Iran Reported to Shut Factory Making ‘Neda’ Figurines – NYTimes.com

July 1, 2010
Photographs of Neda Agha-Soltan, who was shot and killed during protests last year in Iran, at a Vienna demonstration in January.

A factory in Iran has been closed down after trying to mass-produce statuettes of people who were killed in the protests that followed last year’s disputed presidential election, among them Neda Agha-Soltan, the 26-year-old who became an icon of the opposition when a video of her shooting was broadcast around the world.

Murad Sezer/Reuters via nytimes.com

The pro-government Aty News Web site reported on Wednesday that the factory, in the northern province of Semnan, was closed after just one month, though officials denied the closure.
The Web site reported that the managing director, identified only by his initials, H. M., had intended to produce figurines of Ms. Agha-Soltan and had campaigned for one of the defeated candidates in last year’s presidential election.
It also states that the factory’s 40 female employees were discovered working without the head coverings and loose-fitting clothes required by Iranian law, and that they were mixing freely with male staff members.
Ms. Agha-Soltan became a martyr for Iran’s opposition, after her death from a gunshot wound was captured on a video that circulated widely on the Internet. Government security forces killed around 70 people in their effort to suppress the protests last year, according to human rights groups.
Neda Agha-Soltan’s memory was revived in a 70-minute HBO documentary, which was broadcast last week over the Voice of America’s satellite news channel, days before the June 12 anniversary of the presidential election, which the opposition says was stolen. Opposition leaders have called for mass rallies to observe the anniversary, though the government is assembling an enormous security force to prevent them.
Mass-produced statuettes of Ms. Agha-Soltan would have been intolerable for the Iranian government, which has continued to deny that members of the government-financed Basij militia were responsible for her death last June. Iran’s state-controlled media have issued various explanations for her death, including the allegation that a BBC correspondent had arranged for her to be shot as part of a news media war against the country.
In January, Iran’s international English-language news channel, Press TV, carried a report claiming that Ms. Agha-Soltan faked her death with the aid of accomplices who later killed her on her way to the hospital.
Last month, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported that the Intelligence Ministry had produced a new documentary on Ms. Agha-Soltan that would include further evidence that her death was part of a “Western plot.”

also see Sharia Comics by Hasbro Toys and the Discovery Channel

  

Hasbro And Matel are you noting this? I heard you were creating Islamic toys… here is one that makes sense.


Green Revolution is Dead – Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the leader of Iran’s opposition green movement was involved in the massacre of more than 10,000 political prisoners in 1988, according to a report.

June 15, 2010
Mir-Hossein Mousavi 'involved in massacre', says report

Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Iran opposition leader Photo: REUTERS
Mr Mousavi, the defeated candidate in last June’s presidential election, served as Iran’s prime minister when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the regime’s spiritual leader, issued a fatwa that sentenced thousands of political prisoners to death without trial, according to the report by one of Britain’s leading human rights lawyers.
Mr Mousavi is one of several prominent Iranian politicians who are accused of implementing the order. According to a detailed report published by Geoffrey Robertson QC, who specialises in human rights law, the prisoners were executed for refusing to recant their political and religious beliefs.

if Bret Stephens is right, what Mousavi did is irrelevant to Iran’s future: The ‘green revolution’ is dead.

Suppose that in the days following last year’s fraudulent election in Iran, the U.S. and its Western allies had warned Tehran’s leaders that their repression at home would be met, swiftly and severely, with consequences abroad. For every Neda Soltan shot dead in the street, an Iranian diplomat posted abroad would be expelled. For every foreigner put on trial in Iran, a Western firm doing business in the country would close its doors. For every opposition activist hanged, deliveries of imported gasoline would be curtailed.
And for every call to wipe Israel off the map, the U.S. would supply the Jewish state with 100 bunker-busters suitable for use against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Had any of that happened, it’s just possible that Iran’s leaders might have hesitated before moving ahead with their bloody crackdown and, in hesitating, given Iran’s democratic opposition the opening it needed to sustain itself. But it didn’t happen. In those critical June days, as the regime wobbled, the Obama administration opted to ease the regime’s fears instead of multiplying them. And instead of creating leverage for himself, the president conceded it preemptively in hopes of currying favor for a nuclear deal.
A year on, we are living with the consequences of his failure.

Worst of all, the Green movement is, if not extinguished completely, little more than a flickering ember. The three million Iranians who marched for freedom last June may have to wait another generation for a similar opportunity.

Revolutions are also a question of luck and circumstance. In Berlin in 1989, a befuddled East German Politburo member misread his instructions and announced that East Germans were henceforth free to travel to the West. Thus—thus!—did the Wall come down. Two years later in Moscow, some visibly nervous coup plotters took to a stage to announce Gorbachev’s early retirement. Their shaky performance allowed Boris Yeltsin to rally Russians against them. It helped that Yeltsin didn’t have, in George H.W. Bush, an American president who refused to “meddle” in the country’s internal affairs.

“They were hung from cranes, four at a time, or in groups of six from ropes hanging from the stage of the prison assembly hall,” the report states. “Their bodies were doused with disinfectant, packed in refrigerated trucks, and buried by night in mass graves.”

In an interview given to Austrian television in December 1988, Mr Mousavi tried to defend the mass executions of the prisoners, many of whom were members of the Marxist “Mojahedin Khalq” organisation, which opposed the Islamic regime established by Khomeini following the 1979 Iranian revolution.
“We had to crush the conspiracy,” said Mr Mousavi. “In that respect we have no mercy.”