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Nabavi's tale of prison; 'fake' Basijis arrested; 10 new enrichment sites

29 Nov 2009 17:31No Comments

67990.jpegNabavi's arrest warrant issued before election

Mowjcamp | Nov. 28, 2009

Behzad Nabavi, a prominent reformist, met with a number of other reformists following his temporary 10-day release on a USD $800,000 bail. He said he had to refrain from any political activities until his appeal.

"Even if I had stayed in a 7-star hotel, I would not have run such a tab. They asked me the night before my release to sign a paper and agree not to engage in political activities or conduct interviews until the appeals court hearing; they told me not to meet or contact political parties and organizations, but I refused. When they couldn't close the deal with me they gave me [only] a 10-day break from prison [instead]."

He went on to say that his arrest warrant had been issued on June 9. "This is a few days before the June 12 election and upon the order of a security organization," he said. "And this is while my 20-minute presence at a demonstration on June 15 was my crime."

"Where should I say I was in prison? Should I say I was in a Shah-era prison? What can I say? These gentlemen claim to be the guardians of the establishment, revolution and Imam [Khomeini] and the likes of me are now counter-revolutionaries?"

At this point Habibollah Peyman said, "Mr. Nabavi the important thing is that the nation does not consider you a criminal."

Zanganeh sarcastically said he had only been concerned about Nabavi's charge of causing traffic and the 15-year jail sentence that came with it. Nabavi responded by saying that he had been exonerated of that crime.

Nabavi also addressed his charge of "possession of classified information." "A report written by one of my maritime managers during my term in office, which had been given to me to help improve my performance, was one of the classified documents in my possession. What should I have done with that report? To which institute or organization should I have turned over the report written [specifically] for me? Or a news print which I had personally written 'top secret' on and given to some of my friends to read was also considered classified. I told them this is not top secret because I am the person who wrote top secret on it!"

Professor released after 80 days

Tabnak | Nov. 29, 2009

Journalist, political activist and university professor Dr. Fayyaz Zahed was released after 80 days on a bail of $100,000 USD.

Zahed, who had been arrested in the aftermath of the 10th presidential election, was freed Monday afternoon.

His lawyer Nemat Ahmadi told the Islamic Labor News Agency that his client had been released after posting the requested bail.

Last week Ahmadi told ILNA that his client's case had been referred to court.

IRGC: 'Fake' Basijis arrested

BBC Persian | Nov. 29, 2009

Hossein Hamedani, commander of Tehran's IRGC forces, said 12 people have been arrested for their actions after the recent presidential election: posing as members of the Basij force, while they appeared to have no previous relation to Basij. Brig. Hamedani claimed these people wore Basij uniforms to pretend they were Basijis. He has also stressed that real Basij members and their local commanders who have failed to avert illegal activities carried out by Basijis will also be held accountable.

Police chief: West suffers from security delusion

Fars | Nov. 29, 2009

Iranian police chief Brigadier General Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam said Western countries use police dramas to project a false sense of security and their officers are no match for proficient Iranian civil forces.

"These countries have a much lower crime solution rate compared to Iran but they use TV series and movies to project a false sense of security in people and it [sense of security] is not realistic," he said at the inauguration ceremony of the new crime unit Police chief.

"The rate of auto thefts in European countries is at least 10 times higher than Iran and some car thieves receive [orders] to steal cars and they steal the most expensive European cars upon the order of buyers," he said.

Turning to police brutality, he expressed hope that he would no longer receive such reports. "Some of the criminals [we catch], if handed over to the people, will be torn apart by them but we must treat suspects according to the law," he said.

"The important thing for *crime officers is to find the truth and this truth must be uncovered using the least amount of funds," he went on to explain.

[In Iran vice, homicide, robbery officers are all gathered in Agahi.]

Police detention centers, he said, should not be used as prisons to jail suspects for extended periods of time. "The general perception is that a detention center means police headquarters [Agahi]; but narcotics and security police also have [separate] detention centers."

"Iranian police officers are among the best civil officers in Asia, he said, citing a 50 percent improvement rate in the conduct of police officers; he said he hoped it would improve to 100 percent.

General Asghar Farhadi, former crime unit police chief, said, "In 2005, some 11,972 cases were solved every month, and this rate has been increased to 19,449 cases in 2009."

He added that 96 percent of cases of sexual assault had been solved by the police.

"In homicide we had a 69 percent rate in closing cases in 2004 and this rate has gone up to 85 percent in 2009," he said.

Eulogist adds voice to chorus, calls for arrest of opposition leaders

Asr Iran | Nov. 29, 2009

A famous Tehran-based eulogist criticized the lack of will to bring to justice the opposition leaders, stressing that the nation will act autonomously should authorities continue to procrastinate.

"Presently the heads of sedition [opposition leaders] have focused on universities and as the ringleaders, those three [Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani] are still walking free, they continue with their seditionist acts," Raja News quoted Haj Mansour Arzi as saying.

He went on to note that the will of the late founder of Iran's Revolution Rouhollah Khomeini was still an applicable guideline. "If authorities show lenience in dealing with the heads of sedition, people will autonomously act according to article M of the Imam's will and if no one has gone after them [opposition leaders] until now it has been out of respect for the Leadership [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei]."

Arzi then criticized the Iranian Football Federation for holding the Iran Premier League matches on the same day as the "Arafat Day" prayer. "This decision of yours caused scores of youth who might have come to participate in this prayer to be deprived of this good fortune," he said.

Combatant Clerics society meets in Abtahi home

Asr Iran | Nov. 29, 2009

The members of the Combatant Clerics Council (CCC) held a meeting to discuss the future of their party at the residence of Mohammad-Ali Abtahi.

Ostensibly, Abtahi's fellow party members went to his residence to visit him after his release from prison. According to Khabar Online, the meeting which occurred one day after Mohammad Khatami's meeting with Abtahi, was attended by Hojjatoleslam Mousavi Khoeiniha, Abdolvahed Mousavi-Lari, Majid Ansari and a number of other CCC members.

Those present at the meeting said that Mousavi Khoeiniha and Mousavi-Lari discussed the future of CCC with Abtahi and the questions put to him in prison about the Council.

Iran earmarks $20 million to "resist" West rights abuse

Reuters | Nov. 29, 2009

Lawmakers in Iran, which is often accused by the West of human rights violations, backed a plan on Sunday to earmark $20 million to help shed light on and "resist" such abuses by the United States and Britain, media reported.

Parliament also voted to oblige the Foreign Ministry to prepare annual reports on the human rights situation in its two Western foes, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The reports will be issued every year on November 4, when the Islamic Republic marks the anniversary of the 1979 storming of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by radical students who took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Under the proposal, whose outlines were approved by the legislature, $20 million from Iran's Oil Stabilization Fund will be allocated to help "progressive movements" report on rights abuses by the United States and Britain.

The ministries of intelligence, communication, culture and foreign affairs and the Revolutionary Guards will decide how to spend the funds, it said.

The same organizations will also distribute money among those "resisting the unlawful actions of the U.S. and British governments," it said, without elaborating.

It was not immediately clear whether the proposal had been put forward by the government or by the MPs themselves.

Iran privatizes $63bn of state assets

Press TV | Nov. 29, 2009

Iran has privatized $63 billion worth of government equity in state-owned firms since 2005, says the head of Iran's Privatization Organization.

Gholam-Reza Heydari-Kord Zangeneh said in a Sunday press conference that the disinvestment cut the government's share in the gross domestic product (GDP) from 80 percent to between 40 and 45 percent.

The program was launched as part of the government's 10-year plan to privatize 80 percent of state-owned assets, under Article 44 of Iran's Constitution.

Several state banks have offered a fraction of their stake as part of the program. Iran also plans to transfer its three large insurance companies -- Dana, Alborz and Asia -- to the private sector.

International Firsts, and Foot-in-Mouth Play-by-Play

NYT | Nov. 29, 2009

The N.B.A. is one of the most international of the North American leagues, and as more and more nationalities are represented there are inevitably going to be some interesting juxtapositions as well as some growing pains.

Before Monday's game between the Grizzlies and the Kings, Memphis center Hamed Haddadi (the first N.B.A. player from Iran) and Sacramento forward Omri Casspi (the first Israeli player) shook hands and posed for a photograph at midcourt.

Haddadi did not play in the game, but it was the first time that he had suited up against a team with an Israeli player.

Iran approves building 10 enrichment sites

AP | IRNA | Nov. 29, 2009

The Iranian government approved a plan Sunday to build 10 industrial scale uranium enrichment facilities, a dramatic expansion of the program in defiance of U.N. demands it halt enrichment.

The decision comes only days after the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency censured Iran over its program and demanded it halt the construction of a newly revealed enrichment facility.

Iran's state news agency IRNA says the government ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to begin construction of five uranium enrichment sites that have already been studied and propose five other sites for future construction.

The decision was made during a Cabinet meeting headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Sunday evening, IRNA said.

Cleric: Don't call anyone who objects anti-Leader

Tabnak | Nov. 29, 2009

"If certain individuals have criticism, we should not be labeling them anti-leadership or seditionists," a senior member of the Combatant Clerics Society told Mehr News Agency.

Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Reza Akrami pointed to recent remarks by Iran's Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on the importance of unity. "If there is criticism about the behavior of certain [people who are an] asset to the Revolution, in particular Ayatollah [Ali Akbar] Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who is a well-known figure of the nation... we should not use unfounded allegations to tarnish their reputation."

"Criticism should be just, constructive and rooted in knowledge, not laced with profanity [and unfounded accusations]. Constructive criticism is one that offers a solution to problems."

More Court dates announced

Asr Iran | Nov. 29, 2009

The public relations department of the Tehran Public and Revolution Prosecutor's Office said that Abdollah Ramezanzadeh and Seyyed Masoud Lavasani would be tried this week.

According to the press release, Ramezanzadeh's case will be heard in branch 15 of the Revolution Court on Monday and Masoud Lavasani's case will be heard in branch 26 of the Revolution Court on Wednesday.

The trial will be held with the participation of the prosecutor and the legal representatives of the two detainees.

Video Clips: Hamid Dabashi, Ali Mirsepassi; Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei

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