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Updates from Aug 5

05 Aug 2009 14:373 Comments
Mideast Iran Election

Videos coming in from clashes today will be posted here.

Source: Parelment News

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's inauguration ceremony was held amid heavy police and security presence around the Iranian Parliament (Majlis).

All streets leading to Baharestan, where the Majlis is located, were closed off and more than 5,000 police and security officers were on the scene.

Journalists were closely inspected and were asked to show both their press and national ID cards before entering Majlis.

Ahmadinejad arrived at Majlis in a helicopter.

Some of the attendees included, Ali Kordan, Brigadier-General Firouzabadi, Parviz Davoudi, Sadeq Mahsouli, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, Sadeq Larijani, Saeed Jalili, Pourmohammadi, Gholam-Hossein Elhamm, Aliabadi, Vaez-Javadi, Brigadier-General Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar (who for the firs time was in civilian attire), Ayatollah Taskhiri, and Mehdi Chamran.

The ceremony was started with a 15-minute delay. The majority of the seats were empty.

The majority of foreign guests and ambassadors invited to the ceremony were no-shows or had sent low-ranking diplomats to the event.

Despite Ali Larijani announcing that athletes, artists, and national figures had been invited to the ceremony, no distinguished figure was present.

The majority of the Reformist minority bloc of Majlis were absent including Tabesh, Hossein Hashemian, Darioush Qanbari, Nariman, Jamshin Ansari and Sazdar.

The Reformist bloc members who attended the ceremony included Peyman Frouzesh, Mehdi Shahriari, Hamid-Reza Pashang, Qodratollah Alikhani, Mostafa Kavakebian, Ahmad-Reza dastgheib, Mehdi Sanayi, Ali-Akbar Olia, Masoud Pezeshkian, Ali-Asghar Yousef-Nejad, Sajjadian, Moqimi, Amini, Khabbaz, Mehdi Pourfatemi, Nasiri and Hossein Hashemi.

Just as in the endorsement ceremony, the head of the Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, was absent from the inauguration ceremony [swearing-in].

The only member of the governing body of the Assembly of Experts to attend the inauguration ceremony was Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, who was present as the Judiciary chief.

Only six members of the Assembly of Experts attended the ceremony.

Ali-Akbar Nateq-Nouri, Mohsen Rezaei, Omidvar Rezaei and Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf along with staunch Ahmadinejad supporters Ayatollah Yazdi and Ahmad Khatami were no-shows.

Hashemi Shahroudi made no mention of the post-vote arrests, the Kahrizak detention center, the deaths-in-detention or street clashes in his speech.

Although all Friday Prayers leaders from across Iran were among the invitees, the majority of them were no-shows.

None of the representatives of the Reformists Parties were present.

Due to the number of empty seats, the Leader's Master of Ceremonies and Brigadier-General Firouzabadi, who are usually seated in the third or second rows, were moved to the front row.

With the start of the inauguration ceremony and despite the heavy presence of security officers and Basij members, sporadic protests broke out around Baharestan. A number of people were detained by plain-clothes officers.

Security forces used teargas to disperse protesters.

A Boys' high school in Baharestan square was used as a temporary detention center where arrested protesters were taken.

All stores in and around Baharestan were closed and plain-clothes individuals were filming protesters.

News items, from Muhammad Sahimi

Haleh Sahabi, daughter of Ezzatollah Sahabi, leader of the Nationalist-Religious Coalition, was arrested at Baharestan square near the Iranian parliament. Eyewitnesses reported that a plainclothes agent attacked her and tried to arrest her. But, the people who were watching the attack rescued her. A few minutes later several plainclothes agents first attacked

people with pepper spray, spraying it directly into their eyes and injuring several of them. They then forcibly separated Ms. Sahabi from her protectors and forced her into a car, where a female agent who was awaiting her locked the door immediately. Eyewitnesses said that several other people were arrested in a similar manner.

Ms. Sahabi, 54, is a feminist activist and a member of the group, Iranian Mothers for Peace, an antiwar group that was formed more than two years ago. Her father, a member of the government of Prime Minister Mahdi Bazargan that was formed after the 1979 Revolution, spent many years in jail, both during the reign of the Shah and over the past three decades after the Revolution. Her grandfather, Dr. Yadollah Sahabi was a major political figure over a 60-year span. He was a close aid and friend of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh, Iran's national hero. Together with Mr. Bazargan, the late Ayatollah Sayyed Mahmoud Taleghani, and Dr. Mostafa Chamran (who was the Defense Minister after the Revolution and was killed in the Iran-Iraq war), Dr. Sahabi, who was a professor of geological sciences at Tehran University, founded the Freedom Movement in 1961 to oppose the government of the Shah. He passed away in 2002 at the age of 97.

Mir Hamid Hasan Zadeh, the former director of the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA), and who has served as the editor of Ghalam Sabz, Mir Hossein Mousavi's website, was arrested yesterday.

Hasan Khomeini, the grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, returned to Tehran today from a trip to Pakistan. It is widely believed that he left the country in order to avoid attending Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's swearing in ceremony. In fact, none of the the Ayatollah's remaining family members attended the ceremony, which is totally unprecedented in Iran.

Shahab Mataaji, the head of Tehran's oil refinary (and a friend of mine at Tehran University), has been arrested. I had received the news about it three weeks ago, but wanted to confirmed it firmly. His charge: apparently trying to organize strikes at the refinery.

Dr. Hashem Aghari, the Islamic scholar, Professor of history at Tarbiyat-e Modarres University, said today that, "if there is going to be a revolution in Iran, I pray that it will be of the velvet type [meaning peaceful and bloodless]. But the way things are going, I am afraid that it will be bloody." Several years ago, Aghajari had criticized the clerics for expecting people to follow them obediently. He was arrested and originally given a death sentence for insulting the Prophet, but the Supreme Court overturned the sentence and conviction.

Center for Islamic Revolution Documents made new accusations today on its website against Shapour Kazemi -- Dr. Zahra Rahnavard (Mir Hossein Mousavi's wife)'s brother, who has been imprisoned for several weeks. It accused Mr. Kazemi of "inappropriate relations" (meaning outside marriage) with a former member of the Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization, an exiled opposition group. Why a center that is dedicated to collecting and preserving documents about the 1979 Revolution should make such accusations is unclear.

The center is headed by Ruhollah Hoseinian, a hard-liner cleric and supporter of Ahmadinejad, who has been accused of being a participant in many crimes. He was a close friend of Saeed Emami, the mastermind of the infamous Chain Murders in the Fall of 1998, when six dissidents and intellectuals were murdered by agents of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence. Defending Emami and rejecting the charges against him, Hoseinian once said, "I have been a murderer myself. This [manner of murdering dissidents and intellectuals] is not the way things were done."

From Pedestrian: Blogger notes, the following is from, "Press TV! IRIB! State media! ... They're even quoting Parliament News! [a news website representing reformists in Majlis] ... This is very, very suspicious."

Amid a heavy security presence around Parliament blocking out opposition protests as Iran's president takes the oath of office, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad begins his second term.

Nearly two months after the election that sparked mass protests in Iran over its official result, President Ahmadinejad was sworn in on Wednesday.

According to a Press TV correspondent, thousands of security and Basij forces with their motorcycles were present in the areas around Baharestan square, near the Iranian Parliament.

Parliament News reported that more than 5,000 security forces were guarding the downtown block while other reports said officers with sniffer dogs patrolled the area searching for possible bombs.

All shops and businesses in the area were ordered to close. Security forces had cordoned off the neighboring areas near the Majlis hours before the ceremony began, reports said.

In a separate move, Head of Tehran's metro company Jafar Rabiyi said the authorities ordered the trains not to stop at two stops near Parliament -- Baharestan and Mellat stations -- until the end of the inauguration ceremony.

Rabiyi stressed that the move was not due to any technical problems and was only because of the swearing-in ceremony, announcing that the trains would stop at regular stations after the event.

Despite the heavy security presence, opposition supporters held sporadic demonstrations in protest at the inauguration of President Ahmadinejad, who garnered almost two-thirds of the vote, reports said.

Several people were arrested and police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators, according to the reports.

However, Iranian deputy police chief Ahmad-Reza Radan said the inauguration ceremony was held in a peaceful environment.

"Despite mass propaganda by satellite TV channels and foreign media calling on the people to gather in front of Majlis, no illegal protests were held [in the area]," Radan said.

Ahmadinejad's inauguration comes as the opposition continues to reject the election result, maintaining that the vote was "rigged."

Ever since the official announcement of the poll result, Iran has witnessed widespread protests as supporters of defeated presidential candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi take to the streets to protest "fraud" in the June 12 election.

Meanwhile, Iran's Guardian Council, the body responsible for overseeing the election, has disputed all allegations against the validity of the vote.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, on Monday threw his weight behind Ahmadinejad, formally endorsing the president for a second term.

From Tehran [however, not based on eye-witness account]: A massive security presence has been reported across a wide area. The Basij militia is back on the streets with a vengeance. People came to protest but couldn't really gather anywhere. The Baharestan [metro] station was closed from morning. Kids as young as 13-14 are wearing camouflage waistcoats carrying pickax handles instead of batons -- I mean these kids have not even started shaving.

Photo (above) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, delivers a speech during his swearing- in ceremony for his second term as president, at the parliament, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009. Ahmadinejad was sworn in Wednesday for a second term in office as president of Iran, appealing for national unity and denouncing foreign interference in his inauguration speech before parliament. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) AP articles and photos here.

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Politically, Ahmadinejad is a "dead man walking". The measure he has given is the measure he'll get from the people of Iran.

Mtricks / August 5, 2009 3:55 PM

He's a weed among the flowers, (they being...his protesters). He is Death among the Living (his people) He is the end before a new beginning (the overthrow) He is the Dark before the Sun (a new dawning). "All this as I write is... "Forming"!

Jaker / August 5, 2009 4:21 PM

Had a great feeling that the boycotting of the swearing in of Ahmadinejad for his second term was coming. No sensible and honorable Iranians (from lowly workers nor the elites) would definitely attend this "brouhaha" event. Ok, a handful attended and why? Precisely because these are group of leeches...a power hungry mob...Iranian La Cosa Nostra headed by its Godfather named Khamenei and Admadinejad and these whole bunch of suckers his mafiosos.

This mob must be purged from Iran immediately!

shetty / August 5, 2009 9:22 PM