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Iranian moderate cleric condemns government's baseless charges

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Ayatollah Ali Mohammad Dastgheib during a sermon at Ghoba mosque in Shiraz (file photo)

Reformist Shiite leader, Ayatollah Ali Mohammad Dastgheib spoke out against the Islamic Republic's branding of election protesters as "mohareb" which according to Iranian law could carry the death penalty. Ayatollah Dastgheib maintained that "Mohareb is a person who violates people's right by pulling a gun, a knife or a weapon on them."

Women try to defend a protester being beaten by the Basij militia in Tehran - June 2009

In a meeting with a senior group from Mir Hossein Mousavi headquarters, the reformist cleric declared that by using the term "mohareb" against people in this manner, they are causing infighting amongst Shiites. He added: "The pious would never make baseless accusations."

The Shiite leader went on to say that the establishment brands "people like us" as "mohareb" whilst our purpose has only been to give advice in accordance with our clerical duties.

In the post election protests to the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the government resorted to widespread arrest of people. Several of the protesters arrested on Ashura Day protests in December 2009 have been accused of "moharebeh" which translates into "armed combat in enmity with God."

MohammadReza Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour were two detainees that were executed last year for this charge.

Several Shiite leaders have criticized the use of this term for the post election protests since the election protests have been peaceful.

While Ayatollah Zanjani announced that "mohareb uses a gun against people", Ayatollah Sanei pronounced that "protesting against the government and its treatment of the people" cannot be described as "Moharebeh."

Ayatollah Dastgheib also criticized the national radio and television organization for slandering reformist faces and went on to condemn the unprecedented closure of Ghaba Mosque in Shiraz.

Last December, Ghaba Mosque, where Ayatollah Dastgheib leads the prayers, was shut down by order of provincial Security Council of Shiraz.

Iranian establishment is in the process of closing in on all top reformist figures in measured steps, in order to put a complete end to the disputes against the legitimacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidential victory and to solidify the control of hardliners in every aspect of the Islamic Republic society.

Mehdi Karoubi slams government "extremists"

Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karoubi maintained that contrary to the claims of the "extremists" in the Islamic Republic, the establishment is by no means in control of the post-election crisis. He maintained that people are still intent on their rightful demands but are now continuing their protests with greater "alertness" in the face of government pressures and threats.

Mehdi Karoubi (file photo)

Speaking to a group of political and student activists, the opposition leader cited the warm and welcoming attitude of people toward newly released political prisoners in the streets, neighborhoods and workplaces as proof of the continuity of the protests.

He maintained that "extremists" are so intent on controlling the society that they have gone beyond mere control of the living, they want to also control the dead."

Mehdi Karoubi cited examples of how funeral permits were denied for some members of the clergy and memorial services were cancelled through government interference.

He maintained that such reactions merely reveal the weakness of the establishment that even a simple funeral is cause for its alarm.

Mehdi Karoubi also slammed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's latest encouragement to increase the size of Iranian families coupled with initiatives to encourage civil servants to move out of the capital in order to relieve the ever increasing problem of congestion in the city which according to Ahmadinejad could multiply the possible damages from an earthquake.

Karoubi criticized the government's contradictory initiatives in handling the problem of Tehran's increasing population and advised the government to refrain from interfering in the personal affairs of families.

... Payvand News - 04/20/10 ... --

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