Former Reformist Interior Minister: We will try to free Karroubi, Mousavi and Rahnavard

Share

Former Interior Minister and high-ranking Reformist politician, Abdollah Nouri, in the course of a meeting with members of the Central Council of the Islamic Society of the University of Tehran and Medical Sciences of Tehran, stated that “we will try to free Mrs. [Mehdi] Karroubi, [Mir Hossein] Mousavi and Mrs. [Zahra] Rahnavard and [the other] political prisoners”.

With respect to the prospect of changing the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, Nouri, who is a former member of the Council for the Re-examination of the Constitution said, “the constitution is not a sacred book and was written by the same individuals with the same qualifications, personalities and society and despite germane criticisms it for the prevention of disorder and chaos and the pivot for the movement of all [political] currents in pursuit of comprehensive reform and [who] form a critical front. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic was re-examined at one time and it was also predicted in [the document] that it is reformable. Of course it is not predictable at what time and in what conditions the decision to re-examine the constitution again will be taken. Necessarily, it is deserving of reflection and attention [whether] the civil institutions and defenders of the rights of the nation will have a bigger role and influence or the reverse. It will become clear with time”.

Hossein Shariatmadari, who is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative at the Kayhan institute and editor of Kayhan newspaper, has written a critical op-ed of both the Reformist and the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad government.

In the article Shariatimadari rebuts Reformist politicians’ statements to the effect, that Ahmadinejad’s turbulent relationship with the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guards, not to mention alleged “economic mismanagement”, confirms their early criticisms of Ahmadinejad. Needless to say, Shariatmadari rejects the Reformist’s conclusion i.e. that Ahmadinejad was always trouble, and defends Ahmadinejad’s disputed landslide electoral victory in June 2009. Shariatmadari is also sure to praise Ahmadinejad’s frontal assault on the “private interests” of the Executives of Reconstruction close to former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (though he does not mention Rafsanjani by name) and the Reformist political elite.

Shariatmadari is also keen to praise Ahmadinejad for “throwing the myth of the Holocaust to the wind”.

Both Ayatollah Khamenei and Shariatmadari himself find themselves in a bind, since they confirmed and defended Ahmadinejad after the unparalleled post-election unrest which witnessed up to 3 million people demonstrate through Tehran’s streets in protest of alleged vote rigging. They had not foreseen that their relationship with Ahmadinejad would also come under strain, as the president sought to consolidate and aggrandise his position and that of his close-knit circle of allies, in the political establishment of the Islamic Republic.

Shariatmadari states that a “deviant circle” has appeared in the midst of the Ahmadinejad government, which has strayed from “some Islamic and revolutionary and popular teachings”. He goes on, “if only Mr. Ahmadinejad had kept guard of the vote of the people and the sanctity of the election of the people and according to the enemy, had not broken the pact of friendship. The people voted for Ahmadinejad in 2005 and not to the deviant current. The trust of the people which is a sacred custodianship in his possession, must not fall to the deviant current. Does Mr. Ahmadinejad not see that the closer he gets to the deviant current, by the same amount he distances himself from the people and the authentic line of the revolution?”

President Ahmadinejad’s press advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr, who is currently serving an ongoing sentence in Evin jail, has been replaced as head of the Islamic Republic News Agency. In accordance with an order by Mohammad Hosseini, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Majid Amidi Sharaki, has been appointed to Javanfekr’s position.

Javanfekr who was previously a special correspondent for IRNA, based in the Supreme Leader’s office, returned to Evin jail, after a stint in hospital and during that time was visited by President Ahmadinejad.

This comes after Ahmadinejad was not permitted to visit Evin prison by the Judiciary in October 2012, which led to a fiery exchange between the president and judiciary chief, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani.

Javanfekr’s position as government representative to the supervisory council of Seda va Sima, the Islamic Republic state broadcasting service, was also given to government spokesman, Gholamhossein Elham.

Gholamreza Kateb, the Spokesman for the Majles Budgetary and Planning Commission, quoting the Minister of Oil, Rostam Qassemi, has said that the sale of oil has decreased by 40% and gas revenues have decreased by 45%, compared with the same time last year.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Ali Akbar Javanfekr in hospital before the latter returns to Evin prison via Fars News

Former Ahmadinejad Deputy Calls for Mehdi Hashemi’s Execution

Zohreh Tabib Zadeh, a former Ahmadinejad deputy and chief of the Center for Women’s Affairs and currently an MP and member of the neoconservative Endurance Front for the Islamic Revolution, has protested the release of Mehdi Hashemi, the controversial son of former President Ali Akbar Hasehmi Rafsanjani, and has called for the former’s execution.

Tabib Zadeh told Shabestan, the news agency of the Ministry for Islamic Guidance, that “the judiciary must issue a ruling for Mehdi Hashemi like the one they did for [Abdolmalek] Rigi [the former head of the armed Baluchi group the Jundollah].”

She continued, “the behaviour of the judiciary with Mehdi Hashemi was not just. His crime was similar to that of Rigi, but because Rigi didn’t have a father who was a member of the regime leadership, just as he was arrested, he was executed. But because [Hashemi’s father] is part of the regime leadership, this kind of action doesn’t take place with respect to his crime. … Was Mehdi Hashemi involved in the sedition of 2009 [i.e., the post-2009 unrest which took place after the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] or not? Were six Basiji individuals martyred because of his management of the sedition or not?

Continue reading

Mehr: “Who manages the Facebook pages of the Supreme Leader?”

Mehr News’ magazine has posted this article asking, “Who manages the Facebook pages of the Supreme Leader?”:

“Speculation regarding the Facebook page with the name Khamenei.ir, in particular, after the introduction of this page in the domestic and foreign media has found broader and more complex dimensions.” The most common guess was ‘the Facebook page of Ayatollah Khamenei was initiated by his office.’ Of course, these same sources at the end of their reports mention this point, as this page has not been officially approved, it is still not clear whether someone or the leader’s office in fact initiated the page or not.

Continue reading

Serat News Attacks Ahmadinejad Confidants

Serat News, a hardline outlet often critical of the president and his administration and said to be close to Kayhan, launches an attack against several of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s allies including, First Vice Minister, Mohammadreza Rahimi and Press advisor, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, who has been recently jailed. The main object of derision is their allegedly  “eulogising” of political figures they turned against once they obtained high office in the Ahmadinejad government.

Continue reading

President Ahmadinejad’s Media Ally Jailed

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, President Ahmadinejad’s press advisor, Managing Director of the Islamic Republic News Agency and director of the Iran Media-Cultural Institute has been jailed for 6 months on charges which include “insulting the leader”. Javanfekr’s sentence was issued in November 2011, as a result of an interview he conducted with the Reformist daily Etemaad in which he strongly criticized Ahmadinejad’s Principalist critics, as well as a supplement in Iran Newspaper deemed insulting to the black veil known as the “chador”. His sentence was subsequently upheld upon appeal. Javanfekr has also been banned from any media-related activities for a period of 3 years.

Continue reading

Former “Kahrizak prosecutors” return to the headlines

On the home front

Ali Akbar Heydari Far, the former deputy to the Tehran’s former chief prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, has lodged a complaint against the news site Baztab after being released from jail. Heydari Far’s name was revealed as amongst those responsible for allegations of torture and 3 deaths which occurred in Kahrizak detention centre after Iran’s controversial 2009 election and the unrest which followed. He was suspended as deputy prosecutor of Tehran as a result.

But in May of this year, Heydari Far was arrested after discharging a firearm at a gas station in Isfahan, when other customers protested his jumping line. Heydari Far was arrested on charges of “disrupting public order and security”, but has since been released. According to Baztab, Heydari Far’s complaint concerns his protesting the leak of his release from prison.

Continue reading