Faezeh Hashemi: Re-organized Target Attacks Of IRGC-affiliated Media

Iran Briefing: The recent media fanfare created by a team of IRGC security media has had no purpose except re-destruction of Hashemi’s family. After the heavy defeat of extremists in the seventh parliamentary election, the continuing media attacks have been such a relief, reconstruction and re-doping to the missing spirit of the fans. The disputing visit of Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s daughter, who has been re-elected and will be soon in the Assembly of Experts, was such a thorn for the authoritarians in the breathtaking situation of “leader’s replacement”. The issue was so irritative to the security system and the army section of the Supreme that led their attacks to be turned on Ayatollah’s daughter meeting with Fariba Kamal Abadi, a member of Baha’i leaders. The Guards’ media attacks are built around three topics; however the present report focuses more on the direct attacks on Faezeh Hashemi: Faezeh Hashemi

The direct attacks to Hashemi Rafsanjani

The authoritarians are trying to destroy his obtained position through “votes” and being re-elected in the election held on last February 26, undermining him to achieve the presidency of the Assembly of Experts. Releasing many interviews, Fars news agency introduced the Baha’is as a misguided, deviant and Zionist sect which socializing with them is strongly condemned; so they asked Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the chairman of the Expediency Council and a member of the Assembly of Experts to declare his disgust about his daughter’s recent act. The representative of Boroujerd and Oshtorinan in Parliament, for instance, pointed out that Faezeh Hashemi is accustomed to opposition, stating:” Faezeh Hashemi’s father just warned her slightly toward her daughter’s oppositional action.”

Hashemi’s reaction

Shortly, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a meeting with the director in charge of the Jomhouri Eslami newspaper, Masih Mohajeri, responded to Faezeh Hashemi’s visiting a Baha’i member, saying: “ Faezeh made a mistake and she has to make it up.” Interestingly, Hashemi’s brief response calmed the authoritarians down. 

Direct attack to Baha’i community in Iran

The IRGC’s media mistake was to attack on Baha’is under the pretext of Faezeh Hashemi on the verge of the eighth anniversary of their leaders’ imprisonment. The attack began with re-releasing several decrees by Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic, and other clerics and continued with the media team of IRGC, from Guards’ commanders  to Imam of Friday Prayers in small cities. Of course, the result of the dispute did not match its designers’ goals. Among the statements that senior army commanders declared, Arab Pour’s statements, the commander of Imam Hussein 14 Division, is noticeable. “After World War II, forces of arrogance created Israel in the midst of Muslim countries, confronting Shiite; they stablished Baha’i and also Wahhabi against Sunnis.” He said in Student Martyrs of East Isfahan and the Shrine Defenders Memorial held in Isfahan University.

Faezeh Hashemi meeting with Bahai women
Faezeh Hashemi meeting with Bahai women


Extremists’ negative reaction

Hojat al-Islam Mahdi Taeb that is introduced as a political expert by the security news agency, Fars, also reacted to Faezeh Hashemi’s meeting with Baha’i’s society, mentioning: “In my opinion, Mrs. Faezeh Hashemi’s behavior is due to her attempt to release herself out of isolation caused by her behaviors, as her behavior has been so bad that her factions don’t like it either.”

Referring to Faezeh Hasemi’s election campaign in favor of the Omid coalition, Taeb continued: “We saw that wherever Mrs. Faezeh Hashemi went to support the candidates, they did not succeed to be elected, so in order to get out of this isolation she behaves in the way she can get the fame, whereas she has made the highest challenge for her father.”

He also mentioned to Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi’s statements and sent an indirect message to judicial system and pointed out the necessity of dealing with the issue: “Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi’s words about the reaction of Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani is very remarkable as he complained about the weak reaction of Faezeh Hashemi’s father; therefor it shows the opinion of all ulema about this father and daughter.”

Taeb who couldn’t tolerate a typical visit of released prisoners with each other, continued: “I do not believe that the behavior of Mrs. Faezeh Hashemi has a political interpretation and I believe it should be psychologically evaluated as her recent action is such counterintuitive behavior.”

Commander Mohsen Rezaei, the secretary of the Expediency Council, also wrote in his Instagram page:” The old British colonial has created three cults and false religions among Muslims; Baha’i among Shiites, Wahhabism among Sunnis, and Zionism in Palestine and in the Middle East so that they make division between Muslims and create insecurity in the region. Today they are more supported than in the past. Supporting those fake religions does not have anything in relation with humanism and human rights and those in Iran, who communicate with these fake religions, have political aspect and it means nothing but signaling the old colonial and the U.S.”

Ismail Heshmati, the Student Basij Successor of Tehran Province, in an interview with Fars News Agency reacted to Faezeh Hashemi’s visit and said: “According to the constitution, promoting or supporting any cult or sect that is known as a deviant can be considered as a criminal act. Therefore, Faezeh Hashemi’s visit with the members of the Baha’i sect is promoting and supporting the sect. This is a crime and the judicature has to react.”

Heshmati continued: “Faezeh Hashemi, who is alleged to one of the officials, should know that meeting with members of the wayward Baha’i sect has advertising and supporting aspects so that it interprets as committing a crime. Faezeh’s meeting with the wayward sect shows the identity of those who played a key role in the Intrigue 2009(Fetne-ye 88). In fact, the nature of the incident showed the real identity of the instigator of 2009. ”

Mojtaba Shakeri, a member of the Central Council Society of Devotees of the Islamic Revolution, referred to the necessity of the judicature to deal with the perpetrators of the meeting with the wayward Baha’i sect, and said in an interview with Fars: “passing over the red lines of Islamic Revolution is something beyond what is obscene and condemned; hence the role of Faezeh Hashemi and his brother, who involved in Crescent judicial case, is not a minor matter.” Shakeri demanded a radical deal, saying: “According to the courage of the judicature we have seen in dealing with economic corruption, we expect the judiciary system a radical respond.” Member of the Society of Devotees of the Islamic Revolution emphasized that the issue should be condemned in order to prevent the person to commit it again. He reminded:” It was so obscene that even his father denied undertaking it.”

Mentioning that the judiciary should respond to Faezeh Hashemi’s act and stop it, Shakeri said:” Mrs. Faezeh Hashemi has a long list of these kinds of activities and her sandwich eating story in 2009 became a ridiculous behavior, besides we saw her involving in Pyramid Structure of Turquoise Girls (Dokhtaran-e Firouzeh-ei).” 

The history of attacking Faezeh Hashemi

She has been already the target of their attacks so that these incidents seem to be routine and repetitive to her. Mentioning how she met Fariba Kamal Abadi at Evin prison for the first time, Faezeh Hashemi in an interview with Euro news says: “I went to visit her because she was my cellmate. We lived together for six months and now after eight years, she comes to a five-day break. This is a very simple and trivial routine. We are not animals. There are some situations at different periods of life that leaves a moral responsibility on the person’s shoulder and establishes a series of communications.” 

The director of the banned newspaper, Zan, continues: “I didn’t know them before and I did not have any relationship with Baha’i members before the prison. Indeed the Islamic Republic caused this familiarity through imprisoning me and opened a new window in my life. I have mentioned several times that I liked this period of my life very much and it was a great experience for me. I learned a lot, I recognized a lot and this was one of the relationships that started there and they caused such a relationship.”

The former representative of the Fifth Parliament talked about the pressures and attacks targeting her and her father due to this meeting and publishing its photos, saying: “I went to visit a friend; it was the issue and nothing more. It is not the first time that Mr. Hashemi and we, in total, are under pressure. Look at the previous years, there have been even more pressures. I don’t know what the conclusion will be, but it is not something new. In my opinion, it is an irrational reaction, they exaggerated it, I mean if they didn’t address the issue that much and didn’t react toward it, no one would understand such thing had happened. Everyone would ignore it. Such irrational reaction provokes the issue to be continued.”

Then she mentioned disturbing her speech in Mashhad last year and said:” Basij swarmed and disturbed the speech. Yaser (Hashemi) had said that if they let Faezeh give her speech, she would end it very ordinary but they did something that all people in Iran found out that Faezeh was going to give a speech and they widely advertised that. If the speech was given, it wouldn’t be advertised that much even one in thousandth. This issue is also the same, I mean if they didn’t react to the visit, it wouldn’t be advertised that much. They do all these things and they earn nothing except hurting themselves.”

Faezeh Hashemi has frequently been the target of media destruction and physical attacks by security forces close to the Corps since the seventies so far:

      -Faezeh Hashemi has held the presidency of the Islamic Federation of Women’s Sports since 1990. In June 2011, Faezeh Hashemi’s office in the building of the Islamic Federation of Women Sport was attacked and the attackers took many documents of the “Islamic Federation of Women Sport”. It was stated in the reports that they had a warrant prosecution for their action. A day after, Tehran General and Revolutionary Courts announced that many secret governmental documents have been seized in an inspection in one of the buildings of the Islamic Azad University. Tehran General and Revolutionary Courts announced: “After inspecting the location, a large documentation on some oil and gas contracts, financial documents unrelated to the university, secret government documents and reports related to one of the defendants in the aftermath of the presidential election has been explored and seized.” A few months after the attack, in August 2012, the Federation was closed due to the deliberate not allocating sufficient funds by Physical Education Organization.

      -In 1998, she published Iran’s first women’s newspaper “Roozname Zan” (The Woman).it was written in the first issue of the newspaper: “The newspaper is going to write with a feminine look for women”. The newspaper that she was the chief editor of, was under the wrath of the government and eventually was banned in February 1998 for two weeks, and then on April 6, 1999 it was banned forever as a result of publishing political news, review and evaluation of the Islamic veil, supporting feminism, publishing an Arvin’s cartoon about blood money of women, and publishing a piece of news about Farah Pahlavi, the former queen of Iran. In addition to political issues, the newspaper addressed some issues related to women’s rights such as dowries, alimony, remarriage, women’s ijtihad, child custody and divorce.

     -The political activist as a serious opposition to the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, supported Mir Hossein Mousavi in Iran’s presidential election (2009) and was present in protests after the 2009 presidential election, and even was arrested in two protests held on June 20, 2009 and also on February 20, 2010.

     -Faezeh Hashemi’s interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Chanel 2, about the Islamic veil, black chador and the status of women sparked controversy in May 2009. She mentioned in the interview:” I always try to escape the stereotypes; I don’t want to follow the stereotypes, unfortunately some behaviors became valuable after our revolution, black color turned to be a value, black chador, black uniform, black scarf, and the dark and died colors became values. This was not a good value in every respect, health, medicine, psychology. Even in Islam black is hated, a series of tradition is on, but it is very different now.” This interview was reacted with opposition of some fundamental extremists such as Abbas Kaabi, Fatemeh Ajorlou, and Mohammad Taqi Rahbar.

     -On February 22, 2011, Faezeh Hashemi was attacked by a group of government supporters, when she went to the shrine of Abdul Azim in Shahr-e Rey for a funeral ceremony of one of her relatives. Jomhoori  Eslami newspaper (Islamic Republic) wrote in a piece of news: “While there is just two weeks to the board election of Assembly of Experts, attacking the Chairman of the Assembly of Experts by rogue elements continued even to the family of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani in the shrine of Abdul Azim and at the funeral.” The plainclothes forces attacked Mohsen and Faezeh Hashemi, when they were going out of the funeral ceremony of one of their relatives. Based on the report, when the nephews of Faezeh Hashemi tried to prevent the attackers, they also were attacked by electric shockers.

 Tehran’s prosecutor did not reveal the identities of the arrested persons but a basiji blogger, supporting the government, previously revealed one of the persons’ identities. Leaking a video out of this situation which showed Saeed Tajik, the author of the book “Loving War”(Jang-e-doost dashtani), calling Faezeh Hashemi a “prostitute” made a great deal of controversy. Saeed Tajik is a Guard’s commander and the chief of Tehran Oil Refinery Mobilization, TV presenter, poet at Beit-e-Rahbari, and a plainclothes force during the conflicts of the Green Movement in Ashura day. Saeid Tajik and in response to the objections and insulting Hashemi said in an interview with Rooz Online: “(Let) Arrest us, encounter to us violently, and see what the Hezbollah guys do. I told the prosecutor that if I walk out of here, I will destroy Hashemi’s dignity. I’m ready to enter a “volcano” to obey the supreme leader and I will cut the oppositions in “pieces.” The situation was so serious so that even Ahmad Khatami at Friday Prayers in Tehran asked government supporters: “Avoid obscenities and using the words that are subject to Hadd.” Ali Motahari wrote a letter to the head of Judiciary, objecting the obscenities. Makarem Shirazi also objected insulting Faezeh Hashemi. The head of the Judiciary also criticized implicitly swearing at Faezeh Hashemi.

     -Her interview with TV channels, websites and newspapers has been controversial. Faezeh Hashemi in an interview with Rooz Online criticized the Iranian authorities’ performance, saying: “The country is now under the control of “hooligans”. In response to the interview, Mohseni Eje’i also said that some content of the interview could be prosecuted.

     -On January 3, 2012, Tehran Islamic Revolution Court Branch 15, led by Judge Salavati, conveyed her sentence to her lawyer, Mr. Riahi.  Faezeh Hashemi accused of propaganda against the regime was sentenced to six months imprisonment and 5 years deprivation of political, cultural and media activities. Gholam Ali Riahi said in an interview with ISNA news agency: “My client on charges of propaganda against the regime was sentenced to six months in prison and also five years deprivation from being a member and doing activities in parties, groups, associations, cyberspace and media as a punishment.” Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani’s lawyer said that he had appealed the sentence. According to ISNA, the case of Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani began with impeachment of Tehran prosecutor, convicting her of propaganda against the Islamic Republic and interviewing with Rooz Online. Interestingly, Faezeh Hashemi was on trial while on Tuesday 14 December of that year, she attended and gave her speech at the meeting of “the Middle East and the prospect of democracies” invited by Strategic Research Center of the Expediency Council. The invitation was encountered with objections and criticism of the governmental fundamentalists and Keyhan newspaper, edited by Hossein Shariatmadari strongly criticized Hassan Rouhani, the head of the Strategic Research Center of the Expediency Council on this matter.

Obviously, attacking Hashemi Rafsanjani and his daughter is so important to the Corps and its related forces, so that it is unlikely ending up its attacks. The commanders of the army and the security forces, along with their media team are trying to implement their next steps on her through Judiciary system. Following the headlines of security media is enough to explore the next plan of the adventure.

     -In March 2010, Saeid Ghasemi, in response to the conviction of insulting Faezeh Hashemi, said in a meeting of the Basij Students of Medical Sciences in Mashhad University: “ I would shave my beards if they sentence Faezeh Hashemi and send her to jail even for a half day.” His remarks caused a wide range of reactions in the society. Faezeh Hashemi, of course, was arrested in October 2012, went to jail, and completed her sentence and then got release, but commander Ghasemi did not shave his beards!

The attacks are still continuing, however instead of bringing any success for the Security organizers, it caused more public attention on organized and systematic violation against Iran’s Baha’is that are directly under the supervision of the Supreme leader, due to the re-releasing of the mentioned decrees against this population. The calm reaction of the father and daughter was such cold water on the authoritarians’ negative publicity; however it will not be a lesson for them.



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