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While fully committed to serious and objective nuclear talks, Iran calls upon 5+1 to reciprocally manifest their commitment

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Exclusive Interview with the Honorable Ambassador of Iran to Norway –

Seyed Hossein Rezvani

First of all we would like to thank you on behalf of The Oslo Times for accepting our invitation to share your candid views on the present situation of Iran’s position on nuclear programme and on the events arising in relation to it.

It is indeed a privilege to have you on The Oslo Times panel of exclusive interviews and we feel truly proud in welcoming you here.


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TOT: Recently the talks between Iran and P5+1 took place in Moscow. Is the outcome of talks was satisfactory to Iran and its interests? 

In the name of God, the Companion-ate, the Merciful

Iran’s Envoy: While fully committed to serious and objective nuclear talks, Iran calls upon 5+1 to reciprocally manifest their commitment.In recent talks between Iran and 5+1 (five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany) in Moscow, both sides agreed that a technical group should discuss in detail the proposals by each side and hammer out a framework or a road map for the continuation of the talks. So a technical group is going to have a new round of talks on Tuesday in Istanbul.
It is clear that some members of 5+1 for whatever reasons apparently political ones, are not forthcoming and serious enough for finding a solution. If the talks do not proceed as it should be, another standoff in the talks can be expected. Therefore, this could be considered as a critical point in Iran’s talks with some members of 5+1.

TOT: With worsening Iran’s nuclear case with the international community, especially; with the West and the constant failures of the series of talks has resulted into more energy insecurities in the world. How Iran view these recent developments and escalations in the nuclear policy debate?


Iran’s Envoy:
The USA and certain Europeans have said that they are going to increase their pressure and sanctions against Iran and this by itself indicates that they are not willing to engage with Tehran in a meaningful dialogue.
It is to be reiterated that , oil embargo against Iran leads to further disruptions and insecurities of world energy market and consequently adds up to financial crisis in Europe . The 1+5 non-compliance with guiding principles of nuclear talks established during Istanbul II talks and absence of cooperative approach on their side is the primary cause for unsuccessful Baghdad and Moscow negotiations. Therefore it is necessary to address this issue and shed lights on the latest developments and to analyze the issue from the view point of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

What are the major obstacles or issues faced by Iran during talks with P5+1 group countries?
The main obstacle in Moscow talks as well as in Iran’s previous talks with 5+1 in Baghdad was the issue of Iran’s right to enrich uranium. This right stems from International law and Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). According to NPT developing, research, production and use of nuclear energy and having full national nuclear fuel cycle and enrichment of uranium for peaceful purposes are among the inherent and inalienable rights of each sovereign member state.

One major issue during discussions with 5+1 in recent rounds of talks was an attempt to work out a framework for a comprehensive and targeted dialogue. Iran strongly believes that talks should not be for the sake of talks. Rather they should be conducted on good will, mutual respect and in a spirit of cooperation which can lead to tangible results. Therefore attitude and actions that go contrary to good will, spirit of cooperation and mutual respect are counterproductive and should be avoided.
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TOT: How Iran views the consideration or inclusion of NPT in the talks? And the kind of advantages which it brings with it for Iran?

Iran’s Envoy: NPT should also be considered as the benchmark for talks and all parties have to commit themselves to the rights and obligations specified in the NPT. Iran is strongly opposed to any preconditions particularly when they are outside the framework of NPT. Genuine commitment and cooperative approach are essential tools to enable both sides to successfully embark upon a new process of fruitful talks, which are comprehensive, sustainable and constructive. Iran is willing to have a mutually agreed long term solution. This could only come through tangible actions and on the basis of step by step approach, based upon principle of reciprocity. Iran is of the opinion that the legitimate rights as well as concerns of both parties should be fully recognized and addressed in an objective and comprehensive manner.

The main Iranian objective in the negotiations as well as cooperation with the IAEA is removal of any misunderstanding regarding its peaceful, transparent and legal nuclear activities within the framework of NPT. The Fatwa of the Supreme Leader is indeed supporting these facts. Iran believes that confidence building is a two-way street. In this regard Iran wants to normalize its nuclear file at the Board of Governors of IAEA by total termination of politicized and illegitimate Security Council as well as unilateral sanctions.

Iran is entitled to full enjoyment of its inalienable rights to peaceful nuclear technology as stipulated in the NPT and in compliance with regulations of the IAEA. While looking forward to achieve a sustainable nuclear cooperation and transfer of advanced technologies,  Iran also wishes to conclude a comprehensive agreement on collective commitments in the areas of economic, political, security and international cooperation.
Is there any proposal that has been submitted by Iran in the recently conducted talks?
In recent talks, the 5+1 presented a proposal as a road map to bridge differences and fined a diplomatic solution for Iran’s nuclear issue, but they said proposal is suffering from some shortcomings both in context and in the substance. The said deficiencies would be elaborated in following paragraphs.

Iran in turn proposal  “a framework for comprehensive and targeted dialogue for long term cooperation among 7 countries”  which consists of guiding principles, objectives, issues ,  structure of the process and reciprocal steps that would be explained. Furthermore, there will be a review of the right to enrichment in various international treaties and conferences such as NPT, the Special Session of General Assembly devoted to Disarmament in 1978, the Review Conferences of the NPT in 1975 and 2010 and the statement of the Non-aligned Foreign Ministers Meeting in May 2012 in Egypt.

TOT: What are the facts that have remained unheard or which the people are unaware about ‘Iran’s Nuclear Program’ and its policies towards it? 

Iran’s Envoy:               Some Facts on Iran’s Peaceful Nuclear Issue

•The Fatwa of Iran’s Supreme leader on nuclear weapons, 19 February, 2012:
“The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons, because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”
•Under International Law, “to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy, to have full national nuclear fuel cycle, and to enrich Uranium for peaceful purposes” is an inherent and inalienable right of each sovereign State.
•Taking into account the importance of diverse portfolio of energy sources, each State also has the “sovereign right to define its national energy policies, including fuel-cycle policies, without external pressure or interference.”
•These rights are based on the principle of “sovereignty of States” and also have been reaffirmed in particular by the NPT.
•Neither the NPT nor the IAEA Statute or Safeguards agreements and even the Additional Protocol, prohibit enrichment.
•In exercising these rights, NPT Parties have legal “obligation” “to prevent diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons.”
•Iran is firmly determined to exercise its inherent rights in all areas of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and fully committed to its obligations.
•Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA and the Agency’s inspections in Iran are unprecedented in the history of the IAEA.
•Continuous inspections in the most robust and intrusive manner, more than 4000 man-day routine inspections, and over 100 intrusive inspections are only some examples of Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA.
•To date, no single evidence of diversion to military purposes has been found.
•Latest IAEA report corroborates Iran’s cooperation with Agency and peaceful nature of its nuclear activities. It states: “the Agency continues to conduct verification activities under Iran’s Safeguards Agreement” and “continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and Locations outside facilities declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement.”
•According to the report, despite sanctions, Iran’s nuclear activities, in particular in the area of enrichment and enrichment related technology are progressing.
•The said report states as well that Iran is not implementing Additional Protocol. The answer is clear: Additional Protocol is voluntary in nature and Iran has no obligation to implement it.
•To accept the Agency’s request to visit Parchin military complex does not fall within Iran’s legal obligations with respect to the NPT.
•Despite this, according to the IAEA’s November 2011 report, “the Agency was permitted to visit the site twice in 2005 and did not uncover anything of relevance.”
•As a confidence-building measure, Iran stands ready to provide access to Parchin, only when the agreement on modality is reached with the IAEA.
•Iran’s Natanz and Fordow facilities have been declared to the IAEA well in advance of the due date and in accordance with the Iranian obligations under IAEA Safeguards Agreement. Their activities continue to be under the IAEA constant monitoring.
•Earlier this year, the IAEA Deputy Director General for Safeguards visited Natanz and Fordow as well as other Iranian nuclear sites, including Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, Reactor and Heavy Water Production Plant at Arak, and the conversion and fuel fabrication facilities at Esfahan.
•Iran also provided the IAEA Deputy Director General access to an installation where Research & Development on advanced centrifuges was taking place, which is beyond Iranian obligations and also unprecedented in the history of IAEA inspections.
•In spite of the fact that the IAEA did not fulfill its obligations including delivery to Iran of the documents on the “Alleged Studies”, Iran did submit to the Agency its assessment in a 117-page document.
•As during recent talks with P5+1in Moscow demonstrated, Iran is determined to a faithful negotiations on interested issues to both parties based on mutual respect and a win-win solution.
•Iran proposed a road-map for negotiations which includes guiding principles, structure, issues and steps, according to that any step by one party should be responded by a homogeneous and simultaneous step by the other party.
•Iran made it clear that ambiguous and unrealistic proposals are counterproductive and may lead to more uncertainty between the parties.


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Quran burning – A Fatal Ignorance by the West

Saturday 19th 2012 another day in the Afghan war history and an addition to the decade old Quran burning series; after 9/11 the global viewpoint has changed 360 degree against the various cultures and religions especially Islam which has faced the maximum wrath of entire world.

The launch of war on terror campaign which has claimed thousands of lives and has made millions homeless had never given a sight of peace in the hearts of those who have suffered from it the most. The uncultured and discriminatory behavior of the US armed forces and their ministers has never focused on how to train their forces and officers culturally instead of this they just no how to pull the trigger of their guns.

Thousands have soldiers have been targeted because of these silly mistakes done by few insane and careless. These incidents which has been witnessed from Guantanamo to US and from Iraq to Afghanistan has not only brought down the trust in the respectable American policies and their vision to the world but has also blackened the global image of the USA, US President Barack Obama and Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force had also offered their apologies and issued directives that all coalition forces in Afghanistan will undergo training no later than March 3 so they can identify religious materials and handle them correctly.

These kinds of irresponsible apologies and statements given by such a responsible persons and authorities would not only highlight the ignorant behavior but also lack of cultural knowledge and disrespect towards other religions, cultures and societies.

The scenes from toilets flushing of Qurans to Burning it by Churches / People and Soldiers defines the growing stress and negativism among the US Marines and authorities who from the very start had kept at bay from the cultural training in which they can identify various cultures existing in the environments of their specific operations. It is necessary for a nation who has set great examples and has been playing a leadership in diplomatic and economic / social circles of this world to give at least a basic know-how of the global civilizations and about their beliefs.

The world where these operation of so called ‘War on Terror’ are going on requires special purpose vehicle which can take initiatives to improve the curriculum of the armed forces being sent and operating in these regions like Iraq and Afghanistan. These kinds of incidents of Quran burning or any acts of disrespect widens the fault line which has already deepening between West and the Muslim world even it affects the opinions of those nations which are secular or non-aligned.

These acts increase hatred in already vulnerable and affected corners of the globe hence; heightening the level of risks and uncertainties to the operations and peace efforts which the respective nations are making to bring normalcy and prosperity in the region.

There are three things in Afghanistan which the forces should keep in their mind while doing / committing any such acts which are:

1.) Afghan people top priority and belief is their faith, their religion which is the stream of their life which includes Quran, their customs, and their religions duties.

2.) Afghan people are very patriotic and they can die for their land. The feeling of nationalism is very high.

3.) Afghan families and their society which comes among the most and forms their world. It includes many things such as following of ancient tribal code of hospitality, self respect, dignity, culture, their traditions, their norms which define their persona and their horizons.

The US and International Security Alliance Force must learn from the history and the past experiences of the Communist forces too had did the same mistakes and remained ignorant towards their occupants land, their traditions, their faith and enforced their misconceptions which neither do good nor spread positivity instead it did more harm and damage the repo of the repute.

Because of these irresponsible and ignorance acts Barack Obama who took over the seat of a global leader by storm has lost his legitimacy among the Muslim world in specific where his constant failures and slow implementation of key policies has ruined his image and efforts on which he has came to the power.

He and the world must take lessons from the past instances that if anyone who so ever it was had tried to enforce their system and had shown the ignorance of once civilization, culture and its beliefs then either he had lost his power or in some cases the ruling nation had suffered the huge setbacks to its own missions and purposes.

Earlier the same things were done by Communists in their invaded territories and even in other countries where they used facilitate the government or had influence but what everyone had saw and known to the fact that they never got successful in making their image clean and their system acceptable because they had enforced their own perceptions and had never respected the local faith and traditions, if Obama or his authorities are serious enough to bring peace and prosperity to the disturbed regions like Afghanistan then they must first make their forces trained in moral and ethical values, they must lessen down the kind of command pressures on the existing forces involved in the various operations in these regions like Iraq and Afghanistan which is taking toll on them psychologically.

If US say it promotes and protects human rights and their values then it must first start showing signs of acceptance of traditional beliefs and the values which exist in the lives of people of these so called disturbed countries like Afghanistan. Even if they are criminals or even they are using the good for bad but in order to keep maintain your efforts of peace and global unity with democratic values you need to handle the matter with due respect when it involves something sensitive like Quran.

People accept others systems and shows acceptance to it with their full adherence to its norms when the enforcing party shows its acceptance towards their values and beliefs they have with due respect and care in handling even at times of investigation or proceedings if something unlawful has been found.

Then only one can promise a more stable and neutral community with full acceptance to the global norms otherwise it becomes the much needed boon for the extremists who look out for these kinds of matters and take the advantage of the situation against those who are doing good and want to do good for the people and countries like Afghanistan where just because of foolishness of few irresponsible’s the entire nation has turned against which has so far not only claimed lives of innocents but has also threatened the presence of the personnel’s working on the peace missions.

Active volcano Steams up the Middle Eastern Politics

A fear is taking over the international communities these days. A fear that Israel may attack Iran anytime soon is not unthinkable given the fact that Iran continues to demonstrate a desire and capability to attain nuclear weapons. Some time back, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also heard saying that the country’s patience with this Islamic nation is growing thin and the diplomacy may soon come to an end. He was also quoted as saying that he could summarize the situation which may be there in this region by using two words, instability and uncertainity.

On the other hand, Iran’s take on this issue is that as a signatory of Nuclear non-proliferation treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the country is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Israel strongly believes that with nuclear power, Iran is going to pose a terrible threat on the Middle East and on the entire world. The United States, Israel and some of their allies have accused Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to enforce international and unilateral sanctions on this Islamic Republic and also to call for a military strike against Tehran.
The United States have imposed new sanctions against Iran aiming at preventing other countries from importing oil from Iran and doing transactions with its central bank. Even European Union foreign ministers also approved sanctions against this country on January 23 that include bans on Iranian oil imports, a freeze on the assets of the country’s Central Bank within the EU states, and a ban on selling grains, diamonds, gold and other precious metals to Iran.
In its bid to pressurize Iran further, Israel has ramped up its war rhetoric over the past few weeks and is threatening Iran with military strikes in case the international sanctions fail to insist Iran in abandoning its nuclear program.
This pressure from Israel is sending alarms to the international community. The US is now asking Israel to postpone the attack on Iran for some time to wait and see whether the existing sanctions work for them or not. What now remains a main concern among the international leaders is that whether the region will have to face a war or not.
According to the experts, if Israel actually attacks on Iran, the kind of effect it will have on Middle Eastern region is unclear. However, whatever the effect be, it is for sure that the region would be highly unstable and may call for a cold war which would implicate the entire Middle East.
There is no doubt that Israel would regard any expansion of nuclear weapons capability within its region as an intolerable threat to its survival. Although, the country is in no hurry to call it a war and would certainly not disrupt its relation with the US. However, if it perceives an immediate threat in the form of Nuclear Iran, it will not think twice before making it a ferocious war that may negatively impact the position of both the countries and may also pose a challenge in front of the world in terms of the oil supplies and also strategically.
It is time that Israel should think and act as the international community wants it to. The Islamic country should definitely be given some more time to rethink and clearly define to the world what its real intention with the nuclear development is.
Who can forget how badly Israel was implicated during the Second World War. A nation which has still not recovered from the aftermath of the Second World War should not come out with such ordeals for someone else. Besides, the country has always been into conflict with its neighbours like Palestine and Iran.
Israel should work for developing peace in the region and not implicate the situation more. It is high time that Israel should stop guarding others and should focus more on its internal matters. Perhaps it will help the nation more in ensuring prosperity.

Syrian Hitler in the making – Bashar al Assad

Since the Arab Spring Uprisings I have been observing the entire phases of the Syrian Revolution which though was started modestly but largely the protests were organized outside Syrian state domain but there was something an incident which will fume the hearts of Syrians with the fire of freedom and the moment came which provoked the greater revolt of the 21st century Arab World in a Tunisian style by Hasan Ali Akleh who set himself on fire by pouring gasoline the same way as Mohamed Bouazizi of Tunisia did on 17 December 2010 who actually laid the foundation of Arab Uprising whereas the later laid the foundation stone for the historic Syrian revolution but why this happen in a country where people love to live in happiness, where even though the state is ruled by Islamic regime but secularism and freedom of religion is guaranteed under constitutional provisions.

However I looked back to the history of Syrian politics and its political sufferings of its citizens under the draconian laws nexus which forced them to stay behind closed doors of the silent streets. This uprising has its roots tracing to the event which would change the scenario of the entire Syrian heartland on 10th June 2000 when former President of Syria Hafez Al Assad passed away who was succeeded by his direct hair apparent Bashar Al Assad.

A bright looking with soft touch President of Syria – Bashar Al Assad used to be man who when took presidential oath in 2000 after his father’s death Hafez Al Assad who ruled Syria for 29 years until his death every Syrian thought that he is the leader who will give them their freedom, their authority to live freely in a democratic and fundamental society, a leader who will raise their lives in from the state of pariah where they will have values to live, where they can practice their rights to stand against the injustice being done from decades under the emergency rule which was imposed on them un-necessarily in 1963 but the eyes of this new wolf of Bashar were betraying the faith of his citizens.

From the date he was elected as the Syrian Premier countless allegations were made against him and his regime. Since the implementation of the emergency state the record of human rights has remain poor throughout which has now worsened and is termed as the worst in the world after 26 January 2011 uprising whose light continues to shine brighter. After the bloodiest of all massacre in Hama by Bashar’s father in 1982 by any Arab regime in modern day Middle East against its own people more than 10 – 40000 people were brutally killed under scorched earth which even today haunts the entire Arab world specifically Syrians.

Though belonged from a Alawite community which is a section of Shia Islam and is minority in the Sunni majority Syria, has been ruling the country now for more than 40 years but there had never been any problem in the lives of people much larger until the holocaust of Hama did not happened then with this incident of horror created the already much widened fault line between the historically divided people of this nation. Who had knew the one day even after that terrified event the land of silence will broke its silence and will raise its head against the monster who would never like to watch anyone taking a mass stand against it.

The protest started on 28 January 2011 in Ar-Raqqah for the killing of two soldiers of Kurdish descent but this will going to shape into a new raging storm hence Day of Rage wall called on February 5th through social networking sites of Facebook and Twitter which played an important role in organizing the entire series of protests across the country. Within no time world smells the flavor of Syrian air all across the globe in front of Syrian embassies which goes for sometime but with no response to receive from the deaf authorities while the developments in the oppositions were on the rise the city of Daraa was preparing to become the centre of first violent spree where over 100,000 people gathered to march against the regime in which at least 20 protestors were killed.

Since then the violence spread throughout the national territory and clashes now has become the daily part of everyone’s lives there. More than 3000 people have been killed so far by the political forces and more than thousands detained for breaching the law and for defaming the government. People in Syria are fighting for their rights since independence but whenever the demand arises it was crushed brutally by force.

The promising decade old leader Bashar too had denied the freedom and liberty to his people for which now he is facing the music playing with the lives lost fighting against him. He is turning no stone unturned to crush the rebellion which has shaken the very foundation of his Baa’th Party. The revolution is now progressing in its eight months of blood bath battling with no means to stand guard against the heavily armed and in control their president who has become an admirer of Adolf Hitler is now walking on his footsteps. Bashar al Assad regime though has always been criticized by the international community but has never been more brutal than ever before as it now.

When the innocent people are being slaughter in Syria by this monster dictator the international community is still enjoying its sleep in the warmth of its comfort. Till now the progress has been slow so far in terms of bringing the Baath regime and its leader the main guilty Bashar Al Assad who has not even forcefully tortured his own people but also have killed them brutally just like a butcher slaughter the speechless innocent animals in the same way he is slaughtering his own people just like anything.

Though International Court of Justice had said about the Syrian regime and its forces of being guilty but nothing till now has been concretize neither diplomatically nor strategically. But in order to break the complexities of Syrian protest killings and come out with any solution one needs to understand the Syria’s strategic importance and its undisrupted relations with Iranian Mullah Regime and terror outfits of Hezbollah and Hamas. Since the Iran’s Islamic revolution Syria has been the closest ally of Iran who had always supported unconditionally in every circumstances whether it was Iraq – Iran war of 1980 and 1988, providing strategic positioning and lobbying for Iranian cause or when USSR tried to isolate Iran from being a powerful neighbor of Afghanistan during Soviet invasion in the bordering country.

In return Iran too has always been supporting the Baath party government with economic and financial aid in large amount, technology, even with cheap oil supplies to Syria at time of embargo. This connection is not only on the basis of support but also on terms of the religious ideology which serves as the bond between the Shiite nexus which spreads from Persian Gulf to Eastern Mediterranean which places Syria in a centered location strategically placed.

Though dominated by the Sunni Muslim population but the Alawite minority which traces its roots to Iran Shiites has been ruling the country from last four decades crushing all the uprisings with a heavily armored fist. This makes the Assad Family the closest allies and aide to not only Iran but also Hezbollah. Bashar who enjoys the leadership position in the Shiite world had very holocaustic ideology against the other factions and sections of not only Syrian community but also the regional one.

Even though the secular state has been guaranteed under the adopted constitution but it’s only for the name sake which never has seen the reality where people who are Kurd, Sunnis, Catholics and Jews continue to face the discriminatory use of forces against them by the their so called leader Bashar Al Assad who had used and applied everything possible to crush the opposition voices.

With the help of Iran he had now procured the technology to monitor the communication of the people by tracing the mobile messaging, calls, internet and other communication network through highly sophisticated and electronic and cyber control system which has been recently introduced to control and monitor the revolt and break down the protests spreading like a wild fire in all the corners.

Technology is not the only way this butcher president through which he is able to closely monitor and trace the progress of this rebellion but also through illegal arms supplies from the Lebanese black markets where since the outbreak of Arab Spring uprisings the prices are going sky rocketing with the increase in demand along with the uninterrupted indirect supplies of advance ammunition from Iran helping Bashar to curb the all kinds of protests and voices raising their head against him and fortunately he is able to hold his position more stronger than before making him to successfully destroy every hurdle coming in his way of his political empire.

Apart from these indirect and direct support from friendly countries he has also followed his own measures of enforcement which he applied by cutting electricity and water supplies first in the unrest areas like Homs, Daraa and many other cities where even the food / ration supplies have also been stopped has changed the prosperous and flourishing settlements into a famine like situation where people not only dying from bullets but also from hunger and utilities shortage. The leader must be the savior not the killer but this hungry and thirsty beast has left no stone unturned to snatch away the lives of those who wanted a live in democratic free environment.

Nevertheless the story for his success which looks so simple is not so simple his forces and militants though have been able to control the revolution but the there is someone who has been sending his forces to support this devil to fight against the opposition and that supplier of the hidden army is Iran who has been accused several times for sending the direct forces of revolutionary guards well trained enough to handle these crisis and to save his best ally from the toppling of the Baath party government.

The uprising is not only for the freedom or liberty of their denied rights but between the two different ideologies which lives in the Muslim of world. This is all being done in order to tap the resources for their personal exchequer and challenge the very autonomy of other Arab states in the if Syria is gone from the hands of Iran the whole existence of the Iran regime and its diplomacy will be thrown away into the darkness of isolation. The existence of Bashar indirectly helps Iranian regime to play its strategic games in the region which provides it the safe gateway to both the extreme regimes of this volatile and unstable region.

So, in order to tackle the mess of this Assad rule then the world have to bring down Iran first who has created the whole mess in the friendly world of Middle East by aiding terrorism, supporting extreme regimes like of Syrian Baath Party Government under the control of those who just have the fascist ideology to live with and carry on to other regions. Hundreds and thousands of people have lost their lives under the rule of the Assad family and their Dictatorship which have no space for freedom, liberty, fundamentals of the human rights, peace and love.

This regime only knows to kill people, torture them hard, suppressing them brutally; being the leader of the masses doesn’t that everybody must be treated like slave. The cruelty of the Hafez’s rule and atrocities of Bashar’s governance has not only spread the discrimination but also the terrorism across already unstable Middle East. If the governments of the world along with UN are serious to bring stability and democracy in the lives of innocent people there then they have to bring down the Bashar Al Assad’s regime by all means possible and should work towards bring the normalcy through democratic process and under the more liberal constitutional framework.

Imposing the sanctions of the hostile regimes will not solve the crisis as it has already proven that even though after sanctions Bashar’s regime was successful in holding its position and surviving strongly on the basis of various parallel illegal channels which are out of bounds under the lose global monitoring system but through proper negotiations and bringing the culprits like Bashar and his armed personnel to trail in the International court of justice in Hague and sending them to life term imprisonment or hang them until dead.

World must take strong action against this Syrian Hitler before it’s too late to take any action if world is serious in bringing the region and the globe to a normalcy. As the land of silence has now become the raging storm so the global community should also break its silence stand united against these vampire of this modern world sucking the blood of his own people.

 

Temporarely marriage

Prostitution, the oldest profession in the world is growing by the year. Prostitution is illegal in Iran and the penalties are severe from 100 lashes to execution. The numbers of prostitutes are increasing despite police crackdowns, especially in the capital city Teheran. The women are often young and include teenagers who have run away from home called  “dokhtarani khiyabani” meaning street girls .The runaway girls are usually fleeing home situations where their parents are abusive or are drug addicts or where they are subjected to sexual assaults. Some also are reported to be girls who have been married off at a young age by impoverished parents but face conflicts with older, exploitative husbands. But after they escape to towns and cities, they find they have no employment prospects and end up begging, engaging in petty crime, or working as prostitutes. So what increases prostitution in Iran? Some reasons are the widespread poverty, high rate of divorce, and the amount of runaway girls fleeing abusive homes becomes bate for those who lure them into prostitution.

A sign showing many of the offices people can get married.

This is a problem for the Iranian government and to deal with the problem, they have come up with a solution; temporarily marriage also called “Nikah al-Mut’ah.”

This marriage is a fixed term marriage anywhere from 1 hour to 99 years in exchange for a special amount of money which you also can renew again and again if wished. The only thing you need to do is to find an office of a marriage cleric who writes temporarily marriage certifications. The marriage is called “mut’ah” or “sighe” and is generally used by young men and women who want to avoid trouble with the moral police and the men who want to pick up one of the many prostitutes. As everyone knows, there are strict punishment for romance between unmarried men and women, and in case you are sitting in a coffee shop or hanging out in the park with the opposite sex and the moral police pays you a visit, then you can just wave your temporarily marriage certification and avoid 100 lashes.

Men can marry as many women they can afford but women can only be involved with one man and can’t enter another relationship before the 3 months of waiting period is over. Sometimes it’s not about the romance and a few amounts of people do use it for economical reasons or to just share an apartment together. Under temporary marriages, practiced largely by Shiites and banned by Sunni Muslims, there are no limits as to the number of temporary wives a man can take unlike in Sunni communities. Practiced mostly in Iran and used among everybody, even the most religious. In most of the cases the women who become sighe are divorced or widows. Virgin women need to have permission from their father or paternal grandfather to enter into such a marriage, and temporary marriages involving young unmarried women are quite uncommon except among the extremely needy. In case the girls want to enter a real marriage, the virginity can be restored easily for a few hundred dollars.

To relieve lust of youth

Iran’s interior minister, Moustafa Pourmohammadi urged the revival of the practice of temporary marriage permitted under Shiaism to give young people easier legitimate access to sex. The minister also described the practice as “God’s rule” and said it was an alternative to pre-marital sex.

“The increase in the marriage age in this country has caused many problems,” he told a conference in the city of Qom. We have to find a solution to meet the sexual desire of the youth who have no possibility of marriage. Islam is a comprehensive and complete religion and has a solution for every behaviour and need, and temporary marriage is one of its solutions for the needs of the youth,” he stated.

Feminists, clerics and officials have begun to discuss sigheh as a solution to the problems of Iran’s youth that stands for 65% of the 70 million population, combined with high unemployment, means that more couples are putting off marriage because they cannot afford it. This is not the first time that people in the Islamic Republic have tried to promote sigheh as the first person to discuss it openly was Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani when he was President. In a sermon in 1990, he called sexual desire a God-given trait. Don’t be “promiscuous like the Westerners,” he advocated, but use the God-given solution of temporary marriage.

A new plan by some senior Iranian clerics for solving the country’s problem of street prostitution has raised debates. The plan is to create so-called “chastity houses” for destitute women where men could marry them for a few hours. The critics have said that it will push more poor women and runaway girls into becoming prostitutes. The temporary marriage license would protect the couple from harassment by authorities and, according to some proposals; it would be accompanied by free contraceptives and health advice. Under religious law, a temporary marriage imposes no obligations on a man unless the union produces a child, who must be recognized as legitimate and can claim a share of any inheritance. There are already tens of thousands of children from temporary marriages whose fathers do not acknowledge them and therefore are considered illegitimate. These children face difficulties in getting the identification papers needed for school and work. Without these papers, they are shut off from family inheritance and from government assistance normally available to poor or orphaned kids. Besides this the shame follows them all their lives.

Maryam and Karim- A sad love story

Karim gave her clothes and a little money from time to time during their “marriage,” but not the gold coin he had promised her with each renewal of their contract. He told her she was beautiful, something her husband had never done to her. She cleaned his house occasionally and even met his brothers and he met her mother. “She knew that I was with a man,” Maryam said, “but would have preferred I was with him illegally than his sigheh.”

In the 5th year of their relationship, Karim began to call less frequently. Maryam went to a fortune-teller, who told her that Karim was to be married. When she confronted him, he said that it was over and after their contract ran out, he married a virgin chosen by his parents. Because of her divorce, she said, “he told me right from the start that he couldn’t marry me permanently but he treated me so nicely that I thought things would change.” Maryam was so much in love that she even offered to become Karim’s temporary wife again after he was permanently married but he refused.

Sources;

Picture from Nettavisen and google. Some statistic and information from IPS, pars times, BBC and some Iranian sources.

The easy way out

Suicide is defined as the deliberate killing of oneself. Nowadays, suicide has become the most growing cause of death among youth between 15 and 25. The difficult question is; “why do the students kill themselves?”

Some of the reasons may be the pressure the students face as they must succeed with the expectations back at home from parents. The shame in the classroom mixed with the shame at home marks the students deeply. Suicide does not come to mind immediately but slowly grows stronger as the person feels lost, lonely, confused, anxious, depressed and stressed. The major victims are those who come from a small town or village and are harassed by the “cool” students from the metro cities.

South Korea

Korea is famous for its education and one of the effects of this pressure has increased the suicide rates among students down to teenagers. A total of 146 students have committed suicide in 2010 alone.

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is one of the nation’s top universities, but it has become known for the rising suicides among its students. Four students and one professor have committed suicide in the last three months at this prestigious university. KAIST’s students have blamed the pressure of intense competition and the unique penalty system which charges the students extra fees for underachievement that has contributed to the suicides. If the grades falls below 3.0, the student is forced to pay 63,000 Korean Won (around 58$)

KAIST University was established by the Korean government as the nation’s first science and engineering institution and has received huge government financial and legal support. Therefore, many have argued that KAIST students should not complain about the stress and competition since they are being supported by the government and enjoy privileges while ordinary students have none of these benefits. They are also excluded from military duty while all able bodied Korean men are obliged to take.

Mental Weakness

Right after the 4th suicide, President of KAIST, Suh Nam-pyo said in a press conference that the school will scrap its penalty system but it was not enough for the public who called for the President to resign since he had created this system. His comments after the suicide made people go against him as he meant that the students who committed suicide were suffering from mental weakness.

India

Between 2006 and 2008, 16,000 school and college students committed suicide according to the health ministry.  The World Health Organization (WHO) along with experts and doctors has demanded that a long term strategy needs to be put in place to tackle problems like anxiety, depression, stress and suicidal tendencies. As Cherian Verghese, a specialist with WHO India said; “The mental health system needs and overhaul. Our schools might be giving good education but we need education in life skills.”

The social taboo around mental health is a problem and the country needs more psychiatrists and social counselors who can counsel people during post-disaster trauma disorder. In a country with almost 1,21 billion people, living with social stigma, growing competition and the desire to succeed in every field, there are almost 3,500 psychiatrists trying to cope with the mental health.

From the beginning of 2010, more than 20 students committed suicide in Mumbai, India’s biggest financial capital. One of the mistakes of the schools is that, the schools pay more attention to results than to the “total education” of the child. And when parents are caught up with work, it creates a lack of attention and love but the expectation of good grades remains.

Japan

According to a report issued by the national police of Japan (NPA) as an annual study of suicide on March 3, 2011, suicide rates in Japan have increased 20% in 2010 and those who commit suicide mostly are unemployed. NPA report mentions the unemployed who committed suicide were mostly students or scholars. In 2009, the rate of student suicide unemployment counted 23 people and this number increased in 2010 with 53 people, 130% more.

China

As millions of students graduate every year, one in three graduates is unable to find a job. Already in 2009, suicide was listed as the leading cause of death among students. With 1.5 million graduates from 2009 still out of work, there are simply not enough jobs to go around, and the problem has been exacerbated by the impact of the global financial crisis.

In a country where university education has become crucial for the future success, the government has tried to manage the problem by offering soon-to-be-graduates positions as teachers and low level government positions in rural areas, but few are willing to return to the country side since their degrees was supposed to guarantee them escape and a better life.

Self-poisoning suicide attempts among students in Tehran, Iran.

A cross-sectional study was conducted on self-poisoned students admitted to Loghman-Hakim Hospital in Tehran, Iran and the study included age, sex, substance abuse, personal history, familial history and the immediate precipitant for the suicide attempt.

The results showed that a total of 248 students (200 F and 48 M) Self poisoning with a pharmaceutical agent was the most common attempt modality (87.5%). The most common precipitant for the suicide attempt was family conflict (54.4%), followed by romantic disappointment (29.4%). The most common psychiatric disorders were adjustment disorder (84.3%). and depression (18.1%).

Facts about suicide (religious tolerance.org)
  • Industrialized countries tend to have a higher suicide rate than poor developing countries.
  • U.S. suicide rates are highest in the western and rocky mountain states and low in the northeastern states.
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among the population.
  • The most common method used my male are firearms (58%) and women to choose poisoning (40%).
  • More females than males attempt suicide.
  • More males than females succeed at suicide.
  • Married people have a lower rate of suicide than those who are divorced, separated, widowed or single.
  • Among the most common faith groups in the U.S., protestants have the highest suicide rate, Roman Catholics second and Jews as the lowest rate.
  • A person has a higher risk of committing suicide if their parent, close relative or close friend has taken their own life.

Click at the picture for a larger image

What are the reasons?

According to WHO, in the last 45 years, suicide rates have increased by 60% around the world and are placed among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 and almost 30% of the suicides in the world occur in India, Japan and China. India stands for 10% of the suicides in the world, Japan has 30,000 suicides every year, in South Korea, one human life is ended by suicide every 40 minutes and in China, 287,000 people take their own life vey year.

Now that we have seen the numbers and statistics of suicide, the focus should actually be on the reason why people choose to end their life, and researches have shown many various reasons combined with the culture and environment of the country they live in. But one important reason is economic hardship together with the society becoming more and more materialistic and the people’s struggle to keep up. In the urban areas, stress and depression is the major causes for suicide.

Japan has always had very traditional societal structure and for a person to lose his/her job is considered as the ultimate shame and suicide preserves the person’s honour and makes them avoid shame. Then there is the pressure placed on the Korean students that the exam season is known as the “suicide season”. Now, the Korean government has started to launch public campaigns against suicide as well as educational programmes to avoid signs of depression and prevent suicidal tendencies. In China, there is awareness of the problem but there is still no strategy put forward to prevent it.

I have collected various reasons from different sources and put them together as a small guideline to prevent students in any age to commit suicide.

1. Lack of harmony between child and parents.

Many parents work to make an earning and as they are pressured with time, tension from work, tight schedules, family problems and worries about life, they become unable to pay attention to their children. The only thing they achieve is to fulfil the children’s basic needs and provide money. The children feel lonely and pressured to not fail as this will bring them shame. Another important aspect is that parents must find time to follow what the children are doing, where they go, who their friends are and etc.

2. Inefficiency

Some parents expect too much of their children and this imposes a heavy burden on the child. The parents must not be disappointed, angry or insult the child in case of a failure but rather encourage them to succeed next time as failure is the pillar of success.

3. Admission process

India is one of the countries with this problem where students have to wait in long queue throughout the day in rural areas or at computer centers as t electricity comes and goes. Situations like this bring frustration and anger. Here the government or the school must provide better ways for the students to get the necessary tools they need.

4. Keeping happy atmosphere at home.

Parents should not involve the children in their tensions and listen carefully to them. The children will be stronger if the parents give them discipline together with love and good culture. By this, the parents will manage to transfer confidence to the children.

5. Frequent meetings between parent-teacher and child.

Frequent meetings make aware of children’s real position and their right things as well as wrong things can be checked out. Parents and teachers should encourage children by giving rewards and explain when they have done something wrong. These remedies will build the child for the future to handle failure much better.

 

Downfall of a Great Religion – Zoroastrianism

Origin:

Founded before 6th century BCE by the Prophet Zoroaster who was born in Bronze Age from his first vision of Vohu Manah at the age of 30 while taking a dip in Daiti River by the Almighty which the Parsis called in their language as Ahura Mazda in Persia or modern day Iran. There are no notions for reincarnation & they believe in the end of time when the world will be completely revived. The sacred scripture is called Avesta originally written in Old Iranian Language other than the modern day Persian. It used to be the greatest religion in the world during  Sassanid Rule 228BCE when it was at its peak where the empire had promoted the form of Zoroaster to the regions of Central Asia, South Asia, Middle East & even the horizon of their thought increased to Europe & China where even to this day ruins of their temple were found in Zinjiang region of China. With the invasion of Alexander the Great  III of Macedon in 330BCE the downfall of the golden Zoroaster era started when Alexander invading army toppling the Achaemenid Empire where after they burnt the imperial library & the archives where the sacred the texts of Holy Avesta were kept in the original form written by Prophet Zoroaster. Only the fraction of the text survives which later on rewritten by organizing few priests of Zoroastrianism during the Middle Ages when Persia was facing the threat of Arab invasion who under the Umayyad Caliphate toppled the Persian Empire completely & enforced several laws including Jizya which even Persians used to imposed on non Zuruthashtra & conversion missions  were organised to carried out the conversion of non Muslims to Islam where after the 7th century they were left with two choices either to migrate to other neutral regions where they have more acceptable governments or to convert themselves to Islam.

Religious Scripture:

Avestan is the sacred holy book originally written by Zoroaster in the Old Iranian Language Avestan. After the loss of the original teaching due the fire incident of the Imperial Library by the invading Alexander III of Macedon only the fraction of it survived. During the 7th century under the Umayyad Caliphate few priests of Zoroastrianism organised the teachings of Zoroaster. Now the available sacred religious text is divided into the several books which are written in the Avestan script remain to this day are Gathas, Yasna, Visperad and the Vendidad. Along with these texts is the communal household prayer book called the Khordeh Avesta, which contains the Yashts and the Siroza. The rest of the materials from the Avesta are called “Avestan fragments”. The secondary books which are available though not scriptures but the religious works written during Middle Ages in Pahlavi script: Denkard, Bundahishn, Menog-i Khrad, Selections of Zadspram, Jamasp Namag, Epistles of Manucher, Rivayats, Dadestan-i-Denig, and Arda Viraf Namag. All Middle Persian texts written on Zoroastrianism during this time period are considered secondary works on the religion, and not scripture. Nonetheless, these texts have a strong influence on the religion.

Rituals & Beliefs:

Parsis or Zoroastrians’ don’t believe in reincarnation. In Zoroastrianism corpse is host of decay or druj. The Practice of ritual exposure is practiced only by Parsis of Indian Subcontinent where it is not illegal at the” Tower of Silence” whereas where the other disposal methods are available the Zoroastrians either cremate or bury in grave which are cased with lime mortar. Marriage outside religion leads to expulsion from the community. Acceptance of child in the community is only if the father is Parsi otherwise there is no acceptance. Practice like these has lead to further decline of community which suffers from already High infant mortality rate of 200 births per 1000 deaths. Due to this the Zoroastrian community principle seat based in Los Angeles & Paris has decided to discontinue these types of system & invite or encourage couples to accept partner outside their faith. They believe in Water & Fire as main two forms of life. Rituals or worshipping can be performed in the presence of any source of light which has shine. Fire Temple is the place where manor religious activities are performed like marriage, purification, religious faith acceptance ceremony for children & other important daily rituals.

Festivals:


  • Nouruz, New Year’s Day. In the Fasli/Bastani variant of the Zoroastrian calendar, this day is always the day of the spring equinox (nominally falling on March 21).
    In the Shahenshahi and Kadmi calendars, which do not account for leap years, the New Year’s Day has drifted ahead by over 200 days. These latter two variants of the calendar, which are only followed by the Zoroastrians of India, celebrate the spring equinox as Jamshed-i Nouroz, with New Year’s Day then being celebrated in July/August as Pateti (see below).
  • Pateti, “(day) of penitence” (from patet “confession,” hence also repentance and penitence). This is actually a day of introspection, and originally occurred on the last day (or on the last 5 days) of the calendar year. For reasons related to single day occasions being observed over six days, (the last day of) Pateti came to fall on (the first day of) the New Year’s Day celebrations, and in India (Shahenshahi/Kadmi calendars) came to be “celebrated” on New Year’s Day itself. Although the name has been retained, Pateti is no longer a day of introspection.
  • Sadeh, a mid-winter festival traditionally celebrated 100 days (hence sadeh) after the first day of winter, or alternatively, 50 days (100 days and nights) before New Year’s Day. Because this festival involves building a bonfire, it is also called Adar-Jashan.
  • Zartosht No-Diso, the death anniversary of Zarathushtra, which is celebrated on the 11th day (Khorshed) of the 10th month (Dae). In the seasonal calendar, Zoroaster’s death anniversary falls on December 26.
  • Khordad Sal, which celebrates the birth anniversary of Zoroaster. It falls on the 6th day ([K]hordad) of the 1st month (Farvardin). In the seasonal calendar, Zoroaster’s birth anniversary falls on March 26.

Zoroastrian Calender:

The Shahenshahi and Kadmi variants of the calendar do not inter-calcate leap years and hence the day of the Gregorian calendar year on which these days are celebrated shifts ahead with time. The third variant of the Zoroastrian calendar, known as either Fasli (in India) or Bastani (in Iran), intercalcates according to Gregorian calendar rules and thus remains synchronous with the seasons.

The month-names (with Avestan language names in parentheses), in the ordinal sequence used today, are:

1. Frawardin (Frauuašinąm) 

2. Ardwahisht (Ašahe Vahištahe)

3. Khordad (Haurvatātō)

4. Tir (Tištryehe)

5. Amurdad (Amərətātō)

6. Shahrewar (Xšaθrahe Vairyehe)

7. Mihr (Miθrahe)

8. Aban (Apąm)

9. Adur (Āθrō)

10. Dae (Daθušō [Ahurahe Mazdå])

11. Wahman (Vaŋhə̄uš Manaŋhō)

12. Spendarmad (Spəntayā̊ Ārmatōiš)

 

Demographics:

As per 2004 estimates the number of Zoroastrians worldwide was estimated at between 145,000 and 210,000. In the Indian census of 2001, the Parsis numbered 69,601, representing about 0.006% of the total population of India, with a concentration in and around the city of Mumbai. Due to a low birth rate and high rate of emigration, demographic trends project that by 2020 the Parsis will number only about 23,000 or 0.002% of the total population of India. The Parsis would then cease to be called a community and will be labeled a “tribe”. By 2008, the birth-to-death ratio was 1:5—200 births per year to 1,000 deaths.

In Iran, emigration, out-marriage and low birth rates are likewise leading to a decline in the Zoroastrian population, which is currently estimated at fewer than 20,000.

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