Leaders of Iran

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Zahra Rahnavard Wife of ex-PM Moussavi urges release of detained female journalist

Wife of ex-PM urges release of detained female journalist: "3/3/01
Wife of ex-PM urges release of detained female journalist

Tehran, March 3, IRNA -- The wife of former Iranian prime minister Mir-Hossein Moussavi, Zahra Rahnavard, has called for the release of a woman reformist, Fariba Davoudi Mohajer, who was arrested last month on "yet undeclared charges" as reported by the press on Saturday.
The daily Hayat-e Now quoted Rahnavard as denouncing the "reprehensible" manner of the arrest which it described as a "stark violation of her privacy" guaranteed under the laws of the state.

"We urge the release of Ms Davoudi-Mohajer and seek an apology from armed agents who arrested her in a violent manner," she told a group of students in Al-Zahra University.

"Why should a female journalist be arrested in a violent way before the eyes of her family?" she asked.

She said that Islam dismisses such "reprehensible acts."

Davoudi-Mohajer was arrested last month. Her husband, Mohammad Baqer Bakhtiar, was quoted by the press as saying that several men, armed with warrants from Tehran's revolutionary court, beat his wife before taking her to an unspecified place.

Davoudi-Mohajer was the head of the public relations office of the now-banned Khordad daily, once managed by a former vice-president, Abdullah Nouri, now serving a jail sentence on dissent charges.

Meanwhile, another woman reformist figure, Fatemeh Haqiqatjou, last week took a sharp snipe at the Iranian judiciary for the "violent arrest" of Davoudi-Mohajer.

Newspaper reports of the arrest said that persons acting as agents of the judiciary yanked off Mohajer's chador (veil), squeezed her in between doors and ransacked her bedrooms.

The Tehran Revolutionary Court denied its agents had maltreated Davoudi-Mohajer.

Meanwhile, the student news agency ISNA said a "nationalist party" has condemned the continuing arrest of reformist journalists in the country.

It regretted the detention of nationalist leader Ezzatollah Sahabi and denounced confessions extracted from him "under the worst forms of duress."

It said that Sahabi was not able to recognize his own family members who visited him in prison last week.

Sahabi, 75, was sentenced in January to four years in prison for his part in a Berlin conference on political change in Iran. He is serving his sentence at Tehran's Evin prison. Other charges are currently pending against him in court in connection with articles he published as managing director of the banned Iran-e Farda journal.

The party has also blasted the detention of Reza Alijani, an editor of the banned Iran-e Farda journal (a mouthpiece of the banned but somewhat tolerated Iran's Freedom Movement), on orders of the Islamic Revolutionary Court.

Another pro-reform columnist of Iran-e Farda, Hoda Saber, was arrested on orders of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in January. He remains in jail to date.

Over 30 newspapers in Iran have been closed down and a number of their journalists indicted on various charges since April this year. Alleged offenses include "provoking public disorder, engaging in anti-revolutionary activities and insulting Islam."

Neither East Nor West : One Woman's Journey Through the Islamic Republic of Iran
© Copyright 2001 NetNative
(All Rights Reserved)"

Khamenei, Rafsanjani, Moussavi 1984 Cabinet Reshuffle

TIME Magazine Archive Article -- Who's Up, Who's Down -- Aug. 27, 1984: "Who's Up, Who's Down

Aug. 27, 1984

Eager to show there was support for his policies, Prime Minister Mir Hossein Moussavi asked Iran's parliament last week to give him and his government a vote of confidence.

What Moussavi got instead was a split decision: he and 15 Cabinet ministers won approval, but five officials, including Defense Minister Muhammad Salimi, were dismissed. Salimi's ouster was not tied to the conduct of Iran's four-year war with Iraq, since military strategy rests with Iran's generals and Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini's inner circle. Instead, Salimi was accused of not weeding out waste in the country's defense budget.

In addition, Salimi and another cashiered minister belong to an ultraconservative Shi'ite Muslim group that has been critical of Khomeini's policies. The shake-up apparently was engineered by Parliamentary Speaker Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who believes that such dissent is divisive. Rafsanjani's maneuver may show that in the rivalry between him and President Seyed Ali Khamenei, Rafsanjani is winning. "He has Khomeini's ear," said a senior Iranian official. "By forcing a Cabinet reshuffle, he just demonstrated who is boss.""

Moussavi - an experienced politician who enjoyed Khomeini's confidence

Muaffaq al-Rubai - Iraqi interim government National Security Adviser: "Power struggles in Tehran

Amid mounting concern over Iran's widely suspected pursuit of a nuclear capability it has become clear that the reformers in Tehran have lost the battle for control of the country's destiny. The important question is which of Iran's hardliners will succeed outgoing President Mohammad Khatami?

The battle for political control of Iran is no longer being fought between the 'moderate' reformers and the hardliners, but within the ranks of the conservatives. Since losing ground to the hardliners in parliament - with many of his key supporters being banned from even standing as candidates in last February's elections - Khatami has appeared to be the largely powerless figure-head of a reform movement that has been effectively derailed by the conservative factions. Having lost the confidence of many younger Iranians who were demanding more liberalisation, the political prospects for the president's supporters look bleaker than ever.

Under Iran's constitution, the president is only eligible to serve two consecutive terms, so Khatami - elected for the first time in 1997 and for a second term in 2001 - cannot stand again in the elections scheduled to be held in June 2005. However, given the widespread disillusionment which has been the hallmark of his second term in office, there would have been no guarantee that he could have won a third mandate.

Khatami's inevitable exit from frontline politics in 2005 leaves the weakened reform movement without an obvious candidate to succeed him. One possible choice, former prime minister Mir Hossein Moussavi, recently ruled himself out of the race. Despite mounting pressure from reformers to stand, Moussavi - who served as Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's prime minister from 1981 to 1989 - has now formally declined the nomination, much to the disappointment of Khatami and his supporters, since Moussavi is regarded as an experienced politician who enjoyed Khomeini's confidence.

With the reformers in deep disarray, the field is wide open for the conservatives to add the prize of the presidency to their control of Iran's parliament. Although ultimate political power continues to rest with the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the presidential post is regarded as a key target if the hardliners are to regain full control over the Islamic Republic and safeguard - as they see it - Khomeini's legacy."

Conservative lawmakers to Meet Moussavi 8/3/04

Mellat Electronic Newspaper: "MPs to Meet Moussavi

TEHRAN - A group of conservative lawmakers have decided to meet with former prime minister Mir-Hossein Moussavi, an MP said.
The Imam Khomeini Followers Faction will schedule a meeting in coming weeks.
"We will try our best to bolster a unity among the reformists," Esmael Gerami-Moqaddam told ISNA.
Iran's embattled reformists say they will back Mousavi in presidential elections scheduled for June 2005.
Mousavi served in the now-defunct position of prime minister from 1981 to 1989. Seen as a leftist within the Islamic republic, he was also a former foreign minister and was close to Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
He has largely kept out of politics since Imam Khomeini's death in 1989.The second and final term in office of Iran's incumbent president, embattled pro-reform cleric Mohammad Khatami, ends in June 2005.

August 3, 2004"