DISSIDENT WATCH: MANSOUR OSANLOU
By Dr. Michael Rubin
Iranian security forces responded by arresting Osanlou. They held him without charge, denied him access to a lawyer, and transferred him to Tehran's Evin Prison. Learning of planned protests calling for his release, security forces rounded up the Union's Board of Directors and arrested several hundred workers.  The Tehran municipality seized control of the company  and dismissed many workers who refused to return to their jobs. 
Students and other labor activists sided with the bus drivers. On January 31, 2006, the student union at Tehran's Amir Kabir University demanded the "unconditional release" of the arrested workers.  To the bemusement of ordinary citizens prevented from riding buses by the refusal of drivers to work, the official daily Kayhan denied that there had been a strike. 
The standoff continued for months as the bus drivers continued their protests. On May 1, 2006, several hundred police broke up a peaceful demonstration calling for Osanlou's release and arrested several more students and union activists.  Ebrahim Yazdi, the Islamic Republic's first Foreign Minister, took President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to task for his actions. "Mr. Ahmadinejad, you talk about poverty in America … but they do not imprison workers for going on strike to increase their wages," he declared. "The Vahed bus company workers who strike to increase their wages, face a language of force." 
The government crackdown continued into the Summer. On July 15, 2006, the Labor Ministry invited six bus drivers and union representatives to negotiate a solution. When the six arrived at the Ministry, security forces arrested them.  Finally, on August 9, 2006, the Iranian government released Osanlou. 
When Osanlou began organizing Tehran's bus drivers, a pro-government vigilante group affiliated with the officially sanctioned labor organization attacked him and, while holding him down, severed part of his tongue.  How ironic, then, that, while Osanlou and his allies refused to be silenced, the U.S. White House failed to speak up.
 Shargh (Tehran), Jan. 2, 2006.
 "Iran: Release Workers Arrested for Strike," Human Rights Watch, Jan. 31, 2006; letter from Ebrahim Madadi, vice president of the Syndicate of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, to Juan Somavia, director general, International Labor Organization, May 30, 2006.
 ILNA, Feb. 9, 2006.
 National Review Online, June 19, 2006.
 ILNA, Jan. 31, 2006.
 Kayhan (Tehran), Jan. 29, 2006.
 "Free Mansour Osanloo Now!," International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran, May 8, 2006.
 ILNA, May 12, 2006.
 E-mail from a Vahed Bus company representative, July 15, 2006.
 ILNA, Aug. 10, 2006.
 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, May 24, 2005.
American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East
Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three Page Two Page One
International Politics & World Disorder:
War & Peace in the Real World
Page Two Page One
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
U.S. National Security Strategy
Dr. Michael Rubin, a Ph.D. in History (Yale University) and a specialist in Middle Eastern politics, Islamic culture and Islamist ideology, is Editor of the Middle East Quarterly and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Dr Rubin is author of Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami's Iran (Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001) and is co-author, with Dr. Patrick Clawson, of Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). Dr. Rubin served as political advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad (2003-2004); staff advisor on Iran and Iraq in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense (2002-2004); visiting lecturer in the Departments of History and International Relations at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2001-2002); visiting lecturer at the Universities of Sulaymani, Salahuddin, and Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan (2000-2001); Soref Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (1999-2000); and visiting lecturer in the Department of History at Yale University (1999-2000). He has been a fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations, the Leonard Davis Institute at Hebrew University, and the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.
The foregoing article by Dr. Rubin was originally published in the Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2007, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum.
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
LINKS TO PARTICULAR ISSUES & SUBJECT MATTER CATEGORIES
TREATED IN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, U.S.A.:
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * France
Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS
POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE
Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor