03 Nov 2009 20:10
Video: Protests at Mashhad's Ferdosi University
Video: Protests continue at Tehran's Sharif University
Kashan University protests detention of three students
Nov. 2, 2009
Students at Kashan University in the city of Kashan staged a protest against the arrest of three fellow students by security forces.
The gathering lasted for two hours and called for the release of Majid Shahrabi, Amin Heydari and Amir-Hossein Cheetsazzadeh.
Of the three detained students, two were former members of the university's Islamic Council, and one, Shahrabi, is a current member of the council.
Students claim the three activists were kidnapped by security forces.
Yasouj University students stage sit-in
Mowjcamp | Nov. 2, 2009
A group of students at Yasouj University in the city of Yasouj have gone on a hunger strike and staged a sit-in since noon on Monday.
The protest is in response to measures by officials to segregate student buses and the suspension of two student union members.
After campus security assaulted a student who had approached a guest speaker at the university, students gathered on campus and began their sit-in while chanting slogans against the segregation of school buses.
Larijani receives Ahmadinejad coldly in Majlis
Tabnak | Nov. 3, 2009
After Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made an unannounced visit to Majlis but Speaker Ali Larijani refused to allow the president to address lawmakers.
According to an ILNA parliamentary reporter, Ahmadinajad's unexpected visit to Majlis drew a crowd of lawmakers around him. A lengthy and not very cordial conversation between the president, Gholam-Reza Mesbahi-Moqqadam and Kazem Delkhosh attracted the attention of members of the press.
First Vice-President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi approached the Majlis presiding board to apparently seek permission for Ahmadinejad to address parliament.
During the review of article 15 when Majlis sought to hear the government representative's opinion on the issue, Larijani told Ahmadinejad, "Mr. Ahmadinejad if you want to speak you can use the five-minute time considered for the government representative to speak about this article."
Ahmadinejad responded, "Under the constitution I'm allowed to speak."
Larijani replied back, "According to Majlis bylaws you should have informed the Majlis governing board beforehand that you would like to address parliament."
After article 15 was approved and following discussions with Rahimi, Mohammad-Reza Bahonar, Iraj [?] Nadimi and Mohammad-Reza Mir-Tadjeldini, Larijani finally consented to allow Ahmadinejad to take the floor. "If you want to speak you can [take the floor] now," he said.
Larijani urges Mousavi, Ahmadinejad to friendliness
Farda News | Nov. 2, 2009
The head of the Judiciary Human Rights Commission said if reconciliation of opposition figures with the establishment and the law were intended by unity, he would welcome it.
"Unity within the framework of the constitution and the Islamic establishment and Supreme Leader is a very good objective," said Mohammad-Javad Larijani. "Our society enjoys a good level of unity and the country is on a good course. Therefore it is necessary for everyone to leave behind the election period excitement and resume normal daily routines."
"Some people think the post-vote incidents were the result of a quarrel between [Mir Hossein] Mousavi and [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, because their supporters clashed with one another on the streets. If these two [Mousavi and Ahmadinejad] say hello to each other and exchange pleasantries everything will be solved."
"What happened after the vote was a coup staged by the Reformist Front that was unsuccessful in the end in its confrontation of the establishment," he added.
"If by unity they mean that these gentlemen, after seeing the futility of their actions, wish to reconcile themselves with the establishment and the rule of law, we should welcome them... We should not be advocates of enmity, rather we should look to the interests of the establishment," Larijani said.
Green Alavi Movement calls for greens to come out
Gooya | Nov. 2, 2009
After the color green was used by reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi and following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's unsuccessful attempt to have his supporters use green after the election, a pro-government front now proclaims itself as the "Green Alavi Movement."
The move has been viewed as an attempt to quell opposition movements on Nov. 4.
In its first statement, which was carried by the pro-government RASA news agency, the newly established movement said, "the presence of people clad in green on the streets, squares, and during Eid [religious] festivities symbolizes the beginning of the Green Alavi Movement and God-willing this movement will continue its activities during the months of Moharam and Saffar and afterwards."
Ahmadinejad: We will revoke subsidy bill
Khabar Online | Nov. 3, 2009
According to Khane Mellat news agency, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday, "If the bill for targeted subsidies appears in the annual budget, we will recall the bill."
"In my recent meeting with the Supreme Leader, I asked him to pave the way for this matter, because it is my belief that the bill should not be seen in the annual budget," Ahmadinejad added.
Khamenei Visits U.S. Hostages
RFE/RL | Nov. 3, 2009
An old video of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei visiting some of the U.S. diplomats detained in Iran some 30 years ago has been posted on his website ahead of the anniversary of the U.S. embassy takeover and the hostage taking of U.S. diplomats and embassy staff.
In the video Khamenei, who was then a deputy defense minister and a member of parliament, is seen chatting with one of the hostages, who appears to be U.S. diplomat John Limbert, who speaks fluent Persian.
Khamenei asks him about the detention conditions and issues such as food, hygiene, or whether the hostages have access to books. "Any shortcomings, problems, or difficulties can be removed," says Khamenei.
The U.S. hostage responds that there is only one problem. Khamenei quickly reacts by saying "right, the fact that you're here" and then expresses hope that "the Iranian criminal," the shah, will be delivered to Iran and the hostages will be free to go. The hostage replies: "Inshallah."
444 Days in the Dark: An Oral History of the Iran Hostage Crisis
GQ | Nov. 3, 2009
Thirty years ago this month, sixty-six Americans were taken hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Over the next year, misguided foreign policy and disastrous intelligence would take eight American lives, cost Jimmy Carter the presidency, and introduce a different kind of enemy that we've failed to understand ever since.
Iran's opposition to apologize to US for embassy seize
Telegraph | Nov. 3, 2009
Leaders of Iran's opposition movement are to make an unprecedented apology to the US on the 30th anniversary of the storming of the American embassy in Tehran.
Mohsen Makhmalbaf, an exiled film-maker who spearheads the opposition campaign overseas, said Iranians should repudiate the events of 1979, when a group of pro-regime agitators took over the US embassy and held diplomats and other occupants.
"Thirty years ago in the turmoil of the revolutionary zeal an indefensible act of hostage taking was committed that the new generation of Iran are not proud of at all," he said. "We know very well how that deplorable action hurt the noble American people and how it led to three decades of unnecessary and painful bad relations between our two nations.
Singer doesn't want his anti-US song aired
Asr Iran | Nov. 2, 2009
A well-known revolutionary singer, Esfandiar Qarehbaghi, said he does not want his song "America, America down with your plots," to be aired by Iran's state broadcaster IRIB.
Qarehbaghi told a magazine affiliated with Hamshahri daily, "I believe that the special circumstances of previous years made broadcasting this song a necessity. Now, however, that the representatives of the two countries [Iran and the US] are sitting at the negotiation table, broadcasting this song is meaningless."
"While I hope that the state broadcaster will refrain from playing my song, I have come to realize in recent years that certain parties do not ask permission for their actions."
Rafsanjani's son explains controversial video
Tabnak | Nov. 2, 2009
Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani's office issued a statement regarding a video of him delivering an anti-Ahmadinejad speech, accusing extremists of attempting to fuel tensions.
The statement says, "At a time when those devoted to the establishment have stressed the importance of restoring calm to society, certain extremist parties, who find it in their interest to create crises in the country, are attempting to empower themselves by casting the illusion of disputes."
"Distributing parts of Mr. Mohsen Hashemi's speech, which was delivered at the inauguration of line 7 of the Tehran metro summit, after 5 months, is in line with these attempts."
"This is while the speech in question was delivered on June 16, after unethical behavior exhibited by, and allegations made, and lies spoken by one of the presidential candidates in the course of the live broadcast of a presidential debate. This was after the provocative speech delivered by Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the provocative slogans chanted by his supporters in a June 14 gathering on Valiasr Square, which was unfortunately broadcast by IRIB."
"Three days after Mr. Mohsen Hashemi's speech, the Leader of the Revolution, in the Friday prayers sermons on June 19 also spoke out against the unethical behavior of that candidate and making allegations against officials of the establishment."
Historian: Persian Kings cannot be dropped from history books
Tabnak | Nov. 2, 2009
Historian Khosro Motazed railed against the news of omitting royal dynasties from history textbooks, describing it as an idea put forth by "illiterate" people with too much time on their hands.
"How is it possible to propose a plan to remove the names of Iranian kings from history books? This is something only a bunch of ignorant people are capable of proposing," Motazed told Radio Farda.
He added that a foreign dynasty reigned in Iran for 80 years between the Achaemenid and Arsacid eras. "We cannot omit these [facts] from history," he said.
"There are many more important issues that need to be addressed. [Authorities] have forgotten about problems such as the Persian Gulf islands, the situation in Sistan-Baluchestan province... and are picking on history [instead]."
Ahmadinejad spars with Majlis on subsidy bill
Press TV | Nov. 2, 2009
Following a dispute between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the parliament over a law to cut food and energy subsidies, Majlis deputy speaker Mohammad-Reza Bahonar told Fars news agency on Tuesday that parliamentarians will decide on the issue next Sunday.
Last month, Majlis backed a bill submitted by the Ahmadinejad administration to phase out subsidies on basic goods including gasoline, gas, electricity, wheat and rice. The government proposed to distribute a portion of the recovered revenue among lower-income citizens.
But earlier this week, parliament members sought to change a key part of the government's plan, proposing to channel the money saved by scrapping the subsidies into an account for public spending, saying all Iranians must receive compensation for higher food and energy prices.
President Ahmadinejad reacted by writing a letter to Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, announcing that he would withdraw the bill in its entirety, reported Iran's Labor News Agency (ILNA).
Prosecutor tells of upcoming trials, warns against protests
Tabnak | Nov. 3, 2009
Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi said one of the post-election detainees would be released today, adding that the detainee in question was not Reformist politician Behzad Nabavi.
"There are roughly 20 cases on post-vote detainees still under review. We have a strict policy about informing the public about the cases that are referred to court and the prisoners who are released," Dolatabadi said.
When asked why the court hearings of well-known political figures were being held behind closed doors, the Tehran prosecutor said, "Hearings are open to the public as designated in the constitution, unless the judge finds it necessary to close the court doors to the public. In the recent cases, the judge presiding over the case has found a private hearing necessary."
Asked which hearings were closed to the public, Dolatabadi said, "Behzad Nabavi and Hengameh Shahidi will appear in court later this week." He added that it was "highly unlikely" that Reformist politician Mostafa Tajzadeh would be tried this week.
The Tehran prosecutor than turned to the issue of the Nov. 4 rallies. "Tomorrow is a historic day symbolizing confrontation of the U.S.," he said. "I would like to ask all courageous Iranians to take part in the rallies held on this day."
"I would like to advise the public to be wary of deviating slogans and of those individuals who seek to disrupt public order on this day. I urge security officers to confront those persons who seek to undermine social security," Dolatabadi said.
Sistan clerics arrested for sheltering illegal Afghans
Tabnak | Nov. 3, 2009
Zahedan prosecutor Mohammad Maziyeh announced the arrest of a number of Sistan-Baluchestan seminary chiefs for aiding illegal Afghan and Tajik immigrants.
"As we are currently implementing the plan to deport illegal immigrants in Sistan-Baluchestan province, the Clerical Courts of Khorasan-Razavi and Sistan-Baluchestan provinces have summoned a number of the seminary chiefs," Maziyeh said, adding that the clerics had failed to comply with the law in regard to the deportation plan.
"Every institute in the Islamic Republic should know that sheltering illegal immigrants is against the law and this is why a number of the seminary managers who have not turned out illegal immigrants have been taken into custody."
"Some of these illegal immigrants are Afghan and Tajik nationals studying in Shia and Sunni seminaries," he added.
Moslemi: Universities not authorized to close down
Tabnak | Nov. 3, 2009
The science ministry's director of student affairs said universities were not allowed to close down over swine flu concerns without permission from the ministry.
Hassan Moslemi-Naeeni added that swine flu was a global cause for concern and rejected reports that authorities view it as a political matter.
Moslemi-Naeeni said that due to the rapid spread of the H1N1 virus in the country, universities had been ordered to form a swine flu committee and routinely submit reports on the situation.
He said that absence from class was only permissible for H1N1-positive students for up to one week and any prolonged absence would be reviewed by a medical commission.
He went on to add, "Universities are in no way authorized to close down" in the event of finding evidence of the spread of the virus among students.
"Universities cannot autonomously cancel classes over swine flu. They must first inform the ministry [of science and education] and the ministry will inform the health ministry to review the case and make the necessary decisions regarding the issue," Moslemi-Naeeni said.