The Corner

Iran News Round Up

[Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his compilation; (E) signified English link].

Military and Security

Religion, Culture, and Society


  • Seyyed Kazem Rasoul-Zadeh Tabatabayee, head of Department of Psychology at the Pedagogical University of Tehran, has published a new report on prostitution in Tehran:
    • “In the 1980′s and 1990′s prostitutes were more than 30 years old, but today prostitutes are 15 years old and up…
    • Previously, prostitution served the purpose of covering primary needs, but today it serves secondary purposes.
    • In the past, prostitutes were to be found among singles, but our investigations show that prostitution among married women has increased and is undergoing rapid growth…
    • The prostititution phenomenon was more prevalent among non-residents, but today an equal percentage of residents and non-residents are engaged in prostitution, and one can’t consider prostitution a result of migration…
    • Some time ago most prostitutes were uneducated, but today we see this phenomenon among the educated individuals…”
    • Another researcher, Ali Zahedi-Pour says 11 percent of prostitutes in Tehran are engaged in prostitution with the knowledge of their husbands.”
  • The Islamic Republic establishes an organization specializing in “correcting fashion.”
  • Minister of Science and Higher Education defends the deputy disciplinary committee agent at Zanjan University who was caught on camera while attempting to establish an intimate relationship with a female student, and says it was a “conspiracy.”
  • Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani claims “the theologians have all accepted the Velayat-e Faqih [Guardianship of the Jurist], short of its application to the realm of politics.”

Politics: Montajab-Nia affair

  • E’temad assistant editor, and National Trust Party number two, Hojjat al-Eslam Rasoul Montakhab-Nia’s personal website:
    • “Petition to the sources of emulation and scholars of theological seminaries:
    • Without doubt, the great Shi’a scholars have guarded the realm of ideas and rulings of Islam and the Shi’a sect, and have countered deviation fiercely to the degree that some of their best have been martyred. One religion deviation is bid’at [innovation] and additions to to Islamic concepts and rulings by charlatans and opportunists…whose hands have been cut from religion. Therefore, sultans, kings and imperial powers have hitherto not been able to dirty Shi’ism, and the infallible household of the Prophet…
    • One of Shi’a beliefs which could be exploited by charlatans is belief in the principle of Mahdi-hood and the progressive and dynamic thought of entezar [awaiting] in which adherents to all heavenly religions believe, and await the coming of the savior of man…In order to forestall deviation and abuse…it is stressed upon that:
    • It is prohibited to determine the time of emergence of that holiness…and the saying that ‘Those who claim to know the time of emergence are liars’…In addition to this, it is stressed upon to deny any claims that someone has seen or worshipped His Holiness the Mahdi (May God Hasten his Emergence)…
    • Ever since the advent of Mr. Ahmadinjead and his government, among elites and lately also among the commoners of the people, which means the man on the street, some matters are being discussed regarding the president and his close associations. Some of these matters are documented and the time and place of the utterance has been publicized. For example:
      • (a) During the first year of the presidency of Mr. Ahmadinejad, two people claimed that the president, during a trip to Sistan va Baluchestan province, answered one of the deputies that the financial means of the country are limited, so why does the president give billions of Tomans of promises to each city he visits? The president answered: “Don’t worry. Two years from now the Lord of the Era will emerge and he will solve all problems.”
      • (b) A member of the Iranian parliament told me that the Iranian president, after leaving a stormy meeting with the Supreme Leader had said: “He [The Supreme Leader] thinks he is I am his president. I am the president of the Lord of the Era.”
      • (c) After the trip to New York and participation in the U.N. General Assembly, [the Iranian president] visited Ayatollah Javadi-Amoli and said: ‘While delivering my speech [at the U.N. General Assembly] I saw a halo around my had and face, and all present were nailed to their seats and charmed by me.’ [This claim] was ignored by Ayatollah Javadi Amoli and the CD of this meeting was distributed widely in the public.
      • (d) Among the elites, it is widely rumored that when eating, a plate along with spoon and fork is left empty for the Lord of the Era.
      • (e) A certain gentleman has claimed that once someone from the Iranian president’s entourage invited me to participate in the ‘group prayers of the Lord.’ I thought the the prayers would be led by the Supreme Leader and went somewhere with him. When I stood in line to pray I noticed that there was no prayers leader, and only a prayer mat is on the ground. I asked when the Supreme Leader will arrive. They answered me: Lower your voice, for Lord of the Era leads the prayers.
      • (f) Lately, the Iranian president and his deputies, [and] advisors…say that this government is managed by the Lord of the Era…
      • (g) During the last couple of days, Mr. President has called those who deny existence of the halo of having insufficient or deficient [religious] belief…and has ordered them to reconsider their belifes…
    • Some questions to the president:
      • 1. Are such tales and rumors prevalent in public and private places truth or false? Please answer clearly and without generalization without accusations against others.
      • 2. In case even one of these is true, what is the religious source of your claims which are against theories of all Shi’a scholars from the very beginning until today? What is your answer to the sources of emulations and their sayings?
      • 3. In case the rumors are true, what is your true intention? Do you believe you can excuse rising prices, inflation, mismanagement of the government…?
    • Some questions to the sources of emulation and the learned:
      • 1. Have you ordered an investigation of such sayings and rumors?
      • 2. Do you think such rumors are lies?
      • 3. In case even a single case is true, is not the time to oppose it forcefully and defend the realm of Islamic and pure Shi’a beliefs?
      • 4. Is the saying of the deputy of the president ‘The learned clerics support the Lord of the Era’s special benevolence towards the president,’ True or False?
      • 5. In case it is true, why? And if a lie, why don’t you deny?
  • Alef News Agency condemns Montajab-Nia’s article criticizing the Iranian president’s claims of having contact with the Lord of the Era.
    • Ali-Akbar Javan-Fekr, media advisor of the Iranian president, defends Ahmadinejad and says Montajab-Nia is engaged in character assassination of the president.
    • Parliamentarian Rouhollah Hosseinian condemns ridicule of the Iranian president’s beliefs on the Lord of the Era.
    • The Tehran branch of the Revolutionary Court issues arrest warrant for Montajab-Nia. Overview article on reactions to arrest, here.

Politics: General



Human Rights and Labor

  • The Iranian parliament presented a law increasing application of death penalty for various crimes against the “psychological societal security.”

Nuclear Issue


Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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