Thursday, 31 December 2009

Goodbye 2009...


In a few short hours, the decade annoyingly referred to as the "noughties" will be over.

In terms of Iran, this decade has been monumental. It started off with the aftermath of the July 1999 protests under the tenure of the weak, "reformist" President Khatami and has ended with the cataclysmic events of the past six months, which have shook the very foundations of the Islamic Republic, as the Iranian people demand their human rights of freedom, democracy and liberty...the culmination of a century long struggle.

I saw this article in the Times a few days ago...whilst I don't think the "Berlin Wall" moment has arrived just yet, it is approaching. The past month alone has shown us what the Iranian people are capable of in fighting for their rights...from 16th Azar, to Ayatollah Montazeri's funeral to Ashura, they have fought in a resilient and courageous manner, and we must all salute their indefatigability as they suffer the backlash from the Islamic Republic's agents and mercenaries.

In the hope of a free, democratic Iran in 2010!
Long live the struggle for freedom and liberty in Iran!
Death to the Islamic Republic!

به امید داشتن ایران آزاد و دموکراتیک در سال ۲۰۱۰
پاینده ایران

مرگ بر جمهوری اسلامی

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Neda is the Times' Person of the Year

1982 - 2009

۱۳۶۱ -۱۳۸۸

In memory of all those who gave their life for Iran's freedom movement.

به یاد شهدای راه آزادی ایران

Comments are most welcome

Thursday, 24 December 2009

The Ayatollah's Propaganda: Part II

Hat tip to my friend Folderol for his help.

Update: Cross-posted with kind permission on Harry's Place.

This post is really a follow on from what was written by Folderol a few months back, in a post entitled "The Ayatollah's Propaganda", a good analysis of how PressTV is simply the Mullah's English mouthpiece. PressTV's head of news, Roshan Mohammad Salih has whined about how "it is simply not fair to characterise Press TV as a mouthpiece for the Iranian government", so let's examine this and see if PressTV is really as detached from following the Islamic Republic line as it claims to be.

When Neda was killed by the Islamic Republic's mercenaries, PressTV ignored the story at first, but a few days later when they realised it was actually a big deal, the IRIB goons began to spin it according to what the Islamic Republic's leaders ordered. So naturally everyone from Dr Arash Hejazi, the doctor who tried to save her life, to the CIA to the MKO was blamed for the death of Neda...basically everyone except the Basij militias that were running amok during the protests, murdering and raping countless innocents. PressTV even went as far as to assert that there weren't even any Basijis present in the area at the time of the killing. Very truthful, I'm sure.

When PressTV finally got round to reporting the story, unlike most media outlets they didn't post the video of Neda's shooting, or even a decent picture showing the true extent of the violence behind the, the Mullah's official English language news website decided to show a blurred, out of focus shot.

Well, some might argue that PressTV were simply being compassionate towards the sensitivities of children and those with weak stomachs by not showing visceral images...but in case any of you actually believe this swill, please note that just four days ago, PressTV brazenly posted the following graphic image, of corpses and blood, warts and all, as a part of its story on the Israel/Palestine organ harvesting controversy. This isn't the first time either, as Folderol wrote earlier, this has happened on at least three seperate occasions over the months, as seen here, here and here.

So in summary, PressTV is fine with showing graphic images showing the extent of civilian injuries when it happens in Palestine, but it's not okay with showing the gruesome reality of life under the Islamic Republic police state, or showing the true face of the Mullah's mercenaries and what happens to those that cross their path. With regards to Roshan Mohammad Salih's whinges, it is actually incredibly fair to characterise PressTV as a mouthpiece for the Islamic Republic. So, in closing, does anyone still have any doubts about PressTV's allegiances?

Monday, 21 December 2009

On the death of Ayatollah Montazeri

Update: Cross-posted with kind permission on Harry's Place.

Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri died yesterday (English, Farsi). I refrained from immediately posting about it, because I wanted to get my own opinions in order about what I really thought.

Now I've considered it, my own opinion can be very simply summed up that Montazeri lived and died as a reformist. Like all reformists, (Mousavi, Khatami, Karroubi, etc) his career started off in the darkest days of the Islamic Republic's brutal history. He stood by faithfully after 1982 whilst Khomeini dragged the country through six years of unnecessary war and remained as Khomeini's right hand man for 10 years. He watched impassively and saw the crimes that the insane Khalkhali inflicted upon countless innocents. He watched as Iran's educational system was thrown back to the Middle Ages during the Cultural Revolution. He remained steadfast with the Islamic Republic as Rafsanjani plundered the country's wealth and as Khamenei steadily and undemocratically rose through the country's political hierarchy. Eventually he fell out with Khomeini and was punished, but why did it take him a decade to start coming to his senses?!

Like all reformists he was loyal to the Islamic Republic, believing that it was capable of being reformed to achieve "Islamic democracy", and like all reformists he also had a pragmatic streak, which made him different from the principalist Ahmadinejad types. He could see that the Islamic Republic would rapidly disintegrate if it carried on down the brutal Khomeinist path, so in common with reformist ideology he believed it would be prudent to change certain superficial aspects of the Islamic Republic so as to keep public discontent at bay, but keep the main structure (i.e. the Constitution) largely the same. We can see this since not once did he press for a referendum on the future of the Islamic Republic, or call for the abolishment of the position of Supreme Leader, Guardian Council, IRGC, or all those other unelected bodies that rule Iran.

Many Iranians are mourning the death of Montazeri, since they see him as one of the few people to stand up to the hardline elements of the Islamic Republic. Various gatherings have been held here in London, but I did not attend. Whilst Montazeri is certainly a more favourable Ayatollah than the Khalkhalis, Khatamis and so forth, the fact remains that for a whole decade he actively nurtured the Islamic Republic. He may have felt sorrow at certain acts he committed, but at best this is simply a case of doesn't make him a hero. The fact that he vehemently opposed Ahmadinejad and the fraudulent June 2009 election doesn't make him a saint, it simply makes him like all the other billions of human beings who are against fraud.

The real focus should be, as ever, on the Iranian people, who are bravely using any and every oppurtunity to fight for their rights, e.g. at Montazeri's funeral today, where they were chanting against Khamenei as the Supreme Leader's speech was read. The future of Iran and hopes for democracy lie with Iran's people who are willing to look beyond this regime, and towards the achievement of true democracy and real liberty.

Montazeri once said "The Islamic Republic is neither Islamic nor a Republic"....What he really should have said was that a Republic can't be Islamic.

Comments are most welcome

Sunday, 20 December 2009

List of Islamic Republic apologists

If you look to the right hand side of your screen and scroll down, you'll notice a new links list I have compiled. It is a work in progress cataloguing those that by whatever means push the Islamic Republic agenda. They include Professors, a Baroness, a Member of Parliament, journalists and so on. Some of these apologists e.g. Abbas Edalat attempt to do this very subtly, whereas others are open about their connections with the Regime and the fact that they are on its payroll e.g. Roshan Mohammad Salih.

These people all have one thing in common, that being that they have seeked to promote or apologise for the Islamic Republic, in universities, the media, etc. It is important that such individuals/groups are exposed so that there is no doubt about where their allegiances lie.

This list is currently a work in progress. Since I live in Britain, I am obviously better informed about those apologists that operate here in the UK. However, I know that people from all around the world read this blog, so if you see or hear any individual or group that you think ought to be included on the list, please leave a comment at the end of this post, or email me stating their name and with the appropriate evidence and they will be included.




Saturday, 19 December 2009

Child poverty in Iran documentary and Ahmadinejad's lies

Edit: Cross-posted with kind permission on Harry's Place.

This documentary was shot in Khak-sefid district of Tehranpars in Tehran, four years ago.

My translation begins at 0:32 to 2:29.

Majid Mahichi (MM): Is this your home's garden?
Milad: No, it's theirs.
MM: Where is this?
Milad: This is their room.
MM: Who's room?
Milad: Miss Lida's.
MM: Who's Miss Lida darling?
Milad: She's our neighbour
MM: She's your neighbour, she lives over here?
Milad: Yeah.
MM: Did you give this room to Miss Lida?
Milad: No, they were here first.
MM: They were here first? Is Ms Lida at home right now? Go and check.
Milad: No, they're in the other room, I don't think they're here.
MM: Ah, they're not here, okay, let's go into the room. Do you want to show me your toys? What did you say your name was?
Milad: Milad.
MM: Milad, will you show me your toys?
Milad: I don't have any toys.
MM: You don't have any toys?
Milad: No.
MM: You have none at all? What about a car? You don't have a car? Would you like toys? Which toys would you like?
Milad: A gun, a car, a bag.
MM: Okay, what do you want a gun for?
Milad: So I could pretend to be a policeman.
MM: Do you want to be a policeman when you grow up?
Milad: Yeah.
MM: Why do you want to be a policeman?
Milad: So I can lock up addicts.
MM: What was that dear?
Milad: Addicts...
MM: You want to lock up addicts?
Milad: Yeah.
MM: You don't like addicts?
Milad: No.
MM: Why?
Milad: Well, those who do drugs have to be imprisoned...

Note the squalor that this little boy is being brought up in, the loss of childhood innocence...there is an entire generation of children in Iran who have grown up knowing little but poverty, drugs, prostitution and all manner of other social ills which have plagued Iran.

And Ahmadinejad has the gall to tell us that before the Revolution "95% of Iranians lived in absolute poverty...but now no-one in Iran sleeps hungry at night". Sickening.

Comments are most welcome

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Your names will echo in the streets forever...

I'll try and do some more in-depth analysis/opinions based posts over the next few weeks, but at the moment I'm rather snowed under by work, so I thought I'd just leave you all with this:

Subtitles included in the video. It's a lovely, rousing song, a bit like a more modern, rock 'n' roll version of Ey Shahid :)

Comments are most welcome

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Mir Hossein Mousavi is not the Iranian people's ambassador!

Update: Cross-posted with kind permission on Harry's Place.

Two things caught my eye this weekend. One was the picture I've posted above, made by Babak, an Iranian graphical designer. Many of his works have a monarchical spin, however this particular piece was very good in my opinion, and summed up my own feelings about Mousavi quite well, especially in light of the second thing that caught my eye. Read on.

The text under the photo of Mir Hossein Mousavi translates as "We shall not follow the mercenaries and murderers of old, and those endorsed by the Guardian Council and agents of the Islamic Republic. Our desire is a free Iran with the people's vote".

The second thing that caught my eye was a news report detailing the tearing of a poster of Khomeini on an Iranian university campus during the 16th Azar (7th December) protests. There's currently a battle raging between the Islamic Republic's officials as to who's behind it. The hardliners are blaming the reformists and the reformists are accusing the hardliners of framing them. The main defence for the reformists was summed by Mir Hossein Mousavi as "I am sure the students have never gone over such boundaries, because we all know they love the Imam [Khomeini] and are prepared to sacrifice their lives for his goals".

This entire episode yet again confirms my suspicions that the Islamic Republic, reformist or otherwise will always be at odds with the wishes of the Iranian people. The entire movement that was born after June's elections, has been about securing democracy and freedom in Iran. The shouts people gave started as "Mousavi, Mousavi reclaim my vote" and have since progressed to "Independence, freedom, Iranian republic"; an outright rejection of the motto of the current regime founded by Khomeini.

What Mousavi doesn't seem to get is that Iranians by and large do not care for Khomeini, a vile dictator that before the revolution promised freedom, democracy and justice saying "Our future society will be a free society, and all the elements of oppression, cruelty, and force will be destroyed", and after the Revolution declared "Don't listen to those who speak of democracy. They all are against Islam. They want to take the nation away from its mission. We will break all the poison pens of those who speak of nationalism, democracy, and such things".

How can Mousavi think for a minute that Iran's youth, who have lived through 30 years of totalitarianism under the Islamic Republic, and have risked rape, torture and execution to protest on 16th Azar would ever die for Khomeini's "goals"? The youth are dying for freedom and democracy and Mousavi actually believes they would rather die for someone who actively hated freedom and democracy! Was there ever anyone more clueless than this so called "moderate"?

I say to you that Mousavi is, and always has been, with the Islamic Republic. If he ever had to choose between the wishes of the Iranian people and the Islamic Republic, he'd choose the IRI every time. He built it and nurtured it, for three decades he propagated fascism in Iran. Reformists are the lowest of the low in the Islamic Republic's government. They attempt to cosy up to Iran's people, whilst at the same time actively supporting the preservation of the unjust, fascist status quo that is the Islamic Republic.

I thank god that the current resistance movement that has rooted itself in Iranian society is lead by Iran's people and not by weak lackeys like Mousavi, a man who has continually tried to rein in the Iranian people to follow the Islamic Republic line. Long live the Resistance movement, and remember the words of 16th Azar's protesters "Mousavi is an excuse, the entire regime is the target".

Comments are most welcome

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Ey Shahid

The song is called "Ey Shahid", or "O Martyr" starts off with pictures of heroes from Iran's ancient past e.g. Arash Kamangir, Kouroush (Cyrus) the Great and Babak Khorramdin and goes on to show photos of those involved in Iran's century long struggle for freedom and democracy e.g. Sattar Khan, Dr Mossadegh and Dr Fatemi. It shows pictures of the Islamist takeover of Iran, the eight year war with Iraq and finishes with photos of the new resistance movement that was born in the aftermath of the events of June 2009.


We swear to the cry expired in blood,
We swear to the martyr who relinquished life,
We swear to the last call,
We swear to the mother's shaking tears,

We swear to the name of freedom,
We swear to the moment you passed away,
We swear to the heart torn apart,
We swear to the martyr lying in blood,

We swear to the will of comrades,
We swear to the faithful oppressed ones,
We swear to the tired ones ready to die,
We swear to the brave heart companions,

That until the last breath we will continue your way, O Martyr!
That our way will be that way of yours, O Martyr!

Everyone move forward, together we sing, long live our dear eternal Iran!

Comments are most welcome

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Larijani brothers and Iranian students

Firstly: A HUGE thank you to my friend Folderol for designing the new logo-header for this blog. I'm sure you'll all agree that it looks fantastic, and all the credit should be given to him :D

But now for a group of people who are not being appreciated...I almost feel sorry for the Larijani brothers, they seem to attract a lot of trouble whenever they enter Iranian universities. In December 2008 Ali Larijani (Speaker of the Iranian Parliament) was told by the brave students of Shiraz University that they reject him as he is the "leader of an illegal parliament" and on October 4th 2009, his brother Javad visited Sharif University in Tehran (by invitation from the Basij) where he received the following welcome from the Iranian students, who are quite clearly sick of sanctimonious and oppressive government officials visiting them:

Students booing and protesting at Javad Larijani's presence:

Students shouting "death to dictators":

Students continuing to shout "death to dictators", chanting "coup d'etat government, resign, resign" and chanting in favour of Mir Hossein Mousavi:

Always remember these brave students who are fighting fearlessly for freedom, whilst the pseudo-liberals like Obama and George Galloway appease the Mullah regime!

Comments are most welcome

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Iran's students: defying stereotypes

Dear readers, again I must apologise for my recent absence from the blogosphere, the start of term is always accompanied by a surge of extra work.

But I have been following the goings on in Iran, and at the same time which I began studying so did my fellows in Iran, and as the universities opened on the 23rd of September, alongside academic commitments, for many students this was also the best time to continue their struggle for freedom and democracy, as they have done admirably with protests springing up in campuses all across the country.

Iranian universities are no stranger to political activity, and were rated as the Number One Campus for Activism in 2003, "for unflinching dissent in a nation where speaking out can lead to imprisonment, or worse" . So it begins again, as we hear that 14 members of the Unity for Consolidation Office (Iran's National Union of Students) were arrested on October 2nd, and their wherabouts remain unknown with the authorities denying knowledge of the arrests to the student's families. Translation of the article is provided here.

Here in the UK, Student's Unions provide us with cheap drinks and academic support. Iran's Students Unions however are far more radical. The fourteen people who were arrested were members of Takhim Vahdat, originally setup by Khomeini's government so Islamic students could counter the influence of dissidents who might have been spreading secularist ideas in universities. Takhim Vahdat has now evolved into one of the harshest critics of the Islamic Republic and has repeatedely pressed for a national referendum on the future of the Islamic Republic and has also told the unelected Mullahs to suspend their nuclear activities. Sadly, many of the members of this organisation are jailed, tortured (very often so they give false confessions) and killed, but they have continued fighting for freedom and democracy in a very courageous manner as seen notably in December 2008 when the students of Shiraz University told Ali Larijani (Speaker of the Iranian Parliament) that they reject him because he is the "leader of an illegal Parliament". Brave souls, I'm not one prone to hero worship, but watching that guy give his speech, I could not help but feel like a lesser man.

To sum up, Takhim Vahdat is an extremely important institute and one that will be crucial in the coming months and years. The clerics in Iran thrive off an atmosphere of division and disunity but university provides a breeding ground for collective dissatissfaction to accumulate and increase, especially since graduates and students have a tough time in Iran, even if they're not political activists. The arrest and abuse of each and every freedom loving student in Iran is a catalyst in the eventual destruction of the Mullah dictatorship, and brings us closer to the rebirth of humanity and liberty in Iran.

Comments are most welcome

Thursday, 24 September 2009

How dictators ought to be treated

If only the nations of the world would permanently treat Ahmadinejad and the Islamic Regime in this way. Frankly, it is the only way to deal with fascists:

The German delegate leaves

Ahmadinejad gives a speech to a mostly empty room

The French delegate is nowhere to be seen

The Canadian delegates leave

The American delegate has left

The more people around the world that refuse to interact with the Islamic Republic, the better. By listening to his speech, the remaining delegates were validating his despotic regime, and were also choosing to believe that he is the Iranian people's chosen ambassador. Shame on them for supporting the barbaric Regime over the people of Iran.

Comments are most welcome

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

On the 29th anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq War

29 years ago today, Saddam Hossein attacked a weakened Iran in an attempt to conquer our country. The scars of this conflict, the longest conventional war of the 20th century are still very much visible in Iran. The legacy of the war is far reaching and is also quite visual. I'll try and explain what I mean by that. In Britain, there's virtually no visual reminder of the Falklands War or World War II except a memorial in the town centre or the poppies on Rememberence Day. Nothing particularly stirring, you can go home and brush it off, it doesn't haunt you.

In Iran, if you go into the cemeteries in towns and cities, you will always see the graves of those who died in the war with Iraq, stretching as far as the eye can see. What really hits home is the fact that graves usually have a picture of the man who died, who was usually a teenager, barely out of boyhood. It's quite haunting, even if you just look at the photos on the internet, it's still very moving.

These boys were probably younger than I am now, yet they shouldered an adult's burden and fought the war to defend their homeland. The Iranian and Iraqi people both suffered an indescribable pain due to two psychotic men: Saddam who started the war, and Khomeini who refused to accept a truce and finish it.

A particularly poignant picture, nearly three decades on, the agony is still felt by the mothers of Iran:

I write this entry for the memory of the innocents who died in this War, both Iranian and Iraqi and in the hope that nothing like this ever happens again.

Comments are most welcome.

Monday, 21 September 2009

How to lie through your teeth, Islamic Republic style

Ahmadinejad has given his first interview since his "re-election", to NBC news. It's a fairly predictable affair, the guy is totally indifferent and incompetent, he couldn't govern a village council let alone a country. I found it amusing when the reporter asked him if he'd stolen the election, he avoided the question with a smug smile on his face and started declaring how people could express "opposing opinions within the confines of the law". The problem is that an awful lot of things in Iran (like writing and protesting against the government) are outside of the confines of the law. It makes the "opposing" part of "opposing opinions" rather redundant...unless you're willing to pay the heavy price for dissent.

The thing is, Ahmadinejad and the Mullah regime are amongst the most patronising people on the planet, they take Iranians and non-Iranians alike for a bunch of fools who were born yesterday. When Ahmadinejad declares "in Iran expressing one's point of view is totally permissable", doesn't he realise that for the past 30 years the world has watched, seen and noted the rapes, tortures and murders that the Islamic Republic inflicts on people with a different "point of view"? When he says that Neda's death is being treated as "suspicious", does he expect a medal? But just for his information, we already know who did it, and whilst the Islamic Republic invents conspiracy theories to distract the world, the vile Basij are still out there killing more innocent people.

At the end of the day, an incompetent and lying regime like this cannot last, to quote Abraham Lincoln: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time".

Comments are most welcome

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Why you should protest tomorrow

An Iranian rape victim talks about the repeated rapes she endured in the Islamic Republic's prisons. It's subtitled in English for those who can't understand Farsi. You can tell her spirit is broken just from the sound of her voice. Thanks to Amir for alerting me to this earlier. All you Islamic Republic apologists, hang your heads in shame.

For those of you who can make it, PLEASE protest tomorrow evening from 18:00-21:00 outside the Iranian Embassy, 16 Princes Gate London, SW7 1PT. Tomorrow is Qods day in Iran, a crucial moment for the Iranian democracy movement and it is imperative that we show solidarity with our fellow human beings.

Everyone of us who attends this protest in London is another person showing the world that we are NOT in agreement with the Mullah's thuggery and that we support the Iranian people's struggle for freedom and democracy. I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Spotlight: Hooman Majd

Apologies for the recent absence from the blogosphere, I've had a lot going on, moving, etc.

But last night I went along to the LSE for a lecture that US based journalist and writer Hooman Majd was giving, called "the path to an Islamic democracy", where Majd would be giving "a brief summary of how Iran's political system works, examples of what is most misunderstood about Iran, its leadership and the events leading up to the election". This immediately made me rather wary, as everytime someone declare's Iran's political system as being "misunderstood", they nearly always end up apologising for the regime. I wasn't wrong, read on.

The lecture eventually got underway and one of the first things Majd said was "Iran is not monolithic or a dictatorship", but later in his lecture he said "when I was in Iran I spoke to an ex-Basiji who stuffed ballot boxes for Ahmadinejad and now he wants to stuff ballot boxes for Mousavi", all the while with a smile on his face and the audience laughing. This really summed up the entire meeting, he would try to pass off all of the Islamic Republic's fascism as a joke, whilst insisting that deep down they were fundamentally decent and trying to work for good.

He also relied a lot on the same tired clichés that circulate in the media, statements like Ahmadinejad is popular with the working class and rural folk, Khatami was a reformer who was blocked unfairly, the people of Iran don't want western style liberal democracy they want Islamic democracy and so on, only rich North Tehran kids want secularism, etc, ad nauseum. All rather extraordinary claims. Majd (and most of the audience it seems) seem to forget that this hero of the working classes, Ahmadinejad is also the same man who sanctioned the imprisonment of bus driver union activists in Iran over the past few weeks and who has a cabinet with the likes of billionaire Interior Minister Mahsouli who has a very working class, er, mansion and millionaire businessman Seyyed Hassan Mir Kazemi.

He also seems to overlook the fact that over the past few weeks in Iran people have been shouting "Independence, Freedom, Iranian Republic", in direct contrast to 1979 when they used to shout "Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic", as well as the endless shouts of "Death to the Islamic Republic" that abound in Iran today. The fact of the matter is that Iranians are sick of the idea of "Islamic democracy", whether it come from idealists like Ali Shariati or thugs like Khamenei. What's obvious is that fanatical adherence to religious law is contrary to democracy, and the Islamic Republic is unwilling to change or become more moderate, as Khamenei himself said last Friday. Contrary to what Majd thinks "Islamic democracy" is indeed an oxymoron.

Majd also attempted some serious historical revisionism during his lecture, for example, did you know that according to Majd, Khomeini would have been against today's rigged election, and he would have prefered to see a democratic state? :) A very similar stance to another useless reformist, Mehdi Karroubi, who also lost my respect for his sheer idiocy in not realising that Khomeini was the original Islamic Republic fascist, a man for whom democracy was an alien Western construct, and who stated that "...don't listen to those who speak of democracy. They all are against Islam. They want to take the nation away from its mission. We will break all the poison pens of those who speak of nationalism, democracy, and such things".

Majd also touched upon the subject of sanctions being imposed upon the Islamic Republic. At this point he began to sound much like the Mehri Honarbins and Ali Fathollah-Nejads and the rest of the CASMII lot who do a good job of apologising for the Regime, whom I encountered a few months ago. For example according to Majd sanctions were increasing Iran's pollution as they wouldn't allow Iran to convert to cleaner energy supplies. He made no mention of why or how Iran has become that polluted or why no one's done anything about it, he simply stated that the lack of equipment and such was due to sanctions. Nothing said about the corruption within the system, the Mullahs plundering Iran's wealth and so on which could be used to combat pollution. And predictably enough he is a member of CASMII. It's a small world :)

Going back to what Majd said about Iran "not being a dictatorship", when a member of the audience asked him to clarify what he meant by that Majd said that basically Iran can't be a dictatorship because "opposition figures such as Mousavi, Khatami, etc" exist. My frustration then reached boiling point and I got up and told him that his misunderstanding arises because he thinks Khatami (whom Majd is related to) and Moussavi are actually opposed to the Islamic Republic and Khamenei. What Majd fails to realise, or at least fails to say, is that these men are devoted servants of the regime, Khatami being Minister of Islamic Guidance for a decade during which time he censored independent publications, newspaper, film, etc and Moussavi being Prime Minister during the 1988 massacre of tens of thousands of political prisoners. After I said all this to Majd, and had given him irrevocable proof that these men are not "opposing" the regime, they are part and parcel of it, what I got back was a very weak "people can change" and that "he [Majd] does not support the brutalisation, but he can't ever win, because the Islamic Republic views him as against them and the Iranian diaspora view him as for the Regime". He's got that one right, to quote Margaret Thatcher: "standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides."

To sum up, Hooman Majd seems like a nice guy on the outside, I don't doubt that he'd be fun to grab a beer with, however, when you scratch beneath the surface a little you start to realise that all of his rhetoric and sophistry is actually a subtle machine trying to feed you the Islamic Republic's reformist propaganda. For further reading, I'd suggest this interview with Majd in Salon magazine, in which he yet again reaffirms that most Iranians do not want to see the end of the Islamic Regime, and that they want "reform within the system". Majd is not as blunt as Darius Guppy, but there is no doubt that he is yet another Western based individual who is defending the fascist Mullah regime.

Comments are most welcome

Friday, 4 September 2009

Caspian Makan "at risk of torture" in Evin

The case of Neda Agha Soltan is well known and is one of the examples that show how the satanic Islamic Republic is completely devoid of humanity and compassion. I doubt there is a single person with access to TV, a newspaper or a radio who hasn't heard of her, for not only did they murder the poor woman in cold blood, then deny her a funeral, now Amnesty International reports that her fiancé has been locked up in the infamous Evin Prison since June 26th where he's had no access to a lawyer or to his family, and nor has he been charged with any crime!

The Islamic Regime however says that if he signs a confession stating that the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran killed Neda, he may be released. This isn't entirely surprising, the Islamic Republic has tried pinning Neda's death on everyone from the CIA to Iranian dissidents using their mouthpiece PressTV, and now it's the PMOI's turn. Amnesty fear that such a "confession" will be made under torture. Again, this isn't surprising either, we've all heard the reports Mehdi Karroubi has given of the rape and torture of Iranian detainees in prisons, and the Islamic Republic has a history of forcing confessions out of those who stand up to it, why would Caspian Makan be treated differently?

The doctor who attempted to save Neda, Dr Arash Hejazi has since fled Iran for fear of his safety. Who could blame him? After all, the Islamic Republic is totally inhumane, they kill an innocent woman, keep her fiancé in prison for over 10 weeks in horrendous conditions, and then attempt to force him to sign a false confession. The worst part is that they claim divine approval for these vile acts, don't forget that Khamenei is God's representative on Earth...

Comments are most welcome

Thursday, 3 September 2009

The humiliation endured in Islamic Republic prisons

France24 gives us an account of what "Minou", a girl detained after the protests went through in prison. It's a sad story and truly shows the depths of this corrupt regime's depravity.

The last few sentences she said are perhaps the most thought provoking. I suspect that when this regime is overthrown, and its perpetrators brought to justice, many more cases like Minou's will come to light.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The beginning of the end of the Islamic Republic

The mainstream media constantly makes it appear as if Iranians have by and large been content with the Islamic Republic, and only recently have they started protesting against its archaic laws. I, however, believe that the Islamic Republic was doomed from its inception due its undemocratic and oppressive nature, indeed I believe the first cracks in the Islamic Republic appeared in 1979.

I just saw a video on YouTube (featuring a very young Jon Snow), taken a month after the Revolution, of Iranian women protesting against Khomeini's campaign to Islamify Iran by forcing women to wear the hejab. See how the women are bravely protesting against theocratic tyranny, 30 years before Mousavi, Karroubi, the Green Path of Hope etc. Also note how that monster Khomeini split and fractured Iranian society making it acceptable for men to subjugate women under the guise of Islam, leading to many of today's problems and inequalities.

It is imperative that we take note of these events, for those who "don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it". If Iran, or any country for that matter is to prosper, it must have equality amongst ALL its citizens. What you see occurring in Iran today is the beginning of the end of the Islamic Republic, and a monumental struggle for justice and liberty that has been going on for thirty years.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Interview with a Kahrizak detainee

The following interview was conducted by Human Rights Activists in Iran, it is a discussion with an ex-detainee at the infamous Kahrizak prison where many of the Islamic Republic's tortures, rapes and eventual murders are carried out. The prisoners are not charged and have no access to a lawyer. The interview describes in some detail the ways in which this hell sent Mullah regime tortures people relentlessly, including threatening to rape the prisoner's family members. An excerpt from the interview:

Q: What techniques were being used to extract confession from the detainees?

A: In my own case they were using my family and my son to put pressure on me. In one of the interrogation sessions they showed me footage of my son in one of the streets of Tehran. I was told by the interrogator that they had my son in custody and would rape him if I didn’t confess. After seeing the footage I lost control and started screaming. I begged them not to harm my son. I was then beaten by baton until I fainted and was taken back to the container.

All night long we could hear the screams of other detainees who were being pressured to confess. We could hear them say under torture;” For god’s sake please stop beating”; “I will confess to anything you want me to”. This would go on until morning.

At times they would take us 5 at a time and beat us to the point of us fainting. My right ear lobe was torn under torture and there are bruises on my body that were caused by beatings with baton. I have to add that we were beaten by baton at least three times a week and were interrogated on a daily basis. During my 58 days of detention I was interrogated 58 times...

Cases like this are not unheard of or isolated, incidents similar to this happen routinely in the Islamic Republic, yet sadly the world carries on appeasing these satanic Mullahs.

Comments are most welcome

Saturday, 29 August 2009

What really happened at Behesht e Zahra?

Behesht e Zahra is a massive, sprawling cemetery in south Tehran, containing the graves of many notable Iranians, and lately has been the subject of much scrutiny due to the reports of secret mass burials of those killed in recent weeks in the struggle against the regime. The graves were in Block 302 of the cemetery and are unnamed. The head of the cemetery was duly sacked for disclosing the mass graves, though in recent days he's had to backpedal and put it down to "retirement".

The Islamic Republic's government has predictably denied that they are responsible for this heinous crime, however yesterday evidence surfaced thanks to RFERL who discovered a blog by a family member of someone who works at the cemetery who says her mother was witness to the burials by government agents:

She started with the first night:

"No sooner had I entered the ground of the facility when I saw about 30 frozen corpses left to defrost, and many bearded men who took me along with some of my colleagues into a room. A man started telling us that tonight and in the coming nights we would be burying the corpses of some hypocrites. These were anti-revolutionary groups that had killed several of our soldiers. They had been found and brought here from deserted areas near the border for identification. Now they wanted to bury them behind the backs of the media and spies.

'If you spread the word to anyone, you and every single member of your family shall be in grave danger, be sure of that,’ one of the bearded men threatened.

They asked for our names along with the names of family members and they took our thumb prints. They emphasized that we'd better not forget what they had said and then guided us to our respective work places.

Male corpses had more attendees, and it was I, along with a few colleagues, in the female corpse section. We had been delivered about five female corpses that had been frozen, while there were about 20 male corpses in the other section. The manager of the graveyard who had come as well that night told us to finish the job before sunrise, even if we had to bury them without a complete wash and proper shrouding.

Therefore, we began. Some of the corpses had severe cuts and frozen blood on their faces. There were three middle-aged women and two women of 20 to 30 years of age. One of the girls had her head smashed so badly that we had to deliver her to the undertakers without thawing the corpse."

I asked my mother to tell me more of what she saw on the next night. She finally gave in to my persistent inquiries.

“Tonight, we went to the same facility again. The number of corpses this time was about four times more. More than 100!!! We were delivered 23 unidentified corpses in the female section. The bearded men were greater in number as well. There were guards at every entrance to the graveyard, and any possible traffic was being controlled..."

Nothing more to add really. I have no doubts that these acts took place, the Islamic Republic has a history of killing those who stand up to it, and then burying them in mass graves. Even though Mir Hossein Mousavi would never bring it up today, whilst he was Prime Minister in 1988, tens of thousands of political prisoners were killed in this manner, and the gullible fools on Facebook have formed a group demanding that he be given the Nobel Peace Prize!

Comments are most welcome.

Monday, 24 August 2009

What does Iran mean by "peace and stability"?

It's well known that the Islamic Republic of Iran is against the idea of a peace process occurring between Palestinians and Israelis. But just in case any of you thought that Iran is against any peace in the Middle East, in an apparent burst of pacifism Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi is calling for a "political solution" to the Yemeni conflict, insisting that “We [Iran] always respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Yemen and believe in peace and stability in the region,” going on to state that "bloodshed" would not solve Yemen's problems.

Sounds good so far, I hear many of you thinking "thank god Iran isn't meddling in yet another nation's affairs again", but unsurprisingly the immoral nature of the Islamic Republic will always shine through. I wonder how Qashqavi manages to reconcile the Islamic Republic's peace seeking exhortation with the fact that not only is Iran funding and arming the rebels, and deepening the conflict, but is further proposing that the rebels be given sanctuary in Iraq!

It goes without saying that the situation in Yemen is very distressing, since over 100000 people have been displaced by the fighting, in a disadvantaged country which has already been through many years of civil war. But what's really quite shameful is that whilst Iran's leaders regularly wail about the suffering of Palestinians at the hands of Israel, they themselves are actively helping to cause pain to another populace i.e. the people of Yemen.

If it wasn't such a disturbing problem afflicting real people, the whole affair would be quite funny: the Islamic Republic yet again tries to take the world for a ride, sanctimoniously preaching about peace in the region, but all the while fueling the conflict.
To answer the question in the title of this post, I'm really not sure that the Islamic Republic's leaders know the definition of "peace and stability". If in fact they actually cared one tiny bit for any of these people, they would stop prolonging their misery, but then again I've long accepted that all Islamism, whether it involves Yemenis or Iranians is just about shady illicit deals and corruption.

Comments are most welcome

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Protests outside the Iranian Embassy in London

These protests used to occur on a daily basis but due to a police request now take place twice a week opposite the Islamic Republic of Iran's Embassy at 16 Princes Gate, London at the following times:

Thursdays: 18:00 - 21:00
Sundays: 16:00 - 19:00

Some photos I took today, click on the image to enlarge it.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

On the 56th anniversary of the 1953 coup d'etat

There isn't much I can say which hasn't been said over the past 56 years regarding the unjust ousting of Dr Mossadegh in a cowardly coup d'etat. He was a tireless fighter for the Iranian people, a democrat, a secularist, a liberal, in short everything that is good in a politician, the fact that he was removed by the greedy governments of Britain and America in 1953 remains one of the most tragic political events of our time.

The removal of Dr Mossadegh, a true servant of the people, in exchange for short term profit from Iran's oil, which ought to have helped the Iranian people, not it's foreign corporate masters who acquired it illegally and unfairly, truly shows the depths of human depravity and greed. The oil was stolen, the autocratic Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi replaced a democratic government, and the immature seeds of democracy in Iran were destroyed once more.

Interestingly enough, today's politicians, the likes of Albright, Obama and Straw have realised what a mistake 1953 was because the foisting of a dictatorial and corrupt Shah on Iran's people invariably lead to discontent and eventually to the 1979 Revolution, which has since lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of people and the rise of Islamism in Iran and provides a far bigger nightmare for Britain and the USA than Dr Mossadegh and oil nationalisation ever did.

The events of August 19th 1953 are a sombre reminder of the far reaching repercussions of corruption, greed and imperialism. Today is a time to reflect and remember men like Dr Mossadegh and Hossein Fatemi who put Iran's people above their own personal gain, and paid the ultimate price. In an era of disgusting, fraudulent politicians like Khamenei, Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad, who only exist to line their pockets whilst Iranians suffer, it is comforting to remember those who stood up for Iran.

Comments are most welcome

Saturday, 15 August 2009

An Arab, an Iranian and a neo Nazi all go into a bar...

Sounds like a bad joke, eh? Ironically enough, I've realised how Hamas (Arab Islamists currently in charge of Palestine), Ayatollah Khamenei (Azeri Islamist currently in charge of Iran) and the members of Stormfront (White supremacist internet community) are all very similar to each other.

Let me explain. The Seattle Times reports that one of Hamas' most senior members Khaled Mashaal has said "We [Hamas] are definitely not worried about the relationship with Iran or the support that Iran offers us." He certainly hopes so, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been supplying Hamas with weapons and $150 million a year, and staunchly defends it, more so than any other country in the Middle East. All of this to a group which has carried out over a decade's worth of suicide attacks on Israeli civilians. Mashaal has also stated that Hamas will "never recognise Israel" and seems firmly against negotiations and a peace process.

Along with the annual donation of $200m to Hezbollah, and various gifts given to other terrorists, sorry, "freedom fighters", the government of the Islamic Republic is giving quite a hefty amount of Iran's income to foreign groups. Still, it's not as if the Iranian people need it, only a third of them live below the poverty line and it's not like Iran has an opium addiction problem that affects four million people or anything...the Islamic Republic's leaders obviously figured that $350 million dollars wouldn't help overcome Iran's societal ills at all...

But then again, Mashaal would rather rob Iran's people of their money, and Khamenei is only too willing to give it away in the hope that Hamas finally "remove the cancerous tumour of Israel". But where do our redneck friends at Stormfront fit into the equation? Well, amusingly enough they agree with Mashaal and Khamenei, whom they are lionising, though one of their members laments the fact that "it is a sad state of affairs when a non white race is one of our best allies against the jew while our own government enables and then protects them."

It is quite funny how fascists, whether American, Arab or Iranian all seem to agree with eachother, deep down. At the end of they day, if Khamenei really cared for the plight of the Palestinian people, he would try and urge diplomacy and negotiation as the way forward in the conflict. Instead he gives the Iranian people's money to a violent, terrorist organisation who have no plans for a peaceful solution and who will only prolong the suffering, whilst at the same time Iranian society languishes in its own quagmire of problems. The ultimate losers, as always, are civilians, both Palestinian and Iranian who are paying for the idiocy of their respective governments.

A more amusing way of looking at the Islamic Republic's stance toward Israel/Palestine

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

UN Secretary-General congratulates Ahmadinejad

It's not often that I start badmouthing the UN. Usually I have a lot of respect for it and the work which it carries out, especially through the World Food Programme and the World Health Organisation. However, Reuters reports that today the UN's Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent a letter of congratulations to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his "win" in June's presidential election.

Chapter One of the Charter of the United Nations explicitly states that the purposes of the UN are amongst other things "promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion". Articles 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirm the right to freedom of thought, opinion, association and freely chosen representatives for all humankind. So far so good, these are extremely noble ideals which if followed would surely lead to a peaceful, egalitarian world.

And yet, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN, the man who has been chosen to extol the wonders of this Declaration and promote the rights within it, has chosen to congratulate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his "re-election". What is Mr Ban thinking? The main proliferators of bigotry, oppression and tyranny in the Middle East today are Ahmadinejad and the unelected Mullah oligarchy that put him in office. Does Mr Ban not care at all for the integrity of the Office he holds? Are "human rights" and "fundemental freedoms" simply buzzwords to him?

You'd think that after the explosive, well documented events of the past few weeks in Iran, the world would realise that the Mullahs are definitely no longer wanted by Iran's populace. But at this crucial time when people in Iran are looking for the support of the nations of the world in their fight for freedom and democracy, the Secretary-General of the UN congratulates (i.e. validates) Ahmadinejad's presidency, and by extension gives a nod of approval to the Islamic Republic to carry on. This is a slap in the face of all those who've died in the protests, who've been arrested and who've endured the torture of Iranian prisons. It is quite frankly, an unforgivable thing to do, and no amount of sugarcoated excuses on how this is just "pragmatic politics" will ever change the fact that the UN is now actively continuing to appease a fascist regime.

Comments are most welcome.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Protestors "savagely raped" in Iranian prisons

Yet more disturbing news coming from the usual suspects in the Islamic Republic of Iran, this time evidence has come to light that many of the poor folk arrested for protesting over the past few weeks are being subject to "savage" rape in prison. The Associated Press reports that Mehdi Karroubi has obtained information that detained protestors, both male and female are being subject to rape in such a way that "their genitals were damaged" and that others were "suffer[ing] from depression and serious physical and mental damage." He then goes on to say that "such crimes, if proven true, would disgrace Iran's Islamic ruling system".

Personally, I do not doubt that these crimes took place, the Islamic Republic has a long tradition of employing torture and rape in its prisons as a means of keeping the Iranian people terrified of speaking out against the Mullah's illegitimate dictatorship. You may have heard of the tragic case of Taraneh Mousavi who was arrested by plain clothes Basijis a few weeks ago after participating in protests, then taken to a torture house and raped in such a way that she was hospitalised due to "rupturing of her womb and anus". She was then removed from hospital, killed and her burned body was found a few days later in a desert to the west of Tehran.

Sadly cases like this are but a drop in the ocean of realities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in which this type of brutality is simply a part of the "justice" system. In fact, the rape of female prisoners is carried out routinely in Iranian prisons because of the warped theocratic legal system which forbids the killing of female virgins (since they're supposed to gain automatic entry to heaven, according to Islamic dogma). So female prisoners are "married" to prison guards, then raped and even more sickeningly, the prison guard who raped the woman often meets her family afterward with a box of sweets and marriage certificate and introduces himself as their "son in law".

This type of medievalist thinking truly epitomises the backward and barbaric nature of the Islamic Republic and only reinforces the case of the need for secularism within Iran. When government and jurisprudence is run off the instructions of a 1400 year old book, this type of thing is bound to happen. And with the lack of democracy and the Islamic Republic being an authoritarian police state, the Iranian people are powerless to liberate themselves from this theocracy.

Most Westerners are unaware of these sorts of goings on within the Islamic Republic so it is important that the inhumane filth who run Iran are exposed for the tyrannical dictators which they are. The more people that read about this sort of thing, the more the Regime will face isolation, so please spread the word and support the Iranian people.

Comments are most welcome.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Spotlight: Darius Guppy

So to work!

The first thing to make clear is that all across Britain today, various groups promote and propagate the Mullah agenda, in our newspapers, on our TV, in our universities, in our Parliament and so on.

The first case to bring to light is that of Darius Guppy, a convicted fraudster and one time friend of London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Mr Guppy published a rather interesting piece for the Independent yesterday, titled: Here in Iran, we look with horror at the country that Britain has become. Note the optimal sensationalism used in the title, frankly it promises to deliver it all: paranoid, judgemental Iranians sniffing disapprovingly at the West. By the title alone you could guess that the article is filled with a diatribe on the decadence and moral corruption of British culture, the sort of thing which would make Ayatollah Khamenei nod in approval. And you'd have guessed correctly. Read on.

Mr Guppy begins by being shocked at the possibility that "devout men like Ahmadinejad and Khamenei...should have engaged in such an un-Islamic conspiracy as cheating their own people". Already there was a faint whiff of George Galloway-esque adulation about the article. But we persevere. For Mr Guppy's information, these so called "devout" men have spent nearly two months sanctioning the killing protestors of in Iran, putting protestors on Soviet style show trials en-masse; including a visiting French academic. Hardly the pursuits of "devout" men. And that's just in the past few weeks, we're not even going into the atrocities of the past 30 years of the Islamic Republic.

Guppy goes on to remark that "Evidence is required; hand-in-the-till-captured-live-on-video type evidence" [of electoral fraud]. Is this guy for real? In a country which regularly uses militias to beat up its citizens and where bloggers are killed for opposing Khamenei, this guy expects electoral transparency? Out of interest Mr Guppy when has there ever been "live on video evidence" of electoral fraud, in any country? Do you really expect to see Khamenei sitting at his desk twiddling the result? By your argument electoral fraud must never happen!

Guppy continues, apparently to have evidence of fraud a "whistleblower with a blacked-out face claiming he was paid by the authorities to empty ballot boxes and refill them with voting slips he was handed" ought to be involved somewhere. Not quite, politics is rarely that simplistic and Hollywood-esque. Though when even the ultra conservative Guardian Council admits voting irregularities in 50 cities, it ought to send alarm bells ringing that probably fraud did occur.

For those already baffled, there's yet more to come, Guppy priggishly announces that containment of evidence of wrongdoing against the Mullah regime is impossible as "truth has an uncomfortable habit of getting out". Well, quite. Which is why for the past 30 years the truth has been coming out, in droves in fact, the most obvious example being the unprecedented amount of accounts of recent protests in Iran being beamed to us via Twitter or YouTube in recent weeks, which the Iranian government has relentlessly tried to block the world from seeing. If that's not evidence enough for Mr Guppy of the truth then he needs to re-evaluate what he means by a "proper smoking gun".

The bizarreness continues as Guppy concludes that since there's no fingerprinting in Iran's airports, therefore the government must be top notch, then going on to imply that the UK is a "police state". Maybe Guppy's wife could walk around downtown Tehran without a hejab and see what happens. Perhaps then he'll get an appreciation of which country is a police state, and which isn't.

Guppy then begins to fall back on the tired and overused clichés of Ahmadinejad supporters, for example "Iran's workers are largely in favour of Mr Ahmadi Nejad". Right, of course they are. This hero of the working classes, Mr Ahmadinejad didn't happen to sanction the imprisonment of bus driver union activists in Iran over the past few weeks did he? That's right of course he did. Mr Ahmadinejad, hero of the working classes, also the same man with a billionaire cabinet with the likes of Interior Minister Mahsouli who has a very working class, er, mansion.

Guppy then starts on Britain by moaning about cultural decadence, the "urban hell" it has become. He is seemingly oblivious to the fact that the average age of prostitutes in Iran has dropped from 27 to 20 during the Islamic Republic's tenure or that the number of opium addicts is 4 million in a country of 70 million. Urban hell may indeed exist in Britain, though at least our government attempts to help us overcome this hell

He then goes on to bewail the hypocrisy of the West, "how many billions of Toumans are pumped into destabilising your regimes?" Well that's an interesting question but is easily answered because since last year the $200 million given to Hezbollah by the Iranian government and the 3000 Hezbollahi fundementalist fighters trained by Iran are all being used to destabilise democratic regimes, namely that of Israel's.

Guppy concludes and no doubt collects his cheque from the Iranian Embassy. I am being flippant, but frankly this entire article could have been created by one of Ahmadinejad's speechwriters. It smacks of cheap Islamic Republic propaganda, the type that lures gullible Western readers who have no knowledge of the links I've posted into actually believing that Guppy and his vile article are representative of the Iranian nation.

I chose to begin my blog with this post, as it emphasises the challenge ahead. The Islamic Republic and its lackies have infiltrated Britain well, it is no longer a case of a bearded Ayatollah rants and raves in Iran and we shrug it off. Their propaganda machine has arrived and is trying to recruit you into believing what they want, or worse making you indifferent to the Iranian people's right to freedom and democracy under the guise of "cultural relativism".

P.S Chris Green's piece is worth a read, his article puts Guppy into perspective. Then again Guppy's grandfather taught Khomeini, is it surprising that Guppy is such a Mullah stooge?

Comments are most welcome.


This blog has been created to act as a forum for anyone who supports freedom and democracy for Iran.

About me: well there's not much to say, I'm a student, I am of Iranian descent, and I am a firm believer in secularism, freedom and democracy. The right to freedom of speech is also another thing I advocate, so therefore it makes sense that this blog be open to everyone. If you're completely in opposition to my views, you're more than welcome to comment on my entries (anonymously if you wish), but I do ask that everyone who posts here does so politely and considerately. Debate is definitely encouraged but fighting isn't. Thanks.