This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Paranoid, Islamist, and Nuclear-Aspiring 

"The whole thing is quite strange, even by Iranian judiciary standards. It seems that it is a propaganda process."
"Since none of this is being done [moving Homa Hoodfar out of interrogation, allowing her lawyer access to her], obviously it's not the judiciary that has the upper hand, it's obviously the counter-intelligence wing of the Revolutionary Guard. So it's really the military that is controlling this process. What agenda they have we can only surmise. They're claiming that there's some kind of a conspiracy going on, that all of these cases are somehow tied together in this big plot to undermine the stability of the regime itself."
"There's definitely a political and paranoid dimension to it."
Kaveh Ehsani, assistant professor, international studies, DePaul University, Chicago

"It is a matter of speculation to determine what exactly the Iranian security forces are trying to achieve, but there is a long history of targeting dual nationals, either because of paranoia about foreign conspiracies, or as a bargaining chip to extract concessions."
"It must be remembered that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an authoritarian system that views elements as innocuous as civil society and intellectuals as security threats."
"There have also been occasions when the Iranian government has used foreign nationals as hostages to extract concessions such as obtaining the release of Iranian spies and assassins."
Payam Akhavan, professor of law, McGill University, Montreal
Homa Hoodfar, 65, retired professor of Psychology

"Of note, Iran does not recognize dual citizenship. Moreover, based on Article 41 of the constitution, authorities can revoke the citizenship of Iranians who obtain citizenship in another country. The article has never been invoked, however, given that millions of Iranians have a second nationality. In recent years, this issue has become a hot topic in the political arena because of the dual nationality of some Iranian officials and officials' children."
Zahra Alipour, Iran Pulse, Al Monitor
 The Iranian Republican Guard Corps. in fact controls much of the country, from its nuclear program to its intervention in Syria and Yemen, and its control of Hezbollah, directing that Lebanese Shiite terrorist group when and where to deploy their jihadi martyrdom forces internationally to strike at Israeli and Jewish interests. The elite commanders among the Republican Guard Corps also control state enterprises. The Republican Guard Corps is answerable only to the Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

What is puzzling, when Iranians with dual citizenship travel back to Iran to conduct business or to visit with family is their apparent obliviousness to precedent, where in well media-covered events, many such temporary returnees are taken into custody and remain in prison as suspects of one kind or another, continually interrogated, and punished when interrogations are immediately unsuccessful, by torture and occasionally death.

Iranian-Canadian citizen Zahra Kazemi, a freelance photographer, was taken to Evin prison suspected of being a spy for actually taking photos outside the infamous prison, and there she was tortured, raped and murdered. No Iranian living beyond their country of birth's borders can be ignorant of the chances they take, returning to the country for any reason. Their dual citizenship is of no aid to them in Iran, since Iran doesn't recognize any citizenship but its own.

Three dual-citizenship Iranians are in custody, one with British citizenship, and another two with American dual citizenship, as well as Canadian-Iranian Homa Hoodfar. Little wonder she came to the attention of Iranian authorities, since she was studying the role of Iranian women in moving the country toward a model other than hardline Islamism. She has been, essentially, abducted by the state apparatus, at the very time that the new Canadian government has been publicly musing about restoring diplomatic and trade ties with the Republic that the previous Canadian government had sundered.

The nature of the charges brought against this former Concordia professor have not been released, neither to her lawyer, who has been refused permission to see his client in prison, nor to her extended family living in Iran. None of which is unusual for Iran. As far as Sayeh Hassan, a Toronto lawyer and pro-democracy activist sees it, the indictments brought by Iran against the detained dual-citizens represent a ploy by the Republic to re-open relations, implicitly demonstrating that Ms. Hoodfar's detention is a result of diplomatic miscommunications.

As, no doubt, was the case with Zahra Kazemi, whose body was refused release to her son, wishing to bury his mother in Canada. The dance of coersion and death that Iran practises is reflected in its capital punishment techniques under Sharia law that emphasize crucifixion and beheading as perfectly reasonable forms of punishment for those who defy and insult Iran's theocracy, much less Islam itself.

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