Things in Iran are still very tense. A stalemate has developed between the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the reformist opposition movement, led by Mir Hossein Mousavi. A top editor of a government-aligned newspaper called Mousavi a foreign agent, ratcheting up the rhetoric in the stand-off that has enveloped this country ever since the disputed presidential election on June 12.
However, one of the more positive developments favoring Mousavi is that a pro-reform Iranian clerical group said on July 5 the outcome of last month’s presidential vote was “invalid,” even though Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has upheld the result. This is a direct challenge to Khamenei’s reign as supreme ruler.
This is a significant signal that there is a deepening schism among Shi’ite clerics. The Assembly of Qom Seminary Scholars and Researchers also called for the release of Iranians arrested in protests after the hardline president was declared winner of the vote.
Police reported last week that 1,032 people had been detained during the protests in Tehran but most had been freed. Human Rights activists say as many as 2,000 people, including opposition leaders, professors, journalists and students, may be still be held across the country. Go here for the remainder of the Reuters report.
Also, in new developments today, Mousavi is forming a new political party aimed at reining in the power of the Islamic Republic’s leadership, a leading reformist newspaper reported. Moussavi told supporters the party will be focused on upholding “the remaining principles of the constitution,” according to Etemad-e Melli, a newspaper aligned with fellow opposition candidate Mehdi Karrubi.
Papers are expected to be filed with Iran’s Interior Ministry to establish the party before hard-line incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is sworn in for a new term, the newspaper reported. For the remainder of this article. go here.