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To: DoctorZIn
Reformist protests 'rigged' Iran poll

The Australian
16th Feb 2004

THE incumbent reformist head of Iran's parliament vowed reforms would continue after Friday's elections, even though his camp is poised for defeat in polls he said had been rigged by conservatives.

"We consider these elections to be unfair, but have decided to take part because our participation is more productive than our absence," said Mehdi Karoubi, a cleric close to embattled President Mohammad Khatami.

Mr Karoubi's Association of Combatant Clerics is one of the few reformist parties that has chosen not to boycott the polls, although on Sunday the spokesman for the reformist coalition it has joined conceded there was no chance of heading off a conservative victory.

The main reformist parties are staying away after a conservative-run political vetting body, the Guardians Council, barred some 2300 people - most of them reformists - from even standing in the February 20 polls.

They are the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) which is head by the brother of President Khatami, and the Organisation of Mujahedeen of the Islamic Revolution (OMIR), on the left of the reform camp.

The Association of Combatant Clerics is taking part under the banner "Coalition for Iran", a grouping of the few reformers approved to stand and some independents.

Mr Karoubi said those boycotting the polls "have the right not to take part, but should not campaign for a mass abstention."

"The rights of a lot of people have been trampled on, but this means we should modify the electoral law," asserted the Majlis speaker.

"If we get or do not get votes, we will continue our activities. The future of reforms depends on the people, and they will continue through different means," added the cleric.

Mr Karoubi also stood by the president, under fire for failing to deliver on his promise of "Islamic democracy" and widely criticised for being too weak.

"Certainly, President Khatami has not achieved all of his objectives, but the climate today is nothing like what it was before he was elected" in 1997, Mr Karoubi insisted.,5744,8702775%255E1702,00.html
10 posted on 02/16/2004 1:50:59 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Either you are with us or you are with the REGIME)
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To: All
$100,000 to kill Rushdie

Gulf Daily News
16th Feb 2004

TEHRAN: An Iranian extremist Islamic group calling itself the General Staff for the Glorification of Martyrs of the Islamic World has offered a $100,000 (BD37,800) reward for the killing of British novelist Salman Rushdie, a Press report said yesterday.

According to the hardline Jomhuri Eslami newspaper, the tiny and little-known group called on "all volunteer Muslims to sign up on its Internet site... to kill Salman Rushdie."

"The reward will be paid to anyone who kills Salman Rushdie or his family," the paper said, quoting a member of the group who also pledged the organisation's facilities to help with the operation.

The novelist, born in Bombay, India, to a Muslim family, sparked fury from Muslims worldwide a decade ago because of alleged blasphemy and apostasy in his novel The Satanic Verses.

The new reward marked the anniversary of the fatwa, or religious edict, issued by Iran's revolutionary founder, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, on February 14, 1989 calling for Rushdie's execution.
11 posted on 02/16/2004 1:54:36 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Either you are with us or you are with the REGIME)
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