Iran General NewsIran cancels ceremony where reformer due to speak

Iran cancels ceremony where reformer due to speak

-

ImageReuters: An annual religious ceremony which could have become a rallying point for Iran's pro-reform opposition has been cancelled, Iranian media said on Saturday. By Fredrik Dahl

ImageTEHRAN, Sept 5 (Reuters) – An annual religious ceremony which could have become a rallying point for Iran's pro-reform opposition has been cancelled, Iranian media said on Saturday.

A reformist website also published the names of 72 people it said had been killed in unrest following the disputed June presidential election.

Some 30 died from gunshot wounds, others from baton blows, one had his throat slit, one was thrown from the third floor of a building and one woman was burnt beyond recognition, it said.

The cancellation of next week's ceremony may reflect authorities' concern it could have become the scene of renewed opposition protests against hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his re-election.

The poll results sparked huge opposition demonstrations, plunged Iran into its deepest internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and further strained ties with the West.

The Mardomsalari newspaper cited "pressure" on the family of late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to call off the speeches traditionally held at his shrine near Tehran to mark the seventh century death of Imam Ali, Shi'ite Islam's most revered figure after the Prophet Mohammad.

"This is the first year in which the mourning is not held at the Imam's (Khomeini's) shrine," Mardomsalari said. "The official communique says the Imam's shrine is unable to hold the mourning period in view of the problems it is facing."

MOURNING

The newspaper gave no further explanation for the unprecedented move to cancel the mourning ceremony which was to have been held over three nights between Sept 9-11.

Reformist former President Mohammad Khatami normally speaks on one of the nights at Khomeini's shrine. Several of Khatami's close allies have been detained since the June presidential poll, which moderates say was rigged in favour of Ahmadinejad.

Other newspapers also carried similar reports, which did not say whether Khatami might appear at any of the many other such events held at the same time in mainly Shi'ite Iran.

Mardomsalari said Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the Islamic Republic's founder and in charge of the shrine, was "ideologically closer" to Khatami and Mousavi and that there were indications of differences of opinion with the government.

Authorities put the death toll in post-election violence at 26 and say the dead include members of the pro-government Islamic Basij militia which was used to put down the protests.

But the reformist Norooz website said 72 "martyrs" had been killed in the protests and none of the people it listed were members of state security forces.

The list included eight women, students and others. The Norooz website, which did not give a source, also gave information on when and where many of them were killed.

One person listed by Norooz, chemistry student Kianush Asa, died "as a result of gunshot wounds" in Tehran's Freedom Square on June 15. Another, Alireza Eftekhari, 29, died on the same day and place "as a consequence of baton blows to the head." (Additional reporting by Hashem Kalantari; Editing by Jon Hemming)

Latest news

Frustration of Iran’s Middle Class

These days, the middle class of Iran still maintains its cultural conditions, but economically it has collapsed into the...

Hamid Noury Contradicts His Own Testimony During His Trial

The fifth day of former Iranian prison official Hamid Noury’s own testimony at his trial in Sweden took place...

Iran: Militarization of the Country’s Education

After months of contention about the position of the minister of education, the Iranian regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi finally...

As Thousands of Iranian Prisoners Were Executed in the 1988 Massacre, the World Remained Silent

With the trial of former Iranian prison official Hamid Noury still ongoing in Sweden, proceedings were briefly expedited to...

Even a Revived JCPOA Will Not Save Iran’s Government

Since the beginning of the Iranian regime’s nuclear crisis, which was revealed by the Iranian opposition group, the MEK,...

Iran’s 1988 Massacre Will Never Be Erased From History

As the trial of former Iranian prison official Hamid Noury races forward in Sweden, supporters of the Iranian Resistance...

Must read

Germany uneasy on nuclear plans after Iran talks

AFP: Germany came away from a meeting with Iran...

US demands Iran end ‘horrible rhetoric’

AFP: The United States called Monday on Iran to...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you