Saturday September 19 – the daily story

The main headlines

The children of Ayatollah Rafsanjani have written to the Judiciary Chief, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, calling for an official investigation of all the rumours about them and an audit of their wealth to end the “slanderous” remarks made against them by President Ahmadinejad, Tabnak reports. A full translation of the letter from Fatima, Mohsen, Faezeh, Mahdi, and Yasser is carried on Neo-Resistance.

The morning after the day before: there is undisguised jubilation on reformist websites at the outcome of yesterday’s Qods Day rallies. Moussavi’s Facebook page and the Neo-Resistance blog carry collections of newspaper front pages from home and abroad. The clear message from Moussavi supporters is that the triumph of Friday is about to be repeated in New York when Ahmadinejad goes there this week to address the United Nations. Facebook, Neo-Resistance, Payvand, YouTube

— The Keeping The Change website had a good roundup of the Qods Day demonstrations that took place in cities throughout Iran. Keeping The Change

— Russia joined the international chorus of objection to President Ahmadinejad’s holocaust denial speech on Friday, saying such statements were totally unacceptable and did not  contribute to the establishment of an effective international dialogue with Iran. Thaindian News

— The Helmsley Hotel in New York cancelled a banquet planned for next week that had President Ahmadinejad on the guest list, saying the man who called the Holocaust a lie was not welcome. The hotel was a;lerted by the United Against Nuclear Iran lobby group. Reuters, PressTV

— Any massed gatherings are going to pose a problem for the authorities without an even greater crackdown. This was highlighted by the “black and white football match” (you have to admit ‘a game of black and white’ makes a change from ‘a game of two halves’), live television coverage of Esteghlal v Steel Azin at Tehran’s Azadi stadium last night. Because a large number of Green protesters were in the stadium the live coverage was cut, with the excuse that only one camera had been sent to the stadium by mistake, and the match was broadcast later in black and white with no crowd noise. Police and marshals at the Persepolis game reportedly turned away any fans wearing green. Guardian, Youtube

The Tehran police department says that while several arrests were made during Friday’s Qods Day rallies they were mainly people trying to cause damage, while the police left alone those chanting slogans which were “irrelevant” to the occasion. PressTV

— Prosecutor-general, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, has warned that “law-breakers” seeking to cause tension will be met with a “serious response”. Maintaining the law was vital to national security, he said. PressTV

— Grand Ayatollah Montazeri has been forced to cancel his annual prayer to mark the end of Ramadan, the mowjcamp website reports. mowjcamp

This (Persian) week is Sacred Defence Week and it appears Iran intends to spare no expense to show the world, but particularly one imagines Israel, that it is well up to the task of defending itself.  Parades and shows will take place throughout the country, kicked off by a nationwide air show on the 22nd during which Iran plans to show off its first squadron of the home built Saegheh (Thunderbolt) fighter  aircraft on Tuesday. Fars, MemriPressTV

A US federal judge has ruled that the government of Iran cannot face legal action the torture and execution of an Iranian-American’s father nearly three decades ago because at the time Iran had not been identified by the US as an official state sponsor of terrorism. tennessean.com

The water level in Iran’s largest lake, Urmia,  has dropped to 1,271.2 meters (4,170.6 ft), which is below its natural balance and 7 meters below its highest mark, the Environmental Protection Office of West Azerbaijan says. Drought is said to be the main cause. PressTV

Legga, an Italian sports equipment firm, is to sponsor Iran’s national football team. Fars

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