Monday, June 29, 2009

Iran Early Bird

HerFull Report
Protest Update
1. Iran has detained eight local staff at the British embassy in Tehran on accusations of having a role in post-election riots - The embassy has not yet confirmed the report from the semi-official Fars news agency, which did not name its source. Relations between the countries are strained after Tehran accused the UK of inflaming unrest, which London denies. Some 17 people are thought to have died in street protests after the disputed 12 June presidential poll. Tehran has expelled two British diplomats in the past week, and the UK has responded with a similar measure. There is no independent confirmation of the latest arrests. "Eight local employees at the British embassy who had a considerable role in recent unrest were taken into custody," Fars said, without giving a source. The UK Foreign Office said in London: "We have in the last few days received a number of, sometimes confused, reports that British nationals or others with British connections have been detained. We continue to raise them with the Iranian authorities." Karroubi proposes rally competition – Speaking over the weekend to editors at the Etemad-e Melli daily, defeated presidential candidate Karroubi said he had a proposal for Ahmadinejad – for each of the two political camps to stage a rally, at the same time, in different areas of the capital and with the approval of the Interior Ministry. The president-elect, Karoubie said, would then see who draws the largest show of support, the Principlists or the Reformists.
3. Interior Ministry sets conditions for demonstration – The Iranian Interior Ministry has announced that requests regarding the staging of demonstrations or rallies must be submitted at least a week in advance, in person, and with other guarantees too. The head of the Reformist Front’s headquarters said that the organization had already submitted a request to hold a quiet demonstration in Zazadi Square at which Mousavi would speak.
4. Candle light vigil at Tehran University - video
5. Arrests of students continue
a. The Amir Kabir University’s student website is reporting that security forces have arrested a large number of the institute’s students in recent days, with many of them also receiving telephone threats. Three Students Union members were detained on their return to their dorms, and although they have been allowed brief contact with their families, they were not allowed to say where they are being held.
b. Pro-Karroubi student activists were reportedly arrested in Hormozgan, Hamedan and Karaj.
c. Mojtaba Mohammadian, a prominent student activist from Tehran, was arrested on Saturday and transferred to an unknown location. Mohammadian used to be a student at Babol Open University before he was suspended from his studies some three years due to his political activity.
6. An unconfirmed report claims that the regime has created a camp south of Tehran to house hundreds of detainees of the recent unrests in Tehran.
7. Prisoners’ rights group criticizes arrests – According to the Iranian Prisoners’ Rights Association, the recent widespread arrests in the country have been carried out without any regard for the law and human rights. The association pledged its readiness to deal with all matters pertaining to detainees and missing individuals and called on the families to come forward with their cases.
8. IRGC presents: identify the protester - Revolutionary Guards’ website posts photos of alleged protest leaders and asks the public for assistance to identify the individuals.
9. Kurdish youth dies of injuries – A Kurdish-minority youth, Arash Salavati, who had been in a coma for several days after he was injured in the recent unrest in Tehran, died of his injuries over the weekend.
10. Body of missing student found – The body of Kyanoush Asa, a Kermanshah University student who disappeared a week ago, has been located at the Forensic Medicine Institute, where officials are refusing to hand over the corpse to the family.
11. Rumors of death of Saeid Hajarian rejected – The wife of senior Reformist theoretician, Saeid Hajarian, has denied recent rumors of his death in detention. She noted, however, that his physical condition was cause for much concern. Hajarian was left handicapped following an attempt on his life in the past.
12. Etemad-e Melli editor-in-chief summoned to court – Etemad-e Melli editor-in-chief Mohammad Javad Haq has been summoned to the court for state employees and the press to provide testimony regarding open cases against the newspaper.
13. Security forces seizing satellite dishes – Tehran residents are reporting that security forces have again started seizing satellite dishes from the roofs of buildings in the capital’s neighborhoods. According to the reports, the forces are knocking on people’s doors and ordering them to immediately take down the dishes. Many Iranian citizens use satellite dishes to pick up television broadcasts from abroad.
14. Basij militiamen shooting from rooftops – Aljazeera video

The Political Scene
15. Mir Hossein Mousavi formally rejected the government’s offer for a partial recount - Mir Hossein Mousavi formally rejected the government’s offer for a partial recount of the ballots cast in the 12 June disputed presidential election. Mousavi again demanded a full re-run of the election. "Limiting the probe into complaints about electoral irregularities to recounting 10 percent of the ballot boxes cannot attract people's trust and convince public opinion about the results," Mousavi said on his campaign website "I insist again on cancelling the election results as the most suitable way out of the problem," Mousavi said. In a letter to the Guardian Council, Mir Hossein Mousavi, insisted that the entire election process was fraught with numerous violations of important articles of Iran’s election laws and, therefore, there was no way to rectify the situation other than annulment of the election and holding a new one.
16. Election-review committee set up – Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, spokesman for the Council of Guardians, has announced the establishment of a special committee that will review the election process. He said that Mousavi and Karroubi would name their representatives on the committee within the next 24 hours. The spokesman added that 10 percent of the polling boxes would be recounted in the presence of representatives of the candidates. Karroubi, meanwhile, has said that he would agree to name a representative to the committee on condition that two of the panel members are replaced and that all complaints and problems are dealt with. The two men Karroubi wants replaced were appointed by the Council of Guardians and he claims that they are not objective.
17. Larijani threatened with a vote of no confidence - Ahmadinejad supporters have threatened Larijani with a vote of no confidence because of Larijani’s allegedly indirect support to Mousavi.
18. Expediency Council Urges Guardian Council and losing candidates to comply with law - The Expediency Council has urged the Guardian Council as an election monitoring body
to resolve the disputes, disagreement, and ambiguities is compliance with the law. In the light of the Supreme Leaders agreement to extend the deadline for reviewing the presidential candidates complaints, the GC is expected to deal with all complaints and address the remaining issues. All presidential candidates are asked to fully cooperate with the Guardian Council and take this opportunity to submit their documents and evidence for comprehensive and thorough examination. In this regard Hashemi-Rafanjani will issue a statement in support of the leader.

19. Senior sources of emulation meet secretly – Senior ayatollahs and sources of emulation in Iran, including Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani and Ayatollah Shabiri Zanjani, have met secretly on numerous occasions in recent days in an effort to find a solution to the post-election problems in the country.
20. Ayatollah Ardebili: The recent events have weakened the regime – In a meeting with members of the Council of Guardians, senior source of emulation Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili said that the recent events in the country in the wake of the elections have been very distressing and have weakened the regime. Ardebili spoke of the need to allow the people to have their say and to solve all problems.
21. Grand Ayatollah Montazeri urges leadership to refrain from violence, equates security forces to “the mercenaries of the shah” – Senior source of emulation Grand Ayatollah Montazeri has issued a statement in which he harshly criticizes the Iranian leadership and the violence being used against demonstrators. Montazeri also calls on the leadership to avoid undermining the trust of the public. Montazeri: “Just 30 years after the victory of the revolution, and with the scenes from the fall of the previous regime still in the memory of the public, Tehran and some of the big cities have become a large military base. This mistaken policy pits the military and security personnel against the people, and the plain-clothed individuals are reminiscent of the mercenaries of the shah.”
22. Grand Ayatollah Makram Shirazi calls to resolve Iran's presidential election dispute through "national conciliation" - Grand Ayatollah Naser Makram Shiraziissued a statement recalling the "Extremely bitter events have occurred in the days following the magnificent 10th (presidential) election, and certain adventurists took advantage of the disputes between the honorable candidates…recent events have caused deep regret and sorrow in all Iranians loyal to the Islamic establishment and the revolution,... gladdened the enemy…Under these circumstances, where both our friends and enemies are observing the situation in our country, it is incumbent upon us to fully maintain calm and not to allow adventurists to disturb public order and destroy public and private property, and, as the great Leader of the Islamic Revolution has emphasized, the problems must be solved through legal means…Definitively, something must be done to ensure that there are no embers burning under the ashes, and (to ensure) that hostilities, antagonism and rivalries are transformed into amity and cooperation among all parties." Naser Makarem Shirazi called on rival parties to show self-restraint, to resolve the problems rationally and to bear in mind the future of the countryand to be prepared for "a national reconciliation".
23. Khomeini institute denies report about grandson’s opposition leanings – A Russian news agency reported Friday that the grandson of Imam Khomeini, Hassan Khomeini, has joined the ranks of the Iranian opposition and has invited Reformist activists to assemble at the grave of his grandfather. The item was not carried by the Iranian media, but the institute responsible for publishing Imam Khomeini’s writings decided nevertheless to comment on the report and reject it.
24. Harsh message delivered at Friday prayers by Hojjat ol-Eslam Seyyed Ahmad Khatami, member of the Assembly of Experts, in Tehran - domestic message (for attacks on foreign governments see the ‘Diplomatic Scene’):
a. The leader can fight and destroy whoever acts against the Islamic system; Calls on the officials of the Judicial Branch to deal severely and ruthlessly with the leaders of the agitations, whose fodder comes from America and Israel - “Unauthorized demonstrations are both against the law and against the Islamic law. However, agitations, destructive acts, setting fire to mosques and buses, destroying people's property, creating insecurity and terror, and harassing people can be described in two ways from the viewpoint of our jurisprudence…Whoever acts against the Islamic system, the imam, the leader of the Islamic community, can fight and destroy whoever acts against the Islamic system…Anyone who takes up arms, be it guns or knives, is a muharib (one who wages war against God - TG)…Islam has said that a muharib should receive the severest of punishments. Accordingly, I call on the officials of the Judicial Branch to deal severely and ruthlessly with the leaders of the agitations, whose fodder comes from America and Israel, so that everyone learns a lesson from it”.
b. Gratitude to all police and security forces, especially the members of the Basij force – “The members of the Basij force have been working hard during the wartime and now. They have sacrificed a lot”.
c. Election turnout showed the power and grandeur of the system – “It was a symbol of our religious democracy, which materialized although the Global Arrogance, with its pre-planned agendas, made the sweet taste of victory bitter for our people with their inappropriate behavior the story didn't start after the election, they had planned it well before”.
d. The winning candidate should dedicate his soul to loving everyone, losers should close ranks - both those who voted for him and those who didn't and the candidates who did not manage to win the majority of votes should be patient and should act logically. Take a look at the enemies being so happy with this situation. Friends of the Islamic Revolution, not only inside Iran but also everywhere in the world, are being hurt.”
e. Iran is the bearer of religious democracy – “Iran showed that it is the flag bearer of religious democracy. Holding more than 30 elections in 30 years is the best example of religious democracy…they have the legal right to protest, but say that the right channel should be chosen (to express the objection). The Guardian Council showed that it accepts complaints openly and even extended the complaint period by five days to remove any ambiguity”.
f. Rule of law - “We must accept that a country without the rule of law is a jungle. If we want our country to be organized, the only way is to abide by the law. Everyone should submit to law. The people who voted for the constitution expect the law to be enforced”.
g. Act in accordance with the law and logic – “Bearing in mind the fourth point about the rule of law, the annulment of the elections and throwing the very essence of elections into question, in the view of the leader, is considered bullying and the nation will not submit to bullying. If you have problems with a few boxes, you should express your objection, and then if the elections are annulled as a result, then, so be it…Some of these esteemed candidates had more than 40,000 representatives at every branch, something that is unprecedented in the Islamic Republic, and they still talk about vote rigging…They should raise issues in accordance with the law, act in accordance with the law and logic, and then whatever happens, happens”.

The Diplomatic Scene
25. Ahmadinejad: From now on we will change our stance in our talks with the west ; Iran has turned into a nuclear state with aerospace technology; Obama should not to fall to the same trap as the Europeans and should not follow in President Bush’s footsteps.
a. “International relations need to change and will change, and the election is the start of this process. The enemies thought they could destroy the power of the Iranian nation with their negative propaganda, but today we will take a new position when we talk to them… "These (anti-Iranian) stances are the result of their fear from the epic presence of the Iranian people in the arena and from disclosure of their false claims about democracy…Iranian nation will hold talks with the Westerners with absolute honor, and of course based on principles, logic, and justice …” Pointing out the recent stances of President Obama: "We do not expect anything from the British and the European countries' governments, which are not honorable and their history is known to the world. But why has Mr Obama been caught up in this trap, though he carries the slogan of change. And he is following the same path as Bush, who suffered the …I advise you to stop this kind of behavior”
b. Despite the imposition of the heaviest sanctions, including blocking the activities of banks and military threats against Iran, Iran has turned into a nuclear state with aerospace technology and it has made progress in the nanotechnology arena, industries and developmental projects much more than before;
c. Freedom is being practiced in Iran. “What is taking place in the European countries, and what is this unpopular democracy which is governing America and Europe? Do you know that people in America and Europe have no right to choose, and are restricted to choose from two or three parties. They do not have a big role in political affairs or in deciding their own destiny”
26. Ahmadinejad: west will be treated more powerfully during second term - Ahmadinejad addressing a judiciary forum referred to the role of certain western countries in the recent post-election unrests in Iran, and said, "They imagined they could impair the spirit of the Iranian nation but they were mistaken again because they have not understood the Iranian nation…If they have conceived that the (Iranian) government would be affected by them, they should know that we will treat them more powerfully in this (presidential second) term.
27. Iran urges UN Secretary General to avoid interference in its domestic affairs; Iran's first vice president denied visa to the UN - Iran's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaee criticized in a letter UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remarks on Iran's presidential election It is regretful that the UN Secretary General, in breach of the duties entrusted to him and also in violation of the known international principles, has taken a hasty stance on the Islamic Republic of Iran's recent magnificent election…This stance is considered as interference in the Islamic Republic of Iran's internal affairs…Over the past few days, some western officials have raised improper claims on the recent election in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which are considered as an meddling in our country's internal affairs…The UN Chief has jeopardized his credit before the world's independent nations by following the said (western) officials”. Khazaee also asked the UN Secretary General to maintain his independence and position as the UN Chief and avoid adopting stances considered as interference in the internal affairs of the UN member states. Fars News Agency, June 26). U.N. envoy also accused the United States of denying Parviz Davoudi Iran's first vice president and members of his delegation visas to attend a three-day U.N. conference on the global financial crisis."I am indeed delivering this speech on behalf of Dr. Parviz Davoudi, first vice president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who along with members of the Iranian delegation was not able to participate in the conference”.
28. Iran bans Mousavi's aide from visiting UK - Iran barred Abolfazl Fateh, head of the Mousavi information committee from leaving the country until he elaborates on aspects pertinent to the recent post-election unrest. Fateh who seeks to visit England, "has been banned (from leaving Iran) because of (his role in) recent developments and his efforts to arrange for the illegal gathering of Mousavi supporters". Fateh - who is studying in the UK - will remain in Iran until he can "clarify certain issues". Fateh, who is a former managing director of the ISNA news agency, has helped the defeated Reformist candidate during his election campaign.

29. Iran blames France for 'encouraging unrest' and call on Paris to ‘mind its own business’ - Iran has criticized the French government, saying it has interfered in the country's internal affairs by "encouraging unrest" after the 12 June presidential elections. According to a statement issued by the Iranian embassy "Iran's ambassador to Paris has advised French officials to dedicate their time and efforts to managing their country's economic and political problems instead of interfering in matters that do not concern them. The statement followed a Tuesday (23 June) meeting in Paris between Iranian envoy and the director for North Africa and the Middle East at the French Foreign Office, Patrice Paoli. (Press TV June 25).

30. Justice Minister: Iran is holding documents proving foreign Interference in recent unrest - Iranian minister of justice said Iran is in possession of adequate documents to prove foreign interference in post-election events in Tehran, the on Saturday. Fars News Agency, June 27)

31. Friday Prayers delivered by Hojjat ol-Eslam Seyyed Ahmad Khatami, member of the Assembly of Experts, in Tehran – Message to foreign governments (for full version please contact - TG) :
a. Attack against the UN and Western governments:
i. UN – “You (the UN Secretary General) are a miserable fellow. In Gaza, 400 children were killed and you were not worried then? More than 100 innocent women died in Gaza and you did not say a word... I am repeating what is already said. This is not the United Nations; it is the United Arrogant Nations”
ii. USA – “How dare you to talk about human rights. You have constantly violated human rights. The Guantanamo Prison…Abu-Ghurayb …Americans burned the Davidian sect followers alive. Now you are defending human rights?
iii. UK – “the level of torture in their prisons is known to the world. Our people have not forgotten more than 57 years of British crimes. They were the one who set up the dark regime of Pahlavi. The British were so malicious in the recent developments. They deserve to receive our chants of "Down with Britain. ‘Down with Britain’ is going to be added to ‘down with the USA’”. (Crowd chanting ‘down with Britain and down with the USA’).
iv. France – “It is fresh in our memories when Saddam Husayn's forces were bombarding Iran with their French Super Etendard fighter jets. Now you are talking about human rights”.
v. Germany - “Some of our soldiers are still suffering from the effects of these chemical weapons. Now you are talking about human rights?”
b. The Iranian nation will respond to all those arrogant powers - Rest assured that the Iranian nation will respond to all those arrogant powers in due course. The way some European countries have dealt with the recent developments has been childish. They are not politically mature yet. My last words are: The world needs to know that our Islamic Revolution is a sanctified tree.
32. Attack against foreign media - “They have been assisting the enemy. I do not know how they are free to roam around inside the country.. How is it that they are constantly inside the country adding fuel to the fire, using their satellite mobiles and urging people to come? And they lie, too. Take a look at the story of the lady (Neda Aka Sultan – TG) who was killed, for whom Mr. Obama sheds crocodile tears, and who the West has made a big story about. Any logical individual who watches the film realizes that the work has been done by rioters themselves. If they had not done so, how is it that they have even filmed the location where the lady had parked her car? It is clear that the scene was pre-staged. The rioters wanted to create such an incident.
33. Foreign Ministry disappointed with G8 statement on elections – Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hassan Qashqavi has commented on the G8 statement concerning recent events in Iran, noting: “Iran is very disappointed with the interventionist position of the G8 foreign ministers on the subject of the elections in Iran. If the European Parliament is indeed concerned about human rights violations, it should have pressured the Zionist regime over the barbaric massacre of the citizens of Gaza.”
34. Iranian ambassador in Mexico: The CIA was involved in the murder of Neda Sultan – According to Iranian Ambassador to Mexico Mohammad Hassan Qadiri, the CIA may have been involved in the killing of Neda Soltan and the unrest in Tehran. Meanwhile, Iranian authorities continue to investigate the incident, with officials claiming that suspicious elements among the demonstrators used a smuggled weapon to kill the young woman.
35. Iran Summons Swedish Ambassador Over Attack On Embassy Iran summoned the Swedish ambassador, Magnus Werndstedt, to the Foreign Ministry to protest an attack on the embassy in Stockholm (Video) that led to the injury of one of its staff. Between 150 and 200 people had been holding a demonstration outside the embassy in protest at post-election incidents in Iran (Video). Protester chanted “Death to the Dictator” and “Death to the Islamic Republic” and were evacuated by local police forces.
36. “Keyhan” Editorial: Nasrallah is happy not to have obtained power because it would have prevented him from his 'real work' which is leading the resistance - “Keyhan” Editorial by Sa'dollah Zare'i: "A framework for analyzing today's Lebanon". Author examines the Lebanese election and the division of votes in the Lebanese Parliament. He claims that the election there is based on religious shares and not on one vote for every citizen. He also concludes that Seyyid Hasan Nasrallah is happy not to have obtained power because it would deter him from his 'real work' which is leading the resistance (“Keyhan”, June 25)

Security Affairs
37. Pilot Killed in Iran Air Exercise The head of the foundation for martyrs' and veterans' affairs of the province said that the pilot of a F5 jet, Lt-Col Qadir Asadi, was killed in a accident during the air exercise codenamed Milad-e-Nur-e-Velayat in Chabahar
38. Iranian “spy nests” in Bahrain and elsewhere – Several Iraqi websites are reporting that Iran’s intelligence and security organization recently paid a large sum of money to Ayatollah Aisa Qasem, a senior source of emulation in Bahrain, so that he can open a pro-Iranian religious college in Bahrain. The sites claim that similar colleges will also be opened soon in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and elsewhere and will serve as espionage centers for the Iranian intelligence service.
39. Yemen permits Iranian warships to dock at Yemen's port to fight piracy. Iranian foreign minister said "Yemen has agreed to permit Iranian warships to dock at Yemen's port (of Aden) to provide security to Iranian commercial ships in the region," The agreement came a month after Iran announced that six Iranian vessels were joining the international efforts against piracy off the coast of Somalia. Navy Real-Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said "Six warships and support vessels have been dispatched to the Gulf of Aden region and international waters”.

Economic Affairs
40. Saderat Bank announces plan to counter sanctions – Saderat Bank CEO Hamid Borhani has announced a plan to shake off the sanctions imposed on the bank’s activities abroad by the European Union. The CEO said that in light of the fact that 51 percent of the bank’s stock is in private hands, steps could be taken to have the sanctions lifted. He added that the bank had already taken steps to convince the EU to lift the sanctions.
41. Danish firm to help set up two methanol-production plants – Private Iranian petrochemical companies Marjan and Kimya Pars have signed a deal with Danish chemicals firm Haldor Topsoe, which will help set up two methanol-production plants in Iran.
42. AP report: Iran is an important trade partner for Europe – According to an AP report, Iran is an important trade partner for Europe and thus, the EU will think twice before imposing or widening sanctions on Tehran. The report says that in light of the extensive and ongoing trade relations between Iran and Europe, and despite European criticism of recent events in Iran, when it comes to economic and trade interests, the EU will very carefully consider any proposal to impose additional sanctions.
43. Indian companies express interest in gas-field investment – Indian company ONGC and two of its partners have expressed interest in investing $5 billion in one of Iran’s gas fields.
44. Protests causing potato shortage – The Agricultural Organization in the Tehran Province has commented on the current potato shortage in the capital’s market stalls, noting that the problem will soon be resolved. The organization said that the shortage stemmed primarily from transportation difficulties caused by the recent unrest in the capital.
45. SAIPA Sees Record High Of $15M In Quarterly Exports - Iranian carmaker SAIPA has exported over $15 million of products in the first 3 months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21 - June 21), up 105% in comparison to the same period last year.
46. Ahmadinejad Inaugurates Petrochemical Plant In Assalouyeh - Ahmadinejad inaugurated Mehr Petrochemical Plant in the southern city of Assalouyeh, in Bushehr province. Japan and Thailand have cooperated in the completion of the project, while Iranian specialists and engineers have contributed a 40-percent role in the implementation of the project. Ahmadinejad was accompanied by Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari, Mehr petrochemical complex launched operation with 100 percent capacity and has produced more than 6,000 tons of various kinds of products since its opening on May 22. Some 2,500 tons of its products were exported over the past month.

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