Iran Police Dress Suspect in Women’s Clothing, Parade Him in Public

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A group of parliament members have signed a letter of protest after police officials had reportedly forced a suspect to wear women’s clothing in public. According to Digarban, this event took place on April 13. According to Nasim online, which originally reported the story, the event took place in the city of Marivan, in Iran’s Kurdish region near the Iran-Iraq border.

The parliament members had “sought to notify the interior and justice ministers” of the event. Security officers had reportedly forced a “famous street thug” to wear women’s clothing and then paraded him in public. The parliament members who signed the letter, including the representative from Marivan, wrote that “this action is against Islamic values and it degrades the clothing and character of Muslim women.”

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Iran’s Foreign Ministry Warns About MEK, Condemns Boston Marathon Bombing

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Ramin Mehmanparast, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that the bombing that took place at the Boston marathon was “event that affects everyone.” He said that “I believe that all governments should work to establish peace and security for all people of the world. The roots of these extremist and terrorist acts must be dried, and by no means should any type of violence be justified.”

Mehmanparast also appears to have taken a swipe at US support for the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MEK, sometimes referred to as MKO), which recently opened a lobbying office in Washington, DC, after being taken off the State Department’s terrorist list by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Various former government officials have put their support behind the MEK, which supports confronting Iran under stricter terms.

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Iranian ‘Time Machine’ Scientist Outsmarts Media

On April 6 Fars News reported that Ali Razeghi had created a time machine called the “Aryayek Time Travelling Machine.” Several Western media outlets immediately picked up the story of the man who claimed that his time machine “easily fits into the size of a personal computer case and can predict details of the next five-eight years of the life of its users” with 98% accuracy. The story then went viral on social media.

In a second interview, this time with Shargh newspaper, which was republished by Mehr, it appears that the Iranian “Time Machine” scientist has outsmarted both Iranian and Western media.

The 27-year-old Ali Razeghi sat down with the Iranian paper to clarify his original Fars News interview, which has been removed from their website since. The Q&A format of the interview took an almost comical tone, with many incredulous follow-up questions. The Shargh reporter also wrote into the story moments when Zareghi broke into laughter himself.

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Hard-line Cleric: Reformists Will Not Be Allowed to Run

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Several powerful and influential clerics have given statements on whether Reformists will run for the presidency or be disqualified by the Guardian Council, the body of clerics that vets candidates for the elections in Iran. The most prominent to be mentioned from the Reformist camp is former president Mohammad Khatami, although other names have also been mentioned as potential candidates as well.

Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi said that “the Reformists are after a candidate that will not be disqualified, [but] their leaders will certainly be disqualified.” Mesbah Yazdi, who is a member of the Assembly of Experts, the body of clerics that theoretically serves as an oversight body for the Supreme Leader, said that “after the sedition of 2009, the Reformists no longer have a place amongst the people.”

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Cleric Warns Against Western Influence in Elections, Culture

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“In the West, to acquire your vote they will do anything,” said influential cleric Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi. “But,” he added at a meeting with the conservative Islamic Coalition Party, “we should not do anything to acquire the votes of a deviant group.”

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi continued that “in the arena of our elections, our culture should not be like the West’s culture, with empty promises and demagoguery. The principals of Islam must be followed for [campaign] commercials and programs.”

The live televised debates of Iran’s 2009 elections saw perhaps the contentious and entertaining debates in Iranian election history. This year, live debates have been cancelled. However, the candidates have already began to use their respective websites and news outlets to promote themselves and attack their political opponents.

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi also took aim at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his speech. He said, “Now there are many cultural problems in the country and everyone knows that the administration has not shown any sensitivity to these cultural issues.”

Of the cultural issues facing Iran, Ayatollah Shiraz pointed to the “rates of divorce in the immediate months of after marriage, which shows that the foundation of the family is unstable.” He also said that the “decrease in age of those afflicted with addictions and financial corruption should be a warning to all of us.” Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi also blamed “foreign media for the spread of moral corruption.”

At a meeting with the managers and the head of the Medical Sciences department in the city of Qom for the “Week of Health,” Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi said that “imitating the West has given Muslims illnesses. A prime example of this is unhealthy and non-useful food.” He said that the naming of “Health and Hygiene Week” was an important step because “a human deals first with his health and security.” He continued, “there are five blessings in life and no one but God has the power to grant these; health is the first blessing which causes a human to have the power to follow divine commands.”

Ahmadinejad is “delusional” and “unstable”

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Presidential candidate and deputy speaker of parliament Mohamad Reza Bahonar was asked by the Aria news website to name three problems of President Ahmadinejad and his administration. Bahonar replied that “although one shouldn’t ignore his positive aspects or of his administration, since you asked about his negative traits, three serious problems I see are that he is inclined toward illusions, his management is unstable and he has poor manners.”

“As far as his delusions,” Bahonar said, “we saw this from him and the people surrounding him from the very first days.” As president, Ahmadinejad has casually made repeated references about the return of the messiah. In a widely circulated video, Ahmadinejad is also seen talking about a UN speech in which he saw a halo around his head.

In regard to his management style, Bahonar said that “changes without appropriate justification have taken away both the initiative of the ministers and the ability to conduct serious planning.” Banohar also said that “the poor manners and even adventurism both domestically and outside the country cost the country and the administration greatly.” During his two terms, the president has made controversial remarks about Israel, homosexuals and 9/11, and domestically he has often resorted to name calling, most controversially after the 2009 elections, when he called the opposition protesters “dirt and dust.”

Ahmadinejad ‘Will Never Leave’

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Samina Rastegar wrote an op-ed in Reformist newspaper Etemad that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “speaks in such a way that he will never leave the political scene.” The president cannot run for a third term, but there are many indications he is actively promoting his longtime ally Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, and perhaps even others, for the presidential elections in June.

Rastegar referenced a speech the president made to his governors recently in which he said “I believe the future administration will reach a higher level than my previous two terms because the revolution and the nation is moving toward completion, and the indication of that is what the Iranian nation is introducing today.”

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Iran Official: Leaving NPT an Option

untitled The chairman of the parliamentary Committee of Foreign Policy and National Security, Alaeddin Borujerdi, said in an interview with Iran’s Arab-language station Al Alam that when it comes to the West and the chances of more sanctions through the UN, “for parliament, all options are on the table.” Last weekend Iran and the P5+1 finished another round of negotiations in Almaty, Kazakhstan with inconclusive results. Borujerdi said, “It is not acceptable for Iran to respect the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT], but [it is] for America and the West to ignore Article 6 [regarding nuclear-arms reduction] and Article 4 [Iran’s inalienable nuclear rights]. In this case, there is no reason for Iran to be a member of the NPT, and parliament can review this matter.” Borujerdi added that “we cannot be indifferent to the oppression the Iranian nation is facing; of course, this is a strategic decision that the Supreme National Security Council must adopt, but parliament will use its abilities to defend the rights of the nation.” Continue reading

Chief of Armed Forces Defends ‘Engineer Elections’ Statements

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The Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces defended yesterday controversial comments made about the elections by the Supreme Leader’s representative to Sepah, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Hojat Al-Islam Ai Saeedi, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative to Sepah, said in January that it was the responsibility of Sepah to “rationally and logically engineer the elections.” Many analysts took these statements to mean that Sepah will directly interfere in Iran’s June presidential elections. Sepah had been accused by the Iranian opposition of playing a part in vote rigging in the 2009 elections that saw the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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Khamenei Advisor: Syria ‘Golden Link in the Chain of Resistance’

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At an “Islamic Awakening” conference in Mashhad Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s top foreign-policy adviser said that “today, the arrogant powers have targeted Syria, which in reality is the golden link in the chain of resistance.” Iran believes itself to be in an “Axis of Resistance” with Syria and Hezbollah against Israeli and American hegemony in the region. They also refer to the “Arab Spring” uprisings as “Islamic Awakenings.”

Ali Akbar Velayati, who is also the secretary-general of the World Assembly of the Islamic Awakening, added that the “[arrogant powers] had the goal from the beginning, under the name of “Arab Spring” to overthrow the [Syrian] government, but with the support of Israel and Saudi Arabia, in actuality something else took place.”

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Ahmadinejad Ally Accused of Early Presidential Campaigning

Two conservative websites have accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ally Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei of having already begun his presidential campaign advertising. Mashaei is currently the president’s chief of staff, and the president has spent a considerable part of his second term promoting Mashaei as his successor.

Entekhab website published a photo of well known Iranian marathon runner Hossein Fazeli with a picture of Mashei pinned to the front of his jersey in a contest in Europe. The article wrote that Fazeli and “Mashei were both born in the same city” and that Fazeli is a “supporter of Mashei in Europe.”

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