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Entries in Ali Akrami (3)


The Latest from Iran (30 October): When Talking Tough Is Not Enough....

See also Iran Video Interview: Hillary Clinton with BBC Persian "The Unfortunate Decsion of the Green Movement"
The Latest from Iran (29 October): The Economy, Propaganda, and the IMF

2130 GMT: Elections Watch. Leading reformist Ali Shakourirad has said it is too late for the regime to meet former President Khatami's conditions --- freeing of political prisoners, freedom for political parties and a free and fair electoral process, and adherence to the Constitution --- for reformists to participate in next March's Parliamentary elections. They should instead inform people of their demands and objections to the current system.

2030 GMT: Parliament v. President. Looks like the Parliamentary challenge to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declared over only a few days ago, is very much alive....

Mohammad Reza Bahonar, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, said the motion to interrogate Ahmadinejad now bears 74 signatures, one more than the minimum needed for consideration.

Last week, Iranian media reported that a number of MPs had withdrawn their support for the motion, but some have now reconsidered their withdrawal and one new MP joined the petition.

The motion will be sent to a Parliamentary commission for examination. It cites 10 irregularities on which the president needs to be questioned, such as his alleged refusal to carry out legislation for funding of the Tehran subway and his disputes with the Supreme Leader over the reinstatement of Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi.

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The Latest from Iran (29 October): The Economy, Propaganda, and the IMF

See also The Latest from Iran (28 October): "Our Prisons Are Full"

1720 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Journalists Ali Akrami, Mehdi Afsharnik, Mohammad Heydari, and Mohsen Hakimi have been released on bail.

The reporters were detained during a regime crackdown last month on the Freedom Movement of Iran.

1715 GMT: Parliament v. President. The New York Times has now joined the flutter, started by a speech of the Supreme Leader last week, that Iran might replace an elected President with a Prime Minister chosen by Parliament.

Meanwhile, Aty News --- close to Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf --- quotes MP Mohammad Dehghan that there will be no more Presidential elections.

On another front, Khabar Online, linked to Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, suggested that there may be a move this week towards interrogation of the President, as the number of MPs demanding the session is on the rise.

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The Latest from Iran (5 October): Ahmadinejad Makes a Televised Move

2010 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Back to our opening story, courtesy of Muhammad Sahimi's translation of the account in Aftab News of the President's TV interview last night:

This was Ahmaidnejad's defence over claims that Government mismanagement, neglect, and/or corruption contributed to the $2.6 billion bank fraud scandal:

I have been speaking about our banking system for six years and have been rebuked for it. We see things and believe that they should be reformed, and we will begin fundamental reforms before this administration ends [in 2013]. Right from the beginning [of my presidency], we kept saying that there are problems and I have said repeatedly that a few can profit greatly, but common people cannot. The fact is our banking system is not controlled by anyone, and the government has no control over it. I am not saying nothing can be done, but sometimes certain regulations are approved without paying attention to their consequences.

If the system [his administration] was not willing to confront [corruption], one could complain. But the system itself has discovered [the embezzlement], persists, and seeks to punish the offenders.... But I believe some are taking revenge against the Iranian nation, which acted very well. The targeted subsidies demonstrated that the future is bright. The Iranian nation makes great decisions, carries out great plans, [takes] great steps, whether in industry, or agriculture, or science. The nation can move forward and stand at the top. But some come forward and by insulting the government and making accusations, take revenge against the people, whereas nothing [unusual] is going on and we are doing our job. Why are you [critics] destroying yourselves? We should live in this country, and be happy and hopeful. Why are you trying to ruin everything? We have of course declared that we keep silent. We are still silent. These [accusations] all have responses, but we have kept silent for the sake of the nation.

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