Can we help the Iranian protesters?


Can we help the Iranian protesters?
by Shifteh Ansari

There is unofficial news that China has sold anti-riot armoured vehicles to Islamic Republic of Iran and the first shipment has already arrived in Iran.  The equipment is to be used in confronting crowds by spraying water, tear gas, and burning chemicals.  This summer I also heard rumors that Islamic Republic of Iran is in receipt of large orders of tasers, pepper spray, sticks, and other crowd abuse hardware from China and Russia.

If like me, you have been thinking about how to help the people of Iran without jeopardizing them or putting them further in harm's way, this may very well be our chance to do something to help.  We need to pull together and design a campaign to get information about this heinous and immoral trade between China and Iran.  We need to bring international attention to the trade and to ask other countries to monitor this. 

This campaign will have to go well past signing petitions.  It will require organization and targeted contact with parliaments and policy makers of the world.  We need to build a support base to reach out and educate ordinary people and government officials alike.

We will need some information first.

Is this something that the current or impending sanctions against Iran would include?  Is China violating any sanctions or laws by selling this equipment to Iran? 

Are there disclosures a manufcturing country has to submit in order to sell this stuff?  Could anyboy who has the money order this equipment?

What is the position of international human rights organizations vis a vis such sales?  Are these sales monitored at all?  

People, please help.  This could be a very important thing.  It will be an independent campaign, driven by us, Iranians in diaspora worldwide, to put pressure on suppliers who help a regime which is now completely obsessed with doing everything to confront its people's will and hopes for freedom.

Please write your thoughts, ideas, answers, suggestions.  We can build our campaign through the dialogue, I hope.


more from Shifteh Ansari

Shifteh - comment on the form-letter in your news thread

by MM on

Hi Shifteh,

mahmoudg has send a scathing email to the manufacturor and maybe we should take this email, make it a form-letter and send it to various organizations (LATimes?).  I made a comment on your news thread and I will post it below too.  Thanks.


mahmoudg/Shifteh: make a form-letter for the readers

by MM on

Good job mahmoudg,

Could we change this scathing email to a scathing form-letter that we send to the manufacturor, the Chinese embassy, and especially LATimes (where else???).  This will make it easy on our readers as well as others, if we advertize it, to agree with the form-letter (or change something first) and just click and send the form-letter to the above destinations. 

Imagine if LATimes publishes a story on 300,000 Iranian-Americans objecting to the expedited sale of these anti-riot trucks to the Islamic Repulic by the collaborative communist China to quell the Green movement?  The Chinese losing face in freedom-loving America?  Definitely..

If all agree, can JJ help set this form-letter up for everyone?  Thanks in advance.


I have sent a scathing email to the manufacturer

by mahmoudg on

I suggest all who read this post do the same.  We need to let the Chinese company or companies know that if they continue this behavior and not support the West in toppling this regime, then the forthcoming regime will not do any business with china, and will reconsider the oil and gas deals with the chinese.  We need to let them know Iran is not china to be trampled on with tanks aka Tiennamen (sp?) square.  we will retake our freedom and the Chinese people will learn a thing or two about how to win their freedom.


Great effort MM. Keep us

by vildemose on

Great effort MM. Keep us posted. Thank you.


China understands "losing face" or "hurting their pockets"

by MM on

We are talking about another repressive regime that can produce one billion signatures overnight that they are doing right.  However,

1. The Chinese are extremely sensetive about "losing face" and a public outcry and shame campaign will work very effectively.  I will leave it to the computer experts to start this campaign and I have contacted an Iranian Diaspora organization to do so.  Others can join in.

2. I agree that boycott in Iran does not make sense, but here in the west, exposing the Chinese and asking the Iranian-American and Iranian-Europeans to join will hurt the Chinese in their pockets.  This may even invite other non-Iranians who are POed about losing jobs to the Chinese to join us as well. 

I posted several references in Hovakhshatare's blog that I found, but I need confirmation from the more legal experts before we go public on this.   As I mentioned before, the Chinese can say that they are just selling the trucks, but the verocity that they have expedited the sale of these anti-riot trucks indicates to me that the communist Chinese government is worried that they are next, just like IRI, so they have delivered these trucks in a hurry to kill the resistance movent in Iran.


 The original article in Persian2English site reports that they have multiple sources for this information, but do not divulge (maybe for obvious reasons?) the sources.

The bandar abbas picture quoted in most sites matches the Chinese anti-riot truck dimensions and the Chinese site.

The Los Angele Times is quoting an opposition sites (the U.S.-based Persian-language news website Rahesabz, or Green Path) on the Chinese anti-riot trucks.

Beirut News is quoting an opposition news website regarding the expedited sale of the Chinese anti-riot trucks.

Lots of talk in Tweeter (2, 3, 4, 5, …….) and Facebook regarding the expedited sale of the Chinese anti-riot trucks.

The US Today story quotes The Los Angele Times story. 

And the list goes on....... 


And a more serious point

by divaneh on

On the serious side, I think we should not be worried too much about these vehicles. As ramintork said some spikes or alternatively a Cocktail Molotov under the belly will do the job. I also don’t think that China could be shamed for selling anti riot gear to Iran.

However, I agree that China (and even more Russia) has to be confronted in some way for the support that they give to the IRI. Some suggestions here.

- IC readers reside in different countries. Could we start contacting different Iranian organisations to help uniting the network further and organise uniform global actions such as demonstrations in front of Chinese embassies or during their official visits. Power is in numbers.

- Building on the idea of the facebook page, would it be a good idea to launch a website dedicated to China’s crimes against humanity? I have tried some domains like and they are available.

- Would it be a good idea to target foreign investors in China such as Japanese conglomerates?


اجناس ارزان چینی


- چطوری یک مشت مردم پاپتی با سنگ و کوکتل مولوتف دولت را شکست دادند؟

- اگر اونها هم کوکتل مولوتف هاشون رو از چین خریده بودند می فهمیدی چطوری. سر بزنگاه کوک ماشینها شون تمام میشد.

چو تیره شود مرد را روزگار

همه آن خرد کش نیاید بکار

Sargord Pirouz

water canon vehicles

by Sargord Pirouz on

Water canon vehicle have actually been seen at Iran's military parades. They're not as robust as the Chinese examples in this incompletely sourced report, but I believe Iran may already possess water cannon equipped law enforcement vehicles, and they've simply not been used (yet). (They do require a level of supportive training.)

Perhaps the report is true, perhaps not. No way of knowing. But I'd much rather see such non-lethal means of law enforcement be utilized, rather than the live fire use of rifles with lethal rounds. The idea is to preserve lives during riot/crowd dispersal.

Think about it. 


They look really nasty but can be disarmed

by ramintork on

I guess the best way to disarm them is to target their tyres by leaving home made tyre spikes made out of piping, lots of them that is on the streets.

The front plough would make it difficult to get to the tyres but obstacles to elevate the vehicle slightly would bypass it.



Shifteh Ansari

LA Times: Chinese-made armored anti-riot trucks, equipped with p

by Shifteh Ansari on

Chinese-made armored anti-riot trucks, equipped with plows, may arrive in Tehran
An opposition news website is reporting that Iran has imported high-tech armored anti-riot vehicles equipped with water cannons that can douse people with boiling water or teargas.
The U.S.-based Persian-language news website Rahesabz, or Green Path, posted a photograph of what it described as a photograph of two of the trucks arriving at the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas in the south.


let's start a facebook page

by shushtari on

the chinese have no long as they can get their hands on cheap iranian oil.....they'll deal with the devil


Shifteh Khanoom

by ramintork on

I am planning to put my past experience as an anti-apartheid campaigner to good use and this month I plan to write letters to student unions and get their support.

I have the dream of the same marches that we held in London back in 1980s to free Nelson Mandela happening for Iranian Human rights issues. At some stage I would do template letters and invite everyone to write to their student unions inside their own country of residence as well as local political representatives, in my case British MPs and EU MEPs.

A big campaign that uses consumer power to make China or any other country trading in such technology with Iran behave itself is what we need, but such a campaign needs all the social mobilization skills and support that we could get.

Ironically it is easier to get such support outside the Iranian community rather than inside! Over the last 5 weeks that I starter writing blogs things have been very slow but we will get there.

Videmose is such a positive force, he is right this will be a naming and shaming campaign.I am pleased that more and more of us outside Iran want to do something rather than just sit in front of our TVs or computers and sulk over what is happening.

I suggest that you have a look at the petition that I setup and use the wording if you so wish and setup a petition to boycott Chinese goods.At the moment we are ludicrously unsupported i.e. I only have 104 signatures but once we get organized and get the ball rolling the support will come.


Shifteh Ansari

"Today we free Tehran, tomorrow we take on Beijing"

by Shifteh Ansari on

MM had brought up a good point in the earlier discussion.  The unofficial report said that IRI has placed the order for these vehicles on a "rush order" basis (most probably immediately after the June uprising).  The Chinese have obliged and have made express delivery of the vehicles.

MM thinks we should angle this from the point of view that China is afraid this might happen in China, too, therefore helping IRI to finish this protests business as quickly as possible.

This morning I found this iReport, entitled "The Chinese Inspired by the People of Iran."  Take a look:


"tweets from protests in Iran giving updates on the latest developments and using Twitter for coordination purposes.
However, this time around, people in China quickly joined Iranians in spreading the word and we witnessed an outpouring of tweets in Chinese reporting on the situation. 'CN4Iran' quickly became one of the top ten trending topics on twitter.
The people of China, who like Iranians, live under an oppressive regime are standing in solidarity with  freedom fighters of Iran and drawing inspiration from them; one tweet read "Today we free Tehran, tomorrow we take on Beijing".
Of course the Chinese would want to help IRI to deal with the situation ASAP!  The Chinese are tweeting to help Iranian protesgters already!  They are getting ideas, too!
What do you think?

Shifteh Ansari


by Shifteh Ansari on

Thank you for your thoughtful remarks. It would be great to add to what you have done.

You have done such a lot work. I believe we still need to develop an effective reasoning for this particular development.  Once we have found the angle which would have the most impact and reach, by all means, we can add it to your extensive efforts to float.  Please stay tuned and participate in the dialogue.  We need to find a catchy angle, something that would appeal to many and then float it on the internet.  That way, it might reach a larger audience (larger than Iranians in diaspora) and even if it can't stop the sales, as Videmose said, we can shame the Chinese.


Iran's Opposition Leader: I

by vildemose on


How about calling the

by vildemose on

How about calling the Chinese embassy in the US and inquire about this transaction?? We can also write to them and tell them about our concern.

khaleh mosheh

Some good suggestions

by khaleh mosheh on

on non violent techniques and civil disobedience from Mohsen Sazegara, 




Shifteh Khanoom

by ramintork on

I had similar concerns and started a campaign against sale of oppressive technology from Europe for which I want to collect one million signatures and use the citizes' initiative clause of the Lisbon treaty to change the law and stop such exports. Very soon I realized that we need a strong Iranian lobby for Human rights issues so I started a second group for activities such as rallies, marches, flashmob etc. and for this I intend to use the student movement power and fight a campaign similar to the anti-apartheid campaign.

I also thought of China. The China idea was that once we have support outside the Iranian community we could use consumer power and boycott their goods.

I started this 5 weeks ago and I'm a long way from promoting it, but I have written regular blogs about this on IC.

If you want to join forces please let me know. The groups are open so you can book your activity to raise awareness in your local area or globally. At the moment are numbers are few but with promotion it should get the crowd quickly.

Here are my facebook groups, it is a humble begining but a start and I will promote the groups:



These are very ambitious dreams but getting people to give you support is not that easy in the Iranian community.

By the way, despite all that is going around in the world I wish you a happy new year.


News posted at rahesabz

by HollyUSA on

Does this count as confirmation?





I think the facebook idea of

by vildemose on

I think the facebook idea of MM is a good start. Let's shame them.


Shifteh, thanks for getting this going.

by Hovakhshatare on

This type of sale can easily be justified as routine. So many countries are in the business of arms and security sales that pushing that angle will be counterproductive, remember Siemens, Nokia....

I suggest focusing on a campaign of shame to expose IRR/China for knowing & willing use and trade of 'Civilian Suppression & intimidation' tools and technologies.

Viral marketing of the message and getting juicy information that mass media will be interested in.