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Friday
Sep142012

The Latest from Iran (14 September): The Regime Stages a Protest Over a Movie

Thursday's protest in front of the Swiss Embassy, which represents US interests, in Tehran

See also Iran Propaganda Feature: Fars News Makes Up Interview with "Bahrain Opposition Leader"
The Latest from Iran (13 September): Diversions and Selective Condemnations


1615 GMT: Trade Watch. Mehr reports that Iran and Pakistan have struck a barter deal --- Iranian oil for Pakistani food.

The agreement was signed in Lahore between representatives of Iranian and Pakistani Chambers of Commerce.

http://www.mehrnews.com/fa/newsdetail.aspx?NewsID=1695745

1555 GMT: Currency Watch. The website Pana claims that foreign exchange traders are using wireless devices at Istanbul Square in Tehran to sell dollars and that, despite threats to shut down "illegal" vendors, the Central Bank is not intervening.

Pana says the traders are getting up to 28000 Rials per dollar, higher than the 23880:1 to 25000:1 posted by Iranian media on Thursday.

1520 GMT: Protest Watch. Finally, an indication of the size of the Tehran protest today --- one of a set of photographs from Mehr:

1510 GMT: Politics Watch. Arya News claims the hard-line Constancy Front, formed before the 2012 Parliamentary elections and led by Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, has been hindered by a split between its Tehran and Qom branches.

1505 GMT: Tough Talk Friday Prayers. In Mashhad, Ayatollah Alamolhoda has said, "We will sacrifice US and Israel for the Hidden Imam....The Islamic Republic's enemies have gone mad and are like rabid dogs."

1455 GMT: The Battle Within. Inspector General Mostafa Pourmohammadi has filed a complaint against the newspaper Iran, which is close to the Ahmadinejad Government, and 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi for slander.

Both the newspaper and Rahimi have accused Pourmohammadi of corruption over his handling of 21 billion Tomans (about $17 million at official rate).

1420 GMT: Protest Watch. Press TV has posted a photograph of today's regime-backed protest over the US=produced film on the Prophet Mohammad:

However, neither IRNA nor Fars has posted images of protests so far.

1410 GMT: Tough Talk of the Day. Yahya Rahim Safavi, a senior military advisor to the Supreme Leader, has said, "The stupidity of the Zionist regime’s leaders to threaten Iran has put the residents of the occupied lands http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/14/us-iran-israel-hezbollah-idUSBRE88D0P620120914" target="_blank">one step away from the grave. If, one day, the Israeli regime takes action against us, resistance groups, especially Hezbollah...will respond more easily."

1125 GMT: Protest Watch. Fars claims that protesters rallied after Tehran Friday Prayers but so far its photo is of yesterday's gathering in front of the Swiss Embassy.

At the Friday Prayer, Ayatollah Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, denounced the US-produced film on the Prophet Mohammad, saying it will "backfire" and claiming that the course of history is running in favour of Islam.

0835 GMT: Nuclear Watch. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, has followed up Thursday's IAEA resolution expressing "serious concern" about Iran's nuclear programme --- "I hope that Iran clearly understands the message and engages with us on substance....For Iran, cooperating with the IAEA should be in their interest."

Of the 35 nations on the IAEA Board, 31 --- including Russia, China, and the other 5+1 Powers negotiating with the Islamic Republic --- supported the resolution.

Iranian media have differing reactions. Khabar Online has claimed that the IAEA could not reach agreement and issued a weak resolution. However, the conservative site Baztab has a pointed jab at the Government: it notes that nine countries who were present at last month's Non-Aligned summit in Tehran were among those who voted Yes.

0825 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Egyptian Front). Earlier this week, the Egyptian Minister of Oil denied claims a day earlier by his Iranian counterpart, Rustam Qassemi, that Cairo was in negotiations for Iranian oil exports.

Tabnak tries to cover up the embarrassment by blaming disarray in the Egyptian Government:

The government authorities of Egypt are still unable to stabilize the new positions of the established government. For this reason it rejects any negotiations with an independent government, which [is a policy] some Western and Arab countries do not support. Because, it seems any future negotiations with Egypt will take place on this premise, the government has still not settled and many changes will influence their decisions.

0625 GMT: Staging a Protest Watch. The Supreme Leader's statement on Thursday, now posted in English:

The wicked enemies of Islam have once again revealed their deep malice by insulting the Holy Prophet (God's greetings be upon him and his household) and in an idiotic and disgusting move, they showed that evil Zionist groups are furious at the increasing brilliance of Islam and the Holy Quran in the world today. The fact that they have made the holiest person in all of creation the target of their disgusting nonsense is enough to disgrace those who have committed this great crime and sin.

What lies behind this wicked move is the hostile policies of Zionism, America and other leaders of the arrogant powers, who are vainly trying to make young generations in the Islamic world lose respect for what is held sacred and to extinguish their religious sentiments. If they had refused to support the previous links in this evil chain --- namely, Salman Rushdie, the Danish cartoonist and Quran-burning American priests --- and if they had not ordered tens of anti-Islam films from the companies affiliated with Zionist capitalists, today this great and unforgivable sin would not have been committed.

The number one culprit in this crime is Zionism and the American government. If American politicians are sincere that they are not involved, they should duly punish the perpetrators and the financial backers of this hideous crime, who have filled the hearts of Muslim people with pain.

And our Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world should know that these futile and desperate moves by the enemies against Islamic Awakening are a sign of the greatness and importance of this uprising and a sign of its increasing growth.

0600 GMT: After a Thursday filled with denunciations of the "US-Zionist" film denigrating the Prophet Mohammad --- but silence on the deaths from violence at demonstrations near American diplomatic missions --- the regime will try to get maximum propaganda advantage today. 

The Council for Coordination of Islamic Publicity has called for a march after Friday Prayers to "vent...fury on the Zionist elements behind the blasphemous act and convey Prophet Mohammad’s message of peace, friendship, and fraternity to the world." The Supreme Leader offered a preview on his website with a demand to the US Government: "If the American politicians are honest that they had no role, then they must punish those who committed this heinous crime and their financial backers in proportion to this great crime."

Press TV whips up the anger this morning with articles such as "Iran Senior Clerics Slam Anti-Islam Film" and "Sinister September: Zionist Anti-Islam Plot Simmering". 

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