Iran portrays election protesters as pawns of the West

Iran portrays election protesters as pawns of the West

Twitter, Facebook and Google’s newly introduced Persian-to-English translation software were part of a vast foreign conspiracy against Iran sketched out by a prosecutor at the second session of an extraordinary trial against alleged ringleaders of weeks of unrest unfolding in Iran.

Government critics and international observers have slammed the proceedings as grotesque “show trials” meant to silence the opposition to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose disputed reelection triggered weeks of popular protests partially quelled in a violent official crackdown. [continued…]

Iran conservatives demand role in Cabinet’s vetting

A hard-line group demanded Friday that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad obey the country’s supreme leader or risk losing the confidence of lawmakers from his own conservative political camp.

The Front Loyal to Imam and Leadership, a group of 14 conservative political parties and organizations led by prominent hard-liner Habibollah Asgaroladi, demanded that Ahmadinejad consult with his supporters before making appointments to his Cabinet, which he must submit for approval within 12 days.

“If, God forbid, you pursue an approach different from the one elucidated by the supreme leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] because of your refusal to consult the honest friends of the revolution, or you lose public faith out of obstinacy, we fear that the regime would suffer irreparable damage,” said the statement, according to the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency. [continued…]

Iran trial hears ‘apology’ from UK embassy worker

A British embassy worker put on trial by the Iranian authorities was today reported to have admitted that information collected by the embassy on the unrest after the disputed presidential election was sent to Washington.

The Foreign Office expressed its “outrage” as Hossein Rassam, the embassy’s chief political analyst, appeared in court alongside Iranian moderates and a French citizen.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Rassam, who is charged with espionage, as saying that information was handed over to the Americans. “Because the American government lacks facilities to survey Iran events and because of the close relations between Washington and London, the British embassy in Tehran sent its collected vote unrest details to Washington,” the Reuters news agency reported Rassam as telling the court. [continued…]

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