Amir-Abbas Fakhravar

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Amir-Abbas Fakhravar (in Persian:امیر عباس فخرآور, Amir-Abbās Fakh-rāvar, also known as Siavash (Persian: سیاوش); born 6 July 1975 in Tehran) is an Iranian writer, journalist for the now-banned pro-reform daily newspapers Mosharekat and Khordad. He is known for his political activism and has been described as one of Iran’s student leaders.


Quotes about Fakhravar[edit]

  • Fakhravar came across as a passionate, dedicated, and charismatic activist, who wants to go to the US to rally support for his cause. He claimed no interest in political asylum, because in his words, he is a "freedom fighter" and will return to Iran. He seemed to have little fear for his own safety. On several key issues, his views differed from the majority view heard here from Iranians in Dubai, such as his assertion that limited military strikes on Iran would rally the Iranian people against their government, not in support of it. His advocacy of full sanctions on Iran is also rare. Most Iranians we talk to either say change will come from within Iran, or they want the US to change their regime, but in an undefined, painless, bloodless way.
I like Fakhravar because he says that, if we attack, the Iranian people will be ecstatic ~ Sheldon Adelson
  • Student dissident groups composed of well-educated, Westernized urban youth have been the backbone of the Iranian opposition. ... The Confederation of Iranian Students (CIS), led by U.S.based Amir Abbas Fakhravar, believes in regime replacement and in 2013 formed a “National Iranian Congress” to advocate that outcome. The group has drafted a constitution, modeled after western constitutions, for a future republic of Iran. Cofounder Arzhang Davoodi has been in prison since 2002 and in July 2014 was sentenced to death. The sentence has not been implemented to date.
He is completely a fraud. Nobody knows him. ~ Vali Nasr
  • Amir Abbas Fakhravar, (Siavash) is an Iranian jailed dissident, award winning writer, and the recipient of the prestigious Annie Taylor Award. He is the founder of National Iranian Congress and President of the Iranian Freedom Institute in Washington, D.C. Currently, he is an adjunct faculty at the Texas State University who teaches Comparative Constitutional Law, Political Crimes and International Crimes. Fakhravar spent over five years in jail and suffered brutal torture in jail in Iran. His treatments in the Islamic Republic jails have been described as first known example of “white torture” in Iran by Amnesty International. According to Amnesty International, the cells had no windows, and everything was entirely coloured creamy white. The meal was white rice on a white paper plate. If he wanted to use the toilet, he had to put a white slip of paper under the door of the cell to alert guards who reportedly had footwear designed to muffle any sound. Amir Fakhravar has testified before the Senate Homeland Security committee and the House Foreign Affairs on U.S-Iran relation, Foreign Policy, U.S. government broadcasting and Iran’s Nuclear issues. Fakhravar among his CIS team briefed parliament members at the European Parliament and Parliament of Finland, the Parliament of the United Kingdom, Parliament of Israel, Parliament of Germany, and Parliament of Canada.
  • Iran: Amir Abbas Fakhravar, freelance journalist and prisoner of conscience. This is the first time that Amnesty International has documented evidence of the practice of “white torture” in Iran. Amir Abbas Fakhravar has been in prison for over a year. In January 2004, he was taken from Qasr prison to a detention centre called 125 to be interrogated about his alleged links with a political organisation called Jonbesh-e Azadi-ye Iraniyan, which opposes the Iranian government. The centre is under the control of the Revolutionary Guards, a military force responsible for matters of national security. His cell in the 125 detention centre reportedly had no windows, and was entirely coloured creamy white, as were his clothes. At meal times, he was reportedly given white rice on white, disposable paper plates and if he needed to use the toilet, he had to put a white slip of paper under the door of the cell to alert guards, who reportedly had footwear designed to muffle any sound. He was forbidden to speak to anyone.
  • THE SECULAR DEMOCRAT; Amir Abbas Fakhravar, 30, a former medical student, served time in Iran's notorious Evin prison after publishing an award-winning book, "This Place Is Not a Ditch," and launching a pro-regime-change student group. He has been championed recently by neocon thinker Richard Perle, who organized a private lunch for Fakhravar at the American Enterprise Institute last month, attended by Pentagon and State Department officials.
  • The same message is reiterated by 'native informants' [of neo-conservatives]... new ones like Amir Abbas Fakhravar, who advocated the policy of 'regime change' in his testimony to a Senate Homeland Security Committee in July 2006. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph in the same month, Fakhravar reverted to the other neo-conservative themes explored above, stating that the 'world has to do something whatever it takes so that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not become another Hitler'. Sitting safely in his office at the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, Fakhravar even promotes military action against Iran: 'Whatever the world does against the Iranian regime', he assures us, much in the same way Iraqi exiles did in the build-up to the Iraq war, 'the Iranian people will be supportive'.
    • Arshin Adib-Moghaddam (2007), "Manufacturing War: Iran in the Neo-Conservative Imagination", Third World Quarterly, 28 (3): 635–653, doi:10.1080/01436590701200513, JSTOR 20454950
  • In 2006, neoconservative and former Pentagon advisor Richard Perle offered support to a recently exiled political prisoner named Amir Abbas Fakhravar. Perle claimed that Fakhravar was a well-known student leader who escaped from the infamous Evin Prison and then secretly fled Iran to the West. Fakhravar ended up testifying on Capitol Hill and was invited to attend a meeting of Iranian exile leaders at the White House. Unlike Sazegara or former political prisoner Akbar Ganji, Fakhravar seems to echo the neoconservative views on Iran. He told Mother Jones magazine that "any movement or any action whatsoever" by the United States would "help or enhance the people to rise up". But Fakhravar's star dimmed as his connections to neoconservatives became more apparent, and the exiled community questioned his bona fides as a student leader. Several former student activists said they had never heard of him when he was supposedly leading the student movement in Iran.
  • They are men like Amir Fakhravar, who hobbles to pick up his guests from the elevator. “My knee still hurts from the torture,” says the former medical student in greeting, leaning heavily on a black walking stick. He calls himself the secretary of the Independent Iranian Student Movement and he is the new star of the Iranian opposition in Washington. He's only been in town since May, an appearance before the Senate, a meeting with ex-CIA chief James Woolsey and top Pentagon officials. gon he already has behind him. "I love America," Fakhravar says happily, "they listen to me here." He doesn't like to hear that he could be the new Chalabi. "I don't want the comparison," says Fakhravar, 31, and looks rather offended. "He hasn't spent a single day in prison." The two have at least one friend in common. Richard Perle, the pioneer of the Iraq war and most ardent supporter of Chalabi, has also taken Fakhravar under his wing. As soon as he was released from prison and left the country in April 2006, the two met in a hotel in Dubai, and the neocon steered Fakhravar to Washington. Is the "Prince of Darkness”, as the US media calls him, was his door opener in Washington? Fakhravar smiles softly: "To me he is the prince of light."

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