Iranian Liberal Attacks Pro-Rouhani Propaganda at the Guardian
by Adam Levick
There has been a just degree of criticism directed towards the Guardian over the results of their readers’ poll on the Nobel Peace Prize in which 76% of respondents chose Hassan Rouhani from a list (compiled by their journalists) which included the brave Pakistani girl – shot by the Taliban for advocating on behalf of girls’ education – named Malala Yousafzai.
Rouhani was nominated by Saeed Kamali-Dehghan, who has served as one of the paper’s chief promoters of the lie that the new Iranian president is a “moderate” despite Rouhani’s involvement in terror attacks abroad and his role in crushing the pro-democracy movement at home.
Responding to the Guardian readers’ poll was a liberal Iranian blogger (currently living in London) named Potkin Azarmehr (whose blog serves as a platform for the voice of secular pro-democracy activists) who argued that the nomination of Rouhani evokes, for many liberal Iranians, memories of Ayatollah Khalkhali of Iran’s ‘Soviet puppet‘ Communist Party (Tudeh) after the 1979 revolution.
More than three decades ago, the Tudeh Party, Iran’s Soviet backed Communist Party, or as the party leaders liked to refer to their outfit in their publications, “Iran Workers Leading Progressive Party“, nominated the mad Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali as one of their parliamentary candidates for his “uncompromising stand against US imperialism”.
Haj Mehdi Araghi…the first governor of Qasr prison after the 1979 revolution, complained that “this guy [Khalkhali] executes people first and then makes up their charges” and when others also criticised Khalkhali’s swift executions and suggested to him that he may be killing innocents, Khalkhali replied without showing any emotion “If they are innocent, then they will go to heaven, so what’s the problem?”.
One of Khalkhali’s victims was a family friend who was arrested on his way to work, where an anti-government demonstration had taken place nearby. The family friend had nothing to do with the demonstration, his second child was born a few days earlier and all he thought about was raising his children. He was killed without a trial, because Khalkhali had a quota to kill 100 people that day.
Such was the “progressive” anti-imperialist nature of the candidate nominated by “Iran Workers Leading Progressive Party”!
A Wall St. Journal editorial in 2006 noted the following about a famous photo taken during the Islamist reign of terror, in which Khalkhali participated, which claimed the lives of an estimated 500 ‘enemies of the state’ in August 1979 alone.
On Aug. 27, 1979, two parallel lines of 11 men formed on a field of dry dirt in Sanandaj, Iran. One group wore blindfolds. The other held rifles. The command came in Farsi to fire: “Atesh!” Behind the soldier farthest to the right, a 12th man also shot, his Nikon camera and Kodak film preserving in black and white a mass execution.
Taken seven months after Islamic radicals overthrew the U.S.-backed Shah, the photo remains one of the most famous images of Iran. It is an icon of government terror…
Here’s the disturbing photo:
“While Rouhani was promoting a softer image of Iran internationally during his visit to New York two weeks ago, it was business as usual on the domestic front with scores of prisoners put to death following unfair trials,” said the director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Indeed, since Rouhani’s inauguration on Aug. 4th, 125 Iranians have been executed, many, according to some reports, after forced confessions and torture. This man was publicly hanged in Karaj (west of Tehran) on August 18.
Towards the end of his post about Rouhani and the Guardian, Azarmehr wrote the following:
Three decades after, Saeed Kamali-Dehghan, a refugee Leftist journalist from the Islamic Republic, has nominated Hasan Rouhani for the Nobel Peace Prize candidate. The spirit of the Tudeh Party lives on in many of Iran’s Leftist “intellectuals”.
Whilst the Guardian was busy publishing three stories on Iranians’ right to wear blue jeans, noticeably absent was any op-ed – yet alone an official editorial – championing the right of Iranians not to be subjected to such cruel executions, as the spirit of “anti-imperialist” propaganda continues lives on within the ideological territory known as the Guardian Left.
Adam Levick is the managing editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)