Editor-in-chief of the financial Tehran morning newspaper Asia
On the morning of Tuesday, May 9, unidentified agents arrested Iraj Jamshidi, editor-in-chief of the financial Tehran morning newspaper Asia, as he was leaving his home and took him to an unknown location. The newspaper reported his arrest on its website without providing further details.
The newspaper has traditionally been a supporter of the Rouhani administration and its policies, so the timing of the arrest is ominous, coming just 10 days before the country’s presidential election.
On the front page headline of its latest issue, Asia quoted from a recent speech by Rouhani, in which he attacked his opponents: “Those who chatter about prison and execution should not talk about freedom -- freedom would be ashamed of such people.” Rouhani made the remarks in a recent speech in Hamadan.
It is not yet clear what security agency is responsible for the arrest.
In his youth and prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Rahmatollah Jamshidi Larijani, known as Iraj Jamshidi, was one of 12 members of a Marxist group that included well-known figures such as Khosrow Golesorkhi and Keramat Daneshian.
In autumn 1973, the group launched a plan to kidnap Crown Prince Reza and hold him hostage in exchange for the release of political prisoners. The plan was for Jamshidi to receive delivery of the firearms for the operation, but at the appointed time, Abbas Samakar, another associate who was supposed to procure the arms, failed to appear and the plan failed. The 12 members of the group were arrested, tortured and then put on trial.The shah’s regime executed Golesorkhi and Daneshian in 1974. The court sentenced Jamshidi to death but after he repented, his sentence was reduced to 10 years in prison.
Jamshidi’s time in prison was cut short by the 1979 revolution, when he was released. After his release Jamshidi went into journalism, and in December 2001 was granted the permit to publish Asia with his wife Saghi Begherinia as the managing editor.