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Entries in Ali Motahari (80)


Latest from Iran (11 September): Arrest and Protest

2030 GMT:Political Prisoner Watch. News of four detainees who have been released....

Hashem Khastar, a retired teacher in Mashhad who spoke publicly about the poor conditions in Vakilabad Prison, released after posting bail of about $100,000;

Journalist Masoud Lavasani, arrested on 26 September 2009, originally sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison, later reduced to two years;

Student activist Moein Mohammad Beigi, who served half of his 2 1/2-year sentence;

Nima Pour Yaghoob, an activist at the University of Tabriz, arrested in June.

Meanwhile, detained student activist Ali Malihi has said recently-released political prisoners have not recanted their political views, despite claims by Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi.

In a letter published by Advar News, written from inside Evin Prison, Malihi declares:

In view of some of the rumours in the media in recent days, I feel it necessary to explain that in my 20 months in prison, I have applied to the judiciary for various legal provisions available to detainees, including the appeal of a preliminary sentence, reduced sentencing,a conditional release and furloughs. But at no time have I ever repented of my beliefs and actions, and I have complete faith that the green path of hope that the Iranian people are following will continue.

Malihi was arrested in February at his home and charged with assembly and collusion against the regime, propaganda against the regime, participation in illegal gatherings, publishing falsehoods, and insulting the President. In August, he was sentenced to four years in prison and a cash fine.

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The Latest from Iran (8 August): Reformists Step Back from Elections

1950 GMT: Economy Watch. In his speech in front of senior officials yesterday (see 1420 GMT), the Supreme Leader said problems such as employment, inflation, and "labour culture" have not been solved yet.

1835 GMT: (Potential) Political Prisoner Watch. Yesterday we summarised the significant remarks of Mohsen Armin, former Deputy Speaker of Parliament and a reformist senior member of the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution, that "all essential prerogatives" for involvement in the 2012 Parlimentary elections "are missing" --- "Coalition with hardliners never; debate yes."

Today, Armin was summoned to appear in court on Wednesday.

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The Latest from Iran (26 July): Ahmadinejad is a "Repair and Maintenance Project"

2000 GMT: Economy Watch. Despite US-led sanctions, foreign direct investment in Iran rose to a new record in 2010 of more than $3.6 billion dollars, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

UNCTAD's "World Investment Report" found that the foreign direct investment increased around 20% in 2010. FDI has soared from $1.6 billion in 200.

Global FDI flows grew 4.9% in 2010 to $1.24 trillion, but were 15% below the rate of $1.472 trillion before the 2008 financial crisis and nearly 37% below their peak in 2007 of $1.971 trillion.

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The Latest from Iran (20 July): "Harmless" Opposition?

1710 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. A friend of physician and blogger Mehdi Khazali has given an account of the arrest after Khazali was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence on Monday:

When Dr. Khazali arrived at the Intelligence Ministry they presented him with an arrest warrant. Dr. Khazali told them this warrant is 10 days old and he already posted bond for it four days ago.

The agent replied that he has to arrest him and the Court’s instructions don’t mean anything to him. Dr. Khazali told him this warrant is illegal and I won't go with you.

All of a sudden three people jumped on him and throw him to the ground and handcuffed him. They placed him in a car, positioned him laying down with one agent sitting on his neck and one sitting on his stomach as his teenaged son was watching in shock.

The friend was also in court when Khazali was arraigned on Tuesday:

After they brought the doctor in, I was shocked, he was in prison attire, handcuffed and shackled, with his bruised swollen neck bent to one side and accompanied by two agents on each side.

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The Latest from Iran (18 July): Remembering Protest, Remembering the Victims

Poster for Majid Tavakoli2030 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. An activist reports that reformist Ahmad Reza Ahmadipour was arrested today in Qom in a raid of his home.

1920 GMT: Denial of the Day. Saeed Mortazavi, an advisor to President Ahmadinejad, has denied any responsibility for the Kahrizak prison abuses and deaths, which occurred while Mortazavi was Tehran Prosecutor General.

Families of post-election victims --- including prominent conservative Abdolhossein Ruholamini, the father of the slain Mohsen Ruholamini --- have complained that Mortazavi, who was technically suspended from his duties by a court, has not been punished for his part in the affairs.

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The Latest from Iran (3 July): A Fight Amongst the Opposition

1955 GMT: Corruption Watch. And the battle within escalates....

As President Ahmadinejad alleges that the Revolutionary Guards have been avoiding customs duty as they bring commericial goods into Iran (see 1145 and 1505 GMT), Jahan News claims the Ahmadinejad camp is trying to buy four Russian helicopters for their 2012 Parliamentary election campaign.

Video of Ahmadinejad making his allegations of illegal imports by different Iranian groups:

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The Latest from Iran (1 July): A Pause for Denial

1855 GMT: Press Watch. The journal Shahrvand has returned after a ban with a cover featuring prominent writer Mahmoud Doulatabadi and poet Javad Mojab.

1845 GMT: Corruption Watch. Hojatoleslam Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, the head of the Shiraz Administrative Court, has asserted that corruption amongst officials is one of the most important factors in the downfall of states.

1820 GMT: All the President's Men. Farda News claims that President Ahmadinejad's inner circle spent 338 million tomans (about $300,000) in less than a year for foreign travel, boat trips, and suits.

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The Latest from Iran (27 June): Messages for the Hunger Strikers

1750 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. MP Mohammad Dehghan has tried to check the move towards possible impeachment of President, saying that members of the Board of Parliament do not believe questioning Ahmadinejad is favourable for the country.

Dehghan said he will talk with Ali Motahari, one of the leaders of the petition to interrogate the President.

1735 GMT: Elections Watch. Ahmad Salek, the speaker of the principlist Motalefeh Party, has warned that reformists and the "deviant current" want to divide principlists. He said 60 of 80 provincial candidates had fallen prey to the scheme.

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The Latest from Iran (17 June): Sometimes Numbers Speak Better than Words

1740 GMT: Oil Watch. Emad Hosseini, the spokesman of Parliament's Oil Committee, has said that Iran's oil industry is "ten years behind our partners, meaning Qatar". He continued, "Contrary to promises made, producing natural gas from the 15th and 18th phases of the South Pars oil and gas field is not possible [until March 2012]. Unstable management of the Oil Ministry and appointment of non-experts have had negative impact on the joint South Pars [oil and gas] field as well."

1735 GMT: Economy Watch. Earlier this week, President Ahmadinejad assured the Iranian community in Kazakhstan, "No one is in need of his daily bread in Iran."

Shafaf News, seen as supportive of the Supreme Leader, has a sharp reply: "Mr. President, have you seen these pictures?"

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The Latest from Iran (4 June): Remembering Khomeini...Without Ahmadinejad

1940 GMT: The security presence blocking the silent protest for Haleh Sahabi at a religious complex in north Tehran this afternoon:

1925 GMT: Preventing Haleh's Memorial. Witnesses say Iranian security forces fired in the air to disperse several hundred people who had gathered for silent protest over the death of activist Haleh Sahabi (see 1505 GMT).

The forces reportedly used batons as well to disperse the crowd outside the Hosseini Ershad mosque in northern Tehran.

Kalemeh reports that a "few dozen" protesters were arrested and some were "severely beaten".

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