Bio: “Meir Javedanfar is an Iranian born Middle East Analyst, who lived in Iran until eight years after the Islamic revolution. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree and two Masters Degrees from three universities in England, one of which was in the field of International Relations and Strategic Studies.
Currently, Mr. Javedanfar is the Director of the Middle East Economic and Political Analysis Company, which specializes in the analysis of 16 countries in the region. He specializes in Iranian affairs, in areas such as intelligence matters, defense, economy and domestic politics.”
The above bio and most other little bios on Mr Javedanfar seems to forgot to mention that Javendanfar is now a Jewish Israeli living in Tel Aviv.
Articles on Guardian’s Comment is free:
This is Meir’s first article in Guardian’s Comment is free.
07/04/09 – Obama factor reaches Iran: Meir’s first article in the Guardian’s CiF is before the elections. After paragraphs of attacks on Ahmedinijad, he ends it with,
“Realising that the re-election of Ahmadinejad may be interpreted as a rebuff in Washington, it is very possible that Khamenei may decide that Ahmadinejad’s removal may serve his interests far more than keeping him as president.”
The conclusion has several problems. It seems to indicate that the election of a Iranian President is directly linked to the presidency in America, a grave insult to the Iranian people. Furthur than that, it seems to claim that Khamenei is directly responsible for who becomes president. While both of those are wrong, what’s proves Meir even furthur incorrect is that Ahmedinijad won the presidency for the second term. By being victorious in the elections, Ahmedinijad proved Meir’s last line in the article to be completely wrong, “Despite that, the day after Iran’s presidential elections, he may find himself the most prominent victim of the “Obama factor“.”
22/04/09 – Ahmadinejad’s touch turns to dust: Meir’s long, one-sided anti-Ahmedinijad bash revolves around the Holocaust issue. Ahmedinijad is not actually a Holocaust denial, but attacks the mythology of the Holocaust, the idea that a certain point of history is guarded off to criticism and furthur studies, and has been used to great political ends at the cost of Palestanian lives. Ahmedinijad is against the untouchable aspect of it, “Historical events are always subject to revisions, and reviews and studies. We’re still revising our thoughts about what happened over thousands of years ago. Why is it that researchers are jailed? Why is researching this issue prohibitited? Where as we can openly question God, the prophet, concepts such as freedom and democracy?”
Journalists such as Meir Javedanfar prove Ahmedinijad write, when they cling at any opportunity that is available to attack Ahmedinijad. Quoting his two opponents only furthur proves that the Holocaust has been transformed into a mythology to be used for political ends.
Ahmedinijad’s focus on the Holocaust, which he has clarified several times, is three parts. 1) Why is the focus only on the Jews in the holocaust and not on the rest of the 50 million killed? 2) Why is criticism and research discouraged? 3) Why should the Palestanians, who did not cause it, suffer as the consequence of the European genocide?
06/05/09 – Ahmadinejad’s messianic connections: In another anti-Ahmedinijad article, “ A recent sign was the decision by the Society of Combatant Clergy not to to support any candidate until all presidential candidates had been vetted by the Guardian Council. This powerful society has usually supported rightwing conservative candidates and many thought its support for Ahmadinejad as the candidate to stand against the reformists was certain. However, Ahmadinejad’s unpopularity has persuaded some of them to withhold their vote to see if a more viable conservative candidate will emerge.”
Did Mr Javedanfar forgot to mention that Rafsanjani is a member of the Society of Combatant Clergy and that Rafsanjani backed Mousavi?
The rest of the article is typical anti-Ahmedinijad propaganda, using the lie that because they want the return of Mehdi, and Medhi is supposed to return at the end of the world, then it means that they will hasten his return. Even though, in almost all religious, end of the world has something significient, although no one accuses those religions that they want to bring about an end of the world themselves.
25/05/09 – Iran and Israel are not worlds apart: Meir Javedanfar starts the article by telling us he lives in Israel, a little tibbit that is usually not mentioned in his bios, which would make us understand his anti-Iranian attacks a bit better if we knew.
Issues with the article. Meir repeats the claims that Iran wants to destroy Israel or wants to do a regime change, both incorrect, as Iran has never directly threatened Israel, even though Israel has on several occasions claimed that they might military attack Iran.
An amusing line is the following, “It is not Ayatollah Khamenei whose house is bombarded. While he is sitting comfortably in his well-protected residence, it is the people of Gaza and Lebanon who pay the price, with their lives and their property.”
The line seems to put Ayatollah Khamenei as the cause of the destruction and not the Israelis themselves.
Finally the article seems to indicate that since Iran has no borders with Israel, why is it against it? Iran also never officially recognized the apartheid South Africa, even though it did not border it. It did not recognize it on matters of principle.
07/06/09 – Ayatollah Khamenei’s Obama dilemma: Nothing noteworthy in this article except such silly, simplified statements such as, “In some ways, Ahmadinejad is the son Khamenei never had.”
30/06/09 – Clerics pose little threat to Khamenei: I have no real issues with this one, but that is also mainly because not much is being said here.
19/07/09 – Iran’s crisis has nuclear fallout: A very weak article. Meir Javedanfar constantly uses terms such as “ many Iranians”, “more Iranians” and ”some Iranians” as if he has a complete understanding of 80 million diverse Iranians, backed by no data, polls, or surveys. The crux of argument is that due to the elections, the Iranians do not care much about the nuclear issue anymore (wrong, since even the opposition strongly defends the nuclear right). It even offers such silly analysis, “ After the recent events, some employees at Iran’s nuclear industry could ask “do we want to become a nuclear power under an oppressive government, or wait for a democratic one?” It is possible that the number of those preferring the second option could increase. This could then mean that their level of co-operation could decrease.”
His worst conclusion is “To Ahmadinejad, and probably Khamenei, after recent events, stronger sanctions could be more preferable. Even war. These are overt external threats. They would provide the regime with a justification for the use of its armed forces to suppress internal and external threats.”
Given Iran’s constant attempts at negotiations, this shows how dangerously wrong Meir Javedanfar is.
10/09/09 - A green day for Iran: Meir first makes an almost correct statement but quickly rushes to excuse it, “ One of them is the fact that their numbers were limited to major cities, especially Tehran. Towns and villages in rural areas showed less support because they are not connected to the internet, which made it more difficult for the reformists to campaign and mobilise support before and after the elections.”
So the only reason is that pro-Ahmedinijad supporters don’t have internet? The question I want to ask Meir Javedanfar is, did democracy not exist before the Internet? Khatami did not win in an era of Internet. The revolution of 1979 did not happen because of blogs and facebook.
18/09/09 – Did the US do a deal with Russia?: Look at this part in the article, “All these efforts slowly started to put Iran’s leadership on the back foot. Suddenly, it was deprived from its two main battle cries. One was that America was against the Muslim world and the other that the US had ambitions to apply regime change in Iran. This panicked Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which is why he decided to back Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in presidential elections, apparently allowing extensive fraud in his favour.”
But in an article on 7th of April, Javedanfar said the exact opposite, “Although the supreme leader is under no obligation to compromise with Obama, shunning the US president would be damaging, both diplomatically and economically. Realising that the re-election of Ahmadinejad may be interpreted as a rebuff in Washington, it is very possible that Khamenei may decide that Ahmadinejad’s removal may serve his interests far more than keeping him as president.”
Note that in one analysis, Khamenei doesn’t want Ahmadinejad due to Obama, but in the other analysis (once real events proved Meir wrong), Khamenei suddenly wants Ahmadinjejad due to Obama!
This shows exactly why Meir Javedanfar is completely unable to comprehend Iranian politics.
05/10/09 – Ahmadinejad has no Jewish roots: Ahmedinijad is not a jew. That’s basically the story, which was something not any Iranian I ever talked to would even bring up. To many muslims, it would not really matter to many people which religion a person used to be.
14/10/09 – Can Iran afford a nuclear U-turn?: Meir does a U-turn himself again. He goes from arguing that the Iranian officials want sanctions or war as an excuse to remain in power, but now it seems they are negotiation with America because they fear sanctions and war, “However, if they don’t agree to it, crippling sanctions, or even war, could follow.”
23/10/09 – Iran will emerge victorious: Like what I said previously, “First, the deal will significantly reduce the chances of sanctions and war against his country. This will be welcomed in Tehran, especially after the recent unrest. Many conservatives were concerned that the west could use the current atmosphere of disunity as an opportunity to strike at the regime, through military or economic means. Their fears will be allayed, giving Khamenei the opportunity to attend to internal matters.”
Look at that “analysis”, and compare it to his previous article from three months back, ““To Ahmadinejad, and probably Khamenei, after recent events, stronger sanctions could be more preferable. Even war. These are overt external threats. They would provide the regime with a justification for the use of its armed forces to suppress internal and external threats.”
See how those two articles conflict?
Meir makes up his “analysis” without any basis in reality.
He continues pushing forward in his about face analysis, “Had international sanctions been imposed during or immediately after this change, it could have caused further instability for his regime. The proposed agreement will provide him with an important respite, he will be able to implement the measures without the fear of sanctions.”
Can Meir decide if the Iranian government wants sanctions & war or it doesn’t?
28/10/09 – Happy birthday, Ahmadinejad: In a letter to Ahmedinejad, Meir starts off by talking about his appearance, than says “Over the last 12 months you have become one of the most scorned presidents Iran has ever had. Just think for a moment: which other president drew so many hundreds of thousands of people to the streets to demonstrate against him? And which other Iranian president has damaged the economy and made the people of Iran actually poorer than you have?”
Meir seems to have short memory. First of all, Iran has had only 6 presidents so far. The first Banisadr was impeached after being in office for just over a year and left in exile. The next one was only in office for less than a month before being assasinated. So you just now have 4 presidents left.
Khamenei was a wartime president, so the focus was on the war.
As you can see, Iran slowly was entering into a more stable, democratic enviroment, and with such an enviroment, more province is given for democratic disputes. And saying which president damaged the economy more would assume that Iran’s economy is on the decline, which is false, given that Iran has been slowly on the rise since the war. In what way did Ahmedinijad put the breaks on this? The currency exchange has been relatively stable in Ahmedinijad’s presidency, something not the previous presidents can have a claim on.
Meir then compares Ahmedinijad to the Shah, which is a ridicolous comparison, given that the Shah was in control of the whole government and was a King. The current President is merely just that, a President, with powers balanced by other offices and a term that will run out in a few years. In no way, is he comparable to the Shah.
“Iran’s economy, despite vast natural resources, is the pity of the Middle East.” What does that mean? Iran’s economy is a very strong economy, with its investments having an impact in its neighbours.
“However, Iran has one thing that should be the envy of this world, if it already isn’t. And that is its young people. Many of its students trounce western students in maths and science competitions. Unfortunately, you have imprisoned many of them and killed others because they want a genuine recount of the presidential votes.” Meir uses sentimental sentences to somehow attack Ahmedinijad, even though factually it makes no sense. Saying “imprisoned many of them” is wrong on many levels.
“However, his desire, like that of millions of young Iranians, is for something completely different” The writer, like many times before, again seems to assume he is able to speak for all Iranians.
09/11/09 – Iran’s top-down unity: Now again, Meir is confused. Few articles back he said that the Iranian government don’t WANT a nuclear deal, then when there were negotiations, he said they DID, and when the deal did not go through, he again says, they DON’T. This shows that Meir is completely unable to know exactly the realities of the situation and is only able to provide “analysists” after an event which in no way predicts the future and if something else happens, he just changes his reasons.
17/11/09 – Is Iran dropping Russia for Turkey?: A very simplified analysis.
01/12/09 – Yachtsmen and Iran’s anger with UK: When Iran arrests foreigners in its terrotorial waters, journalists like Meir are quick to use phrases like “British hostages languishing in Iranian jails” to make a negative emotional impact.
Anyway, while Javedanfar offers several reasons for the capture and how it will turn out and making it bigger than it seemed, reality again proved Javedanfar’s analysis trite. The only incident lasted only a few days.
17/12/09 – The plus side of an arms race with Iran: Meir argues that Iran is spending a lot on its defense, and this is a good thing, because it will collapse under the expenses. Meir again does not argue from the point of facts.
Just look at the facts. Israel’s military budget is 8.6% of its GDP and USA is at 4.3%. Saudi Arabia is at 9.3% and Oman is at 10.7%! Where does Iran fall? Just 1.2%, vastly lower than its neighbours and many European countries! Even though, unlike those countries, Iran is constantly under threat, it still spends far less than those countries. Yet Meir Javedanfar has no concern for reality, he is only looking to write what he feels is acceptable in his mind.
21/09/09 – Filling Montazeri’s shoes in Iran: A small write-up on Montazeri, nothing really new or important.
12/01/10 – Is Iran losing the intelligence war?: Somehow Meir twists assasinations against Iranian scientists as something positive…
12/02/10 – No respite for Ahmadinejad: Remember a few articles back how Meir Javedanfar would constantly change his anaylists, the Iranian officials want sanctions, they don’t want sanctions, they want war, they don’t want war, well, here again is another dance by Meir, “Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s main motivation for following the current nuclear policy is to keep Iran isolated. The thinking among Tehran ultra-conservatives is that by raising the ire of the west and keeping Iran isolated from the rest of the international community, it will be easier for them to crack down against opposition at home”
Sometimes it seems, according to Meir, that inside opposition forces Khamenei to negotiate with USA and othertimes, he says the opposite.
And look at some of the strange reasons he gives for the October deal not going forward, “Iran’s refusal to accept the terms of the recent deal offered by the international community – which called for Iran to first ship 75% of its uranium abroad, and then to receive it back in the form of nuclear fuel – has more to do with domestic politics. Khamenei is worried that such a deal would boost Obama’s image in Iran.” Lets ignore the part where journalists like Meir uses terms like “international community” when its usually only a few countries, or mainly just USA. But he ignores all of Iran’s actual concern and somehow thinks it has just to do with Obama’s image in Iran…!
“The reality of a black US president with the middle name Hossein has neutralised years of claims by the post-revolution Iranian government that America is a racist, anti-Islamic state. Unhelpfully for Khamenei, the name Obama can also be pronounced as oo–ba–ma, meaning “he is with us” in Farsi. All these factors have endeared the US more than ever to the people of Iran. The last thing Khamenei wants is to boost America’s image by reaching a deal; in doing so his regime could lose the anti-American glue that it increasingly relies on to hold it together.”
I honestly don’t even want to comment on this part too much, just highlighting it should be enough.
“Although the west, especially Israel, has every right to feel threatened,” Two questions, how is the west threatened by Iran and since is Israel part of the west?
17/02/10 – Target sanctions at Iran’s leaders: An article beginning with a foundation of lies. “ The site, which was recently exposed by the United States, should have been declared three years ago when Iran began construction there. However, the Iranian government decided to keep it secret until September this year.” As per the rules of the NPT, Iran is obliged to inform of the site 180 days before inserting nuclear material in the site. Iran informed the IAEA way sooner than the required 180 days.
He then mentions a secret dossier, which can not be trusted.
That’s more or less his reasons for assuming Iran is building a bomb!
“This was witnessed recently by the positive reaction received in the Iranian blogosphere to the UK decision to block $1.6bn of funds” This is probably the best reason why Meir Javedanfar fails as an analyst. He assumes that Iranian blogosphere somehow is any clear indication of the reality of Iran’s 80 million population.
16/03/10 – Israel must help US tackle Iran: The article is more about Israel than Iran, but this was amusing, “The recent report in the Washington Post that Iran tried to buy nuclear bombs from Pakistan in the late 1980s is another reminder of the urgency and danger posed by the Iranian nuclear programme.” How is something that happened in the late 1980s a reminder of an urgency??
01/04/10 – Sanctions will make Tehran take notice: The propaganda game: “That depends. If Iran is less than two years away from crossing the technological threshold which would enable it to assemble a bomb, then it’s unlikely any amount of sanctions would stop Khamenei in his tracks. He may well decide that as Iran is close to making the bomb, it would be worth absorbing the pain.” Assume Iran is going to make the bomb, give it a time, making it a foregone conclusion.
03/04/10 – Hamid Karzai takes on the Taliban: Not an Iran article, so no comments from me.
09/04/10 – Israel’s nuclear standoff: Mainly about Israel, not Iran, so again no comments from me.
04/05/10 – Obama’s nuclear misstep in Iran: Good for Meir for criticising Obama for his nuclear threat statement against Iran, but why does he have to still persue his propaganda against Iran at the same time, “After Obama’s declaration, many of them could now say that their country is under a nuclear threat, and the best way to prevent this from happening is through the acquisition of nuclear weapons. That way, the US would be deterred from launching a nuclear attack against their country.”
There is still no reason to believe Iran is making a nuclear weapons program but journalists like Meir Javedanfar insist on linking nuclear energy with nuclear weapon, until it is indistinguishable.
Anyway, Meir goes back to being the mouthpiece of his imaginary Iranian people. “Increasing numbers of Iranians now see their country’s nuclear drive as a Khamenei-Ahmadinejad project, rather than a nationalistic one” Where does he get this “increasing numbers of Iranians” data? In his mind apparently, because he says, “If a survey were held in Iran, it’s quite likely that majority of Iranians would say yes to a nuclear Iran, both in terms of energy and weapons. However, when it comes to the question “do you want Iran to become nuclear under this regime?”, the answer is likely to be very different. It would be a fair and accurate estimation to say that many people, maybe even the majority, would say no – the reasons here being related to the regime’s tarnished image at home and loss of legitimacy. Also, increasing numbers of people in Iran are worried that if this regime becomes nuclear, it would use its power not for the betterment of their lives but for the opposite. It would use its new status to confront the west, thus making Iran more isolated, both economically and politically.”
What kind of person says, if a survery is held this would be the answer? The point of a survey is that we DON’T know the results and are trying to find out, but Meir is sure about the results without even conducting a survey!
13/05/10 – Lula plays a risky diplomatic game in Iran: Meir does not tire of writing as if, even though he is a Jewish Israeli with Iranian roots living in Tel Aviv, he knows exactly how Iranians think. He says of Brazil’s Lula, “What is certain is that his trip to Iran will damage his country’s image with Iranians, many of whom adore Brazil because of its football.” Even though logic would seem to indicate that a country that is getting closer to Iran, increasing business relationship, defending Iran, and helping negotiate a peaceful deal to Iran, would appeal to most Iranians, not have then be against it. Somehow Meir thinks that all Iranians live in Tel Aviv with him and what benefits Israel benefits them.
“With reports of arrests, torture, rape and executions in prisons reaching all-time highs, many Iranians will hold the honour which Lula will be bestowing on Iran’s leadership with much contempt.” What does he mean “all-time high”, what does he mean “many Iranians”? Meir’s article are full of unsupported claims like this.
03/06/10 – Why Iran is quiet on the flotilla: The article argues that Iran is silent over Israel’s murder of the activists in international water because they are scared of the internal opposition, very comfortably ignoring the news that regularly popped up after the article and as of this writing, still ongoing. So far, Iran has had people protesting the incident, people volunteering to be on the next ship, and Iran claiming they will send their own ships to Gaza.Whatever happens, one thing is certain, Iran did not keep quiet.
One of the lines in Meir’s article is very amusing and perfectly illustrates his agenda. He writes, “ Unlike Iran, Turkey has a powerful economy.” Well, fine…and “Its GDP is the 18th largest in the world” …interesting…and then he himself says, “– one place above Iran.” One place above Iran! How can he say that but at the same time say, “unlike Iran, Turkey has a powerful economy”! This is ridicolous, so the 18th largest GDP has a powerful economy but the 19th largest doesn’t. That one spot sure seems to make a huge difference in Meir’s propaganda book.