Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in Ahmad Tavakoli (102)


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

See also Iran Flashback: The Supreme Leader Joins August 2009
Iran Feature: The Death of Ahmadinejad's Subsidy Cuts Programme
The Latest from Iran (22 December): "We Are Not Isolated. You Are Isolated"

2135 GMT: Press Watch. The Press Court has acquitted the reformist Shargh newspaper of insulting veterans of the 1980s Iran-Iraq War in one of its cartoons.

The newspaper was closed on 26 September for the publication and its managing director, Mehdi Rahmanian, was imprisoned.

The cartoon showed a column of men blindfolded in bright light. Cartoonist Hadi Heydair explained after the ban was imposed:

This sketch intends to display "ignorance", where some, in broad daylight, are blindfolding each other, to keep them from seeing the daylight. If the cartoonist wished to show soldiers, they would have to be wearing war uniforms, carrying arms, and be shown in a war setting.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (9 December): Talking Tough on Sanctions

See also Iran Feature: How a US Neo-Con Pundit Is Helping Tehran's Propaganda
The Latest from Iran (8 December): Tehran to Hit New Low in Oil Exports?

2030 GMT: The House Arrests. Habibollah Asgarouladi, a leading member of the conservative Motalefeh Party, has called for the release of former Presidential cnadidates and opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi --- held under strict house arrest since February 2011 --- if they distance themselves from the protests after the disputed 2009 Presidential election.

Asgarouladi said, "We never say that the 2009 candidates took [seditious] actions because they are basically not seditious. We believe they were falling in line with seditious elements."

1720 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. The lawyer for Mehdi Hashemi, the son of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, said his client's detention order has been extended for another two months.

The attorney claimed that Hashemi, seized in September when he returned from a three-year exile in Britain, is under pressure to agree to a television interview.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (7 December): Maintaining the Oil Squeeze

See also The Latest from Iran (6 December): "We're Still Winning"

2210 GMT: Oil Watch. An industry source claims Iranian oil exports will fall to a new low of 834,000 barrels per day in December.

This would be a sharp drop from Iran's October figure of 1.3 million barrels per day and a declinemore than 60% from last year's level of 2.2 million bpd.

Iran's recorded low this year was 860,000 barrels per day in the summer.

2200 GMT: Sanctions Watch. We return to our opening entry (see 0720 GMT) of the extension of US waivers from financial sanctions for those countries which reduce imports of Iranian oil.

The State Department announced further six-month extensions for nine countries tonight. As expected, waivers for renewed for India, South Korea, and Turkey before next Tueday's expiration. The US also acted now rather than waiting for the deadline later this month for China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (25 October): Ahmadinejad v. the Judiciary, Continued

President Ahmadinejad v. Head of Judiciary Sadegh Larijani (Cartoon: Nikahang Kowsar)

See also EA Video Analysis: The New York Times Muddled the Story of "Secret US-Iran Nuclear Talks" --- But Why?
The Latest from Iran (24 October): The Interrogation of Ahmadinejad?

2020 GMT: Budget Watch. More on alleged diversion of funds by the Government (see 1520 GMT)....

The Supreme Audit Court has accused the Government of transferring $12 billion of oil revenue to the general State revenue account rather than the foreign exchange reserve, in an attempt to cover last year's budget deficit.

The Court alleges that unauthorized withdrawals of oil revenue amount to a total of $19 billion.

The Presidency's Economics Directorate has countered with a report claiming increased Government deposits in the foreign exchange reserve during the Ahmadinejad years.

(Hat tip: Iran Tracker)

Click to read more ...


Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From Economic Crisis to Nasrin Sotoudeh's Hunger Strike (Arseh Sevom)

Detained lawyer Nasrin SotoudehEconomic instability continues to rock Iran while executions for drug offenses continue despite international protest. The work of children’s activists is recognized internationally, and gender segregation becomes more widespread. Sanctions against the banking center have left many in Iran without access to needed medication and imprisoned lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh begins a hunger strike.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (22 October): A Mysterious Currency Dealer, Real Executions

See also The Latest from Iran (21 October): How High Is the Rate of Inflation?

2130 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. A far from ringing endorsement for the President from conservative politician Asadollah Badamchian: "The Motalefeh Party was against Ahmadinejad since 2005 but supported him because of religious duty. We voted for him in 2009 to prevent Mir Hossein Mousavi [taking office]."

2125 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Back from a break for a seminar in Manchester to find President Ahmadinejad pressing his request to visit Evin Prison in grand terms....

In a letter to head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani, who rejected his approach for the second time on Sunday, Ahmadinejad does not mention his detained senior aide Ali Akbar Javanfekr. Instead, he sets out the mission, "I am determined to implement the Constitution and radically reform the Islamic Republic's affairs, visiting prisons and courts."

Earlier, Iran Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei had dismissed Ahmadinejad’s request as a “secondary issue”. He said the government should focus instead on solving Iran’s economic problems.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (20 October): "We Will Not Surrender"

A Basij militiaman cries, "Hit us, USA, Israel! We are ready for martyrdom!" (Cartoon: Maya Neyestani)

See also The Latest from Iran (19 October): "The Sanctions Will Hurt Europe"

1549 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. The President has asked head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani for quick processing of a permit to visit Evin Prison, after Ahmadinejad's request for entry on 17 October was rejected.

Ahmadinejad reportedly is seeking to visit his senior aide Ali Akbar Javanfekr, in Evin since June after he was convicted of "insulting Islam" with a special edition of his newspaper Iran.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (11 October): A President Under Fire

See also Iran Analysis: As Ahmadinejad Is Challenged, The Supreme Leader Tries to Protect Himself
The Latest from Iran (10 October): Economic Fantasy and Reality

1615 GMT: Currency Watch. Reports earlier this week that the Central Bank was not selling US dollars in its "trade room" for importers raised our suspicions about shortages of foreign reserves to inject into the market.

The assistant director of the Trade Development Organization has a different explanation: the Bank is offering a mix of currencies each day --- why is not detailed --- so there may be a lack of certain currencies at times.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (26 September): Denials, "Fake Allegations", and Ahmadinejad's Speech

See also Our 1st EA Video Analysis: The Sound, Fury, and Insignificance of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iran Opinion: Ahmadinejad 100, US Media 0
Iran Audio Feature: Predicting Ahmadinejad's Speech (and Does It Really Matter?) --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
The Latest from Iran (25 September): Which is More Important --- The Ahmadinejad Show or an Economy in Crisis?

1915 GMT: Press Watch. Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance has warned that he may ban the reformist newspaper Shargh because of an insulting cartoon during the "Week of Holy Defence", marking the 32nd anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq War.

The Minister said that Shargh, whose editor was summoned for an explanation, was propagating "Western culture".

Fars reported that 120 of Iran's 290 MPs have signed a letter condemning the cartoon.

1855 GMT: Tough Tslk Alert (Syria Edition). President Ahmadinejad might have taken a cautious line on Syria during his stay in New York this week, but others have not been so reticent. While 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi was declaring, "Syria Will Eventually Conquer Enemies", MP Hamid Rasaei asserted that the remarks of Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Reza Jafari --- confirming that members of the Quds Force were in Damascus advising the Assad regime --- were those of the Supreme Leader. Rasaei continued, "We intervened in the 33 Days War in Lebanon (with Israel in 2006)."

Rejecting rumours that Iran might press President Assad to step down, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, “Today Syria’s presence in the [anti-Israeli] resistance front is stronger than ever."

All of this provides a counter-point to the line, put out by Press TV today, that "Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, saying Tehran supports dialogue between Damascus and the Syrian opposition.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (23 September): An "Inevitable" War with Israel?

President Ahmadinejad and military commanders gaze at a missile during Friday's parade in Tehran

See also The Latest from Iran (22 September): The Syria Muddle Continues

2022 GMT: The House Arrests. The son of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, held under strict house arrest since February 2011, has provided an update on his father's status.

Mohammad Taghi Karroubi said, "For the past six weeks, the family has been allowed to meet with Mr. Karroubi once a week and on a regular basis. These visits have taken place in the presence of security agents. Prior to this change in policy, there had been times when the family had gone four months without seeing Mr. Karroubi."

Karroubi's son said the opposition figure, who ran for President in 2009 and pressed the regime after the disputed election over justice and rights, has had access to newspapers for only four weeks out of his 19-month detention. So "I deemed it necessary to bring him up to breast with current affairs during our short visits that took place in the presence of security agents".

Click to read more ...