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31 Dec 2009 23:554 Comments
arton909.jpgRegime Wages a Quiet War on 'Star Students' of Iran

WSJ | Dec. 31, 2009

Behind the drama unfolding in the streets of Iran, the regime is quietly clamping down on some of the nation's best students by derailing their academic and professional careers.

On Wednesday, pro-government militia attacked and beat students at a school in northeastern Iran. Since last Sunday's massive protests nationwide, dozens of university students have been arrested as part of an aggressive policy against what are known as Iran's "star students."

In most places, being a star means ranking top of the class, but in Iran it means your name appears on a list of students considered a threat by the intelligence ministry. It also means a partial or complete ban from education.

Report from Isfahan

Tehran Bureau | Dec. 31, 2009

University staff member:

They closed down the university on Tuesday and Wednesday and forced all the staff to participate in the demonstrations. Students were also encouraged to attend -- noot surprisingly though, very few did. They checked off staff names once when boarding the designated buses, then again at noon when serving us lunch (courtesy of the Governor!).

Four of our medical students have been suspended for a year for participating in the 16 Azar [Student Day] demonstrations. After a long campaign on their behalf, they pardoned them last week. But, as reported by Etemad newspaper, on Tuesday they reissued their suspensions for a full year; another 15 were given notices.

Photo (archive): A University is not a Prison.

Iran police fire tear gas in central Tehran

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 31, 2009

The pro-Mousavi Web site Rahe Sabz (Jaras) has reported that police have fired tear gas to disperse the crowd at Haft Tir Square in central Tehran.

According to the Web site, teargas canisters were fired into the crowd as several small groups of protesters attempted to come together as one group.

Iran state radio says Western media fail to cover pro-government rallies

Seda va Sima | Dec. 31, 2009

Western media outlets censored news about a large turnout of Iranians to condemn insults waged against Ashura.

The British media, BBC in particular, which was covering the insulators' lesser moves in an ample and exaggerated fashion, and was describing the situation in Iran as very critical and tense during Ashura [Dec. 27], and the days following it, failed to broadcast footage on the rallies attended by a million people in Iran.

Italian state radio and television channels also censored Wednesday's news of huge rallies by the Iranian nation to show their support for the Leader and to condemn the desecration of Ashura. Some Western agencies, like France Press and Euronews also described the rallies of the Iranian nation as government engineered.

Students boycott classes at Iran's north-eastern university

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 31, 2009

Students at Azad University of Mashhad have issued a statement expressing their hatred for the events that took place at the University Thursday [clashes with pro-government forces]. The students will boycott their classes today in protest.

The text of the statement says:

Wednesday 9 Dey 1388 [Dec. 30, 2009] was a day that was recorded in history of Mashhad's Azad University as a day when the ugly face of ignorance reappeared in the shape of righteousness carrying daggers and knives.

On this tense Wednesday, the University classes were ended at 1400 [1030 GMT] and faculties were evacuated because of the barbaric attacks of thugs who were assaulting students with daggers and knives. No one in his right mind would expect more from those primitive thugs; one would have been surprised if they acted otherwise. They beat up students and drew their knives against them. They disrespected the university and did whatever they wanted to do.

But the [Islamic] guards at the University played a key role there. The guards, which usually watch out if the students' outfits are appropriate and if girls' hairs are showing, in sheer disgrace allowed the thugs to enter the University and beat up the students. And all the while they watched the situation. Shame on the guards that cooperate with the thugs and act against the students and honor of the University, instead of protecting them.

We, on behalf of all the students, hereby announce that we will boycott all classes on Thursday in protest against the shameful action of the guards. We will hold a silent protest at the Technical faculty of the University. We will not give up our stance as long as the reasons for such disrespect are made clear.

Iran expands world TV broadcasts with new channel

Fars News | Dec. 31, 2009

Iran has opened "Sahar 2," an international television channel broadcasting programs in three languages: English, Kurdish and Urdu. According to Fars news agency, Ezzatollah Zarghami, the head of the radio and TV organization, inaugurated Sahar 2 TV channel.

"The reason for the soaring increase in the number of audiences of the foreign services of the Iranian radio and TV networks was because people of the world increasingly do not trust the biased and one-sided news and reports disseminated by Western media and the regional channels that toe their lines," Zarghami was quoted as saying.

"The Sahar 2 TV network will broadcast 19 hours of programs in three languages, English, Kurdish and Urdu, and Sahar 1 airs programs in French, Azari, and Bosnian," Fars news agency added.

'Counter-revolutionaries, hooligans and foreigners' had hand in unrest

Mehr News | Dec. 31, 2009

In a statement issued on Thursday the Intelligence Ministry announced that it has found traces about the role of groups such as counter-revolutionary forces, hooligans, foreigners and inciters in Sunday's violent riots.

The ministry said it would soon release important information about the role of these groups, adding that dreams such as a velvet revolution and the toppling of the Islamic system by the enemies will never be realized.

The ministry said it has credible information about contacts between certain inciters and foreigners and anti-revolutionary groups.

It also said as a last call, it warns deceived persons not to be manipulated by foreigners, and to differentiate between themselves and the enemies otherwise they would be dealt with according to the law.

The statement by the ministry came as protesters took to the streets in central Tehran on Sunday and chanted slogans against top government officials, clashed with police, and damaged public property.

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press, and excerpts where the source is in English. The link to the news organization or blog is provided at the top of each item. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the story in perspective.

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How stupid the Iranian regime thinks its citizens are - that they would accept, without question or cynicism, an announcement that proof of foreign intervention in domestic protests soon will be forthcoming (yeah, right after they finish writing the "damning" documents, forging the foreign governments' official stationery "for maximum believability" and using Adobe Photoshop to doctor staged photos to substitute Mousavi's or Karroubi's portrait for those of Khamanei, which they have in such great supply because they ordered too many and too few outside the regime bought them)!

Honestly, the ineptitude of the Iranian regime propagandists knows no end - if they were any good at what they're charged with doing, they wouldn't make these "proof of enemy plots is coming soon" announcements in the first place; they'd have a much greater chance of fooling some people if they held their tongues until they had finished creating the evidence and then made a show of releasing it.

The Iranian regime might have access to modern tools for concocting "evidence of foreign plots" and other political propaganda, but their clumsiness in using them puts them at the sophistication level of the Stalin-era Soviet Union. One could conjecture about a corresponding lack of worldliness and sophistication among a cadre of people selected for this duty not because of their keen insights into and understanding of a secular Western worldview, but because of who they are related to or their unquestioning acceptance instead of a fundamentalist parochial "worldview."

But then, why would anyone have reason to question the veracity of regime utterances, as they are, all of them, from Khamanei down to the lowliest paramilitary, pious men and women of the most scrupulous integrity; moreover, the Qoran forbids Muslims to lie, not like the infidels, the writings of their false prophets and their duplicitous leaders!

The Ahmadinejad cabinet is full of proven liars; what's so laughable but also frightening when contemplating their ilk in control of nuclear weapons is they're so unconvincing at it because they lie so clumsily about the most minute, insignificant detail. The most pathetic of the lot is not the minister who claimed to have a law degree from "the University of Oxford," despite there being no such institution, and the one it was intended to invoke by confusion, Oxford University, having no record of anyone with that man's name on its list of attendees, it is the one who, as one of his qualifications for office, submitted a certificate indicating he was named the "Mathematician of the Year (or decade)," a truly laughable credential as meaningful as paying to have one's name entered in a subscription only-supported annual book of "Who's Who in (substitute America or the name of a field of endeavor here)," a worthless "distinction" no American educated beyond secondary school would allow themselves to pay for or to be fooled by someone else's citation on their behalf. . . .

As to the ridiculous complaint that Western media don't choose to cover Iranian pro-government demonstrations, though granted the access to do so, they are not newsworthy from a Western perspective - to anyone following developments in Iran from the West, with knowledge of the events of the last 6 months, these demonstrations are seen for what they are - mandatory turnouts of government and state-owned industry employees, coming only after, and in response to, multiple opposition protest gatherings, to try to convince the uninformed among the Iranian populace that there are more pro-government Iranians than members of the opposition.

And it's the distorted worldview promulgated by the lying Western media like the Voice of America and the BBC Foreign Service that people all over the world are turning away from in droves, not that of the Iranian state media, noooo - if anyone believes that, even in the smallest, most isolated village in the whole of Iran, there's a pistachio and date grove in the Persian Gulf Mr. Ahmadinejad would like to sell them!

Nougat / January 1, 2010 9:03 AM

Well said Nougat. This regime is such a blatantly lying regime, that it will bring down its own house of cards... it's just a matter of time. Seem they are caught up in an escalation of commitment scenario.

Islamic Republic of Iran: keep doing what you're doing, because by doing so, you will bring about your own demise through decimating your own credibility! Thank you, on behalf of the freedom loving and ancient people of Iran, who laugh at your 30 year old rat-infested cult. Your detested names and rotten ideas, your fanaticism and stinking ignorance cloaked in arrogance will be recorded in our national and global history books as examples of the worst of humanity.

To those in the "government" and suppressive forces who are reading this: turn around, join the people, humble yourself and cast off the spell put on your feeble mind... before it's too late and you go down with the sinking ship and drown your name and yourself, becoming an outcast in society.

A true Iranian republic is the aspiration of the Iranian people, not this ridiculous farce.

Iranian / January 1, 2010 9:45 PM

Excellent! I can't wait to get all my trustworthy news from "Sahar 2". Until now I was forced to rely on Twitter, FB, PBS, etc. I'm sure that Sahar 2's high standards will certainly correct my view about the Islamic Republic being a horrible tyranny of the many by the few.

It's very satisfying to see the regime strategically invest in costly but very productive projects such as Sahar 2, uranium production, missiles and work so hard to reduce unemployment through vast public projects such as the hiring of bassijis.

Pic / January 2, 2010 1:10 AM

man mikham balatarin ozv besham kesi hast bara man davatname befreste:((:((

asal / January 4, 2010 7:56 PM