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Posts Tagged ‘ Moussavi ’

  • 18 September 2009
  • Posted By Darioush Azizi
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Meetings between non-hardliner politicians, ayatollahs increase in frequency

Mir Hossein Mousavi met last night with Grand Ayatollah Mousavi-Ardebili, Ayatollah Yousef Sa’anei, and Seyyed Hossein & Seyyed Mohsen Mousavi-Tabrizi  (brothers) in Qom, according to Tabnak. Ayatollah Shahrestani, Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s right-hand man in Iran, and Ahmad Montazeri (Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri’s son whose three sons were arrested earlier this week) were also present.

Tabnak is also reporting that Ayatollah Saafi-Golpayegani and Ayatollah Noori-Hamedani met in private last night and discussed current events in Iran.

Furthermore, Tehran Bureau wrote today that Speaker of Majles Ali Larijani met with Ayatollah Makarem last night at his residence in Qom. Speaker Larijani represents Qom in Majles and has close ties to the senior clerics there; it was they who convinced him to run for office from Qom rather than a district in Tehran.

We can assume the increased pressure on the various ayatollah and grand ayatollahs (not to mention their families) were discussed, as part of the greater conversation regarding the direction the hard-liners are attempting to move the country in.

  • 18 September 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Video compilation of Quds Day protests

BBC Persian has compiled some of the videos of today’s Quds Day demonstrations, which were held in the cities of Bushehr, Rasht, Tabriz, Isfahan, Shiraz, Ahvaz, and Mashhad, in addition to the capital city of Tehran.

There is still no word yet on whether or not Mousavi attended any of the rallies today, though the three other reformist leaders Khatami, Karroubi, and Rafsanjani all made brief appearances.


  • 18 September 2009
  • Posted By B. Danesh
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

IRGC’s warning on Quds Day

According to BBC Persian, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps issued a blanket warning last night regarding International Qods Day, which is today:

Our intelligence sources have indicated that certain groups directly linked to the intelligence service of the Zionist regime are planning to hijack the people’s movement against the regime occupying Qods.

They warned those defeated in the recent presidential elections to avoid bringing any disruptive signs and flags such as those bearing the color green or otherwise face “very serious consequences”. Anyone failing to heed this warning would risk intentionally or unintentionally being the “mercenary of the Zionist regime.”

In his Friday September 11, 2009 sermon Ayatollah Khamenei also warned the opposition about questioning the legitimacy of the Ahmadinejad government. These warnings, in addition to the replacement of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani after 30 years as Friday prayer leader on Qods Day by the extremist Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami underscore the seriousness with which the regime views the threat the opposition poses.

The determination of the opposition to make its stand and the equal determination of the regime in confronting it raises for many analysts, the fear of a “Black Friday” with further violence and bloodshed.

  • 13 September 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

VIDEO: Pro-Mousavi Rally in Qom

Reader Jimmy sent us a link to this video of a pro-Mousavi rally in the conservative city of Qom, dated Saturday, September 12:

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  • 4 September 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

The Campaign Against Rafsanjani

The latest analysis by Persia House, Booz Allen Hamilton’s Iran shop, is out. It has an interesting analysis of the campaign against Rafsanjani, the powerful head of both the Expediency Council and Assembly of Experts. Persia House reviews the attacks by Ahmadinejad and his hardline supporters dating back to 2005 before analyzing the current situation:

In retrospect, Rafsanjani’s gamble seems to have lost. Now, with the Reformists and election opposition under severe pressure, he stands most prominently in the sights of Ahmadinejad’s cohort of hard-liners. Making matters worse for him, a new Friday prayer imam has been added to the four-man roster of Tehran prayer leaders which includes Rafsanjani; he will have less opportunity to take the bully pulpit. More recently, his son Mehdi Hashemi has been accused of embezzlement, money laundering, and forgery in a detainee’s confession, and may recently have fled to England. Rafsanjani has seen these events for what they most likely are: a “complicated conspiracy” to neutralize him.

  • 28 August 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

What does the Supreme Leader do now?

Scott Lucas, over at Enduring America, has had superb coverage of the internal political disputes going on in Iran, and today is no exception.

Today is turning into a contest of two statements and, in contrast to recent days, Western media are eagerly on top of the story. Former President Khatami’s statement to reformist leaders is being juxtaposed with current President Ahmadinejad’s speech at Friday prayers.

While there are a complex range of issues in this battle, from the legal issues of detentions/confessions/trials to the institutional challenges of who controls Iran’s bureaucracy and security forces to the political showdown over Ahmadinejad’s legitimacy, it is this sentence from Khatami that may represent the moment: “‘The sacred Friday prayer podium has been given to those who…call for the punishment of prominent figures…while they are accused in the eyes of the public for committing treason themselves.”

Even though Khatami was probably referring to Friday prayers past and addresses delivered by “hard-line” clerics such as Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami and Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, that sentence will be set next to Ahmadinejad’s none-too-subtle call for the arrests of protest leaders.

To put an immediate question: 48 hours after trying to avert a showdown with his own statement, the Supreme Leader finds the confrontation ratcheted up several notches. What does Khamenei do now?

Prosecutor seeks “maximum punishment” for Hajjarian, Tajbakhsh accused of espionage

In the fourth round of mass trials, an Iranian prosecutor sought the “maximum punishment” for Saeed Hajjarian, a key reformist who was left disabled after an assassination attempt in 2000. Hajjarian and other senior reformists stand accused of endangering national security, a crime punishable by death. Reuters has more:

Analysts regard the trials as an attempt by the authorities to uproot the moderate opposition and put an end to protests that erupted after the election, which defeated candidates say was rigged in favor of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

IRNA said the accused were “the plotters of recent riots and disturbances” after the vote, which the authorities have portrayed as a foreign-backed bid to topple the Islamic Republic’s clerical leadership.

“Hajjarian is charged with acting against national security and propaganda against the Islamic establishment by spreading suspicion of vote-rigging … and provoking illegal protests,” IRNA quoted the indictment as saying.

In a statement read out in court by an associate, Hajjarian said he had “made major mistakes during the election by presenting incorrect analyses … and I apologize to the Iranian nation for those mistakes,” Fars News Agency reported.

Following the first round of trials at the beginning of this month, opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi stated that many confessions have been made under duress.

Kian Tajbakhsh, an Iranian-American scholar, was reportedly also on trial today for acting against national security and espionage, “a charge likely to anger Washington.” The mass trials in Tehran have been condemned as “show trials” by the international community.

  • 24 August 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Esha Momeni shares her story


Photo Credit: Jonathan Pobre / The Daily Sundial

Iranian-American student Esha Momeni, who was imprisoned for a month in Iran last Fall and then prevented from leaving the country until last week, described her ordeal to the Daily Sundial, CSUN’s student newspaper.

The entire interview is fascinating, and the story of Momeni’s ordeal certainly is heartwarming.  But perhaps the most amazing part comes from Momeni’s depiction of the past two months, in the aftermath of Iran’s disputed presidential election.

A supporter of candidate Mehdi Karroubi, Momeni said she voted for him because he was the only person who questioned the laws discriminating against Iranian women. She found Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Ahmadinejad’s main competition going in to the election, to be fairly conservative in his viewpoints. However, she said it was clear there was more Mousavi support than there was for Ahmadinejad.

Momeni said she has no doubt that the Iranian people didn’t choose Ahmadinejad.

“You could tell Mousavi supporters were 10 times more than Ahmadinejad supporters. So when the results came out we were all shocked. All of us,” she said. “We were expecting some cheating but not to this extent.”

“On Saturday, the day after the election, we came to the street and we saw people marching down the street and so we joined them,” she added. “In that moment I kind of felt like, I’m relieved. At least I let it out.”

Despite being imprisoned for 28 days and interrogated 19 times, despite the fact that she was surely being watched by intelligence agents everywhere she went, Esha Momeni took to the streets and participated in the post-election protests.

What’s more, just as the government’s crackdown on protesters only stoked the flames of popular outrage even more, the experience of being detained in Iran has only made Momeni more passionate about working for change.

When asked whether this ordeal has made her withdraw from her efforts to increase women’s rights in Iran, Momeni reflected on one of her interrogation sessions.

“One of the interrogators told me, ‘Ms. Momeni, you have a simple flu. And our duty is to prevent it from (becoming) a serious disease.’ I want to tell you that now I have cancer.”

  • 22 August 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Iran Election 2009

Rafsanjani voices support for Khamenei

AFP has the story:

Powerful cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani urged Iran’s warring political groups on Saturday to follow the orders of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for ending the present political turmoil.

In his first such statement in direct support of Khamenei since the June 12 election, the former president said “the current situation needs everyone to observe the leader’s decrees and advice,” Iranian news agencies reported.

Rafsanjani was speaking at the start of a meeting of Iran’s top political arbitration body, the Expediency Council, which he heads.

He urged the bitterly divided groups to create “appropriate conditions to act and commit to the constitution … and confront law breakers, whatever their ideological leanings.” […]

On Saturday, Rafsanjani called for the current “excited and emotional atmosphere” to be replaced by a “wise one.”

He said authorities must follow Khamenei’s advice also on the issue of political detainees jailed in the aftermath of the election.

“The way out of the current situation is commitment to the leader’s advice on detainees of recent events and retrieving the rights of those whose rights have been violated,” he said.

Enduring America downplays the significance of the AFP story above, arguing that this is less of an event than my first take. They say “Rafsanjani’s statement is simply that he is not taking apart the system of ultimate clerical authority. It remains to be seen where he takes his next step against the political leaders in that system.”

  • 18 August 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Iran Election 2009, NIAC round-up

Tuesday News Roundup

Iran’s Musavi Backs Karrubi Over Rape Allegations, Reuters

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi accused “establishment agents” of raping detainees imprisoned after the country’s disputed June 12 elections, a reformist website reported. His accusation lent support to fellow reformist leader Mehdi Karrubi, who has come under fire from hard-liners for saying some postelection protesters were raped in jail. The authorities have rejected the accusations as “baseless.” “They [authorities] asked those who were abused and raped in prisons, to present four witnesses [to prove their claim]…Those who committed the crimes were the establishments’ agents,” Musavi said in a letter to Karrubi, the reformist website reported.

Reports: Iran envoy says reports he offered nuclear dialogue cite from letter, Foreign Policy

Iranian state television first reported that Iran’s ambassador to the UN nuclear watchdog agency in Vienna said that Iran is ready to talk with Western powers about its nuclear program without preconditions and based on mutual respect, before reporting that the ambassador said he was quoting from an Iranian letter to the United Nations, wire reports said Tuesday.

EU to back harsher sanctions; Iran angry, UPI

The European Union is increasingly ready to back harsher sanctions against Iran.  Brussels and the German government in Berlin are positive about backing “massive boycotts” against Iran if Tehran doesn’t show signs of cooperation in the nuclear conflict, German news magazine Der Spiegel reports.  Diplomats are mulling several measures, including a stop of fuel deliveries to Iran and further limitations for maritime and air transport from the Islamic Republic to the EU. If China and Russia don’t agree to sanctions in the U.N. Security Council, the EU would be willing to take bilateral measures together with the United States, the magazine writes, citing senior German diplomats.

Iran Bans Leasing Of More Russian-Built Planes, Reuters

Iran has banned its airlines from leasing more Russian-made aircraft or buying such planes second-hand after two fatal incidents last month, a senior transport official said in published remarks. “Based on the new directive which went into effect on [August 16], no [entity] would be permitted to enter leased or used Russian planes into the country’s air fleet,” said Mohammad Ali Ilkhani, who heads Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization. Expressing a preference for Western-made aircraft, he was also quoted as saying by the “Resalat” daily: “Eastern planes would be able to operate in the air sector only when they are brand new and made according to our order [specification].” U.S. sanctions bar the sale of Boeing aircraft to Iran and hinder it from buying other aircraft or spare parts from the West. Many Western aircraft rely on U.S.-made engines and parts.

Iranian Police Clash With Protesters Over Banned Newspaper, VOA

Iranian police clashed with protesters who gathered Monday outside the Tehran office of a reformist newspaper, which was recently banned by authorities. Witnesses say police dispersed dozens of opposition supporters who shouted anti-government slogans outside the office of the National Trust (Etemad Melli), the newspaper of former presidential candidate Mehdi Karoubi. Some demonstrators were reportedly arrested. Aides close to Karoubi say Iran’s judiciary ordered a ban on the daily Sunday, after it printed his claims that some election protesters were raped while in custody. Karoubi angered Iran’s hardliners when he said women and young boys had suffered severe physical and mental damage from rapes in detention centers. Iran’s parliament speaker rejected the claims as “baseless.”

Political turmoil slows big oil moves in Iran, Reuters

Political upheaval in the aftermath of Iran’s disputed presidential election has slowed international oil firms’ efforts to find a way through sanctions to invest in the world’s second-largest oil and gas reserves. But outcry following the June election stirred the biggest internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution, slowing Iranian bureaucracy and spooking dealmakers in big oil firms. “It’s hard to slow down a turtle, but this has,” said an executive at an international oil company (IOC) on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly. “This has put everything into freefall, no decisions are being made.” In the first months of Obama’s presidency, energy firms stepped up contacts with Iranian oil officials hoping that with or without President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, U.S.-Iran relations would improve. But tentative rapprochement has ended, and executives are back to playing a tricky holding game.

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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