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Thursday, June 25, 2009

MPs 'snub' Ahmadinejad

It seems that it is not only the protesters on the streets of Iran that do not accept the bogus results of the Iranian presidential election and the selection vs election of Ahmadinejad as president.


More than 180 Iranian MPs appear to have snubbed an invitation to celebrate President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election win, local press reports say.

All 290 MPs were invited to the victory party on Wednesday night, but only 105 turned up, the reports say.

A BBC correspondent says the move is a sign of the deep split at the top of Iran after disputed presidential polls.

Good for them.

NYT reports on more arrests of those challenging Ahmadinejad so-called "win."

Opposition figures said Thursday that 70 academics had been arrested after meeting with the main opposition leader, Mir Hussein Moussavi, on Wednesday, adding to a wave of detentions that has been depicted as the most sweeping since the Iranian revolution in 1979. But Mr. Moussavi said Thursday in a Web posting: “’I will not back down even for a second, even for personal threats or interests.”

In his first public comments for several days, Mr. Moussavi called the recent election a “big fraud” and said government security forces had “attacked protesters inhumanely, killed, injured or arrested them.” In remarks on an opposition Web site, he said,

“I am willing to show how election criminals have stood by those behind the recent riots and shed people’s blood.”

Ahmadinejad compares Obama with Bush for finally condemning the violence, arrests and murder of innocent Iranians protesting the election fraud.

After the official presidential results were announced, giving Mr. Ahmadinejad an 11 million-vote margin, President Obama was initially cautious in his response. But he has gradually adopted a much tougher stance, saying Tuesday he was “appalled and outraged” by events in Iran.

“Mr. Obama made a mistake to say those things,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said Thursday at a ceremony to open a petrochemical plant.

The election had brought a chance for a “new start in international relations” in which Iran would “speak from a different position based on dialogue and justice,” he said, according to the semi-official Fars news agency,

While Iran believed Britain and other European countries had a “bad record” in their relationship with Iran, he said, “we were not expecting Mr. Obama” to “fall into the same trap and continue the same path that Bush did.”

He also demanded an apology from President Obama for his most recent statement. “I hope you avoid the interfering in Iran’s affairs and express your regret in a way that the Iranian people find out about it,” he said.

Yeah Ahmadinejad, I hope you hold your breath until you get that apology, stand in line because some of Obama's own supporters are still waiting for their apologies for his broken campaign promises.

More on his little rant against Obama from The Telegraph:

"Will you use this language with Iran (in any future dialogue)? If this is your stance, there will be nothing left to talk about. Do you think this behaviour will solve the problem for you? This will not have any result except that the people will consider you somebody similar to Bush."

One of the blogs from Guardian, has the Iran Crisis: Live, with continuous updates, one of which shows that "One of the leading European importers of Iranian caviar, Hague-based Persian Caviar, has decided to boycott the product, France Soir reports (in French).

"I will not give any more money to a regime that is massacring my people," said Hossein Akef, the Iranian director of the company. "

Washington Times reports that protesters are altering their protesting tactics to avoid being massacred in the street by the Iranian regime.

Iran's pro-democracy movement is changing strategy and will use smaller and more dispersed demonstrations to try to protect protesters from security forces, who dissidents now say have killed nearly 250 people in the past 10 days.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a prominent Iranian filmmaker who is serving as a spokesman in the West for opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, told The Washington Times that the opposition movement is also asking Iranians all over the world to light candles in silent protest Friday to commemorate Neda Agha-Soltan, a young woman killed by security forces Saturday.

Her slaying, captured on video and sent around the world via the Internet, has become a symbol of the protest movement and of the Iranian government's crackdown on those disputing the purported landslide victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

I saved the best for last though... this could be big if they follow through.

IBTimes reports "Rafsanjani has enough support to remove Khamenei."

As the Iranian government continues to crackdown on protestors against the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, behind the scenes there is reported to be movement which, although hidden, could bring an end the reign of the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei and Mr Ahmadinejad.

Behind the scenes Khamenei's arch rival, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is believed to be working to remove the Supreme Leader and is even reported to be considering abolishing the post of Supreme Leader altogether in what would be the biggest constitutional change since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Rafsanjani is the head of Iran's Expediency Council and crucially the Assembly of Experts which is responsible for overseeing and if necessary removing the Supreme leader. He is also a prominent backer of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the defeated presidential candidate who has become the focal point for protestors.

You might remember that Rafsanjani had family members "detained" then released, which could have been because the Supreme Leader and Ahmadinejad got wind of what he was doing behind the scenes.

According to unconfirmed reports Rafsanjani is currently lobbying and meeting with members of the Assembly of Experts to gain support for the removal of Khamenei and for replacing the position of Supreme Leader with a form of collective leadership.

According to Al-Arabiya, high-up sources say that Rafsanjani has already gained enough support within the Assembly for the removal of Khamenei, but has found less of a positive response to the proposal to replace the position of Supreme Leader altogether.

As I remind you on ever post about the fight for freedom being held on the streets of Iran, keep your eye on Twitter feed #Iranelection, where Iranians, mostly using proxies are risking their lives to post news, pictures and videos, so the world can see their struggle for freedom.