TEHRAN POLICE BRACE FOR UNREST.
Ali Talai, an official from the Tehran Governorate-General's Political-Security Affairs Directorate, told ILNA on 15 January that it is illegal for any group to gather in front of the legislature, and added that the Interior Ministry has not issued a permit for such an action. If the student Basij or any seminary students gather there they will be dealt with, Talai said.
Police cordoned off the legislature on 16 January, ILNA reported, and special units took up positions on the approach roads.
This action was triggered by the possibility that the Tehran Friday Prayers congregation would try to confront the protestors at the parliament. According to a 16 January ISNA report, slogans relating to the current controversy were heard. These slogans included, "Feel ashamed hypocrites, let go of the parliament," "Death to looters of the public purse," and "We support the Guardians Council." Some old standards were chanted too, including "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."
Theological students from Qom reportedly invited members of the Friday Prayers congregation in that city to march on the sit-in at the national legislature, ISNA reported on 16 January. Among the slogans chanted at the Qom rally were "Incompetent representatives should be dismissed" and "Guardians Council, say another 'Ya Hussein.'" The more enthusiastic ones flagellated themselves.
source:RFE/RL Iran Report Vol. 7, No. 3, 19 January 2004
posted on 01/19/2004 10:30:05 AM PST
FORMER HIZBALLAH SECRETARY-GENERAL CRITICAL OF IRAN.>br>
Former Hizballah Secretary-General Subih Tufaili continues to criticize Iran and the current leadership of the Lebanese organization (for his earlier comments, see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 13 October 2003).
In a 19 November interview with Al-Arabiyah satellite television Tufaili said that Hizballah was established to serve the people and the oppressed, but now it has become a tool serving the Iranian regime. His problem is not with Hizballah, it is with "those who stand behind Hizballah, which is the Iranian leadership." Tufaili went on to say that he does not agree with the basis of the Iranian theocratic system, Vilayat-i Faqih (Rule of the Supreme Jurisconsult). "First of all, this vilayat-i faqih is illegitimate because there is no evidence for it in the Koran or in the Prophet's sayings and practices." Regardless of disagreement over this issue, Tufaili said that he got along with the Iranians when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini led the country. "But after the death of Imam Khomeini, I noticed unreligious orientations in Iran," he said.
"Hizballah has become a guard for Israel's border and [for] Iran Satan's servant in helping America execute its agenda in the region," he said in an interview with "The Daily Star" that was published on 22 December 2003. Tufaili went on to say that Hizballah is not independent and it takes orders from Tehran. "I cannot criticize Hizballah without meaning Iran as well; the Iranian leadership has been and still is responsible for all of Hizballah's decisions on everything since the time we agreed with the late Imam Khomeini to build up the resistance movement." He went on to criticize Iran for allegedly letting itself be used by the United States to invade Afghanistan and for encouraging contacts between the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the United States. (Bill Samii)
source: RFE/RL Iran Report Vol. 7, No. 3, 19 January 2004
posted on 01/19/2004 10:57:25 AM PST
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