31 August 2009

Attacking thought

One night after the election results were announced

- and even before any of the riots began, basiji attacked the university dorms at Tehran university in order to silence the students.

This video tells what happened there, by documenting how it looked afterwards. There are no violent scenes here, just a quiet story of violence committed.

Unfortunately the video has no English subtitles, but the pictures and the music speaks for itself.

Watch all of it, share it, and rate it in YouYube!

30 August 2009

We will rape your son!

Today Human Rights Activists in Iran
- published a text version of an interview with a detainee.

He was arrested by plain clothes forces and special guards officers on his way home from work and brought to Meghdad Basij Station together with his friend. Less than 24 hours later, they were hand cuffed and blindfolded and taken to Kahrizak prison, and locked up in an underground container.

Two hours later the interrogations started. He was not allowed a lawyer and was not told what he was charged with, but they wanted him to confess to his participation in the protests. He spent more than 58 days in the underground container - along with 75 other people.

Read his story about the interrogations, the hygienic and food conditions, and the physical and psychological torture he endured during his detension.

And: Has Kahrizak prison really been closed?

Cold numbers

On July 21 the blog Revolutionary Road
- published a list with names of persons killed, arrested and
since the recent Iran election protests. The list is long, and the numbers are chilling:

Killed by government forces
Arrestes university students
Arrested university professors
Arrested journalists
Politicians and members of reformist presidential
candidates’ campaigns

Arrested and released
Human rights, student and women’s rights activists
Missing people
Recently arrested
Arrested and released army officers

According to the comments, the list is not complete. There are still many people unaccounted for.

29 August 2009

Deadly Fatwa

Iran’s 1988 Prison Massacre

From News Blaze August 27, 2009

"The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC)" has "released a report documenting and analyzing the Iranian government's massacre of political prisoners during the summer of 1988.
In late July 1988, pursuant to a *fatwa* issued by then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian government began systematically interrogating, torturing and summarily executing thousands of political prisoners. […] Although the exact number of victims is not known, thousands of prisoners were tortured and executed over the course of only a few months.
The Iranian government has never identified those who were secretly executed and tortured, and has never issued an explanation for this crime. However, many of the men who were responsible for the massacre continue to hold positions of power in the Iranian government."

Inside Report II

-twitter from inside Iran, August 29

  • I continue my report on what I heard in Iran… the following is not my opinion but what I heard from people...
  • Some might not like it ... please remember that this is just from a fraction of people I meet ....doesn't apply to the whole country ...
  • I left with the idea that I would find Pro/fanatic Mousavi (supporters) among people I know…I had some surprises!!!!
  • First i start (with) opposition and then the AN supporters
  • The opposition is quite divided
  • Some are disappointed by Mousavi, they acknowledge him as the accidental hero but dismisses him for the future leadership=he is not strong enough!!!
  • Most still disappointed by Mousavi but find excuses and justify his passiveness = He has no choice = He does what he can
  • Some still believe in Mousavi and hope against hope…But the hero of the month is Karoubi
  • Rafsanjani is more hated than loved!!! Generally described as unreliable, untrustworthy
  • Khatami is the most controversial… venerated by some…despised by most…his past is casting a shadow over his present = Unpredictable
  • Most tell you that they have voted more against AN than for Mousavi and are determined to support Mousavi…but mostly because it’s their only option
  • Now Ahmadinejad's supporters: I meet with two different kinds; First some blind fanatics believing that AN is the (saviour)
  • Believing that AN has come to clean the IR from corrupted Mullahs and re-establish the true Rev values???!!!
  • They are in the state of denial…They deny everything (murders, torture, rape)…for these people all we hear is just lies from enemies of IR ??!!
  • Second group; believe in AN the (saviour) but has serious doubts…they don’t dismiss the report on abuses and are waiting to change with the changing wind
  • So AN is trapped in his own game… By blaming the opposition leaders for everything that happened now must answer
  • AN now must answer why he does not act against the true traitors (Mousavi, etc).
  • AN is under pressure from his supporters to act and punish those who have created the current situation
  • Furthermore, the choices of his (AN) collaborators are not always understood by his followers (Rahim Mashaie!!!)
  • Finally we have a third group in Iran = the silent opposition…For them these are all games between the same species
  • Silent opposition didn't vote or protest against or for anyone…but watch ed (events ??) and awaits.
  • Overall ...they are disgusted by the recent events and blame the opposition and hardliners equally
  • Overall green or silent opposition all blame IR more that the actual individuals…they believe that IR is rooted beyond repair and has to go.
  • I leave the subject of speculations for later…in the matter of speculation…we have champions in Iran!!!
  • Try to get more time for tomorrow....Just tell you that most people’s theories are closer to science fiction than speculation :) but good to know

KIMBER: Words in parentheses/brackets are my editions.

Arrest orders written prior to election?

@persianbanoo, August 28 #iranelection

Attorney Soltani who was released after 72 days in Evin few days ago said he was arrested at his office. His office was searched without warrant for arrest or search. After two days in prison they showed him an order for arrest signed by prosecutor Mortazavi. The arrest order addressed to Intel officers, was dated two days before election and was for arresting rioters. Apparently they already had a list of people they were going to arrest. Some were arrested within hours of election.

Inside Report I

- twitter from inside Iran, August 27

  • Iran...as far as I can tell we have a country in deep depression...no matter to whom you talk..old /young, people cry their eyes out at any news
  • No matter were you go, family gathering or friend party....the country is mouring ... and with Ramadan...people mental is going from bad to worse
  • Most young ppl follow us on twitter....but noone dares to post or participate ... the feeling of being watched is all over the country
  • Apparently most of those Twitting from Iran are from the Gov or Twitter from the only secure places in Iran (foreign Embassies)
  • The tape/phone treats R ongoing ....random calls to let people know that they have been located/recognized/watched or...
  • You understand the meaning of the phrase "worst fear is the fear itself".... and it's contagious ....
  • If you ever had a friend or family in deep depression ...you might have an idea on meeting a country in deep depression...just hard to describe
  • People just gather and speculate... on what will/may happen ... families are extremely worried for their young ones and lost in fear...
  • Do not expect any huge event or protests soon...People may come out and use different occasions but ...not like before.
  • Now some good news...most young ppl I meet have received haystacknetwork devices...they use it with caution and love!!!
  • These devices are little windows in their big prison...give hope and show them that outside Iran others care for them
  • Also there is something new in Iran...A sense of silent understanding....People communicate without talking...they hold hands with out touching
  • They share a common sorrow and for the first time after 30 years it doesn't matter whom the victims are if someone is against the gov..its with people
  • Even 11/12 year old kids are talking politics and give you the name of all martyrs one by one...and describe their bio for you....just hilarious
  • Those who remember 1979 Revolution tells you that even at that time the people were not united like today...today they have one goal....No to IR
  • I will be very surprised if the terror and fear stop these people for long... They are determined not to surrender... They are fighting with hearts and mind
  • The most surprising in Iran is the appearance of freedom now....always before Ramadan basiji attacks for disrespect of Islamic values was expected
  • This year ...NOTHING... No basiji attack for women’s Hejabs or men’s long hair....Nothing
  • Yes the arrests continue....random or calculated noone knows....Noone is safe...that's why most families close to the opposition are sending ...
  • their kids out...someone should investigate increase of student visa request for Iran. UK embassy is practically under attack with visa requests

Torture and rape is nothing new

- it has been going on for 30 years.

In this video - from VOA (August 2009) - also posted on iReport, Mina Entezari talks about the legacy of torture and rape in Iranian prisons. English subtitles. Translation of interview on iReport.

Mina Entezari’s blog.

For more on political prisoners and prison torture during the 1980s, watch the documentary "Blindfolded Witnesses".

Also read this article in The New York Times News Blog The Lede, quoting from an English translation of an essay by the feminist lawyer and journalist Shadi Sadr:

"Published reports are available about these types of torture committed against women political prisoners after the 1979 Revolution. The most systematic type of reported rape has been the rape of virgin girls who were sentenced to death by execution because of political reasons. They were raped on the night before execution. These reports have been substantiated by frequent statements from the relatives of women political prisoners. On the day after the execution, authorities returned their daughter’s dead body to them along with a sum considered to be the alimony. Reports state that in order to lose their virginity, girls were forced to enter into a temporary marriage with men who were in charge of their prison. Otherwise it was feared that the executed prisoner would go to heaven because she was a virgin! [...]

[I]t is known beyond a shadow of a doubt, that during the 1980s, the rape of women political prisoners was prevalent."

And Mojtaba Samienejad’s (@madyar) blogpost Memories of Prison and Raped Prisoners also quoted in The Lede.

28 August 2009

Nameless graves

In this Interview the investigator reporter, Haniff Mazroee of Norooz website, gives BBC Persian the chilling account of the report of tens of graves in the Behesht-Zahra cemetery with unknown names. The frozen bodies were brought to Behesht-Zahra and buried in the middle of the night on two different dates. The officials of Iran deny the existence of such graves. (August 28)

Farsi with English text

Edit, Aug 29:
Read the Roozonline report on how the news was uncovered.

Ali Abtahi blogs from inside Prison!

- or "Public Confessions Move to the Internet"

Mohammad Ali Abtahi, still imprisoned in Iran, was the first cabinet member in Iran to write a weblog or have an Orkut account during his membership in the cabinet.

On August 26, 70 days after his arrest, the prison authorities gave him "permisson" to write a post on his blog

The blog Keeping the Change suggests that "Abtahi has been ordered by government officials to continue his blogging" and that his blog from now on will be used as an extension of his earlier confession at the Tehran trials.

Abtahi’s blogpost makes a quite disturbing reading:

"When they cannot arrest the Reformist leaders they take those of us who helped and supported them, spread their message, and ran their organizations, so as to suppress the uprising that resulted from the belief that the election had been stolen. I think, however, that the majority of the prisoners know there was no manipulation of the election results, […] In the next few days, I will explain further the statement that I read in the courtroom three weeks ago, […] This year, as I sit alone in my cell and read my prayer book and Quran, I have gained a special spirituality […] Please pray for me as well. Loneliness is so painful.”

Read full English translation and the Farsi-language original here.

Edit, Aug 28:
Green Breef 61-62 suggests that
"the government is creating fake blog entries in the name of reformist leaders to show that they are being treated fairly. Abtahi’s blog is the latest that is being updated."

Edit, Aug 29:
@persianbanoo: Abtahi's daughter: What you see on my father's site, is dictated to him by his interrogator #iranelection

Edit, Sept 6:
@IranRiggedElect (Sept 1): Abtahi's website is down because the British hosting company has blocked it: http://bit.ly/2a5RXf #IranElection

Edit, Sept 14:
@IranRiggedElect(Sept 13): Evin interrogators make new website for Abtahi so he can blog from prison again: http://bit.ly/2esW2R #IranElection

From the World's First Declaration of Human Rights

- to public hangings

WARNING! Graphic material!

A state-sanctioned murder

Zahra Kazemi (born 1949)
- was an Iranian-Canadian freelance photographer.

She was arrested on June 23, 2003, when taking photographs of the demostrations in Tehran, and died on July 11, 2003, in custody of Iranian officials.

Two days later IRNA news agency reported that she had suffered a stroke while she was being interrogated and died in hospital.

On July 16, 2003, Iran’s vice president Mohammad Ali Abtahi conceeded that Kazemi died of a fractured skull as a result of being hit in the head.

Shahram Azam, a former military staff physician, had examined Kazemi’s body and found obvious signs of torture:
  • skull fracture
  • broken nose
  • crushed toe
  • missing fingernails
  • broken fingers
  • signs of brutal rape
  • marks from flogging
  • deep scratches on her neck
  • severe abdominal bruisings

26 August 2009

Is there an economic crisis in Iran?

(via @homylafayette)

VOA Newstalk Aug 25:
Windows Media Player http://tinyurl.com/nfpt5a and Real Player http://tinyurl.com/lyr2ox

Tonight's guests are Sohrab Sobhani, oil and international relations expert in Washington and Dr. Fereydoun Khavand, economist and professor at Paris's René Descartes University.

Host jamshid Chalangi:
Mr. Sobhani, what is Iran's place in the world oil market?

Sohrab Sobhani:
Iran's position has diminished so much that it needs $30 to $50 billion in investment annually to turn the tide. This is because of mismanagement. Ahmadinejad has chosen a certain Mirkazemi as oil minister. Is this person up to the task? He has neither the capability, nor the experience.

Host Jamshid Chalangi:
You say there are many problems. Can they be resolved overnight?

Sohrab Sobhani:
Definitely. In 2005, Qatar signed a contract for a refinery. It was delivered last year. You need time, but most of all you need specialists and transparency. Iran has no dearth of experts, but the system does not work in their favor.

Host Jamshid Chalangi:
Let's go to Fereydoun Khavand in Paris. Is there an economic crisis in Iran?

Fereydoun Khavand:
In the past months, there have been numerous reports that indicate the crisis is getting worse in Iran. These reports exist despite the harsh censorship exercised in the country. Let me just refer to one such report from Alef, a Principalist (conservative) web site run by Ahmad Tavakoli, head of the Majlis Research Center. This report speaks of the collapse of Iranian manufacturers: the Bukan textile plant, the Dena tire plant the Haft Tappeh industrial/agricultural complex, whose workers are striking for back pay the Iran Co. aluminum works, which is going through a very rough patch.

Major steelworks are in a downward spiral, 50% of sugar plants are operating at a loss. Household appliance manufacturers are at 40% capacity. Construction in Tenran is down by at least 60%.

This article published in a Principalist web site several days ago goes on to say: 'In the past months, blue-collar protests are becoming more organized. If the trend continues and nothing is done to counter the fall of economic centers blue wave of protest, similar to the Green Wave, will be unleashed. Blue collars will take the place of green wristbands. This grassroots movement will be provoked by fears of hunger for one's family, lack of money to buy milk for one's child, to pay the rent, to finance the education of one's offspring....'

This article warns that a blue wave, more dangerous than the Green Wave, could be coming. Bear in mind, the article appeared in a Principalist web site which supports the regime. Iran's manufacturing units may be going through their greatest crisis since the revolution.

End of translation highlights at 12:00. Khavand's comments seemed the most pertinent in tonight's program.

I've found the article that Khavand talks about: 'Is the blue-collar protest wave coming?' http://tinyurl.com/mmpqjp

Why was Kahrizak prison closed?

via @persianbanoo, August 26

The next 10 tweets are a report on why Kahrizak prison was closed.

  • Despite reports that Kahrizak was closed after revelation of Mohsen Rohalamin’s torture and murder
  • Other factors may have been involved in closing Kahrizak prison
  • Dr. Rohalamin, Mohsen's father, a prominent physician and an insider with high level connections
  • After Mohsen's death, Dr. Rohalamin's high level friends started investigating Kahrizak
  • In the meantime an un-named journalist had been detained and released from Kahrizak
  • This journalist's accounts of Kahrizak may have played an important role in closing this center
  • Aftr a high level Government official intervention this journalist was released from Kahrizak after 2 weeks
  • In a meeting with this Official, when the journalist was asked to sit down, he replied he can not
  • He told the Official, while in Kahrizak he had been repeatedly raped with a baton
  • The Official became very disturbed. Two days later the order for closing Kahrizak was issued

Evin prison revealed

via @persianbanoo, August 25

The next 10 tweets are some info re Evin prison. Please read and retweet:
  • Each intelligence entity of various armed factions of IR GOV has it's own section at Evin
  • Section 209 in under the authority of the Inelegance Ministry, has both solitary and non-solitary
  • A new section in Evin prison called Guards Secret Sec 204, carved inside a hill with tomb like cells
  • This section probably saw it's first prisoners after the post-election unrest
  • The cells are built the size of a casket, are sound proof and totally dark
  • The only light the prisoner sees is when guards or interrogators visit with a hand held light
  • This is where probably Mr. Zaydabadi was kept before being moved to Sec 209
  • Zaydabadi told his family he had been kept in a dark casket like place for weeks
  • Evin Sec 1, 2A and 204 are under the control of Sepah and the Justice Dept has no authority over them

Here is a pic of Zaydabadi in court today. This man doesn't look normal.

"You deserve what’s coming to you!"

Iranian boy who defied Tehran hardliners tells of prison rape ordeal

The 15-year-old boy sits weeping in a safehouse in central Iran, broken in body and spirit. Reza will not go outside — he is terrified of being left alone. He says he wants to end his life and it is not hard to understand why: for daring to wear the green wristband of Iran’s opposition he was locked up for 20 days, beaten, raped repeatedly and subjected to the Abu Ghraib-style sexual humiliations and abuse for which the Iranian regime denounced the United States
“They were telling us they were doing this for God, and who did we think we were that we could demonstrate,” Reza said. The men told the other boys they would receive the same treatment if they did not co-operate when interrogated the next day.
The interrogator ordered Reza to be tied up and raped him again, saying: “This time I’ll do it, so you’ll learn not to tell these tales anywhere else. You deserve what’s coming to you. You guys should be raped until you die.”

Crimes Against Humanity

Rape and sexual abuse committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran:

White torture

(via @persianbanoo)

My next eight tweets describe psychic torture (white torture) methods used in Iranian prisons:
  • Sleep deprivation for several nights, long term solitary
  • Extreme character assassination, threat of bodily injury, obscenity
  • Giving false news re family arrest or death, mock executions
  • Extreme hot or extreme cold cells, no fresh air for days
  • Food deprivation for days, hence weight loss we have been witnessing
  • Interrogating the prisoner naked and blindfolded with threats of rape
  • Limiting use of bathroom and personal hygiene, causing kidney problem for many prisoner

Prison is good for you!

- a liberal cleric and pro democracy activist, former vice president during Khatami’s presidency and advisor to Mr. Karroubi in the presidential election was arrested on June 16, 2009.
After more than 40 days in prison he was brought to trial looking like this (photo on the right):

In an interview with ILNA
http://tinyurl.com/lpznhb Ahmadinejad's media adviser Ali Akbar Javanfekr commented on a wide range of issues, including Abtahi’s obvious weight loss:

"Abtahi and Atrianfar surrendered to the truth that was explained to them in prison. In prison you come to yourself and realize that being obese is not good for the soul and body. Perhaps Mr. Abtahi used this opportunity to lose some weight."

20 August 2009

Blindfolded Witnesses

A documentary on political prisoners in Iran 1981–1991

Just as the study of tree-rings allows scientists to understand the present in historical context with the conditions of the past, former political prisoners of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s prison system must undergo the same process in order to reconcile their tortured past with the present. In the video “Blindfolded Witness,” seven former Iranian political prisoners tell their personal stories of life behind Iran’s prison walls. Each strives to answer a simple question posed by Jorge Luis Borges: “What will die with me, when I die?”

For background, these individuals endured on average 10-years of imprisonment during the period of 1981-1991. Years such as 1983 and 1988 were particularly brutal when mass executions occurred. The mass executions in 1983 were meant to dehumanize the prisoners. When visits between prisoners and their families were eventually allowed, two lines formed outside the prison walls: one line for those who survived and the other for the executed. During the 1988 mass executions, parents weren’t allowed to visit their loved ones in prison. The only way they knew about the status of a loved-one was whether or not a postman arrived at their door carrying a letter sent from the prison. Sometimes executions were announced only in the media, so many parents had to read the newspapers to see if their loved-ones were alive. During some years of this era, Wednesdays served as the day of execution when names were called out over a loudspeaker. On other occasions, executions were simply announced by the hail of gun shots, with the last shot used to finish off the prisoner.

Let Tahmineh explain to you her experience with “torture orders” and how it necessitated the wear of a pair of large men’s slippers. Learn what “beatings to death” meant when interrogators could beat someone until they got information or until the prisoner was dead. Hear what Pardeh-dari (canvas play) was and what the terms “graves,” “coffins,” and “boxes” referred to. Learn why people celebrated when they were sentenced to 5, 10, or 12 years in prison. Let Manouchehr explain why the bruises on his wrists lasted for years. And, if the psychological torture inflicted on these prisoners were not enough, many did go insane or experienced mental breakdowns, listen to their stories of young children being raised in this inhumane environment and the psychological impact it created.

As the narrator of these interviews states, the goal of torture is to: 1) destroy the prisoner’s physical strength, and 2) transform them into a different being. This process begins at the moment they’re detained until the time of their release from prison. Words alone cannot describe the horrific experiences these former detainees endured, but one thing is known—these experiences were all created by an Islamic Republic regime—in the name of religion. Their experiences of imprisonment and torture will stay with them until their last breath, but silence only nourishes a tumor that grows and eventually destroys from the inside. This only fosters continued injustice for the victim.

via Association of Iranian Political Prisoners (in Exile)

19 August 2009

Grand Ayatollah Saanei’s speech

Highlights of Grand Ayatollah Youssef Saanei's speech
- delivered on Wed Aug 12 and released Aug 17.

Translated by @homylafayette:

Youssef Saanei is one of about 30 grand ayatollahs worldwide (about 20 in Iran) and enjoys particular respect and popularity. Saanei is a 'source of emulation' for millions of followers. Many of his ex-students are now ayatollahs or senior regime officials. At times mocking or scathing, Saanei critiqued the government in a speech in Gorgan on Aug 12.

The first part of the speech can be viewed here. The rest is on the same YouTube channel.

(All videos also on enduringamerica.com)

I was born in 1937. This is the first year in my life that I have not read the Rajab and Shaban prayers in an official capacity. This has never happened to me despite all the upheavals, arrests, and deaths I have seen in my life. This is an indication of the pressures we are experiencing in this day and age.Today, a number of Imam Khomeini's companions are in prison, accused of trying to overthrow the regime. Is this credible? I don't want to name these dear individuals one by one...

I have known Mr. Mousavi and his family for 25 years. Is it credible to say that he wanted to overthrow the regime? That he wanted to have the people's blood flow in the streets? That he wanted to damage stores or people's property? That he wanted people's hearts to be targeted from the rooftops? In terms of faith and loyalty, Mousavi is rare, if not unique.

The confessions of an individual isolated from the outside world are not legal in Islam.
These [political prisoners] have no access to newspapers, radios, visitors... I must warn you of some dangers. Young people of Iran, these acts you witness are against the line of the Imam.

I heard one of these [regime supporters] in Mashhad say, "We found some unsuitable books in such and such a place." Who are you to decide what's suitable or unsuitable!? Don't show off your power so much. We've seem many such posers fall from grace and weep openly.

Now everyone is shirking their responsibilities in a comical manner. All those people have been killed and they're saying, "It wasn't my fault, it wasn't my fault." Imam Khomeini said that the legitimacy of the regime is derived from the people's vote. I told one of these officials, "Cancel this election and hold a new vote." He said, "There was no fraud!"

One man says there is no water in this pool and gives 70 reasons. The other says, "I have one proof", and throws him in the pool. Things have reached such a stage that cancelling the election won't change anything now.

The more pressure they exert, the more aware the people become and the greater their hatred. I don't understand how it all came to this. They want to destroy the legacy of the Imam. Remember, a prayer for the Imam is a 100 times more powerful than the bullets being fired on the streets by those who are trying to aggrandize themselves by destroying the Imam's legacy.

Saanei later added:
The Islamic government must at least treat in a proper manner those who have toiled for it. That's politics 101. But God appears to have deprived them of their senses. When you can open a knot with your hands, don"t tear at it with your teeth. If a cleric forgets the legacy of the Imam, tell him. And if he continues, then stop listening to him.

And now, on to my second point. We must shun any media outlet that spreads lies. If a newspaper lies, a radio or television station lies, if a preacher lies, then stop listening. I'm talking about media outlets that have sent hundreds to prison and are now proudly parading them in a humiliating manner. With insults and humiliation! Is this islam? You want to prosecute them, fine. But why the humiliation, why a special outfit?

Is this islam? Don't believe it. Find out about their innocence, wherever it is spoken, to defend the rights of the poeple. Find out what they are doing to the people. You may ask, Is this useful?

The first use is to muster hatred. Hatred is dangerous for any government. The more the hatred, the more concessions they must give. Sometimes the hatred is so great, the government has no more concessions to give. They may have given oil, gas, wealth, and then they have nothing left to offer. That's when that evil autocratic government must turn to other methods. Hatred is very dangerous for governments. Dear ones, do not lose hope, spread awareness. Listening to lying media outlets is against the Koran. They may say, these are Islamic outlets. Islam is not about lies.

On to the third danger. Do not become ideological prisoners! Today the criminals strive to keep people ignorant. They're afraid of the slightest awareness, of one person exchanging information with another. They're even afraid of cemeteries! Is that something to be afraid of? Maybe you can be afraid of cemeteries at night, but in daylight? Are people going to burn stores in cemeteries? People are just praying over the graves of their martyrs, saying, Thank you very much for aiming at his heart. Let them at least pray over the graves of their loved ones. In the old days, they used dead people to vote for them. But to be afraid of dead people? This is new. Know that seldom has anything provoked the hatred of the people as much as what is occurring today.

Here's a story. Someone said, I know this man who socializes with Imam Zaman (Shiite Messiah) all the time. (NB Saanei is referring to Ahmadinejad who is notorious for his claims of a special relationship with Imam zaman.) The friend said, I don't really believe this, but I'll go and meet this man. He went and asked the man, "Do you meet with Imam Zaman?" The man said, "What are you talking about? Of course not." He comes back and tells his friend, "See, I told you so. I asked him and he said he never met Imam Zaman." The other one responds -- the punch line shows that those days of believing tricksters are over and the nation is awake! -- The other one responds, "He sees the Imam Zaman, but he's a lying bastard."

Remember, congregate wherever your goals are being advanced. I remember when as a young seminarian we drove up to Tehran to demonstrate for Khomeini and we were a mere fourteen people. Islam is about going to the source of issues. You must do the same with political matters. Instead of sitting somewhere and being mentally subjugated, think for yourselves! Read, discuss, disseminate. Everything you see today is smoke and mirrors to bolster the power of a few.

Beware if a nation's everyday concerns are not about its pain. I speak of the pain of prisoners, the captives of today's evil ones. I speak of the pain of those whose weight has withered away and they say jokingly that its because of saunas. I speak of the pain of those whose confessions were obtained under duress, the pain of those who cannot mourn over graves. Why can't they at least release these prisoners on parole during the holy month of Ramadan? Why can't they allow the people to mourn over the graves of their loved ones during the holy month of Ramadan? You who have no children cannot understand the pain of losing a child! And you blithely aim for their hearts! Then you say he caught meningitis or some other disease.

So who's responsible for these contagious diseases? The same people who are in charge of everything else. Islam is about peace. In islam, it is impossible for one person to impose his view on 60 million people! Unfortunately they don't listen to me, but thank God I'm not an accomplice to even one of their crimes! Thank God I'm not involved in these cases of murder and torture, any one of which is enough to send one to Hell!

Four or so people are supporting these acts, it's not important. The people are the only important thing. The people are everything. Those clerics who oppose the people will meet their just end. The people have given clerics their substinence throughout history. For 18 years, I preached and taught in various schools to avoid being under the thumb of anyone. (NB Saanei is referring to the huge regime handouts to clerics which many believe have weakened the clergy's independence. In Shiism, senior clerics have traditionally received their livelihoods from their followers and not from governments). I have only followed God, the innocent, the good, the pure, and the Koran.

The thing that can destroy Shiism is accusations of theft levelled at the clerics. That the clerics and their ilk have stolen for 30 years. What Shiite government suddenly realizes there was theft after 30 years? I won't even talk about the dollars that have gone to Turkey (referring to $18.5 billion found by Turkish customs in a truck).

How can such accusations be made in front of 200 million TV viewers. (NB Saanei is referring to a presidential TV debate between Ahmadinejad and Karroubi, where AN accused Rafsanjani). Well, he's a lying bastard.

(End of translation of highlights of Saanei's speech.)