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Entries in Ahmed Zeidabadi (4)


The Latest from Iran (5 April): How Serious Are the Economic Problems?

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From Nature's Day to A Site for Repression
Iran Feature: The Disappearing Interview with a US Official
The Latest from Iran (4 April): Admitting the Economic Tensions

1522 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Juan Cole, drawing from US Open Source monitoring, has published English extracts of the article by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani that has raised the political temperature in Tehran --- on relations with the US:

After all, our current practice — of not speaking to or having ties with America — could not persist forever. America is the super power of the world. What is the difference between Europe and the US, China and the US, or Russia and the US from our point of view? Why should we not negotiate with the US if we negotiate with them? Talks do not mean that we should surrender to them. We will negotiate and if they accept our positions or we accept their positions, then it would be all over.

On relations with Saudi Arabia:

Having relations with Saudi Arabia is not a minor issue for the region. First of all, it is a wealthy country and the majority of the scholars from Muslim countries have ties with Saudi Arabia first and foremost considering the hajj and pilgrimages and second because of their own interests. It (Saudi Arabia) renovates their (Muslim countries) mosques, provides facilities, prints Korans and has provided numerous facilities for spread of their religious issues. Most of the works Al-Azhar University has done in Egypt, even the academic works, are now in the hands of Saudi Arabia.

More important is the issue of oil. Would the West impose sanctions on us, if Saudi Arabia had good ties with us? Only Saudi Arabia could take Iran’s place. Saudi Arabia does not need to do anything. If it produces oil according to OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) limits, no one could harass us. As the world economy could not carry on without our oil, I believe that it is still possible to establish good relations. However, there are people here who, as you see, do not want that. You are an expert in international relations and foreign policy and know well that if they say one word without thinking, it would immediately be reflected. Some harsh words from both sides should not be tolerated and should be corrected.

On Iran's nuclear programme:

We really do not seek to build nuclear weapons and a nuclear military system. In a Friday prayer sermon in Tehran, I even once said that an atomic bomb would not benefit the occupation regime of Israel. Eventually, if one day a nuclear conflict takes place, Israel as a small country, will not be able to bear an atomic bomb. It is a small country and all its facilities would be destroyed. However, they interpreted this advice as a threat. We really believe that there should not be any nuclear weapon in the region and this is a part of the principles of our politics.

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The Latest from Iran (28 March): A Visit from Turkey's Erdoğan

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Sanctions, Human Rights, and Israel-Iran Love
Middle East and Iran Videos: 4 Activists on Women's Rights After the "Arab Spring"
Turkey Live Coverage (28 March): Any Outcome from Tehran Talks?
The Latest from Iran (27 March): The Lull Before the Talks

Iran Foreign Minister Salehi Greets Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan2030 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Back from a break to find yet more Iranian firms, connected to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, sanctioned by the US Treasury....

A day after imposing economic restrictions on several Iranian firms and Guards commanders, for alleged sales of arms to Syria and Gambia, the Treasury sanctioned engineering firms and sanctioned individuals and shipping companies with ties to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).

The companies sanctioned include Iran Maritime Industrial Company SADRA, which has offices in Iran and Venezuela and is owned by Khatam al-Anbiya, the engineering arms of the Revolutionary Guards. Deep Offshore Technology PJS, which the Treasury said was a subsidiary of SADRA, was also punished.

Malship Shipping Agency Ltd and Modality Limited and two individuals, Seyed Alaeddin Sadat Rasool and Ali Ezati, were sanctioned because of alleged connections with IRISL.

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Iran Document: Journalist (& Political Prisoner) Ahmed Zeidabadi Accepts World Press Freedom Prize

In accepting this Prize which is in reality a recognition of all prisoners of opinion in my country and my imprisoned or exiled colleagues, I dedicate it to my family and in particular to my wife and children. In addition to the psychological pains of these two years, they have for the past ten years had to live with the dread of an expected "knock on the door." With every unexpected knock on the door, their fragile and innocent hearts were agitated.

I also dedicate this Prize to the mother of Sohrab Arabi [killed on 15 June 2009 by security forces] and all other heartbroken mothers whose sons never returned home. I dedicate it to all tearful mothers, sisters, daughters and the children who live with the pain of having their loved ones in prison.

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The Latest from Iran (18 January): Life Goes On

2130 GMT: The President's Right-Hand Man. He may be disliked by many, but Presidential Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai is still putting about his wise words. Akhbar Rooz reports that books of the thoughts of the aide and Ahmadinejad confidante are being distributed to Government officials.

2120 GMT: Worst Diplomatic Statement of the Week. The Iranian Embassy in Kabul issued a statement on Monday, “Currently 16 fuel tankers are waiting at the Meelk-Dogharon border....for their turn to enter Afghanistan, and will enter Afghanistan's soil during next few days after legal formalities are completed.”

16? Iran is currently holding up to 2500 tankers at the Afghan border.

2035 GMT: Competition Time. A photo of President Ahmadinejad getting a lovely present from the staff of the Islamic Republic News Agency this morning. You supply the caption....

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