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Posts Tagged ‘ Larijani ’

  • 25 June 2010
  • Posted By Shawn Vl
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009, Persian Gulf

Iran’s Hardliners Continue Splitting

Tensions are boiling in Iran’s parliament over the government’s demand to take control over the assets of Azad University, which amounts to over $200 billion. This feud between the parliament and Ahmadinejad’s administration reflects the ongoing battles between the camps of Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad. (Azad University was one of the most successful pet projects and legacies of the Rafsanjani era.)

Recently, the hardliners organized a mob of Basijis to demonstrate against the parliament in order to make the MPs succumb to the government’s demands for changing the Azad University’s Board of Directors that are part of the Rafsanjani coterie. The mob chanted offensive slogans, like “Death to the hypocrites” and “Shame on this disgraceful assembly.”

But this intimidation actually backfired. In response, many conservative MP’s lashed out at the government of Ahmadinejad for instigating “such insolence.” This response is reflective of an emerging third conservative faction that has become disillusioned with the hard-liners like Ahmadinejad and is increasingly distancing themselves from their hostile policies. Prominent conservative elements of the Majlis, like Motahari and Larijani, are also fed up with the political tactics of intimidation employed by Ahmadinejad supporters.

Obviously, this rift in the establishment is the product of last year’s presidential elections. The post-election turmoil sparked an internal power struggle that is continuously fluctuating in its intensity. Without this constant struggle, it is unlikely that such a sensitive matter that would have so embroiled the different chambers of the Iranian government, and then have surfaced for the entire Iranian nation to see as well.

  • 3 September 2009
  • Posted By Darioush Azizi
  • Iran Election 2009

Head of Reformist front released from Evin, judiciary head opposed to mass trials

PressTV is reporting that the head of the Reformist front in Tehran has been released from Evin prison after nearly two months. Abbas Mirza Aboutalebi was arrested on 10 July in connection with the unrest following the June 12 elections.

Aboutalebi is the deputy secretary general of Hambastegi (Solidarity), an Iranian Reformist party, and was a former deputy at the Iranian Parliament (Majlis).

He was also one of the top campaigners of defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

This could be another sign that the conservatives, under the direction of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, are moving towards some form of reconciliation.

Alternatively, it is an example of head of the judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani’s stance against the mass trials of reformists. Indeed, rumor has it the brother of Majles Speaker Ali Larijani is working to release three key reformists (including Saeed Hajjarian) before the end of Ramazan. From a New York Times article this morning:

Jahan news, a pro-government Web site, reported Thursday that Sadeq Larijani, head of the judiciary, is opposed to the mass trials of political prisoners that the president and his allies have organized.

The report said that he is looking to bring an end to the trials and has ordered the release of three high profile prisoners by the end of the of the holy month of Ramadan, including Saeed Hajjarian, a former deputy minister and reform movement strategist; Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, a former vice president; and Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, a former government spokesman.

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

Did Mortazavi Get Promoted or Sidelined?

The L.A. Times airs the debate of what has become of the former prosecutor in Iran’s show trials:

“When he was Tehran public prosecutor he could only issue arrest warrants for people in Tehran,” said Khalil Bahramian, a human rights lawyer in the capital. “Now he can do the same nationwide.”

Not so fast, say Saleh Nikbakht and Mohammad-Hossein Aghassi, two Iranian trial lawyers who for years have been fighting for human rights in Iran’s legal trenches.

“From a bureaucratic and formal angle it seems like a promotion,” said Aghassi, who defended Radio Farda journalist Parnaz Azima when she was charged with committing crimes against national security in 2007.

“But in terms of the power to issue arrest warrants or issue verdict or sue anyone, it is a demotion because he has been stripped of all powers he had enjoyed,” he said.

Mortazavi gained infamy as head of a press court that shuttered dozens of newspapers. As public prosecutor in Tehran he went after dissidents and journalists with zeal. He earned international infamy in his alleged role behind the murder of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, a dual Iranian Canadian national, and its subsequent coverrup.

His new post, Aghassi said, gives him protection from future prosecution for his actions as Tehran prosecutor.

Nikbakht, one of the two lawyers who defended Iranian American journalist Roxana Saberi, called the “promotion” the “worst treatment he could receive” because he loses the power to order an arrest or a halt to political activities.

“In his new position he is one of six deputies for prosecutor-general Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei,” said Nikbakht. “Mortazavi, with his notorious background, will be seemingly equal to other fellow deputies…For sure his authority and power have been diminished almost to zero, nothing … because he cannot make any judiciary decision.”

Mortazavi will be under the thumb of Mohseni-Ejei, a prominent conservative and former intelligence minister who emerged as an enemy of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s clique when he opposed the ongoing Tehran trials against dissidents and declined to link the recent unrest in Iran to a foreign plot.

  • 17 August 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Keeping Up Appearances


Political rivals Rafsanjani (left) and Ahmadinejad (right) sit with Sadegh Larijani between them

The powerful cleric and supporter of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Hashemi Rafsanjani, reappeared today to attend the inauguration of Sadegh Larijani as Judiciary Chief. With many opponents of Ahmadinejad currently being tried on charges of conspiring against the Iranian state, Rafsanjani nevertheless politely welcomed Ahmadinejad and respectfully rose as he entered the building, 68 minutes late.

Here’s the LA Times’ take:

Despite the apparent exchange of pleasantries, Ahmadinejad didn’t try to gloss over his differences with Rafsanjani.
“We should join hands to eliminate corruption … and respectfully act against those who institutionalize the culture of breaking the law in the society,” he said, according to state television. “If we can do this then acting against lower-ranking people is not a problem.”
Ahmadinejad and other officials in his government hurriedly exited the proceedings before Rafsanjani began to deliver his speech, according to the Mehr news agency, skipping the closing of the ceremony. The Iranian Labor News Agency said Ahmadinejad also arrived 68 minutes late to the ceremony.
The famous and well-connected Larijani clan despises Ahmadinejad as reckless, arrogant and coarse.
“Nobody should allow himself and dare to rule against the law to deny the citizens their rights,” Larijani said in his speech.
“Such [lawbreakers] should bear in mind that they will be brought to justice soon, and I will show no mercy to offenders in this important mission,” he added.
  • 12 August 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Larijani’s Politics and the Rape Allegations

Yesterday,  Raja News (pro-Ahmadinejad) reported that Larijani called and congratulated Mousavi on the night of the election:

What he did on the afternoon of the Election Day by calling Mousavi and congratulating him on the finalization of his presidency cannot be overlooked. As the head of a branch of power, he is considered to have access to firsthand and classified information and news. When he congratulated Mousvai at a time when voting hours had not even ended yet, it made him delusional and encouraged him to take the seditious and provocative positions and behaviours which disturbed people’s security and calm and significantly harmed the might and honor of the system.

The article is an attack against Larijani and even attempts to cast doubt on his doctoral degree. However, it is inadvertently very damaging to Ahmadinejad and other newspapers are now picking up the story.

Today, Ali Larijani says detainees were not raped:

A day after vowing to investigate allegations that election protesters were sexually abused in Iran’s prisons, the parliament speaker dismissed the charges as false.

Ali Larijani said today that a commission set up to look into allegations of prisoner abuse amid the unrest over President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection had already concluded that none were raped.

Not so, says the L.A. Times:

Nearly a month later, she can’t erase images of the dying young man from her mind.

All but two of his upper teeth had been knocked out. His nails had been pulled out. His head had been bashed in. His kidneys had stopped working. But what most disturbed her, she said, were the stitches around his anus — a sign, the nurses told her, that he had been raped.

Iranian reformist websites and activists in recent days had identified 19-year-old Mohammad K. as one of the protesters arrested during Iran’s postelection unrest, locked up in the Kahrizak detention facility and severely beaten.

He died in the late hours of July 16 or the early hours of July 17 at a hospital in Tehran, according to the websites.

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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