Channel 4 News (UK), January 22
Neda’s death ‘ignited an awakening’ in Iran

Neda Agha Soltan’s fiance, Caspian Makan: “The 23 January is Neda’s precious birthday. Neda will be 27 on that day. I felt that this should be marked in the world.

“I’ve asked the people of Iran, wherever they may be, in whichever corner of the world, to be present and together with the cherished memory of Neda – who by right is the symbol of the people’s desire for freedom as are others who lost their lives – and cry out to the leaders of the government of Iran to say, “we no longer want them”.

“Leaders who have so simply and thoroughly taken responsibility for government over 31 years in Iran, killing people on mass, treating people dishonourably. They have no place.

“I hope by their presence people will make this call for governments elsewhere in the world to think hard about purging this dictatorship to free the noble people of Iran.

Enduring America, January 22
Special: The Meeting & Plan to Remove President

In last night’s debate on Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Hojatoleslam Ruhollah Hosseinian, a member of Parliament and fervent Ahmadinejad supporter, alleged that “some people in charge want to overthrow” the Government with the help of the Parliament.

For months we have reported on the challenge to President Ahmadinejad, not just from the Green movement but from conservative and principlist members of the Iranian establishment. Since Ashura (27 December), we have noted a rising intensity in criticism, for example, from member of Parliament Ali Motahhari and his brother-in-law, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, as well as the Parliamentary report on detainee abuses charging Ahmadinejad aide Saeed Mortazavi with responsibility.

The question still remained. Were these criticisms being made by high-profile individuals or were they part of an organised effort to limit Ahmadinejad’s authority and possibly even remove him from office?

Scott Lucas of Enduring America has presented a cogent report and analysis that connects the dots between recent events and news out of Iran. This is a definite must read.

Blog: (Persian), January 22
Former Tehran Prosecuter, [the Notorious] Saeed Mortazavi, Moves Important Documents on the System to Canada

Alireza Nourizadeh, today, in an interview with Voice of America said a relative of the former Tehran prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, outside of Iran, has informed him that Mortazavi recently moved a significant number of important documents and letters related to information and internal reports of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Canada.

We have not confirmed the above report, but should it be true it is significant and bizarre at the same time. This is because Saeed Mortazavi is known to Canadians as the person likely behind the murder of Canadian-Iranian journalist, Zahra Kazemi, in 2003. We will provide an update on this story if and as more information comes to light.

Tehran Bureau, January 21
A Hardliner’s Hardliner: General Mohammad Ali Jafari

…Jafari said, “the root cause of what happened in the election and over the past eight months” lies in the differences between “two fundamentally different views, one Islamic, and the other one materialistic.” He is, of course right about the existence of two polarized views, except that one supports dictatorship in the name of Islam, while the other advocates establishment of a democratic system and supremacy of the rule of law. He also declared that, “forgiving the rioters, particularly the Ashura day rioters, is not practical, and even if some officials want to forgive them, people will not allow them.” Of course, it was the forces under his own command that killed many people, injured many more, and arrested several thousands.

Voice of America, January 21
Iranian Opposition: 15 Publications Threatened with Closure

Iranian opposition websites are reporting Iran has threatened to shut down 15 more newspapers and periodicals. The warning further intensifies pressure on the already limited number of papers allowed to publish.

Opposition websites, including Rah e Sabz and Ayande News say the government’s press censorship arm, the Ministry of Islamic Guidance, has warned 15 daily and weekly periodicals not to publish articles critical of the government or its ministers.

Press TV, January 21
Iran limits cash withdrawals to fight money-laundering

Iran has restricted individuals from taking out more than $15,000 in cash from banks per day as part of efforts to battle money-laundering. As of January 21, account holders will no longer be allowed to withdraw more than $15,000 from banks but they can still write checks for larger amounts, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said in a statement.

Hmmm… so the Central Bank of Iran has decided not to allow anyone to withdraw more than $15,000 to prevent money laundering… I wonder how much money is being laundered in Iran. I would wager a fair bit, but I doubt it’s by average people. Most of the money laundering is likely being done by clerics and IRGC officials involved in ellicit, illegal, and other unsavory activities. It’s far more likely, in my opinion, that this new rule is meant to prevent ordinary people from withdrawing their savings from banks–something that many are suggesting as an act of non-violent protest against the regime.

WashingtonTV, January 21, 2010
Clinton: Iranians reporting opposition crackdown ‘have inspired the world’

“Despite an intense campaign of government intimidation, brave citizen journalists in Iran continue using technology to show the world and their fellow citizens what is happening inside their country. In speaking out on behalf of their own human rights, the Iranian people have inspired the world. And their courage is redefining how technology is used to spread truth and expose injustice,” said Clinton, during a policy address on Internet freedom in Washington.

WashingtonTV, January 21, 2010
Iran sets condition for attending London summit on Afghanistan

Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Thursday that Tehran was still reviewing an invitation to attend an international conference in London on Afghanistan.

insideIRAN, January 20
Khomeini’s Grandsons Visit Moussavi Family in Symbolic Show of Support for Opposition

The grandsons of Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, paid a visit last week to the family of Seyyed Ali Mousavi, the slain nephew of prominent opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi.

The late Ayatollah’s grandsons, Hassan Khomeini, the current patriarch of the family, and Yaser Khomeini, gave their condolences to the Moussavi family for the murder of Ali Moussavi on Ashura, the Shii’te day of mourning for the Prophet’s grandson Imam Hossein. The opposition movement alleges he was murdered by government agents as a warning to Mir Hossein Moussavi.

Hassan Khomeini is a known supporter of Mir Hossein Moussavi. As the head of the Khomeini family and as the custodian of his grandfather Ayatollah Khomeini’s tomb—which is an important religious and national site in post-revolution Iran—Hassan Khomeini is a symbol of his grandfather’s legacy.

Consequently, Hassan Khomeini’s support for Moussavi and the opposition is a thorn in the side of the hardliners in the government and provides yet another example of a schism between moderate conservatives and hardliners.

Khordaad88, January 20
50 Prominent Iranian Academic Figures in Support of Mousavi’s 17th Statement

The signatories of this statement – those who desire structural, democratic change; who support the rights of all citizens regardless of faith, ideals, ideologies, ethnicity, or gender; who also promote the separation of church and state – believe that [Mousavi’s 17th] declaration provides notable suggestions. A broad consensus regarding these recommendations can facilitate unity and coordination within the non-violent movement of the Iranian people and, like never before, isolate the authoritarian and aggressive regime.

insideIRAN, January 21
Q & A: Fatemeh Haghighatjoo on How the United States Should Respond to Iran’s Opposition Movement

The green movement encompasses a wide spectrum of protestors. At one side of the spectrum are protestors who are loyal to the regime and just have objections to the fraudulent election, and their ultimate goal is the removal of President Ahmadinejad. And at the other side are dissidents who fight to bring the regime down. Although the opposition is incoherent, it does have the common goals of removing Ahmadinejad, ending the violation of people’s rights, and releasing all political prisoners.