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02 Sep 2009 19:001 Comment
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Agenda for Sept. 3

Majlis likely to vote on Ahmadinejad's proposed ministers.

Ahmadinejad is to be given an hour to make a final pitch to the Majles for his cabinet picks. He is also scheduled to give a press conference. (Foreign journalists invited!)

P+1 Talks: Explanation for 13-month delay

Yesterday, Iran's nuclear negotiator Said Jalili explained that Iran had delayed responding for thirteen months "due to some problems such as the Georgian crisis, the West's economic meltdown and the American election."

"In the meantime," Jalili added, "some of the negotiating parties said they wanted the Iranian elections to be held and then to resume talks. Well, the Islamic Republic elections were held in Iran with significant glory and grandeur. Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran, backed with strong republicanism, proper authority and a logic that is based on the beliefs of the Islamic Republic, is ready to offer its proposal package. I hope that, God-willing, a new round of talks will reach a world full of progress, justice and that perfection will take place." -- Thomas Strouse Foreign Reports

More doubts about IRGC casualty numbers

Kalame | Sept. 2, 2009

A spokesman for the opposition committee looking into post-election deaths and detentions disputed an IRGC commander's claim that 20 of the 29 casualties were members of Basiji.

Seyyed Ali-Reza Hosseini Beheshti said, "There are still a number of families who have not come forth due to the present atmosphere in the country."

"If the figures announced by the IRGC commander are correct, it shows that the number of victims are higher than the list in the possession of the committee because none of the victims on our list were Basij members."

He went on to voice the committee's readiness to compare the IRGC commander's 29-member list with the committee's list of 72, to speed up the committee's work.

Basij Commander Hossein Taeb had repeatedly announced the number of Basij casualties to stand at eight, which is inconsistent with the statistics offered by the IRGC.

Reformist MP threatens to reveal IRGC secrets

Kalame | Sept. 2, 2009

Reformist lawmaker Mohammad-Reza Tabesh advised the IRGC against meddling in the country's political affairs and threatened to tell-all if the Corps persisted in doing so.

"Let us keep our silence," he said. "Right now, we have refrained from revealing certain facts in order to safeguard the Revolution and the establishment. We do not want to say something that the enemy can later use against us. Do not force us to reveal certain facts because they will not be in the interest of the establishment."

In reaction to IRGC commander Mohammad-Ali Jafari's remarks describing Reformists as anti-religion, Tabesh said he hoped that the commander had been misquoted.

"His remarks were based on illegally-extracted confessions and such information lacks any credibility."

"I am willing to stake my honor to prove that Reformists have a greater track record than Principlists in enduring prison during the Shah's regime, martyrdom in the Iran-Iraq war and suffering war injuries."

"How can some people use illegally-extracted confessions to accuse Reformists of being counter-revolutionaries and anti-Islam or against the establishment? Those individuals who are in a position of power must show better foresight to prevent further tension in the country."

Tabesh described the IRGC as a sacred institution. "It is beneath this institution to openly support one faction and portray it [the IRGC] as a partisan organization," he said.

Tabesh called for the trial of those who had allowed the IRGC to intervene in the election and to illegally extraction confessions.

Karroubi thanks Ayatollah Montazeri

Iran Emrooz | Sept. 2, 2009

In a surprising move, Mehdi Karroubi has written a letter to Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri expressing his appreciation for the veteran cleric's support.

The letter is significant because at the time of the confrontation between Ayatollah Montazeri and Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, which led to Montazeri's exile and house arrest, Karroubi was among the clerics who wrote an open letter attacking Montazeri.

Karroubi's letter may be viewed as an apology to Montazeri and a clear warning that he is capable of challenging the Leadership of Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

In the letter carried by Saham News, Karroubi says, "I would like to express my gratitude to you for supporting me with your words and pronouncements following the developments that ensued and the incidents that took place after the 10th presidential election."

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Mousavi aide says he received fabricated news in Evin

Parleman News | Sept. 2, 2009

Mir Hossein Mousavi has met with Hamzeh Ghalebi, the head of the youth faction of his campaign, who was recently freed after 70 days in detention.

In the meeting, Mousavi said it was an honor for him to be acquainted with a pious and honest individual such as Ghalebi and expressed hope that other post-election detainees would be freed soon.

Ghalebi was arrested a few days after the June 15 protests, along with a number of other members of Mousavi's youth campaign faction.

The first 64 days of his detention were spent in solitary confinement. After the order for his release on bail was issued, authorities prevented Ghalebi's release and forced his appearance in the fourth session of the velvet coup trials. No charges were brought against him in the indictment papers read out by the prosecutor in court.

Ghalebi elaborated on some of the pressures he had endured in section 2-A of Evin Prison and also said that he had been fed false news reports.

Student activist banned from class for reciting a prayer for the dead

Mowjcamp | Sept. 2, 2009

Shahroud Industrial University officials have banned student activist Javad Safdari from school for one semester.

University officials have cited propagating lies to create sensitivity among students and disturbing public order as the reason for their decision.

By 'disturbing public order,' officials meant performing a prayer for the 'Green Path' victims which was held at the university and attended by scores of students.

Leader's alleged note throws Majlis into frenzy

Tabnak | Sept. 2, 2009

One of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's designated ministers has circulated a note in Majlis, allegedly written by Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, asking lawmakers for a vote of confidence in the 10th cabinet.

The minister-designate in question has reportedly shown the note to a number of lawmakers urging them to inform their colleagues of the Leader's wish. Since Wednesday morning, lawmakers have been debating the veracity of the letter.

According to one unnamed lawmaker, senior parliamentarian Ali Asghar Zarei has vocally objected to dragging the leadership into the matter and wants the rumor to be put to rest.

Lawmaker Heshmat Felahatpisheh confirmed the report. "There are some doubts in parliament about the truth or fallacy of this letter. Some lawmakers have viewed it as an advice and others see it as a direct order," he said.

Felahatpisheh added that whether the note were interpreted as an order or advice, it will have its intended impact on Majlis and the vote of lawmakers.

Reformist lawmaker Mohammad-Reza Tabesh reacted to the rumor by saying that if a direct order had been issued by the Leadership to lawmakers it should have been conveyed to them by the Majlis Speaker and not a minister-designate.

Another member of the Majlis minority bloc said, "Some lawmakers have gone to Speaker Ali Larijani and asked him to contact the office of the Supreme Leader to inquire about the rumor so that an ordeal like the 'Ali Kordan vote of confidence' fiasco and the misuse of the Leadership's name would not be repeated."

Ali Motahari ended his speech on Wednesday by touching upon the rumor. He asked lawmakers to take great care when casting their votes.

Gholam-Reza Mesbahi-Moqqadam, a conservative MP, also stressed that no such message had been received from the Leader's office and asked for an immediate end to the spread of the rumor.

Another lawmaker said, "In last week's meeting with the Leader, he advised lawmakers to reach any decision on the minister-designates; if they were unsure of certain nominees, they should trust in the president's vision and give that nominee a 'yes' vote."

The unnamed lawmaker added that the Supreme Leader did not appear to have any objections about the appointment of female ministers and merely advised lawmakers to meet the views of the clerics.

"What we heard in that meeting with the Leadership is in stark contrast with what is going around [being said] in Majlis today," said the unnamed lawmaker.

Jail rape witness goes missing after talking to officials

Mardomak.org | Sept. 2, 2009

Mehdi Karroubi, Secretary-General of the National Confidence Party, has issued a communique charging that one of the jail rape witnesses has gone missing.

The communique, which has been carried by Saham News and other Reformist websites, blames any "regrettable" incident for an individual or family member on Saeed Mortazavi the former Tehran prosecutor.

Karroubi went on to say that he issued the communique to inform the nation of having taken one of the jail rape victims and a separate witness to meet with Judge Moqaddami upon Mortazavi's referral.

The communique says that the questions put to the rape victim by judicial officials had scared him to the extent that he wrote a letter to Karroubi the following day. He disappeared afterward.

Karroubi said the witness had told him that 'the questions asked were not intended to seek out justice. Rather efforts were made to have events lead to his trial or to have him accept that he had been used as a tool by politicians.'

Karroubi's communique went on to claim that certain judiciary officials did not seek to bring about justice for the victims, but to eliminate them.

Karroubi did not meet with Mortazavi's proposed judge after receiving the witness' letter and corresponded with the new Judiciary Chief, Sadeq Larijani, asking him to appoint an impartial committee to investigate the post-election events.

Majlis truth-finding committee rejects Ahmadinejad claims

Tabnak | Sept. 2, 2009

Parviz Sarvari, head of the Majlis truth-finding committee, rejected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim that the culprits of the Kahrizak Detention Center crimes were enemy agents.

"I do not know what the president meant by saying this, but the committee investigated the crimes committed in Kahrizak and presented its report and it was decided that disciplinary action would be taken against the perpetrators, among which were a number of judges, and they are to be tried," he said.

"If Ahmadinejad meant that the Kahrizak perpetrators worked in line with enemy interests, it is a correct statement, but we have not yet determined the truth that the guilty Kahrizak officials were enemy moles."

"Unfortunately the Kahrizak ordeal was hyped in a manner that it tarnished the immaculate reputation of the establishment," he went on to add.

Sarvari glossed over the lawmakers' meeting with Saeed Hajjarian, which had been rescheduled a few times over the past weeks. "Considering the lawmakers' preoccupation with the new cabinet's vote of confidence," he said, "the truth-finding committee does not currently have a meeting with Hajjarian on its agenda."

Regarding the burial of [Jane and John Does] in section 302 of Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, Sarvari said that it was common practice to bury unidentified bodies in Behesht-e Zahra.

"Based on the information we have obtained in the past six months, there have been 45 unidentified bodies, 27 of which were identified."

Medical Examiner denies issuing permit for multiple burials

Gooya.com | Sept. 2, 2009

Mohammed-Hossein Abedi, head of the medical examiner's office, denied his office ever issued permits for multiple burials in section 302 of Behesht-e Zahra cemetery.

"By law, [Jane and John Does] are referred to the Medical Examiner's Office to determine the cause of death," Abedi said in response to the remarks made by a municipality spokesman who claimed the section 302 burials had been authorized by the Medical Examiner's Office.

"Some of the deceased are identified by their families and handed over to them. After coordinating with judiciary officials, burial permits are issued for the remaining bodies that are not claimed after a period. This is a common practice," Abedi told ILNA.

Abedi was asked if any of the bodies buried in section 302 belonged to the victims of the post-election violence. "We have not issued any permits for the burial of anyone that could have been killed in the post-vote unrest," he responded.

When asked about rumors circulating about the burial of a female rape victim in section 302, Abedi said, "Bodies are inspected after referral to the medical examiner's office. No such case has been referred to us and we are not aware of it [such a case]."

He went on to add that the cause of Mohammad Kamrani's death, one of the victims of the post-election violence, had been determined.

"The file has been sent to judiciary authorities and you must ask them for details," he said.

Ramezanzadeh taken to media court

ILNA | Sept. 2, 2009

Abdullah Ramezanzadeh, a Reformist government spokesman arrested after the post-election unrest, appeared in media court this week to answer to charges of propagating lies to agitate public concern.

Judge Hossein Hosseinian presided over the hearing held at branch 1083 of the Tehran general court. Ramezanzedeh concluded his defense Wednesday morning.

Hosseinian told ILNA that the case had been sent to his court after a lawsuit was filed by the legal and parliamentary deputy of the president's office.

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Iftar dinner: "Vote for me."

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1 Comment

The leadership of the IRGC knows it will not be able to withstand a prolonged confrontation with people IF THE CONFRONTATION IS COMPREHENSIVE. This means that it has to use the whole panoply of weapons it has at its disposal, namely, escalating strikes, sustained and expanding commercial boycott, starting a television channel, active and aggressive presence in universities AND high schools, tactical use of street protests, use of the clergy and mosques and religious occasions, CONSTANT REASSURANCE FROM THE LEADERSHIP THAT THE MOVEMENT WILL REACH ITS GOAL, assumption by the leadership of a more aggressive and AUTHORITATIVE tone, etc. The problem of thugs of the Basij and plain-clothes security forces has to be confronted. ALL OPTIONS AS TO HOW TO DEFUSE IT MUST BE HONESTLY CONSIDERED. This is a politico-strategic issue and not a moral one. We have to remember that the problem of political thuggery has been a fundamental difficulty for democratic forces since the inception of the Islamic regime. It has determined the character of political power in Iran for three decades. This has to end. Its back has to be broken once and for all. Again, all options as to how to do this must remain open.

Borzu Zand / September 2, 2009 9:12 PM