World News Brief, Tuesday December 22

Iranian protests after Montazeri dies (+ what it means for the Green movement); Burmese court to hear Suu Kyi appeal; the end of Saab?; Pakistan government to defend corruption charges; and more

Top of the Agenda: Iran Clashes over Ayatollah's Death

Iranian reformists clashed with police (BBC) following the funeral of dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hoseyn Ali Montazeri in the city of Qom, a sign of persisting tensions between the Iranian government and people following disputed elections in June. Montazeri denounced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection. The reformist Jaras website said mourners chanted slogans in support of the grand ayatollah and of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who participated in the procession with fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi. The scale of the confrontation is not clear. In response to the demonstration, the Iranian government has imposed strict new restrictions on foreign and domestic media. The BBC reports that attempts have been made to jam its Persian television service to Iran.

The opposition website Kalme reported that officials stopped a bus (al-Jazeera) carrying opposition leaders to the funeral, and some passengers were arrested. Ghanbar Naderi, a journalist for the Iran Daily newspaper, said Montazeri's death is a "huge blow to the reformist camp, because he is unreplaceable and nobody is happy to hear about his sad demise."


In TIME, Robin Wright says Montazeri's passing is a loss to the Green movement but could be a catalyst for more protests.

In an interview, CFR's Ray Takeyh says Washington's Iran policy needs to frame the nuclear development question within the context of a broader range of diplomatic issues, and that Iran's domestic turmoil hinders negotiations on its nuclear program.


A new Brookings Institution report says the idea of crippling Iran's economy with sanctions is "a fallacy, and a dangerous one at that."


PACIFIC RIM: Chinese Uygurs in Cambodia

Cambodia deported twenty Chinese Uygurs (GlobalTimes) accused of committing crimes during July riots in Xinjiang, after the Uygurs applied for asylum at the UN refugee agency in Phnom Penh.

Burma: Burma's supreme court announced it will hear the appeal (Irrawaddy) of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi of the extension of her eighteen-month house arrest.



Dubai World meets with creditors.
Pakistan government defends graft charges.
GM considers Saab's fate.

This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on