Iran Linkage

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on September 3, 2009

A roundup of some of the latest news . . .

1. It is clear that the hardliners are trying to go after as many reformists as possible, with the argument now being made that the former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, ought to face prosecution. I have to think that this sort of thing would cause a tremendous backlash amongst the population, but it is not as though the Revolutionary Guard cares about that sort of thing; subtlety and tact was never its strong suit, after all.

2. Another who lacks subtlety and tact–and one can tell this, of course, based on the quality (or lack thereof) of his cabinet appointments–is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

Iran’s parliament gave a boost to Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad on Thursday, confirming most of his cabinet, including a man wanted by Interpol on suspicion of masterminding an attack on an Argentine Jewish centre.

The Iranian president won confirmation for all but three of his 21 cabinet nominees, in what analysts saw as a successful attempt by Mr Ahmadi-Nejad to portray unity within a regime shaken by the June election crisis.

Parliament is dominated by fundamentalists but many of them had expressed doubts over several candidates.

After intensive debate, however, the legislative body rejected only the nominee for the energy ministry and two women nominated to run the ministries of welfare and education.

In a defiant move, General Ahmad Vahidi, who is accused of involvement in the 1994 bombing of the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association building in Buenos Aires, won broad support as defence minister.

Charming. To say the least, anyone advocating negotiations with the Islamic regime has just had his/her job made significantly tougher.

3. Of course, the degree to which the regime evinces inhumanity should surprise no one. But just in case a reminder is needed . . .

On the 28th day of his detention inside Iran’s Evin Prison, he was granted his first family visit.

Iran-soltani It was then that he found out that while he had been locked up, his sister had died in a car accident.

Prison authorities offered to let Abdul-Fatah Soltani attend the mourning ceremony.

There was just one condition.

The famed human-rights lawyer had to promise that he wouldn’t speak out to the media about his incarceration.

He rejected the offer, missing the chance to join his family to grieve for his sister.

“I did not believe I had done anything wrong, so accepting their condition was against my belief and my principles,” Soltani, now free, told The Times in an interview at his downtown office a few days ago. “Accepting their condition was a rubber stamp on my non-committed crime.”

Instead he vowed to prison authorities that once he was out of prison, he would haul all of them into court, suing them for unjustly locking him up.

The whole story is heartbreaking and appalling. I have written before that the Iranian people are much better than their government could ever be. People like Abdul-Fatah Soltani help prove my point.

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