27 Sep 2009 03:51
Cartoon: "Transformation of Qom," by Nikahang Kowsar/Roozonline
Iranian Nuclear Physicist Missing
Tehran Bureau | Sept. 27, 2009
An Iranian nuclear physicist who disappeared during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia remains without a trace after three months.
Shahram Amiri conducted research on particle physics at Malek Ashtar University in Tehran, an institution controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp.
On Wednesday, the Iranian press reported that his wife had appealed to the foreign ministry for more help in finding him.
According to the Tehran Times, Amiri disappeared on May 31, but Press TV said he disappeared in June.
Ahmadinejad finds new position for 'billionare' Mahsouli
Asr Iran | Sept. 27, 2009
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to name former interior minister, Sadeq Mahsouli, as the new energy minister, according to Asr Iran.
Ahmadinejad initially wanted Mahsouli as his welfare minister. However, the probable dissolution of the ministry of welfare has removed this option from the table.
Ahmadinejad had previously nominated Mohammad Aliabadi for the position of energy minister. He, however, failed to win the Majlis vote of confidence, prompting the Iranian president to nominate Ali Zabihi instead. But Ahmadinejad retracted his letter of recommendation before lawmakers had a chance to discuss the nomination on the Majlis floor.
Ahmadinejad's choice for welfare minister, Fatemeh Alia, will not be introduced to Majlis. Her letter of recommendation was also retracted. Reports indicate that Nadeali Olfatpour will be introduced to Majlis to fill the position.
The ministries of education, welfare and energy currently remain without a chief.
Kordan quietly assumes position in 10th government
Asr Iran | Sept. 27, 2009
Ali Kordan, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's impeached and disgraced former minister, has reportedly started working for the 10th government at the head of the programming (scheduling) directorate.
Because of the scandals surrounding the appointment of Esfandyar Rahim-Mashai and Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, Ahmadinejad did not mark Kordan for a ministerial position. Kordan was reportedly advised to quietly assume his responsibilities.
Kordan calls staff of presidential office dogs
Tabnak | Sept. 26, 2009
The pro-government website, Jahan News, published a copy of a letter by former interior minister Ali Kordan, calling the employees of the administrative and financial branch of the president's office "dogs," and suggesting that new "dogs needed to be trained to replace the current ones."
Kordan served for three months in the first Ahmadinejad administration. He was impeached by Majlis after it was revealed a law degree he claimed to have from Oxford was false.
Iran tests short-range missiles amid nuclear dispute
CS Monitor | Sept. 27, 2009
Iran tested two types of missiles and a missile-launching system Sunday, according to the country's state-run Press TV news service.
The tests come ahead of this week's landmark talks between Iran, Germany, and the five members of the United Nations Security Council (US, Britain, France, China, and Russia) and just two days after President Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy accused Iran of building a secret uranium enrichment facility.
Victim's father: Many will testify if judiciary grants protection
Khabaronline.ir | Sept. 19, 2009
The father of one of the Kahrizak victims, Amir Javadi, has called for the trial of all persons involved in the tragedies that occurred in the notorious detention center.
In a brief note in the Panjereh Journal, he said that in the lawsuit he had filed with the Tehran court he demanded the prosecution of everyone responsible for the death of his son and the crimes committed at Kahrizak.
"Everyone from corporals to high-ranking officers were involved in this matter and I can not hold just one person at fault," he wrote.
"Many people have come to us and told us their stories about what happened at Kahrizak. They even told us that they were willing to testify in court, but only if judiciary officials guaranteed that their lives would not [then] be in danger," he added.
Mehdi Karroubi as a Nobel Prize Laureate?
Enduring America | Sept. 21, 2009
A group of activists certainly think so after the events in Iran since June, and they have launched a petition via Twitter to nominate the cleric and Presidential candidate. More information is available via this Twitition link. Petition here.
Karroubi Summoned to Court
TEHRAN BUREAU | Sept. 21, 2009
In a meeting with a group of physicians and dentists on university faculties, Mehdi Karroubi announced that the judiciary was preparing a case against him.
Karroubi said when he was served with the court summons, which required a signature, "I wrote underneath the order that this would be a good opportunity for me to speak in court about the crimes that even the Shah did not commit, and then I signed it."
Karroubi predicted that "this government [Ahmadinejad's] will not last," and emphasized that, "We [the people] should resist and protect our [independent] identity, and declare that we are the true followers of Imam's [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's] line, and support the Islamic Republic in its most complete form [the one that respects people's rights as specified in the Constitution]."
Karroubi also said that, "I will do whatever I believe must be done [in pursuit of people's rights], and stand by [it] and bear the consequences.
"We had predicted certain things [irregularities] in the election process, but we could never foresee this level of fraud and such a violent crackdown on the people's [peaceful] demonstrations. They have made the political atmosphere truly heavy [intolerable]. In the struggle before the  Revolution [against the Shah], we never encountered this level of violence and such behavior [from the security forces]. Any level of struggle [against the Shah before the Revolution], met with the same level of confrontation [by the regime of the Shah]."
Karroubi continued, "But, now, it is not even clear why they [the government] arrest people and beat them up. The women [who took part in the struggle against the Shah] were much better respected [than now]. Now, they have beaten up on a young girl right in front of her mother's eyes and then have taken her away. We do not understand such actions [by the government]."
Karroubi said that some political figures from the conservative camp met with him. "They told me that I have acted too radically," he said. "Nevertheless, they are worried about the treatment we are getting and the people [are getting by the government], which is why they suggested that we not pursue the matters [of crimes and rapes] until things calm down."
Karroubi also said that, "Those who make the decisions [for the crackdown on the opposition] even have these people [members of the conservative camp who met with him] worried. They are so dogmatic and narrow-minded and incapable of seeing the realities. They believe that we are defenseless. But the people who are resisting them have remained active. A nd it is due to the people's support that we pursue their legal rights on their behalf."
Thus it appears that the rumors disseminated by the hardliners about Karroubi's arrest are credible. After Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's Friday prayer sermon on September 11, in which he explicitly threatened the leaders of the Green Movement, the hardliners appear to be setting the stage for the arrest and trial of Karroubi, and possibly Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mohammad Khatami and other reformist leaders. -- Muhammad Sahimi