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5 Brits in Iranian custody; FP's Top 100

30 Nov 2009 21:224 Comments

British sailors in Iranian custody

Al Jazeera | BBC Analysis | Nov. 30, 2009

Five Britons are being held in Iran after the Iranian navy seized their racing yacht, which may have strayed into the country's waters in the Gulf en route from Bahrain to Dubai, Britain's foreign ministry has said.

The yacht, owned by Sail Bahrain, was seized on November 25, a day before it was due to take part in the Dubai-Muscat Offshore Sailing Race.

The Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers

FP | Special Report 2009

FP's third place distinction -- right after Ben Bernanke and President Barack Obama -- goes to Zahra Rahnavard "for being the brains behind Iran's Green Revolution and the campaign of her husband, opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi."

Of all the critical moments in the Iranian presidential election that captured the world's attention this year, one stands out: On June 3, incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly questioned the credentials of his opponent's wife, wondering in a televised debate if her Ph.D. in political science was legitimate. Furious, the 64-year-old Rahnavard staged a blazing, 90-minute news conference in which she accused the president of lying, debasing her sex, and betraying the Islamic Revolution. The attack galvanized the opposition and rejuvenated the campaign of her husband, Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Ahmadinejad should have known better. During and after the Islamic Revolution, Rahnavard had been an ardent Islamist who worked to discredit secular feminist groups. But years later, when the revolution failed to yield dividends for women, she changed course and became a driving force behind the nascent feminist movement in Iran. After she was placed on the High Council of Cultural Revolution, the body issued its first declaration in 1992 advancing women's rights. She was later fired as chancellor of Tehran's exclusively female Al-Zahra University for inviting feminist lawyer and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi to speak.

This year, Rahnavard's rage at Ahmadinejad drove her husband's campaign. She began stumping with him and organizing supporters through rallies, Facebook, Twitter, and text messages. Campaign posters that depicted the couple holding hands subtly hinted at the liberal reforms Mousavi would make in office; she has more explicitly said these would involve greater democratization, a stronger role for women in the cabinet, and a relaxing of Iran's notoriously discriminatory gender laws.

Iran FM slams IAEA resolution as "discriminatory"

Press TV │ Nov. 30, 2009

Iran's foreign minister slammed the IAEA resolution against Tehran as "illogical" and "discriminatory," saying the UN nuclear watchdog was implementing the "law of the jungle."

Manouchehr Mottaki said the resolution, passed by the IAEA board of governors on Friday, "weakened" the position of the UN nuclear watchdog as an international body.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, Mottaki criticized Western media for not reflecting Iran's "clear response" to an IAEA proposal to provide Iran with the nuclear fuel it needs for medical purposes.

The Friday resolution, sponsored by Germany, was passed in a 25-3 vote with six abstentions, demanding that Iran halt the construction of its Fordo nuclear facility outside Tehran.

The resolution came despite the announcement of IAEA inspectors after their visit to Fordo nuclear plant that no centrifuges had been installed at the site.

"We could not find any logical reason for the Board of Governors' decision," Mottaki said. "We cannot accept discrimination in international relations. Either there are rights or such rights do not exist."

"The age of discriminatory policies is over. This is the law of the jungle," Mottaki said.

IRIB ad runs Israeli anthem

Khabar Online │ Nov. 30, 2009

A television ad carried on IRIB, Iran's state broadcaster, has scandalized the network's viewers, according to Jahan newspaper.

State television ran an ad for Nestle featuring the Israeli national anthem, known as "Hatikva," is a "highly recognizable" melody that has been used in films such as "Munich" and "Schindler's List," Jahan reported.

Mousavi supporters protests at Tehran University

Khabar Online │ Nov. 29, 2009

A group of twenty supporters of opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi demonstrated at Tehran University on Sunday.

The students gathered on campus to chant pro-Mousavi slogans and held placards reading "Free Political Prisoners."

According to Khabar Online, the students were forced to go back into the Faculty of Persian Literature after other students did not join in and show any support.

No independent source has confirmed this report.

Tribunal metes out harsh verdicts to Shahr Kord students

Rahe Sabz │ Nov. 30, 2009

Twenty-three students at Shahr Kord University in a western province in Iran were given harsh punishments after being summoned by the university's disciplinary tribunal following the rallies on Nov. 4.

Amir Kabir newsletter lists the names of the students and their suspension from academic study as follows:

Abbas Pashmi (member of the Islamic Student Society): two semesters suspension

Ali Moradi (member of the Islamic Student Society): two semesters suspension

Hadi Delbahari (member of the Islamic Student Society): two semesters suspension

Maryam Malek-Shabani (head of the cultural commission of the Islamic Student Society): two semesters suspension

Arman Asaad (former political member of the Islamic Student Society): one semester suspension

Aqil Esfandyarpour (member of the Islamic Student Society): one semester suspension

Mohammad Heydarzadeh (member of the Islamic Student Society): one semester suspension

Saeed Sepahi: one semester suspension

It should be noted that the punitive measures have yet to be enforced, as university officials have said they will implement the disciplinary punishments after Student Day (December 8) only if the students participate in illegal gatherings.

Mowjcamp reported that Shahr Kord University students had staged a sit-in in protest to the security cameras placed on campus and the segregation of student transportation on Nov. 4.

Qom Friday prayers leader departs

Tabnak │ Nov. 29, 2009

Iran's domestic political scene has been rife with speculation about the reasons behind Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli's decision to bid the Qom Friday Prayers farewell.

On Friday, Javadi-Amoli announced that he had tried to do his duties as the Qom Friday Prayers leader as best as he could, adding, "I will no longer be leading the Friday prayers of this city."

Some parties are of the opinion that a reason for this departure could be that Javadi-Amoli had recently written a treatise and joined the ranks of the Sources of Emulation.

Javadi-Amoli was among the religious figures who continuously urged Islamic compassion in dealing with the people in aftermath of the disputed presidential vote. He also directed fierce criticism at the government over its economic policies.

Majlis to review Kordan complaint

Khabar Online │ Nov. 29, 2009

Member of the Majlis Legal and Judiciary Commission Salman Zaker said that the late Ali Kordan, Iran's former interior minister, had sent a letter of complaint against Speaker Ali Larijani a few days prior to his death.

The letter was referred by Larijani to the Legal and Judiciary Commission and the commission is to review the authenticity
of it," Zakeri told ISNA.

"We will definitely review the issue with all the care deserving of a branch of the [Iranian] establishment."

Iran Judiciary probing case of Basij imposters

Press TV │ Nov. 30, 2009

Iran's judiciary is probing the case of 12 saboteurs who introduced themselves as members of the Basij force but had no records of membership in the Basij, a top Revolutionary Guards commander said Monday.

Hossein Hamedani said that some of the suspects who had infiltrated the Basij were involved in the shootings during the post-election unrest, adding that their cases were also under investigation in the judiciary.

"Our investigation shows these imposters were neither Basij members nor supporters of any of the presidential candidates," Hamedani said.

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It could not happen to a nicer guy.

Ahmadinejad and his first lady are greeted in Venezuela with 'Long Live the King' played in the background. LOLOLOLOL.

I can not believe they got it wrong afer all his visits in the past.


Ali / December 1, 2009 12:13 AM

Students in Iran getting more prepared for 7th December.

Faraz Amiralaei / December 1, 2009 1:55 AM

Ali,I am glad they did. Long live the King. Noor beh ghabresh bebareh.Happy days will return again.Piroozieh noor beh tariki.

Mina / December 1, 2009 6:08 AM

Zahra Rahnavard?? Number 4 on top global thinkers?? Is someone kidding me or having a laugh at the iranian peoples expense??? I will boycott that ridicouous magazine FP and call for others to do so for the rest of my life...

Abbas / December 2, 2009 7:20 PM