Iran ex-president’s family sues lawmaker

Updated 27 December 2012
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Iran ex-president’s family sues lawmaker

TEHRAN: Four children of an influential ex-Iranian president are suing a radical lawmaker for describing his family as a corrupt “octopus,” heating up a struggle between government supporters and moderates.
The latest salvo has rekindled the bitterness between backers of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and moderates headed by the former leader, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, just six months ahead of the next presidential election.
A lawyer filed the complaint for the family in the Special Clergy Court against the lawmaker, Hamid Rasai, an ally of Ahmadinejad. Rasai is also a cleric. “Four children of Ayatollah Rafsanjani have registered their lawsuit against Rasai with the Special Clergy Court. I think Rasai will be summoned to the court within the next 10 days,” said lawyer Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, according to the semiofficial ISNA news agency.
In a speech broadcast on state radio, Rasai called one of the ex-president’s sons, Mahdi Rafsanjani, a “corrupt monster who has always enjoyed ironclad immunity.”
Rasai urged the judiciary to deal with him harshly, calling Rafsanjani and his relatives an “octopus family” that pressured judiciary and security bodies to free Mahdi.
Mahdi Rafsanjani was released from Evin prison on bail earlier this month. Authorities arrested him in late September, a day after he returned to Iran from Britain, on charges of fomenting unrest in the aftermath of Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential election. He has not been put on trial.
Rafsanjani’s youngest daughter, Faezeh, is serving a six-month sentence on charges of distributing propaganda against Iran’s ruling system. Since Ahmadinejad’s re-election in 2009, Rafsanjani’s family has come under pressure from hard-liners. Rafsanjani supported Ahmadinejad’s reformist challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi.
Many analysts believe Ahmadinejad won the 2009 vote partly because he portrayed himself as a champion of the poor and called Rafsanjani a symbol of aristocracy. He also called Mousavi a protege of Rafsanjani. In recent months, there are indications that the 78-year-old Rafsanjani, who favors a more moderate approach to the West, might try to make a political comeback.
Iran’s judiciary rejected Rasai’s statements, calling a large part of his remarks “sheer lies.” In a statement, it said Rasai’s remarks were “criminal” and must be dealt with by the court.
Several lawmakers responded yesterday, claiming Rasai had Parliamentary immunity. In the past, the judiciary has imprisoned lawmakers for making accusations against individuals who had not been convicted in court, saying parliamentary immunity doesn’t allow a lawmaker to terrorize an innocent citizen. Rafsanjani’s family provided a written response to Rasai, which was posted on Rafsanjani’s website yesterday. “It is expected that the respected Special Clergy Court, should it finds these remarks a kind of encroachment on the position of others, will take legal action ... because no one has the right to attribute crimes to a defendant,” the family said in its letter.


Israel threatens to get tougher on Gaza after warplanes hit Hamas

The strikes targeting Hamas’s military wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, were more intense than in previous sorties. AFP
Updated 21 June 2018
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Israel threatens to get tougher on Gaza after warplanes hit Hamas

  • Israeli planes initially targeted three Hamas military positions overnight in Gaza in response to kites and balloons carrying incendiary and explosive devices launched into Israel
  • The military wings of Hamas and allied militant group Islamic Jihad said they had “targeted seven Israeli military positions near Gaza

GAZA CITY: Israeli warplanes pounded Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday in a new flare-up of hostilities that saw dozens of rockets and mortar shells fired from the Palestinian enclave, the army said.
The strikes targeting Hamas’ military wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, were more intense than in previous sorties to convey the message “we will not allow this situation to continue,” Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters.
The latest spike in tensions follows weeks of deadly protests and clashes along the Gaza-Israel border as well as the worst military escalation last month since a 2014 war.
It comes as US President Donald Trump’s special envoy Jason Greenblatt and adviser Jared Kushner visit the region to discuss issues including the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
Israeli planes initially targeted three Hamas military positions overnight in Gaza in response to kites and balloons carrying incendiary and explosive devices launched into Israel from the Palestinian territory, the army said.
“They may look like toys but I can assure they are not toys, they are weapons intended to kill and to inflict damage,” Conricus said.
He said that so far Israel had sought to warn off those launching the airborne devices but that could change.
“Hamas and other militants, but mainly Hamas” hit back after the first air raids with more than 45 rockets and mortar rounds fired from Gaza toward Israel, seven of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, he added.
Three more landed inside the Jewish state, he said, but did not account for the remainder.
In response, Israeli planes carried out more raids against 25 “terror objectives” including an underground training compound, according to the army.
Gaza medical sources said that five people were lightly injured in the strikes.
In a joint statement, the military wings of Hamas and allied militant group Islamic Jihad said they had “targeted seven Israeli military positions near Gaza... in response to continued Israeli aggression against resistance sites in Gaza.”
Conricus said that most of the 200,000 Israeli civilians who live within range of the short-range rockets fired from Gaza “spent the night in bomb shelters.”