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Entries in Ali Akbar Javanfekr (50)


The Latest from Iran (21 November): Let's Talk Nukes...And Nothing But Nukes


The initial aftermath of the raid by security forces on the offices of Iran newspaper, as they tried to detain Presidential advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr --- full video now in our special analysis

See also Iran Feature: So What Happened When Security Forces Tried to Arrest the President's Senior Advisor?

1900 GMT: Things That Make You Go Ummm.... The President's office says Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has cancelled his tour to Kohgilouyeh and Boyer Ahmad Province in western Iran this weekend because of expected bad weather.

The official forecast for Kohgilouyeh and Boyer Ahmad Province on Friday is sunshine with a high temperature of 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit).

1850 GMT: More Tough Talk of the Day. Mojtaba Zolnour, the Supreme Leader's former liaison to the Revolutionary Guards, has said that if Syria is attacked, the Islamic Republic will support it as it does Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Zolnour added the assurance that the explosion at the Revolutionary Guards base on 12 November, which killed between 17 and 37 people, was not due to sabotage.

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The Latest from Iran (20 November): Reading a "Muzzled" Press

1805 GMT: Tough Talk of the Day. The head of the Basij militia, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, has said, "We are ready to organise a 100 million Basij army in the Muslim world to liberate Quds [Jerusalem] as promised by Ayatollah Khomeini.

Revolutionary Guards commander Hossein Hamedani has tried to follow up with the assurance that more than 2000 bloggers are organising for cyber-war.

Only problem --- last year the Guards said they were training a 15,000-strong cyber-army.

1800 GMT: Economy Watch. Some outlets in Iranian media are reporting that the Government owes 30 trillion Toman ($22.5 billion) to Iran's Social Security fund and cannot pay all State pensions.

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The Latest from Iran (19 November): The International Front

1810 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Turkish Front). More fencing between Ankara and Tehran, even as Iran tries to get Turkish support on issues such as its nuclear programme....

Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, has said "Iranian air forces are strong enough" when he was asked if Turkey could use Iranian air space for "war against [the Kurdish insurgenct group] PKK".

Boroujerdi was in Ankara on Friday for talks with Turkish officials.

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Iran Audio Feature: How Ahmadinejad's Advisor Stumbled Into An Admission of The Battle Within

Complaints against "some of the people in powerful positions"? With that sentence, the President's Ali Akbar Javanfekr had given journalist Masih Alinejad the admission of the battle within the Iranian establishment and opened up this question: how high up do the Presidential complaints go?

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The Latest from Iran (7 June): Ahmadinejad's Men = "Gravest Danger in the History of Shiite Islam"

1740 GMT: Parliament v. President. Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has sent his 4th letter in two days to President Ahmadinejad, claiming 14 additional infringements of the law by the Government.

1710 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. So Mr. President, what about the staff from your office arrested as sorcerers and exorcists?

Ahmadinejad replied to the question at his press conference today, "Let's just think about Government service."

He continued, again without reference to any sorcerers, "The Government is on track under the guidance of the Supreme Leader."

However, Ahmadinejad acknowledged, with reference to advisors like Abbas Amirafar, the head of Friday Prayers in his office, and Abbas Ghaffari, the alleged sorcerer, "They arrested those people. Good for them."

Now it was time to move on: "They should let us continue our job. The Government is seeking for nothing rather than serving the people and fulfilling the revolutionary aims." He refused to answer further questions, "Our position at the moment is to stay silent. An inspiring unity silence."

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The Latest from Iran (28 May): Ahmadinejad on the Ropes

Supporters of the Supreme Leader protest against the President's right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai "Death to Deviant Mashai"

1600 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. The Mothers of Mourning have written an open letter calling for an investigation of the "terrible conditions" inside Iran's prisons.

The letter follows a series of revelations about overcrowding and the poor state of the facilities.

1555 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar has told Khabar Online that President Ahmadinejad tried to defy the Supreme Leader in a meeting with the Parliamentary and judicial branches over the merger of ministries. Ahmadinejad rejected the Guardian Council's decision, but in the end, the Council and the Supreme Leader had the final word.

And then the big message: Bahonar asserts that the Supreme Leader wants the Government to finish its term, which runs to 2013, but it must distance itself from the "deviant current".

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The Latest from Iran (21 May): Two Presidents in Trouble

2030 GMT: At the Movies. Director Mohammad Rasoulof, facing a six-year prison sentence, has won the Cannes Film Festival prize for Best Director in the Un Certain Regard section Saturday for "Be Omid e Didar" (Goodbye).

Rasoulof, who is appealing his sentence, cannot travel abroad so his wife accepted the prize on his behalf.

The film tells the story of a young Tehran lawyer trying to get a visa to leave Iran.

Rasoulof was sentenced with fellow director Jafar Panahi in December and barred from making films for 20 years. Panahi's latest film, smuggled out of Iran, is also being shown at Cannes (see separate video).

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The Latest from Iran (12 May): So You Thought the Battle Was Over?

2025 GMT: At the Movies. The Cannes Film Festival is honouring filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof --- both sentenced to long prison terms --- and Iranian officials are not amused.

Mohammad Hosseini, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance said, “The festival takes a political stance on certain specific cases, which is unacceptable and we condemn it. We think that since Cannes is an international event, it should keep its artistic and professional biases to itself."

Last week, Cannes organizers said they would show Rasoulof’s “Good Bye” and “This Is Not a Film”, Panahi’s depiction of a day in his life as he waits for the verdict of a court appeal.

Panahi will also be awarded the Carrosse d’Or (Golden Coach) prize by the SRF (Film Directors’ Society) in absentia as a tribute to the “innovative qualities, courage and independent-mindedness” of his work.

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The Latest from Iran (6 May): "The Government Has Lifted Up Its Hands to Pray"

1955 GMT: Media Watch. The Guardian of London has picked up on the story with which we began today (see 0445 GMT), "Iran's Supreme Leader tells Ahmadinejad: Accept Minister [of Intelligence] or Quit", quoting the President's ally, Morteza Agha-Tehrani.

And Robert Tait of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has a thorough overview of the crisis --- with an appearance by EA --- "Ahmadinejad Floored By Bugs, Spirits, And Djinns":

Whenever cornered, Mahmud Ahmadinejad always seems to come out swinging. But Iran's notoriously abrasive president appears in danger of suffering a knockout blow over his political attachment to Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, a man widely seen as a threat to the country's clerical-based political system.

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The Latest from Iran (1 May): A Love Letter to Ahmadinejad

2110 GMT: May Day Watch. The political crisis and security measures ensured that May Day and worker's issues make little headline impact.

However, seven Iranian labor organizations did publish a statement objecting to the violations of basic rights: “While all over the world, the workers’ show their joy and passion and will to fight on 1 May, and their free million-strong protests against their living conditions shake the world, Iranian workers are not only deprived of the social rights to establish organizations and street protests, they are exposed to the most severe attacks on their lives and livelihood.”

The seven labor organizations are the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, Iran Free Trade Union, the Committee To Restart The Paint and Decoration Construction Workers Syndicate, The Committee To Restart the Mechanical Metal Workers Syndicate, Center For The Defense of Workers, The Committee To Pursue Building Labor Coalitions, and The Coordinating Committee To Help Establish Labor Organizations.

The groups continued:

Any objection or demand of rights by the workers is answered with arrests and prison; the so-called ‘Targeted Subsidies’ plan which have been started by the ruling capitalists with the help of international capitalist organizations, is further destroying the lives and livelihoods of millions of workers’ families, and no one has the right to freely express their opinion about this; with the dizzying rise in the prices of energy and factory closures, everyday hundreds and thousand of workers join the other unemployed millions.

The signatories then put forth a 14-point set of demands, including "the unconditional freedom to set up independent labor organizations, to strike, to protest, to demonstrate, and to have freedom of belonging to political parties, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and a free press".

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