Sunday, October 04, 2009

Iranians React to Report on Nuclear Program

The Media Line - Benjamin Joffe-Walt: As tensions rise over Iran's nuclear program, one group of analysts seem rather unimpressed by the international hubbub: Iranians.

The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog group was holding talks with senior Iranian officials in Tehran on Sunday one day after it was leaked that a confidential analysis written by staff at the agency concluded that Iran has acquired "sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device" based on highly enriched uranium.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the outgoing head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), arrived Saturday night in Tehran to meet with Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, to discuss a visit by U.N. inspectors to a nuclear facility outside the holy city of Qom. ElBaradei's arrival comes a week after the United States' revealed evidence that Iran was building a second nuclear enrichment plant inside a mountain outside Qom.

Iran has since admitted to the plant's existence, claiming it was never a clandestine site and is intended as a backup enrichment site for a civilian nuclear energy program.

Hours after ElBaradei arrived however, the 
New York Times published a story based on a leaked document from within ElBaradei's agency claiming that Iran has mastered the technology needed to design a nuclear warhead.

The leaked document adds fire to an intense debate among Western agencies regarding Iran's ability to produce nuclear weapons. Iran is known to have mastered at least two of the three steps needed to effectively launch a nuclear weapon: developing a medium-range rocket capable of striking Israel and Arab nations allied with the West, and acquiring highly enriched, weapons grade uranium.

There has been little consensus among Western intelligence agencies regarding Iran's progress on the final step, that of developing a warhead capable of being attached to a missile.

The report, titled "Possible Military Dimensions of Iran's Nuclear Program," describes an extensive program which began in 2002 and is "aimed at the development of a nuclear payload to be delivered using the Shahab 3 missile system."

The report's conclusions place Iran's nuclear weapons program at a much more advanced stage than most Western governments have publicly acknowledged.

But reactions in Iran were muted, and many Iranian analysts were suspicious of the timing of the report's publication.

"Every time the issue of Iran's nuclear program moves towards some sort of resolution some grand accusation is made against Iran in the western media in order to prevent resolution of the situation," Dr Seyyed Mohammad Marandi, a lecturer at the University of Tehran, told The Media Line.

"A few years ago it was the infamous laptop with information on Iran, which the Americans refused to let any independent computer experts examine. Iranians view this to be the same."

"The very fact that this comes in the 
New York Times when there are strong attempts to ease the situation is revealing," Dr Marandi said. "Why was the information released exactly as Mr ElBaradei is coming to Iran? Why not three months ago?"

"Obviously if ElBaradei thought Iran's nuclear program had a military aspect he would have no reason to hide that, especially towards the end of his term," Dr Marandi said. "So I think the hostility towards Iran runs very deep and has nothing to do with the nuclear program."

Kourosh Ziabari, an Iran-based analyst with the 
Foreign Policy Journal, argued the dispute was of increasingly little interest to many Iranians.

"I believe they are probably developing some underground sites," Ziabari told The Media Line, "but if the US and its allies had come to the conclusion that Iran is actively developing nuclear weapons, they would already have launched an attack on Iran."

"Both sides are just trying to add some flavor to the controversy so that we believe they are at odds," Ziabari said. "To be honest the international focus on Iran's nuclear program is becoming boring, it's more of a political controversy over what is essentially a technical dispute between the two sides."

"Iran agreeing to send its low enriched uranium abroad is a good will gesture and I believe they are looking to compromise," he added. "I'm not expecting a major breakthrough from either side and it's impossible to predict how long this confrontation will last, but I think everything will be settled diplomatically, even if it gets to the point of sanctions and takes many years."

Tehran tentatively agreed "in principle" to ship some of its stocks of low enriched uranium to Russia and France for processing into fuel for an internationally supervised research reactor in Tehran. Details of the agreement are set to be worked out at an IAEA meeting in Vienna in two weeks.

"It's a delaying tactic," Dr Mehrdad Khonsari, Senior Research Consultant at the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies told The Media Line. "Iran agrees to send off Uranium which they have already enriched, which doesn't address their continued enrichment of uranium, then the next day they say 'well you know we haven't fully committed to that'."

Dr Khonsari, who has met ElBaradei several times, said he is known to believe in a non-confrontational approach to international conflict resolution.

"His approach as an international civil servant is to move away from public confrontation and to negotiate secretly and privately to bring the positions closer," Dr Mehrdad Khonsari, Senior Research Consultant at the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies told The Media Line. "If you look at it negatively the Iranians have exploited him and contributed to this issue being dragged out much longer than it should have been."

Khonsari argued that while it was difficult to ascertain the exact nature of the Iranian nuclear program, it is clear that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program.

"I don't know whether or not Iran has the know how to develop these weapons, but I'm certain that they can enrich Uranium and deliver a warhead with a missile," said Dr Khonsari, who is also a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. "They are certainly going full blast towards achieving a nuclear weapons program, and if left unchecked they will achieve it."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Interview with Stephen Kinzer

Foreign Policy Journal - Kourosh Ziabari: The post-election episodes that have taken place in Iran, which continue to occupy front-page headlines of world newspapers, have perplexed and mystified many.

Although the dissidents who continue to defy the government’s call for an end to the protests over the June 12 presidential election have failed to provide hard proof that the election was rigged in favor of the incumbent, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, their suspicions are reasonable and their right to speak out against a perceived wrong unquestionable.

On the other hand, there are those who allege interference by foreign powers attempting to fuel unrest and destabilize the government with the eventual goal of regime change in mind, suspicions which are also not unreasonable given the historical record, which contains no shortage of precedents for similar actions.

all-the-shahs-menThe 1953 CIA-orchestrated coup d’etat that overthrew Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh was one such example, well remembered in Iran but often purged from U.S. accounts and unknown among much of the American public.

Stephen Kinzer has done much to remedy this with his book All the Shah’s Men, which documents events leading up to and following the coup in extraordinary detail. An award-winning journalist for the New York Times, Kinzer was at one time also the paper’s bureau chief in Istanbul, and has received an honorary doctorate for his lifelong contribution to journalism.

Stephen Kinzer generously set aside time from his busy schedule, which includes work writing a new book on realpolitik in the Middle East set to come out early next year, to join me in an interview for Foreign Policy Journal to try to clear up some of the ambiguities surrounding Iran’s disputed election and to share his view of the events that have followed and the controversy that has captured the world’s attention.

Following is the full text of my interview with Mr. Kinzer...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Iran's post-election crises and the ignorant experts

Kourosh Ziabari - Middle East Online: They've mobilized their facilities, packed their luggage and set off their missions to distort, spread out, "separate and rule", "divide and conquer".

Everything began on the eve of June 13's gloaming, the grumbling and whining Saturday of the late spring, when the astounding outcomes of the 10th presidential elections in Iran was chanted by the mass media and electoral commissions, and that was the very beginning of a communal bewilderment and perplexity all over the country, and around the world as well. The friends and enemies, supporters and dissidents, compatriots and strangers, internals and externals, everybody was amazed by the results of the most dynamic presidential elections in the contemporary history of Iran; the incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected by a vast majority of 63%, thumping the reformist rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi by a discrepancy of 11 million votes.

Even the most optimistic fans of Mr. Ahmadinejad could not foretell a 24.5m victory will be achieved by their beloved candidate whom in the most realistic situation, would have been beating the reformist contender in a run-off round after coming to a close standoff in the first round; however, everything was over and the congratulatory message of the Supreme Leader had arrived: "the elections of Khordad 22 (June 12) with the creative performance of Iranian nation, set a new record in the long sequence of national elections. The 80% turnout on the ballots and the 24m votes of people to the president-elect is a pure festivity which can guarantee the country's improvement and progression, national security and sustainable contentment with the divine patronages and assistances."

That was the commencement of protests by the foremost failed candidate, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who could never imagine losing with such a soaring discrepancy. He accused the electoral commission of fraud and manipulation in the elections, and expressed that he would not recognize the results, calling for the annulment of the whole elections.

This was the allegation which the electoral commission denied from the very early moment and declared its readiness to publicize all of the detailed documentations and evidences to prove the healthiness and purity of the elections. They told the public media that we will publish the details of each ballot, an unprecedented elaboration of details which has never been done over the past 30 years.

Mousavi, however, began to issue statements and fervent declarations, calling his supporters to pour into the streets and mount demonstrations. Hundreds of thousands of his fans paid homage to the call of their popular 67-year old former prime minister, and stormed out into the streets of Tehran, creating scenes which the foreign correspondents described as "unprecedented" after the Islamic revolution.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

'It's hard for the West to believe Ahmadinejad won'

Benjamin Jofe-Walt: "The electoral system is computerized, each voter's identification is in a computerized database and their fingerprints are on the stubs of the ballots," Dr Marandi added. "Even independent Western-based polls prior to the elections put Ahmadinejad well ahead."

Kourosh Ziabari, a political correspondent with the Foreign Policy Journal, agreed. "Even if we take into account the possibility of electoral fraud, which I categorically think should be investigated, it is still realistic to believe that Ahmadinejad was the winner," he told The Media Line.

"As a self proclaimed reformist journalist I am trying to be unbiased and objective, and whether the elections have been rigged or not, Mr. Ahmadinejad enjoys high popularity, especially in the countryside and among low income city dwellers. His victory was not such a surprise, even to reformists."

Iran's Guardian Council said Tuesday that there was "no major fraud" in the disputed June 12 elections and ruled out setting aside the results - less than 24 hours after conceding that there had been voting irregularities in 50 Iranian cities.

The council, Iran's highest legislative body responsible for overseeing controversial elections, rejected calls to annul and repeat the elections despite over a week of the worst protests Iran has seen in decades.

Conversazione con Noam Chomsky

Non c’è bisogno di alcuna nota biografica per presentare Noam Chomsky. Egli è senza dubbio l’analista e il conferenziere di sociologia politica più importante del periodo contemporaneo. Come scrive il Guardian, «fa parte delle dieci fonti più citate nel campo delle lettere insieme a Marx, Shakespeare e la Bibbia, ed è il solo vivente tra gli autori di tali fonti».

Alle Nazioni Unite, il presidente venezuelano Hugo Chavez ha accennato a Egemonia o sopravvivenza. I rischi del dominio globale americano [Milano: Marco Tropea Editore, 2005, ISBN 88-438-0460-X] in questi termini: «Vorrei rispettosamente invitare quelli tra voi che non l’hanno ancora letto a farlo».
Nel 2006, in risposta a una domanda rivoltagli da un corrispondente del New Statesman, Andrew Stephen, a proposito di ciò che avrebbe fatto se fosse stato presidente degli Stati Uniti, Chomsky ha suggerito: «metterei in piedi un tribunale di guerra per processare i miei stessi crimini, perché se mi assumessi l’impegno di questa posizione, dovrei poi occuparmi della struttura e della cultura delle istituzioni, nonché della cultura intellettuale. E la cultura deve essere guarita». 
Nel corso di questo colloquio con il professor Chomsky si è parlato di Iran, della questione nucleare, delle relazioni tra Washington e Teheran e dell’impatto globale delle lobby sioniste. Un estratto di questa conversazione è stato pubblicato sul Teheran Times, il principale giornale iraniano in lingua inglese.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Iran's Crisis: What the Youth Think

Kourosh Ziabari - Islam Online: Perhaps the voices of protestors on Iran’s streets are not as loud as they were last week, but the political stalemate in the Islamic Republic is still the subject of debate both domestically and internationally. With both the government and the opposition refusing to make compromises, Iran’s crisis is far from over. talked to a number of young Iranians about the ongoing unrest in their country.

Mostafa, 20

“The Friday sermon of the Supreme Leader was a warning to Mirhossein Mousavi and his supporters…Mousavi who called for adherence to the law…before the elections and criticized the incumbent president for breaching the law, is breaching the law now by calling for illegal rallies and demonstrations.

“The words of the Supreme Leader were clear and precise…Now the violators of the law will face the consequences of their actions.

“Our system is not weak and fragile to rig the votes of 11 million people to help a certain candidate to win the election.”

'The Barrier is Broken and Women are Throwing Rocks'

The Media Line - Benjamin Joffe-Walt: The iconic images of Iran's elections: a young woman in full hijab hurling stones at riot police, the wives of reformist candidates actively and aggressively campaigning and a shot woman named Neda bleeding profusely out of her mouth, slowly dying on video.

For a male-dominated political event - an election between four men, in a poll controlled by a Guardian Council of 12 men, in a country run by a male supreme leader, women have played an eye-catching, almost dramatic role both in the Iranian elections and the succeeding unrest.

"The sheer number of females that have either been hurt or killed show that women were in the front line of the recent demonstrations," Kianoosh Sanjari, an influential Iranian blogger, told The Media Line. "For the first time since the Islamic revolution, women felt they could make a difference and have their voices heard without stepping outside of the Islamic boundaries."

"Women have even taken the step of asking reformist clerics for advice on how their rights can be protected while remaining within the boundaries of Islam," Sanjari continued. "The barrier is broken; women now feel empowered not only to throw rocks, but to make an impact on society as a whole."

Sanjari argued that it was the shooting of a woman - Neda Soltan - during the demonstrations that sparked international outrage about the protests. "Her death and strength also pushed and forced world leaders, such as Obama, to discuss the human rights violations that the people, including the women, were facing."

Symbols of transformation in Iranian gender relations were apparent early in the election campaigns, as presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi openly asserted the need for greater rights for women: he called for an end to legalized gender discrimination, an increase in women's participation in Iranian workplaces and politics and a curb in the powers of religious police.

To differing degrees, the other opposition candidates followed suit and for the first time since the Islamic revolution, women's rights entered public discourse.

Many analysts have credited defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi's wife Zahra Rahnavard with spearheading the gender change.

"Many compared the role of Rahnavard with Michelle Obama," Sanjari said, referring to the United States First Lady. "She has become a symbol for the women's rights movement.

Kourosh Ziabari, an Iranian journalist and the political correspondent at Foreign Policy Journal, agreed. "Zahra Rahnavard has played a significant role in persuading and encouraging the young women of Iran to take part in the elections," Ziabari said. "Zahnavard's coalition with one of the most prominent female political activists of Iran, Masoumeh Ebtekar, who was the first female vice-president of Iran under Mr. Khatami, created a vigorous enthusiasm and zealousness among the young women in Iran."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Has the U.S. Played a Role in Fomenting Unrest During Iran’s Election?

Jeremy R. Hammond - Foreign Policy Journal / Global Research: ... The popularity of the latter claim was in no small part due to a post by Andrew Sullivan in his popular blog “The Daily Dish” at The Atlantic. Sullivan reported, “Yes, the president of Iran’s own election monitoring commission has declared the result invalid and called for a do-over. That is huge news: when a regime’s own electoral monitors beak [sic] ranks, what chance does the regime have of persuading anyone in the world or Iran that it has democratic legitimacy?”[61]

Sullivan linked to a Farsi language website as his source,,[62] but Sullivan admittedly cannot read Farsi, so he was clearly merely relaying information he saw elsewhere, perhaps on Twitter, without attribution. Sullivan’s relayed claim, whatever its true origin, was promptly repeated in blogs across the net following his posting it at The Daily Dish.

But when shown the post and the linked-to page in Farsi, Kourosh Ziabari, an Iranian journalist and correspondent for Foreign Policy Journal, replied, “Actually, Andrew Sullivan has made a mistake, as far as I see. The one who asserted that the election results were invalid was Ali-Akbar Mohtashami, the Administrator for the Committee of Votes Preservation at the national campaign of Mir-Hossein Mousavi.”[63] This is hardly the same “huge news” Sullivan claimed it to be.

Continues Here

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Protesters Seek Inventiveness on the Streets of Tehran

Media Line - Benjamin Joffe-Walt: For a few days, it seemed as though Iran might fall.

Millions of disaffected voters rose up in mammoth demonstrations. Students painted ‘Where is my vote’ on their faces; young women clenched raised fists; chanting was heard throughout the capital; the streets were painted in green.

Less than 10 days later, the streets are quiet. The calls of opposition leaders—to head out with black candles, to drive during the day with headlights on and to flood the public bazaars—have all fallen on deaf ears. The streets are once again abuzz with day-to-day commerce, the average person hasn't come across protesters with black candles and the students are busy studying for university entrance exams.

“It's dying down quite a bit. A lot of people have just quit,” Dr Mohammad Marandi, a lecturer at Tehran University, told The Media Line. “I didn't see anyone holding candles. I haven't seen a single shop that has been closed, and car headlights? That was a flop. All three of these strategies have failed.”

“We have the national university entrance exam tomorrow and Friday, and everyone is really tired of the whole thing to be honest,” Dr Marandi added. “That's the mood right now. Even talking about it now makes me tired.”

“Moussavi has been ill advised,” Marandi explained, arguing that the abrupt death of the demonstrations has been the upshot of the protesters’ approach rather than the crackdown by the government. “Moussavi never even gave the legal process a chance. Had he tried to legally protest the elections and then staged protests he would have had a lot more sympathy.”

“He also held all his protests in the heart of Tehran and a lot of people suffered. Business suffered, ordinary people couldn't go out, others who had nothing to do with the protests were shot. All this diminished his standing quite a bit.”

Kourosh Ziabari, a political correspondent with the Foreign Policy Journal, argued that the demise of the protest movement was not so much a product of failed tactics but one of overly emotive and poorly planned political organizing.

“These kinds of movements are emotional,” he told The Media Line. “They are not based on some rational political plan, and that is why they appear just as quickly as they disappear.”

“Over the first few days, there were entirely peaceful protests in which millions took part,” Ziabari continued. “We had not witnessed non-governmental, indeed anti-government, demonstrations on this level before.”

“The protesters employed every tactic available to them,” he added. “They used online social networks, held silent, peaceful protests, wrote English slogans and banners, sent letters to various organizations and developed relations with foreign embassies.”

“But then everything got mixed up,” he said. “It became difficult to distinguish between political protestors, ordinary citizens passing by and insurgents or terrorists... Protests should not pose a risk to national security or afflict average people.”

Dr. Mehrdad Khonsari, a senior research consultant at the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies, argued that while recent protest tactics may have failed, it is too early to make long-term predictions. “There are far more sophisticated tactics than those utilized so far and I think it's too soon to suggest that the protests have petered out,” he told The Media Line. “Public enthusiasm has not died down and I don't think we have seen the final curtain.”

“Civil disobedience is an art, and what the Islamic regime is really concerned about is that the protesters will improve their tactics or bring in specialists to help them come up with inventive tactics,” Dr Khonsari continued.

“For now, the fact is that the regime deploying its security forces to prevent public gatherings has even brought in some counter-velvet revolution experts from Russia to advise them,” he said. “None of this means the protesters have thrown in the towel—we simply have yet to witness the deployment of that public enthusiasm in a way that makes a larger impact.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

'It's Hard for the West to Believe Ahmadinejad Won'

Benjamin Joffe-Walt Did Ahmadinejad win? 

This seemingly simple question, discussed in coffee shops, hair dressers and public buses all over the world, goes to the core of the predicament faced by various world governments in figuring out how to respond to the unprecedented recent civilian unrest in Iran.

But despite widespread suggestions that incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 'stole' the election from his principal challenger Mir Hossein Moussavi, Iranian experts suggest it would be impossible to commit vote fraud on such a wide scale.

"It is hard for many Westerners to believe that Ahmadinejad could win," Dr. Seyyed Mohammad Marandi, a lecturer at the University of Tehran, told The Media Line. "I did not vote for him but I think it's quite clear that he's immensely popular and more and more are beginning to think that there were no major voting irregularities."

"He's a very polarizing figure; people either love him or hate him and the vote in Tehran is very divided," Dr Marandi continued. "But it would be almost impossible to rig an election on that level... Among people that I know on both sides of the political equation, few believe that it's possible to rig 11 million votes. Even my friends in the Moussavi camp don't believe that."

"The electoral system is computerized, each voter's identification is in a computerized database and their fingerprints are on the stubs of the ballots," Dr Marandi added. "Even independent Western-based polls prior to the elections put Ahmadinejad well ahead."

Kourosh Ziabari, a political correspondent with the Foreign Policy Journal, agreed. "Even if we take into account the possibility of electoral fraud, which I categorically think should be investigated, it is still realistic to believe that Ahmadinejad was the winner," he told The Media Line. 

"As a self proclaimed reformist journalist I am trying to be unbiased and objective, and whether the elections have been rigged or not, Mr. Ahmadinejad enjoys high popularity, especially in the countryside and among low income city dwellers. His victory was not such a surprise, even to reformists."

Iran's Guardian Council said Tuesday that there was "no major fraud" in the disputed June 12 elections and ruled out setting aside the results - less than 24 hours after conceding that there had been voting irregularities in 50 Iranian cities.

The council, Iran's highest legislative body responsible for overseeing controversial elections, rejected calls to annul and repeat the elections despite over a week of the worst protests Iran has seen in decades.

“If a major breach occurs in an election, the Guardian Council may annul the votes that come out of a particular affected ballot box, polling station, district, or city,” Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, the spokesperson for the Guardian Council, said. "Fortunately, in the recent presidential election we found no witness of major fraud or breach in the election. Therefore, there is no possibility of an annulment taking place.” 

The statement came one day after the body had acknowledged voting irregularities in 50 Iranian districts, most notably that the number of votes collected was more than the number of eligible voters.

"Statistics provided by the candidates, who claim more than 100% of those eligible have cast their ballot in 80-170 cities are not accurate," the spokesperson told a state broadcaster. "The incident has happened in only 50 cities."

The Guardian Council depicted the questionable votes as a run-of-the-mill irregularity resulting from the lack of a legal prohibition on voters casting a ballot twice in two different districts. While the phenomenon may have affected three million votes, the council maintained that incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have won by a landslide in any case.

Official results place Ahmadinejad at 63% of the vote, almost double that of Mir Hossein Moussavi, his principal challenger.

The Guardian Council is an appointed body of 12 clerics and Islamic law experts close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Many opposition leaders and senior Iranian clerics have claimed the council is ‘cherry-picked’ by Khamenei loyalists and have called for an independent probe. 

Protests continued in the streets of Tehran on Tuesday despite warnings from Iran's Revolutionary Guards, an elite armed force, and the Basij volunteer militia. At least 19 people have been killed in daily protests since the elections.

"The real question is whether the security forces that are loyal to the regime will have the stomach to do what it takes to repress protests," Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi, Executive Director of the Transatlantic Institute and author of Under a Mushroom Cloud - Europe, Iran and the Bomb, told The Media Line. 

The size of street demonstrations has slowly dwindled since a climax last week, but as the government cracks down, protests have become more confrontational and violent. Police in Tehran have utilized tear gas, live ammunition and helicopters to break up small groups from gathering in the streets.

Independent verification of protests and casualties has been almost impossible due to severe government restrictions on media over the past week. Even the number of reporters detained, said by  Reporters Without Borders to be 34, has been difficult to verify.

The Iranian government, and even some reformists, have said the upheaval is largely a result of Western meddling.

"A majority of people are dissatisfied with the current situation, with President Ahmadinejad and his policies, and a number of other issues," Ziabari said. "But at the same time, we believe faithfully that our domestic problems are 'none of their business', and even if we hold rallies and massive protests, we want the domestic authorities to hear our call."

"The West is just inflaming the unrest with outrageous media coverage and political comments," the reformist correspondent continued. "Democracy is not an absolute concept, it's relative and Iran is moving towards democracy." 

"If Western governments and western media really care about democracy in our region, why don't they take steps to democratize Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Pakistan - all their staunch allies? The way that the West - both governments and media - approach Iran is not about promoting democracy, it's about Iran not being an ally of the West."

Another Iranian Revolution?

Kourosh Ziabari - Foreign Policy Journal: From the most ardent enemies to the most cordial friends, everybody is now monitoring and commenting on Iran’s 2009 Presidential Elections, which resulted to the reelection of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the extension of his mission for another four-year term.

The enemies confirmed their credulousness and myopia by garnering the hopes for a possible overthrow of the Islamic government after groups of frustrated people poured into the streets for some 6 days to protest what they called the “widespread fraud and manipulation” in the electoral results, while Iran’s traditional and long-time friends , including Lebanon, China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Azerbaijan, and Qatar, demonstrated their loyalty by dispatching the immediate congratulatory messages.

Everything was started when the Interior Ministry announced on the night of Saturday, June 13, that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected to office for another four years as he won a categorical majority of 63% of the votes, blowing a heavy defeat to the reformist hopeful Mir-Hossein Mousavi by a margin of 11 million votes.

According to this official stats, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be the most popular president of Iran since the beginning of Islamic Revolution, surpassing even the victory of ex-President Mohammad Khatami in 1997, when he won 21 million votes.

The Interior Ministry declared the landslide victory for Mr. Ahmadinejad with 24.5 million votes whereas the majority of pre-election polls and surveys had indicated a narrow and close rivalry between the two main contenders, even expecting the likelihood of a second run-off round to determine the ultimate result. The National Election Commission also announced an infinitesimal minority of 330,000 votes to the other reformist candidate, Mehdi Karroubi, whose votes didn’t exceed the total of 460,000 invalid blank votes also cast.

The members at national Electoral Campaign of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who were apprehensive about the possible ballot-rigging in favor of the incumbent president since the commencement of campaigns and advertisements, held several rounds of emergency meetings to finds solutions, and the only answer they could find was to spearhead street demonstrations and rallies to protest.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Interview with Morteza Nabavi

IslamOnline - Kourosh Ziabari: Born in 1947, Morteza Nabavi is a moderate right-wing Iranian Conservative and the managing director of the conformist Resalat newspaper. Being a founding member of the Resalat Foundation, Morteza Nabavi served one term as the Minister of Post, Telegraph and Telephone (now the Ministry of ICT) under Prime Minister Mirhossein Mousavi.

Nabavi, who used to be a critic of Mousavi's government, advocates the reelection of the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In an exclusive interview for, the former Iranian ICT Minister and the current deputy head of the Islamic Society of Engineers talks about Ahmadinejad and the prospects of his reelection.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Quién es quién en las elecciones presidenciales de 2009 en Irán

Kourosh Ziabari, Manuel Cedeño Berrueta y Manuel TalensLas 10as elecciones presidenciales en Irán se aproximan a su etapa final. Los 46 millones de iraníes habilitados para votar decidirán el 12 de junio, entre los cuatro candidatos aprobados por el Consejo de Guardianes, si el Presidente en funciones Ahmadineyad desempeñará el cargo durante otro período de cuatro años o no.

Ahmadineyad, actual presidente conservador de línea dura, que busca ser reelecto para un segundo período de cuatro años; el reformista ex primer ministro Mirhossein Mousavi; el ex presidente del parlamento Mahdi Karroubi, y el general de división Mohsen Rezaee, ex comandante en jefe del Ejército de los Guardianes de la Revolución Islámica, son los cuatro personajes que los iraníes evaluarán el 12 de junio, día decisivo cuando será electa la primera autoridad ejecutiva de Irán para ocupar el palacio presidencial de Teherán.

Iran : le who’s who de l’élection présidentielle

Traduit par Fausto Giudice

L’échéance de la 10ème élection présidentielle se rapproche en Iran. Le 12 juin, 46 millions d’électeurs choisiront parmi les 4 candidats retenus par le Conseil des Gardiens de la Révolution et décideront si le président Ahmadinejad va renouveler son mandat ou non.

Les quatre candidats sont le président conservateur Ahmadinejad, qui est impatient de voir sa mission prolongée pour encore 4 ans, l'ancien Premier ministre réformateur Mir-Hossein Mousavi, l'ex-chef du parlement Mahdi Karroubi et l'ancien commandant en chef de l’Armé des Gardiens de la Révolution islamique Mohsen Rezaï. Lequel occupera-t-il le palais présidentiel de la rue Pasteur à Téhéran?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tiny Literry Giant

Istanbul Literary Review - Kourosh Ziabari: Adora Svitak always narrates a delicate reminiscence of my childhood years to me. The 11-year old writer and illustrator who is considered as a distinguished child prodigy and internationally published author of storybooks for children has published two books so far with 3 others in queue.

Once ABC's Diane Sawyer called Adora a "Tiny Literary Giant" which I believe describes her realistically. I faithfully believe that these tiny giants, whom the "superiors" and "seniors" usually overlook, are the major decision-makers who can tremble and quake their world if endowed with the chance, confidence and opportunity.

I remember myself when cavorting and frolicking over my 10s, thinking of myself as the UN Secretary General of 2050 or a Nobel Peace Prize Winner and such ambitious aspirations which I'd protracted an elaborate list for.

At that time and by the end of 2000, when I had overlapped 10, I could fluently speak in 4 live languages, had published near to 1000 articles and short stories both in English and Persian, my maternal tongue, and had given several lectures and interviews in local stages.

However, I failed to climb the pinnacles which I'd sketched for my prospect, and this failure has perpetually underscored for me, the importance of expected and accepted patronage, auspices and sponsorship; that you cannot overrule the "customs which rule the law" and that you cannot uplift yourself when you are deprived of the aides and assistances conforming to your dexterities.

The mediums and outlets which had promoted me, in spite of their fervent endeavors, were not appearing on a global level and their contributions to the mainstream was slightly insignificant, although they were nationals ones; hence I could not draw the attractions in actual fact and now, should be branded a "burnt pawn".

Continues Here

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"L’Iran est trop indépendant et désobéissant"

Ce n’est pas la peine d’introduire Noam Chomsky par une note. Il est sans conteste l’analyste et le conférencier en sociologie politique le plus important de la période contemporaine. Comme l’écrit le Guardian, «  il fait partie des dix sources les plus citées dans le domaine des lettres aux côtés de Marx, de Shakespeare et de la Bible, et il est le seul parmi ces auteurs à être encore vivant ».

Entretien avec Noam Chomsky 
Par Kourosh Ziabari & Sacha Sher

Aux Nations Unies, le président vénézuélien Hugo Chavez a évoqué Hegemony or Survival de Chomsky en ces termes : « J’aimerais inviter très respectueusement ceux d’entre vous qui n’ont pas lu ce livre de le faire ». 
En 2006, en réponse à une question posée par un correspondant du New Statesman, Andrew Stephen, sur ce qu’il aurait fait s’il avait été président des États-Unis, Chomsky a proposé ceci : « Je mettrais sur pied un Tribunal contre les crimes de guerre à propos de mes propres crimes, parce que si je m’engage dans cette position [il me faudrait] m’occuper de la structure et de la culture institutionnelles, de la culture intellectuelle. La culture doit être guérie ». 
Au cours de cet entretien avec le professeur Chomsky, nous avons parlé de l’Iran, de la question nucléaire, des relations entre Washington et Téhéran et de l’impact global des lobbys sionistes. Un extrait de cette conversation a d’abord été publiée dans le Tehran Times, le principal journal iranien en anglais.

Q - Professeur Chomsky, vous avez réitéré à plusieurs reprises que la majorité des pays dans le monde soutenaient le dossier nucléaire iranien, y compris des membres du Mouvement des Non Alignés. Pourtant, les néo-cons américains claironnent toujours leurs slogans bellicistes. Pourquoi ?

R - Il n’y a pas que le mouvement non aligné. La majorité des Américains croient aussi que l’Iran a le droit de développer l’énergie nucléaire. Mais presque personne n’en est conscient aux États-Unis, y compris ceux qui sont sondés, et qui pensent sans doute être les seuls à avoir cette opinion. On ne publie jamais rien là-dessus. Ce qui apparaît, constamment, dans les médias, c’est que « la communauté internationale » demande à l’Iran d’arrêter d’enrichir de l’uranium. On ne souligne quasiment jamais que l’expression « communauté internationale » est classiquement utilisée pour désigner Washington et tous ceux qui en viennent à s’aligner avec elle, pas seulement sur cette question, mais d’une manière assez générale.

Q - La plupart des analyses en affaires internationales ne parviennent toujours pas à digérer le deux poids deux mesures du gouvernement US sur le nucléaire. Tout en soutenant l’arsenal nucléaire d’Israël, les États-Unis font continuellement pression sur l’Iran pour mettre un terme à ses programmes nucléaires civils. Quelles en sont les raisons ? Est-ce que l’AIEA a autorité pour enquêter sur les cas d’armement atomique d’Israël ?

R - A la base, il y a ce point expliqué de manière candide par Henry Kissinger lorsque le Washington Post lui demanda pourquoi il prétendait désormais que l’Iran n’avait pas besoin d’énergie nucléaire et devait donc être en train d’élaborer une bombe, alors que dans les années soixante-dix il insistait vigoureusement pour dire que l’Iran avait besoin d’énergie nucléaire et que les Etats-Unis devaient donner au Shah les moyens de la développer. Sa réponse était du pur Kissinger : « C’était un pays allié » donc ils avaient besoin d’énergie nucléaire. Maintenant que ce n’est plus un allié, ils n’ont donc plus besoin d’énergie nucléaire. Quant à Israël, c’est un allié, et plus précisément un état client. Donc ils héritent du maître le droit de faire comme bon leur semble.

L’AIEA a l’autorité qu’il faut, mais les États-Unis ne permettraient jamais qu’elle l’exerce. La nouvelle administration US n’a pas montré de signes qu’il en serait en quoi que ce soit autrement.

Q - Il y a quatre États souverains qui n’ont pas encore ratifié le TNP [traité de non-prolifération nucléaire] et qui aspirent librement à détenir des armes nucléaires. Est-ce que l’Iran échapperait aux pressions fréquentes s’il revenait sur cette ratification et se retirait du traité ?

R - Non, cela ne ferait qu’accentuer les pressions. A part la Corée du Nord, tous ces pays ont droit à un soutien considérable de la part des États-Unis. L’administration Reagan faisait semblant de ne pas savoir que son allié, le Pakistan, développait des armes nucléaires, afin que la dictature puisse recevoir une aide massive de la part des États-Unis. Ceux-ci ont donné leur accord pour aider l’Inde à développer ses installations nucléaires, et Israël est un cas spécial.

Q - Quels sont les facteurs qui peuvent empêcher que se tiennent des discussions directes entre l’Iran et les États-Unis ? Est-ce que l’influence du lobby israélien sur le régime capitaliste des États-Unis est un facteur essentiel ?

R - Le lobby israélien a une certaine influence, mais elle est limitée. Cela a été à nouveau démontré dans le cas de l’Iran l’été dernier, durant la campagne présidentielle, un moment où l’influence des lobbys en est à son paroxysme. Le Lobby israélien voulait que le Congrès vote une législation aboutissant pratiquement à un blocus de l’Iran, un acte de guerre. La mesure reçut énormément de soutiens avant de disparaître soudainement, probablement parce que la Maison Blanche avait clairement fait comprendre, simplement, qu’elle était contre.

Quant aux vrais facteurs, nous n’avons pas encore les archives internes qu’il faut, alors il nous faut spéculer. On sait bien qu’une proportion largement majoritaire d’Américains veut avoir des relations normales avec l’Iran, mais l’opinion publique influence rarement la politique. Les principales grandes compagnies US, dont les puissantes compagnies énergétiques, aimeraient être en mesure d’exploiter les ressources pétrolières de l’Iran. Mais l’État insiste pour qu’il en soit autrement. Je suppose que la principale raison en est que l’Iran est simplement trop indépendant et désobéissant. Les grandes puissances ne le tolèrent pas dans ce qu’elles jugent être leurs domaines [NdT : réservés], et les régions qui produisent beaucoup d’énergie pour le monde ont longtemps été considérées comme étant le domaine de l’alliance Anglo-américaine, avec une Grande Bretagne désormais réduite au niveau de partenaire subalterne.

Q - Est-ce qu’on verra, durant le mandat d’Obama, une transformation tactique ou systématique de l’approche des médias américains institués envers l’Iran ? Devra-t-on s’attendre à une interruption de l’immense propagande noire anti-iranienne ?

R - En général, les médias adhèrent de près à la structure générale de la politique de l’État, bien que ces politiques soient parfois critiquées au niveau tactique. Par conséquent, cela dépend beaucoup de la position que l’administration Obama va prendre.

Q - Et enfin, pensez-vous que le président US devrait suivre la proposition iranienne et demander pardon pour ses crimes passés contre l’Iran ?

R - Je pense que les puissants devraient toujours avouer leurs crimes et demander pardon aux victimes et, en fait, aller beaucoup plus loin en attribuant des réparations. Malheureusement, le monde est avant tout gouverné par la maxime de Thucydide : les forts font comme ils l’entendent, et les faibles souffrent comme il se doit.Lentement, au fil du temps, et d’un point de vue général, le monde devient plus civilisé. Mais il reste encore beaucoup de chemin à faire.

Source :

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Interview with German MP Ruprecht Polenz

Middle East Online - Kourosh Ziabari: The idea is for a regional political approach to get Afghanistan's neighbours more strongly involved in this process than previously, something which is also in the interest of all neighbouring states, says Ruprecht Polenz.

 [An interview with Ruprecht Polenz by Kourosh Ziabari]

Although the level of bilateral ties between Iran and the EU members have undergone a sharp decline over the country's nuclear controversy, Germany is still among the top three trade partners of the Islamic Republic.

Traditionally, Germany has been a close EU ally of Iran which tended to preserve its political association and diplomatic conciliation with the country, even in the face of nuclear conflict, so as to safeguard its widespread financial interests all around the oil-rich Persian Gulf nation

According to the German Foreign Ministry, the entire value of goods imported from Iran in 2008 floated around €577.8 million which indicates a prominent €115 million rise in compare with 2005 when the hard-hitting anti-Iranian sanctions had not been passed yet.

However, the political atmosphere of bilateral relations saw a dramatic deterioration over the past 4 years and the only high-level meeting between the officials of two countries toke place when the Iranian FM Manouchehr Mottaki sat face-to-face with his Deutsch counterpart Frank Walter-Steinmeier in 2006 in Berlin.

In the recent weeks, however, a delegation of Iranian lawmakers and MPs went on a brief trip to Germany so as to hold talks with the Deutsch Bundesinnenminister (Interior Minister) Wolfgang Schaeuble and the influential Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Parliament Ruprecht Polenz.

In an exclusive interview, Ruprecht Polenz talked to me on the prospect of Iran-Germany relations, the common grounds of cooperation and the main rifts which is holding the two partners apart from each other.

"During the course of the visit, we met the Iranian delegation on three occasions for very intensive discussions," told Polenz on the details of his March 5 meeting with Alaeddin Borujerdi, the Chairman for the Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of the Iranian Parliament, "the discussions centered on the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the situation in the Middle East, the situation in Iraq, the Iran-US relations, the Iranian nuclear program and human-rights situation, in particular the imposition of death sentence for minors, and the situation of the Baha'is."

Polenz admits the existence of traditionally peaceful ties with Iran: "Germany has traditionally maintained good relations with Iran. In the EU 3 + 3 negotiations, though, we are not participating as mediators, but rather as part of the international community of states," he asserts, "which has made far-reaching proposals to Iran on cooperation and, in return, expects objective guarantees that the Iranian nuclear program will remain peaceful in the long term."

Nevertheless, Germany seems to share the same ideals and standards on Iran's nuclear issue that is a frequent demand for the suspension of uranium enrichment as a precondition to enter the multilateral ties.

Answering to the question that "whether the stance of Germany on Iran's nuclear issue is impartial enough while the ongoing Israel's nuclear expansions and ambitions are left unanswered", Polenz states: "Germany is one of those countries which decided against having nuclear weapons. We would like to see a strengthening of the non-proliferation regime," he concludes, "Germany therefore expects substantial progress on nuclear disarmament at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference next year."

He meanwhile reveals the very core of what the EU, G5+1 and US are looking for; preventing a new atomic power to emerge when there is no particular leverage to disarm the already developed arsenals: "at the same time, progress should be achieved in preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons amongst states which are not yet nuclear powers," he reiterates "and this might include, for example, strengthening the monitoring powers of the International Atomic Energy Agency, making it more difficult to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty and abandon the non-proliferation regime and, above all, the commitment to only carry out uranium enrichment in future in a multinational framework, subject to strict supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency."

Continues Here

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Noam Chomsky Speaks Out on Iran

Kourosh Ziabari - Tehran Times: Noam Chomsky believes Iran is being pressured because of its independent stance, which the major powers view as disobedience.

Chomsky made the remarks in an interview conducted through email by Kourosh Ziabari for the Tehran Times, in which he also talked about the prospects for direct talks between Iran and the United States.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: Professor Chomsky, you have stated several times that most of the countries of the world, including the members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), support Iran’s efforts to develop its civilian nuclear energy program, but some voices in the United States are still making hawkish comments. Why is that the case?

A: Not only the Non-Aligned Movement, but also the large majority of Americans believe that Iran has the right to develop nuclear energy. But almost no one in the U.S. is aware of this. That includes those who are polled, and probably think they are the only ones who hold these beliefs. Nothing is ever published about it. What appears in the media, constantly, is that the “international community” demands that Iran stop uranium enrichment. Almost nowhere is it brought out that the term “international community” is used conventionally to refer to Washington and whoever happens to go along with it, not just on this issue, but quite generally.

Q: The U.S. government is clearly practicing double standards in its foreign policy. While supporting Israel’s right to possess a nuclear arsenal, the U.S. is relentlessly pressuring Iran to halt its civilian nuclear program. What are your views on this? And does the International Atomic Energy Agency have the authority to investigate Israel’s nuclear weapons program?

A: The basic point was explained very candidly by Henry Kissinger. He was asked by the Washington Post why he now claims that Iran does not need nuclear energy so it must be working on building a bomb, while in the 1970s he insisted forcefully that Iran needs nuclear energy and the U.S. must provide the shah with the means to develop it. His answer was pure Kissinger: “They were an allied country” so they needed nuclear energy. Now they are not an ally, so they do not need nuclear energy. As for Israel, it is an ally, more accurately a client state. So they inherit from the master the right to do as they please.

The IAEA has the authority, but the U.S. would never permit them to exercise it. The new U.S. administration has given no indication that it is any different.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Interview with Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh

Foreign Policy Journal - Kourosh Ziabari: Prof. Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh is a prominent Iranian scholar of foreign policy and international relations. Alongside Prof. Hamid Mowlana, he is considered to be one of Iran’s foreign policy academia giants.

Despite his non-alignment to governmental organizations and his partial residence in London, where he chairs the Urosevic Research Foundation, Mojtahedzadeh explicitly defends Iran’s “inalienable right to possess peaceful nuclear energy” and criticizes the U.S. of applying double standards in the Middle East. He has been long avoided by the mainstream media outlets, as he represents an independent and objective voice regarding the issues of Iran.

Prof. Mojtahedzadeh obtained his professorship of Political Geography from the University of London and was a consultant for United Nations University from 1995 to 1996.
His recent book Boundary Politics and International Boundaries of Iran was published by the Universal Publishers in USA and he usually appears on independent media outlets, alternative newspapers and even the anti-Iranian chained radio and TV channels to propound his viewpoints.

Here is the first part of Foreign Policy Journal’s interview with Prof. Mojtahedzadeh in which he discusses a broad range of Iran-related issues, from the nuclear standoff to the Persian Gulf disputes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Interview with South African Journalist

Kourosh Ziabari - Foreign Policy Journal: The Black Continent has long suffered identically from what the oil-rich countries such as Iran have undergone historically. The pervasiveness of energy resources, minerals, profuse water, oil and gas supplies, gemstones and other precious resources have been the ancient reason for Africa's subjugation and affliction.

The perennial rivalry of Colonial Powers to gain the ownership of more African lands and properties, their insatiable aptitude to take over tiny African realms and archipelagos and eventually the political failure of unmerited leaders all around the continent could be named the major factors which have been pushing 53 countries and 61 territories to the brink of poverty, conflict and disappointment over the past decades.

Africa is undisputedly an ancient, reputable and prestigious continent which should be taken seriously as a key role-player in international developments. It constitutes 6% of Earth's total surface, accounts for about 14.8% of the World's population and has been the passageway between Asia and Europe.

However, the distorted image of Africa as a downtrodden yet profitable and lucrative continent is portrayed by the mass media. The success stories of democratization in a number of African countries, the rise of hopes and aspirations among the youth generation of Africa and the promotion of numerous prominent figures from this advantageous soil are the neglected stories which should be reviewed.

We owe many of our progressions and improvements to the African figures whom we even sometimes forget the nationalities of; notable figures include Nelson Mandela, Fredrik Willem de Klerk, Kofi Annan, Wangari Mathaai, Naguib Mahfouz, and Mohammad ElBaradei.

Alex Matthews is a South African citizen journalist and blogger who has been working on the dossiers of Africa for quite a long time. He is affiliated with his country's most important newspaper, Mail and Guardian and writes in his blog Afrodissident.

In an interview with Foreign Policy Journal, Matthews talks about the current situation of some insurgent spots of the African continent, the prospect of economic development, the most important sports event of the continent in 2010 and the local failures of states in Zimbabwe and Sudan.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Interview with Pres. Ahmadinejad's Media Advisor

Kourosh Ziabari - TimeTurk: Some scattered news sources reported last week that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul will be traveling to Iran shortly for the first time during his tenure. This official journey would be responded by a second visit to Turkey by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The level of mutual ties of Iran and Turkey has been boosted under President Ahmadinejad and now Iran deems Turkey as its major ally in the region and a proper passageway toward the EU, as well.

The common presence of Iran and Turkey in the Economic Cooperation Organization, Organization of Islamic Conference and their close political approaches paved the ground for an increase of economic and political ties productively and the level of mutual trade deals now stands on $10bln a year.

In an exclusive interview with Time Turk, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, a high-ranking media advisor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talked about his viewpoints on the prospect of Iran-Turkey relations, the cultural affinities of two nations and the common grounds of bilateral cooperation.

Javanfekr is among the rare governmental politicians who blog regularly. He updates his blog more than once a week and receives an average of 50 comments for each of his posts. The interesting fact is that he responds to all of the comments individually and many of the ordinary citizens have found this a brilliant opportunity to propound their personal messages to the president or their economic, financial and social problems to be pursued by the advisor.

What follows is the complete text of our interview with Mr. Javanfekr ...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Iran bans 'Gulf'-named vessels

Iran has decided to prevent vessels that carry the term 'Gulf' instead of 'Persian Gulf' in their name, from entering the country's waters.

"As certain countries have been making mischievous attempts to change the true name of the 'Persian Gulf ', we see the term 'Gulf' used in the name of a number of vessels," deputy head of a provincial ports and seafaring authority Ali-Reza Khojasteh, said according to a Monday report by the Iran daily.

"These vessels will be prevented from reaching the country's southern coasts from here onwards," he added.

During the past few years, some Arab countries that lie on the shores of the Persian Gulf have intensified their efforts to change the ancient designation of the water way, with the specific aim of removing the 'Persian' from the name and eventually replacing it with 'Arabian'.

Western powers have not refrained from aiding efforts to change the name, which has ordained world maps, atlases, and globes for many centuries.

In one of the latest cases, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown referred to the Persian Gulf in a June 26 public address as 'Gulf of Arabia', a move that was strongly condemned by Iran.

Despite attempts to create confusion and spread alternate use of the two terms, the United Nations Secretariat has repeatedly asked its staff to use only the full name of 'Persian Gulf' as the standard geographical term.

In 1994 and 1999, the UN Secretariat also issued two editorial directives, clarifying that only the term 'Persian Gulf' should be used in UN documents.

The International Hydrographic Organization also recognizes the name 'Persian Gulf', as outlined in the organization's reference S-23 (Limits of Oceans and Seas), section 41.

The IHO provides hydrographic information for international marine navigation and other purposes. The data provided by this organization is used as an official source for atlases, geographical information systems and scientific activities throughout the world.

According to British archaeologist Dr. Lloyd Weeks, the title of 'Persian Gulf' is deeply rooted in history and any attempt at changing it will be pointless.
"All historical texts have cited 'Persian Gulf' by the same name and world's reputed academic circles recognize it by the same title," Weeks says.