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Entries in Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati (40)


Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- The Presidential Election (Arseh Sevom)

The 8 Approved CandidatesThe disqualifications of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s former chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashai were big news, if not entirely surprising. 

The electoral field is now dominated by hardliners loyal to the Supreme Leader.

However, the fictional campaign of Zahra continues to pick up steam with the endorsements of prominent lawyers Shirin Ebadi and Mehrengiz Kar. 

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Iran Feature: Criticising President Ahmadinejad...with 11th-Century Poetry

Poet Nasir KhusrawTabnak, close to Presidential candidate and former IRGC chief commander Mohsen Rezaei, tries a different line of attack against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this morning --- it uses the writing of the 11th-century Persian poet Nasir Khusraw to warn the President that he will receive his comeuppance.

The site writes about the rising tide of criticism of Ahmadinejad, including from his former supporters. It then invokes the poem, a kind of Shi'a karma, in which Jesus sees a dead man and pronounces: "He said that whoever kills will be cruelly killed in turn."

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Iran Live Coverage: "The Freest Elections in the World"

0615 GMT: The Battle Within. US National Public Radio features an audio report on the political in-fighting, noting protests, claims of corruption, and tension over forthcoming Presidential elections. EA WorldView makes an appearance:

While Ahmadinejad is [in office], he can be blamed for the economic difficulties. He can be blamed for escalating inflation. He can be blamed for the 70 percent drop in the value of the currency. Now, Ahmadinejad's going to be gone in June. Who is the Supreme Leader's firewall then? Who does he blame if there is no improvement in the economy?

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Iran Live Coverage: Getting Over-Excited About a US Drone

See also Iran Special: How Western Media Missed The Important Story from Israel
Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: The Clerics Vs. Ahmadinejad

2035 GMT: Media Watch. Reader Arshama (see Comments) brings the story that Serat News, reportedly close to the Basij militia, is on-line again after being blocked by the Filtering Commission today.

Farda News claimed that the filtering occurred after Serat ran a story about a "certain political group". Reportedly the site posted a video linking the pro-Ahmadinejad group that interrupted Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani's speech, in Qom on the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, to the hard-line Constancy Front.

The offending article has now disappeared.

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Iran Live Coverage: The Engineering of the Elections Turns Nasty

See also Iran Feature: Are Revolutionary Guards Among the 48 "Pilgrims" Freed in Syria?
Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Political Prisoners, Freedom of Expression, and Killer Smog
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: How to "Engineer" an Election

1820 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Marcus George of Reuters profiles the "informal currency dealers of Dubai, [who] have emerged as an important link between Iran's economy and the rest of the world" amid international sanctions:

Since businessmen trading with Iran could no longer transfer their money through normal banking channels, they turned to the dealers. Iranian savers moving their wealth out of the country were another source of business.

"Trading went crazy after those sanctions," the dealer in the Deira office said in a snatched conversation between endless calls and cups of tea. On one day, he recalled, he handled about 1 billion United Arab Emirates dirhams ($270 million).

What is most interesting about George's piece, however, is the indication that --- with foreign reserves dwinding --- Iran may have to limit even this informal trade:

last October, as the rial plunged in value, the government in Tehran clamped down on the supply of hard currency. That hit the Dubai dealers hard - both by restricting the amount of funds they handled and making it harder to gauge prices acceptable to both them and their customers.

"Now it's different. The government is fixing rates. Everything is grinding to a halt," said the Deira dealer....

On some days, the dealer said, he doesn't trade at all. On others, he handles around 10 to 15 million dirhams worth of businesss - and only with trusted clients.

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Iran Live Coverage: Nuclear Talks to Resume?

See also Iran Feature: How a Political Prisoner Found Art for Her Activism
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader Tries to Bolster His Popularity

2025 GMT: Smog Watch. An official with the Environmental Protection Agency says 150 industrial units in Tehran Province have been shut because of the high levels of air pollution.

1855 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Detained senior reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh, who was taken to hospital earlier today because of a heart condition (see 1535 GMT), has now returned to prison.

1605 GMT: Smog Watch. An image of air pollution in Tehran --- the smog has forced the closure of schools and Government buildings today and tomorrow:

Jason Rezaian, the Tehran correspondent of The Washington Post, writes:

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The Latest from Iran (14 December): An Advance in the Nuclear Talks? 

The 40th day memorial for blogger Sattar Beheshti, allegedly killed during interrogation in prison on 3 November

See also Iran Video Analysis: "Tehran Is Not Making a Mad Dash for the Bomb"
Thursday's The Latest from Iran (13 December): Nuclear Talks with the IAEA

1914 GMT: Assurance of the Day. Ayatollah Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, has assured that "there is no possibility of another election intrigue" in the 2013 Presidential campaign, and those responsible in the 2009 disputed Presidential election "do not even have the illusion" that they can puruse this.

Jannati said those "guilty of sedition" will not be able to participate in the election.

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The Latest from Iran (14 September): The Regime Stages a Protest Over a Movie

Thursday's protest in front of the Swiss Embassy, which represents US interests, in Tehran

See also Iran Propaganda Feature: Fars News Makes Up Interview with "Bahrain Opposition Leader"
The Latest from Iran (13 September): Diversions and Selective Condemnations

1615 GMT: Trade Watch. Mehr reports that Iran and Pakistan have struck a barter deal --- Iranian oil for Pakistani food.

The agreement was signed in Lahore between representatives of Iranian and Pakistani Chambers of Commerce.

1555 GMT: Currency Watch. The website Pana claims that foreign exchange traders are using wireless devices at Istanbul Square in Tehran to sell dollars and that, despite threats to shut down "illegal" vendors, the Central Bank is not intervening.

Pana says the traders are getting up to 28000 Rials per dollar, higher than the 23880:1 to 25000:1 posted by Iranian media on Thursday.

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The Latest from Iran (4 August): The Regime Admits Its "Economic War"

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati1635 GMT: Fraud Watch. Khorasan News reports that an embezzlement of 15 billion Toman (about $12.5 million at official rate) has been discovered in a Bonyad Shahid (foundation).

1335 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Student activist Bahareh Hedayat, serving a 9 1/2-year sentence, has returned to prison after a short furlough.

Hedayat was arrested in December 2009, just after demonstrations on National Student Day.

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The Latest from Iran (3 August): Keeping Tehran on Hold in the Nuclear Talks

See also Iran Feature: The Banning and Detention of Conservative Bloggers
Iran Analysis: West To Tehran on Nuclear Issue "Accept Our Demands or No More Talks"
The Latest from Iran (2 August): Worrying About Syria

2000 GMT: Oil Watch. India's State-run Hindustan Petroleum has made its first payment for Iranian oil in rupees, partially settling a bill for cargo imported in May.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL.NS), the biggest Indian buyer of Iranian oil, will make a rupee payment on Monday, a company official said.

India is Iran's second-largest oil buyer, but has struggled since the end of 2010 to find ways to pay for the oil amid Western sanctions that blocked arrangements in dollars and Asian currencies.

After months of discussions, Tehran and New Delhi agreed in January for part-payment in rupees. The Indian currency is not internationally convertible, but Iran can use the revenues to buy products from Delhi.

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