Amir Taheri

Amir Taheri

Amir Taheri is an Iranian-born journalist and author based in Europe. His writings focus on the Middle East affairs and topics related to Islamist terrorism. Taheri's public speaking engagements are arranged by Benador Associates, a public relations firm with a predominantly neoconservative clientele. [http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/19272] [http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/tag/amir-taheri/] [http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060703/cohleresses] [http://mondediplo.com/2006/11/05islamofascism]

Career

Taheri's biography at Benador Associatescite web |url= http://www.benadorassociates.com/taheri.php |title= Amir Taheri |author= Eliana Benador |work= Benador Associates |quote= ] states that he was educated in Tehran, London, and Paris. He was executive editor-in-chief of "Kayhan," Iran's main daily newspaper, from 1972 to 1979,cite web |url= http://www.ecssr.ac.ae/CDA/en/ProfileBank/ViewProfile/0,2061,806,00.html?null |title= Profile: Amir Taheri |work= The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research |quote= ] and a member of the board of trustees of the Iranian Institute for International Political and Economic Studies in Tehran from 1973 to 1979. Taheri has also been editor-in-chief of "Jeune Afrique" (1985-1987), Middle East correspondent for the London "Sunday Times" (1980-1984), and has written for the Pakistan "Daily Times," "The Daily Telegraph," "The Guardian" and "The Daily Mail." He was a member of the executive board of the International Press Institute from 1984 to 1992.

He has been a columnist for the pan-Arab daily "Asharq Al-Awsat" and its sister publication "Arab News," "International Herald Tribune," "The Wall Street Journal," "The New York Times," "The Los Angeles Times," "Newsday," and "The Washington Post." He has also written for "Die Welt," "Der Spiegel", "Die Zeit" and "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" in Germany, "La Repubblica" in Italy, "L'Express," "Politique internationale" (where he is part of the Consulting Committee) and "Le Nouvel Observateur "in France, and "El Mundo" in Spain. He is currently a contributor to the German weekly "Focus" magazine, the "National Review" and the "New York Post."

Taheri is a commentator for CNN and is frequently interviewed by other media including the BBC and the RFI. He has written several TV documentaries dealing with various issues of the Muslim world. He has interviewed many world leaders including Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, King Faisal, Mikhail Gorbachev, President Anwar Sadat, Chou En-lai, Indira Gandhi and Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Taheri has published several books, some of which have been translated into 20 languages. In 1988 Publishers Weekly in New York chose his study of Islamist terrorism, "Holy Terror: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism," as one of the best books of the year. Another of his books, "The Cauldron: The Middle East Behind The Headlines" (1988) was used as a textbook in colleges in the United Kingdom and Canada.Fact|date=February 2007

Controversies

Iranian sumptuary law

On May 19, 2006, the "National Post" of Canada published two pieces, one by Taheri, claiming that the Iranian parliament passed a law that "envisages separate dress codes for religious minorities, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, who will have to adopt distinct colour schemes to make them identifiable in public." [cite news
title=A Colour Code for Iran's 'Infidels'
author=Amir Taheri |publication="National Post"
date=May 19, 2006 |accessdate=2007-06-15
[http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/19504 Copy available via Benador Associates] .
] Numerous other sources, including Maurice Motamed, the Jewish member of the Iranian parliament, refuted the report as untrue. The Associated Press later refuted the report as well, saying that "a draft law moving through parliament encourages Iranians to wear Islamic clothing to protect the country's Muslim identity but does not mention special attire for religious minorities, according to a copy obtained Saturday by The Associated Press." [cite news|author=The Associated Press|title=Iranian Law Would Encourage Islamic Dress |publication=The Associated Press|date=May 20, 2006|url=http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/feeds/ap/2006/05/20/ap2760881.html|accessdate=2006-05-21] Reuters also reported that "A copy of the bill obtained by Reuters contained no such references. Reuters correspondents who followed the dress code session in parliament as it was broadcast on state radio heard no discussion of proscriptions for religious minorities." [cite news|author=Reuters|title=Iran dress code law does not target minorities - MPs |publication=Reuters|date=May 20,2006|url=http://in.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2006-05-21T190011Z_01_NOOTR_RTRJONC_0_India-250326-1.xml&archived=False|accessdate=2006-05-21] Taheri insisted that his report is correct and that "the dress code law has been passed by the Islamic Majlis and will now be submitted to the Council of Guardians", claiming that that "special markers for followers of Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism are under discussion as a means to implement the law".cite news
author=Amir Taheri |url=http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/19508
publication=Benador Associates Press Release
title=Amir Taheri addresses queries about dress code story
date=May 22, 2006 accessdate=2006-05-22
]

The "National Post" retracted the story several hours after it was posted online. The newspaper blamed Taheri for the falsehood in the article, [Yossi Melman, [http://web.archive.org/web/20060603144931/http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/717935.html Canada's National Post retracts report that Iranian Jews will be forced to wear yellow patches] , "Ha'aretz", 21 May 2006. Archived on the Internet Archive 3 June 2006.] [Chris Wattie, [http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=6626a0fa-99de-4f1e-aebe-bb91af82abb3 Experts say report of badges for Jews in Iran is untrue] , "National Post" (Canada), May 19, 2006. Accessed online 21 September 2006.] and published a full apology on May 24. [ [http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=6df3e493-f350-4b53-bc16-53262b49a4f7 Our mistake: Note to readers] , "National Post" (Canada), September 20, 2006. Accessed online 21 September 2006.] Taheri stood by his article.cite web |url= http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/badges.asp |title= Badge of Distinction |author= Barbara and David P. Mikkelson |work= Snopes |date= last updated 31 October 2006 |quote= ]

Javad Zarif accusations

Dwight Simpson of San Francisco State University and Kaveh Afrasiabi accuse Taheri and his publisher Eleana Benador of fabricating false stories in the "New York Post "in 2005 where Taheri identified Iran's UN ambassador Javad Zarif as one of the students involved in the 1979 seizure of hostages at the US Embassy in Tehran. Zarif was Simpson's teaching assistant and a graduate student in the Department of International Relations of San Francisco State University at the time.

Nest of Spies

Shaul Bakhash of George Mason University has accused Amir Taheri of concocting nonexistent conpiracies in his writings, and states that he "repeatedly refers us to books where the information he cites simply does not exist. Often the documents cannot be found in the volumes to which he attributes them.... [He] repeatedly reads things into the documents that are simply not there."Larry Cohler-Esses, [http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060703/cohleresses Bunkum From Benador] , "The Nation, posted June 14, 2006 (July 3, 2006 issue). Accessed online 21 September 2006.] Bakhash has stated that Taheri's 1988 "Nest of Spies" is "the sort of book that gives contemporary history a bad name."

The Sunni-Shiite terror network

In a 29 March 2008 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, Taheri makes the statement that, "The truth is that Sunni and Shiite extremists have always been united in their hatred of the U.S.", and alleges that Iranian Government supports Sunni groups such as Al Qaeda. cite news | last =Taheri | first =Amir | title =The Sunni-Shiite Terror Network | work =The Wall Street Journal | pages =A9 | language =English | publisher =Dow Jones & Company | location =New York City | date =March 29, 2008 | url =http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120675195927473485.html?mod=googlenews_wsj | accessdate=2008-05-14] Under Sunni groups, Taheri mentiones the Talysh nationalist movement in the republic of Azerbaijan the Rastakhiz party in Tajikistan. However, the Talysh are predominantly Shia [cite web |url=http://www.unpo.org/content/view/7921/147/ |title=Talysh |accessdate=2008-05-20 |publisher=Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization] with a Sunni minority in the mountainous regions. [cite web |url=http://www.sil.org/silesr/2005/silesr2005-009.pdf |title=Sociolinguistic Situation of the Talysh in Azerbaijan |accessdate=2008-05-20 |last=Clifton |first=John |coauthors=Calvin Tiessen, Gabriela Deckinga, Laura Lucht |date=2005 |publisher=SIL International] Rastakhiz (Islamic Renaissance Party) was incorported into the United Tajik Opposition (UTO) was an amalgam of nationalist and Islamist parties and movements. The war's greatest destruction and toll in civilian deaths was in the south, where Kuliabis and their allies conducted campaigns of "ethnic cleansing" against local residents of Gharmi and Pamiri origin.The height of hostilities occurred between 1992 and 1993 and pitted Kulyabi militias against an array of groups, including militants from the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) and ethnic minority Pamiris from Gorno-Badakhshan. In large part due to the foreign support they received, the Kulyabi militias were able to soundly defeat opposition forces and went on what has been described by Human Rights Watch as an ethnic cleansing campaign against Pamiris and Garmis. [http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/eca/tajikbkg1005.htm] The Pamiri people are Ismaili Shiites. In fact Iran does not support the Sunni movement of Tajikistan and is instead betting on a stabilized country linked to it by Persian culture. Iran and Russia, the most important foreign powers in the country, had developed common interests and Iran needs to preserve its cooperative relationship with Russia. Especially after the rise to power in Afghanistan of the mainly Pashtun Islamic Movement of Taliban (Islamic students) with Pakistani and Saudi support, Russia, Iran, and Uzbekistan became even more alarmed about the situation there. All were in different ways aiding the non-Pashtun (Tajik, Uzbek, and Shia Hazara) forces resisting the Taliban in north Afghanistan. Iran and Russia also had similar interests in the Caspian Sea, in limiting Western involvement in Central Asia, and in increasing their leverage over Afghanistan. [cite web |url=http://www.eurasianet.org/resource/regional/rubinintro.html |title=The Tajikistan Peace Agreement |accessdate=2008-05-20 |last=Rubin |first=Barnett R. |publisher=EurasiaNet] Shi’ite Iran nearly went to war against the Taliban after the massacre of Afghan Shi’ites and nine Iranian diplomats in Mazar-e-Sharif in 1998. [http://adereview.com/blog/?p=53]

Partial bibliography

* 1986. "The Spirit of Allah: Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution."cite web |url= http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19860301fabook10891/amir-taheri/the-spirit-of-allah-khomeini-and-the-islamic-revolution.html |title= The Spirit of Allah: Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution |author= John C. Campbell book review |work= Foreign Affairs |publisher= Council on Foreign Relations |date= Spring 1986 |quote= ]
*: Bethesda: Adler & Adler. ISBN 0-917-56104-X, ISBN 978-0-91756-104-7. ASIN|091756104X.
* 1987. "Holy Terror: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism."cite web |url= http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19871201fabook9695/amir-taheri/holy-terror-inside-the-world-of-islamic-terrorism.html |title= Holy Terror: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism |author= John C. Campbell book review |work= Foreign Affairs |publisher= Council on Foreign Relations |date= Winter 1987/88 |quote= ]
*: Bethesda: Adler & Adler. ISBN 0-917-56145-7, ISBN 978-0-91756-145-0. ASIN|0917561457.
* 1988. "The Cauldron: The Middle East Behind the Headlines."
*: London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-091-73729-X, ISBN 978-0-09173-729-0. ASIN|009173729X.
* 1989. "Nest of Spies: America's Journey to Disaster in Iran."cite web |url= http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19890901fabook7627/amir-taheri/nest-of-spies-america-s-journey-to-disaster-in-iran.html |title= Nest of Spies: America's Journey to Disaster in Iran |author= Gaddis Smith book review |work= Foreign Affairs |publisher= Council on Foreign Relations |date= Fall 1989 |quote= ] cite web |url= http://www.namebase.org/books81.html |title= Nest of Spies: America's Journey to Disaster in Iran |author= NameBase book review |work= Public Information Research |quote= ]
*: New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-394-57566-0, ISBN 978-0-39457-566-7. ASIN|0394575660.
* 1989. "Crescent in a Red Sky: The Future of Islam in the Soviet Union."cite web |url= http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crescent-Red-Sky-Future-Soviet/dp/0091734630 |title= Crescent in a Red Sky: The Future of Islam in the Soviet Union |author= Amazon.com (UK) synopsis |quote= ]
*: London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-091-73463-0, ISBN 978-0-09173-463-3.
* 1991. "The Unknown Life of the Shah."cite web |url= http://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Shah-Amir-Taheri/dp/0091748607/ref=sr_1_6/202-8330072-1876664?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189937820&sr=1-6 |title= The Unknown Life of the Shah |author= Amazon.com (UK) synopsis |quote= Amir Taheri, who for six years was the editor of Iran's main newspaper "Kayhan," knew the Shah well and has had access to his private papers. He has interviewed the Shah's closest relatives, including Empress Farah and Princess Ashraf, and many of his ministers, advisers and political opponents. This biography explains not only the secular transformation of Iran but the religious backlash which destroyed the Shah and transformed the world order. ]
*: London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-091-74860-7, ISBN 978-0-09174-860-9. ASIN|0091748607.

References

External links

* [http://www.benadorassociates.com/taheri.php Amir Taheri - Profile at Benador Associates]
* Amir Taheri, [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1072-1684970,00.html And this is why they did it] , "The Times" (UK), 8 July 2005.
* Amir Taheri, [http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/19180 Israel must claim victory over Palestine] , "The Australian", 9 January 2006
* Amir Taheri, [http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007934 Bonfire of the Pieties] , "Wall Street Journal", 8 February 2006.
* Amir Taheri, [http://www.commentarymagazine.com/Production/files/Taheri_0606.htm The Real Iraq] , "Commentary", June 2006.
* Amir Taheri [http://www.commentarymagazine.com/cm/main/viewArticle.aip?id=10829 Is Israel the Problem?] , "Commentary" February 4, 2007


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