spread of neoliberal capitalism of recent years, especially since the election of President Rouhani, has basically meant stagnation of the real sector and development of speculative, parasitic or financial sector of the economy. Evidence shows that, at the early or formative stages of their development, all the presently industrialized countries vigorously carried out policies of export promotion and import substitution; that is, policies that protected their “infant industries” against the more competitive foreign exporters while promoting their own exports abroad. For example, Britain’s adoption of mercantilist and/or protectionist policies of economic development in the early stages of its industrialization, which erected prohibitive tariffs against the then more competitive Dutch exporters, played a significant role in nurturing the country’s manufacturers to excel in global markets. Likewise, the United States pursued vigorous policies of protecting its “infant industries” against the more productive European exporters until the early to mid-twentieth century, when its producers became competitive in global markets. Similar protectionist policies were followed by Japan, South Korea and other core capitalist countries in the formative phases of their industrialization and development [9]. Thus, the neoliberal outlook of President Rouhani (and most of his economic advisors) that ties solutions to Iran’s economic difficulties to integration of the country’s economy into global capitalism and further curtailment of the economic role of the government is far from warranted; it is, indeed, contradicted by development experiences of most countries around the world. Ismael Hossein-zadeh is Professor Emeritus of Economics (Drake University). He is the author of Beyond Mainstream Explanations of the Financial Crisis (Routledge 2014), The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave–Macmillan 2007), and the Soviet Non-capitalist Development: The Case of Nasser’s Egypt (Praeger Publishers 1989). He is also a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press 2012).
  19. Salam Most of shia people travel to iran to visit Shrine of Imam Reza (as) in Mashhad and they may not find any chance to travel to other beautiful cities of Iran. as I have a good archive of Iranian's architecture,I decided to introduction some Masterpieces of Iranian Architecture through pictures and graphics. you may get a chance to visit these cities in the future. First of all: my favorite mosque 1- Sheikh Lotfollah mosque Sheikh Lotfollah mosque was built during Shah Abbas time, and dedicated to his father-in-law, Sheikh Lotfollah, a prominent religious scholar and teacher who came to Isfahan at the orders of Shah 'Abbas, and resided on the site, but was never involved in the mosque's construction. Sheikh Lotfallah was born in Mess, which is currently in the Lebanon. Like his family he was a member of the Imami, or Shi'ite sect and was encouraged to take up residence in Iran under the Safavid rulers as part of the policy of promoting Shi'ism in Iran, along with other followers of this tradition from Bahrain. At first he lived in Mashed, where the second holiest of Shi'ite shrines is located, that of Imam Reza, but, partly due to the political instability of the area at the time and partly because of pressure from Shah Abbas, he took refuge first in Qazvin and then in Isfahan, where he seems to have acquired a son-in-law and patron at the same time. It was probably he who introduced the great mathematician, Sheikh Baha Al-Din Mohammed Ameli, otherwise known as Sheikh Bahai, who designed the famous sundial in the Royal Mosque, to Shah Abbas. Sheikh Lotfallah died in 1622. The Sheikh Lotfollah mosque is viewed by historians and visitors as one of the most important architectural projects built on Isfahan's Square, prominent for its location, scale, design, and ornament. It represents the best example of architecture and tile work of Iran in the 17th century. The beauty of its buff dome fills visitors with enchantment. This mosque differs from all others in several respects. The portal iwan is not aligned with the Naghsh-e-Jahan Square’s elevation, but is preceded by a recessed small court which flows from the Square and is linked, on its north and south sides, to the continuous corridor that envelopes the Square’s mercantile facilities. The main entrance to the mosque is located on the east side of this small court. The structure itself is not aligned perpendicularly to the Square’s eastern wall, but lies at an angle (almost 45 degrees) against the Square’s wall. As a result, when viewed from the Square, the mosque's main portal iwan and dome do not fall on the same axis, as is always the case in other mosques, but instead the dome appears behind the main portal iwan as if having slid 6.5 meters to the right from its axis. This asymmetrical layout was initially introduced to reconcile the (southwest) direction of Mecca with the placement of the mihrab on the qibla wall, and adds visual complexity to the structure. Contrary to the Square’s sand-colored brick elevation, the portal iwan is elaborately ornamented in colorful mosaics. It is built as a recessed area on the eastern wall of the court, an elevated platform raised by four steps from the court level. An inscription band in white on a dark blue background runs horizontally on the three sides of the portal niche, above which begins the iwan's vault, comprising four clusters of muqarnases made of small glazed-tiles units. These four clusters ascend to inscribe a concentric floral medallion. The pointed-arch doorway is located below the inscription band and is flanked by two panels of mosaics of floral arabesques with motifs in yellow, white, and blue on a dark blue background. These panels rest on top of a continuous marble dado. The offset entry does not allow the visitor to enter the prayer chamber directly from the Square by passing through the main portal iwan, which is aligned on the east-west axis. Due to the mosque's alignment on the northeast-southwest axis, upon entering the mosque one walks along two corridors, oriented respectively to the northeast and southeast, which are placed adjacent to the northwest and northeast walls of the prayer chamber. Turning southwest to face the qibla wall, one enters the domed chamber to see the mihrab on the opposite wall. This journey into gradual deepening into darkness and reemergence into a room bathed with light reflected on the glazed revetment is one of the most rewarding experiences of the building. In contrast to the grand size of the Square’s space, the Sheikh Lotfollah mosque is very small and is comprised of a single domed chamber (19 meters on a side), surrounded by rooms (which possibly functioned as service areas) on its sides, and preceded by a portal iwan overlooking the Square. The two rooms accessed from the corridor which envelopes the sanctuary dome measure 6 by 9 meters; one is found on the western side of the corridor, and the other along the far end of the eastern wall. A third room (8 by 16 meters) is located on the exterior of the southern wall of the sanctuary, and is accessed via the corridor running along the Square wall and then turning right after the vestibule area. Although the Sheikh Lotfollah is not one rectangular structure, its masses can be measured as one rectangular area of 44 by 30 meters and an additional rectangular service area comprising approximately 152 square meters. The dome is one of the few single-shell domes of the Safavid architecture with a structure consisting of three levels. Four squinches of pointed-arched panels, framed by an inscription band in white and blue demarcated by light blue cable moldings, ascend from the floor and support a sixteen kite-shaped shields that, in turn, support the drum, which comprises sixteen arched panels. The drum is ornamented with alternating double-grilles windows with an arabesque pattern. The interior dome has a sunburst from which descend medallions inscribing floral motifs, which become larger as they descend away from the center. The exterior of the dome is ornamented with an arabesque of a floral motif in white, blue, and black against a yellow background. This beautifully proportioned and decorated mosque, with some of the best mosaics from that era, took nearly 20 years to complete. The pale tiles of the dome change color, from cream through to pink, depending on the light conditions and the mosque is unusual because it has no minaret or courtyard. The figure painted in the middle of the floor under the dome is a peacock at certain times of the day. The sunlight enhances the peacock's tail. The mosque was once called the Women's Mosque, because there is apparently a tunnel between this mosque and the Ali Qapu palace, allowing women from the old dynasties to attend prayers without being seen in public.
  20. (bismillah) (salam) - Sudan has closed all Iranian cultural centres in the country and expelled the cultural attache and other diplomats, a government source has said, without giving an explanation for the move. - Khartoum closes cultural centres and gives Iran's diplomats 72 hours to get out. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/09/sudan-orders-iranian-diplomats-leave-201492141938226714.html http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/02/sudan-expels-iranian-diplomats-closes-cultural-centres Iran has Shia cultural centers all over the Sunni Majority countries but the Iranian Sunnis are not allowed operate in major Shia cities in Iran let alone the foreigners, they are not even allowed to have a proper Mosque in Tehran. The thing that caught my attention was the reaction of Iranian Sunnis, I am quoting from their facebook page:
  21. (bismillah) A senior Iranian military commander says Iran is ready to fully support the "growing" Palestinian resistance movement. “We are prepared to support the Palestinian resistance in various aspects. In defending Muslims, we recognize no distinction between Shias and Sunnis,” commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said on Monday. He added that the Gaza conflict indicated that the power of Palestinian resistance is “endless and growing.” The IRGC commander further emphasized that the number of rockets launched into Israel and the Palestinian fighters' ability in confronting the Israeli ground invasion is proof to the Palestinian resistance’s growing power. He added that the events in the Gaza Strip and Iraq are the result of the joint US-Israeli policies. “The Zionist regime [of Israel] will collapse soon as a result of the unity among Shia and Sunni Muslims and we are ready for that day,” Jafari pointed out." Medical sources say at least 1,822 people, including 400 children, have been killed and over 9,400 injured since the Israeli regime began its offensive against the Gaza Strip on July 8. “The Zionist regime [of Israel] will collapse soon as a result of the unity among Shia and Sunni Muslims and we are ready for that day,” Jafari pointed out. Palestinian resistance fighters are continuing their rocket attacks against Israeli cities in retaliation for the Tel Aviv regime’s relentless onslaught on the blockaded Gaza Strip. The Israeli military says 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the four-week conflict, but Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, puts the fatalities at more than 150. http://presstv.com/detail/2014/08/04/374002/iran-ready-to-fully-support-palestine/
  22. (bismillah) (salam) UN General Assembly meeting is coming up where all national leaders will address. As you poeple know Leader syed Ali khamenei was iran's president.Like every other national leader,he too spoke in front of UN for 1 hour and few minutes. Here is a part of his speech. http://farsi.khamenei.ir/video-content?id=8092 Here in this audio clip,he talked about all islamic movements in world.This part is my favourite. http://farsi.khamenei.ir/audio-content?id=22021 i can guarantee this stage had not heard these heavenly words before. i cant find the video khamenei.ir made of this audio on internet although i have it on my hard drive.it was a masterpiece. if some one can post it i will be very grateful. Edit:found it.here you go Syed Ali khamenei telling people about his address in a friday sermon. http://farsi.khamenei.ir/video-content?id=27618 May Allah hasten the zuhoor of Imam (as) of our time. (wasalam)
  23. There are several old, yet ongoing, topics relating to the issue of studying in a hawza (either in Iraq or Iran). I would like to more specifically ask, what does a person do after they have completed their studies at the hawza? Let us assume that it is a Western student travelling to Iraq/Iran. I am going on the average time spent at the hawza (Sh. Yusufali said it was 8-10 years in that video which has been circulating the forum). How does a "graduate" make a living? (Not in terms of profit, but in terms of how they make ends meet.) Do they find other jobs, and devote their spare time to religious activities? Or do they become full-time religious workers in their community in the West (say USA, UK, Europe, etc.)? I am aware that different communities will have different needs. I'm just curious. I am thinking that I'd like to do this in the future insha'Allah, as I have always been interested in devoting one's life to religious study and activity.
  24. (BISMILLAH) (Salam) So, I came across this article recently, in which Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has some sort of fatwa against faster internet in Iran: http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2014/08/makarem-internet/ Isn't this a bit too extreme? I mean, it's like opposing the invention of printing just because it can be used to create fashion magazines. Now, I understand that, maybe, what he is saying is that the internet, in general, is unlawful until it has been strictly filtered for Haraam content by the religious institutions. Any care to explain what seems to obviously be too "Wahabi" a fatwa coming from this very famous jurist?
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