Tied to the mast
…but orange now and black

Iran Update: The Association of Researchers and Teachers…

…”the most important group of religious leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against the country’s supreme leader and the most public sign of a major split in the country’s clerical establishment.”

From the NYT. The article describes the statement as follows:

The clerics’ statement chastised the leadership for failing to adequately study complaints of vote rigging and lashed out at the use of force in crushing huge public protests.

It even directly criticized the Guardian Council, the powerful group of clerics charged with certifying elections.

“Is it possible to consider the results of the election as legitimate by merely the validation of the Guardian Council?” the association said.

Perhaps more threatening to the supreme leader, the committee called on other clerics to join the fight against the government’s refusal to adequately reconsider the charges of voter fraud.

Yet another argument for the US to stay, in any substantive way, out of things… to focus on isolating and weakening the regime, and allow the moving parts inside of Iran make the necessary steps forward.


UPDATE: I’m becoming a bit skeptical of the Times’ characterization of the Qom Association of Researchers and Teachers as “the most important group of religious leaders in Iran.” Having trouble pinpointing exactly who they are. I apparently am not alone:

Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Could it be The Association of the Professors of Qum Seminar?
پایگاه اطلاع رسانی جامعه مدرسین حوزه علمیه قم – صفحه اصلی (in Farsi only)

They seem to be congratulating Ahmadinejad on their front page, so I guess not?

AFP and BBC call it “Assembly of Qom Seminary Scholars and Researchers”, but that doesn’t give any interesting Google hits either..

Can’t stand that we cannot find this allegedly important group…

Did some more digging on the first website that was suggested. It’s address – in English – is مجمع مدرسين و محققين حوزه علميه قم. By looking up “Majma Qom” (Majma = League) I found this in Wikipedia:

“Abaee-Khorasani moved to Qom again as the head of Mohammad Khatami’s presidential campaign office in the city of Qom. The Qom campaign led to about 70% of the people of city voting for the reformist Khatami, which was unbelievable because of the supposedly conservative leanings of the citizens of the city. The local campaign team later became the founding members of Society of Scholars and Teachers of Qom’s Hawza (majma’-e mohaghgheghin va modarresin-e howze-ye elmiyye-ye ghom), the political organization of reformist clerics of the city.”

If this is the group NYT talks about, it puts the news in a very different light…
But maybe this site is also not the one 🙂

Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Can’t stand that we cannot find this allegedly important group…
I agree

Here is the name as it appears in their own statement (no 3):

مجمع مدرسین و محققین حوزه قم

Not very significant information (and certainly doesn’t prove anything), but although the BBC site says statement was released on the 4th of July 2009, it seems to have been uploaded to the web site on 2nd of July at 12:21 GMT.

The New York Times calls it “The most important group of religious leaders in Iran”, but do mention later in the article “The statement was posted on the association’s Web site late Saturday and carried on many other sites, including the Persian BBC, but it was impossible to reach senior clerics in the group to independently confirm its veracity.”

Default Qom Seminary Teachers (New York Times story)

Al Jazeera <http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/iranincrisis/&gt; doesn’t mention it. Their lead on Iran today is titled “Iran’s reformists face trial threat” <http://bit.ly/ihHog&gt;.

The Jersualem Post also fails to mention this announcement, though it does report a post critical of the government that Grand Ayatollah Youssef Saanei posted on his website (see final few pars of the article): Iran lawyer: False confessions would free client | Jerusalem Post

On a related front, folks might be interested in this two part video from Al Jazeera English titled Moussavi and the Masses (posted 3 July 09): Al Jazeera English – GENERAL – Mousavi and the Masses

UPDATE II: More recently, from the same thread:

A bit of new info:

Got confirmation from the New York Times that http://bit.ly/acQ4S *is* the web site of the “Leading Clerics” / Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum that they have used for their article.

Article Changed

The New York Times changed the article. It is a bit peculiar, I think, that they make changes to published articles without mentioning this anywhere (Published xxx, Modified yyy …), but still, it’s changed.

I made a diff based on the MSNBC-reprint of the original and here are the changes:

CHANGES: http://bit.ly/WA60F

Old version on MSNBC: NYT: Leading clerics defiant on Iran election – The New York Times- msnbc.com
New version on NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/05/wo…05iran.html?hp

Best regards,


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