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01 Nov 2009 14:342 Comments
851.jpg Iranian blogger seeks to show low turnout for Ahmadinejad's Mashhad visit through photos, posted here.

Iranian altruism convinced world to seek nuclear cooperation

Asr Iran | Oct. 31, 2009

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran is the most independent country in the world.

Speaking at the Basij and Media Summit in Mashhad, Ahmadinejad said that altruism was the only way to counter threats.

"The governments that once said we should not have a nuclear program, are asking for nuclear cooperation with us today. This could not have been achieved had it not been for the altruism of the Iranian nation and the leadership."

Photo: Turnout in Mashhad for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week.

Dean: student critic had Leader's permission to speak

Asr Iran | Oct. 31, 2009

Saeed Sohrabpour, dean of the prestigious Sharif University, said that the student who criticized Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei had the Supreme Leader's permission to speak out.

During a meeting of top students with the Leader, Mahmoud Vahidnia lashed out at Ayatollah Khamenei over a number of issues including state television coverage and a ban on criticizing the Leadership's performance.

"The student critic who spoke out [at the leader's meeting with students] did not exceed legal boundaries when directing his criticism and he spoke out with the permission of the leader," Sohrabpour said.

"This Sharif mathematics student said things from his own perspective and in all honesty and asked the Leadership questions that received a fatherly response."

"Vahidnia was unhappy with the performance of IRIB and even had criticism for the Leader. He was allowed with his [the Leader's] permission to freely speak his mind at the meeting."

This is while previous reports had said that the Leader did not respond to the questions raised by Vahidnia and left the meeting before leading the scheduled noon prayers.

Video: Sharif University Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009

Video: Sharif University

On Friday night the Sharif University dormitories erupted with cries of "God is great!" and "Death to the dictator!" in support of their fellow classmate. University activists warned that if any harm comes to the "courageous student" the campus would explode. -- LAT blog

Principlist MP has advice for opposition supporters

Tabnak | Nov. 1, 2009

Principlist lawmaker Assadollah Badamchian urged the opposition trio to issue a statement asking their supporters to refrain from turning the Nov. 4 rallies [marking the 30th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran] green.

Badamchian also asked Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohammad Khatami to tell their supporters not to carry the Iranian flag and 'to only shout slogans against global arrogance.'

"This group and movement [the opposition] can part ways with the rest of the nation on this day, and really [prove] to the nation that their path deviates from Islam and the republican and jurisprudent-loving establishment. But we advise these gentlemen to not separate their path from the path of the nation," he told the ISNA news agency.

The Tehran representative in Majlis then dismissed recent remarks by Habibollah Asgaroladi, who urged [extremists] not to tarnish the reputation of Mousavi and Karroubi, nor exclude them from the establishment.

"Mr. Asgaroladi said these things due to the compassion in his heart and his gracious nature but he also stressed that these gentlemen need to determine their path and keep in line with the revolution," he said.

"Mr. Asgaroladi's words apply to these gentleman up to the point that they are in line with the revolution and refrain from extremist behavior. If these three sirs are really treading a path different from the revolutionary one, they should not expect to be treated like establishment insiders."

"Nov. 4 is the day to determine the line of the revolution and the people from those who talk of the Imam but who have distanced themselves from the establishment and the revolution."

Badamchian was asked if extremism were limited to one political movement. "Extremists do not belong to the Principlist camp, even though there may be people within this movement who autonomously show extremist tendencies," he said. "But these extremists are not from the party or political movement."

Qanbari: We haven't filed suit against Ahmadinejad yet

Tabnak | Nov. 1, 2009

The spokesman for the Majlis minority bloc said reformist lawmakers have not yet filed suit against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Darioush Qanbari added that the bloc would review the possibility of initiating legal action against him for having a significant role in post-election events that rocked the country.

"We haven't yet discussed taking legal action against Ahmadinejad and [so] we have not yet reached a conclusion," he told Jam-e Jam online. "But the minority bloc has a meeting today and if lodging a complaint against Ahmadinejad is discussed in this meeting we will inform the public."

Pro-government websites had earlier claimed that reformist lawmakers intended to take the Iranian president to court in retaliation for the complaint lodged by 100 Principlist lawmakers against Mir Hossein Mousavi.

According to these websites, reformist lawmakers will request a trial for Ahmadinejad on charges of instigating unrest, provoking people to disrupt public calm, and creating political tension.

This is while the head and other members of the reformist bloc of Majlis have denied knowledge of such a motion to request legal action against Ahmadinejad. But they have not ruled out this course of action either.

Mohammad Reza Tabesh, head of the Reformist bloc, claimed to have no knowledge of such a motion. "I will remain silent on this matter for now and will not answer any questions in this regard," he said.

Reformist lawmaker Mostafa Kavakebian said it was possible that a number of lawmakers had introduced a motion against the president "but I have no knowledge of it."

Qodrat Ali-Khani also refused to comment on the issue.

Karroubi adviser free on bail

Tabnak | Oct. 31, 2009

Morteza Alviri, a jailed political activist and a former mayor of Tehran, was released on bail.

According to informed judicial sources, the judge of branch 26 of the Revolution Court issued the order for his release.

Alviri, who had been in detention for four months, was released on a $200,000 bail.

He was also a top adviser to opposition cleric Mehdi Karroubi.

Nabavi still under surveillance in hospital

Tabnak | Oct. 31, 2009

Contrary to reports circulating on the web, reformist political activist Behzad Nabavai has not been released.

The Parcham website, which is close to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, quoted an informed source as saying that Nabavi was still in Tehran's Khatamolanbia hospital under stable condition.

The source added that branch 15 of the Revolution Court would be hearing the case against Nabavi, which has now been completed and referred to court.

So far, Mohammad Qouchani and Morteza Alviri have been the only two reformist figures to be released on bail.

Minister: Israeli journalist sneaked into country

Asr Iran | Oct. 30, 2009

The Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance claims that an Israeli journalist entered the country during the post-election unrest to report on developments.

"In the course of post-election incidents, we witnessed an Israeli journalist posing as a correspondent for another media outlet. This individual reported on developments in our country," said Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini.

Speaking at the Basij and Media summit in Mashhad, Hosseinian said that people were being flooded with so much information to cripple their ability to think.

"When they bombard the individual with information, the individual becomes incapable of thinking," he said. "We must understand that nothing can be achieved merely by trying to control the situation or countering it. Instead, we must adopt an active posture."

He went on to accuse 'the enemy' of repetitively using certain vocabulary to express [and advance] its special interests. "This repetition is so extreme that even some o f the elite fall for it," he said.

Hosseinian then turned to media activities by the Reform government. "Due to the nature of the news coming from universities, we had been falsely led to believe... that hot political issues were of importance to the students," he said. "However, when we spoke to students it became clear to us that they cared about scientific, welfare and union issues and politics did not hold much significance for them."

New Foreign Ministry spokesman appointed

Tabnak | Oct. 31, 2009

Ramin Mehmanparast has been appointed the Foreign Ministry spokesman. Only five others have held this post before him.

Mehmanparast, who has replaced Hassan Qashqavi, previously served as Iran's ambassador to Kazakhstan.

Qashqavi is presently the deputy of Consulate, Majlis and Iranian Affairs.

Royal dynasties omitted from history textbooks

Asr Iran | Oct. 30, 2009

In an incomprehensible move, the education minister's research deputy announced the omission of royal dynasties from history textbooks.

"We did not remove the Shah [Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi] from history books only royal dynasties were omitted," said Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Mohammadian.

"Iranian students were forced to remember the names of kings and their dates of birth and death as well as historical events," he said. "Their heads were filled with numbers and dates and we believe that in teaching history the reason behind events must be emphasized so that [this knowledge] can be a guide for our future and a mirror reflecting past events."

"The names of kings may be mentioned, but the people must not be absent [from historical stories]," he said.

Journo's file referred to Revolution Court

Tabnak | Nov. 1, 2009

Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeydabadi's file has been referred to the Revolution Court.

The public relations office of the Tehran Justice Department also announced that Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi had visited a number of the post-election detainees in Evin prison on Sunday and issued the necessary orders for their cases to be immediately reviewed.

The ISNA report further added that Dolatabadi had issued an order to allow Zeydabadi's family to visit him in prison.

Reformist MPs want to take Ahmadinejad to court

Tabnak | Nov. 1, 2009

Pro-government websites claimed that the reformist members of parliament have decided to bring charges against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his role in the post-election unrest.

According to a Khabar online report carried by Tabnak, no Reformist lawmakers has so far confirmed the report.

Pro-government news outlets claim that the decision to take Ahmadinejad to court is in retaliation for the motion supported by 100 Principlist lawmakers to file suit against Mir Hossein Mousavi.


"Green Halloween," M Street in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

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President Ahmadinejad actually gives open air public speeches?That's something, especially for what is generally portrayed as a divided political environment in Iran.

Last month, President Obama came to San Francisco and literally snuck into a fund raiser, ducking the opposition protesters outside. No open air public speeches, that's for sure.

And when Nancy Pelosi came to San Francisco to speak publicly about healthcare reform, there wasn't even one-one hundredth the crowd in attendance at Mashad that came to hear her speak.

Pirouz / November 2, 2009 7:44 AM

The ability to give an "open air speech" shows the civility of the green movement. Ahmadinejad's crowd is reportedly comprised of government payroll pilgrams (basij), hardly can make comparison to Nany Pelosi crowds.

Paul Becket / November 2, 2009 12:14 PM