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The Latest from Iran (26 June): Absolute Security?

1745 GMT: More on the Khomeini Challenge. Earlier we noted growing concern within the Iranian establishment over the influence of "radicals" (1235 GMT).

Radio Zamaneh has more on that concern through the remarks of Seyed Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, as he spoke to families of victims of a 1981 bombing.

Khomeini said “extremism” must be abandoned and “extremists” must be "churned away" from the Islamic Republic.

Noting the growing economic problems in Iran, which has "disheartened" its people, Khomeini said Iranians want their officials to get over “personal vendettas” and “childish grudges” and instead try to resolve the country’s problems.

NEW Iran Document & Analysis: US Gov’t Statement on Sanctions, Nukes, & Human Rights
NEW Iran: Summary of the New US Sanctions
NEW Iran Interview: Ahmad Batebi “The Green Movement and Mousavi”
The Real Race for Iran: Human Rights v. Tehran’s Defenders (Shahryar)
The Latest from Iran (25 June): The Important Issues

1640 GMT: Another Execution? Six weeks after five Iranians were hung, concerns have escalated over Zainab Jalalian and Hossein Khezri, who are reportedly at risk of imminent execution.

The death sentence for Jalalian, convicted of mohareb ("war against God") because of her membership in the separatist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), was upheld and sent to the enforcement section today. Zainab's plea to say goodbye to her family was met with, "shut up" by the sentencing judge, and she was condemned to death by hanging. As Zainab was not permitted legal representation,

Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action Alert for Zainab Jalalian and Hossein Khezri, who are believed to be at risk of imminent execution. We have assembled a sample letter you can send to Iranian authorities regarding these two cases.

1230 GMT: Taking on the "Radicals"? After a week of clear escalation in conflict --- not between the "Greens" and the regime but within the establshment --- the Iranian political scene is filled with warnings of "radical" behaviour threatening the Islamic Republic.

Khabar Online features an analysis declaring that conservatives and principlists "will pay for" the actions of the radicals. radicals' move, historical review pointing at this radical current since the IR establishment

Mohammad Reza Bahonar, the Vice Speaker of Parliament, of the "threats of fundamentalism" while suggesting a faction of reformists may "reappear in a new form".

High-profile MP Ahmad Tavakoli has criticised attacks on political figures, saying that even those who have done wrong to the Iranian system should be treated with justice.

And Ayatollah Khomeini's grandson, Seyed Hassan Khomeini, has declared that people want radicals to be banned and asked Iranians to listen to the warningsor marja (senior clerics) about moral decline, poverty, and inflation.

1220 GMT: Asking about Political Rights. Member of Parliament Kazem Delkhosh has raised a query: why do other parties need a permit for rallies when (Basij protesting in front of the Majlis gets receive meals, cookies, Sundis [juice drinks] and buses?

1215 GMT: All is Well (Nuclear Edition). The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, has emphasised that, despite recent conflicts and the UN sanctions resolution, Tehran will continue to work with monitors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

1210 GMT: More "Absolute Security". Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naghdi has announced new commando deployments will soon take place.

1200 GMT: Video Turmoil. A couple of clips from this week apparently pointing to tensions in Iranian politics. The clash between prominent member of Parliament Ali Motahari and pro-Ahmadinejad legislators, culminating in Motahari's "shut up and sit down", has emerged.

Then there is this claimed video of a crowd in Rasht facing up to "morality police", breaking the back window of their vehicle. Persian2English asks further information, including the report, "A few minutes later, Special Guard forces entered the scene with batons and shot tear gas into the crowd."


1140 GMT: Critiquing Iran and the World. A group of Tehran University professors have issued a statement assessing Iran's foreign policy approach as an attempt to project power by creating divisions amongst others.

1130 GMT: We have posted two features out of Washington --- the sanctions provisions passed by the US Congress and soon to be signed by President Obama, and the statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton linking those sanctions to Iran's nuclear programme and human rights.

0650 GMT: All is Well (Gasoline Special). Iran's Deputy Oil Minister Ali-Reza Zeighami has declared that sanctions passed by the US Congress on Iran's energy sector will not put any pressure on the country: "Despite sanctions, Iran will be self-sufficient in gasoline production within two years and after that we can begin exporting gasoline."

Zeighami claimed that the completion of five projects at refineries will triple Iran's output.

0645 GMT: Culture Corner. It appears that Iran is not absolutely secure against the excesses of "Western" culture, however. Thomas Erdbrink, writing in The Washington Post, highlights the success of Rupert Murdoch's Farsi1 satellite television channel, with situation comedies and Latin American, Korean, and US soap operas dubbed into Persian.

We leave it to Iranian authorities to explain why --- unlike many other foreign channels which have been jammed --- Farsi1 has made it into Iranian homes.

0630 GMT: We emerge from the Iranian weekend with comments from human rights activist Ahmad Batebi on the dynamics of the Green Movement and the role of Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Meanwhile, Iran's authorities continue to talk up the notion of "absolute security". Iran's police chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, after his recent reflection on the post-election crisis (including admission of security mistakes and an implicit indication of electoral manipulation), is now giving assurances about the present.

Ahmadi-Moghaddam said Iran's aim is complete protection of borders by 2015, with more investment in the construction of roads and checkpoints. He also announced a plan to increase border patrol units with "state-of-the-art" equipment.

Reader Comments (33)

RE 6.50 All is Well (Gasoline)
Oil Minister Ali-Reza Zeighami probably exaggerates, but see what I posted yesterday by Thomas Erdbrink and Colum Lynch of the Washington Post Foreign Service

Iran is ready for planned U.S. sanctions targeting fuel imports, analysts say" rel="nofollow">

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Back in a 21 June thread (" rel="nofollow"> Adam has just posted an interesting question which I hope he doesn't mind if I re-post here:

Adam (unregistered) wrote:
The 74% drop in Iranian oil exports to china is striking, since China seems to be the one country that has protected Iran from an all out embargo. I would like to see where the rest of Iran's oil is going, if it is being produced at all. The regime's internal economic crisis may be even worse than we thought. I'd really like to get a better idea of what Iranian regime officials are saying behind closed doors or off-mic.
My understanding is that even before the June 2009 election fraud, supposed regime loyalists were telling reporters in private that the regime's hold on power was shaky.

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Yesterday The Guardian published an article about a Christian charity in the UK that helps people host in their homes home asylum seekers whose claims have been refused or who have no way of supporting themselves while appealing.

Our guest the asylum seeker
Raza, an Iranian Kurd, was left destitute after he was refused asylum. But then Hannah Atkins came to his rescue – by offering him her spare room" rel="nofollow">

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

It's going to be a long, hot summer for the morality police, too.

Rasht Residents Defend Young Woman, Officers Flee Scene (incl short video)" rel="nofollow">

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

In an Op-Ed, Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations explains why the dual-track policy (sanctions + diplomacy) may bring Iran back to the table, but it will be an Iran determined not to cede its nuclear trump card, and how beyond these internal inconsistencies, the two-track policy suffers from a misreading of Iranian history.

The Downside of Sanctions on Iran" rel="nofollow">

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

This is rich - the Julia is a women-only ship carrying Christiian and Muslim women calling themselves Mariam in honour of the Virgen mary. What are the Iranian lawmakers going to do - dress up in womens' clothing? You can get arrested for that in Iran :-)

Iran says Gaza aid delegation to go on Lebanon ship
Iranian lawmakers protesting at Israel's blockade of Gaza plan to travel on an aid ship that plans to leave from Lebanon, an official said on Saturday.

Lebanon said last week it would allow a Gaza-bound ship called the Julia to sail, via Cyprus, despite warnings from Israel that it reserved the right to use all necessary means to stop ships that tried to sail from Lebanon to Gaza. Mahmoud Ahmadi-Beighash, a member of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, said Iranian parliament delegates could sail on the ship rather than attempt to enter Gaza via Egypt." rel="nofollow">

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Media Watchdog Criticizes Trial of Iranian 'Blogfather'
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) spokesman Reza Mooeni told RFE/RL on June 24 that Derakhshan faces charges of "conspiracy" and "acting against national security." But he said the "true nature of the charges" against Derakhshan remain unclear." rel="nofollow">

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Hassan Khomeini calls for end to extremism
Seyed Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, says “extremism” must be abandoned and “extremists” must be churned away in the Islamic Republic.

Speaking to families of the seventh of Tir bomb attack victims, the grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic stressed that Iran is not realizing its potentials despite all the “revenues from oil and the vast human force” it possesses.

Hassan Khomeini insisted on the importance of resolving the economic problems of the society since unemployment amongst the young, closure of factories, import of foreign goods and high inflation has only “disheartened” people.

Jamaran website reports that Hassan Khomeini emphasized that Iran is struggling with great difficulties in providing for its people.
More:" rel="nofollow">

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

The leaders of the world's eight top industrial democracies on Saturday condemned the alleged sinking by North Korea of a South Korean warship and called on Iran to do more to respect human rights.

In a draft statement, the countries — the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and Russia — are also calling current tensions in Gaza "unsustainable." And they're sketching out a five-year exit strategy on Afghanistan.;_ylt=A0wNdPTkIyZMsvUAXhis0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNjZTF2YTAwBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwNjI2L3dvcmxkX3N1bW1pdARjY29kZQNtb3N0cG9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzEEcG9zAzIEcHQDaG9tZV9jb2tlBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcnkEc2xrA3dvcmxkbGVhZGVycw--" rel="nofollow">

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

"In Iran, what's forbidden is in -- and on Rupert Murdoch's Farsi1 TV channel", by Thomas Erdbrink. For some light, entertaining weekend reading :-)" rel="nofollow">

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWitteKr

What are your thoughts on the PMOI and/or NRCI" rel="nofollow">

I like their use of the word "Resistance" - rather than the more amorphous "greenies", " Reformists",etc.

It seems to me that IF there is going to be any kind of Regime change any time soon , then this organisation is the only organisation in the race. Mousavi, Kharroubi, et all, cannot be called part of any kind of "organisation" as such - and organisation is what is needed for change . The rest appear to me to be just "whistling into the wind"


June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBaz

"Diplomatic coup for Iranian opposition at Paris rally". AFP's take on the rally held by the People's Mujahedeen of Iran outside of Paris on Saturday.
It drew tens of thousands of opponents to Iran's clerical regime to its rally, including prominent Western political heavyweights." rel="nofollow">

June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWitteKr


Are you serious? I didn't expect you to be an Islamic marxist ;-)


June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

The MKO is hardly a feasible option. Look at the type of scoundrels supporting it - John Bolton!

I support the marathon approach (this does not mean reform, however), but the movement needs to pick up pace by DEMANDING their rights with concrete plans for civil disobedience (work slow downs eventually culminating in strikes) instead of asking for it politely.

June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterConcourse on Low

Islamic Marxists, Islamic Republic reformists - why are we Iranians prone to political paradoxes and contradictions?

June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterConcourse on Low


"I didn't expect you to be an Islamic marxist " :) -- I'm not!! :) - but as I said,-- is there another "Organisation" anywhere to be seen in the race??

Concourse - that is a good question that you ask.

NCRI president Maryam Radjavi called for democracy in Iran and an end to Islamic rule. What is Marxist about that??


June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBaz


The MEK used to have a very good reputation among university students who fought shah's regime. And through their great organization skills, they were able to successfully leverage that base and gain a fairly large following among all Iranian youth after the revolution.

But their disastrous decision in 1981 to take up arms against IRI, when the regime still enjoyed a very high level of support among ordinary Iranians, by some estimates resulted in the executions of over 10,000 of their young supporters.

That disastrous decision started them down a slippery slope that forced them to relocate to Iraq, invite the support of Saddam's regime while Iran and Iraq were engaged in their bloody 8-year war, etc.

As a result of their terrible decisions along with the regime's effective propaganda, MEK now enjoys very little support inside Iran. In fact I have personally heard many Iranians (inside) saying that they are more fearful of MEK running the country then the mullahs.

MEK wasted the sacrifices of many sincere Iranian youth who died first in fighting Shah and then in fighting IRI. They will be studied by history books as a great example of good revolutionary groups who badly lost their direction.

Just as the monarchists, MEK's role in Iran's future will be a very small one.

June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBahman_Azad

Thanks Bahman

I basically knew all of this - and understand it all (as much as an outsider can) . But BEFORE they made their disastrous decision - what were they like? Could they have learned from their past mistakes? And when you use the word "THEY" - who exactly is "they" - 30 years has passed and individuals have moved on, some dead , some no longer influential. Is it possible that the organisation is not the same one as 30 years ago??

Are the people of the Iranian Regime the same "they" as they were in 1979?? Is the Iranian Regime the same Regime as it was in 1979??

However- as you say, once the people inside Iran have taken a stance, it is unlikely that they will change it.


June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBaz

This was a very funny story, although I'd rather they get PBS, BBC FOUR, Aljazeera Documentary Channel, or ARTE than Rupert Murdoch's trash :-)

Friends of ours in Tehran have a holiday home in the mountains some 1 1/2 hours to the north of the city, and there they basically do what they like - as in the article. After lunch one day they turned on their TV and started going through the EPG to find a music station to dance to. I couldn't believe my eyes: all the channels were the same as on OUR satellite receiver at home in The Hague! They had Hotbird :-).

June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

How right you are re the reason not ONLY stage tragedy is tragic (we can see what is going to happen - but cannot change it)!

I practically fell off the sofa last night when Aljazeera added a very short item to its 00.00 GMT news update that I hadn't seen earlier - something about an Iranian opposition rally in Paris that drew a crowd of 10,000 or more! Then they showed some video and I was saying, "Light blue? Where's the green? And what the HELL is arch-conservative, Iraq-invading former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar doing on the podium?!?" :-)
Then the voice-over finally caught up with my conundrum and cleared up who the "Iranian opposition group" was. :-)

Anyway, here's some more background, including how the PMOI got themselves removed from the EU terrorist organisations list:" rel="nofollow">

June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Your post reminds me of an earlier exchange some 5 months ago in which I posted a link to a very tell-all 2003 expose of the mullahs' riches on" rel="nofollow">, 'Millionaire Mullahs':" rel="nofollow">

But I don't think the mullahs are running the show any more....

June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Thank you, Catherine, I was just searching for this article.
Not so sure about who is running the show, remember the SL, Mesbah Yazdi, all the hardliner or radical mullahs in parliament, and their beloved Friday preachers. Even though the IRGC and Bassiji thugs are trying to take over the complete control, the SL perhaps knows too well that he is gone, if he continues to weaken the clergy's position.

Oh, I forgot another mullah showman, Mr Kadivar alias "Commander Gaza". If he cannot return to Iran, I recommend him to join the next flotilla to visit his beloved Hamas brothers.


June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

If the comments expressed here are a true expression of Iranian public opinion than there is a long way before any change is possible and in these circumstances people will become politically apathetic and concentrate on their own lives and tolerate the current system as long as it can maintain peace and security, which is the most fundamental of all human needs. It is far better to have this and the chaos that the US and its forces have brought upon Iraq and Afghanistan by direct intervention and the instability that they have bred through their collaboration with the Pakistani intelligence in fostering even more fanatical Islamic groups through the support of the anti-Soviet mujaheddin, the pre-cursors to the present day taleban and al qaeda , jundollah and so on all finances with US and Saudi largesse.

June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRgrassroots


Do you really prefer the people to "tolerate the current system as long as it can maintain peace and security"? Which peace and which security? Do you define attacking high maraje's homes and harassing the youths and women for sunglasses and nail polish as "peace and security"?
I'm convinced that Iranians are decided to get rid off this system by themselves, otherwise "others" will do it for them.
If you cannot bear such a controversial discussion, it's you who should stay at home and shut all doors and windows.

Apart from that your comparison with Iraq and Afghanistan is misleading: before the invasions Iraq was in the grip of a monolithic dictatorship, and Afghanistan had suffered from 23 years of civil war.


June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

Anti-MKO rally to be held in Tehran
The rally will be held in protest to the French government's decision to allow the terrorist group to hold a demonstration in a Paris suburb on Saturday.

Iranian demonstrators will gather in front of the French Embassy on Monday, June 28, which marks the anniversary of a deadly terrorist attack by the MKO in 1981 in Tehran.§ionid=351020101" rel="nofollow">

June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

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