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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at

Double Standards

Published Tuesday, December 12, 2006

London (Rooz Online) “The West uses double standards in dealing with human rights and the nuclear rights of countries”.

Ever since the West began criticizing Iran’s nuclear program and its human rights records, officials of the Islamic Republic have used the above sentence more than any other to defend themselves.

Islamic REpublic of Iran supports civil disobedience for abroad, but not at home.

Very well! The West has double standards, but what about the Iranian regime?

For a week now Iranian state-owned media have been covering the protests organized by Hezbollah’s supporters in Beirut and in front of the prime minister’s office, passionately defending Hezbollah’s "unquestionable" legitimacy. Hezbollah is an ally of Iran and it is understandable that a country would want to defend its allies.

But what is Hezbollah doing right now that deserves so much support and praise from the Iranian media?

Double Standards-Body

Hezbollah’s leader, Seyyed Hassan Nassrallah has clearly indicated that he plans to bring down Fouad Siniora’s government, which has a majority in the parliament, through ‘civil disobedience.’

Civil disobedience! This is precisely the phrase used by Mr. Nassrallah and repeated by the Islamic Republic’s broadcast network.

In the past few years, numerous intellectuals and dissidents of the Islamic Republic have been convicted and have served time in prison on charges of spreading propaganda and instigating civil disobedience.

Akbar Ganji, for instance, has been one of the main proponents of using civil disobedience to influence the government’s behavior. And no one has forgotten what happened to him.

Iran has severely curtailed the activities of non-government organizations on the suspicion that they are AMerican agents.

But Ganji was neither leading a movement nor in a position to organize such a movement. He had just spoken of an idea, while in prison. Imagine what would happen to a person who calls on his supporters to come into the streets and topple the government through civil disobedience

The same issue can be interpreted from the perspective of the various contemporary revolutions. During recent years, the Islamic Republic has severely curtailed the activities of various non-government organizations on the suspicion that the United States is advancing a velvet, or peaceful, revolution in Iran.
A velvet revolution is nothing but demonstrating en masse to force a government into accepting certain changes – exactly what Hezbollah and its supporters are pursuing.

So from the perspective of the Islamic Republic, civil disobedience and color revolution are not intrinsically bad. What makes them acceptable or not is where are they take place. If someone desired to use these tactics in Iran, then he would immediately be charged with espionage, at the least. If these very same tactics are used against the enemies of the Islamic Republic, then his actions are deemed legitimate and in accordance with all democratic principles! ENDS ROOZ 131206

Editor’s note: Mr. Zeydabadi is a political analyst and commentator covering for several Iranian outlets based outside Iran.

The above article was posted by the Persian-language “RoozOnline”, an internet publication based in Paris and London.

Highlights are by IPS


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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at

Double Standards-Main
Iranian leaders support civili obedience abroad, like in Lebanon against the Government, but not at home, where it is branded as American conspiracy.



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