12 Mar 2010 22:35
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. You can follow our
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Khabar Online | March 12, 2010
A pro-Esfandyar Rahim Mashai website said criticizing the head of the presidential office was on a par with disobeying the order of Iran's Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khameni.
The Haghighat news site wrote, "Insulting Mashai is not [just] insulting one individual but creating obstacles in the way of the 10th government [Ahmadinjad's]; [This is] the government whose chief executive the Supreme Leader has openly called 'the closest person to me.' So be aware: when you jump at every opportunity to criticize Mashai, you are going against the words of the Leader."
"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was chosen by the people, but before that, the Supreme Leader embraced him. Mashai is a product of this government. Therefore, instead of obstructing its path, join the government that serves [the people]."
Tahkim Vahdat leader released
Saham News | March 12, 2010
The Secretary General of the Tahkim Vahdat organization was released on Wednesday.
Arabshahi, who as arrested on Ashura, had been transferred to Evin Prison and spent his time in detention there.
Tahkim Vahdat had endorsed Mehdi Karroubi in the 10th Presidential Election. Many members of the political party, who sang the "My School-Grade Friend", have been detained across the country.
Javan: Mousavi, Karroubi preparing New Year message
Khabar Online | March 12, 2010
Javan website claimed that Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi intended to issue a statement on the occasion of the Persian New Year and to designate a theme for the new year -- a role reserved for Iran's Supreme Leader.
"Reports suggest that some Reformists and members of the Green cult have been secretly meeting in different provinces across the country," the Javan report alleged.
Javan claimed that radical members of the Mousavi election campaign headquarters and some disqualified from the 6th Majlis (the reform-era parliament) gathered to discuss courses of action in the final days of the current Persian year, which ends on March 21.
Javan claimed that the topics of discussion included issuing a Nowruz (Persian New Year) message, preparing for the one-year anniversary of the 10th presidential election and designating a name for the new Persian year, which is the function of the Supreme Leader in his Nowruz address.
The report further claimed that attendees were admitted to the meeting after giving the correct password chosen to ensure the secrecy of the meeting.
'Spies' reportedly arrested in Qom
Asr Iran | March 12, 2010
The Qom deputy prosecutor said on Friday that an espionage cell was discovered in the Iranian holy city.
"Over the past few months, security and intelligence forces have carried out an operation and arrested members of a cell that was in contact with the MKO and carrying out espionage activities against the establishment," ILNA quoted Hojjatoleslam Mahmoud Talebi as saying.
"By disrupting security, these individuals acted against the establishment and the Islamic Revolution and aimed to tarnish the establishment and the Leadership (Just Jurist)," he said. "And of course there is concrete evidence to support this."
Judge bans talking about Kahrizak court
Fararu | March 11, 2010
Judge Mohammad Mosaddeq has presided over the closed court session hearing of the 12 Kahrizak defendants.
The Armed Forces Judicial Organization in a statement said, "After the recitation of verses from the holy Quran the judge raised a few points. Afterwards, three complainants, their lawyers and the father of the late Mohsen Rouholamini stated their complaints."
"The session ended at 12:30 pm. The court hearing will continue within the next few days."
According to Kalameh, Judge Mosaddeq has prohibited all those present in the court hearing from talking about things that are said in court. This is why the events of the hearing have not been made public.
Mehdi, Faezeh Hashemi's cases in prosecution's hands
Tabnak | March 11, 2010
CEO of the Justice administrator's Office said the Hashemi siblings' case is still in the Prosecutors office and has not been referred to the courts for hearing.
"Faezeh and Mehdi Hashemi's cases are still in the prosecutor's office," Alireza Avayi said.
"Any case that is given to the prosecutor's office must be reviewed and if there is sufficient evidentiary support the case is sent to court for sentencing and if there is not enough evidentiary support to go to trial ... the case is then closed."
"The cases of Faezeh and Mehdi Hashemi are still in the prosecution stage. In this stage they may be summoned for interrogation and investigation because this is the stage that the defendant is informed of his charges."
Tajzadeh freed without posting bail: Lawyer
Khabar Online | March 11, 2010
Member of the Islamic Participation Front Seyyed Mostafa Tajzadeh was reportedly released from prison on Wednesday without posting bail.
"Tajzadeh was released around 11:30 PM last night and without posting any bail. He will be on leave from jail until the end of the [Persian New Year] holidays," Tajzadeh's lawyer Houshang Pourbabayi told ILNA.
Tajzadeh was arrested immediately after the June 12 presidential election and held in prison for nine months on charges of acting against national security, slandering the Islamic Republic authorities, propagating against the establishment, and possession of classified documents.
He had vowed not to defend himself in court unless Ayatollah Ahmad Jannti, head of the Guardian Council, was also put on trial. Tajzadeh refused to defend himself in the two court sessions held to hear the charges filed against him, and about his role in the country's post-election unrest.
Khomeini grandson visits Tajzadeh after his release
Parleman | March 11, 2010
The grandson of the late founder of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini visited Mostafa Tajzadeh after his release.
Yasser Khomeini joined Reformist figures such as Moretza Alviri, Mohsen Aminzadeh, Mohsen Saffayi Farahani, Ali Mazroui, Shahabolddin Tabatabei and Saaed Shariati to be among the first to visit Tajzadeh after his release.
Tajzadeh, a prominent member of the Islamic Participation Front, was arrested immediately after the June 12 presidential election. He was released on Wednesday after spending nine months in prison.
Iranian Filmmaker Speaks Out on Prisoners
NYT | March 9, 2010
Abbas Kiarostami, a celebrated Iranian filmmaker who has won numerous international awards for films like "Close-Up" and " Through The Olive Trees," published an open letter in a Tehran newspaper on Tuesday calling for the release of Jafar Panahi and Mahmoud Rasoulof, two directors recently detained by the authorities.
Mr. Kiarostami sent the original, Persian-language text of his letter and an English translation to The Lede from Iran through a mutual friend, Hooman Majd, the author of "The Ayatollah Begs to Differ." The complete text of the translation is below. The original text is available for download.
Mr. Panahi, who has directed two films scripted by Mr. Kiarostami, "The White Balloon," and "Crimson Gold," was arrested last week, as my colleague Nazila Fathi reported.
In an interview uploaded to YouTube, he discussed the event that inspired his 2006 film " Offside," which is about a group of Iranian women who want to be allowed to watch a soccer match.
According to The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a source close to him said: "Over the past years, Ministry of Intelligence authorities have summoned Jafar Panahi to different investigation offices of the Ministry in different locations and have questioned him. In one of these meetings he was told, 'Just because you are a famous filmmaker, you mustn't think that we are unable to arrest you. We can arrest you whenever we decide.'"
Panahi, Rasoulf to receive no visitors
Parleman News | March 12, 2010
The families of Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof said that the two film directors have been denied visitation rights.
"Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof are in the interrogation stage and have been banned from having visitors until further notice by the Judge probing the case," prison authorities reportedly told the families of Panahi and Rasoulof.
On Thursday, Panahi's lawyer Farideh Gheyrat and Rasoulof's lawyer Eman Mirzazadeh submitted written requests to visit their clients. Both lawyers were informed by Evin authorities that they could not visit their clients until their interrogations were over.
Gheyrat said that there was no evidence that Panahi was making a film against the Islamic Republic.
Ahmadinejad: Some idiots said Rigi was looking for democracy
Khabar Online | March 11, 2010
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said its humorous that countries that have never held an election in their history claim terrorist Abdolamlek Rigi was after establishing democracy.
Addressing the people of Bandar Abbas in southern Iran, Ahmadinejad praised the efforts of the security officers in arresting Rigi.
"This person committed countless crimes and massacred defenseless people and the media outlets of the global arrogant powers aired footage of his crimes and claimed that he is doing it for democracy and dubbed them Jundollah (army of God)."
"Some idiots around us who cant even decide what is in their own interest said he [Rigi] wants democracy, and they aired [footage of] his crimes."
"This terrorist sought refuge in the backing of foreign powers and intelligence services. You [foreign powers] see his crimes as democracy but may the body washers take you and your democracy."
"One example of the democracy advocated by Western states and in particular the US was the invasion of Afghanistan. But if you want to fight terrorists, the Iranian nation has shown you how to do it by arresting a terrorist wanted by the intelligence services of at least three countries and he will soon be brought to justice.