Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Conservative daily amazed that opposition party still issuing statements

In a front-page editorial published on Monday, Keyhan daily expressed shock that the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front is still issuing communiqués although all of its senior members 'are either in prison or have resigned.'

Keyhan is run by arch-conservative Hossein Shariatmadari, the representative of Leader Ali Khamenei at the Keyhan institute. Its editorials, often written by Shariatmadari, are generally considered to represent the views of the Supreme Leader's office.

Monday's editorial, entitled 'Find the communiqué-writer!', was fraught with unintended meaning. The paper contended that at a time when reformist parties have been discredited, a group is issuing false statements in the name of the Participation Front's student organization.

'At the start of the academic year, [this group] has extended its alms bowl to the students in an effort to incite disturbances,' Keyhan daily wrote. 'In its new statement, the students' branch of the Participation party has called students the flag-bearers of the green movement and [...] has asked them to remain present in the theater of protests.'

The paper continued, 'It is interesting that this statement accuses the Islamic regime of provoking students and asks students to remain calm.'

'The recent statements by the Participation party have been issued at a time when the senior members of the party are either in prison or have resigned,' said Keyhan daily, before asking the question, 'So who is writing these communiqués? Find this street peddler!'