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Intel chief warns of extent of opposition

10 Dec 2009 21:014 Comments
122922_845.jpgIran intel chief warns of extent of opposition

AP | Dec. 10, 2009

Iran's top intelligence official denounced senior clerics who he said support the country's opposition, an acknowledgment of the split in the leadership amid the postelection turmoil and a sign of growing pressure by hard-liners within the government to extend the crackdown.

The comments, reported Thursday by the state news agency IRNA, came after this week's widespread student protests, the biggest anti-government rallies in months. The unrest appears to have raised authorities' frustration that a fierce crackdown since the June election has failed to crush the opposition.

Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi spoke to a gathering of pro-government clerics in the holy city of Qom and warned that the opposition movement -- which authorities label as a foreign-backed plot to overthrow clerical rule -- extended into the country's high ranks.

"Unfortunately, based on precise intelligence, a lot of forces that were expected to defend the supreme leader instead went with those who rose against the supreme leader, he said, referring to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who stands at the top of Iran's clerical leadership.

Plagiarism scandal continues to grow in Iran

Nature | Dec. 9, 2009

Nature has uncovered further instances of apparent plagiarism in papers co-authored by government ministers and senior officials in Iran. An earlier probe revealed extensive plagiarism in a paper co-authored by transport minster Hamid Behbahani and four papers co-authored by science minister Kamran Daneshjou. Scientists inside and outside the country have called for investigations, as well as for stronger ethical oversight in Iran's research institutions.

Daneshjou, a mechanical engineer at the Iran University of Science & Technology (IUST) in Tehran, was head of the interior-ministry office that oversaw this year's disputed election that kept President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power. In October, the Iranian parliament's commission for science and education held an informal inquiry into the four Daneshjou papers. Although it made no official conclusion, it effectively cleared Daneshjou after his co-author, IUST colleague Majid Shahravi, took responsibility for the papers' contents in the Iranian media.

Also in question is a 2008 paper on modelling pollution in Iran, which is co-authored by one of the 37 members of the Iranian Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, Mohammad Ali Kaynejad, an environmental engineer at Sahand University of Technology in Tabriz, Iran. The paper almost entirely duplicates a 2001 conference paper on modelling pollution in Hungary.

Karroubi's son reacts to Kayhan smear campaign

Tabnak | Dec. 10, 2009

Mehdi Karroubi's son, Hossein, reacted strongly to the allegations made by the hardline Kayhan newspaper, saying that his father has always been a man of action and not one to sit on the side.

"He has a brilliant history of being a fighter before the election and has always confronted oppression like his mentor, the late Imam[ Khomeini]. Whenever he has seen injustice he has spoken out against it," he said. "Know who you are addressing and how to address him. These days [leading to the month of Moharam] are very sacred ones. Repent for your actions and perhaps God will forgive you your many mistakes."

Prosecutor says fate of 16 Azar detainees to be determined soon

Parleman News | Dec. 9, 2009

Tehran's Prosecutor announced that of the 204 citizens arrested on 16 Azar, 86 had been released and the fate of the remaining detainees would soon be determined.

"On this day [16 Azar], police arrested 204 individuals and investigations into the cases of the remaining suspects are ongoing and after investigations come to a close, a decision will be made about their release," said Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi.

Regarding those arrested on Oct. 22, Dolatabadi said, "Investigations are still ongoing in the case of four of the suspects."

Dolatabadi also announce the release of three more of those being held after Nov. 4 (13 Aban).

Tehran prosecutor to take pro-govt website to court

Parleman News | Dec. 10, 2009

Tehran's prosecutor has taken legal action against the editor-in-chief of the "Yaran Khorshid" website for insulting government officials.

According to the Public Relations office of the Tehran Public and Revolution Courts, the "Yaran Khorshid" website recently ran a report in which it insulted members of the Iranian establishment.

"Upon the prosecutor's request a legal case has been opened against the website and the case has been referred to a public court," it said.

Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi had earlier warned that legal action would be taken against those who insult any of the three heads of the administrative branches and or other government officials.

Ayatollah Nouri-Hamedani warns opposition

Tabnak | Dec. 10, 2009

Ayatollah Hossein Nouri-Hamedani urged the opposition to rejoin the ranks of the nation because he said they will never succeed.

In a meeting with Tehran province Prayers Leaders, Ayatollah Nouri-Hamedani said, "these individuals [opposition] are well-known by the people, and the people know that those who give hope to the enemies of Islam and the revolution are not the followers of the Imam [Khomeini]."

"I advise the minority group that seeks to play the role of opposition in the country: they will never succeed because this Revolution is rooted in Ashura and is a medium between Ashura and the coming of the Hidden Imam," IRNA quoted the Grand Ayatollah.

He went on to describe Islam, the people, and the Leadership as the three pillars of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. "To safeguard the Revolution from harm, one must make every effort to support the leadership and preserve Islamic values because the government's success is only possible with the cooperation of the nation and in particular the impoverished people of society," he said.

Rafsanjani to publish views on politics, leadership

Tabnak | Dec. 10, 2009

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's book "Divine legitimacy," which explains the
veteran cleric's views on the Rule of the Just Jurisprudent and politics, will be made available soon.

The 204-page book, which will be published by the Jomhori Eslami Daily's publishing house, explores the historical development of the Just Jurisprudent theory and elaborates on the debates surrounding the theory since 2004.

Fars says Mousavi supporters fail in TU again

Fars News | Dec. 9, 2009

Fars News claimed that a ban on all gatherings in and around Tehran University was successful and thwarted any efforts by supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi to exhibit any defiance.

The Tehran University Islamic Society, which is on the verge of suspension after two consecutive defeats on Dec. 7 and 8, attempted to stage an illegal protest on campus on Wednesday Dec. 9, with the aim of taking the protest off campus. Fars went on to claim that the students hoped to revive their dying movement by having Mousavi join in the protest. The movement was defeated after students refused to participate out of respect for the law, it alleged. The Fars report further claimed that Mousavi, who had been waiting off campus to join the protest, was forced to return home.

Fars said that this was the third defeat Mousavi supporters experienced since 16 Azar, and that even Mousavi's presence did not change anything in their favor.

Tehran University remains calm, Fars said.

Report of Kalhor replacing Mousavi rejected

Tabnak | Dec. 10, 2009

A source at Farhangestan (Arts Cultural Center) has rejected reports that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's media adviser has been appointed as the director of the center in place of Mir Hossein Mousavi.

The source told Arya that, "Reports about replacing Mousavi with [Mehdi] Kalhor are media speculation and no such thing has been discussed by the permanent members of the Farhangestan."

A number of media outlets had reported the possibility of replacing Mousavi with Kalhor at the Farhangestan.

MP rejects report of Mousavi heart attack

Khabar Online | Dec. 9, 2009

Despite reports about Mir Hossein Mousavi suffering a heart attack and a confidential telex from one of the official news agencies, a lawmaker rejected it as a baseless rumor.

According to Khabar Online, after the report spread through the Majlis corridors, reporters asked Mohammad-Reza Tabesh to confirm the report that Mousavi was being treated at Shahid Rajayi Hospital for the alleged heart attack.

After making several calls, Tabesh returned to reporters and said that Mousavi was tending to his daily affairs at Farhangestan (Arts Cultural Center). "Maybe [it's just] some people voicing their desires [to see Mousavi die]."

Tabesh said that such rumors sought to create tension in society and advised those who started the rumor to "consider the consequences of their immoral actions."

Khabar Online contacted the information desk at Shahid Rajayi Hospital and was told that no patient with the name of Mousavi had been admitted to the hospital on Wednesday, or the day before.

Iran says US and Saudis responsible for missing scientist

Tabnak | Dec. 10, 2009

Iran's foreign ministry said Washington and Riyadh were responsible for the well being of Iranian nuclear physicist Shahram Amiri.

According to a Mehr News Agency report, in response to a question about claims made by Saudi officials that their questions about Amiri were left unanswered by Iranian officials, a foreign ministry source said, "The truth of the matter tells a different story. In this regard [Amiri's case], countless meetings have been held with Saudi officials and numerous memos have been exchanged and a representative has been appointed by the Islamic Republic to follow up on the issue in Riyadh."

"Unfortunately Saudi officials have been trying to cover up the issue and this approach is in violation of this country's Consulate and legal obligations," he added. "There is undeniable evidence that Mr. Amiri was kidnapped by the Americans. Under international conventions his well-being and fate is the responsibility of the US and Saudi governments and these two countries must be held accountable."

Amiri is an Iranian nuclear physicist who went missing in Saudi Arabia in June while attending the Hajj. Iran says the U.S. has kidnapped Amiri.

Amnesty International critical of Iran's Investigation into abuses

Times Online | Dec. 10, 2009

Iranian security forces used rape, torture and mock executions in their campaign to crush anti-government protest this summer, an Amnesty International said today, citing a "climate of impunity" that has seen human rights in the country plunge to their lowest point in 20 years.

Amnesty said in a report that protesters were incarcerated in appalling conditions, raped and tortured into false confessions and sentenced to death after suspect show trials while official investigations into alleged abuses "seemed to have been more concerned with covering up abuses than getting at the truth".

Authorities deployed the hardline Basij militia and the Revolutionary Guards to suppress the hundreds of thousands of Iranians who took to the streets after the presidential elections. The reports says that the security forces "resorted to exceptionally high levels of violence and arbitrary measures to stifle protest and dissent".

Amnesty also the noted that Iran's courts had handed out sentences of flogging and amputations, and had executed at least 346 people, possibly more, this year. Two men were executed by stoning, while eight of those killed were juvenile offenders.

Subsidy bill to be sent back to Majlis

Press TV | Dec. 9, 2009

Iran's Guardian Council Spokesman has said that the supervisory body has found problems with a bill that is aimed at reforming the country's subsidy system.

"The subsidy bill was studied by the Guardian Council and it was found to have problems, so it will be sent back to Majlis," IRNA quoted Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei on Wednesday.

He did not disclose further details about the issue, adding that more will be revealed in a news conference on Saturday.

Court hearing for Bahman Amoui scheduled for Saturday

IRNA | Dec. 10, 2009

The Public Relations Office of Tehran's General and Revolutionary Court announced Wednesday that Bench 26 of the court is scheduled to survey Amouie's file.

The report added that the hearing session would be held on Saturday, in the presence of a representative of the prosecutor, and the culprit's lawyer.

Bahman Ahmadi Amouie, a graduate of Economics from Babolsar State University, had worked for various newspapers such as Jame'e, Tous, Sobh-e Emrouz, Norouz, Shargh, Vaghaye-e Etefaghiyeh and Sarmayeh.

He has also written two books including "The Political Economy of the Islamic Republic".

He was arrested on June 20th just after the Presidential Elections along with his wife Zhila Baniya'qoub. Both were then transferred to ward No. 209 of Tehran's Evin Prison.

Iran says 45,000 detained for illegal entry into country since March

Tehran Times | Dec. 10, 2009

According to the border police commander, authorities have arrested around 45,000 people for illegally entering the country since March 21.

"On average 600 people have been detained every day for illegally crossing Iranian borders from all sides," explained Hossein Zolfaqari.

He said that in order to boost border security, border police officers will need to receive the necessary training.

Under a new plan, border police will be equipped with more modern electronic devices. And the speed for increasing the security and monitoring of the borders will be doubled in the near future.

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press, and excerpts where the source is in English. The link to the news organization or blog is provided at the top of each item. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the story in perspective.

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Mullahs end is near. In a few years mullahs will be referred to as extinct species.

People of Iran / December 11, 2009 7:43 AM

I cannot see how 'mullahs' can ever be extinct. The chief mullah I.e. Khamanei might get a sack although he enjoys good backing from the poorer sections of society and there is nothing to suggest that he is personally corrupt. He maybe naïve& had bad judgement in the post-election aftermath. But his decisions suggest he is given to caution but decisive once he is convinced. He acted very quickly once the abuses of Kazirak became known, has refrained from some of the extreme statements of other clerics in calling for trial and death of the reformist leaders, has gone round the country on a listening exercise allowing a student to openly question & criticise him without the student suffering any consequences. He could be like Obama, a man with good intentions, trapped between a rock & a hard place. Ironically if he can sail through this and carry out some of the reforms needed on the quiet he might actually end up bolstering his position with the vast majority of the masses and could end up replacing some of the more traditional marja. This is a movie whose ending despite what many here believe has an undetermined end. What would help the opposition is for the US to conclude the deal agreed in principle by IRI as quickly as possible. With the nuke issue resolved the 'hardliners' who are no different to the 'neocons' in the US will have the rug pulled under their feet and will then have to face accountability to the people for their wrongdoiings.

rezvan / December 12, 2009 4:20 AM

@rezvan: What you say may or may not be true, but his clock as already hit midnight...you think the people on the street who are burning his pictures and chanting death upon him are going to want him to stay? This isn't about compromise any more, there is very little room for that. People want the religion to be totally different from state (which means no Supreme Leader). This is 30 years in the making and people aren't going to settle for a halfway compromise.

DC / December 12, 2009 7:48 PM

rezvan, wake up and smell the coffee. To think this regime is here to stay is nothing short of crazy. They have ruined the country, murdered thousands of people and isolated Iran. Have you been in a coma in the last 7 months? They rigged the elections. What does that tell you? It tells the rest of the thinking world they are not wanted. Iran has no future with a backward Islamic regime. What part of this don't you understand? It is too late for these cosmetic moves you are talking about. You cannot murder,imprison, rape and torture your people and then take a good will tour of the country. Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and the rest of these murderers are both insane.It is shameful when the likes of you try to white wash the last 30 years.

Amin / December 13, 2009 7:06 AM