• 2 August 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Hardliners Raise the Stakes

Charges of Treason Against Mousavi and Khatami Grow Louder (AFP):

[A] group of Iranian MPs have filed a complaint to the judiciary against Mousavi over the post-election violence, the Fars news agency reported.

“Those who issued statements and directed recent riots should be accountable for the bloodshed and go on trial,” said Mohammad Taghi Rahbar, a hardline member of parliament’s judicial commission.

Rahbar said Mousavi and Khatami were the main culprits behind the unrest.

The rival declarations underscore the scale of the political infighting in Iran, which has also seen Ahmadinejad come under fire even from own hardline supporters and triggered warnings of further radicalisation.

“Evidence of Khatami and Mousavi’s treason unveiled,” thundered the headline in the hardline Kayhan newspaper.

Kayhan called for Khatami and Mousavi to be charged with “acting against God,” an offense that carries the death penalty.

Mousavi Says Sham Trial an Attempt to Validate Fraudulent Election (AFP):

“The scenes that we saw were a clumsy preparation for the launch of the 10th government,” Mousavi said on his website of Saturday’s trial, held just days before Ahmadinejad is to be sworn in on Wednesday.

“They expect a court, which itself is fraudulent, to prove that there was no fraud committed in the election,” said Mousavi, a former post-revolution premier who lost to Ahmadinejad in what he said was a rigged election.

“What are they trying to convince people of… by relying on reports from reporters nobody has heard of and relying on confessions which obviously bore the hallmarks medieval-era torture?”

Khatami Condemns “Show Trial” (LA Times):

In comments published today on his website, Khatami, onetime leader of the nation’s reformist movement, warned that the confessions aired during Saturday’s mass trial for those allegedly behind Iran’s weeks of unrest would backfire by further dividing the people from the establishment.

“Such confessions expressed under special circumstances lack any legal standing,” he said in a meeting late Saturday, according to the baran.org.ir, the website of a charity he oversees. “The regime and nation were insulted and what we heard in the show trial were repetitions of what we had already heard from special tribunes in violation of legal and religious norms.”

The trial opening aired on television as the nation braces for another possible outbreak of violence during events this week marking the launch of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s second term. Many prominent political figures, including Khatami, plan to boycott the ceremonies.

Mohammad Ali Abtahi, who served as vice-president to Khatami during his presidency, was among those who appeared at the trial and read a confession recanting his previous allegation that Ahmadinejad’s June 12 election victory was a blatant fraud.

Former IRGC Commander Rezaei Calls for Trial of Security Forces (Press TV):

One day after Iran opened a mass trial of more than 100 opposition figures, defeated presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei questions the fairness of the move, calling for a trial of the security forces who broke the law. […]

“Recent events which brought severe damage upon the nation and the Islamic Republic were caused by two groups; one group were rioters and the second group comprised of self-driven individuals and security forces who violated the law,” Rezaei said in a letter to Iran’s Judiciary Chief, Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, on Sunday.

Rezaei, who challenged Ahmadinejad in the June 12 election, argued that with two types of defendants, the authorities should move to hold two types of court proceedings.

“Otherwise justice and fairness will not be administered and it is even possible that insecurity does not come to an end and calm is not restored to the society,” Rezaei warned.

He said while Saturday’s trial only dealt with the first group of the accused, the question remains as to when the second trial is set to begin and why it was not held at the same time with the first court session.

Rezaei called on the country’s judiciary chief to put to trial “the security forces who attacked Tehran University’s dormitory and classes in Isfahan University”, “those responsible for battering the prisoners including Mohsen Ruholamini”, and “those responsible for assaulting peaceful protestors in the street”.

Posted By David Elliott

David Elliott is the Assistant Policy Director at the National Iranian American Council.

    One Response to “Hardliners Raise the Stakes”

  1. WILLIE says:

    ayatollah —SCHMUCK-a-tolla
    what a HUGE JOKE and A

    May khamenei and ahmadinejad ,both,

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Sign the Petition


7,350 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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