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Entries in Heydar Moslehi (81)


The Latest from Iran (6 July): Tehran Puts Out Positive Nuclear Messages

See also The Latest from Iran (5 July): Chest-Thumping

2030 GMT: Sanctions. Canada's TD Bank Group has begun closing the accounts of some of its customers, saying it is complying with new federal regulations for economic sanctions against Iran.

The bank has sent letters to clients telling them that, under recent changes to the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulation, Canadian financial institutions are forbidden from providing financial services to anyone in Iran or for the benefit of Iran. That includes any use of an account to send or receive money via wire transfer to or from friends and family in Iran.

So far, no other Canadian bank has taken similar action.

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The Latest from Iran (26 June): The Oil Squeeze

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- At Neda's Grave
Iran Snap Analysis: A Fight Within the Regime Over Egypt
The Latest from Iran (25 June): Doing the Currency Slide

1800 GMT: Oil Watch. Earlier we reported an apparent attempt by the National Iran Tanker Company to circumvent oil sanctions by re-naming 10 tankers and putting them under the Tanzanian flag (see 1100 GMT). It appears, however, that NITC has further problems....

Industry sources say the company has delayed the expansion of its fleet. A senior NITC official said the firm has yet to take delivery of a 318,000 deadweight tonne tanker "Safe", the first of 12 new supertankers the firm was to manage under a $1.2 billion contract with Chinese shipyards. Delivery was initially scheduled for May.

The delay also deprives the Islamic Republic of capacity to store oil on vessels as its customers cut purchases. Iran-based shipping sources said in April that Tehran had been forced to deploy more than half of its national tanker fleet to store oil at anchorage. That proportion has since increased, trade sources say.

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The Latest from Iran (21 June): A Silence in Tehran

1355 GMT: Justice Watch. Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi, speaking to the “Human Rights and National Security” summit, has claimed that the "architect" of the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists has been identified and arrested.

Moslehi said earlier this week that 20 people were arrested in connection with the cases, and the Ministry had claimed that “the key perpetrators" of the assassinations of Majid Shahriari and Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan had been detained.

Moslehi also claimed that Iran had blocked the US, Israel, and the British intelligence service MI6 from carrying out a "massive cyber attack against Iran's facilities" after the Moscow nuclear talks. He added, "They still seek to carry out the plan, but we have taken necessary measures."

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The Latest from Iran (24 May): Day 2 of the Nuclear Talks in Baghdad

See also Iran Special: Statement By EU's Catherine Ashton After Baghdad Talks
Iran Snap Analysis: A Way Out of Pessimism for the Nuclear Talks?
The Latest from Iran (23 May): Nuclear Talks in Baghdad

EU's Catherine Ashton & Iran's Saeed Jalili1925 GMT: Nuclear Watch Special. Back from a break for a run to find the confirmation by the European Union's Catherine Ashton --- see statement in separate feature --- that there will be a third set of nuclear discussions, in Moscow on 18-19 June, between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China).

There is much more to the statement, however. We will have a special analysis tomorrow, but note for now:

1. Ashton tipped off the large gap between the 5+1 Powers and Iran on approach and proposals. The US and Europe effectively said, "We will only talk easing of sanctions after you give us what we want on your uranium enrichment." Iran said at the same time, "Ease the sanctions and then we will consider giving you what you want."

2. This gap was so wide that the Iranians were on the point of walking away from the talks on Wednesday night. Ashton's emergency session with Iran's Saeed Jalili --- almost two hours --- plus intervention from China and Russia probably averted that breakdown.

3. Moscow as a location for the next talks is a concession to Iran for continuing to talk. So is the date --- the discussions come two weeks before the European Union is scheduled to ban imports of Iranian oil.

4. But Moscow is now "make or break". Either the US and Europe find enough to reverse the 1 July ban on Iranian oil, or the negotiations will break down with Iran's declaration that the West will accept nothing less than its capitulation.

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The Latest from Iran (6 May): After the Election

See also Iran Snap Analysis: Some People Were Selected for the Parliament --- Does It Matter?
The Latest from Iran (5 May): The Threat of Inflation

1630 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Journalist Meysam Mohamadi has been sentenced to four years in prison and a five-year ban from print or online journalism.

The same punishment has been handed down to journalist Omid Mohades.

1543 GMT: Parliament v. President. Najmeh Bozorgmehr of The Financial Times reports that the Majlis, in its first post-election session, has challenged the Government with two complaints to the judiciary, one over “incurring irreparable damages” to the country’s economy by violating foreign exchange laws “at a time the country faces numerous sanctions” over its nuclear policies.

Bozorgmehr also notes that the Supreme Court has approved a death sentence for Majid Jamali Fashi, who was convicted in a closed-doors trial of the murder of nuclear scientist Massoud Aliohammadi, in January 2010.

The regime has accused Jamali Fashi, a former kickboxing champion who reportedly beat up protesters after the 2009 Presidential election (see EA feature), with collaborating with Israeli intelligence services.

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The Latest from Iran (20 April): A Golden Sign of Trouble?

See also Iran Snap Analysis: The New Battle Within Tehran Over the Nuclear Talks
Iran Feature: Challenging the Plans for the "National Internet"
The Latest from Iran (19 April): Supreme Leader Seeing "Positive" Nuclear Talks?

1745 GMT: Nuclear Watch. It's not every day that EA and Press TV ally in analysis....

Earlier today we posted an evaluation from an Iranian correspondent that last weekend's nuclear talks were "the combination of efforts of the 'Everyone but Ahmadinejad camp', including those close to the Supreme Leader: "The Ahmadinejad camp feels shunted out of the evolving nuclear deal, while it senses that the two sides are closer than before to an agreement."

Now Press TV posts:/p>

An analyst says the fatwa by Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei against nuclear weapons is a “political milestone” which should put an end to Western allegations against Iran.

“The fatwa of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution can well serve as a beacon of light for Washington in order to find its way out of darkness and ignorance,” author and Middle East expert Ismail Salami wrote.

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The Latest from Iran (2 April): Talking About Oil

2025 GMT: Tough Talk of the Day. It looks like the regime is getting seriously worried about the Syrian situation, and in particular the prospect of significant intervention by Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

Masoud Jazayeri, the deputy head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has declared, "It is time to punish imperial, Arab, and foreign countries who interfere in Syria." Gholam-Reza Karami, a member of Parliament's Defence Subcommittee, warns Riyadh that its defeat in Syria "is certain".

2020 GMT: Loyalty Watch. Kayhan reports that a literary congress, "Narrative of the Flower", is to be held in Isfahan, praising the Supreme Leader.

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The Latest from Iran (27 March): The Lull Before the Talks

See also The Latest from Iran (26 March): Ahmadinejad Grabs the Spotlight

1845 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Syrian Front). President Ahmadinejad, meeting a Syrian envoy in Tehran, has praised the Assad regime: "I am very happy that Syrian officials are managing the situation well....I hope the situation in Syria improves day after day."

Ahmadinejad said there was no limit to expanding ties with Syria, and Iran would do "all in its power to support this country".

The President also castigated the US, "By chanting false slogans of defending people's freedom, the Americans want to take control of Syria, Lebanon, Iran and other countries and we should be aware and stand firm against their plots."

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The Latest from Iran (17 February): The Political Battle

See also Iran Feature: Saeed Malekpour, A Web Designer Condemned to Die
The Latest from Iran (16 February): Cutting Off the Opposition, A Year Later

1903 GMT: Nuclear Watch. Both US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the European Union's foreign policy representative Catherine Ashton have welcomed Tuesday's letter from Saeed Jalili, of Iran's National Security Council, proposing a renewal of talks about Iran's nuclear programme.

Clinton said the letter was "one we have been waiting for", while Ashton said she was "cautious" but "optimistic" that talks could resume.

Both women said that they were still studying the reply.

1855 GMT: Budget Watch. Moayed Hosseini-Sadr of Parliament's Budget Committee has claimed that the Government has given 600 billion Toman (about $320 million) of its budget to "unknown foundations led by influential people".

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The Latest from Iran (28 January): Back to the Battle Within

See also Syria Video Special: Free Syrian Army Captures "Iranian Soldiers"
The Latest from Iran (27 January): Pilgrims and Soldiers

Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi2235 GMT: Currency Watch. The Government may have taken measures to halt the slide of the Iranian currency, including the raising of interest rates and a single exchange rate, but key MP Ahmad Tavakoli is not satisfied.

Tavakoli, a cousin and ally of Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, has posted a detailed criticism on his website Alef, outlining Government mismanagement and claiming "incompetent officials, a lack of trust, and corruption". In addition to demanding trustworthy, effective personnel, he called for control of liquidity in the economy, a halt to the Government's subsidy cuts programme in the energy sector, and avoiding of measures contributing to inflation.

MP Mohammad Baqer Noubakht has echoed Tavakoli's complaints: "Straying cash is the economy's Achilles heel," as liquidity has increased five-fold in the last six years. He called for a halt to the second phase of the Ahmadinejad subsidy cuts.

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