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Tehran Updates: Ahmadinejad's Astonishment, New Green Charter

by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI

24 Feb 2011 00:53Comments
Ahmjad11Feb23.jpg [ comment ] President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressed his astonishment over what is happening in Libya, asking rhetorically, "How is it possible that the ruler of a country kills his own people with tanks and guns, and then announce that whoever protests it will also be killed?" Predictably, Ahmadinejad did not explain why he does not ask himself the same question.

Human rights activists have issued a statement seeking worldwide attention and asking for protests against the house arrests of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. The statement says that such actions will result in more violence, and demands that their human rights and rights as citizens be respected by the government. It also states that the government will be responsible if anything happens to either one.

The foreign branch of the Organization of Islamic Revolution Mojahedin, a leading reformist group that has been outlawed by the regime, has issued a statement warning that extremists and radicals within the government are willing to set the entire nation on fire if that will ensure their continuing hold on power. It warns that such radicals wish to polarize the nation and create an environment that leaves no room for the democratic forces to pursue the rights of the people.

The new version of the Green Movement Charter, an edited and improved version of the original one issued by Mousavi, has been released. The new version has been signed by both Mousavi and Karroubi.

Karroubi's family has warned the security forces against any move intended to physically eliminate their father or mother, Fatemeh Karoubi. The building in which Karroubi and his wife live has been occupied by security forces.

A group of Majles deputies have submitted a request to the leadership of the Majles to impeach Ahmadinejad's energy minister.

Jafar Shajouni, an ultra-reactionary cleric and member of the Society of Militant Clerics of Tehran, declared that Mousavi is a hypocrite. He also said that Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha, a leading reformist cleric and student and close aide of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is a communist and that Hashemi Rafsanjani "has lost everything," due to the positions he took in the aftermath of the 2009 election.

Majles deputy Ali Motahhari, a critic of Ahmadinejad, said today that those who oppose Rafsanjani cannot eliminate him from the political scene. He said that if the opposition eliminates Rafsanjani, the nation will be hurt.

Minister of Intelligence Haydar Moslehi declared that the country is operating under normal conditions and there is no crisis. This is the same man who last week was furious in the aftermath of the February 14 demonstrations and demanded that the judiciary put the leaders of the Green Movement on trial.

Kayhan declared that the trial by the people of the leaders of the Green Movement has ended, and now it is the judiciary's turn to put them on trial. Apparently, Kayhan considers itself equivalent to the entire nation.

A group of political prisoners' families has addressed a letter to Grand Ayatollah Hossein Vahid Khorasani that thanks him for his support and public statements regarding the rights of political prisoners.

A group of Iran-Iraq War veterans from the northern province of Mazandaran has issued a statement warning against the use of violence against demonstrators, supporters of the Green Movement, and reformist activists. At the same time, a group of Revolutionary Guard forces in Tehran has also issued a statement warning against the continued use of violence against citizens and widespread arrests.

Ruhollah Hosseinian, a radical cleric and Majles deputy, claimed that a committee of the Majles has recognized Mousavi and Karroubi as "corrupt on Earth," a crime that carries the death penalty. Hosseinian is widely believed to be a leading figure in the murders of many intellectuals and dissidents in the 1990s. He publicly defended Saeed Emami, leader of the gang of Intelligence Ministry behind the murders, who famously said, "We were murderers ourselves at one point."

At least 80 university students have been arrested in the aftermath of the demonstrations on February 14 and 20.

Hamid Rasaei, an extremist cleric and Ahmadinejad supporter, claimed that in the internal elections of the leadership of the Assembly of Experts, to be held in about three weeks, Rafsanjani will not be reelected as the Assembly's chair.

Minister of Labor Abdolreza Sheikh-oleslami declared that Iran is the only nation in the world where no one goes hungry. He also claimed that there will be nobody in Iran next year who cannot get medical care due to an inability to pay for it.

Copyright © 2011 Tehran Bureau

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