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Friday
Nov162012

The Latest from Iran (16 November): Taking Advantage of Gaza

15 June 2009: Protesters in Tehran, "No to Gaza, No Lebanon, My Life Only for Iran"

See also Iran Analysis: The Resurrection of Ahmadinejad's Right-Hand Man?
The Latest from Iran (15 November): Tehran's Open Call for Nuclear Talks


1641 GMT: Julian Borger of The Guardian offers the first soundbite from the latest International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran's nuclear programme:

1623 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update. Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami makes the obligatory statement on Gaza: "The bloodthirsty and murderous Zionist regime has once again attacked Gaza...[because the] ignominious existence of the usurper regime [of Israel] is tied to such savageries."

Khatami praised "the resistance of Gazans [turning[ the day into dark night for the Zionist regime" and then went after Washington: "That the US President said this is the right of the Zionist regime is a wrong statement and this is why the people of Iran consider the slogan ‘Death to America’ a form of prayer."

1547 GMT: Gaza Watch. One of a set of photographs of today's regime-organised rally denouncing the Israeli attack on Gaza:

1531 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Lebanon Front). Minister of Energy Majid Namjoo has met with Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon, discussing Iranian projects for electricity and dams as well as the situation in Gaza.

Namjoo also met Lebanense President Michel Sleiman, with topics of discussion including Syria.

1231 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update. Before dealing with enemies over Gaza and Syria, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami wanted to deal with another foes --- reformists who might be thinking of participating in the 2013 Presidential election.

Khatami set a condition: the reformists must make "an explicit apology before the nation and the Supreme Leader" over their behaviour in the last election in 2009.

If this was done, Khatami said, there "should be open space for all those working within the system".

1051 GMT: Gaza Watch. State media and Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani have opened today's regime campaign:

In a telephone conversation with Anders Johnsson, the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Larijani described the Israeli attacks against the people of Gaza as shameless and deplorable and called for IPU’s serious measure against the aggression....

Larijani also called on the Islamic countries to take practical measures against the attacks in a telephone conversation with Secretary General of the Parliamentary Union of OIC member states Erol Kilic.

The Iranian official also held separate telephone talks with his counterparts from Lebanon, Algeria, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Tunisia and urged parliaments of the Islamic countries to take action to condemn the crimes.

0929 GMT: Espionage Watch. The Ministry of Intelligence has reported the arrest of seven people in Khuzestan in southwestern Iran, claiming they are linked to Western and Israeli intelligence services.

The Ministry claimed the detainees were planning bombings of "energy networks".

0925 GMT: Health Watch. We reported on Thursday on the pressure on the Government and Minister of Health Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi over shortages and rising prices of medical supplies and drugs. Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi offers more detail....

Hossein Ali Shahriari, the head of Parliament's Health Committee declared, “We are always witness to the increase in the construction budget for different parts of the country, but the government has paid no attention to the domain of health and medicine.” He claimed the Central Bank had allocated “virtually no currency” for the budget and the import of medicines.

Shahriari, in a report to Parliament, claimed the price of syringe angiographies have increased by 245%, radiological film by 249%, electroshock therapy by 289%, helium gas by 667%, and dialysis sets by 352%.

The MP said, "Unfortunately the Government only proclaims slogans and must apportion credit for these slogans and the Government has shirked [its duties]. Certainly individuals who need cancer drugs...today do not have appropriate access to these.”

0825 GMT: Energy Watch. Turkmenistan has resumed gas supplies to Iran after a brief stoppage for repairs of a pipeline, the head of the State gas company, Sahatmurad Mamedov, said on Friday.

Iran buys almost a third of Turkmenistan's exported gas.

Mamedov said Iran had requested the halt but denied the statement of Iranian Minister of Oil Rustam Qassemi that the stoppage was over a price dispute: "We stopped at their request, made repairs and relaunched supplies. We're now supplying the same volumes as before, in line with our contract."

0805 GMT: Three years ago, protests after the disputed Presidential election not only criticised the suppression of rights at home but Iran's interventions abroad: "No to Gaza, No to Lebanon, My Life Only For Iran".

Today, in a reversal of that slogan, the regime will mobilise protests against the Israel offensive in Gaza. The Islamic Publicity Coordination Council has called on people across the country to join demonstrations after Friday Prayers "to vent their anger at the fake Zionist regime of Israel and to express their sympathy with the oppressed people of the Gaza Strip".

On Thursday, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi sent letters to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, and the European Union's foreign policy representative Catherine Ashton:

These brutal assaults have preoccupied the public opinion in the region and the world with the possible implementation of the Israeli regime’s threats with regards to mass murder of the Palestinian nation and increasing instability and insecurity in the region.

Salehi called for immediate international action to stop the attacks and end the Islraeli blockade "to prevent a human disaster".

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