Iran: Group Threatens Ahmadinejad, His Aug. 5th Inauguration, Neda’s 40th, Iraqi Raid on the MKO, & more

1. What will happen on August 5th: “With Mr Ahmadinejad due to be sworn in for a second term on 5 August, the government has a tough choice. If it makes concessions in the face of continuing demonstrations, that would be a humiliating climb down. If, as seems more likely, it clings to power, it will do so as a wounded regime whose credibility is ebbing away.”

2. Threatening Ahmadinejad Over His Appointments and and Forced Resignations: “The Islamic Society of Engineers, a political group close to parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, warned in an open letter to Ahmadinejad that he could suffer the same fate as Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, who was deposed in 1953 in a CIA-backed coup with the acquiescence of the clergy. The letter also cites the experience of President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, who was ousted in 1981 and fled the country after he fell out with the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Both leaders had been elected by huge margins. ‘It seems you want to be the sole speaker and do not want to hear other voices,’ the group’s letter says, noting that recent actions by Ahmadinejad have frustrated his own supporters. ‘Therefore it is our duty to convey to you the voice of the people.'”

3. The 40 Day of Mourning for Neda’s Death is Approaching: “In response to the permit denial, Mousavi’s supporters began circulating routes for unauthorized marches and candlelight vigils to mark the religiously significant 40th day after the deaths of those killed at June 20 demonstrations, including Neda Agha-Soltan, whose slaying, captured on videotape, drew worldwide condemnation.”
4. Ahmadinejad’s Last Row: “Ahmadinejad had initially appointed Rahim-Masha’i as the first vice president, a post he resigned from after the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, sent a handwritten note to the office of the president on the issue. However, Rahim-Masha’i was later named the head of the presidential office, sparking a fresh row between Ahmadinejad and his supporters and opponents.”

5. 140 Detainees Freed: “Iran today responded to growing criticism over political detainees by freeing 140 inmates incarcerated in its most notorious jail following the recent post-election upheavals. The prisoners were released from Tehran’s Evin prison after MPs inspected the facility, where hundreds of opposition politicians, activists and protesters have been held following protests over President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s bitterly disputed re-election. The move followed the closure of another detention centre where human rights groups say torture led to several deaths. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered the closure of Kahrizak prison on Tehran’s southern outskirts because it ‘lacked the standards’ to maintain detainees’ rights, officials said. Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, urged officials to free inmates not suspected of serious offences. Some 150 political prisoners remain inside, according to official figures, including prominent supporters of the reformist candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims last month’s presidential election was stolen from him.”

6. Iraqi Forces Raid Mujahideen Base: “A raid by Iraqi troops on a camp housing members of an exiled Iranian opposition group has left four people dead and more than 400 wounded. The Iraqi army had stormed Camp Ashraf to the north of Baghdad on Tuesday, but were forced to call in riot police to quell the violence when residents tried to resist. Iraq’s defence ministry said the offensive against the People’s Mujahedeen base was justified under a security agreement signed by Baghdad and Washington in November. ‘It’s our territory and it’s our right to enter, to impose Iraqi law on everybody,’  General Mohammed Askari, the defence ministry spokesman told Al-Arabiya television.”

7. Professor Juan Cole on the anti-MKO Raid: “Now that US troops have ceased their independent patrols in Iraqi cities, the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has decided to move against the group. The Ministry of the Interior security forces are alleged to have been deeply infiltrated by the Badr Corps of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a leading party in parliament and ally of al-Maliki that was formed in Iran by Iraqi expatriates under the auspices of Ayatollah Khomeini. Badr in turn was from the 1980s through 2003 essentially a unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. Likely the victory of the hard liners and the IRGC in Iran’s struggle over the outcome of the June 12 presidential election has put them in a strong position to ask their Iraqi counterparts and former colleagues to move against the MEK.”
8. Ahmadinejad and Khamenei Continue Their Differences: “

9. Time Magazine’s Photo Essay on Iran, before and after the elections: See it here.

10. Tweets, Lies, and Videotape: Click here to read how a blogger deciphers fact from fiction.

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