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Rafsanjani defies Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as protesters turn out in force
The Times ^ | 7/18/2009 | Michael Purcell

Posted on 07/18/2009 12:46:33 AM PDT by bruinbirdman

Tens of thousands of Iranians flooded the streets of Tehran yesterday to hear the country’s most influential powerbroker pronounce the Islamic Republic in crisis and as he called for the release of those arrested in recent pro-democracy demonstrations.


Militiamen confront protestors outside Tehran University today

In a devastating attack on the regime, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a leading cleric and former President, told a crowd at Tehran University that the Government had lost the people’s trust. Referring to the handling of last month’s disputed election, which President Ahmadinejad claims to have won, he said that the custodians of the Islamic Revolution had undermined its basic principles.

Hojatoleslam Rafsanjani condemned the brutal suppression of protests and called for the release of those detained during the post-election crackdown. The crowd acclaimed his address by chanting: “Death to the dictator” and “Leaders, give us arms”.

Police and pro-government Basij militiamen responded by firing teargas and using truncheons to break up the crowd, the largest street gathering in weeks. Mehdi Karoubi, one of the presidential candidates who claims that his votes were stolen last month, was assaulted by plainclothes militia.

At least 15 people were arrested, including the leading women’s rights campaigner and lawyer Shadi Sadr, who was beaten and dragged into a car in front of a crowd of her friends. “Shadi called me from an unknown location and said she was arrested by plainclothes officials who forcefully got her into a car,” her husband, Hossein Nilchian, said.

Hojatoleslam Rafsanjani’s sermon at the university, the cradle of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, came as a crucial opportunity to galvanise the embattled opposition, who believe that the election was stolen from the moderate challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Mr Mousavi’s attendance at yesterday’s sermon was his first official public appearance

(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: iran; khamenei; mousavi; rafsanjani; studentmovement

The protest came as the former president, Hashemi Rafsanjani, said that Iran was in crisis


Police confronted the crowds with tear gas and batons

1 posted on 07/18/2009 12:46:33 AM PDT by bruinbirdman
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To: bruinbirdman

Nice to see the American Spirit alive and well.

Of course its dead and buried here in the states.


2 posted on 07/18/2009 12:51:27 AM PDT by NoLibZone (North Korea? The only buildings in Hawaii at risk of destruction are those housing Obama’s records!)
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To: bruinbirdman

First Montazeri issues a fatwa against the regime and calls Khamenei illegitimate...then Rafsanjani stirs up a a massive protest. Khamenei must be feeling the heat...how long till the regime cracks?


3 posted on 07/18/2009 8:30:19 AM PDT by G8 Diplomat
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