July 20, 2009


Iran`s Khatami Wants Referendum On Legitimacy: `People should be asked whether they are happy with the current situation`, ebsites on Monday quoted Khatami as saying. (Javno, 7/20/09)

"The only way out of the current situation is to hold a referendum," websites on Monday quoted Khatami as saying. "People should be asked whether they are happy with the current situation ... If the vast majority of people are happy with the current situation, we will accept it as well." [...]

The election also exposed deep rifts within Iran's ruling elite with defeated reformist candidate Mirhossein Mousavi, Khatami and Rafsanjani continuing to dispute the result even after it was endorsed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's most powerful figure who traditionally has the last word on matters of state.

Thirty-six army officers arrested in Iran over protest plan (Robert Tait, 7/19/09, guardian.co.uk)
The Iranian army has arrested 36 officers who planned to attend last week's Friday prayer sermon by former president Hashemi Rafsanjani in their military uniforms as an act of political defiance, according to Farsi-language websites. [...]

Security forces used teargas and arrested dozens of those in attendance in a sign of the authorities' nervousness over the event.

The officers were rounded up on Friday morning by army intelligence agents who had caught wind of the plan. They are said to have been arrested at their homes and taken to an unknown location.

Peiknet, a Farsi website, said the officers had agreed the action at a weekly prayer meeting the night before at the Shah Abdolazim religious shrine in Shahr-e Rey, on Tehran's southern outskirts. "They decided to attend the Friday prayer in their military clothes as a sign of protest against the cruel massacre of people by the basij and revolutionary guards and to show their objection against this process and support for the people," the site said. It named 24 of the officers, who included two majors, four captains, eight lieutenants, six sergeants and four warrant officers.

The arrests expose the authorities' sensitivity to signs of mutiny among the various branches of the security forces.

Reports last month suggested that a senior revolutionary guard commander, General Ali Fazli, had been arrested for refusing to obey orders to suppress protests against election result. The reports were later denied but some sources say Fazli remains under pressure to toe the line.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 20, 2009 5:59 AM
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