Sunday, March 1, 2009

The traditional Political Infighting in Tehran Gets louder by the Day...

The traditional Political Infighting in Tehran Gets louder by the Day...

Ali Larijani, the quintessential CIA2/MOSSAD operative is being "spared"....-

Although the Iranian presidential election campaign is not due to open until the end of May, two things are already certain. The campaign has started; and it is unusually dirty. One could expect piles of dirty laundry to be washed in public, affecting major figures of the regime. Even “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenehi, hitherto kept outside the mud hole, is being dragged in.
The first shot was fired last December when the official Islamic New Agency, controlled by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, published a 5000-word article attacking Muhammad Khatami, the former president who has since declared his candidacy in next June’s election.
The article, signed by Payam Fazli-Nejad, claimed that Khatami is at the centre of an international conspiracy to bring the Khomeinist revolution to an end and transform the Islamic Republic into a secular state.
According to Fazli-Nejad, the so-called «Bilderberg Group» hatched the "conspiracy" when Khatami attended one of their annual gatherings in a Portuguese resort. According to Fazli-Nejad, the group is part of the global Freemasonry and represents financial interests and political circles that use it as a “secret government of the world.”
Although Fazli-Nejad’s claim could be dismissed as pure nonsense, they claims found an echo in Iran partly because mullahs have a long history of association with Freemasonry. The Islamist reformer Jamaleddin Asssad-Abadi, known to Arabs as al-Afghani, founded the first Freemason lodge in Iran in the 19th century. Sayyed Hassan Imami, Tehran’s Friday Prayer Leader between 1955 and 1979, presided over another Freemason lodge known as “The Brothers.”
Obviously encouraged by the Office of the Supreme Guide Ali Khamenehi, the author of the article went on to publish a whole book about what he claims are “secret plans to topple the Islamic Republic through soft subversion.”
The book, titled “Knights of the Cultural NATO”, includes a number of photographs and photocopies of supposedly confidential documents revealing the alleged “conspiracies” in which the government of the United States is supposed to have played a major part.
It names most of the active figures of the internal opposition of being involved in the “conspiracy” and, in effect, working for US and other NATO intelligence services. The list of those accused amounts to a who-is-who of politicians, journalists, lawyers and human rights activists who try to oppose the system without breaking with it.
The message of the book is clear: the so-called “reformist” camp is an American Trojan horse, brought in to destroy the Khomeinist system.
Last week, the official news agency in Tehran reported that the book, published by the Kayhan Group, which is controlled by Khamenehi, has run into its 10th edition, becoming a major best seller.
Tehran sources claim that the book’s best-seller status has been engineered by the government with the purchase of thousands of copies for free distribution among civil servants and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
In an introduction to the book, Kayhan’s Editor in Chief, Hussein Shariatmadari, claims that it contains “irrefutable evidence of contacts between the bridgeheads of this group with foreign intelligence services”. He seems to ignore that his claim raises a crucial question: if there is “irrefutable evidence”, why haven’t the authorities have brought no charges against those named in the book?
The response of the accused came last week during a meeting at the home of Ayatollah Abdallah Nuri, a former Minister of the Interior and generally considered as the regime’s most serious critic within the Khomeinist establishment. During the meeting, attended by more than 200 “reformist” figures across the board, speaker after speaker denounced the campaign of vilification orchestrated by Khamenehi’s office. One speaker, Hashem Aghjari, a hero of the war against Iraq, went further by denouncing Khamenehi by name and calling for the abolition of the post of “Supreme Guide”.
A few days later, an even graver charge against Khamenehi came a few days later in an attack by Muhammad Sazgara, a former aide to the “Supreme Guide” and one of the first generation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards. Accused of working for US intelligence, Sazgara claimed that Khamenehi himself has a history of contacts with the KGB, the former Soviet Union’s intelligence agency, and its East German branch known as Stasi.
In an open letter addressed to Khamenehi and published in “reformist” websites, Sazgara claims that his allegations are based on top-secret Stasi documents, made available by the German government for research purposes. According to Sazgara, these documents are being studied by a “young Iranian researcher”, and, once fully analyzed, could show that Khamenehi acted as a Soviet agent of influence during a crucial phase in the power struggle in the early years of the revolution.
Sazgara’s allegations may be as fanciful as those of Fazli-Nejad. After all, that Khamenehi was in contact with Soviet officials was no secret at the time. As Deputy Defence Minister at the time, Khamenehi was charged with the task of securing weapons from the USSR at a time that the United States, Iran’s main arms supplier, had imposed an embargo.
The accusations from both sides are important because they do reflect the truth. They certainly do. Khatami is a CIA agent and Khamenehi was not "working" for the Soviets....
These accusations are important for two reasons. Ali Larijani, the quintessential CIA2/MOSSAD operative is being "spared"....
First, they show that the power struggle may be heading into new and more political directions in which the Marques of Queensbury’s rules would no longer apply.
Secondly, they show that the two camps are able to fight on the basis of concrete political and economic plans and are using Middle Eastern style personal attacks, and charges of “betrayal” and “working for foreign intelligence” as a traditional substitute. This campaign would see a lot of mud flying. However, what Iran needs is a serious debate about its future at what may be the most dangerous time in its contemporary history....of CIA/MOSSAD shenanigans on a global scale.....

The need to find ways to stop the slow, yet steady departure of Christians from the Middle East has come into greater focus recently.

Pope Benedict XVI urged the dwindling Arab Christian minority to patiently persist in its struggle to survive and hold onto its religious and cultural identity when he met with bishops from Iraq, Iran and Turkey who were in Rome for to report on their dioceses early this year.

And he will have many public occasions to reach out and appeal directly to Christians with his proposed visit to the Holy Land May 8-15.

The Christian exodus has become so severe that Iraqi bishops called on the pope to convene a regional synod to address the problem.

In the meantime, conferences were held in Detroit, Lebanon and Rome in February to underline the important role Christians play in Muslim-majority nations.

The Rome gathering organized by the Sant’Egidio Community brought together Christian and Muslim scholars and religious leaders from the Middle East to discuss the value and contribution of the Eastern Christian churches in Arab nations.

One element that emerged from the meeting is that Christians don’t belong in the Middle East simply because they’ve been there since the time of Jesus and are legitimate citizens of Arab nations. Many said they must stay because they possess a unique culture and mindset that help contribute to the building of a more peaceful, democratic nation.

Some said a strong Christian presence could help moderate Muslims counter the rising wave of Islamic extremism sweeping across the region.

Mohammed Sammak, political adviser to Lebanon’s grand mufti and a conference participant, said, “The fewer Christians there are, the more (Islamic) fundamentalism rises,” fills the void and gains the upper hand; “that is why as a Muslim, I am opposed” to Christians emigrating.

For Christians to disappear from the Middle East would be like “pulling out the threads of a cloth” so that the whole social fabric risks unraveling and dying, he said.

It’s a mistake to help Christians leave their respective nations through easier visa procedures and other measures, said Sammak.

When authorities help ease Christian emigration, he said, they are are unwittingly aiding in the elimination of Christians from the Middle East by taking part in “a conspiracy of good faith.”

Another danger, he said, is that if Muslim-majority nations do nothing to protect and encourage their Christian minorities to stay, then North American and European countries will think that Islam does not accept or respect Christianity.

If people living abroad see Muslims are unable to live with Christians even when they share the same culture, language and citizenship, he said, “then they’ll think, ’so how can we Europeans live with Muslims.’”

Tensions and restrictions against Muslims living in or emigrating to Europe will increase as tensions and violence against Christians continue in the Middle East and vice versa, said Sammak.

Latin-rite Archbishop Jean Sleiman of Baghdad said Christians help preserve peaceful coexistence in a religiously and ethnically diverse society.

Christians possess a unique culture that displays “the willingness to mediate” and, therefore, they “could do so many things because reconstruction (of a war-torn nation) deals above all with souls, culture, mentalities,” he told Vatican Radio Feb. 23.

Many participants agreed that large numbers of Christians have been fleeing the Middle East for economic and political motives rather than purely religious reasons.

Participant Bernard Sabella, a Catholic member of the Palestinian parliament and former sociology professor at Catholic-run Bethlehem University in the West Bank, said the exodus of Christians “is related to the global market. So if a young Palestinian — Christian or Muslim — can get work in the United States or Dubai, then they will go.”

Tarek Mitri, Lebanon’s minister of information, said Christians “were victims of their good education” and marketable skills in that they were more likely to be able to choose and provide a better life for themselves and their families by emigrating to where there were more opportunities.

A significant mass exodus began in the 20th century, he said, and those losses were already glaringly apparent in 1964 when Pope Paul VI made the first visit by a pope to the Holy Land since St. Peter.

Mitri said the cultural and economic contribution of Christians have always outweighed their numerical proportion.

Sammak said losing Christians would mean losing the human, cultural, scientific and educational resources they bring to a nation.

Archbishop Sleiman told reporters that while economic and political problems are major reasons for leaving, Christians in countries like Iraq and the Palestinian territories leave out of “fear of Islamic fundamentalism and being legally discriminated against” in an Islamic republic or under Shariah, the religiously based law of Islam.

He said the international community must help Iraq build peace and democracy by guaranteeing “the primacy of law and primacy of nation.”

“Many problems will be solved because (a state of) law equals equality and justice,” he said.

The Lebanese-born archbishop of Baghdad said he believes it is still possible for the dwindling numbers of Christians to play a role in the rebuilding of their country.

“But it’s important churches have to be convinced their role is still important. When I see emigration, I’m not sure Christians still believe their role is important,” he said.

Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim of Aleppo appealed to Muslim nations and authorities, telling them that their role is “to safeguard Christians. It is up to you. We don’t believe our protection can come from outside.”