Monday, March 17, 2008

Reza Khatami and Pirmoazen Attacked

Officials Slam Reformist Leaders

After a recent session of the cabinet, a number of senior government officials accused ‎Mohammad Reza Khatami, deputy secretary general of the Mosharekat Party, and ‎Nouradin Pirmoazen, spokesperson for the minority reformist faction in the Majlis, of ‎treason for speaking with foreign diplomats and media. Khatami had met and spoken ‎with the German ambassador in Tehran recently.‎

In the past few days, following the publication of Ardebil representative in the Majlis ‎Noradddin Pirmoazen’s interview with Voice of America’s Persian Service, he was ‎accused of “treason against the parliament and the government.” The spokesperson for ‎the minority reformist faction in the Majlis defended himself by insisting that he had not ‎crossed any “red lines,” denied rumors that he has applied for refugee status in the United ‎States and said that he intended to return to Tehran. ‎

Yesterday, the minister of intelligence told reporters after attending the cabinet meeting, ‎‎“This action is really an act of treason and distasteful. Not only is it not consistent with ‎the representative’s senior position of responsibility, as even regular individuals would ‎not speak with foreigners in this manner. Contacting foreigners has certain norms and ‎not everyone is allowed to speak with foreigners about everything. This issue must be ‎investigated and the ministry of intelligence will not overlook it.” ‎

Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei also commented on the meeting of Mohammad Reza ‎Khatami with the German ambassador. While noting that “punishing Reza Khatami is ‎the responsibility of the judiciary and not the legislative,” he added, “In these meetings, ‎issues about the regime’s internal policies should not be discussed and abused, and ‎whatever person, party or group does such a thing harms the nation and is an act of ‎treason. If prominent individuals participate in such meetings, then the action is more ‎despicable.” ‎

Meanwhile, Minister of the Interior Pour Mohammadi called Pirmoazen’s interview with ‎the VOA and Reza Khatami’s meeting with the German ambassador “an act of treason,” ‎adding, “People will respond accordingly to this treacherous action.” ‎

In addition to the ministers of intelligence and interior, Ahmadinejad’s advisor Samareh ‎Hashemi and speaker of Majlis Haddad Adel condemned the actions as well of the ‎reformists. ‎

Reza Khatami, who has been the subject of the hardliners’ destructive campaigns in the ‎past few days, defended his casual meeting with the German ambassador and openly ‎announced that he has met with other ambassadors such as the British ambassador. ‎

The hardliner Raja News website, affiliated with the president’s office, wrote in this ‎connection, “Samareh Hashemi, one of the President’s special advisors, said yesterday ‎following the cabinet’s meeting that Khatami must disclose what he had said in the ‎meeting (with the German ambassador), and what his goals were from holding this ‎meeting.”‎

Ahmadinejad’s intelligence advisor, Rohallah Hosseinian, told official Fars news agency, ‎‎“The meeting with the German ambassador was not very surprising to me, because Reza ‎Khatami has held such meetings with British diplomats in the past, so much so that the ‎British ambassador has written a report documenting his euphoria from these meetings. I ‎have enough evidence to prove my claims.” ‎

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