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Legislator Warns Ahmadinejad; War Veteran Greens Arrested

09 Mar 2011 22:41Comments

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press and excerpts where the source is in English. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the stories in perspective. You can follow breaking news stories on our Twitter feed.

Iran Standard Time (IRST), GMT+3:30

Ali Motahari.

11 p.m./March 9 Our columnist Muhammad Sahimi compiled the following news items and commentary:

Majles deputy Ali Motahari said today that if President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not stop advocating the "Iranian school of thought" instead of the Islamic one, he will be summoned to the Majles to explain what he is doing. He criticized Ahmadinejad and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, for inviting 12 monarchs to come to Iran for the celebration of Nowruz, the beginning of the Iranian new year on March 21, to be held in Persepolis. He described it as reminiscent of what Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi did in 1971 when he invited a large number of monarchs and heads of state to Persepolis to celebrate 2,500 years of monarchy in Iran. Motahari particularly criticized the invitation to Jordan's King Abdollah II, saying that the people of his own country are protesting his rule.

Two veterans of the war with Iraq and Green Movement activists in Shiraz, Seyyed Ahmad Mousavi Takami and Hassan Pour, have been arrested. Mousavi Takami was former head of the Muslim Student Association of Shiraz University. He also served as the governor-general of a town in the province of Fars in the Khatami administration. He was arrested on Tuesday. Hassan Pour was arrested at home. The security agents also took away his personal computer.

Dr. Abdollah Naseri, senior member of the Organization of Islamic Revolution Mojahedin (OIRM), university professor, and head of IRNA, Iran's official news agency, during the administration of former president Mohammad Khatami, was released after posting $50,000 bail. He was arrested at home on February 14 after the demonstrations that had been called for by Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. Ahmad Hashemi, another member of the OIRM, who was arrested on February 21, was also released today. He was in charge of the inspection division of the Ministry of Interior in the Khatami administration. There is still no information on the whereabouts of another member of the OIRM, Mehdi Tahaghoghi, who was also arrested on February 21.

At the end of their meeting, members of the Assembly of Experts issued a statement hailing the efforts of the security organizations in "establishing security for the citizens." They also praised the leadership of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani during his chairmanship of the assembly, and demanded that the leaders of the Green Movement be put on trial.

Peyman Aref, a university activist and member of the opposition National Front, who was arrested on February 10, was finally allowed to contact his wife. He has been given a one-year jail sentence and was detained to serve his term. He was expelled from his university due to his political activities.

A large number of workers at the textile plant of Mazandaran in Ghaem Shahr in northern Iran have gathered in front of the plant, protesting that their wages have not been paid for the past four months. The plant is one of the largest in the country, but bad management has led it into one crisis after another over the past 20 years.

Dr. Sayyed Hossein Seifzadeh, a distinguished professor of international relations in the school of law and political science of the University of Tehran, was fired from his position. The security division of the university used Basij students to secretly record his lectures and take photos of him on campus (presumably with students during protests). He was summoned to the security division last November and interrogated for over three hours. Many students are currently taking classes with Professor Seifzadeh, and it is not clear what will happen to their classes.

Dr. Iraj Afshar, a distinguished expert on the history of Iran and author of numerous books and articles, passed away. Born in 1925, he received his law degree from the University of Tehran in 1949. He was the head librarian of the law school for ten years and also the head of Iran's National Library for one year. In addition, he was the editor of the literary magazines Sokhan and Books of the Month before the 1979 Revolution. He was to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Scotland in September.

Expressing astonishment over lack of any credible reaction by the international community to the violent crackdown in Iran, Nobel Laureate for Peace Shirin Ebadi asked today, "Is the world waiting for Iran to become like Libya?" In an interview with AFP, Ebadi demanded that the Human Rights Council of the United Nations appoint a special representative to report on the status of human rights in Iran.

A group of students at the University of Tehran issued a statement criticizing the security and military environment that has been created on the campus. They demanded that a free environment be restored to the university, so that the students can study without fear. They said that, "This is no longer a university, but sidewalks for the interrogators of the Ministry of Intelligence and agents of the security division of the university. Dr. Farhad Rahbar [university chancellor], Dr. Bagher Larijani [head of the medical school], either return our university to us, or take us to Evin Prison. Enroll the interrogators at the university, so that the time that they spend in the campus will not be wasted."

The websites of the Assembly of Experts and the Expediency Council were attacked. In the assembly website, a fake note was inserted informing the public that Hashemi Rafsanjani had passed away. His son, Mohsen Hashemi, denied the news, and said that his father is in fine health.

Eight students at Iran University of Science and Technology have been prevented from continuing their education. Due to their political activities, the eight had been banned from enrolling from one to three semesters, but now that the temporary ban has expired, the university still refuses to readmit the students. They have been asked to provide guarantees that they will no longer be active in politics before they are allowed to enroll.

Farnaz Kamali, a student at Islamic Azad University and member of the Campaign for One Million Signatures, a civic campaign fighting discrimination against women, has been released from prison after posting $300,000 bail. She was arrested during the February 20 demonstration in support of the leaders of the Green Movement. In related news, Afshin Tarakemeh, a student of cinema, has been sentenced to three years in jail. He was arrested in late December in the home of Parvin Fahimi, mother of Sohrab Arabi, the young student who was murdered in the aftermath of the 2009 election. He was also arrested in December 2009, but released after posting a $30,000 bail.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, rejected the assertion by IAEA Director General Yukia Amano that Iran is not cooperating adequately with the agency. He said that Iran has allowed the IAEA to conduct many unannounced inspections of its nuclear facilities, and there are many cameras that record all the activities within those facilities.

Copyright © 2011 Tehran Bureau

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