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Rumi - Quotes
 
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
― Rumi

  
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.”
― Rumi

 
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
― Rumi

 
“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.”
― Rumi

 
“What you seek is seeking you.”
― Rumi

 
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi

 
“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”
― Rumi

 
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”
― Rumi

 
“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
― Rumi

 
“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.”
― Rumi

 
“When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you're not here, I can't go to sleep.
Praise God for those two insomnias!
And the difference between them.”
― Rumi

 
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
― Rumi

 
“Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.”
― Rumi
 
“Knock, And He'll open the door
Vanish, And He'll make you shine like the sun
Fall, And He'll raise you to the heavens
Become nothing, And He'll turn you into everything.”
― Rumi

 
“Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live. Destroy your
reputation. Be notorious.”
― Rumi

 
“My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”
― Rumi

 
“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”
― Rumi
 
    

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Harvest of Atrocities
 
The profile of Khemnei’s three stooges known as Larry-Johnny brothers
  
Compiled and Edited by Freydoon Khoie

The institutional corruption in Khamnei’s terrorist regime has reached to such a catastrophic proportion that it is no longer called corruption but national disaster of a despotic regime so rotten that it is beyond repair and the only solution is for the entire regime to be removed from power and allow a new constitution and a new breed of well-educated and qualified professional technocrats and business leaders to step in and save Iran from total collapse.

The so called Islamic revolution who promised to end repression and corruption have become so repressive and so corrupt that makes the former Pahlavi dynasty and Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi look like mother Theresa. Of course the charge that Shah’s regime was deeply corrupt was largely true. The Shah, his family, and a small clique of supporters and puppets -- consisting of a few hundred families -- controlled the vast resources of the state. It was said at that time that Iran was being ruled by "a thousand families."

The Shah, his family, and his clique of supporters treated the whole nation like subjects and second-class citizens. The memoirs of Alam, the Shah's confidante and long-time Imperial Court Minister, is very telling in this respect. Though in seven volumes (it's edited by Alam's longtime friend, Alikhani), they are very readable. Alam presents a vivid image of the ruling clique, who treated the country like their private farm, while squandering away their hours, keeping a close eye on one another to see which members of the Shah's family and their close associates were sleeping with each other, gossiping about who had what, and finding ways to add more to their illegitimate wealth by any means possible.

So, after the so called Islamic Revolution of 1979 took down the Shah and most of his cronies, the hope among Iranians was that corruption, repression and nepotism would be uprooted in Iran, or at the very least greatly diminished. But once Khomeini got in power, the people of Iran realized that the whole thing called Islamic revolution was nothing but a fraudulent fiasco designed by the British in partnership with French, Germans and Russians to push out the United States from Iran and if they could from the region, and reverse the great industrial and economic modernization progress that Iranians were making and to achieve this all they had to do was to allow the primitive mullahs come to power to destroy everything that the Shah’s government had achieved with the American support.

After Khomeini committed enormous atrocities, executing thousands of Iran’s greatest brains and well-educated technocrats, he died in 1989, and the extremists led by the present Khamnei gradually took control of all the important organs of the state, and nepotism become rampant again. In addition to Khamenei's own son, Mojtaba, who is reportedly playing a major role behind-the-scenes in all the important decision making, major clerical figures with close ties to Khamenei began treating the people like their slaves and looting Iran's vast resources as their own private property. There have been too many horror stories about corruption by the extremist mullahs and their children. Many, if not all of the stories, are true. Two well-known cases are recounted here.

In one case, Naser Vaez Tabasi, a son of Ayatollah Abbas Vaez Tabasi, who oversees Imam Reza's Shrine in Mashhad, was accused of extensive corruption. This stemmed from his relationship with Almakaseb, a large state-run trading company, which was plundering millions of dollars and taking out very large loans from state-run banks that were not being paid back, a practice continuing to this day by the core members of the regime. After the revelations about his activities came to light, he was briefly jailed. After he supposedly paid back his "debt to the government" he was released. He was never convicted. Ayatollah Tabasi is a powerful clerical figure and an old friend of Khamenei. The legal action show was designed only to reduce the national anger.

Another well-known case involves Abbas Palizdar, who was a member of the Inquiry and Review Committee that the 7th Majles (the mock parliament) had formed in order to review the performance of the judiciary. During a speech in June 2008 at Bu-Ali Sina University in Hamadan (in western Iran), Palizdar revealed that the Committee had uncovered 123 cases of corruption, including at least 42 cases involving leading extremist clerics and officials having embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars.

The mullahs and high-ranking officials included Yazdi, a member of both the Guardian Council (an Unelected body that vets candidates for elections) and the Assembly of Experts (another Unelected body that appoints the Unelected Supreme Leader and monitors his performance); Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani, another member of the Guardian Council; Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri, former Speaker of the Majles (parliament) and a special adviser to Khamenei; former president Rafsanjani; Ali Fallahian, the notorious former Minister of Intelligence; Mohsen Rafighdoust, a former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards, and many others. All of them shared a common feature: They were there to steal as much as they could and settle down in Canada.

Though Palizdar was an ally of Ahmadinejad, he disowned him after his arrest. It is worth noting that Palizadar received help from Fatemeh Ajorlou, a Majles deputy from Karaj, a town on the western edge of Tehran. She was also arrested, but later released in a typical show trials.

While still in jail, Palizdar wrote a letter of apology to Rafsanjani, saying that his findings had not revealed any wrongdoing by him, an obvious result of torture. Rafsanjani and his family widely symbolize corruption and nepotism in Islamic Republic. The last so called president Ahmadinejad himself had appointed many of his close relatives, including his brother, brother-in-laws, nephew, and close friends to important governmental posts; Ahmadinejad also arranged for his sister, Parvin, get elected to Tehran's city council.

So, nepotism under Khamnei’s regime is far prevalent that it was under the Shah’s government. Whereas the children of the elite were called shazdeh, or shahzadeh (a member of the royal family) before the 1979 Revolution, the children of the Muslim clerics who are involved in corruption cases and looting of the nation's resources are now referred to as the agha zadeh (sons of an mullahs). Khamenei’s son Mujtaba has such a title.

The Larijani (pronounced Larry Johnny) Dynasty

While nepotism is rampant in Khamnei’s terrorist regime, many powerful dynasties have emerged over the past 30 years. Khamenei is reportedly grooming his son Mojtaba to succeed him as though he is a king, but it remains to be seen whether the whole regime will last that long. The people of Iran are certainly determined not to allow the regime go on any longer. The choices are between reform or implosion which will lead to a destructive civil war. Even the position of the Supreme Leader, the backbone of the terrorist regime's political system, stands on shaky ground at the very moment. Rafsanjani's family and relatives have been influential, but none has the stature, public trust or national respect to succeed him. No one in his clan is likely to wield the same level of power and influence. Plus, the revolutionary guards have been verbally assaulting Rafsanjani for quite a while, trying to remove him from the political scene altogether.

Another group is the Larijani family. There are five brothers, two of whom sit at the very top of two of the three branches of government. Ali Larijani is the unelected Speaker of the Majles (the mock parliament), while Sadegh Larijani is the unelected chief of the judiciary. A third brother, Mohammad Javad (Ardeshir) has been a self-appointed Islamic ideologue who was deputy for international affairs to Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, former head of judiciary, Sadegh Larijani's predecessor. A fourth brother, Mohammad Bagher Larijani, is the appointed head of Tehran University of Medical Sciences, and a one time deputy health minister. Until two years ago, the fifth brother, Fazel Larijani, was Iran's cultural attaché to Canada. The country that they all hope to settle down with the loot after the fall of the regime.

Add to this list a first maternal cousin, Ahmad Tavakkoli, whose mother and the Larijanis' are sisters, and a maternal uncle, Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi Amoli, an extremist cleric, and one has all the makings of a true dynasty. Tavakkoli is a mullah and deputy in the mock parliament and head of its research center. Tavakkoli is also a two-time presidential candidate, and was Minister of Labor in the administration of Mousavi (currently under house arrest) in the 1980s.

A most interesting aspect of the rise of the Larijanis to prominence is that none of them played any role in the 1979 Revolution, or even in the first several years after the Revolution. In fact, the Larijanis' father, Ayatollah Ayatollah Mirza Hashem Amoli, as well as their maternal grandfather, Ayatollah Sayyed Mohsen Ashrafi, who lived in Behshahr, in the province of Mazandaran, in northern Iran, belonged to a school of Islamic thinking that had little, if any, interest in politics. Our 1906 Constitution did not allow the interference of religion in the state affairs and this was the only period that Iran made any progress.

Only Tavakkoli was a junior member of the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin organization, which is now one of the alleged reformist groups. He was included in the Mousavi government only as a concession to some in Majles who were pressuring Mousavi most of the time.

The rise of the Larijanis has been helped by two developments. They married the daughters of important clerics, and Ali Larijani forged a very close relationship with Khamenei when he was serving in the revolutionary guards. First, Khamenei was the deputy Defense Minister, then the (clerical) supervisor of the revolutionary guards, and finally the president in the 1980s, when he frequently went to the war front during the Iran-Iraq war. Ali Larijani has remained a confidante of Khamenei ever since.

The Larijanis have a sister who is married to Ayatollah Seyyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad, another clergy.

We now describe the profile of the three Larijanis:

1. Ali Larijani



Ali Larijani in the center
    Ali Larijani was born in Najaf, Iraq in 1958. (only in the Islamic republic someone who is not even born in Iran can occupy such high offices) His parents had moved to Najaf in 1931 when Kind Reza wanted to end the clergy’s interference in the affairs of the state and implement modernization programs and since he was against modernization he left Iran and settled down in Iraq which was being ruled by the British. Najaf was (and still is) one of the two centers of Shia Islam activism (the other is Qom, in Iran). Ali Larijani was 3 years old when his father moved his family back to Iran after living in Iraq for 30 years. He received a B.Sc. degree in mathematics and computer science from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. He married a daughter of Ayatollah Sayyed Morteza Motahhari, the distinguished Islamic thinker and a disciple of Khomeini who played an important role in the 1979 Revolution. (Ayatollah Motahhari was assassinated on May 1, 1979.)
   

Instead of pursuing his graduate education in mathematics and engineering, Ali Larijani decided to study western philosophy. Thus, he received a M.S. degree, and later a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Tehran. However, Raja News, a radical website, cast doubts on how Larijani received his Ph.D., claiming that his thesis had been rejected by the faculty, and that he had used the staff of the Majles research center to do his work for him. Of course as Wendy Sherman said recently, deception is in the DNA of the Mullahs in Khamnei’s regime.

Larijani joined the revolutionary guards and rose from being a deputy to the overall commander. He also worked at the guard's research center, trying to develop a modern theoretical foundation for the ridiculous doctrine of Velaayat-e Faghih (guardianship of the Islamic jurist), the backbone ideology of the terrorist regime's political structure giving undue powers to the office of an unelected so called supreme leader. There, he worked with Ezzatollah Zarghami, another revolutionary guard’s member.

In 1992, Mohammad Khatami resigned as the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance after his views on literature, the arts and the press were harshly attacked by the extremists. Former president Hashemi Rafsanjani appointed Larijani as Khatami's successor. Larijani served for two years, during which time he tightened and increased censorship on all cultural aspects of life. During his tenure there were even attempts to delete portions of the classical literary works by Iranian masters, or replace them with alternative words and phrases, on the grounds that they were objectionable. Larijanis brothers and clan are known to have neither love nor respect for the rich Iranian culture as they are more Arabs at heart than Persians and Iranians.

In 1994, Khamenei removed Mohammad Hashemi (Rafsanjani's younger brother) from the head of the Broadcasting machinery, or the "Voice and Visage" and propaganda machine of the Islamic Republic, as it is known by Iranians. He appointed Larijani as the new head of the IRIB, who took Zarghami with him and appointed him as his chief deputy.

While at IRIB, Larijani did not disappoint the extremists and anti Iranian radicals within the regime. By vastly expanding the national network of radio and television and using it as the main propaganda tool, Larijani helped consolidate the takeover of the important organs of the state by the extremists and radicals. There was a television program broadcast by the IRIB called Hoviyyat (identity), in which practically every single progressive intellectual, political dissident and other critics of the Islamic Republic were harshly attacked. The program and the supporting articles published by the daily Kayhan, the mouthpiece of the regime’s security and intelligence apparatus, were often the basis for prosecuting and jailing the pro-democracy leaders and opponents of the political establishment.

Ali Larijani began another program that was similar, Cheragh (light), which was also a vehicle for attacking the reformists and pro-democracy groups. He also started and then greatly expanded the daily Jaam-e Jam, and used it to attack the reformists and pro-democracy leaders and to promote himself and his brothers in the process.

When Mohammad Khatami was running for president in the spring of 1997, Larijani authorized the production of Asr-e Ashura (afternoon of Ashura), a short movie that allegedly showed Khatami supporters dancing and singing in the afternoon of Ashura, a sacred mourning day to Shias. The film was supposed to show that those who supported Khatami were against Islam and religion. Ashura is the day in which Imam Hossein -- the Shiites' 3rd Imam, and grandson of the Prophet, and a most revered figure in Iran -- was murdered on October 10, 680 A.D. Every year in Iran, he is greatly mourned on this day. (The scenes in the movie were faked, to discredit pro-reform and supporters of civil society movement though.) This how fraudulent Larijani brothers are. They have no honor, no integrity, no truth faith in God, and Allah and his righteousness. No commitment to any principle. They only want power, fame and fortune at all cost.

In the fall of 1998, six political dissidents and literary figures, Dariush Forouhar and his wife Parvaneh, Mohammad Mokhtari, Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh, Dr. Majid Sharif, and Pirouz Davani, were assassinated. (Davani's body has never been recovered). On January 4, 1999, the Ministry of Intelligence issued a statement in which it admitted that its own agents, led by Saeed Emami, a notorious deputy Minister, and 14 other agents, were the culprits behind the murders. Emami is believed to have murdered up to 80 dissidents from 1988-1998. The government claimed that he committed suicide in jail, but it is believed that he was murdered to prevent the truth to be revealed that Khamnei who was president at the time had ordered the assassination personally.

Almost immediately after the statement was made by the Ministry of Intelligence, Larijani brought Ruhollah Hosseinian, a notorious mid-rank cleric and close friend of Emami, to the Cheragh program on television to accuse the reformists of being the masterminds of the murders. Hosseinian claimed that Mostafa Kazemi, a leading figure among the murderers, was actually a reformist! The claim created an uproar and Khatami banned Larijani from participating in his cabinet's meetings.

Two months after the reformists swept up a majority of the seats in the elections for the 6th Majles (mock parliament) in late February 2000, a conference was held in Berlin on the future of the reform movement in Iran. The April conference, which was attended by several supporters of the reformist movement from Iran, was interrupted when some leftist’s demonstrators denounced the Iranian reformists and attacked Islam. In the middle of the conference, a nude man and woman began dancing. This was all taped, and later broadcasted on television in Iran, even the nude scenes. Larijani who was in charge of the national broadcasting strongly defended the broadcast. It was revealed later, that Iranian intelligence agents directed by Larijani had hired thugs in Germany to orchestrate the disturbance and film it for use later on.

The broadcast was then used as the basis for arresting ten reformists on their return to Iran. Among them, Akbar Ganji, the investigative journalist, who was initially given a ten-year sentence (eventually reduced to six years). Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari, a progressive cleric close to the Nationalist-Religious Coalition, was given a seven-year jail sentence, of which he served four. He was also de-frocked by the Special Court for the Clergy, a court used for controlling dissident clerics. Ali Afshari, a student activist, was given five years. While in jail, he was tortured to "confess," which he retracted after he was released in 2002 (he now lives in the United States). Others were also given jail sentences and fined.

The 6th Majles, (mock parliament) controlled by the reformists, investigated the financial dealings of the IRIB under Larijani and his deputy for finance, Ali Kordan. It discovered irregularities and embezzlement totaling 550 billion tomans (about USD $670 million). When the results of the investigation were read aloud in a session of the Majles, it created a huge uproar. Larijani's only reaction was, "Inhaa hameh kashk-eh" -- these are all baseless -- using the slang kashk for baseless. Though illegal for it not to act, the judiciary never took any action against Larijani or Kordan, proving the fact that they are all together in the same boat.

Larijani finally left the IRIB in 2004, leaving behind a "distinguished" legacy of attacking the reformists and leveling accusations that helped put them on trial. His work was so one-sided that the reformists began referring mockingly to the IRIB as mayli (whimsy), instead of Melli (nationalist). Zarghami, his chief deputy, succeeded him. Khamenei then appointed Larijani as his special adviser. Proving that Khamnei was behind him all along.

In 2005, Larijani announced his candidacy for president and began writing a daily column for Jaam-e Jam to familiarize the electorate with his thinking. He also taught philosophy at Tehran University. He was the main candidate of the traditionalist faction, who had put together a coalition called the Coordination Council for the Revolution's Forces, which did not include supporters of Ahmadinejad. But, he did poorly in the election. Except in Mazandaran, his ancestral province, who only supported him in the hope of receiving subsidies, he did not receive a significant portion of the vote.

After Ahmadinjad was elected president, he was told by Khamnei to appoint Larijani as secretary-general of Iran's so called Supreme National Security Council and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator. During his presidential campaign, Larijani had criticized Khatami for his nuclear policy, claiming that Khatami "had given away [to the European Union] the pearls [because Khatami had agreed to temporarily suspend Iran's uranium enrichment program], but received worthless candies."

Though his slogan was "we support dialogue with dignity," Larijani pursued a hard-line in negotiations with the European Union. He served in those positions until October 2007. During his tenure though, Iran's nuclear dossier was sent to the United Nations Security Council, and the Council began issuing Resolutions against Iran and imposing sanctions. So, the net result of Larijani's work was not even "worthless candies," but the poison of sanctions! The same sanctions that has crippled Iran’s economy and driven the nation to its current bankruptcy and the dysfunctional state.

When in March 2007, Iran captured 15 British sailors in Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, and accused them of spying on Iran, tensions increased dramatically between Iran and Britain. Later, however, Ahmadinejad ordered their release and staged a "ceremony" to see them off. It is believed that Larijani played an important role in the release of the British sailors because Larijani’s tribe is amongst the Anglophile groups whom are more interested in British interest than the Iranian interest.

Larijani claimed that he has resigned from his positions in October 2007 but in reality he was that actually pushed out by Ahmadinejad as a result of on-going turf war in the regime which is operating like mafia family with each family having its territory and they often eliminate each other. The two never got on well because they are both egotistic and want to be seen as the godfather. However, it was revealed later that the reason for the abrupt resignation had apparently something to do with a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Khamenei two days earlier. Putin had proposed new ways of addressing the standoff between Iran and the West with respect to Iran's nuclear program. Included in the Russian proposal was a short-term temporary suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment program. Larijani, who was present in the meeting, told Putin, and later publicly in a news conference, that Iran would take his ideas into consideration. But, just hours later, Ahmadinejad rejected the proposal -- in fact, he even denied that there had been a proposal, contradicting Larijani all together. When asked why he had resigned, Larijani responded, "There were ideological differences between us."

Larijani next ran in the mock elections for the 8th Majles, this time as a candidate from the city of Qom, instead of Tehran. He was supposedly backed by all the important clerics residing in Qom, most of whom are Anglophiles. Tellingly, however, was the fact that the unelected and cozy group call themselves the Guardian Council, which vets the candidates, disqualified every candidate from Qom but Larijani! Whether his brother Sadegh Larijani, who was a member of the Council at that time, had anything to do with this was the subject of intense speculation. Larijani was elected, and in May 2008 was also elected the Speaker of the parliament whose members are all hand-picked by Khamnei and only do as he wishes and not the wishes of the general population for which they are supposed to work, a position that he has since retained, even after his year was up in May 2009. This is how tragic things are in the so called Islamic republic.

Larijani was despised by many hard core supporters of Ahmadinejad in the Majles, where they total about 70 deputies. They have been trying to get him sacked from the Speaker job, but have not succeeded. Larijani did not support Ahmadinejad in the rigged presidential election of June 12. Raja News, the hard-line website close to Ahmadinejad, claimed at the time that in the afternoon of the election, Larijani, "who had access to classified information," had phoned Mousavi to congratulate him for getting elected president. (This, by the way, is just one more strong indication about who really got a majority of the votes. In their haste to attack Larijani, it was leaked as a result of a gaffe by the hardliners.)

Larijani also criticized the Guardian Council, saying that several of its members had openly [and unlawfully] supported Ahmadinejad. He also said that in the view of a very large number of voters there was fraud in the election, and that their views cannot simply be ignored. However, he also attacked Mehdi Karroubi, a reformist leader, and rejected his revelation that many of the people arrested after the election had been raped in jail.

2. Mohammad Javad Larijani

Mohammad Javad Larijani was born in 1950 in Najaf, Iraq. He was 11 when he and his family moved back to Iran in 1961 and in essence he is an Iraqi. After graduating from high school, he first studied theology. But he quit the seminaries and began studying electrical engineering at Aryamehr University during the former regime before the revolution (now called Sharif University) in Tehran in 1968. He obtained his B.Sc. degree in 1972. During the entire time that he was attending Aryamehr University, he wore the standard clerics clothe. Afterward, he moved to the United States, changed his studies to mathematics and obtained an M.S. degree.

   

Mohammad Javad Larijani

 

He began his studies for a Ph.D. degree in mathematics at the University of California in Berkeley, under the direction of Professor Robert Vaught. But due to the 1979 Revolution, he returned to Iran without completing his dissertation. He never finished his studies, although he is routinely called "Dr. Larijani." While at Berkeley, he never took part in the anti-Shah activities of the Iranian students in the United States.

In the first few years after the 1979 Revolution, there was not much talk of any of the Larijanis. But then Mohammad Javad Larijani joined the foreign ministry when Ali Akbar Velayati, another Khamnei ally was the Foreign Minister. Larijani rose to become one of Velayati's deputies there. In that period, with the goal of gaining a better understanding of world politics, Larijani founded the Office for Political Studies in the foreign ministry.

At that time, he often sounded like a relatively moderate diplomat. For example, he once said, before the Iran-Iraq war ended in 1988, that Iran had made too many enemies. He also expressed regrets for the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979, by the Islamic leftist students.

Larijani founded the Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics (IPM) in 1989. The Institute, which was recently renamed Institute for Research in Fundamental Science, has become a center of high quality research on mathematics and physics -- both abstract and applied -- and nano-science. The Institute has an international reputation in the area of string theory, a branch of physics that tries to unify all forces in nature. While there has been some speculation that the Institute is also involved in Iran's nuclear program, those visited the Institute a few times, are not aware of any research activities that could even indirectly aid Iran's nuclear program.

After founding the Institute and leaving the foreign ministry, the elder Larijani became the ideologue of the traditional conservatives in Iran. He has a sharp mind, speaks bluntly, and has opposed the reformists for a long time. In a recent interview after the rigged presidential election, Larijani said, "Reform movement has died in Iran." Of course the author agrees with him because the way the Islamic republic constitution is written has left no room for reform but to be completely abolished and a new secular based constitution to be adopted.

On another occasion, when Shirin Ebadi was awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, Larijani said, sarcastically, "I am happy that a compatriot of mine has become very rich," referring to the monetary award that Ebadi received. He did not mention her human rights work for which she received the award.

Larijani was also elected to the 4th (1992-1996) and 5th Majles (1996-2000). In the 4th Majles, he was vice-chairman of the Majles foreign affairs Committee, and he was the Chair of the Majles research center in its 5th session. Shortly before Khomeini's death in 1989, the Ayatollah had issued a fatwa condemning Salman Rushdie to death for his book, Satanic Verses. In a trip abroad, Larijani told the press, when asked about the fatwa, that it was a personal view. He also questioned the legal validity of the bounty placed on Rushdie's head, which had been set by the regime.

Such a position regarding Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa belies the political realism of the Larijanis, as well as the Islamic philosophy of their family, particularly that of their father Ayatollah Mirza Hashem Amoli, and uncle, Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi Amoli. The two Ayatollahs believed that a fatwa issued by one ayatollah was not necessarily accepted by all the other ayatollahs who are marja' taghlid (sources of emulation). Raising questions about Khamnei’s recent fatwa regarding the nuclear bomb issue.

In 1997, there was fierce competition between Mohammad Khatami and the conservative clergy Nategh Nouri, who at that time was the Speaker of the Majles, for Iran's presidency. Larijani traveled to London in February 1997 as a member of the Majles foreign affairs committee. He met in London with Nick Brown, Director General for Middle East Affairs, in the British Foreign Office and, according to several sources, asked Brown for an explicit endorsement of Nategh Nouri. That unleashed a storm of protests, forcing Nategh Nouri to announce that he has no spokesman. Nategh Nouri badly lost that election to Khatami, and three years later, in late February 2000, the reformists rode to victory in the elections for the 6th Majles. Larijani has not been back to the Majles since.

In December 2002, Larijani was appointed by Ayatollah Shahroudi, another originally Iraqi guy, then judiciary chief, as his deputy for international affairs. In that capacity Larijani supported negotiations with the United States and the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations. He expressed regrets for the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979, by the Islamic leftist students, saying, "Attacks and protests by students against an embassy are natural acts across the world. But, when the government joined them, the incidents that followed were hasty decisions that harmed our interests."

He also said, "We should be realistic and see the disadvantages [of the hostage crisis that led to the break in relations]." In one press conference in December 2004, he said that, "the Regime had a good opportunity to positively respond to this move by the United States, because the U.S. wanted to establish ties with Iran." He was referring to the secret 1986 trip to Tehran by President Reagan's National Security Adviser, Robert McFarlane (that led to the Iran-Contra scandal).

On the question of Iran's nuclear program, Larijani has said that, "We oppose the West's efforts to gain a monopoly in nuclear fuel, and in nuclear industry and science. I believe that the Iranian success [in enriching uranium] is a great success for the Islamic world." He even suggested nuclear cooperation between Iran and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf because, "Under the present circumstances, no Western country will be willing to share uranium enrichment technology with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and others."

Most striking issue was that Larijani was in charge of the human rights division of the judiciary. That is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. He has always said that there are two aspects to the human rights issue in Iran: violation of human rights in Iran, and Western propaganda against Iran regarding the violations. Of course, he said these before the vast scale of human rights violations in Iran following the June election, which included torture, rape, killings, and a range of inhumane treatment of detainees, to name a few. Most recently, on July 26, he said that he was opposed to broadcasting the "confessions" by the reformist leaders. "I think it is the duty of the judiciary officials to explain to the people the issues and violations of election laws by the reformists," he said.

But Larijani has also tried to justify the beatings (and murder) of the people during the recent demonstrations by saying that, "the police must stop the rioters [the demonstrators]. It has not been carved on people's foreheads who is a [legitimate] demonstrator and who is a rioter." As though it is a norm that the rioters are to be killed on the spot.

Mohammad Javad Larijani is married, but little is known about his private life. Secret lives are typical for those who fear prosecution after the regime change.

3. Sadegh Larijani



Sadegh Larijani
   

Sadeq Larijani, Regime's fifth judiciary chief after the 1979 Revolution and the youngest brother, was born in 1960 in Najaf, Iraq. His father Grand Ayatollah Mirza Hashem Amoli moved his family back to Iran in 1961, when Sadegh was one. Similar to his older brothers, Sadegh was interested in modern sciences. In fact, he received a scholarship from Sharif University of Technology to study abroad, but decided against it, and joined a seminary in Qom. His theological teachers included Ayatollah Kazem Haeri, his uncle Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi Amoli, Ayatollah Hasan Hasanzade Amoli, and his own father.

Another teacher of his was Grand Ayatollah Hossein Vahid Khorasani. Sadegh Larijani married the Ayatollah's daughter. There is an interesting twist to this. His father-in-law is known to oppose Ayatollah Khamenei. When the right-wing clergy tried to promote Ayatollah Khamenei as a marja' taghlid (source of emulation) in the 1990s, Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani is known to have told him, "You be the sultan [king], but leave marjaeiyat [being source of emulation] to others." Whenever Ayatollah Khamenei visits Qom, Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani leaves town, just so that he would not have to meet with him.

Sadegh Larijani first made a name for himself in 1988 when he published articles criticizing and responding to Dr. Abdolkarim Soroush's theory and thinking, The evolution of religious knowledge. Dr. Soroush is a distinguished Islamic scholar, philosopher, and reformist with a very large number of followers. He is against the idea of Velayat Faqih ( supreme leader or Islamic Jurist ) form of theological government and has been exiled for years . He published his views in such conservative publications as Kayhan Farhangi (Cultural Kayhan), Naghd va Nazar (view and critique), and the monthly Sobh (dawn). Larijani is the license holder and managing editor of a philosophical periodical called Pazhouhesh-haaye Osouli (Principled Research). He speaks Arabic and English fluently.

His political views are somewhat similar to those of Ayatollah Khamenei. Like him, Sadegh Larijani believes in a "cultural invasion" by the Western power, which "is no less than its military invasion." Larijani says because of that, he has dedicated his life to countering the Western cultural invasion. "They [the Western powers] know well that the Islamic nations have lasted due to the faith of their people [in Islam], not material[ism], products, and militarism." This notion has been ridiculed by Iran’s progressive thinkers and referred to as the main source of keeping Iran underdeveloped and behind.

But even though Sadeq Larijani is a conservative clergy, politician and thinker, he is not so far to the right to be associated with the ultra-right and reactionary clerics such as Ayatollah Yazdi, or Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the secretary-general of the Guardian Council, all of whom are staunch supporters of radical Islam and enemies of Iran’s modernization, industrialization and progress.

In 1980, at the age of 21, Sadegh Larijani was appointed a lecturer in religion for the commanders of the revolutionary guards. He has been teaching at a Qom seminary, Qom teachers' training college, and Mashhad Razavi University. The classes that he has taught include Kalam (interpretation of religious texts), modern rhetoric, comparative philosophy, philosophy of ethics, and Western philosophy.

In 1998, he was appointed to the 3rd unelected Assembly of Experts (he is still a member), representing Mazandaran province. In 2001 Ayatollah Khamenei appointed him to the Guardian Council. After his appointment as the judiciary chief on August 16, his seat in the Council was filled by his predecessor in the judiciary, Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi, another evidence how the three hundred mullahs recycling the country’s highest positions amongst themselves and ruling the country like their private farm.

A novel concept advanced by Sadegh Larijani has been the notion of middle Ejtehad (intermediate Ejtehad ( source of emulation). According to this idea one does not need to have complete knowledge in all aspects of theology. One does not even have to be specialized in just one particular field of theology in order to be able to issue new fatwas on certain matters. This is, of course, not the traditional thinking among the Shiite clergy. So why not allow even younger clerics to issue fatwas ( religious decrees issuing death sentence for the members of the pro-democracy parties on the basis of apostasy. Anyone disagrees with the clerics is considered the enemy of Islam and should be beheaded.

Larijani's extremist views about the nature of the Islamic nations, as well as his politics, have been criticized by the progressive Muslims and the reformists in Iran. He once said, "The efficiency of [Islamic] governments relies on people's votes, but the votes do not bestow legitimacy upon the government." A statement that completely negates Khomaini’s main message in 1979 that said ‘measure and scale is the people’s vote’. This is in line with the views of the more reactionary clerics such as Yazdi. He has also argued that, "The Islamic societies are not based on the laws made by men, rather based on the general principles set out in the Quran." And of course they have conveniently given themselves the monopoly of interpretation of what the Quran says. The debate on the interpretation of the same Koran in which there are no agreements has been the source much violence. People are not sheep and cattle and they want to have a say in the way their country and their social economic affairs are being governed. The notion that few unelected mullahs claim that they are the sole interpreter and arbiter of what the message of Islam is, are no longer acceptable to the young millions.

Regarding how an Islamic society is supposed to be, Larijani has stated,

‘We support a society that is based on the spirit of Islam and religious faith, in which Islamic and religious values are propagated, and every Quranic injunction and the teachings of the Prophet [Muhammad] and the [Shia] Imams are implemented. It is a society in which the feeling of servitude to God Almighty will be manifested everywhere, and ( listen to this ) in which people will not demand their rights from God, but are conscious of their obligations to God. The only part that Larijani and rest of the mullahs like him have failed to explain is at what point did God or Allah appointed them to be the sole executor of the spirit of Islam and do so with such cruelty that has driven the young faithful Iranians from the very Islamic faith many of whom are happily embracing Christianity? How could a society have the feeling of servitude to God almighty when the clergy in charge of teaching such servitude are in fact serving materialism by looting and possessing the wealth of the nation and atrociously and violently murdering the true faithful whom are objecting to their evil ways? How could corrupt leaders teach righteousness? How could evil pretend to be holy?

But Larijani also appears to recognize the conditions of modern society in which people demand freedom, and despise the government's imposition of certain beliefs. In this connection he has made the following contradictory statement which is more like a paragraph out of John Lock or Adam Smith’s treaties on government by a barbaric regime member:

The role of the government is to allow individuals to enjoy the greatest freedom, so that they can pursue their rights and interests in the way that they see fit. The role of the government is not to impose its own values, goals and principles upon its citizens, and it should in no way interfere in such issues. The role of the government is to provide a suitable environment that will allow individuals to make their own choices in society’. No kidding!!For 34 years in action, all Larijani brothers and indeed the entire regime has proven that they have no such convictions or beliefs. They have forcefully and violently have imposed draconian, dark age’s traditions upon the pro-western, open minded and progressive millions and continue to do so to this day.

The reports on Sadegh Larijani as the new judiciary chief have been nothing but loathsome. His deputy was Mohammad Jahromi, currently the Minister of Labor, who was Prosecutor General was called by the name ‘Chief Butcher’, and Ghorban Ali Dorri Najafabadi, another prosecutor was replaced by one worse than him, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehei, who was until three weeks ago the Intelligence Minister and Attorney general today. The records are filled with bloodshed and injustice against innocent people.

Under international pressure and people’s anger Larijani has ordered a halt to executions, including the execution of those who were minors when they committed their crime. When Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi was appointed the judiciary chief in 1999, he declared that he had inherited "a ruined judiciary." At the end of his ten-year term, Iran's judiciary has not just crumbled, but has become an organ with no control over the killing field at Kahrizak detention center (on southern edge of Tehran’s slums ), jails in which young people have been raped in secret detention centers that most people did not even know they existed.

Can Sadegh Larijani correct this horrible record and the present dismal situation and actually practice his belief in people's freedom as the judiciary chief, or will he prove to be just another Larijani, who in pursuit of his personal ambitions, will be willing to bend backward, take orders, and forget about his own independent thinking to please his masters?

In his interesting 2002 book, Pedar Khandeh va Chap haaye Javan [The Godfather and the Young Leftists], Mohammad Ghouchani, the young reformist journalist who is currently in jail, refers to the Larijanis as "one of the dynasties of power." [It is Rafsanjani who is sometimes referred to as the Godfather.]

The question for the Larijani brothers is this: Do they crave power for the sake of power for themselves, or do they want to leave a positive legacy for themselves and the Islamic Republic should either of them last the next implosion? Of course it is too late for such questions as the whole regime is considered dead as it is passing through the final days with bloody records that speak louder than words and that Larijanis brothers and family will be remembered as the mafia’s Corleone family and every single one of them, should they survive the next implosion and revolution, will be facing Nuremberg style trials to answer the horrendous crimes committed against the people of Iran and our religion of Islam and receive their due judgment in this world and the next.

Sources consulted: Frontline, PBS,

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