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Entries in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (808)


The Latest from Iran (18 May): Disputing Economic Growth

2055 GMT: Disputing Economic Growth. And so back to where we started this morning....

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar has directly challenged the President over his economic claims in his Sunday night interview, disputing the promise that 2.5 million jobs could be created each year for the next two years.

And Bahonar went after Ahmadinejad's subsidy cuts plan, saying it was threatening production in the country.

2015 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Another challenge to the President's inner circle is emerging --- Iranian media are circulating claims of undue influence in Iran's automobile industry by the "diversionary current" within the Government.

"Diversionary current" has become the euphemism to refer to Presidential Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai and his allies.

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The Latest from Iran (17 May): Reacting to Ahmadinejad

2025 GMT: Sanctions Watch. US authorities have added another Iranian state-owned bank to its sanctions list.

The US Treasury claims Iran's Bank of Industry and Mines, the 21st to be listed by Washington, is handling transactions on behalf of two previously sanctioned institutions, Bank Mellat and Europaesch-Iranische Handelsbank.

2010 GMT: Execution Watch. Iran’s Supreme Court has approved the death sentence for Habibollah Latifi, according to his family.

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The Latest from Iran (16 May): Ahmadinejad the Prizefighter

1900 GMT: Claim of Day. Fars says General Yahya Rahim Safavi, former head of the Revolutionary Guards, has been sent by the Supreme Leader to meet senior clerics in Qom.

1845 GMT: Corruption Watch. MP Fazel Mousavi claims the Parliament has proven 50 cases of Government "takhalof" (wrongdoing).

And more rumblings in the Iranian media about the President's inner circle, with claimed details of the diversion of $400 million in a building project on Kish Island.

Last week, conservative newspapers and websites claimed that friends and associates of Presidential Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai were linked to the project.

1830 GMT: Fashion Watch. The hard-line Mashregh News is outraged that the daughter of an employee of the Iranian Interests Section in Washington has been in a video without hijab.

Sabra Jafarzadeh is the fourth woman in this footage, appearing with and without a headscarf, explaining what it is like to take off the covering for the first time:

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Iran Transcript: President Ahmadinejad's TV Interview

A transcript of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's live interview on Sunday night on the State broadcaster IRIB Channel 2:


What do you think about the execution of the laws in the past five months?

My assessment is very positive. The people of Iran have accomplished something here. Everyone thought that that the economic situation would not improve. But we have accomplished this and we have proud results to show. I will describe some of them to you.

One of the main things was to cut down the costs. One of the major issues was the cost of bread. I can tell you that we have cut down the costs to about 30 percent. In a short time, we have managed to do this. I won't say that the quality of bread everywhere is better than before, but it will be.

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The Latest from Iran (15 May): A Display of Protest Today?

2105 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Narges Mohammadi, the wife of Taghi Rahmani, said that the journalist and consultant to Mehdi Karroubi, has been freed on $150,000 bail.

1930 GMT: The Ahmadinejad Interview. We have now moved our LiveBlog of tonight's speech by the President, combining it with a snap analysis of the political significance, to a separate entry.

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The Latest from Iran (14 May): Say Uncle! (Again)

1925 GMT: Syria Watch. Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Parliament's National Security Council, has said Iran is supporting the Assad regime because Damascus is backing the opposition to Israel’s occupation of Arab lands: “Syria is providing great assistance to resistance, therefore the position that we have taken is very natural.”

1915 GMT: The Next Wave of Attacks (cont.). Uskowi adds weight to our interpretation in the previous entry, pointing to Ahmad Tavakoli's criticism of Ahmadinejad's Ministerial dismissals (see 1305 GMT) as unduly hurried, sending a message of political “instability” and his specific denunciation of “that famous, deviationist and problematic character” --- read the President's Chief of Staff, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai --- as the instigator of the latest move.

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The Latest from Iran (13 May): Friday the 13th

1935 GMT: Karroubi Watch. An interesting intervention by Mehdi Karroubi's advisor Ahmad Vahidi in an interview with Khodnevis....

Vahidi, who is based in the US, made a distinction between Karroubi and the Green Path Coordinating Council of the opposition. He said that neither he nor any of Karroubi's associates held memberships in the Council, although they had been consulted by them.

Vahidi continued that those on the Council had views similar to Karroubi's in regards to free and fair election and people's rights. However, he indicated that "the goal of the movement should not be restricted to the application of the Consitution", adding that people's demands are beyond what the Council offers.

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The Latest from Iran (12 May): So You Thought the Battle Was Over?

2025 GMT: At the Movies. The Cannes Film Festival is honouring filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof --- both sentenced to long prison terms --- and Iranian officials are not amused.

Mohammad Hosseini, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance said, “The festival takes a political stance on certain specific cases, which is unacceptable and we condemn it. We think that since Cannes is an international event, it should keep its artistic and professional biases to itself."

Last week, Cannes organizers said they would show Rasoulof’s “Good Bye” and “This Is Not a Film”, Panahi’s depiction of a day in his life as he waits for the verdict of a court appeal.

Panahi will also be awarded the Carrosse d’Or (Golden Coach) prize by the SRF (Film Directors’ Society) in absentia as a tribute to the “innovative qualities, courage and independent-mindedness” of his work.

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Iran Snapshot: Supreme Leader v. Ahmadinejad in 3 Paragraphs

I was prompted to write this by a question on another website, trying to come to grips with the political conflict inside Iran: "At least several high officials appear to believe Khamenei could simply have 'ordered' Ahmadinejad to retain [Minister of Intelligence Heydar] Moslehi whether Ahmadinejad wanted to or not. If push comes to shove and the President simply stands his ground, the Supreme Leader may simply overrule his decision on a matter that’s plainly within the President’s authority under the constitution?"

Re: “Khamenei could simply have ‘ordered’ Ahmadinejad to retain Moslehi whether Ahmadinejad wanted to or not."

Effectively, that is what the Supreme Leader’s office did, through the letter to Moslehi and through Khamenei’s public statements. The Supreme Leader was supported by the leadership of the Revolutionary Guards (see snap analysis opening today's LiveBlog), by clerics from Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi to Tehran Friday Prayer leader Kazem Seddiqi, by prominent legislators such as Deputy Speaker of Parliament Bahonar and the 90 MPs who called for questioning of Ahmadinejad, and by the judiciary with the arrests of some in Ahmadinejad’s office (including provocative claims such as “sorcery” and “exorcism”).

This power play by the Supreme Leader’s office might have been countered if some of those groups had given support to Ahmadinejad. None of them did, pointing to his narrow (and arguably shrinking) base for power within the establishment.

Three “red lines” have been set down for the President: 1) no more moves over the Ministry of Intelligence; 2) no manipulation of 2012 Parliamentary elections; 3) no anointing of his right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai as a successor


Iran Feature: The Ghosts of Ahmadinejad's Right-Hand Man (Pedestrian)

In 2009, when the Iranian elections were in national --- and international --- spotlight, during the TV debate between Mousavi and Ahmaidnejad,which kept us Iranians, all over the globe glued to our TV (or monitor) screens, something funny happened. Mir Hossein Mousavi, the soft spoken, apprehensive opposition candidate said on live TV: “this government is a government of fortunetellers and exorcists.”

Mousavi was to pay a heavy price for these words.

Following the election, when the Supreme Leader openly backed Ahmadinejad in his notorious Friday Prayer speech, he also directly targeted Mousavi’s statement, condemning those who “blatantly attribute magic and wizardry to the government".

How ironic indeed.

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