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Ahmadinejad Sacks Intelligence Minister

26 Jul 2009 17:08No Comments
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According to the Los Angeles Times:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dumped Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei a day after he accepted the resignation of his first vice president under pressure from his own hard-line supporters, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Though Ahmadinejad had long announced plans to reshuffle the Cabinet of his next government, the sudden nature of today's dismissals were considered an insulting rejoinder to the two ministers, who stormed out of a Cabinet meeting last week during an argument with the president over the appointment of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei as first vice president, in line to succeed the president. Some analysts have said hard-liners opposed Mashaei because of friendly comments he made last year about Israel. Others say he is a member of a secretive sect, the Hojjatieh, which has a messianic worldview so extreme that the Islamic Republic's founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had outlawed it.

Today IRNA, Iran's state news agency, denied any others had been fired. The update from the President's office was apparently an effort to quell reports that Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Hossein Saffar-Harandi had been dismissed as well.

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According to Pedestrian's blog, Mashaie himself may have had another theory about the controversy surrounding his nomination. Mashaie wrote on his website on July 22 "that the reason people are 'afraid' of his nomination is that he stands a good chance of winning the next (11th) presidential election!"

Ahmadinejad's son is married to Mashaei's daughter.

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In a handwritten letter, above, Ali Khamenei ordered Ahmadinejad to nullify Mashaie's appointment to the key post of first vice president.

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[Salaam News] In an open letter signed by former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, reformist challengers Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, and a slew of Reformist figures, Shia sources of emulation are urged to advise the Iranian establishment against unlawful acts.

As you well know, following the announcement of the vote results, a number of activists from the campaign headquarters of the candidates not affiliated to the government as well as ordinary citizens who had participated in rallies were taken into custody and the detentions increased in number as protests escalated.

The arrests of university professors, journalists and political activists without proper warrants, the use of torture techniques that bring to mind the Shah's oppressive regime -- many of the signatories of this letter were subjected to such brutality in that time -- and the use of violence is in no way befitting an Islamic establishment which maintains in seeks to fight injustice in the world.

It is most unfortunate to see security forces attempting to prove their unfounded theories and to find and introduce individuals as instigators of a velvet revolution and enemy agents and to see them resort to illegal, immoral and un-Islamic methods to extract their desired confessions.

In this regard, government propaganda machines and in particular the state broadcaster has aided and abetted the project and has, by airing these fake confessions, attempted to prove the false accusations made against the popular movement that was initiated to preserve the Republican nature of the Islamic establishment.

These days, the families concerned and without any information about the fate of their loved ones, whose only crime was presence in election headquarters, in their repeated visits to legal offices encounter closed doors. These conspiracy-weaving machines have gone so far as to portray presence in election headquarters as an unforgivable crime.

This is contrary to the words of the founder of the Islamic Revolution and other high-ranking officials who have often spoken in approval of such activities and encouraged them.

How can the repeated use of torture techniques on citizens living under the banner of Islam be justified by any religious or humanitarian laws? How can one remain silent in the face of the violence used by an establishment, which claims to uphold compassion and adhere to Islam?

These days alarming reports about the physical and mental health of many of the detainees have raised concerns. A blind eye is turned to the fundamental rule of innocence [until proven guilty] and refraining from passing judgment and the violation of laws granted under the constitution and ordinary laws has become a conventional trait, and of course this will only add to the people's lack of trust and further distance them from the rulership.

This confusion along with concerns have cast shadows on the lives of countless Iranian citizens, who, despite their opposition to the illegal and unauthorized acts of the security forces, because of their national pride and their loyalty to the Islamic Revolution have no desire to request aid from international organizations, making life difficult for them [the families of the detainees].

The only practical solution to the current situation lies in freeing all detainees and pursuing all cases through legal channels, and containing the security forces. We therefore seek the assistance of your Excellencies in reminding the authorities of the negative outcomes of committing unlawful acts, and in warning them against repressing the people living in the Islamic Republic

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Conservative MP Questions 'Confessions'

[Parliament News] Member of the Principlist [conservative hardline] block of Majlis, Ali Motahari says, "If the confessions of those detained recently are to be aired, the infractions of the law by interrogators, which in some cases have led to the deaths of some detainees, must also be investigated, along with the reasons leading to the situation being made public."

Recently the National Security Commission of Majlis asked the Intelligence Minister Gholam- Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i to broadcast the confessions of the detainees of the Tehran riots. Ayatollah Bayat issued a decree prohibiting such an act, as it would be 'the equivalent of mortal sin'.

Regarding the issue, Motahari told Parliament News, "If these confessions have been obtained under ordinary circumstances they are legitimate and can help raise public awareness but if they have been extracted under extraordinary circumstance they will be of no use."

"I believe all infractions of the law in the course of investigations particularly those which have led to the death of a detainee -- Dr. Rouholamini's son, for example -- must be probed."

"According to some reports, the bodies of certain detainees were handed over to their families some time after their arrest. The reasons for this and whether there have been any infractions of the law must be made clear."

"All these issues must be investigated in parallel or else it will be futile."

In response to a question as to whether he believed the post-vote detentions were lawful and confessions were extracted under ordinary circumstances, Motahari said, "The detentions might have been lawful, however, the important question is how these people were treated while under custody and whether Islamic treatment was administered? Were the detainees under physical and mental pressure or not?"

In response to a question as to whether he, as a member of the legislative body, would participate in the committee overseeing the performance of state television in airing these confessions, he said, "The committee is only an observer and has no executive powers. The committee can only issue warnings or propose ideas but does not have any part in their execution."

In response to a question regarding finding a resolution to the post-vote unrest, Motahari said, "Sentiments must not be provoked, everyone must abide by the law and we must alter the current situation."

"We should not be after taking personal revenge and everyone must have good intentions in order to restore calm and pave the way for serving the country."

Regarding President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's role in the current situation, the late Ayatollah Motahari's son said, "He [Ahmadinejad] can play a significant role in creating a calm and friendly atmosphere."

"Mr. Ahmadinejad must stop being stubborn and should make use of all qualified persons in his cabinet so that national reconciliation can be made possible."

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Related -- The following is a statement by Kian Tajbadksh's friends and family:

Family and Friends of Detained Iranian American Scholar Kian Tajbakhsh Strongly Deny Accusations by Iranian Authorities and Denounce Iran's Use of Forced Statements by Political Prisoners

In Iran's first official acknowledgment of Kian's arrest on July 9, Iranian Press TV reported on Monday that "Iranian authorities detained Tajbakhsh on grounds of cooperating with Hossein Rassam, the head of the security and political division of the British Embassy in Tehran, who is also in custody over post-election turmoil."

These false accusations are entirely groundless. Those who know Kian understand that his persecution by Iranian authorities is not only tragic but ironic -- as a social scientist and urban planner he has always sought political neutrality in an effort to bridge cultural divides and honor his much-loved homeland. His work is a valued asset that the Government of Iran should seek to protect.

The Iranian state television report on Kian's arrest also notes that "Iran blames foreign powers, the US and Britain in particular, for what it calls interference in its internal affairs and post-vote disturbances, which have claimed the lives of at least 20 people."

We are concerned that Kian is being held in an attempt by the Iranian authorities to obtain forced statements from him to use in a televised show trial. It is exceedingly important that we all strongly denounce Iran's serial practice of extracting forced statements from political prisoners. Such statements are repeatedly extracted under conditions of torture for the sole purpose of staging televised show trials in an attempt to deceive the Iranian public.

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