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Editor Criticized, More Students Arrested

Two young men read newspapers in Tehran
Two young men read newspapers in Tehran

Fundamentalist Newspaper Editor Facing Backlash

Masih Mohajeri, editor of the “Jomhouri-e Eslami” newspaper and representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni, is facing repercussions for suggesting unity and compromise between the Iranian regime and Green Movement protestors.

According to the official news agency of the Islamic Republic (IRNA), a group of students and clerics at the Qom seminary have objected to Mohajeri’s new approaches toward the regime. Some believe that the regime is now trying to find an excuse to eliminate him.

In an exclusive interview with Radio Farda, Mohammad-Javad Akbarain, an Iranian journalist and theologist who lives in Lebanon, explains the tension between Mojaheri and the regime.

"[Mohajeri] is the editor of the newspaper that belongs to the supreme leader and before the election was known as one of the fundamentalists who were close to the supreme leader," he says.

But in recent weeks, the newspaper has received two warnings from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Regarding these pressures on Mohajeri, Akbarain says the regime wants a cohesive group of supporters to fight against the Green Movement, and this is why Mohajeri has been reprimanded. "It ['Jomhouri-e Eslami'] believes that the regime should not consider Mousavi and his followers as being against the regime,” Akbarain says.

Akbarain believes that the government is against any compromise between the government and the protestors and that Mohajeri's dismissal is quite possible.

[listen in Farsi]

Students Arrested In Kurdistan

On January 14, police arrested nine students in Sanandaj, Kurdistan after they gathered to commemorate a student who died two years ago. Lawyer Saleh Nikbakht talks about these arrests with Radio Farda.

Nikbakht says that on Thursday, which was the second anniversary of student Ebrahim Lotfollahi's death, a group of students went to his grave to pray for him. He says that the gathering was a quiet one. After the ceremony, police forces arrested nine of the students. Nikbakht says no one has any further information about these arrested students.

Ebrahim Lotfollahi was arrested two years ago. Nine days after the arrest, his family was informed that he had hung himself. Nikbakht, who was Lotfollahi's lawyer, objected to this claim and called his death "suspicious," but he ultimately lost the case.

[listen in Farsi]