Almotamar.net, Google - An employee of the British embassy in Tehran went on trial Saturday, accused of being a spy in a move the foreign secretary David Miliband said "brings further discredit" to Iran's regime. A tired-looking Hossein Rassam, chief political analyst at the embassy and an Iranian citizen, "confessed" in court that he had recruited a network of 50 agents on behalf of the embassy in the past year and attended pro-democracy demonstrations to gather information and foment unrest.
The dramatic appearance of Rassam came at the second mass trial of Iranians who had protested following the disputed June elections, which returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by an unexpectedly high margin.
The British government says that Iran had given assurances that Rassam would not be tried. Rassam, 44, was one of nine locally employed British embassy employees arrested but was the only one to be charged – with damaging the country's national security.
Miliband last night said: "I am deeply concerned by the unjustified charges laid against Hossein Rassam in Tehran. Hossein is a member of our embassy staff going about his legitimate duties. Iranian action against him only brings further discredit on the Iranian regime."
According to the official IRNA news agency, Rassam confessed at the trial to handing over information about the protests to "Washington" and had apologised and asked for clemency. The semi-official Fars news agency said Rassam had admitted acting as liaison for senior British officials in the embassy, including Tom Burn, the second secretary, who was expelled, and had accompanied him to meetings with opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. He had also confessed that the embassy had used "bursaries" and an English-language examinations scheme as a cover for contacts with members of the Iranian elites.
Rassam's trial comes just days after Britain's ambassador to Iran, Simon Gass, attended Ahmadinejad's inauguration ceremony.
Last month, the release of Rassam on $100,000 bail was applauded by the foreign secretary who suggested strongly that the issue had been resolved.
Also appearing at yesterday's hearing was language teacher Clotilde Reiss, who had been arrested at Tehran airport on 1 July on charges of espionage. She was leaving the country after spending five months working as a teacher in Isfahan and had also been an employee of the French embassy. Miliband said European nations were united in their opposition to the trial. He said he was in close contact with members of the EU and had spoken to French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner and Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, the current EU president. "We have reaffirmed our solidarity in the face of this latest Iranian provocation," he added.
During the court session, a prosecutor read out an indictment outlining what he said were plans by the US and Britain to foment unrest in Iran with the aim of toppling the ruling Islamic system, the IRNA news agency reported. The vague indictment also accused the two powers of providing financial assistance to Iran's reformists to undermine hard-line clerics within the ruling system.
Iranian defendants included Ali Tajernia, a former reformist lawmaker, Shahaboddin Tabatabaei, a prominent leader of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, Iran's largest reformist political party, and Ahmad Zeidabadi, an outspoken journalist opposing hardliners.
Iran's reformist and moderate parties have denounced the mass trial. The first session held last Saturday featured confessions that many human rights groups say were obtained under duress. One of the most high-profile defendants was a former vice-president, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, who served under former reformist President Mohammad Khatami.
Saudi aggression fighter jets on Monday waged three air strikes on citizens' houses in Serwah district of Mareb province, a local official said.
The air strikes hit the house of Ali Mohammed al-Hussaini and a number of neighboring houses in Habab valley area three times, causing heavy damage to the houses, the official said.
The army says third generation of modern Yemeni Rocketry ballistic missiles cannot be intercepted provided enemy Saudi anti-missile system, in a statement on Sunday.
The army said the new Yemeni ballistic technology is another war against US -Saudi anti-missiles system in which the Yemeni technology of the third generation of ballistic missiles beats enemy system and always hit the targets directly and accurately.
The army confirmed that the missile forces have managed in a short time and in very difficult conditions to change the military equation into their favor.
Prime Minister Dr. Abdul Aziz Saleh Bin Habtoor, met on Sunday in the capital Sana'a, the UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick.
At the meeting, they stressed on the importance to exert all efforts to alleviate suffering of the Yemeni people due to the Saudi aggression and its all-out siege that have hit the humanitarian, health and economic sectors.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hisham Sharaf, expressed Saturday his surprise at remarks made by some ambassadors of friendly countries, calling them to instead seek the interest of the Yemeni people and help establish peace in the region.
In a statement, the minister said that some of these countries only seek to serve the objectives and interests of their own, but not the interests of the Yemeni people.
He Said those countries, or the so called Quarter countries
Yemeni parliament strongly condemned on Saturday the Saudi aggression air strikes on the funeral house in Arhab district of Sana'a province that left at least ten women and children died, in a press statement said.
The Saudi air attack on the women funeral house was the Saudi latest war crime against the Yemeni civilians that killed eight women and children and injured ten other women on Wednesday afternoon.
The parliament said that this new horrific, brutal Saudi war crime against Yemeni civilians reveals that the Saudi aggression is a beast lacks all religious