Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Lie for Security Reasons?

News of Arrest of Shiraz Bombing Perpetrators Published, with Delay
After repeated statements by security officials last month that the April 13th Shiraz ‎bombing was not terrorist related, now suddenly through separate interviews, security ‎officials are claiming they in fact are.‎

In this regard, Entekhab news website wrote, “In a meeting with the senior members of ‎Rahpooyan Vesal group and the surviving family members of the “martyrs” who died in ‎the Shiraz bombing, Interior Minister Mohammad Pourmohammadi announced that the ‎perpetrators of the terrorist bombing had been arrested.” The report continued, ‎‎“Pourmohammadi asserted that the reasons for not officially announcing the news were ‎certain security issues.” The official IRNA news agency wrote that Pourmohammadi had ‎said, “This explosion was an act of sabotage and the work of the enemies of the great ‎Iranian nation and the holly cursed individuals under the pretext of monarchism and with ‎the support of countries that claim to be defenders of human rights, of national rights and ‎of anti-terrorism.”‎

Minutes after the publication of this news, an interview with the Minister of Intelligence ‎of Iran was presented to ISNA, Fars and IRNA news agencies according to which the ‎minister declared that the Shiraz “bombing had been carried out by a terrorist group ‎connected to Western countries, particularly Britain and the US”. Referring to the ‎absence of an announcement on the issue in recent weeks, Minister Gholam Hossein Ejei ‎said, “One of the problems in making a news announcement on the event and the delay in ‎the announcement was because of efforts to detain the suspects. But with the ‎commencement of activities of intelligence bureaus in a number of provinces, such as ‎those in Fars, Tehran and Mazandaran, the principal perpetrators of this bombing have ‎been identified and their foreign contact has been arrested.”‎

Further accusing foreign elements in this regard, Ejei said, “The sabotage group which ‎had been connected to a number of Western countries, particularly the UK and the US, ‎was involved in terrorist activities in Iran for some years. And even though we sent very ‎good information about the group to these countries through our Foreign Ministry ‎indicating that the group was a terrorist group, they did not confront the issue and even ‎supported the group.”‎

Minutes after the publication of this news, ayatollah Dastgheib, an influential cleric from ‎Shiraz announced that officials had to apologize to the Iranian nation because they had ‎earlier denied that this bombing was terrorist related. Entekhab news website went event ‎further and while publishing Dastgheib’s remarks called for the resignation of the ‎governor, governor general and other senior officials of Fars province (where the ‎bombing took place) because they had repeatedly in the past denied that terrorist were ‎behind the event.‎

Soon after the bombing, the governor general of Shiraz went to the site and rejected any ‎possibility of terrorism and promised to arrest the perpetrators. By summoning cleric ‎Anjavinejad to the governor’s office, other provincial officials asked him not to take any ‎sides on the issue. At the national level too, many senior officials had denied that the ‎bombing was a terrorist event and attributed the explosions to “negligence” on behalf of ‎the Rahpooyan group that had organized the gathering at the mosque.‎

The explosion took place at a mosque in Shiraz which killed 14 individuals and left more ‎that 200 injured.‎

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