Friday, June 03, 2005

The People Rise Up Against Khatami's Brother's Anti Islam Speech

Khaleej Times Online: "Brother of Iran president assaulted at pro-reform rally: party
(AFP)

3 June 2005
TEHERAN - Hardline vigilantes have assaulted President Mohammad Khatami’s brother, who leads Iran’s main reformist party, during a rally ahead of presidential elections, a statement said on Friday.

Hardline elements assaulted Mohammad Reza Khatami and his entourage, shouting slogans against freedom and democracy and insulting reformists at a rally in the western province of Hamedan on Thursday, the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) said.

Reza Khatami heads the IIPF, which is backing the candidacy of Mostafa Moin to replace Mohammad Khatami as president.

Speaking to people of Nahavand and Hamedan, Reza Khatami hit out at conservatives and their candidates in June 17 elections for trying to cheat people by copying reformist slogans.

“They copy their dialogs from reformists but they must know they cannot play on people’s intelligence,’ he said, “this will lead to nothing but their failure”.

The touring reformists were reportedly rescued from the attacks by security forces and participants in the meeting.

Campaigning for the election is underway, with top pragmatic conservative cleric and former president Akkbar Hashemi Rafsanjani seen as leading the eight regime-approve candidates.

Facing him are four hardliners: Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Ali Larijani, Mahmud Ahmadi Nejad and Mohsen Rezai -- all veterans of the hardline Revolutionary Guards.

On Monday the Iranian interior ministry ordered the country’s military forces to keep out of the polls, in a demand aimed primarily at members of a hardline Islamist vigilante milita the Basij."