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Dissident commander tells Paris crowd regime change must be internal process, says he backs “liberation” from the Islamic regime.
PARIS – Most Iranian military officers are not loyal to the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and would not fight to protect the Islamic Republic, a former Iranian pilot who defected to France said on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Paris, Lieutenant Behzad Masoumi Legwan gave a speech saying: “It is a fact that the overwhelming majority of the officer corps are in no way obedient followers of the regime. On the contrary, they are looking for the first opportunity whereby they can openly display their true sentiments by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Iran”.
A one-time Iranian Air Force pilot seeking political asylum in France, and armed with what he says is a valuable list of contacts, says he intends to serve as a bridge between military officers and resistance forces.
Behzad Masoumi Legwan claims dissent in Iran’s military is widespread.
Masoumi’s arrival in France was announced Nov. 10 by the Europe-based Green Wave Iran movement, which says it helped him come to Paris.
Masoumi said at a news conference Wednesday that he established links with dissident military officers and can now be a bridge between them and resistance forces.
He was purged in 2001 but says he had access to bases till 2007, then escaped to Iraqi Kurdistan after June 2009 unrest
(AFP) — 3 hours ago
BERLIN — An Iranian activist said a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery could be executed as early as Wednesday, citing sources close to the court.
“We received the information three days ago,” exiled human rights activist Mina Ahadi told AFP by telephone Tuesday, citing a letter sent from a court to the northwestern city of Tabriz where Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani is in custody.
“If the decision is taken, she could be executed on Wednesday. We are very afraid.”
Ahadi said her organisation, the International Committee Against Stoning, planned a two-day march from Paris to Brussels on behalf of Mohammadi-Ashtiani beginning Tuesday.
“We want to make the media aware and convince governments to step up the diplomatic pressure (on Iran),” she said.
Mohammadi-Ashtiani was sentenced to death by two different courts in Tabriz in separate trials in 2006.
The first death sentence, by hanging, for her involvement in the murder of her husband, was commuted to a 10-year jail term by an appeals court in 2007.
But the second, by stoning, was on a charge of adultery levelled over several relationships, notably with the man convicted of her husband’s murder, and was upheld by another appeals court the same year.
Since July, Iran has repeatedly said that the stoning sentence has been stayed pending a final decision, amid international outcry over the case.
Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s son Sajjad Ghaderzadeh and lawyer were arrested in Iran last month, as were two German nationals, reportedly while interviewing the son. The Germans were granted consular access in late October.
The International Committee Against Stoning has called for the inmates’ immediate and unconditional release.
Two Iranian diplomats stationed in Europe have resigned from their posts. One has already sought asylum.
Radio Free Europe reported, “A senior official at Iran’s embassy in Helsinki who quit in order to join the opposition has said he is seeking political asylum in Finland.
“Hossein Alizadeh, who quit as deputy head of mission on September 10, today accused Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad of stealing the June 2009 election from opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi and of persecuting opposition members.”
In December, Mohammad- Reza Heydari resigned and sought asylum in Norway.
According to Bloomberg A third Iranian diplomat, Farzad Farhangian, resigned from his post in Brussels on Sept. 9 to join the opposition, Heydari said in a separate phone interview from Oslo today. Farhangian is now in Oslo under police protection, Heydari said by phone.”
As these men seek out refuge in another country, the Christian should be reminded to continually to seek refuge in God. Psalm 31:2 says “Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me