16 Dec 2009 17:54
Farda | Dec. 16, 2009
Police commander Azizollah Rajabzadeh said Ashura mourners carrying green banners or other symbols would not be reprimanded during the holy month of Moharam.
"Police will not take action against those carrying green symbols during Imam Hussein mourning ceremonies," Rajabzadeh said.
Adding that the police aims to protect the security of the people, he said, "We consider everyone an Alavi [a follower of the third Shia Imam and metaphorically 'innocent'] until it is proven otherwise."
Regarding the closure of a khanqah (a place of worship used by Sufi brotherhoods), Rajabzadeh said that it had been closed after the hostage taking crisis at the compound last Friday.
The hostage taker had attacked the khanqah with grenades and other explosives, saying he wanted to take revenge on Sufi masters there.
TU students petition for Dean Rahbar's resignation
Rahe Sabz | Dec.15, 2009
The campaign for gathering signatures to petition for the resignation of the dean of Tehran University (TU), Farhad Rahbar, began at the university's faculty of political sciences on Tuesday.
A large cloth scroll will be hung at different TU faculty buildings to allow students to add their signatures.
Students demanded the resignation of Rahbar over his incompetence in handling the incidents on 16 and 17 Azar (Dec. 7 and 8). They also called for the release of their classmates who they say are illegally being held in detention.
The campaign, which was launched on Tuesday, Dec. 15, is expected to continue for 10 days.
Video: Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani threatens opposition
Iran judiciary issues warning to opposition chiefs
AFP | Dec. 16, 2009
Iran's judiciary warned opposition leaders on Wednesday that prosecutors had enough evidence to try them and accused them of offences tantamount to those of the rebel People's Mujahedeen.
"I say to the leaders of the sedition that we have enough evidence against you," ILNA news agency quoted judiciary chief Sadeq Larijani as telling prosecutors in the strongest threat yet that opposition leaders could be tried.
"If the regime has shown tolerance until now, don't suppose that we do not understand. How can we not find out when it is the duty of the judiciary to deal with such cases?"
For the first time, Larijani compared the actions of opponents of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial June re-election to the regime's most despised enemy, the People's Mujahedeen.
Mowjcamp website hacked?
Tabnak | Dec. 16, 2009
A group identifying itself as the Cyber Army of Iran reportedly hacked and defaced the Mowjcamp website.
Posted on the site was a two line poem, containing the threat that if the Supreme Leader allows it, the greens will be confronted.
Meanwhile, the tarnama website ran a report revealing that Mowjcamp had not been hacked, rather one of its domains (http://www.mowjcamp.com) had been redirected to a fake IP address.
Mowjcamp asked its viewers to directly access the site through the following IP address http://22.214.171.124.
Tamadon: No need for permits, everyone can rally
Parleman | Dec. 16, 2009
After authorities showed reluctance to grant demonstration permits to the Reformist parties that were implicated in the desecration of an Imam Khomeini poster, Tehran governor Morteza Tamadon said there is no need for a separate permit, and that everyone can join the rally organized by the Islamic Propagation Coordination Council.
"The IPCC Council has called on all political parties, and the people to participate in Friday's demonstration. Therefore there is no need for separate demonstrations."
According to the Mehr News Agency report on Wednesday, Tamadon elaborated on the post-election sedition in Iran and opined, "It is better for the different groups who claim to be the followers of Imam Khomeini to participate in Friday's demonstration along with the rest of the nation and show their loyalty to the Imam in this manner."
Telco announces service intermittence ahead of rallies
Tabnak | Dec. 16, 2009
The public relations office of the Mobile Communications of Iran (MCI) said that telecommunication services will become intermittent for 72 hours as of Wednesday night.
According to the MCI statement, as of 11 pm on Wednesday, subscribers in Southern Taleqani Street, Western Vali Asr Street, eastern Shariati Street and north of the Resalat highway will be experiencing some difficulties.
Iran successfully tests new long-range missile
Foreign Policy | Dec. 16, 2009
Iran successfully tested an upgraded surface-to-surface missile this morning, which it claims has a longer range and greater maneuverability than its existing Shahab model. If true, the new Sejil would be capable of hitting targets in Europe and U.S. bases in the Gulf.
Iran claims the launch was a test of its deterrent capabilities, but it brought swift condemnation from Western leaders, including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who said it underlined the case for tougher sanctions.
Iran tests new missiles with success
Press TV | Dec. 16, 2009
Iran has successfully tested an optimized version of the solid-fuel Sejjil-2 deterrent missile as part of its long-term plans to defend the country's borders.
The high-speed surface-to-surface missile, which was launched on Wednesday morning, has been designed and built by the Iranian Ministry of Defense.
Back in May, Iran tested the initial version of the two-stage Sejjil-2 missile. The Sejil-2 has a longer range than the Shahab-3 missile.
The deterrent system was built as part of an effort to design a more accurate and swift missile than previous Iranian-made models.
This new version of the Sejjil-2 is faster during the powered flight portion of its trajectory and also during the re-entry phase.
Tajzadeh not to defend himself before Jannati trial
Kalameh | Dec. 15, 2009
Mostafa Tajzadeh said the reason for his refusal to defend himself in court was because his lawsuit against head of the Guardian Council, Ahmad Jannati, had not been brought before court.
According to Kalameh, Tajzadeh said he objects to the charges raised against him, and until his complaint against Jannati is not heard in court, he will not participate in any other court sessions, or defend himself.
He also claimed that if 10 years ago his first complaint against Jannati had been heard the country would not be struggling with its current problems today.
Majlis approves temporary marriage bill
Radio Farda | Dec. 15, 2009
Member of the Majlis Legal and Judicial Commission Farhad Tajari announced the passing of Article 22 of the family law that pertains to temporary marriages.
"To prevent the birth of "Jane and John Does" [fatherless children] in temporary marriages both sides will be obliged to register their marriage if a child is conceived," Tajari told ISNA.
Temporary marriages do not require registration and the father of the child will not be required to look after it, give it his last name, or inheritance.
"Of course this [registration] will not make it a permanent marriage and it will remain temporary and expire after the cited period of time [at the time of exchanging vows]."
Rafsanjani accuses Intelligence Minister of propagating lies
Zamaaneh | Dec. 16, 2009
Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's office issued a statement accusing the President's Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi of propagating lies.
Moslehi had earlier alleged that Rafsanjani during his Mashhad speech, said, "As long as the people want the Just Jurisprudent [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] he must be in power and if the people no longer want him he must resign."
The statement said that the intelligence minister had "intentionally or unintentionally" propagated lies about Rafsanjani.
"Throughout his entire speech Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani did not once use the phrase "Just Jurisprudent". It is questionable how the intelligence minister has found this expression and installed it in the transcription of the [Rafsanjani] speech."
Meanwhile, Moslehi claimed today that his remarks about Rafsanjani were the exact words the veteran cleric had said and there was nothing confidential about it.
"What I said, were the words of Mr. Hashemi, it has been carried by different sites and it did not reveal anything confidential or hidden."
Iran arrests foreign spy at nuclear plant
Press TV | Dec. 16, 2009
Iran reportedly arrested a Western spy seeking to gather information on a nascent Iranian nuclear enrichment facility in central parts of the country.
According to a report by Israel's Channel 2, the spy operated undercover within Iran's new nuclear enrichment plant in Fordo when he was arrested two months ago.
The Israeli channel's report did not specify the nationality of the alleged secret agent.
Credit Suisse to pay $536 million in Iran probe
WSJ | Dec. 16, 2009
Credit Suisse Group said it has entered deferred-prosecution agreements with state and federal authorities in the U.S. and will take a pretax charge of 445 million Swiss francs ($427.7 million) as it pays $536 million to end probes into financial transactions by persons or groups subject to U.S. sanctions, including transactions involving Iran.
In a statement Wednesday, the Swiss bank said it reached settlements with the Manhattan District Attorney's office, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.
White House seeks UN support for Iran penalties
NYT | Dec. 16, 2009
The White House is confident there's enough U.N. support for more penalties unless Iran acts soon to prove it's not working on a nuclear weapons program.
The Obama administration has tried to keep a dialogue open with Iran, but there's been little success so far. Still, presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs says it's that approach that has helped reverse Russia's long opposition to further punishing Iran.
Iran sanctions debate moves to Senate
Foreign Policy | Dec. 16, 2009
With the House having passed the Howard Berman's Iran sanctions bill Tuesday, the action now turns to the Senate, where negotiations over Chris Dodd's companion legislation are ongoing.
Those discussions are based on a letter from Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry, D-MA. In the letter, State asked Kerry to delay the Senate bill until next year so that the administration would have more time to prep for the "pressure track" and also to secure some changes to the legislation.
But key lawmakers are already getting ready to resist. Senators to watch in this debate are Democrat Evan Bayh, D-IN, Republican Sens. Jon Kyl, R-AZ, and Richard Shelby, R-AL, and Independent Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman.
Iran wastes gas due to lack of technology
BBC Monitoring | Dec. 16, 2009
About ten million cubic metres of gas are being wasted per day in Iran's biggest natural gas field because it is not using the latest technology, the semi-official Mehr News Agency reported on Wednesday.
Iran has the world's second largest gas reserves, but international sanctions over Tehran's disputed nuclear program have slowed its development as a major exporter, by hindering access to modern Western technology.
"About 10 million cubic metres of gas are being wasted everyday in all plants in South Pars," head of the South Pars Special Economic Zone, Moussa Sourian, was quoted as saying.
Iran, Google Wave, And Michael Jackson Dominated Twitter This Year
WaPo | Dec. 16, 2009
Twitter's chief scientist, Abdur Chowdhury, notes the number of ways that the Iranian election situation showed up on the lists. "#iranelection" was the number one News Event term with "Iran" coming in fourth, and "Tehran" coming in fifth. In Hash Tags, "#iranelection" was number two overall. Obviously, the service is pointing this out to illustrate Twitter's important role in the crisis, but most of the rest of the lists are populated by popular, but much less significant, fare.
Clip of the Day: An interview with historian Ervand Abrahamian
Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press, and excerpts where the source is in English. The link to the news organization or blog is provided at the top of each item. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the story in perspective.