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29 Sep 2009 02:577 Comments

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.

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7 Comments

Hey, you folks used the graphic I created for the IRGC Telecom deal, over at Uskowi on Iran.! (It looks better stretched)

I feel complimented.

-Mark Pyruz

Mark Pyruz / September 29, 2009 6:32 AM

Tranquility of public administration was once again shattered by this anomalous transaction. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Graft and corruption has reached its zenith with the plunder of public coffers and devastation of national economy.

Blood/dirty money was used in this deal precisely.

shetty / September 29, 2009 6:19 PM

من چه جوری میتونم یک اینترنت بدون فیلتر داشته باشم

mehdi / September 30, 2009 4:43 AM

@Shetty.
You can also say "Power" attracts corruptables.

Aryajet / October 1, 2009 2:41 PM

You may be interested to know that to get this deal going several potential buyers were vetted. All were rejected but two. One compnay was rejected because its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange! Two buyers remained. Both were front companies. One for the basij and the other for the IRGC. Technically, Basij is IRGC's subordinate but it appeared to be the government's favoured buyer. As it appeared to be a little short of cash, the telecom sell-off was once cancelled to give it time to accummulate more funds. In the end to Mr. Ahmadinejad's displeasure managed to buy the stock. This purchase gives the IRGC a complete strangle hold on Iran's telecoms industry, because they already owned 51% of Iran Cell, Iran's 2nd moblie operator.

Middle aged Iranian in Tehran / October 10, 2009 9:26 AM

It is now certain that a front company for the office of the Leader bought all the stock. However, they have agreed to sell 26% to the company representing the Basij.
Its free-for-all among the ruling establishment. They all seem to want everything for themselves.
They give the process of privatisation a brand new meaning!

Middle aged Iranian / October 13, 2009 4:50 PM

مممکن است متن فارسی شود با تشکر

رضا / April 17, 2010 8:29 PM