There was a smile, a quick wave hello, a brief chat.
Government agents used tear gas to disperse demonstrators, and beat and kidnapped a human rights lawyer, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said Saturday, citing witnesses. The advocacy group said human rights lawyer Shadi Sadr, who was walking with friends to Friday prayers, was confronted by people dressed in civilian clothes. They pushed her into a car and drove off, the group said, citing witnesses.
A former Iranian president who backed the top opposition leader in last month’s disputed elections has delivered strong and carefully worded support of the grass-roots protest movement, saying he doubts "any wakened consciousness would be satisfied with the resulting situation." Former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani –chairman of Iran’s Assembly of Experts and a supporter of opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi was quoted on Saturday by the semi-official Iranian Labor News Agency. Rafsanjani, who heads the group responsible for appointing or removing the supreme leader, was silent and largely unseen during the first two chaotic weeks following the contested June 12 elections. But Rafsanjani — a key politician in the Islamic republic — has become increasingly vocal about the elections results that gave hardline incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an overwhelming victory.
Iranians worried about their loved ones detained in the protests that followed the presidential election got the ear of a former president, who wants the detainees released, an Iranian reformist party newspaper reported on Thursday. Former reformist President Mohammad Khatami met with families of some of the people detained and said that if the courts uphold the civil rights of the detainees, the court would order them freed, reported presidential candidate Mehdi Karrubi’s party newspaper. Spouses of detainees told Khatami they wanted their spouses released and that they worried about their physical and mental health, the paper reported.
After more than two weeks of silence amid Iran’s violent election fallout, former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani — a key Iranian cleric — emerged Sunday to call out "suspicious sources" who are creating a rift between the public and the Islamic government. He called the aftermath of the June 12 presidential election “a tangled mess, perpetrated by suspicious sources whose objectives are to create differences and separations between the people and the system and eroding the trust of the people in the Islamic system,” the Iranian Labor News Agency reported Sunday.
Iran stands at a crossroads between the opposition movement and the Islamic regime, which has cracked down on protesters who dispute the election results that gave President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term. Some analysts say that Iran’s former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani could play a key role in resolving the political crisis.
Iran’s voters had been anticipating a heated discussion in their country’s first-ever presidential candidates’ debate, but even then, Wednesday night’s showdown between incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and moderate challenger Mir-Hossein Moussavi was a rough-and-tumble affair that exceeded expectations. And the new season of televised politics could get even nastier