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Selected Headlines

06 Apr 2010 00:243 Comments

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. You can follow our news feeds on Twitter.

Motahari says government has dictatorship tendency

Tabnak | Khabar Online | April 6, 2010

Ali Motahari, a Tehran representative in Majles, said the government had leaned toward dictatorship in its approach to the guided subsidy law.

"When the president says I will not enforce this law it has no other meaning than dictatorship. The correct approach would be for the government to implement the law and submit legislation to Majlis to amend the [subsidy] law if it [government] encounters any problems when implementing it," Motahari told Majles reporters on Tuesday.

"Having the government insist that Majles take back its decision on an approved law and for the president to threaten lawmakers on live television is not [a] correct [approach]."

Naderan accuses Rahimi of corruption, calls for his arrest

Khabar Online | April 6, 2010

Principlist lawmaker Elias Naderan accused first vice president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi of corruption and expressed surprise that he had not been arrested yet.

The Tehran representative in Majlis expressed surprise on Tuesday that those who praise Rahimi for fighting economic corruption are clueless about his affiliation to the corruption network whose members were recently arrested.

"Either these gentlemen who defend Mr. Rahimi are unaware of the extent of his involvement in the [Fatemi Street] corruption network or their information is flawed," Khabar Online quoted him as saying.

"Mr. Rahimi is the head of the Fatemi Street corruption network. He decided about the collection of resources and their distribution... Currently most of the members of the Fatemi Street corruption network have been arrested except for the incumbent first vice president."

"Having someone exempted from arrest due to his executive position is neither just nor acceptable. The Fatemi Street corruption network consisted of one Jaber Abdali, Elias Mahmoudi, Masoudi and a few other individuals who have all been arrested."

"While it is said that Rahimi had no part in distributing the illicit funds and the checks were signed by Jaber Abdali, we must take into consideration that the checks and bank account belonged to this individual [Abdali] but the writing on them [checks] belonged to another individual."

Rahimi's chief of staff responds to Naderan accusations

Khabar Online | Tabnak | Parleman News | April 6, 2010

The first vice president's chief of staff said Principlist lawmaker Elias Naderan's corruption allegations against Mohammad-Reza Rahimi were baseless.

Mohammad-Jafar Mohammadzadeh told ISNA that Naderan had no other reason to make these accusations other than to create havoc for the government and that he could be sued over his remarks about Rahimi.

"Unfortunately some people are only Principlist in name but show no signs of adhering to the principles in action," he said. "I hope that the prosecutor will not remain silent about these baseless allegations that have not been proven and are only creating tensions in the country."

Appeals court confirms Tabatabaei's five-year jail term

Parleman | Tabnak | April 6, 2010

An appeals court has upheld the verdict against Shahbelddin Tabatabaei, a post-election detainee who was tried on charges of acting against national security.

Branch 15 of the Revolution Court sentenced Tabatabaei to five years in prison after finding him guilty of acting against national security, propagating against the establishment and gathering and colluding to disrupt public security.

Speaking to ILNA, Tabatabaei confirmed being sentenced to five years in prison and said, "The appeals [court] confirmed the exact verdict reached by branch 15 of the Revolution Court."

Tabatabaei has been on leave from prison since Feb. 17, 2009.

Mesbahi-Moqqadam: Is there a problem or govt is making excuses?

Khabar Online | April 6, 2010

The first meeting of the joint Majlis-Government committee to discuss the implementation of the guided subsidy bill convened on Tuesday and was chaired by Mohammad-Reza Bahonar.

Lawmaker Gholam-Reza Mesbahi Moqqadam told ISNA that the committee was formed to find a solution to the subsidy reform plan in Majles.

"The purpose of this committee is not convincing Majles or the government," he said. "Rather it is conferring and finding a suitable solution that can be presented to Majles and debated. The government is to begin work and the committee will determine whether there is a problem that Majles must be informed about, or God forbid, they [government] are making excuses."

Ahmadinejad protesters arrested in the Hague

Tehran Bureau | April 6, 2010

About 10 people were arrested today after gaining access to the grounds of the Iranian Embassy in the Hague, according to a police spokeswoman.

Earlier, the protesters issued a press release saying they had "occupied" part of the Iranian embassy in the Hague. The statement said the move was in protest of abuses perpetrated by "the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei, which include torture, abduction, mass execution, repression of free speech and assembly, and use of the machinery of government to enforce religious edicts."

But Tessel Horsman, the spokeswoman for the Hague police department said "'occupied' is too strong a word to explain what happened."

She said at around 2:30 a.m. local time, 10 people managed to climb the fence surrounding the Iranian Embassy and to lower the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Eight of them, she said, managed to climb on top of the roof of a shed in the compound.

They were all arrested, she said. No names or nationalities were immediately available.

The complete statement of the protesters is available online at http://iranlives.blogspot.com.

Khatami: Leave punishment of desecrators to God

Asr Iran | April 6, 2010

Former Iranian president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami reacted to the news of the desecration of his father's grave by saying the punishment of the perpetrators should be left to God.

According to Mehr News Agency, Khatami told family members and other citizens who had gathered at his father's grave to leave the punishment of the desecrators to God.

On Sunday night unidentified individuals splashed paint over the tombstone of the late Ayatollah Seyyed Rouhollah Khatami, which bore his picture and an inscription of a message of condolence issued by the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini.

Lawmakers warn Interior Minister

Tabnak | April 6, 2010

Yazd representatives in Majlis officially issued a warning to Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar calling on him to bring to justice those who desecrated Ayatollah Seyyed Rouhollah Khatami's grave.

According to ILNA, lawmakers Tabesh, Farahmandi, Abedi and Yahyazadeh demanded that the Interior Minister make every effort to identify and detain the desecrators of Ayatollah Khatami's grave.

The warning reads, "Two months ago misguided elements set the door of the residence of the Martyred Ayatollah Sadouqi aflame in Yazd, which was condemned by figures and organizations, but unfortunately no progress was made in identifying and bringing in the perpetrators. Following that incident, the tomb of the second representative of Imam [Khomeini] and the Yazd Friday prayers leader and the inscribed message on the tomb, issued by the late Imam in praise of his [Khatami's] characteristics, were desecrated."

"Given that that prominent figure [Khatami] was one of resources of the revolution we condemn this sedition that is targeting the late Imam and his companions and demand that the misguided and criminal perpetrators of this act be promptly dealt with."

Ayatollah Khatami's grave desecrated, one arrested

Tabnak | Asr Iran | April 5, 2010

The grave of Ayatollah Khatami, the father of former president Mohammad Khatami, was defaced with white paint in Yazd, the city where the elder Khatami led Friday Prayers.

Maryam Khatami, the late Ayatollah's daughter, told ILNA that after learning about the Monday morning incident, the family visited the site. "After getting to the resting place of Ayatollah Khatami we saw that his picture and the [late] Imam's [Khomeini] message had been sprayed over with white paint," she said.

She added that the Khatami family had informed the Friday prayers leader of Ardakan and other officials about the incident.

"It appears that finding the hidden and apparent hands involved in this matter is not a difficult matter for authorities," she said. "Those who have perpetrated such awful acts are only losing their own face."

Maryam Khatami went on to criticize such acts in society, and the disregard for the late Imam's message issued following the death of Ayatollah Khatami, which has been engraved in the tombstone.

Meanwhile, Parleman News reported that the wife of the late Ayatollah Khatami had began a sit-in at her husband's resting place and said that she would remain there until the perpetrators were brought to justice.

According to Parleman news, family members of the martyrs and veterans of the Iran-Iraq war had also gathered at the grave site, and the Yazd representative in Majlis called for the perpetrators to be immediately identified.

Ardakan governor Ahmad Kamali told ISNA that one person had been taken into custody in connection with the incident. "We have found some clues and we hope that through intelligence work we can find out more details and identify the offenders in this case," he said. "Unfortunately parts of the message inscribed on the tombstone were covered with white paint. But luckily, with necessary washing and cleansing, the traces of paint were removed from the tombstone."

He added that the "arrest of the suspect had led to discovering more clues in the case. "That individual's arrest was more in relation to similar incidents involving posters of Imam [Khomeini] and the Leader [Seyyed Ali Khamenei]. He has yet to make a confession about today's [Monday's] incident. We have concrete evidence regarding another individual who has said suspicious things on a number of occasions."

UK speedboat floats into Iran's arms

FT | April 4, 2010

In spite of efforts by the Obama administration to stop it falling into the hands of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the Bradstone Challenger -- a high-performance powerboat built with support from a US defence contractor -- is believed to be under new and dangerous ownership.

Advertised for sale the next year through a broker "as the ultimate toy for someone looking for something a little bit special", the 51ft craft caught the eye of the Iranians. Initial attempts to buy it were blocked by the UK Department of Trade and Industry.

Week in Green interview with Akbar Ganji

Week in Green | April 2, 2010

In the eighteenth episode of The Week in Green, journalist, activist, and political dissident Akbar Ganji discusses the societal forces that created the Green Movement, the economic troubles of the ruling regime, and strategies that Iranians supporting this movement might follow in the months ahead.

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Iran buying luxury speed boats (which is what the Bradstone Challenger seems to be) is hardly dangerous, rather a sign of the economic irresponsibility of the current regime.

Anonymous / April 6, 2010 9:45 PM

They call it dangerous because boat with that big of a hull and speed can also be used for military purposes. It can carry machine guns similar to Phalanx, Rocket launchers, sea mines and/or even Silkworm ASM.

Aryajet / April 7, 2010 7:05 PM

Or maybe they wanted it for copy catting

PersianTraveler / April 7, 2010 11:46 PM