Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


« From Nukes to Banks: How Smart is President Obama? (Matlin) | Main | UPDATED Kyrgyzstan: Former President Bakiyev Charged With Mass Killing »

The Latest from Iran (27 April): An Opposition Wave?

1840 GMT: The Uranium Squeeze. Time magazine notices a key point that we've mentioned for some time, "Iran's need to find fresh supplies of raw uranium supplies is increasingly urgent, according to some reports."

1830 GMT: The Oil Squeeze (cont.). Following the announcement by major French firm Total that it will pull out of Iran  if US sanctions proceed and the defiant stance of Iranian officials that absolutely nothing was wrong with energy supplies --- see 0540 and 1050 GMT), Italian company Eni says it is "working on handing over the operatorship of the Iranian Darquain oil field to local partners".

NEW Iran’s Detained Journalists: EA’s (Vicarious) Confrontation with Foreign Minister Mottaki
NEW Latest Iran Video: Mousavi & Karroubi Meet (26 April)
Iran Document: Mehdi Karroubi “We Will Make The Nation Victorious”
Iran: The Mousavi 4-Point Message “Who Defends the Islamic Republic?"
Iran Exclusive: A Birthday Message to Detained Journalist Baghi from His Daughter
The Latest from Iran (26 April): Points of View

1700 GMT: Impact. We've known for days that opposition figures have been building up their challenge to the Government, but it's today, with the revelation of the meeting between Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi on Monday, that you know the wave has hit.

For the first time in weeks, the non-Iranian mainstream media is taking notice of the opposition as more than a post-11 February blip. Reuters headlines, "Iran opposition urges vote anniversary rally"; CNN, who established an "Iran Desk" for the 22 Bahman (11 February) demonstration and soon let it lapse, follows suit: "Iranian opposition candidates call for renewed protests".

1125 GMT: No Further Comment Necessary. From Press TV: "Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi said that it is 'ridiculous' to place limitations on the peaceful use of nuclear energy by making 'unfounded' claims about human rights and freedom of women."

1050 GMT: All is Well  Update. Despite the accumulating news of a possible oil squeeze on Tehran with foreign producers withdrawing imports, the Government line is No Problem:
Iran says its strategic gasoline reserves have climbed by a billion liters, reiterating that sanctions on gasoline sales to Iran will never materialize.

"Iran is not worried about (possible) gasoline sanctions," Deputy Oil Minister Noureddin Shahnazi-Zadeh told Iran's Mehr News Agency on Tuesday, adding that sanctions on gasoline sales to Iran will never occur as there is no possibility of imposing such sanctions under current conditions.

1045 GMT: We have posted a short video from Monday's meeting between Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, in which the two agreed to call a demonstration for 12 June, the anniversary of the election.

We have also posted a feature of how EA's list of detained Iranian journalists may have made its way into an Austrian newspaper's interview of Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

0835 GMT: British Deportation. Last week, we reported on the British Government's plan to deport Bita Ghaedi, an Iranian woman who fled the country because of alleged abuse by her father and brother. Ghaedi was being returned to Tehran despite the likelihood that she would face punishment because of her participation in a rally protesting conflict over Iraq' s Camp Ashraf, home to many members of the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran.

Volcanic ash intervened to prevent Ghaedi's flight last week; however, her deportation has now been rescheduled for 5 May.

0830 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Farid Taheri, a member of the Freedom Movement of Iran, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

0750 GMT: Labour Watch. A collection of Iranian unions have issued a joint 15-point statement for May Day, "strongly supporting the demands of teachers, nurses, and other working classes of society to end discrimination".

Member of Parliament Alireza Mahjoub has criticised the Government's failure to implement rises in pensions and the hidden discrimination against female workers.

0740 GMT: Women's Rights Corner. Member of Parliament Ali Motahari has harshly criticised the "feminist and anti-family" views of Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani. Motahari said that Hashemi's critique of polygamy was misguided, as the prohibition of polygamy would lead to prostitution.

0715 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Amidst reports of the poor health of many detainees, reformist member of Parliament Mostafa Kavakebian has insisted that a Majlis commission investigate the prisons.

0710 GMT: A Successful Protest. The sit-in of female detainees at Evin Prison has forced authorities to establish the separation of men and women in the facility.

0700 GMT: Corruption Watch. Green Voice of Freedom has repeated the claim that the Supreme Leader has insisted the corruption case against First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi must be dropped because of "sensitive issues of nezam (the Iranian system)".

0640 GMT: We Persist. The Islamic Iran Participation Front has issued a protest against the recommendation of Parliament's Article 10 Commission that the reformist party be suspended. The IIPF declares that it will continue its activities.

The protest is signed by Mohsen Safai-Farahani, who was recently handed a six-year prison sentence.

0630 GMT: More Challenges. From the conservative side, leading member of Parliament Ahmad Tavakoli has said that the number and impudence of corrupt high-level officials have risen. He insisted that these officials must be confronted, no matter where and who they serve.

And reformist Ahmad Shirzad has asserted that the opposition movement has been bolstered by the addition of "dissatisfied hardliners".

0540 GMT: Monday was notable for the rush of opposition challenges to the Government. There was Mehdi Karroubi on a law-abiding, Constitution-promoting resistance that would bring victory to Iran, Mir Hossein Mousavi's "Who Defends the Islamic Republic?",  and Zahra Rahnavard calling for the release of detained workers and teachers.

Of course, the important leap will be from statement to action. Yet it is striking this moment to compare the renewed calls for justice and freedom with the Government's rhetorical flourishes.

There was President Ahmadinejad again looking outside Iran with his promotion of the "satanic tools" of the United Nations and the US. There was Foreign Minister Mottaki, confronted with a list of more than 100 detained journalists and political analysts, replying brusquely, "Stick to the nuclear issue."

And there were apparent flights of desperation. As the chief executive of the French oil company Total was announcing that it would pull out of Iran if US sanctions proceeded, the deputy head of Iran's oil industry, Hojatollah Ghanimi-Fard, proclamed, "Iran has negotiated development projects with several foreign oil companies, including French concerns."

Ghanimi-Fard's optimism contrasted sharply with a statement from the Revolutionary Guard that it was prepared to replace Total and Royal Dutch Shell in oil and natural gas projects. Ali Vakili, the managing director of the Pars Oil and Gas Company, said a one-week ultimatum had been given to Shell and Spanish company Repsol, “We will not delay the development of South Pars phases waiting for foreign companies.”

Reader Comments (44)

Jut in case anyone was still wondering about the supposed uranium deal with Zimbabwe .....

Zimbabwe: No uranium deal with Iran

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine


Is it just me - or are these statements coming from the Zimbabwe Govt just a little "strange"

""It's not true. No such agreement was signed," said Ncube, a minister from a splinter faction of the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe's unity government.

"There is no certainty that Zimbabwe has uranium deposits. You first have to prove that there are uranium deposits and that has not been done," he told Reuters.

Asked whether Zimbabwe would in future consider jointly mining uranium with Iran, Ncube said: "There is no evidence that Zimbabwe has commercial deposits of uranium, so that question does not arise at all."

Something smells here. :)


April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarry
April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaria Rohaly


Much appreciated.


April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

RE: “There is no certainty that Zimbabwe has uranium deposits. You first have to prove that there are uranium deposits and that has not been done,” he told Reuters. .......
Something smells here. :)


I dunno .... maybe this clears the air a little? ;-)

Mugabe hails uranium find and vows to pursue nuclear power

Zimbabwe Considers 3 Bids to Mine Uranium

Zimbabwe: Uranium behind N. Korean president’s visit?
MDC official asks Kim Yong Nam to leave

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Totally unrelated news

Book on Iran-Iraq war hits US stores
The English version of Habib Ahmadzadeh's book 'A City under Siege: Tales of the Iran-Iraq War' has been released in the US by Mazda Publications, Mehr News Agency reported.

The book, translated by Paul Sprachman, is a collection of nine stories and it deals with various aspects of the Iran-Iraq war, which was fought 1979-1988, and its aftermath.

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Hi Catherine

No - that makes it even stranger to me :).. Why would one of Mugabes Ministers be denying the discovery of uranium in Zimbabwe.


April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarry

Medvedev is getting harsh:

Iran behaving irresponsibly, says Medvedev
"Iran so far does not show proper understanding and behaves irresponsibly enough. This is all sad of course. Therefore, if this situation continues we exclude nothing and sanctions as well," Medvedev told Danish Broadcasting Corporation ahead of his official visit to Denmark Tuesday.

But Chinese analystst say Russia's bark is worse than its bite:

"Analysts believe that Russia may continue to take a tough stance based on its own interests and the need to cooperate with the United States on global strategy unless Iran softens its position on the nuclear issue and cooperates with the international community.

But many Russian experts said the hard-line stance will unlikely lead to a complete breakup of the Russia-Iran relationship, which is not in the interests of Russia, and that Russia's tough stance is more verbal than practical".

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

I guess something went wrong during that last visit by Larijani to Japan.

"Democracy a myth in Iran" - Op-Ed by The Japan Times Online
The government in Iran has announced that it has banned the country's two remaining official opposition parties. With this move, the prospect of political change through elections is over — Iran no longer has a legal opposition. This completes the consolidation of power in the hands of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

An Iranian fisherman who lives in Bader Abboss called today complaining that he and other fishermen had been prevented by IRG to fish in Persian Gulf. He said he came from a generation of fishermen who lived off of the sea and he knew no other way to make a living. He said he did not know how to feed his family if the military exercise went on for a long time and he could not fish. He said thye could not sleep because of rocket explosion that had been going on for several days, too many ships and boats, too many armor vehicles and too many IRG on all three islands. I am wondering if Islamic Republic is preparing for war.

Also Alireza Hydari, the Iranian diplomat who defected, in an interview today said his former colleagues at IR foreign ministry had told him that the entire IR forces were on high alert for May 1 labor day.

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Balls or gall?

First the Islamic Republic tried to become a member of the United Nations Council for Human Rights, then Tehran proposed itself as a member of the Commission for the protection of women's rights, now .....

Kayhan, Iran’s largest state-owned newspaper with intimate ties to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, dedicated its main headline on April 25 to praising anti-government protestors in Cairo. Kayhan’s front-page read, “Cairo has become the city of protests against Mubarak,” implicitly praising the protestors in Egypt.

... According to this ultra-conservative newspaper, Gamal Mubarak, President Mubarak’s son and his likely successor, led a group of pro-government parliamentarians asking the police to open fire on the protestors. Kayhan was appalled by Gamal Mubarak’s level of brutality in dealing with “pro-democracy protestors” and claimed that such an action could have caused things to spin out of control.

Kayhan cited reports by human rights organizations condemning the actions of Egyptian security forces in dealing with protestors and reports from major news sources, such as the BBC and CNN.


April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Ohhhh ... lookie, lookie.

Radio Zamaneh adds some choice quotes to the "atom bomb, military invasions, the Security Council and the right to veto are satanic tools" line we've already heard about in Ahmadinejad's speech to some commanders and directors of Iranian Security forces (yesterday's Iran Latest thread):

ILNA reports that Ahmadinejad called Iran a flag bearer of justice in the international arena adding: “Today wherever we go, waves of people express their love for the Islamic Republic and our dear Supreme Leader; even in Europe and the US.”

He contended: “If they do away with censorship, it will become clear how the people of the world are enamoured of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the path of the Iranian nation.”


April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine


"Today wherever we go, waves of people express their love for the Islamic Republic and our dear Supreme Leader; even in Europe and the US.” That is just to rich!!! To bad he forget to mention the millions of his own citizens who had to taste his form of Justice. Sadly this is yet just another example of the regimes delusions of grandeur. I am only surprised he didn't thrown in the whole "white light" bit surrounding him again!! This is most certaintly a "you wouldn't believe it unless you actually heard it" moment. What a nitwit!!


April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill

By the way... Did anyone notice the results of Boobquake are in?

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWitteKr


I noticed the same "creative tension" in Ahmadinejad's speech and was thinking how to shape it for a Wednesday special feature....


April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

If you have the time and resources (doesn't have to hit the airwaves tomorrow) maybe a historical overview of some of his choicer statements and claims would be illuminating? :-)

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

I just can't resist now that you (post 13) had to go and mention it. Incorrigible is my middle name today. And now, without further ado ......

Iran: President Says Light Surrounded Him During UN Speech
November 29, 2005
By Golnaz Esfandiari

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Economic Watch

Peyke Iran, refering to Akharin News, reports on aluminium manufacturer IRALCO's factual bankruptcy with unpaid debts of 447 billion Toman vs an equity of 250 billion Toman:

Already back in July 2009 "the reformist daily E'temad-e Melli ... reported this week (July 25) that 150 Iranian financial companies are currently on the verge of bankruptcy. According to the report, the severe crisis among Iran 's public and private companies stems, among other things, from the global recession, the Western sanctions on Iranian banks, and the crisis in Iran 's banking system. The companies affected by the crisis include automobile giant Iran Khodro, major aluminum manufacturer IRALCO, as well as Fars Electronic. The daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami has also addressed this week the crisis facing Iran Khodro, saying that the government had to spend billions of dollars in an attempt to rescue the company (Jomhuri-ye Eslami, July 29)."

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama


Re your post 14

Thanks for the results of boobquake.

Loved Jen's conclusion, quoting twitter "women can move mountains, but they don't cause earthquakes" ;-)

ma bishomarim V V V


April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

Dear All,

Apologies for the inconvenience re Comments overnight. We are trying to make the transition to Disqus and there is obviously still a bug in the system.

We have reverted to the old system while we work out the kinks.


April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

Testing to see if system now up....

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

Test... No comments visible actually...

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama


Invisible comments?? What a blessing if it works as an ego buster for Eric the Brill who runs the dog and pony election circus for Islamic Republic approved by lunatic lefties in the US.

I would like to see him hiking near Islamic Republic borders. He would snap out of his utter stupidity with a few visits by Mr. Rose Water and a healthy dose of Mr. Rose Water gentle touches.

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan


You're completely right :-)
Perhaps a week in Evin, drinking cold water (abe khonak khordan) would help change his mind, excellent prison, fulfilling all IR standards.

After two Firefox crashes and installing the addon easyComment I finally see the EA light...


April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

Hartelijk dank! for that link to the boobquake results - otherwise I would not have found out about her wonderful blog. The news coverage wasn't half as entertaining as reading her scientific analysis of the "results". :-)

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>