Saturday August 15 – the daily story

Mir-Hossein Moussavi announced the establishment of the “Green path of hope” organisation to “restore people’s rights”. He said its creation was necessary because of the failure to observe the law and people’s rights “and above all the behaviour of those in power”. If even a fraction of the recent reports of prisoner abuse were true, Iranian officials should “die of shame.”  link, link, link

— According to the INLA news agency, the new grouping will issue its first official statement this week. The movement will be a campaigning front encompassing political parties, NGOs and various “social networks”. link

Despite suggestions he wasn’t willing to take over just yet, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani was today officially appointed the new Head of the Judiciary by Ayatollah Khamenei. His brother, Ali Larijani, is the Majlis Speaker. In his decree Khamenei urged Larijani to act quickly in legal matters. Interestingly, he also put some emphasis on Larijani’s qualifications “both in theory and practice”, something a number of top clerics have argued is notably absent in the new appointee, who only recently was upgrade from hojatoleslam. link, link

Human Rights Watch, the New York-based watchdog, said its research indicates a level of coordination in the repeated abuse of detainees in Iran “that suggests the abuse was ordered at top levels” and has urged the Iranian government to investigate the country’s top security officials. link

— In London Amnesty International called for an independent inquiry into the treatment of prisoners. link

— Twelve police officers and a judge have been removed from their posts and are awaiting prosecution  in relation to the abuses at Kahrizak detention centre. link, link

— The azarmehr blog carries a harrowing account by Babak Daad, the Iranian journalist forced into hiding well over a month ago, into Iran’s prison atrocities, suggesting they even have a code-name, Fath-ol-mobin or Illuminating Conquest, which apparently was also the codename for an offensive against Iraq in 1982.  link

— Tehran Bureau has a long version of Mehdi Karoubi’s statement defending his accusations of sexual abuse in prisons (plus more detail of Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami’s Friday prayers attack on him). link

— More detail on the spat. link

Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the Revolutionary Guards Commander, has reiterated that the corps’s current priority is confronting “soft threats”  that endanger the Islamic Republic. link

The friendly relations between Iran and Syria are playing a remarkable role in the development and growth of Islamic resistance, according to Mousa Al-Qadir, the Syrian Culrutal Attache in Tehran. link

— So there’s clearly nothing to worry about in the fact that Iran’s ambassador to Damascus has had to deny reports President Assad of Syria would be visiting Iran Sunday to congratulate President Ahmadinejad. His one day visit will happen soon, he says, just not Sunday. link

— Meanwhile Ahmadinejad has been having a go at neighbouring countries who have been “helping Zionists under the name of Islam”. He didn’t spell out who he had in mind. link

— The Islamic Republic of Iran News Network says King Abdullah of Jordan has congratulated Ahmadinejad on his second term. Let’s hope his felicitations last longer than President Mubarak’s. link

The Supreme Cultural Revolution Council has denied persistent rumours that it is to close all universities for at least one semester. link

The long-threatened trial of 7 Bahais on charges of spying for Israel and insulting religion will open on Tuesday. link

Ahmadinejad has announced that he will talk about the make-up of his cabinet in a national television address on Sunday, although his choices have yet to undergo the close scrutiny of the Majlis. link

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