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Intelligence minister denies extent of Iranian popular protests

Source: Radio Zamaneh

The Iranian intelligence minister has announced the arrest of two people in connection with the February 14 protests and insisted that only a handful of protesters had taken to the streets that day.

Heydar Moslehi
Heydar Moslehi

In a televised interview on Iranian national television, Heydar Moslehi claimed that February 14 was "a great disaster" for the opposition and contended that the images shown on satellite networks were manipulated photos of dated images or pictures of crowds engaged in New Year's shopping.

Moslehi also reported that a CIA agent was arrested in the February 14 protests.

Protesters in Tehran - February 14, 2011
Some of the "handful" of protesters in Tehran on February 14, 2011

On Thursday, in advance of the interview's broadcast, hordes of security forces were deployed across Tehran which led to the opposition spokesman Ardeshir Amirarjmand warning Iranians to remain alert and sensitive to the fate of the opposition leaders.

Notice of Moslehi's televised interview was given hours before it aired, with ISNA reporting that the intelligence minister was going to reveal new documents regarding the "sedition," which is how the Islamic Republic establishment refers to the post-election protests of the past year.

Moslehi accused the two senior aides of MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi of having links to the People's Mojahedin Organization and West.

Since the two opposition leaders have been put under house arrest, Amirarjmand has emerged as Mousavi's spokesman and Mojtaba Vahedi as Karroubi's.

The People's Mojahedin Organization is an exiled Iranian opposition group that the Islamic Republic regards as a terrorist organization and an arch enemy. In the past, having connections to this organization has been enough for political prisoners to be sentenced to death by the judiciary.

Regarding the two fatal shootings of February 14, Moslehi said: "An individual has been arrested with a weapon, which belongs to the Hypocrites, and he was on a mission...even the bullet that was shot has been matched to the weapon. The individual has also provided us with very relevant information." The Islamic Republic refers to members of the People's Mojahedin as hypocrites and "monageghin."

The Iranian intelligence minister maintained that the opposition was not able to rally people on February 14, and those who came to the streets were "anti-Revolutionaries, Baha'is, monarchists and monafeghin."

Heydar Moslehi accused the opposition leaders' spokesmen of having links to the PMOI and Western intelligence services and alleged that the so-called "hypocrites" of trying to influence reformists and the children of top Islamic Republic officials.

The opposition has urged citizens to remain on guard in view of the "suspicious increase in security forces" deployed in the capital.

... Payvand News - 02/25/11 ... --

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