Leaders of Iran

Friday, December 10, 2004

Shahrudi appoints Larijani as deputy head of judiciary

IranMania News: "Shahrudi appoints Larijani as deputy head of judiciary

©2002 IranMania & AFP
Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Shahrudi has overseen the imprisonment of numerous journalists and political dissidents during his time as the head of the judiciary.

TEHRAN, May 12 (AFP) - A stalwart of Iran's conservative camp which already dominates the country's judiciary and political institutions was appointed the Islamic republic's deputy justice chief, the press reported Sunday.

Mohammad-Javad Larijani was appointed by judiciary chief Mahmud Hashemi-Shahrudi to the post of advisor in charge of international affairs, reports said.

A former deputy foreign minister and a member of parliament, Larijani was trained in the United States, is close to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and is perceived as the eminence grise and theoretician of Iran's powerful conservative movement.

Mohammad-Javad Larijani's brother, Ali Larijani, is the head of the conservative State Television and Radio Broadcasting Organization, IRIB.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's supporters have repeatedly accused the conservatives of attempting to crush their reform movement, using the judiciary as their main tool to intimidate reformist and opposition publications and politicians."

Iran names conservative as new state broadcast boss. 24/05/2004. ABC News Online

Iran names conservative as new state broadcast boss. 24/05/2004. ABC News Online: "Iran names conservative as new state broadcast boss
Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei has appointed another conservative to head the state radio and television broadcaster, the official IRNA news agency announced on Sunday.

Outgoing chief Ali Larijani, who is widely regarded as a possible candidate for the state presidency in polls due next year, will be replaced by his deputy Ezzatollah Zarghami, IRNA said.

A veteran of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as well as the 1979-80 seizure of the US embassy by radical students, Ezzatollah Zarghami is regarded as a Larijani loyalist.

In more than a decade in post, the outgoing Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting chief oversaw a massive expansion of the state media empire.

An Arabic-language satellite station joined six domestic channels as the regime sought to put its message across to neighbouring Iraq in the run-up to last year's US-led invasion.

The state broadcaster has also moved into print, launching the Jam-e Jam daily at a such a large discount against its competitors that it has rapidly become one of the country's biggest-selling newspapers.

The activism of Larijani's tenure has made IRIB a regular butt for criticism from reformist supporters of President Mohammad Khatami who accuse the state broadcaster of heavy bias towards their conservative opponents.

--AFP"

Netiran>Articles>Politics>Politicians>Diplomat Sheikh (Who Is Hassan Rowhani)?

Netiran>Articles>Politics>Politicians>Diplomat Sheikh (Who Is Hassan Rowhani)?: "Diplomat Sheikh (Who Is Hassan Rowhani)?

Sharq, Daily Newspaper, Vol. 1, No. 52, Oct. 28th, 2003, Page 1-4
By : Mohammad Qoochani
Word Count : 2685

When foreign ministers of the European Union arrived in Tehran on October 22, they were received not by Kamal Kharrazi (the standard Iranian diplomat) but by Hassan Rowhani (a man with a bright-colored cloak and a white turban). Head of Khatami administration's diplomacy had been replaced by head of the diplomatic apparatus of the Islamic Republic. In this way, the Islamic Republic unleashed the final face of it foreign policy overnight to prove its resilience vis-a-vis the international community to all those who considered pragmatic clergy as religious fundamentalists. Hassan Rowhani, however, was enjoying the night which brought him to the fore into the limelight after several years of silence. Now everybody in Tehran asked who he was that deserved to play host to such an important party?
Hassan Rowhani



1. Academic Cleric: From Semnan to London

Hassan Fereidoun Rowhani was born 55 years ago in Sorkheh district of Semnan. The 50s is an important period during the life of the Iranian clergy: the decade of accepting responsibilities; from the Supreme Leader who was appointed to the post in his 50s to Hashemi Rafsanjani who was elected president in 55 or Mohammad Khatami who came to power in the fifth decade of his life. However, Hassan Rowhani took advantage of his 50s belatedly. He was 12 when he went to Qom to study fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), but the young cleric, as proved in the future life, could not compromise with customary courses of the seminary. Then he learned the not-so-common courses of philosophy and logics, that gave rise not to a source of emulation, but to a researcher and not to a mujtahed (Islamic jurisprudent), but a philosopher. He was accepted to Tehran University when he was only 21 to learn common law instead of the canonical law. He also went to London to study sociology in London University as Scotland and get his doctorate.

2. Militant Cleric: From Seminary to Battle Field

Hassan Rowhani was not in Iran to witness the clerical revolution of 1978. A year before he had delivered a speech at Tehran's Arg Mosque on Ayatollah Mostafa Khomeini, as a result of which he was banned from minbar, which forced him to leave the country: first to study in England and then to accompany the late Imam Khomeini in Paris.
Hassan Rowhani was a modern cleric in Europe, but an ordinary cleric taking to minbar in Iran. Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi remembers: "Once Dr. Hassan Rowhani, who was renowned for his sermons, was supposed to deliver a sermon at (Imam Khomeini) mosque of Qom. I was told to invite him, which he initially refused. He said it was hard for him to deliver a speech among the seminary students. I told him that Qom was a sensitive place and Imam Khomeini had emphasized that people should be kept abreast of the news ... then he accepted."
Hassan Rowhani who had been imprisoned for a while in 1964, went to Europe to prevent that experience to be repeated and gain so much experience as to be appointed to a high post in the incipient clerical system upon return. First, he went to ideological and political department of the Army at a time that Mojahedeen Khalq Organization and Marxists called for its dissolution. The clergy, however, opposed dissolution of the army, but it was the time to reconstruct the most important military organ of the royal regime and such clerics as Rowhani who were more familiar with worldly sciences than religious knowledge were a good choice to pull off the task. Thenceforth, Rowhani was a military man too. However, the Islamic Republic Party was planning to nominate him for the first Majlis elections. Therefore, he returned from London and was elected by the fellow citizens. When in Majlis he went to the same place for which he was trained, that is, Defense Commission. With the outset of Iran-Iraq war he defended his experience in the army in such a way that he became the first clerical general along with Hashemi Rafsanjani. Hassan Rowhani became deputy head and then head of the command staff of Khatam-ol-Anbia headquarters in 1980s and soon after that he was appointed as commander of the general staff of the country's air defense. During a meeting with commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) (Mohsen Rezaei, Yahya Rahim Safavi and Ali Shamkhani) on November 9, 1986, he defended the role of army on the side of IRGC saying, "The Val Fajr 8 operations showed that if we make room for innovation by military forces and support them, the result would be excellent ... we do not need more than two hawk missile systems in the said region, but we will bring four systems. Replacement of Rapier system was not successful, but we try to establish two such systems and make them operational with the help of Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization, while there are still shortages in terms of 45 mm canons ... What we expect from IRGC is not to interfere in the affairs of these brothers (defense personnel of the Army). Anything that you want, just relay your request directly to command of the headquarters." Although the name of Hassan Rowhani was not mentioned in McFarlane affair, we know that the hawk systems were purchased during the same dealings. Hashemi Rafsanjani recalled, "The Americans did a bad thing. To get more money and channel it to Nicaraguan opposition, they finagled with prices. Meanwhile, they brought some missile systems needed by us from warehouses in Israel despite the fact that they knew we were sensitive about it."
At that time, two clerics were more involved in the war: Hashemi Rafsanjani and Hassan Rowhani. Both of them were present during Kheibar operations in March 1984. Before that they were the only clerics along with the then president who took part in a meeting among diplomats, generals and politicians for managing war.
Therefore, the political ideas of Hassan Rowhani were more similar to Hashemi Rafsanjani than anybody else and Hashemi Rafsanjani can be considered as a political role model for Hassan Rowhani. Their similarities include willingness to run the war, efforts for political pragmatism, giving priority to economic development over political development and standing on the border line between political factions. Hashemi Rafsanjani wrote in his memoirs on March 2, 1984, "Presence of Dr. Hassan Rowhani in the headquarters is useful for me."

3. Rowhani the Manager: From Majlis to Television

During the first Majlis, in addition to heading the Parliament's Defense Commission, he was appointed along with Reza Zavarei as Majlis' representative in the council supervising Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). The council, however, did not get along with the then managing director of the IRIB, Mohammad Hashemi, and forced him to resign on July 21, 1983. He was succeeded by the would-be diplomat, Mohammad Javad Larijani. However, this did not last long because Imam Khomeini protested and he resigned too. For three days from resignation of Larijani to July 23, Rowhani was interim managing director of IRIB. As Hashemi recalls, "The same night Mr. Mousavi Ardebili called and said Imam is angry and has ordered the supervision council to be dissolved immediately. Ahmad (Khomeini) said the same. I said that I won't interfere. Mr. Rowhani asked for more time."
In spite of all this, the story ended in the benefit of Mohammad Hashemi. Hassan Rowhani and Reza Zavarei resigned on the order of the late Imam Khomeini on July 23. A session was held at Presidential office 12 days later during which Rowhani talked about the background of the discrepancy and weaknesses of IRIB managing director and the managing director defended his performance. Upon the order of leader of the Islamic Revolution, Mohammad Hashemi was reinstated and continued to work until the demise of Imam Khomeini. Hassan Rowhani, however, never returned to the management of the IRIB.

4. Rowhani, the Diplomat: From China to the United States

During the first Majlis, Hassan Rowhani had another post that made it possible for him to gain diplomatic experiences too. He who had already traveled to India, China and ?? Korea as a member of IRIB supervising council, went to the America to attend the conference of interparliamentary union. Before that, he had a trip to Libya. The trip to the America made him one of the few clerics who had ever set foot on the soil of the arch-enemy of the Islamic Republic, and the second important of those clerics after Hashemi Rafsanjani.

5. Rowhani, the Politician: From Society of Combatant Clerics to Kargozaran Sazandegi (Executives of Construction) Party

Hassan Rowhani is a senior member of the Society of Combatant Clerics and was nominated by them for the second and third parliamentary elections. Of course, from the second Majlis elections, he never succeeded to enter the parliament during the first round of elections, he could be proud of representing the people of capital. Therefore, he was nominated for Tehran whose people sent him to the Parliament with an average vote count of 400,000. His votes during the second, third, fourth and fifth parliamentary elections amounted to 412,895; 432,767; and 465,902 respectively. During the first Majlis, Islamic Republic Party dominated the Majlis, while the government was not still dominated by the clergy and the Society of Combatant Clerics supported Bani Sadr. Hassan Rowhani sufficed to representing Semnan in the Majlis, but simultaneous with the presence of party heads in the government, he grew too. During the second Majlis he managed to gain the support of the Society of Combatant Clerics and was appointed deputy chairman of a Majlis whose former speaker (Hashemi Rafsanjani) had already been elected President. However, the newly established Assembly of Combatant Clergy had the majority in the Parliament and they wanted to see Mehdi Karroubi as the speaker. Therefore, Hassan Rowhani did not get enough votes for deputy speaker and joined the minority MPs. His presence in the minority faction was a strategic decision. From that time on, he frequently opposed leftist inclinations and on January 31 he attended a meeting with Asadollah Bayat, Rasoul Montajabnia, Dorri Najafabadi, and Hashemi Rafsanjani to decide about changing the situation of Ayatollah Montazeri's house. The Assembly of Combatant Clergy considered him a central cadre to the Society of Combatant Clerics and student members of the Office to Foster Unity insisted on drawing a clear demarcation with him when they knew Rowhani was to deliver the speech on November 4, 1983 instead of Mehdi Karroubi. During that ceremony the rightists took charge of the ceremony marking capture anniversary of the former US embassy and tried to hold the ceremony under that aegis of the Islamic Propagation Coordination Council. Then a communique was issued announcing that a high-ranking official was to address the ceremony and that official turned out to be Hassan Rowhani. Now he not only was a prominent member of the system, but also an outstanding member of the Society of Combatant Clerics whose proposed candidates won the parliamentary elections. Therefore, Nateq Nouri was elected speaker with Hassan Rowhani as his deputy. This was repeated during the fifth Majlis elections. However, Hassan Rowhani was supported on two sides: first by the Society of Combatant Clerics and, second by the newly established Kargozaran Sazandegi (Executives of Reconstruction) Party. Hassan Rowhani was so popular with the executives of reconstruction that he was put on the 14-member list that was drawn up in a failed coalition with the Society of Combatant Clerics in 1995. In later years, Hassan Rowhani got closer to the executives. The presidential term of Hashemi Rafsanjani was nearing its end and Nateq Nouri was preparing himself for presidency, when his deputy (Rowhani) was suddenly quoted as saying that Hashemi Rafsanjani was the second important person in the country after Imam Khomeini.
"He is still the second man of the system and the next president would be the third man," he said.
His remarks infuriated the conservatives and next day, Resalat wrote that the remarks were a blow to Hashemi Rafsanjani's personality.
Rowhani, however, retorted in Semnan that if Hashemi had consented the way was paved because "exceptional men could not be confined by any law."
This was followed with a sharp criticism by Resalat, which wrote, "This is either a personal stance or a baseless argument. Don't you remember that the first president turned out to be a fake because he did not consider himself to be confined by any law?"
Therefore, efforts to keep Hashemi in power led nowhere due to clear opposition of the conservatives and his personal refusal to run for president.
The Executives of Reconstruction tried to find a substitute for him; anybody but Nateq Nouri. When their request was turned down by Mir-Hossein Mousavi, they decided to choose from two Hassans: Hassan Habibi and Hassan Rowhani.
Ataollah Mohajerani who was a senior member of the Executives, was the first to say that if Hashemi Rafsanjani did not ran for president, Hassan Rowhani would be the best choice.
They were both working at the Strategic Research Center of the Presidential office, which was headed by Hassan Rowhani who took over after resignation of Mousavi Khoeiniha. Mohajerani was editor-in-chief of Rahbord (Strategy) quarterly. Soon the center became a breeding ground for future reformists such as Saeed Hajjarian and Mohsen Kadivar and the quarterly was the place where such writers as Alireza Alavitabar wrote about political development. Therefore, Hassan Rowhani that was never considered a rightist figure had to work with a group of leftist intellectuals at the center.
When among leftists intellectuals, he showed a penchant for political development, though due to his long record with military and security bodies most those who worked with him did not considered him to be a true proponent of political development. After taking part at a meeting of deputies and executives supporting the Islamic republic party to discuss proposed shutdown of Mizan and Jomhouri Eslami dailies, which was taken up by the late Dr. Beheshti and the then prosecutor general, Lajevardi; Hassan Rowhani never talked about freedom of press. However, he became managing editor of a magazine that gave rise to the concept of political development.
Hassan Rowhani never became the president. A center-right man gave way to a center-left man (Khatami) and remained silent for years to come. The sixth Majlis was the first post-revolutionary parliament that did not saw him on its floor, but his experiences as a man of the military and diplomacy established him as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC). In the council which succeeded Supreme Defense Council, Hassan Rowhani was representative of the Leader and secretary of the Council. SNSC is the main decision-making body for Iran's foreign policy and the Foreign Ministry solely carries out its decisions. So it was very natural for its secretary to play host to EU foreign ministers in Tehran.
Although he made the leftists angry (by opposing Karroubi being Majlis speaker) as well as the rightists (when he talked about reinstating Hashemi Rafsanjani instead of favoring Nateq Nouri), he had succeeded to get the trust of both factions for orchestrating a diplomatic negotiation.
Perhaps Hassan Rowhani would never become a president or Majlis speaker, but heading the Islamic Republic's diplomatic apparatus is not far from him. The Students Following Path of Imam are not worried about him anymore and Friday prayer leaders would not think that a cleric would ever sign a treacherous document. The Society of Combatant Clerics considers him one of his top cadres and the Executives of Reconstruction Party considers him a supporter of Hashemi Rafsanjani's views. Ansar Hezbollah likewise considers him representative of the Supreme Leader in SNSC.
But would the diplomatic Sheikh be once more marginalized in the scuffle between the two factions? Experience has shown that there cannot be more than two factions in Iran and any other alternative would be doomed to be assimilated in one of them just as happened to Hassan Rowhani."

October 95: Leader Lauds Role of IRIB in Educating People

October 95: "Leader Lauds Role of IRIB in Educating People (31.10.1995)
Tehran Times, TEHRAN The managerial staff of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) here yesterday called on the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei here yesterday. In the meeting, the Supreme Leader said that television functions as a university in view of its role of training, educating and directing the society. He stressed that its primary task is to direct the society on the basis of the true ideals of religion and politics.
Praising IRIB for its achievements in various fields, Ayatollah Khamenei lauded the IRIB personnel for their intensified efforts resulting in better television programs that are more impressive and manage to attract more viewers. Ayatollah Khamenei cited the importance IRIB attaches to such issues as the Revolution, Imam Khomeini, Sacred Defense and the nation's major problems, saying, I am not worried about those issues. He said the IRIB acts as a spokesman of Iran's Islamic system, adding that it shoulders many responsibilities in a world which hangers for religion but is under constant attack from anti-Islamic forces. Admiring the IRIB's efforts to preserve the Islamic and revolutionary values, Ayatollah Khamenei said, the television functions as director, leader and instructor for the society and recalled the sagacious saying of Imam Khomeini that IRIB plays the role of a university in educating people.
The Leader pointed out that the IRIB should disseminate religious teachings and Islamic policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Music is an art and should be used in the service of a virtuous life, the Leader said. The Leader added, the IRIB should teach the public how to avoid extravagance through its programs.
The head of IRIB, Ali Larijani, briefed the Leader of the IRIB's general policy and said that IRIB's programs are produced in conformity with the Islamic and revolutionary values.
"

Khamenei aide (Larijani) steps down as head of state television

Region Articles: "Khamenei aide steps down as head of state television

Tehran: The conservative head of Iran's state television and radio broadcast monopoly stepped down yesterday at the end of a second five-year term, paving the way for a possible presidential bid next year.

Ali Larijani, a trusted adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was replaced as head of IRIB by his deputy Ezatollah Zarghami, the official Irna news agency said.

The IRIB chief's position carries great weight in the Islamic Republic and is one of several key posts appointed directly by Khamenei.

A fierce conservative and member of a powerful political family, Larijani has been touted by some political groups as a potential candidate for president when incumbent pro-reform President Moham-med Khatami's term expires in mid-2005.

"He is one of a number of names that have been thrown around, particularly from the hard right," said one political analyst, who declined to be named.

Conservatives have rolled back most of the political gains made by reformists, comfortably winning local council and parliamentary elections in 2003 and 2004 thanks to a combination of public apathy and heavy vetting of potential candidates.

Most analysts expect the conservative comeback to be completed in next year's presidential election with voters presented a narrow field of right-of-centre candidates from which to choose.

Other candidates touted for presidential bids include Hassan Rohani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator and secretary-general of the Supreme National Security Council, Khamenei's foreign affairs advisor and former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati and former Revolutionary Guards chief Mohsen Rezaie.

At a ceremony yesterday, Khamenei thanked "my dear brother" Larijani and IRIB for standing up to Iran's enemies who are "trying to weaken national unity and strip officials of their courage through threats and intimidation.""

Iran Daily: Presidential Choices Surveyed

Iran Daily: "Presidential Choices Surveyed

TEHRAN, Dec. 4--State Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi and former head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Ali Larijani, are the most popular choices for presidency in the descending order, Fars News Agency quoted a nationwide survey as announcing on Saturday.
The Independent League of Islamic Iran sought the opinion of 100 people in random in 30 provincial capitals of the country.
According to the survey, Rafsanjani was preferred by 15 percent of the people, Karroubi by 14 percent, Larijani by 12 percent, former Minister of Higher Education Mostafa Moin by 11 percent, Majlis Speaker Gholamali Haddad-Adel by 9 percent, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati by 8 percent, Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by 7 percent and Supreme National Security Council Secretary Hassan Rohani by 4 percent."

Iran: IRIB supervisors warn Larijani about anti-Parliament comments

Iran: IRIB supervisors warn Larijani about anti-Parliament comments: "Iran: IRIB supervisors warn Larijani about anti-Parliament comments

The Council to Supervise the Performance of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on Monday served a notice to the IRIB President Ali Larijani for what it called "inappropriate" remarks on a recent report by a Parliament special inspection commission, IRNA reported from Tehrran.
The council decided to issue the warning for the IRIB's coverage of news about the contents of the report, the reaction of the organization, and the positions adopted against the Parliament and the inspection team.

It stressed that the notice to the IRIB was for highlighting that part of Larijani's remarks about the report that included inappropriate remarks against the Parliament and the report.

The council decided to take the required measures to complete the Parliament's investigations and make them more precise "considering the importance of the inspection team's efforts".

It also decided to set up a committee to supervise the IRIB's financial affairs at the earliest.

The Parliament Special Inspection Commission on IRIB's Revenues and Expenses in a report last Wednesday stressed that the organization had committed gross financial offenses totalling as much as Rls 525 billion (about Dlrs 656 million) in several cases.

The commission stressed that the report had been based on only "very limited" data obtained from other institutions, as well as a few banking accounts of the IRIB. It also lashed out at the organization for failing to cooperate with commission investigations.

The inspection commission furthermore urged the Parliament Presiding Board to sue the IRIB for flouting Article 201 of the Parliament Bylaws, which stipulates that state organizations must cooperate with its probes.

The press on Saturday quoted Larijani as terming the report as cursory, stressing that it had been politically motivated.

He rejected all the Parliament's charges of financial misconduct, and vowed to follow the issue through the Judiciary.

Larijani's remarks immediately drew the ire of parliamentarians with an MP from Tehran, Davoud Soleymani, urging Parliament Speaker, Mehdi Karroubi, to respond to what he called Larijani's flagrant insults to the MPs.

Meanwhile, Karroubi said Larijani in a letter had stressed that his remarks only addressed the details of the report, and not the Parliament, the Inspection Commission, or the report, itself.

The speaker said the letter had failed to remove the grudges that Larijani's remarks had caused, stressing that he was still hurt by those remarks.

Under Article 175 of the Iranian Constitution, the IRIB is only answerable to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

The IRIB's Supervising Council comprises two representatives from the Executive Branch, two from the Legislative, and two from the Judiciary."

Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) - New president at IRIB

Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU): "New president at IRIB
Date: 27-May-2004

Seyed Ezzatollah Zarghami has been appointed the new President of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

The appointment was made for a five-year period by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution based on the country’s constitution.

Mr Zarghami, 44, is a civil engineer who graduated from Tehran’s Amir Kabir Industrial University and has an MA degree in management. He is also a member of the University Scientific Board. He previously served as IRIB’s Vice-President for Parliamentary and Provincial Affairs.

He worked at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance for four years, where he held four posts, including Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance for Cinema and Deputy Minister for Provincial Affairs.

He also acted as an adviser in cultural-artistic and planning affairs at the Supreme Council for the Cultural Revolution — which acts as the most important body for cultural decision-making in the country — for a period of 15 years.

His executive posts did not separate him from his scientific and research activities and he has managed to publish artistic, cultural and political articles in different periodicals.

Speaking after his appointment as IRIB president, Mr Zarghami stressed the need for cooperation with other countries’ broadcasting organisations, and with radio and television unions in particular.

Mr. Zarghami replaces Dr Ali Larijani who presided over IRIB for two five-year terms."

Hoder on Ali Larijani

E:M | Making of the next President: Ali Larijani's diary: "Making of the next President: Ali Larijani's diary
I guess the Iran presidential election would eventually come down to a dirty fight between Akbar Rafsanjani, former president and Ali Larijani, former head of Iranian radio and TV (IRIB).

But Ali Larijani, very close advisor to the Supreme Leader, is not very well-known in the West, despite his crucial position among the young conservative politicians. He is known to be one of their greatest strategists who has been leading the gradual but very effective crackdown on the entire reform movement. He has a PhD in philosophy and before running the TV and radio for the past ten years, he's been a top official in Revolutionary Guards of Iran.

In a clear sign of his ambitions for the upcoming election, he has started a daily column based on his diary, in Jaam-e Jam, the most popular newspaper which is run by IRIB and is founded by Larijani himself during the second half of his term,. (A close friend of his, Ezzat Zarghami now runs the IRIB, while Larijani has no position in the administration, probably to prepare for his campaign).

Reading the first parts of the diary, witch talks about the process of him being appointed by Khamanei as the head of IRIB, it strikes me as nothing but an official start of campaigning. His strong emphasis on his personal relationship with the Supreme Leader, his great respect for his wife and family, and his skills and interests as a university professor who teaches Philosophy of Science in Tehran University. (He even mentions the English names of the articles he is reading to prepare himself for the next lecture. )

It's a lot of fun reading it because of his particular stiff and cold language, even when he writes about emotional things, and it's also very revealing about some behind-the-scenes incidents.

To me it looks like a blog, written -- possibly -- ten years ago, and published now, with a personal point-of-view and interesting details about the life of one of the brightest stars of the conservative camp who I guess is the ultimate hope of the Supreme Leader to lead the country for the next eight years.

Strange that no one has picked it up yet in the press."

BBC News | Larijani accused of factionalism and allowing censorship

BBC News | Monitoring | Media caught up in political struggle: "MPs accuse Larijani of censorship, bias

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To: iran-news@xxxxxxxx
Subject: MPs accuse Larijani of censorship, bias
From: Payman Arabshahi
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 20:38:50 -0800 (PST)
Content-length: 1950
Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

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Iran Daily (Journal of Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA))
January 13, 1998

MPs accuse IRIB's Larijani of censorship, bias

Tehran - Lawmakers on Tuesday strongly criticized the head
of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Ali
Larijani and accused him of factionalism and allowing
censorship of the broadcast media.

Five Majlis deputies in a letter to Larijani castigated his
management "of this national media which belongs to all the
respected people of Iran." They went on to say that IRIB
authorities had "not taken the proper lessons from the May
23 event and insist on factionalizing the IRIB".

On May 23 Iranians voted overwhelmingly for Seyyed Mohammad
Khatami in the presidential elections which Majlis speaker,
Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri was poised to win. The Khatami
victory took many by surprise including senior state
officials who had backed the speaker's candidacy.

Visibly angered by IRIB's onesided and often biased
approach, the MPs said "time and again over the past two
years, and on various pretexts interviews with and
publicity programs for peo-ple close to your line of
thought have been broadcast. In the program 'Contact with
MPs' interviews are conducted mainly with those who are
your allies, especially figures who were in conflict with
the people during the May general elections."

MPs who signed the letter of complaint included Qodratollah
Nazari, Gholam Haidar Ibrahimiyah Salami, Zabihollah Safai,
Qodrat Ali Heshmatian and Ms. Fatameh Ramazanzadeh.

During the radio and TV broadcast of the ongoing budget
debates, obstinacy and prejudice were taken to new heights
"when speeches by lawmakers who favored the 1998-99 draft
budget and who do not subscribe to your line of thinking
were censured and not broadcast," the parliamentarians
protested.

The signatories warned Larijani to revise his present
policies and "unfair practices which will not remain
conceded from our people's views"."

MPs accuse Larijani of censorship, bias

MPs accuse Larijani of censorship, bias: "MPs accuse Larijani of censorship, bias

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To: iran-news@xxxxxxxx
Subject: MPs accuse Larijani of censorship, bias
From: Payman Arabshahi
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 20:38:50 -0800 (PST)
Content-length: 1950
Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Iran Daily (Journal of Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA))
January 13, 1998

MPs accuse IRIB's Larijani of censorship, bias

Tehran - Lawmakers on Tuesday strongly criticized the head
of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Ali
Larijani and accused him of factionalism and allowing
censorship of the broadcast media.

Five Majlis deputies in a letter to Larijani castigated his
management "of this national media which belongs to all the
respected people of Iran." They went on to say that IRIB
authorities had "not taken the proper lessons from the May
23 event and insist on factionalizing the IRIB".

On May 23 Iranians voted overwhelmingly for Seyyed Mohammad
Khatami in the presidential elections which Majlis speaker,
Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri was poised to win. The Khatami
victory took many by surprise including senior state
officials who had backed the speaker's candidacy.

Visibly angered by IRIB's onesided and often biased
approach, the MPs said "time and again over the past two
years, and on various pretexts interviews with and
publicity programs for peo-ple close to your line of
thought have been broadcast. In the program 'Contact with
MPs' interviews are conducted mainly with those who are
your allies, especially figures who were in conflict with
the people during the May general elections."

MPs who signed the letter of complaint included Qodratollah
Nazari, Gholam Haidar Ibrahimiyah Salami, Zabihollah Safai,
Qodrat Ali Heshmatian and Ms. Fatameh Ramazanzadeh.

During the radio and TV broadcast of the ongoing budget
debates, obstinacy and prejudice were taken to new heights
"when speeches by lawmakers who favored the 1998-99 draft
budget and who do not subscribe to your line of thinking
were censured and not broadcast," the parliamentarians
protested.

The signatories warned Larijani to revise his present
policies and "unfair practices which will not remain
conceded from our people's views"."