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IRAN: Rafsanjani’s daughter arrested, state TV reports

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Iranian state TV is reporting that the daughter of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani – a senior cleric and an architect of the 1979 Islamic Revolution – has been arrested along with four other relatives.

Press TV states that Faezeh Hashemi, Rafsanjani’s eldest daughter, was arrested Saturday after addressing supporters of opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi. The news came as Tehran settled into a tense calm between security forces and protesters angry over allegations of fraud in the June 12 elections.

The arrest of Hashemi, which could not be independently confirmed, is an indication of the divide between Iran’s senior clerics over the direction of the country. Supreme leader Ali Khamenei supports hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but reformers such as Rafsanjani back Mousavi. Rafsanjani, 75, sits on two influential organizations, including one that can elect and dismiss the supreme leader.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s street clashes, which killed at least 13 people, there was an atmosphere of blame and recrimination as security forces labeled protesters terrorists and demonstrators condemned the harsh tactics of government-backed militias. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said dozens of injured protesters were arrested when they sought medical treatment.

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‘The arrest of citizens seeking care for wounds suffered at the hands of security forces when they attempted to exercise rights guaranteed under their own constitution and international law is deplorable,’ said Hadi Ghaemi, spokesman for the campaign, denouncing the alleged arrests as ‘a sign of profound disrespect by the state for the well-being of its own people.”

He added: ‘The government of Iran should be ashamed of itself. Right now, in front of the whole world, it is showing its violent actions.’

-- Jeffrey Fleishman in Cairo


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