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June 14 2017

After Campaigning on Internet Freedom, Iranian President's ICT Minister Boasts of Internet Censorship

Rouhani's Minister of ICT, Vaezi, declared to the Parliament, 18 days after Rouhani campaigned and won on boasts of Internet freedom, his government had blocked 7 million websites in their first term. Image from Tasnim with the intention to republish.

In his successful bid for re-election, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani touted his efforts to protect access to social media platforms in Iran. Although major platforms including Facebook and Twitter remain blocked in Iran, Rouhani set a more moderate tone in regulation of newer social media platforms such as Instagram and Telegrag, in comparison to past leaders.

But last week, just a few weeks after his victory, Rouhani's administration introduced new reforms that may further restrict Internet access.

President Rouhani fires a shot: If not for this gov, internet would be so limited even my opponents couldn't have use it for campaigning.

— Arash Azizi (@arash_tehran) April 28, 2017

📹 روحانی: اگر تلاش رییس جمهور و دولت در این زمینه نبود هیچ شبکه اجتماعی نمی‌دیدید که زنده باشد، همه را قربانی کرده بودند. pic.twitter.com/D9wnnSADbc

— روزنامه ایران (@IranNewspaper) April 10, 2017

Rouhani: If it wasn't for the efforts of this government in this field there would be no social networks live right now, they would have sacrificed them by now.

Current Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, who ran for the majority of the election campaign as a “placeholder” and “running-mate-like” presidential candidate  (it was suspected he would drop out and support Rouhani at the last minute, which he did), even went out of his way to defend the Rouhani government's commitments to a free Internet. It should be noted, that much of Jahangiri's base consisted of the nation's progressive reformists, often vocal about the values of a freedom of expression and access to information.

Reformist Jahangiri counts achievements of Rouhani gov: Defending free internet and free press, letting 8k NGOs open. #IranElections

— Arash Azizi (@arash_tehran) May 5, 2017

On 6 June, however, 18 days after Rouhani's re-election, Information Communication and Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi announced in a session of parliament that the Rouhani government had effectively improved methods to control the Internet and had shutdown a number of platforms.

The Minister characterized these efforts as ways of defending Iran's national security:

در ۴ سال گذشته تلاش شده به نوعی فرصت ها را افزایش و امنیت فضای مجازی را ارتقاء دهیم و تهدیدات را کاهش دهیم.

In the past four years, we have been trying to increase opportunities and enhance cybersecurity and reduce threats…

He went on to describe how Iranian officials are working with the messaging app Telegram to create a safer space in the interest of curbing sexual abuse, child abuse, ‘violence’, ‘terrorism’ and ‘anti-religious content.’ It should be noted Telegram has previously denied cooperation with the Iranian government, except to block pornographic content deemed inappropriate on distributors such as Apple's App store.

وزارت ارتباطات به جای مسدود کردن تلگرام به عنوان یک شبکه اجتماعی خارجی که باعث مهاجرت کاربران آن به شبکه اجتماعی دیگر می شود با مدیران آن تفاهم کرده که پنج مصداق مفاهیم جنسی، کودک آزاری، ترویج خشونت، تروریسم و محتوای ضد دین در این نرم‌افزار مسدود شود و تاکنون ۱۷۳ هزار از این مصادیق بسته شده است تا جایی که در ابتدای فعالیت تلگرام ۱۰ درصد مشکل در این زمینه وجود داشت که اکنون به دو درصد کاهش یافته است.

Instead of blocking Telegram as a foreign social media platform and emigrating its users to another platform, we've been working with their administrators and agreed on five topics including sexual abuse, child abuse, violence, terrorism and anti-religious content to be blocked on this software, and so far 173, 000 instances of these topics have been shut down. Telegram activity included 10% of these issues, they have now dropped to 2%

The Minister did not explain why widespread censorship has continued in Iran, nor did he indicate which platforms are being targeted for what he described as “intelligent refinement”. The Minister has previously referred to a presumably similar process of “intelligent filtering,” which was only known to be deployed on Instagram.

موضوعاتی که در سوال آقای حاجی در جلسه کمیسیون صنایع مطرح شد با آنچه که امروز ایشان عنوان می کنند متفاوت است. ایشان در کمیسیون درباره یک سایت سوال کرد و من پاسخ دادم اما اکنون مطالبی را در خصوص فضای مجازی ایران و جهان تحت عنوان یک مقاله مطرح کردند. من آمار کشورهای مختلف را قبول دارم اما در مورد ایران آمارها درست نبود. این آمار یا در وزارت ارتباطات و یا در وزارت اطلاعات است و در خیابان و روزنامه نیست. اینکه می‌گویید ۹۰ درصد استفاده مردم از اینترنت بین الملل است و یا اینکه ۶۰ درصد مراجعه مردم به سایت‌های جنسی است اصلا درست نیست؛ بنابراین نمایندگان و مردم توجه داشته باشند این آمارها درست نیست لذا آن را نقل قول نکنند.

We also launched the project of intelligent refinement and have blocked about 400 million videos through this method. If previously there were 8% of websites that were problematic, we have now brought it down to 1.5%. Also, over the part three years, we have closed 7 million addresses that have been notified to us by the relevant authorities and blocked 121 relevant pieces of software as well as circumvention tools.

Written by Mahsa Alimardani · · View original post [en] · comments (0)
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May 24 2017

Iran’s Long Economic Journey

The landslide re-election of Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, reflects the by now familiar pattern of continuity and change that has characterized Iran’s major elections over the last two decades. But it also stands out in one key way: Rouhani has remained popular despite pursuing painful macroeconomic stabilization.

Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01
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May 23 2017

Record Iran Vote Turnout Gives Rouhani a Big Mandate

Middle East analyst Ehsan Abdoh Tabrizi says that while Iran President Hassan Rouhani remains limited in impacting the country's foreign policy, his landslide re-election gives him a significant opportunity for domestic reforms
Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

As Iranian Voters Reject Hardliner, Trump Embraces Saudi Monarch & Vows to Isolate Iran


President Trump vowed to isolate Iran during his major address to Gulf leaders in Saudi Arabia. He accused Iran of funding, arming and training militias and other extremist groups in region while ignoring Saudi Arabia’s role in destabilizing the region. Trump’s remarks came just two days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was re-elected in a landslide vote Friday. Rouhani’s main challenger, hardline judge Ebrahim Raisi, received only 38 percent. For more on Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia and Iran’s election, we speak with Trita Parsi founder and president of the National Iranian American Council. He’s the author of the new book "Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Legacy of Diplomacy," out next week.

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

June 23 2015

Iran Features Heavily in the Latest WikiLeaks from Saudi Arabia

"#SaudiCables show overwhelming obsession of #SaudiArabia with regards to #Iran and Shiism."
Reposted from02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

#SaudiCables: What We've Learned So Far about Lebanon

The #SaudiCables on Lebanon reveal widespread corruption, bribes and repeated moral bankruptcy.
Reposted from02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

June 10 2015

Iran Increases Internet Surveillance Ahead of Parliamentary Elections

Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaghari announced that a "Security Committee" to monitor election-related activities would be created earlier than expected. Photo by IRNA, and published with permission to reuse.

Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaghari announced that a “Security Committee” to monitor election-related activities would be created earlier than expected. Photo by IRNA, and published with permission to reuse.

This post first appeared on Arseh Sevom's Dar Sahn page.

Iran’s deputy interior minister announced that the police and the intelligence ministry would be monitoring the internet and social media for activity regarding the upcoming elections in the country.

In a press conference in Tehran during the week of June 1, 2015, Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaghari announced that a “Security Committee” to monitor election-related activities would be created earlier than expected. “The security committee will be made up of representatives from the police, Revolutionary Guards, army, and state radio and television.” Zolfaghari also added that similar committees would be created throughout Iran.

In view of the sensitive situation on Iran’s western borders and the movements of terrorist groups such as IS in the area, the upcoming Iranian elections will take place in an atmosphere of security.

The deputy interior minister has informed the Persian-language media that 60,000 polling stations would be set up for the elections of members of parliament and members of the Assembly of Experts and 300,000 people will be working with the government in this process.

A growing number of social media users in Iran combined with speedy information circulation have Iranian authorities seriously concerned. In addition to monitoring online sources, the security committee will create a “security map” to identify sensitive areas for upcoming elections.

Written by Arseh Sevom · View original post [en] · comments (0)
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March 11 2015

An Open Letter to the Ayatollah from Republicans

Colonel Larry Wilkerson, Former Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State Collin Powell, says it is a desperate move by Republicans
Reposted from02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

March 10 2015

history of Iran: 1953 coup

from dilbert3mp3.tumblr.com (via beautyofiran):

Mohammad Mossadegh (1882-1967) was an Iranian politician and served as the Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953. At the time of his election, Iran’s oil reserves in the Persian gulf had been exploited by the British and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, which would eventually become British Petroleum, for decades under the threat of military occupation. Conditions in oil towns such as Bandar Abbas were deplorable. The director of Iran’s Petroleum Institute wrote that

“Wages were 50 cents a day. There was no vacation pay, no sick leave, no disability compensation. The workers lived in a shanty town called Kaghazabad, or Paper City, without running water or electricity, … In winter the earth flooded and became a flat, perspiring lake. The mud in town was knee-deep, and … when the rains subsided, clouds of nipping, small-winged flies rose from the stagnant water to fill the nostrils …. Summer was worse. … The heat was torrid … sticky and unrelenting — while the wind and sandstorms shipped off the desert hot as a blower. The dwellings of Kaghazabad, cobbled from rusted oil drums hammered flat, turned into sweltering ovens. … In every crevice hung the foul, sulfurous stench of burning oil ….”

In March 1951, the Iranian Parliament voted to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, Mohammed Mossadegh was elected shortly therafter on his reputation as a widely respected statesman and champion of nationalization. Mossadegh oversaw the nationalization of the industry and the return of Iranian oil profits to the Iranian people. Britain was angered by this, and the eviction of its embassy and officials in October 1952. Britain approached the Eisenhower administration with exaggerated claims of Mossadegh and Iran’s communist sentiments. They warned that the country was on the verge of falling into Soviet hands. The CIA and MI6 agreed to stage a military coup under the codename “Operation Ajax.”

Operation Ajax, spearheaded by CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt (Grandson of Franklin Roosevelt) and approved by the Shah sought to remove Mossadegh from power. On August 15th the Shah, under the direction of the CIA, issued a royal decree dismissing Mossaddegh as prime minister. However, Mossadegh had received warning of the plot and issued a warrent for the arrest of his replacement, General Faslollah Zahedi. The news of the attempted coup caused Mossadegh supporters to fill the streets in protest in Tehran. The Shah, fearing backlash, fled from Iran to Italy.

After the first failed attempt, the CIA hired infiltrators posing as Mossadegh supporters to incite a “communist revolution.” Soon the violent riot had spread throughout southern Tehran. A second group of paid infiltrators, posing as Shah supporters, organized crowds of Iranians to march against the violent communists. By the end of the day the communists and the communist infiltrators had been beaten back by the Iranian crowds and the army, under Zahedi’s authority. The army then used the riots as en excuse to storm government buildings and arrest Mossadegh’s officials. To prevent further bloodshed, Mossadegh turned himself into the army, refusing a last attempt to organize his supporters.

The Shah returned to Iran and assumed rule of Iran until 1979. Under his rule the oil reserves of Iran continued to serve British and American interests. Mohammad Mossadegh was sentenced to death for treason, but had his sentence commuted by the Shah to house arrest. He remained under house arrest until his death in 1967.

Read More: http://www.iranchamber.com/history/coup53/coup53p1.php

March 04 2015

AIPAC Conference Pushes War on Iran

At the annual American-Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, speakers advanced Iran as an existential threat and sought to downplay differences between Israel and the US while demonstrators were arrested outside
Reposted from02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

Netanyahu says Iran Intends to Destroy Israel

Larry Wilkerson says hundreds of Israeli military and intelligence leaders do not consider Iran an existential threat
Reposted from02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

Is Iran or Netanyahu a Threat to Israel's National Security?

Former Israeli generals and top security officials held a press conference Sunday in Tel Aviv about Netanyahu's plan to address the U.S. Congress
Reposted from02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

brassmanticore: A poster showing a woman harvesting saffron crocuses. Found on the wall of a saffron shop is Mashhad, Khorasan province, Iran.

February 19 2015

Iran Negotiation Leaks Won't Affect Netanyahu's Prospect for Re-election

Economist Shir Hever also discusses an Associated Press report about attacks on the Gaza civilian population during Operation Protective Edge
Reposted from02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

Regieren im Namen Gottes?

Vor wenigen Tagen hat sich die iranische Revolution von 1979 zum 36. mal gejährt. Ein guter Grund, sich mit der jüngeren Geschichte des Irans und seiner gegenwärtigen Gesellschaftsstruktur auseinanderzusetzen. Wir dokumentieren drei Vorträge, die Solale Schirasi bereits 2012 in Konstanz gehalten hat (Teil 1, Teil 2, Teil 3). Die jüngsten Entwicklungen unter Präsident Hassan Rohani konnten dementsprechend noch nicht thematisiert werden – ansonsten haben die Vorträge kaum an Aktualität verloren.

Ein Beispiel für einen Gottesstaat in der heutigen Zeit ist die 1979 gegründete Islamische Republik Iran, die den Anspruch erhebt, eine Theokratie zu sein. Seit der islamischen Revolution von 1979 und der Ablösung der Monarchie geht nach der herrschenden iranischen Staatsdoktrin die Staatsgewalt nicht vom Volk aus, sondern wird allein religiös legitimiert. Solale Schirasi informiert anhand verschiedener Themenkomplexe über das Modell einer islamischen Regierung, die Geschichte und das Leben

Von Februar bis Mai findet in Konstanz die Vortragsreihe mit Solale Schirasi zum Themenkomplex „Regieren im Namen Gottes? 33 Jahre islamische Herrschaft im Iran“ statt.

Solale Schirasi, die 1951 in Teheran geboren wurde und dort selber dem massiven Druck der Mullahs floh 1987 mit ihrem Mann nach Deutschland. Seitdem lebt und arbeitet sie in Konstanz. Schwerpunkte ihrer Arbeit sind Frauenrechte und soziale Bewegungen im Iran.

Zusammen mit ihrem Mann, Ali Schirasi betreibt sie ein deutschsprachiges Blog, http://alischirasi.blogsport.de/, das zu den wichtigsten exiliranischen Blogs im deutschsprachigen Raum gehört. [via]

1. Im ersten Vortrag geht Schirasi erst auf die allgemeinere Geschichte des Iran und dann auf die Vorgeschichte und den Verlauf der Iranischen Revolution von 1979 ein. Sie thematisiert die Islamisierung der iranischen Revolution, beschreibt dann die ideologische und militärische Machtsicherung Chomenis und geht zuletzt auf den Iranisch-Irakischen Krieg ein.

    Download: via FRN (mp3; 41 MB; 44:44 min)

2. Im zweiten Vortrag analysiert Schirasi den inneren Aufbau des iranischen Regimes: Sie beschreibt das Rechtssystem und den Vorgang der Gesetzgebung, skizziert die iranische Wirtschaftsstruktur und geht auf die Rolle der Pasdaran in der Wirtschaft ein.

    Download: via FRN (mp3; 50 MB; 55:03 min)

3. Im dritten Vortrag beschreibt Schirasi das Bildungssystem des Irans. Schirasi, die im Iran selbst als Lehrerin gearbeitet hat, beschreibt den Aufbau der Schulbildung und gibt Beispiele aus der Gestaltung von Schulbüchern. Sie geht auch auf das Leben an der Universität ein und thematisiert die Rolle von Neuen Medien und Internet.

    Download: via FRN (mp3; 53 MB; 57:32 min)

Im ersten Vortrag erwähnt Schirasi, dass die Vortragsreihe ursprünglich auf sechs Termine angelegt war. Ob die letzten drei Vorträge aufgenommen wurden oder ob sie überhaupt stattgefunden haben, konnten wir nicht herausfinden – über Hinweise sind wir dankbar.

Zum Abschluss sei auf eine interessante Dokumentation von Abbas Kiarostami aus dem Jahr 1979 verwiesen. Auf einer Ebene handelt der Film von einem recht zeitlosen moralischen Problem – in einer Schulklasse stört ein Schüler den Unterricht, eine Gruppe von Schülern wird dafür kollektiv verantwortlich gemacht, sie werden vom Unterricht ausgeschlossen, solange sie den Störer nicht denunzieren. Dieses Szenario wird in der Dokumentation einer Reihe von Leuten vorgespielt, die an der Iranischen Revolution beteiligt waren – religiöse und politische Funktionsträger sowie linke und bürgerliche Intellektuelle gleichermaßen. Diese bewerten das zugrundeliegende Dilemma und deuten es politisch aus. Auf dieser Ebene ist der Film eine Abbildung der damaligen iranischen Gesellschaft, zu einem Zeitpunkt, als die größten Konflikte noch bevorstanden.

First Case, Second Case / قضیه شکل اول، شکل دوم / Abbas Kiarostami / English subtitles from Tazhib Fe on Vimeo.

Tags: Abbas Kiarostami, Despotismus, Diktatur, Geschichte, Gottesstaat, Iran, Iranische Revolution, Islamische Republik Iran, Islamismus, Pasdaran, politischer Islam, Religion, Revolutionsgeschichte, Solale Schirasi

February 12 2015

Irans Luftwaffe stellt neu entwickeltes modernes Kampfflugzeug vor

Irans Luftwaffe stellt neu entwickeltes modernes  Kampfflugzeug vor Teheran (IRIB) – Am achten Dekadentag des Sieges der Islamischen Revolution ist das neue  Kampfflugzeug "Saeqeh 2" vorgestellt und der Luftwaffe der iranischen Armee übergeben. Dieses Flugzeug wurde von der iranischen Flugzeugmanufakturindustrie (IAMIC) gebaut. Es handelt sich bei dieser neuen Produktion um ein Überschallflugzeug. Der Stellvertreter des Verteidigungsministers, General Hatami, wies auf dieser Zeremonie auf die Rolle  seines  Ministeriums bei der Stärkung der Luftwaffe  hin, und betonte: Das Saeqeh 2 Überschallkampfflugzeug hat drei Hauptaufgaben. Es agiert sowohl bei Luftkämpfen, als auch als Unterstützung für Boden- und Marinetruppen. Da es auch zwei Kabinen hat, können damit iranische Piloten geschult werden. Die Konstruktion und der Bau des "Saeqeh 2" haben  drei Jahre gedauert, woran   iranische Ingenieure u.a.  aus den Bereichen Luftfahrt, Mechanik, Luftelektronik und  Telekommunikation beteiligt waren.
Reposted fromzeitung zeitung

Iran, Beyond The Headlines

Masha Alimardani went to Iran in 2010 ready to face the “crude” realities of the country. She was in for a surprise.
Reposted from02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

February 09 2015

farsizaban: Qajar era Music Group. Painting by Kamal-ol-Molk (1886)

February 03 2015

Iran schickt weiteren Satelliten ins All

Iran schickt weiteren Satelliten ins All Teheran (Press TV) - Der Iran hat einen weiteren Satelliten mit dem Namen "Fajr" (Dämmerung) ins All geschickt.

Der vierte im Iran konstruierte Satellit sei am Montag auf Anordnung von Präsident Rohani erfolgreich in eine Erdumlaufbahn gebracht worden, teilte Verteidigungsminister Hussein Dehghan mit.

Präsident Rohani gratulierte dem iranischen Volk zum erfolgreichen Start von des Fajr-Satelliten und sagte, dass die iranischen Wissenschaftler nun in eine neue Phase der Weltraumwissenschaft eingetreten sind.

Der  52 Kilogramm schwere Satellit solle in den kommenden eineinhalb Jahren Bilder der Erdoberfläche an iranische Bodenstationen senden, hieß es. Nachdem Teheran vor zwei Jahren bereits einen Affen ins All geschickt hatte, will der Iran bis 2020 auch bemannte Weltraummissionen zu wissenschaftlichen Zwecken starten.

Reposted fromzeitung zeitung via02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

Iranian Newspaper Shut Down Over ‘I Am Charlie’ Cover Featuring George Clooney

The Iranian press has ping ponged between condemning the violence in Paris to attacking officials and each other for their response to the attacks.
Reposted from02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01
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