Moussavi vows ‘to prove’ fraud — Mir-Hossein Mousavi , vowing continued defiance of the regime, today announced the formation of a special “legal political body” to press for citizen’s rights and to publicise documents that he says prove fraud and irregularities in the election. According to PressTV Moussavi said the committee was made up of “a number of Iranian scholars” who would pursue his objections to the election through Iran’s legal channels. “I will join this committee as well,” he is quoted as saying.
What PressTV did not report is that the move was announced in a long and solidly defiant response by Moussavi to the Guardian Council’s announcement that it had ended its investigation of the election and upheld Ahmadinejad’s victory. The message urged his supporters to keep up their struggle but only through lawful means. This is becoming a key point that he and his supporters are making with increasing emphasis. It also follows a chorus of strong statements against Ahmadinejad and the election from Moussavi’s religious supporters, notably Ayatollahs Khatami and Karroubi.
According to a translation of his message on the NIAC website, Moussavi said a key aim of the group he was forming would be to seek to:
— end security and military involvement in electoral issues;
— revise the election laws to prevent fraud and guarantee the neutrality of those carrying it out;
— observe article 27 of the constitution on freedom of assembly;
— guarantee press freedom;
— ban illegal government intervention on the internet and other digital communications , halt the disconnection of phones and stop phone tapping;
— put an end to bias in the state media;
— allow independent television channels “inside and outside” Iran;
— release all political prisoners and annul all trumped up security cases;
— issue permits for social, political, cultural and economic gatherings (although if the bit about freedom of assembly above is observed this would seem rather redundant).
Moussavi said the Guardian Council’s actions had left the country with a government totally disconnected from the nation “and the majority of the people, including myself, do not accept its legitimacy.”
He added: “A regime that has relied on the people’s trust for 30 years cannot replace that trust with military force overnight. … How can people trust a government that imprisons their friends, colleagues and children based on its delusions? … This is not the way of the Islamic Revolution or Islam, which opens its arms to everyone.”
Moussavi said it was everyone’s religious duty “not to allow the blood of thousands of martyrs to be degraded to a military regime. I encourage all the decision-making agencies not to act like the Guardian Council … “
However his statement went to great lengths to emphasise that his campaign represented no threat to the Islamic Republic. “Our story, no matter how bitter, is a family dispute.” He even attempted to reach out to the security forces wreaking havoc on his supporters by pledging that he was not out for revenge. “We seek a future where even the person who has beaten our sister and brother in the street will live better.”
Insisting that his supporters obey the law, upon which his own case is founded, Moussavi said: “We have to respect the … law because we know that tomorrow, when we reach our goals, the first thing we will need to establish is a commitment to the law.”
A notice on Moussavi’s Facebook site following his message urges people to observe a “sea of green” general strike on July 6-8, taking advantage of the fact that it represents a special religious period – the “white days” – when the devout “forsake worldly activities” and go to the mosque to say special prayers – a process it describes as ‘seclusion’. It suggests that those who do not want to do this are still entitled by law to take the days off work. Those that do so, the website says, should go to the bazaar in central Tehran in the mornings without demonstrating. But, like those that go to the mosque, they should all wear green. “The glory of this unity will soon [show] to anyone how silence wins over screams and the voice over bullets.”
The website reiterates Moussavi’s insistence on observing the law (I have edited the English for grammatical reasons only): “Our unity is our greatest power … Mir-Hossein asked us in his 6th statement to obstinately insist on our rights, but within legal borders. Maybe some supporters and friends wanted a radical attitude … Now you can see that the only way of confronting breaking of the law is through the law itself.”
The message says a group of Moussavi’s supporters have come up with other ideas to keep the protest going in a lawful manner.
— use the color green;
— shout Allah-o Akbar from the rooftops;
— write ‘Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein’ and ‘ Allah-o akbar’on banknotes;
— ‘take your money out of the banks as much as possible, we are free to choose non-governmental banks;
— boycott goods advertised on national television
In other news:
Ayatollah Mohammad Khatami in his message today said the elections were a “velvet coup” against democracy that had undermined confidence in the nation’s rulers. “If you want to calm the atmosphere, why are you carrying out mass arrests? Oppressing people will not help end the protests,” he said. “Obtaining confessions in front of cameras is a useless old method … confessions under pressure are not valid.” Guardian and Reuters
A day after former parliament speaker Medhi Karrubi declared the government illegitimate Etemad Melli newspaper was closed byrepresentatives of the Tehran prosecutor and the culture ministry. “They wanted the statement censored and not published,” the paper said on its website. AFP
The Basij student branch has demanded the prosecution of Moussavi for “undermining national security” and “mounting a propaganda campaign against the Islamic Republic of Iran.” PressTv
Have the executions begun? Iran’s state media reported that six murderers were hanged in Evin prison this morning. None of the six were named but the Iran Focus website noted that the Iranian authorities “routinely execute dissidents on bogus charges”. There are also unconfirmed reports that six protesters were hanged in Mashad on Monday. Iran Focus
A grenade, possibly primed to explode ahead of evening prayers, was found Tuesday in the women’s restroom of the Imamzadeh Saleh mausoleum in Tajrish, north Tehran. PressTV.
Rolling back on Silvio Berlusconi’s suggestion that next week’s G8 summit was heading towards imposing sanctions on Iran, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said he did not think sanctions would be on the agenda.
Arash Hejazi, the Iranian doctor who spoke about how he witnessed the killing of Neda Agha-Soltan, is now on Tehran’s wanted list. Brig Gen Esmail Ahmadi-Moqaddam, Iran’s police chief, said he faced a charge of helping the western media wage psychological warfare on Iran, adding that the Intelligence Ministry and Interpol were searching for him.
Iran and Britain are now at odds over how many of Britain’s Iranian embassy staff are still in custody. Britain says only two of the four have been freed while Iran says it now holds only one who played a “remarkable role during the recent unrest in managing it behind the scenes”. Senior EU officials will meet Thursday to consider a British request to withdraw all EU ambassadors until all the staff have been freed. Iran retaliated by saying the EU had disqualified itself from talks over Iran’s nuclear program because of its “interference” in the protests. AFP BBC WBUR
Ahmadinejad called off his planned twip to Libya to address the African Union summit today. No reason was given. RTE
According to the Washington Times US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent two days badgering President Obama to harden his stance on Iran before he issued his tough message last week. The Times said it was “the first known example of awkwardness between the two former rivals” since Clinton took the job. Fox News
A meeting of a committee to develop economic cooperation between Iran and Syria ended in Damascus on Tuesday. Among the topics discussed was a joint bank to facilitate increased trade between the two. However, in a further sign of shifting Mideast sands, Prince Abdel-Aziz bin Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and the country’s Information Minister Abdel-Aziz Khoja held talks with Syrian President Assad on Sunday, prompting speculation of a meeting between Assad and King Abdullah on July 16. The meeting comes at a time when President Obama is moving to bolster Saudi ties, while at the same time returning an envoy to Syria. What with the Israeli President bumping around Iran’s northern neighbours, the Tehran regime might need to start worrying. Tehran Times Daily Star Lebanon Daily Star