"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Friday, May 25, 2007

Iranian-Americans Missing in Iran - Reuters thinks it’s their Dual Citizenship

Ali Shakeri, a dual U.S. and Iranian citizen, businessman from CA and serves on an advisory board of the Center for Citizen Peacebuilding was visiting Iran. He was expected back a few weeks ago and has not been heard from since March 8th.

This comes after “at least three Iranian-Americans have been arrested, detained or otherwise prevented from leaving Iran in recent months in what appears to be an Iranian crackdown on dual citizens. The missing people are:

Haleh Esfandiari of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

From the Statement of her Arrest from the Center for Scholars (very interesting and worth a read): “Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and a dual Iranian-American national, was arrested in Tehran on May 8 and incarcerated in the Evin Prison.”

Kian Tajbakhsh, consultant for the Open Society Institute

Statement from the Open Society Institute regarding the detention of Dr. Tajbakhsh in Iran on or about May 11th.

Parnaz Azima (From April 16, 2007: Parnaz Azima, a reporter for Radio Farda – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Persian service), on a trip to Iran to visit a sick relative had her Iranian passport seized by Iranian authorities who “have failed to return it to her, it said. It was not clear what the reason was. The statement said Azima was once asked to cooperate with Iran's intelligence services, which she refused.

More on Ms. Azima at RadioFreeEurope RadioLiberty

Iran is big on hostages, yet it never seems to effect reality enough for those involved to do anything about it.

In an effort to catch up and not be the only nation holding citizens, Iran’s foreign ministry called for the release of Iranian engineer Mohammad Alavi, not a dual citizen, arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of “transferring classified computer code to Iran” according to IRNA.

According to authorities:

Mohammad Alavi, who worked at the triple-reactor Palo Verde power plant west of Phoenix, was arrested April 9 at Los Angeles International Airport when he arrived on a flight from Iran. He is charged with a single count of violating a trade embargo that prohibits Americans from exporting goods and services to Iran.”

Summary worth noting; Reuters sees the story as Iranians cracking down of dual citizenship individuals, which is comparable to Navin R. Johnson believing a snipers hitting oil cans was evidence of his hatred of them and not the reality that the sniper was shooting at him. Could his middle name be Reuters?

The supposedly free and democratically elected government of the Islamic Republic of Iran doesn’t like people openly visiting their country and possibly spreading any kind of ideas outside the Mullah’s Islamic leadership and its Islamic penal code.

I wonder if this is yet just another example of what Time magazine considers the irony of democratic politics.

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