Iran: What's going on?


Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
Two interesting and fairly contrary stories from inside Iran:

1) http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=3661

The chancellors of ten of Iran’s prestigious universities have resigned in protest against the policies of the new radical Islamist government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The chancellors of the universities of Shiraz, Tabriz, Isfahan, Orumieh, Mashad, the Industrial University of Isfahan, and Tehran’s Teachers Training College handed in their resignation since the appointment Mohammad-Mehdi Zahedi, a radical Islamist, as the new Minister of Science, Research and Technology.

Zahedi, 51, was previously chairman of the City Council in Kerman, southern Iran, and a former professor of mathematics in the University of Shahid Bahonar in Kerman. He garnered the lowest number of votes during his confirmation in Majlis, the Iranian Parliament. His close-shave vote tally – only two votes above the cut-line, became a controversial issue, as many Majlis deputies accused the dominant hard-line faction of cheating to get Zahedi confirmed.

The minister has also come under scrutiny after it was discovered that his doctorate degree and much of his academic qualifications were obtained through improper channels. Zahedi’s official biography lists him as having been named “Top Mathematician of the World” by Cambridge Centre in Britain. It was later disclosed that Zahedi had never set foot in Cambridge University, and that the ritzy award had in fact been “bought” from a private institute.

University professors and senior academics fear that Zahedi’s radical policies will only exacerbate the already gruelling tensions in Iran’s universities.

“It was already very tough to manage the campus before all this,” said Dr. Goudarz Sadeghi, who resigned his post in Orumieh University to take up a teaching job in Tehran University. “Now, it’s just going to be impossible”.

Mahmoud Afkhami, a sociologist who teaches in several universities in Tehran, said Zahedi was widely despised among Iran’s academics, who see him as a radical Islamist who owes his rise to complete loyalty to the country’s religious rulers.

“What we need is people who understand our young students and their demands and their frustration in the current system”, said Afkhami. “Ahmadinejad and his team are only going to make things worse”.
2) http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=3668

Tehran, Iran, Sep. 11 – Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been following closely the way the United States government has been handling Hurricane Katrina, and drawing strategic conclusions from it.

In remarks that appeared on Ansar-e Hezbollah website on Sunday, a top official of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said the devastating hurricane had exposed America’s vulnerabilities.

“The mismanagement and the mishandling of the acute psychological problems brought about by Hurricane Katrina clearly showed that others can, at any given time, create a devastated war-zone in any part of the U.S.”, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, the official spokesman of the IRGC, said.

“If the U.S. attacks Iran, each of America’s states will face a crisis the size of Katrina”, he said, referring to the massive hurricane which hit the southern coast of the United States. “The smallest mistake by America in this regard will result in every single state in that country turning into a disaster zone”.

“How could the White House, which is impotent in the face of a storm and a natural disaster, enter a military conflict with the powerful Islamic Republic of Iran, particularly with the precious experience that we gained in the eight-year war with Iraq?” he said.

Jazayeri said the hurricane havoc showed that “contrary to public perception, the strength of America’s leadership is like a balloon, which can easily burst”.

The Revolutionary Guards spokesman said the U.S. administration’s inability to end the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan showed the “weakness of America’s defence and state departments, as well as its intelligence and security apparatus”.

In a defiant tone that mirrored recent remarks by top officials of the Islamic Republic, the IRGC spokesman said, “Precise information from inside America shows a lack of coordination among military, security, and political agencies in that country and brings to light the fact that others can cause many times the amount of damage compared to the blows they may receive”.

Jazayeri said predictions “that the U.S. would soon disintegrate into smaller independent states are completely feasible from a scientific, logical, and political point of view”.

Turning his attention to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, Jazayeri said, “Now is the time to tell the world public opinion about those events and the weaknesses of the White House’s response”.

“Don’t forget one thing about that day; the U.S. President and all the American leaders ran away and hid themselves”, he said.
In some ways it's very like America.