Monday, December 28, 2009

(Some) Iranians finally understand Mullahs are worse than Shah; Reuters fantasizes

It took Iranians a long time to figure out that a regime that murders people, dictates how they dress, hangs Bahai and homosexuals and risks military confrontation with the US just might be worse than the regime of the Shah.
Latest reports claim as many as ten were killed in the recent demonstrations.
Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency has their own axe to grind. Quoth Reuters:
The post-election turmoil has also made Iranian officials unable to resolve a dispute over Iran's nuclear programme, which the West fears is a cover to build bombs.
Reuters has no evidence at all for any role of the "post-election turmoil" in the Iranian nuclear dispute. The Iranian government has been absolutely consistent, before and after the election, in insisting on its legitimate right to hide nuclear installations from the IAEA and continue with its uranium enrichment program. They never even hinted that they would stop this program.
Ami Isseroff
Last update - 10:34 28/12/2009       
Iran opposition leader: Tehran regime worse than the Shah
By Reuters
Reformist Iranian cleric Mehdi Karoubi condemned the killing of eight protesters during Shiite Islam's most important observance a day earlier, saying the government was even more brutal than the cruel regime that was ousted by the Islamic Revolution three decades ago.
Iranian police confirmed that five people died in Tehran and at least another three in the city of Tabriz when pro-reform protesters fought security forces on Sunday, the most violent clashes since a contested June 12 presidential vote sparked political turmoil across the Islamic Republic.
"What has happened to this religious system that it orders the killing of innocent people during the holy day of Ashura?" moderate cleric Karoubi, who came fourth in the election, said in a statement, the Jaras website reported.
The shah, who was overthrown in 1979, was widely hated, and comparing a rival to him is a serious, though common, insult in Iranian politics.
Opposition websites said police opened fire on protesters in central Tehran. Eight people were killed in the capital and other Iranian cities when tens of thousands of opposition backers took to the streets, they said.
The deaths were the first in street protests since the immediate aftermath of the disputed June election.
Among the dead was opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's nephew, whose death was described as a "martyrdom" by a Mousavi ally. State television said "unknown assailants" killed Ali Habibi Mousavi Khamene.
Police said investigations were under way into the suspicious deaths and that 300 protesters were arrested, adding that dozens of members of the security forces were injured.
State television said in a headline that "police deny involvement in killings", and said that those detained included members of a an exiled opposition group, Mujahideen Khalq Organisation (MKO). It quoted a senior police official as saying security forces had not used weapons.
Jaras said opposition politician Ebrahim Yazdi, leader of the banned Freedom Movement and foreign minister in Iran's first government after the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the U.S.-backed shah, was detained early on Monday at his home.
Yazdi, who was also detained after the June presidential poll, is an important opposition voice in Iran but has no influence on state policy and limited popular support.
Jaras said police shot and killed four protesters in central Tehran on Sunday and that unrest had spread to other parts of Iran, including the holy city of Qom, Shiraz, Isfahan, Najafabad, Mashhad and Babol.
The reports could not be independently verified because foreign media are banned from covering protests.
The White House condemned the "unjust suppression" of civilians by the Iranian government and said the United States was on the side of protesters.
The killings showed that the confrontation between the opposition and the clerical and political establishment had entered a volatile phase, in which the security forces appeared determined to stamp out the reformist movement.
A hardline clerical group in Qom condemned the "sedition by rioters" during the Shi'ite Muslim religious ritual of Ashura, the official IRNA news agency said.
"The association of Qom theologians ... ask officials to identify those behind yesterday's events and take appropriate measures to firmly encounter and punish them according to legal and religious standards," a statement said.
The disputed re-election of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has plunged Iran into its biggest internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution, exposing deepening divisions in its ruling elite and setting off a wave of protests that the opposition says left over 70 people dead.
Officials say the death toll was half that number, including members of a pro-government Islamic militia.
The post-election turmoil has also made Iranian officials unable to resolve a dispute over Iran's nuclear programme, which the West fears is a cover to build bombs. Iran denies this.
(Editing by Jon Boyle)

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