Saturday July 11 – the daily story

Karroubi warns of  ‘powder keg’ — The opposition continued its verbal onslaught today with the newspaper Etemad-e Melli putting on  its front page a letter from beaten presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi demanding the immediate release of jailed protesters. The letter, addressed to Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, the head of the judiciary, warned of “unimaginable consequences” if the present situation contiunued. “People believed in the system. However, the system has been hijacked by a few.”

According to a translation carried on the Los Angeles Times website, the letter all but accuses the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei of playing a leading role in subverting the true result of the election, referring to  “the hasty and illegal announcement of the election results”.  Referring to the subsequent crackdown, Karroubi  added: “Those who orchestrated these provocative actions to touch off bloody incidents have to be accountable. The government officials may have stifled this [opposition] movement temporarily by using threats, but how will they deal with this powder keg?” Karroubi says the situation has led to “division, political depression, social suspicion and mistrust as well as economic recession”. Noting that Sahroudi is shortly to step down from his post, Karroubi adds: “You are in the waning days of your responsibility as the head of the judiciary. You should not let unjustified arrest and illegal detention of hundreds of Iranian citizens registered in your record.”

Even stronger language has come from Ayatollah Montazeri who, in a new fatwa, has declared the violence used against demonstrators to be un-Islamic. According to the New York Times he called the country’s rulers “usurpers and transgressors” and  said the recent arrests and shootings of protesters were proof that Iran’s leaders are unqualified to rule the community of Muslims. The Night Owl blog on Anonymous Iran suggests Montazeri went as far as to hint “that Khamenei’s leadership is standing against Islam, human rationale and national interests – and that he was clearly in the wrong”. LAT, NYTAnonymous Iran, LAT

Nuclear reply — Iran is working on a new proposals to resolve its dispute with the West over its nuclear plans, according to Manuchehr Mottaki, Foreign Minister. He said today Iran was formulating a new set of proposals to put to the West  “which covers a range of political, security and international issues and can be a basis for talks on regional and international affairs.”Mottaki said Iran  had not received any message from this week’s G8 summit in Italy,  where Iran was given a deadline of the G20 meeting in September to produce some kind of serious response. According to PressTV the new Iranian proposals will touch on proving that Iran’s nuclear programme is not hostile and outlining the country’s approach to foreign policy. PressTV

Jundullah 12 to hang –Twelve members of the Jundullah (Soldiers of God) terrorist organisation have been sentenced to death in Zahedan for several attacks, including the bombing of a Zahedan mosque in May which killed a reported 25 people. The 12 include Abdolhamid Rigi, brother of group leader Abdolmalek Rigi. The Sunni Baluch organisation, based in Baluchistan province of neighbouring Pakistan, has been linked by Iran to Al-Qaeeda – and America! “The revolutionary court and the appeals court voted for the execution of 12 members of the terrorist Jundullah group over the charge of moharebeh (waging war against God),” Ebrahim Hamidi, the head of the judiciary office for Sistan and Baluchestan, said today. The gang members will be hanged in one of the main squares of Zahedan by the middle of the week, he added.

Jundullah has been blamed for a spate of attacks in Iran, including a hit on a convoy of revolutionary guards at Tasuk in 2006 in which a reported 23 people were killed and six others taken hostage. PressTV said the group had also claimed responsibility for killing at least 16 Iranian police officers in a 2008 attack, nine Iranian security guards in 2005 and 11 in a 2007 bombing. The group said the bombing of Zahedan’s Amir al-Mohini mosque on May 14 this year was targeted at a gathering of revolutionary guards. Iran accused America of the bombing and PressTV carried an interview with Abdolhamid Rigi, who had been handed over to Iran by Pakistan, in which he said the US had been in contact with the group since 2005 and helped to arm them. He himself had met Americans in Islamabad. Much is made of a Sunday Telegraph report from 2007 which said the CIA gave Jundullah “arms-length support, supplying money and weapons”. And ABC News quoted US and Pakistani intelligence sources as saying Jundullah had been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005. However the report disputed that the group received direct American aid. “US officials say the US relationship with Jundullah is arranged so that the US provides no funding to the group, which would require an official presidential order or  “finding” as well as congressional oversight. Tribal sources tell ABC News that money for Jundullah is funneled to its youthful leader, Abdelmalik Rigi, through Iranian exiles who have connections with European and Gulf states.”

According to the Turkish website the comdfemned Rigi told “a group of tribal leaders and citizens in the town of Iranshahr” that young men were attracted to the group because it portrayed  itself as an Islamic and Jihadist movement. He said the group promoted the idea that killing two Shias would ensure entry to heaven and claimed that both he and his brother murdered their Shia wives. PressTV, AFP, haber27.comSunday Telegraph, ABC News, global

In other news

Many reports on Twitter say an 19 year-old student Sohrab Arabi has died under torture in Tehran’s Evin prison, but these cannot be confirmed. However the website Human Rights Activists in Iran paints a harrific picture of current conditions inside the very overcrowded Evin prison.

Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi, President Ahmadinejad’s election  campaign manager,  has denied speculation that he is to be Iran’s new Foreign Minister, according to PressTV. But he did confirm that the cabinet would undergo major changes. PressTV

Tehran’s police are setting up a force of special constables known as  ‘honorary police officers’ to support the regular police.Brigadier General Azizollah Rajabzadeh, Tehran’s police chief,  said the intention was to involve the public more closely  in police matters and put its size at 50,000, growing to  300,000 as it was implemented by other forces in Iran. PressTV

An estimated 200-300 protesters marched from Capitol Hill to the White House, chanting demands for President  Obama and other world leaders to “reject the sham elections, impose complete sanctions”.  AP

Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the US House of Representatives speaker,  has said the US should sabotage Iran’s oil and gas infrastructure to spark an economic crisis that would bring down the Iranian government.  “I think we have a vested interest, the world has a vested interest, in a responsible Iranian government, just as we have a vested interest in a responsible North Korean government,” he told Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera

Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel peace prize winner and human rights activist, attacked the G8 leaders for failing to take a stronger stand on Iran’s human rights violations and urged world leaders to “isolate” President Adhmadinejad.


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