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June 99, Week 1
|Iran's Spiritual Leader Slams Calls for Easing Restrictions||June 6|
|Iranian Leader Vows to Continue KHOMEINI'S Path||June 5|
|Head of Iran's News Agency Freed||June 2|
|New Tehran Mayor Elected||June 1|
Iran's Spiritual Leader Slams Calls for Easing Restrictions
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- In an apparent attack on moderates led by
the Iranian president, Iran's spiritual leader on Friday criticized officials who support relaxing Islamic social
and political restrictions in his country.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's criticism came a day after the Iranian president told an audience of hundreds of thousands that "salvation and freedoms go together" and urged them to tolerate their differences.
Both leaders spoke in Iran's capital, Tehran, at the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution. The speeches marked the 10th anniversary of Khomeini's death.
The Islamic republic is in the grip of a power struggle between hard-liners who want to perpetuate Khomeini's ideals in his uncompromising style and moderates following the lead of the reformist President Mohammad Khatami.
The moderates advocate loosening the strict Islamic laws and the social and political restrictions imposed since the revolution.
Speaking to more than a million people, Khamenei accused the officials of wanting to teach the "Islamic system how to practice freedom of thought and expression," according to the Islamic Republic News Agency, monitored in Dubai.
"Of course there are differences, and these are natural and we accept them. And if anyone wants to suppress these differences they will have to deny divine traditions," Khatami said.
Iranian Leader Vows to Continue KHOMEINI'S Path
TEHRAN- XINHUA - Iran's paramount leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei Friday pledged to continue the path of late Iranian supreme
leader Ayatollah Musavi Khomeini and brushed aside the recent debate
over freedom in the country.
The path of Imam Khomeini was the path for the salvation of this country from the beginning of the Islamic revolution in 1979 and later during his lifetime and even today, Khamenei said to a crowd gathered inside and around Khomeini's mausoleum to mark the 10th anniversary of Khomeini's death.
"After the Imam's (Khomeini) demise, we announced that we will continue his line and path. this was not a move out of imitation, but rather based on experience and knowledge," he said.
Khamenei stated that freedom was a cornerstone of the Islamic movement and "what is said about freedom today is in fact an important part of the movement initiated by Imam Khomeini."
"A group of parvenus want to teach the Imam (Khomeini) and the Islamic system how to practice freedom of thought and expression," he said, but "the Imam and his followers don't need to be taught by others about freedom."
Khamenei's remarks came after a group of moderate factions and print media supporting moderate President Mohammad Khatami called for practice of freedom of expression in the country and condemned any crackdown on freedom.
The Iranian leader cited Islam, social justice and "not to be deceived by enemies" as the three main points of Khomeini's line.
Islam is the most important feature of Khomeini's line because he did not regard anything to be above Islam in the world and his revolution and movement was for the sake of sovereignty of Islam, he said.
Another characteristic of Khomeini's line is social justice and assistance to the oppressed, deprived and bare-footed strata in the society, Khamenei said. Social justice is among the main slogans of the Islamic revolution, he added.
However, he admitted that social justice has not been fully materialized, but great attempts are being made by the Iranian officials to accomplish this goal.
"Today the servant government has focused its attention on rendering assistance to the deprived regions and we owe this to social justice," the Iranian leader said.
Another feature of Khomeini's line is "not to be deceived by the enemies," Khamenei said. "How can the Islamic system which has put an end to the interests of the arrogant powers, be without enemies?" he said.
He said that Iran was a constant target of enemy propaganda as well as other conspiracies such as the economic sanctions. "What is unacceptable for the U.S. and other arrogant powers is the independence and vigilance of the Iranian nation for rejecting their policies," he said.
Head of Iran's News Agency Freed
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- The head of Iran's official news agency, considered an ally of Iran's moderate president, was released on bail after being arrested on unknown charges, a newspaper said Sunday. |
Fereydoun Verdinejad, managing director of the Islamic Republic News Agency, had 30 charges brought against him and was held for about 10 hours on Saturday, including four hours of interrogation, the Iran Daily said.
The paper, which Verdinejad also directs, did not specify the charges but quoted Verdinejad as saying they were ``baseless.''
Verdinejad was released Saturday evening after posting bail of $60,000, said the paper, monitored in Dubai.
Iran is in the grips of a power struggle between allies of the moderate President Mohammad Khatami and his hard-line rivals in the Islamic government. Iran Daily has been accused by hard-liners of siding with Khatami.
Last week, in an editorial marking the second anniversary of Khatami's landslide election, Verdinejad praised the president's democratic reforms and warned that they could not be reversed.
The hard-liners hold a slight majority in the 270-seat Parliament and control important government institutions, including the security apparatus and judiciary. They have also shut down several moderate newspapers and ordered the arrest of journalists allied with Khatami.
New Tehran Mayor Elected
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- A moderate adviser to President Mohammad Khatami was
elected mayor of Tehran on Tuesday, ending a political feud between Islamic reformers and hard-liners.
Morteza Alviri was unanimously elected by the Tehran City Council in a secret ballot, according to a state-run Tehran radio report monitored in Dubai. He replaces Gholamhossein Karbaschi, who was convicted of corruption.
Karbaschi, who many Iranians believe was an honest mayor caught in the power struggle between hard-line and moderate factions in Iran's Islamic government, began serving a two-year prison sentence last month.
Karbaschi was singled out as a target after his deft handling of Khatami's May 1997 election campaign resulted in a humiliating defeat for the hard-liners.
Alviri is head of the Supreme Council for the Free Trade Zones and a staunch Khatami ally, but his mild manner also helps him get along with hard-liners.
The new mayor, who was born in 1948, speaks Arabic and some English. He has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.