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Entries in Asif Ali Zardari (14)


Iran Live Coverage: A Complicated Relationship with Pakistan

A report on the importance for Pakistan of imports of Iranian gas

See also Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: Looking for Energy Deals

2031 GMT: Press Watch. Abbas Darvish Tavangar, deputy editor of the "hard-line" Tasnim News, has been released after a few hours in detention.

Tavangar was seized because of a Government complaint, the details of which have not been specified.

1815 GMT: Press Watch. The regime's mixed approach of crackdown and prison releases continues....

Journalist Ehsan Mazandarani, one of the 18 journalists seized in late January, has been released from detention.

However, Abbas Darvish Tavangar, deputy editor of the "hard-line" Tasnim News has been arrested after a Government complaint; blogger and student Badri Safiari has been detained at Shiraz University; and the permit for reformist daily Maghreb has been annulled by the Media Supervisory Commission.

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The Latest from Iran (23 December): Ahmadinejad on Economy "Everyone is Wrong Except Me"

See also Iran Flashback: The Supreme Leader Joins August 2009
Iran Feature: The Death of Ahmadinejad's Subsidy Cuts Programme
The Latest from Iran (22 December): "We Are Not Isolated. You Are Isolated"

2135 GMT: Press Watch. The Press Court has acquitted the reformist Shargh newspaper of insulting veterans of the 1980s Iran-Iraq War in one of its cartoons.

The newspaper was closed on 26 September for the publication and its managing director, Mehdi Rahmanian, was imprisoned.

The cartoon showed a column of men blindfolded in bright light. Cartoonist Hadi Heydair explained after the ban was imposed:

This sketch intends to display "ignorance", where some, in broad daylight, are blindfolding each other, to keep them from seeing the daylight. If the cartoonist wished to show soldiers, they would have to be wearing war uniforms, carrying arms, and be shown in a war setting.

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The Latest from Iran (10 December): Worries over Opposition Leaders Under House Arrest

See also Iran Photo Feature: Faces in Tehran
The Latest from Iran (9 December): Talking Tough on Sanctions

Mir Hossein Mousavi & Zahra Rahnavard2000 GMT: The House Arrests. Back to the opening story of the 22-month house arrests of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard, and Mehdi Karroubi....

Karroubi's wife Fatemeh, who was also detained but released after several months, has given an interview about her husband's condition and current situation. She said that the uncertainty of being held under perpetual house arrest is worse than a defined prison sentence.

She said, "I repeat and emphasise that I am proud of my husband."

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Iran Analysis: Tehran Hurts Itself With Muddled Messages on Syria

General Jafari & President AhmadinejadRevolutionary Guards Commander Jafari's message on Sunday, backed by this chiding of Ankara, appears to be, "We are in Syria. Deal with it." Perhaps someone in Tehran planned it as part of a carrot-and-stick strategy, with the commander offering the tough posture while the President was saying, "Look, you really want us in talks."

More likely, however, is that there is no strategist --- not Jafari, not Ahmadinejad, not the Foreign Ministry, not the Supreme Leader --- thinking through the statements and Iran's actions. And that failure is likely to set Iran back in its effort to retain some influence in the Syrian situation.

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Iran Snapshot: The Difficulties of Getting Around Sanctions (Zeb Khan)

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad & Pakistan President Asif Ali ZardariSanctions-hit Iran has been offering new trading agreements to countries in an effort to skirt around the restrictions but it may be reluctant to extend the same to Pakistan, according to sources.

“We are ready to export the 200,000 tons of rice that Iran needs but its tariff and non-tariff barriers and unwillingness to agree to a currency swap arrangement stand in the way,” the president of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan, Javed Islam Agha, said on Sunday.

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Pakistan Analysis: Will There Be a Coup? (And Why It Doesn't Really Matter)

Asif Ali ZardariBeyond the headline talk of a "coup", the truth is that it may only be symbolic. "There won't be a take-over of power by Kayani because well, he already rules," said one Pakistani analyst. The military has only ceded power to the elected government in name: all national security initiatives have to be run past the generals before they can be implemented by the government. Frequent meetings are held between the civilian officials and the military to decide matters such as the fate of Osama bin Laden, the flood disaster relief efforts, relations with Afghanistan and the US, foreign aid, terrorism within Pakistan, law and order, eand ven some aspects of the economy.

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The Latest from Iran (17 July): A Temporary Freedom

1525 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Aftab reports on the case of actress/filmmaker Pegah Ahangarani, arrested earlier this month, noting that two years ago the hard-line Keyhan warned her not to "sell out the country".

1520 GMT: Economy Watch. Javad Zamani, an MP for Kangavar in western Iran, has said the increase of prices in the country is indisputable, with energy costs for production units rising 20 times.

1515 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. The first photo of student activist Bahareh Hedayat after her release from prison, where she is serving a 9 1/2-year sentence, on a four-day furlough (see also 0520 and 0900 GMT):

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Pakistan Latest: Tehrik-e-Taliban Kill More than 80 in "Revenge for Bin Laden Death"

Photo: AFPThe Tehrik-e-Taliban on Friday claimed their first major strike in revenge for Osama bin Laden’s death as more than 80 people were killed and at least 115 were wounded in a suicide and bomb attack on FC personnel.

“This was the first revenge for Osama’s martyrdom. Wait for bigger attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

It was the deadliest attack in the nuclear-armed country this year and came with Pakistan’s military and civilian leadership plunged into crisis over the killing of the al Qaeda chief by US commandos on May 2.

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Bin Laden Follow-Up: Waking Up to the Realities of Pakistan and Iran 

Hamid Karzai, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Asif Ali ZardariThe real question now is whether the US and its allies will understand how deeply involved Tehran and Islamabad are in rejuvenating a dying insurgency in Afghanistan and turning it into a formidable force.

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Pakistan Feature: The Warnings Come True --- Another Minister Dies Because of the Blasphemy Law

Shahbaz BhattiPakistan’s blasphemy law took another life on Wednesday. The country’s only Christian cabinet minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, was gunned down 50 metres away from his home.

The government, in its silence, has failed to protect its ministers. In its refusal to amend the law, it is refusing to assume its responsibility to protect all of its people. So doing, it is going to take the back seat to a minority of violent Pakistanis who seek nothing but to destroy the country’s religious harmony and its fragile democracy.

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