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Reporting from Beirut – The leaders of Iran’s opposition movement boldly urged supporters to take to the streets during commemorations marking the 31st anniversary of Iran’s revolution, condemning the recent executions of two alleged government opponents and a fiery Friday prayer sermon by a hard-line cleric (Jannati) calling for protesters to be put to death.
In a meeting this morning, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi voiced deep sorrow and raised questions about the “hasty” executions of Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour, who were hanged Thursday morning in a move widely interpreted as an attempt to intimidate the opposition movement ahead of anticipated confrontations during Feb. 11 celebrations of the 1979 birthday of the Islamic Republic.
Full story @ latimes
TEHRAN, Jan 29 (ICANA) – The head of the clerical faction of Majlis advised Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to part ways with the head of the presidential office Esfandyar Rahim Mashai before it was too late.
Hojjatoleslam Mohammad-Taqi Rahbar pointed to Mashai’s meeting with an Iranian actresses at the presidential office and said, “Anyone with a bit of Principlist zeal will not approve of the lowly acts of the Head of the Presidential office [Mashai]. All Principlists especially the President’s true supporters are ashamed that such a character is running the office of the president.”Rahbar criticized the $80,000 loan given by Mashai to actress Hedyeh Tehrani to hold her first photo exhibition. “I don’t know what an actress’s exhibition has to do with the head of the presidential office that he has to fund it with $80,000 from the treasury. These loans are handed out by him [Mashai] at a time when many farmers are struggling with repeated droughts and are starving. Yet the government refuses to give them a $1,000 loan.””Unfortunately, the Sources of Emulations are very unhappy with Mr. Ahmadinejad due to the presence of such individuals [Mashai] in the government. In a recent trip to Qom with a number of cleric lawmakers, whenever we raised the issue of improving interaction between Majlis and the Sources, a number of Sources criticized the cultural approaches of the government and said the lack of interaction would remain so long as these approaches are unchanged.””Unfortunately Mr. Ahmadinejad has sacrificed the whole of the government and establishment for him [Mashai] and despite the heavy price of supporting Mashai for his government, he [Ahmadinejad] insists on it [supporting Mashai].”
“Mr. President have it out with Mr. Mashai. If you like him that much give him a responsibility that requires some reading so he will not [have the time to] interfere in things he should not.”
A powerful hard-line Iranian cleric on Friday called for the execution of more opposition activists to silence anti-government protests, praising the hanging a day earlier of two men caught up in the leadership’s postelection crackdown.
Speaking in a Friday prayer sermon, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said the wave of street demonstrations sparked by the disputed June presidential election would not have lasted until now if protesters had been executed early on.
“Whatever we suffered was because of our weakness. How many did the judiciary execute on July 9?” he said, referring to one of the particularly large protest days.
Full story @ Washington Post
January 29, 2010 • 11:24p01 0
Majlis Reformist Faction set to meet with Rafsanjani, Nateq-Nouri and Mahdavi-Kani to discuss current situation in Iran
Dariyoush Qanbari, spokesman for the Majlis Reformist Faction announced that they plan to meet with Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri (Supreme Leader’s advisor), and Ayatollah Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi-Kani (the secretary general of Combatant Clergy Association). “In the most recent session of the faction, we decided to meet with prominent political figures to talk about the country’s political situation and the current issues facing the country after the presidential election,” the reformist MP told the Mehr News Agency.
It is obvious that there is one empty chair at the table, the Ahmadinejad bloc. We still believe that the results of these meetings will not bring about an agreement to oust Ahmadinejad. While they most assuredly would love to, as we have maintained, any removal of Ahmadinejad at this time would so severely weaken Khamenei (as he has tied his fortunes to him), that his downfall would surely follow. We just cannot fathom Khamenei taking that risk. And also, Ahmadinejad and his radical supporters have dug in their heels, and it appears that they are prepared to fight it out. Rafsanjani and Khamenei are fully aware that this could trigger a massive avalanche that could bury the Islamic Republic, and possibly them as well.
Perhaps, they can still find their way out of the woods, if Mousavi and Karroubi agree, by plotting for Ahmadinejad’s removal down the road by way of corruption, impeachment, or any other number of ways. For now, it appears the best they can accomplish, is attempt to remove enough of the coup elements and leave a weakened Ahmadinejad. Although, that may be easier said than done. The other demands of the opposition leaders are not as problematic, and both sides would be called on to make sacrifices.
The larger questions are; How deep are Khamenei’s roots in the Extremist Factions soil? And if tenuous, does he still command the forces?
January 29, 2010 • 11:24p01 0
The Iranian Court of Appeals is reviewing the cases of 9 people who have been handed down death sentences in connection with the post-election protests and accused of plotting to overthrow the regime. They were found guilty of the charges of being a Mohareb (waging war against God) and for their membership in the MKO ( Mojahedi Khalq Organization). If the Court of Appeals upholds the sentences, they will be scheduled for execution.
It should be noted that the regime often links the MKO or other well-known anti-regime groups in death penalty cases, although MKO is their favorite target, as they know the terrorist organization is despised by the Iranian people and will not raise many eyebrows. This has become a common tactic used when they want to eliminate their enemies.