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Iranian Presidential Election Turning into a Circus

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani issued a press release Tuesday denying reports that he received a letter from Secretary of State John Kerry that said the United States would support him if he chose to run in Iran’s presidential election next month.

Whether his denial will carry any weight, however, may be moot, as Iranian media is reporting that Rafsanjani and another candidate, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s handpicked successor, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, were disqualified from the race.

In a May 15 exclusive, I reported on WND that a secret message from Kerry was delivered to Rafsanjani of U.S. support, according to a source affiliated with the office of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Over 100 of the regime’s media outlets, including Channel 1 TV, immediately picked up WND’s report, which forced Rafsanjani’s office to post a denial on his official website.

“After the false publication of internal media quoting American WND regarding a secret letter by John Kerry to Ayatollah Rafsanjani and on the threshold of the presidential elections,” Rafsanjani’s press release said, “some vengeful media in Iran, without considering the national interest of the country and with the goal of character assassination, have expanded on news and rumors of anti-revolutionary foreign media.”

The press release said it’s unfortunate that some “internal media,” based on their political tendencies, have chosen to become aligned with WND’s report.

After a warning that Rafsanjani might reveal some official regime secrets, the release asks, “Are (the media) willing to publish reports against all officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran!?”

The release said Rafsanjani’s office regretted this “anti-human and anti-moral” behavior by the “internal media” that have become the “loudspeaker” of the anti-revolutionaries and he reserved the right to take legal action against those in regime media who expanded on the WND report.

The outreach to Rafsanjani goes back to what led to the Iran-Contra Affair in the 1980s in which a direct channel of communication was established with Rafsanjani, who was then the speaker of parliament.

Rafsanjani had promised the American administration that once Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic Revolution, died, then relations between the two countries could improve, but his promises then and after continued to be hollow as he bought time for the regime to progress in various fields.

My reports of April 30 and May 2 on WND also revealed that Ahmadinejad had been arrested and detained for several hours recently and warned by regime officials to keep his mouth shut.

Earlier, the regime’s media outlet Baztab reported that Ahmadinejad had warned associates that if Mashaei was rejected as a candidate, then Ahmadinejad would reveal recordings confirming that the regime defrauded the voters in the 2009 presidential election.

Our revelation of the news caused a firestorm inside the regime, which then arrested the editor of Baztab for publishing the report. They then attacked WND and me for publishing the report of the arrest and the revelation about the recording, which reportedly quotes officials telling Ahmadinejad in 2009 that they would announce his total winning tally as 24 million votes where, in fact, the actual number was much lower.

The source who provided the information about Ahmadinejad’s arrest then revealed the content of the tape (which is a bit longer than 11 minutes) as being between Ahmadinejad and Vahid Haghanian, the head of the supreme leader’s office. The two discuss the fraud in which Haghanian said election officials added millions of votes to Ahmadinejad’s tally to declare him the winner.

During that phone call, the two argued as Haghanian told Ahmadinejad what Khamenei expected of him. Haghanian told him that they had to add millions of fake votes to declare him the winner despite having all the Guards and Basij personnel voting for him.

The actual results of the election, as provided by the source were:

• Mir Hossein Mousavi won the election with over 19,250,000 votes.
• Ahmadinejad was second with a little over 13,000,000 votes.
• Mohsen Rezaei had approximately 3,700,000 votes.
• Mehdi Karoubi had approximately 3,200,000 votes.

Millions of Iranians took to the streets after the 2009 election results were reported, calling Ahmadinejad’s reported 62 percent tally of voters a fraud and demanding a free election.

Thousands were arrested, with many tortured and executed. Mousavi and Karoubi have been under house arrest ever since.

It will be interesting to see if Khamenei steps in to get both Rafsanjani and Mashaei on the approved list for the presidency and if not what the reaction of the two factions will be but one thing is for sure and that is Khamenei to pick his own candidate out of the hat, as the regime always does, and as they did with Ahmadinejad himself, to keep the clerical regime alive longer.

It is important to point out that, the Iranian presidential election next month will not be free. The candidates have all been selected to run because they are loyal to the Islamic dictatorship.

Most of the candidates are criminals, including three with arrest warrants issued against them by either Interpol or Argentinian courts for the 1994 Jewish Community Center bombing in Buenos Aires: Mohsen Rezaei, the ex-chief commander of the Revolutionary Guards, and two former regime officials, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ali Akbar Velayati.

Another candidate, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, current mayor of Tehran and former police commander, has said of the 1999 student protests:

“I was the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Air Force at the time. Photographs of me are available showing me on the back of a motorbike, with Hossein Khaleqi, beating them (the protesters) with wooden sticks. … I was among those carrying out beatings on the street level and I am proud of that. I didn’t care that I was a high-ranking commander.”

Recently an audiotape surfaced on the Internet revealing his 2003 speech to the Basij paramilitary forces bragging about his role at the Supreme National Security Council meeting to get the authorization to attack the student protesters: “I spoke very harshly. Didn’t observe proper protocol, and I told them as head of the police, I will demolish anyone who would show up tonight on the campus to protest … with my behavior I intimidated them to get the permission to enter and also to shoot (at protesters).”

Under the Islamic Republic’s constitution, the 12-member Guardian Council decides the eligibility of who can run for office, and anyone with any history of opposing the regime is barred from participation. The council is made up of six Islamic faqihs (experts in Islamic law) appointed by the supreme leader and six jurists nominated by the head of the Judiciary (who is himself appointed by the supreme leader), and then approved by the parliament.

The last report by the source is that the security forces are present in Tehran and wide arrests are underway of associates of Mashaei and Rafsanjani.

Related links:

WND
WND REPORT DISQUALIFIES AYATOLLAH?
By: Reza Kahlili / May 21 , 2013

American Thinker
Iranian Presidential Election Turning into a Circus
By: Reza Kahlili / May 21, 2013

The Guardian Express
Iran Elections and American Influence as Ahmadinejad Reaches term limits.
By: James Turnage / May 16, 2013

WND
Source: U.S. taking sides in Iran’s election
By: Reza Kahlili / May 15 , 2013

The Washington Times
KAHLILI: Teetering on the brink
By: Reza Kahlili / May 08, 2013

WND
IRAN WARNS TURKS ON REPORT OF AHMADINEJAD ARREST
By: Reza Kahlili / May 05 , 2013

Hurriyet – Turkey
Iran Official Statement: Ahmadinejad Arrested
May 03, 2013

The Guardian Express
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Election was Counterfeit
By: James Turnage / May 03, 2013

Algemeiner
Iran Denies Ahmadinejad Arrest
May 03, 2013

WND
Source: Tape proves Ahmadinejad lost 2009 election
By: Reza Kahlili / May 02 , 2013

Haber – Turkey
Detained Ahmadinejad?
May 02, 2013

Memleket – Turkey
Iranian President arrested?
May 02, 2013

Breitbart
REPORT: IRANIAN PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD ARRESTED BY REVOLUTIONARY GUARD
by AWR HAWKINS / May 02, 2013

Jpost
Report: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Arrested
By JPOST.COM STAFF / May 02, 2013

UK DailyMail
Was Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrested by the Revolutionary Guard?
By: Steve Nolan / May 01, 2013

The Daily Beast
Iranian President Ahmadinejad Arrested
May 01, 2013

IRNA – Iran
US website publishes false counter-security news item against Iran
May 01, 2013

The Guardian Express
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Arrested – Source Update
By: Randy Rose / April 30, 2013

WND
IRAN SOURCE: PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD ARRESTED
Officers disarm guards, take him to secret location before releasing
By: Reza Kahlili / April 30 , 2013

BOSTON BOMBINGS UPDATE: REZA KHALILI APRIL 27 2013

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

April 27 2013- Counter-terrorism expert, Reza Khalili, accepted an interview with Alexander Backman where he gave Conciencia Radio his input into the Boston Bombings and how Iran could be related to the attacks. Khalili explained the type of bombs used, how the Tsarnaev brothers were really used as pawns or ‘burned assets’ and that these attacks were planned well in advance. The interview sheds light into the aim and scope that proxy state-sponsored terrorism has on America and the West.

Islamic Republic Officials present “The Wet Gunpowder” award to First Lady Michelle Obama

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

As I reported back on March 14, the Islamic regime’s Basij Commander, Brig. Gen Mohammad Reza Naghdi announced that Iran would give the first lady a special award for allegedly exposing a direct link between Hollywood and the White House. He cited her announcement of the “anti-Iran” movie “Argo” Oscar for Best Picture in a live feed from the White House Feb. 24.

“Mrs. Obama’s action was awesome,” Naghdi said with what he described as irony, “and if we had spent billions of dollars, we could not show a link and allegiance between Hollywood and the U.S. government and the White House, especially since they have always denied the allegations.”

Naghdi along with many other officials of the regime have been sanctioned by the U.S., UN and the European Union as a violator of human rights for having participated in the suppression of the Iranian people.

Last Saturday, the regime officials in a ceremonial event (only specific to the regime and its ideology)  the 10th conference of “Journey of Enlightened Land” commemorating the “martyrs” of the eight-year war with Iraq unveiled “The Wet Gunpowder” award to be presented to the First Lady:

“The US First Lady presented a so-called artistic award to a film that is clearly anti-Iranian. What does that mean? No artists, even the ones that have Western mindset, believe that Argo is a film worthy of even a national award. That film is definitely not artistic enough to qualify for an international ward; an award that is claimed to be given to the best movie in the world — the Oscar,”  Naqdi told the Islamic regime’s Press TV.

“One of the programs that has made this conference more important is giving the Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States, the Wet Gunpowder Award. She won the award because she showed the world that the Zionists in the White House have an immense influence and control over the Hollywood film industry,” Said Yaqoub Soleimani, a commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

According to the regime’s media, the award was mailed to the Swiss Embassy to be passed on to the First Lady Michelle Obama.

The regime’s media, in an attack on Hollywood, also blasted away at the book “A Time to Betray” which will be made into a TV miniseries about Kahlili’s spying for the CIA in Iran.

The regime’s media, since the production of “Argo,” have attacked Hollywood for what they call the production of “anti-Iran” movies. Citing “unrealistic portrayal” of the Iranian people, they attacked actor George Clooney as one of the two writers of “Argo” and for his producing the “anti-Islam” movie “Syriana.” They also cite the “Zionist company” Warner Brothers for filming “Argo” and the “anti-Iran” movie “300.”

Regime media also point to the upcoming production of a miniseries based on “A Time to Betray” by Kahlili, who in his youth traveled to America to continue his education. Upon his return after the 1979 revolution, he lost hope in the direction of the country, returned to America, hooked up with the CIA and became a spy in the Revolutionary Guards.

This “anti-Iran” miniseries, the regime media said, is to be produced by actor William Baldwin and Warren Kohler.

The regime media published an image of Kahlili alongside former CIA director James Woolsey that mistakenly referred to Woolsey as Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the former candidate for the Republican Party presidential nomination.

Gerdab.Ir, a Revolutionary Guards media outlet, attacked Kahlili for his call for support of the Iranian people to bring about regime change in Iran.

Also read:

Los Angeles Times
Former CIA spy advocates overthrow of Iranian regime
By: David Zucchino / July 6, 2012

How the Media Lied About Fordow

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Fordow fuel enrichment plant – DigitalGlobe image on day of reported explosion, Jan. 21, 2013

The latest IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program and its activities came out on February 21 and one thing was immediately clear: The last physical inspection of Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) was between November 17, 2012 and December 3, 2012.

In an exclusive story on WND on January 24 with updates on January 272930, 31, February 3, 6,13, 23 and 24, I reported that an explosion had occurred at the Fordow plant in Iran on January 21, which at first trapped 219 workers, including 16 North Koreans, 14 technicians and two military attachés.

Within days after Iran’s denial, and in a coordinated effort, both Reuters and the AP ran stories quoting the IAEA that its inspectors had been at the site after the reported explosion and that the IAEA backed Iran’s denial. This in turn fueled other media to conclude the same thing.

On January 29, Reuters published a report about the IAEA’s email response to an inquiry as to the status of Fordow, which read in part:

“[…]IAEA inspectors regularly visit Iranian nuclear sites, including the one at Fordow, and the U.N. agency suggested in its comment that they had been at the facility after the reports of an explosion there.

“We understand that Iran has denied that there has been an incident at Fordow. This is consistent with our observations,” IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said in an emailed statement in response to a question…”

Later that day the AP ran a similar story:

“The U.N. nuclear agency is dismissing reports of a major explosion at Iran’s fortified underground nuclear facility.

“International Atomic Energy Agency spokeswoman Gill Tudor told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Iran’s denial of “an incident” at the Fordo uranium enrichment plant is ‘consistent with our observations.’ [...]

“A diplomat familiar with the issue told the AP that the IAEA’s information came directly from IAEA inspectors at Fordo. [...]”

It is clear now that both agencies put out incorrect information.

According to the latest IAEA’s report, there are no inspectors stationed at Fordow, and there are no cameras monitoring the site on behalf of the IAEA.

DigitalGlobe image Jan. 21, 2013 – Across from Fordow Plant, written on the mountain in Farsi: “Fadayat Rahbar,” to be sacrificed for the leader – and in smaller print: “Sar Allah,” shedding blood for Allah, or blood for the path of Allah

However, it was not just the media misrepresenting the facts to suppress the report of the explosion at Fordow, the IAEA also is to blame.

When asked by WND, the IAEA spokeswoman, Gill Tudor would not confirm or deny the incident.

“The agency does not evaluate matters in Iran other than those directly relating to its nuclear verification work, so although we’re aware of these media reports, we are not in a position either to confirm or deny them,” Tudor said in an email to WND.

“That said,” she continued, “I’m sure you are aware that agency inspectors regularly visit Iranian nuclear facilities under the IAEA’s safeguards agreement with that country. (You will find more information on the IAEA’s safeguards mandate and activities in Iran at http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/index.shtml.)

“We understand Iran has denied that there has been an incident at Fordow, and this is consistent with our observations,” Tudor said.

However, in a follow-up inquiry by WND to verify if the IAEA had inspected the site since the report of the explosions, Tudor refused to answer.

“I’m very sorry but I can’t go into any further details on ongoing safeguards work, which is conducted with a high level of confidentiality,” she replied.

Again from the official reports by the IAEA on Iran’s nuclear facilities, it is clear that though there are regular visits at Natanz, there are no regular visits to Fordow. The IAEA has to obtain permission from the Iranian counterparts for an arranged and escorted visit.

Even the regime’s Fars News Agency in a report on February 21 (reflecting the recent IAEA report), confessed that the information on the Fordow facility stating that it is still up and running, came directly from Iran itself when it filed the required Design Information Questioner with the IAEA. This is again clear in the February 21 IAEA report reflecting information on the operation of Fordow per the DIQ filed by Iran.

So basically the officials of the Islamic regime ruling Iran denied that an explosion had occurred at their most valuable nuclear site and that denial became a fact for the IAEA to testify that no such an event had taken place. That in turn became the verification for the media to run with their story, which, of course, was more exaggerated to make a good headline.

We have an expression in Iran which goes like this: They asked the fox: Who is your witness? The fox replied, “My tail.”

A horrifying journey from Iran to freedom

Friday, February 8th, 2013

A must read for everyone to understand the truth about the evil regime ruling Iran:

Hooman Musavi fled Iran upon being released from prison after several years of incarceration for “acting against national security.”

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

By Vahid Pour Ostad

February 06, 2013

Born In An Iranian Prison — And Into A Lifetime Of Consequences

A young prisoner sat blindfolded, facing a wall in Tehran’s Evin prison. It was April 2010, nearly a year after the disputed presidential victory of Mahmud Ahmedinejad sparked massive street protests and thousands of arrests. The room was silent, but suddenly he heard a voice, closer than he would have expected.

“What’s your name?”

“Hooman Musavi.”

The prisoner felt a powerful blow to the back of his head. The man standing over him opened a briefcase and took out a pile of papers. “Sign them,” he said. He struck the prisoner again, this time in the face.

“The session took 18 hours,” says Musavi, 26, who recently fled Iran and shared his account of the experience with RFE/RL’s Radio Farda. “The entire time, the interrogator threatened me and insisted I sign everything — documents describing whom I had been in contact with, which demonstrations I had participated in, what reports and footage I had prepared, and to whom I had sent them.”

Musavi, who had been arrested for participating in and documenting the Green Movement protests, cried throughout the incident. “I felt so much pressure,” he says. Finally, the interrogation ended and guards took him back to his cell in the prison’s infamous Section 209, the solitary confinement ward where he was to spend the next seven months.

Any relief at the interrogation ending was short-lived. Within minutes, two men had entered Musavi’s cell and handcuffed his hands to a radiator affixed to the prison wall, so high that Musavi, already exhausted, could not sit down. As the hours passed, he watched as his hands turned purple from the pressure of the handcuffs and lack of blood.

“I was so weak, and the guard would open the cell door, put some food on the floor and close the door. I couldn’t move a muscle, let alone reach for the food,” he says. “I lost consciousness for some time, and when I came to, I panicked when I looked at my hands. They had turned black and purple by then. It was a very strange condition. My shoulders were numb; I couldn’t move them.”

A day later, guards entered his room and removed the handcuffs. Musavi fell to the ground, drained of all strength, as he felt the blood begin to flow back into his hands. The guards dragged him back to the interrogation room. The pile of papers had quadrupled. Musavi, desperate, said he was ready to sign whatever they put before him, but his hands were still too numb to hold a pen. So the guard brought an ink pad, and one by one, Musavi marked each piece of paper with a single fingerprint.

Hooman Musavi’s father, Shantia, was executed as a political prisoner before his son was born. Hooman’s mother died in a wave of mass executions when he was 2.

Day after day the interrogations continued, much as they had since security agents had stormed his Tehran apartment on April 1, posing as gas repairmen. They kicked him in the stomach, handcuffed him from behind, and combed every inch of his home — even the meat in his refrigerator — before taking his computer, camera, and mobile phone to look for evidence of Musavi’s participation in the postelection protests.

But it wasn’t just Musavi’s role in the Green Movement that had made him a target of the authorities. His family history had contributed as well. It was something his interrogator liked to remind him of, every day, as he returned him to his cell. “We’re going to execute you,” the man would say, in a voice that would make Musavi shiver. “Just like your mother and father.”

Repeating History

Hooman Musavi was born in prison, on Yalda, the night of the winter solstice, in 1986.

A month earlier, his father had been arrested on charges of cooperating with the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), which had participated in a series of antiregime attacks in the 1970s and ’80s and had fought alongside Saddam Hussein’s forces in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.

Musavi’s father, a textile manufacturer in the city of Shiraz, had sold head scarves to female MKO members. He and an in-law were taken to the city’s Adelabad prison and were executed within weeks. By then, Musavi’s aunt and mother had been arrested as well. Musavi’s mother, Haiedeh, gave birth in Adelabad, and Hooman spent the first two years of his life inside the prison.

“My aunt used to tell me how I was always sick during those two years; I cried the whole time,” he says. “I had sores and often caught bad colds. Even when I got older those symptoms stayed with me because of the stress I had endured early on. My aunt said my mother stopped producing milk and she couldn’t feed me. So some of the female inmates would give their food rations to women who were lactating and could still breastfeed children. I used to be fed by five or six different women there in order to keep me alive.”

Hooman Musavi’s childhood was marked by poverty and neglect.

In 1988, Musavi’s mother was executed as part of a five-month wave of mass executions of political prisoners. “My mother was a very simple woman. She didn’t even know what the ideals of organizations like the MKO were,” he says. “She never gave up under interrogation; she remained faithful to my father until the last moment. She was executed for this very reason.”

For the rest of his life, the shadow of his parents’ executions hung over him. Two decades later, struggling to survive in Evin, Musavi began to share his interrogator’s conviction that he would share his parents’ fate.

“I was thinking they might come back and take me to the gallows at any moment,” he says. “It had already happened to my family. I was raised with the understanding that innocent people can be captured and executed.”

Lonely, But Never Alone

Musavi was raised by his aunt after she was released from prison. An older brother and sister had been divided between other relatives and lived far away, in Mahshahr and Tehran. His upbringing was difficult, marked by poverty and neglect. There was no fatherly hand on his shoulder, no motherly affection.

For years the young Musavi harbored a secret dream: “I wished that they would throw a birthday party for me and that someone would buy me a gift,” he said. “But it never happened.”

When attention came, it was unwelcome. Musavi was 12 when he received his first summons to the Shiraz division of the Intelligence Ministry. He had done nothing wrong to attract the gaze of the security services. In his words, he had simply reached the age when authorities saw fit to remind him of his family’s history and urge him, firmly, to mind his manners.

“They questioned me and told me more about my family,” he says. “When I entered high school, the interrogations became more frequent and they would always tell me not to follow politics. ‘Fool around with girls, drink, use drugs — do whatever you want, but don’t get involved in politics. If you have the slightest political inclination we’ll arrest you.’”

The warnings proved ineffective. After entering university in Qazvin to study industrial engineering, Musavi was called before the school’s disciplinary committee numerous times for participating in student protests. “They would ask whether I prayed or why I was absent from visits to religious sites like Qom and Jamkaran. Questions that had nothing to do with the university and were meant to hurt me.” Half a year before he was due to graduate — and just a few days after the 2009 presidential election — he was suspended.

‘We Didn’t Want Much’

Many claims of irregularities were made in the 2009 vote, which officially handed the incumbent Ahmadinejad a 62 percent win, with his reformist rival, Mir-Hossein Musavi, trailing with 34 percent. Outraged, hundreds of thousands of people flooded onto the streets of Iran to support Musavi and a second candidate, Mehdi Karrubi.

Hooman Musavi (no relation to the presidential candidate) was among the protesters, using his camera to shoot photographs and videos of the demonstrations in Iran. When the government responded with a forceful crackdown, dozens of protesters were killed and thousands, like Musavi, were arrested in the weeks and months that followed.

Looking back at the events, Musavi insists his activism had nothing to do with the remorse he still feels for his parents. His aim, he says, was purely rational. “We didn’t want much,” he says of himself and his fellow protesters. “We just wanted someone to answer our question — what happened to the votes we had put in the ballot boxes?”

Friendship, Tears

After a few months in his tiny isolation cell, Musavi says he no longer feared his interrogators’ threats of execution. To the contrary, he longed for it. “I would cry for hours in my cell, and ask God for them just to take me and execute me,” he says. “Just to put an end to the situation.”

After seven months Musavi got a reprieve of sorts, when he was moved out of solitary confinement and into Section 350, the ward reserved for political prisoners. Living conditions remained grim. But Musavi says after months of isolation he was happy to be with other prisoners — especially former protesters like himself.

“They were dissidents of the regime or members of the Green Movement or prisoners of conscience, and there was so much sympathy,” he says. “They gave me a jacket and a knit cap, and my morale began to improve. I really felt like I had no regrets about having gone onto the street to film the demonstrators, to help make sure the world heard their voices. It was a good feeling.”

Hooman (right) was separated from his siblings as a child and they were not reunited until they were older.

Section 350 held some of Iran’s most famous political prisoners, including Hoda Saber, a well-known journalist and activist who had been serving jail time off and on since 2000.

In June 2011, the 52-year-old Saber began a hunger strike to protest the death of a fellow activist. His health quickly failed, and he died just eight days later of a heart attack. Witnesses at Evin complained that prison authorities ignored Saber for hours after his chest pains began, even as he begged for help.

“Mr. Saber was losing weight every day and his situation deteriorated,” Musavi recalls. “During the final days he was left in his bed and he could no longer see. He didn’t recognize his fellow prisoners; his condition was very bad. No one attended to him; when he would lose consciousness we would take him to the prison clinic. But they wouldn’t take him and he’d be returned after five minutes.

“The last time we took him to the clinic we didn’t hear until the next day that he’d become a martyr at the hospital. When the news reached us, the 200 inmates in the ward, there wasn’t a single person who wasn’t crying. It was one of the worst days of our lives.”

No Mercy

Nearly a year after Musavi’s arrest, officials had still not scheduled his court hearing; each month, a prison authority renewed his arrest warrant in order to keep him in detention. Finally, in March 2011, he was taken to court for a closed-door session. His lawyer was barred from attending and the Revolutionary Court judge was preoccupied throughout by workmen who had been brought in to repair the air conditioning.

The trial was over in 20 minutes. The judge, delivering the verdict, referred to Musavi as the son of antirevolutionaries and pronounced him guilty of acting against national security by participating in illegal gatherings and establishing contact with opposition satellite channels. His sentence: three years in prison, prohibition from all state universities, fines, and 74 lashes.

Another 16 months passed before Musavi was taken to be lashed. A total of 14 political prisoners were lashed that day: Musavi was the first. He had taken care to put on several layers of clothing, in the hope of dulling the pain. But a judge observing the proceedings ordered Musavi to strip down to a T-shirt.

“I was the first person to be lashed and I had the feeling that the soldier didn’t know how to do his job,” he says. “The lash consisted of three strands of leather woven together with a knot at the end, to make the tip very heavy and painful. When the soldier was lashing me, it hit me in the chest. My chest was purple, covered with bruises. My entire torso was swollen. I was doing my best not to moan or beg for mercy, but I asked: ‘Why are you lashing my chest? You should hit me on the back.’”

The last prisoner in the group was a dentist who had been sentenced to nine years and 160 lashes for his satirical writing about religion. The remaining prisoners, already reeling from their own lashings, were forced to watch. The strokes of the lashes were so harsh that they peeled away his skin. Blood gushed from his wounds, and the man screamed in pain. Finally, it ended.

“He was quite resilient, but when we took him from the room it was like carrying a corpse,” Musavi says. “His condition was critical. None of the others bled from the lashings. Their skin wasn’t cut, only bruised. But this man’s body was bleeding in several different parts, and his skin was slashed open. We were all crying for him.”

The 14 prisoners returned to the ward. No medical care was provided. The other prisoners brought bowls of water and strips of cotton to make compresses for their injuries. “It was if all the prisoners had been lashed,” Musavi says. “Everyone felt crushed.”

Escape, And Uncertainty

In August 2012, Hooman Musavi was released after 2 1/2 years in prison.
But even once outside he continued to feel trapped by the thoughts of his fellow prisoners still held in Evin. He visited their relatives and went to see the graves of activists who had lost their lives in the Green Movement protests, including Neda Agha-Soltan, the student whose shooting death was captured on video and became a graphic symbol of the brutality of the government crackdown.

But even these quiet activities drew the attention of the security forces. Musavi’s interrogator summoned him with a warning, reminding him of his months in solitary confinement and promising he would not escape the gallows again if he returned to prison a second time.

Left with no other option, Musavi fled the country, carrying only a small pack of possessions. (For his protection, his location has been left unstated.) He is uncertain what the future holds, but hopes that he will finally escape the destiny of the child, born and orphaned in prison, who could never outrun the Iranian regime.

International Media Coverage of the Fordow Explosion Report

Friday, February 8th, 2013

In an exclusive story on WND on Jan. 24, with updates on Jan. 2729, 30, 31,Feb. 3613 and 23, I reported that an explosion had occurred at the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran destroying much of the installation and trapping over 200 people in the underground facility.

Within days, the international media covered the story. A major German paper, Die Welt, cited sources that confirmed my report. Israeli intelligence also confirmed to the Times of London that such explosion did take place, although they could not tell if it was an act of sabotage or an accident.

However, the officials of the Islamic regime in a brief statement denied the report and White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters: “We have no information to confirm the allegations in the report and we do not believe the report is credible.”

Then in an unusual move, the IAEA issued a brief statement on Jan. 29: “We understand that Iran has denied that there has been an incident at Fordow. This is consistent with our observations.” IAEA spokeswoman, Gill Tudor, emailed that response to reporters. However, when pushed by WND, Tudor could neither confirm nor deny the incident had taken place and would not say whether inspectors had visited the site after the explosions, despite some media reports that it had.

Also according to a high ranking Iranian diplomat serving in Asia, an order from Iran’s Foreign Ministry was issued days after the explosion to all of its embassies that no interviews on Fordow can be given to news agencies and that any response to queries by reporters should refer only to a statement by the White House and a report by news agencies on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Although no independent confirmation exists so far, the status of Fordow is bound to be found out as the IAEA inspectors will at some point inspect the site. According to the source in the security forces in charge of protecting the site, the regime is desperately trying to clean up the site.

Iran, through its official news agency IRNA, assailed WND as a media outlet “under the direct control of the CIA” and WND’s Reza Kahlili as a tool of the CIA to expand propaganda against the regime in the face of its nuclear progress.

Fordow is central to the regime’s aspiration for nuclear bombs. The advanced centrifuges were moved to the site in order to enrich uranium to the 20 percent level. This raised concerns in the international community because that level of enrichment could be further enriched to weaponization grade within a matter of weeks.

Fordow, which is almost 300 feet deep underground in the belly of a mountain and immune to airstrikes and most bunker buster bombs, has been at the center of the Iranian nuclear dispute. Without Fordo, the regime would feel vulnerable to any airstrike on its other facilities such as Natanz. Also, without Fordow the regime would lose its negotiating powers and, in turn, would lose face at home as it has sacrificed the well-being of millions of its citizens over its nuclear program resulting in severe international sanctions.

Two days after the reported incident at Fordow, the Islamic regime, in a January 23rd letter to the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (the IAEA), Iran said it plans to install thousands of its upgraded centrifuges at the Natanz facility with the intent to enrich uranium to the 20 percent level. Could this be as a result of the explosion at Fordow where its modern centrifuges were enriching uranium to 20 percent?

It is interesting that last August, a senior Iranian lawmaker said Iran’s nuclear scientists and experts had managed to thwart enemies’ plots to infiltrate and blow up the Fordow uranium enrichment facility.

“The enemies intended to repeat a Chernobyl-like disaster through selling (booby-trapped) equipment and blowing up the centrifuges at the Fordow site, but their plot was discovered and foiled by the Iranian scientists’ wisdom and tact,” Abbas-Ali Mansouri, member of the Iranian Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, as quoted by Fars.

In relevant remarks quoted by Fars, the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Fereidoon Abbasi, also said that, “Separate attacks on Iran’s centrifuges — through tiny explosives meant to disable key parts of the machines — were discovered before the blasts could go off on timers.”

One thing is for sure: The fact that this news I have reported is getting such a reaction — from confirmation to denial, and with such broad coverage and at such levels — speaks volumes.

Original reports:

WND
SABOTAGE! KEY IRANIAN NUCLEAR FACILITY HIT?
By: Reza Kahlili / January 24, 2013

WND
WND report blows Iran nuke program wide open
By: Reza Kahlili / January 27, 2013

WND
NEW DETAILS SURFACE ON IRAN NUCLEAR EXPLOSION
By: Reza Kahlili / January 29, 2013

WND
U.N. WON’T DENY EXPLOSIONS AT IRAN NUKE PLANT
By: Reza Kahlili / January 30, 2013

WND
‘PANICKED’ IRAN MAKES POWER MOVE AFTER NUKE-SITE LOSS
By: Reza Kahlili / January 31, 2013

WND
NORTH KOREANS AMONG 40 DEAD AT IRAN NUKE PLANT
By: Reza Kahlili / February 03, 2013

WND
IRAN DIPLOMAT, FOREIGN INTEL CONFIRM FORDOW BLASTS
By: Reza Kahlili / February 06, 2013

WND
IRAN: U.N. NUKE INSPECTORS ARE SPIES
By: Reza Kahlili / February 13, 2013

WND
IRAN’S NUKE-PLANT EXPLOSION COVER-UP
By: Reza Kahlili / February 23, 2013

International Media coverage:

Die Welt
Fog Over Fordo
By: Michael Sturmer / January 30, 2013

The Algemeiner
WND Adds to Report on Explosion at Fordow Nuclear Plant as Former Revolutionary Guard Member Confirms Incident to Israeli Media
January 29, 2013

Ynet News
Fordo said to be crippled by ‘blast’
January 29, 2013

The Australian
‘Blast’ at Iranian nuclear facility
January 29, 2013

The Inquisitr
Devastating Explosion At Key Iranian Nuclear Facility Confirmed By London Times
January 29, 2013

Reuters
U.N. nuclear watchdog backs Iran’s denial of Fordow blast
January 29, 2013

The Daily Beast
White House Debunks Iran Nuclear Explosion, But Iran Denies Planting Story
By: Dan Ephron / January 29, 2013

MSNBC
Iranian exile reported alleged blast, and Israeli official confirmed
January 29, 2013

The Hill
Report of explosion at Iran nuclear plant not ‘credible,’ says Carney
By: Justin Sink / January 28, 2013

Jerusalem Post
Ya’alon: ‘I read about Iran blast in the paper’
January 28, 2013

Jerusalem Post
Report: Israelis confirm explosion at Fordow facility
January 28, 2013

International Business Times
Iran Denies Blast At Nuclear Plant, Israel Insists It Happened, But Denies Involvement
By: Maya Shwayder / January 28, 2013

The Algemeiner
Conflicting Reports Over Explosion at Iranian Fordow Nuclear Facility
January 28, 2013

The Weekly Standard
Israel Shores Up Its Defenses, While Iran Remains Quiet
By: Lee Smith / January 28, 2013

Israel National News
Israeli Source Confirms Iran’s Fordow Nuclear Plant Exploded
By: Chana Ya’ar / January 28, 2013

Missing Peace.EU
Iranian expert confirms blast in Fordow uranium enrichment facility
January 28, 2013

The Telegraph
Is Iran’s mystery nuclear explosion too good to be true?
By: Con Coughlin / January 28, 2013

Reuters
US does not believe media reports about blast at Iranian enrichment plant
January 28, 2013

Pravada
Iran denies explosion at nuclear facility, Israel confirms it
January 28, 2013

Breitbart
CONFIRMED? MASSIVE EXPLOSION AT IRAN NUCLEAR FACILITY
By: JOEL B. POLLAK / January 28, 2013

Business Insider
Massive Explosion Reported At Iran’s Fordow Nuclear Facility
By: Robert Johnson / January 28, 2013

Times of London
Iranian uranium-enriching facility ‘is damaged by explosion’
By: Sheera Frenkel Tel Aviv, January 28 2013

The Times of Israel
Israeli sources confirm blast at Iranian nuclear facility
By YOEL GOLDMAN, January 28 2013

Policymic
Fordow Nuclear Explosion Shows War With Iran Has Already Started
Bryant Harris / January 28, 2013

Ynet News
Report: Israeli officials ‘confirm’ blast in Fordo
January 28, 2013

Jerusalem Post
Report of blast at Iran nuke facility unconfirmed
By YAAKOV LAPPIN, January 28, 2013

Haaretz
Who spread reports of an ‘explosion’ at Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant and why?
By: Anshel Pfeffer / January 28, 2013

Irish Times
Israeli minister welcomes reports of blast at nuclear plant
By: MARK WEISS, in Jerusalem – January 28, 2013

Die Welt
Expert reports severe explosion at nuclear plant
By Clemens Wergin, January 27, 2013

Spiegel
Iran: Rumors of explosion at nuclear plant important
January 27, 2013

The Times of Israel
Israeli minister welcomes report of huge blast at Iran nuclear plant
January 27, 2013

Israel Today
Reports: Iran nuclear facility destroyed
January 27, 2013

UPI
Report says blast in Iranian nuke site
Jan. 27, 2013

GLOBES
Huge explosion reported at Iran nuclear site
January 27, 2013

New English Review
Was Israel Behind the Rumored Fordow Nuclear Enrichment Explosion in Iran?
By: Jerry Gordon / January 25, 2013

 

DEBKAfile covers my report on Fordo explosion with a meaningful last paragraph

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

DEBKAfile in its report on a mysterious twin-car bomb explosion at Syrian regional intelligence headquarters, has also covered my report on an explosion at the Iranian nuclear site,the Fordo facility. Interestingly, DEBKAfile refers to CIA’s involvement and distances Israel from such covert operation but at the same time in the last paragraph of the report, talks about a promotion to Israel’s Military Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi for outstanding covert operations!

…Meanwhile in Iran itself, the Fordo underground uranium enrichment plant was again reported targeted for sabotage, according to an unconfirmed report published by Reza Kahlil, who is described as a former Iranian Revolutionary Guards officer who worked under cover as a double agent for the CIA until he escaped to the United States.

Kahlil reported that at 11:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 21, the day before Israel’s general elections, a large explosion occurred 100 meters deep inside the underground plant, trapping 240 nuclear staff in the third centrifuge chamber. Among them, he said, were Iranian and Ukrainian technicians.

There was no information about casualties or the extent of damage to the 2,700 centrifuges which have been turning out 20-percent enriched uranium.

Khalil cited his source as Hamidreza Zakeri, a former Iranian Intelligence Ministry agent, who said the regime believes the blast was sabotage and the explosives could have reached the area disguised by the CIA as equipment imported for the site or defective machinery.

None of the information about an explosion at Fordo has been verified either by US officials or regime sources in Tehran.

Thursday, Jan. 24, Israel’s Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and Military Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi ceremonially promoted Col. G., commander of the elite Sayeret Matkal, to the rank of major general in recognition of his unit’s “outstanding covert operations.”

Read full DEBKAfile report: Iranian-Hizballah convoy blown up on Syrian Golan. Border tensions shoot up

My original report: SABOTAGE! KEY IRANIAN NUCLEAR FACILITY HIT?

Life under the Shah, the revolution, the mullahs and new revelations on Iran’s Nuclear Program

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

A webinar with featured guest Reza Kahlili on Iran; life under the Shah, the revolution, the promises of Khomeini and the suppression of the Iranian people. Also new revelations on Iran’s nuclear program.

Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Khalili worked for the CIA in the 1980s and ’90s and is the author of the award-winning book, A Time to Betray.  He currently serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran.

Kahlili has contacts inside Iran’s revolutionary guards to this day. In the webinar, Kahlili presents an overview of the Iranian Islamic regime’s ideology as well as the latest information on the status on Iran’s program to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran: Beauty and The Beast

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Pictures by Abdollah Heydari brings to life the beauty of Tehran in the fall. While peace and serenity are what one takes from these beautiful pictures, the Iranians know full well the ugliness of the Islamic regime that rules them.  One can only hope that one day soon, the people of Iran will enjoy their lives free of this suppressive regime and truly enjoy the beauty of life; a life that’s so easily taken away from so many!

(Warning videos at the end of the page are very graphic)

I have detailed the beauty of Iran, its people and the cruelty of the Islamic regime through my personal story in my book “A Time to Betray”, Roya’s letter clearly describes the inhumanity of the regime and the pain and suffering of those in prison where they are not only tortured but raped and forced to have sex with the very clerics in charge of guiding them toward Allah!

Extremely graphic – The regime forces take the life of a young Iranian man and how he suffers…

See the video below of yet another victim of this cruel regime describing her ordeal in prison:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Another Sad Story from Iran

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

It is reported that Sattar Beheshti, a 35 year old worker,  who was arrested for his civil right activities on Facebook, has been killed under torture by the Islamic regime ruling Iran.

Only one week after his arrest by Iran’s cyber police, labour activist Sattar Beheshti has died as a result of torture at the hands of his captors, according to Kaleme, a media outlet close to Green Movement leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

“According to eyewitnesses who had spoken to family members held at Evin Prison, Beheshti had been severely beaten and tortured while under interrogation. Bruises and torture marks were noticeable on the political prisoner’s body, face and head,” Kaleme reported.

Here is the link to VOA interview (in Farsi) with Sattar Beheshti’s sister talking about her brother’s being murdered by regime : http://youtu.be/bexadDtqQoI

This is while reports indicate that just last month more than 30 people were executed, some publicly hanged, on the charge of drug possession. The regime often executes political prisoners on bogus drug possession charges, in order to avoid further pressure by the world community.

Recently nine female political prisoners began a hunger strike to protest the conditions in the prison. Maryam Hosseinkhah writing for RadioZamaneh does an excellent job in showing the pain and suffering of those behind bars in Iran:

Hunger strike in the women’s ward & empty frame of Raheleh Zokayi

By Maryam Hosseinkhah

Nine female political prisoners began a hunger strike on October 31, 2012, to protest the “insulting” treatment they suffered at the hands of their guards at Evin Prison in Tehran. In all the photos and posters that have been published regarding the news about these women, only eight of them are pictured.

The ninth prisoner cannot be seen in any of these pictures, and searching the internet does not yield any images of her. In some reports, she is referred to as: “The Unknown Prisoner.”

On the two posters circulating among social networking sites, alongside the frames holding the faces of the other eight women, an empty frame can be seen with the name Raheleh Zokayi beneath.

Thursday November 22, 2007 – Evin Prison, Oblivion Ward

I met Raheleh Zokayi for the first time five years ago, when I was arrested for my activity with women’s rights defenders. It was the birthday of a prisoner in the financial offences section, and her cellmates had organized a surprise party with two tarts put aside for them by Shahla Jahed1 and 22 cheese sticks pressed into the tarts as candles. The room was one of the smallest in the ward, but more than 20 people were there that night. The washbasin was turned into a drum, and the girl who had been arrested the previous night was singing. Every once in while someone would go to the centre of the room and take a few dance steps and then, suddenly, as if the weight of the prison walls was crushing down on everybody and they would all fall silent.

I saw Raheleh there for the first time, with her short straight hair, pale face and big dark eyes. Her arms were covered with needle marks and tattoos.

The birthday party ended with the guard’s reprimand as the lights were turned off. Raheleh approached me and pointed to the book I was holding: “Hey sis, let’s have a look at your book!”

I asked: “You like poetry? It is Forough Farokhzad, the young poetess who died young in an accident.”

She took it in her hands and began reciting “Another birth” from memory:

A dark and chanted verse is what I am
Forever bearing you
In myself imbued with you
Forth to the morning of eternal burgeonings and blooms

Forough’s book was the only thing I had sneaked into prison. Raheleh also loved Forough and knew many of her poems by heart. We became friends that very night. As the women began to return to their cells one by one, we sat side by side under the dim light of the corridor, relating the stories of our lives.

She was 24, and I had heard that she was in for “armed robbery.” She said her uncles would carry out armed robberies and, since she was 11, she had to accompany them as a cover to throw off suspicion.

At 13, she was married off to one of the gang leaders at the Iran-Pakistan border region. He was violent and rough and had made Raheleh hate and fear all men. Her husband was killed a few years later in a shoot-out and left her with a son. At the time of her arrest, he was one year old. After the death of her husband, she had returned to her father’s home and once again had to accompany her uncles on their armed heists.

Once when she was telling me that story, I asked: “Couldn’t you have refused and run away?”

With a bitter smile she answered: “They would have cut off my head. Run away…what about my son?”

Raheleh Zokayi was arrested in 2002 at the age of 19 for the charge of “participating in armed robbery” and was sentenced to four years in jail. Later, when drugs were found in her cellmate’s belongings, she took responsibility for possessing some it in order to save her friend from hanging. The sacrifice added another 10 years to her sentence. She said, however, that she did it for the sake of friendship: “Friendship has a price!” Raheleh paid the heavy price, but the price turned out to be even heavier when her cellmate was once again found in possession of crack and ended up being executed.

Later, Raheleh herself resorted to drugs in order to relieve some of the pain, or, as she put it: “When you’re full of pain, when you have no way out, and drugs can be in your hand in a blink of an eye, it is the easiest way to bear the misery.”

When I saw her, she had just given it up. She said it was a tough struggle but she had done it for the sake of her son and for Asal. Asal was her five-year-old niece from a sister whose husband had been executed, after being arrested on charges similar to Raheleh’s. Her sister had then committed suicide. So Asal and Raheleh’s seven-year-old son were now living with Raheleh’s 20-year-old sister, who was also looking after their 11-year-old twin brother and sister.

Raheleh didn’t say much about her son. More than missing him, she was concerned that he had reached school age and lacked the birth certificate needed to register in school, and there was no one to face the bureaucracy for him. Her 20-year-old sister had enough on her plate taking care of four children, let alone coming all the way from Mashhad to visit her or chasing down her son’s paperwork.

Raheleh had spent all of these years without any visits. At Evin Prison, having visits is not just a matter of seeing relatives and relieving some of the pain of separation. More significantly, having visitors means getting some cash to be able to buy some of the basic necessities of life inside prison. While all prisoners get three meals a day, the meals are so low in nutritional content that those prisoners who rely only on prison meals for nutrition and have no money to buy some milk or fruit will soon perish.

Prisoners who have no visitors will usually try to make money doing odd jobs for other prisoners such as washing dishes or clothes or standing in the long line-ups to buy fruit, dairy or tuna. Instead, Raheleh would go to the doll workshop. It was more work, but Raheleh preferred the workshop because it was some time away from the ward. Drugs were easily available in the prison ward, and she was afraid of getting caught up in it once more, so the doll workshop was a kind of refuge for her. She earned 100,000 rials a month for working from dawn till dusk everyday, and in the evening she would go to the library to get a book for her sleepless nights. She said she had read the Harry Potter novels at the library four times and was dying to read the next installment and see the films.

She was young, very young. If you ignored the tattoos and needle marks on her arms, she wouldn’t even seem 24. Her eyes were full of life before she relapsed into drug abuse.

One night, when she asked me why I was in jail, I told her about the One Million Signatures Campaign to End Discriminatory Laws and the women who were struggling on the other side of the prison walls to change the laws and attain some degree of justice. She listened carefully, and later I heard she was telling other women about the campaign and the struggle for women’s rights. On the day when Parliament approved equal inheritance rights for husband and wife, I was still in jail. I had just returned from an interrogation session when I heard women cheering and applauding in the lower ward, and later I saw Raheleh running up the stairs, saying she had good news.

She told me with childlike excitement: “It’s on the news; they are going to fix the inheritance laws to give husbands and wives equal rights. I was just telling my cellmates about the campaign and they were all telling me, ‘Get out of here! These laws can’t be changed.’ And then we suddenly hear this on the news and we all cheered.”

Then, with a kind of hope I had never seen in her eyes before, she asked: “By the way, sis; do you have one of those petitions for us to sign?”

She had begun studying and kept saying that she wanted to get rid of the tattoos on her arms. She had heard that some prisoners may be pardoned and she was caught up in the fever of getting out. She wanted to get her diploma, as she had only gone to school as far as seventh grade, then studied up to tenth grade at nights on her own and passed the exams. She wanted to get a job and take charge of her son and niece and twin brother and sister. She said Asal was only five but she was a handful, and her sister could not handle her, so her husband had sent her to live with her uncles. Raheleh was afraid that she too would be taken on their heists and would fall into drug abuse.

Then she would suddenly break off from these musings and say: “These are all just a bunch of useless fantasies. In 10 years, when I get out, I’ll be a 34-year-old illiterate and unemployed woman who cannot even feed her 16-year-old son. That’s, of course, if he can even remember me then.”

“Well, this is my lot. I shouldn’t think of it too much. I am used to prison. I have almost forgotten how it is out there. I don’t even know what to do if I get out.”

A few weeks later, the authorities began separating prisoners based on their offences, so Raheleh was moved from the financial offences ward, which was relatively safe and had less overt drug use, to the ward specifically for drug offenders, where drugs were to be openly found in all the cells and most of the 35 prisoners in each room were addicted.

Raheleh and her friends protested against the move, saying she had been clean and a return would make her very prone to a relapse; the authorities did not listen. Within two weeks, Raheleh fell back into her old habit. She had lost all hope and had no strength to fight it anymore.

I couldn’t see her much after that, and the few times I did, her eyes had lost their little rays of hope. She did not care for books anymore and was mostly drowsy. Once when I gathered all my determination to talk to her, she looked at me demoralized, saying: “What could I change? You know what it means to be here for eight years? Do you know that even when I get out I have to return to the same house and go back to robbery and smuggling? A lonely addicted woman with no education or skill, even if she is released..what’s she gonna do? With a young boy who god knows how old he’s gonna be then…”

She said these things and got going. I didn’t see her again until the day I was released. She did not look well. She had shaved her eyebrows but her eyes had regained some hope. I heard she had once again stopped using drugs. She was studying again and had even started painting. I heard this from others who served time later. The last I heard, she was transferred to a prison in a small provincial town, and then I never heard from her again.

.

She was, however, always on my mind; maybe because she was the same age as my sister. I always wondered if she could turn her life around with all those natural aptitudes and zest for life. Maybe it was our shared love for Forough… or knowing her dreams… I don’t know.

The last time I saw her, I gave her my copy of Forough’s poetry and wrote in it: “For days that may be brighter and free”; she whispered: “Perhaps…”

September 15, 2012: Dublin

It was September, and the Dublin sun was still strong enough to allow breakfast on the balcony. I was eating with a friend whose sister had been recently released from prison, and she was telling me recent tales from the political ward of Evin Prison.

Her sister had told her especially about a girl who had been given a death sentence. She had told her that the girl was in love with Forough and wanted to learn English; that she had no visitors and was funny and decent.

I thought of Raheleh. I said I also had met someone in the general ward who was like that, and soon she told me that she was called Raheleh.

I thought: had Raheleh been given the death sentence? Raheleh who was lost and anonymous behind prison walls? The more she told me, the more I was sure that it was the same Raheleh. She had been sentenced to death, and no one had heard about it. I heard that she had gone on a hunger strike in protest against the unreasonable sentence they had handed her. I heard she had sewn her lips together, and no one had even heard of it.

She said: “In the first days after the 2009 election protests, political prisoners in Evin Prison were first being taken to the general ward, and Raheleh had helped some of them circumvent their restrictions on getting phone calls, and the prison authorities had used this as an excuse to slap her with a death sentence. They had accused her of links to the People’s Mojahedin Organization and charged her with enmity against God.”

Her hunger strike had forced them to reconsider the sentence, and they reduced it to an additional one-year jail term, which landed her in the political ward of Evin Prison. I emailed a few people in Iran; no one had heard of Raheleh and did not know that she had almost been executed.

Now, after months of no news, Raheleh Zokayi’s name appears alongside those of the other eight women in the political ward of Evin Prison who are refusing food. But she remains the “unknown prisoner” whom no one has heard of. No one knows what she is in jail for or where she came from, and there are no pictures of her.

Raheleh is not a prominent human rights activist or journalist or political or social activist, nor does she have a family to be her voice on the outside.

Her vacant frame is being passed around in the poster of the women on hunger strike, and sometimes even the empty frame is omitted. She is perhaps the symbol of all the men and women who now and for many years before have been incarcerated, tried or even executed without anyone seeing their picture or hearing their voice.

Men and women who have suffered alongside others but with voices never heard, only to become another cipher in the endless procession of prisoners and the executed of these past years.

1- Shahla Jahed was an Iranian woman jailed in 2004 accused of murder of her boyfriend’s wife. Human rights organizations campaigned to have her death sentence commuted and insisted that she did not get a fair trial. She was executed in December of 2010.

U.S.-Iran talks report may impact Presidential debate

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

The Washington Times

U.S.-Iran talks report may impact Monday debate

10/21/2012

U.S.-Iran talks report may impact Monday debate

The former CIA operative and Iranian Revolutionary Guard member known by the pseudonym Reza Kahlili, reports that the Obama administration has cut a deal with Iran that would end many of the sanctions against the Islamic Republic.Photo Credit:AP

On the eve of the last presidential debate – focusing, of course, on foreign policy – the White House is flat-out denying there are any plans for one-on-one talks between the U.S. and Iran on its uranium enrichment program.

The topic is sure to generate fireworks at Monday’s final debate. Is there a secret deal on the table or not?

Reza Kahlili, a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray,” has been reporting for WND that Obama administration officials have already cut a deal with Iran that would end many of the sanctions against the Islamic Republic in exchange for the promise of a temporary halt to uranium enrichment.

 

Also Read:

WND
IT’S OFFICIAL! IRAN FULFILLS OBAMA SURPRISE
By: Reza Kahlili / November 03, 2012

The Washington Times
KAHLILI: Obama’s re-election deal with Iran
By: Reza Kahlili / October 30, 2012

WND
SECRET U.S., IRANIAN MEETINGS TO CONTINUE
By: Reza Kahlili / October 28, 2012

WND
CLANDESTINE OBAMA-IRAN MEETINGS STIR DENIAL
By: Reza Kahlili / October 24, 2012

WND
IRAN SECRET-DEAL REPORT UPSETS AYATOLLAH, OBAMA
By: Reza Kahlili / October 23, 2012

WND
OBAMA CUTS DEAL WITH IRAN OVER NUKES
By: Reza Kahlili / October 19, 2012

WND
OCTOBER SURPRISE? OBAMA SECRET IRAN DEAL CUT
By: Reza Kahlili / October 04, 2012

The Daily Caller
Obama, Iran in secret nuclear deal
By: Reza Kahlili / February 27, 2012

***

The Islamic regime’s media coverage on this story:

Keyhan (Monday OCT 29)- Keyhan (Wednesday OCT 31) - Keyhan (Sunday NOV 04) –  Mashregh - Farhikhtegan - Fararu - IRdiplomacy - Ebetekar News - Khabar Online - Tabnak - Inn IR

Opposition Site: Kaleme - Kaleme (Thursday NOV 01)

Also: BBC Farsi

***

AL ARABIYA
Iran open to negotiations with America ‘even in hell:’ top official
By MASOUD AL-ZAHID / November 08, 2012

ParamusPost
It’s Official! Iran Fulfills Obama Surprise
November 05, 2012

New English Review
Kahlili: Iran’s Supreme Leader Continues Secret Discussions
By: Jerry Gordon / October 30, 2012

Renew America
Part 12 – 2012: America’s last free election?
Behind the Iranian “October surprise”: attack on the U.S. homeland?
By: Wes Vernon / October 25, 2012

The Record
Dick Morris: An election year deal with Iran
By: Dick Morris / October 23, 2012

WND
IRAN NUKE EXPOSÉ SEEN ‘DERAILING’ OBAMA CAMPAIGN
October 23, 2012

Israel National News
US-Iran Secret Nuclear Deal tied to US Elections
By: Dr. Joe Tuzara / October 22, 2012

Dick Morris.com
Iran Deal: The October Surprise?
By Dick Morris on October 22, 2012

Frontpagemag
October Surprise: Direct Talks with Iran?
By: Joseph Klein / October 22, 2012

Frontpagemag
Did Obama Cut a Nuke Deal with Iran?
By: Daniel Greenfield / October 21, 2012

WND
U.S.-IRAN NUKE TALKS: ON OR OFF?
October 20, 2012

PJMedia
The October Surprise
By: Michael Ledeen / October 20, 2012

NY Times
U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks
By HELENE COOPER and MARK LANDLER / October 20, 2012

WND
ADMINISTRATION: IRAN HAS AGREED TO NUCLEAR TALKS
October 20, 2012

PipeLineNews.org
BREAKING – Obama Springs His Iran Nuke Negotiations October Surprise As Predicted
By WILLIAM MAYER / October 20, 2012

New English Review
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Dick Morris predicts an Obama-Iran ‘October surprise’
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New English Review
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IRAN FLOATS IDEA OF DEAL AS SANCTIONS TIGHTEN
BY: F. MICHAEL MALOOF / October 14, 2012

Iran Protests and The Way Forward

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

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In my article “U.S. must actively work for regime change in Iran” published in the Christian Science Monitor on September 12th, I revealed that the Iranian Intelligence Ministry had warned the officials of the possibility of riots due to the devaluation of the Iranian currency and the increasing inflation because of the recent sanctions against the Iranian Central Bank and the Iranian oil industry.

I suggested a path forward showing how the West could support the Iranians change from within this time around. This could help solve the Iranian nuclear problem without having to go to war.

Today riots are taking place in Tehran’s Bazaar to protest against the devaluation of the Iranian currency and the dire economic situation in the country. People are under immense economical pressure. In 2009, it was students and activists who dared to come out and demonstrate against the Islamic regime, which the majority resented. Now they are joined by the hungry masses from around the country.

This is an opportunity for the West to assist with a regime change in Iran, which would not only benefit the Iranian people, but the entire region and the world.

Without the Islamic regime,a moderate Iran would help stabilize the Middle East, weaken Hezbollah in Lebanon, Assad in Syria, Taliban in Afghanistan and would halt the spread of terrorism around the world.

The Iranian people are some of the most Westernized in the region. Tens of thousands have given their lives to the cause of freedom and democracy. If we fail to help and support them this time, the radicals will get the bomb, will use the bomb, and humanity will see the greatest destruction and depression in its history.

A nuclear exchange in the Persian Gulf will stop all oil flow from that region and collapse the global economy. This will create chaos, havoc and provide the exact environment which the fanatics ruling Iran believe will accommodate the coming of Shiite’s twelfth Imam, “Mahdi,” who in their belief will then conquer the world and raise the flag of Islam across the globe. This, in effect, will create the Caliphate they are working toward.

I also believe that due to the current environment in the Middle East and the situation with the global economy, it is highly unlikely that America and the European Union will have the stomach for a conflict with Iran. Russia and China, Iran’s long term allies, have already objected to any action in response to Iran’s pursuit of the bomb, suggesting that the only viable solution is through negotiations.

Although a nuclear-armed Iran is an existential threat to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fully knows the consequences if Israel goes at it alone.

Any attack on Iran by any entity, if not combined with a goal of regime change, will prove unfruitful. Hence the importance of getting the people of Iran informed and involved in a movement for regime change.

Today, it is imperative that we provide secure communications to the Iranian people so that information can be sent to them to help them get united and ready. They need to know that the West will stand by them and their aspirations for freedom.

Action Needed:

1= Start a HD radio program into Iran

Taken into consideration that the majority of Iranians get their news from the state-run media which is directly controlled by radicals ruling Iran and that the Internet communication is under the ultimate control of the Islamic Republic, it is of utmost importance to provide Iranians with a channel of information which is less likely to be blocked by the regime and which provides less of a risk to Iranians to access.

2= Provide secured communication to the Iranians.

  • Provide technological tools to Iranian opposition which will allow them to independently unite every segment of Iranian society in their pursuit of a better life.

 

  • Utilize those tools to overcome current communications restrictions by the Iranian government including oppressive monitoring and imprisonment.

 

  • Enable free exchange of information on threats of Iranian leadership, and empower the opposition to independently guide the populace for a peaceful transition to full democracy.

3= Promotion of civil rights in Iran.

4= Promotion of civil disobedience, peaceful protests and national strikes.

5= Taking the Iranian leaders to International courts for crimes against humanity.

6= Promoting defection of the current officers in the regime.

Many within the regime are ready and willing to defect and provide valuable information. However there is no one certain channel that they can rely on or trust, we need to establish that channel and help the defectors with a safe passage to a secure location. Every defection will widen the current existing crack within the regime and will help with the fall from within.

7= Formation of a temporary government in Exile.

8= Openly supporting the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy.

Videos of the protests today:

Anti-regime bazaar protest, “If you have dignity then close your shops”

“Stop supporting Assad, Do something to support us”

Security forces attempt to control strike in Tehran bazaar

“Death to this government”

Anti-regime protest in Tehran “Death to Dictator”

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