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Entries in Ali Motahari (80)


The Latest from Iran (31 May): The Political Battle Over Control of Oil 

2025 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Hojatoleslam Mojtaba Zolnour, the Supreme Leader's representative to the Revolutionary Guards, has told a university audience that they should beware of the attempt by the Hojjatieh Association to influence the Government.

Hojjatieh is a Shia organisation, founded in 1953, that was forced to disband by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1983 over views about the imminent return of the Hidden Imam. There have been numerous claims that President Ahmadinejad and his key advisors like Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai are secret members.

2000 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Iran and India have failed to agree a method for Delhi's payment for oil exprots from Tehran.

A delegation from Iran met officials from different Indian ministries to find a resolution for the five-month-old issue, sparked by international sanctions on Iran's oil products.

India is reportedly mulling using multiple currencies, including the rupee, to pay for the crude oil. Iran is Delhi's second-largest supplier after Saudi Arabia.

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The Latest from Iran (13 May): Friday the 13th

1935 GMT: Karroubi Watch. An interesting intervention by Mehdi Karroubi's advisor Ahmad Vahidi in an interview with Khodnevis....

Vahidi, who is based in the US, made a distinction between Karroubi and the Green Path Coordinating Council of the opposition. He said that neither he nor any of Karroubi's associates held memberships in the Council, although they had been consulted by them.

Vahidi continued that those on the Council had views similar to Karroubi's in regards to free and fair election and people's rights. However, he indicated that "the goal of the movement should not be restricted to the application of the Consitution", adding that people's demands are beyond what the Council offers.

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The Latest from Iran (8 May): Watching the Cabinet

1920 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. So, after a week of high political crisis, how does a President end his speech at a critical Cabinet meeting?

He congratulates the National Tae Kwon Do Team on its victory in the world championships.

1915 GMT: Cabinet Watch (Bin Laden Conspiracy Edition). So now that Ministre of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi has been allowed back into Cabinet meetings by the President, what does he have to say?

Iran’s Minister of Intelligence has accused the U.S. of fabricating its account of Osama Bin Laden’s death, alleging that Bin Laden had died much earlier from health complications....

[Moslehi said] Iran is in possession of “accurate information and reliable and significant documents” regarding Bin Laden’s death. He did not expand on the contents of thesaid documents....

“If the U.S. military and intelligence have truly arrested or killed Bin Laden,” Moslehi said, “why do they not show him to the world? Why do they dispose of his remains at sea?”

“We are of the opinion that the U.S. and its media dictatorship are trying to overshadow the regional uprisings with such news,” Moslehi said. “Furthermore, they are also trying to resolve internal problems such as their economical woes.”

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The Latest from Iran (4 May): Economy Watch

2010 GMT: Cabinet Watch. Back to today's confusing chapter in the crisis over the President and his attempted dismissal of the Minister of Intelligence....

The website 7 AM, close to Presidential aide Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, offers an explanation for why Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi was reportedly at the Cabinet meeting (see 1225 GMT) but did not appear in the photograph issued by the President's office (see 1610 GMT).

7 AM says "an informed source in the President's office (Rahim-Mashai?) denied" that "the President ordered the Minister of Information out of the Cabinet meeting". The source adds that going in and out of the Cabinet meeting "is not unusual".

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The Latest from Iran (10 April): A Law Professor is Fired

Mohammad Sharif2115 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Activist and blogger Laleh Hassanpour has been sentenced to five years in prison, four of them suspended.

Sarah Mahboubi, a Baha’i student from Sari, has been banned from university and sentenced to 10 months in prison for "membership in an anti-revolutionary Facebook site“.

1855 GMT: Cats and Dogs Watch. Iran's Parliament is discussing a law to prohibit keeping dogs and cats as pets because they are "unclean and dangerous".

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Iran Special: A Rafsanjani Alliance with "Moderate Conservatives"?

Watch these references to "unity" from Rafsanjani and the "moderate conservatives". They may indeed mark a unification --- one which is not of support for the Government, but of the forging of an alliance to challenge Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his closest allies.

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The Latest from Iran (12 March): A Challenge from Prison

Tonight's Headline News: The daughters of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard have met their parents for the first time since Mousavi and Rahnavard were put under strict house arrest on 14 February.

Mousavi, who was not informed of the meeting and so was surprised to see his daughters, told them that agents raided the family home on 14 February --- the day of the first significant opposition marches in Tehran for more than a year --- and confiscated books, CDs, and personal items. The security forces even took classified documents from Mousavi's tenure as Prime Minister in the late 1980s.

The daughters claimed the yard of their parents' home was full of agents and a dark van was parked there. They said they were told to keep quiet about the meeting but believed people had a right to know.

2110 GMT: In the Courts. Mohammad Tahir Haeri Shirazi, the son of President Ahmadinejad's mentor Ayatollah Haeri Shirazi, has been sentenced to six years in prison for land theft.

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The Latest from Iran (10 March): President Rahim-Mashai?

1650 GMT: "Proper" Studies. Iran's Ministry of Sciences and Higher Education has banned Iranian graduate students from pursuing a dissertation on any subject related to Iran while studying abroad.

The ban covers all Iranian students, whether they are financially supported by the Government or paying for their education. Students who violate the directive will face problems with confirmation of their degrees by the Iranian authorities and with applications for jobs.

1615 GMT: Labour Front. Workers at Tabriz Petrochemical Plant have ended an 11-day strike after their demands were met.

1610 GMT: Smoothing the Waters. More on the Supreme Leader's appearance at the Assembly of Experts....

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The Latest from Iran (22 February): Look Over There! Ships!

2030 GMT: Remember the 1 Esfand Casualty. Students at Shiraz University of Fine Arts continue to remember Hamed Nourmohammadi, the protester killed during Sunday's classes, by refusing to attend classes.

1435 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. An aide to the Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Hossein Safar-Herendi, has signalled that the campaign to remove former President Hashemi Rafsanjani as head of the Assembly of Experts continues. Safar-Herendi told a group of academics in Shiraz:

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The Latest from Iran (20 February): So What Happens on 1 Esfand?

2225 GMT: More Political Prisoners. Tehran University School of Science student Sohrab Jafari and law student Habib Farahzadi were arrested today.

2135 GMT: More 1 Esfands. In an interview with Radio Farda, Mehdi Karroubi's advisor Mojtaba Vahedi gets to the point: he is impressed with the turnout today and there will be more protests until demands are met.

Vahedi adds that mounting casualties will only have the same effect as 1979, building up a rally of mourning.

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