09 Sep 2009 13:12
Alireza Beheshti, whose martyred father helped establish the Islamic Republic, was arrested and reportedly beaten. Archive photo. Tehran Bureau | Sept. 9, 2009
In his 12th statement since the election, Mir Hossein Mousavi warned of more difficult days ahead. He also condemned the arrests of Dr. Alireza Beheshti, a senior aide during the presidential campaign; Morteza Alviri, Tehran's former Mayor and a senior aid to Mehdi Karroubi; and former IRGC commander Mohammad Ozlati-Moghaddam, who worked with him.
The statement says, "They [the hardliners] promised that they would punish the perpetrators of the crimes that took place after the election. Are you [the hardliners] going to do this by confiscating and destroying the documents for [those] crimes?"
Three groups in Iran investigating arrests, detentions and killings since the election -- two of which were associated with opposition political campaigns -- were closed by order of the new General Prosecutor.
The offices shut down include the Association to Defend Prisoners Rights, the Committee for Following the Situation of Detainees (Mousavi campaign), and the Committee for Following Detainees and Injured (Karoubi campaign). The head of the two latter groups were arrested.
According to reports, security officials raided and seized documents that may have contained victim testimonials and other evidence of crimes committed in jails and detention centers. -- Muhammad Sahimi
Beheshti reportedly admitted to hospital unconscious with broken skull
Alireza Beheshti, the son of the late Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, was reportedly transported to a hospital after receiving a severe beating from security officers.
The report suggests that following his arrest on September 8, Beheshti engaged in a verbal quarrel with officials, which led to the assault.
Beheshti was taken to the hospital unconscious with a skull fracture, according to reports.
According to an "informed source," after Beheshti regained consciousness in the hospital one of the security officers punched him in the face causing his glasses to break and inflicting further injuries on his face.
Beheshti was transferred to an undisclosed location after his facial injuries were treated.
Alireza Beheshti was the head of the opposition's truth-finding committee. The office of the committee was raided on Monday with security personnel confiscating all documents and office equipment.
Ayatollah Beheshti was one of the founding fathers of the Iranian Revolution and the first head of the Supreme Court after the establishment of the Islamic Republic.
Beheshti's wife gives account of his arrest
Salaam News | September 9, 2009
Alireza Beheshti's wife revealed some details about the raid on her home by security officials, which led to the arrest of her husband. Beheshti is an aide to Mir Hossein Mousavi.
Security agents raided the Beheshti residence at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. They carried an arrest warrant signed by Tehran's new prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi, she said.
Beheshti's wife said despite the fact that the warrant clearly stated that security officers were not authorized to search the private quarters of the house, agents even entered and ransacked the master bedroom, taking some personal items and papers with them. Alireza Beheshti's wife added that the security officers remained in her home for nearly five hours.
"They even disrespected the martyred Ayatollah Beheshti's little grandchild," she said, in an apparent reference to her child.
Security officials later went to the Foundation for the Safeguard and Publication of Ayatollah Beheshti's Works, an organization supervised by the martyred cleric's son. The Foundation was sealed shut after all documents and computers were seized.
[The woman's name was never given in the report.]
Ex-IRGC cmdr, Mousavi aide arrested
Fararu | September 9, 2009
Mohammad Ozlati-Moqaddam, a former IRGC commander and head of the veteran's faction of Mir Hossein Mousavi's campaign, was arrested at his home.
Ozlati-Moqaddam, who formerly served in the IRGC political bureau alongside Hossein Shariatmadari and Hossein Safar-Harandi, was arrested on Tuesday.
Officers went to his residence and arrested him after searching his home.
Ozlati-Moqaddam was also once in charge of the defense ministry's aviation exhibition.
Ahmadinjad recalls nominee letters from Majlis, MPs spur over reason
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's decision to take back from Majlis letters of recommendation issued for two new minister nominees has sparked more controversy in "the house of the nation."
Deputy Majlis Speaker Mohammad-Hassan Abu-Torabi, who first leaked news of Ahmadinejad's delay in carrying out the [Supreme] Leader's order to nullify Esfandyar Rahim-Mashai's appointment, said the President's decision had been inspired by the meeting he and his cabinet had with Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
This is while on Tuesday Mohammad-Reza Bahonar, who presided over the Majlis session in the absence of Speaker Ali Larijani, said, "Mr. Ahmadinejad, in a letter to Majlis, has requested to get back his letters of recommendation for two ministers and will leave the issue until after Qadr."
Qadr refers to the nights of the 19th, 21st and 23rd of Ramadan, when people hold Ihya ceremonies and pray for salvation and redemption until the morning call to prayer.
The two nominees Ahmadinejad introduced to Majlis on Sunday were Fatemeh Alia, for education minister, and Ali Zabihi, to head the energy ministry.
Lawmaker Mohammad-Hassan Ghafourifard read out parts of the president's letter which read, "It is evident that new minister-designates will be introduced at a later date and in accordance with article 133 of the constitution."
After the Majlis session, however, Abu-Torabi told reporters that the president wanted his letters back after meeting with the Supreme Leader and that lawmakers expected no less of the president, which was to follow the guidance of Ayatollah Khamenei.
"We hope that in choosing the three remaining ministers, which tops the government and parliament's agendas, these views [Supreme Leader's] are taken under advisement and capable and acceptable figures, who will be able to improve the performance of these three ministries, will be introduced," he said.
Ahmadinejad's presidential aide on Parliament affairs, however, told Mehr News Agency that the letters had been taken back because vetting the proposed ministers would have interfered with the Majlis break.
Meanwhile, the deputy vice president on Parliament affairs, Ali-Akbar Masoudpour, cited another reason for the incident saying, "In order to have more time to confer with Majlis on the issue, the government took back the two letters of recommendation."
He rejected Alia's resignation and the president's decision to refrain from appointing any other female ministers. He told state news agency ISNA, "The Supreme Leader's remarks on Monday night in his meeting with the cabinet were very clear -- his Excellency did not forbid the appointment of female ministers, rather he advised that the views of the clergy must be taken into consideration."
Regarding the possibility of Ahmadinejad's change of opinion about the two minister nominees, Masoudpour said, "It is possible that these two will be introduced again along with another female candidate for the welfare ministry and there is also the possibility that the president will change his mind and offer a very different lineup."
Masoudpour's revelations about another female welfare minister nominee comes as Mashai named Zohreh Elahian as a possible candidate for the welfare ministry. He made this comment on the sidelines of recent Ahmadinejad press conference.
At the inauguration ceremony held for the new science minister, Mashai denied knowing of any changes in the two designated ministers. "Presently there has been no talk about changing the [proposed] ministers," he said.
Mashai also rejected that Alia had resigned. "All I know is that the minister designates have not been changed so far," he said.
This is while Alia, who secured a Majlis seat as an Ahmadinejad supporter and head of the women's faction of the Ahmadinejad campaign, gave another account of her letter of recommendation and why it was recalled.
Alia claimed she informed the president that his inauguration and endorsement ceremonies had delayed the Majlis summer break and introducing two new ministers would delay the break yet again.
After Tuesday's parliamentary session, she claimed to have spoken with Speaker Larijani and convinced him to return the two letters of recommendation. She said Ahmadinejad would send a letter soon.
"While the president was [in the process of] drafting a complementary letter, the Speaker made the letter public unfortunately. I went to Mr. Larijani and voiced my protest. I told him it would have been better to wait until the end of the session before making the letter public and he apologized to me," Alia claimed.
However, Hassan Zamani, an aide to the Majlis speaker, issued a statement in which he rejected an apology from Larijani to Alia. He said the Speaker is under a legal obligation to read the president's letters without any delay.
"Before the start of the Majlis session on Tuesday, Ms. Alia contacted the Speaker and told him that the Leader's remarks on the previous night had made her think twice and she had not been able to sleep and that she had tried to contact the president but had been unsuccessful... She asked the Speaker to handle the situation accordingly as she was having serious doubts [about accepting the Ahmadinejad nomination]. There was no talk about the Majlis break because bylaws state that a break cannot prevent the review of the president's letter... Claiming that the Speaker has apologized to her is a sheer lie because he has not made any mistakes to be required to make an apology."
"According to protocol all such letters must be read out immediately but as Ms. Alia wanted to speak with the President first, the Speaker agreed to read out the letter at 10 a.m. Rightfully, however, based on the objection of lawmakers he read out the letter at 9:30 a.m."
"It is surprising to see Ms. Alia demand an apology for obeying a bylaw. Making a reference to the Majlis break is also wrong and it was also not mentioned in the President's letter. Even if it had been used as an excuse, Majlis would not have accepted it," Zamani said.
"If the President or Ms. Alia wish to change their mind it is not right to use the Majlis break as an excuse as it is a wrong and opportunistic act."
Abtahi calls Karroubi from Evin prison, scolds him
Alef | September 9, 2009
Mehdi Karroubi, Secretary-General of the National Confidence Party, reportedly had a telephone conversation with Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, one of the reformist leaders arrested after the election. Abtahi now blogs from Evin Prison.
According to Alef, a news website belonging to Principlist lawmaker Ahmad Tavakoli, an informed source told IRNA that Abtahi criticized Karroubi for propagating lies.
"I do not care about the positions taken by [Mohammad] Khatami and [Mir Hossein] Mousavi, but I am sorry to see that your newspaper [Etemad-e Melli] has called me a traitor," Abtahi reportedly said. "Those two are using you to further their own agendas."
The Alef report claims that Karroubi replied, "They kept telling me to meet with [Akbar] Hashemi [Rafsanjani], meet with Mousavi, and then they told me to follow up on the cases of the victims and detainees [of the unrest] and I accepted."
Russia denies mystery ship was carrying missiles to Iran
CS Monitor | Sept. 9, 2009
Russia angrily denied media reports over the weekend that a freighter seized in what was dubbed the first act of piracy in northern Europe in over 100 years was in fact carrying a secret cargo of missiles to Iran.
"This is absolutely not true," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday, reacting to claims made in last week's Sunday Times (London) and elsewhere that the Arctic Sea, the ship allegedly hijacked on July 28 off Sweden's coast and released on Aug. 16 by a Russian Navy ship, was secretly carrying S-300 antiaircraft missiles to Iran.