The Iranian History 2009 AD


EU Protects MKO Terrorists

Jan, 28, 2009 AD

While Iran and Iraq were negotiating truce, MKO terrorists assaulted in full to capture strongholds in Kurdistan but they were crushed during the Mersad operation that started on July, 28, 1988:4800 of mercenaries were killed while others fled to Iraq.(FNA) - The European Union's decision to take the anti-Iran terrorist group MKO off its blacklist has caused angry reactions in the Iranian society.
Iran's Attorney General Ghorbanali Dorri Najafabadi condemned the EU action and called it an unjustifiable measure.
Najafabadi said the action indicates the EU's wrong perception of the phenomenon of terrorism and reveals the politically-motivated measures adopted by certain powers.
"From the point of view of some communities and powers, terrorism occurs only when it jeopardizes their interests," the attorney general added.
According to a report by the ISNA, the Islamic Iran Participation Front Secretary General Mohsen Mirdamadi in a letter to EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana expressed strong opposition to the move and called for the EU to revise the decision.
Removing the terrorist organization from the blacklist raises serious questions about EU's real commitment to international principles, the letter stressed.
Considering the disastrous terrorist measures of the organization against officials and civilians of Iran and Iraq and its destroying of the democratization process by creating fright and panic, the EU support for the organization violates its claims and concerns over terrorism, it added.
Association of Families of victims of the MKO terrorist activities in Iran, also issued a statement that condemned the measure, saying the name of the group will remain in Iranians' blacklist forever, the agency added in its report.
The remarks by the EU decision-makers over the issue shows that irrespective of their intention, they should be ashamed of their behavior, the statement said and added the measure has no benefit for any of the parties involved.
Representatives of five Iranian university student associations also came to the embassy of the Czech Republic, as the EU's rotating presidency, and submitted their letter of protest to the charge d'affaires.
The letter points to the EU's double standards, and indicates that the union is seeking to hurt Iran's interests. (Updated: Jan, 25, 2012)

Ahmadinejad Asks World Powers To Be Polite

Feb, 5, 2009 AD

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is visiting Nuclear installations in Natanz, 322 km south of Tehran, on Apr, 8, 2008. The Western media often spread provocative information about Iran's nuclear program which usually turn out to be baseless.(SPACEWAR) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked world powers on Thursday to be "polite" in dealing with Tehran, a day after diplomats from six countries met to discuss the nuclear standoff.
"Bullying powers should learn how to speak correctly and be polite so Iran's cultured and peace-loving people listen to them," Ahmadinejad said in the northeastern shrine city of Mashhad.
He did not single out any country but Iran has been at odds with the West over its peaceful nuclear program which Washington and its allies allege is cover for a weapons drive, something Tehran strongly denies.
"Iranians are logical people and if you have logical talk to offer; then provide it and say it. We listen to and welcome anyone who offers a solution to the problems of the world," the Fars News Agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
"The era of bullying is over," he said, adding it ended with Iran's Islamic revolution of 1979.
Iran set alarm bells ringing in the West on Monday with its launch of a domestically manufactured satellite. The West fears Tehran could use the same technology to carry nuclear warheads.
Tehran insists the satellite is for peaceful purposes only.
Ahmadinejad's remarks come a day after political directors from the UN Security Council's veto-wielding permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany met in Wiesbaden to discuss Iran's nuclear program.
The six powers, which were meeting for the first time since US President Barack Obama took office, expressed a shared commitment to a "diplomatic solution" to the standoff and urged Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).
In a fast changing world, leaders of occidental nations seem to lack a futuristic vision, sticking to World War II and Cold War rhetoric. Revolutionary Iranian masses on the other hand stayed united and determined for progress against all odds, threats and obstacles. (Updated: Jan, 31, 2012)

Parthian Battery Replicated

Feb, 10, 2009 AD

The Parthian Battery, is the common name for a number of artifacts created in Mesopotamia, during the dynasties of Parthian or Sassanid period (the early centuries AD), and probably discovered in 1936 in the village of Khuyut Rabbou'a, near Baghdad, Iraq. (FNA) - Iran has rebuilt the world's oldest battery, dating back to the Parthian Dynasty, to explore theories about its usage 2,200 years ago.
The Parthian Battery is the name given to galvanic cells found in an ancient tomb near Khujut Rabu in 1936 just outside modern day Baghdad.
The battery consists of a 14-centimeter-high egg-shaped clay jar with an asphalt stopper. An iron rod protruding out of the asphalt is the anode, which is surrounded by a copper cylinder used as the cathode. Filled with vinegar as an electrolytic solution, the jar produces an electric current.
A Sharif University of Technology student has reproduced the battery in the exact measurements to test the three hypotheses he had on the applications of the battery.
His first theory is that the battery had been used for electroplating gold onto silver objects.
"The part to be plated is the cathode of the circuit while the anode is made of gold," Amin Taheri Najafabadi explained. "Both components are immersed in cyanide-gold salt."
He notes that cyanide-gold salt is not easily found in nature but can be found in animal bile or saltwater.
Taheri has already disproved his second hypothesis that the battery may have been invented for electricity production, as its electric potential is around 0.5V.
He assumed that the battery may have had medical applications considering the bronze and iron needles discovered next to the Parthian Battery.
"The device and its conductive needles may have been used for pain control. The use of electricity in medicine was seen in ancient Rome where electric fish were used for pain reduction," Taheri said in support of his hypothesis.
The experiment was similar to a Discovery TV Channel program called MythBusters' 29th episode (March 23, 2005). Ten hand-made terracotta jars were fitted to act as batteries. Lemon juice was chosen as the electrolyte to activate the electrochemical reaction between the copper and iron. Connected in series, the batteries produced 4 volts of electricity. (Updated: Feb, 12, 2012)

Blast Kills Four Iranian Police Near Pakistan

Feb, 14, 2009 AD

Pahlavi era Zahedan Post Office before restorations was built on 570m sq in early 1930s with 16 rooms.Zahedan also known as Zahedan-e Yek; formerly known as Dowzdab is a city in and the capital of Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran.(FNA) - Four members of Iran's security forces were killed by an explosion set off in a booby-trap attack by rebels near the Pakistani border.
The state-run radio reported late on Friday that the four policemen were buried the same day in the city of Zahedan in southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province, but it did not specify when they were killed. Two others were wounded in the blast, it said.
Iranian security forces regularly clash with heavily armed drug smugglers and bandits in the southeast border area.
Last month also, several members of Iran's border security forces were killed in an ambush near the Pakistani border.
In December, Iran said the rebel group Jondollah had killed 16 police hostages who were abducted from a checkpoint in Sistan-Baluchestan in June. Tehran has said Abdolmalek Rigi the head of Jondollah is part of the al-Qaeda network.
Rigi was captured on Feb, 23, 2010, over the Persian Gulf waters while he was traveling on a plane via Dubai to Kirgizstan. On the day of the capture, at a press conference in Tehran, Iran's intelligence minister Heydar Moslehi provided a photograph showing Rigi at a US base in Afghanistan 24 hours before his arrest. (Updated: Feb, 6, 2012)

Israel Indicted For War Crimes

Feb, 16, 2009 AD

Young girls wearing Israel Army Uniforms sporting T-Shirts with a picture of President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on it. Although the two states have been hostile, people of the two countries make overtures to break the ice.(FNA) - More than 5700 Iranian lawyers indicted Israeli Leaders for their war crimes and genocide in Gaza onslaught based on domestic and international laws.
The lawyers submitted their appeal to Iranian Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Shahroudi.
Israel's recent military operation in Gaza killed some 1,400 Palestinians. Over 50,000 people were also left homeless in the enclave of 1.5 million. Israel's casualties in the conflict were put at 13, including 10 military personnel, while over 5,500 Palestinians have been wounded.
Shahroudi appointed Iranian Prosecutor General Saeed Mortazavi to pursue the case after receiving the 14-page appeal.
In 1947 the UN formally partitioned Palestine and allotted 55% of Palestine's land to the Zionist Regime. Within a year they had captured 78%.
On May 14, 1948, the state of Israel was declared. Minutes after the declaration, the US recognized Israel. The West Bank was annexed by Jordan. The Gaza strip came under Egyptian military control. Formally, Palestine ceased to exist except in the minds and hearts of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian people who became refugees.
Some of the trend for the racist attitude of the occupation Zionist state towards Palestinians is recorded in their political leaders' speeches.
In 1969, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said:"'Palestinians do not exist".
Her successor, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, said: "What are Palestinians? When I came here, there were 250,000 non-Jews, mainly Arabs and Bedouins. It was desert, more than underdeveloped. Nothing"
Prime Minister Menachem Begin called Palestinians 'two-legged beasts'.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir called them "grasshoppers who could be crushed".
In 1979, right after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, both Israel and South Africa embassies were shut down because of their racist and apartheid stance. (Updated: Feb, 6, 2012)

Five Die In Iran Plane Crash

Feb, 16, 2009 AD

IRI 2009: Iran-140 is the first home made 52 seat Passenger Aircraft cruising at a speed of 535 km/h over a distance of 2340 km.(FNA)- An Antonov training aircraft crashed in central Iran killing all five people on board on Feb, 16, 2009.
The aircraft crashed near Shahin Shahr, a town about 30 km north of the central Iranian city of Isfahan. The plane was incinerated in the crash, killing the pilot and four crew members.
On Nov, 27, 2006 another Russian made Antonov-74 airplane crashed at Mehrabad Airport killing 36 members of IRGC.
In most cases related to Russian made airplane accidents; the Iranian pilots were not familiar enough with navigation and other devices while Iranian aviation infrastructure has been based on western technology and standards.
Particularly inhumane USEU sanctions on Iranian civil aviation and bans on selling aircraft and repair parts to Iranian companies, besides mismanagement of some Iranian institutions have caused many accidents and human lives. (Updated: Feb, 14, 2012)

US Plots Against Iran/Syria Uncovered

Apr, 11, 2009 AD

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad leaves the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran in Oct 2010 after he was awarded with Iran's highest national medal by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Syria is in the middle of international conspiracy at the verge of a civil war.(Wikipedia) - The Iran Syria Policy and Operations Group (ISOG) was an interagency organization formed in early 2006 within the U.S. government, consisting of officials from the State Department, White House, Central Intelligence Agency, Treasury Department, and other agencies that worked, to influence regime change in Iran, and to influence its access to world banking and credit institutions. Co-chaired by Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, and Elliot Abrams, the former staffer for Ronald Reagan who was convicted of two felonies in the Iran–Contra scandal, the secretive group met weekly for about a year, also working to a lesser extent on Syria, in order to encourage regime change. Other members of the group's steering committee were James F. Jeffrey, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, who had headed the Iraq Policy group, and Michael Doran, a Middle East specialist from the White House.
Day to day operations were handled by David Denehy, a senior adviser on Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department, and a former official with the International Republican Institute. The group originally was "housed" in the same Pentagon offices that had housed the Office of Special Plans, the group that laid the groundwork for the United States invasion of Iraq. Before the group's dissoluton, Denehy moved his office from the State Department to the office of the Vice-President and continued to manage the group's affairs from there. The group operated for little more than a year, with a beginning budget of $7 million dollars that grew to $80 million. The group drew public scrutiny when leaks from the State Department revealed that, rather than have the program administered by career State Department staffers, or contracted via a bid process, the program was outsourced to BearingPoint, a private corporation specializing in discreet management, whose previous experience included such tasks as overseeing the "emergent" economic development in former USSR countries, and the more recent privatization of gold mines in Kazakhstan. ISOG's first BearingPoint staffers had also been hired to man the controversial Iraq Policy and Operations Group. Critics of the outsourcing maneuver cited it as an effort to circumvent the normal diplomatic channels and federal transparency guidelines and laws.
The group had 5 "pillars:"
1. A military group that explored military aid to Oman, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates and sought to influence the flow of weaponry into Iran.
2. Democracy outreach group that provided secret financial assistance to groups inside Syria and Iran in an attempt to promote regime change.
3. An economic "development" group that sought to control Iran's access to credit, and to international banking services
4. A "special relationships" group that scrutinized the interactions of Iran with Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, and independent terrorist organizations.
5. A media outreach group that targeted the people of Iran, Syria, and the Persian Gulf region.
The group arranged the sale of military equipment to Iran and Syria's neighbors, and otherwise used discretionary and secret funding of undisclosed amounts to "promote democracy" in the Middle East. The ISOG has given aid to the militaries of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, and also to the political opposition in Iran. The group was disbanded after little more than a year, when its mission had become controversial and at cross-purposes with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's initiatives for working with Iran and Syria to stabilize Iraq. At this time, ABC News reported, President Bush granted "secret" presidential approval to the CIA to conduct "black" operations to destabilized the Iranian government in a "non-lethal presidential finding" that authorized propaganda, disinformation, and manipulation of Iran's currency and international banking transactions.
On May 29, 2007, Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns reported to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a letter that "The ISOG was established in March 2006 and disbanded in March 2007 in favor of a more standard process". The dissolution of the group was interpreted at the time in media reports as indication that "hardliners" on Iran in the Bush government had lost their influence, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice steered the country away from militaristic policy planning and towards diplomacy.
As late as April 11, 2009, Iranian officials investigating "cyber-crimes" (Revolutionary Guards Corps) cited Cheney's efforts in the daily Iran Newspaper, specifically the "Democracy Program" initiative as parallel to a Netherlands-funded push for a Velvet Revolution accomplished by a media campaign to polarize the country, despite the 1981 Algiers Accords signed between the U.S. and Iran in the aftermath of Iran Hostage Crisis after which the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was shut down forever. (Updated: Jul, 19, 2012)

Presidential Election Shakes Iran

Jun, 12, 2009 AD

Iranian demonstrator Ali Hasanpour was among those falling Martyr during post-Election demonstrations on June, 15, 2009. Several people were killed and wounded by plaincloth militia who were never arrested or persecuted.The 9th presidential elections took place on 12 June 2009 with a high participation. The official results which declared Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner, were rejected by all three opposition candidates, who claimed that the votes were manipulated and the election was rigged.
During the days that followed, world media was watching Iran with dazzled eyes when anti-government protestors took it to the streets.
Protests against alleged electoral fraud and in support of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi occurred in Tehran and other major cities in Iran and around the world. The protests were given several titles by their proponents including Green Wave reflecting presidential candidate Mousavi's campaign color The events triggered a cyber war because of the protesters' reliance on social-networking Internet sites to communicate with each other.
-On June, 19, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the election was legitimate during Friday prayers adding that protests would no longer be tolerated.
-On June, 29, the Guardian Council certified the results of the election.
-On August, 5 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in for his second term as President of Iran in an official inauguration in Tehran.
Although protests continued, the government took some measures to take the situation under control. In the following days, Iran turned to a police state while some other measures were taken to lower public dissatisfaction.
-On February, 11, a very well organized demonstration marking the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution actually showed that Iranians were united against the foreign threats at a time when Iran's enemies were abusing the situation to proceed their own agenda.
American and British support of the opposition alongside financial and logistic support for terrorist groups trying to turn protests violent, raised awareness among Iranians and proved that the west is far from understanding an ancient society with millenniums of experience.
On the other hand, hardliners inside a regime which was at the verge of collapse came vis-à-vis the fact that they had to move in the direction that people choose not the one to satisfy a minority with seigniorial attitudes. (Updated: Mar, 25, 2010)

Raids On University Dormitories

Jun, 14, 2009 AD

Students clash with Supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and members of Basij militia hurling stones outside Tehran University Entrance during Protests the followed presidential Elections on June, 14, 2009.(Wikipedia) - The 2009 Iranian university dormitory raids took place on June 14, 2009 (or 24 Khordad in the Iranian calendar) at various university dormitories throughout Iran. The raids were carried out by the state-sponsored Basij militiamen against students suspected of having participated in the ongoing election protests.
The dormitories of Tehran University, the largest general university in the Islamic Republic of Iran, were raided by a partisan militia group called plainclothes. At least 3 men and two women were reported to have been killed or wounded.
Unrest between students and Basij also took place at Amir Kabir University in Tehran, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Razi University in Kermanshah, and University of Mazandaran; Ferdowsi University in Mashhad, in particular, was the scene of violence between students and members of both the Basij and the Ansar Hezbollah.
One hundred and nineteen faculty members of the University of Tehran resigned on June 15, 2009 in protest of the raid. Ali Larijani, speaker of the Iranian Majlis, condemned the raid and blamed the Interior Ministry for the unfortunate incident; the Interior Ministry, in turn, ordered a formal probe. (Updated: Mar, 10, 2012)

Neda Brutally Murdered In Protests

Jun, 20, 2009 AD

After disputed presidential elections of 2009, demonstrations erupted around Iran. On June 20, 2009 Neda Aghasoltan, 26 became one victim of the violence that followed and her martyrdom became the most widely witnessed death in human history.The footage of the death of a 26 year old Iranian girl; Neda Agha Soltan drew international attention after she was killed during the 2009 Iranian election protests. The protests erupted after allegations of widespread fraud at the polls. Neda's death was captured on video and broadcast over the internet and the video became a rallying point for the opposition. It was described as probably the most widely witnessed death in human history; quite strangely however the murderer(s) are still at loose.
Neda's death became iconic in the struggle of Iranian protesters against the disputed election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. She then became a symbol of women suffering and oppression in male-dominated Iranian society.
Neda was the middle child of an average family of three children. Neda graduated from Islamic Azad University in Islamic theology. She was divorced, and according to her mother, had difficulty finding a job.
On June 20, 2009, at around 6:30 p.m., Neda Agha Soltan was on her way to participate in demonstrations. As she was watching the protests she was shot in the chest right below her neck.
As captured on amateur video, she collapsed to the ground apparently still conscious. She was tended to by a doctor who tried to stop bleeding. Moments later, Neda lost consciousness and began to bleed heavily. As seconds passed, her eyes rolled to one side. Blood began to pour from her nose and mouth, and screams were heard. Later, she was pronounced dead at Shariati hospital.
There are conflicting witness accounts about where the shot came from; some said from a rooftop while others think the bullet came from a Basij militiaman on the street.
The state-controlled Iranian media was silent while Neda's death was the breaking news worldwide.
On June 22, Iranian presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, who were contesting the validity of the election, called upon Iranian citizens to commemorate Neda Agha Soltan.
The chief of the Tehran Police announced that his department had no involvement in the fatal incident. Meanwhile, riot police armed with live ammunition and tear gas was busy dispersing protesters around the city. The protests followed online calls for tribute to Agha-Soltan and others killed during the demonstrations. A prominent dissident cleric: Ayatollah Montazeri called for three days of public mourning for the death of Neda.
Neda Agha Soltan was buried at the Behesht Zahra cemetery. On June 23, to prevent Neda's family's home from becoming a place of gathering, authorities ordered removal of mourning banners from outside the home. Her family was later forced to evacuate their apartment.
As Neda became widely considered a martyr; Jean D'Arc of our times, on November 16, 2009, vandals removed her gravestone.
In December 2009, her family accused the security forces of killing her. This was the strongest statement the family of Neda Agha-Soltan made since her death.
State authorities blatantly labeled the incident a foreign plot against the Islamic regime but opposed independent investigations. The theocratic regime has been ignoring if not suppressing demands of a great portion of the Iranian society; a phenomenon that has resulted in social alienation and a costly exodus. (Updated: Oct, 31, 2011)

168 Die In Plane Crash

Jul, 15, 2009 AD

On July, 15, 2009, the Caspian Airlines Tupolev jet's impact plowed a deep, long trench into agricultural fields outside the village of Jannat Abad, and the aircraft was blasted to bits killing 153 passengers and 15 crewmembers.(AP) - A Russian-made jetliner carrying 168 people nose-dived into a field after taking off from the Iranian capital on Wednesday in a fiery crash that shredded the aircraft and killed everyone aboard — Iran's worst air disaster in six years. Witnesses say the plane's tail was on fire before it went down.
It was the latest in a string of deadly crashes in recent years that have highlighted Iran's difficulties in maintaining its ageing fleet of planes.
Iranian airlines, including state-run ones, are chronically strapped for cash, and maintenance has suffered, experts say. U.S. sanctions prevent Iran from updating its 30-year-old American aircraft and make it difficult to get European spare parts or planes as well. The country has come to rely on Russian aircraft, many of them Soviet-era planes that are harder to get parts for since the Soviet Union's fall.
The Caspian Airlines Tupolev jet's impact plowed a deep, long trench into agricultural fields outside the village of Jannat Abad, and the aircraft was blasted to bits. Flaming wreckage, body parts and personal items were strewn over a 200-yard (meter) area. Firefighters put out blazes from the crash, but smoke smoldered from the pit for hours after as emergency workers searched for data recorders and other clues to the cause.
Ali Akbar Hashemi, a 23-year-old, was laying gas pipes in a house by the field when he saw the stricken jet overhead. He said the plane was circling in the air, flames shooting from its tail section.
"Then, I saw the plane crashing nose-down. It hit the ground causing a big explosion. The impact shook the ground like an earthquake," Hashemi told The Associated Press by phone.
Plane crashes moments after takeoff.
The Tu-154M jet had taken off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) on Wednesday morning and was headed to the Armenian capital Yerevan. It crashed at 11:30 am about 16 minutes after takeoff outside Jannat Abad, near the city of Qazvin, around 90 km northwest of Tehran, civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh told state media.
At Yerevan's airport, Tina Karapetian, 45, sobbed and said she had been waiting for her sister and the sister's 6 and 11 year-old sons, who were due on the flight.
"What will I do without them?" She cried before collapsing to the floor.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known.
The plane was carrying 153 passengers and 15 crewmembers, Jafarzadeh and the deputy chairman of Armenia's civil aviation authority Arsen Pogosian said. "In all likelihood, all on board were killed," Pogosian told reporters at Yerevan airport.
Most of the passengers were Iranians, many of them from Iran's large ethnic Armenian community, as well as 11 members of Iran's national youth judo team. Five Armenian citizens were among the dead, Armenia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, along with two Georgians, including a staffer from the Caucasus nation's embassy in Yerevan.
Failed emergency landing
Serob Karapetian, the chief of Yerevan airport's aviation security service, said the plane may have attempted an emergency landing, but reports that it caught fire in the air were "only one version." He did not elaborate. A police officer told Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency that several witnesses reported seeing the plane's tail on fire.
The Tupolev's three engines are in its tail section. The flames there could indicate "an uncontained engine failure," said Patrick Smith, a pilot and the air travel and safety writer for
But he said it's too early to tell. The crash's root cause could be elsewhere, and the flames a sign of a compressor stall caused when the plane went out of control, interrupting airflow through the engine, Smith said.
The crash is Iran's worst since February 2003, when a Russian-made Ilyushin 76 carrying members of the elite Revolutionary Guards crashed in the mountains of southeastern Iran, killing 302 people aboard. That crash was a sign of how maintenance problems have also affected Iran's military.
Caspian Airlines is an Iranian-Russian private joint venture founded in 1993, with a fleet of Tu-154s built between 1989 and 1993. Russia produced 900 Tu-154s until production was halted in 1996.
Concerns over maitenance
The average age of Iran's fleet of aircraft is 22 years, said Masood Mohajer, an aviation expert in Tehran. Age itself may not be a problem — even older jets are in service around the world — but keeping them maintained is. Mohajer said Iranian airlines can't afford to keep even Russian planes in shape because of lack of government support.
He pointed to "the financial inability to buy new planes or carry out maintenance requirements."
"Iranian airliners don't have enough cash even to buy new Russian planes. The government controls ticket prices. It's not profitable for airliners," Mohajer said.
Some of the jets in Iran's fleet are U.S.-made craft bought before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which led to a cut-off in ties between the nations. U.S. sanctions since prevent Iran from buying parts for those planes or new ones.
In December 2005, 115 people were killed when a pre-1979 U.S.-made C-130 plane, crashed into a 10-story building near Tehran's Mehrabad Airport.
Sanctions interfere with safety
The sanctions also bar sales of European jets with a certain amount of U.S. parts, limiting Iran's ability to buy from Europe.
As a result, Iran has focused on Russian-built planes — like the Tupolev and Ilyushins, the Soviet-era workhorses for Russian civil air fleets. After the Soviet collapse, government funding sharply declined for manufacturers of aircraft and spare parts, and other countries using the planes have had a harder time getting parts.
There have been two other fatal crashes involving Tu-154s in Iran since 2002 that killed 128 people.
"There is a big question about the availability of spares for aircraft generally in Iran," said Chris Yates, a Britain-based aviation analyst. The Iranians may have turned to buying spares produced locally or from the black market, he said.
Smith said Russian aircraft suffer from a somewhat undeserved bad reputation — their "less impressive" record is in part because they have historically been used in harsher environments than Western models, like arctic areas, and by airlines in developing countries where safety standards aren't as strict.
"The plane is only as safe as how it's operated and maintained and how well trained its crewmembers are," he said. (Updated: Feb, 16, 2012)

Detention Of American Hikers/Spies

Jul, 31, 2009 AD

Three American hikers Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Josh Fattal during a press conference after their release in New York Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011.Two of American hikers were held for about 2 years in an Iranian prison for violation of Iranian territory.(Wikipedia) - On July 31, 2009, three Americans, Sarah Shourd (32), Shane Bauer (28) and Joshua Fattal (28), were taken into custody by Iranian border guards for allegedly crossing into Iran while hiking near the Iranian border in Iraqi Kurdistan.
2009–2011 detention of Americans by Iran:
Iran was suspicious that the three were spies as they were citizens of a hostile country who had violated Iranian territory. The three Americans maintained they were on Iraqi territory at the time of the arrest and denied they were involved in espionage in any way or doing anything other than having a recreational hike. A wide range of outside voices, including the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki Moon, and the Human Rights group Amnesty International, had called for the hikers' unconditional release.
Sarah Shourd was released 14 months later on "humanitarian grounds". Bauer and Fattal were convicted of "illegal entry" and "espionage" two years after their arrest and each sentenced to eight years in prison, but they were released on September 21, 2011. Each of the detainees was released after payment of 5 billion Rials (about $US 465,000) bail.
According to their later testimony, the three American detainees stated they were simply hikers who did not realize that they were in Iran and that they actually have lengthy backgrounds as social justice and Palestine Solidarity Movement activists. They had been living and active in the Middle East, and were on holiday in Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region of Iraq. They had been advised of the suitability of the region for a holiday by friends who had been there and through Internet research; and were recommended the Ahmed Awa Waterfall, a popular Kurdish tourist destination, by a number of local people whilst they were in Sulaymaniyah. After visiting the waterfall, they continued walking within what they believed to be Iraqi Kurdistan, up to and including the time they were detained by Iranian border guards.
In June 2010, an article in The Nation indicated that two villagers said the hikers were accosted by Iranian authorities while they were on the Iraqi side of the border. Although there are not always clear borderlines in the mountainous area, the Cold War style media outlets fed on the subject, naturally.
Their companion, Shon Meckfessel, was not detained, as he stayed behind at the Hotel Miwan in Sulaymaniyah because of a cold. He had intended to join them the following day.
The exact circumstances of their detention are unknown. They were being held in Evin Prison, with Shourd having been in solitary confinement and allowed out for two 30-minute periods each day to spend time with the other two.
The three detainees were not allowed to communicate with their families until May 2010. Swiss consular officials were able to visit them on September 29 and October 29, 2009 and confirmed they did not appear to have been physically mistreated (Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran because the United States has no formal diplomatic relations with Iran). However, upon the release of Fattal and Bauer on September 25, 2011, Shourd stated that "Bauer was beaten and Fattal forced down a flight of stairs".
Mothers of the three applied for visas in January 2010 to visit their sons and daughter and left for Iran in May 2010 after the government granted the visas. The three were united with their mothers for two days in May 2010 while remaining in detention.
Since their incarceration, Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd, who were already in a relationship when they were detained, have become engaged.
On 14 September 2010, after more than a year in prison, Sarah Shourd was released on 5 billion Rial (about 465,000 US$) bail. Iran's judiciary also announced that the pre-trial detention of Bauer and Fattal would be extended for two more months, at that time. Shourd remained a defendant but was not required by Iran to return for trial along with Bauer and Fattal in 2011.
Iran officials stated she was released on humanitarian grounds due to her declining health. Shourd's bail did not require that she remain in Iran, but her case would still go to trial along with Bauer and Fattal. Shourd's mother has said she had been denied treatment for serious health problems, including a breast lump and precancerous cervical cells. In May 2011, Shourd announced that she would not return to Iran for trial, citing acute ill-health.
On November 9, 2009, it was announced they were to be charged for espionage by Iranian authorities. On August 20, 2011, Bauer and Fattal were convicted of "illegal entry" and "espionage" and sentenced to a total of eight years in prison, each.
"According to an informed source with the judiciary, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, the two detained American citizens, have been each sentenced to three years in prison for illegal entry to the Islamic Republic of Iran," the Iran's state television website reported. It also stated that the two have separately been "sentenced to five years in prison on charges of espionage for the American Intelligence Agency (CIA)."
Their Iranian attorney, Masoud Shafiee, thought "the sentence was not consistent with the charges." Spying typically carries a death sentence in Iran.
President Ahmadinejad has stated his hope that the three would be able to prove their innocence of espionage, but stated they deserve at least some punishment for illegal entry into Iran.
Ahmadinejad also promised that he would ask the judiciary to treat the case with maximum lenience and expeditiously back in September but despite many public statements that a judicial proceeding is imminent there has been no hearing or movement on their case for nearly eight months. The detainees have been consistently denied access to their lawyer and Swiss officials have been stonewalled since late October. On February 15, Mohammad Javad Larijani, the secretary general of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, said it was "quite possible" the Americans had strayed into Iran by mistake. Mohammad Larijani is also a brother of Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, Chief Justice of Iran, and Ali Ardeshir Larijani, Chairman of Parliament of Iran.
At the beginning of August 2010, the Iranian government reiterated its belief that the trio should stand trial for illegal entry, and announced it was considering other charges such as "intentionally acting against Iranian security". On July 31, 2011, the two had their final hearing of the trial and the verdict is expected on August 7.
A team of United States Department of State officials, including diplomat Philo Dibble, coordinated with Omani and Swiss diplomats to secure the release of Bauer and Fattal.
On September 13 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told NBC News that Bauer and Fattal would be released “in a couple of days” in a “humanitarian gesture.” Ahmadinejad was scheduled to speak at the United Nations General Assembly the next week. However the release was delayed as part of "what analysts called a power struggle between Ahmadinejad and the conservative establishment he has angered," and soon after the announcement, Iran’s judiciary contradicted the president and stated it had exclusive authority to order their release. (The judiciary answers to the country’s supreme leader.) Bauer and Fattal were released at dawn September 21 and taken by a diplomatic convoy to a plane that took them to Oman.
Shafiee said the bail of 5 billion Rial (about 465,000 US$) for each of the men was posted by Oman. They were released into the custody of either Swiss diplomats or an Omani delegation. Omani officials, who maintain good relations with both Iran and the U.S., reportedly played a key role in negotiations with Iran and may have paid the almost $1 million bail.
The two men were released from prison and flown back to the United States via Oman on September 21, 2011.
Once Bauer and Fattal were back on American soil, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Joshua Fattal's Iraqi-born Jewish father, Jacob, had immigrated to Israel as a child and later came to the United States, where he married Fattal's mother, Laura. In an effort not to draw attention to their ties with Israel after Josh's arrest, the family decided that rather than having his father involved in public efforts for Josh's release, the task would go to Josh's brother, Alex, a doctoral student at Harvard University, and to Josh's mother, Laura, who was born in the United States. (Updated: Mar, 10, 2012)

Presidential Poll Protests Trial

Aug, 1, 2009 AD

An Iranian Girl Protesting 2009 IRI Election results that the Iranian regime called a foreign backed velvet revolution. Protests were brutally suppressed. (Wikipedia) – After announcement of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the winner of the presidential elections held on June, 12 2009 and allegations of fraud, protests erupted around Iran which followed a crackdown on dissidents.
- 2009 Iran poll protests trial:
On August 1, 2009, 110 people were put on trial, including prominent reformists, journalists and writers. Among them were former Vice president Mohammad Ali Abtahi, former government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, former Deputy Speaker of the Parliament and Industry Minister Behzad Nabavi, reformist lawmaker Ali Tajernia, Shahaboddin Tabatabayi, journalist Ahmad Zeydabadi, and others. Other people put on trial include French Embassy employee: Nazak Afshar, nine British Embassy employees, including Hossein Rassam, Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari, and French academic Clotilde Reiss. On August 16, 25 more defendants were added to the trial.
The charges included rioting, vandalism and acting against national security, disturbing public order, having ties with counter-revolutionary groups according to official sources.
In a press conference shown on state television several of the defendants - Abtahi, Kian Tajbakhsh, and Maziar Bahari - made confessions and withdrew charges against the election results they had made earlier.
Critics of the prosecution and the confessions by the accused, say the confessions, have been forced under duress from people being held in an undisclosed location without access to a lawyer, family, or friends, in violation of the human rights treaties to which Iran is supposedly a signatory.
Prosecutors have warned against questioning the legitimacy of the trial, threatening to prosecute doubters. The prosecutor read an indictment on August 8, 2009, that accused United States and Britain of stoking the unrest in an attempt to create a "soft overthrow" of the Iranian government.
The prosecution was led by Saeed Mortazavi, the Prosecutor General of Tehran, who allegedly had a role in the death of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, and the shutting down of 60 pro-reform newspapers. The sentences for the charges ranged from a short imprisonment to capital punishment.
Five people received death sentences for their parts in the protest. Mohammad Ali Abtahi was sentenced to six years. Two of presidential candidates: Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi were put under house arrest without a trial. (Updated: Mar, 10, 2012)

Report Of Prisoner Abuse In IRI

Aug, 9, 2009 AD

Elections 2009: An Iranian girl shows a victory sign. Foreign attempts to turn elections into a Velvet Revolution failed.Allegations of prisoner abuse were associated with the existence of the Islamic Republic of Iran since its foundation. Although news of torture, sexual misconduct and brief executions shook the world, voices were briefly silenced and Nazi style propaganda machine created headlines that quickly pushed such news aside. That is no more possible in the global village.
This time on Aug, 9, 2009 allegations came from Mehdi Karroubi, once the parliament speaker of IRI, in an open letter submitted to Hashemi Rafsanjani, head of the Guardian Council and Majma. His letter indicated testimonies of widespread torture and rape conducted on prisoners. These detainees were mostly arrested during demonstrations against widespread fraud at the presidential elections.
Only three days later, Ali Larijani, the new Majlis Speaker dismissed all allegations in such a hurry that casted more serious doubts on possibility of any justice in this case. Moreover intimidation and prosecution of fact-finding individuals and entities including human rights advocates continued until Larijani's brother was appointed as the head of the judiciary. He facilitated executions which his predecessor greatly opposed to.
It is somehow shameful to admit that Iran has never had a more Aniranian regime against its own people since the Qajar Dynasty.
Mehdi Karroubi soon faced same fate as Ayatollah Montazeri who warned Khomeini in a similar letter of consequences of injustice. (Updated: Jun, 11, 2011)

IRIAF Ilyushin Il-76 Accident

Sep, 22, 2009 AD

Iran Air Force Russian made Ilyushin Il-76TD takes off from Tehran - Mehrabad International Airport on August 11, 2009. It was confiscated from iraq Air Force as compensation for the a 8-year Iran-Iraq War.(Wikipedia) - The 2009 Iranian Air Force Ilyushin IL-76MD accident of September, 22 2009 resulted in the destruction of Iran's only functional Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, an Ilyushin IL-76MD. Sources conflict on the cause of the loss, with some stating that there was a mid-air collision with an Iranian Air Force Northrop F-5E Tiger II or a HESA Saeqeh, and others stating that the Rotodome detached from the aircraft, striking and removing the tailplane while the aircraft was maneuvering for an emergency landing following an engine fire.
A military parade was held in Tehran on September, 22 2009 to mark the anniversary of the start of the 1980–1988 Iran–Iraq War, and was a send-off for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who was to give a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September, 23rd. A fly-past by the Iranian Air Force was part of the parade involving the AWACS-equipped Ilyushin-76MD as well as Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs and HESA Saeqeh aircraft.
Sources vary on the cause of the accident. Some state that a fire developed in one of the engines, and that the radar dome detached from the aircraft while attempting to make an emergency landing on runway 29L at Tehran's Mehrabad International Airport. The detached radar dome struck the tail fin, removing it and caused loss of control which led to the aircraft crashing. Other sources state that the IL-76MD and one of the escorts collided in mid-air over Behesht Zahra .
The Ilyushin subsequently crashed in flames at Varamin, killing all seven crew members on board. Some reports state that no Mayday call was made, indicating a sudden event whilst other reports indicate that there was an emergency call from the aircraft with the pilot reporting an engine fire and calling for emergency landing authority. The accident was initially reported on the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) website, but was withdrawn 5 hours later. A video of burning wreckage from the military aircraft surrounded by fire trucks was also shown on state TV. However, president Ahmadinejad made no mention of it during his speech at the parade.
A video of the crash appeared on YouTube on June,3 2011, showing the stricken IL-76MD with its rear fuselage missing, spiraling down out of control and then impacting the ground. The scene was captured in the background of a video made while filming an in-flight refueling operation between two unrelated aircraft at the air show.
The aircraft involved was an Ilyushin Il-76MD, a Soviet-built transport aircraft, later converted to an AWACS system for the Iraqi Air Force called the Adnan-2 class AWACS. It had been flown from Iraq to Iran in 1991 during the First Persian Gulf War, given serial number 5-8209 and renamed from "Baghdad" to "Simorgh" (a flying creature of Iranian fable which performs wonders in mid-flight). After arrival in Iran, Russian technicians had reportedly upgraded the aircraft and installed newer Iranian-made radar, which could trace flying objects within a 1,000 kilometers range. The aircraft came into service in April 2008 and was the only AWACS-equipped Iranian aircraft. (Updated: May, 20, 2012)

Hafez-Goethe Dialogue In Germany

Oct, 12, 2009 AD

In 2009 disregarding the political atmosphere, the Hafez-Goethe memorial in Weimar, Germany was introduced and the first West East Divan Festival with the guest country of Iran took place and two cultural cities of Shiraz and Weimar became twin cities.(Persia Note) - For the first time in the Western world, Hafez Memorial Day was ceremonially inaugurated in Weimar, Germany on October 12, 2009. It was the first West-?stlicher Diwan (West-East Divan) Festival with Iran as the guest country taking place under the patronage of Germany’s Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
This commemorative event now recurs annually, thus assuring that Hafez will always be remembered with the same admiration as is accorded to Goethe, whose birthday is celebrated each year on August 28 in the City of Classicism.
On the same day, Shiraz and Weimar became twin cities, through the efforts of a small delegation from Weimar, which visited Iran in the spring of 2009 under the direction of Lord Mayor Stefan Wolf and artistic director Dr. Klaus Gallas of the West East Divan Festival Weimar. The city of Weimar, which honors the great poets Goethe and Hafez with its West Eastern Divan memorial, is the most appropriate venue for such a festival.
The dialog between Hafez; a 14th century Persian poet, and Goethe; an 18th German writer is an interesting case of Dialogue Among Civilizations, an idea which is as old as the written history but the term entered political dictionary during the presidency of Mohammad Khatami, as a response to Samuel P. Huntington’s theory of a Clash of Civilizations. Dialogue Among Civilizations was the basis for United Nations' resolution to name the year 2001 as the Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations.
In July, 2000, the Hafez-Goethe Memorial was inaugurated by the Iranian President Mohammad Khatami accompanied by German President Johannes Rau, a member of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD). (Updated: Nov, 27, 2012)

Shiraz Biogas Power Plant Operational

Dec, 22, 2009 AD

Shiraz Biogas Power Plant was inaugurated on Dec, 22, 2009. It uses gasification of biomass to produce bio-fuel for a pilot thermal power station with a capacity of 1.065 MW. It can generate more than 8,000 MW/h of electricity per year.(Wikipedia) - In accordance with stable global development, special role has been assigned to renewable resources of energy in international plans and policies, Iran Renewable Energy Organization (SUNA) has been working on this issue since 1995 in order to achieve updated information and technology in the field of renewable energy resources, measuring potentials and implementing various projects such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydrogen and biomass power plants.
The project of the Shiraz Biogas Power Plant was approved in 2001 and construction started on September, 27 2007. The plant became operational after an inauguration ceremony on Dec, 22, 2009.
Shiraz Biogas Power Plant uses gasification of biomass to produce bio-fuel for a pilot thermal power station with a capacity of 1.065 MW. It can generate more than 8,000 MW/h of electricity per year from biodegradable waste. It became the second of its kind in Iran after the Mashhad Biogas Power Plant.
Shiraz solar power plant is a concentrating solar power type pilot power station installed by SUNA. (Updated: Oct, 19, 2012)

Electin Protests On Ashura

Dec, 27, 2009 AD

An old man points his walking stick to a girl falling during post election protests in 2009(Wikipedia) - The 2009 Ashura protests were a series of protests which occurred on 27 December 2009 in Iran against the outcome of the June 2009 Iranian presidential election, which demonstrators claim was rigged. The demonstrations were part of the 2009 Iranian election protests and were the largest since June. In December 2009, the protests saw an escalation in violence, and some extremists crossed the line by damaging public property and setting police cars on fire.
Irregularities during the 2009 Iranian presidential election caused resentment among many Iranians. While post-election protests were mostly peaceful, some violence erupted, leading to clashes between security forces and protesters, while some outspoken political dissenters were detained.
However, dissenters continued to speak out against the Government, leading to further protests in December 2009.
On the eve of Ashura, a very special day for Shia mourning the state TV showed footage of protesters cheering in happiness. It was reported that terror groups such as MKO and Jondollah had infiltrated the crowd in order to create chaos and violence. In particular videos posted on the internet showed protesters singing, clapping and whistling on the Day of Ashura. Breaking an old taboo created negative sentiments against the Iranian Green Movement. The state media used the evidence and played this precious card well, riding the tide to crack down on dissidents.
The semi-official Fars News Agency said the clashes had been caused by Mousavi's supporters, who had "followed the call of the foreign media". It accused "deceived hooligans" of setting fire to the Quran and "disrespecting" Ashura.
Police described the deaths as suspicious and denied that orders had been given to open fire. Iran's deputy police chief, Ahmad Reza Radan, said only one person had been shot, but not by police.
Two days after the events, the Iranian president likened the anti-government protests during Sunday's observances of Ashura to "a theater play by the Zionists and the Americans," the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency said.
"The Iranian nation has witnessed many plays of this kind: a play ordered by the Zionists and the Americans, who had purchased the tickets to this play and were the only audience of this play," IRNA quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying.
There were factors that harmed the credibility of the anti-government campaign known as Green Movement. The fact that the western media known for its anti-Iranian instance supported the pro-monarchy lobbies and pupping up figures claiming leadership. Also, prominent leaders of the opposition did not keep a clear distance with known terror groups such as MKO.
On December 30, 2009, massive pro-government demonstrations took place in Shiraz, Arak, Qom, Mashhad, Isfahan and Tehran, among other cities in Iran. This was a turning point after which some key figures were arrested. Some prominent dissidents were put on trial and a few got prison sentences. (Updated: Dec, 21, 2012)

Massive Pro-Government Rallies

Dec, 30, 2009 AD

An Iranian woman paints her hand with colors of the Iranian flag as a sign for supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iranians went to the polls on Friday, June 12, 2009, after a hotly contested election campaign followed by protests.(Wikipedia) - On December 30, 2009, pro-government demonstrations took place in Shiraz, Arak, Qom, Isfahan and Tehran, among other cities in Iran to protest recent anti-government demonstrations connected with the much disputed 2009 presidential election. Participants numbered in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Slogans supported Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei against Mousavi. Speakers called on opposition leaders to repent from their opposition or be declared "enemies of God" and face the death penalty.
Observers differed on the size or representativeness of the demonstrations. One source called the main rally in the capital "possibly the largest crowd in the streets of Tehran since Ayatollah Khomeini’s funeral in 1989." But this was challenged by other sources. The opposition claimed that most of these demonstrators were civil servants or Basij militia but as a matter of fact: hostile countries leaded by the US had been capitalizing on election protests and unrest that followed and this triggered many Iranians who had a good historical memory to back the government. The state media called the event a legendary victory for the Iranian nation. (Updated: Jul, 19, 2012)

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