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Entries in Fars (11)


Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad's Advisor Mortazavi Faces Trial

Iran Feature: Top Iran Newspaper Protects the Oscars from Michelle Obama's Shoulders
Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad Tries to Take Control on the Economy

Saeed Mortazavi2111 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch (Journalist Edition). More releases of journalists detained in the regime's crackdown over the last month --- Akbar Montajebi and Reyhaneh Tabatabaei have been freed, with reports that Milan Fadai Asl will soon be out of prison.

2102 GMT: All the President's Men. It looks like Presidential advisor Saeed Mortazavi will not face "accessory to murder" charges when he goes to court tomorrow.

The Iranian Labor News Agency reports that the former Tehran Prosecutor General, being tried for his involvement in the abuse and killing of three post-election protesters in the Kahrizak detention center in summer 2009, has been indicted for “participating in unlawful detentions” and “assistance in setting up false reports or encouraging such actions in relevant officials”.

Two other judiciary officials face charges pf “assistance in setting up false reports".

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Iran Feature: Top Iran Newspaper Protects the Oscars from Michelle Obama's Shoulders

Fars, the Iranian newspaper linked to the Revolutionary Guards, is not just interested in military matters. It also likes to keep an eye on fashion and the movies. And when the First Lady of the United States has a new dress as she awards Best Picture at the Academy Awards, that is an opportunity not to be missed.

Only one problem: Michelle Obama's shoulders.

Time for the Fars Photoshop Department to spring into action:

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Iran Snapshot: The Military's New Weapon --- "Deceit Perfume"

An Iranian innovator said he has invented a fragrance-making and spraying device to deceive enemies in the battlefield by camouflaging the gunpowder smelt in the area.

Mohammad Sadeh Pir-Tavana, the inventor of the aroma producing and spraying device, told FNA on Monday that his invention pumps and spreads the smell of fresh air, rainy weather, seaside weather and tea fragrance in vast areas to change the smell of the battlefield, specially in those areas where the two sides are not deployed classically and the two warring parties should analyze various battlefield specifications, including the smell of the gunpowder, to realize if there has been any armed force or engagement there.

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Iran Analysis: Larijani and the Revolutionary Guards Warn the Government Over the Economy

Ali LarijaniIn the last week, the Government has tried to stem the criticism by shutting down critical websites, such as Alef, linked to leading MP Ahmad Tavakoli. It has tried to blame everything from inflation to drought to duststorms on the "enemy".

But, if figures such as Ali Larijani and factions like the Revolutionary Guards are making admissions and issuing warnings, how long can this response dam the discontent?

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Iran Document: Tehran's Official Proposals in the Nuclear Talks in Moscow

Moscow Nuclear Talks, 18-19 JuneThe file consists of three major sections:

1. Iran's Package of Proposals to the world Powers
2. Evidence and documents proving that uranium enrichment is Iran's inalienable right despite the western allegations
3. And Iran's response to the proposals offered by the world powers

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Iran Snap Analysis: A Fight Within the Regime Over Egypt

On the surface, the public-relations campaign was straightforward. Ever since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, regime figures have trumpeted that the Egyptian uprising was following the model of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. So when the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi was finally confirmed as Egyptian President on Sunday, it was natural that he and the Brotherhood should be welcomed as Tehran's partner..

On Monday morning, the Iranian military took the lead on the effort. Commanders proclaimed that Iranian strength would support the emerging Egypt, an example of how US and Israeli efforts to control the region had failed. Fars, linked to the Revolutionary Guards, headlined that it had an interview with Morsi, in which the President-elect had called for better relations with the Islamic Republic as part of a new "strategic balance".

But then something very un-natural happened.

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The Latest from Iran (17 May): Arms to Syria?

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Attacks on Journalists, A Death Bounty for A Rapper, A Woman Dragged from the Book Fair
The Latest from Iran (16 May): Remembering Political Prisoners from Science to Religion

Syria's Assad & Supreme Leader1955 GMT: All-Is-Well Alert. Saeed Jalili, Iran's lead nuclear negotiator, has told a university audience six days before talks resume with the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China):

Those who feel they can pressure the Iranian nation through sanctions are playing our game. This move leads to new formations within the Islamic Republic and its efficacy in different fields, which will gain momentum. Our progress is the result of the very thought of sanctions.

Minister of Industry Mehdi Ghazanfari chips in, "Iran enters the 5+1 Group negotiations as the 17th largest economy of the world."

Jalili also offers an interesting claim of a missed opportunity for the US and European Powers when talks broke down in October 2009: "Had the Geneva II [negotiations] given us 20% fuel, we may not have managed to achieve our fuel."

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Iran Special: Spreading (and Understanding) Nuclear Confusion in Tehran

UPDATE 1000 GMT: State news agency IRNA announces that the Islamic Republic and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China) have agreed to the opening round of nuclear talks in Istanbul on Saturday, followed by a second round of talks in Baghdad.

IRNA says the compromise between the US-European choice of Istanbul and Iran's preference for Iraq was agreed between Saeed Jalili, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, and the European Union's foreign policy representative Catherine Ashton. It claims the Supreme National Security Council confirmed the arrangement in a meeting this morning.

According to IRNA, the date of the Baghdad talks will be announced at the end of the Istanbul discussions.

Meanwhile, another example of mixed messages....

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Iran Snap Analysis: Syria and Ahmadinejad --- Sifting Reality from Propaganda over the Erdoğan Visit 

In the aftermath of the two-day visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, what is significant is far beyond any "news" that has been printed.

What we may have seen --- or rather not seen, in the prepared Iranian statements --- was the eclipse of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 14 months before his term in office finishes.

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Iran Snapshot: "Hard-line" Fars Attacks Ahmadinejad's "Deviationists" (Uskowi)

Uskowi on Iran reports on the latest challenge to the Ahmadinejad Government from Fars, a leading newspaper within the Iranian establishment:

The managing director of Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency Hamid Reza Moqadam-Far today [Wednesday] offered a detailed description of the ideological and political beliefs of the “deviationist” group, used to describe an inner circle of politicians and thinkers around president Ahmadinejad, led by his chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie. Below are the highlights of Moqadam-Far's speech (read the complete speech in Farsi): 

  • The Deviationist views are based on ancientism (the belief that Persia’s ancient times were better than the present); Iranism and the Iranian school (as opposed to Islamism and the Islamic school); Norouz (Persian new year) celebrations; and nationalism.
  • The Deviationist understanding of the concept of velayat (Islamic governance) is void of Velayat-e Faghih (wherein senior Islamic scholars exercise temporal authority) and the obligations to follow the Vali Faghih (supreme leader).
  • The Deviationist group uses Mahdaviat (the belief in and efforts to prepare for the Mahdi, the Shia’s Hidden Imam) for its own advantage and offer a weak and simplistic understanding of the belief in the Hidden Imam and the concept of waiting and preparing for his arrival.
  • The Deviationists ignore the importance of Marjas (senior ayatollahs) and offer a belief in Islam without the clergy. The group’s deviations on this issue are manifested in their political, social and cultural behavior.
  • The Deviationist group believes in “humanist Islam,” centered on the individual, as opposed to a religion centered on God and the Islamic faith.
  • The Deviationist group believes in social justice centered on equality. They also offer a positive interpretation of modernity as opposed to traditionalism.

Moqadam-Far said the group’s deviationist line is unprecedented in the history of the Islamic Republic. He emphasized their lack of belief in velayat faghih and the supreme leader during the preparation period for the imminent arrival of the Mahdi and their ideological belief in gaining the ultimate political power in the country.