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Entries in Ali Saeedi (46)


Iran Today: The IRGC, Basij and "Defeating The Enemy" In The Presidential Election

Rouhani: I Had To Answer Qalibaf In Debate

An EA correspondent writes: the video below --- showing moderate candidate Hassan Rouhani in his car --- was recorded after last night's debate.

At the beginning of the video someone on the road tells Rouhani well done and the man with him says he appreciates Rouhani for the answers he gave in the debate, and asks him what he thought about it.

Rouhani says: "I didn’t want to answer him [Principlist candidate Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf] like that but when I saw that he was not telling the truth, I had to say something to make sure people understand everything properly and also for historical records.  I had so many things to say but I wanted to follow morality. Unfortunately some people place justice and truth to one side in competition."

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Iran Live: Parliament Finally Approves Government's Budget

1749 GMT: Election Watch

Head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani, in a veiled attack on President Ahmadinejad, has warned about the misuse of public resources for election purposes: "Unfortunately, some of the actions are carried out either by means of state budgets."

Larijani continued, "It is illegal to use government resources for election purposes," and he called on the Guardian Council to "intensify their supervision".

Critics of President Ahmadinejad have accused him of building up staffs in favourable Government office and using funds to back his chosen candidate in June's Presidential election. They have also condemned an event in Tehran's Azadi Square tomorrow as a campaign rally for Ahmadinejad's right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai.

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Iran Live: Ex-President Rafsanjani's Camp Makes Its Election Move

Iran Feature: The Week in Review --- Threats and Arrests Before the Presidential Election
Thursday's Iran Live: Ahmadinejad "Presidential Election Will Be Political Epic"

1407 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Mohammad Hassan Asfari of Parliament's National Security Commission has said that a proposed festival in Azadi Stadium in Tehran is a gathering of Ahmadinejad which is an abuse of public funds and is illegal.

1253 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update. In today’s sermon, Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani warned Presidential candidates that loyalty to the Supreme Leader is a vital prerequisite for the position, stating that the Presidency is not a position of personal power but a “trusteeship of the divine”.

He also offered his sympathies for those affected by Wednesday’s earthquake in Bushehr Province that killed at least 37 people and injured hundreds more.

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Iran Live: The Ahmadinejad Camp Makes A Move to Hold the Presidency

See also Iran Live Coverage: The Pre-Election Fight Escalates with Ahmadinejad

Ali Nikzad2058 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Egyptian Front). In another sign of improving relations, the Iranian government has agreed that Egyptian tourists no longer need visas to visit the Islamic Republic.

On Saturday, the first flight from Egypt to Iran in 34 years took off from Cairo.

Security services in Aswan took strong measures for the security of 58 Iranian tourists who arrived there Saturday, escorting them throughout their visit.

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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: "The Revolutionary Guards Will Protect the Election"

General Yadollah Javani1805 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has criticised today's decision by the Arab League to give Syria's seat to the opposition, warning that the move will set a “dangerous” precedent in the Arab world.

“This measure taken by the Arab League will be taken to mean the end of the [Arab] League’s role in the region,” Amir-Abdollahian claimed.

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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: No News is Good or Bad News at the Nuclear Talks?

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili speaks with Al Jazeera English

See also Iran Special: Taking Apart the "Iran's Plan B for a Nuclear Bomb" Scare Story

Iran Follow-Up Video: How Fars News Protected the Oscars from Michelle Obama's Shoulders
Tuesday's Iran Live Coverage: Today's Nuclear Talks in Kazakhstan

1948 GMT:Oil Watch. Turkey maintained its current import level of three cargoes of Iranian crude oil in February.

Turkey has been importing three Suezmax tankers cargoes a month of Iranian crude oil since September, half of what Ankara used to purchase from Iran.

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Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad Refuses to Back Down

See also Iran Analysis: 4 Reasons Why Supreme Leader is Still Open to Direct Talks with the US
Iran Document: Supreme Leader's Speech on "The Battle Within" & Talks With US
Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: Admitting the Battle Within

1855 GMT: Economy Watch. Radio Zamaneh summarises the reports from Iranian State agencies and the Central Bank that put Iran's inflation rate at the sixth-worst in the world.

The stated rate varies from agency to agency, but most estimates put the current annual rise in prices at 32 to 37%, the greatest increase since 1996. Unofficial estimates put forth an even higher figure.

1755 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch (Press Edition). Twelve local journalists have reportedly been arrested in Ilam in Iranian Kurdistan.

1748 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. VOA Persian reports on Kurdish detainee Semko Khelghati, presented by Press TV as a spy in the programme "A Time to Betray" --- Semko's mother reports that her son, an "excellent" university student in metallurgy, was tortured to confess before he received a 15-year sentence.

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Iran Live Coverage: Admitting the Battle Within

Press TV's coverage of the Supreme Leader's speech criticising President Ahmadinejad, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani

See also Saturday's Iran Live Coverage: Tehran's Support for Syria Will Cause "War Between Shia and Sunni"

2030 GMT: The Battle Within. Forget the non-apology letter to the Supreme Leader, this is President Ahmadinejad's big statement today....

Ahmaadinejad used a speech to repeat his warning against the "engineering" of elections --- a swipe at last month's statement by the Supreme Leader's representative to the Revolutionary Guards, Ali Saeedi --- and swept aside any notion that he will back down: "I will work until last minute of my term."

The President continued, "I am ready to sacrifice myself for Islam and Qur'an. My only wish is that the flag of monotheism and justice flies and that mankind is set free."

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