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Iran: Janati Concedes Crackdown Did Not Eliminate Opposition

By Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah, Rooz Online

Grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini and Green opposition supporter Hassan Khomeini (left) with Ahmad Janati (December 2009 file photo)

The secretary of Iran's Guardian Council has conceded that despite the use of suppressive measures the so called "enemy" had not been totally eliminated. Speaking at the commemoration of martyred clerics of Fars province, Ahmad Janati said, "The destruction of the Velayat Faghih (rule of the clergy), that of the Islamic revolution, and the basis of Islam and the Quran are among the much coveted aims of the enemy, which are still relentlessly pursued." Referring to last year events he added, "This shows up in various occasions: they provoke or deceive any number of people wherever possible, they falsify facts, and the foreign media supports them."

This is the first time such a high-ranking official of the Islamic republic of Iran admits to the use of suppressive measures against protesters and explicitly states that the protest movement in Iran, known as the Green Movement survives and has not been destroyed.

Previously, opposition leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi had frequently pointed to Janati as a key official responsible for the suppression of post-2009 election protests. Last August, in his meeting with veterans of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, Mousavi had attributed such horrific events as "prison tortures," "suppression of people" and "the Kahrizak atrocities" as ramifications of Ahmad Janati's ideology. By comparing the tortures of prisoners before and after the 1979 Islamic revolution, Mousavi concluded, "Oppression in any era or under any conditions is unacceptable, be it under the rule of the Islamic republic or during the former Pahlavi dynasty. Yet oppression in the Islamic republic is by far more despicable for it is legitimized in the name of Islam. Is it acceptable for Islam to humiliate any human being or to submerge a prisoner's head in the toilet to obtain confessions?"

Opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi (left) with Ahmad Janati
(file photo)

These sharp remarks by the presidential candidate who had protested the election results were followed by another speech by Ahmad Janati, who by accusing the so called "heads of sedition" during a speech in Qom, had also asserted, "The Americans have paid one billion Dollars to the heads of the sedition (a term used for Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karoubi and Mohammad Khatami) through Saudi agents operating in the region. The same Saudis speaking on behalf of Americans have promised to pay up to fifty billion Dollars provided they could overthrow the regime."

In response, Mousavi accused Janati of lying, adding, "Lying is an immoral act, particularly if committed by the secretary of the Guardian Council and the Friday prayer imam of the capital." "Such a lie coming from an official who is entrusted to protect people's votes and the constitution is itself a clear proof of electoral fraud, particularly because this is not his first counterfactual statement," he continued.

Former president of Iran seyed Mohammad Khatami too had responded to Janati's remarks and in a meeting with student groups in Shiraz had called for legal action against Janati's accusations. But even before last year's election turmoil, Janati had officially and publicly expressed his support for presidential contender Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while holding his position as the secretary of the Guardian Council, a fact that has been cited by at least one opposition figure Mostafa Tajzadeh who has filed a lawsuit against Janati. Opposition figures and a section of the public hold Janati responsible for the regular disqualification of many independent and reformist candidates in the regular parliamentary or presidential elections. On November 12 Janati had called on the authorities of the Islamic regime to sternly deal with the protestors as he warned that they [the protestors] were ripe to erupt.

... Payvand News - 12/09/10 ... --

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