The on-going investigation into the $2.8 billion Amir Mansour Aria Group embezzlement scandal has so far seen the removal of the heads of Banks Melli, Saman, and Saderat....A further two cases are being investigated, one involving embezzlement of up to $7 billion at Bank Tat, and the other involving around $2 billion at Bank Parsian.
Entries in Amir Mansoor Khosravi (5)
1935 GMT: Corruption Watch. More on Mohammad Reza Zonouzi, the "crony" of Ahmadinejad whom Ayande claims may be involved with a fraud much bigger than the current $2.6 billion bank embezzlement scandal (see 1810 GMT)....
Zonouzi reportedly has dozens of companies in Azerbaijan, includig Bonab Steel Company, Tabriz Steel Company, and other large trusts.
1925 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Prominent conservative cleric Hojatoleslam Jafar Shojouni, who launched a series of verbal assaults on the President;s camp in April, is at it again --- he has told a Lebanese newspaper that the Iranian system agreed behind the scenes to keep Ahmadinejad in power for the last two years of his Presidential term, even though support for him has diminished.
1900 GMT: The Supreme Leader's Son and the "Election Coup". On Friday, we published the WikiLeaks-released cable in which Ayatollah Sayed Salman Safavi, the brother of the Supreme Leader's military advisor, told Western diplomats --- four days after the disputed 2009 Presidential election --- that there had been a "coup" orchestrated by a prison "close to the Supreme Leader".
The story is now in the Persian-language Digarban, with a link to the document and Safavi's assertion that the coup had split the Revolutionary Guards.
1645 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. 1535 GMT: BBC Persian has denied that it employed six people arrested by Iranian authorities (see 0630 GMT) for supposedly working for the service, saying they are independent filmmakers. BBC Persian said, as is common in the industry, that it had paid for the rights to show documentaries and programmes produced by the detainees.
Opposition websites identified the six filmmakers as Naser Saffarian, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Hadi Afarideh, Mohsen Shahrnazdar, Katayoun Shahabi and Mehrdad Zahedian.
A source involved in the arrests said, "This network of anti-Iran people were collaborating with the BBC in a cover-up to fulfil the needs of the British secret service in exchange for big sums of money. The anti-Iran intentions of the channel and its collaborators are clear."
2040 GMT: The Battle Within. Mehr --- a conservative, not a reformist, website --- has posted in English the news we reported earlier: Ali Saeedi, the Supreme Leader's representative to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, has met President Ahmadinejad and criticised him for not living up to his ideals.
Advising the President to readjust his attitude, Saeedi said Ahmadinejad's sympathisers are displeased with some of his actions and behaviour. He added that the President still has time to make up for his past.
2020 GMT: Claim of the Day. He has been criticised by leading economists, the reformist opposition, by conservative MPs, and by Government officials, but that is not going to stop President Ahmadinejad from loudly repeating an unsupported claim.
In a speech today, Ahmadinejad said, "With the support of the Iranian nation and by mobilizing all capacities, 2.5 million jobs will be created annually for [each of] two years to solve the unemployment problem." He said the challenge would be "no more difficult" than the development of Iran's nuclear programme.
And his critics who say the Government has not even created the 1.6 million new positions it claims, let alone five million new jobs? "When a revolutionary measure is to be taken, some people here and there express pessimistic views that nothing can be done. But I emphasize that creating 2.5 million jobs is not impossible for the Iranian nation."
2110 GMT: Ahmadinejad's Public Relations Triumph? Another warning signal tonight for the President over his mention of the freeing of US hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer....
Press TV features the remarks of MP Parviz Sarvari, a member of Parliament's National Security Commission, "If Iran was to release these two [spies] without receiving anything from the US Government in return, this would be against the spirit of the Islamic Revolution."
The significance lies not so much in the statement of Sarvari, who is known for heated remarks --- this week he called for the execution of Ahmadinejad's right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai (see 0655) --- as in Press TV deciding to give it prominence.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces government plans to introduce reforms in the banking system and to strengthen the country's currency.
“Reforming the banking system was placed on the government's agenda and, by God's grace, reforms in this system will begin this year,” Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday in a public address in the northwestern city of Ardabil, the official presidential website reported.
He added that the changes would prevent discrimination in the distribution of banking loans to Iranians.
“I am hopeful that, through banking reforms injustice in granting loans will be no more and the means [enabling] of misuse of public funds will be no longer.”
So what is missing from this report? (Hint: the magic number is 2.6 billion --- see 1445 GMT.)