Saturday July 25 – the daily story

Reformist appeal to top clerics — Reformist leaders have appealed to the country’s most emiment clergymen in Qom to step into the row over the wave of post-election detentions. A letter to the marja taghlid or sources of emulation, the highest authorities on religious law in Shia Islam, complains about the continuing detentions without charges and the widespread use of torture.  “What can justify repeated torture of those who live under the flag of Islam? How can one claim the system to be forgiving and to follow the religion of Mohammad when there is silence in the face of all this violence and savagery? … We call on you, the marja taghlid … to remind the relevant authorities of the damaging consequences of using illegal methods and warn them about the spread of tyranny in the Islamic republic.”  The letter, which  likens the crackdown to that carried out by the last Shah, is signed by reformist leaders Mir-Hossein Moussavi, Mohammad Khatami and Mehdi Karroubi, along with other leading lights in the reformist movement. An even more inflammatory one has been sent by Karroubi to Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, the Intelligence Minister, in which he says the crackdown is worse than anything rained on the Palestinians by the Israelis. “Everyone has seen how women have been beaten with batons and thrown to the ground — this is worse than what the Zionist criminals are doing to the oppressed Palestinian people.” AP, AFP

Ahmadinejad’s new job for Mashaei — President Ahmadinejad may be stoking up more trouble for himself over his first-vice-president-for-a-week, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei. Having resigned from that position on the orders of Ayatollah  Khamenei, Mashaei has now been given the job of presidential adviser. As if to make a point, in the letter of appointment Ahmadinejad again praised Mashaei as a pious, trustworthy and self-sacrificing human being. Khamenei, however, now seems to want to gloss over the row, calling on Iranians to strengthen their unity and not fall out over “secondary issues”. Speaking to participants in an international Qoran competition in Tehran, he said: “The events of recent days should not turn into an excuse for instigating differences. All should make efforts in a brotherly fashion for the progress of the country. No one should accuse others without having concrete proof.” CNN, PressTV

In other news

Protests against the Iranian regime were staged in more than 80 cities around the world today. The event  was backed by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In  London protesters waved pictures of Neda Agha-Soltan, killed during one demonstration, outside the Iranian embassy. In Amsterdam, Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel laureate, urged the international community to support the protests by refusing to acknowledge President Ahmadnejad’s re-election and demanded  a new UN-monitored vote. In New York hundreds of protesters marched through the city, bringing to a close a three-day protest outside the United Nations headquarters. Some clashes were reported in Tehran itself between security forces and protesters.  Groups of demonstrators in Vanak and Mirdamad districts chanted “death to the dictator” and “we want our vote back” before they were attacked by officials, according to witnesses.   timesonline, AFP, AP

Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, Chief of the Joint Armed Forces,  has accused the US of seeking to increase its “dominance” over Islamic and Third World countries. In a clear reaction to the suggestion of Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, of a US “defence umbrella” over the Persian Gulf to counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he said Iran’s Gulf neighbours should beware US plots. “This is not a defensive or security plan for our Muslim neighbours. The US seeks to save itself from the current global economic crisis. It aims to increase its dominance over the Islamic countries as well as the Third World. “ PressTV

Two more alleged members of the Jundullah Baluchi separatist group were executed in Zahedan today for terrorist offences. Ayub Rigi and Massoud Gamshadzehi were convicted by a revolutionary court just over a week ago. It is not clear if Rigi is related to the group’s fugitive leader, Abdulmalek Rigi, and his brother Abdulhamid, convicted along with 13 other members earlier this month. Although the 13 were hanged on July 14, Abdulhamid is still awaiting execution, having made a full televised “confession” in which he urged his brother to surrender. PressTV, PressTV

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