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Selected Headlines

30 Dec 2009 00:02No Comments

Qoba mosque in Shiraz under Basiji attack

Raheh Sabz | Dec. 29, 2009

Militia forces that had been surrounding the Qoba Mosque in Shiraz since early Tuesday morning mounted attacks on the mosque where Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Mohammad Dastgheib delivers sermons.

Basijis and plainclothes agents chanted slogans against Ayatollah Dastgheib, Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohammad Khatami and attacked the mosque with bricks and stones.

Ayatollah Dasteghieb's students positioned themselves inside the mosque and tried to keep the 'invaders' from entering the sacred place of worship. A group of the Grand Ayatollah's supporters rushed to the scene to help safeguard the mosque.

Ayatollah Dastgheib issued a statement of warning on Monday against the illegal behavior of authorities and a crackdown on protestors.

Ayatollah Dastgheib is a Shia Source of Emulation and a member of the Assembly of Experts, the body tasked with appointing a new Leader for the Islamic Republic in the event of the Leader's death.

Ayatollah Dastgheib studied under Grand Ayatollahs Rouhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran's revolution, Seyyed Mohammad-Reza Golpayegani and Hajj Seyyed Ali Akbar Khoei.

According to Jaras, Ayatollah Dastgheib's supporters are not allowed near the mosque. Basijis arrested a large group of people in Shiraz on Monday and Tuesday. A large group of bikers have also been patrolling the streets around Shiraz University and there has been a buildup of plainclothes agents and Basijis near the university.

Group claims willingness to launch suicide attacks

Blog Watch | Dec. 29, 2009

A new group, "Battalion of Suicide," which claims to be made up of suicide bombers and assassins, issued a statement warning that unless the judiciary took strong action against those "who have insulted Islam, Ayatollahs Ruhollah Khomeini and Ali Khamenei, the nation of Imam Zaman [Mahdi, the Shiites' 12th Imam who is supposedly hiding and will someday come back], they will take matters into their own hands. The statement said that they would give the judiciary one week to address the problem, but if nothing happens, they will launch their own operations, which presumably means carrying out political assassinations.

The group claims to be adherents of Navab Safavi [1924-1955] and the group he founded, Fadayan-e Islam [devotees of Islam]. Fadayan-e Islam was an
Islamic fundamentalist group that carried out several assassinations in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

The group -- if it actually exists, beyond issuing statements -- claims to be "running out of patience" because its members can no longer tolerate what is happening in the country.

Larijani raps US, UK over Tehran protests

Press TV | Dec. 29, 2009

Iran's parliament speaker condemns US and British officials for their reactions to disturbances in Tehran, saying that they orchestrated the "sacrilegious" events.

Addressing the parliament on Tuesday, Ali Larijani said that Iran was not surprised about the stance that Washington and London had taken towards the anti-government protests, which were held during Sunday's Shia Muslim ceremonies of Ashura.

According to Tehran chief prosecutor general Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, seven people were killed in the clashes that broke out between security forces and demonstrators in Tehran on Sunday.

The Tehran police headquarters said that the police forces neither used violence nor fired a single bullet on Sunday.

Ahmadinejad says protests, 'US, Israeli scenario'

Press TV | Dec. 29, 2009

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday said that the United States and Israel were behind the anti-government protests on Ashura.

Describing the deadly events on Ashura as a "nauseating play," President Ahmadinejad said, "Americans and Zionists are the sole audience of a play that they have commissioned and sold out."

The remarks come as earlier Sunday, anti-government protesters took to the streets in Tehran, chanting slogans against top Iranian government officials.

IRNA puts Ashura unrest death toll at 37

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 29, 2009

According to the official bulletin of the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the number of Iranians killed in the Ashura violence stands at 37.

This is while the Iranian police claimed that only seven people had died in the unrest, and that an eighth person had died in Tehran due to a drug overdose. According to Jaras, the violent crack down on protesters on Ashura was aimed at justifying the arrest of journalists, political activists, and quelling all protests once and for all.

A source close to the Montazeri family told Jaras that no one has been allowed near the Montazeri residence. Plainclothes agents have been chanting offensive slogans and throwing rocks at the late Grand Ayatollah's residence.

Regarding rumours about the closure of the late Ayatollah's office, the source said, "they have not yet entered the office."

Two post election detainees sentenced to death

HRA | Dec. 29, 2009

The Tehran Revolution Court has sentenced two detainees from the post election unrest to death.

Judge Moqeyeseyi of Branch 28 of the Revolution Court sentenced Ahmad Karimi to death after finding him guilty of premeditated counterrevolutionary acts, and being a member of the royalist society.

Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolution Court sentenced Ali Zahedi, another alleged member of the royalist society, to death.

Shirin Ebadi's sister arrested

Deutsche Welle | Dec. 29, 2009

Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi issued a statement announcing the arrest of her sister Dr. Noushin Ebadi in Tehran on Monday.

According to the announcement, Dr. Noushin Ebadi, a professor of medicine at Azad University, was arrested at 9 p.m. on Monday by four intelligence officers at her home in Tehran and transferred to prison.

Shirin Ebadi said that she had no information about the reason her sister had been arrested, nor the location at which she was being held.

Ebadi claimed that her sister Noushin had been repeatedly summoned by the Intelligence Ministry over the past two months.

"They had asked her to tell me to stop my human rights activities, and to evacuate her apartment which is adjacent to my apartment [in Tehran]. They had threatened her with arrest should she refuse to move to a new residence, and if I continue with my human rights activities."

"I, at first, thought this to be a joke, but unfortunately the above mentioned agents were true to their threats and arrested her at 9 p.m. on Dec.28."

"It is noteworthy that my sister, fortunately or unfortunately, was not involved in any human rights activities, and was arrested for my activities. Her arrest is meant as a means of pressuring me to abandon all human rights activities. Therefore, I hereby draw the attention of judicial authorities to the illegal behavior of their agents."

"What our country needs most at this time is calm which can only be achieved through adherence to the law. Measures outside the legal framework could only have dire consequences."

Two members of the National Front of Iran arrested

HRA | Dec. 29, 2009

Security forces arrested two members of the National Front of Iran, Dr. Hossein Mousavian, and engineer Hamid-Reza Khadem.

Last night, security forces raided Khadem's house and arrested him after confiscating his personal documents and belongings.

Mousavian who is a doctor and long time member of the National Front of Iran was assaulted and interrogated in 2007 after the raid on a memorial service held for assassinated Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto.

Report of Haleh Sahabi's arrest rejected

HRA | Dec. 29, 2009

An informed source rejected reports of Haleh Sahabi's arrest by security forces.

Speaking to Jaras, the source said that Ezatollah Sahabi's daughter had not been arrested.

Son of Ayatollah Beheshti arrested

Parleman | Dec. 29, 2009

The son of the martyred Ayatollah Dr. Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti, Seyyed Ali-Reza was detained at Tarbiyat Modares University where he was teaching.

A source close to Beheshti told Parleman News that Beheshti, who was one of Mir Hossein Mousavi's top aides during the campaign, was arrested around 1 p.m. at TMU.

The source expressed surprise as to why news of the arrest had not been reported by any news agencies.

"The arresters transferred Beheshti to his home and after searching the premises confiscated some of his documents, handwritten notes and computer."

"There has been no news about where Mr. Beheshti is currently being held and this has caused great concern for his family and friends."

"According to Beheshti's wife, who arrived on the scene after the search of their home and the confiscation of documents, notes and computer, Ali-Reza Beheshti declined from signing the handwritten inventory of his confiscated possessions," the source added.

CEO of Kavir Publications arrested

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 29, 2009

The CEO of Kavir Publications Mohammad-Javad Mozaffar was arrested in Tehran.

A source close to Mozaffar told Jaras that he was arrested around noon on Tuesday, after the search of his office and home.

Members of news agency among those detained

Ayandeh | Dec. 29, 2009

Nasrin Vaziri, the Iranian Labour News Agency's (ILNA) parliamentary reporter, Bardolsadat Mofidi, secretary of the reporter's union, Keyvan Mehregan and Zahra Rahnavard's brother Shapour Kazemi were rearrested Sunday.

Shapour Kazemi was previously in detention for five months.

Mashalalh Shamsalvaezin, Noushin Ebadi, Reza Tajik, and Niloufar Hashemi-Azar were also arrested.

Mostafa Izadi, Abolfazl Qadyani, Leily Tavasoli and Abolfazl Mousavian have also been detained.

Kahrizak trial to be held in two weeks

Ayandeh | Dec. 29, 2009

Reports suggest that the Kahrizak trial will be held within the next two weeks.

An informed source told Tabnak that there were a number of colonels and brigadier generals among the suspects on trial.

"The judge hearing the case has been appointed. Given the requests made by families of the victims, and the complainants for a public trial, it appears that the judge is not opposed to this request," the informed source said.

Police say Mousavi nephew assassinated

Press TV | Dec. 29, 2009

Tehran's police say the nephew of former Iranian prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi was not involved in the Ashura protests, and was the target of a drive-by shooting.

"Seyyed Ali Habibi Mousavi Khamene, without being present in the riots, was assassinated by assailants driving a vehicle in one of Tehran's side streets known as Shademan," a police statement read.

"The killing took place somewhere between 12 to 1 p.m. (local time) and the victim was pronounced dead before reaching the hospital due to severe blood loss," it continued.

The statement added that the case and possible assassins are still under investigation.

Ayatollah Sanei offers condolences to Mousavi

Ayandeh | Dec. 29, 2009

In a telephone conversation Monday night, Ayatollah Yousofali Sanei expressed his sympathies to Mir Hossein Mousavi, for the death of his nephew Seyyed Ali Mousavi.

According to Ayatollah Sanei's website, the Shia Source of Emulation expressed sorrow over the tragic incidents that took place in Tehran on Ashura, and extended his condolences to the Mousavi family for the martyrdom of Ali Mousavi.

Student demonstrators clash with Basij

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 29, 2009

In the clashes that took place between students at Elm-o Sanat University on Tuesday, at least 10 students were injured, with some being taken to the hospital.

Student supporters of the Green Movement were staging their weekly Tuesday rally when the student Basij, who had announced a rally for the same day on Monday clashed with them.

According to Jaras, both the 1,500 student supporters of the Green Movement and the 150 Basiji students held their gatherings today and were chanting their slogans when a group of 1,000 Basijis and plainclothes agents shouting "Heydar Heydar" and "Mashallah Hezbollah" came in and charged toward protesting students with sticks and metal rods.

Students claim that 15 of their peers were kidnapped by the plainclothes agents.

Student gathering at Elm-o Sanaat University turns violent

Khabar Online | Dec. 29, 2009

After a student gathering at Elm-o Sanaat University turned violent, security forces entered campus and dispersed warring student groups.

According to Khabar Online, the hour-long gathering led to student clashes, and ended after security forces entered campus.

Fars News Agency however, claimed that the gathering, which was to be held in condemnation of the violation of the sanctity of Ashura by Mir Hossein Mousavi's supporters after the noon prayer, was held by the 800-member crowd at 11:30 after 80 Mousavi supporters gathered to show solidarity with Sunday's protestors.

The 800 students chanted slogans such as "Mousavi, Khatami, this is your final warning," "if only Khamenei decrees Jihad," etc... They carried flags bearing "O Abu Fazel," and "O Hossein," and moved toward the group of Mousavi supporters and dispersed them.

The 800 Elm-o Sanaat students were gathered outside the university's main entrance, and planned to demonstrate in Al-Ghadir Square in eastern Tehran.

Students shut down Shiraz University

Javan Farda | Dec. 29, 2009

The Javan Farda (Tomorrow's Youth) correspondent reported that Shiraz University students closed the University today.

Updates will be available soon.

Agents impose blockade on Montazeri home in Qom

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 29, 2009

The late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri's home and office in Qom have been surrounded by plainclothes agents over the past few days.

Ayatollah Sanei's home raided during Ashura mourning ceremony

Rahe Sabz | Dec. 29, 2009

Plainclothes agents raided an Ashura mourning ceremony held in Ayatollah Yousefali Sanei's home and office in Mashhad, assaulting mourners in the process.

The ceremony, which started after the evening prayer on Monday, was interrupted by plainclothes agents, and Ansar Hezbollah forces, who invaded the residence and assaulted mourners.

According to Jaras, after breaking the windows, the invaders headed by Hamid Ostad guided mourners outside and arrested a number of them.

It should be noted that no political slogans were being chanted during the ceremony, and those present were merely mourning the Ashura tragedy

Incoming reports from Mashhad revealed that throughout Monday, riot police were stationed in Azadi Street and Shohada Square, as well as around Ferdowsi University, and Park Avenue.

Evidence of Quran desecration to be made public

Ayandeh | Dec. 29, 2009

Two days after Fars News Agency claimed that protesters had burned a Quran during the Ashura unrest, an informed source told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) that evidence of the sacrilege would soon be made public.

"The remaining seditionists from the Mousavi cult, after their serial violations of sanctities, yesterday [Ashura] desecrated the Muslim holy book, the holy Quran."

"The 'assault on sanctities project' which started by the remainders of the Mousavi cult, by burning an Imam Khomeini poster on 16 Azar, was completed by violating the sanctity of Ashura and desecrating the Quran."

"Documented evidence of the Mousavi cult's desecration of the holy Quran will be disseminated by media outlets in the coming days," the source added.

School exams cancelled for Ashura rally

Ayandeh | Dec. 29, 2009

The public relations office of Tehran's Education and Development Organization announced the cancellation of all school exams on Thursday.

Given that students and teachers along with the rest of the citizens of Tehran will be participating in the Ashura devotees rally on Wednesday to condemn the violation of the sanctity of Ashura, all exams in Tehran schools are hereby canceled," Ali Soleimani told the Iranian Student's News Agency (ISNA).

New video shows police truck running over a protester.

An interview with Iran scholar Ervand Abrahamian

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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