Pastor Saeed Abedini Arrested for Violating Court Order


Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) - A pastor who spent years in an Iranian prison appeared in court Monday, accused of violating a no-contact order against his ex-wife.

Pastor Saeed Abedini is a Christian convert from Iran who was held captive by the Islamic regime for sharing his faith in September 2012. He spent almost four years in an Iranian prison before being released in 2016 in a negotiated prisoner exchange with three other Americans.

Boise police arrested Abedini Sunday night for violating a restraining order against his ex-wife, Naghmeh, who had campaigned for his release from the Iranian prison but later divorced him after he was freed.

In 2016, a judge ruled that Abedini could only contact his wife via email and text messages over matters concerning their two children.

According to the Idaho Statesmen, an Ada county prosecutor claimed Abedini violated that court order by sending derogatory, name-calling text messages to Naghmeh.

Prosecutors did not say when or where the messages were sent. The content of the messages was not very clear, the newspaper reports.

Abedini has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been assigned a public defender.

He told the judge that he left Boise nine months ago and moved to Lynchburg, Virginia where he continues his work as a minister.

Last year, Abedini pled guilty to violating the restraining order. He also pled guilty to domestic abuse in 2007 >>>

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Happy New Year


سال نو مبارک

سال نو مبارک  سال نو مبارک  سال نو مبارک  سال نو مبارک  سال نو مبارک  سال نو مبارک  سال نو مبارک  سال نو مبارک

Pasargad Foundation “Personalities of the Year 2018”

Pasargad Heritage Foundation honors Personalities of the Year for their vision and efforts to preserve the national, cultural, historical, and natural heritage of Iran that also belongs to all humanity.

Mr. Hashem Razi, Iranologist, researcher, translator and author of ancient manuscripts, and 80 books is the recepient of the “Personality of the Year 2018”, in the field of “Cultural and Historical Heritage”, for:

– His endless efforts in preservation and dissemination of historical and cultural heritage of Iran;
– Publishing the long forgotten works of cultural personalities of Iran;
– Authoring a dictionary of Avesta-ic names for the first time in the whole world;
– Collecting and authoring of an encyclopedia of Ancient Iran, for the first time;
– Collecting and authoring a unique book on ancient Iranian festivities;
– And for his life-long endeavor and efforts to preserve and introduce the historical and cultural heritage of Iran.

Niloofar Beyzaie, a playwright, theater director, researcher and translator has been selected as the Personality of the Year 2018, in the field of “Art and Culture”, for:

– Her unwavering efforts in directing and writing subjects related to refugees and people living in exile.
– Her special attention to Iranian cultural issues and reflecting them in her plays.
– Her persistent focus on women’s rights and degradation of Iranian women’s position in today’s Iran compared to the ancient Persian culture.
– Her distinct and humanistic look at the Human Rights issues in Iran especially in her plays written in German.

Assad Seif, an author and journalist is the recipient of “The Cultural Personality of the Year 2018”, for:

– His 20-year-long activities in the literary and artistic world of Iranian Diaspora and exiled community;
– His many publications that focus on variegated aspects of contemporary Iranian cultural and literary creations in exile;
– His focus on collecting and registering the artistic creations of Iranian exiled artists and writers, to be preserved for future.

Soraya goes to Easter Island

This afternoon in the living room.

Jason Jorjani Fancied Himself an Intellectual Leader of a White Supremacist Movement

... Then It Came Crashing Down

The Intercept: Jason Jorjani was born in New York City to a family of prestige and means. While his mother comes from a working-class family of “northern European heritage,” he says his father is from a branch of the Qajar dynasty, which ruled Iran before the last ruling family, Pahlavi, prior to the 1979 revolution. Jorjani says his father had “incidental communications” with the shah, performing in his palace with the rock band he formed as a teenager. Despite this lineage, Jorjani claims that “none of the wealth remained.”

He is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Iran, and his Iranian passport describes him as “Shia Muslim,” though he hates Islam and doesn’t consider himself Muslim. Jorjani is also, by his own admission, a product of the American elite; he attended the Dalton School, one of the most exclusive private schools on the Upper East Side in New York City.

After high school, Jorjani accepted a spot at Fordham University and transferred to New York University a year later. He frequently drifted to the extremes of thought, drawn to fringe science and taboo politics that were mocked by his academic peers. His master’s thesis was about how Islam, in his view, brings out the tension between democracy and universal human rights. “If you have an unqualified human right to freedom of religion, and you have an unqualified universal human right to democratic government — both of which you find in the UDHR [Universal Declaration of Human Rights] — then it is perfectly legitimate for the majority of a country to elect a theocratic Muslim government,” he said to me in an explanation of his thesis. That government, he continued, “on the basis of the Quran, legitimately can say that freedom of religion should be banned. … You can use these loopholes to undermine the whole framework of universal human rights.”

Jorjani likes to speak elliptically, making wide and often demonstrably false academic claims. Some are absurd, like his belief that the pyramids in the lost city of Atlantis were built through collective psychokinesis, while other inaccuracies are perhaps imperceptible to the untrained.

Following Jorjani’s appearance at Spencer’s conference in Washington, a small controversy emerged about the dissertation Jorjani had written for his Ph.D. at the State University of New York-Stony Brook. An academic blog published a post on the controversy, and in a long comment, Thomas Davies, a Ph.D. student in classics at Princeton, picked apart Jorjani’s work. Jorjani bases an entire argument on the belief that the name of Norse god Tyr is a linguistic cousin to “tir”, the Persian word for “arrow”; in fact, according to Davies, “Tyr” is from a proto-Indo-European word for “god,” while “tir” comes from “tigra,” the Old Persian word for “pointy.” The similarities in sound may be convincing to a novice, but not to anyone trained in linguistics, Davies wrote.

“Jorjani’s errors aren’t just differences in interpretation or viewpoint. His versions of ‘history’ and ‘linguistics’ stand to actual history and linguistics as alchemy stands to chemistry,” Davies told me in a follow-up email.

But Jorjani thinks of his embrace of debunked ideas as a mark of intellectual bravery, a type of iconoclasm befitting what he sees as his considerable intellect. He channeled his education in an unusual direction — a seemingly endless stream of pseudoscience and pseudohistory, which he has used to give authoritative weight to the racism of the far right. In particular, he champions a questionable version of Iranian history that is promoted by Iranian nationalists: that prior to the Islamic conquest of Persia in 651 A.D., Iran was an Aryan civilization. Invoking the idea of a “white genocide” with the fall of the Persian Empire, he provided a historical justification for the far right’s obsession with racial purity and its hatred of nonwhite immigration. For Jorjani, what he believes happened in Persia thousands of years ago — a white civilization overcome by a horde of nonwhites — was a taste of what could happen now. However, his version of Iranian history is condemned by scholars of both Islamic studies and ancient Iranian history.

“Nearly everything allegedly glorious about Islam was parasitically appropriated by Arabs and Turks from the Caucasian civilization of greater Iran,” Jorjani told the crowd in Washington, calling the fall of the Persian Empire the “first and greatest white genocide.” The crowd hooted in approval >>>

Fire Dept. torch

Beauty & Beethoven

Orquesta Sinfónica del Cuscoa last night. (Video)

Iranian-American Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Dual Iranian-American Citizen Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison For Conspiring And Attempting To Acquire Surface-To-Air Missiles And Other Items For The Government Of Iran

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that REZA OLANGIAN, a dual citizen of the United States and Iran, was sentenced today to 25 years in federal prison, after being found guilty in November 2016, of conspiring and attempting to send surface-to-air missiles (“SAMs”) and military aircraft parts to the Government of Iran.  OLANGIAN was arrested in Estonia on October 10, 2012, pursuant to a U.S. request for his provisional arrest, and he was extradited to the United States on March 26, 2013.  OLANGIAN was convicted after a two-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska, who imposed today’s sentence.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Reza Olangian was convicted by a unanimous jury for attempting to assist the Iranian government in brokering deals for missiles capable of destroying aircraft from the ground.  Olangian’s actions were in violation of critical international sanctions designed to protect our national security.  Today he was sentenced to 25 years for his efforts to support a designated state-sponsor of terror in obtaining deadly military weapons and other items.”

According to the evidence presented during the trial:

In 2008, OLANGIAN worked with Iranian officials to obtain approximately 375 SAMs for use by the Iranian government.  Ultimately, that missile deal was unsuccessful.

Beginning in early 2012, OLANGIAN worked to negotiate another, separate missile deal, this time with a confidential source (the “CS”), who was working with the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) and who purported to be a weapons and aircraft broker.  From his base of operations in Tehran, and from approximately May 2012 through October 2012, OLANGIAN arranged for the purchase of “IGLA-S” SAMs and various aircraft components.  During covertly recorded meetings in May 2012, and in subsequent recorded conversations and e-mails with the CS, OLANGIAN described in detail his plans for procuring the SAMs and aircraft parts and then smuggling them over land into Iran, from Afghanistan or from another neighboring country.  OLANGIAN also expressed his interest in purchasing numerous other types of weapons and military parts for the Iranian government, including the so-called “S-300” missile defense system and Russian-made naval vessels.

OLANGIAN’s 2012 negotiations included his participation in a videoconference with the CS, during which OLANGIAN remotely inspected a missile that the CS presented as a sample of the larger quantity of the SAMs that OLANGIAN sought to purchase.  After inspecting the sample missile and inquiring about its specifications, OLANGIAN stated that he would want “at least 200 . . . minimum 200” of such SAMs.  In his communications with the CS, OLANGIAN also indicated that he was arranging for a missile expert to inspect and test the SAMs.

At the same time that he was negotiating with the CS, OLANGIAN was also working with other individuals, both inside and outside Iran, to acquire numerous other items for the Iranian government and Iran-based entities.  For example, OLANGIAN worked with individuals and entities in China, Russia, and Europe to acquire commercial aircraft for use by Iranian airlines.  In one of these commercial aircraft deals, OLANGIAN and his coconspirators planned to purchase aircraft for $80 million and sell them to an Iranian company for $110 million.

During October 2012, OLANGIAN traveled to Estonia in connection with the SAMs deal and in anticipation of later traveling to Russia in connection with one of the aircraft deals.  He was arrested in Estonia, and following his arrest, he was interviewed by U.S. law enforcement agents.  OLANGIAN stated, among other things, that he had been working with Iranian government officials, that the SAMs he had arranged to purchase were being obtained for the Iranian government, and that the aircraft parts he attempted to acquire were to be used in Iranian military aircraft.

*           *         *

In addition to today’s sentence, OLANGIAN, 57, was sentenced to 5 years of supervised release.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA’s Special Operations Division, Bilateral Investigations Unit.  Mr. Berman also thanked the DEA’s Copenhagen Country Office, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and its National Security Division.

This prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean S. Buckley is in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Robert E. Wallace of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.     

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Valentino on Jeremy's patio.