Since his election in the summer of 2013, President Rouhani has initiated a systematic plan to purge radical conservatives from powerful positions in Iranian universities. These conservatives view universities as a political tool that can be turned against the establishment, and vehemently control its operations. Since 2013, a counter-conservative force has started to protect academic freedom, and limit the influence of conservative forces. According to this article by Reza Akbari, “one of the biggest disputes between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s moderate administration and Iran’s conservative factions is centered on the issue of academic freedom. Conservative forces are attempting to stay in control of the country’s educational system, while the moderates are hoping to increase the autonomy of Iran’s universities. The outcome of this conflict will be a litmus test for the level of academic freedom permitted under the current administration.”
“Mary Rezaian pleads for the Iranian government to release her son, Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, and his wife Yeganeh Salehi. The two were arrested last week on undetermined charges in Tehran along with two others, one of whom has since been released.” Watch the Video HERE
“While U.S. and Iranian negotiators labor to reach a long-term nuclear agreement, other Americans and Iranians are stepping up contacts in a new wave of people-to-people diplomacy.
Encouraged by the war in Gaza, extremists in Israel want genocide of the Palestinian people. For one of them, Writing on her Facebook page, Ayelet Shaked, calls “for murdering the mothers of what she terms Palestinian “terrorists” (a very broad concept indeed in current Israeli thinking) so that they cannot give birth to more “little snakes….They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists. They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists. …”
Where is the reaction from International Community about this outrageous statements ?
United Against Nuclear Iran has been one of the most vocal and strident anti-Iran groups with offices in New York city. Observers were wondering how such group was able to put together such sophisticated PR campaign against Iran. Now a New York Times article reveals that this group was funded by “foreign interests.” The Justice department has intervened to block the release of “foreign interests” names and this only added to the mystery. “The intervention by the Justice Department added a new layer of mystery to an already intriguing case. Lawyers for Victor Restis, who filed the defamation suit, have accused the group of being funded by unidentified foreign interests and are trying to force the testimony of Israeli’s former intelligence chief and a prominent Israeli businessman.”
Iranian government undermines its international image by arresting a good reporter like Jason Rezaian. Arresting reporters like Rezaian reveals how hardliners are still in control of the intelligence apparatus in Iran. He went to Iran on his own, and has provided one of the most insightful coverage of Iranian politics, society and economy. Hopefully, President Rouhani can use his influence to rectify the situation.