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Entries in Ali Akbar Salehi (132)


Iran Today: The "Defending Shrines in Syria" Line

Saturday's Iran Today: "Supreme Leader is the Ultimate Decision-Maker"

Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front)

General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, the head of Iran's ground forces, has restated Tehran's line on assistance to the Syrian regime.

Pourdastan said the Islamic Republic i"would help train" the Syrian army if Damascus seeks such assistance, "but [we] won't have any active involvement in the operations".

The General repeated the comment of the head of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Ali Jafari, from last autumn, "The Syrian army has accumulated experience during years of conflict with the Zionist regime (Israel) and is able to defend itself and doesn't need foreign assistance."

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Iran Today: Tehran on Nuclear Talks "No Time-Wasting"

Nuclear Negotiators Catherine Ashton & Saeed JaliliProtest Watch

Iranian media report on protests in Hormozogan and Fars provinces because of reorganisation of local governments and authorities' expropriation of a mine.

Presidential Election Watch

Arsalan Fathipour, the head of Parliament's Economy Commission, has said he will stand for the Presidency. He declared that he wants a Parliament of economists and he will revive the Planning Centre.

Clerical Watch

Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani, meeting Presidential hopeful Hassan Rohani in the holy city of Qom, has said that many current problems are because of the weakness of current officials.

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Iran Special: The Stalled Nuclear Talks --- Why Tehran Cannot Give Up Its Right to Enrichment

Funeral of assassinated nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 13 January 2012

Iran's stance that its people have the right to enrich uranium has become more than a negotiating position. It is an important element of the Islamic Republic's identity and an issue of national pride. A central symbol of the struggle against the US and the West, the dedication to that right is beyond the black-and-white narrative of "the West says Iran is building a bomb, Tehran says it isn't".

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Iran Live Coverage: "America is Trying to Eliminate Islam from Iran"

See also Iran Special: Sanctions, "Analysis", and the Never-Ending Circle of Propaganda --- From NIAC to Neo-Cons
Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: Another Challenge to Ahmadinejad

2041 GMT:Sanctions Watch. Turkey exported almost $120 million worth of gold to Iran in February.

The figure suggests the two countries' trade of gold for natural gas has resumed despite tighter US sanctions, though at levels below last year's surge.

Turkey sold no gold to Iran in January, as banks and dealers eyed the implementation of US restrictions on 6 February that tightened control over transfer of precious metals to the Islamic Republic.

TA six-month waiver exempting Turkey from US sanctions, because of its reduction of imports of Iranian oil and gas, is due to expire in July. Ankara, Tehran's biggest natural gas customer, has been paying for energy imports with Turkish lira, because sanctions prevent it from paying in dollars or euros.

Turkey sold $117.9 million worth of gold to Iran last month, while exports to the UAE, which has served in the past as a transit route to Tehran, rose to $402.3 million from $371 million in January.

Turkey's monthly gold sales to Iran peaked last July at $1.8 billion.

2011 GMT:Economy Watch. Mohammad Reza Bahonar --- Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Presidential candidate --- has said that only 20-30% of Iran's economic problems are because of sanctions. The rest, he said, are due to mismanagement.

Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has made a similar criticism of the Ahmadinejad Government.

Bahonar, citing "serious spikes in prices", sepcifically blamed President Ahmadinejad's subsidy cuts plans and the manner in which housing projects were implemented. He said many factories had closed or were in danger of doing --- thus the Supreme Leader's declaration of a "Year of National Production” had not been fulfilled.

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Iran Live Coverage: Revolutionary Guards v. Ahmadinejad

See also Saturday's Iran Live Coverage: The Oil Squeeze Renewed

2145 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Mohammad Javad-Rouh, the editor of Mehrnameh magazine, has been arrested after a raid on his home.

1501 GMT: Diplomacy Watch. Another dose of optimism from Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi after last week's nuclear talks in Kazakhstan, "From this day forward, sanctions will decrease."

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Iran Live Coverage: The Oil Squeeze Renewed

See also Iran Video Feature: 50 Iranians Answer, "What's Your Wish?"
Iran Feature: The Fear in the Corridors of Evin Prison
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: "Widespread and Systematic Violations of Human Rights"

1758 GMT: The Battle Within. Prominent MP Ahmad Tavakoli --- who is also a relative of Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani --- has criticised both President Ahmadinejad and Mir Hossein Mousavi, the candidate in the 2009 Presidential election who has been under strict house arrest for more than two years, for "social mobilisation against the Supreme Leader".

1708 GMT: Oil Watch. Another problem for Iran's sagging oil exports, as Mercator Lines has stopped offering a ship for transporting Iranian oil to India because of US political pressure.

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Iran Live Coverage: "Widespread and Systematic Violations of Human Rights"

Poster calling for the release of Iran's female political prisoners

See also Iran Special: How To Create an "Iranian Threat in Iraq" Story
Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: "Positive" Nuclear Talks?

2100 GMT:Human Rights Watch. United Nations human rights officials have met opposition activists, including Ardeshir Amir Arjomand, in Geneva.

The discussion included the strict house arrests, since February 2011, of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

Lawyer and Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has said that the report of United Nations Special Rapporteur Ahmad Shaheed (see 0625 GMT) is a solid basis for other countries to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

And Reporters without Borders has said it will file a complaint against the Islamic Republic because of the illegal arrests of journalists.

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Iran Live Coverage: "Positive" Nuclear Talks?

Iran Analysis: 7 Things We Know --- And Do Not Know --- About the Nuclear Talks
Iran Analysis: What Tehran's Nuclear Negotiator Actually Said About the Talks
Wednesday's Iran Live Coverage: No News is Good or Bad News at the Nuclear Talks?

1812 GMT: Clashes over Water Shortages? BBC Persian is claiming that farmers, protesting over water shortages, have been injured in clashes with security forces in Isfahan.

Supplies have reportedly been limited for more than 40 days after a burst in a water main. Security forces were deployed yesterday to disperse protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Images have circulated on the Internet of a bus, carrying Government troops, which was set on fire:

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Iran Special: What the Supreme Leader's "No Direct Talks with US" Really Means

The Supreme Leader did not kill off negotiations yesterday. Even as he laid down some tough lines --- to his officials as well as the US --- he signalled that they are alive, if only to hold far more dangerous alternatives.

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Iran Live Coverage: Has Tehran Agreed to Resume Nuclear Talks?

Sunday's confrontation between President Ahmadinejad and Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani

See also Iran Analysis: Ahmadinejad Humiliated as Parliament Dismisses Minister
Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: First the Space Monkey, Now a New Fighter Jet

2146 GMT: Ahmadinejad In Space Watch. Now, on the lighter side of the news --- President Ahmadinejad has said that he is ready to be the first human to go into space in Iran's aeronautics programme.

Last week Tehran put a monkey on a satellite for the first time, reaching 75 miles above Earth. The head of the space programme declared this month that the Islamic Republic plans for a manned flight in four to five years.

2134 GMT: Nuclear Watch. There is still no clarity as to whether Iran has agreed to join the 5+1 Powers for nuclear talks in Kazakhstan on 25 February.

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, speaking in Berlin, has put out the positive signal, "I am optimistic. I feel this new [Obama] administration is really this time seeking to at least divert from its previous traditional approach vis-a-vis my country."

However, Salehi also expressed doubt over the US indication that it will engage in direct discussions with Tehran --- made by Vice President Joe Biden on sautrday --- and said that it was still very hard for Tehran to trust Washington: "How do we trust again this new gesture?"

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