Tuesday, 13 August 2013

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MEMRI Daily: August 13, 2013



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Special Dispatch No. 5406

Release Of Compilation Of Newest Fatwas By Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei – Without Alleged Fatwa About Nuclear Bomb

On July 30, 2013, the Iranian Tasnimnews website, which is close to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), published a compilation of 493 of the "newest" fatwas issued by IranianSupreme Leader Ali Khamenei. These fatwas cover a wide range of issues, from political and cultural to religious, and include such topics as the treatment of Baha'is, trade with Israeli companies, religious purity and uncleanness, the status of women, and more.
MEMRI's examination of the compilation shows that it also includes several previously released fatwas, dating back to 2004.
It is notable that a much-discussed fatwa, which regime officials claim was issued by Khamenei and prohibits the development, possession, or use of a nuclear bomb, is not included in this compilation. The conspicuous absence of such a fatwa by Khamenei from such a compilation confirms MEMRI's argument that it does not exist; see MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 825,Renewed Iran-West Nuclear Talks – Part II: Tehran Attempts to Deceive U.S. President Obama, Sec'y of State Clinton With Nonexistent Anti-Nuclear Weapons Fatwa By Supreme Leader Khamenei, April 19, 2013.
The following are some examples of the fatwas in the compilation on Tasnimnews:

New Fatwas

"23: [What is the religious law concerning] a medication that contains alcohol?
"If someone knows that the medication contains alcohol of a type that is for [human] consumption, and it is originally liquid and intoxicating, then this medication is unclean; if he does not know [that it contains alcohol] it is pure..."
"32: [What is the religious law concerning what to do when] a sacred object falls into the toilet?
"If for example Koran chapters or an amulet containing a Koran falls into the toilet, using that toilet is forbidden [but] only to those who know for sure according to religious law [that it fell in], and he must wait until it is certain that the amulet has been effaced or destroyed [down the toilet]However, this obligation does not apply to anyone who does not know [that it fell in] and the person who dropped the amulet does not need to tell others about it, and if it this is difficult, there is no need to empty the toilet..."

Special Dispatch No. 5405

Iranian Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi To President Rohani: End Iranian Regime's Assault On Human Rights And Freedom Of Information And Expression

The June issue of the monthly report tracking human rights violations by the Iranian regime, published by Iranian human rights activist and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, who lives outside Iran, focused on the regime's preparations for the presidential election. These preparations included disrupting Internet service, hacking Iranian citizens' Gmail accounts, pressuring families of journalists living outside Iran, and harassing the campaign headquarters of candidate and eventual victor Hassan Rohani. This harassment took the form of closure of his website, arrests of his activists and of citizens attending his rallies, and disruption of text messages sent to Iranian citizens.
In a special introduction to the report, Ms. Ebadi revealed that the Iranian regime was behind the hacker group Virtual Anonymous Jihad's recent cyber-attack on websites and Facebook pages of oppositionists, journalists, and human rights activists living outside Iran (MEMRI will publish a special report on this issue in the near future). She also noted attempts by regime supporters to sabotage her online opposition activities, while attacking her reputation.
Indeed, following the election, Iranian Communications Minister Mohammad Hassan Nami confirmed that the regime had slowed down and disrupted Internet service out of security concerns and in order to ensure peaceful elections.
Also in her report, Ms. Ebadi pointed out that the regime is persecuting Christians in the country as well as violating women's and children's rights, and is also continuing its policy of executing individuals convicted of criminal offenses. She expressed the hope that incoming president Rohani would put a stop to human rights violations carried out by regime members.
In addition, on June 26, 2013, 135 Iranian journalists within and outside the country sent a letter to Rohani asking him to defend press freedom and journalists. They also asked him to stop the illegal arrests of journalists and the pressuring of their families, to reopen media outlets that had been shut down, and to allow the journalists' union to resume its activity.
The daily Kayhan, which is close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, stated in response that anti-regime groups, among them Baha'i activists, members of the reformist Mosharekat party, and the fitna (that is, protest) movement are setting a trap for Rohani and appealing to him with illegal demands. The paper said that these appeals would be stepped up as a means of pressuring Rohani. It also pointed out that "in every country security criminals are punished and restricted."