January 14/2018
Compiled & Prepared by: Elias Bejjani

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Bible Quotations
Saint Paul's Instructions for Christian Households
Ephesians 05/21-31/ "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.  Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him".

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Khamenei’s predictable modus operandi of dodging accountability
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh/Arab Times/January 12/2018
In recent days, Iranian authorities declared an end to the uprising encompassing upward of 130 towns and cities over the course of roughly two weeks. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said it had dispersed the most significant gatherings. But reports of ongoing protests and civil disobedience suggest that popular sentiment has not been as easy to suppress as Tehran would have us believe. That sentiment began with outrage over economic hardships and wealth disparities between the regime and the people, then quickly transformed to explicit calls for the ouster of President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and for the wholesale dismantling of the system of clerical rule. Some onlookers were shocked by the much bolder slogans of this uprising than the one in 2009. The regime is still struggling to pin down its narratives. Predictably, it blames the unrest on everything except its own incompetence and disregard for the interests of the Iranian public. Khamenei identified the leading Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), as a main contributor, doing his best to conceal its popular appeal by describing it as part of a “triangle of enemies” that had planned, financed and carried out the latest uprising.
He also identified “Americans and Zionists” as the masterminds behind protesters’ call for regime change. According to Khamenei, Arab adversaries put up the cash while the opposition acted as foot soldiers. Of course, there is no evidence of such a conspiracy.
He was trying to undercut the significance of domestic support for regime change, but his feeble effort did little to diminish the unprecedented admission that the MEK had provided many of the activists for a protest movement that spanned nearly the entire country.
Since its establishment in 1979, the Iranian regime has resorted to blaming foreign ‘enemies’ for its domestic problems and the population’s dissatisfaction with it. Since its establishment in 1979, the regime’s modus operandi has been to blame foreign “enemies” for its domestic problems and the population’s dissatisfaction with it. Iranian authorities have also used this tactic to suppress domestic opposition. By blaming foreign powers, the regime avoids taking any responsibility or accountability.
Ahmad Jannati, the secretary of Iran’s clerical Guardian Council, said the uprising resulted from a relatively small faction of committed opponents, plus a much larger population of demonstrators who had been “deceived” into endorsing the cause. It is hard to imagine how any person, let alone tens of thousands of them, could be deceived into taking to the streets and joining in chants of “death to the dictator.” People do not express support for regime change in their home country on a whim. And if the opposition was a leading voice in this uprising, it must be a leading voice for the Iranian people in general.
Khamenei has inadvertently admitted that there is a substantial threat to the regime’s future. This threat has been underscored by independent analysts, who say the violent crackdown on the uprising will only engender more protests down the line, especially if no serious measures are undertaken to address the people’s economic, political and social demands. The regime has already acknowledged the arrest of 3,700 people. The judiciary has warned that death sentences may await those deemed responsible. But there is no sense that these actions will serve to uproot the opposition’s deep integration into Iranian society.
The world should thus expect to see another surge of protests, and with the opposition still in place as a major organizational force, it stands to reason that the demands will continue to escalate. Although authorities pay lip service to the people’s right to peacefully air their grievances, it is difficult to imagine they will find a sympathetic ear among the mullahs, who are torturing and killing protesters, according to Amnesty International.
• Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a Harvard-educated Iranian-American political scientist. He is a leading expert on Iran and US foreign policy, a businessman and president of the International American Council. He serves on the boards of the Harvard International Review, the Harvard International Relations Council and the US-Middle East Chamber for Commerce and Business. Twitter: @Dr_Rafizadeh