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Tehran Updates: New Call for March 1 March; Regime Pressed to Free Greens

by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI

26 Feb 2011 23:10Comments

Video of recent verbal assault on Faizeh Hasehmi, daughter of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, apparently by plainclothes security agents. She is repeatedly addressed as "garbage" and several times as "whore." The agents tell her, "We will get rid of you and your father," and shout "Death to the hypocrite" and "Death to Hashemi."

[ comment ] The Coordination Committee for the Green Path of Hope has called on people to take part on marches on Tuesday, March 1 -- the birthday of Mir Hossein Mousavi -- with shouts of "Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein" and "Ya Mehdi, Sheikh Mehdi" (in reference to Mehdi Karroubi). In the capital, the march has been scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Tehran time, and the route from Imam Hossein Square in east Tehran to Azadi Square in the west. Another group of Green Movement activists have called on people to cover the streets that lead to Mousavi's home with flowers.

In a meeting with a group of academics, former president Mohammad Khatami strongly criticized the house arrests of Mousavi and Karroubi and the false accusations against them, and said that the government must release all of the political prisoners around the country. He said that the common theme of all the recent and ongoing uprisings in the Middle East is the existence of dictatorial governments. He asked, "Why should Mousavi and Karroubi, who have a distinguished track record of serving the Revolution and the nation, be under house arrest?"

Ayatollah Ali Mohammad Dastgheib, the popular moderate cleric and supporter of the Green Movement, has written a deeply courageous letter to the members of the Assembly of Experts, which appoints and theoretically supervises the Supreme Leader. In the letter he demands the immediate release of Mousavi and Karroubi. Dastgheib, a member of the Assembly himself, lists many the cases in which the government has broken the law. In particular, he has reminded the Assembly members that their most important task is to monitor the performance of the Supreme Leader, and warn him against violation of his duties.

Ahmad Montazeri, son of the late Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, has written a letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reminding him that he worked with Mousavi, Karroubi, Khatami, and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani for years. He asked him to release Mousavi and Karroubi, and meet with the four to find a way out of the present crisis. He said that what the government has done has created anti-Islamic sentiment among the youth.

In a letter to judiciary chief Sadegh Larijani, a group of political prisoners' families have stated that their loved ones, who are mostly university students, cultural and social activists, and academics, have been denied even their most elementary rights, such as meeting with their families, furloughs, and telephone calls. They state that even though they have repeatedly asked Larijani to meet with them to hear about the plight of the political prisoners, their pleas have been ignored. Copies of the letter have also been sent to the grand ayatollahs, Majles Speaker Ali Larijani, and Rafsanjani. In another letter by the prisoners' families of the political prisoners, they condemn the house arrests of Mousavi and Karroubi.

Majles deputy Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who is chairman of the legislature's Foreign Relations Committee, claimed in an interview with an Italian publication that Mousavi and Karroubi are not under arrest, but are accompanied by security agents. He also claimed that the two leaders have broken the law by calling for demonstrations without permit and may be prosecuted.

The Islamic Iran Participation Front, the country's largest reformist party, which has been outlawed by the government, has issued a strongly worded statement condemning Mousavi's and Karroubi's house arrests. The Front said that it holds the government responsible for the consequences of what they have been doing and supports the people's right to take any action that the Coordination Committee for the Green Path of Hope calls for in order to end the arrest of the two Green Movement leaders and their wives.

Majles deputy Ali Motahari, who is a critic of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that Mousavi and Karroubi should be allowed to speak to the Iranian people via a nationally broadcast television program. He also said that permits should be issued to allow people to peacefully demonstrate and express their opinions.

Minister of Higher Education Kamran Daneshjou threatened university students and academics that support the Green Movement with dismissal. He said that the "sedition" -- the hardliners' epithet for the Green Movement -- no longer exists, and therefore anybody who still supports it is a counterrevolutionary.

Two large contracts for the construction of pipelines from southern Iran to Tehran's refinery have been awarded without any bidding to Khatam ol-Anbiya, the engineering arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The two projects are worth about $2.4 billion.

Copyright © 2011 Tehran Bureau

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