Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Minister of Intelligence: Journalists Are Target of US

Esfandiar Saffari, Rooz Online:
Conservative newspapers in Iran this week published the new accusation of the Minister of Intelligence and titled their stories with the headings of America is targeting journalists for its goals.” In his remarks Golam Hossein Mohseni Ejei the Minister of Intelligence said that because the youth, students and journalists were influential members of society whose views were taken seriously, world ‘arrogance’ (a reference to the United States) led by the United States has decided to target them. READ MORE

In his talk, Ejei also mentioned non-government groups and by referencing the $75 million that the US government has allocated for the support of Iran’s opposition groups in Iran said, “According to US officials, the creation in Iran of non-government groups and centers that enjoy public support and trust, and the training of individuals with Islamic credentials and a Muslim image are the targets for which this fund has been set up to confront Iran.”

The minister listed programs such as scholarships for students, the creation of various training programs and seminars in Iran and in neighboring countries for journalists and other professionals also to be part of this US effort. Some recently arrested individuals have claimed that while they were initially not interested in politics, they have been used for political purposes by being given scholarships, being invited to seminars, and by being given an abundance of money,” Ejei said.

Ejei asserted that the enemies of Iran had also embarked on policies to divide the various social and ethnic groups around the country in an effort to create unrest in the provinces. He said that all the problems and unrest in the Southern and Western provinces of Iran had roots in the efforts of the enemies of the country. “Since the coming to power of the ninth government in Iran (i.e. the administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad), the enemy has intensified its activities with the help of some neighboring countries. They began their work by explosions and assassinations in the Eastern and Western provinces and incited some of the domestic groups, all of which were successfully deterred by the military-security forces,” he said.

Such claims and assertions are not new in Iran, and other senior cabinet officials have also stated them, adding that they have evidence to support the involvement of foreigners in the unrest that plagued the provinces last year. But till today, no evidence has been presented to anybody.

In a separate but related event, Ali Darabi, a member of the ruling council of the Isargaran group which is the principal supporter of the current government, has published a report in Jam-e Jam newspaper in which he warns that the upcoming few months are critical in the life of the regime. “On one hand Iran’s nuclear dossier is before the UN Security Council, while on the other two important elections are on their way in Iran:” one for provincial councils and the other for the influential Experts Assembly on Leadership that affirms the ‘supreme leader’ of the state. Ejei claimed that foreigners were after creating discord between the public and their leaders, and thus question the national solidarity of the nation. According to him, foreigners strove to exaggerate the minor problems of the country and hide its accomplishments.

“Inciting unrest among ethnic groups with the goal of destroying national unity”, “exaggerating some of the minor trade problems particularly among workers,” “distorting the image of the government,” “activating some questionable women’s groups and launching feminist issues through cinema and books,” ”efforts to create discord among students,” “presenting a dark picture for the future for the country, particularly for the youth,” “distorting facts about the ideologically inclined who currently control the Majlis (Iran's Parliament) and the government,” and “calling for the boycott of elections” are the principal programs and efforts that Darabi claims that “foreigners” are following in Iran.

Darabi further claimed that “Foreigners are bent on using mobilizing the media under their possession to make claims that elections in Iran are not free, just, competitive and healthy events, and ask the public to refrain from participating in them.” He pointed to one group, without naming it, to be part of this effort when he said that “groups and individuals who have tried to leave the administration.” It should be noted that Jebhe Mosharekat which did not vote for the hardliners in the last presidential elections in 2005 has had members in the government who gave up their posts and left their positions in protest.

At the same time, Ahmad Salek, the representative of the “supreme leader” in the Passdaran Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Bureau said last week that a “5-member committee has been formed (by those opposing the Islamic Republic) to infiltrate the Khobregan Assembly (of Experts on Leadership), with the aim of derailing the assembly and moving to collapse the Islamic regime.”

Previously, Salek had been the representative of the “supreme leader” I the Majlis Aalay-e Engelab-e Islami Iraq (Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq – SCIRI) and in the Badr Brigade who fought Saddam Hussein’s Iraq during the 8-year war between the two countries. In his recent remarks he said that mental corruption and deviance was the worse type of corruption. He attributed the trip of some of the leaders of Daftar-e Tahkim Vahdat student organization in Iran to travel to the United States and request assistance from corrupt Zionists to this type of corruption.