Iran Update
Volume: 1 - Issue:  18 29 March 2010
Iran Update
Dear Friend,

We are delighted to present you with the current issue of Iran Update, a publication of International Solidarity for Democratic Change in Iran (ISDCI).    
Secular victory in Iraq, uprising in Iran will choke Tehran 
ISDCI Viewpoint
28 March 2010
Last night jubilant Iraqis celebrated into the night in Baghdad on news of an upset victory by the broadbased secular Al-Iraqiya bloc led by Dr. Ayad Allawi. The bloc's signature platform was separation of state and religion and an end to sectarian purges and cronyism in the security forces and civil service. That vibed strongly with disenfranchised Sunnis but also with many Shi'ites and religious minorities.
Iraqis have for the past seven years endured the tragic consequences of sectarian divisions promoted by Tehran and its proxies in Iraq. The Iranian state-run daily, Kayhan, had signaled to the international community in a commentary a few years back, "Don't scare us with UN resolutions. Destiny will be decided on the streets of Baghdad," alluding to Tehran's destructive ability to wreak havoc in its geopolitical machinations at the cost of Iraqi lives. Havoc it did wreak as thousands of Iraqis lost their lives to sectarian fighting in the past seven years after the US invasion of Iraq.
The tide, however, started to turn in late 2007 as Sunnis began to participate in the political process, on wise advice, and Iraqis handed Iran's sectarian proxies a sound defeat in 2008 provicial council elections.
In the run-up to the election in March, secular and democratic forces in Iraq took a historic step and put aside differences to build a democratic alternative to the Iranian regime's agenda in Iraq, implemented by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and his allies. The Al-Iraqiya was formed as secular Sunnis, Shi'ites, and other Iraqis joined forces to affect change.
The victory of Al-Iraqiya is a strategic defeat for Tehran but it  does not end its ambitions to dominate Iraq. The Iranian regime and its allies in Iraq, including Nouri Maliki resorted to all means to prevent Al-Iraqiya's victory. The European Parliament delegation for relations with Iraq rightly draw international attention to possible massive fraud in favour of Maliki. The EP delegation reported several cases of fraud in the early days of counting leading to more vigilance by UN observers.
That vigilance should be kept as Maliki and his allies in Tehran resort to strong-arm tactics, and abuse of power to whittle down Al-Iraqiya's plurality and block Allawi's constitutional right to form a government Iraqis have voted for.
 
Official: US not 'watering down' terms for Iran sanctions resolution 
VOA News
David Gollust
28 March 2010
The Obama administration Friday rejected suggestions that it is watering down its terms for new U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, in order to win Russian and Chinese support for a new resolution. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will discuss the issue with fellow foreign ministers of the big-power G8 grouping next week in Canada.
Officials here acknowledge differences of opinion among the five veto-wielding permanent Security Council member countries on what a new sanctions resolution should contain.
But State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley says there were significant inaccuracies in U.S. newspaper reports this week that the United States is backing away from an insistence on tough penalties against Iran to preserve a Security Council consensus.
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Woman imprisoned for having relatives in Camp Ashraf in critical condition 
ISDCI
27 March 2010
Based on reports received by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran (HRDAI),  36 year old political prisoner Zahra Jabbari's physical condition is critical due to heart disease, anemia, and rheumatism. Zahra Jabbari is unable to walk and other political prisoners help her perform [daily] tasks. Authorities have refused to treat her. The clinic at the prison argues that they do not have enough doctors or the necessary facilities to treat her.  The clinic has advised Zahra Jabbari be transferred to a hospital, but the Ministry of Intelligence agents have refused to treat her in any medical centre (even if  her family pays for the expenses). On March 13, 2010, Zahra Jabbari was taken for the second time to branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court to be tried by Mohammad Mogheisayi,  known as Nasserian, a member of the commission of the 1988 mass murders of political prisoners.  Since the interrogator was not present in the court, the trial was postponed until further notice.
Zahra Jabbari had declared in the previous meeting of the court that one of her toe nails fell off due to brutal torture methods. Zahra Jabbari's family members were not allowed to be present in the court hearing and her lawyer has stated that there is no proof in the file of any criminal charges; it only states that she has a brother and sister living in Camp Ashraf, Iraq.
Zahra Jabbari was arrested on September 18, 2009 (Qods Day) and transferred to a solitary cell in ward 209 of Evin prison where she endured physical and mental torture by the Ministry of Intelligence. She spent more than two months in solitary confinement before her transfer to the women's ward in Evin prison.  Since her arrest, Zahra Jabbari still wears the same clothes she had on at the time of her arrest.  Prison officials have refused to accept clothes from Zahra's family, even though she suffers from different illnesses [and requires more clothing].
Pressures and abuses inflicted by prison guards and ordinary and dangerous prisoners (manipulated by the guards) on female political prisoners is on the rise. One of the pressure methods against female political prisoners is the deprivation of basic supplies. Even though certain supplies are sold at expensive prices in the prison shop, political prisoners are not allowed to make any purchases. The supplies in the prison shop are instead provided to mafia gang members who help the prison guards extort other prisoners.
The families of female political prisoners experience insults and abuse by female prison guards during in-person meetings that occur once every few weeks. The prison guards physically search families in an insulting manner. They also abuse and insult children who are there to meet their mother or relatives. They do this to provoke reactions and protests by the family members so the guards can have an excuse to end the meetings. This prison guards have conducted brutal and inhumane treatment on most families of political prisoners.
 
White House adviser: World has united against Iran
Associated Press
28 March 2010

WASHINGTON - A top White House adviser says the U.S. is making progress in its efforts to find allies to hold the line on Iran's nuclear ambitions.
David Axelrod tells CNN's "State of the Union" that at the start of the Obama administration, Iran was united while the world was divided on how best to deal with Iran.
Axelrod says the situation is now reversed - the world is coming together while Iran itself is divided.
He says he's pleased with the cooperation that the Russians have offered and believes Moscow will support fresh penalties against Tehran.
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In Iraq's election, a defeat for Iran 
The Washington Post
David Ignatius
27 March 2010

Hold the fireworks for Ayad Allawi, Iraq's former prime minister, who won his country's election by the proverbial razor-thin margin of just two seats. It's too early to say how --or even, if -- Allawi will be able to form the secular government of reconciliation he has promised.
But we can say one thing with certainty: The election was a stunning defeat for Iran and its spymaster, Qassem Soleimani, who commands the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. Soleimiani had spent millions trying to stop an Allawi victory. He failed. If nothing else, that shows the resiliency of Iraqi nationalism, and anti-Iranian feeling, which the Shiite religious parties who have been governing Iraq these past five years failed to crush.
Soleimani and his Quds Force waged a broad covert-action campaign, according to U.S. military commanders and de-classified U.S. intelligence documents. Their first aim was to derail Allawi's Iraqiya coalition, by using the Iran-backed De-Baathification Commission to disqualify as many candidates as possible. Allawi's coalition howled about the commission's arbitrary work, but Iraqiya quickly replaced most of those who were scratched.
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Thank you for your reading Iran Update. We welcome your comments. 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
ISDCI News Group
In This Issue
Secular victory in Iraq, uprising in Iran will choke Tehran
Official: US not 'watering down' terms for Iran sanctions resolution
Woman imprisoned for having relatives in Camp Ashraf in critical condition
White House adviser: World has united against Iran
In Iraq's election, a defeat for Iran
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Putting Human Rights
First
We invite you to write to your national government officials to ask them to freeze all commercial and diplomatic ties with the Iranian regime until there is a full stop to repression of protests in Iran, release of political prisoners and respect for human rights as demanded in the recent UN Human Rights Council session.