Ahmadinejad chama três mulheres para o governoA primeira vez em que um alto cargo será preenchido por uma mulher no IrãoO presidente do Irão anunciou, este domingo, que vai nomear três mulheres para o seu governo, informa o El País.«Entrámos numa nova era. As condições mudaram completamente e o governo terá grandes mudanças», disse o presidente.A confirmar-se a intenção de Mahmud Ahmadinejad, será a primeira vez que uma mulher se tornará ministra no Irão. E logo a triplicar.Fátima Ajorlou, que já estava no Parlamento, será ministra dos Assuntos Sociais e Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi será ministra da Saúde. O outro nome ficou por revelar.Uma mulher foi ministra durante o governo anterior à revolução islâmica, mas o triunfo dos ayatollah em 1979 valeu-lhe uma execução no ano seguinte.Também este domingo, continuou o julgamento dos opositores de Ahmadinejad, acusados de provocar violentos confrontos.
Iranian student dares to criticise Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to his face• Poll crackdown and state broadcaster denounced• Supreme leader says he welcomes such commentsHe may be the bravest student in Iran or an unwitting stooge of the Islamic regime – or both. Either way, Mahmoud Vahidnia has gained instant fame after breaking a taboo by criticising the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to his face.The 25-year-old maths student has been lauded by opposition websites after reportedly telling Khamenei that he had been turned into a "grand idol" who was above criticism. But in a twist demonstrating the inscrutable nature of Iranian politics, the incident has been used by Khamenei's supporters to show how he embraces criticism. Vahidnia has remained unmolested since his 10-minute critique, which condemned the recent brutal post-election crackdown and denounced the state broadcaster, IRIB, for biased coverage. But his most remarkable comments were reserved for Khamenei himself."I don't know why in this country it's not allowed to make any kind of criticism of you," he told Iran's most powerful cleric, who has the final say in all state matters. "In the past three to five years that I have been reading newspapers, I have seen no criticism of you, not even by the assembly of experts [a clerical body with the theoretical power to sack the leader]. I feel that if this doesn't happen this situation will lead to discord and grudge."Vahidnia, who achieved nationwide recognition two years ago by winning Iran's annual mathematics Olympiad, made his remarks at a meeting between Khamenei and the country's scientific elite. They came after the supreme leader asked at the end of a question-and-answer session if anyone else wanted to speak. He chose Vahidnia after seeing him being pushed down by officials when he stood to ask a question.Referring to the post-election crackdown sanctioned by Khamenei, he asked: "Wouldn't our system have a better chance of preserving itself if we were using more satisfactory methods and limited the use of violence only to essential circumstances?"Although state TV cameras were present, the criticisms only came to light when they were highlighted on Khamenei's own website and by Alef, a fundamentalist site. Both carried accounts showing Khamenei responding calmly."Don't think that I'll be unhappy to hear such statements. No, I would be unhappy if such statements are not made," he said. "About lack of criticism of the leader, you go and tell them to criticise. We have not said that no one should criticise us … I welcome criticism. There is criticism and there is a lot of it. And I receive it and I understand the criticism."The exchange has been seized on by pro-regime media as a demonstration of the leader's tolerance. The hardline Keyhan newspaper, whose editor-in-chief is appointed by Khamenei, reported it under a headline reading, The Revolutionary Leader's Fatherly Response to Critical Youth.Some opposition websites suggested that Vahidnia had been arrested by intelligence agents while other reports asked whether he had been a plant set up by regime officials. Vahidnia scotched both suggestions in an interview with Alef, in which he asked "society and elites not to spread rumours".Under Iranian law comments deemed insulting to the supreme leader carry possible prison sentences, although in practice critics are often not arrested immediately. Ahmad Zeidabadi, the head of Iran's leading student movement, Tahkim-e Vahdat, published an open letter critical of Khamenei in 2007 but was only arrested in the round-ups that followed last June's disputed presidential election.
Iran condemns Oxford for honoring slain protesterTEHRAN, Iran – Iran has protested to an Oxford University college over a scholarship in memory of the slain Iranian student who became an icon of mass street protests sparked by the disputed June election.In Tehran, a small group of hard-line women demonstrated Wednesday against the scholarship in front of the British Embassy. The women chanted "Death to Britain," the semi-official Fars news agency reported.Oxford's Queen's College established the Neda Agha Soltan Graduate Scholarship in Philosophy earlier this year, named for the 27-year-old student fatally shot on June 20 on the sidelines of a Tehran demonstration. Her dying moments were caught on a video viewed by millions on the Internet, and she became a potent symbol of the opposition's struggle."It seems that the University of Oxford has stepped up involvement in a politically motivated campaign which is not only in sharp contrast with academic objectives" but also linked to British interference in Iran's post-election turmoil, Iran's Embassy in London said in a letter to the provost of the British university's college. Queen's College confirmed it had received the letter dated Tuesday.Iran has in the past accused Britain of playing a role in the protests following the June 12 presidential election and meddling in its internal affairs. The opposition said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the election by fraud. But hard-liners have described the massive protests as a plot by Iran's enemies to overthrow the system of clerical rule through a 'velvet revolution.'The Iranian letter said Soltan's "suspicious death" is still a criminal case being investigated by the police at home. It said she had been shot on an isolated street far from the protesters and her "murderers" had filmed her and her companions for 20 minutes before the killing.The letter also mentioned Arash Hejazi, an Iranian doctor who was with Soltan at the time she was shot and said he tried to save her life. Hejazi is studying at Oxford and was visiting Iran at the time."Surprising, an Oxford fellow, Mr. Arash Hejazi, who had arrived in Iran two days before Neda's killing, was present on the scene when she was bleeding to death and immediately left for London the day after her horrible death," the letter said. "There is further supporting evidence indicating a pre-made scenario and other complications yet to be investigated.In July, a couple weeks after Soltan's death, Iran's police chief said intelligence officials were seeking Hejazi. That came after Hejazi returned to London and told the BBC that Soltan apparently was shot by a member of the volunteer Basij militia, which is linked to Iran's powerful and elite Revolutionary Guard corps. Hejazi said protesters spotted an armed member of the militia on a motorcycle, and stopped and disarmed him.Iranian police claimed this was a fabrication and the incident had nothing to do with the street riots. Police did not say why officials want Hejazi, but the regime repeatedly has implicated protesters and foreign agents in Soltan's death.The protesters in Tehran Wednesday accused Hejazi of being behind Soltan's killing and demanded his extradition, even though he is not facing any charges in Iran."We want you to extradite Neda Agha Soltan Murderer" read a placard carried by the women. They also chanted "U.K. and U.S. perpetrators."The provost of Queen's College, Paul Madden, said the names of scholarships were decided, "within reason," by donors. The college did not disclose the donors behind the Soltan scholarship, but said the key individual was a British citizen who is well known to the college.The scholarship is open to all philosophy students, with preference given to Iranians and those of Iranian descent. The first holder is Arianne Shahvisi, studying for a master's degree in the philosophy of physics.