30 Aug 2009 16:59
The man is here to stay. Archive photo Mortazavi Promoted
Tehran Bureau | August 30, 2009
Hojjatoleslam Sadegh Larijani has appointed Saeed Mortazavi, the notorious former Tehran Prosecutor General, as the deputy to Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehei, the Prosecutor General of the country.
This essentially means Mortazavi received a promotion, despite all the harm he did to the judiciary. In addition to being behind the show trials, he has a long track record of closing reformist publications, jailing journalists, human rights advocates and reformist leaders. He has also been implicated in several crimes.
Mortazavi's new appointment, together with the appointment of Ejehei, does not bode well for the future of the Iranian judicial system. In fact, many believe it has been irreversibly damaged already.
The move also provides some clues into Larijani's thinking and his views about his tenure at the judiciary. Larijani does not appear to be interested in reforming the system or leaving a positive legacy. Ejehei himself is a hardliner, and both he and Mortazavi are strongly supported by Ayatollah Khamenei. Their appointments signal that the harsh tactics in dealing with the reformist leaders and the people supporting them will continue. -- Muhammad Sahimi
Mortazavi Promoted or Demoted?
Blog Watch: Agha Bahman | August 30, 2009
Nemat Ahmadi and Saleh Nikbakht, two Iranian lawyers who work for the Justice Minisry, told the BBC today that Mortazavi's new post is certainly lower in rank than his previous one.
Nemat Ahmadi told the BBC that the Prosecutor of Tehran is the most powerful position in the judiciary because he can call anyone who lives in Tehran to court and issue a warrant for their arrest. And we all know that most of Iran's political activists and journalists live in Tehran. That is while the General Prosecutor of Iran does not have as many of the same rights, and neither does his deputy.
Saleh Nikbakht noted that the General Prosecutor has six deputies, none of which hold significant power and that Mortazavi's new position is more of an administrative one.
I should add that while it's apparent that Larijani intends to demote Mortazavi, we'll have to wait and see how successful he will be at this. Most likely, those who have given unlimited powers to this "young, courageous judge" will not forget about him that easily. The "forgotten" roles of the prosecutor's deputies might be "discovered" one by one.
I certainly hope not. -- Golab P.
Supreme Leader meets with Mashhad family who lost son
Tabnak | August 30, 2009
Iran's Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has met with the family of one of the victims of the post-election violence in the city of Mashhad.
Hajj Mohammad-Taqi Ghanian, considered a highly respected elder in Mashhad and an acquaintance of the Leader, lost his son, Mostafa in the unrest.
In the meeting, Ghanian, who reportedly intended to inform the Leader about the true nature of incidents, leaned that Ayatollah Khamenei was well aware of the post-election developments and the atrocities committed.
Upon learning about the mistreatment of the Ghanian family, Ayatollah Khamenei reportedly expressed his deep regrets.
This is while the Tabnak report claims that a special committee appointed by Ayatollah Khamenei has repeatedly met with the families of the post-election victims and passed on the reports to the Leader.
Earlier this week, in a meeting with students, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the importance of dealing with any crime committed during and after the election.
"In the post-election incidents, infringements were made and crimes were committed that will definitely be dealt with."
"There is no need for publicizing, but it was ordered from the very first day that these issues need to be carefully dealt with," said Ayatollah Khamenei, referring to the need to punish the guilty parties in the Tehran University dormitory raid without creating a hype.
Alviri says Taraneh Mousavi dead, seven missing
Morteza Alviri, Mehdi Karroubi's representative on the vote supervision committee, said seven people have gone missing without a trace after the election and confirmed that Taraneh Mousavi was one of the victims.
"We identified 69 people who have lost their lives [in the post-election unrest] and gave their names to the Majlis truth-finding committee," he said. "We have the names of seven [people] who are missing. Their names are not among those in detention, nor has anyone contacted their families. Their names are not on the list of casualties either."
"Behesht-e Zahra and the morgues have no information about them either. Reports are circulating that the families who have lost a loved one are not willing to cooperate out of fear or extreme grief. I believe reaching exact statistics will require time," Alviri told the daily Etemad Melli.
"Taraneh Mousavi is one of the casualties and what aired on the 20:30 program from channel two [on state TV] about her being alive is false. Those devoted to the establishment must ask these gentlemen why they broadcast fabricated content and play with the trust of the people."
Channel 2 aired a report, which showed the family of one Taraneh Mousavi place a call to their daughter in Canada. The report claimed that there were only three Taraneh Mousavis in the whole of Iran. Further research found approximately 300 females with the name Taraneh and the last name Mousavi to be living in the country.
Ahmadinejad fears for life in Majlis?
Parleman News | August 30, 2009
In an unprecedented move, the head of the 10th administration, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, went to the House of the Nation (Majlis) with his bodyguards.
The President's action infuriated lawmakers and Maraivan representative Eqbal Mohammadi asked Ahmadinejad to trust the representatives of the nation and tell his bodyguards to leave Parliament.
"This is a safe zone and Majlis and government must have mutual trust between them."
Shariatmadari to MPs: Fulfill duty and vote 'Yes' on Ahmadinejad cabinet
Tabnak | August 30, 2009
Hardline Kayhan editor, Hossein Shariatmadari, told lawmakers to forget about their opposition to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's cabinet picks under the present circumstances and give them a vote of confidence.
In his editorial on Sunday, Shariatmadari blamed domestic seditionists and external enemies for first attempting to weaken the establishment and now trying to portray the government as a weak one.
He went on to say that while Principlist lawmakers have every right to not be fond of the cabinet arrangement, they should give ministers a vote of confidence in order to foil enemy plots.
Shariatmadari urged lawmakers to trust the President's opinion about the efficiency of designated ministers unless they have proof of their incompetence.
"Undoubtedly, most of the minister-designates will win a vote of confidence... Only a few of them will not be joining the cabinet -- and even they can be used in other positions," Shariatmadari asserted. "By acting in this manner [that he suggests], first, the government will be able to start work with the necessary capacity and authority. Second, lawmakers will have fulfilled their duties. And third, if in the future there is need for reconsideration, Majlis and the government will not have their hands tied."
Rafsanjani talks about his children
Tabnak | August 30, 2009
A recent post on Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's website quotes the influential cleric as saying that his children have not entered politics.
"One of my daughters entered sports and the other one entered the field of special diseases."
"My children did not enter politics. It is a blessing or a curse that they are very outspoken. They do not believe in hypocrisy or covert actions; they present themselves for what they are. They interfere where they have no business."
"This is not acceptable in our society. They [my children] have not entered politics in the conventional sense; they have come to the scene. Of course, there is discussion that I could have stopped them and told them to become a teacher or to pursue their education and [tell them] that being the president's son is good enough for you. But if this way of thought becomes common, the children of [political] figures will not be able to serve [the country]."
"This is not a good culture. Of course, some may take advantage. Some may be content that their children are not doing anything and only existing. Why should it be this way? They should at least work like ordinary citizens. Their crime is that their father has greater responsibilities."
Tabesh predicts Majlis will disqualify 5 ministers
Parleman News | August 30, 2009
Mohammad-Reza Tabesh said he believed that five of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's designated ministers will fail to receive a vote of confidence.
"Considering the atmosphere of Majlis, I predict five of Ahmadinejad's minister picks, two of the ladies and three of the men, will not receive votes of confidence," the reformist lawmaker said.
Tabesh said that the Parliament's minority faction had met and discussed the minister-designates and their proposed programs.
"We saw the results of that meeting today," he noted.
Two of the reformist lawmakers -- Qanbari and Kavakebian -- cited two bylaws, objecting to the lack of a comprehensive program offered by the Ahmadinejad administration and requested the postponement of the cabinet review session.
"There is ongoing discussion between lawmakers from different factions, including the majority and minority blocs, but I believe five of Ahmadinejad's proposed ministers will be disqualified."