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03 Dec 2009 16:56No Comments
3_8412030374_L600(2).jpgTehran Prosecutor warns against protests, says his office 'good friend of the media'

Tabnak | Dec. 1, 2009

Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi warned that police would crack down on any illegal gatherings on Dec. 7, 2009, National Student's Day.

"Police will deal with anyone who attempts to disrupt public order," he said, amid rumors circulating about opposition protests on Dec. 7 (16 Azar).

Regarding the protestors arrested on Nov. 4 (13 Aban), Jafari-Dolatabadi said that the majority of the detainees had been released and only five people remained in custody.

He then went on to warn against insulting the country's officials. "Insulting any one of the heads of the three government branches will result in legal persecution and we have repeatedly said that the media must be softer in its approach and by this we do not mean a ban on critique." [Related: Tajernia sentenced to 74 lashes for insulting Ahmadinejad.]

"Constructive criticism, dissemination of information and raising public awareness are among the duties of media but extracting revenge and tarnishing [reputations] is unacceptable," he said. "This is a good opportunity for the press to adopt a softer approach and refrain from publishing false reports. I must add the Prosecutor's Office will always remain a good friend of the media."

When asked about the controversial Komail prayer ceremony that was raided by security forces, Jafari-Dolatabadi said, "The Islamic Republic is not against prayer and religious ceremonies but the officers who took action in this matter were convinced that the masterminds [of a plot against the state] had used this ceremony as a cover."

"According to reports, the agents were notified that a group had decided to gather for anti-national security purposes but some of the detained feigned ignorance and said they had gone their to participate in a prayer ceremony and some were of the opinion that this was a real meeting [for anti-national security purposes] that failed in its objectives after the raid."

When asked his opinion about Mehdi Hashemi's refusal to return to Iran after being advised by the Tehran prosecutor to do so, Jafari-Dolatabadi said, "We are in no rush for his return and whenever he returns to Iran the proper legal action will be taken against him."

Regarding the murder of Morteza Hashemi, the son of a war hero, who was decapitated along with his wife in Tehran, Jafari-Dolatabadi said, "Based on the fingerprints found on the murder weapon, the brother of the victim has been taken into custody but the matter is still under investigation."

Ahmadinejad defies Khamenei orders

Parleman News │ Dec. 2, 2009

Even after Iran's leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressly asked Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to attend meetings of the Expediency Council, the Iranian president declined, citing personal reasons.

According to the Ayandeh news site, the president's defiance of a direct order by the Supreme Leader is unprecedented in the past 28 years.

When Ayatollah Khamenei was president he had been adamant on appointing Ali Akbar Velayati as prime minister, but gave in when then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini decreed that Mir Hossein Mousavi must be appointed wartime premier.

Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani also complied with all orders issued by the leadership.

Even Mohammad Khatami, whose views diverged from the Leader, complied with his orders.

In recent months, Ahmadinejad defied the direct written order by the Leader to remove Esfandiar Mashai from the position of first vice president and even appeared on television citing "certain reasons" for failing to attend Expediency Council meetings.

Zakani speech disrupted after accusing Reformists of treason

No Andish | Dec. 2, 2009

Principlist lawmaker Ali Reza Zakani's speech at Allameh Tabatabaei University was disrupted by students after he accused well known Reformists and opposition figures of treason.

When elaborating on the post-election incidents in Iran, Zakani accused Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohammad Khatami of treason, prompting students to chant slogans in support of the Reformist figures.

ATU students demanded Zakani give an explanation about the atrocities that took place at the notorious Kahrizak Detention Center. A number of students threw 10-thousand Rial notes at Zakani, asking him in unison how much he had been paid to deliver a speech at their university.

Zakanai was forced to leave campus midway through the program.

Iran to review ties with countries over IAEA vote

Reuters | Dec. 3, 2009

Iran's parliament will review the Islamic republic's relations with countries that voted against its nuclear activities at the International Atomic Energy Agency last week, the speaker said on Thursday.

"Iran had proper cooperation with the agency's board of governors, but the recent resolution calls for careful studies on the vote in parliament's national security committee," Ali Larijani was quoted as saying by official IRNA news agency.

"Parliament will review Iran's relations with those countries that voted for the recent resolution against us."

The IAEA board angered Iran last week by censuring it for covertly building a second uranium enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom, in addition to its main IAEA-monitored one at Natanz, and calling for a halt to construction.

The resolution passed by a 25-3 margin with six abstentions, smoothed by rare backing from Russia and China, which have blocked global attempts to isolate Iran, a trade partner for both, in the past.

"The West's claim that Iran seeks nuclear weapon is a big lie ... the Iranian nation stays firm on its chosen path," state broadcaster IRIB quoted Larajani as saying.

MP: Pathology results needed to determine cause of Kahrizak doctor's death

Parleman News | Dec. 2, 2009

A member of the Majlis Health Commission said lawmakers were awaiting the release of the pathology report to determine the cause of death of the Kahrizak doctor.

"There were no signs of physical assault on the victim's body, therefore his death was not caused by an 'external force' [i.e., blunt force],'" said Masoud Pezeshkian. "The Tehran Prosecutor said that his death was caused by poisoning and we are now waiting for the pathology results."

On Tuesday, Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi said that the coroner had announced the cause of Kahrizak doctor Ramin Pourandarjani's death as a prescription overdose according to traces of medicine found in a salad on his desk.

Jafari-Dolatabadi said that investigation was ongoing to determine whether Pourandarjani died as the result of suicide or premeditated murder.

Iranian economist Saeed Leylaz handed 9-year prison term

NYT │ Dec. 3, 2009

Iran imposed on Wednesday the latest in a series of harsh penalties on prominent figures involved in election protests, sentencing Saeed Leylaz, an economist and journalist, to nine years in prison.

Mr. Leylaz was convicted of maintaining ties with foreigners and working to overthrow the government, his lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh, told the ILNA news agency. Specifically, Mr. Leylaz was accused of having dealings with Hossein Rassam, an Iranian employed as a political analyst at the British Embassy, who was sentenced in October to four years in prison for fomenting violence.

Mr. Leylaz was also charged with keeping classified documents at his home, apparently because he had in his possession a public report issued by Parliament that had been posted on the Internet, his lawyer said.

Rahnavard's brother handed one-year jail term

Parleman News │ Dec. 2, 2009

Zahra Rahnavard's brother, Shapour Kazemi, was sentenced to one year in prison by the Revolution Court.

Kazemi's lawyer Mahmoud Tabatabaei told ILNA that his client had been sentenced to one year and that he would be appealing the verdict in the 20-day period granted by law to lodge an appeal.

Tabatabaei said that his client had been charged with participating in illegal gatherings.

Kazemi was released on Nov. 26 on a bail of $50,000.

MP: Release of British yachtsmen prevented political scandal

Parleman News │ Dec. 2, 2009

Member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Qodratollah Alikhani said the release of the British yachtsmen prevented the incident from turning into a political scandal.

The lawmaker told ILNA that the National Security Commission had not been informed about the arrest or subsequent release of the yachtsmen.

"It appears that they [the yachtsmen] entered Iranian waters unknowingly and did not have political motives. Thus it was better to settle the issue before it turned into a political scandal involving Iran and Britain."

When asked if the foreign ministry had offered the Commission any explanations on the matter, Alikhani said, "The foreign ministry was evidently also not informed about the arrests."

Iran police warns of crackdown on gatherings outside universities

Asr Iran │ Dec. 3, 2009

The Iranian Police Command issued a statement to warn against any gatherings outside universities on National Students Day on Dec. 7 (16 Azar).

"The gatherings on this day are only permissible on campus and only with a permit from the Ministry of Higher Education," the statement read.

"It is expected of professors and students, with the sensitivity of the present situation in mind, to cooperate with police officers and prevent any possible unfortunate incidents."

"It is evident that any gatherings outside universities will be considered illegal and the police will be forced to counter according to their responsibilities under the law."

Iranian first lady accompanies president on provincial tours

Tabnak │ Dec. 2, 2009

An aide to the governor of Isfahan revealed that the wife of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Azaolsadat Farahi, accompanied him on a provincial visit.

"The president and his wife have truly revived the values of the Islamic Revolution that had been compromised due to enemy plots," Maryam Fatehizadeh said.

According to a report by Khabar Online, Ahmadinejad's spouse defended her husband's performance in a meeting with Isfahan province aides of women's affairs, saying that the president's insistence on appointing women in important positions was indicative of his capability and competence to govern the country.

Syria says Iran bus blast an accident, 3 dead

Reuters │ Dec. 3, 2009

A blast ripped through a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims in Damascus on Thursday, killing at least three people in an incident Syria said was an accident and not a terrorist attack.

"There was no terrorism factor behind the bus incident," Syrian Interior Minister Said Sammour said. "The bus entered a petrol station to have one of its burst tires inflated and the tire exploded. Three people were killed."

Witnesses said earlier a bomb had hit the bus near the Shi'ite shrine of Sayyeda Zainab, killing six people and destroying the rear of the bus and causing damage to nearby buildings.

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