Associated France Press reported on March 9 that: the boyfriend of an Iranian woman, who became an Opposition icon after images of her death at a Tehran protest spread across the Internet, says the event has turned him into a staunch activist.
A year ago, ’I wouldn’t have thought that I would be here,’ Caspian Makan told AFP on the sidelines of a human rights conference in Geneva. ’It changed my life, I’m very active right now I’m going to be more of an activist,’ said the writer and documentary maker after he fled Iran and found refuge in Canada. ’I lost my love, I lost my country, I miss everybody, my family, my job,’ added Makan, speaking through an interpreter.
A graphic mobile phone video of her bleeding to death on the ground was seen around the world, triggering an outcry over the brutal crackdown on demonstrators.
Makan appeared at the Geneva conference alongside dissidents from China, Cuba, Myanmar, North Korea and Zimbabwe. ’She was convincing me how we should go... we have to stand up, we have to raise our head against the regime,’ Makan said.
And yet she had refused to vote in the election, dismissing it as a ’show.’
Deputy IRGC Commander: Today, we stand at the most challenging historical juncture
According to National Coucil of Ressistance of Iran, the Deputy Commander of the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, voiced distress over the possibility of the clerical regime’s overthrow, saying: “…Today, we stand at the most challenging historical juncture. We must have the ability to withstand the power of arrogance which has come to the fore with all its might,” state-run news agency Fars reported on Monday.
The IRGC Deputy Commander also expressed worry about what he described as “the political isolation, sanctions, and a cultural and security assault” against the clerical dictatorship, adding: “Today, the IRGC is engaged in a battle with the enemies of the Islamic revolution on multiple fronts.” Separately, Ali Saeedi, the representative of the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, in the IRGC, expressed concern about the Iranian people’s growing hatred and anger towards the clerical regime. He said: “In the early days of the revolution, the people were more inclined to use religious names for their children, but today, there is less interest in that.”
Saeedi admitted to the defeat of the regime in imposing the culture of fundamentalism over universities and other parts of society, saying: “We must seek the reason for the way our young daughters and son dress like this. It is unfortunate. And, look at our mourning ceremonies, weddings, and celebrations. … (We) have not been successful on the issue of cultural revolution. … These universities have not been accountable to the establishment and we have to pay attention to this.”
Iran: Mullahs issue religious decrees in opposition to traditional Fire Festival celebrations
The Iranian regime has issued fatwas or religious decrees against the traditional annual celebrations known as (Chaharshanbeh Suri) or Fire festival, which takes place on the last Wednesday of the Iranian calendar year (March 16, 2010). The regime declared the celebrations to be against Sharia law and akin to “superstition” while calling on Iranians to refrain from participating in it. The state-run Mehr news agency reported from Qom that mullah Jafar Sobhani has described the Fire Festival as an example of false traditions. “Leaping over a bonfire and saying some words … is not at all appropriate,” he said, referring to the specific Fire Festival tradition that includes people going into the streets and alleys to make fires, and jump over them while singing special song: Your fiery red color is mine, and my sickly yellow paleness is yours.
Sobhani warned Iranians “not to become subject to matters that run counter to Sharia law and wisdom.” The Fire Festival has been held across Iran every year in anticipation of the New Year, but it has also taken a political dimension because people use it as an opportunity to express their anger and opposition to the ruling dictatorship while burning posters and pictures of the regime’s leaders. Another mullah in Qom was also quoted by the same news agency as saying that the rites and actions performed during the Fire Festival in Iran are not in line with religious guidelines. Fazel Lankarani added: “The issue of the Fire Festival is a superstition and baseless. Some of the actions performed during that day are not in line with religious guidelines and … are examples of actions which are contrary to Sharia.”