Tag Archives: Iran

Iran: Women, before and after the Islamist Takeover

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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.

Trump Picks Ted Cruz’s anti-Jihadi Advisor for National Security Council

Another strong appointment by Trump.  This move is a sign of Trump’s good working relationship with Senator Cruz.  It signals Trump’s focus on the Iran threat, and countering jihad in America, by designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.  CAIR, a Muslim Brotherhood front group, is being empowered by the Democrats and is behind Keith Ellison, the leading contender to head the DNC.

From the New Beacon.

A senior adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) who played a critical role in crafting his national security agenda—including efforts to stop the Iran nuclear deal and designate the Muslim Brotherhood organization as a terrorist entity—has been tapped by the Trump National Security Council to serve as senior director for strategic assessments, a role that encompasses the fight against terrorist forces, the Washington Free Beacon can exclusively reveal.

Victoria Coates, a top Cruz aide and his longtime confidante, has departed the senator’s office to serve as senior director for strategic assessments in the new White House NSC, a role that will see Coates managing long-term threats to the United States.

Coates worked for former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry before joining the Cruz office in 2013. She also is an art historian who recently published a book on the history of democracy.
Coates’ experience with Cruz, who was a leading critic of President Donald Trump during the 2016 primary, sets her apart from the rest of the newly installed NSC, which is comprised of retired Gen. Michael Flynn and many of his former military colleagues, according to those familiar with the appointment.

Multiple sources who spoke to the Free Beacon about the matter said the selection of Coates represents a strong effort by the Trump administration to counter Iran, reverse the contested nuclear deal, and place a central focus on countering the threat of Islamic terrorism.

Coates was instrumental in Cruz’s effort to counter the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran that resulted in the nuclear agreement. She also led behind-the-scenes efforts to investigate the former administration’s secret diplomacy with Iran that resulted in the payment of billions of dollars to Tehran.

Coates’ precise role in the White House was misreported earlier this week by both the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

Hat tip: Israpundit.

Trump appoints the right team to regain the Middle East

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The Trump administration is dedicated to undoing the harm done by the Obama administration in the Iran Deal. To succeed, it needs the right team.

Relatively few people have heard of the Center for Security Policy. That’s about to change because it is playing a prominent, if not dominant role, in the Trump transition team in matters relating to Iran, Russia, China and Islam. Gone from the corridors of power is the Brookings Institution, who have a satellite office in Doha, Qatar along with their Vice President and Director for Foreign Policy, Martin Indyk.  Soon, President Obama, the golfer, Secretary Kerry, the bicyclist and Secretary Clinton, the failure, will also be gone.

The CSP is a think tank created and led by Frank Gaffney, Jr. He formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Reagan Administration, following four years of service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy. Previously, he was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator John Tower, and a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson.

The background of other staff members may be found here. Of particular note are Fred Fleitz and Clare Lopez.

Mr. Fleitz served in U.S. national security positions for 25 years at the CIA, DIA, Department of State and the House Intelligence Committee staff.  During the administration of President George W. Bush, Mr. Fleitz was chief of staff to John Bolton, then Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.  During his tenure with the House Intelligence Committee, he was the staff expert on the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs and briefed key National Intelligence Estimates on these issues to committee members.

Ms. Lopez, among other credits, is the author of an acclaimed paper for the Center, The Rise of the Iran Lobby, and co-author/editor of the Center’s Team B II study, Shariah: The Threat to America, as well as The Tiger Team’s The Secure Freedom Strategy: A Plan for Victory Over the Global Jihad Movement.  She co-authored Gulen and the Gulenist Movement with CSP’s Vice President for Outreach, Christopher Holton, and See No Shariah: ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ and the Disarming of America’s First Line of Defense with Frank Gaffney.

Finally, Alex VanNess is the Director of the Middle East Peace and Security Policy at the Center for Security Policy.  He writes extensively on issues relating to U.S. defense spending, the U.S./Israel strategic relationship, and the existential threats posed by Islamic fundamentalism.

Closely associated with them is the newly appointed National Security AdviserGen Michael T Flynn. He had been Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency until Pres Obama forced him to resign because of his vocal opposition to the Iran Deal and his belief that the Islamists were stronger than ever. He recently wroteField of Flight in which he forcefully argues that the Islamist ideology must be defeated in order to defeat the Islamists.

All of them have positions of influence due to their recognition that the Islamist ideology embodied in Sharia and Jihad must be defeated.

Israel

During the Bush administration and before, AIPAC was a powerful force in Washington. With the Election of President Obama and the creation of J Street, it began to lose considerable power. It no longer was the sole voice for American Jewry. In addition, the Democratic Party, which was its power base, was moving to the left and away from supporting Israel.
With the election of Donald J Trump, it lost even more influence due to the fact that a big majority of American Jews voted for Clinton and were anti-Trump. In addition, its public policies are to the left of Trump, leaving them in an awkward position. They would have to support settlements and be flexible on the Two-State solution to be of any value to Israel. I don’t see that happening.

On the other hand, the Zionist Organization of America, which had been shunned by Obama, is replacing AIPAC as the leading Jewish voice. Its policies are totally aligned with those of the Trump administration in the making. And, of course, so are the views of the soon to be appointed US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, an Orthodox Jew who supports the settlement enterprise and annexation of all or part of the West Bank. Also, Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner an orthodox Jew is slated to be one of his key advisers on Israel and he too is supportive of the settlement enterprise.

On Dec 15/16, at an elegant gala in New York City, the Center for Security Policy conferred awards on Rom Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the United States and Mort Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America. Judge Jeanine Pirro, a stalwart supporter of Trump and Israel, introduced them.  Video messages from Caroline Glick and David Horowitz were viewed. And many other people who are in the frontlines of fighting Islamists were in attendance.

The first priority for the Trump administration is to neuter the Iran Deal. DEBKAreported that the Trump team is drawing up a deal more to its liking, which will probably remove any possibility of Iran getting a bomb in 10 years and require them to abandon terror and terror groups. To get them to agree, the US has to have leverage. Russia is the key to this. But why should Russia agree?  She obviously has to be induced.

It is in the interests of the US and Israel that Russia and Iran not get full control of Syria and Iraq unless an enforceable agreement can be reached akin to a peace agreement. It’s either that or force must be mustered to stop them. As part of that agreement Israel would get to keep the Golan and Syria would agree to create a large buffer where no military activities would be allowed. That buffer would also extend to the land adjacent to Jordan.

In any scenario, the US must fully embrace Israel as a partner. The US has no military presence in the Middle East outside of a few aircraft carriers.  Thus, the presence of the Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) on the front lines greatly strengthens the US’s ability to project power immediately. This will add to her leverage.

It is also in the interests or the US to strengthen Israel by supporting a solution to the Palestinian problem in which Israel gets to annex all of Judea and Samaria (West Bank). The Palestinians would get autonomy only. Plus, the US must get the UN and the EU off Israel’s back. This will normalize Israel and enable her to play a larger regional role to the benefit of the US.

Furthermore, as ISIS is brought to heel in Syria and Iraq, it will foster terror cells all over the world. Gen. Flynn is tasked with not only defeating ISIS but defeating the Islamic ideology that fuels it. Israel, who has the most experience in fighting terrorism and the best intelligence, will be of great help and a willing partner. All the more reason, she must be normalized.

Finally, strengthening cyber security has become a national imperative. Once again Israel is one of the leading experts.

With these challenges in mind, President-Elect Trump has surrounded himself with the right people.

First there is the team at CSP who are dedicated to defeating the radical Islamic ideology who will support Gen Michael T. Flynn in this endeavor. This is of particular importance if the State Department is not cooperative. It will lessen dependence on it.

He has embraced strong Zionists, including ZOA, Friedman and Kushner who can help and direct him in how best to normalize Israel.

Finally he has nominated Rex Tillerson to be his Secretary of State.   Who better to find a way to bring Russia on board?