Sunday September 6 – the daily story

Our apologies for going offline over the last few days, which was forced by a medical emergency

The main headlines

Mehdi Karoubi has hit back at judicial claims that he has failed to supply concrete evidence to back up his claims of sexual abuse in prisons. Ebrahim Raisi, the deputy head of the judiciary who sits on the three-man panel appointed by his boss, Sadegh Larijani,  to investigate claims of abuse, said  earlier this week that Karoubi had so far failed to prove his allegations. But according to his etemademelli website, Karoubi  said  he has handed in three documents: the video of one of the victims who has now disappeared; a document about a lady who was assaulted; and documents about a man who was also assaulted along with the forensic report.

— An arrest warrant has been issued for Karoubi’s son Ali on a charge of being involved in a financial row with one of Iran’s biggest mobile phone companies for which Ali Karoubi’s company was supposed to sell phone cards.  Fars news agency says the disputed amount is almost $2.5 million. link

The purge of the humanities is underway. The Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies has been ordered by the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council to revise the human sciences curriculum in the wake of Ayatollah Khamenei’s complaint about the  anti-Islamic bent of current humanities teaching in universities, the IRNA news agency reported. “A large part of the syllabus… is not in line with our Iranian-Islamic culture. This calls for a revision,”  Hamid Reza Ayatollahi, who heads the institute, said. link

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Majlis Foreign Policy and National Security Commission , said reformist leaders have failed to back up a list they presented of 69 people killed in the post-election disturbances. He said that in a meeting “a few weeks ago” the commission had asked Alireza Beheshti and  Morteza Alviri to provide more specific information for the list such as ID numbers and father’s name, but had heard no more. He was therefore sceptical of a list of 72 people allegedly killed in the turmoil which was published Friday by NowroozNews. link, the list of 72

President Ahmadinejad nominated another woman, MP Fatemeh Alia, for the post of education minister following the rejection of his first choice.  For the energy ministry he proposed Ali Zabihi, the current chairman of the Social Security Organisation. He did not name a new welfare nominee. The Majlis will vote on the nominations on September 15.  link

— The nomination of Alia came despite a plea at a press conference today from Mohammad Taqi Rahbar, head of the clerical grouping in the Majlis, for Amadinejad not to insist on naming  more women for ministerial posts. link

— Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi  hit back strongly at the US today over its attack on the appointment of Interpol  fugitive Ahmad Vahidi as Defence Minister. “This attitude shows that America does not believe in democracy in other countries,” he said. “We deplore America’s stand in this case, and we think America had better not fall into the deceptive trap of global Zionism which spearheads terrorism.”  link

— Ahmadinejad held the first meeting of his new government today. link

Ayatollah Khamenei has said distinguishing between friend and foe, or aggressor and defender, has become a difficult task. Speaking in a meeting with poets, intellectuals and artists, he said that although the “soft war” was a  reality, which may have been underestimated and overlooked by some people. it could not be fought through a “political approach”. It  required artists to use their skills to the utmost so that art could be used as an effective counter. His plea to the artistic community may in part be related to the fact that 148 poets and writers were reported last week to have published a declaration decrying the “oppression towards people and especially young adults” in recent incidents. link, link, photos

Shajarian , the internationally acclaimed traditional Persian singer, has recorded a new work to declare his solidarity with the Green movement. The video of the song, with lyrics written by Fereedoun Moshiri, has been posted on YouTube. The essential message of the song: put down the guns and let people protest in peace. The singer famously demanded that the state broadcaster stop playing his music after the election, and when President Ahmadinejad referred to the post-election protesters as “dust and trash”, Shajarian gave an interview to BBC Persian in which he declared his voice to be “the voice of dust and trash and it will always remain the voice of dust and trash.” link, YourTube

The reformists’ verbal  tirade tirade against the hardliners continues unabated, with former President Ayatollah Khatami the latest to go on the offensive. According to parlemannews Khatami  emphasised that the reformists are opposing  those who, in the name of fighting western liberalism, turn to fascism and totalitarianism. He said the authorities needed to start rebuilding public trust immediately,  before all opportunities are exhausted. link

— Following the false accusations made by Revolutionary Guard (i.e. the coup forces) propaganda and especially the recent shameless remarks made by General Commander of IRGC, Jafari, against Khatami and other prominent reformist figures; The Assembly of Combatant Clergymen has filed a formal complaint against Revolutionary Guards commander General Jafari and Kayhan newspaper for publishing lies and insulting several of its members.  The Islamic Iran Participation Front also attacked  Jafari’s comments, according to nowrouznews. A statement condemning his “baseless accusations”  said Jafari’s remarks were an attempt to sidestep prosecution for his part in the election fraud and represented proof that the Revolutionary Guards interfered in the election and subsequent events to launch their own “velvet coup”.

More than 300 media workers and activists have written to Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi, Tehran’s new prosecutor-general, calling for imprisoned journalists to be freed and the ban lifted on newspapers closed down by his hardline predecessor, Said Mortazavi, the Islamic Iran Participation Front website reported. link

Venezuela will export 20,000 barrels a day of petrol to Iran from October in exchange for Iranian machinery and technology. The agreement was made as President Hugo Chavez wrapped up his two-day visit to Tehran. Iran has a shortage of refined capacity and must import up to 40% of the petroleum it needs. link, link

Iran has accused the United Arab Emirates of putting “unprecedented pressure” on Iranian citizens to leave, including an unnamed religious figure and “several merchants”. link

The Jordanian government has reportedly shut down the Amman bureau of the PressTV English language news channel. link

Iran said it had developed an early warning weapons system to intercept stealth-equipped cruise missiles. link

Iran and China stand out in the reported number of blockages of Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube according to Herdict, an Internet censorship tracking service.  link

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