Tag Archives | Iran

James Risen is about to go to jail for refusing to name his sources

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I’m wondering if it’s time to enact a nationwide shield law.

via The Guardian:

If you blinked at the end of June, you may have missed one of the best pieces of journalism in 2014. The New York Times headline accompanying the story was almost criminally bland, but the content itself was extraordinary: A top manager at Blackwater, the notorious defense contractor, openly threatened to kill a US State Department official in 2007 if he continued to investigate Blackwater’s corrupt dealings in Iraq. Worse, the US government sided with Blackwater and halted the investigation. Blackwater would later go on to infamously wreak havoc in Iraq.

But what makes the story that much more remarkable is that its author, journalist James Risen, got it published amidst one the biggest legal battles over press freedom in decades – a battle that could end with the Justice Department forcing him into prison as early as this fall.

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Ferguson, MO and Tehran, Iran: What do these two places have in common?

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Washington Post reporters have been arrested in two places this year: Ferguson, Missouri and Tehran, Iran. Reporter Wesley Lowrey was arrested in Ferguson on Wednesday, and no charges were filed. He’s been released from custody. Jason Rezaian was arrested in Tehran in July and, while no charges have been made, he’s still being detained.

via Vox:

Over the past few months, Washington Post reporters, hundreds of whom work across the globe, have been arrested in exactly two cities: Tehran, Iran, and Ferguson, Missouri, United States of America. That should tell you something about the ongoing crisis in Ferguson.

On Wednesday, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery was reportedly arrested along with Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post for failing to exit a McDonalds. According to Lowery’s Twitter account, the two were “assaulted and arrested” because “officers decided we weren’t leaving McDonalds quickly enough, shouldn’t have been taping them.” No charges were filed.

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Iran bans vasectomies to boost birth rate and ‘strengthen national identity’

Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader of Iran.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader of Iran.

Iran’s parliament has declared a ban on vasectomies and other prevention procedures.

via CBCnews:

Iran’s parliament has voted to ban permanent forms of contraception, the state news agency IRNA reported, endorsing the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s call for measures to increase the population.

The bill, banning vasectomies and similar procedures in women, is parliament’s response to a decree Khamenei issued in May calling for more babies to “strengthen national identity” and counter “undesirable aspects of Western lifestyles.”

Doctors who violate the ban will be punishable by law, the ISNA news agency reported.

The bill, approved by 143 out of 231 members present in parliament, according to IRNA, also bans the advertising of birth control in a country where condoms had been widely available and family planning considered entirely normal.

The law now goes to the Guardian Council — a panel of theologians and jurists appointed by the Supreme Leader who examine whether legislation complies with Islam.

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How Iran Got A Taste For Crystal Meth

Photo: Jlcoving (CC)

Photo: Jlcoving (CC)

Looks like Middle America and the Middle East* has something else in common besides religious fundamentalism and misogyny: Sheesheesh.

‘What economic crisis? Business is good,” Bijan winks as he flashes his big, gap-toothed smile.

Bijan is a cook and dealer of sheesheh – crystal meth – which has exploded on the Iranian drug market and, for the first time, overtaken heroin to become the country’s second most popular drug (opium still tops the list). Meth production in the country has been expanding at an astonishing rate. According to a 2013 study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Iranian government first reported manufacture of the drug just six years ago, when four production facilities were seized. By 2012, though, Iran was the world’s fourth highest importer of pseudoephedrine, the main precursor chemical used in the production of crystal meth. Research carried out by the Centre for Preventative Welfare shows that over half a million Tehranis between the ages of 15 and 45 have used it at least once.

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It’s Not the Economy Stupid, It’s Your Stupid Foreign Policy: How to Get Rid of Our Oligarchs

via chycho

oligarch

Isn’t what’s going on in the Ukraine, this attempt at regime change, which is unfortunately on the verge of turning into a full blown proxy-civil war (2) threatening to bring about the Balkanization of the region, the same game that has been played out in countless other countries for the better part of the last century?

I. 1953 Regime Change in Iran

It was the 1953 CIA instigated coup of the democratically elected government of Iran that really began the regime changing endeavors of the Western superpowers.

The first attempt of a Middle Eastern country to free themselves of Western control of their resources occurred with Iran in 1951 when the democratically elected president, Dr. Mohammed Mosaddeq, nationalizated Iran’s oil industry. Unfortunately, however, Western powers would not stand idly by while Iranians took control of their own resources, which is why in 1953 the CIA, following instructions from Britain, organized a coup against Dr.

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Iranian Press Reports Snowden Documents Reveal Extraterrestrials In The U.S. Government

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And you thought NSA spying was a big deal…but at least their agents are humanoid. Iran’s leading news agency Farsnews reports the true revelation from the Snowden leaks on their English-language site:

Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden revealed documents providing incontrovertible proof that an alien/extraterrestrial intelligence agenda is driving US domestic and international policy, and has been doing so since at least 1945, some media reports said.

Snowden’s documents further confirm, this report says, [aliens'] meetings in 1954 with US President Dwight D. Eisenhower where the “secret regime” currently ruling over America was established.

Most disturbingly, this FSB report warns, is that the [alien] agenda being implemented by the “secret regime” ruling the United States calls for the creation of a global electronic surveillance system meant to hide all true information about their presence here on earth as they enter into what one of Snowden’s documents calls the “final phase” of their end plan for total assimilation and world rule.

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Missing Ex-FBI Agent Was CIA Spy On Unauthorized Mission In Iran

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

For those of you staying current with hit TV series Homeland, a CIA spy caught while on an unofficial mission in Iran sounds awfully familiar. AP reports that there is in fact a real life CIA agent – Robert Levinson – who is the fall guy in exactly the type of scandal that is at the heart of Homeland’s current plot:

An American who vanished nearly seven years ago in Iran was working for the CIA on an unapproved intelligence-gathering mission that, when it came to light inside the government, produced one of the most serious scandals in the recent history of the CIA — but all in secret, an Associated Press investigation found.

The CIA paid Robert Levinson’s family $2.5 million to head off a revealing lawsuit. Three veteran analysts were forced out of the agency and seven others were disciplined.

The U.S. publicly has described Levinson as a private citizen.

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Fidel Castro: ‘Oswald Could Not Have Been the One Who Killed Kennedy’

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The Zapruder film: A moment before the Assassination

Jeffrey Goldberg travelled to Cuba, per Fidel Castro’s request to talk with him about a cover story he did on Israel’s threat to strike militarily at Iran’s nuclear facilities. The conversation got onto Kennedy, and this is what Fidel Castro had to say.

via The Atlantic

Fidel Castro shares at least one belief with the majority of Americans: He is convinced that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was not the work of a lone gunman, but was the culmination of a broad conspiracy. According to a recent Gallup poll, 61 percent of Americans believe Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in Dallas 50 years ago. But Castro suspects that Oswald might not have been involved in the assassination at all. Here is what he told me–to my great surprise–over lunch one day in Havana: “I have reached the conclusion that Oswald could not have been the one who killed Kennedy.” Castro is of course a confident man, but he said this with a degree of surety that was noteworthy.

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Overplaying Its Hand, Israel Still Holds Plenty of U.S. Cards

Benjamin Netanyahu,

Benjamin Netanyahu,

More than ever, Israel is isolated from world opinion and the squishy entity known as “the international community.” The Israeli government keeps condemning the Iran nuclear deal, by any rational standard a positive step away from the threat of catastrophic war.

In the short run, the belligerent responses from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are bound to play badly in most of the U.S. media. But Netanyahu and the forces he represents have only begun to fight. They want war on Iran, and they are determined to exercise their political muscle that has long extended through most of the Washington establishment.

While it’s unlikely that such muscle can undo the initial six-month nuclear deal reached with Iran last weekend, efforts are already underway to damage and destroy the negotiations down the road. On Capitol Hill the attacks are most intense from Republicans, and some leading Democrats have also sniped at the agreement reached in Geneva.… Read the rest

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CIA Acknowledges Role In 1953 Overthrow Of Iran’s Democracy

iran_map1Via George Washington University’s National Security Archive:

Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States’ role in the controversial operation.

American and British involvement in Mosaddeq’s ouster has long been public knowledge, but today’s posting includes what is believed to be the CIA’s first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup.

The explicit reference to the CIA’s role appears in a copy of an internal history, The Battle for Iran, dating from the mid-1970s. The agency released a heavily excised version of the account in 1981 in response to an ACLU lawsuit, but it blacked out all references to TPAJAX, the code name for the U.S.-led operation. Those references appear in the latest release. Additional CIA materials posted today include working files from Kermit Roosevelt, the senior CIA officer on the ground in Iran during the coup.

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