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Window of Anguish (Panjareh Eltehab) » 2008 » April

Archive for April, 2008

Conservatists Win Again

Monday, April 28th, 2008
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Iran’s Majlis Elections Finalized

With the run off elections held last Friday, the dossier of the run off elections for the ‎eight Majlis (Iran’s Parliament) is closed. According to the final results, Elias Naderan, ‎Laleh Eftekhari, Mehdi Kutchakzadeh, ALireza Zakani, Ali Asghar Zarei, Tabibeh ‎Safayi, Parviz Sarvari, Hamid Rasayi, Hossein Fadayi Ashtiani, Zohreh Elahian were ‎among the Principalists (as the ideologues supporting the President are called) in Tehran ‎who found their way to the legislative body. Alireza Mahjoob was the only reformist ‎candidate along with the 22 others from the first round of elections who won a seat in the ‎Majlis. According to Aftab news website of the 25 million potential voters in these ‎elections, less than 15 percent actually cast their ballots.‎

An analysis published on Raja news site which is close to President Ahmadinejad ‎claimed the results to be not just a victory of the conservatists over the reformers, but also ‎a victory of pro-government conservatists over critical conservatists who had supported ‎Rezayi, Qalibaf and Larijani in the first round of elections on March 14, 2008.‎

Yesterday Mostafa Pourmohammadi who lost his cabinet post because of the first round ‎of Majlis elections on March 14, 2008, spoke to reporters about his views on the ‎elections. “287 Majlis seats have been finalized of which about 69 percent belong to ‎those that known as the Principalists (conservatist ideologues), 16.38 percent belong to ‎the reformists and the remaining 14.29 percent are independents,” he said. ‎

While a number of sites wrote about the “absolute defeat” for the reformists, Seyed ‎Safdar Hosseini, the head of the provincial committee of the reformist’s coalition spoke ‎of a “categorical victory” of the reformists in the run off elections. Without providing any ‎statistics for Tehran, he said, “We succeeded in winning categorically in many provinces ‎and towns and sending Messer Ansari from Zanjan, Torabifrom Shahr Kord, Alipour ‎from Lordegan, Kaabi from Abadan, Nasiripour from Sarab and Shooshtari from ‎Ghoochan, among others, to the eight Majlis and the final results for these will be ‎announced subsequently. Of the remaining 28 seats for the reformers during the run off ‎elections of April 25, 2008, 15 candidates have so far won seats in the provinces and will ‎thus go to the Majlis.”‎

In a related news, Masood Soltanifar, an officer in the Etemad Melli (National Trust) ‎party elections campaign told ISNA student news agency, “Two thirds of the candidates ‎put forward by Etemad Melli which account for 16 individuals from amongst 24, have ‎found their way to the Majlis. They are from the election districts of Chaloos and ‎Nowshahr, Yazd, Zanjan, Lordegan, Bandar Torkaman and Kordkui, Kermanshah, ‎Zanjan, Sarab, Mianeh, Ghoochan, Abadeh, Gonbad Kawoos, Shiraz, Sanandaj, Tabriz ‎and Shahre Kord in which they won majority votes.”‎

The first round of elections was held on March 14 and was followed by serious ‎accusations and complaints of “extensive rigging” announced by reform candidates. Two ‎senior clerics in the Islamic Republic (khatami and karubi)even filed official complaints ‎to the head of the Guardians Council that oversees and supervises all national elections ‎and requested recounts. While their request was ignored, Mehdi Karubi requested that the ‎Ministry of the Interior take greater care should be taken in the counting of votes for the ‎run off elections that were held on April 25th, 2008. Mr. Pourmohammadi from the ‎ministry had responded that “Mr. Karubi can sleep tight” as he was certain the elections ‎would be held with full integrity. Still Aftab news website reported that during the ballot ‎counting the Reformers’ Elections Campaign had called the results “wary”.‎

Source : Roozonline

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A More Intense Cultural Revolution

Sunday, April 20th, 2008
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Universities under Fire by Ay Mesbah Yazdi

As the government’s pressure on university students takes new forms every day, ‎ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi who is considered by some to be the spiritual force behind the ‎current administration of president Ahmadinejad, in his most recent remarks said students ‎‎“are learning nothing other than how to bash the regime and at times Islam.”‎
In its report on the meeting between the central council of Imam Khomeini Aid ‎Committee (Komiteh Emdad Imam Khomeini) and ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, the news ‎unit of Qom’s Theological Center quotes the head of the director of Imam Khomeini ‎Educational and Research center Mesbah Yazdi, “The future generation is under threat ‎because neither traditional and classical ethics nor Islamic values dominate their training. ‎They are being trained by Western culture, television and university classes in which they ‎are learning nothing other how to bash the regime and at times Islam.”‎
To correct the situation, the ayatollah recommends, “Authorities must acquire the ‎necessary skills and learn of better methods, … and analyze the cultural and international ‎position of the country scientifically (rationally).
We must strengthen this new generation ‎and have a role in their religious education. Islamic and modern teaching methods must ‎be used to train the young generation because if these two elements are not used there ‎would be conflict.”‎

In its report on Yazdi’s comments, Advar News website which is run by a group of ‎dissident students writes, “Mesbah’s comments come at a time when the current ninth ‎administration launched intense efforts to suppress universities from day one. Forced ‎retirement of university teachers, their firings, and efforts to keep students critical of ‎university policies outside the institution or imprisoning them are the examples of the ‎administration’s policies regarding universities and students.”‎

According to this news site, “the criticism over teaching content and what is said in the ‎classrooms is an indication of the displeasure of the spiritual leader of the current ‎administration, an issue that has been mentioned repeatedly by the press under the guise ‎of the second Cultural Revolution.”‎

Source : Roozonline

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If Israel Attacks, It Will be Destroyed ‎

Thursday, April 17th, 2008
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Iran’s Deputy Army Chief

On the eve of the Islamic Republic’s Army Day, Iran’s deputy army chief said that an ‎Israeli assault on Iran would bring about the annihilation of Israel. Speaking to a group ‎of reporters, General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani boasted the army’s high morale and ‎determination to carry out its missions in accordance with the policies of Ahmadinejad. ‎
General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani spent a majority of his speech commenting on Israel’s ‎recent military maneuver. In this respect, Ashtiani said, “If Israel wants to carry out any ‎kind of move against the Islamic Republic of Iran, we will annihilate it from the face of ‎the planet.” ‎
According to the deputy chief of Iran’s army, “Israel lacks strategic boundaries and is ‎extremely vulnerable. It demonstrated that vulnerability in its 33-day war against ‎Lebanon.” ‎
Implicitly referring to the long range of newly-developed missiles in Iran, Ashtiani said, ‎‎“Even if other countries dare to attack us, the Israelis definitely know their place, which ‎is in our reach, and will be most harmed by an attack. The involvement of the Zionist ‎regime in an expedition will create an unbalanced regional atmosphere.” ‎
In its meeting with reporters, Ashtiani also revealed details about Iran’s military ‎capabilities, including the use of new weapons: “in our ground force units, given our ‎presence in border areas, we have used new, innovative weapons and implemented ‎diverse tactics in order to transition from the conduct of orderly warfare into asymmetric ‎warfare. In addition, our military and defensive capabilities are such that we are certain ‎no country will allow itself to engage us on the ground.” ‎
Deputy chief of the Iranian army noted, “In the air force, we have emphasized the ‎development, innovation and preparation of new airplanes, as well as the use of ‎innovative tactics, such as increasing the culture of martyrdom among air force pilots.” ‎Ashtiani added, “In air force, we are completely prepared and alert to defend the nation’s ‎air space. In the navy, our submarines are completely superior.” ‎
Deputy chief of the Iranian army said, “Among other important steps taken by the Iranian ‎army are the design and production of submarines in different tonnages, which is very ‎important for future military equations; design and production of various radar and ‎electronic systems; production of various kinds of unmanned planes; and putting especial ‎emphasis on the production of cheaper, lighter and smarter weapons.” ‎

Source : Roozonline

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Mehr: Investigations Are Over

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
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Ahmadinejad Takes Charge of Shiraz Explosion Case

Though official and state-owned news agencies in Iran insist that Saturday night’s explosion in ‎shiraz was “not a terrorist attack,” an “informed official” said that a bomb was responsible for the ‎explosion and that the president was unhappy that his the mosque’s officials (which are affiliated ‎with him) are blamed for the explosion. ‎

Yesterday, an informed official working at the Shiraz governor’s office told the reporter of “news ‎website Iran” that “all experts have announced that the explosion was caused by a bomb and the ‎party responsible for this attack has been identified.” This informed official added, “high ‎government officials in Shiraz are about to be removed from their posts” because “they had ‎blamed the mosque’s officials for the explosion without consulting the president.” ‎

In a different opinion about the source of the explosion, deputy security chief at the Ministry of ‎Interior noted, “So far no evidence has been found regarding a planned detonation or preplanned ‎attack in the Shiraz explosion.” Yesterday, Fars news agency quoted an informed official that ‎‎”the incident was caused by the presence of a weapons cache at the location left over from the ‎Holy War exhibit,” and therefore, it is pointless to speak of a terrorist attack. Similarly, the ‎deputy of operations of the police told Fars, “Expert examinations of the scene of the event ‎refutes the possibility of a premeditated or bombing attack.” ‎

Mehr news agency also reported that investigations were completed: “The latest expert ‎examinations indicate that the Shiraz explosion was due to the presence of display military ‎material and any kind of terrorist attack originating inside or outside Iran is out of the question.”

These opinions are expressed while officials from the Hosseiniyeh (religious center) insist that ‎the dead and wounded were victims of a terrorist attack. In an interview conducted at 11 p.m. ‎Saturday night, Anjavinejad, head of the mosque where the incident took place, insisted that the ‎attacked was a “terrorist” one and referred to the dead in the incident as “martyrs.” ‎

On the other hand, whereas the Fars news agency refutes any possibility of a Wahhabi ‎involvement in the explosion, the website Farda referred to the Saudi Arabia-based Internet news ‎source Ilaf and reported, “A Wahhabi group was responsible for the explosion in Shiraz.” ‎Shahab News has also reported that “Wahhabi’s” were involved in the explosion in Shiraz. ‎

Source : Roozonline

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Ahmadinejad Entering the Forbidden Zone?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008
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Khamenei Opposed to Replacing Interior Minister

‎Several conservative websites have reported that Ayatollah Khamenei does not favor ‎Ahmadinejad’s decision to replace the Interior Minister. ‎
In this connection the website “Fararoo” announced yesterday, “The supreme leader has ‎not yet approved of the president’s decision to remove the Interior Minister.” The ‎website, while noting that the appointment and removal of ministers of foreign relations, ‎intelligence, interior, and culture and Islamic guidance have always been impossible ‎‎“without the supreme leader’s consent,” reminded its readers that, if the supreme leader ‎continues to oppose the removal, “the President has no option but to reverse his ‎decision.”‎
In this connection, the website Asr-e Iran also speculated that Interior Minister ‎Pourmohammadi may remain at his post. Also, Farda news website speculated that “the ‎supreme leader may oppose the decision to remove the interior minister.” ‎
Meanwhile, the hardline Kayhan newspaper, headed by Hossein Shariatmadari, the ‎supreme leader’s direct appointee to the Kayhan Institute, criticized Ahmadinejad’s ‎decision to remove the ministers of finance and interior from their posts, asking the ‎president, “How can a minister who does not know how long his term of service is, and ‎expects to be removed every day, plan to ‘serve the nation?’” ‎
In his editorial, Shariamatdari particularly criticized the decision to remove the Interior ‎Minister as “requiring more thought,” writing, “In the current situation, the removal of ‎the Interior Minister who has recently held hugely successful and historic elections and is ‎preparing to hold the second round of the same elections, requires more thought. Is his ‎removal under the circumstances wise?” ‎
Regarding reasons behind Pourmohammadi’s removal, some sources cited ‎Pourmohammadi’s report to the supreme leader regarding election irregularities as the ‎main reason behind his hurried removal by Ahmadinejad before obtaining the supreme ‎leader’s consent. ‎
In this connection, the website Aftab quoted “an informed source” that “the Interior ‎Minister, following the conclusion of the first round of elections, sent a report regarding ‎observed election irregularities to one of the regime’s top officials [a term often used by ‎Iranian media to refer to the supreme leader]. The president became aware of the sending ‎of such a report a few days later and was extremely furious because of the Interior ‎Minister’s action.” ‎
According to Aftab, “Ahmadinejad was angry that the Interior Minister had not consulted ‎him prior to sending the report, and made the decision to remove him for this error.” ‎

Source : Roozonline

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Two Ministers Removed to Create More Obedient Cabinet

Monday, April 14th, 2008
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Government Spokesperson Was Unaware!


A rumor that was denied by the government spokesperson last week and dismissed as the ‎physiological warfare of the “enemy” came true and two more prominent cabinet ministers, ‎Finance Minister Davoud Danesh-Jafari and Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi were ‎removed from their cabinet posts. ‎

Although it has been reported that the two ex-ministers will be appointed to new government ‎jobs, what makes the news significant is their position. In effect, like Ali Larijani, who remains ‎on the National Security Council as the supreme leader’s representative, and Farhad Rahbar and ‎Mostafa Pourmohammadi, former intelligence officers who worked at the office of the supreme ‎leader during Khatami’s presidency, Danesh-Jafari also serves on the Expediency Council on the ‎direct orders of Iran’s supreme leader. ‎

Political analysts believe that, with the removal of the finance and interior ministers, only two ‎prominent figures remain in the Ahmadinejad’s administration: Minister of Intelligence ‎Mohseni-Ezhei and head of the Central Bank, Tahmasb Mazaheri. The other senior officials in ‎the administration are inexperienced and fully subservient to Ahmadinejad. ‎
Unaware Advisor ‎

Last week, government spokesperson Gholamhossein Elham, who is seen to be close to the ‎president, dismissed reports of the two ministers’ removal as “April Fools’ Day hoaxes” and ‎blamed administration’s enemies for the “rumors”. But with a short piece posted on his weblog, ‎Mahmoud Ahmadinejad referred to cabinet-level changes thus implicitly confirming the rumors. ‎Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad’s senior advisor Samareh Hashemi told reporters curious about the ‎news to wait a few days. ‎

Elham provided reporters with a thorough explanation about why he was unaware of the news: “I ‎was unaware of these changes until Sunday, even though rumors about possible changes were ‎published on some websites on Thursday. But in the long cabinet meeting on Thursday, which ‎lasted from morning till evening, the gentlemen who were the subject of the rumors were present ‎and very active… On Saturday morning I tried to briefly meet with Mr. President, like I usually ‎do before press conferences, but he was attending the meeting at the Expediency Council and we ‎were not able to converse on the phone either. In any case, the changes were not finalized by the ‎time of my press conference.” ‎

The reaction of domestic publications to the news of the most recent cabinet changes was almost ‎identical. Tabnak website spun the most recent changes, implemented with fewer than 17 ‎months left from Ahmadinejad’s term, as a move to “purify” the administration. ‎

Tabnak reported, “Though many described the ninth cabinet as the weakest cabinet in terms of ‎output, they viewed Danesh-Jafari and Pourmohammadi as more experienced; however, what the ‎two shared in common was their affiliation with one of the regime’s centers [office of the ‎supreme leader], where they spent a lot of their time.” ‎

Below is a list of some of the most prominent figures that have resigned or been removed by ‎Ahmadinejad:‎

Ali Larijani, top nuclear negotiator and head of the National Security Council;‎Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh, Minister of Oil;‎Mahmoud Farshidi, Minister of Education;‎Farhad Rahvar, head of the Planning and Management Organization;‎Mohammad Bagher Zolghadr, deputy Minister of Interior in political affairs;‎Rahmani Fazli, deputy head of National Security Council;‎Ali Reza Tahmasebi, Minister of Industry;‎Ebrahim Sheibani, head of Central Bank;‎Mohammad Nazemi Ardakani, Minister of Cooperatives;‎Parviz Kazemi, Minister of Welfare; and ‎Jamal Karimirad, Minister of Justice (who died on the job). ‎

Source : Roozonline

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Window of Anguish
(Panjareh -e- Eltehab)


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