Democratic Republic of Iran جمهوری دموکراتیک ایران

The Only Way Forward

Rafsanjani warns of dictatorship and urges all to abide by the law to prevent discord among the nation

Below is a summary of the opening remarks by the head of the Assembly of Experts Council in Iran, Ayatollah Rafsanjani as he opened the  session on Tuesday.   The Experts Council is a deliberative body of 86 Mujtahids (Islamic scholars) that is charged with electing and removing the Supreme Leader of Iran and supervising his activities.  In his remarks, he warns of a current toward dictatorship and appeals to all leaders to abide by the law and prevent discord and disenfranchisement of the people. 

The ratifications of the Majlis, the Guardian Council and the Expediency Council must be implemented, said Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani at the opening session of the Assembly of Experts on Tuesday.

Rafsanjani also said the Supreme Leader’s remarks about the implementation of Article 44 and the 20-Year Outlook Plan – which have been drawn up by the Expediency Council and endorsed by the Supreme Leader – must be regarded “above law”.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rafsanjani said disrespect to law will lead to “dictatorship”.

“Disregard to law, means dictatorship,” said Rafsanjani who is both the chairman of the Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts.

The former president went on to say that the current headstrong movements in the country are like a “poison”, urging all to abide by the law to prevent discord among the nation.

Rafsanjani also warned that some persons seek to deal a blow to the core of the Islamic system.

He said some misinterpret the Leader’s slogan of “maximum attraction and minimum alienation”, a reference to the stated policy of the Islamic Republic system to win the hearts and minds of people as much as possible and avoiding disenfranchise them to the extent possible.

Moreover, Rafsanjani cited Velayat-e-Faqih (rule of supreme jurisprudence) and clerics as main assets to the country that have to be highly valued.

Rafsanjani also warned officials not to consider sanctions against the country as a “joke”.

“During the years after the revolution, we have never had so many sanctions and I urge all officials to take them seriously and not as jokes,” he stated.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani expressed hope that Iran will “weather the storm of crisis” if it utilizes its potential in a proper way.

Source: ICANA

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Filed under: Assembly of Experts, Ayatollahs, Expediency Council, Guardian Council, iran election, Iran News, Iranian protests, Rafsanjani, revolution, ایران iran, ,

Ignoring Khamenei’s Unity Plan

August 31, 2010 – While several senior Islamic Republic officials have emphasized the “necessity of unity in recent days, one of Ahmadinejad’s aides yesterday announced that the chief executive did not wish to participate in the Expediency Council sessions, despite ayatollah Khamenei’s request for Ahmadinejad do to so. Meanwhile, seyed Hassan Khomeini, who was recently widely criticized by green movement supporters for speaking to Ahmadinejad at a state function, refused to attend a gathering yesterday at the revolutionary founder ayatollah Khomeini’s shrine and did not welcome Ahmadinejad.

Since coming to power, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not attended any of the Expediency Councils sessions. Recently, he went as far as labeling the Council’s decision to allocate two billion dollars to the Tehran subway project “illegal,” an unprecedented move viewed by experts as a show of opposition to the Council’s chairman, Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Nevertheless, the conservative website Khabar Online reported yesterday on “Ayatollah Khamenei’s desire for Ahmadinejad’s participation in the Expediency Council session.” The website quoted Morteza Nabavi, the editor-in-chief of hardline daily Resalat and a member of the Council as saying, “I am among those who view the president’s participation in the Council as necessary, because the policies that are ratified in the Council are very important and influence the administration’s planning. I think, aside from the fact that this is a legal demand, and that, I as a citizen, and naturally other people, have that demand, the supreme leader also has that demand.”

Domestic media outlets yesterday reported Nabavi’s remarks while Mehdi Kalhor, an advisor to Ahmadinejad, said in a tone that typifies that of other administration officials: “Ahmadinejad doesn’t like to go.”

He told the Mehr news agency, “I was the first person who had asked Ahmadinejad, why would not attend Expediency Council’s meetings. Ahmadinejad told me that he did not like them, to which I told him that he did not have to like them, and then asked him whether he liked every one at the UN when he visited it. I told him that people voted for him and paid his salary and are expecting him to participate in Expediency Council’s sessions.”

Ahmadinejad’s refusal to abide by the “supreme leader’s demand” as expressed by Morteza Nabavi captured the headlines yesterday while seyed Hassan Khomeini, ayatollah Khomeini’s grandson, also refused to attend a gathering at ayatollah Khomeini’s shrine attended by Ahmadinejad.

Domestic news outlets, including ISNA student news agency, briefly reported the cabinet’s attendance at ayatollah Khomeini’s shrine and said that Ahmadinejad was welcomed by seyed Hassan Khomeini’s secretary, Hamid Ansari.

The atmosphere present among the Islamic Republic’s senior leaders and figures, including seyed Hassan Khomeini’s treatment of Ahmadinejad, and his refusal to abide by ayatollah Khamenei’s demand point to the leader’s failure in mending the rifts among the regime’s senior leadership, even on the surface; a failure that renders repeated calls to unity ineffective.
Roozonline

Filed under: Ayatollahs, Expediency Council, iran election, Iran News, Khomeini, Rafsanjani, ایران iran, , , , ,

MP’s Accuse Ahmadinejad of Disregarding the Law

MP Ahmad Tavakkoli has criticized President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for disregarding the laws ratified by the parliament and the Expediency Council.

Tavakkoli’s criticism came in response to the president’s recent remarks in which he said he does not regard the ratifications of the Majlis or the Expediency Council as law, the Mehr News Agency reported on Friday.

According to Article 72 of the Constitution, the Majlis can pass into law any bill that is in agreement with the provisions of the Constitution, the MP said.

Article 72 of the Constitution prohibits the parliament from ratifying any bill that contravenes the Constitution or Islamic law, and the Guardian Council is tasked with determining the compatibility of laws, he noted.

If the Guardian Council decides that a law is incompatible with either the Constitution or Islamic law, and the parliament insists on its ratification, the Expediency Council is tasked with mediating between the parliament and the Guardian Council and making a final ruling, he explained.

He went on to say that the president does not have the right to disregard the process by which a bill is passed into law.

Tavakkoli accused the president of intransigence, and said, “I am sorry that the president values his personal interpretation too much.”

MP Parviz Sorouri also criticized the president for making remarks that showed no respect for the law.

“Any law that is ratified should be implemented. The president is not in a position to say whether a particular law is correct or not,” he said.

If a law is not officially declared to be in effect by the president within a specific timeframe, the parliament speaker is then authorized to declare the law to be in effect, at which point all executive branch bodies are required to implement it, he stated.

Icana

Filed under: Expediency Council, Guardian Council, iran election, Iran News, Majlis, revolution, Tavakoli, ایران iran,

Administration Supporters Seeking Islam Without Clergy

Roozonline – While protests against last year’s presidential elections have created divisions between the government and protesters, and as political forces have reorganized themselves along new fault lines, news reports point to increasing divisions among the Principalists, the ideologue group that is in power. In the latest incident of this sort, Morteza Nabavi, the editor-in-chief of the conservative Resalat daily, warned against the “emergence of a deviant faction within the Principalists” that support Ahmadinejad, and other Principalist group that strives to turn Ahmadinejad into a “Putin” [a reference to the former Russian President who after two presidential terms openly supported Dmitry Medvedev to succeed him and then assumed the position of Prime Minister himself].

Concern about Ahmadinejad’s supporters is not a new phenomenon. Much discussion existed about him and his supporters since his first days in office in 2005. The most important discussions revolved around ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, one of Ahmadinejad’s most important supporters and his spiritual god father, who has been often accused of vying for more power (especially since Mesbah Yazdi ran for a seat in the Assembly of Experts in 2006 on a separate slate.) Mesbah Yazdi’s power has been on the rise ever since.

Perhaps that’s why a Principalist blogger writes, “Mesbah is the behind-the-scenes threat against ayatollah Khamenei. The supreme leader has been gradually moving toward the respectful dismissal of Ahmadinejad while at the same time not wanting to leave the field entirely to Ahmadinejad and Mesbah by fully eliminating the Greens. Ahmadinejad kissed Mr. Khamenei’s hands in 2005 but not in 2009, an  indication of the direction in their relations. Publications like Ansar News refer to Mesbah as ‘Imam Mesbah,’ and lately claimed, that ‘serving Mesbah is serving the hidden Imam.’ Visit the Ansar News website and read it yourselves.”

Characterizing the “Green Movement” as a side distraction, the blogger continues, “While pure and clean Basij forces and supporters of the supreme leader are spending their energy to fight the conspiracy leaders [a reference to Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Karoubi], Imam’s family and even grand ayatollahs, ayatollah Mesbah is targeting the supreme leader’s last remaining sources of power in an effort to capture the post and we are focusing all our efforts to suppress the so-called green students. One by one, Mesbah first took Hashemi Rafsanjani away from the supreme leader, then the Imam’s family, then the three conspiracy leaders, who, like it or not, are strong personalities in the regime, and recently weakened the Majlis while pretending to defend the supreme leader. The Basiji youth must be careful. Mesbah is occupying Mr. Khamenei’s post.”

The Principalists are already worried about the eleventh presidential election in 2013, in which Ahmadinejad does not qualify to run for a third term. Amir Mohebian, an editor of Resalat daily and a right wing strategist, wrote, “It is possible that Mr. Ahmadinejad would assume a more influential role in the upcoming presidential election and even before that, in the Majlis election. It is even possible that the Putin model is chosen, meaning that Mr. Ahmadinejad would bring forward a candidate close to himself as the next president.”

Filed under: Ahmedinejad, Ayatollahs, Basij, Expediency Council, Hojjatieh, iran election, Iran News, Iranian protests, Majlis, Rafsanjani, revolution, ایران iran, , , ,

اقتدارگرایان در حال اجرای یک قانون اساسی جدید هستند/ ضرورت رسانه ای فراگیر برای بیان حقیقت به مردم /Mousavi’s advisor: Green Media Outlet Vital to Informing People of the Truth (The Power Mongers Seek to Implement a New Constitution)

پارسى

Ardeshir Amir Arjomand is a former law professor at Beheshti University and an adviser to Mousavi. In an interview with Kalame, this law professor spoke of how he views the current condition in Iran and reflected both on the bitter and sweet memories of the events that succeeded the elections. Amir Arjomand criticized the policies of this regime over the years; policies that have led to the disqualification of honorable and qualified citizens under the pretext of infidelity towards the regime. He also complained about individuals who have tolerated and in some cases even endorsed fraud and in doing so have demonstrated that contrary to their claims, they are not only not committed to the Constitution and the regime, but in particular they reject the “Republic” part of the regime.

Translation of the interview by Negar Irani:

It has been a year since the inception of the Green Movement. What are your thoughts about this past year and the evolution of the Green movement during this time period?

The past year was filled with both bitter and memorable events. During the elections we witnessed a re-invigoration of hope and a desire for change by our people. A large segment of our society was fed up with the way the country was being run, with the lack of honesty, demagoguery, deceit, the difficult political and economic conditions and human rights violations.

In the first four years, the 9th government was in a solid position when it came to oil revenues. If they had implemented sound economic policies, our country would have benefited enormously. Instead as a result of their corruption and monopolization, our economy, our people’s livelihoods, our culture and behavior towards others suffered an irreparable blow that may never be recovered.

With Mir Hossein Mousavi’s entrance into the 10th presidential elections, our people once again began to believe in the possibility of change. Our nation began to feel more hopeful; hopeful about a return to rational thinking, honesty and ethics when dealing with the affairs of the country; hopeful about a return to a more open and relaxed political and cultural atmosphere and hopeful that there would be economic reforms. The election related activities of campaign supporters demonstrated the shift that had occurred in the political spectrum, leading to a hope that the various political factions would compete next to each other without any form of violence. There were also days of great bitterness, including widespread fraud organized and enforced through military intervention, even though the military is not suppose to intervene in politics and the election process. The election fraud was followed by the brutal attacks, illegal arrests and the killing of innocent citizens, through an army of plain clothes agents. The complete domination of the judiciary process by plain clothes agents, the atrocities at Kahrizak prison and the continued denials were all insults to millions of Iranian people.


Some within and some outside the regime seek to deny these facts. For example, they try to link unconstitutional, immoral behavior that is against our religion and infidelity towards the government to the Green movement. What is your opinion regarding this matter?

If anyone is accused of a lack of commitment, it is these gentlemen themselves who are all key players. They have put the country in crisis. For years they rejected and disqualified some of the most honorable and qualified citizens in our country, accusing them of infidelity towards the regime. However, these individuals [belonging to the ruling government], have tolerated and in some cases even endorsed fraud and in doing so have demonstrated that contrary to their claims, they are not only not committed to the Constitution and the regime, but in particular they reject the “Republic” part of the regime. Their only goal is to eliminate and destroy all potential competition.

We are proud of being Muslims and we believe that Islamic principles enable people and our society to achieve their goals. However being a Muslim does not mean that we should allow a bunch of violent individuals and monopolists who seek to take advantage of religion, to impose their version of religion on us, or to tell us what our understanding of Islam should be, or how to be good Muslims. Unlike them, our goal is not to impose our interpretation of and approach to Islam on others. The only interpretation of Islam that is compatible with the truth about this divine religion is the one that speaks of the principles of human dignity and a fundamental right to justice and human liberty and freedom. We appose using religion as a tool and also believe that it is immoral to turn religious institutions into state owned entities.

Recently we have all witnessed the deceitful efforts by the power mongers to turn religious institutions (seminaries) into state owned entities. This when the seminaries are one of the most ancient and historic institutions in Iran’s civil society. In the same context, we have also witnessed their effort to create new Marjaa (sources of emulation) and to destroy the existing Marjaa.

As Muslims we are obligated to fight against such a deceitful approach to religion.


You referred to the lack of commitment to the constitution by the ruling government and referred to this lack of commitment as a type of infidelity. These days there is a lot of discussion regarding legislative institutions in our country and how some non judiciary entities have entered the legislative process, misusing the law to justify their illegal behavior. What is your opinion on this subject?

I will leave the detailed discussion of this subject to another time. I would like to however emphasize one fundamental point. The main condition for the existence of any constitution and in this case our Constitution is the belief that everyone, including the highest government officials are limited in their power both as institutions and as individuals. Without limited powers, the claim that we are commitment to the constitution is meaningless.

From 1992 and since the objection of the Guardian Council towards the law and a list of both governmental and non governmental institutions, the laws can only be ratified under the leadership and with the approval of the Supreme Leader. Providing unlimited powers to one institution and threatening the power of others creates an imbalance in the relationship between these institutions leading to some institutions having no access to or protection under the law.

It looks as though the Guardian Council instead of protecting the Constitution has turned into an institution intent on destroying it. It is true that according to the Constitution, the Guardian Council is to interpret the law. However, this institution does not have the absolute advisory, elective and interpretation authority. In other words, they cannot just interpret the constitution, a national covenant, however they choose to or deem necessary. Interpretation must be in accordance to principles, proven practices and within certain limits.

With their arbitrary interpretations, the Guardian Council is in fact creating a new Constitution for the country. They alter the Constitution with this type arbitrary interpretations; these changes effect the Republic and the people’s right to self determination. Take for example the legislative legitimacy of the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council. In order to confront the 6th parliament (Majlis) and neutralize the people’s representatives, the Guardian Council resorted to interpretations of the Constitution that limited the legislative powers of the Majlis.


Some institutions believe that the resolutions put forth by the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council are considered the law. Do you agree with this interpretation?

The Supreme Cultural Revolution Council was not included in the Constitution in 1979. As per the Imam’s request, the amendments made to the Constitution after 1979 which included the formation of the Expediency Council, still made no reference to the Cultural Revolution Council.

Now the Guardian Council alone has decided to legitimize the legal power of this institution. They even go as far as saying that when a subject is brought up by the Cultural Revolution Council, the parliament (Majlis) has no right to interfere. They keep announcing that the Imam said: “This council is responsible for ratifying laws”. First, this claim has no validity. The president at the time, wrote a letter to the Imam asking that the council be given legal authority. To which the Imam answered, the decision making powers of this council should be enacted, not that this council should ratify laws. Or for example that statutes should be put in effect. Second, even if they are to ratify the law, they are still not above the law. Apart from that the Imam did not want to be put in charge of the Legislature or to create a new legislative entity. The Imam’s last word was that we must return to the principles of the Constitution.


Let’s get back to the Green movement and it’s relation to these institutions. A Green Charter was proposed in Mr. Mousavi’s recently published statement number 18. Based on the description you just provided on how the Constitution should be implemented, what is your understanding of the Constitution within the landscape of the Green movement’s Charter?

The Green Movement’s Charter points out to a number of important issues, each of which requires a discussion in and of itself. In general one can say that this Charter could have been introduced 8-10 months ago. However, I believe that if that had occurred, we would have had less of a participatory and democratic process and regardless of the content, to some it would have seemed as though the content was being forced on the people. Today, however, the suggestions made in this Charter can be viewed as the culmination of the evolution of the Green movement over the past year. This Charter provides a set of coherent and consistent principles necessary to further develop cooperation and expand the movement.

Some of the components of this Charter may have been presented in speeches given in the past, but the Charter itself is a new concept and its introduction was an important and necessary act. This Charter addresses some of the most important questions such as the role and responsibility of governance, the people’s role, democracy as a form of ethical governance, human rights, different ways to view and interpret Islam, our civil society, Constitution and last but not least, methods of peaceful resistance and the leadership of the Green movement.

One of the areas discussed is the Constitution. I believe that the reliance of the leaders of the Green movement on the implementation of the Constitution is understandable. I personally accept the fact that the Constitution has a number of flaws, some of which are serious flaws. Particularly when it comes to the issue of institutions involved with the electoral process. With all its current flaws, the Constitution still provides us with considerable ability to defend freedom, justice, and the right of the people to self determination. The legitimacy of the Green leaders is in their ability to allow people to determine their own fate, in other words, in their ability to promote self determination through the people’s votes as defined in the Constitution.


Some believe that all existing problems stem from the Constitution. In your opinion however, the Constitution is much more extensive than the way it is being interpreted today. What we are witnessing today is a completely different interpretation of the Constitution.

I don’t believe in the claim that all the problems in our country stem from our Constitution. We must be realistic. Let’s not forget that a perfect Constitution with out any flaws is not the only prerequisite for democracy. Some countries, such as Azerbaijan, operating under dictatorships have very democratic Constitutions. The Constitution is important, but what is even more important is how it is implemented. These gentlemen would have done the exact same thing with any other Constitution. They would have openly planned and executed a coup.

In response to your previous question, I would like to reiterate therefore that since the Green movement is a non violent movement, the reliance of its leaders on the democratic capacity of the Constitution is a reasonable strategy. Particularly because there is concern that due to the existence of power mongers within the different government institutions, emphasis on the law in order to protect the rights of citizens will be neglected. These power mongers define laws that are unjust and against freedom, or interpret current laws in a manner that allows for violence and injustice with in the framework of the law. A good example of this type of interpretation of the law was seen during Hitler’s Fascist rule.

It looks as though the leaders of the Green movement are very aware of this danger. This can be seen in their continuous emphasis on fundamental rights, the importance of human rights and remaining within the law and preventing the misuse of the law. The leaders of the movement have announced on numerous occasions the law should not be used as a vehicle to legitimize discrimination, violence and oppression.


How can we scientifically and effectively fight this type of lawlessness?

In my opinion, we must pay attention to three areas. Currently, our laws in the area of legal procedures, arrests, sentences and imprisonment do not meet the standards required to provide the necessary protections for our citizens. However, sadly, they [the ruling government] do not even apply the existing laws. If they would apply them correctly, some of the existing problems would be eliminated. The Green movement activists and human rights organizations should first and foremost focus on making sure that the existing laws are executed correctly. Secondly, by relying on our civil society and increasing pressure, they must work to stop these autocrats from enacting unjust laws or including anything they want under the law. Lastly, we must seek to modify and correct unjust laws though continuous and organized efforts. The law should express the will of the people.

In my opinion, in the past year, the illegitimate government and its supporters were forced to spend their entire capital coming close to bankruptcy. In contrast the Green movement despite all the challenges it faced only further expanded and strengthened.

The issue is that the slightest non violent activity by the movement has been responded to with violence and imprisonment. This has created very difficult conditions for the movement to grow. Even the leaders of the movement have been exposed to this form of violence as evident in the attacks on Mr. Karroubi and the Marjaa.

The survival and perseverance of the movement against a group that stops at nothing when it comes to violence; a movement that has survived an electoral coup followed by a military, economic and information dissemination coup, is in itself a significant victory. The oppressors are self destructing. In contrast the Green movement has entered a phase of stability and expansion through democratic dialogue and the creation of unity.

Another point is the issue of the movement’s leadership. In reality, the Green movement is not a political party. Under the current circumstances having what is referred to as leadership in classical terms though perhaps impossible, by no means implies that the movement is lacking leadership. The leadership of the movement is partially achieved through decentralized social networks. The success of such networks depends on a number of factors, such as the continuous empowerment of the networks and the existence of leaders with integrity, perseverance and the fortitude to represent the people. Lastly, it is important to establish independent media and information dissemination channels designed to create unity and to build consensus. Fortunately, to date the leaders of the movement have exhibited strength, endurance and an admirable level of honesty and integrity. The further development and expansion of social networks is vital to the movement and it requires further discussion and initiative by the activists within the movement.


You referred to information dissemination. The oppressors seek to block all news regarding the Green movement and currently the little news that reaches the people is disseminated through a very limited number of media outlets. Mr. Mousavi in addition to emphasizing awareness though information dissemination has made references to the necessity for the establishment of an independent media outlet to achieve this goal. What steps have been taken in this area to date?

With regards to information dissemination unfortunately, the ruling government through the violation of the rights of the protesters and activists within the Green movement, has been effective in preventing the movement from freely connecting with the people. The IRIB has turned into the government’s propaganda machine waging psychological warfare against our people. The IRIB had an integral role in what happened before the elections, during the elections and after the elections. The fact that they engaged in clear violation of the law and legitimized violence and deceit is undeniable.

The Green movement seeks to inform people about privatization and the enforcement of Article 44 of the Constitution, so that they aware of the fact that the country’s capital is being put in the hands of a specific few all in the name of privatization. They [the ruling government] do not want people to know that a government that came to power with slogans that spoke of justice and fighting against corruption, is now itself one of the most corrupt governments in the past 50 year history of Iran. They don’t want the people to know how they physically destroy all those who appose them. They don’t want people to be aware of their irrational economic policies. As such they have made it impossible to establish an independent, domestic media outlet. Since the Green movement is based on the principle of creating awareness, it is incumbent upon every activist within the Green movement to do everything in their power to establish an independent and persuasive media outlet as suggested by the leaders of the Green movement.

Within the framework of the Green Charter, this type of media outlet can play a decisive role in the empowerment of social networks, further collaboration and the strengthening of national unity. With the support of the activists in the Green movement and the Iranian people, this goal can hopefully be achieved in the near future. To this end we ask for the support and assistance of all Green activists in the achievement of this goal.


Filed under: Ahmedinejad, Expediency Council, Guardian Council, iran election, Iran News, Iranian protests, Majlis, revolution, میرحسین موسوی خامنه Mousavi, ایران iran, , , ,

Parliament Again Becomes Battleground for Ahmadinejad-Rafsanjani Split

insideIran – The Iranian parliament passed a bill June 21 in which any changes to the constitution of Azad University, a network of private universities in Iran, must be approved by the so-called “Board of Founders,” and cannot be changed by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, which is chaired by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

This bill is significant because it prevents President Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei from taking over Iran’s most profitable educational system estimated by Kayhan, a hardline newspaper close to Khamenei, to possess assets worth up to 250 billion dollars.

Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani is the chairman of the Board of Founders and was the person behind the creation of private universities in Iran some 29 years ago. The current head of Azad University, Ahmad Jasbi, is considered a close ally of Rafsanjani. Jasbi is the longest serving executive in Iran for heading Azad University since its founding. Rafsanjani’s son, Mehdi Hashemi, is also a high-ranking executive of Azad University. The Iranian judiciary has issued an arrest warrant for Mehdi Hashemi, but he left Iran last summer before the warrant was issued in order to avoid prosecution.

The Supreme Council on the Cultural Revolution and President Ahmadinejad’s allies pursued a number of goals by seeking to take over Azad University. First, pro-government forces would have assumed control over a significant amount of money currently in the hands of Rafsanjani’s allies.

Second, by eliminating a major source of funding and removing Jasbi from his post, the hardliners would have moved one step closer to making Rafsanjani less relevant.

Third, Azad University operates campuses in the most remote corners of Iran, where public universities have traditionally failed to reach. Controlling this network of universities would have allowed hardliners to tighten their hold on Iran’s university campuses from where they have received stiff resistance and disobedience.

The parliamentary vote against the Supreme Council on Cultural Revolution and in favor of the Board of Founders is a victory for Rafsanjani. But this victory may not last long.

The parliament has come under enormous pressure by hardliners inside the government. In reaction to this bill, President Ahmadinejad canceled his meeting with Ali Larijani, the speaker of parliament, and Sadegh Larijani, Iran’s chief justice, Monday June 22. Supreme Leader Khamenei is also believed to be on the side of the government. Pro-government protestors have been demonstrating outside the parliament demanding the bill to be overturned.

The bill, if not overturned by the parliament in another vote, will go to the Guardian Council. The Guardians will most likely reject the bill, which will then go to the Expediency Council chaired by Rafsanjani.

Filed under: Ahmedinejad, Assembly of Experts, Ayatollahs, Expediency Council, Guardian Council, iran election, Iran News, Iranian protests, Majlis, Rafsanjani, revolution, ایران iran, , , ,

Larijani warns government on law violations

Khabaronline – Responding to President Ahmadinejad’s objections against Iranian Parliament (Majlis) acts, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said there are several evidences proving that the government has violated the law.

He added that the evidences will be released if the administration insists on denying them. 

According to Khabar Online correspondent, at a lecture delivered yesterday Larijani referred to the separation of the three branches of Islamic Republic of Iran and maintained that power centralization will cause corruption. 

 “If legislative and judiciary branches become subordinated to executive branch, it might accelerate the process of following the plans. But it would lead to dictatorship,” he said. 

“Centralization of the Supreme leader’s power won’t lead to corruption since the leader should possess special qualifications which are not taken into account when the parliament speaker and the president are elected. Therefore the executive branch must adhere to the laws defining its authority. The government is not allowed to interfere with the duties of the legislative branch and disagree what passed by the Majlis,” Larijani pointed out. 

 Ahmadinejad had earlier claimed that 138 acts of the eight Majlis have been referred to the Expediency Council because they were unconstitutional. 

Iran’s top legislator commented on the issue: “It is unlikely that the total number of the rectifications by the eight Majlis reach to 138. At most 10 to 15 ratified bills have been referred to the council. In order to avoid such problems, the administration is better to submit just carefully considered bills to the Majlis, although some bills may still bear problems.” 

Larijani then defended the status of the Expediency Council defined by article 112 of the Islamic Republic’s Constitution. He stressed that the Majlis won’t compromise on adhering to law and limiting the domain of its responsibilities: “The special committees of Majlis must fulfill their legal duties. Although consultations based on solidarity would be helpful, they should not manipulate the basic tasks of the three branches.” 

 The Iranian Parliament’s Article 90 Committee is tasked with looking into citizens’ complaints against the three branches, the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. 

Filed under: Ahmedinejad, Expediency Council, iran election, Iran News, Iranian protests, Majlis, revolution, ایران iran, ,

Khameini Representative In IRGC Warns Rafsanjani

Memri – Mojtaba Zolnour, deputy representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), has warned Iranian Expediency Council chairman Hashemi Rafsanjani that his ignoring of his children Mehdi and Faezeh’s support for the protest movement will cause the public to act against him.

According to Zolnour, the regime is not arresting these “political corpses” – that is, the protest movement leaders – because they are in any event in prison and their jailors are the Iranian people.

Filed under: Expediency Council, faezeh hashemi, iran election, Iran News, Iranian protests, IRGC, mehdi hashemi, mojtaba zolnour, Rafsanjani, revolution, Revolutionary Guards, ایران iran, ,

Rafsanjani Defends the “Rule of Law”

Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of the Assembly of Experts and chairman of the Expediency Council said: “Educated and knowledgeable individuals either teachers or university professors have a very high statue and dignity among the people and they earned this high dignity by defending justice and truth.”

He made the remarks in a meeting with the members of the academia faction of the parliament for the National Teacher’s Day while congratulating this day to all teachers and praising the high statue of teachers and professor.

In another part of his remarks Ayatollah Hashemi-Rafsanjani added: “When it comes to making laws and passing bills the parliament is in charge and the interference and meddling of other organizations can seriously damage the statue and dignity of the parliament.”

The head of the Assembly of Experts emphasized: “Actions that are either above the law or are against the law by any individual, any group or organization seriously damages the unity, solidarity and trust of the people.”

At the beginning of this meeting the chairman of the academia fraction of the parliament, Mostafa Kavakabian, gave a brief report about the actions and performance of this faction and also on behalf of a group of members of the parliament asked for the return of Rafsanjani to the Friday prayer platform as Imam.

Since the Friday Prayer in July of last year following the presidential election in which many protestors participated and Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani demanded the release of all political prisoners he has not led another Friday prayer.  Icana

Filed under: Assembly of Experts, Ayatollahs, Expediency Council, iran election, Iran News, Iranian protests, Rafsanjani, revolution, ایران iran,

Iran’s Ayatollah Rafsanjani backs Hassan Khomeini

Radio Zamaneh – Iran’s chairman of the Expediency Council expressed his support for Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Khomeini, and commended his efforts in preserving and publishing his grandfather’s work.

ILNA reports that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani in a meeting with the organizers of the Institute for Compilation and Preservation of the Works of Imam Khomeini said: “Without the efforts of Ahmad and Hassan Khomeini, the work of Ayatollah Khomeini could have become object of greed and spite.”

The Institute was founded by the recommendation of Ayatollah Khomeini’s son, Ahmad Khomeini in 1989 to preserve the work and speeches of the Shiite leader and “to prevent any distortion of his thoughts and expression.”

The Chairman of the Expediency Council went on to emphasize the need to promote the interpretations of the founder of the Islamic Republic regarding the system of the Islamic Republic, specifically, the concept of leadership through the clergy (velayat faqih).

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s support of the Institute along with Hassan Khomeini is significant since both have been repeated targets of criticism and attack by the conservative faction of the Islamic Republic in the post-election events.

Hassan Khomeini stayed away from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s inauguration ceremony which was considered a clear endorsement of the disputes against Ahmadinejad’s re-election. He also was one of the first to pay a visit to Alireza Beheshti, MirHosein Mousavi’s senior aide, after he was released from prison. Beheshti was assigned by the opposition leader to lead a committee probing into wrongful treatment of protesters following the June elections.

Hassan Khomeini’s visit with Beheshti was another gesture which the establishment regards as an affront to its policies.

In December, the representative of Ayatollah Khamenei in the Revolutionary Guards, hardline cleric Ali Saidi attacked Hassan Khomeini and declared that his actions have positioned him against the “regime and the leadership.”

Filed under: Ayatollahs, Expediency Council, iran election, Iran News, Iranian protests, Rafsanjani, revolution, ایران iran, ,

Our perserverance is our sword, Our unity is our shield, AZADI… is our destiny!

Brave Women Of Iran

A special note we would like to share with the brave and beautiful women of Iran; You have shown extraordinary courage, passion, pride, humility and humanity in the face of great injustice. The world has taken notice and we are all humbled by your strength and determination. If you are the future, then we all are comforted by how bright it will shine.

The One Who Wishes To Move A Mountain, Must Start By Removing Stones

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