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Entries in Jalal Talabani (10)


Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Protests and Arrests for "Martyrs Day" in Manama

Bahraini activist Said Yousif faces a ring of police officers just before his arrest on Monday

1500 GMT: Bahrain. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights claims that 24 men and three women were arrested on Monday during the crackdown on "Martyrs Day" marches by security forces.

The BCHR says its Acting Vice President Said Yousif AlMuhafdha was seized and charged with broadcasting false information through Twitter. A court has ordered a seven-day detention.

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Iran Snapshot: Why Was Top Military Commander Soleimani in Iraqi Kurdistan?

The Kurdish website has reported a surprising visit by the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, to Iraqi Kurdistan region. Soleimani met officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government, including Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, and top members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

Soleimani has close ties to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, the founder of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who recently visited Talabani in Suleymaniyah after the Kurdish leader helped him survive a no-confidence vote.

Relations between Iran and the KDP have been tense, despite occasional meetings.

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Iraq Feature: The Critical Issue of Succession in Kurdistan (Van Wilgenburg)

Jalal Talabani & Massoud BarzaniIf you wish to understand the future of Kurdish politics and its significant role in the evolution of democracy in Iraq and the Kurdistan region, then an introduction to the question of succession is essential.

This week's case? Jalal Talabani is both the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Iraqi President. According to Kurdistan Tribune, Talabani has been absent from Iraq when he left for a knee operation on 20 June, feeding speculation about his ill health.

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Turkey Live Coverage (11 June): The Government's Carrot-and-Stick on the Kurdish Issue

See also Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A Regime on Its Last Legs?

2000 GMT: It is claimed by Today's Zaman that the Obama administration will anoounce seven countries including Turkey that will be exempt from sanctions since they have significantly cut oil purchases from Iran. 

1835 GMT: Turkish deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc said that no revision is planned to abolish specially authorized prosecutors and courts as part of a government plan to overhaul the Turkish criminal code. 

1505 GMT: It is claimed that the arrestment of BDP members including Van Mayor Bekir Kaya had been known in advance. According to this assertion, some prison cells had been emptied and readied even before they were detained. 

1500 GMT: Firat News Agency known by its close ties with the outlawed PKK, says 'KCK Executive Council member Cemil Bayık' evaluated the meeting between AKP and CHP as 'the usual policy of “trying to strain Kurds and making them surrender”'.

Besides, in response to the government's new initiative, KCK political committee reportedly declared that "any discussion or decision taken on the struggle of freedom without the will of our movement and our people is void!"

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The Latest from Iran (23 September): After the Ahmadinejad Road Show

See also Iran Analysis: Ahmadinejad 1, Interviewers 0 (and Why It Matters)

2038 GMT: Economy Watch. Kalemeh reports that imports of rice rose 27%, compared to last year, between March and August.

2035 GMT: Mohammad Ebrahim Nekounam, the head of Parliament's Article 90 Commission, has said that the file of 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, accused of involvement in a major insurance fraud, is still under scrutiny by the judiciary.

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Iran Interview: Ahmadinejad to Washington Post "If US Gives Us Uranium, We Will Stop Production"

"If [the US] gives us uranium grade 20 percent, we would stop production. Those negotiations took place in Vienna. Apparently they know everything. I repeat: If you give us uranium grade 20 percent now, we will stop production."

This, in effect, is a return to Ahmadinejad's hopes for a deal in the autumn 2009 talks, where his effort to get an agreement was undermined by domestic opposition (as Weymouth astutely notes). Far from giving up the effort, this statement indicates he is determined to try once more.

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Iraq Feature: The Collapse of the "Kurdish Spring" (Peterson)

Photo: Shwan Mohammed (AFP/Getty Images)Tucked away in an often-overlooked arc of northern Iraq, Kurds launched their "Kurdish Spring" simply enough in mid-February, in solidarity with Tunisians and Egyptians who had toppled dictatorial rulers. 

But the result here was very different, and hardly looked like an unfolding of freedom. Washington’s close Kurdish allies cracked down hard. After 62 days of street protests, 10 people were dead. The carefully crafted image of Kurdistan as a democratic island in an ocean of regional dictatorship was in tatters.

All that visibly remains of the uprising are a few faded posters of its first victim --- a 16-year-old --- and scorch marks where security forces burned the tents of protesters. But it has deepened the political crisis in this semiautonomous region of northern Iraq.

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The Latest from Iran (27 March): A Regime Party

1525 GMT: Back to the Regime Party. Iranian media have released pictures of regional Presidents being treated by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Nowruz festivities. Not sure it's a 100% success, however --- Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai appears to be sleeping through the entertainment.

Better news for Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov --- Ahmadinejad gave him a two-seater LSA airplane worth $130,000.

Last week, Berdimuhammadov sent a thousand tons of flour to Iran for Nowruz.

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Iraq Feature: Protests Transform Kurdistan (Abdulla)

Protests sweeping North Africa and the Middle East have transformed Iraq's Kurdish region, where an angry public is awakening to political life beyond the authoritarian leaders once seen as heroic liberators. 

In other parts of Iraq, protests inspired by the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia have tapered off over the past month.

In Kurdistan, where two political parties have jointly dominated public life for two decades, demonstrators have remained steadfast, camping out for more than a month in a square in the region's second-largest city, Sulaimaniya.

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WikiLeaks, Iran, and the Green Movement: The Predictions of Iraq's President

Commenting a week after the demonstrations on 27 December 2009 and the regime's mobilisation of support three days later, Talabani assesses, "Tt was not that the Iranian regime was weak, but rather that the opposing side was strong....Whereas the demonstrations at first were attacking Iranian President Ahmadinejad, they have now shifted to being against Supreme Leader Khamenei."

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