Talk Islam and City of Brass seem to have been the first to report on Iranian blogfather Hossein Derakshan’s arrest in Tehran last week, but the A-list bloggers are now awakening to the story, as are some of the journalist bloggers, which bodes well. There’s a great short piece in the IHT about Derakshan, also known as Hoder (amalgam of his first/last names), that provides more detail on Derakshan’s views – excerpt:
Derakhshan also favored a nuclear-armed Iran. “We need it as a
deterrent,” he argued, not against Israel, but against the United
States, which organized a coup in Iran in 1953 and which still
maintained a strong military presence in the region. (But he opposed,
on environmental grounds, Iran developing nuclear power plants.) If war
were to break out between Iran and the United Statse, he said, he would
fly home to fight for his country.
Derakhshan had first visited Israel the previous year and had been
invited back to address a conference on “Reform and Resistance in the
Middle East” at Ben-Gurion University. For Iran, he favored reform, not
resistance: “The system is democratic enough to permit change through
elections. We can gradually change Iran. We are already doing it.”
It is not clear why Derakhshan flew home this time, despite being
warned in the past that he might be arrested for his blogs. However,
those blogs have in the past year turned sharply pro-Iranian government
In the interview in Jerusalem two years ago, he said Ahmadinejad did
not have the intellect to convince people who can think. “He’s street
smart and has good social communication skills. But he can’t respond to
sophisticated questions,” he said.
But in a blog posted two months ago, he wrote: “Ahmadinejad’s
brilliant strategy of dismissing Israel and smiling to the U.S. has
divided the U.S. at all levels and that’s a big achievement compared to
(former President Mohammed) Khatami’s weak and failed U.S. strategy
that led to Iran being part of the ‘axis of evil.’ Now the same Bush
administration has officially opened the diplomatic line. Please get
over Ahmadinejad’s scruffy look, prayers, and plain language and see
An Iranian Web site reportedly close to that country’s intelligence
community, Jahan News, claimed that Derakhshan had admitted during
initial questioning to spying for Israel but said that his confession
included several “intricate points.”
I am greatly disturbed by the tidbit about him having confessed – which strongly suggests he’s been abused and possibly tortured. Of course for a regime that engages in torture, confessions for any crime come quite easily – which is why Obama’s pledge to stop all torture is so important in regaining our American moral authority, which would be very useful in applying pressure on Iran right now.
Make no mistake – Hoder’s life is in serious danger. Iran just executed a businessman on similar charges of spying.