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  • 8 September 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Ahmadinejad Retracts Proposed Ministers

Khabaronline, a website associated with Majles Speaker Ali Larijani, reports that Ahmadinejad has formally retracted his Cabinet propositions. This is the first step in proposing new Cabinet ministers for energy, welfare, and education — the three Ahmadinejad ministers that were rejected.

From Khabaronline (h/t New York Times):

According to the House of the People website, here is Ahmadinejad’s letter:

“Mister Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Majles

In peace. I would like to retract the proposed Ministers I had published as of September 6, 2009. I am requesting that you expedite the necessary actions to implement this in Majles. Obviously, I will introduce new Ministers according to Article 133 of the Constitution soon.”

According to the House o

f the People (ICANA) website, here is Ahmadinejad’s letter:

“Mister Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Majles

With peace. I would like to retract the proposed Ministers I published on 15 Sharivar 1388. I am requesting that you expedite the necessary actions to implement this in Majles. Obviously, I will introduce new Ministers according to Article 133 of the Constitution soon.”

  • 4 September 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Conservative MP: Khamenei Urged MPs to Support Cabinet

In the latest sign suggesting that Ahmadinejad’s political power depends on Khamenei’s backing, AFP is reporting that a senior conservative MP has said the Cabinet’s approval depended on Khamenei’s support. From AFP:

TEHRAN — Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged MPs to approve President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s cabinet, a senior lawmaker said on Friday, the latest sign of his full backing for the hardliner.

The ISNA news agency quoted Deputy Spearker Mohammad Reza Bahonar as saying that if Khamenei had not backed the proposed line-up, eight or nine nominees would have been rejected in Thursday’s confidence vote rather than only three.

“The message of the leader played a big role,” Bahonar said.

The conservative-dominated parliament approved 18 of 21 nominees for the cabinet, rejecting two of three women proposed and the would-be energy minister.

“If we had not received the leader’s recommendations, probably eight or nine ministers would have failed to win the vote of confidence, and that would not have been a good start for the government,” said Bahonar, a well-known critic of the president.

“If we had not received the message of the leader, the ministers of oil, industry, commerce, cooperatives, transport and foreign affairs would have been rejected,” Bahonar added.

He said Khamenei’s “vision” prevented this from happening and “changed the view” of parliament.

Mohammad Reza Bahonar is Secretary-General of the Islamic Society of Engineers, a lynchpin of Iran’s conservative establishment.

Bahonar generally supported Ahmadinejad from 2005 until earlier this summer, when Ahmadinejad tried to appoint a loyal politician who favored relations with Israel to be his Vice President. The Supreme Leader overruled the appointment and now Rahim Mashaie is Ahmadinejad’s Chief of Staff.

Ahmadinejad is a member of the Engineers, but the party is generally closer to pragmatic conservatives like Ali Larijani.

  • 2 September 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Supreme Leader to MPs: Accept All Cabinet Nominees

Khabar Online is reporting that the Supreme Leader is placing further pressure on MPs to validate the entire Cabinet (h/t New York Times):

With the publication of news from Majles Representatives based on the announcement from the Supreme Leader that he prefers a positive vote for all proposed Ministers, it is predicted that all 21 ministers will win votes of confidence.

It is said that the Speaker of Majles (Ali Larijani) informed the Representatives of Majles about the Supreme Leader’s desire to have all Cabinet nominees approved.

If this news is accurate, considering that the Majles unanimously accepts the Supreme Leader’s rule, Khabar Online believes it’s worhty of prediction that all of Ahmadinejad’s suggested ministers will win votes of confidence.

In a public meeting in Majles today this morning, conservatives Ali Mottahari and Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moghaddam emphasized that the conversations that have been brought up about the Supreme Leader’s personal viewpoint about the need to give votes of confidence to all Ministers  must be documented.

  • 2 September 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Saeed Mortazavi: I dealt with post-election situation “brilliantly”

Many sources are reporting on the Farewell Address of Saeed Mortazavi, where he appears to openly flaunt his jailing of protesters following Iran’s Presidential elections. Check out BBC Persian‘s account (h/t New York Times):

Saeed Mortazavi, “Independent Assistant” of the Prosecutor-General of Iran and former Prosecutor-General of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran has described his resume in dealing with post-election disturbances as “brilliant.”

Mortazavi was appointed to become “Independent Assistant” of the Prosecutor-General of Iran, by Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei himself.

Mortazavi made these remarks at his farewell address and the introduction of a new Revolutionary Court of Tehran Prosecutor-General: “The Revolutionary Court of Tehran has had a brilliant resume in dealing with the post-election disturbances.”

  • 1 September 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • 2 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Supreme Leader, Armed Forces Pressure MPs to Accept Cabinet

According to unconfirmed reports, the Supreme Leader’s office and the Commander of Iran’s Armed Forces have been pressuring MPs to accept Ahmadinejad’s Cabinet. Rouydad News reports (h/t New York Times):

There have been contacts from the office of the Supreme Leader and people close to Ahmadinejad to MPs [to support his Cabinet]. In one case, Commander of the Armed Forces Hassan Firouzabadi called some MPs into his office.

One MP told Rouydad: “They have contacted Representatives and they want Representatives to approve all of the Cabinet members. Their goal is to show, through a high vote of approval of all Ministers, that their power is great and that the influence of post-election protests has been negligible.

When asked who did the contacting, this MP said, “The contacts came from the Supreme Leader’s office and some people close to Ahmadinejad, and Maj. Gen Hassan Firouzabadi even called some Representatives into his office.”

According to the information of Rouydad’s reporter, the decision to put pressure on MPs to approve Cabinet officials was made last week in a meeting with the presence of Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, Ayatollah  Ahmad Jannati, Mehdi Taeb, Morteza Moghtadaie, and some of Ahmadinejad’s deputies and some MPs including Gholamali Haddad-Adel, Mehdi Koochakzadeh, Hamid Rasaie, Movid Hosseini-Sadr, and Kazem Mousavi, as well the heads of two pro-government newspapers.

  • 31 August 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • 2 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Major Mousavi Ally Released from Prison (UPDATED)

Ghalebi

Hamzeh Ghalebi, one of Mousavi’s allies since his days as Prime Minister, has just been released from prison. He was forced to make a public confession in the August 25 court trial. More from the Majles Reformists’ news service Parleman News:

The President of Mousavi’s Youth Organization Hamzeh Ghalebi has been freed just hours ago.

He was one of the members of the Islamic Iran Participation Front and is very close to Mir Hossein Mousavi. He had a fundamental role in Mousavi’s campaign to be elected Prime Minister [in 1980], specifically in garnering the support of Imam Khomeini.

Nearly 70 days ago he was arrested, and he was under great pressure to make a public confession alongside Sohrab Tabatabaie and Mohammad Reza Jalalipour on August 25. But ultimately he did not do so.

Ghalebi was one of the well-known religious Reformists who was arrested and was brought before the courts in last week’s trial for public indictment, but he was not indicted on any charges on Tuesday.

  • 26 August 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Rafsanjani’s Son Accuses Ahmadinejad of Embezzling 340 Million Tomans

Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s son, has denied vociferously the claims of engineering “velvet revolution” raised  against him in confessions from yesterday’s trial. He sent an open letter to the President of IRIB for broadcasting the confessions.

He was also accused of embezzling 2 million Iranian tomans. In refuting these charges, Rafsanjani publicly raised the issue of Ahmadinejad allegedly embezzling 340 million tomans while he was governor of Tehran.

From Javan-e Farda (h/t New York Times):

“I, Mr. Mehdi Hashemi, never believed I took even a bit of money from the budget for the costs of electoral advertisements, and the [charges raised in court yesterday] are pure lies.

All of the costs of advertisement in the budget of the Energy Optimization Agency [which Rafsanjani managed] in 2005 are completely clear. […]

And now that the issue of the election of 2005 is open, for the good of public awareness, I am calling for the final review, in one place, of the 340 million tomans that went missing from the Tehran governor’s office in 2005, which people had asked many times of the governor [Ahmadinejad], the Tehran governing council, and the national council of reviewing. (We should keep investigating until the person responsible collapses)

The point worth noting here is that these “admissions” have occurred directly after the Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s family sent a letter bringing complains against Mr. Ahmadinejad to the Judiciary.”

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 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.

Sincerely,

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