July 29, 2009

COUNTERING THE COUP:

Why Iran's conservatives are airing their dirty laundry: In a striking move Tuesday, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei personally called for a detention center to be closed, citing mistreatment, while President Ahmadinejad sanctions repressive tactics. (Iason Athanasiadis, 7/29/09, The Christian Science Monitor )

On Tuesday, amid growing public anger about reports of torture of political prisoners following the deaths of two young protestors in regime custody last week, Iran released 140 political prisoners. Khamenei made the striking decision to personally announce the closure of a detention center, criticizing the treatment of prisoners held there.

"At this stage, there's cleavage in every part of the government," says Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. "It can be seen in the Intelligence Ministry between those who say that [presidential challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi's] green movement was part of a velvet revolution and a plot to overthrow the regime, and those who argue that this is ridiculous."


Don't defy supreme leader, hardliners warn Ahmadinejad (AFP, 30 July 2009)
Iranian hardliners warned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday to obey the country’s supreme leader, piling further pressure on the president following his disputed re-election and a series of controversial political decisions.

In a rare gesture to Ahmadinejad’s opponents, the authorities on Tuesday freed 140 protesters detained in the wave of massive public rallies.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 29, 2009 5:04 PM
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