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Iran Live Coverage: Manoeuvres Over the Nuclear Talks

Iranian State TV on the rejection of the latest US-Europe proposal over Tehran's nuclear programme

See also Iran Interview: Daughters of Opposition Leader Mousavi Speak Out...and Take Risks Doing So
Iran Analysis: US-Europe Strategy --- Break Tehran's Economy for "Real" Nuclear Talks in Autumn
Monday's Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad Refuses to Back Down

1925 GMT: The Battle Within. The President's website has fired another shot at his rivals: "The judiciary should enforce justice for everyone without prejudice."

Digarban interprets this as an Ahmadinejad dig at the judiciary and Iran Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei for not moving against corruption, as in the case of 300 "big" bank defrauders.

Ahmadinejad and Mohseni Ejei have been in an ongoing argument over the suspects. Mohseni Ejei has claimed that he sent a request to Ahmadinejad to provide the names of the 300 people, who --- according to Ahmadinejad --- "have put 60 percent of the country's money in their pockets and do not return it". The President claims he has not receive any request.

Mohseni Ejei said in his press conference this week that the judiciary alone follows cases of bank debtors.

1815 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch (Journalist Edition). Javad Deliri, the editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Etemad, has been released on bail from Evin Prison.

Deliri was one of 16 journalists seized at the end of January. Thirteen are still behind bars.

1349 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi has reportedly blocked the mother of Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, from seeing her in prison.

Faezeh Hashemi is serving a six-month sentence for "propaganda against the system".

1259 GMT: The Battle Within. Digarban profiles pro-Ahmadinejad bloggers, whom it claims are aiming at the Supreme Leader after his recent criticism of the President's "immoral" and "illegal" behaviour on the floor of Parliament.

1246 GMT: The Battle Within. Back from an academic break to find the latest in President Ahmadinejad's fight with his political rivals....

The conservative site Baztab, one of Ahmadinejad's fiercest critics, has maintained its pressure this morning by slamming Ahmadinejad's most recent letter to the Supreme Leader:"Who is responsible for safeguarding Article 110 [concerned with the duties and powers of the Leadership] of the Constitution?"

Baztab notes that, while Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani have apologised followed the Supreme Leader's criticisms on Saturday morning, President did not do so in the message on his website on Sunday.

The website jabs, "Ahmadinejad does not appear to have shown remorse, nor does he appear to adhere to anyone's commands, which he must according to the Constitution, by which he always said he considered himself bound."

Baztab continues that the President, for all his references to the Constitution, remembers only Article 113 --- which deals with his responsibilities --- and forgets Article 110, under which he can be dismissed by the Supreme Leader.

0846 GMT: Reformist Watch. Three reformist politicians have visited the Supreme Leader in discussions which may point to their participation in June's Presidential election.

Majid Ansari, a member of the Expediency Council, former Mnister of Interior Abdolvahid Mousavi Lari, and former Minister of Industry Eshagh Jahangiri spoke with Ayatollah Khamenei in the first such meeting since June 2009, when they protested the conduct of the Presidential election amid allegations of fraud.

Ansari said, “It was a good meeting; we met with the leader and spoke about the general issues of the country.”

0841 GMT: At the Movies. Iranian officials have protested the recognition of filmmaker Jafar Panahi --- under threat of a six-year sentence and banned from working for 20 years --- by the Berlin Film Festival.

The Festival awarded a "Silver Bear" to Panahi for Best Script for his latest film, "Closed Curtain", drawn from his experience under house arrest.

Deputy Minister of Culture Javad Shamaqdari said, "We believe that the Berlin Festival organisers should correct their behaviour. Everyone knows that making a film and sending it outside the country needs permission. Making these films is illegal, but so far the Islamic Republic has shown patience towards such illegal acts."

0649 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Kurdish detainee Ali Ahmad Soleiman has reportedly been given a one-year sentence for contact with Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporter on Human Rights in Iran.

Tehran has barred entry into the country to Shaheed, forcing him to compile his reports from interviews with Iranians who have left the Islamic Republic.

0633 GMT: Nuclear Watch. As we expected, Tehran has rebuffed the US-Europe offer for a resolution of the nuclear issue, in which Iran would move towards suspension of its 20% uranium enrichment and closure of the Fordoo plant in return for a lifting of US sanctions imposed two weeks ago.

Foreign Ministry Ramin Mehmanparast said Monday, “I hope that in the next meeting [on 26 February in Kazakhstan], the opposite party’s offers would be on equal footing with comprehensive proposals submitted by the representatives of our country."

Mehmanparast added that the talks should move towards full recognition of Iran’s nuclear rights while "dispelling any allegation and allaying possible concerns about the nature of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy programme".

That's not going to happen, as we explain in an analysis in a separate entry, "US-Europe Strategy --- Break Tehran's Economy for 'Real' Nuclear Talks in Autumn".


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