Iran News Roundup June 20-21, 2009

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by Ali Alfoneh, Ahmad Majidyar and Michael Rubin.  To subscribe to this daily newsletter, e-mail ahmad.majidyar@aei.org.

(E) = Article in English

 

Guardian Council discovers poll irregularities; Larijani urges authorities to listen to protesters; Mousavi receives warnings; government authorities step up crackdown on media; several journalists arrested; Karrubi reiterates call for election result to be nullified; Ahmadinejad thanks Supreme Leader for support; 475 individuals arrested during Saturday’s demonstrations; monarchist group claims responsibility for alleged bombing at Khomeini’s mausoleum; 300 reformist election campaign managers reportedly arrested; Larijani warns Western countries against meddling in Iran’s internal affairs; Mousavi blamed for recent turmoil in Iran; Ahmadinejad warns U.S., UK against intervening in Iran’s domestic affairs; IRGC accused of military coup; Iran’s ambassador to IAEA says Islamic Republic will continue production of nuclear fuel.

 

Politics

  • Guardian Council Spokesman Kadkhodayi rejects Rezai's claim that the voter turnout was over 100 percent in more than 170 cities, and says the irregularity took place only in 50 cities.
  • Guardian Council member Mohammad Yazdi says the Islamic Republic will defend the law and force its opponents to retreat
  • Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani hails 85 percent voter participation in the presidential elections, but urges the authorities to listen to protesters
  • Karrubi spokesman Morteza Alviri says difference between words and deeds of the candidates has dashed any hope of correcting the result of the fraudulent elections, and says that is the reason why Karrubi did not attend the Guardian Council's meeting. 
  • Petroleum Ministry’s senior official Akbar Torkan, who is a vocal critic of Ahmadinejad, is replaced with Ebrahim Radou-Afzoun.
  • Speaking to an assembly of clerics from Tehran, Ahmadinejad expresses gratitude for the record high voter turnout in the elections
  • Alef News Agency condemns Mousavi's latest open letter to the Guardian Council, accusing him of breaching the law. 
  • Moetalefeh Faction Secretary General Asgar-Owladi urges Mousavi not to follow the path of the first president of the Islamic Republic Abdul-Hassan Bani-Sadr and that of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization.
  • Alef News claims Mousavi is considering quitting all of his official positions in the Islamic Republic. 
  • University deans renew their allegiance to the Supreme Leader.
  • Khatami discreetly criticizes arrests during the past days. 
  • Ali-Akbar Nateq-Nouri thanks the Supreme Leader for neutralizing conspiracies by the enemies of the revolution
  • Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi says "Mousavi is showing his true nature and the regime is not obliged to convince him of the health of the elections. Voting is voluntary and no-one has been forced to vote to a certain candidate… Mr. Mousavi declared himself winner even before the ballot boxes were opened and this is illegal." 
  • Parliamentarian Assadollah Badamchian says Mousavi's harsh official statements are to blame for the unrest
  • Gooya News claims Mousavi was present at Saturday's demonstrations in Tehran.
  • Iranian movie director Mohsen Makhmalbaf presents himself as Mousavi's official spokesman outside Iran in an interview with the Guardian. Makhmalbafsays Iran has experienced 20 percent democracy and 80 percent dictatorship over the past thirty years.
  • Mousavi's fifth official statement with regard to the presidential election: "Looking at the situation, I consider it a scenario for a goal much greater than imposing an undesired government upon the nation. It is imposition of a new way of political life upon the entire country..."
  • Mousavi writes an open letter to Shi'a sources of emulation in Qom: "Greetings to you! I am convinced that you have followed the affairs of the tenth presidential election. Although use of lies and countless use of public and governmental opportunities in order to propagate for the dominant candidate clearly show the determination of a certain group for victory at any cost, no-one imagined this degree of manipulation of the vote in the face of the wondering eyes of the world. All this was done by a government which considers implementation of justice as one of its religious pillars. Today we are witnessing all this rogue theft of popular vote and all the roads to establishment are closed. The silence of the clergy and sources of emulation amounts to ignoring of the nation which has a greater impact than manipulation of the vote..."
  • Aut News claims Karrubi had declared willingness to attend Saturday's demonstration, and was ready to pay the price of being under house arrest.
  • Arrests:
  • The Interior Ministry releases detailed ballot-by-ballot vote count result from 25 provinces. 
  • Supreme Leader Khamenei's speech at Friday prayer in Tehran. Video
  • Karrubi asks the Guardian Council to nullify the election results and rerun the polls. 
  • Mousavi in his fifth official statement declares that he "will not recognize the election result under any circumstance." 
  • Ahmadinejad thanks Supreme Leader for his speech on Friday, June 19: "Your Holiness Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Revolution...I find it necessary to thank you sincerely for your kind decision and the historical presence of the Wise Leader in the great and epic scene of the Tehran Friday prayer, uttering words of guidance and forcefully insisting on rights of the people in important affairs of the time. Doubtlessly you hoisted the banner of dignity and awareness of the Iranian nation in the face of the imperialists and showed the line of solidarity, unity and national dignity, preference of national interests to personal and factional interests, legal, fundamental and consistent dealing with inflated demands and economic corruption, execution of justice without any consideration, and unprecedented mutual and deep trust between the people and the government,..."    
  • Assembly of Experts issues an official statement in support of Supreme Leader Khamenei: "The Assembly of Experts of the Leadership thanks the glorious and epic participation of the people in presidential election and expresses its decisive support of the illuminating, unifying and wise statements of the Supreme Leader at Tehran Friday prayer. It thanks God for the unparalleled and great blessing that is the Guardian Jurist, a pillar of the pillars of the revolution, which calls upon all to abide by the decrees and guidance of that excellence. It is hoped that the Iranian nation, by understanding the current circumstances and by realizing those words, once again display calm, unity and solidarity of the Islamic community of believers to the desperation of the enemies of this realm. We beg God for a long life for the Supreme Leader and for dignity and respect of the sacred regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran." 
  • Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati in an open letter to the Supreme Leader describes the presidential election as another sign of "divine benevolence" towards the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
  • Combatant Clergy Association declares support for Khamenei's statements on Friday. 
  • Parliamentarian Khosh-Chehreh urges the public to abide by the orders of the Supreme Leader
    • Ayatollah Nouri-Hamedani makes a similar call
  • Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani says the institution of Imamate in Shi'a Islam protects the country against problems and that the Guardian Jurist is in continuity of the Imamate. 
  • Ayatollah Qoreishi says the words of the Supreme Leader were the wish of the entire nation
  • The Supreme Leader's representative in the Hajj Pilgrim Organization, Ayatollah Mohammadi Reyshahri, says it is the "religious and national duty of Iran and Islam to abide by guidance of the Supreme Leader at Tehran Friday prayers." 
  • Jahan News depicts Mousavi as a person who is against Ahmadinejad's fight against the "aristocracy" in Iran
  • Jahan News attacks what it calls "18 innovations of Mousavi." 
  • Asr-e Iran's analyst discusses Mousavi's dilemma after Supreme Leader Khamenei's speech: "...Mousavi was expected to consider the statements of the Supreme Leader final, pursue his defiance of the vote results through legal and civic paths, and demand his supporters at this delicate and sensitive juncture to stop staging gatherings and wait for the final vetting by the Guardian Council. But Mousavi has not shown any reaction so far and has chosen silence...After the Supreme Leader's speech, the issue has become a fundamental issue...under such conditions, Mir-Hossein Mousavi is under the heaviest pressure from his supporters to declare his position. One of the most important and most serious options present is that instead of continuing the present situation, he should establish a party and pursue his and his million supporters' demands through legal and civic channels. Such a party critical of the government could play an important role in the political atmosphere of the country in future and prove serious and effective. This could be a way of balancing the current situation. And it will be a way of preparing for the next city council elections slated for next year, parliamentary elections and finally presidential elections. This helps achieve goals not possible under current circumstances. Insisting upon [the current path] can only lead to casualties..." 
  • Report rejects news on Rafsanjani's children having lost the right to leave the country.
  • Fars News Agency discloses full text of Mousavi's letter of complaint to the Guardian Council, in which he mentions the following instances of irregularity at the elections: 1. Unsealed ballots; 2. lack of presence of candidates’ representatives at the ballots; 3. too many mobile ballots; 4. lack of voting forms in certain constituencies; 5. shortening of the voting period in certain constituencies; 6. unguarded transportation of the ballots to the governor's offices. 
  • Shafaf News releases trivial information about Ahmadinejad's marriage
  • The Guardian Council accepts to recount ten percent of the vote through random selection of the votes in order to reexamine the result. 
  • Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati in an open letter to Supreme Leader Khamenei says the Council is ready to investigate allegations made against the health of the election. 
  • Rezai is the only defeated presidential candidate attending the meeting of the Guardian Council to discuss the elections.  
  • Mousavi and Karrubi refuse to attend the Guardian Council's meeting
  • Tehran mayor Qalibaf denies earlier reports claiming Mousavi supporters had managed to mobilize three million demonstrators in Tehran
  • Combatant Clergy Association cancels Mousavi supporters' rally on Saturday
    • Mousavi says today's demonstration "deviates" from his campaign

Military and security

 

Media

Diplomacy

Religion, culture and society

Nuclear issue

Photo of the day