Entries in Alaeddin Boroujerdi (48)
2111 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch (Journalist Edition). More releases of journalists detained in the regime's crackdown over the last month --- Akbar Montajebi and Reyhaneh Tabatabaei have been freed, with reports that Milan Fadai Asl will soon be out of prison.
2102 GMT: All the President's Men. It looks like Presidential advisor Saeed Mortazavi will not face "accessory to murder" charges when he goes to court tomorrow.
The Iranian Labor News Agency reports that the former Tehran Prosecutor General, being tried for his involvement in the abuse and killing of three post-election protesters in the Kahrizak detention center in summer 2009, has been indicted for “participating in unlawful detentions” and “assistance in setting up false reports or encouraging such actions in relevant officials”.
Two other judiciary officials face charges pf “assistance in setting up false reports".
Press TV's coverage of the Supreme Leader's speech criticising President Ahmadinejad, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani
2030 GMT: The Battle Within. Forget the non-apology letter to the Supreme Leader, this is President Ahmadinejad's big statement today....
Ahmaadinejad used a speech to repeat his warning against the "engineering" of elections --- a swipe at last month's statement by the Supreme Leader's representative to the Revolutionary Guards, Ali Saeedi --- and swept aside any notion that he will back down: "I will work until last minute of my term."
The President continued, "I am ready to sacrifice myself for Islam and Qur'an. My only wish is that the flag of monotheism and justice flies and that mankind is set free."
Funeral service of Revolutionary Guard commander Hossein Shateri, killed in Syria, on Thursday (Photo: AP)
2106 GMT: Nuclear Watch. So here, according to Reuters, is the big American gesture towards Iran to advance the talks over Tehran's nuclear programme.....
In exchange for Iranian steps to shut down its Fordow uranium enrichment plant, the US will lift sanctions --- which it imposed only nine days ago.
"Western officials" said the US and its allies will ease measures barring trade in gold and other precious metals with Iran. The restrictions, approved by President Obama in December and taking effect on 6 February, have reportedly cut off Turkey's transfer of gold to pay for Iranian natural gas (see 1716 GMT).
The officials said the offer will be presented to Iran at high-level discussions, the first in eight months, on 26 February Kazakhstan.
They acknowledged that the move is "a relatively modest update" to proposals from last year.
1732 GMT: Nut Watch. First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said the Government has ordered a six-month ban on pistachio exports to try to control the nut's price, which has doubled in the past month to about 250,000 Iranian Rials per kilogramme ($3.18 per pound).
Pistachios are among Iran's top non-oil exports, bringing in an average of $1.5 billion a year and providing work for hundreds of thousands of people.
2220 GMT: Nuclear Watch. After a few days talking down the possibility of renewed nuclear talks --- and putting the blame on Tehran --- Western diplomats said today that discussions could still resume in January.
The shift follows a phone call on Monday between Helga Schmid, the deputy negotiator for the 5+1 Powers, and her Iranian counterpart Ali Bagheri.
"Consultations to prepare a next round of talks are ongoing," spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.
"The powers and Iran are still discussing possible dates for nuclear talks in January," one Western envoy said.
1750 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.
1935 GMT: Health Watch. A Ministry of Health official has said that the Central Bank has agreed to the Ministry's request for an earmarked $2 billion for imports of medicine to cope with domestic shortages.
Amid international sanctions that have reportedly limited drugs and medical supplies, the Ministry has been criticised for mismanagement and failure to allocate funds to deal with the worsening situation.
See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From Death in Detention to Economic Suffering br>
Iran Analysis: Assessing the Latest Nuclear Report --- Is There an "Imminent Threat"? br>
The Latest from Iran (16 November): Taking Advantage of Gaza
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.
See also EA Video Analysis: Iran Sanctions, Human Rights, and the Nuclear Issue br>
Iran Opinion: The Crisis in Medical Care --- It's Not Just About Sanctions br>
The Latest from Iran (12 November): The Economic Squeeze Tightens
1856 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Hong Kong will remove permission for 19 ships linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) to operate under its flag, according to a letter from the Hong Kong Government's Marine Department.
"As it is of paramount importance to HKMD in safeguarding the quality of Hong Kong ships, HKMD has therefore taken action already in notifying the owners of these 19 ships for the closure of the registration in Hong Kong within 90 days beginning from the date of the notice being served," S.F. Wong, Hong Kong Shipping Register's general manager, said in the letter.