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Entries in Mohammad Reza Rahimi (89)


Iran Live Coverage: Tehran Continues to Push "Positive" Nuclear Talks

See also Tuesday's Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad Anoints His Right-Hand Man for President

2021 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani has strongly criticised those who have backed President Ahmadinejad and his Government.

Rafsanjani said the Government has destroyed three decades of achievements: "I am surprised that why some people, especially clerics, have supported them. Even more strange is they will not stop supporting this disaster now that they have realised the true identity of this current."

1945 GMT: Sanctions Watch. The US has renewed the waiver from financial penalties for Japan, "based on additional significant reductions in the volume of its crude oil purchases from Iran".

Waivers were also extended for 10 European Union countries. The EU implemented a ban on imports of Iranian oil from 1 July 2012.

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Iran Live Coverage: Tehran's Support for Syria Will Cause "War Between Shia and Sunni"

See also Iran Analysis: The US Makes a Non-Offer on the Nuclear Talks</ br>
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: Syria --- The Islamic Republic's "35th Province"

Supreme Leader & President Assad

2110 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch (Journalist Edition). One of the 16 journalists seized three weeks ago, Fatemeh Sagharchi of Jamaran and former head of the Strategic Research Library, has been released on bail of 120 million Toman (about $30,000 at unofficial.rate).

Fourteen journalists, most of them from reformists publications, remain behind bars. No formal charges have been announced, although authorities and politicians have put out the message that they collaborated with foreign media.

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Iran Live Coverage: President v. Parliament

See also Iran Analysis: The Real Explanation for the Delay in New Nuclear Talks
Iran Live Coverage: Don't Mention the "Free Elections"

2220 GMT: Nuclear Watch. After a few days talking down the possibility of renewed nuclear talks --- and putting the blame on Tehran --- Western diplomats said today that discussions could still resume in January.

The shift follows a phone call on Monday between Helga Schmid, the deputy negotiator for the 5+1 Powers, and her Iranian counterpart Ali Bagheri.

"Consultations to prepare a next round of talks are ongoing," spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.

"The powers and Iran are still discussing possible dates for nuclear talks in January," one Western envoy said.

See also Iran Analysis: The Real Explanation for the Delay in New Nuclear Talks

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Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader Tries to Bolster His Popularity

See also Iran Analysis: Preparing for Elections, Ahmadinejad Tries to Replace His Vice President
Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: A Collapsing Economy?

1954 GMT: Oil Watch. Turkey's imports of Iranian oil held steady at around 100,000 barrels per day from September to December, data from a shipping source and Reuters indicate.

The volume is 45% down from Ankara's 2011 purchases of about 180,000 bpd and more than 60% lower from peak imports of 250,000-280,000 bpd in early 2012.

Iran State media highlights the unchanged imports but somehow fails to mention the sharp fall compared to the start of last year.

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Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad v. Everyone Else

See also Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader Admits A Crisis

1945 GMT: Trade Watch. State news agency IRNA, citing the Turkish Statistical Center, claims trade with Turkey has risen 40% from January-November, compared to a year earlier.

The value surpassed $20.8 billion, with Turkey's exports to Iran rising to $7 billion, mainly due to exports of gold to pay for natural gas.

Tehran is counting on trade with Ankara, one of its major partners, to offset sharp falls in oil revenues.

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The Latest from Iran (12 November): The Economic Squeeze Tightens

See also Iran Feature: The Last Blog of Sattar Beheshti, Murdered by Security Forces in Prison
Iran Snap Analysis: Military Chest-Thumping Takes Over in Tehran
The Latest from Iran (11 November): Preparing for Renewed Nuclear Talks?

1415 GMT: A Death in Detention. Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Parliament’s National Security Committee said that “preliminary information” showed no signs of beatings on the body of Sattar Beheshti, the blogger who was reportedly killed during interrogation in prison last week.

The Parliamentary committee had said yesterday, amid international pressure, that it would investigate the circumstances of Beheshti's death, which came after he was seized on 31 October from his home. The Khaneh Mellat website has reported that security forces of the Islamic Republic will appear at a committee meeting today to give their report.

The head of Islamic Republic Human Rights Commission announced that the head of the judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, had issued a special order to investigate the case.

More than 40 political prisoners in Ward 350 of Evin Prison posted a letter that “when Sattar Beheshti was brought to section 350 of Evin, signs of torture were all over his body and he was injured and in pain".

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The Latest from Iran (22 October): A Mysterious Currency Dealer, Real Executions

See also The Latest from Iran (21 October): How High Is the Rate of Inflation?

2130 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. A far from ringing endorsement for the President from conservative politician Asadollah Badamchian: "The Motalefeh Party was against Ahmadinejad since 2005 but supported him because of religious duty. We voted for him in 2009 to prevent Mir Hossein Mousavi [taking office]."

2125 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Back from a break for a seminar in Manchester to find President Ahmadinejad pressing his request to visit Evin Prison in grand terms....

In a letter to head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani, who rejected his approach for the second time on Sunday, Ahmadinejad does not mention his detained senior aide Ali Akbar Javanfekr. Instead, he sets out the mission, "I am determined to implement the Constitution and radically reform the Islamic Republic's affairs, visiting prisons and courts."

Earlier, Iran Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei had dismissed Ahmadinejad’s request as a “secondary issue”. He said the government should focus instead on solving Iran’s economic problems.

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The Latest from Iran (16 October): "Currency Market Disruptors Will Be Executed"

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt
Iran Audio Feature: Nuclear Talks and Scare Stories --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
The Latest from Iran (15 October): European Union Announces More Sanctions

2257 GMT: Economy Watch. Shoe producers gathered in front of Parliament today to protest against the high prices they pay for material, as "people do not buy expensive shoes".

2250 GMT: Currency Watch. Baztab claims that the Rial, when foreign exchange is offered, is trading at 37000:1 vs. the US dollar, a fall of about 7% from Monday.

The website also claims that the cost of old gold coin has risen to 14.4 million Rials.

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Turkey-Syria Analysis: What Will Ankara Do Now? What Should It Do?

Turkey's Erdogan with Syria's AssadWednesday's mortar that fell on Akcakale in southeastern Turkey was not the first fired by Syrian forces across the border, but it was the first to kill Turkish civilians, slaying three women and two children. So --- given that Syria's downing of a Turkish reconnaissance aircraft in July and subsequent manoeuvres near the border had brought Ankara's warning of a red line --- Ankara's retaliation with artillery fire against Syrian bases was not surprising.

The question was and still is: what comes next?

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The Latest from Iran (4 October): Protest Resurfaces --- A Ripple or a Wave?

Footage from Wednesday's closure of the Tehran Bazaar and nearby protests

2051 GMT: Currency All-is-Well Alert. Mohammad Keshti-Aray, the head of the Gold-Sellers Union, has said that the Rial strengthened to 30000:1 to 31000:1 vs. the US dollar --- Tuesday's rate, the last posted on leading website, was 35500:1 --- and that the price for gold coin is down as well.

Keshti-Aray assured that dollar and gold rates would be "clarified" on Saturday,

2047 GMT: Loyalty Watch. Prominent conservative politician Habiballah Asgarouladi has said that "fitna" (sedition) and the "deviant current" do not accept national unity, which is possible only around the Supreme Leader.

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