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Entries in Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi (33)


The Latest from Iran (24 December): All-Is-Well Oil Alert...But With a Confession

See also The Latest from Iran (23 December): Ahmadinejad on Economy "Everyone is Wrong Except Me"

Minister of Oil Rustam Qassemi1750 GMT: Currency Watch. Without providing sources, Radio Zamaneh claims that the Iranian Rial has slipped to 33500:1 vs. the US dollar, its lowest point since Central Bank and Government intervention in October.

The Rial had lost 70% of its value this year before the intervention --- suspension of the open market and a special "trade room" backed by injection of foreign reserves --- bolstered it, according to some reports as strong as 27000:1. However, EA sources in Iran have been reporting that the Rial began sliding again this month, reaching about 31000:1 last week.

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The Latest from Iran (21 December): Is the Regime Celebrating Its Longest Night?

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Sanctions, Awards for Political Prisoners, and the Supreme Leader on Facebook
Iran Propaganda 101: Mass Killing of Children in Connecticut --- The Jews Did It
The Latest from Iran (20 December): Revolutionary Guards Decide Which Reformists Can Stand in Presidential Election

A Table for Yalda Celebrations1720 GMT: Irony Watch. Well, here is one advocate for free speech who is not in detention in Iran....

Political analyst Mohsen Saleh seizes the moment after Spain’s satellite provider Hispasat took Iranian State outlets Press TV and Spanish-language Hispan TV off the air. He tells Press TV: "[This] contradicts the basic law of...freedom of speech of any party or any people from all over the world. That is why…the Iranian channels could sue the Americans and the Europeans even according to their law."

Saleh continued with the claim that it is the West who are scared of a free press, “When Press TV covers the 99-percent protests in New York and in other places…the Americans and the capitalists, the materialists, do not like to see such cover and they do not like to see others’ opinions in terms of these issues."

Saleh concluded, “I guess the Europeans and the Americans will finally find themselves really isolated from the whole world."

And who is responsible for the sudden ban of the Iranian channels? "Analyst" Stephen Landman knows: "The usual Israeli suspects."

See also Iran Propaganda 101: Mass Killing of Children in Connecticut --- The Jews Did It

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The Latest from Iran (3 December): Medicine and Sanctions

See also The Latest from Iran (2 December): Ahmadinejad Puts His Right-Hand Man in a New Post

2055 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Egyptian Front). After a period of uncertainty over how to play its relationship with Egypt --- given President Morsi's slapdown of Iran over Syria this summer, his key role in ending the Gaza War, and then his sudden grab of powers --- it looks like Tehran is back to the promotion of an Iran-Egypt alliance to reshape the Middle East.

Kazem Jalali, a leading MP with role at the Parliamentary Research Center and the National Security Committee, puts out the line, “Egypt and Iran can play an important and effective role in the Middle East region for promoting peace and security, and providing proper grounds for unity of the Muslim world."

Jalali hailed Egypt’s 2011 revolution as a “great achievement for the regional nations,” adding, “Every revolution is usually followed by a transition period which has to be passed and the Egyptian revolution is no exception to this rule. We hope to see stability and calm in this country very soon.”

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Iran Feature: An Activist's Imprisonment Turns a Family Against the Regime (Dehghan)

When Iranian student activist Arash Sadeghi was temporarily released from Tehran's infamous Evin prison in November 2010, he anticipated a little respite from a year of harsh beatings and agony in jail.

Instead, within a few days, security officials had raided his home in middle of the night. As they broke their way into the house, Sadeghi's mother, who was alone with her daughter, suffered a heart attack.

The officials continued their search as she laid unconscious on the floor, ransacking the house and trying to find Sadeghi, who was at his grandfather's house that night. When the officials left, Farahnaz Dargahi was taken to hospital. She died within a few days.

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The Latest from Iran (9 July): Desperately Seeking All-Is-Well Oil News

See also The Latest from Iran (8 July): Admitting the "Sanctions Problem"

1810 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Egyptian and Syrian Fronts). Press TV highlights the latest push by Tehran to present an Iranian-Egyptian alliance under the headline "Egypt Revolution Undoubtedly Inspired by Iran":

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, says the Egyptian revolution was “undoubtedly” inspired by the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.

“We are happy that despite all the difficulties an Islamist [presidential] candidate won in Egypt,” Velayati said in a meeting with the Secretary General of Egypt's Amal Party Magdi Hussein in Tehran on Monday....

Velayati described [Egyptian President Mohamed] Morsi’s victory as “a very important achievement,” saying, “Safeguarding this achievement is more important than achieving it".

Velayati also had some sharp words about the Syrian political crisis, “Certain regional states and aggressive countries such as the US and the Israeli regime have joined hands and hatched a plot against the Syrian government.” He said the public’s problems would undoubtedly be resolved based on the reforms which are underway.

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The Latest from Iran (8 July): Admitting the "Sanctions Problem"

See also Iran Document: Tehran's Official Proposals in the Nuclear Talks in Moscow
The Latest from Iran (7 July): Warning the Green Movement

Saturday's Expediency Council Meeting2110 GMT: Poll Watch. Days after State TV's website was embarrassed by surveys indicating most Iranians would give up enrichment of 20% uranium for sanctions relief and would not support the closure of the Strait of Hormuz --- to the point where the polls were withdrawn and the BBC was accused of hacking the site --- Khabar Online produces a result of 80% opposing the blocking of the Strait.

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Iran Letter: Activist Narges Mohammadi "Prison is Causing My Slow Death"

Narges Mohammadi with Her ChildrenSince entering this prison ward, I have encountered horrible situations that I am not even able to describe and write about.

Putting me under such a stressful situation is equivalent to feeding me cups of poison that help to destroy me moment by moment.

I persistently and emphatically proclaim that such treatment and actions towards me are in fact causing my slow death and the responsibility lies with the authorities.

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The Latest from Iran (14 April): The Nuclear "Talks About More Talks" Open in Istanbul

See also The Latest from Iran (13 April): Before the Nuclear Show

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Saeed Jalili, the Secretary of Iran's National Security Council, on Friday in Istanbul

1445 GMT: Nuclear Watch. In contrast to the full account of this morning's discussions leaked by Western diplomats to The Guardian (see 1355 GMT), Iranian outlet Fars has no detail in its report, "Iran, World Powers End 1st Round of Talks in Istanbul"; however, the site does establish that there will be no second day in Turkey, quoting Ali Baqeri, the Undersecretary of the Iranian National Secretary Council.

Instead, Tehran will be looking for agreement on a second round of talks in its preferred location of Baghdad.

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The Latest from Iran (18 February): The Issue is the Economy

See also Iran 1st-Hand: "Almost Everybody is Under Financial Pressure"
The Latest from Iran (17 February): The Political Battle

President Ahmadinejad Sees a Nuclear Project1315 GMT: Bank Fraud Watch. At today's trial over the $2.6 billion bank fraud, the prosecution separated the 32 defendants into six groups:

1) the main companions of the central figure, Amir Mansour Khosravi, involved in all crimes such as forging and using documents, exchanging lines of credits, establishing fraudulent companies, transferring money, and buying property;
2) companions of Amir Khosravi active in the cases;
3) people who acted for Amir Khosravi as brokers;
4) management of companies who demanded faked lines of credit;
5) employees of the Amir Mansur Investment Group involved in embezzlement, receiving large payments to handle illegal affairs;
6) members of management and credit and supervisory departments of banks, who neglected their duties or dissipated funds as government employees.

Khosravi said he had spent 6 1/2 months in prison but had had only two hours to talk to his lawyer. The lawyer said he had had no chance to read the complaint.

Khosravi, according to the report, admitted that he had paid a $3 million bribe to Mahmoud Reza Khavari, the former head of Bank Melli who has fled to Canada, but added that he did not want to commit treason.

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The Latest from Iran (27 November): Tough-Talkin'

See also Iran Triangle: Regime Loves Occupy Wall Street...But Occupy Wall Street Supports Political Prisoners
Iran Feature: So How Big is the Bank Fraud?
The Latest from Iran (26 November): Embezzlement

2043 GMT: And For Tomorrow.... The Ahmadinejad Government faces another challenge on Monday in Parliament with the interrogation of Minister of Economy Shamseddin Hosseini. Amidst a turbulent economy and the $2.6 billion bank fraud, leading Government critic Ali Motahari is predicting the Minister's impeachment.

1953 GMT: (Dealing with) The Battle Within. The Arbitration Council appointed by the Supreme Leader to resolve disputes among the executive, judiciary, and legislative branches has published a report declaring an 11-point plan based on 21 meetings with heads of the three branches.

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