supreme leader ayatollah

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 9/11 conspiracy theorist is running again for president of Iran

  • Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is vying for a third term, according to the Tehran Times.Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier who once called 9/11 an inside job and has also called for the destruction of Israel.
  • Now, the controversial leader — whose followers once routinely chanted “death to America!” — is throwing his hat into the latest race to become Iran’s president once again, a polarizing last minute move before the country’s May 19 election.
  • Ahmadinejad’s late bid defies the wishes of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei who in September advised his protégé to stay out of the race, “both for his own and the country’s good,” according to the Tehran Times. Read more. (4/12/2017 3:20 PM)
Trump Joke from Facebook

‘The Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a phone call to Trump and told him, “Donald, stay out of office, because last night I had a wonderful dream. I could see America, the whole beautiful country, and on each house I saw a banner.”

“What did it say on the banners?” Trump asked.

Ali replied, “United States of Iran.”

Trump replied “You know, Ali, I am really happy you called, because believe it or not, last night I had a similar dream. I could see all of Tehran, and it was more beautiful than ever, and on each house flew an enormous banner.”

“What did it say on the banners?” Ali asked.

Trump replies, “I don’t know. I can’t read Hebrew.”


December 3rd 1979: Ayatollah Khomeini comes to power

On this day in 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini became Supreme Leader of Iran. Born to a Shi’ite family in the village of Khomein in 1902, his father was murdered when he was five months old, and he lost his mother and aunt to cholera in 1918. Khomeini and his brother were both ardent religious scholars, and the former excelled at religious study, eventually moving to Arak to study with a famed Islamic scholar. Khomeini’s teachers supported the Shah and believed that religion should not be involved in government. Khomeini, however, was alarmed by what he saw as Iran’s secularisation and abandonment of its Islamic roots. In 1962, he began actively protesting the pro-Western rule of Reza Shah, which resulted in his arrest and exile in Iraq in 1964. Khomeini spent fifteen years in exile, during which time he developed a comprehensive theory for a reformed Iranian state, based on Islamic principles and led by the clergy. His ideas were popular in Iran, making Khomeini - now known as an Ayatollah (major religious leader) - the de facto leader of the opposition to the Shah, whose forces violently suppressed dissenters. Tensions came to a head in 1979, when popular protests forced the Shah to flee the country, and Khomeini triumphantly returned from exile. In the following months, plans for an authoritarian theocracy based on Islamic law were put into place. In November, Iran dramatically demonstrated their defiance of Western powers when several Iranians took sixty hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, sparking the Iranian Hostage Crisis. A December referendum created the world’s first Islamic republic in Iran, and named Khomeini as Supreme Leader for life. His regime was fiercely repressive of dissent in all forms, executing political opponents, requiring women to wear a veil, banning symbols of Western culture, and introducing punishments based on Islamic law. In 1980, a surprise invasion of Iran by Iraq began a long war which ultimately claimed roughly one million lives. The Ayatollah’s radical regime greatly concerned Western powers, especially when, soon before his death in 1989, the Ayatollah issued a fatwa calling for the death of author Salman Rushdie for criticising Islam. Ruhollah Khomeini forever changed the face of Iranian politics, and helped turn it into the country we know now, which remains in constant tension with Western powers.

Digital age poses a new challenge to Iran’s relentless book censors

Writers and translators turn to internet to publish their work – and to avoid the anonymous scrutineers who remove words such as ‘kiss’ and ‘wine’

by  Saeed Kamali Dehghan from the guardian

It is an unlikely setting for an international book fair. But around this time of year, the spacious prayer halls of Tehran’s gigantic Mosalla Grand Mosque are transformed into a labyrinth of stalls occupied by publishers exhibiting their latest titles.

Offering generous discounts, some sell more books in 10 days than in the rest of the year. The fair attracts nearly 5 million visitors, dwarfing international counterparts such as Frankfurt.

All the books on display have been vetted before publication and some heavily censored, as is routine for every book printed in Iran. Visiting the fair this week the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, received a copy of Henry Kissinger’s On China in Farsi as a gift. Also on display is the Farsi translation of Hillary Clinton’s memoir, Hard Choices.

In parallel, however, is an unofficial Iranian book fair. It is online and free from the shackles of censorship that dominate the traditional publishing in Iran.

Read more

Image:  The 28th Tehran international book fair this week. Ahmad Halabisaz.