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28 Dec 2009 19:006 Comments

Body of Mousavi's nephew taken from the morgue

Gooya | Dec. 28, 2009

Security and civil forces took the body of Seyyed Ali Mousavi from the Avicenna Hospital morgue [supposedly] to prevent his funeral procession from turning into a widespread protest.

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's nephew was reportedly shot dead in the anti-government protests in Tehran on Ashura.

"They have taken my brother's body from Avicenna hospital and wherever we look for him we can't find him," Mousavi's other nephew, Seyyed Reza, told Parleman News.

"No one is claiming responsibility for taking the body and they are not answering us," he said.

"Until we find the body [of my brother] all funeral ceremonies are off."

"Whenever my brother's body is found we will use the media to inform people about the ceremony."

Bodies being held for investigation

Parleman | Dec. 28, 2009

The Islamic Republic News Agency said authorities were holding the body of Mir Hossein Mousavi's nephew, Seyyed Ali Mousavi, along with the bodies of other victims of the Ashura protests to complete investigations.

IRNA stressed that the circumstances of Ali Mousavi's death were suspicious, adding that his body would be held to complete investigations and find more clues in the case.

Contrary to reports by Kayhan and Raja News, which claimed Ali Mousavi was killed in Kalej Avenue, IRNA said that he was shot to death in Enqelab Square.

IRNA stressed that Ali Mousavi's relation to the opposition leader, the bullet and gun used to kill him, as well as other evidence suggested that assassination teams had killed Ali Mousavi.

Paris based filmmaker claims Mousavi's nephew killed in front of home

Makhmalbaf | Dec. 28, 2009

Mir Hossein Mousavi's international spokesperson wrote on his Web site late Sunday that the opposition figure's 43-year old nephew Seyed Ali Mousavi was assassinated in front of his home Sunday and was not shot during protests as initially reported.

Mr. Mousavi was run over by a sport utility vehicle in front of his home, Paris-based Mohsen Makhmalbaf wrote on his personal Web site. Five men then emerged from the car and one of them shot Mr. Ali Mousavi through the chest, he said. Security agents told Mr. Mousavi's family late Sunday that they would be taking his body to the Kahrizak medical facility and warned the family that they could not have a funeral, according to Mr. Makhmalbaf.

Iran police close metro station in capital

BBC Monitoring | Dec. 28, 2009

The Shahid Beheshti, Motahari and Haft Tir metro stations have been closed by order of law enforcement officials.

According to a Jaras reporter, police presence has intensified in central Tehran and there have been intermittent clashes in various locations, particularly near Haft Tir square.

Karroubi attacked by plainclothes agents on Ashura

Gooya | Dec. 28, 2009

Opposition cleric Mehdi Karroubi was attacked by plainclothes agents upon leaving Tehran's Ayatollah Ghaffari mosque where he had attended the Ashura ceremonies with his family.

According to Salaam News, assailants attacked Karroubi's car and shattered the windshield. The assailants fled the scene after people came to Karroubi's aid.

IRIB bars radio host from building

Parleman | Dec. 28, 2009

Shahin Mahinfar, a veteran Iranian radio host whose son was killed in the Ashura protests, has reportedly been barred from returning to work at the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

According to an IRIB security personnel, after news about Mahinfar's son was reported by the media, a fax was sent to security guards at all IRIB entrances ordering them to deny her entry until further notice.

Over 1,000 protestors arrested on Ashura in Tehran

Gooya | Dec. 28, 2009

More than 1,000 protestors were arrested by riot police in the unrest that broke out in Tehran on Ashura.

A human rights organization placed the number of detained protestors transferred to Evin prison at 1,100. Prisoner overflow caused authorities to transfer the detainees in handcuffs and shackles with military buses to an unknown location.

Iran cracks down on opponents after deadly protests

AFP | Dec. 28, 2009

Iranian security forces on Monday arrested seven anti-government figures in a crackdown launched a day after at least eight people were killed in fierce clashes in Tehran, opposition websites said.

Those rounded up were two outspoken critics of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, three aides to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, including his top adviser Alireza Beheshti, and two aides to reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami, the websites said.

The security force raids are certain to further antagonize the opposition, which has defied the authorities to stage noisy protests at every opportunity since Ahmadinejad was returned to power in a disputed June presidential election.

State-run English language Press TV on Monday put the death toll from the clashes at eight, quoting an official with Iran's Supreme National Security Council. It did not specify in which cities the victims were killed.

Basij forces threaten detainees with rape

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 28, 2009

One of the detainees of the Ashura protests said that Basij forces violently assaulted protestors in custody and threatened them with rape.

The unnamed source told Jaras that he had been among the group of detained protestors who had been transferred to the Meqdad Garrison in Azadi Street.

According to the source, they had been blindfolded and forced to squat for hours. The Basijis had verbally and physically assaulted them, and threatened them with rape.

The unnamed source told Jaras that the militiamen had taken away their shoes and released a group of the detainees after sunset.

Names of Ashura victims announced

Ayandeh | Dec. 28, 2009

Iranian police announced the names of the eight victims of the Ashura protests in Tehran, stressing the suspicious circumstances of these deaths.

The names announced are as follows:

1. Mehdi Farhadirad, 34; cause of death: shot in the face by 25 shotgun pellets.

2. Mohammad-Ali Rasekhinia, 40; cause of death: shot by a hunting rifle.

3. Amir Arshadi, 30; cause of death: unknown.

4. Shahram Faraji, 30, cause of death: unknown.

5. Seyyed Ali Mousavi Habibi, 42, cause of death: gunshot wound.

6. Jahanbakht Pazouki, 50; cause of death: unknown.

7. John Doe, 31; cause of death: knife wound.

8. Jane Doe, 43; cause of death: fall or auto accident.

Ashura protests 'pre-planned scenario' by foreign media

BBC Monitoring | Dec. 28, 2009

During its 10:30 GMT news bulletin on 28 December, Iranian radio reported on public "condemnation and abhorrence" at the "insult of Islamic sanctities" on Ashura, the tenth day of the mourning month of Moharram, which coincided with 27 December.

In a report, a correspondent reported on foreign media coverage of the incidents and riots in Tehran on the day of Ashura and said that the media's extensive coverage of the incidents showed that the unrest on this day was a "pre-planned scenario."

He said that foreign media such as BBC Persian TV had become so infatuated with Ashura that they broadcast "Ashura teasers." He said that BBC experts had announced that Iranian police had told the organizers of Ashura processions not to bring the mourning groups to the streets, and had said that Ashura processions are government sponsored. The correspondent described such comments and announcements as "orders" which even the organizers of Ashura mourning processions in Iran hadn't heard of.

The correspondent said: "It was after these call ups that Ashura was chosen as the day of riots and the opposition cheered and shouted slogans against the people's sanctities."

In another report, a correspondent said that various Iranian organizations, associations and societies had condemned the unrest which occurred in various areas of Tehran and had demanded that the "rioters" be dealt with firmly.

In an interview with Iranian radio, Hojjat ol-Eslam val Moslemin Hoseyni-Bushehri, the deputy head of the Qom Seminary School's Lecturers and Teachers' Association, said that the people could not tolerate incidents such as the ones which occurred in Tehran on Ashura especially after "they realize that foreign enemies are supporting, planning, and preparing the stage for such incidents."

According to the radio, in a statement another cleric Ayatollah Vaez-Tabasi, a representative of the supreme leader and the head of the Khorasan Seminary School, has condemned the incidents and the insulting of Islamic values and sanctities. Iranian radio also reported that the Majlis Principle-ist faction has also called for those elements behind the unrest to be brought to justice and dealt with firmly.

The correspondent also quoted the commander of the Tehran Law Enforcement Force [LEF] as saying that in a few areas of Tehran, the LEF had used anti-riot kit and equipment to deal seriously with and disperse the rioters who were insulting Islamic sanctities, and had not used any fire arms.

The correspondent confirmed that five people were "suspiciously" killed during the riots and a number of other people were injured, and added that experts were determined to identify the "suspicious" elements in these incidents.

Iranian radio also reported that the Majlis Supreme National Security and Foreign Policy Committee was to hold a meeting tomorrow to study the Ashura incidents in Tehran. The radio quoted the rapparteur of the committee as saying that the Iranian interior minister and other security officials had been invited to exchange views with the Majlis deputies on the issue.

Police did not use bullets during riots

Ayandeh | Dec. 28, 2009

The reformist Ayandeh News Web site has reported that according to eye witnesses the Iranian Law Enforcement Force [LEF] did not use bullets against protesters during the riots in Tehran yesterday.

According to an Ayandeh correspondent, two eye witnesses said the two people killed near the Kalej Passover in central Tehran yesterday were shot from a close range by a pistol carried by plain-clothed agents.

Iran arrests reformist cleric

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 28, 2009

The head of the Researchers and Teachers of the Qom Seminary School, a reformist group, has been arrested.

Governmental news agency Borna said: Seyyed Hossein Mousavi-Tabrizi and some other members of the Researchers and Teachers of the Qom Seminary School were arrested.

Ayatollah Taheri's son and Khomeini son-in-law arrested in Isfahan

Ayandeh | Dec. 28, 2009

The son of Ayatollah Seyyed Jalaloldin Taheri, the Leader's former representative in Isfahan, has been arrested.

Mohammad Taheri, who is married to one of the Khomeini granddaughters, was arrested Monday.

Ayatollah Taheri, who was formerly Isfahan's Friday Prayers Leader, was denied permission to hold a memorial service for Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri last Monday.

Iran's prominent rights activist arrested

Ayandeh | Dec. 28, 2009

According to the Iranian news Web site, Ayandeh News, prominent human rights activist Emadeddin Baqi was arrested in his home this morning.

Baqi is the head of the Society for the Defense of Prisoners' Rights in Iran.

In a separate report, Ayandeh News announced that three reformist figures who worked for the opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi were also arrested today.

According to this Web site, the arrested individuals are the people in charge of Mousavi's office, Foruzandeh, senior advisor of Mousavi, Mohammad Baqerian and the head of Mousavi's election headquarters, Qorban Behzadiyanejad.

Daughter of Ezatollah Sahabi arrested

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 28, 2009

The daughter of Ezatollah Sahabi, Haleh, was arrested by security forces in front of her home.

Haleh Sahabi was also arrested and held for a few days in June after the protest in Baharestan Square.

Since this morning at least 10 political activists have been arrested.

Mousavi aides arrested

Parleman | Dec. 28, 2009

Three of Mir Hossein Mousavi's aides were arrested following the protests that engulfed Tehran on Ashura.

According to Parleman News, Alireza Beheshti Shirazi, Qorban-Ali Behzadian Nejad and Mohammad Baqerian were arrested on Monday morning.

Journalist Mostafa Izadi detained

Advar News | Dec. 28, 2009

Writer and journalist Mostafa Izadi was detained, following a raid of his home by security officers.

Izadi worked for the Sobh-e Emrouz daily. He formerly wrote for the Etemad-e Melli daily, and was the editor-in-chief of the Ava weekly. He was arrested in 2000 on charges of propagating Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri's ideology.

He has also authored a biography of Ayatollah Montazeri.

Son of Mostafa Moein arrested

Parleman | Dec. 28, 2009

The son of Mostafa Moein, former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami's science minister, was arrested in the Ashura unrest in Tehran.

According to Parleman News, Mohammad Moein was assaulted and arrested on Ashura and transferred to an unknown location.

Qadyani arrested, Armin still free

Kalameh | Dec. 28, 2009

Following the unrest on Ashura, security officials arrested Abulfazl Qadyani but were unsuccessful in detaining Mohsen Armin as he was not

Qadyani is a member of the Islamic Republic Mujahedin Organization (IRMO).

According to Parleman News, Armin, who is the IRMO spokesman, was not home and could not be taken into custody.

Report of Behshti, Mousavi Tabrizi's arrest rejected

Khabar Online | Dec. 28, 2009

After reports suggested that Alireza Hosseini Beheshti and Hossein Mousavi Tabrizi had been arrested, rejection statements were issued. After the news broke of the arrest of Mousavi Tabrizi, who heads the Assembly of Qom Seminary Professors and Scholars, Fazel Meybodi, one of the members of the clerical organization, rejected the report.

While some sources had reported the arrest of Mohammad Ali Ayazi, an AQSPS member, Khabar Online found the report to be baseless after contacting Ayaazi.

It has been reported that Beheshti has been summoned by authorities. However, no news has been received about his arrest.

Website rejects arrest of three reformists

Khabar Online | Dec. 28, 2009

Khabar Online has rejected the news of the arrests of Hossein Mousavi Tabrizi, Ali Reza Hosseini Beheshti and Mohammad Ali Ayazi.

Hossein Mousavi Tabrizi and Mohammad Ali Ayazi are members of the Theological Lecturers Association of Qom. Ali Reza Hosseini-Beheshti is the senior adviser of the opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

According to Khabar Online, Beheshti has received a summons but has not been arrested.

Prosecutor says no one killed, arrested in Tabriz

ISNA | Dec. 28, 2009

The prosecutor of Tabriz announced, "During Ashura's ceremony in Tabriz no one was arrested, and people held mourning ceremonies in a calm, normal and usual way."

In an interview with ISNA's reporter of judicial affairs, Yahya Mirza-Mohammadi said, "In these ceremonies no clashes erupted and not even a single individual was killed."

Russia Concerned by events, regrets allegations of interference

BBC Monitoring | Dec. 28, 2009

Text of "A commentary by the Department of Information and Press of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia in connection with reports about opposition demonstrations in Iran" by Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on 28 December:

We are concerned by the events that have been taking place in Iran in recent days. Unfortunately, we have to state that the clashes between demonstrators and law-enforcement forces in Tehran and a number of other towns of the Islamic Republic of Iran have exacerbated the political situation in the country.

In our opinion, the main thing in such a situation is to exercise restraint, search for and find compromises on the basis of the law, make political effort to prevent further escalation of internal standoff.

We deeply regret that against this uneasy background false reports are being circulated about an alleged involvement of Moscow in the domestic political processes in Iran. We are sure that this is being done by those opposed to the development of Russian-Iranian cooperation, those who are trying to cause damage to the friendship and understanding between our peoples through such provocative actions. Russia's position of principle is well known. We have not interfered and are not interfering in Iran's internal affairs, or those of any other state for that matter. We are sure that the Iranians are capable of sorting out their problems and hope that they will successfully overcome them.

[Dated] 28 December 2009

[A member of the Foreign Ministry Department of Information and Press has also said, as quoted by Interfax: "We received with regret reports from Iran about clashes that have led to a loss of life." "We call on all the political forces of Iran to refrain from violent action and bloodshed," he said.]

Iran reformist daily to close down soon

Raja News | Dec. 28, 2009

Citing Parsineh news Web site, the conservative news Web site Rajanews has reported that the reformist daily, E'temad will close down soon.

Rajanews has reported that the paper will close down due to "its political stances and serious financial problems."

E'temad has been publishing since seven years ago. Its managing director is Elias Hazrati, former MP for Rasht and Tehran, and a senior member of the reformist National Trust Party.

Iran bars single women from working in gas field

AFP | Dec. 28, 2009

Iran has barred single women from working for a state firm that operates a huge gas field and petrochemical plants on the shores of the Gulf, the Fars news agency reported on Monday.

"Oil Minister (Masoud Mirkazemi) has emphasised that single women should not be present in Assalouyeh," the deputy director of the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone Company, Pirouz Mousavi, said. Mousavi did not elaborate on whether any women had yet been laid off as a result of the order.

More than 18 months ago, Iranian newspapers carried an instruction by the company requiring that "single employees start creating a family." As being married is one of the criteria of employment, we are announcing for the last time that all female and male colleagues have until September 21 to go ahead with this important and moral religious duty," the instruction said.

As in the oil and gas industry through much of the world, most Iranians working in the hydrocarbons sector are single males. Sexual relations outside of marriage are illegal in Iran, for the most part a traditional society where young people are normally encouraged by their families to marry in their 20s and swiftly bear children.

Since hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office in 2005, there has been a crackdown on all behaviour regarded as un-Islamic, and dress codes and Muslim mores have again been strictly enforced.

Ayatollah Dastgheib condoles Mousavi, calls for meeting people's demands

Dastgheib.ir | Dec. 28, 2009

Shia source of Emulation Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Mohammad Dastgheib sent a message of condolence to Mir Hossein Mousavi and called on the establishment to meet the logical demands of the nation.

"It was heard that Mr. Engineer Mir Hossein Mousavi's nephew Seyyed Ali Mousavi Khamenei and a few others were martyred in clashes in the month of *haram [Muharam] and on Ashura.

"I would like to, firstly, offer my condolences to Mr. Engineer Mir Hossein Mousavi, a believer in God, the prophet and the Imams (PBUT) and a devotee of the revolution and to his family.

"Secondly, I request that authorities track down the murderers and try them.

"Thirdly, for the umpteenth time I request that the legitimate and logical demands of the God-fearing ... nation be taken in to account; use the Qoran, tradition and constitution as the final order; free the prisoners; and stop this illegal and anti-religious acts committed in
the name of safeguarding the establishment."

He urged religious scholars to call the establishment to virtue and dissuade it from vice and convince the establishment to act according to the law so that the revolution would not wither away at the hands of fanatics.

Muharam is one of the four Islamic months on which bloodshed is forbidden according to the Qoran.

Abdollah Nouri's brother, two nephews arrested in Isfahan

| Dec. 28, 2009

Despite the police ban on holding any religious ceremonies on the eve of Ashura in Isfahan, no clashes were reported.

According to Jaras, around 3 p.m. yesterday, plainclothes agents responded to people with violence. In the protests in the streets of Isfahan's Hosseinabad, 400 to 500 people were arrested and transferred to the local prison -- a large group of them are still in detention.

Abdollah Nouri's brother Habib, 50, and his son Reza as well as his other nephew, Mehdi, were among the detainees.

Martial law imposed on Najafabad

Gooya | Dec. 28, 2009

After the unrest in Najafabad escalated, police imposed martial law on the city which is the birthplace of the late Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri.

According to Jaras, at 9 p.m. Sunday night police patrolled the town and announced from loudspeakers that martial law was in place, ordering people not to leave their homes.

Reports of sporadic clashes in central Tehran

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 28, 2009

A few minutes ago [earlier today], sporadic clashes started in Tehran's Haft-e Tir Square.

According to a Jaras reporter, the police are trying to disperse people by batons. Hundreds of police special forces have been deployed with their vehicles to the square and other avenues of Tehran.

Video: Obama's Iran message

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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Obama should lecture his friends and sponsors in Israel, who the UN sponsored report found guilty of war crimes in Gaza where 1400 women, children and other civilians were killed and wanton destruction of mosques, houses and public property took place. Compared to that, the AN govt has acted quite benevolently.
Even in the 'democratic' west, security forces are known to act harshly and intolerantly to acts of wilfull sabotage and destruction of public property as well as any attacks on law enforcers.
The reform movement should be careful at being associated with such hypocritical leaders. Unfortunately it is also faced with hypocritical leaders at home. They are between a rock and a hard place. I pray that God will help the Iranian people through this difficult test and that reason and common sense will prevail and that there will be no further bloodshed.

rezvan / December 29, 2009 9:29 PM

Video of police car running over protesters:

anon / December 29, 2009 11:09 PM

Rezvan - are you Pirouz in disguise? I ask because your comparisons are as ridiculous as his?

"Even in the 'democratic' west, security forces are known to act harshly and intolerantly to acts of wilfull sabotage and destruction of public property as well as any attacks on law enforcers."

Please provide an example to back up your claim - I don't recall any protests in the near past were dozens and dozens of protesters have been shot/beaten/run over in the west.

Also in comparing Iran with Israel are you suggesting that the green movement is analogous to the Palestinians (since most of the deaths have been of the protesters) and the regime thugs equivalent to Israel (the oppressors)? Please expand...

Agha Irani / December 30, 2009 8:23 AM

Our concern is Iran. Israel and Palestine have nothing to do with us. We need to straighten out our own country first.You and the rest of Islamists have always tried to divert our attention away from our own internal miseries i.e. The Barbaric Republic.There are enough Arab countries.Let them worry about their own.

Iam a proud Persian.

Mehrdad / December 31, 2009 10:26 AM

Oppression and injustice is wrong whoever and whatever ideology or religion it is committed in the name of. This was the whole point of Imam Hussayn's message and the point of his sacrifice in Karbala and for which Shias all over the world remember and honor him (and I cannot see, despite the wishes of anti-religionists, that the majority in Iran would abandon Shia'ism as a faith). If AN/Khamanei are guilty of wrongdoing then they should be brought to account by the people of Iran not by Obama, Miliband, Sarkozy or Merkel who are not friends of the Iranian people. This is the point of my comment. These leaders observe duplicity in their standards of which governments they favour or ostracise and their continued hypocrisy in adopting a punitive approach to Iran and its government (it probably represents a constituency bigger than the Shah of Iran ever did) and complicity of silence when it comes to Israel(for its war crimes in Gaza) or Egypt and Saudi Arabia which in overall terms are governed by more brutal regimes.

Unfortunately we live in an interconnected world and what happens internally within IRI has an impact on the whole world, that is why you cannot simply say 'our concern is Iran, and Israel and Palestine have nothing to do with us' Unfortunately they are interlinked, for certain if a pro-israeli govt emerged in tehran there would be brutal conflict within Iran akin to Iraq and Afghanistan as I cannot see how the ex-Islamists would accept such a situation and despite having the world's most powerful army occupying their countries, Iraq and Afghanistan do not enjoy peace and security.
This is why the stance adopted by Mussawi and his allies has the best prospects for success in the long term and a civil disobedience movement that can grip the public imagination has more chances of success than the use of violent means.

rezvan / January 1, 2010 8:28 PM

Oppression and injustice are wrong. However, at the present time there is plenty of oppression and injustice in our own country and they take priority.
Personally, I think Imam Hussein sent a wrong message.To go to war when the odds are stacked against you and when the outcome is quite predictable resulting in loss of precious human lives, it is criminal if not ignorant. This is not about Khamenei or Ahmadinejad. This is about an evil religion a barbaric religion, the evil it preaches and the evil we have witnessed as a nation in the last 31 years. This is about a nation up in arms chanting death to the dictator and death to the Islamic Republic.
It is over. We are people of Iran and we don't want the Islamic Republic. We want to join the civilized world. We want to grow and enjoy life. We want to be free. FREE. Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond will be just fine and they will be just as happy as Iranians. In fact they will be in tears since I.R. will not interfere in the internal affairs of their countries.
There will be no more murder of innocent human beings through bombings, at least not from Iran. It will be a win win situation for all. We want a secular democracy in a government of our choice and the likes of Mousavi are unable to deliver it by nature. Mousavi was an excuse and we have already by-passed him because we deserve better.Take your religion to the privacy of your own home and leave the rest of us alone.

F. Bahonar / January 2, 2010 4:51 AM