Category Archives: Iran

Iran: Women, before and after the Islamist Takeover

10271611_1399501433685717_2036143759808975555_n

Respect for women’s rights in Iran dates back to the ancient Persian Empire where it was common practice for women to serve as monarchs, army commanders, or naval officers. However, when the great empire was occupied by zealous followers of Islam in the seventh century A.D., Iranian women lost many of their privileges and were relegated to a status inferior to men. Some were even condemned to live as slaves. In recent times, the practical struggle of Iranian women to regain their status began with playing a great role in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1905. Further, that struggle continued in the efforts of the citizenry during the former monarchical government in Iran.

Iran before the Islamic Revolution (1979)

Reza Shah the Great, founder of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran, courageously initiated the greatest challenge of his era (1925 – 1941): the abolishment of the hijab (veil) for Iranian women on Jan. 6, 1935. The policy of “Kashf-e-Hijab” banned a very basic Islamic law, the covering of the whole woman’s body except the eyes and hands. However, avoiding hypocrisy, he commenced this task with his own family– namely his own wife and daughters.

His policy of forced un-veiling was a catalyst in the advancement of Iranian society and in ending women’s slavery. By doing that, Reza Shah the Great aroused a deep animosity in fundamentalist clergies who had practically ruled the country during the previous Qajar Dynasty for 136 miserable years. He rightfully considered the hijab the emblem of an obsolete tradition which aimed to hinder Iranian women from equal life opportunities. His wholehearted efforts encouraged women to pursue higher education and to work outside the home.

His successor, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, continued to respond positively to the aspirations of Iranian women for a full emancipation in 1962. The late Shah of Iran implemented one of his greater policies, “The White Revolution,” which among other achievements, ratified very impressive women’s rights measures, ahead of all other Middle Eastern nations and even sooner than a few European countries.

The White Revolution introduced the massive “Family Protection Law” that was absolutely designed in favor of Iranian women: the right to be elected in various government ranks and posts, the right to divorce, the restriction of polygamy, and the increase in marriage age for girls from 15 to 18. In short, Iranian women up to the Islamic Revolution enjoyed a high degree of equality with men. There were female ministers, ambassadors, mayors, college professors, judges, parliamentarians and even military officers.

In the last parliamentary elections during the monarchical government in 1978, a year before the Islamic Revolution, millions of Iranian women voted. Out of 99 female candidates, 19 were elected to the parliament (Majlis) and two to the Senate. Women were also appointed to the government in new posts as Minister of State for Women’s Affairs and Minister of State for Education. Women were playing an increasingly active role in public life through obtaining higher education, which enabled women to acquire better jobs. They were entering the job market in a much wider range of fields and at higher levels of skill and competence.

Most of the present clergies’ animosity toward the Pahlavi monarchs resulted from these policies, which emancipated Iranian women who had been deprived of basic human rights for almost 14 centuries since the Muslim conquest. The Islamic theocracy perceived such actions as an affront against the sanctities of Islam.

Iran after the Islamic Revolution

With the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran, clergies in Tehran immediately and severely curtailed the laws established under the White Revolution, including the Family Protection Law in favor of women, which was repealed. Today in Iran under Islamic law, gender equality is practically non-existent. Women are required to obey the Islamic law of wearing the hijab, otherwise they are subject to the severe punishment of lashing and days in prison. Islamic law specifies that women are banned from wearing perfume or shaking hands with males. Women who wear lipstick are detained and their lips are cut with blades or broken glass. Many women’s faces have been permanently scarred by acid, thrown in their faces by Islamic fascist secret police. Women have been barred from judging positions. Islamic laws consider legal testimony by women to be half as valuable as legal testimony by men.

There is absolute segregation of the sexes in any place out of the home, including schools. Education in grade school for girls overly emphasizes moral and religious teaching. In any gathering at colleges and universities, female students must be seated in the back of lecture halls, or else curtains may often divide lecture rooms. A female student must pose her question to the instructor in writing so as not to be heard by male students or male instructors, who may be “excited” by the voice of the female students.

The dark-age institutions of polygamy and temporary marriage have also been reinstated. Islamic law allows a man to have four “permanent” and as many “temporary” wives as he desires, and of course without his first wife’s permission. The legal age of marriage for girls has been dropped to 9. Women have forfeited the right to unconditional divorce, while a man can divorce his wife whenever he wishes to do so.  The custody of children, regardless of their age, is always with the father.

These grave injustices of the Islamic clergies in Iran toward women began a few days after they seized control of the country and brought the first deaths of brave Iranian women, such as Dr. Farokhroo Parsa, Minister of the State of Education, who was accused of corruption for allowing Iranian educators to teach and promote the awareness of their natural rights to millions of young Iranian girls in schools. She was put in a sack and brutally beaten and stoned to death by the Islamic fundamentalists who carried out the so-called Islamic Revolution. Many thousands of female journalists, administrators, college professors, civil servants, etc., were discharged, arrested or executed.

Despite all the hostilities expressed by the Islamic governing system, Iranian women have not compromised their aspirations; they teach their daughters that no one can force them to live under the hijab, and they do not yield to the false role of a second-class citizen who is inferior to men. The resilience and constant rebellion of Iranian women under 38 years of the cruelest Islamic dictatorship is truly due to their knowledge of and admiration for the accomplishments of their predecessors. This psyche originated in the exalted status of women of ancient Persia and was rejuvenated in the Pahlavi era by Reza Shah the Great when the law of un-veiling was nationally instituted (the 6th day of January, 1935). Not surprisingly, the clerical regime has a hard time appeasing Iranian women by comparing their condition to that of women living in Saudi Arabia. The regime often prides itself on being more progressive than the latter government, but Iranian women remember their past rights and accomplishments during the Pahlavi monarchs’ system of governing.

 

Mansour Kashfi, Ph.D., is President of Kashex International Petroleum Consulting and is a college professor in Dallas, Texas. He has over 50 years experience in petroleum exploration, primarily about Iran. He also has authored more than 100 articles and books about petroleum geology, the oil and gas industry, and market behavior.

What Iran shows us about the global jihadist movement

According to the very State Department that pushed so hard for the Obama administration’s Iran appeasement deal, that same nation upon whom we have lavished over $100 billion, lobbied on behalf of and promised protection of its nuclear infrastructure, remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.While many are aware of the pernicious activities of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard across the globe, and the Khameinist regime’s support of Shia jihadist groups like Hezbollah, lesser discussed is Iranian collaboration with Sunni jihadists.

For the latest evidence of an alliance that might surprise those who view Sunni and Shia Muslims as diametrically opposed mortal enemies, look no further than the recent news out of the U.S. Treasury Department.

As reported in the always-insightful Omri Ceren’s latest dispatch, Treasury announced that it was imposing sanctions on three senior Al Qaeda members stationed in Iran.

According to the Treasury press release, it took such action to “disrupt the operations, fundraising, and support networks that help al-Qaida move money and operatives from South Asia and across the Middle East.”

As Ceren highlights, one such Al Qaeda operative, Abu Bakr Muhammad Muhammad Ghumayn, controlled the financing and organization of Al Qaeda in Iran.

Another operative, Yisra Muhammad Ibrahim Bayumi, engaged in direct dialogue with the Iranian government, serving as a mediator. He was “reportedly involved in freeing al-Qaida members in Iran.”

It strains credulity to believe that a closed Shia nation like Iran, often competing against Sunni forces, would be unaware of Al Qaeda officers within its borders. And in this case we have clear evidence that it was comfortable with Al Qaeda operating on its soil because Iranian authorities were negotiating with the aforementioned Bayumi.

What are we to make of this revelation?

While Sunni and Shia Islamic supremacists may differ in terms of theology, strategies and tactics, their overarching goals are very much aligned – namely ensuring the dominance of Islam throughout the world by killing the infidel or forcing him to submit, with a focus on the “Great” and “Little Satans” of the United States and Israel.

The case of Israel, threatened by Sunni jihadists like Hamas on the one hand, and Shia jihadists like Hezbollah on the other, is most illustrative of this fact.

Another element of this story is relevant in light of the fact that 9/11 is again a live subject now that the federal government has finally released the 28 pages of its report regarding Saudi involvement in the attack.

Much though such ties have been ignored in our Ben Rhodes fantasy world, there is ample compelling evidence indicating Iranian support for the 9/11 attack as well.

In fact in 2011, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels held in Havlish, et al. v. bin Laden, et al. that “Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported Al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks,” holding the Islamic Republic responsible for damages to family members of the attack’s victims.

The facts and findings of that court case detail chapter and verse the extensive ties between Iran and its proxies and Sunni jihadists spanning multiple decades and covering all manner of operations and activities. Some of the key high-level findings from page 15 of the report are chronicled below:

Bridging the divide

Foreign policy necessarily involves dealing with hostile regimes, and sometimes making common cause with them in order to advance greater interests.

But there is little to indicate that as concerns the global jihadist threat, comprised of state and non-state actors Sunni and Shia each with competing but often overlapping interests and motivations, that America has the faintest clue as to how best to proceed in its national interest, whether in the form of the 9/11-tied Saudis or the 9/11-tied Iranians.

With great regularity we appear to be on every side of every conflict, evincing a lack of clarity about ourselves and our enemies.

For the jihadists are playing a game of “Heads I win, tails you lose.”

They know what they want and are doing everything in their power to achieve it. Does America?

– See more at: https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/07/what-iran-shows-us-about-the-global-jihadist-movement#sthash.XRDi0Cjo.dpuf

Obama ignoring intel that points to Iran buying nuke and missile materials

hello-iran

See no evil, hear no evil seems to be the watchword of the Obama administration when it comes to Iranian cheating on the president’s pride and joy; the deal that’s supposed to prevent Iran from building an atomic bomb.

The Washington Free Beacon has learned that Germany has passed along intelligence to the US government indicating that Iran is still buying nuclear materials that would allow it to build a bomb, as well as illegally obtaining parts that aid in its missile program.

The Obama administration is brushing aside new German intelligence reports indicating that Iran has accelerated its efforts to procure key nuclear materials, despite promises to end this behavior as part of last summer’s nuclear accord, according to comments by a U.S. official provided to theFree Beacon.

Germany’s internal intelligence agency concluded in a recent report that sources have witnessed “extensive Iranian attempts” to procure illicit materials, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology,” according to the report. The report appears to show that Iran is not upholding its most critical commitments under the nuclear deal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear this week that the intelligence shows “Iran continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council,” particularly one Security Council resolution that bars Iran from pursuing ballistic missile technology.

The intelligence report and subsequent warnings were met with a tepid response from the Obama administration, which declined to comment on the intelligence and told the Free Beacon that it continues to view Iran as complying with the nuclear accord.

The administration’s response stands in sharp contrast to that of leading GOP lawmakers, who told the Free Beacon that the White House is intentionally ignoring Iran’s bad behavior.

“We believe that Iran is continuing to meet its [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] commitments,” a State Department official authorized only to speak on background told the Free Beacon.

When pressed to explain how this comported with Germany’s warnings, the official said the administration “would refer you to German authorities for any comment about reports attributed to them.”

The administration official would not take a stance on indications that Iran’s procurement activity—which has increased nearly twofold since the nuclear deal—could violate U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which bans such activity.

“As for UNSCR 2231, we have spoken previously about ‎how Iran’s reported missile launches are clearly inconsistent with the resolution,” the source said when asked if the new intelligence shows that Iran’s behavior constitutes a violation of the resolution.

A CIA official declined to comment on Germany’s findings and whether they comport with U.S. intelligence assessments.

Even if the administration called out Iran for violations of the deal, the sanctions wouldn’t “snap back” into place until a lengthy examination took place and a panel that would decide if Iran is cheating voted to cite Tehran. Then, you’d have to get the Security Council – including Russia and China – to agree to reimpose the sanctions that have recently been lifted.

Good luck with that.

In fact, the president lied when he assured Congress and the American people that if Iran was caught cheating, the sanctions would “snap back” into place. No such thing will ever happen. Obama knew it at the time and he certainly knows it now. This is why the administration is ignoring the German intelligence; they couldn’t do anything about it even if they wanted to.