Behind the Headlines

Jamshid Chalangi:

With our warm greetings from our London studios, tonight we will look at escalating US-Iran tension and find out if the Iranian people know what exactly is happening in this crisis.

Also, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise visit to Baghdad last week after U.S. intelligence showed Iran-backed Shi’ite militias positioning rockets near bases housing U.S. forces, according to two Iraqi security sources.

Pompeo has also ravelled to Europe and Russia and it raises a question whether the US is preparing for a war in the region.

We ask our special guest the journalist Mr Amir Taheri how much of these news is real and what awaits the Middle East in the coming days.

Amir Taheri:

I sincerely hope that a program like yours could be freely broadcast inside Iran itself so our people could get to know what is happening to their country.

We do not see or hear any serious debate inside Iran about the threats that our country is facing and all we hear is Mr Khamenei comes and sits on a chair and talks to a group of people and no one asks any questions from him about hisviews and then he criticizes the government and the parliament that why they do not talk about Iran’s foreign policy!!

He must answer to the Iranian people why he has never gone to the parliament to explain why he has ordered Iranian troops to get involved in the Syrian civil war?

He must answer to the Iranian people why our country is at confrontation with 17 other countries, or why Iran is following Russia’s foreign policy for the region?

I am not against the involvement of religion and the clerics in our country’s social life. They can even be involved in politics, but they must have their own political party like anyone else.

This is different from making your religion and religious beliefs the ruling politics of a country and gagging other people from questioning your ideas and policies and rule the country as though your words are those of God!

Today Iran is a lawless country. Yesterday the public prosecutor in the province of Isfahan has banned women from cycling and the security forces have been told to arrest any woman who defies this order.

We do not have any laws in the constitution that gives the public prosecutor any power to make this arbitrary law for himself, which makes the existence of the parliament, the president and the government redundant.

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