Saturday, December 11, 2010

December 2010 Show

Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Iran
December 10, 2010
For podcast of this interview please Click here!

The situation of human rights in Iran is of concern, because the West is so pre-occupied with the nuclear issue that the question is never raised in the context of the negotiations and/or the confrontation with the Islamic Republic. Two of the groups that face gross discriminations by the government, as well as the society, are religious and sexual minorities. These groups do not threaten the governmental establishment in a po...litical way, but still are subjected to mostly silent violations of the Human Rights. Followers of Baha'i and Jewish faiths are accused of spying for Israel and their loyalty is questioned. Their education and chances for participation in regular life are extremely minimal and in many cases they are denied equal opportunities. The GLBT communities on the other hand are treated as outcasts, both by the society and by the government.

I talked with representatives from both groups in my show 'Voices of the Middle East.' Two members of the Portland Baha'i community will speak about the situation of their community in Iran and the persecution by the government. Later we will hear from a Gay refugee in Portland about Gays in Iran, their involuntary migration to Turkey and finally their resettlement in Portland.

Jacqueline Left Hand Bull (Delahunt) lives in Portland and is the Administrative Officer of an organization that serves 43 native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest with health issues including research, policy, service delivery, and capacity building. She is also the Chairperson of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States – the elected nine-person body that governs the affairs of the American Bahá’í community in the 48 contiguous states.

Merat Bagha lives in Portland and is the President of Tiba Medical, a small medical device company. Born and raised in Iran, he is a longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest having completed his undergraduate studies at Oregon State University and graduate studies at the University of Washington. In 1981, his mother, Mrs Shidrukh Amirkia Bagha, was arrested in post-revolutionary Iran for hosting a Bahá’í gathering. After a 3 month incarceration in the notorious Evin Prison, she was summarily executed along with 7 members of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tehran.

Arash is a pseudo name for an Iranian Gay refugee who has lived in Portland for the past 14 months. He has spent 2 years in Turkey before being accepted by US. There are hundreds of sexual minority members among thousands of the Iranian asylum seekers in Turkey waiting for their cases to be processed by UN and western countries. Arash like other refugees who arrived in the past few years is still looking for a descent job and to realize the dream that youth from Iran are hoping for in the USA. If you or anyone you know can offer him and his friends a good job please call the station or contact Goudarz via email at

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nov. 2010 Show

Goudarz Eghtedari interviews Reese Erlich the author of "Conversations With Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence, and Empire" on Voices of the Middle East.

The second half of the show is an interview with Osamah Khalil about the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and Obama's attempt to deal with it.

For Podcast of this show click here!

Reese Erlich is a best-selling book author and freelance journalist who writes regularly for the Dallas Morning News, Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Radio and National Public Radio. He has won numerous journalism awards and he was a segment producer on a radio series that won a Peabody award. Erlich was born and raised in Los Angeles. In 1965 he enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, and later became active in the anti-Vietnam War movement. In October 1967 Erlich and others organized Stop the Draft Week. They were arrested and became known as the "Oakland Seven." In their trial they were acquitted of all charges, being successfully represented by Charles Garry.

Osamah Khalil is co-director of Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network. He specializes in Palestinian politics and history, US foreign policy in the Middle East and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Khalil commented: “Israel's settlement policy perpetuates its occupation of the Palestinian territories and undermines American attempts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Without American largesse, Israel's occupation could not continue. The US can either broker a final peace accord or it can continue to subsidize settlements -- it cannot do both.”

Saturday, August 14, 2010

August 2010 Show

1953 Coup D'etat in Iran, and BP-CIA's role in it.

August 19th will be the 57th anniversary of a Coup D'etat in Iran that removed democratically elected Prime Minister Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh and brought back the Shah. BP's recent operations in the Gulf of Mexico has brought back the references to the coup and it is time to revisit the history of the Coup once again to better understand what people of Iran felt at the time when a company like BP was instigating regime change and CIA was implementing it.

Click here to listen to this interview!

Ironically I am going to interview Professor Gasiorowski, from Baton Rouge , Louisiana for this issue and premiering of another historical moment in Iran 's history of 1979. I’ll be talking with Professor Gasiorowski about the 1953 Coup, the role of British Petroleum, BP (then known as Anglo-Iranian Oil Company). We will further expand on Mark’s new research about the events prior to Students take over of the US Embassy in Tehran after the revolution of 1979.

Mark Gasiorowski (1954, ) is a professor of Political Science at Louisiana State University . He is an expert in Middle East politics, Third World politics, and U.S. foreign policy. He holds a joint appointment in Louisiana State University's International Studies Program. He has been a Visiting Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford University and a Visiting Professor at Tehran University. He has extensively researched on CIA Coup D'etat in Iran of 1953 that removed democratically elected Prime Minister DR. Mossadegh and brought back dictatorship of Shah of Iran. Journalist and academic Stephen Kinzer has called him "the most persistent" of "a small but dedicated group of scholars [who] have devoted considerable effort to uncovering the truth about events surrounding the 1953 coup" in Iran, an event so important (Kinzer believes) it "defined all of subsequent Iranian history and reshaped the world in ways that only now becoming clear."

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 2010 Show!

Nonviolent Resistance from Iranian Green Movement to the Free Gaza Flotillas

An intriguing dialogue with Professor Ramin Jahanbegloo, University of Toronto
Click here to listen to this show!

Ramin Jahanbegloo was born in Tehran , Iran . He has a doctorate in philosophyJahanbegloo's intellectual activity focuses on fostering constructive dialogue between divergent cultures. He has written numerous books and articles in Persian, English and French on the subject of Western philosophy and modernity. from Sorbonne University in Paris , France where he lived for twenty years. He was a post-doctorate fellow in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University.

Upon returning to Tehran , he was appointed head of the Contemporary Philosophy Department of the Cultural Research Center . In his efforts to promote dialogue, he has interviewed scholars and intellectuals from all over the world, among them George Steiner, Noam Chomsky, Ashis Nandy and the Dalai Lama. In recent years, he invited Richard Rorty, Timothy Garton Ash, Antonio Negri, and Michael Ignatieff and other Western intellectuals to Iran .

In late April 2006, on his way to an international conference in Brussels, Jahanbegloo was arrested by the Iranian authorities. On May 3, Iran judiciary branch officials confirmed that he was arrested and sent to Evin Prison. According to some sources, he was accused of spying. On August 30, 2006, Jahanbegloo was released from prison after four months of confinement.

In 2006 and 2007 he was Rajni Kothari Professor of Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India . In January, 2008 he returned to the University of Toronto as a professor of Political Science, Massey College Scholar-at-Risk, and Research Fellow at the Centre for Ethics at Trinity College. In 2009, he wrote a book, Talking Architecture: Raj Rewal In Conversation With Ramin Jahanbegloo. The book was inaugurated on 19th December, 2009 in New Delhi , India.

Ramin Jahanbegloo’s publications, in addition to numerous papers, include following books:
Talking Architecture: Raj Rewal In Conversation With Ramin Jahanbegloo (2009)
The Clash of Intolerances (2007)
Talking India : Conversations with Ashis Nandy (2006)
Iran: Between Tradition and Modernity (Global Encounters) (2004)
Gandhi: Aux sources de la non-violence: Thoreau, Ruskin, Tolstoi (Le temps et les mots)
Conversations with Isaiah Berlin (2000)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 2010 Show

Executions in Iran
Program aired on Fri, 05/14/2010
Click Here to Listen to this show!

On May 9th 2010 Islamic Republic of Iran executed five political prisoners at Evin, Tehran's notorious prison. At least four of the victims -- Farzad Kamangar, Ali Haydarian, Farhad Vakili, and Shirin Alam-Houli -- were ethnic Kurds. The fifth victim was Mehdi Eslamian.

Their court cases were heard behind closed doors. The work of their attorneys was constantly obstructed, or ignored altogether. Neither they nor the families of the victims knew about the executions until after they had taken place. Even the dead bodies of the victims have not been turned over to their families.

Kamangar's case, which attracted international attention, is particularly heart-breaking. He was 35 years old and married. A highly popular teacher in Kurdish villages, he was also a poet and author. He was sentenced to death in February 2008, and his family had lived in agony ever since. In a letter to his students from prison two years ago, Kamangar wrote, "I miss you all. From behind these tall walls, I wake up with you, laugh with you, and go to sleep with you.... I wish I could play soccer with the first graders, and you, with the dream of becoming another Ronaldo, could score past your teacher, the goalie, and then celebrate it."

An interview with Dr. Hadi Ghaemi, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, and Behrouz a Kurdish-American activist.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 2010 Show

For a Podcast of this show, Please Click Here!

The first-ever summer Youth Olympic Games will be held in Singapore from Oct. 12-25. Some 3,600 athletes, ages 14 to 18, will compete in 26 sports. Iran's girls' squad was to be among the six teams competing in the girls' soccer competition.... No longer.

The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) ruled that the Iranian girls may not play while wearing the hijab. In fact the version of the hijab the Iranian girls would wear is an unobtrusive head-covering that interferes neither with play nor with anyone's safety, FIFA's concerns notwithstanding. Thailand will replace the Iranian team. For a background analysis on this story, please read Pierre Tristam's article here!

Please read an excellent paper on the issue of Hijab and limits to the Human Rights to Religion, by Professor Paul Morris, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand -> For this paper click here!

Please join me when I discuss this issue with Golbarg Bashi, Linda Lowen and Pierre Tristam;
9:00 AM
Friday April 9, 2010
KBOO 90.7 FM

Golbarg Bashi is an Iranian Studies Professor at Rutgers University. She was born in Iran, raised in Sweden, and educated in Britain. She holds a First Class B.A. (Honors) in Middle Eastern Studies from Manchester University, a M.Sc. in Women's Studies from Bristol University and has recently completed her doctoral thesis on a feminist critique of the human rights discourse in Iran. Her research interests include the theories and practices of human rights in Iran, modern Iranian social and intellectual history, and women's rights movements in Iran and in a comparative context.

Pierre Tristam is an editorial writer and columnist at the Daytona Beach, Fla., News-Journal, and editor of Candide’s Notebooks and a contributor on Middle East issues at

A former radio/TV broadcast journalist, Linda Lowen has won national awards for her coverage of women's issues over the past decade. She's been featured in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and on NPR's Talk of the Nation, and she is a commentator for 51% The Women's Perspective, a nationally-syndicated show heard on public broadcasting, ABC Radio Network, and Armed Forces Radio stations.

During her career as a broadcast journalist, she created, produced, and hosted women's issues radio and television programs for NPR and PBS station affiliates including the award-winning talk show Women's Voices. Linda is also a member of the Women's Media Center Progressive Women's Voices program and the National Cancer Survivor's Day Speaker's Bureau.


First Half of the show: President Obama's Nuclear Posture Review

For a Podcast of this portion, Please Click Here!

President Obama's Nuclear Posture Review and the success of the policy with regards to the Middle East, an interview with Dr. Flynt Leverett, New America Foundation, Director, Iran Initiative, Senior Research Fellow, American Strategy Program and Director, Geopolitics of Energy Initiative

Flynt Leverett is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, and global energy issues. From 1992 to 2003, he had a distinguished career in the U.S. government, serving as Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council, Middle East Expert on the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff, and Senior Analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. He left the Bush administration and government service in the spring of 2003 because of disagreements about Middle East policy and the conduct of the war on terror more generally. He is a consultant to the World Economic Forum's “Gulf Cooperation Council and the World 2025” scenarios project and to the Club of Madrid on global energy issues. He is a peer reviewer for the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 2010 Show

Voices of the Middle East presents:
Poor record of President Obama when it comes to Israeli’s violation of Human Rights and an analysis of the Islamic non-violence movements,
An interview with Professor Stephen Zunes, University of san Francisco
Friday March 12th
9 Am on KBOO 90.7 FM
For Podscast of this showClick Here!

Dr. Stephen Zunes is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco , where he chairs the program in Middle Eastern Studies. A native of North Carolina , Professor Zunes received his PhD. from Cornell University , his M.A. from Temple University and his B.A. from Oberlin College . He has previously served on the faculty of Ithaca College , the University of Puget Sound , and Whitman College . He serves as a senior policy analyst for the Foreign Policy in Focus project of the Institute for Policy Studies, an associate editor of Peace Review, and chair of the academic advisory committee for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

Professor Zunes is the author of scores of articles for scholarly and general readership on Middle Eastern politics, U.S. foreign policy, international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, strategic nonviolent action, and human rights. He is the principal editor of Nonviolent Social Movements (Blackwell Publishers, 1999), the author of the highly-acclaimed Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism (Common Courage Press, 2003) and co-author (with Jacob Mundy) of the forthcoming Western Sahara: Nationalism, Conflict, and International Accountability (Syracuse University Press.)

Friday, February 12, 2010

February 2010 Show

Friday March 12, 2010
9-10 AM

For Podcast of this show click here!

Iranian government on Thursday celebrated its 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution while mass protests continues. Violent suppresions of the demonstrators related to the Green Movement was apparent all over the country. I talked with Professor Ahmad Sadri about the prospects of a resolution to the 8 month unrests in Iran with a look at Iran's recent nuclear maneuvers and challenges for the Obama Administration.

Ahmad Sadri is Professor of Sociology and James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College. He received his BA and MA degrees at the University of Tehran and his PhD from the New School for Social Research. Sadri is the author of Max Weber’s Sociology of Intellectuals (Oxford University Press 1992, 94) and editor and translator (from Persian) of Reason Freedom and Democracy in Islam (Oxford University Press, 2000) and (from Arabic) Saddam City (Saqi Press, 2002.) Sadri has authored three books in Persian published by Kavir, and Hermes Press, Tehran. He has also functioned as a columnist for Daily Star of Lebanon and a commentator at National Public Radio in Chicago.