In this two-part video from an interview with Christiane Amanpour of CNN, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is forthright about Syria, declaring that President Assad is "politically a deceased person" and claiming that the US elections are holding Washington back from necessary intervention.
Entries in Christiane Amanpour (9)
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Remember Iran: A Preview of the Presidential Election (11 June 2009) br>
Remember Iran Flashback: "How Not to Cover Iran's Elections --- The Awards Ceremony" (12 June 2009) br>
The Latest from Iran (11 June): A Fraud Case Reaches the Government
“Product boycotts and financial sanctions are expected to exact a toll on growth over 2012 and 2013,” the Bank said in a report published Tuesday. It predicted a further contraction of 0.7% next year.
Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz said today, "Talks with Saudi Arabia on long-term crude oil purchases have started. This doesn't concern only [Turkish refiner] Tupras but also concerns Saudi Arabia's Aramco. Talks are still going on; they will discuss the quantities between them."
On Monday, the US said it would exempt Turkey from financial sanctions because it has cut purchases of Tehran's oil. A report this week indicated that Turkish imports fell 45% between March and May.
A US diplomat indicated that Washington granted the waiver with the expectation of further cuts, "So Turkey now has 180 days, Tupras has 180 days to take a look at its oil situation to decide - can it reduce further, can it get to zero? - what it needs to do."
Mohammad Javad Larijani, the head of the human rights section of Iran's judiciary, is interviewed by Christiane Amanpour of CNN.
Don't expect anything on human rights, however. Amanpour's attention, reflecting a media emphasis on "war" v. the possible resumption of discussions with Tehran, is almost exclusively on Iran's nuclear programme.
And on that, Larijani's line --- which would not be put out without the backing of the Supreme Leader --- is that Iran is ready for a "grand bargain", provided its right to uranium enrichment is recognised.
Long-time EA readers will know that we have been somewhat sceptical in the past about the ability of American television journalists to deal with President Ahmadinejad on an up-close and personal basis. Even a supposed front-line interviewer like Charlie Rose of Public Broadcasting Service found himself ill-prepared for Ahmadinejad's deft evasions and diversions. CNN's Larry King, more attuned to interrogation of celebrity scandals, made little impact, and ABC's Christiane Amanpour's highly-promoted meeting with Ahmadinejad proved little more than a PR platform. (See the dissection of Amanpour's effort by our colleague Masih Alinejad.)
Yet all of these appear as heavyweight interviews in comparison with the latest effort, from Ann Curry and NBC.
Curry sat down with Ahmadinejad in Tehran two years ago, soon after his disputed re-election, and her rather inept presentation, complemented by NBC's glitzy self-advertising, gave "Ahmadinejad and the regime far more legitimacy than they have received from other governments, let alone many of the Iranian people".
Well, Curry's back.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu faces a challenge. The Obama Administration wants a "fresh" start for indirect talks from both sides. Netanyahu is expected to put forth an offer, especially on borders between Israel and a Palestinian state. The US hopes that a consensus on those borders will bring the solution of other core issues such as security, Jerusalem, water, and settlements.
Iran Special: A Letter to Christiane Amanpour about the Media, "Freedom", and Ahmadinejad (Alinejad)
I know it’s too much to expect you to present Ahmadinejad with the questions of Iranian mothers waiting endlessly for the trial of the murderers of their children, as you present him with the requests of the American mothers waiting for their children to come home. But you had an opportunity to ask Ahmadinejd in front of millions, as a sign of goodwill and a proof of the freedom that he shamelessly insists exists in Iran, to allow you to travel to Iran and interview those mothers whose children were killed in the streets and in prisons, without his Ministry of Culture causing you problems or his Ministry of Intelligence later imprisoning those whom you interviewed.
Before anything a journalist is a human being, and in a situation like this when the normal people in Iran, who are beting killed and imprisoned, are in serious need of help, people of the world --- including the journalists --- can offer them a hand and at least try to create for them opportunity. An opportunity equal to that given to an Ahmadinejad whose lies have destroyed the lives of many.
1915 GMT: Clerical Challenge. Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani, in his latest criticism of the Government, has said that Iran's main problem today is the lack of tolerance for opposition votes and opinions. He added that "unfortunately" religions are abused to confront civilisations and people instead of supporting dialogue and rapprochement.
1900 GMT: Fact-Checking. Earlier we cast some doubt on the President's ability to tell the truth. Looks like his 1st Vice President might also need some help....
Mohammad Reza Rahimi, on the eve of scheduled subsidy cuts, has said that inflation is single-digit (official rate 10,4%) and rice is imported only to cover deficiencies (Iran's heavy imports of rice and sugar have led to widespread bankruptcy of domestic producers).
Meanwhile Iran's banking experts have called published inflation data "an insult to people's intelligence". One said, "You have to add 15% due to subsidy cuts to the official rate of 10%."
1850 GMT: Parliament v. President. Reformist Emad Afrough strikes back at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's "I Rule" statement with a call to fellow legislators to get tough.
Afrough said it is a reality that the Majlis is not at the head of affairs, even though it should be and would be had it not retreated from its rights in many cases. He calls on the Parliament to demand "why Ahmadinejad talks like this and why he falsifies Imam Khomeini's words" about the need for an Iranian legislature to prevent government becoming a dictatorship.
It's not just reformists speaking out. Key conservative Hossein Sobhani-Nia has also said that Khomeini's injunction is "not temporary" and announced that a joint Majlis-Government-Guardian Council commission on the legal powers of the three bodies will discuss Ahmadinejad's latest statement.
On the clerical front, Isfahan Friday Prayers leader Mohammad Taghi Rahbar has warned that no one should "freely interpret" Khomeini's words, for what he said about the government and Majlis was "still valid". Isfahan's head of seminary Ayatollah Mazaheri declared that "insults against the Majlis are not acceptable".
Watch the video....
Iran Video & Transcript: Ahmadinejad on ABC News "US Hikers, Sanctions, & Human Rights" (19 September)
And so Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's US media tour begins, only hours after he arrived in New York. The first interview was with Christiane Amanpour of ABC News's This Week:
Watch the video....