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The Latest from Iran (14 April): Ahmadinejad's Struggle

1720 GMT: Ahmadinjead Brings Culture to the World; Students Aren't Sure. The President's adivsor, Somreh Hashemin, has told university students that "world discourse" has changed because of Ahmadinejad's statements --- therefore it now has culture, science, and ethics.

Students at Allameh Tabatabei University may not have been convinced, however, as both reports and video indicate:


Iran’s Nukes: Can Tehran and the US Make A Deal?
The Latest from Iran (14 April): Ahmadinejad’s Struggle

1715 GMT: Out of Jail and On-Line. Former Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi, jailed for several months after the election and selected for a high-profile "confession" in August, has resumed blogging.

1710 GMT: Economy Watch. MP Alireza Mahjoub has predicted a continuation of the poor situation, with 40% inflation, poverty, and economic "suffocation".

1700 GMT: Absence or Protest? Khabar Online reports that one-third of MPs were missing from the Majlis today.

1555 GMT: The Corruption Case. MP Elyas Naderan, the leading Parliamentary critic of First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, has sarcastically thanked the Government for accusing him of making false charges. Naderan assured that he will continue to press the corruption case.

1545 GMT: The Row Over the 15 June Demonstration. Morteza Tamaddon, the Governor of Tehran Province, may have denied his reported statement that the large 15 June protests were authorised. Kalemeh, the website of Mir Hossein Mousavi, however, is persisting with the claim. The website documents Tamaddon's apparent approval of 15 June rally.

1525 GMT: The "Other" Khamenei. Continuing his show of support for reformist leaders, Seyed Hadi Khamenei, the brother of the Supreme Leader, has visited Mohsen Mirdamadi, the chairman of the Islamic Iran Participation Front. Mirdamadi is on temporary release from his prison sentence.

1510 GMT: But China Eases the Pressure? And while there is the ongoing public show over Beijing's will-it-won't-it join international sanctions, this news --- coming as other oil firms stop imports to Iran --- is striking:
State-run Chinaoil has sold two gasoline cargoes for April delivery to Iran, industry sources said on Wednesday, stepping into a void left by fuel suppliers halting shipments under threat of U.S. sanctions....

While others back out, Chinaoil has sold a total of about 600,000 barrels worth around $55 million to the Islamic Republic.

The cargoes were Chinaoil’s first direct sales to Iran since at least January 2009, according to Reuters data. Chinese firms have previously sold through intermediaries, traders said.

1445 GMT: Is Third-Party Enrichment Back On? Reading President Ahmadinejad's bluster in recent days, we asked (1040 GMT), "Is the President actually holding the door open for another push at a deal on uranium enrichment?"

Well, have a look at Iranian state media's presentation of the latest words from the head of Iran's atomic energy organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, in an interview with a Russian newspaper:
The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says Tehran would accept a nuclear fuel swap, should the West manage to win back its trust.

The US-proposed UN-backed deal requires Iran to send most of its low-enriched uranium abroad for further processing and conversion into fuel rods for Tehran's research reactor....

Salehi said that Iran had agreed to the IAEA-backed proposal [for third once it was proffered but needed guarantees from the West that it would deliver the fuel in a timely manner — a demand shrugged off by the West.

"We did not refuse. We agreed at once and we agree now. The only problem is guarantees. They suggested that we hand over a thousand pounds of our 3.5% low-enriched uranium. And wait until the entire amount of uranium has been enriched to a level of 20%," he said. 'Suppose we have given all our uranium. But where is the assurance [that we receive the fuel in a timely manner]?"

1430 GMT: The German Squeeze. The German carmaker Daimler has announced that it will
almost entirely cease business
in Iran.

Daimler's chief executive Dieter Zetsche  told shareholders, The policies of the current Iranian leadership have compelled us to put our business relationship with that country on a new footing. In general, our business activities with Iran will now be limited to meeting our existing contractual obligations and continuing our cooperation with established customers."

Daimler will relinquish its 30 percent stake in Iranian Diesel Engine
Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Iranian Khodro Diesel.

The move is further testimony that behind the public rhetoric of leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for state-based sanctions on Iran, the real pressure is coming from the disinvestment of private companies. Daimler's move following the pullout from Iran of two of Germany's largest insurance companies.

1110 GMT: And, cutting through the Presidential rhetoric and posturing, we've posted an analysis by Julien Mercille on the possibility of a US-Iran deal on enriched uranium for Tehran's medical research reactor.

1040 GMT: Blowing Smoke. How many dramatic foreign policy pronouncements do we get to enjoy from President Ahmadinejad this week?

Following his assessment of foreign leaders as "retarded" and his letter to the United Nations implying that the US Government set up 9-11 for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the President has said that "[US President Barack] Obama cannot do anything in Palestine, they won't let him do anything and he has no chance" and there is no possibility of success in Iraq and Afghanistan: "What can he do in Iraq? Nothing. And Afghanistan is too complicated."

So Ahmadinejad concludes, "Mr. Obama has only one chance and that is Iran. This is not an emotional comment, it's scientific."

Which only leaves the question, success with Iran through what? Is the President actually holding the door open for another push at a deal on uranium enrichment?

1000 GMT: The 15 June March. Still some confusion over whether Iranian authorities --- specifically, Morteza Tamaddon, the Governor of Tehran Province --- said they had authorised the mass demonstration three days after the election.

The Green Voice of Freedom repeated the claim of Parleman News, itself taken from an alleged Tamaddon interview with a magazine, that the march "was actually held with legal authorisation". It appears, however, that GVF has not noted Tamaddon's subsequent denial, which we reported yesterday, of the supposed statement. His line remains that the protest, which brought hundreds of thousands and possibly millions on the streets, was illegal.

0245 GMT. Rafsanjani Watch. Make of this what you will: Hashemi Rafsanjani has made a well-publicised visit this week to Seyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the late Ayatollah Khomeini.

Hassan Khomeini has been under sustained pressure from the Government throughout the post-election crisis over his apparent support for opposition demands,

0240 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Ashura protester Hossein Vahed has received a two-year prison sentence.

0230 GMT: Economy Watch. Khabar Online reports that Iran has "lost" $2 billion on oil fields.

0215 GMT: You Can't Keep A President Down (Or Can't You?).

The President-Parliament battle over economic plans escalates. Ahmadinejad has insisted that all changes will be implemented this year.

Key legislators and Ahmadinejad critics are not being so positive, Ahmad Tavakoli has declared that an agreement between two or three MPs and the President doesn't mean an agreement between the Majlis and the Government. That line is also taken by Elyas Naderan.

How serious is the dispute? Vice President Fatemeh Badaghi has threatened MPs by asserting that immunity for their actions exists only in Parliament.

Reader Comments (37)

This subsidy crisis isn't over by a long shot. Even with the staged elections leaving only hardline stooges in the presidency and parliament, they are at each others throats in irreconcilable ways. Further, even if they did come to an agreement it is unclear how they intend to bear the public rage once the prices are actually raised even if only by the more gradual figure proposed by parliament.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

More Economy Watch

The conservative Iranian newspaper Jomhourieslami (Islamic Republic) has reported that one of the Middle East’s biggest soft drink producers, soft drink company Khorram Noush in Khorramshahr, has closed down its plant after it fired its workers.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Headline of the Day

I've heard of an Ent-Moot (or Entmoot) before

BUT - a 'disarmament moot' is totally new to me! :-)

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Iran's blogospere still vibrant despite government filtering
An April 12 conference held in Washington assessed Iran’s social-networking sphere. Panelists asserted that even in the face of severe government repression, the vibrancy of Iran’s blogosphere is offering the international community opportunities to develop citizen diplomacy and people-to-people connections with Iranians.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Iran is Obama's 'only chance' of success: Ahmadinejad

There are a number of different articles that provide quotes from AN's interview on Iran TV's Channel One last (Tuesday) night.

TEHRAN (AFP) – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that Iran was the "only chance" for his US counterpart Barack Obama to succeed after the crises Washington has faced in neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ahmadinejad also said he is currently drafting a letter to Obama which will be "published in due time."

His remarks came soon after Washington said the credibility of the UN Security Council "was at stake" in the push to impose new sanctions against Iran for defiantly pursuing its controversial nuclear programme.

"Mr Obama has only one chance and that is Iran. This is not emotional talk but scientific. He has but one place to say that 'I made a change and I turned over the world equation' and that is Iran," Ahmadinejad said in a live interview on state television.

"He has but one chance to stay as head of the state and succeed. Obama cannot do anything in Palestine. He has no chance. What can he do in Iraq? Nothing. And Afghanistan is too complicated.

"The best way for him is to accept and respect Iran and enter into cooperation. Many new opportunities will be created for him."


He said that Iran is the “only chance” for Obama to realize his change motto.

“What formula can he propose to make any development in Palestine that could be considered a victory for him and could strengthen his position in the US?” Ahmadinejad asked.

“He can't do anything in Iraq or Afghanistan either because the situation is so complicated there that he can't create a tangible change there that could be considered a victory,” IRNA quoted the Iranian president as saying.

Ahmadinejad also noted that Obama will not be able to improve the US economy through a miracle.

“Obama only has one way to tell the world that he has created change, and that is Iran,” he stated.

Ahmadinejad urged Obama to seize the opportunity and to desist from threatening Iran, saying, “The era that they assumed that they could damage Iran is over.”

“Thank God, no one can damage the Iranian nation any longer,” he added.

Ahmadinejad went on to say that Iran does not want confrontation and is seeking cooperation and negotiation with others.


"Improving ties with Iran would also be the only chance for Obama to stay in power," Ahmadinejad said, hinting at Iran's cooperation with the US to settle the dilemma in Iraq and Afghanistan if US- Iranian ties were improved.,ahmadinejad-calls-on-obama-to-improve-ties-with-iran.html

I assume Scott will dig his teeth into this for breakfast :-)

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Iranian Bloggers Publicize Cases Of Lesser-Known Prisoners
Iranian bloggers supporting the opposition movement have launched a new campaign aimed at publicizing the plight of the lesser-known prisoners who have been jailed in the postelection unrest.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Q&A: Mojtaba Vahedi on why President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad May Not Finish his term in office
Mojtaba Vahedi is a senior advisor to opposition cleric Mehdi Karroubi. Vahedi recently came to study in the United States.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

@ 1000 GMT: The 15 June March


Kaleme refers to an interview with Tamaddon, published by Hamshahri newspaper, p. 64 from 23 Farvardin, as a proof that the 25 Khordad march was authorised:


April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

I posted three sets of AN quotes with 1 link under each between GMT 9.45 and 9.52. Did this not go through for a technical reason or perhaps an editorial one? Just wondering.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine


Thanks for the helpings of Ahmadinejad for breakfast --- have a feeling I won't be going hungry this week.


April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

Catherine- this was held back for approval by our spam filter, possibly because of the length of the post. You should see the comment above now.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike Dunn

The Iranian blogosphere has taken the battle with Lady Gaga in Time poll seriously! In one day they doubled Mousavi's votes and put him at number 1.,28804,1972075_1972078_1972577,00.html

When real votes are stolen, polls like these become a place for show of force. To show that the Greens are countless.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPirooz

"held back for approval by our spam filter"
Oh no! A spam filter with admin rights! :-)

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Truly a breakfast of champions! :-)

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

RE 10.40 GMT "Which only leaves the question, success with Iran through what? Is the President actually holding the door open for another push at a deal on uranium enrichment?"

Yup: Iran declares new formula for uranium swap

BUT: Outlook for Iran fuel offer grim - U.N. nuclear chief

And remember: Iran to Join 'Nuclear Club' to Deter Attacks

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Sneak peek at AN's letter to Obama:
TEHRAN - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has urged Barack Obama to follow Tehran's example in fighting terrorism in a letter sent to his US counterpart, the Iranian leader's office said on Wednesday.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Thank you for posting us the Q&A of Mojtaba Vahedi senior advisor to opposition cleric Mehdi Karroubi. He clearly says that "Sanctions will certainly expedite the fall of the regime" and it's what iranian people hope :
-it's why leaders in Iran are so excited , sending emissaries to China, Turkey and other countries to deter them from voting sanctions, although they want to show that they welcome them saying "they will help Iran to become more independent";
- it's why the pro-governmental readers of EA have always and angrily said ( insisting ) that sanctions won't never work; * "exagerations" on any issue show in fact the contrary *, one of the key sentence oftenly pronounced by our professor of psychology in university !
M.Vahedi also says that "AN will not finish his term because he thinks he is a partner in power with Khamenei ";
There is no need that analysts like Mercille, (pro Leverett please !) writes articles wasting their time and their health ( already damaged , who are able to defend such regime), because well targetted sanctions are on the rails and they can do nothing, it's too late friends!
Eventually , God has heard people's scream !

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterange paris

China boldly goes where others have gone before ... but left

China’s top oil firms sell gasoline to Iran
14 April 2010
State-run Chinaoil has sold two gasoline cargoes for April delivery to Iran, industry sources said on Wednesday, stepping into a void left by fuel suppliers halting shipments under threat of U.S. sanctions.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Was Mojtaba Vahedi the one who said 'turkeys will vote for Christmas'. Did these people not say that they would triumph within a matter of days not months? Did not some people forecast the impending collapse of the IR under the weight of its own contradictions? Do French and US polls not show the lowest rating ever(or just about) for their respective presidents. Do Iranian polls not show over 50% support for Ahmedinejad and overwhelming support and trust for the IR system. Do US polls not show that almost 90% of US voters do not have faith in their congress reps. Sanctions have traditionally only hurt the poor folks. Who uses gasoline in Iran. The 'clerical-military' elite must have hidden domestic nuclear generators cleverly concealed from the eyes of the IAEA whilst the poor folks of South Tehran and their rich comrades in the North will have to survive on gasoline rations thanks to Obama and then he wants them to treat him as the promised 'saviour'!

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrezvan

Rezvan, Americans may not have faith in particular people filling the role of congressional representatives, but I guarantee you they are quite happy with the American SYSTEM with its checks and balances. Above all, we value our right to free speech, and the other values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Iran was a signatory to, before the IRI took power and declared that it "trespassed" their version of Islam.

I believe most Iranians want to go back to having those Universal Human Rights, which we in the West believe absolutely without question Iranians are entitled to. This IRI system of silencing dissent, forcing conformity, endless mourning and fear, that is not the true Iran. Iran has always historically been a beacon of friendliness and tolerance, and I believe it is inevitable that true nature will soon shine through, and Iran will be restored to its high position in the world as a free nation once again.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRev. Magdalen


You, Khamenie, and A-jad, are in every sense of the phrase, loads that should have been swallowed.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBehrooz

List of the IRI's most wanted criminals, just to remember:

Death sentence for Ashura prisoner Motahareh Bahrami:

Majid Tavakkoli remains in solitary confinement, at least his parents could visit him in Evin yesterday:

April 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

How did you find that site with the IRI's most wanted criminals?

April 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine


The IRI’s most wanted criminals, you posted, included the following names:
Ebrahim Yazdi
Hossein Moussavi-Tabrizi
Hassan (Fereidon) Rohani
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
What were the intentions and agenda of the person who compiled this list?

April 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKasra

Catherine, Kasra,

I found the link on Twitter and just passed it on.
As to Kasra: You have to ask the person, who compiled this list.


April 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

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