November 4 is the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the American embassy in Tehran, and for thirty years the Islamic regime has celebrated the date with demonstrations against what it calls 'world arrogance,' a catchphrase which usually denotes America.
But this year's events are attracting unwanted guests as the opposition movement has announced plans to exploit the official ceremonies to organize its own protests around the country. The tactic has proven successful on two prior occasions, Tehran Friday Prayers in July and Ghods Day in September.
In a letter stamped 'urgent' and 'top secret,' Deputy Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Alireza Malekian warned against steps taken by 'groups opposed to the regime' which may 'deviate public opinion from the ceremonies on the national day of struggle against world arrogance.' The missive was dated October 22 and addressed to the directors of national newspapers, news services, and web sites.
Malekian, who is in charge of press and information affairs, called on the media outlets to not publish 'any news, photos, or topics' which may provoke tension or breach public order.
Malekian stressed that his letter was classified and should be safeguarded as such. At least one of his correspondents failed to heed his orders.
The following is a translation of the letter:
Islamic Republic of Iran
Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance
Deputy Minister for Press and Dissemination of Information Affairs
[stamped] Top Secret
To all honorable directors of newspapers
honorable general managers of domestic news services
Internet web sites.
Given the possibility that groups opposed to the regime may engage in actions on the eve of November 4, the anniversary of the seizure of America's den of spies, and may deviate public opinion from the ceremonies on the national day of struggle against world arrogance, and given that some domestic political factions, in continuation of the post-presidential election issues, possibly intend to politically exploit the situation and disrupt the peace, following up on past correspondence and stressing that the outcome of the tenth presidential election has been confirmed by official and legal authorities, I request that you refrain from disseminating any news, photo, or topic which can lead to tension in the society or breach public order.
With the assurance that this letter belongs in the category of classified documents and correspondence, please apply the proper attention to safeguarding it.
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