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Entries in Mohammad Ali Dadkhah (14)


Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Political Prisoners and Public Executions (Arseh Sevom)

Two Iranian muggers, just before their public execution on Sunday in Tehran

Prison furloughs have been given to a number of prisoners of conscience even as Sakharov Prize winner Nasrin Sotoudeh was called back to prison after just three days. Public executions spark debate. Iranian State Television airs an “exposé” of CIA spying. Parliament debates restricting foreign travel for all women under 40 while the continuing house arrest of former presidential candidates is called into question. Finally the Iranian Coalition for Peace reaches out to President Obama.

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Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad v. Parliament...and the Revolutionary Guards

See also Iran Live Coverage: Please Vote (P.S. --- We Did Not Rig the Last Election)

1916 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). Forty-eight Iranian men, abducted in Syria last August and released yesterday in exchange for freedom for 2130 civilian detainees in Syrian prisons, arrive at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport:

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Iran Live Coverage: All-Is-Well Oil Alerts

See also Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: Celebrating Victory Over Protests

2050 GMT: The Battle Within. Facing renewed attacks over his economic policies (see 1740 GMT), President Ahmadinejad has repeated his allegation that most of the Iranian economy is in the hands of 300 or 400 influential people. He said the Government cannot control them because "they reject it via the media".

Ahmadinejad continued --- in what can be construed as an attack on the Revolutionary Guards --- that "some organisations have their own banks and businesses and don't explain themselves" as they pursue "privatisation without rules".

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The Latest from Iran (2 October): A Currency in Free Fall?

The scene in the Tehran currency market today

See also Iran Audio Feature: Can Iraq Stop Tehran Flying Weapons to Syria? --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
Monday's The Latest from Iran (1 October): Can the "Resistance Economy" Continue to Resist?

1929 GMT: Ahmadinejad Statement of the Day. An EA correspondent draws up an important segment from the President's press conference, in which Ahmadinejad effectively said "Back Me or Sack Me": "I was somewhere and said, 'If you want me to, I'm ready to write a sentence, and we go away.'"

Our correspondent explains, "'Somewhere' is the Supreme Leader's house or office." amd looks at the 2:24 mark in this video to assess, "Ahmadinejad has definitely threatened to step back if necessary."

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The Latest from Iran (29 September): The Economy and the Divisions Within the Regime

See also EA Video Analysis: Iran --- Ahmadinejad in New York "He Came, He Spoke, He Slipped Away"
Iran Feature: Fars News and The Onion Agree --- "Rural American Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama"
The Latest from Iran (28 September): The Next Fall in the Currency

1544 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Prominent human rights lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah has been summoned to Evin Prison to begin his nine-year sentence.

Dadkhah, one of the founders of the Center for Defenders of Human Rights, was arrested less than a month after the disputed 2009 Presidential election. He was sentenced in July 2011 on charges including membership of the CDHR and "spreading propaganda against the system through interviews with foreign media".

1531 GMT: Press Watch. Families of 25 martyrs and veterans of the 1980s Iran-Iraq War have expressed support for Hadi Heydari, cartoonist for the reform newspaper Shargh, in an open letter.

Shargh was banned and its managing editor imprisoned this week over a Heydari cartoon which showed men blindfolding each other in bright light. Authorities argued that the image was an insult to veterans on the 32nd anniversary of the start of the war.

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Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Standing Against Homophobia, Defending Students, and More (Arseh Sevom)

Anti-Homophobia Campaign in Iran

May 17th marked the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. With sodomy remaining an offence which can be punishable by death, youth in Iran have begun a Facebook campaign to give voice to a message of anti-homophobia.

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The Latest from Iran (15 May): Shutting Down the Journalists

See also The Latest from Iran (14 May): Will a Nuclear Drawing Unsettle the Talks?

1826 GMT: Parliament Watch. Outspoken conservative MP Ali Motahari has said that Gholam Ali Haddad Adel --- former Speaker of Parliament and member of the Supreme Leader's inner circle --- is not suitable to replace Ali Larijani as Speaker: "People like him believe that defending people's rights is against the nezam (system)."

1737 GMT: Nuclear Watch. Both the Iranian delegation and International Atomic Energy Agency officials have put out optimistic statements after two days of talks in Vienna.

"During these two days we discussed a number of options to take the agency verification process forward in a structured way," the IAEA's Hermann Nackaerts said. He added, "We had a good exchange of views and we will meet again on Monday," two days before Iranian officials meet the 5+1 Powers in Baghdad.

Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh said: "We had fruitful discussions in a very conducive environment. We have made progress on this issue regarding preparing and negotiating the modality framework for resolving our outstanding issues."

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The Latest from Iran (11 May): The Battle Within

"Naqi", the song that led to an Ayatollah's call for the death of rapper Shahin Najafi (see 0620 and 1200 GMT)

See also Iran Snap Analysis: Isolating Ahmadinejad
The Latest from Iran (10 May): Supreme Leader Comments on Detained Mousavi and Karroubi

2035 GMT: At the Book Fair. The next level of censorship at the 25th Tehran International Book Fair....

After at least 11 publishers were banned from the exhibition, another six booths have been shut down for inappropriate displays. Two reportedly had posters of Nashr Cheshmeh, one of the banned publishers. Another had a posted of the famous Persian king Cyrus.

1720 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Nothing distinctive in the President's speech during his promotional tour in northeastern Iran (see 1400 GMT)....

Speaking in Rashtkhvar, Ahmadinejad says the West should drop its “bullying” stance: “If the Iranian nation makes up its mind to do something, all devils and ill-wishers of the world cannot make them backtrack on their resolve."

The President continued that worship of the Devil, wealth, power, or worldly whims instead of God was the root cause of all human problems: “If the world powers worship the Almighty God, they will not make stockpiles of nuclear and chemical arsenals and will not try to occupy other territories.

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Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From Forbidden Books to a Shrinking Middle Class (Arseh Sevom)

Official Book Fair and Unofficial Books

The annual International Book Fair of Tehran opened on 1 May and will continue to the 11th, even as the list of forbidden books grows. Authorities collect “illegal copies", sometimes turning them into paper paste (recounted in our review of 23 April). Meanwhile, a shadow book fair has sprung up featuring the forbidden texts.

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The Latest from Iran (30 April): Restating the Demand on Sanctions

See also The Latest from Iran (29 April): The Ayatollahs and the Revolutionary Guards

2040 GMT: Labour Front. As expected, authorities have refused a permit to Iran's workers to march on May Day. Labourers instead an indoors ceremony in a hall today.

1740 GMT: Defiance of the Day. The pro-Ahmadinejad Iran newspaper declares that Presidential advisor Saeed Mortazavi, despite Parliamentary objections, is still working as head of the Social Security Fund.

MPs had threatened to impeach the Minister of Labor if Mortazavi, under fire for his role in the abuses at the Kahrizak detention centre in 2009, continued in the post. Mortazavi reportedly offered his resignation, but this was rejected by the President.

Baztab claims that Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has been told that the Supreme Leader opposes impeachment of the Minister.

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