Thursday, April 27, 2006

Partial Objects And Over-Identification Strategies

Ian Parker, author of Slavoj Zizek: A Critical Introduction, tells the following story as symtomatic of Zizek's political oscillations and ambivalence in his on-going attempts to embrace death drive: "Here is a true story. In the middle of a crisis and crackdown in Slovenia toward the end of the 1980s Slavoj Zizek telephoned an academic colleague in Britain late at night. This is before Slovenia seceded from Yugoslavia and when the League of Slovene Communists was making some last desperate attempts to maintain power. The crackdown was directed at the opposition movement, in which Zizek and the NSK, the Neue Slowenische Kunst, were active. So, Zizek is on the phone during this political crisis in an agitated state. He tells his colleague how bad things are, that there is a total clampdown on the opposition. His colleague is sympathetic. Zizek goes on to tell him that things are even worse than that, for in every workplace a "commissar" has been appointed to monitor and control dissident activity. His colleague is very sympathetic, even slightly alarmed by the picture Zizek is painting. And it is even worse than that, Zizek says, for even in the universities, in every department a commissar has been appointed to keep order. His colleague in Britain exclaims that this is indeed dreadful. And, Zizek then informs him that there is only one good thing in the midst of all this. What is that, his colleague asks. In my department, Zizek says, "I am the commissar". "

Rambling Thomas, in a comment at Jodi's I cite, writes:
"This point came up in the seminar I am, by coincidence, taking with Zizek, where he gave an example that seems to tie some of these ideas together. Zizek's example of subversive conformity was of his being a member of a dissident group in Slovenia, publishing a newspaper the day after a rigged Soviet election, with the headline reading something like "Surprise Landslide Victory for Communist Party!" The headline is an example of conformity insofar as the elections are supposed not to have been rigged; therefore the huge margin of victory is supposedly a "surprise." Yet, of course, the gesture is subversive since everybody knows (but is not allowed to say) that the elections are rigged: the headline in fact reveals the absurd open secret of the rigged elections."

It is probably the case that Zizek has articulated assorted permutations of this Slovenian election story (and whether we want to believe it or not is another matter): another version of this incident during the elections in the 1980s was that the opposition published a newspaper on the eve of the poll with a headline that predicted a victory for the League of Slovene Communists. Zizek and his colleagues were immediately rounded up by the authorities to be questioned, but they had done nothing wrong, "merely" drawn attention to the fact that it was of course inconceivable that the Communists would not win an election.
Clearly, art collective NSK and Zizek had noticed something crucial about the way the ideological apparatus worked in Yugoslavia, that it required the phenomenon of "dissidence" as a kind of buffer zone between individuals and the state. The knowing cynical distance from the ruling ideology, the fact that everyone knew it was a sham, actually enabled it to function, actually constituted its very condition of possibility, ideology's necessary dialectics. People could complain and complain and complain about how voting never changed anything, that you could never believe what politicians said, that conforming with the regulations was bureaucratic idiocy, but this did not stop them from conforming, from accepting things and even being happier to do so when they "knew" they had no real part in it, that they had some precious individual Space to which they could always retire or escape, some inner sacred core or hard sanctified ("trans-ideological") kernal that was forever immunised from the ritual spectacles.

Overidentification [as a political strategy, "pretending to pretend"], on the other hand, takes the system at its word and plays so close to it that it cannot bear your participation. In that way you are much more subversive, much more dangerous.
Some more far-flung illustrations, from Slovenia, from America, from Ireland:
One of the component groups of NSK (Neue Collectivism) got an award in 1987 for their poster celebrating the day of youth and Tito's birthday. But this celebratory poster quickly turned into the "poster scandal" when it was discovered that the NSK had submitted an old Nazi poster, leading to the strategy of overidentification, its successful application, immediately becoming politically charged.
In the US, political satirist Michael Moore some years ago [as portrayed in his TV documentary, Moore's TV Nation] entered an unusual candidate in the US Congressional elections: a Ficus plant. He was able to do this because he followed to the letter all of the rules, regulations, bureaucratic procedures and so on of the electoral process. The Ficus plant, needless to say, was duly elected, the competing candidates being conservative and "uninteresting."

The Fellowship of the Ficus Plants

In Ireland some years ago, a group of students entered as a candidate in student elections at a Dublin university a tape-recorded VOICE [analogies with V for Vendetta aside, this is also reminiscent of the Voice in both Fritz Lang's The Testament of Dr Mabuse and David Cronenberg's Videodrome, recordings masquerading as "real people"] of some registered but mysterious, hermetic student, who may or may not have actually existed. Once again, the Voice was duly elected, the competing candidates being conservative and "uninteresting."

While it is clear that in both of these cases, the organisers of the prank or "stunt" were simply "pretending" [engaging in mere pomo irony, a knowingly hollow miming of the electoral process] in order to draw attention to the sheer poverty of the policies of competing election candidates, they (Moore and the students) nevertheless still believed in the underlying integrity of the electoral process itself, in democracy as Master Signifier, ie "If only we had better candidates, all would be well with democracy" etc. There criticism amounts to a simple, modern variation of "The Emperor Has No Clothes" viz, "Political Candidates Have No Personal Integrity" : but the undressing of the King or the unmasking of politicians does not work - though not because their personality or charisma is indestructible, but because the unmasking only destroys their personality, their personal charisma, not the power of the symbolic place of the King or of Democracy —when we undress him, we realize that "he is not truly a king" or "he is not a worthy political candidate". . . and then endeavour to proceed in the search for a true one. [So in political fetishism, as with commodity fethishism, it is never enough simply to disavow the politician (or the commodity)].

The paradox in both cases here, and uncritically accepted by everyone involved, was that both non-human/undead "winning" candidates were deemed invalid, were subsequently rejected by assorted authories - governing bodies, election-oversight commitees etc, anti-democratic rulings that were never subsequently contested by anyone, the runner-up "human" candidates instead being deemed elected. The effect of the "scam" was thus paradoxically to undermine democracy, ostensibly in order to defend it but actually in order to protect something else entirely ("But you can't have a dumb plant as a political leader. It's not human!"), the fantasy of a kind of sentimental humanism that imagines a "real human being" behind such media constructs as the likes of Arnold Schzwarzenegger and George Bush, or anyone else.
Of course, a proper [pretending to pretend] political strategy of over-identification would, in the two examples above, have challenged the final rulings of the extra-legal bodies, the dismissals of the winning "candidates," a move that would continue to over-identify with the very form of democracy itself, so nihilating, so dismissing its phantasmatic underside or kernal of support, the "real essential person, the inner ego-self" that is imputed to lie behind, to reside in, the candidates.

I thing Jodi further teases out these points in her analysis of the Zelig-like, human-cameleon performance of the Mime artist: " ... for, it is the mime who draws our attention to the absorption to a form in conformity, as if to tell us that a conforming that understands itself as retaining an original element that does not conform, a specialness that is held apart from the form, a uniqueness that is retained, is, in fact, pure, complete conformity, conformity as such. Full and complete conformity is that conformity that thinks it is not full and complete. The mime, by virtue of the fullness of his mimcry, draws out the specificity in an individual's conformity: the specificity that, ostensibly precious, the mime demonstrates to be meaningless, idiotic. The mime, then, isolates as a meaningless kernel of enjoyment that sense of individuality constitutive of full conformity."

The lesson is therefore clear: an ideological identification exerts a true hold on us precisely when we maintain an awareness that we are not fully identical to it, that there is a rich human person beneath it: 'not all is ideology, beneath the ideological mask, I am also a human person' is the very form of ideology, of its 'practical efficiency'. Close analysis of even the most 'totalitarian' ideological edifice inevitably reveals that, not everything in it is 'ideology' (in the popular sense of the 'politically instrumentalized legitimization of power relations'): in every ideological edifice, there is a kind of 'trans-ideological' kernel, since, if an ideology is to become operative and effectively 'seize' individuals, it has to batten on and manipulate some kind of 'trans-ideological' vision which cannot be reduced to a simple instrument of legitimizing pretensions to power (notions and sentiments of solidarity, justice, belonging to a community, etc.). Is not a kind of 'authentic' vision discernible even in Nazism (the notion of the deep solidarity which keeps the 'community of people' together), not to mention Stalinism? The point is thus not that there is no ideology without a trans-ideological 'authentic' kernel but rather, that it is only the reference to such a trans-ideological kernel which makes an ideology 'workable'.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Conformity, Over-Identification, Perversion, Sublimity ...

Jodi, at I cite, writes:
The Conformist

Recently (in a thread on Long Sunday as well as elsewhere), I was accused of being a conformist. I say accused because the overall tone of the remark was neither blandly descriptive nor particularly complementary. I've wondered about this. What does it mean to conform and why might conforming be behaviour seen as unlaudable? Why might the appellation conformist be an insult?

On one level, it seems obvious: the conformist seems not to think for herself, at best, and to be an Eichmann-like follower, at worst. "Just following orders." Here "conform" suggests compliance, obedience, and, perhaps, more, compliance and obedience without thought. But is it really so simple?

We might also do well to recognize that conform means to adapt or adjust. So one who conforms is also one who adapts to certain circumstances. "When in Rome...." It could be an attribute, say, of being a good guest or traveler. From this perspective, a failure to conform might be more than simply irritating, it might also suggest the ugly American insisting that everything go his way. "Where are my hamburgers?" Some dictionaries include "to be in harmony" in their definition of conform. There is something pleasant, well, harmonious, about this way of thinking about conformity, as if its lack or absence were dissonant, jarring, unpleasant.

A failure to conform might be the ultimate in arrogance, a making of oneself into an exemption, she to whom no norm applies, she who is above all norms, she who acts as she pleases when and where she pleases. The non-conformist here makes her own rules, but it is hard to call these rules sense they really refer to an absence of rule, to being above all rule, being unruly. But surely this is not a particularly attractive or admirable way of being, this diva-like quality of demanding specific kinds of sparkling water and only, only green M&Ms. It may well be original, unique. And that is no doubt a good thing because too much of such dissonance is cacophonous, maddening, a kind of madness.

We might do well to notice that speaking and writing require conformity, that the pleasures of irony, dadaism, and jokes play with our conformity, drawing us out of it, making it strange to us, and then, releasing us back to this conformity, now somewhat different, not quite the same.

Is it so easy to conform, in these times of symbolic inefficiency? I moved a lot as a child--living in South Carolina, Washington, Louisana, Nebraska, and Texas before I was 5. Conforming, adapting, was pretty useful. And, is it possible that each conforming movement becomes a kind of addition, a change, a way of making conforming itself more complicated, more multi-layered, less simple: how, for example, to be at home enough to be elsewhere? If we are elsewhere, unadapted, have we really gone anywhere or haven't we brought too much of what and where we were before with us, so much in fact that we can't be in another place?

And, then, what about Zizek? What I have in mind is of course being fully in ideology, playing by the rules, fully identifying with the system. Zizek frequently points out that this full identification, conformity, is one way of disrupting a system, of giving up that point of distance or non-identity that actually supports it. Really playing by the rules can be subversive of these very rules insofar as it ignores the obscene superego supplement.

Three different responses:

[1] Conformity: Could the attractions of quotidian conformity revolve around the fear that if one does effectively break up the chains of the symbolic order, one is expelled into the void of psychosis [a failed "subjective destitution"]? Or, how is it possible not only to resist effectively, but also to undermine and/or displace the existing socio-symbolic network - the Lacanian "Big Other" - which predetermines the only space within which the subject can exist?

And this when such ordinary conformity is seen as perversion: the basic structure of perversion is that you perceive yourself as the instrument of others' jouissance. This is why, for example, Don Giovanni is a pervert. What is his seductive magic? His gift is not that he is beautiful, but that he can guess or discern the fantasy of each woman, and he tries to stage that fantasy. Which is why Lacan says une par une--une pour une; for each her own specific fantasy. For the pervert is totally void, he is there only to serve the other, to be the slave of the other's fantasy. This is very nicely expressed by Lacan: the formula of perversion is the simple reversal of the formula of fantasy. This is exactly what [supposedly] is meant to happen in psychoanalysis.

The pervert self-consciously identifies, not with the symptom but with the fantasy as a program, and thereby fills out the petit objet a, whereas the Lacanian analyst holds it empty and receptive in some way to the future.

Mr Z again: "This [the passage from desire to drive, from fantasy to symtom -- P] is what people usually overlook when they concentrate only on generalities. Lacan discusses this in the mysterious final pages of The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 1964; he says that when you go through fantasy, la traversee du fantasme, you lose desire, you become pure drive. Again, when people talk about the truth of desire, they simply overlook that. In The Four Fundamental Concepts, Lacan defines the final, concluding moment of analysis as the one when you step out, when you don't have desire any more, in this sense. You become the being of the drive; you pass from the side of the divided subject to the side of the object. Which is why the analyst is an object in this sense. I also agree with you if your point is that this is in a way extremely close, almost imperceptibly close, to the perverse position. Although the gap is there--absolute but almost imperceptible."

[2] Over-Identification [from Rand to the Neo-cons]: Zizek argues, "Ayn Rand’s fascination for male figures displaying an absolute, unswayable determination of their Will, seems to offer the best imaginable confirmation of Sylvia Plath’s famous line, ‘every woman adores a Fascist’. Is, however, such a quick, ‘politically correct’ dismissal of her work really accurate? The properly subversive dimension of her ideological procedure is not to be underestimated: Rand fits into the line of ‘overconformist’ authors who undermine the ruling ideological edifice by their very excessive identification with it. Her over-orthodoxy was directed at capitalism itself, as the title of one of her books (Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal) suggests; according to her, today, the truly heretical thing is to embrace the basic premise of capitalism without its communitarian, collectivist, welfare, etc. sugar-coating. So what Pascal and Racine were to Jansenism, what Kleist was to German nationalist militarism, what Brecht was to Communism, Rand is to American capitalism ... It was perhaps her Russian origins and upbringing that enabled her to formulate directly the fantasmatic kernel of American capitalist ideology."

This formulation made a lot of sense during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when much of the world was moving to the left in response to reactionary if pure over-ideological identifications like Rand's, but what about today, when Rand's rantings have now become the [near-global] socio-political status quo?

[3] [Symbolic] Sublimity (Principles): Groucho Marx, when caught in a lie, answers angrily: "Whom do you believe, your eyes or my words?"

"The logic is here the same as that of Anne Frank who, in her diaries, expresses belief in the ultimate goodness of man in spite of the horrors accomplished by men against Jews in World War II: what renders such an assertion of belief (in the essential goodness of Man; in the truly human character of the Soviet regime) sublime, is the very gap between it and the overwhelming factual evidence against it, i.e. the active will to disavow the actual state of things. Perhaps therein resides the most elementary meta-physical gesture: in this refusal to accept the real in its idiocy, to disavow it and to search for Another World behind it. The big Other is thus the order of lie, of lying sincerely. And it is in this sense that "the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity" [from Yeats' The Second Coming, 1920-- P]: even the best are no longer able to sustain their symbolic innocence, their full engagement in the symbolic ritual, while "the worst," the mob, engage in (racist, religious, sexist...) fanaticism? Is this opposition not a good description of today's split between tolerant but anemic liberals, and the fundamentalists full of "passionate intensity"?"

All of this seemingly nonsensical logic succinctly summarises the operation of the symbolic order, in which the symbolic mask-injunction, the cultural construction, takes precedence over the direct reality of the person who assumes or projects this mask and/or internalises this injunction. Moreover, this whole operation seems to involve the structure of fetishist disavowal: "I know perfectly well that Humans do horrible things, but nevertheless I believe Humanity to be essentially Good and to be capable of Good", or "I know very well that things are the way I see them /that this person is a corrupt weakling, but I nonetheless treat him respectfully, since he wears the insignia of a judge, so that when he speaks, it is the Law itself which speaks through him". In other words, I effectively believe his words, not my eyes, i.e. I believe in Another Space (the domain of pure symbolic authority) which matters more than the reality of its spokesmen or, indeed, the reality of scientific empiricism, of "the facts", of the Reality Principle. The cynical reduction to reality thus falls short: when a judge speaks, there is in a way more truth in his words (the words of the Institution of law) than in the direct reality of the person of judge - if one limits oneself to what one sees, one simply misses the point. This paradox is what Lacan aims at with his les non-dupes errent: those who do not let themselves be caught in the symbolic deception/fiction and continue to believe their eyes are the ones who err most.

"What a cynic who "believes only his eyes" misses is the efficiency of the symbolic fiction, the way this fiction structures our experience of reality."

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Iran Invasion Will Not Be Announced

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." ===> John Donne (1573-1631)

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." ===> Sir Edmund Burke (1729-1797) - (Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, 1770)

A Path to Peace with Iran
By Scott Ritter

The problems that plague Washington DC on the issue of Iran are the same problems that haunt America overall regarding Iraq -- no clear understanding of why we as a nation are doing what we are doing where we are doing it, and absolutely no system of accountability for those who are implicated, directly through their actions or indirectly through abrogation of duties and responsibilities, in embroiling America in such senseless conflict.

1 Million Dead Iranians
By Chris Floyd

When this attack comes -- either as a stand-alone "knock-out blow" or as the precursor to a full-scale, regime-changing invasion, like the earlier aggression in Iraq -- there will be no warning, no declaration of war, no congressional hearings, no public debate. The already-issued orders governing the operation put the decision solely in the hands of the president. He picks up the phone, he says, "Go," and in 12 hours' time, up to 1 million Iranians will be dead.

Don't Impeach Bush. Commit Him: A Maniacal Messianic Prepares to Fulfill His Destiny
By Ted Rall

Until I read Seymour Hersh's expose in The New Yorker and subsequent follow-up coverage by other journalists about the Bush Administration's plans to start a war against Iran, I had dismissed talk of George W. Bush's messianism as so much Beltway chatter. True, he hears voices, even claiming that God and Jesus Christ talk to him. "I believe God wants me to run for president," he told a friend in Texas. Eschewing mainstream religion, he routinely parrots the apocalyptic ravings of fringe Christianist cults:

Cheney has tapped Iranian expatriate, arms dealer to surveil discussions with Iran:

Speaking on condition of anonymity, three intelligence sources identified the Iran-Contra middleman as having been put back on the payroll, acting as a human intelligence asset and monitoring any movement in discussions about Iran's alleged burgeoning nuclear weapons program.

U.S. strike on Iran could make Iraq look like a warm-up bout


Poison-laced missiles raining down on U.S. troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, the downing of a U.S. passenger airliner, suicide bombers in major cities, perhaps unleashing their deadly payload in a shopping mall food court. It could be 9/11 all over again. Or worse.

Iran suicide bombers 'ready to hit Britain'

By Marie Colvin, Michael Smith and Sarah Baxter

IRAN has formed battalions of suicide bombers to strike at British and American targets if the nation's nuclear sites are attacked. According to Iranian officials, 40,000 trained suicide bombers are ready for action.

Iran was not ordered to Stop Enrichment

By Mike Whitney

It's easy to get confused about developments in Iran because the media does everything in its power to obfuscate the facts and then spin the details in way that advances American policy objectives. But, let's be clear; the Security Council did NOT order Iran to stop enriching uranium.

What President Ahmadinejad Said About Israel and Iran's Nuclear Program: Full text of President's Ahmadinejad address

"Palestine is the meeting point of right and wrong. Freedom for Palestine is the present aspiration of humanity. We must believe that good will prevail and evil will disappear. We must believe that Palestine will be free soon."

U.S. Program Is Directed at Altering Iran's Politics

As the Bush administration confronts the Tehran government over its suspected nuclear weapons program and accusations that it supports terrorism, a newly created office of Iranian affairs in the State Department is poring over applications for a rapidly expanding program to change the political process inside Iran.

Iran years away from having nukes':

US intelligence chief John Negroponte has said Iran's resumption of uranium enrichment is "troublesome" but the country is still years away from having enough fissile material to make a nuclear weapon.

Russia toughens opposition to Iran sanctions :

Hardening its opposition to sanctions against Iran, Russia said on Friday the U.N. Security Council should only consider such measures if it had proof the Islamic Republic was trying to build nuclear weapons.

Russia backs Iran's nuclear programme:

Russia today offered its most outspoken support yet of the controversial nuclear programme in Iran, its neighbour and trading partner.

Russia Will Not Agree to Iran Sanctions Without Proof :

Russia says again it will not agree to sanctions against Iran until Moscow sees hard evidence that Tehran's nuclear program is not for peaceful purposes

Taking matters in hand:

Ali Larijani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator and head of the Supreme National Security Council, tells Amira Howeidy that Iran does not need nuclear weapons to promote its influence in the region and that punishing Iran for pursuing a nuclear programme will damage everyone

Bush raises UN action against Iran:

US President George W. Bush said he has discussed with Chinese President Hu Jintao the possibility of the United Nations passing a motion against Iran that could order sanctions or action going up to military action.

US prepared to go it alone over Iran :

US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has invoked self-defence as a potential justification for military intervention in Iran

Russians withhold judgment on Iran :

Russia will decide its stance on the Iranian nuclear crisis based on a report next week by the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the deputy foreign minister said today.

Brazil follows Iran's nuclear path, but without the fuss :

As Iran faces international pressure over developing the raw material for nuclear weapons, Brazil is quietly preparing to open its own uranium-enrichment center, capable of producing exactly the same fuel.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman: I'd Support Iran Attack:

Sen. Joseph Lieberman said Tuesday that he would back a U.S. airstrike on Iran's nuclear facilities if diplomatic options fail, becoming the first Democrat to announce his support for such a move.

Gwynne Dyer: Oil: the party is over:

Welcome to the world of US$70-per-barrel oil. That's if there is no crisis in the Gulf over Iran's nuclear ambitions. If there is, then get ready for US$140 a barrel.

Does Iran's President Want Israel Wiped Off The Map - Does He Deny The Holocaust? This is a must read:

By Anneliese Fikentscher and Andreas Neumann
Translation to English: Erik Appleby:

How Media Have Distorted the Facts in Support of an Attack on Iran.

When "Diplomacy" Means War:

By Norman Solomon

One of the nation's leading pollsters, Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center, wrote a few weeks ago that among Americans "there is little potential support for the use of force against Iran." This month the White House has continued to emphasize that it is committed to seeking a diplomatic solution. Yet the U.S. government is very likely to launch a military attack on Iran within the next year. How can that be?

Lock him away to stop the next war

By Phillip Adams

WE cannot wait any longer for the impeachment of George W. Bush. Far more efficient to have Bush certified. There is no need for further debate on his mental state. The US President is bonkers.

Stop Us Before We Kill Again!

By Bernard Weiner

So, if you're wondering whether the U.S. will back off from attacking Iran, or whether corporations will no longer be given the ability to dictate Administration environmental policy, or whether domestic spying on U.S. citizens will cease, or whether Scalia might recuse himself on cases he's already pre-judged -- if you still harbor any or all of those illusions, forget about it.

Forget the Middle East:
North America Harbors the World's Most Dangerous Terrorists

By Jason Miller

A Messiah complex, severely stunted emotional intelligence and profound ignorance are the defining characteristics of the man capable of making nuclear holocaust a reality within minutes.
Most Americans Do Not Trust Bush on Iran: .

54 per cent of respondents say they do not trust George W. Bush to make the right decision about whether the country should go to war with Iran or not.

US to call for freeze on Iran assets and visa curbs:

The US is pressing other world powers to consider what it called targeted sanctions against Iran as an April 30 United Nations deadline looms for Tehran over its nuclear program.

Iranian official's presence in U.S. queried:

The Bush administration yesterday was at a loss to explain the rare presence in Washington of an Iranian government official who slipped into the United States under mysterious circumstances, apparently to attend a scholarly conference.

U.S. envoy: Iran sanctions discussed:

A U.S. diplomat said Tuesday that envoys from the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany discussed sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, but failed to reach agreement on how to proceed further.

"New urgency" to curb Iran - U.S. official:

Russia said on Wednesday it wanted to refrain from taking action before a U.N. deadline set for Tehran to halt uranium enrichment expired, but a top U.S. official believed other countries were inching towards action.

[ .............................. Abbas Kiarostami and friend .....................]

The U.S. Nuclear Bunker Buster:

3 Million will die as result of attack:

Flash presentation. Must watch

Russia will deliver air defense systems to Iran - top general :

At the end of 2005, Russia concluded a $700-million contract on the delivery of 29 Tor M1 air defense systems to Iran.

China, Russia welcome Iran into the fold:

"The real intention behind the US fueling the Iran issue is to prompt the UN to impose sanctions against Iran, and to pave the way for a regime change in that country."

Bush won't rule out nuclear strike on Iran By Edmund Blair

President Bush refused on Tuesday to rule out nuclear strikes against Iran if diplomacy fails to curb the Islamic Republic's atomic ambitions.

U.S. refuses to denie report of Iran strike plans:

The Pentagon declined to comment Monday on a report that US military planning for Iran began in 2002 and has been continually updated since.

Gordon Prather: Busting empty bunkers:

Military planners told the White House that if they wanted to be sure to destroy the underground uranium-enrichment bunker at Natanz - which is to eventually hold those 50,000 gas-centrifuges, but is now empty - they'd have to nuke it.

Prominent U.S. Physicists Send Warning Letter to President Bush:

Thirteen of the nation's most prominent physicists have written a letter to President Bush, calling U.S. plans to reportedly use nuclear weapons against Iran "gravely irresponsible" and warning that such action would have "disastrous consequences for the security of the United States and the world."

Fallout: The human cost of nuclear catastrophe:

Flash presentation

Manufacturing consent for war:

Israel Warns of New 'Axis of Terror':

Ambassador Dan Gillerman cautioned that a new "axis of terror" Iran, Syria and the Hamas-run Palestinian government was sowing the seeds of the first world war of the 21st century.

Lieberman: US could attack Iran's nukes:

The US is probably incapable of completely destroying the Iranian nuclear program, but as a last resort it could attempt to knock out "some of the components" in order to "delay and deter it," Senator Joe Lieberman, the former Democratic vice presidential candidate and a serving member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has told The Jerusalem Post.

Israel may have to go it alone on Iran: report :

The head of the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, poised to enter the next cabinet, said Monday that Israel may have to take its own pre-emptive action to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons

Eric Margolis : Countdown Over Iran:

It's both fascinating and dismaying watching the manufactured `crisis' over Iran reach new intensity each week. Iran poses no real military threat to anyone, but listening to the Bush Administration or the US media one would think that that Tehran was about to unleash a nuclear holocaust on the world.

Report - IAEA informed of Iran's P-2 centrifuge programmes:

The New York Times had quoted United States security officials as saying Iran's use of P-2 centrifuges was worrisome as the process would not only accelerate the enrichment process but production of an atomic bomb.

Congressman Ron Paul: Sanctions against Iran :

We cannot underestimate the irrational, almost manic desire of some neoconservatives to attack Iran one way or another, even if it means crippling a major source of oil and destabilizing the worldwide economy.

Bombs That Would Backfire


The parallels to the run-up to to war with Iraq are all too striking: remember that in May 2002 President Bush declared that there was "no war plan on my desk" despite having actually spent months working on detailed plans for the Iraq invasion. Congress did not ask the hard questions then. It must not permit the administration to launch another war whose outcome cannot be known, or worse, known all too well.
The US, Iran and the End of the International Order

By Jussi Sinnemaa

As the IAEA has repeatedly acknowledged, Iran is not in violation of any of her legal obligations as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In fact, Iran has allowed far more intrusive international inspections of her nuclear facilities than required by the NPT. Iran remains the only country to have done so.

The Disintegration of Iran :

The US intends to separate the oil rich province of Khouzestan from Iran and establish a small government in that region in its drive to control Middle-East oil. But is this fear realistic, or just part of the imagination of some Iranians?

Eric Margolis: A war of nerves:

The Bush Administration has used Iran's gleeful announcement that it enriched uranium to 3.5 per cent (83 per cent is needed for nuclear weapons), to generate a major US-Iranian crisis seven months before national mid-term elections.

Retired Colonel Sam Gardiner on Iran War Plans:

"The Issue is Not Whether the Military Option Would Be Used But Who Approved the Start of Operations Already"

Rafsanjani says Gulf countries will not assist U.S. if it attacks Iran :

"Reports about plans for an American attack on Iran are incorrect. We are certain that Americans will not attack Iran because the consequences would be too dangerous," former president Hashemi Rafsanjani said in an appearance in the Kuwait parliament.

[ ................. Scene from Iranian director Jafar Panahi's Crimson Gold (2003) ..........]

U.S. could attack Iran next year - Russian expert :

"If [the U.S.] ventures a military operation, it will conduct it next year after thorough political, military and propaganda preparations," Alexei Arbatov, head of the International Security Center in Moscow, told RIA Novosti.

U.S. backup plan: invade iran by land, air, water strikes :

The United States began planning a full-scale military campaign against Iran that involves missile strikes, a land invasion and a naval operation to establish control over the Strait of Hormuz even before the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, a former US intelligence analyst disclosed on Sunday.

William M. Arkin: The Pentagon Preps for Iran:

In early 2003, even as U.S. forces were on the brink of war with Iraq, the Army had already begun conducting an analysis for a full-scale war with Iran.

Blair refuses to back Iran strike:

TONY Blair has told George Bush that Britain cannot offer military support to any strike on Iran, regardless of whether the move wins the backing of the international community, government sources claimed yesterday.

General says Iran's military ready "to project its power" :

A top Iranian military commander said on Friday that the Islamic Republic's Army and Revolutionary Guards "are today in a situation to make the Oppressor World [the United States and its allies] feel the great powers that are at Iran's disposal", the state-run news agency Mehr reported.

Bush's Insane First Strike Policy:

If You Don't Want to Get Whacked, You'd Better Get Your Nation a Nuke

General Bush's lose-lose Iranian war options:

There is something unreal about the bellicose statements coming from some sources in the Bush administration towards Iran.

Rice hints at Iran attack:

THE United Nations must consider action against Iran which could lead to the use of military force, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said last night.

Retired colonel claims U.S. military operations are already 'underway' in Iran :

During an interview on CNN Friday night, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner claimed that U.S. military operations are already 'underway' inside Iran

Israel's Peres Says Iran Leader Will Meet Saddam's Fate: -

Former Israeli premier Shimon Peres says the president of Iran is destined to meet the same fate as Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi leader deposed in a U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Iran: 'Israel will be annihilated by one storm':

MAHMOUD Ahmadinejad, Iran's president, caused further international outrage yesterday by calling Israel a "rotten, dried tree" which he predicted would be annihilated by "one storm".

Iran Issues Warning to US:

"You can start a war but it won't be you who finishes it," said General Yahya Rahim Safavi, the head of the Revolutionary Guards and among the regime's most powerful figures.

Rice: US seeks enforcement power against Iran:

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the UN Security Council's handling of the Iranian nuclear issue will be a test of the international community's credibility.

Russian Military Chief Says Iran Far From Nuclear Bomb :

Russia's chief of military staff says that he is confident that Iran's current nuclear activities will "not allow it the possibility, either in the near or distant future, to make a nuclear weapon."

Duma member: US, Israel enemies of Iran nuclear program:

Member of Russian State Duma Victor Alksnis said today that Israel and the United States are real enemies of Iran's peaceful nuclear program.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

War Against Iran, What War Against Iran?

[Counterfactual] Advertisement published in Britain's Financial Times a few days ago

[Given that many nuclear devices are currently in the hands of war criminals (US government and Israel's Zionist government), will the Financial Times be affording Iran, a country without nuclear weapons, an opportunity to advertise accordingly in its newspaper? Is the Pope a Nazi paedophile? Could us Western Racists even imagine it?]

Extended Media Update on the Continuing Iranian Crisis :

["Oh, but why aren't the BBC and ITV and CNN and Fox reporting on all this if its true; after all, they're the authorities, they're the independent medjaa that have colonised our world-view, they wouldn't betray us or anything would they? Unless they had a reason, surely?"].

The Iran Plans

One of the military's initial option plans, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, By Seymour M. Hersh

Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.

You Can't Win One War, Start Another
By Paul Craig Roberts

The Bush regime currently has wars underway in Afghanistan and in Iraq and can bring neither to a conclusion. Undeterred by these failures, the Bush regime gives every indication that it intends to start a war with Iran, a country that is capable of responding to US aggression over a broader front than the Sunni resistance has mounted in Iraq.

Iran: The Next Neocon Target
HON. RON PAUL OF TEXASBefore the U.S. House of Representatives , Windows Video and transcript

Once again we're unilaterally declaring a pre-emptive war against a country and a people that have not harmed us and do not have the capacity to do so. And don't expect Congress to seriously debate a declaration of war resolution. For the past 56 years Congress has transferred to the executive branch the power to go to war as it pleases, regardless of the tragic results and costs.

Bush 'planning nuclear Iran strike':

Article in New Yorker says that U.S. government is preparing a massive campaign to neutralize Iranian nuclear sites. Iranian President Ahmadinejad is compared in the White House to Hitler

Philip Giraldi: Deep Background :

It is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran. The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States.

ElBaradei: Iran nuclear program not diverted :

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei said here Thursday night his agency has not seen any indication that nuclear material in Iran has been diverted or is being diverted to develop nuclear weapons.

US, Allies Mull Bypassing UN To Pressure Iran:

U.S. officials and allies are talking about forming a " coalition of the willing" to bring pressure against Iran's nuclear program, citing dimming hopes for tough action from the United Nations, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

U.S. Officials Are Mulling Iran Strikes, Experts Say:

Key players in the Bush administration think a military confrontation with Iran is unavoidable, leading to stepped up military planning for such a prospect, according to several experts and recently departed senior government officials.

Why Israel can't wipe out Iran's nuke plants :

IRAN still poses a threat to Israel - as well as the Western and Arab worlds. That was the message conveyed by the former Israeli ambassador to Zimbabwe, Gershon Gan, at a UJIA-arranged talk at Liverpool's Harold House.

Moscow issues West a warning :

Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, on Thursday warned the West against isolating his country from helping to broker disputes with Iran and other conflicts in the Middle East.

American Jewish Committee Pimps War With Iran:
The above advert appeared in the Financial Times: UK

AIPAC Pimps War With Iran:

The video and maps below are intended to help you better understand the escalating threat that is Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Two B-2s could take out Iran's nuclear assets':

Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions will be history by the time US President George W Bush leaves office, said a report published here.

Iran conducts fourth missile test:

Iran successfully test-fired an air-launched anti- ship missile Wednesday during war games in the Gulf, the fourth launch in six days, state television reported.

Iran's Persian Gulf oil bourse on track:

Iran is still insisting on opening a Persian Gulf oil bourse with the southern Iranian island Kish as its base, state-television reported Saturday. 'The issue has already been agreed upon and the oil ministry has been instructed to open this bourse in the Persian Gulf island of Kish,' Economic and Finance Minister Davoud Danesh-Jafari said.

If one side in a conflict goes nuclear, the other is bound to follow suit :

The Iranian crisis can only be understood as the inevitable result of Israel's US-backed WMD monopoly in the region

US blueprint for 125 nuclear bombs a year:

THE Bush Administration has unveiled a blueprint for rebuilding the US's decrepit nuclear weapons complex, including restoration of a large-scale bomb manufacturing facility.

[Oh, yeah, BTW, Bush and Friends on Democracy, Freedom etc:]

We support the election process, we support democracy, but that doesn't mean we have to support governments that get elected as a result of democracy. =======>President G. Bush - Washington, D.C., Mar. 29, 2006

US House Passes Palestinian Anti-Terror Act :

The House International Relations Committee on Thursday, by a vote of 36-2 (McCollum & Blumenauer voting no), approved H.R. 4681, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, legislation that bans all non-humanitarian aid to the Hamas-run Palestinian Authority (PA).

Silence in class :

University professors denounced for anti-Americanism; schoolteachers suspended for their politics; students encouraged to report on their tutors. Are US campuses in the grip of a witch-hunt of progressives, or is academic life just too liberal?

Hamas: EU aid freeze is blackmail: The Hamas-led Palestinian government has denounced a move by the European Union to suspend aid payments, saying it is a form of blackmail which will only hurt ordinary civilians.

War Against Iran, April 2006

Biological Threat and Executive Order 13292, By Jorge Hirsch

The US promised Russia and China that the UN Security Council statement just approved will not be a trigger for military action after 30 days; true to its promise, the US will attack before the 30-day deadline imposed by the UNSC for Iran to stop its nuclear enrichment activity, i.e. before the end of April. The "justification" is likely to be an alleged threat of imminent biological attack with Iran's involvement.

Will The U.S. Nuke Iran?

Professor of Physics Highlights The Dangers

New US policy to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries has been officially formulated in two US government documents Nuclear Posture Review delivered to Congress in December 2001 and Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations dated March 15, 2005.

Iran says it has successfully test-fired a missile able to avoid radar: -

Iran successfully test-fired on Friday a missile with the ability to avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously, the airforce chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards said.

Iran: Scenarios of an American strike:

The risks are great if Washington's neo-cons choose military options to prevent Iran from blocking US imperial designs for the Middle East

Nuking innocence:

Iran is being set up for "an unprovoked nuclear attack"

Manufacturing consent for war: UN Security Council calls on Iran to suspend enrichment-related activities:

Expressing serious concern that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is unable to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran, the United Nations Security Council today called upon that country to re-establish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.

UN demands Iran stop uranium enrichment work:

Iran remained defiant, saying that it was not seeking an atomic bomb and regardless of assurances, the United States and others would find new reasons to fault Tehran.

Iran rejects call to halt enrichment:

Iran refused Thursday to comply with a UN Security Council demand to freeze uranium enrichment, defying a call by major world powers to curb its nuclear program or face isolation.

World powers discuss next steps in Iran crisis:

Six world powers were gathering in Berlin on Thursday to discuss the next steps in dealing with Iran's nuclear programme, with Russia and China looking for assurances that there are no plans to use force against Tehran.

Russian warning over Iran crisis :
Russia has warned it will not support any attempts to use force to resolve the stand-off over Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

Iran to hold large-scale naval war games:

Today, Iran is calling for its rightful demands with strength and national unity and these exercises will show an increase of strength and preparedness, the navy commander added.

Government in secret talks about strike against Iran :

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent, 04/02/06, "Telegraph" -- --

The Government is to hold secret talks with defence chiefs tomorrow to discuss possible military strikes against Iran. A high-level meeting will take place in the Ministry of Defence at which senior defence chiefs and government officials will consider the consequences of an attack on Iran. It is believed that an American-led attack, designed to destroy Iran's ability to develop a nuclear bomb, is "inevitable" if Teheran's leaders fail to comply with United Nations demands to freeze their uranium enrichment programme. Tomorrow's meeting will be attended by Gen Sir Michael Walker, the chief of the defence staff, Lt Gen Andrew Ridgway, the chief of defence intelligence and Maj Gen Bill Rollo, the assistant chief of the general staff, together with officials from the Foreign Office and Downing Street. The International Atomic Energy Authority, the nuclear watchdog, believes that much of Iran's programme is now devoted to uranium enrichment and plutonium separation, technologies that could provide material for nuclear bombs to be developed in the next three years. The United States government is hopeful that the military operation will be a multinational mission, but defence chiefs believe that the Bush administration is prepared to launch the attack on its own or with the assistance of Israel, if there is little international support. British military chiefs believe an attack would be limited to a series of air strikes against nuclear plants - a land assault is not being considered at the moment. But confirmation that Britain has started contingency planning will undermine the claim last month by Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, that a military attack against Iran was "inconceivable". Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, insisted, during a visit to Blackburn yesterday, that all negotiating options - including the use of force - remained open in an attempt to resolve the crisis. More ...

Blix: Iran Years Away From Nuclear Bomb:

Former U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said Monday that Iran is a least five years away from developing a nuclear bomb, leaving time to peacefully negotiate a settlement.

US will Find Another Excuse to Target Iran :

The United States is firm in its plans to launch a military operation against Iran, said Kazim Jalali, a spokesman for the Iranian Parliament's Commission of Foreign Affairs, adding the United States would find another reason for its military operation even if the nuclear plants were immediately shut down.

Iran to test more weapons in wargames: TV:

Iran said on Monday it would test fire a powerful torpedo and more missiles as part of a week of wargames in the Gulf, the spokesman for the naval manoeuvres told state television.And then some propaganda from the war-mongering hysterics.

No more pussyfooting around Iran:

Not only is Iran arming paramilitary groups in neighbouring states, it has been implicated in terrorist actions as far afield as London and Buenos Aires. To borrow a metaphor from Lenin, Iran is exporting its internal contradictions.

And Prior To The March 2006 Deadline [Summary Recap]:

As Iranbodycount publishes its findings Iran Consequences Of War: "This briefing paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the likely nature of US or Israeli military action that would be intended to disable Iran's nuclear capabilities. It outlines both the immediate consequences in terms of loss of human life, facilities and infrastructure, and also the likely Iranian responses, which would be extensive", a US poll [Americans think Iran may use nukes] reports that eight out of 10 respondents predicted Iran would provide a nuclear weapon to terrorists to attack the United States or Israel. Six out of 10 respondents said Iran itself would deploy nuclear weapons against the United States ... as Ray McGovern asks Who Will Blow the Whistle Before We Attack Iran? - With no perceptible demurral from inside the government, George W. Bush launched a war of aggression, defined by the Nuremberg Tribunal as "the supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes only in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole"-like torture, for example.

[... John Pilger [Iran: the next war]: "Has Tony Blair, our minuscule Caesar, finally crossed his Rubicon? Having subverted the laws of the civilised world and brought carnage to a defenceless people and bloodshed to his own, having lied and lied and used the death of a hundredth British soldier in Iraq to indulge his profane self-pity, is he about to collude in one more crime before he goes." ...]

Then there's former UK Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd, who has recently said [Iran may need force, warns Hurd] that Britain cannot "realistically" rule out using military force against Iran over its nuclear programme.

Then there's Russia: Amid the escalating crisis around Iran's nuclear programme, Russia said last week [Russia confirms missile defence contract with Iran] that it will still arm Tehran with missiles that can secure nuclear facilities from attacks ... while Russian political expert Mikhail Delyagin [Russian Political Expert Predicts US Missile Attack on Iran] speculates that the U.S. will launch a missile attack against Iran this summer ... as Russia voices strong opposition to sanctions against Iran [Russian Foreign Minister voiced here Wednesday his country's strong opposition to any possible sanctions against Iran] ... as Russia Warns U.S. Against Striking Iran : Russia's top military chief today warned the United States against launching a military strike against Iran and a top diplomat voiced hope that close cooperation with China could help resolve the Tehran nuclear crisis.

Then there's China: China said last week [China welcomes Iran-Russia nuclear talks] that it welcomed talks between Iran and Russia next week on plans to defuse the crisis over Tehran's atomic programme, but refused to say whether it would join the meeting.

And Iran's responses: Ahmadinejad vows [Iran poised to retaliate against UN referral] his country will continue on the road to victory, labels Bush warmonger who should be put on trial, while Iranian Vice President Esfandyar Rahim Mashaee said [Iran dismisses US threat over nukes] "We are not afraid of attacks by the United States or by other countries on Iran's nuclear installations because we have nothing to hide, we have no installations to produce nuclear weapons." ... as Iran resumes enrichment work: "Iran has continued its nuclear drive within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the NPT, but if we see that you want to deprive us of our right using these regulations, know that the people will revise their policy in this regard," Ahmadinejad said.

And the US/Israeli responses: [Mofaz: Iran combining radical platform with nuclear weapons - danger for Israel] ... Pimping a war [IDF Intelligence Chief claims Iran Implementing Concrete Plan to Destroy Israel] ... as US threatens Iran with new sanctions: Threatening new sanctions, the United States accused Iran on Wednesday of defying the world by resuming uranium enrichment for nuclear fuel without resolving suspicions it secretly wants to build atomic bombs ... meanwhile Rice Says Iran Is Openly Defying The World : Speaking at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rice said Washington is examining the full range of possible punitive sanctions on Iran, as she asks for $75M to foster democracy in Iran: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked Congress on Wednesday for $75 million this year to build democracy in Iran, saying the U.S. must support Iranians who are seeking freedoms under what she called a radical regime. Another U.S. Coup In Iran? ... In a private meeting with European diplomats this week, a former senior U.S. official raised the idea of launching a dozen B2 bombers in an air raid aimed at crippling key Iranian nuclear facilities ...

Elsewhere, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says [Facing a potential nuclear holocaust at the hands of Iran] the United States must do everything in its power to bring about regime change there, even if it means invading that nation ... as the World Jewish Congress launches a campaign against Iran [World Jewish Congress launches anti-Iran campaign] following the nuclear crisis and the anti-Semitic statements of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Further, the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a resolution [House condemns Iran's nuclear program ] condemning Iran for its nuclear program, and urging the international community to apply sanctions to deny it the ability to develop atomic weapons ... Moreover, Bush now planning huge propaganda campaign in Iran: The Bush administration made an emergency request to Congress yesterday for a seven-fold increase in funding to mount the biggest ever propaganda campaign against the Tehran government, in a further sign of the worsening crisis between Iran and the west ... and US prepares military blitz against Iran's nuclear sites: "This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment," said a senior Pentagon adviser. "This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months ... and again, Iran is prepared to retaliate, experts warn: Iran is prepared to launch attacks using long-range missiles, secret commando units, and terrorist allies planted around the globe in retaliation for any strike on the country's nuclear facilities, according to new US intelligence assessments and military specialists ... as the propaganda persists: Pentagon plans to derail Iranian atomic bomb test - Iran has drawn up designs for a deep underground tunnel with remote-controlled heat and pressure sensors as part of what Western intelligence officials believe are preparations for a secret atomic test.

The French response: Propaganda ? France accuses Iran over nukes: The French foreign minister has accused Iran of pursuing a clandestine military nuclear programme ... while French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy branded Iran's nuclear programme [Selling a war?: Iran nuclear programme is 'military']for the first time today as a "clandestine, military" project.

According to Mike Kress [The Urgency of Now: Stopping the War on Iran], the neo-cons will use their tool at the UN, Ambassador John Bolton, to help create an international crisis and thereby justify attacks on Iran. Though there's no evidence to prove that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, Iran's refusal to halt its lawful nuclear programs will become the pretext for America's next unnecessary war. And Thomas Harding argues ['10,000 would die' in A-plant attack on Iran]: More than 100 American bombers, many based on carriers in the Gulf, would take part in a huge simultaneous surprise air attack on 20 key nuclear and military facilities.

Finally, in its suitably well-timed wisdom Amnesty condemns Iran's treatment of ethnic minorities : The administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come under severe criticism from Amnesty International in a report entitled "New government fails to address dire human rights situation", which was published this week.