Monday, May 31, 2010

What if Iran had carried out the Gaza carnage?


Kourosh Ziabari - Daily News Corner: It’s not unjustifiable to consider Israel as the absolute incarnation of fraudulence, relentlessness and brutality. Since its establishment, the Zionist regime has carried out actions which contravene the international regulations and cancel out the human rights in a way or another. Only a brief look into the account of Israel’s bloody interaction with the Palestinian people over the past years shows us that this fabricated regime does not deserve “the right of existence”, as the U.S. and European officials put it periodically.

The Monday assault of the Israel Defense Forces into the flotilla of humanitarian aids which was heading to the besieged Gaza Strip from Turkey left at least 10 dead and several other wounded. Never mind that Israel’s criminal action violated the 4th Geneva 1949 Convention. Just imagine for a single moment that Iran had carried out the carnage instead of Israel. Simply replace the two names and then read the news as reported by CNN: “The Free Gaza Movement, one of the organizers of the aid, said that Israeli commandos dropped from a helicopter onto the deck of one of the ships early Monday and immediately opened fire on unarmed civilians.”

Continues here

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Morality still alive in the wold

Kourosh Ziabari - Press TV: Israel's continued repression of the Palestinian populace for the past 60 years has not been limited to land invasions, military operations, collective punishments, extrajudicial imprisonment, blockades and financial sanctions.

Tel Aviv's propaganda machine has enabled the regime to wage a long-term, multi-faceted war on the Palestinians; a war, which includes air and ground assaults on one side and psychological warfare on the other.

It's widely believed that the majority of mainstream media in the United Kingdom and the United States are being controlled by wealthy Zionists who specify the trajectory and stance of these outlets in lieu of feeding them financially.

There are several examples and instances which demonstrate that a large portion of the world's mainstream media is being controlled and directed by individuals of this political persuasion. Some analysts and investigative journalists have even gone so far as to claim that 97 percent of the world media conglomerates are owned by Zionist executives. Although such allegations might be hard to believe initially, a brief review of the history and background of these media outlets indicates that the claim does have some basis.

Continues here

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ferdowsi, the reviver of Persian language

Kourosh Ziabari - Press TV: The United Nation's cultural body (UNESCO) has named the year 2010 as 1000th anniversary of the composition of The Shahnameh, the renowned national epic of the Persian-speaking world which has been traditionally a source of honor and a manifestation of ancestral identity to the Iranian people and nations such as Tajikistan and Afghanistan who have loyally stuck to their lingual and cultural background after separation from Iran.

The Shahnameh is the result of 30 years of unyielding and steadfast endeavor by the master of Persian literature, Hakim Abulqasim Ferdowsi who is known to the Iranian people and the Persian speaking nations as the reviver of Persian language. Iranians owe to Ferdowsi the survival and fortification of their language and that is why Ferdowsi is considered to be the most prominent Persian poet of all times, even though there are disputes between the scholars who believe that Ferdowsi's work, in a literary and formational context, cannot be compared to those of Hafiz, Sa'di, Rumi and Rudaki as the nature of Ferdowsi's work is essentially different from what other notable Persian poets have brought into existence; however, to the majority of scholars, researchers and literary experts, The Shahnameh, regardless of its format and content, features because of its remarkable contribution to the culture of Iran and the historical identity of Iranian people.

It is widely believed that Ferdowsi started the composition of The Shahnameh when he was 30 years old. According to his own poetry, Ferdowsi invested more than 30 years on the foundation of The Shahnameh to preserve the heritage of Persian language.

The Shahnameh is a mythical, 30,000-distich poetic opus which is dedicated to the history of ancient Iran. The content of The Shahnameh can be divided into three main sections: the mythical age, the heroic age and the historical age. In the mythical age, Ferdowsi demonstrates his adherence to the moral and ethical values by praising and eulogizing the Almighty God whom he considers, thanks to his Muslim background and monotheistic mindset, the sole creator of the universe and only initiator of the life. He starts his poetic oration in the name of God:

In the name of the Lord of both wisdom and mind,
To nothing sublimer can thought be applied

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Iran was not what we had thought"

Kourosh Ziabari - Although the relentless and incessant spates of mainstream media's psychological warfare have turned Iran into a hazardous and insecure region in the eyes of global public opinions, thousands of Western tourists "take the risk" of traveling to Iran each year to behold in person the concealed and withheld realities of the peaceful and magnificent Iran which a hawkish leader had idiotically categorized as a part of the so-called "Axis of Evil".

The American, French, German, British and Australian citizens who voluntarily travel to Iran to discover the veiled face of this ancient land usually confess identically that Iran had not been what they had thought. The interesting similarity in the viewpoints and statements of the Western citizens who find their preconceptions and prejudgments about Iran absolutely unfounded and erroneous upon visiting the country clearly reveals the fact that the Western corporate media are portraying Iran antagonistically and this is simply a misleading indoctrination to the global audiences who don't have sufficient information about Iran, its ancient civilization, history and contemporary developments.

The foreign tourists, specially the western journalists and artists who come to Iran to examine the veracity of their countries' media propaganda, usually get surprised and astonished by arriving at the splendor of Iran, its cultural heritage, industrial advancements and natural beauties.

The Western mainstream media's dominant trajectory with regard to Iran is mere demonization and nothing else. They never run a documentary about the ancient buildings of Iran. They never show the glorious mosques and palaces of Iran. They never introduce the young geniuses and talents of Iran. They never allow anything about the scientific and artistic breakthroughs of Iranians to be disclosed and discussed. They never allow their audiences to know that Iran has been historically the land of architecture, carpet, saffron and pistachio. Their only agendum is to shrewdly withhold from the public what exalts Iran and maliciously exaggerate what chips away at Iran.

Continues here

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Whither the Nobel Peace Prize?

Kourosh Ziabari - Press TV: To the disappointed and dejected people of the world who had witnessed the dark and gloomy years of George W. Bush's presidency, Barack Obama's electoral slogan of "change" seemed to be an encouraging pledge of rebirth and revitalization which could eventually extricate them from war, destruction, sanction and militarism.

Obama's catchphrase of "change" was so inspirational and exciting that 140 heads of state sent him congratulatory messages upon his election as the President of the United States in 2008. The whole world believed that a new change would be underway; a change that had seemed basically unreachable under the ex-President Bush.

Barack Obama, who endeavored to appeal to the Americans as a pacifist politician who has come to revamp the public image of his country in the eyes of public opinion and put an end to the hawkish policies of his republican predecessor, won the hearts and souls of his compatriots by promising them to pursue a strategy of d├ętente, withdraw the troops from Iraq, seek reconciliation with Iran and put forward a comprehensive public healthcare program.

With his matchless features as an African American president with Muslim background, Obama indicated his willingness to be reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln for his fellow citizens; therefore, he intelligently began taking steps which would bring to the minds of Americans the delightful history of their country's rescue from the Civil War under Lincoln. Firstly, he announced his candidacy for the president of the United States before the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln delivered his memorable "House Divided" speech in 1858.

Harold Holzer, the American writer and Lincoln biographer believes that from the beginning of his political career, Obama tried to model himself on Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States and one of the most popular figures in the history of the country. They both became lawyers and consequently served in the state legislature and then served a single term in the Congress. It goes without saying that they both come from the same state: Illinois.

Continues here

Friday, May 21, 2010

The heritage of Omar Khayyam

Kourosh Ziabari - Khayyam was born on May 18th in 1048 in the Neyshapur city of the Greater Iran. Now May 18th is dedicated to the commemoration of Omar Khayyam in the Iranian solar calendar; the calendar which Khayyam has invented himself. To the Western world which has always been enchanted by the magnificence and glory of oriental culture, Omar Khayyam is a venerable and honored figure who brings to mind the delicacy and gracefulness of ancient Persian civilization. The Iranian polymath, astronomer, philosopher and poet is internationally known for his insightful rubaiyyat (quatrains) which the influential British poet Edward FitzGerald translated from Persian into English 150 years ago.

Omar Khayyam is considered to be an inseparable part of Iran's impressive history of literature and science. He is associated with the development of the most accurate solar calendar of the world, namely the Jalali calendar, which, according to the astronomers and mathematicians is far more exact and precise than the Gregorian calendar. It's said that the solar calendar which Omar Khayyam devised shows an error in the calculation of days and months only once in each 10,000 years.

The literary potency of Khayyam was so significant that made him the best composer of quatrains among the Persian poets; however, he is also known for his contributions to astronomy and one of his most major breakthroughs was the reformation of Persian calendar under the Seljuk King Sultan Jalal al-Din Malekshah Saljuqi after whom the Persian solar calendar was named.

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Read the whole article in World Sentinel

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tehran Declaration: Nuclear Victory for Iran

Kourosh Ziabari - Press TV: Any conscious and truthful observer will unequivocally testify that the trilateral agreement between Iran, Turkey and Brazil over the nuclear fuel swap which was concluded on the sidelines of G-15 summit in Tehran has practically put an end to the longstanding standoff surrounding Iran's nuclear program which the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council had artificially turned into an erosive global crisis.

Now, the concerns of France, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States, who over the past 6 years delusively pretended that Iran is after the development of nuclear weapons, are clearly addressed in the Declaration of Tehran and there remains no excuse for them to maintain their confrontational stance and protract the altercation anymore.

According to the agreement, which the majority of Western media outlets embraced traumatically, Iran will ship 1200 kg of its Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) to Turkey for safekeeping and receive 120 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium instead. The 20-percent enriched uranium will be used to warm up a research nuclear reactor in Tehran which aims to produce Technetium-99, a radioisotope which thousands of Iranians suffering from certain types of cancer are in dire need of.

Iran, whose clarity and transparency with regards to its nuclear program had been emphatically highlighted by the IAEA and its former chief Mohamed ElBaradei a number of times, does not possess nuclear weapons whereas all of the permanent members of UNSC who unjustifiably imposed three rounds of tough sanctions against Iran for its civilian nuclear program own enormous stockpiles of nuclear weapons at the same time as being the signatories of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Continues here

Monday, May 17, 2010

Interview with Prof. Michael Behe

Kourosh Ziabari - Salem News: Michael Behe is an American scientist and biochemist. Being an intelligent design advocate, he serves as a professor of biochemistry at the University of Lehigh in Pennsylvania. He is also a senior fellow at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture.

Behe has controversially challenged the evolution theory of Charles Darwin which underpins the ideology of western though with regards to the material life and universe.

In his 1996 book "Darwin's Black Box", Behe has proposed the notion of irreducible complexity which underscores the role of an intelligent designer in the emergence of complex biological systems. According to this theory, certain biological systems are too complex to have evolved from simpler and less complex predecessors.

The theory of Behe undermines the basis of atheism and secularism as it advocates the role of an intelligent, conscious designer in the creation of human being. That's why Michael Behe has been attacked and insulted by a number of his opponents and the materialist scientists who deny the existence of God.

Michael Behe has been accused of disseminating deceitful falsehood and what is describe as pseudo-science in the scientific circles around the world. Behe's theory has been labeled as argument from ignorance and the University of Lehigh has clearly distanced itself from his viewpoints regarding the evolution - creation debate.

Here is the complete text of interview with Michael Behe in which he describes why the western society is afraid of the propagation of "intelligent design" theory.

Continues here

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Just answer this simple question!

Kourosh Ziabari - Press TV: doesn't take that much time to contemplate over a simple question which has astoundingly remained unanswered so far: why should Israel possess nuclear weapons?

Initially, the most straightforward and easily reached answer may be that no country should own nuclear weapons as they pose serious threat to global security and breach international regulations. This clear-cut answer, though idealistic and impractical, is a logical and reliable statement. The life of each and every individual is precious and should be protected according to the laws of morality, and legally, on the basis of Geneva Conventions; nonetheless, this logical answer does not lead us towards an authentic conclusion regarding Israel's illogical nuclear program. a

Almost everyone knows that nuclear weapons are so devastative and perilous that they can potentially eradicate millions of people from the face of the earth in a twinkling. To visualize the extent of nuclear weapons' destructiveness, one should recall the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 that killed 225000 Japanese citizens in a matter of hours. This was a demonstration of U.S. military might that eventually ended in the death of thousands of innocent civilians and the permanent infection of thousands of others with various diseases.

The alternative response to the question proposed earlier may be that Israel is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and hence is not obligated to deactivate its nuclear arsenal and destroy the atomic warheads it obtains. This answer is worse than the earlier one; it actually ridicules the international conventions and discredits the NPT whatsoever. This answer explicitly invites the countries interested in developing nuclear weapons to be exempted from accountability before the international community by pulling out from the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Continues here

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Stand by Palestine

Kourosh Ziabari - Palestine Telegraph: In a recent interview which I conducted with the brave Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, he told me that he has never seen a nation to be as strong and powerful as the Palestinian nation.

I admire his statement. He is right in his position to say that the Palestinians are one of the strongest nations of the world. Palestinians are not well-off and sumptuous as the people of northern Europe, their annual GDP does not equate with that of Canada and France, they're not equipped with the state-of-the-art productions of technology, they don't have the capability to send all of their children to school to help them realize their dream of becoming useful and valuable individuals for the society, they don't live in edifices and penthouses and they don't earn $30,000 a year; however, they've achieved such sublime zeniths that takes hundreds of years for the other nations to accomplish.

Over the past 60 years, they've been under the incessant and unrelenting fire of a racist regime which is controlled by the people who don't understand anything of logic and reason. They've paid a high cost to preserve their values and morals against this chauvinistic regime.

Since September 29, 2000, some 6,348 Palestinians have been killed of which 1,441 ones were children; however, no "human rights" organization ringed a single alarm of sympathy with the nation of Palestine, as if that 6,348 killed people were not human beings to be taken into account.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Interview with Dr. Peter Feaver

Kourosh Ziabari - Palestine Think Tank: A Harvard University graduate, a current Alexander F. Hehmeyer Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Duke University, and the director of Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS), Peter D. Feaver is perhaps best known for his mission under President Bush as the special advisor for strategic planning and institutional reform on the National Security Council from 2005 to 2007.

The author of “Guarding the Guardians: Civilian Control of Nuclear Weapons in the United States” (Cornell University Press), he is an international relations expert and has long commented on issues pertaining to the Middle East and Iran.

In his recent commentary for Foreign Policy on recent post-election unrest in Iran and the inevitable intertwinement of Iran’s turmoil with the disputed proposal of direct negotiations between Tehran and Washington, Feaver writes: “We want to create and deepen fissures within the Tehran regime — check that, we need those fissures — because that is the only plausible way that a diplomatic deal on the nuclear file could be struck.”

Feaver is one of those American pundits who explicitly favor the imposition of hard-hitting sanctions against Iran so as to persuade Tehran to halt its “nuclear ambitions”. He adds in his Foreign Policy article: “Financial sanctions that activates business pressure on the regime and thereby deepens fissures within the political elite seemed to be our best shot at fissure-exacerbation.”

In Prof. Feaver’s view, the best diplomatic solution on Iran’s nuclear standoff is to endow Tehran with “fig-leafs”; giving Iran some rhetorical concessions by admitting its “right” to develop nuclear energy emblematically and pressuring it to suspend its nuclear program for “some long period of time” concurrently.

In an interview with Foreign Policy Journal, Peter D. Feaver discusses these and other issues.

Read here

Monday, May 10, 2010

The fate of political prisoners in Europe

Kourosh Ziabari - Press TV: To those who have irrevocably come to the conclusion that Europe is a "beacon of freedom", it might be interesting that the most famous political prisoners of the world are being kept in the jails of different European countries on a number of charges.

Western human rights organizations frequently attack Third World countries for what they consider to be the violation of human rights and repression of political activists in these countries.

Every day, the same headlines appear on the front-page of European and American newspapers, condemning the imprisonment of a journalist in this African country or the cessation of that newspaper's publication in Latin America; however, the mainstream media in the Western countries who sing their own praises of being ideologically independent and self-determining regardless of their respective governments' dictated trajectory, are witness to the evaporation of their prestige and reputation as a result of the hidden censorship and bowdlerization which they're subject to.

One of the most recent examples of the mainstream media's collective attempt to withhold from the public an event which could potentially recall the forgotten story of a western exercise of double standards was their joint silence concerning the freedom of Ernst Zundel, the most famous political prisoner in Europe who has spent 7 years of his life behind the bars in three countries: Canada, Germany and the United States.

Continues here

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Why don’t mainstream media publish us?

Kourosh Ziabari - Palestine Telegraph: "Fair and balanced," "news you can trust," "unbiased and accurate reporting" are phrases we have heard from western and mainstream media outlets. Yet, controversial topics, stories and articles that do not conform go uncovered, unpublished and, at best, underreported. The bias of the so-called unbiased outlets had led to an upsurge in alternative media outlets. Alternative media outlets give a voice to those whose views are quite different from the mainstream. The division begs the question: Why don’t mainstream media publish us?
Mainstream media, who take on the "they" in the dichotomy, are the chained, corporate media outlets whose interests are intertwined together. "They" are the news networks, websites, magazines and journals that fear a public backlash for not conforming to the political or ideological lines drawn. Selectively taking quotes or publishing only one side of the story by these outlets distort and withhold relevant information needed for an informed public to draw their own conclusion.

While there are many examples, only a few should drive the point home. Mainstream media used the term "nuclear energy" and "nuclear bomb" interchangeably when translating the speech of the Iranian president. The two, however, are not the same. Accurate translation, without bias, is important for the international community and the Iranian people. Mainstream media uses titles out of respect for those they like, and disrespectful ones for those they do not. They refer to the American President as President Obama and the Iranian President as "the hardliner." Media play a role in shaping the views of those who read or listen. The viewers are the ones who vote and support the policies of their governments.

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Why don't they publish us?

Kourosh Ziabari - Salem News: From the Guardian and New York Times to the Washington Post and Reuters, I've submitted several op-ed pieces and articles to the world's mainstream media outlets and newspapers over the past years. All of my submissions were responded identically: "Rejected"!

Intrinsically, it's an ambition of every journalist to reach out to a greater audience, achieve more exposure, make progress and improve his portfolio. Putting aside the primary motive of being renowned as a reference of public attention, the journalist aims to elevate his own viewpoint and advertise the way he looks into different matters as a precise and rectified account. The journalist is primarily looking for ways to exalt his own interpretation of stories and inculcate the reader a supposedly reliable, accurate analysis of a certain incident which is presumably "what he believes".

Thinking of methods to expand his coverage, journalist's principal purpose is to get in touch with the global audiences, instruct them on the basis of his own mindset, advocate a certain philosophy and denounce the other scopes of thought. This is actually how the journalist accomplishes his mission regardless of his ideological and reflective belongingness.

The inherent mission of a journalist is to enlighten the public opinions, help them distinguish the right from wrong and encourage the value of critical thinking. Although the journalism of 21st century has become an instrumental mechanism of disseminating falsehood, launching black propaganda and psychological warfare, the foremost responsibility of a journalist is to tell the truth even at the cost of his own defeat.

Anyway, I haven't come this long way to advocate the principles and fundamentals of journalism and sermonize about the basis of ethnic journalism; neither have I come to enumerate the responsibilities of a decent journalist and itemize his duties in respect of the public opinions. What I would like to discuss is the reasons why "they" don't publish "us". So who are these "they" and who are those "us"?

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Friday, May 07, 2010

Why I appreciate Press TV?

Kourosh Ziabari - Turkish Weekly Journal: Following the eruption of turmoil in Iran which lasted for several weeks after the reelection of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the June 12 presidential elections, Press TV, a 24-hour English-language TV network run by Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB, came under the fire of harsh criticism by British media outlets, including The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and The Times of London because of what they considered to be a “violation of neutrality” by the network.
This seemed to be simply a retaliatory act against Iranian statesmen’s explicit condemnation of the UK’s BBC, which they alleged provoked riot and insurgence in a turbulent Tehran.
Over the past two years and since it was launched in 2007, I’ve been a regular follower of both Press TV’s website and TV channel. Primarily, I admire the efforts of this Iranian news network, which has strived to function as the “podium of justice” and “voice of the voiceless”. Those who are familiar with the media atmosphere in Iran unanimously admit that Press TV is the most professional and unbiased outlet, at least among the state-funded media.

However, the tradition of calling Press TV a state-run or state-funded agency is a propagandistic technique which the western mainstream media have adopted collectively. Whenever citing something from Press TV, American and British mainstream media state the fact that the network is funded by Iranian government simply in order to cast doubt on the veracity and legitimacy of the source they’re citing. This is the fallacy of “ad hominem circumstantial”.

To illustrate, France 24 can be accurately called the French tantamount of Iran’s Press TV; it’s funded by the state with an initial budget of €100m and conventionally follows the theoretical line of French government. Nevertheless, a Google search for the term “state-funded France 24” returns just 253 results while “state-funded Press TV” returns 11,600 pages, an indication of the familiar exercise of double standards by the corporate media who rule hearts and minds.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Interview with Michael A. Hoffman

Kourosh Ziabari - Israel's ongoing conflict with Palestine, Iran's opposition and antagonism to Israel, American support for Israel and its inseparable alignment with Tel Aviv, Barack Obama's intentions of isolating Iran as an "existential threat" to Israel and Holocaust denial as a debate which was rejuvenated by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are all the interlinked stories which are floating around the Middle East these days.

The equations of Middle East are determined upon these themes and numerous people, including the historians, journalists, diplomats, politicians, authors and even artists are entangled in this circle: the circle of solving the question of Middle East.

Middle East has been historically a region of incredible and astonishing incidents. It's the region of Abrahamic religions, prophets, ancient civilizations, immeasurable natural resources, great men of history and unending conflicts over power, sovereignty, influence and wealth.

Michael A. Hoffman has joined us in an exclusive interview to discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict, Iran-U.S. proxy war in the Middle East and Holocaust as a historical incidence and its connection to the current affairs in the Persian Gulf region.

Born in 1954, New York, Hoffman is an American journalist, novelist writer and historical revisionist who introduces himself as a conspiracy theorist and holocaust denier. He doesn't deny the incidence of Holocaust as a historical fact; however, he raises doubts regarding the extent and degree of it as described by the mainstream historians. Hoffman runs the website

Here is the complete text of interview with Michael A. Hoffman.

Obama Threatens Iran with "All Options"

(Cartoon by Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff)

Kourosh Ziabari - Fog City Journal: The continued presence of all options on the table”; this is the disappointing message which a Nobel Peace Prize laureate dispatches internationally. In his latest interview with CBS news, American President Barack Obama refused to rule out the possibility of a military strike against Iran by harking back to the famous catchphrase of former U.S. President George W. Bush who once devised, regarding Iran’s nuclear program, the popular sentence of “all options are on the table”.

Putting the quality and quantity of these options aside, the very “table” on which the options should be placed is as well a matter of controversy. Who is in the position to decide the destiny of Iran’s nuclear program? Which table is the U.S. President referring to? What’s wrong with Iran’s nuclear program in lieu of which a 70-million nation should go on with crippling sanctions, continued threats of military strike, isolation and economic embargo? What’s the definite answer to the simple question that “why should the U.S., France and Israel possess nuclear weapons”? Which one is more offensive and violent? Iran’s nuclear program which has been demonstrated again and again that does not have anything to do with military purposes, or the adventurous, aggressive trajectory Washington and its European allies have begun to go across?

Robert Parry, an award-winning American investigative journalist austerely answers the questions we have in mind. In an April 2 article in Consortium News, he notes: “if two countries with powerful nuclear arsenals were openly musing about attacking a third country over mere suspicions that it might want to join the nuclear club, we’d tend to sympathize with the non-nuclear underdog as the victim of bullying and possible aggression.”

As Robert Parry notes, the “bomb bomb Iran Parlor Game” has much to do with the regular psychological operations the U.S. government ruthlessly directs against its victims and it has been seen several times during the post-World War II era that the U.S. government has resorted to the most brutal methods of black propaganda to demonize and demoralize its opponents.

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In Praise of Salem News

Kourosh Ziabari - Eurasia Review: It was quite an unanticipated incidence for me to make an acquaintance with Salem News. Once, I simply figured out that one of my articles has been published in a website whose name sounds strangely unfamiliar yet significantly meaningful to me. Consequently, I received an email from the website's editor who cordially called me "brother" and lauded my piece enthusiastically. It was such a delightful experience that I can't erase from memory. He called me brother and told me that we may further expand our cooperation in the future.

Primarily, what struck my mind was the conception that Salem News should be an American news outlet, associated with one of the Islamic organizations in the United States. The world "salem" means purified, healthy and uncontaminated in Persian and Arabic (two major languages of the Islamic world) who use the same script and that was why I principally thought of Salem News as a website belonging to an Islamic organization which endeavors to promote mutual understanding between the American nation and the country's Muslim minority.

What highlighted my assumption was the fact that recognizing my nationality, Tim had called me "brother", a verbal tradition among the Muslims, and I nearly came to the conclusion that Salem News is an Islamic cultural news outlet; however, Tim's name puzzled me modestly. Having been an Islamic news outlet, why doesn't the editor have an Islamic (Persian or Arabic) name? Then I justified for myself that the website's editor is an American Muslim who hasn't changed his name and preferred to keep his American name at the same time as being a Muslim.

It was quite remarkable for me to cooperate with Tim and his website. A few days went on and we kept on working closely until one day, while surfing the web, I came across to a political news website whose address contained the name of Oregon. It grabbed my attention and I entered the website. Entering the website, I found out, to my utmost surprise, that Salem is the capital of U.S. state of Oregon and the county seat of Marion County.

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Iran vs. British Museum: Who will be the Loser?

Kourosh Ziabari - Press TV: In early February 2010, the longstanding conflict between Iran and Britain, over a temporary exhibition of an ancient Persian artifact in Tehran, reached a conclusion that Iran had warned against: the severing of cultural ties with British Museum over the loan of the Cyrus Cylinder.

Cyrus Cylinder is a declaration of kingship, inscribed on the surface of a clay cylinder upon the decree of glorious Persian king, Cyrus the Great, who issued the manuscript following his conquest of Babylonia in 539 BC.

Cyrus Cylinder is a cuneiform tablet which was unearthed in the foundations of Esagila some 2500 years ago. Up on discovery, it was immediately transferred to the British Museum for preservation. The tablet contains scripts and statements which expressively sanctify the Babylonian god Marduk, denounce and condemn the overthrown king of Babylon, Nabonidus, and admire the righteousness and rectitude of the victorious ruler, Cyrus the Great.

The script of Cyrus Cylinder mainly talks about the importance of peaceful coexistence, equality between the human beings, religious freedom and the right of dispossessed people to return to their homelands. It also describes the endeavors of Cyrus the Great who took major steps and made significant efforts to act over the dominated people of Babylonia magnanimously. Therefore, Cyrus Cylinder is oftentimes described as the world's first charter of human rights.

After the British Museum held the exhibition of "Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia" in 2005, Iranian and Briton officials agreed to have the Cyrus Cylinder sent temporarily to Iran to be exhibited at The National Museum of Iran as one of the main displayed objects. In return, Iran agreed to assist the British Museum to hold an exhibition for the commemoration of Persian king, Shah Abbas, by lending the Museum a number of antique objects and documents on the historical background of Safavid dynasty in which Shah Abbas was one of its most powerful emperors.

Continues here

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Interview with Antony Loewenstein

Kourosh Ziabari - Foreign Policy Journal: The Middle East is witness to continuous developments these days, such as Iran’s active diplomacy to attract the indispensable 118-member bloc of non-aligned countries to support its nuclear program, the growing isolation of Israel in European countries and within academic circles in the U.S., Arabs’ fears of losing the power game in the Persian Gulf region, and the expansion of illegal settlements of Israel in the West Bank and its unremitting disobedience to United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Such developments have turned the Middle East into the center of international attention. Iran, as the Persian Gulf region’s only non-Arab nation, Israel, as the world’s sole Jewish state, and a host of fragile Arab countries, who are being immersed in the waves of the West’s economic turmoil, find their destiny intertwined, with each party trying to surmount the other. All this makes for an interesting, yet worrying, rivalry in the Middle East.

In order to investigate the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict and explore the prospect of Iran’s nuclear standoff, Foreign Policy Journal has interviewed Antony Loewenstein, an Australian journalist and political activist who is a co-founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices. Loewenstein’s articles on Iran, Israel and Middle East current affairs have appeared on the Guardian, Washington Post, Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian. He has also written two books, My Israel Question and The Blogging Revolution.

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