Thursday, June 25, 2009

Is something happening on Iranian Press TV?

Perhaps it's a random ripple, but Press TV, the Iranian government vehicle, seems to be putting out conciliatory signals in a trio of stories. Could it be part of a push to get Mousavi and allies to accept some kind of face-saving sop along with the official election results -- or even sign of a more substantive compromise? (Times coverage is suggesting the opposite - that the hardliners are consolidating their hold.) For what it's worth, here's the trio:

1) A report that both Rafsanjani and Mousavi "vow support to end unrest":
Head of Iran's Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani will support efforts to end the post-election tension in the country, an Iranian lawmaker says.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Head of Iran's Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy told Fars news agency that the committee's governing board has held a meeting with Rafsanjani and Mir-Hossein Mousavi...

Boroujerdi termed the parliamentary delegation's talks with Rafsanjani as "constructive".

"The lawmakers asked Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani to help solve the problems and he vowed support and we hope that we would witness practical measures to be taken to end the current situation soon," he added.

Boroujerdi also noted that the lawmakers have discussed the post-election developments with Mousavi.
"During the meeting, the governing board of the committee explained their expectations from Mr. Mousavi and he voiced his interest to help in solving the issues."

Boroujerdi stated that the talks between Mousavi and Iranian lawmakers will continue.

2) A senior cleric's call for "national conciliation":
Senior cleric Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi has called for Iran's presidential election dispute to be settled through "national conciliation"....

He went on to say that the solution to the conflict must not be a superficial one. "Definitively, something must be done to ensure that there are no embers burning under the ashes, and (to ensure) that hostilities, antagonism and rivalries are transformed into amity and cooperation among all parties."

He called on rival parties to show self-restraint, to resolve the problems rationally and to bear in mind the future of the country.
3) Mousavi's most recent statement, presented in an abbreviated but straight-arrow manner:
Defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi says the Iranian government has been distorting the facts about the state of affairs in the country.

In a statement posted on his official website, Kalemeh, Mousavi took a shot at Iranian state media for portraying him as the figure responsible for the latest "violence and bloodshed" in the country.

He accused authorities of making efforts to isolate and vilify him in a bid to get him to withdraw his election challenge.

"I will not withdraw from demanding the rights of the Iranian people to protect my own interests and for fear of their threats," read the statement by Mousavi.

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