Archive for June, 2009

Iran football players ‘banned’ after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad protest

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

The Iranian football players who wore green wristbands to protest against the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have reportedly been banned from the team for life.

A pro-government newspaper reported they had been “retired” from the national team after several members wore green tape on their wrists in a World Cup qualifier against South Korea in Seoul.

Other newspapers said the players were retiring voluntarily, reportedly because of their age, but at least one suggested they were forced out.
The speculation focused on two players who both wore green in Seoul: Ali Karimi, 31, and Mehdi Mahdavikia, 32. However, both had earlier announced plans to quit soon because of their age.

The Seoul incident was a gesture of solidarity with opposition leader Mir Hossain Mousavi whose supporters accuse the government of rigging Iran’s June 12 election in favour of the hard-line President Ahmadinejad.

Green was adopted as the colour of Mousavi’s campaign and has been widely displayed in opposition street protests in Iran’s post-election turmoil.

At least seven Iranian players wore the bands in the first half against South Korea, although most were forced to take them off before the second.

Mahdavikia is one of Iran’s biggest sports heroes for a goal he scored to eliminate the United States during the first round of the World Cup in 1998. Karimi is also a football star who has played for Germany’s Bayern Munich.

Iran was later eliminated from World Cup qualifying after a draw between Saudi Arabia and North Korea.

Blog of 19-year-old from Tehran

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Exclusive: By Victoria Kennedy for

In many ways, Nazanin is like any other 19-year-old girl.
She pores over fashion websites and spends hours blogging. Yet unlike Western teens, she writes about bloodshed, fear and oppression.

Like Neda Agha Soltani – the 27-year-old shot dead at an anti-government protest in Tehran last weekend – Nazanin lives under President Ahmadinejad’s hardline regime.

And as the violence continues to mount, the engineering student bravely emailed the Daily Mirror.

Here, in her own words, is her extraordinary account of what life is like for a young woman in Iran’s capital.

‘The situation here is very bad. It’s around 12 days that all the sms lines are closed and the internet connection is very low.

They cut cellphone lines every evening so people cannot be in touch between being at home and protesting. They have blocked Facebook and YouTube and other sites where we got news. We could arrange meetings and protest locations on those sites. The city is full of police and security guards which threaten to attack and kill people.

There’s no difference if you are protester or a normal person. They shoot towards you to make people scared. When you go out it’s not clear if you’ll come back alive.

They have killed many people, around 150 or more, but they don’t let the news spread. They have also beaten and injured lots of people with knife and baton and use tear gas. They have also captured many of the young people and sent them to jail and no one is aware of their situation. They even don’t answer if he or she is alive or dead.

Every night you can hear people go on the roofs and say “God is great” and “Down to dictator” and many other slogans against this dictator rejim.

But no one hear our voices. We can hears shooting every night and they kill innocent people to scare the people and say ‘if u say anything against us u deserves death’. Basijis [the regime’s unofficial enforcers] and military and the rejim’s supporters are supporting with guns but we don’t have anything. We should fight with them with anything. Neda is just one of these people who had died on Saturday.

The End of the Beginning

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

By ROGER COHEN for The New York Times
Published: June 23, 2009

TEHRAN — Iran’s 1979 revolution took a full year to gestate. The uprising of 2009 has now ended its first phase. But the volatility ushered in by the June 12 ballot-box putsch of Iran’s New Right is certain to endure over the coming year. The Islamic Republic has been weakened.

During one of the violent clashes here in recent days, I saw a member of the riot police confront a protester holding a cell phone. “Don’t take a photograph of me!” he yelled at the young man.

“Why?” the man shouted back. “You’re not naked.”

But the Islamic Republic is. Everyone knows where everyone stands; it isn’t pretty. All the fudge that allowed a modern society to coexist with a theocracy inspired by an imam occulted in the 9th century has been swept away, leaving two Irans at war.

One of those Irans, embodied in the 12-member Guardian Council, the highest legal body, ruled in a preliminary statement on Tuesday that “no major fraud” had occurred in the vote and that its annulment was therefore impossible. Not much surprise there, in that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, made clear last week that the recount was a waste of time.

Of course, the definition of “major” is up for debate. Khamenei himself said rigging one million votes might be feasible, and the council found irregularities with three million votes.

But numbers have ceased to mean anything here. All the evidence is that percentages were simply allotted to each candidate and the votes cast backward-engineered from there. The Interior Ministry took 10 days to divulge results for all provinces. Such engineering takes time.

Iran has squandered a huge opportunity to bridge the gulf between the regime and an increasingly sophisticated population thirsting for greater freedom. A vibrant election campaign opened a door. It has been slammed shut.

“The Islamic Republic is the flag-bearer of human rights,” Khamenei declared in his Friday sermon. Over the past week, it has looked more like a flag-bearing police state.

True, the regime has not opened fire Tiananmen Square-style on the millions who have taken to the streets. I don’t believe it has the unity to do that. Significant cracks have emerged within the establishment, certainly the largest since the bloody first couple of years after the revolution. Relentless official attacks on foreign agents as the instigators of unrest have not papered over these divisions.

As the Association of Combatant Clergy, which represents more liberal mullahs in Qom, said in a statement: “What sane mind believes that a peaceful movement of millions of informed people — including workers, shopkeepers, farmers, students, clergy and others — could be agents of a so-called enemy?”

Butcher Of The Press” To Probe Iran Protesters

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Reports that Iran’s ruling regime has put the country’s most feared, hard-line prosecutor in charge of interrogating arrested protesters and journalists have raised the ire of human rights groups and the Canadian government.

Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran’s prosecutor-general since 2003 and a judge previously, has been implicated by several inquiries in the death that year of a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist who was arrested, tortured and then killed in custody.

“We are deeply concerned by reports that Saaed Mortazavi has been put in charge of the investigation of detained reformist leaders and party officials in Iran,” Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said.
Thursday, according to a report in The Canadian Press.

Those concerns will likely be compounded by remarks made during Friday prayers in Tehran by one of Iran’s senior clerics. Hojjat ol-Eslam Seyyed Ahmad Khatami warned those behind the recent unrest that they were in violation of Islamic law, and he urged the Judiciary branch to deal with them harshly.

“I call on the officials of the Judicial Branch to deal severely and ruthlessly with the leaders of the agitations whose fodder comes from America and Israel, so that everyone learns a lesson from it,” said Khatami, who is a member of the powerful Assembly of Experts.

Mortazavi has earned a reputation in Iran as the “butcher of the press” for shutting down more than 100 newspapers and blogs deemed a threat to the regime.

“The leading role of Saeed Mortazavi in the crackdown in Tehran should set off alarm bells for anyone familiar with his record,” Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch told The Times of London.

The Times also reports that Mortazavi was allegedly behind the arrest and three-month detention of American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi earlier this year. Saberi was released and returned home to her family in North Dakota about three weeks ago.

G8 to Iran: end violence, reflect will of people

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009


TRIESTE, Italy (AP) — Foreign ministers from Group of Eight countries on Friday said they deplored postelection violence in Iran and urged Tehran authorities to ensure that the outcome of Iran’s disputed election reflects the will of the Iranian people.

A statement by the ministers meeting in the northeastern Italian city of Trieste said the door must remain open to dialogue on Iran’s nuclear program but expressed “deep concern” over the proliferation risk.

The statement was the result of negotiations between countries such as Italy and France that wanted to send a tough message to Iran to halt the crackdown and demand a recount, and Russia, which has said it backs the results that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power.

The statement, issued on the second day of the three-day meeting, said G-8 ministers deplored the postelection violence.

“We express our solidarity with those who have suffered repression while peacefully demonstrating and urge Iran to respect human rights, including freedom of expression,” it said.

It called on Iran “to guarantee that the will of the Iranian people is reflected in the electoral process.”

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of human lives,” Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said at a news conference, other G-8 officials by his side. “We have stressed the need that violence cease immediately.”

Italy originally invited Iran to attend the three-day gathering as a special guest, arguing that it could play an important role in talks on Afghan stabilization. But Rome retracted the invitation after Iran failed to respond, and amid concerns over the violence in the streets of Tehran.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow wanted to express its “most serious concern” over the use of force by Iran and the death of peaceful protesters.

“At the same time, we will not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs. Our position is that all issues that have emerged in the context of the elections will be sorted out in line with democratic procedures,” he said.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, whose government expelled two Iranian diplomats earlier this week after Iran did the same to two British envoys, said that the violence was “deplorable” and that Iran’s accusations that the protests were mobilized by Western powers were “without foundation.”

“We deplore violence but we remain committed to engagement as a means to an end,” said Miliband.

Shohreh Aghdashloo on the Shiraz martyrs.

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Watch Footage :

Facebook | Videos Posted by 1 Million People For A New Iran

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Basij militia has deep history in Iranian conflict

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009


(CNN) — They may wear a uniform, or ordinary street clothes. Their numbers are unclear. They rush the streets with brute strength.
They are the Basij, Iran’s volunteer paramilitary group that for more than a week has cracked down on the thousands of protesters in the bloody aftermath of the Islamic republic’s disputed presidential election.

Amateur video shows members of the Basij, wearing plain shirts and pants and wielding clubs and hoses, dispersing protesters and beating a handful of Iranians at a time.

“The Basij militia forces tried to break up the demonstrations using batons, electric shock and water cannons,” a student in Tehran, whose name was withheld for his safety, told CNN’s Don Lemon on Sunday. The student said he was injured at a protest by the feared militia.

Monday’s demonstrators dismissed a warning from the Revolutionary Guard that people who “disturb the peace and stand up to security forces” would be met with a strong response. “The guardians of the Islamic revolution and the courageous Basiji together with the security forces are following the orders of the supreme leader and following him unquestioningly,” the Guard said, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. Video Watch protesters clash with Basij militia »

While the Basij — the word means “mobilization” in the Farsi language — is often described by outsiders as shadowy and mysterious, Iranians have had run-ins with the militia for three decades.

The Basij was established in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who famously declared that Iran could never be destroyed with a 20-million-man militia. Khomeini, who ushered in the Islamic revolution that ousted Iran’s ruling shah 30 years ago, felt that his country suffered from Western influences that the shah embraced.

He created the Basij as a popular auxiliary arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, a military unit under the direct control of Iran’s supreme leader, to defend the principles of the movement.
The group, at least at first, was made up of men either too old or young to serve in the Revolutionary Guard. Until now, they were perhaps best known for the “human wave” attacks during the Iran-Iraq war that reportedly cleared out minefields for the professional military. Many of the Basij reportedly received plastic keys to wear around their necks like dog tags, marking their entry to “paradise” when they died in martyrdom.

“Basij members made up with zeal what they lacked in military professionalism,” said Michael Eisenstadt, a senior fellow and director of The Washington Institute’s Military and Security Studies Program.

After the Iran-Iraq war, the Basij returned to its role as an internal security force to enforce Islamic morality. While Iran in recent years has claimed more than 12 million in the ranks of the group, Middle East experts put the figure closer to 300,000 — though they concede it’s difficult to quantify a sprawling militia that has full-time and reservist cadres.

The militia is known to recruit members from rural and urban areas and to organize mainly at mosques around Tehran and other major cities. Video Watch report on Basij militia »

“Through the mosques, they have funds, ideological and political indoctrination and military training,” said Ali Alfoneh, a fellow at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute who has researched the relationship between Iranian civilians and the Revolutionary Guard.

The Basij has had a growing role since 2003, when it was beefed up as a first line of defense amid suspicions of a possible U.S.-led invasion, Eisenstadt said

“I think cannon fodder is a fair way to characterize them,” said Eisenstadt, who noted the militia seems to emerge during the initial moments of an uprising as the Revolutionary Guard and law enforcement forces organized their reaction. See timeline of events in Iran »

While experts say there is a hardline ideological core to Basij, its members, who often come from lower-class backgrounds, are attracted to the perks that the Basij (and its superior agency, the Revolutionary Guard) has to offer: a little cash, a seat at a university and a bit of authority.

“Not every single one is devout, not every single one is ready to kill,” said Alfoneh, a native of Iran.

The Basij noticeably took the lead in crowd control last week when tens of thousands of Iranian demonstrators spilled into the streets of Tehran to protest the presidential election. Iran’s election authority declared hardline incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the winner of the presidential race, sparking outrage in supporters of popular opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi.

“The first people who were really available were the Basij,” Eisenstadt told CNN. “There are Basij bases throughout the city and beyond, and they were able to respond quickly.”

As the government got a handle on the massive demonstrations in recent days, the Basij remains present and vigilant in the aftermath of the June 12 election.

Badi Badiozamani, an Iran analyst, has sifted through scores of amateur video from the frontlines of the protests. Dozens of those clips show Basij members, wearing black shirts and pants or plainclothes with camouflaged vests, detaining young men outside their homes as their mothers and sisters scream in the background.
One clip shows a young man whose head is hooded in a dark cloth, squatting behind a car, while another man is shown face down with his hands tied behind his back.

“We saw that these forces took the detained person out into the alley, and into an unmarked car,” Badiozamani said. “Today I saw again Basijis grab a young man, put him on a unmarked motorcycle and take him away.”

Special courts to try demonstrators in Iran

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Source: Los Angeles Times
By Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi
June 23, 2009

Guardian Council says it can find no evidence of ‘major’ irregularities in the presidential election. Meanwhile, a special court is being set up to try ‘plotters and hooligans’ involved in protests.

Reporting from Tehran — Iran’s Guardian Council today ruled out the possibility of nullifying the country’s disputed presidential election that returned hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power, saying it could find no evidence of any “major” irregularities, according to a report carried by the website of the state-owned English-language Press TV satellite news channel.

“Fortunately, in the recent presidential election we found no witness of major fraud or breach in the election,” said Abbas-Ali Kadkhodai, the council’s spokesman, according to the report. “Therefore, there is no possibility of an annulment taking place.”

Iranian authorities charge family for the bullet used to kill their son:

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009


TEHRAN—The family, clad in black, stood at the curb of the road sobbing. A middle-aged mother slapped her cheeks, letting out piercing wails. The father, a frail man who worked as a doorman at a clinic in central Tehran, wept quietly with his head bowed.

Minutes before, an ambulance had arrived from Tehran’s morgue carrying the body of their only son, 19-year-old Kaveh Alipour.

On Saturday, amid the most violent clashes between security forces and protesters, Mr. Alipour was shot in the head as he stood at an intersection in downtown Tehran. He was returning from acting class and a week shy of becoming a groom, his family said.

The details of his death remain unclear. He had been alone. Neighbors and relatives think that he got trapped in the crossfire. He wasn’t politically active and hadn’t taken part in the turmoil that has rocked Iran for over a week, they said.

“He was a very polite, shy young man,” said Mohamad, a neighbor who has known him since childhood.

When Mr. Alipour didn’t return home that night, his parents began to worry. All day, they had heard gunshots ringing in the distance. His father, Yousef, first called his fiancée and friends. No one had heard from him.

At the crack of dawn, his father began searching at police stations, then hospitals and then the morgue.

Upon learning of his son’s death, the elder Mr. Alipour was told the family had to pay an equivalent of $3,000 as a “bullet fee”—a fee for the bullet used by security forces—before taking the body back, relatives said.

Mr. Alipour told officials that his entire possessions wouldn’t amount to $3,000, arguing they should waive the fee because he is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war. According to relatives, morgue officials finally agreed, but demanded that the family do no funeral or burial in Tehran. Kaveh Alipour’s body was quietly transported to the city of Rasht, where there is family.

Everyone in the neighborhood knows the Alipour family. In addition to their slain son, they have two daughters. Shopkeepers and businesses pasted a photocopied picture of Mr. Alipour on their walls and windows. In the picture, the young man is shown wearing a dark suit with gray stripes. His black hair is combed neatly to a side and he has a half-smile.

“He was so full of life. He had so many dreams,” said Arsalan, a taxi driver who has known the family for 10 years. “What did he die for?”

Canadian PM calls for Iran to release journalists

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

OTTAWA (AFP) — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Monday called on Iran to halt its assault on press freedoms and release all political prisoners and journalists, including Canadians.

Iranian authorities should “immediately cease the use of violence against their own people, to release all political prisoners and journalists — including Canadians — who have been unjustly detained,” he said.

Tehran must “allow Iranian and foreign media to report freely on these historic events, and to conduct a full and transparent investigation into allegations of fraud in the presidential election,” he said.

On Sunday, a Canadian journalist working in Iran for Newsweek magazine was detained without charge by Iranian authorities, the magazine said, adding Maziar Bahari had not been heard from since.

The New York-based magazine also said in a statement that as many as 20 journalists and bloggers were reported to have been detained since Iran’s June 12 elections, which set off mass protests after official results gave incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a landslide victory.

Among them, a reporter for the Toronto-based Globe and Mail newspaper was briefly detained last week after being swept up in police crackdown. Authorities eventually apologized and released him.

Harper said: “The reaction of the Iranian authorities to the demonstrations in Iran is wholly unacceptable.”

He accused Iran of trampling on freedoms of assembly and free expression, beating demonstrators and then arresting them when they arrive at hospital for treatment.

“Journalists have been prevented from covering protests and subjected to arbitrary detention and arrest,” he said. “Foreign press credentials have been revoked.”

“The regime has chosen to use brute force and intimidation in responding to peaceful opposition regarding legitimate and serious allegations of electoral fraud,” he said.

Canada’s distaste for these goings-on in Iran would be strongly conveyed to its envoy in Ottawa, he added.

End Iran violence, UN chief urges

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Read article in full and watch footage :

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an immediate end to arrests and the threat and use of violence by authorities in Iran.

He urged them to respect fundamental civil rights, “especially the freedom of assembly and expression”.

His comments came as there were further clashes in the capital Tehran.

Iran’s legislative body, the Guardian Council, said there were no major polling irregularities in the 12 June election and ruled out an annulment.

The ruling was reported by state television on Tuesday.

Britain evacuating families of staff in Iran

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009


LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Foreign Office said Monday it was evacuating the families of staff based in Iran amid continued violence in the wake of the country’s disputed election.

The decision came after repeated criticism of Britain by Iranian leaders, and an increasingly tense atmosphere following angry clashes between demonstrators and security officials.

Staff will remain in Iran for now, and the Foreign Office confirmed that it was not advising other British nationals to leave. However, it said officials are monitoring the situation with the utmost vigilance.

“The families of our staff have been unable to carry out their lives as usual. As a result, we are withdrawing the dependents of embassy staff,” a Foreign Office spokesman said on customary condition of anonymity in line with policy.

Iran says at least 17 protesters have been killed in a week of unrest after the electoral council declared hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winner of the country’s June 12 election. Followers of his main challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, claim the result was a fraud and have been staging rallies on an almost daily basis.

Riot police attacked demonstrators with tear gas and fired live bullets in the air during a rally Monday in central Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has accused Britain of sending spies to manipulate the election, while the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei singled out the U.K. as the worst example among Western powers which he claims are seeking to interfere in Iran’s affairs.

Britain is one of the six nations involved in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The West accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has denied that Britain has sought to influence events in Iran.

The statement of Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s followers containing their union with the public movement of Iranian people

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009


In the name of God the beneficent the merciful

We in addition to honoring the brave people of the oppressed and under religious despotism country, His Excellency Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi and the zealous clergy Mr. Mehdi Karoubi also praising the right protests of the people against inattention to the sacred votes of the nation that has shouted the slogan of justice, announce our multilateral support on the divine and national insurrection of the mass of the oppressed people of Iran moreover we point out that the world concern on the gravity of the Human Rights situation in Iran is an usual matter and based on the aware conscience and no body can call it interfering in Iran affairs because Iran government is interfering in the affairs of Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan in an unjustified way by abusing this subject(concern on Human Rights ) with all its equipments.

Today, noble nations have been annoyed for the lack of equality and freedom and the oppression and injustice applied on Iranian nation by the government and are planning to reflect the voice and the groan of millions of the injured people who are tired of this condition.

The followers and devotees of the liberal clergy, Ayatollah Seyed Hosein Kazemeini Boroujerdi who supports the separation of the religion from government

Magic numbers: Analysis shows that some official figures of Ahmadinejad’s win in Iran are hard to swallow

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

By: Ali Ansari and Thomas Rintoul

Mahmoud Ahmad­inejad claimed a victory that many find difficult to believe: 64% of the vote on a turnout of 84% in Iran’s election. The provincial breakdown of the results – obtained by the University of St Andrews and Chatham House from Iran’s ministry of interior – show some statistics that are even more surprising.

The surprises include voter turnouts of up to 100%, and the apparent defection of huge numbers of former reformist voters who suddenly changed their minds and voted conservative. Turnout may have been high across the board, but the just over 100% recorded in the conservative strongholds of Yazd and Mazandaran is particularly striking. Four other provinces recorded turnouts of over 90%. In a country with a long history of using the identity documents of the deceased to cast extra ballots, this could be of concern to the reformists.

Ahmadinejad claims to have gathered 13m votes more than all three conservative candidates combined managed in 2005. If true, this would be the biggest increase in a vote since the birth of the Islamic Republic, and conveniently bigger than that achieved by the reformist winner in 1997, Mohammad Khatami. This is odd. The major reformist organisations boycotted the 2005 poll, which Ahmadinejad won, and so the re-entry of these voters might be expected to boost the reformist challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi. Not so, apparently.

By contrast, the conservative camp in 2005 organised a secret campaign to mobilise their core vote for Ahmadinejad. While they may have organised even more effectively this time, with four years to prepare and greater resources at their disposal, to have increased their vote by 113% would be quite spectacular.

So where did these 13m votes come from? Our analysis broke down the 2009 vote in each province into voters who had voted for reformists, the sole centrist and conservatives respectively, and those who had not voted at all. The suggestion that Ahmadinejad’s success came from a groundswell of previously unengaged conservative voters was not held out by the data. We found that there was no real correlation between the increase in participation in a province, and the swing to Ahmadinejad.

For the numbers to add up, in 10 out of Iran’s 30 provinces, Ahmadinejad would have had to win the votes of all those who did not vote in 2005, all those who voted for the centrist Hashemi Rafsanjani in 2005, and up to 44% of those who voted for reformist candidates that year. For anyone who has experienced the polarisation of Iranian politics in the last decade, this is hard to believe.

Instead, it seems Ahmadinejad recorded many of his greatest victories in rural, often ethnic minority, provinces that formerly supported the reformist cleric Mehdi Karrubi. Rural and ethnic minority provinces (contrary to much popular opinion in the west) have traditionally voted against conservatives. Most notable of these was Karrubi’s home province, Lorestan, where his 2005 tally of 55.5% was cut to just 4.6%, with an overall increase of 296% in the conservative vote. In a province with a long history of supporting ethnic Lors like Karrubi, this is even more surprising. Ilam, Khuzestan and the crucial province of Fars all saw huge swings from the cleric to Ahmadinejad.

The breakdown of the votes is not a smoking gun, it does after all come from the same ministry of interior run by Ahmadinejad’s former campaign manager, which conducted the count. However, it shows that even the official ­version of events makes some claims that are difficult to swallow.

Crimes charges against Iran sought

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009


Payam Akhavan, a former UN war crimes prosecutor at The Hague and co-founder of Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre, is working on a petition to send to the UN Security Council and The Hague. It will look into Iran’s post-election violence.

In an interview to Al Jazeera from New York, Akhavan said “the Iranian regime can’t continue to suppress people unless they resort to mass murder”.

Identity of another one of Saturday’s victims

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

هویت یکی دیگر از جان باختگان اعتراضات روز شنبه

هویت یکی دیگر از جان باختگان اعتراضات روز شنبه تهران به قرار ذیل اعلام میشود.

سعید عباسی، 24 ساله، فروشنده کیف و کفش، کسبه ساکن خیابان رودکی (سرسبیل)، مجرد، هویت یکی دیگر از جان باختگان اعتراضات روز شنبه در تهران است. ویدئویی از پیکر بی جان وی را اینجا مشاهده نمایید.

رسانه های بین المللی شهروندانی که در طی اعتراضات به نتایج انتخابات در تهران توسط نیروهای انتظامی و شبه نظامی به قتل رسیدند بین 19 تا 150 نفر اعلام نموده اند، این درحالی است که جانشین فرمانده نیروی انتظامی این آمار را 110 کشته و زخمی اعلام داشته است.

Young woman describes beating at hands of paramilitary

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009


TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) — A 19-year-old woman who was wounded by Iranian paramilitary forces with clubs escaped with her camera and shared her photos with CNN — after tricking a paramilitary soldier into thinking she had given him the images on a disk.
The woman — whose identity is being withheld by CNN — said Sunday that on the previous day “the streets were full of guards and policemen.”

“They were hitting everyone, and everywhere was fire because of the tear gas they throw at us,” she said.

She was walking to Freedom Square in Tehran with a group of fellow demonstrators, but the Basij — voluntary paramilitary forces that answer to the government — wouldn’t let them get through, she said.

They warned the group to turn around. “They said, ‘Just run, and don’t even walk.’ We were just running away — and we were hit, of course,” she said.

It was too crowded to flee quickly, she said. “I said, ‘I can’t run. How can I run? It’s so crowded in here.’
“He hit me and he was twice [as big] as me — he was so big. And I said, ‘You want to hit me?’ And he said, ‘Yes’ and then he hit me with a club.”
She told CNN a Basij member hit her with a club, and then her foot was hit by a stone.

“Today I couldn’t go out because my foot was injured and I couldn’t run anymore. And I was sure: If I go out, I’m going to die. So I didn’t go out today.”

The group fought back by throwing stones at the soldiers, she said. “We had nothing to defend ourselves. Just the smallest stones we throw at them.”

There were many women among the crowd of demonstrators trying to get to Freedom Square, she said. “We gave the boys the stones because we can’t throw them so far. We gave them the stones, and we said the slogans.”

The young woman said many in Iran think Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is lying about the results of the June 12 election, in which incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner with more than 62 percent of the vote.

“We don’t care who is the president now,” she said. “We had rather [opposition candidate Mir Hossein] Moussavi, but now when our leader says it was fair and we know that it’s not, I think that it’s about our country. We want the truth.”

The young woman sent photos of Saturday’s incident to CNN via iReport.

Rafsanjani daughter released: Iranian state TV

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

TEHRAN (Reuters) – A daughter of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a rival of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been released from detention, state television said on Monday.

Iran’s English-language Press TV had reported that Faezeh Rafsanjani and four other relatives of the former president were detained during an unauthorized protest in Tehran on Saturday. The four other relatives were freed earlier.

“Rafsanjani’s daughter released after brief arrest,” Press TV said in a headline without giving details.

Last week, the semi-official Fars News Agency said Faezeh and her brother Mehdi had been barred from leaving Iran.

Faezeh addressed supporters of defeated presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi last Tuesday when they gathered near the state television building in Tehran in defiance of a ban on opposition protests.

Her father, who remains a powerful figure in Iran, supported Mousavi in the June 12 election. Official results showed Ahmadinejad won by a landslide but Mousavi says the vote was rigged, a charge the authorities reject.

Rafsanjani reacted furiously when Ahmadinejad during the election campaign accused him on television of corruption, publicly urging Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to rein in the president.

(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Angus MacSwan)

A vigil for Neda: Iranian-Americans pick up their banners and commemorate dead protesters

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009


A day after armed government forces clashed with protesters, the streets of Tehran have calmed. Riot police and Basij militia line the streets, but no clashes have occurred with protesters coming out. Outside Iran, however, expatriates are leading vigils for the victims of the fury the Iranian goverment unleashed on Saturday.

Iranian-Americans have come out into the streets of their own home cities, including Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Boston, and Chicago. Earlier in the week, pro-opposition rallies were held in several cities, and 250 local Iranian-Americans came out in Chicago’s loop despite rainy weather.

The primary difference between the earlier rallies and the June 21st marches is that during the preceding week, demonstrations were held virtually non-stop in the streets of Tehran. The rallies around the world then were largely in jubilant support for the courage of the people within Iran. The attitude has since become more somber, as the participants seek to honor and commemorate those that died in the midst of the protests throughout the week. Protests have returned to their more peaceful nature, despite the prsence of government security forces.

Saturday proved to be the most violent, as government police, security, and Basij militia forces violently battled protesters trying to enter Azadi (Freedom) and Revolution Squares, two of the main venues of the week’s marches. By the end of the day, at least 19 lives had been claimed, though unconfirmed reports place the death count at about 150. Among these was the death of an unnamed young girl called by many “Neda,” Farsi for “voice” or “call,” which was captured by video recorded by onlookers.

It was unclear whether she was protesting with her father, or they were innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire. The graphic YouTube video shows “Neda” collapsing from an apparent gunshot wound to her heart. Several men try to plug the wound and prevent her from bleeding out, and it appears the girl’s eyes turned to look at the camera as she draws her last breath amid blood pouring out of her mouth.

The video spread and was shown multiple times on CNN and “Neda” has within hours of her demise become the rallying cry for the protesters, the hashtag #neda quickly edging its way to most popular on Twitter, along with #iranelection. To those outside Iran, “Neda” has become the symbol of the tragedy that appears to be unfolding on the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities after a week of demonstrations during which it appeared nothing could stop the protesters from succeeding.

It remains to be seen whether the protesters will resume their marches in the coming days, and it is unclear if “Neda” will become the battle cry of an all-out revolution against the Islamic Republic itself, led by clerics under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini who sanctioned Saturday’s repression. For many Iranian expatriates, however, hope remains that their co-nationals will be able to regroup and establish liberal democracy and secure freedoms they say their people want and deserve.

Many of Chicago’s Iranian-Americans arrived in the United States after the 1979 revolution that overthrew the pro-Western monarchy and placed the current regime in power. Among them are people that were sidelined by the revolutionary regime and faced repression if they had not fled, such as the Baha’i community in Evanston. In Iran, the Baha’i are a religious minority that has been continuously restricted and repressed by the Islamic Republic, and Ahmadinejad’s staunchly conservative and pro-clerical government has exacerbated hardships.

The Iranian-Americans hope that President Barack Obama will take a tougher stance on the Iranian regime if it continues repression, though realpolitik may take precedence in the coming days, and it will be up to the Iranians themselves to continue their fight, or lick their wounds after the battering they took on Saturday.

اطلاعات تکمیلی درباره ندا شهید راه آزادی در تهران

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

بنا بر گزارش های رسیده از بستگان نزدیک دختری به نام ندا که روز ۳۰ خرداد در محله امیر آباد تهران به شهادت رسید نام کامل وی ندا آقا سلطان بوده است. وی متولد ۱۳۶۱ بوده است. وی در روز ۳۰ خرداد به همراه استاد دانشگاهش (‌رشته فلسفه) و چند تن از هم کلاسی هایش در تظاهرات شرکت داشته است . وی برای دقایقی در حالی که با موبایل صحبت میکرده از جمع تظاهر کندده عقب می افتد که دراین هنگام ۲ لباس شخصی موتور سوار (‌موسوم به بسیجی) قلب ندا را با کلت کمری هدف قرار می دهند . وی در دستان استادش جان می سپارد. ولی این موتور سواران توسط مردم متوقف می شوند و بنا به این گزارش توسط مردم دستگیر می شوند. و بنا بر گزارش تایید نشده ضارب اصلی کشته شده است. ظهر روز ۳۱ خرداد ( روز بعد از شهادت) پیکر ندابه شرط خاکسپاری سریع و محرمانه در بهشت زهرا به خانواده اش تحویل شده است . خاکسپاری وی تحت شدیدترین تدابیر امنیتی و با سرعت بسیار انجام شده است.گفتنی است که هم اکنون خانواده وی بعد از خاکسپاری ندا آقا سلطان به خانه باز گشته اند. مراسم یادبود ندا قرار بود فردا اول تیر ساعت ۵ تا ۶.۳۰ در مسجد نیلوفر واقع در عباس آباد تهران برگزار شود که با تماسی از طرف مسجد این مراسم لغو شده است. همچنین به تمام مساجد تهران دستور داده شده است که اجازه برگزاری مراسم ندا آقا سلطان را ندارند.

Confidential letter by office of supreme leader arranging highest degree opposition to protestors

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

نامه محرمانه دفتررهبری به وزارت اطلاعات و درخواست بالاتربردن سرکوب ها

سه روز عزای ملی به فرمان آیت الله منتظری

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009


آیت الله حسینعلی منتظری به نشانۀ سوگواری برای جان باختگان اعتراض های خیابانی ایران به نتیجۀ انتخابات دهم ریاست جمهوری این کشور از روز چهارشنبه به مدت سه روز عزای ملی اعلام کرد و از مردم ایران دعوت نمود که در این سه روز مراسم سوگواری را به جا آورند. این روحانی منتقد حکومت اسلامی با انتشار بیانیه ای در روز یکشنبه مطالبۀ مردم معترض مبنی بر ابطال نتایج رسمی دهمین انتخابات ریاست جمهوری را شرعاً مجاز دانسته و افزوده است که مقاومت در مقابل خواسته های مردم از نظر دینی ممنوع است.

Parsing Iran’s ‘Momentous’ Internal Drama

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009


Interviewee: Karim Sadjadpour, Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor,

Karim Sadjadpour, a leading Iranian analyst who worked for four years in Iran for the International Crisis Group, says that given the “unprecedented” scale of protests in Iran over the presidential election results, “it’s very difficult to see how the status quo ante could prevail no matter what happens.” However, he believes the United States should continue trying to stay out of the political infighting in Iran. “This is extremely delicate and the situation is so dynamic,” Sadjadpour says. “We clearly have to be on the right side of history here, but if we try to insert ourselves into the momentous internal Iranian drama that’s unfolding we may unwittingly undermine those whom we’re trying to strengthen.”

Q: The demonstrations and the opposition efforts to overturn the official election results in Iran continue. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has approved a partial recount by the Guardian Council, but opposition candidates are demanding a new vote. What do you think is going to happen over the next several days?

A:Something historic is afoot today in Iran. The scale of the protests is unprecedented. The depth of people’s sense of injustice and rage is palpable. People are continuing to bravely take to the streets, risking their lives, despite the fact that they’ve been told the Basij [Iranian paramilitary force] and Revolutionary Guards have been authorized to use force. This has not dissuaded them. The fissures we’re seeing amongst revolutionary elites are also unprecedented. It’s very difficult to see how the status quo ante could prevail no matter what happens.

Read interview in full

Anti-Baha’i books aimed at children and youth

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

دو کتاب جدید از مهدی طهوری در راه است
مهدی طهوری، نویسنده کودک و نوجوان از انتشار دو کتاب جدید خود با عنوان‌های «داستان بهاییت» و «آدمک عاشق» در آینده نزدیک خبر داد._

طهوری در گفت وگو با خبرنگار خبرگزاری کتاب ایران(ایبنا)درباره کتاب «داستان بهاییت» گفت: این کتاب چگونگی شکل‌گیری و ادامه فعالیت فرقه انحرافی بهاییت را به زبان ساده به کودکان و نوجوانان شرح می‌دهد.

به گفته طهوری، کتاب «آدمک عاشق» را نشر شباویر و «داستان بهاییت» را انتشارات مدرسه منتشر می‌کند.

این نویسنده کودک و نوجوان همچنین از انتشار مجموعه کتابی با عنوان «مشاهیر ایرانی» توسط انتشارات نواندیش خبر داد و گفت: این مجموعه با هدف آشنایی کودکان ایرانی با مشاهیر کشور تولید و منتشر خواهد شد.

وی تصریح کرد: این مجموعه کتاب که ویژه کودکان دبستانی منتشر می‌شود شامل زندگینامه برخی از مشاهیر ایرانی است که با تاکید بر جنبه‌های داستانی نگاشته می‌شود.

به جز طهوری برخی دیگر از نویسندگان کودک و نوجوان نیز در نگارش این مجموعه همکاری دارند.

مهدی طهوری متولد سال ۱۳۵۴در همدان و فارغ‌التحصیل رشته‌ خبرنگاری از دانشکده خبر است. او کار حرفه‌یی را در حوزه نویسندگی از سال ۷۸ با چاپ کتاب «کشف‌القطاء» آغاز کرد.