Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category
Hamas Holds Secret Meeting With Iran
by John Rossomando • Jul 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm
Hamas, Hizballah and Iran held secret talks last month in Lebanon in an effort to smooth over strained relations stemming from their rival stances on Syria, according to the London-based Asharq al-Awsat.
Hamas has supported Syrian rebels trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime and individual Hamas members have unofficially joined in the rebellion. But arms and fighters supplied by Tehran and its Lebanese proxy Hizballah have helped Assad rebuff rebel advances. Iran has retaliated against Hamas by dramatically cutting funding to the Palestinian terrorist group.
That, combined the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Cairo, has put Hamas in a difficult bind. The Egyptian army has destroyed dozens of smuggling tunnels that fueled the economy in Hamas-run Gaza.
Mousa Abu Marzook and Muhammad Nasr, who belong to Hamas’s political bureau, represented the terrorist group at the recent meeting. Hamas leaders remain hopeful that Iran’s support will return to past levels.
"We have not lost allies; on the contrary, we are keeping all our friends, but there are issues that led to some apathy in the relationship, and we as a movement and government are eager to keep our fraternal relations with all the countries of region, which have a degree of cooperation, coordination, and support because Palestine is the cause of the [Muslim world] and not only the cause of the Palestinians. Therefore, we are eager to iron out all the differences in the interest of our people and cause," Hamas spokesman Ahmad Yusuf said in a statement.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Arghachi said that Hamas and Iran are close to resolving their differences and misunderstandings over Syria.
Related Topics: John Rossomando
Iran Condemns Filmmaker as "Traitor" for Israel Visit
by IPT News • Jul 19, 2013 at 9:48 am
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s vehemently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment has never been limited to international politics. Such bigoted attitudes continue to spill over into the arts, which are supposed to transcend political differences. Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf continues to experience a severe backlash for his recent decision to attend the Jerusalem International Film Festival, causing immense criticism from many within Iran and the Diaspora.
The head of the Cinema Organization at the Ministry of Islamic Guidance ordered the Film Museum’s director to remove all of Makhmalbaf’s exhibits, including dozens of international awards.
Makhmalbaf left Iran in 2005. While visiting Israel for his film screening, Makhmalbaf, advocated for strengthened ties between the Iranian and Israeli people. Elements within Iran’s conservative media accused the film director of treason and collaboration with the "Zionists" against the Islamic Republic. Makhmalbaf’s film, "The Gardener," relates to the Baha’i community; a religious minority which suffers systematic and institutionalized discrimination in Iran. Much of the film was made in Israel, and the trailer emphasized violence committed in the name of religion
The backlash further emphasizes the Islamic Republic’s fear of the "soft war" allegedly waged by Israel and the West in an attempt to discredit the regime in the eyes of the Iranian population. International efforts to alleviate persecution of minorities and dissidents are perceived as a major threat to the stability of the regime.
Even the so called "pragmatic conservative" camp and reformist affiliated outlets criticized Makhmalbaf’s visit to Israel.
By simply visiting the Jewish state, Makhmalbaf’s image has been transformed from revolutionary cultural icon to a traitorous enemy of the Iranian people.
Roughly 150 intellectuals, academics, authors, artists, journalists, and human rights advocates released a public letter condemning Makhmalbaf, claiming a violation of the cultural and academic boycott of anything Israeli. On the other hand, 80 activists and academics of Iranian descent signed a letter to the Times of Israel praising Makhmalbaf’s visit. The signatories commended Makhmalbaf’s call for Israel to support democratic elements in Iran over conducting a military strike on its nuclear sites.
In an interview with the UK’s Guardian, Makhmalbaf described his time in Israel as "amazing" noting packed houses who attended three different screenings. As an artist, he said he tries to build friendship among people of different faiths and ethnicities.
That’s not something the Iranian regime wants people to see.
Related Topics: IPT News
Posted: 19 Dec 2012 08:31 AM PST
Since Muslim groups like CAIR believe in freedom and tolerance (even though they support terrorism behind closed doors), we might expect them to campaign for the safe return of former Muslim Saeed Abedini. Unfortunately, CAIR and other groups are too busy complaining about Islamophobia to show any concern for the open, Sharia-based, state-sanctioned persecution of Christians in Muslim countries.
IRAN (Fox News)–A 32-year-old Iranian who is a U.S. citizen and a Christian convert has been imprisoned without notice of any formal charges while visiting his family in Iran, according to his wife and attorneys in the U.S., who are now hoping that a media campaign will help set him free.
The Rev. Saeed Abedini, who lives in the U.S. with his wife and two young children, was making one of his frequent visits to see his parents and the rest of his family in Iran, his country of origin and where he spent many years as a Christian leader and community organizer developing Iran’s underground home church communities for Christian converts.
On this last trip, the Iranian government pulled him off a bus and said he must face a penalty for his previous work as a Christian leader in Iran.
He is currently awaiting trial at Iran’s notoriously brutal Evin Prison, where he has been incarcerated since late September.
"When he became a Christian, he became a criminal in his own country. His passion was to reach the people of Iran," Naghmeh, his wife, said in an exclusive interview with Fox News.
"He comes from a very close-knit family, and he loved evangelizing and passing out Bibles on the streets of Tehran. This was his passion," she said.
In July, Abedini left his wife and kids to go to Iran to visit family and continue a humanitarian effort he began years ago to build an orphanage.
After a short visit to a nearby country, Abedini was traveling back into Iran to catch his flight back to the U.S. when members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard stopped his bus near the Turkey-Iran border and pulled Abedini from the bus, confiscating his passports and subjecting him to intense interrogation, according to his wife.
After weeks under house arrest and many calls to Iran’s passport control office about the status of his confiscated passport, Abedini was told that his case has been referred to the Revolutionary Guard, the Iranian government’s elite military force.
On Sept. 26, five men kicked open the door of Abedini’s parents’ residence in Tehran where they collected all communications devices and arrested him while placing the rest of his family members, who are also Christians converts from Islam, under house arrest. (Continue Reading.)
How the US Trained Iranian Terrorists
Germany fears imminent execution of Iranian pastor and apostate from Islam (Peaceful Religion’s Sharia at Work)
Posted: 25 Feb 2012 05:22 PM PST
This was back in August, and the world barely noticed that Iran launched a Bible-burning campaign. Why didn’t anyone notice? Perhaps because Christians didn’t begin indiscriminately slaughtering Muslims in response to these burnings.
IRAN–Iranian authorities began to systematically seize and destroy Bibles after a Shiite cleric issued an urgent warning about the spread of Christianity.
Update: Movement on Pastor Youcef – Iranian Christian facing execution
Refusing to renounce his faith in Christ may cost him his life.
February 20, 2012
Last September, we asked you to pray and ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to request the Iranian government stop any attempt to execute Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and to offer asylum to him and his family.
When asked to "repent" by Iranian judges, Youcef stated, "Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?" The judges replied, "To the religion of your ancestors, Islam." To which he replied, "I cannot."
At last report, Pastor Youcef remains in prison and is awaiting judgment by the Iranian government. Still, Pastor Youcef faces execution any day.
Last week, US Representative Joe Pitts introduced House Resolution 556, "Condemning the Government of Iran for its continued persecution, imprisonment, and sentencing of Youcef Nadarkhani on the charge of apostasy."
It is critical that you continue to pray for Pastor Youcef.
International pressure continues to help keep Pastor Youcef alive. If a large majority of Congress supports this new bipartisan resolution, it could have a significant impact on pressuring Iran for Pastor Youcef’s release.
Send an email now and encourage your representative to co-sponsor and support the resolution in support of Pastor Youcef.
It is very important that you forward this alert to your friends and family members.
American Islamists and Iranian Propaganda
Tune in to Press TV, the Iranian government’s English-language broadcast outlet, and you will see reports of the pervasive evil represented by the United States. It seeks war. It fabricated an international report on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It leads an elaborate "Iranophobic" conspiracy aimed at invading Iran and "plundering its natural resources."
Watch long enough and you’ll also see a parade of American Muslim activists, all lamenting their problems with government policies and decrying the plight of life here for Muslims.
In the past 12 months, representatives of American Islamist groups have appeared on Press TV for interviews more than 35 times, the most recent example taking place Tuesday. Most of those included representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who appeared at least 29 times. Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) officials appeared at least six times.
Both groups claim to stand for civil rights and against terrorism, but their appearances feed into the narrative of the Iranian regime, which is a designated state sponsor of terrorism and a notorious human and civil rights violator.
A review of the appearances finds not one which included any criticisms of the Iranian regime for its oppression of its own people or for its support for terrorist groups. That is not surprising, given that the groups fail to make critical statements about Iran even to American audiences.
When positive things were said about religious freedom in America during Press TV appearances, it was always outweighed by claims Muslims are being singled out for scrutiny or having their rights abused.
"The American Muslims are free to practice their faith," CAIR national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said in an Aug. 3 interview. "We live in a free society; there are many good things about being an American Muslim. But there is also a sense of being under siege from these hate mongers that are constantly trying to demonize our faith."
Later that month, Hooper expressed distrust of law enforcement, accusing the New York Police Department of blackmailing Muslims to become informants.
"We get calls all the time from individuals who are being coerced to be informants on the American Muslim community and the coercion usually takes the form of immigration issues, tax issues and other personal issues, financial issues that can be brought to bear to force people to become a spy in their own faith community," Hooper said.
"It spoke to a lot of the feelings that I think many Muslim Americans have with respect to their position here in America post-9/11," Beutel said. "We are loyal citizens to this nation and we are trying to do everything we can to keep it safe and secure. And yet even when we’re doing the right things and in many cases, laying our lives down on the line for our nation, we still get stigmatized."
MPAC’s profile in Washington has grown dramatically, especially when it comes to outreach directly from the White House. MPAC officials attended the White House Iftar Dinner, President Obama’s 9/11 Memorial at the Kennedy Center, and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Eid ul-Fitr reception at the State Department, which was planned to commemorate the conclusion of the month of Ramadan.
On July 13, President Obama even called Haris Tarin, head of MPAC’s Washington office, to commend his organization’s work with the Muslim American community and the nation as a whole.
Both CAIR and MPAC have a long history of denouncing U.S. counter-terrorism efforts and particularly of accusing the FBI and law enforcement of entrapment and lying to Muslims to secure their help in locating terror suspects. For examples, see here, here, or here.
There is no denying anyone’s right to appear on any program. But invitations can be declined. It’s a mystery what officials of either of these organizations hope to accomplish by criticizing their own country on an official arm of a hostile Iranian regime.
Hooper again criticized the FBI on Oct. 25. That was two weeks after law enforcement disrupted an alleged Iranian-driven assassination plot on U.S. soil targeting the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington. And he appeared again on Tuesday, discussing new FBI hate crime data from 2010 showing an increase in anti-Muslim attacks.
The problem, Hooper said, is a conspiracy to issue a constant barrage of bigotry from "a coordinated, well-financed group" against Muslims in America.
"You cannot help but be aware of the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in our society," he said. "You can’t turn on a talk radio program, you cannot read the comments on articles online related to Islam and Muslims, you cannot watch the right-wing cable news programs without seeing, reading and hearing anti-Muslim rhetoric on a daily basis."
If supposedly "mainstream" groups like MPAC and CAIR are comfortable on Press TV, it is no wonder more openly extremist groups embrace the chance to appear on camera.
As-Sabiqun, a Washington, D.C.-based Islamist organization that has openly called for an Islamic state in America by 2050, has provided interview subjects for Press TV five times in 2011. In them, the group’s leader Imam Abdul Alim Musa has accused the United States of "fighting a global war against Islam," and entrapping innocent Muslims.
"Americans have become obese and very lazy people, Musa said during a July appearance. "Americans have become addicted to television, internet, and they sit at home. But here is the thing, what we call the fall, and the decline of the American empire is in process. The American empire is so vast that it is an empire that will crumble in on itself. This is happening right now, we don’t have to worry about an external rebellion, or an internal rebellion, the US economy is dead. The US military has lost all respect, not only Afghanistan, Iraq and lately Libya."
Representatives from the Muslim American Society (MAS), which was founded as the U.S. chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, appeared twice on Press TV in the past year. Like its counterparts, they said nothing of Iranian misdeeds but they did defend a convicted terrorist, Sami Al-Arian, and also accused President Obama of contributing to rising "Islamophobia" by failing to close Guantanamo Bay.
Musa also appeared with Shaker Elsayed, imam of Northern Virginia’s Dar al-Hijrah mosque, in repeating the FBI entrapment allegation. Dar al-Hijrah representatives made at least two Press TV appearances this year.
FBI agents "are not investigating to see if the individual is engaged, they are engaging the person in terrorist activities, in conspiracies, in plotting," Elsayed said. "Our experience here at al-Hijrah was very positive with the FBI leadership in Washington Field Office, until we found out that getting very close to the FBI came at a very serious price," he added.
On its website, Press TV identifies part of its vision as being "heeding the often neglected voices and perspectives of a great portion of the world" and "embracing and building bridges of cultural understanding."
But Press TV has come under fire before. In January, Britain’s National Westminster Bank froze its bank account, presumably as part of an effort to cut off funding for Iranian government enterprises and force the country to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
At the time, writer Shiraz Maher applauded the act as "a welcome development," noting that Press TV "has a long track record in producing agitprop for the Iranian state, including the lie that Neda Soltan’s murder by the regime was a hoax."
Iran’s leadership again finds itself in the spotlight following the release of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report which finds that Iran is progressing toward making nuclear weapons.
Commenting on the report, Press TV echoed the recent accusation of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the director general of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano, is an American "pawn" reporting what the U.S. government tells him to say.
"In an atmosphere of cringing obedience to Washington, Mr. Amano cannot choose but to play into the hands of the US officials who look over his shoulders and observe with diligence what he puts to paper in the report he writes about Iran," a Press TV article Nov. 8 noted.
Press TV’s message today is that America is a terrorist state, and that its actions – from the allegations in the Saudi assassination plot to the saber-rattling over Iran’s nuclear program – are either manipulated by Israel or direct favors to the Jewish state.
By making frequent appearances critical of the United States, American Islamists reinforce a propaganda machine sowing hatred and distrust.
Nov 14, 2011 03:06 am | Marisol
Time will tell how strong the case is: after all, "war is deceit." But the allegations are certainly in keeping with Iran’s preferred methods of doing business. An update on this story. "Bahrain: Alleged terror cell had high Iran links," from the Associated Press, November 13: MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) —…
Nov 13, 2011 07:40 pm | Robert
"As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands: a retribution for their deed and exemplary punishment from Allah and Allah is Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom." (Qur’an 5:38) This article says that Al-Qaeda is implementing a perversion of Islam in Yemen, but how exactly…
Nov 13, 2011 07:15 pm | Robert
Good. With Obama in the White House, Israel would be unwise, perhaps suicidally so, to do otherwise. "Israel refuses to tell US its Iran intentions," by Adrian Blomfield in the Telegraph, November 12 (thanks to all who sent this in): Israel has refused to reassure President Barack Obama that it…
Nov 13, 2011 06:41 pm | Robert
At the height of the Rick Perry firestorm, several of his supporters, including one who works for his campaign, insisted that he was solidly pro-Israel, and that therefore he was reliably anti-jihad (which doesn’t actually follow), despite his close association with Grover Norquist. Now even that is in doubt, in…
Nov 13, 2011 04:23 pm | Robert
The statements below make reference to Allah, Muhammad, and jihad. According to them, killing Jews is an act of Muslim worship (as is suggested by the genocidal hadith in which Muhammad says: "The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims…
Nov 13, 2011 04:17 pm | Robert
Al-Zahhar must be some kind of Islamophobe. Everyone knows that only greasy Islamophobes think that there is any clash of civilizations between the West and Islam, or that the Arab Spring is ushering in an Islamic ascendancy in North Africa and the Middle East. "Hamas Leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: Western…
Nov 13, 2011 04:07 pm | Robert
VIDEO: The Terror Tapes Why wouldn’t they? Nothing was done while they were in prison to disabuse them of their jihadist notions. Do Australian authorities expect them to have become "moderate" by osmosis? "Police fear freed Muslim extremists pose a threat," by Keith Moor for the Herald Sun, November 14…
Nov 13, 2011 04:01 pm | Robert
Here is a superb riposte to the ADL’s smear of AFDI/SIOA, within a larger and likewise excellent expose of how far the ADL has departed from its founding principles. "Anti-Defamation League Has Strayed from Its Charter," by William A. Levinson in the American Thinker, November 13: The Anti-Defamation League’s original…
Nov 13, 2011 11:21 am | Marisol
The costs of the Great Libyan Jihadist Garage Sale continue to spread. Just the other day, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb affirmed that it had acquired part of Gaddafi’s former arsenal. "Israel rushes airliner defenses as Libya leaks SAMs," by Dan Williams for Reuters, November 11: TEL AVIV (Reuters) -…
Nov 13, 2011 11:11 am | Marisol
That was not a trivia or informational question. They were demanding the shahada, or Islamic statement of belief. Any Christian who was not willing to abandon his beliefs and bear witness that "there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah" was killed. In other words,…
Nov 13, 2011 10:57 am | Marisol
No one on either side of the issue will be prosecuted (for now), but the Muslims present at the function that was raided — no, "inspected" — will still have to attend counseling to "restore their faith." An update on this story, though we certainly haven’t heard the last of…
Nov 13, 2011 10:38 am | Marisol
Dr. Phylis Chesler hits the nail on the head: "This is further proof that the Obama administration’s foreign policy is one of self-destructive appeasement and that despite its presumed commitment to civil rights and human rights, that commitment does not extend to Muslim women, Muslim dissidents, or Muslim gays –…