Iran. The year was marked by a dramatic power struggle between the country’s conservative and liberal camps. In April, one of Liberal President Mohammad Khatami’s closest ally was arrested, Tehran’s popular mayor Gholamhossain Karbaschi, accused of corruption. Clashes broke out in Tehran where liberally-minded students clashed with conservatives. At the June trial, Karbaschi was convicted of embezzlement and mistreatment, etc. to five years in prison and 2.6 million. kr. in fines. Karbaschi appealed against the judgment. Another victim in the power struggle became Liberal Interior Minister Hojatolislam Abdollah Nouri. The parliament, dominated by conservative members, dismissed him in June, after which Khatami appointed him President of Development and Social Affairs, a newly created post. In July, the former Vice President of Legal Affairs, Abdolvahed Mousavi-Lari, was named Nouri’s successor as Minister of the Interior. Mousavi-Lari stated that he would continue the democratic reforms.
According to Countryaah, the capital of Iran is Tehran. The Liberal camp was hit by yet another setback in November, when the Conservatives won the election to the so-called expert council that appoints the country’s spiritual leader. Some 60 of the expert council’s 86 members became conservative, 13 liberal and the rest took a middle position. A large number of liberal candidates had been stopped by the guards’ councils who are tasked with approving candidates, and many Iranians demonstrated their displeasure by abstaining – voting was 46%. The conditions for the country’s intellectuals hardened. For several weeks in November and December, several regime critics were murdered, including the authors Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Pouyandeh. For several years, they had fought for permission to revive the Iranian writers’ union that was banned during the revolution. The government announced that the murders would be investigated.
The country’s first political party since the revolution, the Solidarity Party of Islamic Iran (also called the Iranian Unity Party), was approved in February. The party supports Khatami. Another liberal party, the Party of Iranian Constitution Servants, was approved in May, and in December a third, Islamic Iran’s co-determination front was formed, which, however, had not been approved by the end of the year.
- Abbreviationfinder: What does IRN stand for in geography? Here, this 3 letter acronym refers to the country of Iran.
Foreign policy contradicted the Western world. In an interview with US broadcaster CNN in January, Khatami spoke warmly for improved relations with arch-enemy USA. More conciliatory words were heard in connection with the Soccer World Cup in France in June when Iran met the US and won by 2-1. After a meeting with Britain’s Foreign Minister Robin Cook in September, I’s Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi announced that his government had no plans to murder British author Salman Rushdie, who was sentenced to death in 1989 by then-spiritual leader Ayatolla Ruhollah Khomeyni. Formally, however, the death sentence cannot be revoked.
I’s economic reform program continued, and in August, Khatami presented plans for limiting the activities of monopolies, simplifying the bureaucracy in foreign investment and reforming the tax system. In September, Parliament decided that cooperatives should start banks in the country, which, according to analysts, could pave the way for a commercial banking system.
At least 100 people were killed in April in floods and landslides.
To further aggravate the crisis, the Israeli terrorist organization Mossad on January 11, 2012 executed Iranian 32-year-old chemist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan by letting his agents place a magnetic bomb on Roshan’s car in Tehran. Roshan worked at the uranium reprocessing plant in Natanz. Terrorism came less than 24 hours after Israeli army chief Benny Gantz threatened Iran with terror. Gantz declared to an Israeli parliamentary committee: “Compared to Iran, 2012 is a critical year due to its continued nuclearization, internal changes in the Iranian leadership, increasing pressure from the international community, and unnatural events that will hit the country.”
Mossad has a longer history of similar terrorist actions in Iran:
- In January 2010, particle physicist Masoud Alimohammadi was killed on his way to work when motorcycle agents placed a magnetic bomb on his car in northern Tehran. An execution of the same kind as the execution of Roshan.
- In November 2010, nuclear physicist Majid Shahriari was assassinated by a similar car bomb in northern Tehran. Nuclear physicist Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, who works for the Iranian Ministry of Defense, is injured during a similar assassination attempt but survives.
- Scientist Darioush Rezaeinejad is executed by shots in eastern Tehran.
The Israeli military terror organization “Depth Corps” is believed to be behind major terrorist acts in Iran:
- In November 2011, a commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and 16 others die in an explosion in an ammunition depot near Tehran. The Iranians themselves call the explosion an “accident”, but most people consider Israel to be behind.
- Two weeks later, a nuclear reprocessing plant outside Isfahan is hit by a mysterious explosion.
- Another two weeks later, a steel plant linked to the nuclear program in Yasd is hit by an explosion that kills 7 workers.
Israel has acknowledged that even if it launches an open military attack on Iran, it will not be able to put the country’s nuclear program 100% out of the game and is therefore using terror to hit selected parts and in the hope of intensifying the situation. The United States and Britain may be involved in a war against Iran.
In December 2011, the Iranian military brought a North American drone to land. The US started by claiming it had crashed, but the Iranians were able to showcase a whole and unscathed drone. The United States had sent it on a spy spree over Iran. Iran copied the technology and was able to showcase its own drones a few years later.