Friday, April 13, 2012

Israelis reach out to Iranians - by radio

Israelis are reaching out to Iran via the internet (Ronnie Edri/Michal Tamir Facebook post, via +972)

First there was the Israeli-Iran Love-IN, now we have RadisIN, a Farsi radio programme beamed from Israel over the internet to prevent the Iranian regime from blocking it. AFP reports: (with thanks: Michelle)

Inside the tiny studio, which is kitted out with a battery of microphones and computers, sits Amir Shai, the 42-year-old founder of RadisIN.

He says the Iranian people couldn't be more different from their bellicose leader, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is known for muttering murderous threats towards Israel and threatening to wipe the Jewish state off the map.

"I was brought up in Iran. I know the Iranian people very well. I know they are a peace-loving people who know how to welcome guests. The Iranian government expresses the exact opposite of the Iranian people," he told AFP.

As the global standoff over Iran's disputed nuclear drive intensifies, life in the Islamic Republic has become increasingly hard for its citizens, who are suffering from the effects of a battery of hard-hitting international sanctions, Shai said.

"The people of Iran are tired and hungry, they are collapsing under the dictatorship. In today's Iran, eating a chicken or a piece of meat is luxury -- whole families cannot afford even one chicken per month," he said.

Iran insists that its nuclear programme is for purely peaceful purposes, but for the people, the issue of nuclear energy was "complete nonsense," he said.

"The Iranians want democracy and freedom," he said. "They know the price they are paying for nuclear energy is not worth it."

Both Israel and Washington have threatened a military strike if Tehran does not scale back its nuclear programme, and many in Iran are preparing for the inevitability of war, says Itzhakyan, who like many others at RadisIN, stays in touch with friends back home.

"There's a sense of war in Iran, people fear that war is very, very close. Some people are going to the supermarkets and stocking up on supplies which they are keeping at home in case of war," he says.

In the meantime, as speculation grows that Israel is poised to mount a lightening strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, RadisIN is sticking to business as usual, despite attempts by the Iranian regime to shut them down.

"They tried to block us, and got into our website and damaged it," says Shai.

"The regime knows that a station like RadisIN, which was set up by people in Israel, is much more dangerous to it than if it were set up by a government body.

"They don't want my voice -- along with another 35 or so other broadcasters who speak heart-to-heart with the Iranian people -- to be heard," he said.

Read article in full

Goood morning Tehran, this is Jerusalem!

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