Iran News ...


50 arrested in Tehran's Thursday gatherings: Police Chief

TEHRAN, July 31 (Mehr News Agency) - The Tehran police chief has said that about 50 people were arrested in the gatherings in the Beheshte Zahra cemetery and the Mossalla prayer venue on Thursday.

An Iranian riot police officer raises a baton toward protesters during the mourning ceremony at the Behesht Zahra Cemetery on July 30.

"Last day, 50 people who intended to cause disorder in the city of Tehran were identified and arrested by police," Azizollah Rajabzadeh told the Mehr news agency on Friday.

He said all those detained on Thursday will be handed over to judicial institutions.

Neda Agha-Soltan's grave at Behesht Zahra cemetary

The people had gathered to mark the 40th day after the death of Neda Agha Soltan who was shot dead in Tehran on 20 June following the post-election unrest.

Rajabzadeh said a number of policemen were also injured by people who had gathered in Vali-Asr, Motahari, Khorramshahr, and surrounding streets.

The general dismissed rumors that a number of citizens were killed in Tehran on Thursday, saying, "No particular incident that would lead to the killing of citizens has been reported."

He also flatly rejected reports that some policemen were involved in breaking up cars' windshields, saying any policeman found doing such an act will be dealt with accordingly.

IRGC denies backing Ahmadinejad, hits out at Reformists

Press TV - A top IRGC commander rejects allegations that the force backed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the elections and accuses the Reformists of having links to the West.

In a recent interview with Press TV, IRGC Brigadier Yadollah Javani said that the force supported no specific candidate in the June 12 elections.

"The roots of these allegations lie in IRGC efforts to raise awareness among the Guards and Basij forces so that they would participate in the elections with a high level of understanding about [the country's] political groups and movements," said Brig. Javani.

Supreme Leader Khamenei with IRGC commanders
(file photo)

 Javani, who heads the political bureau of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, went on to say that the IRGC made such efforts to raise political awareness in the society as the enemy seeks to orchestrate a velvet revolution in Iran.

The commander also said that certain political groups in the country - capable of participating in the elections because of their past accomplishments -- were targets of US aid, as they did not have "strong faith" in the Islamic establishment and were leaning toward the West.

Javani cited the Reformist camp and Reformist figures such as Akbar Gangi Mehrangiz Kar, Hassan Youssefi-Ashkevari among the factions and figures "leaning toward the West" and opposing the values of the Islamic Revolution.

The Iranian brigadier drew parallels between aspects of the recent opposition movement in Iran with the past velvet revolutions in former Soviet states.

He said the use of the color green as a campaign symbol for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, along with US plans to fund "pro-democracy and human rights groups" inside Iran bore certain similarities to the previous revolutions in former Soviet states.

Khatami urges parliamentary probe into election

Press TV - Former two-term Iranian president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami calls for a thorough parliamentary investigation into the election and the post-election violence.

A scene showing security forces inside a home (file photo, June 2009)

In a Thursday meeting with the Reformist minority block of Iran's Parliament (Majlis), Khatami spoke about disputes linked to the recent presidential election and its aftermath and about ways of finding a just way out, the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported.

Pointing to an order to shut down the Kahrizak detention facility outside Tehran, Khatami said that "it is not enough to say that a sub-standard detention center has been shut down. What does 'sub-standard' mean?"

The Kahrizak detention center was shut down earlier this week following a report that it did not meet the required standards.

"Does it mean that a ventilation fan was faulty or its washrooms were not clean? Lives have been lost and our dear youth, women and men have been subjected to certain treatments," Khatami said.

"On the issue of detainees... Of course, they must be released, but that is not enough," he added.

Iranians went to the polls on June 12, following which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected as president by a landslide. In objection to the result, supporters of the defeated candidates took to the streets and violence ensued. At least 20 people were killed and many protestors were jailed.

Khatami condemned the post-election conduct "as contrary to religion, customs and laws regarding those in detention and their families."

"All of these harm the Revolution and the society and are against law and fairness," he said. "It is necessary to deal with those responsible for such behaviors and acts according to the law and to compensate for the violated rights and limits."

"Every brutal act perpetrated against anyone must be dealt with, but more importantly is the harm that has been done to the public trust, and this is what must be mended," Khatami was quoted by ILNA as saying.

He went on to lament the accusations against some of the detained Reformist activists, who were said to have "confessed" to various offences while in detention, according to media reports.

"If an offense has been committed, then first there must be precise and clear evidence, not claims that are bandied about and rumors of extracted confessions. Afterwards there must be an open and just court with the participation of a jury and defense attorney to consider the allegations," explained Khatami.

Commenting on the position of the Parliament, he said, "In our system, and under our constitution and also the pronouncements of the late Imam Khomeini, the Majlis (parliament) has the highest of places. It can investigate any issue, question ministers and even decide on the eligibility and the competence of the president. Nevertheless, we see that it is prevented from investigating certain issues such as the attack against [Tehran University's] student dormitories, or the conditions of detainees. This means subverting our system."

He emphasized that today the Parliament "can put the investigation of the election process on its agenda, and, if a truly independent committee takes over this task, then the results can greatly clarify the events."

... Payvand News - 07/31/09 ... --

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