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Reformists Urge Grand Ayatollahs to Weigh In

25 Jul 2009 15:246 Comments

The following are selected translations from the Iranian press. This section will expand as soon as we are able to raise enough money to hire a part- or full-time translator.



[Salaam News] In an open letter signed by former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, reformist challengers Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, and a slew of Reformist figures, Shia sources of emulation are urged to advise the Iranian establishment against unlawful acts.

As you well know, following the announcement of the vote results, a number of activists from the campaign headquarters of the candidates not affiliated to the government as well as ordinary citizens who had participated in rallies were taken into custody and the detentions increased in number as protests escalated.

The arrests of university professors, journalists and political activists without proper warrants, the use of torture techniques that bring to mind the Shah's oppressive regime -- many of the signatories of this letter were subjected to such brutality in that time -- and the use of violence is in no way befitting an Islamic establishment which maintains in seeks to fight injustice in the world.

It is most unfortunate to see security forces attempting to prove their unfounded theories and to find and introduce individuals as instigators of a velvet revolution and enemy agents and to see them resort to illegal, immoral and un-Islamic methods to extract their desired confessions.

In this regard, government propaganda machines and in particular the state broadcaster has aided and abetted the project and has, by airing these fake confessions, attempted to prove the false accusations made against the popular movement that was initiated to preserve the Republican nature of the Islamic establishment.

These days, the families concerned and without any information about the fate of their loved ones, whose only crime was presence in election headquarters, in their repeated visits to legal offices encounter closed doors. These conspiracy-weaving machines have gone so far as to portray presence in election headquarters as an unforgivable crime.

This is contrary to the words of the founder of the Islamic Revolution and other high-ranking officials who have often spoken in approval of such activities and encouraged them.

How can the repeated use of torture techniques on citizens living under the banner of Islam be justified by any religious or humanitarian laws? How can one remain silent in the face of the violence used by an establishment, which claims to uphold compassion and adhere to Islam?

These days alarming reports about the physical and mental health of many of the detainees have raised concerns. A blind eye is turned to the fundamental rule of innocence [until proven guilty] and refraining from passing judgment and the violation of laws granted under the constitution and ordinary laws has become a conventional trait, and of course this will only add to the people's lack of trust and further distance them from the rulership.

This confusion along with concerns have cast shadows on the lives of countless Iranian citizens, who, despite their opposition to the illegal and unauthorized acts of the security forces, because of their national pride and their loyalty to the Islamic Revolution have no desire to request aid from international organizations, making life difficult for them [the families of the detainees].

The only practical solution to the current situation lies in freeing all detainees and pursuing all cases through legal channels, and containing the security forces. We therefore seek the assistance of your Excellencies in reminding the authorities of the negative outcomes of committing unlawful acts, and in warning them against repressing the people living in the Islamic Republic



Conservative MP Questions 'Confessions'

[Parliament News] Member of the Principlist [conservative hardline] block of Majlis, Ali Motahari says, "If the confessions of those detained recently are to be aired, the infractions of the law by interrogators, which in some cases have led to the deaths of some detainees, must also be investigated, along with the reasons leading to the situation being made public."

Recently the National Security Commission of Majlis asked the Intelligence Minister Gholam- Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i to broadcast the confessions of the detainees of the Tehran riots. Ayatollah Bayat issued a decree prohibiting such an act, as it would be 'the equivalent of mortal sin'.

Regarding the issue, Motahari told Parliament News, "If these confessions have been obtained under ordinary circumstances they are legitimate and can help raise public awareness but if they have been extracted under extraordinary circumstance they will be of no use."

"I believe all infractions of the law in the course of investigations particularly those which have led to the death of a detainee -- Dr. Rouholamini's son, for example -- must be probed."

"According to some reports, the bodies of certain detainees were handed over to their families some time after their arrest. The reasons for this and whether there have been any infractions of the law must be made clear."

"All these issues must be investigated in parallel or else it will be futile."

In response to a question as to whether he believed the post-vote detentions were lawful and confessions were extracted under ordinary circumstances, Motahari said, "The detentions might have been lawful, however, the important question is how these people were treated while under custody and whether Islamic treatment was administered? Were the detainees under physical and mental pressure or not?"

In response to a question as to whether he, as a member of the legislative body, would participate in the committee overseeing the performance of state television in airing these confessions, he said, "The committee is only an observer and has no executive powers. The committee can only issue warnings or propose ideas but does not have any part in their execution."

In response to a question regarding finding a resolution to the post-vote unrest, Motahari said, "Sentiments must not be provoked, everyone must abide by the law and we must alter the current situation."

"We should not be after taking personal revenge and everyone must have good intentions in order to restore calm and pave the way for serving the country."

Regarding President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's role in the current situation, the late Ayatollah Motahari's son said, "He [Ahmadinejad] can play a significant role in creating a calm and friendly atmosphere."

"Mr. Ahmadinejad must stop being stubborn and should make use of all qualified persons in his cabinet so that national reconciliation can be made possible."


Related -- The following is a statement by Kian Tajbadksh's friends and family:

Family and Friends of Detained Iranian American Scholar Kian Tajbakhsh Strongly Deny Accusations by Iranian Authorities and Denounce Iran's Use of Forced Statements by Political Prisoners

In Iran's first official acknowledgment of Kian's arrest on July 9, Iranian Press TV reported on Monday that "Iranian authorities detained Tajbakhsh on grounds of cooperating with Hossein Rassam, the head of the security and political division of the British Embassy in Tehran, who is also in custody over post-election turmoil."

These false accusations are entirely groundless. Those who know Kian understand that his persecution by Iranian authorities is not only tragic but ironic -- as a social scientist and urban planner he has always sought political neutrality in an effort to bridge cultural divides and honor his much-loved homeland. His work is a valued asset that the Government of Iran should seek to protect.

The Iranian state television report on Kian's arrest also notes that "Iran blames foreign powers, the US and Britain in particular, for what it calls interference in its internal affairs and post-vote disturbances, which have claimed the lives of at least 20 people."

We are concerned that Kian is being held in an attempt by the Iranian authorities to obtain forced statements from him to use in a televised show trial. It is exceedingly important that we all strongly denounce Iran's serial practice of extracting forced statements from political prisoners. Such statements are repeatedly extracted under conditions of torture for the sole purpose of staging televised show trials in an attempt to deceive the Iranian public.



Photo: Press TV

Iran Police chief: Our green stands for loyalty to leadership

[Tabnak] Iranian Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moqaddam says the green-colored police uniform stands for the civil force's strong belief to the rule of the just jurisprudent in words and deeds.

Speaking to police officers in Bojnurd on Wednesday, Ahmadi-Moqaddam said, "No one can misuse the green color of police uniforms to undermine the force and cause turmoil as we will always remain loyal to the leadership."

Green is the color used by the campaign of defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. The color green also stands for the descendants of the Prophet of Islam who are referred to as Seyyed.

"Anyone who adheres to the constitution must accept the leader's words as the final say in matters, however, these peoples definition of law-obedience goes contrary to their actions."

He went on to say that the contentment of the nation and authorities with the police placed a heavier responsibility on their shoulders, compelling them to act with more resolve.

The Iranian police chief went on to say every government soars on the wings of acceptance and legitimacy and that unlike acceptance, legitimacy is the precondition for governance.

"If the majority of the people pursue an unlawful issue, despite its acceptance the matter would lack legitimacy."

Ahmadi-Moqaddam finished his speech by cautioning against the efforts of certain groups in the country who want to turn the Islamic Republic of Iran into the Republic of Iran.


Qoreyshi slams Rafsanjani sermon

[Raja News] Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Akbar Qoreyshi, a prominent Iranian cleric and a member of the Assembly of Experts, criticized Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani for his reaction to the post-vote unrest.

In an open letter to Rafsanjani, Qoreyshi criticized the senior cleric for not separating himself from the wave of opposition targeting the presidential elections.

"After the Leader's strong defense [of you] in his Friday Prayers sermon, I told you in a letter that the leader's defense had solved everything and it would be best that you apologize to him and tell the nation that you have nothing to do with your child or children's actions; just as Ayatollah Khazali did. Unfortunately my letter was ignored."

Ayatollah Qoreyshi went on to say that he had hoped Rafsanjani would 'use the Friday Prayers to show he was ready to make up for the past' and that he had been disappointed to see 'the situation become worse, immediately after [the Supreme Leader] saying everyone must obey the law, he [Rafsanjani] had called for the freedom of the detainees of the unrest.

"Did you mean those who had set a mosque on fire, those who had set cars on fire, those who carried bombs to detonate among the people and those who have been detained by intelligence forces, and those who according to the Mayor of Tehran inflicted 40 million dollars in damages and... should be freed and that the law must not apply to them? Seeing you speak in their defense is very odd."

Ayatollah Qoreyshi rejected Rafsanjani's statement about there being a 'crisis in Iran', saying, "Where is this crisis? Ayatollah Yazdi said in response to your claim that he did not see any crisis in the country. Mr. Rafsanjani, your statement only served the interests of the enemies who gleefully broadcast everywhere that 'this time one of the Islamic Republic's heavyweights has acknowledged a crisis in the country.'"

The Assembly of Experts member criticized Rafsanjani for emphasizing the 'need for reconciliation with those whose feelings had been hurt during the unrest'.

"Name one accepted figure who has had his feelings hurt. I am certain you will not be able to. And if you mean the feelings of those who are 'moharib' [enemy of God] then let them have hurt feelings a thousand times over."

Ayatollah Qoreyshi closed his letter by praying God would grant Rafsanjani vision so that he would not erase his outstanding past actions.


Ayatollah issues decree against Ahmadinejad

[Mowjcamp] Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani, one of the Shia sources of emulation, in response to a question of one of his followers has issued a decree, which states that the leadership's seal of approval will not give legitimacy to a president elected via rigged elections.

The decree states that if one is certain that the chief executive has used fraud and other illegal means to come to power, the leadership's seal of approval and inaugural ceremony will not bring legitimacy to the presidency, as the factors mentioned above are only effective when the individual is appointed through a healthy vote process.

Ayatollah Bayat Zanajni further states that it is a religious duty for all to use any means possible to make known the illegitimacy of the position of such an individual.

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I agree with Ayatollah Qoreyshi. Punish "those who had set cars on fire, those who carried bombs to detonate among the people." That would be the Basij, wouldn't it?

Urusaro Miseke / July 24, 2009 9:53 PM

I agree with Ayatollah Qoreyshi. Punish "those who had set cars on fire, those who carried bombs to detonate among the people." That would be the Basij, wouldn't it?
Sorry... forgot to say great post - can't wait to read your next one!

Urusaro Miseke / July 25, 2009 7:51 AM

Yes, I do nod with Urusaro's comment. Of course we expect the boot-licker Ayatollahs would point it to the demonstrators.. Power is sweet, isn't it?

shetty / July 25, 2009 8:08 AM

Ahmadi-Moqaddam seems to be a charmful guy. He's got a small problem with colours though. And to tell right from wrong..

Ulla / July 25, 2009 4:06 PM

Where is the moral outrage of the governments of the nations all across the world? It was and is loud and persistent against the United States concerning Guatoniamo! America has used quite tame modes of torture, while the government of Iran are using torture that even causes the death of some of its' own citizens, guilty of nothing more than non-violent protests against an illegitiment election, so I ask where is the worlds' governments outrage and condemnation??

Notaducke / July 26, 2009 2:19 AM

Ahmadinejad & Khamenei should be tried for treason & murder. They offered the people an election, & then they rigged same, thinking the people would just share the joke with them. But this is no joke...Iranian's are fighting for their freedom & in many horrible circumstances have died for it in the first place protesting peacefully. I abhor the above two mentioned, & I thank the cleric's like Khatami & Rafsanjani...& the other entire good cleric's who can see what this is doing to their people & their future & their country. I am bitterly disappointed of all the government's who recognized Ahmadinejad's fake roll...& being Irish. I am going to vote No against the Lisbon Treaty & will be getting as many of my friends to do the same...in retaliation to Europe's puny & lily-white cowardly stance, but at the same time greedy to do business with these crooked Dictator's. I now will keep doing what I can to keep the Iranian story going in my country, & will be writing to my government of my un-ease at their failed words & actions on this horrible affront to the people of Iran. I still have confidence the end is drawing nearer for the two "Buffoons" on Iran...& that people power will overcome! Your day of freedom is now just a shade away. Love to the people of Iran!

v.gerrard / July 27, 2009 12:45 PM