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28 Oct 2009 13:13No Comments

Protests at Ahwaz University

Ayandeh News | Pedestrian | Oct. 27, 2009

Hamid Rasaee, a member of the Iranian parliament, was at the University of Ahvaz in Khuzestan on Tuesday to give a speech at the opening of a conference on "soft warfare," the attempted 'velvet revolution' authorities attribute the post-election unrest. He was confronted by screaming students in green tossing green peppers and water bottles. He was unable to give his speech and resorted to talking back to the students instead.

"The point of this meeting was to show the real face of the dictators, to show who is trying to silence whom," he said. "We believe in the exchange of ideas and respect other people's viewpoints. But here, I am greeted with shouts of 'liar.' We are allowing you to express your view and thus we are not dictators."

Here the students shouted, "Clumsy fool, go back to Tehran!" He responded, "If Rasaee was a clumsy fool, 40 million people would not have have given you a slap in the face," referring to the 40 million votes Ahmadinejad got, according to the official tally. Students shouted back, "Dorooghoo, 63 darsadet koo?" -- "Lliar, where is your 63%?"

Resaee replied, "The liar is the person who walks into the university under the label of being a student but then bullies everybody and does not have the ability to constructively debate his opponents."

In response to chants of pro-Mousavi slogans, "Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein," Resaee said: "The 'Ya Hossein' that American stations promote is worse than Israel."

Here, students started fighting amongst themselves and Rasaee referred to something new the students were shouting, "We don't want your fake votes. You can keep your votes, we don't want American votes."

When students shouted "Down with Russia," he said: "We did not vote for Russia."

Students started throwing water bottles and green peppers at him and he reacted by drinking the water and eating the peppers.

One student wearing green shouted, "This reaction is your fault. Forty million slapped you in the face, not us!"

Here the university's Basij shouted "Shut up and sit down!"

The student shouted back, "Speaking to murderers is haram," religiously not permitted.

Rasaee replied: "if it's haram, then why did you speak to me? This means hypocrisy that you say one thing and do another."

Students wearing green started shouting "Get up and leave!" and the Basijis shouted "down with traitors!"

In response to the students shouting "toop, tank, basiji, digar asar nadarad" -- cannons, tanks and basijis no longer have an effect -- he said, "Mousavi called himself a Basiji, but he had support from Israel. American and Israeli Basijis cannot silence us. Al Zaidi threw a shoe in Iraq. It's not important who throws what. It's their ideas that matter. I'm proud of the fact that you throw peppers and water bottles at me, with the ideology you represent. An American Hossein is at one with Yazid. If the students say foul things, do not pay any attention to them, laugh at them."

Here, the students wearing green left the room and he said, "Good, now we have rational students. There are certainly rational students in this room who disagree with me but who have manners and we will pray for the rest of the students so that God may give them manners." The students started shouting: "daneshjoo mimirad, zellat nemipazirad", "the student is willing to die and will not accept humiliation."

Rasaee responded "Russia is no different from the United States. Thus, Down with Russia. Neither East nor West only the Islamic Republic [Khomeini-era chant]. In response to the Green's shout of "Down with [death to] you!" he said: "death is just. What is important is whether your enemies will be happy with your death or not. If a Basiji like me dies, that will make America upset [sic]; thus, this was a just death. Imam Hossein was a killer, but he killed traitors so it was just. We do not want to fight you, because we know you have been tricked."

"Those who support Mousavi say 'neither East nor West, only a Democratic Iran.' Don't you believe in Islam? That was Imam's famous word and it was the traitors who said: Neither East, nor West, only a Democratic Iran. Traitors are those who, instead of repeating Imam's 'Islamic Republic,' chant Democratic Iran."

Here, one of the Green students said, "I want to point out three things here. Freedom of expression must exist everywhere, not only in places where you want it to be and permit it to be. It can't be confined to this room and democracy isn't something where you can allow only in places you choose. Second, so why is that after all those years of serving the Imam, you suddenly call Mousavi a traitor and a dictator?" Rasaee responded: "Democracy means that one viewpoint allows another to express itself" and the students shouted "torture and [forced] confessions will no longer silence us."

Rasaee said, "if Hajjariyan and Atriyanfar and Abtahi confessed under torture, then they do not have the credentials to lead. Because they do not have the will. Shariati and martyr Saidi were resilient under torture, and they did not talk. How do we know that when they [Abtahi, etc] were shouting out: fraud! they weren't being tortured then, and that those words weren't lies as well? A devout student will never shout out this way, and will always have manners and will always be searching for the truth. He lives his life with rationality and integrity and respects the university."

Though most of the seats of this "soft warfare" conference were occupied by the university's Basij forces, it had to be canceled.

Azad University students protest

Mowjcamp | Oct. 27, 2009

Students at Azad University South Tehran branch staged a protest on Tuesday at noon on the main campus. Fliers distributed several days earlier had called on students to attend the rally in protest to recent events ["tragedies"] and to the continued tenure of the Ahmadinejad administration ["coup government"]. About 2000 demonstrators gathered at noon and marched toward the registrars building while singing the classic protest anthem Yare Dabestani Man and chanting slogans such as "Death to the Dictator", "Long live Mousavi, long live Karroubi", and "Political prisoners must be freed." The demonstration lasted for about 30 minutes and ended without violence.

From Evin, Tajzadeh challenges Shariatmadari

Mowjcamp | Oct. 27, 2009

Jailed Reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh issued a message from Evin prison on Tuesday challenging Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of the hardliner daily Kayhan, to a debate entitled "Who has served Israel and America more in these 30 years?"

According to Mowjcamp, the official news site of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, Tajzadeh's wife reported that her husband, during a recent prison visit, said, "Tell Shariatmadari that if he has the confidence for a debate, I am ready to debate him anytime, anywhere -- even live from this cell. The topic of our debate shall be 'Who has served Israel and America more in the past 30 years?"

The former Interior Minister under Khatami added, "Let them say what they will while they have the field. Undoubtedly the chance for people to hear what we say is soon to come."

"The Pickle"

Kayhan | Oct. 28, 2009

Excerpt from daily column 'Dialogue' (Goft o Shenood)

This anonymous column, which appears on the first page of Kayhan's print edition, is rumored to be written by the editor-in-chief, Hossein Shariatmadari.

He said: CIA-affiliated Radio Farda announced that Iranians' faith in Islam is the biggest obstacle to Mousavi's and Khatami's victory.

I said: A few years back, a champion of "Reform" had said the biggest obstacle to the victory of Reformists is that in Iran, God is not dead yet!

He said: The CIA-affiliated radio says the "Allah-o Akbar" slogan chanted by Mousavi supporters as they broke their fast during Ramadan and prayed while wearing shoes at the Tehran Friday Prayer, has caused people to lose trust in them.

I said: Well! What does the CIA advise the leaders of the insurgents to do?

He said: It has recommended that the first thing to do is to openly and frankly undermine the people's Islamic beliefs.

I said: But it's too late. Now that people have seen their true colors, anything they do is a lost cause. They've been disgraced in the eyes of the people, and lost face before the US as nincompoops!

He said: What do you expect?

I said: A guy went to a sandwich shop and said "Give me a hamburger, but hold the pickles." The sandwich seller said, "I don't have pickles. How about no tomatoes?"

Javan daily: Protesters plan to storm Russian embassy

Khabar Online | Oct. 28, 2009

The pro-government daily, Javan, reported Wednesday that the student-based Office to Consolidate Unity [Tahkim Vahdat] had plans to attack and seize the Embassy of Russia in Tehran during mass demonstrations slated for Student Day on Nov. 4.

The Javan report claimed "The Office to Consolidate Unity, led by sources outside of the university, recently decided along with radical Reformists to foment unrest and riots on November 4 -- the anniversary of the seizing of the US Nest of Spies in Tehran in 1980 by student followers of Imam Khomeini -- and to lay siege on the Russian embassy."

Iran supreme leader: Questioning elections a crime

AP | Oct. 28, 2009

Iran's supreme leader said Wednesday that questioning the results of Iran's June presidential election is a crime, his strongest warning yet to opposition leaders who continue to insist the vote was rigged.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran, did not go so far as to order the arrest of those leaders, as called for by hard-liners, but his words signaled the government could take stronger action if the criticism continues.

"The day after the election, some people, without logic or reason, called the glorious election a lie," state TV quoted Khamenei as saying.

He said questioning the election was "the biggest crime."


Sassanid site bulldozed in southwestern Iran


Tehran Times
| Oct. 29, 2009

Bulldozers destroyed part of a Sassanid tepe last week near Ahvaz, the provincial capital of Khuzestan.

The destruction was carried out by the Mehrab Housing Company for construction of a high-rise apartment complex, Khuzestan Cultural Heritage Lovers Society (Taryana) announced on Monday.

No permission had been granted by the Khuzestan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department (KCHTHD) for the housing company at the site, Taryana spokesman Mojtaba Gahestuni said.

The mound, which covers an area of 10 hectares, had already been damaged by a road construction project, installation of telecommunication poles, other housing projects and establishment of a bazaar, he added.

BUSINESS

Iran replaces managing directors of state gas and petrochemical companies

Shana | Mehr | Oct. 28, 2009

Iran's new oil minister on Wednesday fired the managing directors of Iran's state natural gas and petrochemical firms, Iranian news agencies reported.

Oil minister Masoud Mirkazemi -- a close Ahmadinejad ally -- had National Iranian Gas Co. (NIGC) chief Azizollah Ramezani replaced by Javad Owji, who was managing director of South Zagros Oil and Gas Co. prior to becoming the new head of NIGC, according to the semi-official Mehr News Agency.

Mirkazemi appointed Abdolhossein Bayat to replace Adel Nejadsalim as managing director of Iran's National Petrochemical Co., or NPC, according to the oil ministry's official Shana news website. Nejadsalim was also dismissed Wednesday.

The dismissals raise the number of high-profile state oil executives to have been fired since Iran's June presidential election to a total of five officials. Javad Yarjani, the head of the Iranian Oil Ministry's office of OPEC Affairs, was fired on October 18 and Akbar Torkan, Iran's deputy oil minister for planning, was sacked in late June. Iran's last oil minister, Gholam Hossein Nozari, was replaced in September.

No reasons were provided for the reasons behind the two most recent dismissals, but Mirkazemi said he plans to replace certain officials with new, "younger" candidates, Mehr reported.


Iran's economic growth halved in 2009

BBC Persian | Oct. 27, 2009

The Central Bank of Iran reported Tuesday that the country's economic growth in the first six months of the year has plunged to 3.3 percent, from double that rate last year.

Economic deputy of the Central Bank Hossein Ghazavi released a report charting the first six months of the year that shows deepening recession across various sectors of Iran's economy.

More sanctions on Iran 'unlikely' says senior Russian official

BBC | Oct. 28, 2009

Further sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program plans are unlikely, Russia's top foreign policy aide to President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday, reports the BBC.

Sergei Prikhodko said sanctions against Iran "are unlikely in the near future," BBC said, citing Russian news agencies.

Prikhodko did not elaborate on Russia's position, but said Russia is concerned by the "lack of transparency" surrounding the Iranian nuclear program and the possible intensification of the nuclear crisis, according to AFP.

"Sanctions rarely result in the necessary result but in some cases the use of sanctions is inevitable," AFP quotes Prikhodko as saying. "This formula remains in force."

Kazakhstan mining giant to expand investment in Iran

Press TV | Oct. 28, 2009

Kazakhstan's largest mining and energy group plans to expand business activities in the Islamic Republic and will invest in Iranian gold and copper exploration projects, the English-language Press TV website reported Wednesday.

Kazakhmys made the decision after a Kazakh delegation visited Iran to discuss investment opportunities in the country's copper, gold, oil and electricity sectors, Press TV cites Abdolhamid Asadian, director general of the commerce department of Iran's Trade Development Organization, as saying.

Turkey to start South Pars exploration in November

Press TV | Oct. 27, 2009

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Tuesday that Turkey is set to begin exploration activities in Iran's South Pars natural gas field in November as part of a project to export natural gas to Europe, Reuters news agency reported, citing the state Anatolian news agency.

South Pars, the Iranian side of the world's largest non-associated gas field shared with Qatar, harbors 436 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Turkey's Energy Minister is in the Islamic Republic as part of a visiting delegation of high-ranking Turkish government officials that includes Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Officials arrived in Iran late Monday, Press TV said.

Turkey is slated to invest between $3.5 billion to $4 billion towards the development of two phases of South Pars, Iran's English language Press TV website reported a senior Iranian oil official as saying, citing the Fars News Agency.

"The investment (by Turkey) will be made in phases 6 and 7 of (the) South Pars gas field," said Ebrahim Radoafzun, Iran's deputy oil minister for planning, according to Press TV.

Iran's state Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, or IRIB, cited Erdogan as saying that Ankara would study Iran's proposals to establish a joint Iranian-Turkish airline and conduct bilateral trade using their national currencies, according to Reuters.

"We will study Iran's proposals, such as the establishment of a joint airline and using national currencies in our bilateral trade," the news agency cites Erdogan as saying.

"Cooperation between Turkey and Iran... is important for peace and stability in the Middle East," he said.

Iran launches oil bourse on Kish Island

Press TV | Oct. 26, 2009

Iran on Monday launched an oil bourse on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf to buy and sell petrochemical products and up to forty types of oil products, the English-language Press TV website reported.

"The inauguration of the hall will enhance Iran's strategic position in the region," Press TV cites Ali Salehabadi, Iran's Bourse Organization Chief and Secretary General of the Tehran Stock Exchange, as saying.

More than 30 domestic firms and 20 foreign companies operate on Kish Island, a Persian Gulf resort town and free trade zone, Press TV said.

And finally...

After enrichment, Iran in pursuit of nuclear fusion

Press TV | Oct. 27, 2009

After having achieved a complete cycle for producing and processing nuclear fuel for power plants, Iran says it is set to move toward obtaining nuclear fusion technology.

Speaking to Fars news agency on Tuesday, secretary of the Scientific Cooperation Council of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, Behzad Soltani said "nuclear fusion is the future plan for the global nuclear energy which can provide energy for human beings for at least 7,000 years."

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