06 Sep 2009 06:19
Fars news agency caption: "Congratulations on your union." Mysterious Meeting in Qom
Tabnak | September 6, 2009
Grand Ayatollah Safi-Golapyegani has visited the Imam Sajjad seminary in Qom to meet and confer with Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem-Shirazi.
The meeting, which took place on September 5, was held behind closed doors.
According to Ayatollah Golpayegani's official website, the two Shia Sources of Emulation discussed and reached a mutual decision on different issues.
Karroubi turns over four names to judiciary panel investigating jail rapes
Asr Iran | September 6, 2009
Ali Khalafi, one of the three members of the special judiciary committee investigating Mehdi Karroubi's rape claims, said the cleric has turned over four names to the team.
"Mr. Karroubi has given us documentation [regarding his claims] and we are currently investigating the matter," he said at the new justice minister's inaugural ceremony. "God willing, if we come to a final conclusion, we will announce it to the public."
When asked if individuals named by Karroubi were present at the inaugural ceremony, Khalafi simply reiterated, "Mr. Karroubi has provided us with names and we are investigating the truth and fallacy of the charges."
Khalafi said "the probe will not take longer than a week."
In response to another question about the number of potential suspects introduced by Karroubi, Khalafi said, "There are four individuals [we are investigating]. Of course no real document has been given to us. There have been a number of claims made and we are investigating them."
Ex-minister: High ranks ordered SMS disruption
Mowjcamp | September 6, 2009
Mohammad Soleimani, IT minister in the first Ahmadinejad administration, said the limitations imposed on the country's telecommunications networks were enforced upon the order of other high-ranking officials.
Text messaging was suspended on the eve of the June 12 presidential election and the suspension lasted for three weeks. Cell phone reception also became intermittent throughout the weeks following the vote.
While officials did not claim responsibility for the disruptions at the time, it was widely believed the communications ministry was responsible for the problems.
Soleimani has now revealed that he and the ministry under his guidance had nothing to do with the telecom disruptions and that it had been ordered by higher-ranking officials.
The former Ahmadinejad minister went on to say that the restrictions on internet access over the past four years were the result of a report "presented by certain parties to higher-ranking officials."
Soleimani said that he was against reducing the speed of the internet and imposing restrictions on its access. Soleimani made this claim even though when in office he vocally advocated for the necessity of limiting internet speed in Iran.
Ahmadinejad wants more female ministers
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly intends to introduce two new female ministers to Majlis after parliament rejected Fatemeh Ajorlou and Sousan Keshavarz.
According to the Parleman News, rumors have been circulating that Ahmadinejad will be introducing Tehran representative Zohreh Elhian as his minister of welfare, and former lawmaker Hajar Niksefat as his minister of education.
This is while a new Tabnak report revealed that Ahmadinejad has introduced lawmaker Fatemeh Alia as his new education minister and Ali Zabihi, the current head of the Social Security Institute, as his new energy minister.
"When female ministers were first introduced to Majlis, Ayatollah Safi-Golpayegani wrote a letter to the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] and voiced his disapproval and the Leader referred that letter to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad," said a lawmaker speaking on condition of anonymity.
"Despite the opposition of a number of Sources [of Emulation], Ahmadinejad continues to insist on introducing female ministers," he added.
Meanwhile, the head of the clerics' faction of Majlis, Mohammad-Taqi Rahbar, said he believed that the government should not insist on female ministers given the objection of the Sources and the fact that Qom is still unhappy with Ahmadinejad's delay in carrying out the Leader's order in the Mashai ordeal.
He added that Ahmadinejad's insistence on introducing another female minister would create tension in Majlis, in the clerical society of Qom and in the seminary.
Rahbar made reference to Ayatollah Safi-Golpayegani's letter to the Leader and said, "I am worried that conflicts will arise between Majlis and government if such [female] ministers are once again introduced and [I fear that] Majlis will not give them votes of confidence this time."
The Parlemen News report suggested that Ahmadinejad's insistence on appointing female ministers was because he wanted to win over the country's opposition.
Persian Telecom rejects news of Ali Karroubi's arrest
Persian Telecom rejected a report suggesting that an arrest warrant had been issued for its director, Ali Karroubi, son of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi.
On Sunday, Fars News Agency suggested that an arrest warrant had been issued for Ali Karroubi, director of 'Persian Tagam' -- a misspelling -- after his company failed to carry out its advertisement obligations toward Irancell and embezzling two million dollars of Irancell funds.
The statement rejecting the story put out by Fars News Agency reads, "Mr. Ali Karroubi does not hold any shares in Persian Telecom. Under a legal agreement between this company and Irancell, Persian Telecom is the biggest supplier of Irancell products."
"The two companies have a business association in the form of purchasing Irancell products and selling them and therefore no advertisement is done on behalf of Irancell by Persian Telecom."
It is believed such false reports are intended as an attack on Mehdi Karroubi who yesterday announced that he would continue to fight for his beliefs and pursue the case of the jail rapes.
Faezeh Hashemi: US, France, Britain all served as bases for the 1979 revolution
Tabnak | September 5, 2009
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's outspoken daughter, Faezeh, rejected the official version of her post-election arrest -- that it had been for her protection.
Faezeh was arrested and held for one day along with four other members of the Hashemi family. She did not elaborate on the incident until a few days ago when she gave an account of the ordeal
to Khabar Online.
"They arrested me on the street. That they [later] claimed it was for my own protection is not true. They told me they had an arrest warrant in my name and took me to Meqdad station and from there to the Sarallah headquarters and I must say that they treated me well and with respect an these two locations."
"I was charged with two things, organizing the protests and participating in them. In the case of organizing the protests... they wrote a scenario and kept repeating it until even they started believing it -- of course I doubt that they really believed it -- and then acted according to this belief. The same applies to the recent confessions and charges brought against [my brother] Mehdi."
"They told me you went to Canada for a day, and asked me why? I said going to Canada takes two days, and that I must have spent at least one day there, which adds up to three days. How could I have gone and come back in just one day? Then they said you must have had contact with
them [foreigners] and I said where is your proof for this [accusation]? I asked them to include this [question] in the interrogation papers so I could [officially] deny it. Despite their reluctance it was included in the interrogation papers."
"Before the election, media outlets and state news agencies wrote that I had purchased 200,000 green manteaux [outer garment worn by Iranian women] for the 'turquoise girls' which was false. One day before the election, Fars [news agency] sent this text message that 'Faezeh Hashemi fled the country,' but I voted at the Dibaji polling station the following day."
She went on to stress the necessity of an impartial committee to properly investigate the post-election incidents.
"A group has committed crimes to this extent and with such depth and there has been no objection to it. Yet when protestors want to assert their rights, they are labeled as spies, as people serving the enemy, as rioters, [as people seeking to stage a] velvet coup. I don't
know which version of Islam they got [permission for doing] this from. The situation has gotten so [extreme] that they frame innocents to prove they were right."
She went on to say that labeling public protests as a velvet revolution was a form of projection and added, "The fact [is] that there are groups who do not have a problem with the basics of the
establishment and do not want a coup and their only protest is against illegal acts and wrongdoings. They want to know what happened to their votes. Now if foreign media or foreigners say something in approval of this popular movement it does not indicate dependence [on foreigners]."
"Wasn't Imam [Khomeini] abroad and in France? Didn't French officials turn their country into a haven for revolutionaries? Weren't countless students protesting from the United States [at the time of the 1979 revolution]? Wasn't the BBC providing [the world] with extensive coverage of Iran news at the time?"
Faezeh went on to say that what she had heard of the confessions made by the one of the detained British Embassy employees and it only indicated that he was doing his job.
"Embassies in any foreign country are tasked with drawing up reports about the other side so that their policies can be formulated based on the situation in that country. Isn't this exactly what our own embassies do in other countries?"
"It is better not to believe that if the protesters have become less vocal it's because their root cause has been removed. The root cause of the protests must be properly addressed or else it will become like a fire covered with ash. The anger and resentment of the people will not be forgotten with such behavior."
"I believe this movement was a spontaneous one and there is no such person as the organizer and leader [of the protests], who they are looking for."
Zainan Hajjarian denies her father authored letter
Tehran Bureau | September 4, 2009
Zeinab Hajjarian, the daughter of reformist strategist Dr. Saeed Hajjarian, said that the letter that the IRNA and FARS news agencies had published on their websites claiming to be written by her father, was actually written by his interrogators.
The letter claimed that Dr. Hajjarian spent only 10 days in jail, after which he was transferred to a house with a swimming pool. The letter claimed that Hajjarian has been receiving excellent medical care, good food, and time to do his exercises, among other privileges.
Zeinab Hajjarian said that the writing style was dissimilar to her father's, just as the "confession letter" read on his behalf in the 4th session of the Stalinist show trials had been. She also said that her father was in jail for 40 days, not 10 days. More importantly, neither she, nor her family, or Dr. Hajjarian's attorney had not been allowed to meet with him and there was no way of knowing his precise state of health. As a result of an assassination attempt on his life in March 2000,
Dr. Hajjarian is semi-paralyzed, cannot walk for a long time and without assistance and has difficulty speaking.
Zeinab Hajjarian also said that the hard liners claim that her father has come to recognize his mistakes and changed. She said if that were true, her father should have been released from jail. That way she could freely convey to the people his reasons for changing his thinking. -- Muhammad Sahimi
Mashhad Friday Prayer Imam: Basij beatings pale in comparison to Iran's scientific achievements
Lahzeh News | September 4, 2009
Mashhad Friday Prayers leader, Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Ahmad Alamolhoda, said Iran's scientific achievements were far more important than exaggerating an unintentional tap from a Basiji's baton.
"Certain people have been going around and making noise about some who have been victimized and the need to catch the perpetrators. But the real issue here is what the Leader said."
"The scientific achievements of our country have left the world in awe... while the presence of 85 million Iranians on the [campaign and voting] scene amazed the world and brought the country glory, some people with idle claims of vote fraud, which they had no proof to back up, tried to cost the establishment its reputation.
"What is more important, this issue [achievements], or that a certain gentleman has been slapped? Is this issue [achievements] not more important than [the issue of] a Basiji's baton unintentionally hitting or not hitting someone?"
Alamolhoda said that one reason for the strength of the Revolution in Iran was that whenever a party confronted the Leadership, the nation did not follow the opposition and boycotted them.
"The political elite have credibility while they stand behind the just Jurisprudent. But in recent incidents, these sirs used their elitism and other resources to serve U.S. interests."
"In the beginning of the revolution, after the appointment of Mr. [Mehdi] Bazargan as prime minister, the people came out in the millions in his favor. But when it was made known that he had confronted the Imam [Ayatollah Khomeini], they renounced him and chanted slogans against him. And [we saw this again] repeated in the case of Bani Sadr."
Ayatollah Khomeini leading a prayer during his exile in Paris.MP: Today they cancel Ihya, Tomorrow Ashura
Parleman News | September 5, 2009
Reformist lawmaker Nasrollah Torabi slammed the cancelation of the annual Ihya ceremony at the Imam Khomeini mausoleum, saying the next step will probably be imposing a ban on Ashura.
"Next we will have these sirs tell us only ceremonies at Belal and Arg mosques are permissible. Even then, only if this speaker or that Madah [one who recites eulogy-like religious poetry] attends. But if the ceremony is to be held at Imam's mausoleum and the speakers are to be Khatami, Mousavi, Karroubi and... it is unacceptable."
"It would be a tragedy to find out that political pressure forced the cancelation of the Ihya ceremonies in Imam's mausoleum."
"They [authorities] were probably scared that someone would wrap a green shawl around his neck or that the people would see Khatami, Karroubi and Mousavi at the ceremony," he said sarcastically.
The color green symbolizes descent from the family of the Prophet of Islam. Therefore, men who are decedents of the Prophet Mohammad usually wrap green shawls around their necks when attending religious ceremonies.
"Cancel Ihya, but what will you do in the months of Moharam and Safar? Are you going to tell the mourning processions to not say "Oh Hossein" and not carry green banners?"
The month of Moharam has great significance for Shiite Muslims, as the grandson of the Prophet of Islam, Hossein, was martyred by the Omayyad caliph, Yazid, on the 10th day of the month [Ashura].
Shiites hold mourning ceremonies and form processions in which green banners are used and mourners beat their chests and chant "Oh Hossein" -- "Oh Hossein was used as a campaign slogan by supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi -- as he is also a descendent from the Prophet's line.
Torabi said people were questioning the reason for the cancelation of the Ihya ceremony. "This is not the correct way, and it will only leave a negative impression on society," he said.
He warned that public opinion would not stand for oppression. "At the time of the Revolution the people did not have newspapers or Seda Sima [State TV]. Rather news spread from mouth to mouth and it was very effective."
"If they think that by omitting the names of Khatami, Karroubi and Mousavi from newspapers and Seda Sima they can eliminate them from the revolution they are mistaken."
"These gentlemen were among the confidants and close companions of Imam Khomeini and they are inseparable from the revolution and [Islamic] establishment."
"If they attempt to omit some of the prominent figures of the revolution such as Khatami, Karroubi and Mousavi, who were the Imam's companions, the public will begin to ask what if the revolution was a mistake and then they [authorities] will not be able to contain the problem."
Bahonar: Leader's note saved 8 ministers from rejection
Parleman News | September 4, 2009
Mohammad-Reza Bahonar said eight of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's minister nominees would have been rejected by Majlis had it not been for the Supreme Leader's recommendation.
Speaking at the Iftar party held by the Islamic society of engineers at Imam Sadeq University on Thursday, Bahonar said, "The Leader's message played an important role in resolving the issue [cabinet vote of confidence]."
"At the time of the vote count, it could be clearly sensed that had it not been for the Leader's recommendation, eight or nine of the nominees probably would not have received yes votes and this would not have been a good start for the government."
"The Leader's foresight prevented this from happening and promoted a change of analysis in Majlis."
"Before the Leader's message arrived, lawmakers had decided to abstain from a vote if [a level of] confidence was not achieved. Aside from the three ministers who were rejected, had it not been for the Leader's note, the ministers of oil, industries, cooperatives, trade, along with roads and transports and even the foreign minister would not have been approved."
"Regarding the three ministers who were rejected, considering that the president said he has carried out extensive research [in choosing his cabinet], I believe he will be able to present his new picks [to Majlis] sooner than the deadline set for him."
Khamenei ordered Majles to approve Ahmadinejad's nominees
Tehran Bureau | September 4, 2009
When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad submitted the list of his nominees for his new cabinet, many Majles deputies, even among his own supporters, predicted at least 4 or 5 of them would fail to win a vote of confidence. Some deputies put the number of rejection as high as half of the nominees.
Earlier this week, 18 out of 21 nominees received a vote of confidence, not because the Majles deputies had changed their mind, but because Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had sent a confidential letter to the Speaker, Ali Larijani, and distributed among the deputies, ordering them to approve the nominees. -- Muhammad Sahimi
Eid ul-Fitr prayer at Mossalla canceled
Farda News | September 5, 2009
After the cancellation of the Ihya ceremonies at the Imam Khomeini mausoleum, the Tehran municipality announced the cancellation of the Eid ul-Fitr prayer marking the end of Ramadan. It will not be held at the Mossalla prayer grounds this year.
Mohammad Eidian, the head of the Tehran municipality Eid prayer headquarters, said the cancellation of the mass prayer was due to restoration and construction work being carried out at the prayer grounds.
The Mosslla prayer ground has annually hosted 1.5 to 2.5 million people for the Eid ul-Fitr prayer over the past few years.
"The current condition at Mosslla prevents the presence of millions of people on Eid ul-Fitr."
"This year the prayers will be held at the Ejran University prayer grounds."
Khomeini family cancels annual Ihya ceremony
Parleman News | September 4, 2009
Due to mounting pressure on the family of the founder of Iran's revolution, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, Ihya prayers held annually at his mausoleum have been canceled this year.
In the fasting month of Ramadan, Muslims stay awake on three nights -- the 19th, 21st, 23rd -- to pray for salvation and mercy, as they believe their fate in the following year is determined on these nights. The prayer ceremony held on these three very important nights on the Muslim calendar is known as Ihya.
Every year Imam Khomeini's mausoleum was the site where thousands gathered on Ihya nights in Ramadan. Ali-Akbar Nateq-Nouri, Seyyed Mohammad Khatami and Hassan Rohani each led the ceremony on one of the three nights.
According to the article, all three clerics have in one way or the other confronted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and he in turn has attacked them on national TV making the cancellation of the ceremony highly expected this Ramadan.
While initial reports had indicated that pressure was being exerted to prevent Khatami from heading the ceremony, Imam Khomeini's family issued a statement in which the cancelation of the annual ceremony was announced.
"Unfortunately due to the problems faced by Imam's mausoleum, the Ihya ceremonies will not be held this year," the statement said.
Karroubi will fight to the bitter end
Farda News | Sept. 5, 2009
Mehdi Karroubi, an opposition leader and the Secretary-General of the National Confidence Party, vowed to continue to fight for his beliefs until the angel of death knocks at his door.
At an Iftar party organized by Nasser Qavami, the former head of the Majlis Judiciary Commission, Karroubi stressed that he would continue to move toward the 'realization of the objectives of the revolution and its martyrs'.
"As long as I am still breathing and until the angel of deaths comes for me, I do not intend to abandon the objectives and values of the revolution and its martyrs," he said.
"The greatest cause for concern after the election was the danger lurking around the republican dimension [of the establishment]; considering that the republican and Islamic nature [of the establishment] are inseparable, we are also worried about the fate of Islam."
"We are worried that the republican dimension [of the establishment] will be gradually forgotten until only a superficial shadow of it remains."
Karroubi described Iranian society as a mature and politically aware one. "The people are completely ready for any action that is in line with a legal Islamic framework," he added.
Karroubi said that post-election incidents should not be hyped but nor should they be buried and overlooked. "We must make an attempt at damage control and find the perpetrators. We must find out how and why we were blindsided."
Regarding the ban on his newspaper Etemad-e Melli and his party's website, Karroubi said, "Journalists should not be worried; they close one newspaper, we can always open another."
He also addressed the crackdown on the internet. "You filter sites, [but] there is always filter-breakers [proxy software]! No matter how hard you try to impose limitations, the intelligent children of our country will know what to do [how to confront you]."
"Limitations can make things difficult but they will not limit action; these days there are plenty of websites and news can [always] get out."
Hashemi: An assault on the ideology of Imam Khomeini
ILNA | September 5, 2009
In response to the cancelation of the Ihya ceremonies at the Imam Khomeini mausoleum, Expediency Council member Mohammad Hashemi said the future of the revolution wass uncertain in a society where the Imam and his mausoleum have no immunity from disregard.
"Unfortunately this is a very questionable act because the Imam is the root of this revolution and the establishment, and if his standing and his mausoleum are disrespected, it will cost the country very dearly."
"In his will Imam had repeatedly advised against allowing civil and military forces to enter politics but we saw in the previous Majlis election that the Guardian Council's interpretation of this matter was the other way around and this advice has also been overlooked in the managerial structure of the country."
"Imam considered the people everything but today we see that [our] media outlets play with the people's reputation and insult them."
"Unfortunately today the post-revolution achievements of the establishment are also easily questioned and in the election period and during the debates we saw doubt cast over the achievements of previous administrations and [we saw] revolutionary figures accused of exploitation."
"I have heard that this year they plan to extend Quds Day, which was established by the late Imam," Hashemi said. He went on to accuse the ruling party of trying to change all things related to the founder of Iran's revolution.
'Iraj Mirza' no longer morally fit to be Boulevard name
Tabnak | Sept. 5, 2009
The Mashahd municipality has cited religious concerns for changing the name of Iraj Mirza Boulevard to Jalal Al-e-Ahmad.
According to an article in Etemad, a poster placed next to the boulevard's new sign says Iraj Mirza's lack of commitment to religious values is the reason for the name change.
Jalal Al-e-Ahmad was a leftist literary figure and political activist best known for his book Westoxification. His message, which emphasized the nationalization of industry, economic self-sufficiency, and independence from the Soviet Union and the West in all spheres of life, was embraced by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1971 and became part of the ideology of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Iraj Mirza is a Qajar era Persian poet particularly famous for his pederastic and satirical poetry.