“The only notion I would let engage my mind is Future.” I read this phrase by Plato when I was a philosophy student in Iran. Those days were the most beautiful days of my life. I loved philosophy and as a poet I was a member of the Isfahan Ethical society. Poetry was a means of running away from the world of stubborn philosophical logics, and philosophy on the other hand was a stronghold against the invasions of the poetical dreams, exactly like fire and ice, both admirable and lovely but opposite to each other.
Those days “Future” did not engage my mind as much as what Plato had said, since I only would think about my own future that was unlikely to have a black spot on it. But when I decided to think of the future of 70 million Iranian citizens instead of my own, to think of the poverty and injustice that the Iranian people suffered I started to fully comprehend the true meaning of Plato’s philosophical phrase and this was how I decided to change the path of my own destiny. Continue reading →
By Shahriar Kia – 09/17/14 08:05 PM EDT
The Sept. 1, 2013, massacre of Iranian refugees in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, was without a doubt one of the more heinous crimes of the Iraqi government during Nouri al-Maliki’s eight-year tenure as prime minister.
Now marking its first anniversary, the incident has once again become the focus of attention among human rights groups and activists. A professional and independent report published recently by the London-based Human Security Center (HSC) think tank and the Ashraf Campaign, a human rights organization dedicated to defending the rights of Iranian refugees in Iraq, shed light on the history and perpetrators of the Sept. 1 massacre at Camp Ashraf, located 60 miles north of Baghdad,. Continue reading →
Disturbing images and accounts of the Islamic State’s brutal onslaught in Iraq have become the source of outrage and concern worldwide, and states are frantically searching for a strategy to resolve the crisis caused by the rise of the extremist group.
President Barack Obama, who previously dismissed the group’s advances by comparing it to a JV team, has gone out of his way toauthorize airstrikes against the group in Iraq. He recently affirmedexpanding the offensive to Syria, and is seeking support from Congress and allies in NATO and the Middle-East region to fight the Islamic State. Continue reading →
I remember how in the mid-summer season of 2012, following attacks and raids carried out by former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s special forces against Camp Ashraf (former home to around 3,000 Iranian refugees in Iraq) at the behest of the Iranian regime, lead to the vicious massacre of 36 of these refugees and hundreds of others being injured. Of course, all of the camp residents were recognized as ‘protected persons’ by the United States. Following this horrific crime, a quadrilateral agreement signed by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq, US and the Iraqi governments, along with the residents’ representative, all Ashraf residents – who had lived in our traditional home in Ashraf for 25 years – relocated to Camp Liberty in Baghdad based on our trust in the United Nations as the highest international organization safeguarding human rights and international laws, and also the United States, who had both assumed responsibility regarding our safety and security. We were promised this camp would be a safe and temporary location for our resettlement to third countries to be safe from deadly attacks. However, it didn’t take long that in the winter of 2012, in the early morning hours of February 9th when we were asleep, all of a sudden and out of nowhere came a horrific missile attack resulting in 8 of our dearest friends losing their lives and dozens of other injured and wounded. Continue reading →
Part of President Obama’s solution to the Islamic State should be to ‘evict’ the Iranian regime and its militias from Iraq. That would give the new leadership in Baghdad a real and tangible opportunity to form an inclusive government, says General Hugh Shelton, former U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In an article published in Boston Globe, General Shelton said: “In fact, the litmus test for Iraq’s new leaders is their ability to distance themselves from the regime in Tehran and treat the Iranian dissidents in Iraq humanely. Failure to do so would have long-term consequences that would prove to be much more catastrophic.” Continue reading →
The Iranian regime is definitely the biggest loser of Minister Nouri Al-Maliki withdrawing his candidacy for a third term as Iraq’s Prime Minister. During eight years of divisive and sectarian rule, Maliki had proved himself to be the Iranian regime’s greatest ally in the region, dedicating his power and resources to furthering Iran’s agendas in Iraq and the region.
In an unprecedented move, U.S. President Barack Obama chose in previous weeks to help the Yazidi and Turkmen communities in northern Iraq, who were besieged by the Islamic State (IS). The measures undertaken included humanitarian-aid drops as well as military support aimed at protecting the beleaguered communities and providing them with life-saving assistance. Following the U.S. intervention, other countries, including Britain, France and Germany contributed to the effort.
The decision, which some refer to a turning point in Obama’s foreign policy, is a testament to the fact that the international community can and must do more to prevent humanitarian crises across the globe.
In contrast, there are glaring instances of other catastrophes that could have been prevented with much less effort, but were abandoned and allowed to develop at the cost of many innocent lives. Continue reading →
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