Ahmadinejad stands accused of hypocrisy

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Baztab-e Emruz, an unremitting critic of President Ahmadinejad, compares his publication of Judiciary Chief Sadeq Larijani’s ‘confidential’ letter in which he deemed the President’s request to visit Evin prison “inappropriate”, to the nineties publication of the Islamic Left’s newspaper Salaam [i.e. those who would emerge as Reformists and President Mohammad Khatami’s most vociferous defenders] and its publication of a ‘confidential’, but also notorious memo by the infamous Deputy Intelligence Minister, Saeed Emami.

In his letter Emami, who is alleged to have been directly involved in the murder of several prominent Iranians intellectuals and journalists, urged changes in the country’s press laws and a crackdown against the Iranian media during the tenure of Reformist President Mohammad Khatami. The law was under consideration in the 5th Majles and many at the time suspected that its provenance resided in the security services. With the publication of Salaam’s letter the law’s true source was revealed.

Salaam was closed as a result of publishing Emami’s letter, an act protested by widespread student demonstrations which were in turn brutally repressed by the security services and have come to be known as the events of 18th Tir. At the time the prominent Revolutionary Guards wrote a letter to then President Khatami stating that if he was unable to bring the situation under control, they would be forced to step in.

What is interesting as Baztab points out is that the Ministry of Intelligence had initially lodged a complaint against Salaam, which it later revoked. The closure of Salaam was then pursued by Judge Saeed Mortazavi, another controversial individual in the Islamic Republic establishment, who has been accused of being responsible for the death of Iranian-Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi and the deaths and torture of a number of young Iranians in Kahrizak detention centre in the aftermath of the 2009 presidential election. In addition to Mortazavi, President Ahmadinejad was amongst those who lodged complaints against Salaam, calling for its closure.

A picture of Ahmadinejad at the trial of Salaam is also posted, with Baztab commenting: “after 13 years past [Ahmadinejad] has perpetrated the same act that led to the closure of Salaam”.

Hojjat al-Islam Mousavi-Khoeiniha, Salaam‘s founder and prominent member of the Reformist leaning Association of Combatant Clerics was also put on trial by the Special Court for Clerics for his newspaper’s activities. Mousavi-Khoeiniha is also famous for his role as mentor to the radical Islamist students who orchestrated the U.S. embassy hostage crisis.

The Baztab editorial continues, “Amongst the behaviour of the president in recent months at the head of the executive branch which has the dubiousness of a political manoeuvre, [it has been] asked whether Dr. Ahmadinejad will be put on trial”.

Influential Principalist MP, Ahmad Tavvakoli commenting on the tension currently rife between the respective heads of the branches of government has alluded to Ayatollah Khomeini’s reply to the then Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, when he complained of intra-regime infighting. Khomeini is alleged to have asked: “how many days’ worth of wheat reserves do you have?” Mousavi replied, “7 days”. Khomeini added, “increase these reserves” and abruptly ended the meeting.

Tavvakoli explaining why he raised this example, “I said this historical point because in the present sensitive circumstances some reckless and weak individuals brought about the bad economic conditions and the recent disorder in currency throws into danger the benefits and interests of the nation and people…In these circumstance the airing of secondary issues is unseemly and I am saddened that the President has done this [i.e. publish the ‘confidential’ letter of Judiciary Chief Sadeq Larijani]”.

Foreign Affairs

Kalame, close to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has claimed that the Supreme Leader’s main advisor on international affairs and a former Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Velayati has secretly travelled to the United States for negotiations over the countries controversial nuclear programme. The article also claims that Hosseini Taeb, the official in charge of the IRGC’s intelligence unit, accompanied Velayati. Taeb, a former head of the Basij militia, is thought to be part of Khamenei’s inner circle of confidantes.

The Reformist daily Etemaad reports on Sergei Lavrov’s recent comments that “No sign of nuclear weapons activity exists in Iran”. The article however questions Russia’s position and motives regarding Iran, citing its support for UN Security Resolutions in the past, and the benefits accrued to Moscow as a result of its cooperation with Washington.

“The authorities in Moscow for the first time have announced they will disagree with a resolution at the Security Council that has a dual function regarding Iran. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov pointed directly in this regard to a resolution that issues permission for military action against Iran”.

Hossein Amirabdollahian, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African affairs has criticized the “silence of some countries” regarding an alleged Israeli attack against the Yarmouk arms complex in Sudan. Amirabdollahian told Fars News that “it is expected that some of the sides which made an uproar without hesitation over the issue of Syria, up to the point of voiding Syria’s membership of the Arab League, would undertake proactive and worthy measures vis-à-vis the manifest aggression of Tel Aviv against an important member of the Arab League (Sudan)”.

Salaam via Baztab.net

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hamidreza Taraqi, Kamran Daneshju via Baztab.net

Ali Akbar Velayati via Kalame.com