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03 Sep 2009 09:422 Comments
Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi, the new Health Minister, chats with lawmakers after her speech on Sept. 1, 2009. Photo/Tehran Bureau
Iran's first female minister not Dastjerdi


Blog Watch: Mehrekian | Sept. 3, 2009

Despite Marzieh Dastgerdi's claim of becoming Iran's first female minister, in reality that title belongs to Farokhroo Parsa.

Parsa was the minister of education in the second and third cabinet of Amir-Abbas Hoveida. She became a minister in 1968.

After the Revolution in Iran, she was tried and found guilty [by a "revolutionary court"] of financial corruption and spreading moral corruption in the ministry while it was under her guidance. She was executed on May 8, 1980.

Blogger's sources were Tabnak and Wikipedia.

Mohsen Rouholamini's Cheleh Memorial

Tehran Bureau | Sept. 3, 2009

Pursuant to Muslim tradition, a memorial was held today for Mohsen Rouholamini, who was murdered 40 days ago at Kahrizak detention center in the southern fringes of Tehran.

Rouholamini, 25, was a graduate student in computer engineering at Tehran University. He was from a prominent conservative family whose members, including his father, were part of the Basij militia. His father even spoke publicly to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week when a group of conservative university professors met with the Leader. His death was instrumental in the ordered closure of the detention center.

Someone who attended the memorial sent in the following account:

The memorial was very sad, with Mohsen's mother screaming his name and sobbing hard. The young man was well-known and from a prominent conservative family. Therefore, his family had been allowed to hold the memorial. Other families who have lost loved ones have not been so "fortunate," as the government has prevented them from holding such memorials.

Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi, the former Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and many hardliners who played a role in the murder of the young people [after the election] were also there. Many of the mothers who were there were whispering, "They killed the young man, and now they have come to his memorial! This was a well-known young man. What about the poor families who did not have ties to such high [placed] families?"

The same mothers surrounded Mohsen's father at the door. As he was leaving the memorial, they shouted "Allah-o akbar [God is great]" and "Marg bar moghasser [death to the culprit]." But, what is the use [now that the young man is dead]?

I just hope that when this man [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] comes to the United States [in late September], you [the Iranians living in the U.S.] really give it to him. We do not have any power here [in Iran].

Majlis lawmaker's Kahrizak joke stops live broadcast

Asr Iran | Sept. 3, 2009

The live broadcast of today's vote session in Majlis came to a halt after a member of the governing board joked about sending cheaters to Kahrizak.

While the casting of votes was in process, one lawmaker approached Speaker Ali Larijani and jokingly asked when ballot boxes would be dispatched to the arduous regions of Majlis.

Before the Speaker had a chance to respond, a member of the Majlis governing body said, "No cheating," then laughingly added: "If you cheat. We'll send you to Kahrizak!"

The live broadcast of the Majlis session was promptly stopped after he uttered that remark.

Mashai: Opponents welcome to criticism, will stay on as long as president wants him

Tabnak | Sept. 3, 2009

Esfandyar Rahim-Mashai, who heads the president's office, said he would only part ways with the Ahmadinejad government if he finds faith that his presence is not in the interest of the administration.

When asked in parliament today whether his continued presence in the 10th government was wise given the controversies he created for the 9th administration, Mashai said, "If I believed this, I would not have stayed with the government for even another minute."

"Some people have certain opinions and they are welcome to them. The important thing is what the president thinks about my presence in the government."

"My presence in the 10th government is an indication of the president's positive opinion about the matter and that he does not hold the same view as the opponents."

A reporter asked if the president followed him in cultural matters. Mashai brushed aside the question and said it was inappropriate of him to ask.

Ahmadinejad, Mousavi supporters attend separate prayer

Khabar Online | Sept. 2, 2009

In one of the courts under the supervision of the Iranian Judiciary, two separate Jamaa prayers are held at noon, one for the supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the other Mir Hossein Mousavi. The prayers are led by separate Imams, though they take place in the same building.

Due to the large number of people attending Jamaa prayer in Ramadan, authorities have a problem on their hands. The matter was slated to be resolved after Ramadan.

Majlis approves most Ahmadinejad ministers

Reuters | Sept. 3, 2009

Parliament on Thursday approved Iran's first woman minister, backed a relative novice as oil minister and installed as defense minister a man wanted by Argentina for an attack on a Jewish center in 1994.

The outcome of parliament's voting on the nominees signaled a limited setback for the hard-line president, who had four of his first-choice nominees rejected by the assembly in 2005.

Crucially for Ahmadinejad, heavyweight nominees including the oil, defense, intelligence, interior, economy and foreign ministers were all approved by MPs.

The three nominees who were rejected were the proposed energy, welfare and education ministers.

Of three nominated women ministers, only Health Minister Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi was approved. She will become the Islamic Republic's first female minister.

Mideast Iran ElectionBlog Watch: "Why they decided to wash Azadi monument in Tehran after 20 years." Graffati says "Oh Hossein! Mir Hossein!" and "Only Mousavi"

904Day 4 of vetting candidates.

Finding ways to express themselves: "Death to Khamenei" "Death to the Dictator" (further one). Aghdasiyeh neighborhood in Shemiran, North Tehran.

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The Perso-Arabic script appears to lend itself well to graffiti, better than the Roman script.

Shemiran, my old neighborhood....

Pirouz / September 3, 2009 4:20 PM

The power struggle underway in Iran is between an alliance of an extremely reactionary Shi'a sect named Hojatieh and the mafia of the so-called Guards of the Islamic Revolution on one hand, and ordinary Iranians, civil and religious elites, intellectuals, along with the reformist and, more cautiously, conservative factions of the regime, on the other. The security apparatus controls almost the entire Iranian economy directly or indirectly, and now wants to secure it with unfettered political power. I think it is important to be clear about the meaning of its political empowerment. Imagine, if you will, a Pakistani-ISI type, with all its conspiratorial machinations, guided by a virulent Taliban-like sect which sees its role as preparing the way for the coming of the 12th Imam, their messiah! Whether the sword serves the ideology or uses it as pretext for its own Machiavellian ends is not important. If the hijackers manage to establish themselves, it will not be just Iranians and the region but the whole world that will have to contemplate the real possibility of a military confrontation between the Islamic regime and a Likudite Israel. The crisis of legitimacy the regime ends up with makes such a possibility even more likely. Virulent militarism will be a constitutive feature of the new system, and not an aspect of its rise to dictatorial power.

Borzu Zand / September 4, 2009 12:14 AM