In today’s world almost everyone is aware of the dirty act of hostage-taking. When one hears a phrase, reads it or sees it, like it or not similar actions and objectives, along with a repeated scenario, come to mind. However, the evil spirits in all the dirty frameworks are too similar and common, wherever they may be, and they only encourage more hideous crimes and actions.
Right now I want you to join me for a few moments to get informed with a new type of hostage taking. I have just one request: in any state you may be reading these lines, empty your thoughts for a few moments for the sake of the rights of human beings, so that you would completely understand and come along with me. Now I want to take you to a ‘prisonlike’ place where 2,800 noble and freedom-loving human beings are and one third of which are women. Therefore, during the next few moments that we reach there I prefer to brief you a bit on its history. The ironic part is that many people, meaning the so-called “human rights activists” have dubbed this place “Camp Liberty” and they insist the residents must accept this name, too. Continue reading Camp Liberty: Even time is taken hostage→
23 years ago in Iran I was a die-hard supporter of Ayatollah Khomeini, who depicted himself as the representative of God on Earth and said, “If you die for me you will go to Heaven.” Born in a poor, religious family I had no reason not to believe him. Low culture and poor economic status was one of the main elements that helped his recruiting, and at times it provided basic means that these individuals never had access to. The fundamentalists even described our poverty and hunger as a guarantee of our emancipation in life after death!
I was only 19 and the 1991 Persian Gulf War had just ended when I was enlisted in the Revolutionary Guards and we entered Iraq in a small group to promote Khomeini’s version of Islam. The mission that I was briefed on was to first deliver blows to Khomeini’s dissidents, meaning members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, and thus pursue our ultimate strategy being the occupation of Iraq. Continue reading I used to be a fundamentalist→
In the heat of the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State, a Sunni extremist group that has invaded large parts of Iraq and Syria, a recent report by Amnesty International gives a stark warning that not addressing extremism in its entirety and making the wrong decisions can lead to the deepening of the sectarian rift in Iraq and eventually trigger an irreversible disaster.
The document, which is based on thorough research in war-torn areas in Iraq, gives horrendous accounts of crimes recently committed in Iraq by Shiite extremist groups against the background of the fight against the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS or ISIL). Groups sanctioned, backed and funded by the Iranian regime, and agents of the administration of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have been targeting the Sunni community seemingly in reprisal or revenge for Islamic State attacks and at times also to extort money from the families of those they have abducted. Continue reading Iran lurks behind the rise of sectarian violence in Iraq→
It was spring 1981 and the time of universities’ summer holidays. I spoke to a friend of mine in Aachen University in order to work together for a few months to earn some money for a trip to Iran to visit our families, relatives and friends. We decided to do it and then bought souvenirs and set for Iran on July. To go by plane was expensive so we decided to go to Iran via land through Turkey, which was a good idea.
On the way we discussed many issues about our country Iran and how things were changed during the period we were away from the country, and about friends and families, also about our future and what each one of us planned for the future.
At the Iran-Turkey borders instead of the usual border police, the Pasdaran (Iranian revolutionary guard corps) checked our identifications before we boarded the bus. Their manner of checking us wasn’t friendly. They looked at everybody suspiciously and with skepticism. Continue reading A choice→
Mr. Basiri is an Iranian human rights activist and supporter of democratic regime change in Iran.
A misinterpretation of the principle “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” has led some to believe that the Iranian regime can actually be a contributing force to the international efforts that aim at eliminating the threat caused by the Islamic State, an extremist group that has in past months taken over a swath of territory straddling Iraq and Syria and aims at establishing what it purports to be an Islamic Caliphate.
The evening was still warm and the sun, which had shined through the day, was beginning to lose strength. The white trailers in Camp Liberty, Baghdad, Iraq started to cool down. For those who ignore the political pages in a newspaper, I have to add that this camp is “home” to nearly 2,800 Iranian dissidents. We used to live in Camp Ashraf, northeast of Baghdad, but thanks to the “commitments” of the U.S. administration and the U.N., we voluntarily agreed to be relocated by the Iraqi government. I still remember that very day… A slow breeze from the north brought a somewhat cool weather to the dusty camp. I stood beside the football field and was drowned in my own thoughts, until I figured out an unexpected movement of a thin form between two crutches, walking shaky towards myself. I soon realized that he still isn’t able to maintain his balance, which showed the lack of experience working with the crutches. Continue reading Damn Rocket …→
It is April 2003 and B-52 bombers are flying above our heads in the sky.
We’re in the deserts of Iraq and I am in the ranks of the PMOI, fighting against the Iranian regime for my country’s freedom. The contrail of the jet suggests its altitude must be north of 30,000 feet.
My friends shout, “Get down! Get down!” But I do not react, and my mind automatically takes me 15 years back, before I came to Iraq and joined the PMOI. I went back to the time when after a very hard course of instructions in the U.S. Air force university in the Laughlin and Sheppard and Phoenix Air force bases I graduated as captain pilot of fighter jets. Continue reading Dear Classmates, Don’t Bomb Me→
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