Archive for the ‘Persian’ Category

Iran’s supreme leader dismisses Obama overtures

March 21, 2009

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed overtures from President Barak Obama on Saturday, saying Tehran does not see any change in U.S. policy under its new administration.

Khamenei’s comments were the first top level reaction to a video message Obama released Friday in which he reached out to Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year.

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is shown in Tehran, ... 
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is shown in Tehran, Iran, in this Friday March 14, 2008 file photo. Khamenei has dismissed overtures from U.S. President Barak Obama Saturday March 21, 2009, saying Tehran doesn’t see any change in American policy toward its government.(AP photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian, File)

Khamenei holds the last word on major policy decisions, and how Iran ultimately responds to any concrete U.S. effort to engage the country will depend largely on his say.

In his most direct assessment of Obama and prospects for improved ties, Khamenei said there will be no change between the two countries unless the American president puts an end to U.S. hostility toward Iran and brings “real changes” in foreign policy.

“They chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice. We haven’t seen any change,” Khamenei said in his speech, which was broadcast live on state television.

In his video message, Obama said the United States wants to engage Iran and improve decades of strained relations, but he also warned that a right place for Iran in the international community “cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization.”

Speaking to tens of thousands of people in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, Khamenei asked how Obama could congratulate Iranians on the new year and accuse the country of supporting terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons in the same message.

Read the rest:

Iran Shuts BBC Persian After Network Critical of Cowardice Among Hamas

January 21, 2009

Iran has decided that the BBC’s Persian service is illegal.  Iranians cannot work for BBC Persian and the network is basically shut down with no broadcasting while talks ensue.

Iran says the BBC Persian is “illegal,” and little else.

BBC says the news it broadcasts on the channel is gathered from abroad, using sources within Iran.

BBC says the news it broadcasts on the channel is gathered from abroad, using sources within Iran.

But the shutdown came just after the BBC featured stories of Hamas cowardice during the war with Israel.  The BBC World Service wondered where all the Hamas fighters went while Israel”s troops and tanks moved across Gaza.

Hamas boasted about how few men it lost in the fighting.  The BBC wondered why more fighters weren’t lost to Israeli fire or even seen by the Israelis.

The BBC also wondered why a Hamas rally in Gaza on Wednesday only drew a few hundred Gazan supporters.  Such rallies in the past would include thousands of Gazans….

In Jerusalem, the Post ran news stories further linking Hamas and Iran.  The Jerusalem Post said the Hamas war plan was basically written by Iranians.  The newspaper quoted Israeli Defense Force (IDF) officials who said Israel beat Hamas and Iran in Gaza….


China Censors Obama Speech, Iran Kills BBC TV: Free Speech Under Attack

Jerusalem Post:

Hamas Says They Still Control Gaza, But BBC Has Doubts

Hamas declares victory in Gaza claiming it lost only 48 fighters

China Censors Obama Speech, Iran Kills BBC TV: Free Speech Under Attack

January 21, 2009

On Barack Obama’s first day as President of the United States, two countries underscored the state of freedom of speech and freedom of the media in the world.

China’a government censored President Obama’s inauguration speech and Iran halted activities at the week-old BBC Persian TV channel by saying its work was illegal.

It came as no surpirse to China watchers that the Communist government of the  nation most interested in censoring the media and Internet, chopped sections out of President Barack Obama’s first speech as Commander in Chief before it was distributed by state media services.

China is in the midst of a general crackdown on free media and free press and the government has some fears that the current economic downturn and celebrations of pro-democracy events may cause unrest in China.

The Ahmadinejad government of Iran has become increasingly anti-Western and recently sided very vocally with Hamas in the battle with Israel.

China, Vietnam, Iran and many Islamic groups like the Taliban are increasingly anti-free media and free press.

CNN on Iran and the BBC:

Chinese censor parts of Obama speech dealing with dissent, communism

China Extends War of Free Speech Hidden by Fight Against Porn into Cell Phones

Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?

Vietnam: Editors of Leading Anti-Corruption Newspapers Removed

Below from:

President Obama’s comments addressed to world leaders who “blame their society’s ills on the West” also fell foul of the censor’s red pen.

“To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history,” the president said.

Once again, Xinhua included the passage in full in its English version, but the sentence was taken out of the Chinese translation.

Of course, President Obama didn’t mention China. He spoke of “those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent.” The Chinese government censors read that and didn’t think, “Whoa, Obama really slammed North Korea; or is he talking about Iran?” No.

They thought, “Hmm… corruption; deceit; silencing dissent; yeah, that’s us. Take that part out.”