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Entries in Habibollah Asgarouladi (10)


Iran Live: Nuclear Talks Grind to a Halt --- What Next?

See also Iran Special: The Stalled Nuclear Talks --- Why Tehran Cannot Give Up Its Right to Enrichment
Saturday's Iran Live: Decoding the Signals from the Nuclear Talks

2055 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Blogger and poet Reza Akvanian has been arrested.

Akvanian, a writer for the blog “Salhaye Khoobe Zendegi (Life’s Good Years)", was also detained in February 2010 by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence and given a one-year prison sentence, with five years suspended, for “insulting the leader and the President” and “association with outsiders by sharing news reports".

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Iran Live Coverage: Tehran's Support for Syria Will Cause "War Between Shia and Sunni"

See also Iran Analysis: The US Makes a Non-Offer on the Nuclear Talks</ br>
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: Syria --- The Islamic Republic's "35th Province"

Supreme Leader & President Assad

2110 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch (Journalist Edition). One of the 16 journalists seized three weeks ago, Fatemeh Sagharchi of Jamaran and former head of the Strategic Research Library, has been released on bail of 120 million Toman (about $30,000 at unofficial.rate).

Fourteen journalists, most of them from reformists publications, remain behind bars. No formal charges have been announced, although authorities and politicians have put out the message that they collaborated with foreign media.

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Iran Live Coverage: The Blame Game over No Nuclear Talks

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Political Prisoners and Public Executions
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: Wishing Away The Economic Problems

1814 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Mehdi Mahmoudian, journalist and member of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front, has been released from prison on furlough.

Mahmoudian is serving a five-year sentence for assembly and collusion against the regime.

1744 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). With the first NATO Patriot anti-missile systems operational on the Turkish border with Syria, Minister of Defense Ahmad Vahidi has renewed Tehran's criticism of Ankara, “We do not consider the presence of these Patriot systems as beneficial and believe that it will cause misunderstanding among the regional countries."

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Iran Live Coverage: Let's Make a Nuclear Deal?

Attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh, released on a 3-day prison furlough on Thursday, with her children Nima and Behraveh

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- A Health Care Crisis, Economic Rumblings, and Election Grumblings
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: Regime --- Detained Opposition Leaders Mousavi & Karroubi Committed "Atrocities"

2205 GMT: Fighting over the House Arrests. An interesting twist in the politics around the detentions of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi....

The story begins with leading conservative politician Habibollah Asgarouladi, who said earlier this month that Mousavi and Karroubi --- both candidates for President in 2009 and both under strict house arrest since February 2011 --- had been honourable men who served the Islamic Republic and were not "seditionists".

Other politicians and clerics, continuing to condemn Mousavi and Karroubi, have pressed Asgarouladi to retract the remarks. Yesterday, the politician responded by saying he would leave his Motalefeh Party if they did not give him support.

Now Ayatollah Hassan Mamdouhi, of the conservative Scholars of Qom, has warned: if Motalefe does not reject Asgarouladi's comments, the clerics will stop co-operation.

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Iran Analysis: The Politicians Unite to Fight Ahmadinejad

Less than four years ago, most politicians within the Iranian system --- all the way to the Supreme Leader --- united behind the effort to keep Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the Presidency, even as many Iranians questioned the legitimacy of his re-election.

Today they are rallying against Ahmadinejad as their political enemy.

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The Latest from Iran (11 October): A President Under Fire

See also Iran Analysis: As Ahmadinejad Is Challenged, The Supreme Leader Tries to Protect Himself
The Latest from Iran (10 October): Economic Fantasy and Reality

1615 GMT: Currency Watch. Reports earlier this week that the Central Bank was not selling US dollars in its "trade room" for importers raised our suspicions about shortages of foreign reserves to inject into the market.

The assistant director of the Trade Development Organization has a different explanation: the Bank is offering a mix of currencies each day --- why is not detailed --- so there may be a lack of certain currencies at times.

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The Latest from Iran (15 August): Ahmadinejad in Saudi Arabia

See also Iran Feature: Facebook and the Earthquakes
The Latest from Iran (14 August): Recovering from an Earthquake

1955 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. About 25 political prisoners have reportedly been released today --- those freed include Nazanin Khosravani, Ali Malihi, Qasem Shole Saadi, Hamzeh Karami, Shahab Dehghan, Amir Maghamifar, and Sarang Ettehadi.

1630 GMT: The Earthquakes. The Supreme Leader's office has announced that it will give 1/3 of the donations sent to Ayatollah Khamenei during Ramadan to earthquake victims.

But the opposition website Kalemeh claims there are problems that may not be resolved by this --- it says the Revolutionary Guards have taken over control in the affected area, grabbing aid from teams providing assistance and leaving people angry about unequal distribution.

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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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The Latest from Iran (11 March): Changing the Drumbeats of War

Iran 1st-Hand: "People Here Are Boiling, But Don't Make A Sound"
Iran Snap Analysis: Walking Back from War?
The Latest from Iran (10 March): Oh, the US is So Weak

1855 GMT: All the President's Men. Peyke Iran, citing Tabnak, claims that Presidential advisor Saeed Mortazavi, accused of responsibility for the Kahrizak detention centre abuses and killings in summer 2009, has been legally informed about the complaint and a trial could start soon.

Mortazavi was Tehran Prosecutor General when detainees were abused and three protesters died in Kahrizak. Although he supposedly had been suspended at one point from his duties over the case, he has never stopped service to Ahmadinejad and he has just been named head of the Social Security Fund.

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The Latest from Iran (29 January): Future Election, Past Election, House Arrest

A Comment on the Currency Situation: President Ahmadinejad vs. the US Dollar

See also Iran Update: Guardian Council Approves New Islamic Penal Code
The Latest from Iran (28 January): Back to the Battle Within

2145 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. More than 140 writers, journalists, artists, and activists have issued a statement condemning the new wave of repression and arrests, noting in particular the detention of prominent literary translator Mohammad Soleimani Nia.

Soleimani Nia was seized on 10 January and taken to an unknown location.

2130 GMT: Execution Watch. International media have noticed, from Iranian outlets such as Fars, that the death sentence has been confirmed for Iranian-Canadian web designer Saeed Malekpour.

In fact, the news is old --- Malekpour was condemned at least 11 days ago by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, which has confirmed the punishment for several bloggers and website operators in recent weeks.

Malekpour was arrested in October 2008 and charged with disseminating obscene materials via the Web.

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