Iran Focus: London, Jun. 29 – TT: More than 2,000 Iranians have been arrested and hundreds more have disappeared since the regime decided to crush dissent after the disputed presidential election, a leading human rights organisation said yesterday.
London, Jun. 29 – The following are excerpts of some of the international media reporting on Iran on Monday:
Iran 'has arrested 2,000’ in violent crackdown on dissent
More than 2,000 Iranians have been arrested and hundreds more have disappeared since the regime decided to crush dissent after the disputed presidential election, a leading human rights organisation said yesterday.
“A climate of terror and of fear reigns in Iran today,” the International Federation for Human Rights , an umbrella body for 155 human rights organisations, said as it released the startling figures.
Prominent Iranian actors, actresses, writers and singers are believed to have been seized at the weekend for supporting the demonstrators. Several opposition bloggers have fallen silent, probably because they have been detained. Almost anyone who dares to challenge President Ahmadinejad’s re-election is now considered an enemy of the state.
An Embassy under Attack
Iran is trying to stir up a diplomatic storm with Britain. The response should be measured, effective and targeted to hurt Tehran’s own interests
The arrest of nine Iranians working for the British Embassy in Tehran takes the abuse and insults heaped on Britain by Iran’s embattled clerical rulers to a new level. The regime has now embarked on a policy of harassment and intimidation. The clear aim is not only to lend spurious veracity to the ridiculous charge of British incitement of the riots on Tehran’s streets; it sets the scene for a diplomatic showdown which, the Iranian Government hopes, will deflect attention from its own repressions and mendacity.
The threat to Britain is clear. Iran’s hardliners, including the bully-boys among the Revolutionary Guard and the Basij militias, would like nothing better than physical violence against Western targets. … They want a return to the revolutionary zeal of 30 years ago, when they were saluted as heroes for storming the US embassy and seizing the diplomats as hostages. If enough popular anger can be whipped up against the “Little Satan”, the British embassy might once again find itself the target of a mob intent on violence.
Britain’s response must be clear, measured and effective. The first concern must be for British citizens. In the embassy, only essential staff should remain. Businessmen, Iranians holding British passports and visitors should be advised to leave. Britain should then warn Iran that the continued detention of its embassy employees or any further official harassment will be met with reciprocal restrictions on Iranian missions, not just in Britain but, if all 27 EU partners agree, across Europe. A carefully calibrated series of other measures should also be prepared, ranging from further restrictions on trade, including aviation, to the downgrading of diplomatic ties. Iran has already threatened this last step; it is not one that should cause Britain any sleeplessness. If Tehran wishes to pick a quarrel, Britain does not need to stick around to be abused and insulted.
Miliband rebukes Iran after arrest of British embassy employees
The Daily Telegraph
There is growing evidence of a fierce power struggle at the highest levels of the clerical leadership.
It has emerged that a central figure in the battle for supremacy, Grand Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, has criticised the handling of the election.
Ayatollah Amoli is a leading backer of an overhaul of the system by which Iran has a Supreme Leader. He has been a proponent of a collective leadership to exercise power at the highest level. Hashemi Rafsanjani, another senior power broker who is at odds with Ayatollah Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader, is said to be lobbying for a three-man supreme leadership body that would include Ayatollah Khamenei but dilute his power.
Protests flare ahead of ruling on Iran vote
The Wall Street Journal
Thousands of protesters clashed with security forces at a mosque Sunday in Tehran — marking the first major demonstration after a few days of uneasy calm — as Iran's arrest of local employees of the British Embassy on Saturday escalated tensions with the West.
Meanwhile, Mohamad Mostafaei, a lawyer who represents Iranians under the age of 18 facing the country's death penalty, has also been arrested, the organization Stop Child Executions said.
Several thousand protestors flocked to the Ghoba Mosque in Tehran on Sunday afternoon to commemorate victims of the recent upheavals. Security forces dispersed the crowd using tear gas and attacking them with batons, according to witnesses.