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article imageIran News Roundup, October 14, 2009

By Johnny Simpson     Oct 14, 2009 in World
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei may be in a coma. The regime launched a probe into opposition cleric Mahdi Karroubi. A top Ahmadinejad official's daughter applies for asylum in Germany. Russia balks, China talks, and AMPAS wraps an Iran film seminar series.
From the Gateway Pundit blog via Pajamas Media Iran reporter Michael Leeden comes the news that Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, collapsed at 2:51 PM Iran time on October 12th, was rushed to a special clinic and is now rumored to be in a coma. That is all according to sources in Iran Mr. Leeden considers reliable. No official announcements have been issued by the Ahmadinejad regime.
In other news developments in Iran, the Chicago Tribune recently reported that the Ahmadinejad regime has launched a major investigation into senior opposition cleric Mahdi Karroubi, a revered figure from the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Karroubi has accused the regime of torturing and raping protesters after the disputed June 12th elections in Iran. The move seems to indicate that the regime intends to step up pressure on opposition figures, yet the regime also risks stirring up the opposition even further. In September, Green protesters shouted at a rally: "If Karroubi is arrested, there will be insurrections across Iran!"
The Chicago Tribune also reported that Narges Kalhor, the daughter of Mahdi Kalhor, a top adviser on cultural and media affairs to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has applied for political asylum in Germany. Ms. Narges was in Berlin for the Nuremberg Human Rights Film Festival when she submitted her asylum application to authorities in southern Germany. That news was based on statements by organizers of the film festival, most prominently festival spokesman Matthias Rued.
In other recent Iran news, the Los Angeles Times reports that Russia is balking on toughening sanctions on Iran, calling them "counterproductive." On the China/Iran front, Radio France Internationale reports that the US government is pushing China to support curbs on Iran's nuclear program. That RFI report was based on statements by Assistant US Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, who arrived in Beijing on Wednesday to meet with officials from the Chinese Foreign Ministry on issues related to Iran and North Korea.
Lastly, eight Iranian filmmakers now in Los Angeles will be wrapping up an Iranian film seminar series sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which concludes on Friday at the Linwood Dunn Theater at AMPAS headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. ABC News reported last week that famed Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed Aria and documentarian Mojtaba Mirtahmasb were barred at the last minute by Iranian authorities at Tehran's Khomeini International Airport from boarding the plane with the eight filmmakers now in L.A. for the film seminars. In its press release, AMPAS stated the film seminars are part of the cultural exchange initiated by Team Hollywood's visit to Iran in March.
On August 12, the opposition website Mowj Camp claimed that Ms. Motamed Aria one of over 100 Iranian film artists blacklisted by the Ahmadinejad regime for their support of Mousavi and the Greens, and have been banned form appearing in all state TV, film, radio and other media. Mowj Camp first reported the news of Fatemeh and Motjaba being barred from leaving Iran, news which later broke at ABC and other major Western media outlets.
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