GOATMILK: An intellectual playground edited by Wajahat Ali

The Best Blog in the History of the Whole Wide World

Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

Iranian cleric: More opposition should be executed

with one comment

The Associated Press
Friday, January 29, 2010; 7:55 AM

In this Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009, photo, released by the semi-official Iranian Fars News Agency, Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani, walks through the revolutionary court in Tehran, Iran. Iran Thursday, Jan 28, 2010, hanged two men convicted of trying to topple the country's clergy-led regime, and authorities separately announced new death sentences against protesters involved in unrest that broke out following June's disputed presidential elections, the Web site of state television reported. The report identified the two men as Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour and said they were convicted of trying to topple "the Islamic establishment" and for membership of armed opposition groups. (AP Photo/Fars News Agency,Ali Rafiee)
In this Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009, photo, released by the semi-official Iranian Fars News Agency, Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani, walks through the revolutionary court in Tehran, Iran. Iran Thursday, Jan 28, 2010, hanged two men convicted of trying to topple the country’s clergy-led regime, and authorities separately announced new death sentences against protesters involved in unrest that broke out following June’s disputed presidential elections, the Web site of state television reported. The report identified the two men as Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour and said they were convicted of trying to topple “the Islamic establishment” and for membership of armed opposition groups. (AP Photo/Fars News Agency,Ali Rafiee) (Ali Rafiee – AP)

TEHRAN, Iran — A powerful hard-line Iranian cleric on Friday called for the execution of more opposition activists to silence anti-government protests, praising the hanging a day earlier of two men caught up in the leadership’s postelection crackdown.

Speaking in a Friday prayer sermon, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said the wave of street demonstrations sparked by the disputed June presidential election would not have lasted until now if protesters had been executed early on.

“Whatever we suffered was because of our weakness. How many did the judiciary execute on July 9?” he said, referring to one of the particularly large protest days. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wajahat Ali

January 30, 2010 at 1:40 am

Posted in Iran

Tagged with , ,

New protest statement builds in Iran — men in head scarves

with one comment

By Eve Bower, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Anti-government protester Majid Tavakoli recently arrested
  • Iranian news agency then published picture of Tavakoli dressed in a chador
  • Government critics say the picture was doctored and meant to humiliate Tavakoli
  • To show solidarity, Iranian men post pictures of themselves with head scarves on Internet

(CNN) — A new anti-government movement has sprung up among protesters in Iran — and now among their supporters in other countries — with men posting pictures of themselves on the Internet wearing women’s head scarves as a political statement.

The movement began in recent days as an online backlash after the arrest of one anti-government protester, Majid Tavakoli. The day after his arrest, an Iranian news agency published a picture of Tavakoli dressed in a chador, a black head-to-toe garment worn by Iranian women.

The government claimed the man had been caught wearing the garment in an attempt to hide himself and avoid arrest, but opposition bloggers insisted that the photo published by the semi-official Fars news agency had been manipulated. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wajahat Ali

December 15, 2009 at 3:47 am

Ahmadinejad calls for prosecution of Iran’s opposition leaders

leave a comment »

latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fgw-iran-ahmadinejad29-2009aug29,0,2191500.story

The president says post-election unrest was part of a foreign plot carried out by ‘subversives.’ His demand runs counter to supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who gave a conciliatory speech Wednesday.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers a speech during the weekly Friday prayers at Tehran University. (Behrouz Mehri, AFP/Getty Images / August 28, 2009)

By Borzou Daragahi

8:46 AM PDT, August 28, 2009

Reporting from Beirut

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demanded the prosecution of opposition leaders today, raising the nation’s political temperature just a day and a half after supreme leader Ali Khamenei sought to cool tempers in a conciliatory speech.

In a pre-sermon speech at weekly prayers in Tehran, the capital, Ahmadinejad did not explicitly name his rivals Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, but left little doubt he was speaking about them in calling for the punishment of the “masterminds” who allegedly spurred weeks of unrest that followed his widely disputed June 12 reelection.

“The most important task for the judiciary and security bodies is to deal seriously with the leaders and masterminds” of the unrest, he said. “All of those who organized and instigated [the riots] and followed the enemy line have to be seriously confronted. The masterminds of the riots should by no means enjoy any immunity.”

The crowd inside the Tehran University venue chanted, “Execution for the ringleaders!”

Although a crackdown appears to have halted a protest movement that erupted amid allegations of vote-rigging in the election, it has failed to quiet reformist and moderate politicians who continue to defy hard-liners’ threats to have them jailed.


FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this article referred to Mohammad Khatami as the Iranian president. He’s a former president.


“We will not budge regardless of all the pressures aimed at dislodging reformists,” former President Mohammad Khatami said at a meeting of political activists Thursday night. “We can no longer defend our Islamic Republic against rigid-minded, extremist and inhumane groups working under the name of Islam.”

On Wednesday, Khamenei made a conciliatory speech welcoming the opposition back into the political fold. He rejected the assertion made by Ahmadinejad’s supporters that opposition figures were backed by foreigners, and vowed to go after hard-line activists and security personnel who committed acts of violence against protesters, prisoners and students in the recent unrest. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wajahat Ali

August 29, 2009 at 6:59 am

Iran election dispute escalates to new phase

leave a comment »

The Associated Press

This photo released by an official website of the Iranian supreme leader’s office shows Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sitting under a portrait of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Monday, July 20, 2009. Iran’s supreme leader told politicians Monday not to disturb the country’s security in a strong warning to the opposition to back down after one of its top figures called for a referendum on the government. (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI and LEE KEATH (AP) – 7 hours ago

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s election dispute has moved beyond the drama of mass street protests to a new phase: a fight for power within the ruling religious establishment itself.

The conflict escalated as the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, backed by hard-line clerics and the Revolutionary Guard, issued a warning to the opposition in general and powerful cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in particular.

“The elite should be watchful, since they have been faced with a big test. Failing the test will cause their collapse,” Khamenei said Monday in a speech marking a religious holiday. “Anybody who drives the society toward insecurity and disorder is a hated person in the view of the Iranian nation, whoever he is.”

The opposition was emboldened when Rafsanjani stepped into the fray with a Friday prayer sermon that sharply criticized the leadership’s handling of the postelection crisis. He has re-ignited the opposition, emerging as its leading patron.

“You are facing something new: an awakened nation, a nation that has been born again and is here to defend its achievements,” opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi said Monday in comments that appeared pointed directly at Khamenei, in a tone rarely used toward the supreme leader.

Mousavi, whose loss in recent presidential elections triggered mass protests, also derided the claim by Khamenei and hard-line clerics that the protest movement was a tool of foreign enemies. “Who believes that (protesters) would conspire with foreigners and sell the interests of their own country?” he said. “Isn’t this an insult to our nation?”

A heavy security crackdown broke the demonstrations that followed the disputed June 12 presidential election, which had President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad trouncing Mousavi. But the opposition has brought thousands into the streets twice in the past two weeks.

On Sunday, a leading pro-reform figure, former President Mohammad Khatami, called for a referendum on the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad’s government. That could emerge as a concrete demand for the opposition to rally around. Another demand they will likely focus on is the release of the more than 500 protesters and prominent reform politicians still in prison from the crackdown. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wajahat Ali

July 21, 2009 at 5:48 am

Iran’s Ex-President Criticized for Comments About Election

leave a comment »

July 19, 2009
By ROBERT F. WORTH
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/world/middleeast/19iran.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Several prominent Iranian conservative figures and hard-line newspapers offered sharp criticism on Saturday of former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who delivered a speech on Friday that assailed the government’s handling of last month’s presidential election.

Ayatollah Muhammad Yazdi, a conservative member of Iran’s Guardian Council and the former head of the judiciary, lashed out at Mr. Rafsanjani, saying the former president did not have the right to call for the release of arrested protesters. He also said Mr. Rafsanjani had exaggerated the role of democracy in Islamic government and thereby diminished the importance of divine sanction.

“Legitimacy and acceptance are different in Islamic government,” Ayatollah Yazdi told the semi-official Fars news agency. “Votes alone do not create legitimacy.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wajahat Ali

July 19, 2009 at 6:33 am

Israeli navy in Suez Canal prepares for potential attack on Iran

leave a comment »

Israeli warships in Eliat

Sheera Frenkel in Jerusalem

Two Israeli missile class warships have sailed through the Suez Canal ten days after a submarine capable of launching a nuclear missile strike, in preparation for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.The deployment into the Red Sea, confirmed by Israeli officials, was a clear signal that Israel was able to put its strike force within range of Iran at short notice. It came before long-range exercises by the Israeli air force in America later this month and the test of a missile defence shield at a US missile range in the Pacific Ocean.

Israel has strengthened ties with Arab nations who also fear a nuclear-armed Iran. In particular, relations with Egypt have grown increasingly strong this year over the “shared mutual distrust of Iran”, according to one Israeli diplomat. Israeli naval vessels would likely pass through the Suez Canal for an Iranian strike. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wajahat Ali

July 17, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Iran: Few words for China but plenty for Germany

leave a comment »

By REBECCA SANTANA – 13 hours ago

Iranian female worshippers carry a symbolic coffin of Marwa Al-Sherbini, an Egyptian woman who was stabbed repeatedly inside a German courtroom earlier this month, during a rally condemning her slaying, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, July 10, 2009. Al-Sherbini was attacked by a Russian-born German during his trial on charges of insulting her with racial slurs. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

CAIRO (AP) — Iran has reacted with outrage over the stabbing death of an Egyptian woman in a German courthouse, calling it a sign of racism against Muslims, yet has said little about China’s crackdown on Uighur Muslims — a silence some leading Iranian clerics have criticized.

The differing reaction from a country that portrays itself as a defender of Islam worldwide is a sign of how highly Iran values its political and economic ties with China and how Tehran is trying to deflect attention following its own crackdown on protesters after the country’s disputed presidential election.

Iran has been one of the most vocal countries criticizing Germany in the wake of Marwa al-Sherbini’s death. The pregnant 31-year-old Egyptian was stabbed 18 times in a Dresden court July 1 by a man she was scheduled to testify against for allegedly calling her a “terrorist.” When he tried to protect her, her husband was stabbed by the attacker and shot by court security.

Some 1,500 Iranian women gathered in front of the German Embassy in Tehran on Tuesday chanting “Death to the enemy of hijab” — a reference to the hijab, or Islamic headscarf that el-Sherbini wore, Iran’s state news agency reported.

Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi called for German court officials who were present when al-Sherbini was killed to face trial, state-run Press TV reported. Iran’s ambassador to UNESCO complained to the organization’s director over what he called the desecration of Islamic values in European countries.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday called al-Sherbini’s death “absolute proof of the brutality of the German government.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wajahat Ali

July 15, 2009 at 7:57 am

Posted in Iran

Tagged with ,

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 674 other followers