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Entries in Majid Dorri (5)


The Latest from Iran (21 August): All Hail the Supreme Leader

2214 GMT: Military Watch. An Iranian commander, Mohammad Hosseini, has said that the Islamic Republic has started construction of its largest air defence base.

Hosseini said the base in Fars Province in southern Iran would be built at the cost of $300 million and will have 6,000 personnel.

Rahim Zare', an MP for the area, said, "This air defense site will be the product of the achievements gained in all areas of science in the world."

2206 GMT: Human Rights Watch. Iranian officials have written the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to call on the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the alleged support of Western states for "terrorists" in Syria.

"It is much clear that certain western countries along with their regional allies intend to change the Syrian government at any price and they don't pay any heed to the bloody and inhumane consequences of this seditious measure whose painful manifestations are already evident," the letter asserted. "We demand your Excellency to compile a report on the role of such countries in equipping and arming the terrorists in Syria, which has had a direct effect in increasing the number of human rights violation cases in the country and committing of crimes against humanity, and inform the world of its results."

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Iran Document: Students to the Supreme Leader "If Only You Ordered Tolerance Towards Dissent"

Responding to the Supreme Leader's recent remarks to an assembly of State-sponsored student organizations, the student union Tahkim Vahdat (Office for Consolidating Unity) has put out a statement:

If only he had  also ordered tolerance towards dissident students and those who were critical of him. It is now meaningless to talk about any right to criticize the Leader. Appointed university officials have reacted harshly to any and all voices of dissent. Muslim student associations, independent student associations, cultural and artistic centers, student councils, and student newspapers face their most difficult conditions since the election of Ahmadinejad in 2005.

The document includes a list of 29 students who are serving lengthy sentences.

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Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Attacks on Journalists, A Death Bounty for A Rapper, A Woman Dragged from the Book Fair (Arseh Sevom)

Claimed photo of women being dragged from the Tehran International Book Fair for inappropriate dress

Summary: 126 Iranian journalists signed a letter protesting the arrests and harassment of journalists, sending it to the head of the judiciary and the Speaker of Parliament. After a cartoonist faced lashing for his drawing of an MP, colleagues all over the world launched a campaign of support. An MP assaulted a journalist who asked a sensitive question. Publishers banned from attending the International Book Fair received support from a prisoner of conscience. Women were targeted for bad hejab. The Minister of Communicatoins calls for government institutions to host their email and sites on domestic servers. Rapper Shahin Najafi wakes up to find a price on his head, offered by an anonymous Gulf resident, after his new song satirising the wait for the 10th Imam hit the airwaves. And more...

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The Latest from Iran (27 April): Remembering the Imprisoned Students

1320 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update. Hojatoleslam Kazem Siddiqi is at the pulpit today, putting out the rhetoric on the Islamic Republic's nuclear talks with the US, European powers, China, and Russia.

Nothing much of significance, although rose-coloured glasses --- as with the international media's reading of Ayatollah Jannnati's sermon last week --- could see this as Iran's warming welcome to the discussions. Siddiqi said it would be in everyone's interest for all powers to "act rationally" in negotiations with Iran.

Siddiqi continued that Tehran is a rational actor, welcomes dialogue, and has repeatedly shown its goodwill, but now it is time for world powers to show their good intentions.

There was this important if general caveat, though, for anyone who might see this as concessions by the Islamic Republic ahead of the next meeting on 23 May in Baghdad: “The Istanbul meeting proved that the Iranian nation is powerful and will not retreat an iota from its rights.” And Siddiqi also put out the general denunciation of "global arrogance" seeking to create discord in the region while assuring that "vigilant nations" and Iran will not allow this.

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The Latest from Iran (5 December): A Regime in Deadlock Drones On

Mana Neyestani comments on the international situation

See also Iran Analysis: Re-Assessing the Explosion at the Revolutionary Guards Base
The Latest from Iran (4 December): When Your Dad is a Political Prisoner

1930 GMT: The Embassy Attacks. In the aftermath of the storming of the British Embassy, international schools in Tehran have closed.

The French school is located on grounds of the British Embassy and children were in class when protesters moved through the compound gates. Windows at the German school nearby were shattered. Teachers at the British school had sent students home early.

Parents have been told that foreign teachers and their families have left Iran. The French school hopes to resume lessons on Sunday, and the British school in the New Year.

1900 GMT: Arresting the President's Men. The President's media advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr, already sentenced to a year in prison for an issue of his Iran newspaper, has claimed that he was forced to give a controversial interview to the daily newspaper Etemaad.

In the interview, Javanfekr sharply criticised senior clerics and conservatives/principlists who challenged Ahmadinejad. The article led to the banning of Etemaad; the next day, Javanfekr was given his one-year sentence, and the day after that, security forces ransacked the Iran building as they tried to detain the advisor.

Javanfekr did not say who forced him to give the interview.

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