21 March 2010

Mehdi Karroubi’s Norouz Message

English translation on Khordaad88

A short summary from Enduring America:

Karrroubi says that he does not believe in an Islamic Republic which is limited to a few clerics like Ahmadinejad supporters such as Mesbah-Yazdi, Jannati, Shojooni, Hassani, Hosseinian, Ahmad Khatami or an Iran which only includes officials like Ahmadinejad, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, Gholam-Hossein Elham, Saeed Mortazavi, and Jalalladin Farsi (who he says is a murderer). Ridiculing Ayatollah Khamenei’s reference to the “ship of the regime”, he says that the current regime is like a “meagre barge” not a large “galleon”.

Karrtoubi also talks about the martyrs of the street protests, the tortures, the detentions, the press closures and imprisoned journalists and former regime officials.

He says that he will give his life in order to defend the country, Islam and the Islamic Republic, but he adds that he does not believe in a regime that belongs only to a small group and their beliefs.

Also se the summary on the YouTube Channel

18 March 2010

Stealing the New Year’s Address from Khamenei

Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard addressing the Iranian people for Norouz 1389.

English translation on the blog Khordaad88

English translation on Khordaad88

14 March 2010

Criticism of Iran's regime works

An interview with Mohammad Reza Heydari in Aftenposten 16 February 2010, the day before he was granted political asylum in Norway.

Criticism of Iran's regime works

By JOHN Harbo

- Iranian diplomats abroad are loosing confidence in the regime. 27 envoys in Asia and Europe have resigned from their positions, but the regime has prevented this from coming out.

It’s Mohammed Reza Heydari who says this. He was consul at the Iranian embassy in Oslo until the end of the year when he quit his post in protest against the developments in Iran where the authorities now are cracking down on the popular opposition.

- 27 of my colleagues in Asia and Europe have resigned from their positions, but the regime has prevented them from coming out with this, says Heydari to Aftenposten.
Heydari openly criticized the regime after he broke with the embassy, and this triggered harsh reactions from the Iranian side.

- Before I went out publicly they threatened me. A delegation was sent from Tehran to talk to me. They wanted me to publicly deny everything I had said.

- You did not do it. Was it a difficult decision?

- Yes, they wanted me to tell them that everything I had said was a lie. Originally I wanted to resign and go home silently, but colleagues in Tehran told me to stay in Norway and speak out. But it was difficult. My family, especially my wife's brothers are under enormous pressure.

- Does your decision and the fact that colleagues in other countries also want to break with the regime, mean that it is now losing support?

- Yes, also in Tehran colleagues, regular employees in the Foreign Service, have taken part in demonstrations on the people's side. 32 were arrested, and 12 are still in prison.

- How should the West react to Iran?

- It is important for the Iranian people that you condemn the actions. These condemnations must continue. Now the U.S. and EU for the first time condemn Iran for human rights violations rather than criticize the nuclear program.

- Are political protests enough. Would not economic sanctions be more effective?

- The most important thing is to stop the regime’s terror and violence. Economic sanctions must not harm the people, but those in power and the regime. My suggestion is that Western countries do not give representatives of the regime entry permits and do not have talks with them. Bank accounts in Western banks may be blocked. And it is very important that the EU and other countries do not allow children of those in power to come to the West to study when Iranian students are being thrown out of universities, abused and killed in the street.

- You talk about those in power. The religious leadership and the Revolutionary Guards are the two power factors today. And the Guards control important parts of the Iranian economy. Is it possible to target the them directly?

- Several companies that are controlled by the Revolutionary Guards are operating in the United States and Europe. They do not do this openly, but it is up to western intelligence to figure out who they are, and shut them down, block bank accounts and not give entry permits to the Revolutionary Guards people. They buy equipment that are meant for civil purposes, but use it for military purposes.

Heydari broke with Iran in protest against the oppression, and he regards Mir Hossein Mousavi who lined up in the presidential election last summer as an important person in the current situation.

- But what does the opposition want. How many want change within the framework of the regime, and how many want to remove it?

- The opposition who are gathered under the green movement, include all strata of people, and democracy is the goal: release of political prisoners, free speech, free political parties, prevention of human rights violations, securing women's rights, free press and free elections under international control.

- Free elections must mean that there will be a regime change?

- It does. The Iranian people no longer want a religious regime.

- Will the Revolutionary Guards remain loyal in a settlement between the regime and the opposition?

- It has a small but powerful leadership, and many soldiers and members among ordinary people. Those who are further down in the system, will not be loyal when it comes to a settlement, says Mohammed Reza Heydari.

Facts abount Mohammed Reza Heydari:
  • Iranian diplomat. Broke with the regime at the end of the year.
  • Born in Tehran in 1966.
  • Educated at the Iranian Foreign Ministry's university.
  • Has served at various stations abroad for 20 years.
  • Is exited about the clear support for the Iranian opposition, and has applied for a residence permit in Norway.

3 March 2010

Asylum case creates a diplomatic crisis between Norway and Iran

From Dagbladet

DIANA BADIA, dba@dagbladet.no

(Dagbladet): Norway's granting of political asylum to the former Iranian top diplomat Mohammed Reza Heydari has led to a diplomatic crisis.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian ambassador in Tehran was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry in late February.

Here Ambassador Roald Næss was handed a letter in which Iran protested against Norway’s granting of asylum to Heydari.

The Iranian foreign ministry also required that a Norwegian diplomat should leave Iran.

This aroused strong reactions in Norway.

- It is a completely unacceptable response from the Iranian side. The right to seek asylum is pursuant to international conventions, said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre in the press release.

- Heydari’s asylum application was considered on an individual basis, and the relevant immigration authorities have decided that he satisfies the conditions for asylum in Norway

Leaving Tehran
The Foreign Ministry dismissed the protests and demanded in return that an Iranian diplomat should leave Norway.

- We do not want to identify the Norwegian or the Iranian diplomat, said Communications Advicer Kjetil Elsebutangen to Dagbladet and elaborated:

- Iranian authorities have made it very clear that their reaction is a reaction against the Norwegian government and not against individuals. This is also the case for the Norwegian authorities.

According to Elsebutangen the Norwegian diplomat will comply with the requirement and leave the country.

- It is not appropriate that he continues his work at the Norwegian Embassy in Iran. But it is important to emphasize that he is thus not "persona non grata" in Iran (unwanted person jour. Note).

Heydari worked as a consul at the Iranian Embassy in Norway until the beginning of the year when he chose to terminate his position in protest against the human rights violations and the oppression in his country.

In an interview with Dagbladet the diplomat said that the Iranian authorities had refused to accept his resignation.

According to his account, they tried both to threaten and lure him into withdrawing his resignation and his regime-critical statements about the government in Iran.

He feared for his life if he returned to Iran and decided to seek political asylum in Norway.

The asylum application was granted in mid-February.

- We asked for and received a very quick processing by the UDI. We are very, very happy, said a spokesman for the Norwegian-Iranian Support Committee, Saki Rahman to Dagbladet when the decision was announced.