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Entries in Alireza Zakani (12)


Iran Today: Lines Drawn In Presidential Campaigns

Saeed Jalili Posts Photos On His New Google Plus Account

Presidential Election Watch: Rohani to Withdraw in Favour of Rafsanjani

Hassan Rohani, a senior official with the Expediency Council, has indicated that he will withdraw his candidacy in favour of former President Hashemi Rafsnajni --- but after the Guardian Council has finished its vetting process:

I am happy that Rafsanjani registered for the candidacy and people should be patient for another 10 days as I think some candidates will step down in favour of other candidates.

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Iran Live: Senior Clerics Endorse Tehran Mayor Qalibaf for Presidency

See also EA Video Analysis: Introducing "The Love Triangle of Profileration" --- Iran, Syria, North Korea
Friday's Iran Live: An Ahmadinejad Election Comeback?

Tehran Mayor Qalibaf1647 GMT: Economy Watch

The opposition site Kalemeh claims that the price of meat has risen up to 60% since Iranian New Year in mid-March.

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The Latest from Iran (1 May): The Supreme Leader Pins Economic Blame on Ahmadinejad

2025 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani has joined in the criticism of the Government over the economy, claiming it is increasing imports rather than supporting domestic production.

2015 GMT: Justice Watch. On Monday, we reported that Ali Akbar Heydarifar, a deputy to former Tehran Prosecutor General Saeed Mortazavi, was arrested over alleged involvement in the abuses at the Kahrizak detention centre in autumn 2009. Mortazavi, despite heated criticism from MPs and a file against him, has so far escaped prosecution and retains his post as a Presidential advisor.

A curious footnote from Radio Zamaneh:

Heydarifar, who reportedly signed the [Kahrizak] detainees’ transfer order, was involved in a recent altercation at a gas station in Esfahan.

He was reportedly trying to jump the line at the gas station when other customers complained. Media reports indicate that Heydarifard took out a gun and began shooting into the air. He was released after Security Forces called to scene checked his ID.

The Iran Prosecutor has announced that Heydarifar is also facing prosecution for the incident at the gas station.

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The Latest from Iran (13 April): Before the Nuclear Show

President Ahmadinejad greeting an unseen crowd in Hormozgan Province in southern Iran

1644 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update. Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani has the podium today, and he is in a nuclear mood: “As the [Leader of the Islamic Revolution] Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said and other Iranian officials have reiterated, the work done in the field of nuclear energy [in Iran] is not meant for making nuclear weapons."

Just to make sure the US, European powers, China, and Russia got the message before tomorrow's talks, Emami Kashani emphasised, “These activities are for scientific purposes; you must realize and believe this."

However, while the West ponders this reassurance, this passage from Emami Kashani is more interesting to me --- cheerleading for the Supreme Leader's "Year of National Production", worry about the economy, or both?:

Everyone must enjoy their lives. There should be jobs in society, [and] the youth should be able to marry and have good living and housing conditions; therefore, production is important....Honest investors must invest in order to serve the country and benefit from its profits. Jobs must be promoted qualitatively and quantitatively and everyone at any level should [be able to] lead a clean life.

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The Latest from Iran (12 March): Ahmadinejad Escapes Interrogation?

See also Iran 1st-Hand: "People Here Are Boiling, But Don't Make A Sound"
Iran Snap Analysis: Walking Back from War?
The Latest from Iran (11 March): Changing the Drumbeats of War

1904 GMT: Oil Watch. I am sorry but --- amidst uncertainties over Iran's oil exports --- I have no clue what the Supreme Leader means in his statement today: “Based on the development plan, oil must stop being used as source of income and for funding the country’s budget and instead become a source for the progress and economic might of the country and authorities must pursue this policy ...with determination....It is necessary that we act in a manner that any decision making about our oil production and sales is up to us and based on our interests and of course we have taken good steps in this regard.”

Meanwhile, an Iranian oil official has denied a report by Reuters that 350,000 tonnes of gasoline had recently been shipped from China to Iran's southern port city of Bandar Abbas: “Iran is currently a major exporter of [various kinds of] oil products and does not need to import gasoline from any country."

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The Latest from Iran (21 February): Please Vote

See also Iran Audio Feature: Scott Lucas with the BBC on "War" and the Nuclear Programme
Iran Snapshot: The Difficulties of Getting Around Sanctions
The Latest from Iran (20 February): A Meeting with the Supreme Leader?

1830 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Journalist Mahsa Amirabadi has been sentenced to a prison term for the second time in the past two years.

Amrabadi was given a five-year term, four of it suspended, for “assembly and collusion against national security". She wass charged with refusal to denounce opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi; attendance at gatherings of political prisoners to read the Qur'an; interviews and writing reports for newspapers; visits to independent members of the clergy; and defence of the rights of her husband, detained journalist Masoud Bastani.

Amrabadi, sentenced to one year in prison soon after the 2009 Presidential election, was arrested in March 2011 by intelligence officers of the Revolutionary Guards and released on bail.

Amrabadi's husband, Massoud Bastani,has been sentenced to six years in prison for his journalism.

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The Latest from Iran (12 February): Nuclear Games, Numbers Games

1902 GMT: All-Is-Well Alert. Nasim Online features the reassurance of Tehran University academic Seyed Mohammad Marandi --- despite US sanctions, Iran --- with its self-sufficiency --- has become a model for Middle Eastern countries, as Tehran annoys "Western" powers.

1856 GMT: Unity Watch. Prominent MP Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moghaddam has said that it is beneath Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, the head of the Unity Front, to bargain with the Islamic Constancy Front.

The Constancy Front, led by Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, has held out against merger with the Unity Front because of issues over represenatives of politicians like Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf.

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The Latest from Iran (19 November): The International Front

1810 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Turkish Front). More fencing between Ankara and Tehran, even as Iran tries to get Turkish support on issues such as its nuclear programme....

Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, has said "Iranian air forces are strong enough" when he was asked if Turkey could use Iranian air space for "war against [the Kurdish insurgenct group] PKK".

Boroujerdi was in Ankara on Friday for talks with Turkish officials.

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The Latest from Iran (6 November): Beyond the Israeli Diversion

1650 GMT: Bank Fraud Watch. The Central Bankhas restricted the activities of money-lending co-operatives to their specific area.

In the recent $2.6 billion bank fraud, Iranian institutions issued Letters of Credits to companies who operated across Iran and allegedly moved funds abroad.

1630 GMT: The Battle Within. President Ahmadinejad's Thursday speech, made to the Supporters of Islamic Revolution Dialogue, continues to escalate in possible significance.

Absar News has these choice extracts. The President offered this defence of his embattled aide Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, "If Rahim-Mashai had stolen 1 rial (about 1/100th of a cent), 'they' would have executed him."

Ahmadinejad then implied that responsibility for the $2.6 billion bank fraud engulfing Iranian politics lay with people connected to the Supreme Leader.

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The Latest from Iran (18 April): A Matter of Intelligence --- Ahmadinejad v. Khamenei?

2115 GMT: A Matter of Intelligence. Ali Akbar Javanfekr, former media advisor to President Ahmadinejad and now managing director of State news agency IRNA, reinforces his paper's line (see 2030 GMT): "The lying media, claiming the aupreme leader has refused the change of the intelligence minister, are executing new scenarios against the government and pretending the president isn't loyal to the supreme leader. Changing a minister in such a strategic and important ministry is impossible without coordination between the president and the dear supreme Leader."

2050 GMT: Claim of Day. Tahavol-e Sabz asserts that a domestic flight was cancelled because of the high price of fuel, which has tripled recently. The website says a senior deputy of the Ministry of Oil stopped the flight at Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, even though President Ahmadinejad ordered payment on credit for domestic airlines.

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