PODCAST: Interview with Iran Journalist and former Political Prisoner Asadollah Keshavarzi, Ep. 5

Asadollah Keshavarzi, was born in 1964 near the site of Iran’s largest nuclear reactor in Bushehr, Iran. When the Iranian Revolution began he was in his early teens and he became active in politics and supported the overthrow of the Shah and like most Iranians supported the new government under the Ayatollah Khomeini. In 1981 when he was in high school, he was a member of a left-wing political party that was declared subversive and he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 1990, after almost nine years behind bars, Asadollah was finally released. He then returned to his studies, earned a degree in chemistry, and began working as a journalist and freelance translator. In 2009, right before the disputed reelection of the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Asadollah contacted Worldmeets.US offering to translate Farsi into English for the benefit of the English-speaking world. Not long after the mass protests that erupted after that election – you might recall a young woman who was shot in the head by a sniper during one of the protests – I lost contact with Asadollah because it became too risky for a resident of Tehran to communicate with me. Now though, safely in Great Britain, we are lucky to have Asadollah with us today.

We Discussed:
— What it was like to be arrested and imprisoned in Iran at 18 years of age
— He was blindfolded, beaten, interrogated, held in solitary confinement
— He describes the complication of being a journalist in Iran
— Says Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian is being held because hardliners want to make life difficult for moderates and prevent change within Iran
— Says hardliners concocted a conspiracy that the United States has infiltrated the Iranian parliament and therefore ‘fixed’ the vote on the nuclear deal
— Says Iranian leaders would not use a nuclear weapon
— Says the West should approve the deal
— We discussed Iran-related conspiracy theories, The return of the Mahdi, that Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a Jewish Mossad agent named ‘Simon Elliot’; that the Bush administration was behind 9-11

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William Kern, founder of www.worldmeets.us, is the inventor of trans-copyediting, a system for checking the accuracy of translated copy into multiple languages. Since 2005, managing a team of dedicated volunteer translators, Kern has edited, packaged and posted thousands of columns of news and opinion about America from publications around the world and from every major language, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Swedish, Spanish, Hungarian and Farsi. From the height of the Iraq war to the annexation of Crimea right up to today, Kern and his team have provided intelligence to the American people by opening up a whole new media world.

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