Former President Khatami, in a letter to the secretary general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, has condemned the making of the controversial video, “The Innocence of Muslims,” which has sparked controversy across the Muslim world. Many have held the video to be the chief reason for several attacks against American targets across the region, the most dramatic being the assault on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the death of the American ambassador, Chris Stevens.
The hardline Kayhan newspaper reports on the death of the American ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens:
“The people of Libya, Egypt and Yemen in response to the insult of an American filmmaker to the honorable Prophet have attacked the American embassy. The angry people, with the killing of the ambassador and three armed Americans, have punished Washington. … Available reports state that this attack was undertaken by the Islamist group “Ansar al-Shariah” in protest of the screening of an insulting film to the honorable Prophet in American cinemas, and the assailants attacked the American consulate building in Benghazi using light arms and RPGs.”
Attacks in Libya, Egypt and Yemen are said to be a response to the screening of the film entitled, “Innocence of Muslims,” by amateur filmmaker Sam Bacile.
Former advisor to President Mohammad Khatami and Reformist strategist Saeed Hajjarian, has expressed his disagreement with the idea of a referendum on Iran’s nuclear programme, BBC Persian has reported. The idea of a referendum had been posed in July of this year, by former Minister of Interior, and prominent Reformist politician, Abdollah Nouri, and received much coverage in the Western media. Opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, currently under house arrest, also made a comparable proposal.
On the Domestic Front Deputy Speaker, Mohammadreza Bahonar, has claimed it likely that former Majles Speaker and former presidential candidate Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, will run for the presidency in 2013. Bahonar also greeted the prospect of Tehran Mayor, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, running. Nateq-Nouri has long been targeted by President Ahmadinejad and his allies. Most recently, Nateq-Nouri delivered a speech in Mashhad during the month of Ramadan, which was overrun by plainclothes partisans of hardline IRGC ideologue Saeed Qassemi, an act which has been criticized by prominent Conservative establishment figures. Continue reading →
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, in a non-public meeting with the Majles has explained the reasons for Canada’s severing of ties with the Islamic Republic, the Conservative Resalat has reported. In the meeting Salehi commented: “Canada is under the influence of the Zionists in its foreign policy and pursues their policy, and from one side endeavours to increase its relations with this regime, and earn their satisfaction. This action was in line with the interests of the Zionist regime”.
Raja Newsreports on the speech of the spokesman of the hardline Endurance Front (Jebhe-ye Paidari), Kamran Baqeri Lankarani. Baqeri Lankarani, also a former Minister of Health during Ahmadinejad’s first term, began his talk by stating, “when the Supreme Leader says “in a time without Martyr [Morteza] Motahhari and Martyr [Mohammad] Beheshti, great men like the learned Mesbah [Yazdi] fill the vacuum, because in life we must always judge individuals with respect to religious knowledge”.
Motahhari was one of the founding ideologues of the Islamic state, and Mohammad Beheshti was founder of the Islamic Republican Party and one of the Islamist clergy’s most acute political operators. Both were senior disciples of the theocratic state’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, and assassinated in the early years of the revolution. Ayatollah Khamenei has long sought to portray the right wing cleric and director of the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute in Qom, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, as the inheritor of Ayatollah Motahhari’s mantle, as the most esteemed and officially sanctioned theoretician and ideologue of the Islamic state.
Sadegh Zibakalam, a prominent political commentator and professor of Political Science at the University of Tehran has written an op-ed piece on the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tabnak, a website known to be close to Expediency Council Secretary, Mohsen Rezaei. The article was entitled, “Anti-Americanism and the Non-Aligned Movement”. After conceding that Iran “with much impressiveness and power expressed its existence”, he asks “with view to the fact that fundamentally…the reason for the Non-Aligned Movement’s coming into existence, was the bipolarity of the world order, and as this order and the Cold War, has not existed for more than two decades, what function and role can NAM have, and fundamentally is there a reason for its existence?”
Alef, close to Conservative MP and Ahmadinejad critic Ahmad Tavakkoli, covers the president’s controversial comments in an interview on state television which addressed the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) summit, along with other key issues in the domestic sphere. In the interview he spoke of the need to give NAM a proper structure, and sought to apportion blame for the currency crisis to hoarders. Continue reading →
Former President Rafsanjani at the 12 meeting of the Assembly of Experts
The Reformist daily Etemaad and Khabar Onlinereport on the speech of Mostafa Pourmohammadi at the 13th meeting of the Union of Independent Student Societies throughout the country. Pourmohammadi was forced to resign from his position as minister of the interior by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and has since been appointed national chief of the Organization for the Inspectorate. Since the former interior minister’s break with Ahmadinejad, Pourmohammadi has been among the president’s most vociferous detractors, and recently addressed a letter to the Supreme Leader alongside other disgruntled ex-ministers, calling for the president’s executive powers to be transferred to a council. In the course of his speech, Pourmohammadi replied to his critics, many of whom are in government, and accuse Pourmohammadi of acting out of revenge against his former boss. “Those who clash with me and believe that I’m acting politically don’t want the country to have a desirable political atmosphere. They blunt the work of [government] supervision, because unlike my reports they are operating politically.” Continue reading →
Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi (2nd R) speaks with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2nd L) during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 30, 2012. Picture taken August 30, 2012. (photo by REUTERS)
The reformist daily newspaper Etemaad covered in some detail the story of how Mohammed Morsi’s criticisms of Syria have been marginalized in official depictions of the Egyptian president’s NAM speech. Etemaad, in stark contrast to other domestic media, also reported the Syrian prime minister’s walking out of the conference hall in protest of Morsi’s criticism of the Assad regime.
The Iranian organizers of NAM tried their utmost to frame Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s speech as the centerpiece of the summit, and the country’s political as well as military ruling elite were in attendance. Prominent reformist politicians were noticeably absent. Continue reading →