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15 Dec 2009 02:451 Comment
ghazi.jpgIran prosecutor general reportedly confirms rape in prisons

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 15, 2009

Iran's Prosecutor General attended a private meeting with the members of the Assembly of Experts, where he gave a classified report regarding Mehdi Karroubi's comments about physical abuse in Kahrizak detention center.

At the meeting, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei confirmed Karroubi's remarks, saying, "The issue of rape in prisons is worse than what Karroubi has said."

In the meantime, he dissociated police officers and prison guards from the crimes, saying, "Bandits and dangerous people are kept in prisons and they sometimes rape the younger inmates."

The Prosecutor General rejected the involvement of prison guards in the rape of the post-election detainees. This while on August 15, Parviz Soruri, the head of a Majlis fact-finding committee, announced that legal action would be taken against 12 police personnel in connection with Kahrizak incidents.

MP: Judiciary to decide if Mortazavi is guilty in Kahrizak rapes

Tabnak | Dec.15

Lawmaker Farhad Tajari said if Judge Saeed Mortazavi is guilty in the Kahrizak scandal, everyone must wait for the Judiciary's verdict on the matter.

Though Mortazavi had claimed that the purpose of his visit to Majlis was not the Kahrizak case, but to visit his judiciary colleagues serving as lawmakers instead, Tajari claimed that he was there to clarify ambiguities in the Kahrizak case.

When asked if Alireza Zakani's claims about Mortazavi's role in Kahrizak were true, Tajari said, "We must await the judiciary's ruling to see if he had a role."

"According to Mr. Mortazavi, the Kahrizak detention center was approved by the prisons organization. He offered evidence on the matter, prompting lawmakers to request more information about the matter."

When asked about the Kahrizak suspects, Tajjari said, "There may have been misdemeanors committed by officers or judiciary organizations, but we must wait for the final ruling of the judiciary to determine their punishment."

Tajjari was asked why the post-election detainees had all been immediately tried, and their trials broadcast on national television, yet the trial of the eight Kahrizak suspects was being held up. "Because the prosecutor's office had gathered the evidence against those individuals [post-election detainees], and in the Kahrizak case it is possible that charges were raised that require investigating the suspect's past records," Tajjari responded. "For instance, they may claim that they acted on their superior's order and the prosecutor must look into it and determine whether the claims are well founded or not."

When asked if it was a possibility that Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Radan would be summoned to conclude the investigations, and if he might show up unexpectedly at Majlis like Mortazavi, Tajjari laughed and said, "I think it to be highly unlikely."

Tajjari said that the report compiled by the Majlis truth-finding committee was ready for presentation, but not presented only "in order not to play with the reputation of any official. There are things that need to be cleared up and an investigation must be carried out to the extent possible."

Mortazavi says he's innocent in Kahrizak

Tabnak | Dec. 15

According to a Jame-e Jam online report, when asked by reporters whether he would take legal action against Alireza Zakani for recent accusations, Deputy Prosecutor General Judge Saeed Mortazavi told reporters, "I did respond to him based on Article 23 [of the constitution] and I stress here that I have never sued anyone in my life, before becoming a judge or after it."

"There is no specific reason for not suing, it's just that I have never sued anyone and have only responded to accusations that I sometimes see in media," he said.

When asked if he had been summoned over Zakani's allegations, Mortazavi said, "Regarding Kahrizak, I prefer to only answer the questions put to me by judiciary officials. Kahrizak is not my business, neither is it Mr. Zakani's. He had a personal issue in this regard and made [some] statements."

When asked if he had said Zakanai was mentally imbalanced, Mortazavi said, "This is what the media said."

When asked about his current position and the position he was to assume in the government, Mortazavi said, "I am currently the deputy Prosecutor General and if I join the government I will still maintain this position."

"I have announced my readiness to work with the government and if there is need, I will be helping them."

"I have always considered myself as a soldier of the establishment and it is not up to a soldier to decide where he wants to serve."

Janati rejects Mousavi's four demands

Asr Iran | Dec. 15, 2009

Panjereh, a Principlist weekly paper, revealed that the head of the Guardians Council, Ahmad Janati turned down four of Mir Hossein Mousavi's requests after the presidential election.

This is while a seven-member committee that was supposed to probe into the election had agreed to have the Guardian Council look into Mousavi's four demands before the legal deadline for contesting the vote result.

The seven-member election probe committee consisted of Ali Aqamohammadi, Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi, Hojjatoleslam Rahimian, Hojjatoleslam Mohammad-Hassan Abu-Torabi, Ali-Akbar Velayati and Eftekhar Jahromi, who were tasked with settling the vote dispute.

Aqamohammadi went to negotiate with Mousavi about his requests and asked him to list his demands to be communicated with the Supreme Leader and the Guardians Council.

Mousavi told him to speak with his representative, Mohtashamipour, as whatever he said would meet his approval.

Mohtashamipour made four demands:

1. Recounting the vote in four provinces;
2. Comparing the serial number on ID cards with the numbers on ballot papers;
3. Comparing the number of printed ballots with the existing ones; and
4. Examining the handwriting on the ballots to make sure they are not all the same.

According to the report, Haddad-Adel and Abu-Torabi agreed to communicate and follow up on Mousavi's demands. The seven-member committee would then report back to Janati.

However, Janati said that meeting the demands would require a lot of time, and the shortage of time did not allow for them to be taken into consideration, thereby rejecting the Mousavi camp's demands outright.

In an effort to resolve the dispute, the deadline for lodging complaints was extended so that the seven-member committee, the Guardian Council and Mousavi could find a solution.

While efforts were under way, and before they yielded results, however, Guardian Council spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodayi announced on live television that "there has been no major fraud in the election and maybe it would be better to say no fraud has taken place."

Students hold rival rallies, Bazaar closes

Reuters | Dec. 15, 2009

Hundreds of pro-government and pro-opposition students staged rival rallies in Tehran on Tuesday, and the capital's bazaar briefly closed down in protest at an "insult" to the Islamic Republic's founder.

The incidents, reported by official media and a reformist Web site, were another sign of tension rising in Iran once again six months after a disputed election that plunged it into its worst internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Saeedi quits atomic energy organization

Mehr | Dec. 15, 2009

Mohammad Saeedi has resigned as the deputy director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), the organization said in a press release on Tuesday. According to the report, AEOI director Ali Akbar Salehi agreed to Saeedi's resignation last week.

Saeedi served as the AEOI deputy director for planning and international affairs and was a permanent member of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team for five years.

Saeedi successor appointed

Tabnak | Dec. 15, 2009

After the head of the Atomic Energy Organization accepted the resignation of the deputy scheduler Mohammad Seedi, Mosoud Akhavanfard was appointed as his replacement.

According to the Mehr News Agency report, Saeedi was a permanent member of the Iranian nuclear negotiation team for the past five years.

MP: Mehrabian has no chance if impeached

Khabar Online | Dec. 15, 2009

Member of the Majlis Social Commission Mohammad Alikhani said Ali Akbar Mehrabian is responsible for the industrial problems of the country and will be dismissed if impeached.

"Majlis, the president and the industries minister hold contradictory views about the industrial sector but what is certain is that our industry is in crisis," he said.

"In my province there are 50 factories that are in critical condition and their workers are suffering. Many other factories are on the brink of closure," ILNA quoted the Qazvin representative in Majlis as saying.

He referred to a recent meeting between the minister of Industries and Mining, and the head of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), saying, "The dispute between the CBI and Industries Ministry is very alarming and he [Mehrabian] expected to be named an industrial hero at this meeting."

"In the meeting, Mr. [Mahmoud] Bahmani said that the CBI had given a $30 million loan to the Ministry of Industries and Mining but has yet to receive any payments back."

"Mehrabian rejected his [Bahmani's] claims and kept saying 'our industries this, our industries that' until Bahmani had to put him in his place."

Alikhani described the disputes as horrifying and added, "I really don't know what the future of industries will be... In Majlis many of the lawmakers are complaining about the closure of factories in their constituencies."

He went on to say the industrial management of the country was extremely weak, stressing, "Some of the lawmakers are not happy with Mehrabian's performance and given that the Industry Minister barely managed to get his vote of confidence from Majlis, if he ends up being impeached I doubt that he will be able to survive."

Labor Ministry aides fired for slacking

Tabnak | Dec. 15, 2009

A new report suggested that the reason why the Labor Minister fired all 13 aides to his predecessor was that they were getting paid despite doing little to no work.

After Abdolreza Sheikoleslam took the helm of the Labor Ministry, news broke that he simultaneously fired 13 of his aides and only reinstated one of them.

The Parcham website quoted an informed source as saying, "Some of these aides showed up at the labor ministry only twice a week, a few of them came to work only once a week and the remaining aides came to work for two hours on Wednesdays. For this amount of work, they received close to $2,000 a month."

It should be noted that Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi also fired all the former aides to his predecessor after taking office.

New government spokesmen appointed

Parleman | Dec. 15, 2009

The Asoul news website announced that Esfandyar Rahim-Mashai, Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, and Seyyed Shamselddin Hosseini have been chosen as new government spokesmen.

According to the report, after reviewing 23 possible candidates for the position of government speaker, Mashai was chosen as the cultural spokesman, Rahimi as the political spokesman, and Hosseini as the economic spokesman of the 10th government.

Reyshahri suffers stroke over torn Khomeini poster

Khabar Online | Dec. 15, 2009

The Leader's representative in Hajj Affairs reportedly suffered a stroke upon hearing the news about the desecration of an Imam Khomeini poster.

According to the Shiaonline report, an informed source reported that after hearing about the incident, Mohammadi-Reyshahri became extremely upset and his confidants had to take him to the hospital.

Combatant Clerics Society submit demo permit request

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 15, 2009

The spokesman for the Combatant Clerics Society said that the CCS had submitted its requests for a demonstration permit to the Interior Ministry and the Governor's office.

"Yesterday the representative of the CCS officially submitted a written request for a demonstration permit to the Governor's office," said Majid Ansari.

"This morning the CCS representative submitted a request for a demonstration permit to the Interior Ministry and received a receipt for it."

A number of Reformist organizations have requested demonstration permits to condemn the desecration of a poster of the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini.

The CEO of the Interior Ministry's political bureau Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini responded to the requests by saying, "According to the law only political parties can request demonstration permits not political figures."

On Monday Mehdi Karroubi requested a permit for a demonstration to condemn the Khomeini desecration on behalf of himself, and Mir Hossein Mousavi. According to Karroubi, the law does not require more than a verbal request.

Interior Ministry: Mousavi, Karroubi demonstration request not received

Parleman | Dec. 15, 2009

The head of the Interior Ministry's political bureau denied receiving requests for demonstration permits from Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

Earlier, Karroubi had announced that he had submitted a request, on behalf of himself and Mousavi, for a demonstration to protest the desecration of a poster of the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini.

Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini said based on the law, demonstration permits are only granted to political parties, adding, "Mir Hossein Mousavi is not a party and Mehdi Karroubi has not requested a permit either."

"Based on the law, only political parties, or their legal representative can request demonstration permits," he said, going on to stress that verbal requests would not be considered. "The legal representative of a party must personally come in and request the permit," he said.

Kambiz Nourouzi's verdict to be appealed

Parleman | Dec. 15, 2009

Kambiz Norouzi's lawyer, Hossein Alizadeh Tabatabaei, said he has appealed his client's verdict.

Norouzi was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolution Court to two years in prison and 76 lashes for propagating lies about the establishment and disrupting public order.

Atrianfar's lawyer appeals his verdict

Tabnak | Dec. 15, 2009

Mohammad Atrianfar's lawyer said he has appealed the verdict handed to his client by the court.

"After receiving the sentence handed down to my client by branch 15 of the Revolution Court, I lodged an appeal before the [20-day] deadline," Hossein Alizadeh Tabatabaei told ISNA.

Atrianfar was sentenced to six years in prison

Alizadeh added that he would be appealing the verdicts handed to his other clients Saeed Leilaz and Shapour Kazemi, whose sentences were recently announced

Credit Suisse to pay fine over dealings with Iran

NYT | Dec. 15, 2009

Credit Suisse is expected to pay a fine of $536 million to settle accusations by the United States government and New York State authorities that it violated sanctions by helping Iran and other countries secretly funnel hundreds of millions of dollars through American banks, people involved in the negotiations said Tuesday.

Investigators found that the bank, the second-largest in Switzerland, removed information from American-bound wire transfers that would have signaled that the money originated in Iranian banks, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the case.

Two of the organizations that Credit Suisse facilitated transactions for, the official said, were the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the Aerospace Industries Organization, both of which are designated as proliferators of weapons of mass destruction by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control. Both are barred from doing business with the United States.

In a statement released Tuesday, Credit Suisse confirmed that it would most likely pay $536 million in a settlement.

House passes Iran gasoline sanctions

Reuters | Dec. 15, 2009

The House of Representatives approved legislation on Tuesday to impose sanctions on foreign companies that help supply gasoline to Iran, a move lawmakers hope will deter Tehran from pursuing its nuclear program.

The bill authorizes President Barack Obama to levy sanctions on energy companies that directly provide gasoline to Iran along with the firms that provide insurance and tankers to facilitate the fuel shipments. The Senate is likely to approve a similar law, but it is uncertain how soon it will vote.

The legislation, which would expand an existing U.S. law that seeks to punish foreign companies that invest more than $20 million a year in Iran's energy sector.

"This bill has one overriding goal: To prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability," said Representative Howard Berman, co-sponsor of the legislation.

Iranian arms dealer sentenced in US to 5 years prison

Times Online | Dec. 15, 2009

Amir Hossein Ardebili, a 36-year-old Iranian arms smuggler who introduced himself to undercover agents as "Alex Dave", was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to soliciting tens of thousands of pieces of sensitive military hardware, including spare parts for ageing fighter jets and missile guidance systems. His case gave a glimpse into the network of "procurement agents", ostensibly freelance but operating for the Iranian Government, who specialise in helping Western suppliers to break the US arms embargo on Iran that has been in place since 1990.

Ardebili was arrested in hotel room in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, in 2007 after a three-year undercover sting operation by US immigration and customs agents based in Philadelphia. They set up websites for fake businesses, posing as arms dealers willing to defy US law.

Excluding middle school education needs Majlis approval

Tabnak | Dec. 15, 2009

The Head of the Majlis Education and Research Commission said the Education Ministry's decision to omit the three-year middle school educational program was illegal.

"This decision is illegal without receiving Majlis approval first," said Ali Abasspour. "Under Article 6 of the Supreme Education and Development Council law, the ruling of the council on educational matters of the country must first receive Majlis approval."

"We acknowledge the problems of the current educational system and accept that the elevated level of intelligence in society and in families requires certain changes to the educational system but they must be pursued through legal channels."

IRGC replaced foreign firms in projects

Reuters | Dec. 15, 2009

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have replaced foreign firms in some projects in the major oil produc[ing] [sector], a senior commander said in comments published on Tuesday, a sign of the elite force's growing economic clout.

But Rostam Qassemi, who heads the Guards' Khatam al-Anbia engineering unit, dismissed claims that it controlled most of the Islamic Republic's construction and other development projects, business daily Donya-ye Eqtesad reported.

"We are witnessing a ballyhoo these days, both inside and outside the country, over the Guards economic activities," he was quoted during a news conference, adding, "Foreign firms were afraid of being replaced by local companies in projects."

Iran rejects media claims that it tested nuclear devices

IRNA | Dec. 15, 2009

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman rejected claims of some foreign media outlets that Iran tested nuclear devices.

Talking to reporters during his weekly press briefing, Ramin Mihmanparast dismissed the claims as mere propaganda warfare.

He said the reports were politically motivated media schemes with no standing even before the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In an answer to a question about whether Iran has put forward any new conditions to get fuel for its nuclear research reactor in Tehran, Mihmanparast said Iran had already made its views on the issue quite clear and was ready to get the fuel if its views on the issue were implemented in practice.

On the issue of sanctions, Mihmanparast said they were not an effective method to be used against Iran. He said sanctions only served to consolidate Iran's firm commitment to continue with its program.

Iran, US to square off in Basketball

Press TV | Dec. 15, 2009

Iran's basketball team has been paired with the United States during the 2010 world basketball championships in Turkey.

The Americans and Iranians, both drawn into Group B on Tuesday, will also have to face Croatia, Brazil, Tunisia and Slovenia from August 28 to September 12 in the Turkish cities of Ankara, Kayseri, Istanbul and Izmir.

The two sides have never met before in a basketball tournament.

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 put the story in perspective.

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1 Comment

Take a good look at the picture. Just a bunch of bacheh Haji.I feel sorry for our people.

Roya / December 16, 2009 8:17 AM