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Entries in Fereydoun Abbasi Davani (11)


Iran Live Coverage: A New --- and Genuine --- Offer in the Nuclear Talks?

See also Iran Analysis: Taking Apart the "Iranian Terror Cell in Nigeria" Story
Wednesday's Iran Live Coverage: Detaining the Journalists

2055 GMT: Nuclear Watch. Amid the inevitable political spin around the IAEA report on Iran's nuclear programme, Al Monitor hands over its summary to David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security.

Unsurprisingly, Albright, with a long-time pattern of hostility towards Tehran, is selective in trying to present an IAEA condemnation of the Islamic Republic. He introduces the new charge that the Tehran Research Reactor, known for its production of medical isotopes, is testing fuel for a heavy water reactor at Arak. Then he puts out the line that new centrifuges at the Natanz enrichment plant --- even though Tehran says they are for 5% uranium only --- are an ominous power play by Iran: “The depressing news is they think they’re strengthening their position by racing ahead with the installation of all these machines."

Al Monitor helps out Albright with the unsupported assessment, "Another possibility is that Iran — despite its frequent protestations to the contrary — is seeking to make nuclear weapons or at least become a “virtual” nuclear weapons state with the capacity to build bombs quickly." Somewhat confusingly, it has the later contradiction --- which is based on information from the IAEA report:

The good news in the report is that Iran in December resumed sending some of its 20%-enriched uranium for conversion into fuel for the TRR. While Iran has added to its stockpile of 20% uranium since the IAEA's last report in November, it is still below what is believed to be an Israeli red line for possible military action.

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Iran Live Coverage: Nuclear Talks with the IAEA

See also Iran Live Coverage: Seizing the Children of the Detained Opposition Leaders

2019 GMT: Nuclear Watch. State outlet Press TV, without giving details, proclaims that Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agnecy "have reached basic agreement to work out a structured framework to resolve the outstanding issues" on inspection and supervision of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme.

Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said that the "remaining differences" would be discussed in the next Iran-IAEA meeting.

2011 GMT: Sanctions Watch. After a week of combat with President Ahmadinejad, head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani turned today to support of the regime's All-Is-Well line on the economy and sanctions, telling judiciary officials:

The revolutionary message of the people to the hegemonic states was that your pressures are useless and they will even have reverse effects. The vigilant Iranian nation turned these threats into an opportunity for demonstrating the strength and magnificence of the Islamic establishment.

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The Latest from Iran (18 December): Tehran's Strategy for the Nuclear Talks

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi speaks of "positive" talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency last week

See also The Latest from Iran (17 December): Seeking Influence on Syria

2053 GMT: Tough Talk of the Day. Back from an academic and media break --- including an appearance on BBC Persian --- to find the Supreme Leader's military advisor, Major General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, doing some chest-thumping: “Major powers and regional ones have no other option but to deal with Iran if they want to have a share of regional interests. The Persian Gulf region and the Strait of Hormuz are influential on economic, political, and cultural issues [of the world] and are very effective from various viewpoints in the world.”

Rahim Safavi declared that Iran "will have the first say" in the Persian Gulf for "many years to come".

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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 (28 November): Supreme Leader Declares, "We're Winning"

1835 GMT: Gaza Watch. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said that, more than a week after he made his request to enter Gaza, he is still awaiting an answer from Egyptian authorities.

Salehi saild he had spoken by phone and in person with Egypt’s Foreign Minister.

1505 GMT: Economy Watch. Kalemeh reports that 2400 workers of the Saveh Pipe Rolling Plant and other factories in northwestern Iran have been on strike since Sunday over six months of unpaid wages.

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Iran Analysis: Assessing A Nuclear Warning from Tehran

UPDATE 1510 GMT: Many Western outlets have picked up on an extract from an interview of Abbasi Davani by Al Hayat in which the head of the Atomic Energy Organization that Iran intentionally passed misleading information to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

That declaration inevitably has led to assertions of Iran's deceit over its nuclear programme. However, it needs to be considered in conjunction with Abbasi Davani's asssertion that the IAEA has been penetrated by operatives of foreign intelligence services or has passed data to those agencies. In other words, the Iranian "deception" is a necessary defence to prevent espionage via the IAEA.

Fereydoun Abbasi DavaniTehran's approach has been over-interpreted by some leading analysts. For example, they assessed a weekend warning by the head of the Atomic Energy Organization --- ignoring his "carrot" about limiting uranium enrichment --- as the prospect that Iran would leave the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

It will not, at least not at least not in the foreseeable future. However, the Islamic Republic is also signalling that it will not concede to the US-European demand that Tehran offers a notable concession before high-level talks resume. And that in turn means that the political stalemate, the sanctions hampering Iran's economy, and the carrot-and-stick rhetoric will continue.

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The Latest from Iran (18 September): Nuclear Manoeuvres

See also Iran Snapshot: "Bad Hijab" Woman Beats Up Cleric
The Latest from Iran (17 September): An Intervention in Syria

1755 GMT: Currency Watch. Central Bank head Mahmoud Bahmani has announced a Bank portal to retrace moves in the official rate for foreign exchange, indicating there will be a halt to sales on the open market.

1750 GMT: All the President's Men (cont.). MP Mohammad Bayatiani has contested the claim that 164 MPs --- more than half the Majlis --- have supported controversial Presidential aide Saeed Mortazavi in his position as head of the re-formed Social Security Organization (see 1515 GMT) is "an obvious lie". He said the legislators had given thanks to the Organization, not Mortazavi.

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The Latest from Iran (17 September): An Intervention in Syria

See also Iran Analysis: Tehran Hurts Itself With Muddled Messages on Syria
The Latest from Iran (16 September): The Rhetoric, the "Protests", and Now the Threats

1835 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Lebanese Front). Following the declaration of the head of the Revolutionary Guards that Tehran has sent members of the Quds Force to Syria and Lebanon to provide "counsel", President Michel Sulaiman has challenged the Islamic Republic. “President Sulaiman asked for an official explanation from the relevant Iranian authorities,” his office said.

1825 GMT: Currency Watch. The Iranian Rial is falling again on the open market, dropping 2% vs. the US dollar to 24950:1.

Last week, the Rial broke the 25000:1 level for the first time, less than half its value at the official rate.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank has denied widespread reports that it has halted provision of foreign currency at the official rate to importers since last month, claiming that this is still available for the most important basic goods.

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The Latest from Iran (14 June): Tough Talk Based on Bad Economics

See also Remember Iran: The Protests, the Repression...and the "Hope That Runs The World"
Remember Iran Flashback: "The Obama Administration Fails to React" (14 June 2009)
Remember Iran Flashback: 14 June 2009 Live Coverage --- "More than 100" Arrested as Greens Prepare Rally
The Latest from Iran (13 June): The Reformists and the Next Election

Supreme Leader Addresses MPs, 13 June1515 GMT: Suppressing the Lawyers. Shadi Sadr summarises the regime's efforts to curb activism and dissent through intimidation and imprisonment of attorneys:

Between June 2009 and July 2011 at least 42 lawyers were arrested and at least 7 lawyers were forced to leave the country. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah was recently sentenced to 9 years' imprisonment and a 10 year ban on practicing law. The security officials have told him that either he will give a televised interview in which he will state that he was given money by foreign governments for defending his client or he has to go to prison....

Harassing the lawyers is not limited to their detention and sentencing. Most of the lawyers who have been detained are repeatedly questioned for having defended their clients. They are summoned and interrogated by security forces in short intervals. Many have been forced to promise not to give interviews to the media regarding the conditions of their clients. For this reason, methods of providing information regarding the conditions of the political prisoners are being blocked more and more every day. Some of the lawyers are told that they cannot accept political case files. For this reason, many prisoners of conscience are deprived of their right to a defense, prescribed by the Iranian constitution.

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The Latest from Iran (13 June): The Reformists and the Next Election

See also Iran Feature: Seeking Acceptance as a Single Woman#
Remember Iran: An EA Special --- Three Years Ago Today, The Protests Begin
Remember Iran Flashback: Text of Mousavi Letter to His Supporters (13 June 2009)
Remember Iran Flashback: 13 June 2009 --- EA's Live Coverage Begins
The Latest from Iran (12 June): Three Years Ago Today

1710 GMT: Economy Watch. Asr-e Iran has warned against unauthorized withdrawals from the Foreign Exchange Reserve, claiming the remaining amount is as small as $35 billion.

1610 GMT: Supreme Leader Watch. Another sound-bite from Ayatollah Khamenei's call for a cease-fire between Parliament and President (see 1327 GMT):

This does not mean that everybody should think in the same way…but it should be crystal-clear that despite different opinions and tastes, [all] officials are united and are proceeding in the direction of the country’s progress and the realization of the [Islamic] Revolution’s objectives.

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