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Entries in Ali Larijani (286)


The Latest from Iran (22 December): "We Are Not Isolated. You Are Isolated"

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Sanctions, Awards for Political Prisoners, and the Supreme Leader on Facebook
The Latest from Iran (21 December): Is the Regime Celebrating Its Longest Night?

2140 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. An EA correspondent summarises the President's performance on national TV tonight:

Subsidy cuts have been successful...Inflation is a structural matter, has existed for past 40 to 50 years....Bank debts were increased and fixed without the Government's assent....Problems are because of domestic abuse (Revolutionary Guards, Parliament, Supreme Leader's gang, clerics --- everyone except me).

2032 GMT: Ahmadinejad Irony Watch. The President declared in his TV interview tonight, "The will of people should be respected in elections --- it will have international ramifications."

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The Latest from Iran (20 December): Revolutionary Guards Decide Which Reformists Can Stand in Presidential Election

See also Iran Feature: Breakthrough in Nuclear Talks? No Way.
The Latest from Iran (19 December): "The Worst Economic Conditions"

2110 GMT: Human Rights Watch. The United Nations General Assembly has criticised Iran for human rights abuses by an 86-32 vote with 65 abstentions.

The resolution on Iran voiced "deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran relating to, inter alia, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging and amputations".

1840 GMT: Nuclear Watch. Iranian State media continues to play up renewed discussions, headlining, "Russia Hopes Iran-P5+1 Talks to Be Held Next Month".

The website seizes on a matter-of-fact statement by a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, "Currently negotiations are under way with Tehran on the place and date. We hope that this work will be completed in the near future and such a meeting will take place in January of next year."

Press TV repeats the mantra:

Iran claims that as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is free to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes but the United States, Israel and others have accused Iran of developing nuclear equipment for military purposes.

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The Latest from Iran (13 December): Nuclear Talks with the IAEA

The European Parliament awards the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in absentia to detained lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panahi, who is threatened with imprisonment

See also Iran Snap Analysis: Speculating about the Next President
The Latest from Iran (12 December): A 78-Year-Old Academic is Imprisoned for Writing the Supreme Leader

1602 GMT: A Death in Detention. Human rights activists claim participants in the 40th day memorial for blogger Sattar Beheshti, who died on 3 November under interrogation in Evin Prison, have been beaten, with several arrested.

Security officers reportedly raided the services at the Imam Mohamad Taghi Shrine in Robat Karim,, near Tehran.

Beheshti's mother was said to have sustained leg and knee injuries. Beheshti’s brother was detained for two hours.

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Iran Snap Analysis: Speculating about the Next President 

Supreme Leader & Ali Larijani"The most important vote in Iran’s presidential election is that of Ayatollah Khamenei" --- And the Supreme Leader and his office, weighing all the political possibilities and pitfalls, do not cast that vote until late in the jousting for the Presidency and the ballot in June. As analyst Essikhan Sadeghi Boroujerdi summarises, echoing one of our top EA correspondents, "Everything on presidential election is pretty much speculation, rumour, and hearsay till March."

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The Latest from Iran (11 December): "We Have Confused the US"

Supreme Leader to international conference today: "Any notion that the global arrogance, led by the US, may come to terms with Islamic movements is wrong" (see 1445 GMT)

Iran Analysis: Why There is Much Posing --- But No Progress --- On Nuclear Talks
The Latest from Iran (10 December): Worries over Opposition Leaders Under House Arrest

1525 GMT: Nuclear Watch. The Supreme Leader may have closed the door on direct talks with the US (see 1445 GMT), but Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi has reiterated that Tehran is seeking a renewal of negotiations with the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia): “Our proposals to the P5+1 are clear and they should respond to us. If they show goodwill, the way is open to talks and to prove their goodwill they can start with the steps we have already said."

Araqchi also noted the scheduled talks on 13 January between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency to define a framework for inspection and supervision.

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The Latest from Iran (9 December): Talking Tough on Sanctions

See also Iran Feature: How a US Neo-Con Pundit Is Helping Tehran's Propaganda
The Latest from Iran (8 December): Tehran to Hit New Low in Oil Exports?

2030 GMT: The House Arrests. Habibollah Asgarouladi, a leading member of the conservative Motalefeh Party, has called for the release of former Presidential cnadidates and opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi --- held under strict house arrest since February 2011 --- if they distance themselves from the protests after the disputed 2009 Presidential election.

Asgarouladi said, "We never say that the 2009 candidates took [seditious] actions because they are basically not seditious. We believe they were falling in line with seditious elements."

1720 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. The lawyer for Mehdi Hashemi, the son of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, said his client's detention order has been extended for another two months.

The attorney claimed that Hashemi, seized in September when he returned from a three-year exile in Britain, is under pressure to agree to a television interview.

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The Latest from Iran (7 December): Maintaining the Oil Squeeze

See also The Latest from Iran (6 December): "We're Still Winning"

2210 GMT: Oil Watch. An industry source claims Iranian oil exports will fall to a new low of 834,000 barrels per day in December.

This would be a sharp drop from Iran's October figure of 1.3 million barrels per day and a declinemore than 60% from last year's level of 2.2 million bpd.

Iran's recorded low this year was 860,000 barrels per day in the summer.

2200 GMT: Sanctions Watch. We return to our opening entry (see 0720 GMT) of the extension of US waivers from financial sanctions for those countries which reduce imports of Iranian oil.

The State Department announced further six-month extensions for nine countries tonight. As expected, waivers for renewed for India, South Korea, and Turkey before next Tueday's expiration. The US also acted now rather than waiting for the deadline later this month for China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan.

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The Latest from Iran (6 December): "We're Still Winning"

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Criticising the Supreme Leader and Much More
The Latest from Iran (5 December): The Victory of Nasrin Sotoudeh's Hunger Strike

1945 GMT: Mis-Analysis of the Day. Richard Javad Heydarian, writing for LobeLog, echoes the regime line that Tehran, defiantly withstanding sanctions, is in a stronger position to negotiate with Washington:

It is Iran’s relative resilience --- and ability to avoid a total collapse --- that may explain its willingness to explore direct talks with Washington. Tehran feels that it has enough wiggle room to avoid total unilateral concessions and negotiate a more mutually-favorable, face-saving outcome ---perhaps, before it’s tool [sic] late.

Leave aside the indications that the Islamic Republic is now stepping away from bilateral discussions with the US (see 1205 GMT). Heydarian's economic case for resilience is a case study in missing and mis-reading evidence.

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The Latest from Iran (29 November): Regional Interventions

See also Iran Feature: The Regime's Food Problems
Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Hunger Strikes, Hungry Families, and Ending Violence Against Women
The Latest from Iran (28 November): Supreme Leader Declares, "We're Winning"

2050 GMT: Nuclear Watch. The US has set a March deadline for Iran to fulfil the American vision of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, threatening referral of the matter to the United Nations Security Council.

Speaking to the IAEA board, American diplomat Robert Wood requested that IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano declare in his next quarterly report on Iran, due in late February, whether Tehran has taken "any substantive steps" to address concerns.

Wood continued, "If by March Iran has not begun substantive cooperation with the IAEA, the United States will work with other board members to pursue appropriate board action, and would urge the board to consider reporting this lack of progress to the U.N. Security Council. Iran cannot be allowed to indefinitely ignore its obligations....Iran must act now, in substance."

Amano told the board that there had been no progress in his agency's year-long push to clarify concerns about suspected atom bomb research in Iran, but said he would continue his efforts.

The Director-General had expressed optimism in June, just before the last meeting between Iran and the 5+1 Powers on Tehran's uranium enrichment, over a resolution of the protocol for inspection and supervision of Iran's nuclear facilities. However, the hope receded amid the stalemate in Tehran's talks with the 5+1.

Iranian officials have said discussions will resume with the IAEA on 13 December.

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The Latest from Iran (25 November): Larijani's Diplomatic Push on Gaza and Syria

Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday

See also The Latest from Iran (24 November): Political Prisoners "Enjoy All Rights"

1635 GMT: A Death in Detention. Three Iranian labour organisations have issued a joint statement urging the regime to pursue the case of blogger Sattar Beheshti, killed during interrogation in prison earlier this month, so the perpetrators of his death can be brought to justice.

The Vahed Transit Drivers Union, the Labour Union Project, and the Defenders of Labour Rights Centre said, "[Beheshti] had committed no crime other than to speak out against the injustice and poverty dominating the lives of workers.”

Behesthi was seized at his home on 30 October by cyber-police and died within the next week. The Tehran Prosecutor General's latest statement is that he died of "shock", but the blogger's family said he was in good health before the arrest.

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