Mousavi Forms “Green Way of Hope” (NYT)
The Iranian opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi announced the formation of a new social and political movement on his Web site on Saturday, following through on a promise made last month and defying a renewed government campaign of intimidation aimed at him and his supporters.
The movement is not a political party — which would require a government permit — but a “grass-roots and social network” that will promote democracy and adherence to the law, Mr. Moussavi wrote in a statement on his site. It is to be known as the Green Way of Hope, in deference to the signature bright green color of his campaign for the June 12 presidential election, which he maintains was rigged in favor of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The announcement was Mr. Moussavi’s first major public statement since the Iranian authorities stepped up their pressure on the opposition by opening a mass trial two weeks ago.
Ahmadinejad Appoints Six Ministers (Press TV)
Speaking on state television on Sunday, President Ahmadinejad nominated Ali-Akbar Mehrabian as the Minister of Industry and Mines, Seyyed Shamseddin Hosseini as the Minister of Economy, Hojjatoleslam Heidar Moslehi as the country’s Intelligence Minister and Mohammad Abbasi as Iran’s Minister of Cooperatives.
President Ahmadinejad went on to announce that he will make use of at least three women ministers in the new government.
He named Fatemeh Ajorlou as the Minister of Welfare and Social Security and Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi as the Iranian Health Minister.
Grad student imprisoned in Iran returns to US (AP)
A graduate student imprisoned for a month in Iran and barred from leaving the country for nearly a year has returned to Los Angeles.
Esha Momeni, 29, was charged with acting against Iran’s national security and held mainly in solitary confinement after conducting research on the Iranian women’s rights movement for her thesis at California State University, Northridge.
Clinton calls on Iran to free detained Americans (AFP)
In a statement Clinton pointed to five cases: the three Americans who hiked into Iran from Iraq in late July; a US-Iranian scholar; and a private detective and former FBI agent who went missing in Iran in 2007.
Washington “is deeply concerned about the welfare of our American citizens who have been detained or are missing in Iran,” Clinton said.
Iran Begins Trial of 25 more people (AP)
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Iran on Sunday put on trial 25 more activists and opposition supporters, including a Jewish teenager, for their alleged involvement in the turmoil following the recent presidential election.
The prosecutor opened Sunday’s trial with a general indictment of all 25 defendants, accusing them of plotting t he post-election turmoil years ahead of time, said the state news agency.
During the trial, authorities played a film showing attacks on public property, cars and a mosque by protesters.
One of the people who went on trial Sunday belongs to Iran’s tiny Jewish community.
Yaghoghil Shaolian, 19, was quoted by Fars news agency as saying he wasn’t an activist and didn’t even vote, but just got carried away and threw some stones at a bank branch in central Tehran, resulting in his arrest.
Iran’s sole Jewish parliamentarian, Siamak Mereh Sedq, confirmed the detention of Shaolian and his Jewish identity to The Associated Press. He said Shaolian’s detention was not related to his religion.
”He is innocent. We hope to see his release soon based on Islamic mercy,” he said.
Shaolian’s trial is the first time a Jew has been tried in Iran since 2000 when 13 Jews were charged with spying for Israel. Iran is home to 25,000 Jews, the largest such community in the Middle East outside Israel.
Ahmadinejad’s new judiciary chief, Sadeq Larijani, will take responsibility for the controversial trials after his inauguration Monday.