"Green Cyber Demonstration": World Solidarity with the Iranian Protestors


One aim: unite the world’s citizens of all origins, nationalities and horizons who believe in democracy and Human Rights, and who wish to express their support for the pro-democracy movement in Iran.

This initiative is completely independent, non-political and non-religious.

How to participate

- Join our group on facebook, flickr, add us on twitter & myspace

- make our logo your profile image on these social websites

- write a message of support as your headline & on our page(s)

- inform & send links to your friends & contacts

- write about this event in your blogs & websites, feature our image & add a link to us

- contribute to our webpage with comments, slogans, photos/videos/songs etc.

Facebook group: WWIran Facebook group
On twitter: WWIran Twitter
Myspace page: WWIran Myspace
Downloadable images on flickr: WWIran Flickr profile
Flickr group: WWIran Flickr group
YouTube Channel: WWIran YouTube

How you can make a difference

The pro-democracy protestors in Iran are isolated and vulnerable. A strong turn-out here is a means for us to support them in their battle & remind governments & official international bodies around the world to act in the best interest of these freedom-fighters.Iran has ratified both the Declaration of Human Rights (signed 1948) and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (signed 1968). Let us show the world that human dignity and Human Rights are values that transcend frontiers, and that our leaders should use as much energy in defending Human Rights as they do the nuclear issue.

“A dictatorship is more dangerous than a nuclear weapon.”


As a result of the fraudulent Iranian presidential elections of the 12th of June 2009, millions of people took to the streets of Iran to protest against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; demanding a new and democratic election. These brave protestors, comprising all generations, demonstrated pacifically but faced harsh repression from government forces resulting in beatings, deaths, arrests, torture, forced confessions and mock show-trials. Despite this repression, the protest movement has continued to grow and is known as the ‘Green Movement’ (read below: ‘Why Green?’). In spite of this repression, the pro-democracy protestors in Iran have continued their mobilisation; taking to the streets, infiltrating official marches and finding new means to express themselves such as via the internet - despite the huge risks, including for their lives (two young men arrested before the elections, Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour, were executed on the 28th January 2010, with more feared).

Why Green?

Green is the symbolic colour under which the pro-democracy protestors march in Iran - it is traditionally the colour of hope. Although the colour of the presidential candidate Mussavi in June’s fraudulent elections, the protestors have since made this colour their own and are commonly called the ‘Green Movement’, which has grown to become a spontaneous independent citizen’s movement demanding democracy for Iran. Green is now the colour of all those who march for democracy in Iran.

Monday, 22 March 2010

NOROUZ (Persian New Year)

The Year Past & the Year to Come...

On the occasion of Norouz, we at World With Iran would like to wish all those in Iran who are repressed and are fighting for their freedom, and those across the world who support them; a very Happy Persian New Year - "Norouz Piruz, Norouz Mobarak!" ! نوروز پیروز ~ نوروز مبارک
To say that you are not alone & we as well as others around the world are with you, supporting you in you fight for liberty and justice.

One cannot but help reflect upon this past year, so full of hope for change, so full of sadness for those who have been killed, raped, beaten and imprisoned.

This coming year is going to be decisive in the struggle for those inside Iran who are seeking liberty & the respect of their Human Rights, and our support from outside Iran is vital to continue giving them the strength to go on with this battle in defense of these universal values.

Here are two sets of Videos to reflect upon. The first set are from Norouz this year (the night of the 20th March 2010). 
The first shows a spontaneous crowd of people who had gathered at the tomb of the great Persian poet, Hafez. At the moment of the New Year, the crowd cries out the name of the opposition leader "Mir Hossein" Mousavi:

The following two videos were filmed on the rooftops of Tehran where the people were protesting against the regime officials by shouting out "Allah-o Akbar" ("God is great"), at the very moment that Ahmadinejad & Khamenei were giving their official Norouz message on Iranian TV:

The last set of videos date from June 2009, the month of the fraudulent elections in Iran after Ahmadinejad had been 'officially' declared the winner. Here we hear the cries from the roofs at night and a woman improvises a poem as she films the scenes. There are subtitles in English.
The first one dates from the night of the 21st June 2009, the second day of the brutal crackdown by the Iranian regime. She speaks of the diversity of the protestors, and of the need to never forget them, their voices & what they have endured:

Finally, this video is a remixed version of another improvised poem by the same woman & dates from the night of Friday the 19th June 2009 - asking "where is this country" where such atrocities take place:

Mousavi Norouz (Persian New Year) Message

First Couple of Iran’s Opposition Post Video Messages for Persian New Year

A message to the Iranian people from the opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi, posted online to mark the Persian New Year.

One year after President Obama used the Web to send  a video greeting to the Iranian people on the occasion of the Persian New Year, Nowruz, the first couple of Iran’s opposition have posted defiant messages on Facebook to mark the holiday.
Mir Hussein Moussavi, who claims that he was robbed of victory in last year’s presidential election in Iran by fraud, released his video message to the Iranian people on Facebook on Thursday, two days before the year 1389 begins on Iran’s calendar. A note posted with the video promises that a complete English translation will be available soon, and includes this excerpt from Mr. Moussavi’s remarks:
The New Year is the year of resistance on these rightful and legal demands, and we do not have the right to give up and back off from these demands as that would be a betrayal to the nation, Islam and the blood of the martyrs. We have achieved this Constitution from the waves of the bloods of many martyrs, and we cannot lose that easily and we all should return to that.
Mr. Moussavi’s popular wife, Zahra Rahnavard, also posted a video message of her own on Facebook page, in which she said:
In this New Year we want to have freedom in our country again. We want the rule of law which one can say that at least it has been 200 or 300 years that human had tried to achieve it would dominate our country. We want the fraud and rumors be eliminated and discrimination in any form, could it be due to financial, class, economical, cultural or women’s affairs would be eliminated.
Ms. Rahnavard’s Facebook page also says that a complete English translation of her remarks will be posted soon.
Copies of both videos were posted on YouTube by the expatriate Iranian blogger Mehdi Saharkhiz, whose father, Isa Saharkhiz, is a political prisoner on a hunger strike in Iran.
Mr. Moussavi’s message is posted above. Click here to read his message in full in English.
 Here is Ms. Rahnazad’s video message:

Credits: New York Times - Lede Blog: First Couple of Iran's Opposition Post video Messages for Persian New Year

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Chahar Shanbe Soori protests - filmed footage

Here are some of the latest video footage filmed by ordinary people in Iran, of protests & clashes with Basij forces occurring on the night of the 16th of March 2010 (for more info on the situation leading-up to these new protests by pro-democracy supporters, read the previous post), in a number of major cities across the country - cries of "Mad bad dictator" ["Death to the dictator"] can be heard:

For more videos go to the youtube pages of OnlyMehdy & GreenUnity4Iran

Khamenei issues fatwa against Chahar Shanbe Soori

Khamenei tells Iranians to shun fire festival

Khamenei tells Iranians to shun fire festival
Seven people have already been reported killed in the runup to the festival, ISNA news agency said, quoting a police chief.
Charshanbe Soori, an ancient pagan festival, is held on the eve of the last Wednesday of the Persian calendar year. This year, the ritual falls on the night of March 16.
Khamenei, Iran's all-powerful cleric, said on his website that Charshanbe Soori has "no basis in sharia (Islamic religious law) and creates a lot of harm and corruption, (which is why) it is appropriate to avoid it."
The festival is a prelude to Nowrouz, the Persian New Year which starts on March 21 and marks the arrival of spring.
In the past few years, local municipalities have helped Iranians organise the festival but it is unclear whether they will do so this year in the wake of Khamenei's remarks.
Iranians celebrate the fire festival by lighting bonfires in public places on the night before the last Wednesday and leaping over the flames shouting "Sorkhiye to az man, Zardiye man az to (Give me your redness and I will give you my paleness)."
Leaping over the flames symbolises the wish for happiness in the new year and an end to the sufferings of the past year.
Several casualties are reported from the event every year and many participants suffer burn wounds, including from accidents with firecrackers linked to the event, as they start marking the festivals days in advance.
Iran's deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan said that "so far seven people have been reported killed" while making or lighting firecrackers, ISNA reported, adding that most firecrackers are smuggled into Iran.
Some clerics see the ritual as heretical fire worshipping, although it has been marked in Iran for centuries and, like the Persian New Year itself and some other ancient rituals, has survived the advent of Islam.
Perceptions are that supporters of Iranian opposition leaders could use the ritual this year to stage anti-government protests.
Main opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, however, has urged his supporters not to use the event for anti-government rallies and not to provoke hardliners during Charshanbe Soori.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Khatami speaks out

IRAN: Former President Mohammad Khatami keeps the pressure on hard-liners

Los Angeles Times, 1 March 2010 
Mohammad Khatami, the soft-spoken former Iranian president who has come under criticism for not being brave enough in his rhetoric and actions, on Monday issued a polite but firmly worded rebuke of the current hard-line establishment.

Khatami's statement appeared to be a response to supreme leader Ali Khamenei's insistence that reformists like Khatami had forfeited their ability to participate in the country's political establishment by refusing to accept his divine ratification of last year's presidential elections.
Khatami also filled in some of the blanks in opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi's recent interview, forcefully slamming the foreign policy of the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"It is easy to create tensions in the world, but difficult to eliminate them," he said in an account of a meeting with students posted on his charity's website, Baran.org.ir (in Persian). "Detente requires courage and finesse, and the system has to take steps to that effect. We should not embark on adventurism in the world under pretext of having won so many enemies. We should hold back from speaking in a manner to inflict heavy costs."
But, like Mousavi, he failed to articulate a way forward, offering no specific on a course of action other than to say, “We have to mobilize our efforts.” 
Khatami insisted on his longstanding position that Iran would each its democratic aspirations if it would only return to the original path of the 1979 revolution charted by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
"Everyone may have had his own interpretation of reforms, but we mean reforms within the framework of criteria born out of Islam, the revolution and the nation's will," he said. "In the face of any possible deviation from Islam and Imam Khomeini's line, we have to give warning." 
He continued, "Go and ask the former revolutionary militants if the ongoing conditions reflect what they were after. Ask them if these arrests, blame games, vendettas and the imposition of costs on the nation were what the revolutionary forces sought. If not, our conscience necessitates that we close ranks in order to improve conditions."
Though he failed to articulate any course of action, he urged supporters to remain steadfast.
"We should not retreat from our demands, and we should keep fighting even if certain groups beat us on the head," he said. "Unfortunately, certain hard-line groups in the society are opposed to any compromise within the society."
Photo: Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Iran & Latin America

Brazil, Iran and the Road to the Security Council

Clovis Rossi, Project Syndicate, 4 March 2010

SAO PAULO – The attempt by Brazil’s government to participate in the international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program could well be called “A Manual for Candidates to a Permanent Membership of the United Nations Security Council.”
Brazil’s diplomatic efforts with Iran – a country suspected of developing nuclear energy for military purposes – began at a meeting last year between President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during the G8+5 summit in L’Aquila, Italy.
According to Robert Gibbs, Obama’s press spokesman, and Brazilian authorities, Obama said he had no objections whatsoever to Lula talking to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But Obama suggested using the weight of commercial relations between the two countries to tell the Iranian leader that he should follow Brazil’s example (in Brazil, the ban on nuclear energy for military purposes is enshrined in the Constitution).
Lula and Ahmadinejad met in June 2009, when Obama was still holding out a hand to the ayatollahs. Lula acted according to Obama’s suggestion when he received Ahmadinejad in Brasilia. He acknowledged – as everyone does – “Iran’s right to pursue a nuclear program with peaceful intentions,” but immediately asked for “respect for the international agreements” and underlined the fact that “this is the road Brazil is following.”
Furthermore, he urged Ahmadinejad “to continue to engage countries interested in finding a fair and balanced solution to Iran’s nuclear question.”
“Engagement” is the key word in this affair. It was used to describe Obama’s new American diplomacy, particularly with regard to Iran, at least until the disputed elections in Iran last summer and the worsening domestic crisis that has ensued.
In Lula’s meeting with Ahmadinejad, the delicate subject of Ahmadinejad’s repeated denials of the Holocaust came up. Lula told his Iranian counterpart that to deny the Holocaust was bad, even for Iran itself. Ahmadinejad replied that he did not deny it, but only criticized what he considered Israel’s “political use” of it. Even so, Lula insisted that he should change his attitude.
“Who else is in a position to say such things to Iran’s president?” asked a top Brazilian diplomat by way of justifying a dialogue that has been sharply criticized by Brazil’s Jewish community, which is emphatically opposed to Lula’s proposed trip to Teheran, scheduled for May.
Relations between Iran and the countries that are negotiating the nuclear question have deteriorated since Ahmadinejad’s visit to Brazil last year, which came soon after his disputed re-election. One result is the open difference of opinion on Iran between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Lula, or between Lula and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
During his meeting in Berlin with Merkel last December, Lula insisted on the Brazilian government’s traditional position: sanctions, such as those that the United States strongly advocates, lead to nothing; the best way forward is dialogue. The Brazilian president asked for “more patience” in the talks with Iran.
The German chancellor replied that she was “losing” her patience” with Iranian leaders after “four years of negotiations in which no progress was made.” But Brazil insisted on the path of dialogue and began talking with other stakeholders in the Iranian question, such as Turkey, whose foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, recently staked out a similar position. “We want the Middle East to be prosperous and stable, governed by political dialogue and diplomacy,” Davutoglu said after a visit to Teheran. “Iran’s contribution will be very important in bringing this about.”
But Brazil’s government has also begun to criticize, albeit weakly, Iran’s performance on human rights. At first, Lula minimized the seriousness of the incidents that occurred after Ahmadinejad’s re-election and went so far as to compare them to a dispute between football fanatics. This led to a clash with Sarkozy when Lula visited Paris soon after Iran’s post-election crisis began. While Lula didn’t repeat his comparison with a football game, neither did he criticize the repression, unlike Sarkozy, who did so strongly.
Brazil’s current criticisms of Iran, along with a request for dialogue with the opposition, weak as they may be, represent a change of position, which reflects the absolute priority of Brazilian diplomacy: permanent membership of the Security Council. Brazilian officials know that they can achieve this goal only by acting independently – but without diverging too far from the positions of the current permanent members. They also know that, except for China, all of them are critics of Iran, and are determined to find a solution to the nuclear question, whether through dialogue or some other means, if “patience is lost,” as Merkel suggested.

Clinton's Latin America trip: all about Iran?

Josh Rogin  The Cable/Foreign Policy  

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has added an unplanned stop to her Latin America itinerary: Buenos Aires. The U.S. delegation will stay overnight in Argentina Monday instead of Chile, where the government is still preoccupied with the aftermath of Saturday's devastating earthquake.
"Instead of overnighting in Santiago on Monday night we will travel from Montevideo [Uruguay] Monday afternoon to Buenos Aires in order to meet with Argentine President [Cristina Fernández] de Kirchner, instead of in Uruguay as originally planned," a State Department official on the trip said.
Clinton was in Uruguay this weekend to attend the inauguration of Jose Mujica, a former guerrilla leader turned presidentThe Kirchner meeting was originally supposed to happen in Montevideo, but was changed after the Chilean earthquake caused Clinton's team to re-examine her travel plans.
Although Latin American countries are no doubt hoping to discuss a range of bilateral issues, Clinton is more likely to focus on the renewed international efforts to pressure Iran regarding its nuclear program. "Iran is at the top of my agenda," Clinton told a Senate committee last week when talking about her trip.
She might find the going tough, particularly in Brazil, which currently holds a seat on the Security Council. Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim recently poured cold war on the U.S.-led sanctions push, saying, "We don't believe that sanctions will prove effective." Under Secretary Bill Burns, the State Department's lead on the issue, visited the Brazilian capital ahead of the Clinton trip, but it's not clear what he was able to achieve.
Clinton will be in Brasilia Wednesday to meet directly with President Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva and Amorim. Assistant Secretary Arturo Valenzuela previewed Friday what Clinton's message will be when it comes to Iran.
"While we're cognizant of the fact that the Brazilian government has reached out to Iran and has been approaching the Iranians, it's very much on our agenda to try to insist with the Brazilians that in their engagement with Iran, we would like them to encourage the Iranians, of course, to meet their international obligations," he said, adding that the State Department views Brazil's opposition to new sanctions as a "mistake."
Credits: The Cable/Foreign Policy: Clinton's Latin America trip: All about Iran?

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Ahmadinejad's religious and political context & the Nuclear issue

The first article is an interesting analysis of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dating from 2005; placing his figure in an ideological and political context which the second article, dating from March 2010, explores further (NB: Do bear in mind that 'Threats Watch' publishes articles on the topic of US National Security threats):

Understanding Ahmadinejad

By Steve Schippert | Threats Watch | November 28, 2005
On one hand, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric is aggressive, frightening and violent. Yet, on the other, his direct manner presents openly the true intentions of the Iranian regime, even though it appears that some of his own aggressive designs stretch beyond that of even Ayatollah Khameini and the Guardian Council, ‘peaceful civilian nuclear power’ development notwithstanding.
Ahmadinejad is a true ‘1979 revolutionary radical’ who is in many ways in opposition to the mullahs of the Guardian Council, which hand-selected and approved his own presidential candidacy, as he believes they have lost touch with their revolutionary roots. He is opposed by the Mejlis (Iranian parliament) while he openly awaits the return of the 12th Imam.
It is the latter, the radical religious aspect, that makes Ahmadinejad potentially dangerously unpredictable in an international conflict/crisis management scenario.
After his election, Ahmadinejad met in Tehran with Hassan Nassrallah, the leader of Iranian-supported Hizballah. Ahmadinejad praised Hizballah as a "symbol of pure thought of Islam". In what seemed to be a signal of their coming increased active operational importance, he went on to say of Hizballah:
"Success, victories and progress of this popular and faithful force in political, cultural, social and military domains of Lebanon are results of purity and reliance on God's will which should be preserved and institutionalized as the main factor in the fight against enemies of Islam."
It is said that, as mayor of Tehran, he had city plans drawn up for the return of the 12th Imam. At his address to the United Nations General Assembly in October, he indeed ended his speech with a prayer imploring God to hasten the return of the 12th Imam for the good of humanity.
“From the beginning of time, humanity has longed for the day when justice, peace, equality and compassion envelop the world. All of us can contribute to the establishment of such a world. When that day comes, the ultimate promise of all Divine religions will be fulfilled with the emergence of a perfect human being [12th Imam] who is heir to all prophets and pious men. He will lead the world to justice and absolute peace. O mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the promised one, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace.”
For foreign policy and national security analysts, discerning the potential impact of his fundamentalist beliefs is crucial. From the information available, it points to a troubling predicament of a purist fundamentalism potentially even more radical and dangerous than that of al-Qaeda, which seeks to establish a global Islamist Caliphate. Ahmadinejad appears to go one step further than the Sunni al-Qaeda and possibly seek to usher in the ‘second coming’ of the hidden 12th Imam, the Mahdi.
"Our revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi," Ahmadinejad said in the speech to Friday Prayers leaders from across the country.
It is important to be able to discern the degree to which he was either speaking in the general sense or in a more specific, concrete purpose, for to assume the former and be wrong could prove to be a fatal misjudgment.
Adding fuel to the ideological fire, Ahmadinejad’s statements at the Tehran al-Quds Day conference, “A World Without Zionism”, caused a worldwide commotion when he openly spoke of the need to ‘wipe Israel off the map’, which he went on to say was ‘very attainable’ and ‘very soon.’
“I do not doubt that the new wave which has begun in our dear Palestine and which today we are also witnessing in the Islamic world is a wave of morality which has spread all over the Islamic world. Very soon, this stain of disgrace [i.e. Israel ] will vanish from the center of the Islamic world – and this is attainable.”
Remember that, at the heart of the ‘wave of morality’ is Hezbollah, which he referred to as a "symbol of pure thought of Islam". The backdrop image for the conference was an hourglass, with the US broken at the bottom and a ball with the Star of David (Israel) falling through quickly behind.
Iran’s government is run in a two-column structure. On one side, there is the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Khamenei) and the Guardian Council, a collection of mullahs in place to ensure that the government (and all things in Iranian life) adheres to the religious beliefs of the revolution. On the other side of the structure, the Mejlis is the Iranian Parliament. While the parliamentary members are elected by the Iranian public, the candidates they have to choose from are strictly screened and controlled by the Guardian Council (read: democratic reformists need not apply). The Iranian Presidency sits essentially between these two bodies as chief executor of their dictates.
Ayatollah Khameini and the mullahs of the Guardian Council seem to unexpectedly have a tiger by the tail. The Tiger continues to effectively and boldly remove the mask from the regime on an international stage. At the same time, to the degree that the Guardian Council has desired to improve at least economic ties internationally, Ahmadinejad is making this exponentially and possibly perpetually more difficult. While he was hand-selected by them, he has proven to be even to the right of them.
The Mejlis is at odds with Ahmadinejad, most notably having rejected all of his Oil Minister appointments since assuming the presidency. They are very displeased with his continuous appointments of people almost exclusively from within his ‘inner circle’ and his shake-up of government positions, firing many ministers and diplomats, including seven bank presidents.
Internationally, the United States and the EU have agreed to postpone an Iranian referral to the UN Security Council for a vote on sanctions regarding their nuclear program, having brought Russia into the fold to offer Russian enrichment of Iranian fuel and limiting Iran to the initial process of uranium ore conversion. At first glance, this can appear another frustrating delay and advantage for Iran. However, it is entirely possible that this move was put forth in full expectations that Iran would reject anything that removes their ability to enrich uranium. They have, as would be expected, accepted to ‘talk about having talks’ on the Russian solution. That in itself buys operations time and forestalls sanctions. But eventually, Iran will surely reject it, putting the final nail into the Iranian/Security Council coffin. It will have effectively brought Russia (and its veto power) on board.
Probably not by coincidence, it was released that Western intelligence reports indicate that Iran is training Chechen terrorists inside Iran near Qom and sending them back to Chechnya to fight Russian troops there. While entirely conceivable, the report’s validity is not the immediate issue. What is the issue in the context of the coming Iranian/EU-US-Russian negotiations is that intelligence agencies do not accidentally leak things to reporters. It was made publicly available for a reason: To solidify the Russian stance with America and the EU on Iran. The Russian vote at the Security Council would leave China to stand for Iran alone with a veto. China is not likely to choose this route and will therefore abstain. UNSC coffin nailed shut.
Ahmadinejad has made repeated statements (as have many Iranian officials) regarding Iran’s “right” to a full nuclear fuel cycle. He is being internationally boxed in.
Ahmadinejad is dangerous as it is, given his apparent disposition, as the president of the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism. But as the president of a nuclear armed nation, the situation could be untenable.
Considering his aggressive radicalism in context with the potential convergence of nuclear opportunity, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could be the most dangerous foreign leader we have faced. He must be seen and analyzed as more than just ‘potentially’ irrational, as his religious beliefs must be clearly and thoroughly understood. His openly stated desires to “wipe Israel off the map” and “pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam” open the possibility that, with the power of nuclear weaponry at hand, he could unthinkably forsake the well-being of his own nation. In order to serve a ‘greater purpose’, he may be capable of creating a situation so cataclysmic that it would usher in the 12th Imam, thereby, potentially in his mind, saving the world and restoring Islam.

Iran Cleric Calls for "Special Weapon"

By Steve Schippert | Threats Watch | March 2, 2010
Describing Ayatollah Mezbah Yazdi as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's spiritual mentor is accurate, but hardly enough for a real understanding. Yazdi is a powerful leader within Iranian political and religious circles. Perhaps the best way to describe the nature of Yazdi's (and thus Ahmadinejad's) messianic belief structure is to imagine the most radical form of Islamic beliefs merged with a mixture of supernatural mysticism. (Have a look at the pious Ahmadinejad's ring finger, for instance.)
It is a scary sight to behold, and one so frightening that many cannot quite come to grips with the fact that such a radical, even nutty, group of individuals has fingers on the levers of state power anywhere in the world. It remains a fact, regardless of reluctance to acknowledge.
Within that context, incomprehensible as it may seem to many, consider the latest development coming out of Iran.
Ayatollah Mezbah Yazdi wrote a book, The Islamic Revolution - Surges in Political Changes in History, for limited internal distribution (approximately 3,000) around the time of the Iranian elections. A copy of this book has surfaced and the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center has translated the Farsi to English and released portions.
On top of past hints of nuclear weapons ambitions by the most radical religious leaders and parts of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Yazdi suggests that Iran not only has the right to but must develop "a special kind of weapon," an unmistakable reference to nuclear weapons. Judge for yourself.
"We have to produce the most advanced weapon inside the country, even if our enemies don't like it. There is no reason that they have the right to produce a certain special type of weapon, but that other countries not have that right" (The Islamic Revolution - Surges in Political Changes in History, p. 337).
Some may draw comfort in the belief that 'crippling sanctions' are on their way as mentioned by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton among others. But China and Russia both have come out against any 'crippling' sanctions, true to form and past patterns of behavior. Consider that both have veto power at the UN Security Council - the origin of any 'crippling' sanctions. Consider that it has been recently revealed that a Chinese firm - through obscuring shipping, payment and other trails - has recently provided Iran with banned sensitive equipment for its nuclear operations. Consider that Russia is still building Iran's Bushehr nuclear facility.
Consider also that Iran has been the subject of sanctions for decades, yet has been wholly undeterred by Western actions, whether penalties or incentives.
Furthermore, consider the words which directly followed the above excerpt from Yazdi's revealing book, which was never meant to be made widely public.
"In seeking to acquire the [necessary] technology Iran must be patient and not be deterred by economic shortages: Divine, messianic support has been the determining factor in the success of the Iranian regime during the various trying periods which have plagued it since its foundation...We cannot be broken because of temporary difficulties, they will pass, and Muslims must be patient and not be deterred by material or economic shortages, because if they do, it may lead them to be separated from [Islam]."