Daughter of Rafsanjani Arrested; Death Toll for Saturday at Least 10; Khatami calls for Impartial Panel

The death toll caused by the state’s crackdown on the demonstrations in Iran on Saturday has risen to 10-13, with 100 injured.

The regime has arrested Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, daughter of the former president, who spoke at a pro-Mousavi rally, along with 4 other members of that family. This step is typical of an old Iranian ruling technique, of keeping provincial tribal chieftains in check by keeping some of their children hostage at the royal court. It is widely suspected that Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a multi-billionaire who is well connected politically, is funding and aiding the reform movement’s protests.

Former president Mohammad Khatami has criticized Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for banning even peaceful large demonstrations. Khatami said, according to Lebanon Now:

‘ “Prohibiting people from expressing their demands in a civilized manner will have dire consequences. . .”

“Linking the healthy movements of the people with foreign interference is a flawed political practice, which leads to alienating the people from the government . . .”

Khatami maintained that the big turnout in the election, nearly 40 million voters, demonstrated that the voters were the owners of the state and the revolution. He praised the silent protests and the polite behavior of the demonstrators. (The regime is now calling them “terrorists.”)

The former president said that crisis could still be resolved peacefully, but not by putting its resolution “in the hands of a referee who is also under suspicion and complaint.” (This is a reference to Ahmad Jannati, the head of the Guardianship Council, who is a strong partisan of incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad). He called for an impartial commission to look into the charges of ballot fraud.

Khatami remarked, “This is the only solution to safely overcome the current phase and a positive step on the path to reinforce the Iranian system and to settle the crisis in the best interests of the Iranian people and the principles of the revolution. . .”

Grand Ayatollah Husayn Montazeri called for 3 days of mourning for the victims.

Aljazeera English reports on the violence on Saturday:

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