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Entries in Ahmad Vahidi (34)


Iran Live Coverage: The Latest Report on Tehran's Nuclear Programme

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Threatened Journalists, Tehran Claims the South Pole, and the End of Olympic Wrestling
EA Video Analysis: Iran --- 7-Point Beginner's Guide to the Nuclear Talks
Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: A New --- and Genuine --- Offer in the Nuclear Talks?

1255 GMT:Nuclear Watch. Mehr News reports that the "largest nuclear medicine center" has opened in southeast Iran, as well as a Center for Digital Radiology in Yazd.

The new Digital Radiology Centre, in the Shahid Sadoughi Hospital, is named for Shahid Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, the nuclear scientist killed in a Tehran bomb blast in January 2012, Mehr said.

The story of progress in technology and health care is a good-news tale amid the difficulties of Iran's health-care system in providing necessary treatment, medicines, and medical supplies.

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Iran Live Coverage: First the Space Monkey, Now a New Fighter Jet

State outlet Press TV on the unveiling of Iran's new F-313 fighter jet

See also EA Video Analysis: The Lie About an Iran "Explosion" That Became Headline News
Iran Video Feature: The Regime's "Justified" Imprisonment of Journalists
Saturday's Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader's Men Launch Their Presidential Campaign

1950 GMT: The Defeat of Ahmadinejad. After today's showdown in Parliament, Speaker Ali Larijani and President Ahmadinejad have each cancelled press conferences called for tonight.

An audio of the clash between the two men has been posted on YouTube.

1850 GMT: The Defeat of Ahmadinejad. Some Western media have noticed today's dramatic events in Parliament, but they are struggling to get a handle on what happened.

Reuters has the fullest account but misses the humiliation of the President by the Speaker of Parliament --- and the impeachment of his Minister of Labor --- with the incomplete headline, "Iran President Accuses Parliament Speaker's Family of Corruption".

After giving a full description of the President's attempt to tag Larijani with corruption, via a claimed audio tape of the Speaker's brother, the article finally approaches the significant development:

"Our problem is that our president does not observe the basics of proper behavior," Larijani said. "Why did you discuss this issue here?"

Larijani continued: "Actually it's a good thing ... that you played this tape today, so that the people better understand your character."

The Washington Post focuses on the Minister of Labor's impeachment, giving only a brief description of the Ahmadinejad-Larijani exchange --- and missing the significance of it --- at the end of the article.

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Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader's Men Launch Their Presidential Campaign

See also Iran Audio Feature: Hype & Reality from Syria to "Explosion at Nuclear Plant" --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: Tehran Mayor --- Why We Are Engineering the Presidential Election

1622 GMT: Nuclear Snap Analysis. The headline from the Munich Security Conference is of a statement by US Vice President Joe Biden that Washington is ready for direct talks with Tehran and that it is past time for Tehran to negotiate seriously.

Biden's declaration has been complemented by a message from European Union foreign policy head Catherine Ashton, the lead negotiator for the 5+1 Powers. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle added that, despite the failure to resume high-level discussions, there was no reason for military action, a point echoed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Three pointss:

1. In the short-term, both Tehran and the US-European bloc are trying to lay blame for the inability to agree on talks on the other side.

2. Talks about talks will now be put on the back-burner while the Iranian regime concentrates on the Presidential election in June.

2. Most importantly, both sides are signalling that --- despite the effective suspension of diplomatic efforts --- they are ready to pick up the negotiations in the autumn.

Biden's statement follows the pointed message of Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani on Monday that there are no "red lines" against direct talks with the Americans. What's more, Larijani invoked the name of the Supreme Leader in making that statement.

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The Latest from Iran (30 November): An Economy in Confusion

1251 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syria). A bomb attack in Damascus has destroyed six vehicles,including an SNG truck, belonging to Press TV and al-Alam television networks in Damascus.

Press TV reports that the explosion, which occurred near its office in the Syrian capital, was caused by a man “caught on camera sticking something to a car” who escaped moments before the blast.

1235 GMT: All the President's Men. Esfandiar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi reports another flutter over whether President Ahmadinejad's controversial right-hand man, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, is looking to succeed his boss in June 2013 elections.

Earlier this month, an alleged meeting between Rahim Mashai with an audience in Tehran, in which the aide said he would not be deterred from Presidential candidacy, was reported in Iranian media --- apparently from a leak by Rahim Mashai's opponents, as the Ahmadinejad Chief of Staff denied the reports.

Now, a Rahim Mashai speech in Kermanshah is the basis for an article in the pro-Ahmadinejad newspaper, “8 Solutions of Engineer Mashai for Solving the Historical Paradox (Revolution-Regime)". Rahim Mashai claimed that Ahmadinejad's achievements in the course of his Presidency are equivalent to the “entirety of contemporary history"; in contrast, there was almost no mention of the Supreme Leader.

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The Latest from Iran (23 November): A Wobble Over Gaza

Gaza Prime Minister Haniyeh & President Ahmadinejad1835 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Jordanian Front). Jordanian officials have expressed reservations about remarks by Iran's Ambassador in Amman that Tehran is prepared for a barter deal for oil and energy products for 30 years.

Ambassador Mostafa Mosleh-Zadeh said Iran would provide the oil in return for Jordanian goods and for permission for Shia religious tourism.

Jordanian government spokesman Samih al-Maaytah said Friday that though the government is looking for alternative ways to solve its energy crisis, the Kingdom preferred "relations with the Gulf countries despite the delay in aid".

Officials said that the "political deal...[of] oil for religious tourism and certain political attitudes towards the Syria crisis serve the Iranian position".

Last week a Jordanian Government reduction in fuel subsidies, sparking price rises, fed protests that included calls for the downfall of King Abdullah II.

Jordan's economic situation has been weakened by the loss of financial support from Gulf States. Last year, Saudi Arabia gave Jordan a last-minute $1.4 billion cash handout but has withheld aid this year, officials said.

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The Latest from Iran (17 November): More Posturing on Gaza

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From Death in Detention to Economic Suffering
Iran Analysis: Assessing the Latest Nuclear Report --- Is There an "Imminent Threat"?
The Latest from Iran (16 November): Taking Advantage of Gaza

2021 GMT: Gaza Watch. Fars reports that 20,000 Basij militia, staging exercises in Isfahan, have declared their readiness to fight in Gaza --- defending and reclaiming the "occupied land.

2005 GMT: Foreign Affairs (US Front). A judiciary statement reports that the US has denied visas to Iranian officials planning to attend a meeting in New York of the United Nations' Third Committee, which focuses on social issues and human rights.

"The U.S. government, by not issuing visas to the members of the delegation, wants to ruin the possibility of the presence of the delegation, and prevent its members from conducting their mission of interacting and cooperating with the United Nations," said the statement.

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The Latest from Iran (9 November): So 2 Iranian Fighters Fired on a US Drone and Then....

See also Iran Special: "Iranian Fighters Fire on US Drone" --- What is the Connection with US-Iran Nuclear Talks?
The Latest from Iran (8 November): Death of a Blogger in Detention?

1835 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update (Revised). It appears that Press TV does not think Ayatollah Jannati's discussion of the political tensions inside Iran (see 1336) is worth a mention. Instead, this passage is more important:

The recent US presidential election only brought disgrace on the United States due to the low voter turnout....If this scandalous and disgraceful election had been held in a country opposing US policies, they would have created a hype about low voter turnout.

“Ninety percent of eligible [American voters] did not participate in this election and after spending billions [of dollars], which has no justification, a person by force to continue on his deviated path."

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The Latest from Iran (28 October): Blame the Zionists, Don't Mention the Political Prisoners

See also The Latest from Iran (27 October): Supreme Leader Says, "Obey Me"

Jafar Panahi & Nasrin Sotoudeh1630 GMT: Straits of Hormuz Watch. Minister of Defense Ahmad Vahidi has said the Islamic Republic has no plan to close the Strait of Hormuz, a key lane for oil shipments in the Persian Gulf, in response to international sanctions: “These two issues are not related and are totally independent of each other."

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The Latest from Iran (24 September): Rafsanjani, Nukes, Ahmadinejad in New York

Nikahang Kowsar links last night's shutdown of Google and Gmail in Iran to President Ahmadinejad's trip to the US

See also Iran Opinion: Thoughts on the US De-Listing of the "Terrorist" Mujahideen-e Khalq
Iran Interview and Analysis: Ahmadinejad's Show Begins with Washington Post --- An Easy Ride on Nukes, And Nothing on Human Rights
Iran Analysis: Daughter in Prison, Son Back in Tehran --- What Now for Ex-President Rafsanjani?

2030 GMT: Sanctions Watch. The US Treasury has officially designated the National Iranian Oil Company as "an agent or affiliate" of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, supporting Washington's pursuit of new sanctions on foreign banks dealing with the NIOC.

The Treasury told Congress that there was not enough information at this time to conclude that the National Iranian Tanker Company is linked to the IRGC.

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The Latest from Iran (14 August): Recovering from an Earthquake

See also The Latest from Iran (13 August): The Political Aftershocks of the Earthquakes

1739 GMT: The Labour Front. Complaining about no wages for eight months, 600 steel workers protested today in front of the Ministry of Industry.

1722 GMT: The Battle Within. Yesterday we reported:

Iran News Network claims that two former Ministers have asked for a staff from the Executive, legislative, and judicial branches to be organised to manage the country, effectively taking power from the Government.

Radio Farda suggests the two ex-Ministers could be Iran Inspector General and former Minister of Interior Mostafa Pourmohammadi and former Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

Today Robert Tait of The Daily Telegraph of London adds a third name and the claim that the appeal was made to Ayatollah Khamenei:

Three of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's former ministers have called on Iran's supreme leader to form an emergency "government of all the talents" that will effectively curb the president's power.

Manouchehr Mottaki, the former foreign minister, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, who served as interior minister, and Davoud Danesh Jafari, the ex-finance minister, have urged the radical move in a letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, citing the country's "sensitive and critical situation".

It calls for the establishment of a special cabinet of "wise men" made up of the heads of the executive, legislative and judicial branches, which would then govern Iran for the next year until Mr Ahmadinejad's term ends.

Mr Ahmadinejad would be a member of such a body as head of the executive branch. But his powers would be diluted and prestige drastically reduced....

In an editorial, [pro-Ahmadinejad newspaper] Iran criticised the former ministers' note as an attempt "to portray the country's situation as critical and justify extraordinary approaches outside legal boundaries to resolve an artificial crisis".

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