Currently Browsing

Posts Tagged ‘ Friday prayer ’

  • 15 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

State-run propaganda surrounds Quds Day prayer

Three days before the important Quds Day’s ceremony in Iran, Iran’s state-run are organizing a concerted propaganda effort to mislead the public about who will lead the Friday Prayer in Tehran.

According to mowjcamp, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani has been expected to lead the Friday Prayer in Tehran on Quds day for nearly a week.  Opposition leaders Karroubi, Khatami, and Mousavi have all confirmed their participation in the rally and Friday Prayer, which will mark the last Friday of Ramadan.  However, IRNA and Fars (both pro-government news agancies) reported on Tuesday that the schedule has changed, and that  hardline cleric Ahmad Khatami will deliver the important sermon.  Additionally, President Ahmadinejad is planning to deliver a speech prior to the Friday sermon, though it was originally reported that he would do so at an alternative location, given that Rafsanjani would be in Tehran.

The rumors appear to be intended to spread confusion about the events surrounding the Quds Day prayer ceremonies, possibly contributing to the opposition’s lack of organization in planning demonstrations.  Rafsanjani has yet to officially deny the claims that he will not in fact be delivering the prayer in Tehran.

  • 8 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Khamenei to lead this week’s Tehran Friday Prayer

According to PressTV:

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei will lead this week’s Friday Prayer at Tehran University.
Ayatollah Khamenei will lead the Friday Prayer on September 11, which marks the 21st of the holy month of Ramadan, the office of Tehran’s Friday Prayer announced on Tuesday. The 21st of Ramadan marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of the first Shia Imam, Ali (PBUH).

Meanwhile,  mowjcamp reported that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani will lead the Friday Prayer in Tehran on the Quds day. Karroubi confirmed last week that the reformist leaders (Khatami, Mousavi, and Karroubi), like previous years, will actively participate in the rally and Friday Prayer in Tehran in the International Day of Quds on the last Friday of Ramadan (September 18th).

  • 4 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Tehran Friday Prayer Leader: time to “export the revolution”

Today’s Tehran Friday Prayer from Reuters:

A senior cleric urged Iran’s factions on Friday to end post-election infighting, suggesting they should focus on trying to “export the revolution” instead. Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani’s comments appeared to be an attempt to calm political tension inside Iran after its disputed election in June, which plunged the country into its deepest internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

“In our Islamic society, if we want to hurt people’s prestige in our remarks … then it would lead to a fire which hurts everyone,” Kashani told Friday prayer worshippers in Tehran, in a clear reference to domestic political feuding. “It is now the time to export the revolution … it is not the time to treat each other like this,” he said in a sermon broadcast live on state radio. “Such remarks cause damage to the Islamic society and prevent the export of the revolution.”

Kashani is seen as a moderate cleric who rarely makes politically controversial remarks.

  • 25 August 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Rafsanjani will lead Friday Prayer on “Quds Day”

International Day of Quds, which is an annual event in Iran, will be also held this year on the last Friday of Ramadan. According to mowjcamp (from Kayhan), Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani will lead the Friday Prayer in Tehran on Quds day.

Some state news sources had announced previously that Ayatollah Sadighi was selected to lead the Friday Prayer instead of Rafsanjani. But according to Fars News Agency, Sadighi will lead Friday Prayer on August 28 which is the first Friday of Ramadan in Iran.

Ahmadinejad is also scheduled to deliver a speech before Ayatollah Sadighi’s sermon. Ahmadinejad is expected to focus his speech on his new cabinet appointments, as well as marking the occasion of Government Week (August 24-30).

  • 21 August 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Friday prayer leader: arrest the opposition leaders

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, Tehran Friday leader implied in his sermon that the reformist key leaders (Khatami, Mousavi, and Karroubi) should be arrested to end the election dispute and unrest. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati is the head of the powerful Guardian Council and a strong Ahmadinejad supporter who said the 12 June election was the “healthiest” election since 1979 revolution.

Press TV has more:

[Jannati said] opposition to the election results and incitement of the post-vote unrest amount to “tyranny” against “Islam, the establishment and the people” and that those responsible should be brought to justice. “Some were arrested (in the protests) and some were not. Why weren’t the leaders behind this uproar arrested?” Jannati told worshippers during a Friday sermon in Tehran, Fars News Agency reported. “Their arrest should be the first thing that the Judiciary should do.” […]

On Friday, Ayatollah Jannati said parallels could be drawn between the recent uproar and the CIA-backed coup in 1953 — when the then democratically-elected Iranian prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq, was deposed in a military coup d’etat. “They wanted to repeat that coup … not knowing that people were not political savvy then. [In 1953,] people did not take to the streets, and no one was martyred; thus 25 years of tyranny ruled them,” said the Principlist cleric. “But nowadays, people are well aware of the (political) situation.” Jannati also urged the newly-elected Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani to prosecute the “riot leaders” as his first official act.

The call has been backed by other Principlist clerics and officials as well as ranking military officers with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). Brigadier General Yadollah Javani, head of the IRGC political bureau, said last week that the prosecution of Mousavi would put an end to the country’s post-election turmoil. “The question is who were the main plotters and agents of this coup. What is the role of (former President Mohammad) Khatami, Mousavi and Karroubi?” General Javani had said in early August. “Today, no one is impartial. There are two currents; those who defend and support the revolution and the establishment, and those who are trying to topple it,” Gen. Javani said in early July.

  • 30 July 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Trust: The latest casualty in Iran

A contact in Iran called after attending Friday prayer when Rafsanjani spoke on July 17 . Although he was pleased with Rafsanjani’s comments, he described a Seinfeld-esque scene with larger implications.

He had survived the tear gas used to disperse not only Mousavi supporters like himself, but the devout who pray every Friday. Despite the hundreds of Basijis placed in the square to prevent crowds from gathering- the young, old, religious and political had united peacefully with a heightened sense of camaraderie.

However, all the comfort he felt with his fellow citizens disappeared when the crowd had dispersed and he realized he had lost his cell phone. He told me that while searching for his phone, a Basij approached him and asked what he was doing.

  • 20 July 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

40 Arrested After the Friday Prayers

According to BBC Persian, a spokes person for the armed forces has indicated that 40 individuals have been arrested in the aftermath of the Friday Prayers that were delivered by Hashemi Rafsanjani. These individuals were arrested in the proximity of the University of Tehran where the Friday Prayers are held.

Iran News Roundup

NY Times Analysis: Rafsanjani seeking the mantle of Khomeini

He was also essentially usurping the institutional role of Ayatollah Khamenei.

“This was a speech Khamenei should have given,” said Farideh Farhi, a political scientist at the University of Hawaii. “That’s his designated role as the spiritual and political guide, to be above the fray. But Khamenei is probably too insecure and has too much to lose. He took sides. Rafsanjani rose to the occasion.”

The NY Times also reports that Ahmadinejad has selected Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei as his first deputy. The Times describes the pick as controversial but doesn’t mention that last year Mashaei found himself in hot water with conservatives for saying, “No nation in the world is our enemy, Iran is a friend of the nation in the United States and in Israel, and this is an honor. We view the American nation as one with the greatest nations of the world.”

Press TV reports on the conservative criticism of the appointment:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s choice of vice president has met with a hail of criticism, provoking calls from his Principlist supporters for the resignation of the newly appointed veep.

The hardline Ayatollah Yazdi, who strongly supports Ahmadinejad, attacked Rafsanjani for focusing on will of the people (AFP):

“The legitimacy of the government is given by God,” the ISNA news agency quoted Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi as saying.

“Acceptance by the people doesn’t bring legitimacy to (an Islamic) government. Mr Hashemi Rafsanjani ignored this important Islamic point and talked in both parts of his sermon yesterday as if governments are assigned only by the people.”

Kayhan newspaper slams Rafsanjani (AFP):

The Kayhan daily, whose editor is appointed by Khamenei, accused Rafsanjani of backing lawbreaking through his implicit support for the demonstrators who have clashed repeatedly with riot police and militiamen since the June 12 vote.

“Mr. Rafsanjani says a great number of people cast doubt on the election. But he doesn’t say why,” the newspaper said.

“If people have a suspicion, it is about… what’s behind the riots,” it added, in an allusion to accusations by regime hardliners that foreign hands have been behind the wave of protests that saw thousands take to the streets again on Friday after Rafsanjani’s sermon at the main weekly Muslim prayers. […]

But Kayhan took issue with the former president’s description of the situation as a “crisis.”

“Mr Hashemi knows what crisis means… but plot is the best word to describe the current situation,” the paper said.

The family of Iranian-American Kian Tajbakhsh fears show trial (AP):

“We are concerned that Kian is being held in an attempt by the Iranian authorities to obtain forced statements from him to use in a televised show trial,” the statement says. “Such statements are repeatedly extracted under conditions of torture for the sole purpose of staging televised show trials in an attempt to deceive the Iranian public.”

The statement was also posted on a Web site the family and associates have organized to draw attention to his captivity.

NIAC has called for Tajbakhsh’s release.

West must close Iran nuclear file: new atomic chief (AFP):

Iran’s new atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said on Saturday that the West should close the Islamic republic’s nuclear file and cease its hostility towards Tehran.

“Legal and technical discussions about Iran’s nuclear case have finished … and there is no room left to keep this case open,” Salehi said in his first remarks since being appointed Friday to head Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation. […]

“We hope that more efforts be made (by the West) in order to obtain mutual confidence instead of the past six year’s hostile era and this case… will be closed as soon as possible,” Salehi said. […]

Salehi is known as an open minded administrator and he was the one who signed the protocol with the IAEA in December 2003 which gave the UN agency a freer hand in inspecting Iran’s nuclear sites.

Experts debate the significance of Rafsanjani’s speech

Reza Aslan:

For a man who has made a career out of mediating from the middle and playing both sides, Rafsanjani delivered an unusually pointed criticism of the Iranian regime’s handling of the election crisis.

Hooman Majd:

It was about as good as one could expect, if one is with the opposition, in terms of the kind of speech that someone like he would make. And there also must be remembered that the Ahmadinejad supporters in Iran despise Rafsanjani.

Afshin Molavi:

Rafsanjani did not take the wind out of the sails of the protestors. He did not offer a conciliatory speech, as some thought, and he said that this political fight will last another day.

Trita Parsi:

Rafsanjani very cleverly positioned himself as a unifying figure, emphasizing the need to bring everyone together. That was an indirect attack on the Supreme Leader, who has been widely accused of abusing his position by being so partisan in backing the Ahmadinejad faction. When the Supreme Leader is incapable of bringing about unity within the system, then anyone else who is capable of achieving that will strengthen his position relative to the Supreme Leader.

  • 17 July 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Diplomacy, Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Is America losing “Great Satan” status?

The Washington Post thinks so:

For the past three decades, the United States has been Iran’s “Great Satan.” Schoolchildren learned to chant “Down With U.S.A.” Conservative clerics sermonized against America. Anti-American murals depicting images such as a skull-faced Statue of Liberty dotted Tehran.

But since Iran’s disputed presidential election last month, another Satan has gained ground: Great Britain.

As we reported earlier, before Rafsanjani’s speech, when the head of the organization that oversees the Friday prayers spoke, the audience refused to repeat the chants coming from behind the podium. When he said “Death to America,” the people responded with “Death to Russia” and “Death to China” instead. (Both countries have recognized Ahmadinejad.)

The Washington Post cites experts saying that the Iranian government, while intent on staying in power, may not be focusing on the U.S. as much because they do not want to unnecessarily poison the atmosphere before U.S.-Iran talks can begin.

  • 16 July 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Minister of Intelligence, media, warn Rafsanjani against supporting the “enemy”

Hossein Shariatmadari the chief editor of conservative newspaper ‘Kayhan’ has invited members of the Iranian Ansar al-Hezbollah to also attend this week’s Friday Prayers. According to Shariatmadari, “there are those who are planning to disrupt tomorrow’s prayer and we must be there to stop them, and our chants should be in favor of the Supreme Leader.” Shariatmadari went on to warn Rafsanjani that he should not fuel the flames of the “hooligans.” “Rafsanjani must avoid supporting the hooligans in his sermon; he must keep in mind that supporting the hooligans is support for the enemy.”

Iran’s Minister of Intelligence, Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ezhei has also warned Rafsanjani and the participants of the Friday prayer “to be clever and not turn the Friday Prayer into an offensive scene,” BBC Persian reports.

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.



Share this with your friends: