29 Sep 2009 02:57
Karroubi takes Rafsanjani to task for weak stance on issues
TEHRAN BUREAU | Sept. 28, 2009
Mehdi Karroubi has written a second open letter to Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chair of the Assembly of Experts (AE), a Constitutional body that appoints the Supreme Leader and monitors his performance. It even has the authority to dismiss him, at least in theory.
Karroubi strongly criticized Rafsanjani for his failure to launch an investigation into the tainted June 12 presidential election during his chairmanship of a recent session of the Assembly, which ended last week. The session was used to praise the Supreme Leader instead.
Karroubi criticized some members of the AE for moving to dismiss Ayatollah Ali Mohammad Dastgheyb, the AE member from Shiraz and the province of Fars. Ayatollah Dastgheyb has emerged as one of the strongest critics of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the military.
In a speech during the session, Dastgheyb strongly criticized the military and its violent crackdown of peaceful protesters. After his speech, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, a hardline supporter of Ahmadinejad, moved to approve a resolution to dismiss him from the Assembly of Experts.
Karroubi criticized Rafsanjani for being absent during the final meeting, when a declaration praising the Supreme Leader was read, and the events after the election were characterized as riots and a conspiracy.
Karroubi also criticized Rafsanjani for not asking the Assembly to look into the ways in which the military was taking control of the economy. Recently a financial institution under the control of the military "purchased" 51% of the stocks in Iran's communication company, which is controlled by the government. This was done under the guise of privatization.
He also criticized Rafsanjani for not calling on the AE to review Iran's foreign policy, which according to him, has made a bad name for Iran. -- Muhammad Sahimi
IRGC buys stake in Iran telecom
AP | Sept. 28, 2009
A consortium affiliated with Iran's Revolutionary Guard has purchased a majority stake in the country's telecommunications company for $7.8 billion.
Iranian state media said Sunday that Etemad-e-Mobin bought a 50 percent plus one share stake in Iran's Telecommunications Company. The government had been looking to privatize the firm.
The deal is the largest ever recorded on the Tehran stock exchange.
The acquisition effectively places the vital telecommunications sector under the control of the Guard.