Saturday, September 20, 2008

Official Apology to Mousavian

Ahmad Tavakoli: Accusations of Espionage Were Lies

While the recent apology offered by Tehran Majlis representative Ahmad Tavakoli to ‎Hossein Mousavian, Iran’s former nuclear negotiator has been received warmly, the ‎president’s office asked Tavakoli to announce his repentance for his second gaff, a ‎reference to the latter’s apology. ‎

Tavakoli is a member of Iran’s parliament and the head of the Majlis' research center ‎operating a website under the name of Alef. He recently made a public statement that the ‎report on the website against Mousavian (who had been accused of espionage for Britain ‎by the government in connection with the nuclear dossier) was “complete fabricated” and ‎he apologized to himself and Tavakoli’s family. In response, Mousavian wrote him a ‎letter in which he wrote, “Until now I had remained silent in the interests of the country ‎and the regime, and I want to continue this. I am confident that after studying relevant ‎documents and speaking with appropriate officials now understand the secret of my ‎silence.”‎

In his letter Tavakoli had explained that, “Almost all the news in this regard were either ‎direct quotes from state officials, such as the president, the administration spokesperson, ‎minister of intelligence or the spokesperson for the foreign relations committee and the ‎national security committee of the Majlis, or other sources. The defense attorneys for the ‎suspect had asserted that most of the charges against their client that appeared in the ‎media were not factual and neither the ministry of intelligence nor the attorney general ‎had not reported them in their documents.”‎

The Response of the Presidential Office
Following the news of the apology, allies of the ninth administration have said there is ‎another story behind the regret. The president’s office too issued a statement protesting ‎Tavakoli’s letter and even called asked him to repent his new mistake, a reference to the ‎apology letter. This statement was published by Fars News Agency the president’s office ‎wrote, “If a new coalition is forming in the process of new political arrangements, ‎mistakes committed in the past should not be attributed to the president, and so it is ‎necessary that you repent your new mistake.”‎

Quoting this news, Shahab News website wrote that “The presidential offices’ statement ‎implicitly claimed that Tavakoli’s apology from seyed Hossein Mousavian and his ‎insistence on the error in the media accusations brought against Mousavian were because ‎of the new political coalitions (among conservatists opposing the government) taking ‎place.” ‎

But the publication of this statement which indicates the anger of the president’s office at ‎Tavakoli, took place while some website affiliated to the government such as Melat News ‎had published news reports apologizing their false news reports about the false ‎accusations against Mousavian, and said he was the victim of political games.‎

Along with Hassan Rowhani, Mousavian was a key negotiator on Iran’s nuclear team. He ‎gradually lost his position as Larijani was appointed as the new chief negotiator and ‎Ahmadinejad came to the national political front. He was arrested after President ‎Ahmadinejad and his minister of intelligence publicly accused him last year of being a ‎spy, having relations with foreign embassies in Tehran and other security issues and sent ‎to prison. He was released after 10 days and the payment of his bail, as the administration ‎publicly declared its displeasure with his release. And when some talk was heard of a ‎pardon for Mousavian, Ahmadinejad warned the judiciary in a speech that if it went ‎ahead with its pardon, he would publish certain documents. The chief executive never ‎pursued on his threat and the judiciary threw out the espionage charges against him, ‎condemning him to 2 years of suspended prison and ban from any diplomatic position in ‎the government.‎

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