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Entries in Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (29)


Iran Today: Presidential Election --- The Significance of Funerals and Football

Protests In Isfahan --- Death To The Dictator

An EA correspondent in Iran offers confirmation and fresh information about Tuesday's events in Isfahan during the funeral of former Friday Prayer leader Ayatollah Taheri.

We had held back from posting the video until we received confirmation that it is genuine.

People first start chanting O Son of Hasan [referring to the 12th Imam of Shias, Imam Mahdi] destroy the oppression and dictatorship. Afterward, they chant: The political prisoners MUST be freed.

At 1.10 in the video, people in the crowd shout: Ya Hussain, Mir Hussain.

At 1.35 in the video, they start chanting: death to the dictator.

Our correspondent confirms that while moderate Presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani was present at the funeral, he left shortly after people began shouting the political slogans.

Ayatollah Taheri had resigned from his post as Friday Prayer leader in protest at the house arrest of democracy and human rights advocate Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. Taheri was also a close friend of Ayatollah Mousa Shobairi Zanjani.

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Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Censoring An Iranian Campaign Story

Rouhani On Iran- Qatar Relations

Moderate Presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani congratulated Iran on Tuesday evening on an important victory over its rival Qatar --- dashing the Gulf state's hopes after dominating it.

Iran beat Qatar 1-0 on the football field.

Meanwhile, Iran summoned Qatar's charge d'affaires on Tuesday over what it said was an "Arab-linked terrorist plot".

Ahmadinejad Camp to Maintain Influence in Tehran?

President Ahmadinejad's camp has been blocked at national level from continuing influence, with the disqualification of Ahmadinejad's right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai as a candidate, but this may not be the end of the story....

The Ahmadinejad faction has put forth Minister of Transportation and Housing Ali Nikzad as candidat for Tehran mayor, and has named other hopefuls for city council seats, including Ahmadinejad’s sister Parvin and Presidential advisor Ali Zabihi.

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Iran Today: Guardian Council Approves Eight Candidates --- What Next?

"Western Sources" and Media Put Out Scary Stories About Leaked Nuclear Report

As customary, extracts from the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency are being fed by Western officials to the media with the scariest-possible interpretation.

The report says that Iran's stock of 20% uranium is still below the level of 250 kilogrammes needed for a single atomic bomb, with Tehran holding 182 kilogrammes and another 140.8 kilos in a state for civilian-only use.

Three diplomats, however, made sure that George Jahn of the Associated Press has the dramatic lede that Tehran "has installed close to 700 high-tech centrifuges in an upgrade of its uranium enrichment program since the start of the year". (Jahn apparently has forgotten that in January the diplomats were talking of 3000 centrifuges.)

Reuters recycles the line that "Iran is pressing ahead with the construction of a research reactor" using plutonium from the Arak heavy-water reactor.

As EA noted earlier this year, dissecting a scare story in The Daily Telegraph, plutonium is a natural by-product of heavy-water reactors, and other countries use it in their civilian programmes.

The unintentional humour, howver, comes from the Institute for Science and International Security, which has previously seen pink tarpaulins and doom-laden magnets as harbingers of Iran's sinister atomic plans. This time, the Institute warns, "Iran Laying Asphalt at the Suspect Parchin Site".

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Iran Exclusive: Rafsanjani Prepares for a Presidential Campaign...and a Challenge to the Supreme Leader

In recent days, we have been tracking the indications that former President Hashemi Rafsanjani --- reversing his position from March --- will stand in the Presidential election in June.

Now we can confirm, on the basis of absolutely reliable information, that Rafsanjani is close to a campaign.

What's more, he and his supporters are doing so in part as a challenge to the Supreme Leader. Further, others see the campaign as support for detained opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, the main challenge to President Ahmadinejad in the disputed election in 2009.

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Iran Feature: How the Revolutionary Guards Interfere in Elections (Sardari)

Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of the Revolutionary Guards, and the Supreme Leader

Since 1979 --- despite a mandate to operate outside politics, backed up by an injunction from Ayatollah Khamenei --- the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Basij have become increasingly active in the political sphere. They have interfered with the operation of free and fair elections under the guise of protecting the Revolution, they have subverted electoral law with impunity. On each occasion, their meddling has become more brazen and less furtive. These forces now make up a parallel government that works to control and subvert the democratic process.

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Iran Document: Supreme Leader's Speech on "The Battle Within" & Talks With US

Over the last 48 hours, we have paid close attention to the Supreme Leader's speech to an audience from Tabriz, noting 1) its place in the "battle within"; especially the fight between President Ahmadinejad, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani; and 2) its intervention on the nuclear issues and the question of direct talks with the US.

The text of the speech, translated by the US Government's Open Source Center, and posted by Juan Cole on his website:

Let me say this to you, the American Government officials are unreasonable people. Their words are unreasonable; their actions are unreasonable, and repressive. They expect others to surrender to their unreasonable actions. Well, some do surrender. Some governments, some political elite in some countries, surrender to their audacity and bullying behaviour.

But the Iranian nation, the Islamic Republic is not going to surrender.

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Remember Iran Flashback: 20 June 2009 --- The Death of Neda...And Many Others

Protest and a gunshot victim in Tehran, 20 June 2009

1915 GMT: A few hours ago, we posted a video of a woman "badly injured" by a gunshot in today's demonstrations. The footage is so graphic that we have moved to the "jump page" after the More... tag.

I have just read more information on The New York Times blog about the incident. The woman was a bystander watching events; according to a doctor who witnessed the event, a paramilitary Basiji deliberately fired at her chest. She died within moments of the shooting.

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Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From Political Prisoners in Danger to Pepsi's Logo on the Moon (Arseh Sevom)

A Pepsi Logo on the Moon?Pepsi Logo on the Moon: Hoax or PSYOPs?

Most eyes were fixed on the sky in Iran last week. First, of course, there was the transit of Venus, with Iranians joining millions all over the world to observe the once-in-a-lifetime event. Then Shargh newspaper published reports of sightings of “strange lights” and “luminous objects” in the sky over a number of towns, which in the past have turned out to be drone sightings.

Last but not least, an Internet hoax was taken seriously by many, including official news agencies, in Iran. An unfounded report posted by the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) was the source of a rumor that Pepsi had managed to launch its latest promotional craze by beaming its logo onto the moon. Reports from Iran confirmed that thousands showed up on rooftops to watch the launch of the project for themselves.

The hoax started a conversation within the Iranian blogosphere with many finding the incident reminiscent of 1979 when people all over Iran were convinced they saw Ayatollah Khomeini’s face in the moon.

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The Latest from Iran (4 June): The Supreme Leader's "Slap in the Face" for His Officials

Head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, and President Ahmadinejad at Sunday's ceremonies for the anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini's death

See also Turkey-Iran Analysis: Why Ankara Maintains Its Golden Relationship with Tehran
The Latest from Iran (3 June): The Regime Marks Khomeini's Death

1950 GMT: Death-to-the Rapper Watch. Forty authors of the Rah-e Nikan religious publishing house have promised to forward royalties from their books to whoever kills rapper Shahin Najafi.

Najafi has been targeted by clerics, politicians, and pro-regime activists since he released "Naqi", a song critiquing Iranian politics and society, in May. His critics claim Najafi has dishonoured the name of Naqi, Shi'a's 10th Imam.

1940 GMT: Surveillance Watch. MTN Irancell, a joint venture between MTN Group Ltd of South Africa and an Iranian government-controlled consortium, has obtained sophisticated U.S. computer equipment despite sanctions.

MTN Irancell sourced equipment from Sun Microsystems Inc, Hewlett Packard Co, and Cisco Systems Inc through a network of technology companies in Iran and the Middle East.

Reuters reported in March and April that ZTE Corp, a Chinese telecom-equipment maker, had sold or agreed to ship millions of dollars worth of U.S. hardware and software since 2010 to Iran's largest telecom carrier, Telecommunication Co of Iran.

Paul Norman, MTN Group's chief corporate affairs officer, said: "To the best of our knowledge, MTN personnel, directly or indirectly, did not acquire or seek to acquire equipment for use in Irancell's operations in a manner that was intended to avoid or circumvent U.S. sanctions. MTN is committed to compliance with U.S. sanctions, and is working with the U.S. government and its international legal counsel to remain compliant. MTN owns a non-controlling 49% share in Irancell."

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The Latest from Iran (3 June): The Regime Marks Khomeini's Death

See also Iran Feature: Who are the Mujahedin-e Khalq "Terrorists"/"Freedom Fighters"?
The Latest from Iran (2 June): Holding the Currency Line

1631 GMT: No Afghans, Please. The National Organization for Educational Testing has issued a list of university courses banned for Afghans living in Iran, including atomic physics, nuclear engineering, aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, and military sciences.

Mehr explains that allowing Afghans to gain qualifications in these areas would create the obligation to employ them.

The news agency also writes that Afghans can apply only at universities that are not located in areas where they have been banned from living, including a dozen provinces and a number of cities throughout Iran.

1611 GMT: Oil Squeeze. An article in The New York Times, "Oil Output Soars as Iraq Retools", notes the significance for sanctions and Iran:

Increased flow and vital port improvements have produced a 20 percent jump in exports this year to nearly 2.5 million barrels of oil a day, making Iraq one of the premier producers in OPEC for the first time in decades.

Energy analysts say that the Iraqi boom --- coupled with increased production in Saudi Arabia and the near total recovery of Libya’s oil industry --- should cushion oil markets from price spikes and give the international community additional leverage over Iran when new sanctions take effect in July.

“Iraq helps enormously,” said David L. Goldwyn, the former State Department coordinator for international energy affairs in the Obama administration. Even if Iraq increased its oil exports by only half of what it is projecting by next year, he said, “You would be replacing nearly half of the future Iranian supply potentially displaced by tighter sanctions.”

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