In-depth interview with Yassamine Mather, chair of the Hands Off the People of Iran (HOPI) with the American ‘Stop Imperialism’. They discuss the geopolilitical issues surrounding Iran ranging from the controversy regarding the nuclear program to Iran’s relations with the West and the SCO. In addition, they examine some of the internal politics of Iran, including the competing factions of the ruling establishment and the role of the working class in that country. Also, they address some of the pressing economic concerns including inflation, the effect of sanctions, and the future of Iranian economic development.
On 23 June security agents of the Iranian regime attacked Zoya Samadi, Mansour Osanloo’s daughter-in-law. Because of this attack Zoya Samadi sustained various injuries and subsequently had a miscarriage. Mansour Osanloo, the leader of the Vahed Bus Company drivers, is currently in prison because of his involvement in the struggles of the Tehran bus drivers to set up a trade union and defend their jobs and working conditions. The following is HRANA’s interview with Parvaneh Osanloo, Mansour’s wife, about the attack.
HRANA: Mrs Osanloo, there has been a news report published about an attack on your daughter-in-law. Is this true? PO: Unfortunately, yes. HRANA: Is there a precedent for this type of incident? PO: Up until now my daughter-in-law has met Mr Osanloo just once, which was on her engagement night. But from the day she became connected with us, in addition to many nuisance phone calls and occasional threats against her, a few months ago they even pulled a gun (Colt) on her!! We complained to the court about this but this issue was not followed up. HRANA: Can you explain the details of this incident to us? PO: Yes, my daughter-in-law is an engineer and in employment. Because of the harassment that she has been subjected to she is always either forced to use a taxi agency, with its soaring costs, or we take her to her destination. But on Wednesday (June 23), it just so happened that she was using public transport and the metro to go to work. When my young daughter-in-law got off the train at Tarasht station, so that passengers can get on and off, she was attacked by a number of agents. They pulled her hair from behind and pulled her down on to the ground. My daughter-in-law became aware as to why they were doing this and, while calling out that she was Mansour Osanloo’s daughter-in-law, began shouting to people for help. They, according to what they know of Mr Osanloo, were looking on in shock, and before any reaction [from anyone] the agents had blindfolded and muzzled her and transferred her to an unknown location. There, while leaning her against the wall, they began to beat her … HRANA: Do the signs of the beating show? PO: Yes, absolutely; … during the beating her gums and teeth were severely injured. On that Wednesday, after she reached home, she had nausea and even vomited a few times. Last night she had a nose bleed and we were forced to take her to the doctor and have an MRI scan. HRANA: What can be the reason for this inhumanandillegalincident? PO: After her abduction the agents placed a ‘commitment form’ in front of her, stating that if Osanloo is released then you must guarantee that he does not engage in any activity, and that after his release he will leave the country with his family! I do not understand what the meaning of these measures is; whether we leave the country or not has nothing to do with anyone …
HRANA: What’s your assessment of this incident?
PO: Frankly, I’m actuallyanswerable to my daughter-in-law’s family. They [the agents] are playing with the reputation of our family. Why should Mansour Osanloo’s daughter-in-law pay the penalty for her father-in-law’s activities? And a daughter-in-law who has only met Osanloo once. He has himself been in prison for three years and is paying the penalty for his activities. I mean that he has stood by all his [beliefs]. Why don’t they leave our family alone? HRANA: What is Mr.MansourOsanloo’s situation in prison?
PO: Mr Osanloo’s situation is as bad as ever. He has recently been transferred to … Rejaii Shahr prison, where some of the detainees of the events after the elections are held. Physically he still has pain in his back and eye and, of course, his heart condition is still there. So far the medical examiner has issued a certificate about his heart condition three times and prohibited his stay in prison, with its bad environment. But unfortunately the authorities don’t pay any attention to this. HRANA: Finally, do you have anything else you would like to add? PO: There is a lot to say but nobody who listens to us. But I would like to know where in the world an innocent person and the family of a prisoner are persecuted in this way? HRANA: Thank you for your time. Translation: Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network