How Tehran's Intimidation Reaches Into Canada
Last week I wrote a column about the obstacles pro-democracy Iranians encounter when they look beyond their borders for support and solidarity. I mentioned the important work being done by a young Iranian émigré blogger in Canada, Arash Kamangir, a 28-year-old University of Manitoba student who tracks dozens of Persian-language blogs, translates his findings and posts regularly at his English-language site, Kamangir.net.
After the column appeared, Arash and I traded notes on how he might determine the veracity of a suspicious Iranian Press TV report (also carried in Persian FARS News, which cited AFP as its source) which claimed Norway's Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, was urging western countries to back off in their pressure on Tehran and dismantle their own nuclear capabilities instead.
Now, a group of conservative Iranian MPs has publicly attacked Kamangir. They are accusing him of being some kind of stooge for American neoconservatives. They have also published Kamangir's real name and a photograph of him.
Kamangir presents reason to be believe that the stoolie in this escapade is none other than Hossein Derakhshan (Hoder), a darling of the Guardian.
Here's Samira Mohyeddin on the dubious Mr. Derakhshan. Here's Danny Postel raising similar, troubling questions.
UPDATE, OF A KIND: Arash draws my attention to an urgent call for action in the case of Makwan Moloudzadeh, a 21-year-old Iranian Kurd who faces imminent execution after confessing to having had a sexual relationship with another boy, seven years ago. Moloudzadeh's confession came after a reportedly brutal "interrogation," and after the police shaved his head, put him on a donkey and paraded him through the streets so people could throw things at him. His accusers have withdrawn their charges, and the alleged witnesses have renounced the testimony attributed to them, but Iranian authorities are planning to lynch Moloudzadeh anyway.