Farsi Media Monitor

Bringing you the Latest from Farsi Sources

Ashura

The “Shiite” creed, which is the religion of a vast majority of the people of Iran, began as an opposition movement to what was considered a coup against Imam Ali, who the Shiites believe was the chosen successor of Prophet Mohammad.

For thirteen and a half centuries, the Shiite clergy have represented a widespread opposition movement, mainly based in Iran and Iraq, first towards the Islamic empire and afterwards towards the governments that followed the empire. Throughout this long period, an opposition culture with a long list of values and traditions, martyrs and events spread roots within the Iranian society.

Until 1978, when by means of a revolution, the Islamic Republic was established, the Shiite clergy faced the same dilemma many other opposition movements faced before them after overthrowing the government they opposed: how to cease being an opposition and how to begin running the country.

In the 32 years that have passed since then, the Islamic republic has emerged as a theocratic state with many characteristics of totalitarian regimes such as those that preceded in the soviet union and in Iran itself, however never in its current theocratic form. The current state of affairs which has emerged as the Islamic republic of today is a result of an ongoing struggle between the spectrum of followers of Ayatollah Khomeini – the liberal left (reformists) and the conservative right (principalists), along with the social implications of each of these having the upper at any given time.

Ayatollah Montazeri, whose death last week sparked the largest outpour of Iranian population into the streets since the death of Khomeini himself – was considered the spiritual leader of the reformist movement of Iran. Towards the end of Khomeini’s life, when violence and violent elimination techniques were used frequently to solve disputes in Iranian politics, a rift began between the left wing of government, including Mirhossein Mousavi who was Prime Minister at the time as well as Ayatollah Montazeri, and the right wing, led by Ayatollah Khamenei, who was President at the time.

This strife continued throughout the years, the post of Prime Minister was removed from the constitution, Montazeri was later put under house arrest, and the population aligned itself with the two camps on the left and the right. As the right proved itself unable to deliver on the demands of the people, public support has grown for the left while Ayatollah Khamenei remains at the pinnacle of the Iranian state. And it is such that today, the people on the streets of Tehran call Montazeri their true cleric, representing the people against the tyrant.

The timing of Montazeri’s death coincides with one of the, if not the largest, symbolic event in Shiite history, when the third Shiite Imam – Imam Hussein – and 72 of his closest allies rebelled against an army of thousands.

The day of Imam Hussein’s beheading, or “Ashura”, which for centuries has been a day when scores of Iranians take to the streets for mourning ceremonies bearing drums, flags (many of them green) and flogging themselves with chains (sounds more painful than it really is), coincides with the seventh day following the death of Ayatollah Montazeri.

As reported last week, hooligans and tough-guys on the state payroll were sent to the houses of Ayatollah Montazeri and Sanei (another cleric on the left) and broke their house windows and harassed their families, while the car of Mirhossein Mousavi was attacked and one of his bodyguards wounded on the way back from the funeral. These actions have not gone unnoticed by the Iranian people, many of whom come to the streets in a religious frenzy every year on Ashura. The symbolic value of the day is high, bearing the message of sacrifice and resistance against tyranny, and already Khamenei is being called “Yazide Zamaan” – or the Yazid of our times – referring to the tyrant head of the army opposing Hossein many years ago. And don’t forget the “Hossein” in “Mir-Hossein”.

It is such that Ashura, which is on December 27th, may very well be the tipping point and the beginning of the end of Khamenei’s reign of power. The opposition is planning extensively for the event, as is the state, for a major showdown, in a society in which throughout history, symbols are frighteningly decisive.

Advertisements

December 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mowjcamp has been Hacked

The well known green movement website mowjcamp has been hacked by a group who name themselves the Iranian cyber army.

Try visiting it for yourselves and see what I’m talking about.

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tajzadeh: Until Jannati is Prosecuted, I will not attend any court until

Mostafa Tajzadeh announced that he will not stand at the defense podium in court in objection to the absence of Ahmad Jannati in court.

“I participated in court out of respect of the law… I reject all charges being held against me and in objection to the fact that my charges against Jannati were ignored by the court, I will not defend myself and until the situation is right, I will not attend any other court either”, Tajzadeh stated in an interview with Kaleme.

“If my charges were attended to ten years ago when I was pressing charges against Ayatollah Jannati when he violated the law as Head of the council for overseeing the elections, and a court was established for him just as one is being held for me, we wouldn’t be facing the problems we are facing today in the country. The reason of my objections is that I still believe that the only way to save the country is free elections, and I believe that one must do all he can in order to bring about free elections”.

Referring to the recent statements of Judiciary officials that there is no safe haven beyond the law for any person in any position and that law will be implemented for all, Tajzadeh requested that a court be held for Mr. Jannati as soon as possible to prove this statement.

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Daily events | Leave a comment

Mosharekat Front Condemns the insult of the Founder of the Revolution

The Mosharekat Front of Iran has issued a statement condemning the attack upon the image of the founder of the revolution. In the statement also supports the request of Mousavi and Karrubi along with the “Combatant Clergy Association” to hold a demonstration in condemnation of the attack, and asks the question: why wasn’t there any response to the defiling of the ideals of the Imam, in Kahrizak prison and on the streets of Iran?

“It is on this basis that all members of the green movement should be aware and consider the political environment and situation, and to continue their peaceful and legal resistance until the fulfillment of the main demand of the movement from the beginning, which was the ideal of the late Imam and the Islamic Revolution, meaning the indiscriminate implementation of the Constitution and the major role of the vote of the people in the running of the country”.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Daily events | Leave a comment

Green Movement to Request a License

In a report published on his personal website, Mehdi Karroubi stated that he has reached a decision along with Mirhossein Mousavi to request a license for a demonstration protesting the insult of Imam Khomeini.

“Despite the fact that demonstrations do not need a license based upon Item 27 of the constitution, we decided to submit a request to the Interior Ministry in order to reduce any possible damage upon the people. If this license is denied, we cannot prevent the people from coming to the streets themselves, but in any case, we will announce the response of the Interior Ministry to the people”

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Daily events | Leave a comment

Khatami: “Keep your flowers, just release the prisoners”

Seyed Mohammad Khatami, unhappy that he wasn’t able to join the people on the 16th of Azar, stated in a video interview that “I am sorry that this year, the 16th of Azar was held with many University students in jail and on student day, in which we should all respect students, a large number of them were arrested and sent to prison”.

Addressing the officials, he stated “keep your flowers to yourselves. Free the student prisoners and other political prisoners and return the university back into a safe environment.

“What is most important now of all times is for us to remain calm and insist upon our legal demands”, Khatami stated.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Daily events | Leave a comment

Khamenei threatens the Green Movement

In an angry voice shaking with emotion, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the tearing of the picture of Khomeini that was broadcasted on state television and accused the leaders of the Green Movement of illegal actions and stated that “these people claim to follow the Imam, but the result of their actions is that the greatest of insults are brought upon our dear Imam, that our enemies base their analysis in joy based upon this action and make decisions against national interest and the people of Iran”.

Khamenei claimed that a number of the closest allies of Khomeini have separated themselves from his ideals and that “I believe in maximum acceptance and minimum rejection, but it appears that some people insist upon separating themselves from the regime and being isolated”.

He insisted that the leaders of the Green Movement to change their ways and separate themselves from the support of France, Britain and America, the corrupt and the socialists and royalists, and asked them to open their eyes and repent their ways.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Daily events | Leave a comment

Mirhossein Mousavi: “The Military/Security Environment Should be Lifted”

Mirhossein Mousavi has warned that the current environment should changed and society should be opened, or else “underground movements” will take shape.

Speaking amongst party members and reformist activists in Fars Province, he stated that the militant approach has caused an uprise of “radicalism” and prevents “progress”.

He stated that “unrealistic interpretations of the law and of Islam has created divisions amongst the people”.

Mousavi criticized the role of government propaganda and stated that “they sent in forces from outside of the university with sticks and clubs in their hands and call them students in their media, and then they claim that the students were throwing teargas at one another”, referring to a report by Fars News on the 16th of Azar in which it was stated that Mousavi supporters threw teargas at “university students”.

“This only means that they want to mislead the people. Where can a university student get teargas from? Our supporters don’t even carry pocket knives because they are afraid of being condemned”, he said.

Mousavi stated that if the people had gotten their response on day one, we wouldn’t be witnessing them stepping over the lines today.

He further criticized the action of government in interfering in the lives of the citizens, and stated that “from long ago family members, the young and the old, would sit together and spend their time, but we interfered to the extent that we caused a rift between family members, and now we have caused lines to be drawn inside the family… we have forgotten the constitutional law of non-interference, which has caused psychological disorder in the society”.

Mirhossein Mousavi stated that sections of the constitution that emphasize plurality in society can’t be ignored for cooked up reasons, and stated that “it is the message of the green path of hope that you are all friends with one another and can live alongside each other despite your differences and your variety of beliefs”.

He praised the fact that reading the constitution, especially chapter three of the constitution, and debates regarding the constitution have increased amongst the youth after the elections and stated that acceptance was one of the great achievements of Islam.

“while they were holding courts for blasphemy in the churches of the west, in the world of Islam different schools of thought were holding debates and sharing their opinions”, he stated.

Mousavi claimed that the solution to the elections in Iran lies within the constitution, and that the laws being devised under the name of “the laws of elections” will only be successful if they are loyal to the spirit of the constitution, the prologue of the constitution, and take into account the negotiations of the Assembly of Experts, if not, nothing will be solved.

“The day after the elections, the people had a specific demand: ‘where is my vote?’ It was our effort (before the elections) to convince the people to put their trust in the fact that their vote is effective, but many of them had questions after the elections. Instead of addressing their concerns, we suppressed them, imprisoned them, and it was for this reason that the discontent remains and wasn’t brought under control”.

“The people have the right to objection, and their right should be delivered to them instead of being denied by force. If we see today that their demands have increased, it is because this question was not addressed in a correct manner. If we had an effective IRIB, if the people’s demands were addressed and they weren’t dealt with violently, then we wouldn’t be witnessing the transgressions that we are witnessing today”.

“All protests following the elections were legal, and all protests and demands must remain within the framework of the law and not one of us should give the enemies and excuse”, Mousavi warned.

Mirhossein Mousavi stated that the green path ahead of us is a long one, and that “being green and becoming green is not exclusive to any group or persons. Each person is green to the extent of his/her loyalty to the ideals of the people and the value he/she holds for intellect and justice, and he/she is green, even if he/she is our enemy”.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Daily events | Leave a comment

Security Forces Review their Tactics

In what has been reported as a “confidential bulletin”, the Joint Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran has confessed to miscalculations in its dealing with the Green Movement during the Student Day and University Day protests across Iran.

According to the report, the officials miscalculated the “quantity and quality of the presence of those who have come to the scene in response to the summons of the defeated nominees and the variety of satellite and cyber networks”.

“The mentioned persons are maintaining their presence despite the fact that more than one hundred days have passed since the elections and in this period, many of the leaders of the ‘chaos’ have been arrested and while their confessions have been broadcasted, public opinion has become acquainted with the methods used after the elections and government officials have tried to bring calmness to the political environment of the country”, the report stated.

The report, which despite being circulated amongst senior officials of the regime was itself leaked and published on the roozonline website today, criticizes the inaction of the security apparatus for not pinpointing and arresting those in government who have leaked information on security measures and states that the protests are being organized in awareness of security measures and patterns.

The “security and intelligence expert” who is the author of the report warns that “A number of government officials and heads of governmental organizations are seen amongst the street protestors without fearing the consequences of their actions”.

The presence of women as “agitators of men” is also emphasized, and the fact that women stand alongside men is named as a main cause of the mobilization of the men.

“There must be a division between the radical elements of protest from those whose presence are solely in objection to the elections”, the report suggests, while predicting that if those protestors who are more radical in their approach (i.e. those who chant slogans against the regime, etc.) are arrested, the rest can be channeled in a different direction.

But the most interesting part of the report is where it is suggested that potential forces who are claimed to be “of ours” and whose population are more than the protestors should be mobilized. A center for “psychological operations and crisis control” is suggested. “There are a large number of “Hezbollah members” who are present in the events yet respond too late or not at all to  the protests and who need further organizing, in ranks, battalions, etc., in the “soft war”, in order to prevent the protestors from gaining momentum and also to prevent them from filming the events, the report reads.

According to the report, this “soft war” and its “recruitment” activities are to be conducted through “public organizations such as Mosques”.

In conclusion, the report also insists that a higher price should be imposed on officials who take a stance in support of the movement (i.e. Mousavi, Hashemi, Karrubi, etc.) to prevent the “misuse” of the “variety of opinions amongst the clergy and the elite”.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Daily events | Leave a comment

Iran in the spotlight

Iran is in the spotlight of current affairs, however what happens on the ground becomes distorted and filtered-out several times before reaching the American audience.

In this blog, I will bypass the Iranian state media censorship and bring you the latest on Iranian affairs straight from Farsi cyberspace and Iranian contacts on the ground.

December 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment