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Entries in Mohsen Rezaei (83)


Iran Feature: Criticising President Ahmadinejad...with 11th-Century Poetry

Poet Nasir KhusrawTabnak, close to Presidential candidate and former IRGC chief commander Mohsen Rezaei, tries a different line of attack against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this morning --- it uses the writing of the 11th-century Persian poet Nasir Khusraw to warn the President that he will receive his comeuppance.

The site writes about the rising tide of criticism of Ahmadinejad, including from his former supporters. It then invokes the poem, a kind of Shi'a karma, in which Jesus sees a dead man and pronounces: "He said that whoever kills will be cruelly killed in turn."

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Iran Live Coverage: Supreme Leader Strikes a Defiant Pose

See also Iran Live Coverage: Supreme Leader Announces a "Political and Economic Epic"

1255 GMT:Your Friday Prayers Update. Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami had the podium today and he used it for a jab at President Ahmadinejad.

Commenting on the upcoming Presidential elections, Khatami said officials must observe "Islamic ethics" and avoid misuse of authority during the process.


When selecting candidates, national and public interests were preferable to factional ones, Khatami added. "Whoever wants to be president of his country should be at the forefront of ethics,"

Khatami said that candidates must not use public funds.

"None of the three branches of the Islamic government should encourage or support a particular candidate," he added.

In contrast, Fars News English focuses its attention on rhetoric about “Arrogant Powers” and Syria.

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Iran Live Coverage: An Iranian New Year

1531 GMT: Supreme Leader Watch. The Supreme Leader delivered his annual Nowruz address today, but there are different versions depending on which outlet you read.

While Fars News -- close to the Revolutionary Guards -- focused on Ayatollah Khamenei's references to political and economic developments, English-language PressTV gave its Western readers a different message: "Iran's enemies" had failed to isolate it.

Fars described how Khamenei looked ahead to the events of the new Iranian year, including the election, and said he called on Iranians to create a "political and economic epic".

Press TV preferred the Supreme Leader's review of the events of the last year, with his declaration and how he said that Iran's enemies had been "defeated in their attempts to paralyze Iran by imposing economic sanctions". He added that Iran had been successful, for example, in its hosting of the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Both news outlets agreed on one point of presentation: the Supreme Leader's call on Iranians to turn out en masse for the June 2013 Presidential election.

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Iran Live Coverage: "UN Human Rights Investigator Bribed by US", Regime Claims

See also Iran Feature: Week in Civil Society --- From International Women's Day to the Death of Hugo Chavez
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: Chest-Beating for the Next Nuclear Talks

1701 GMT: CyberWatch. More on the curious story of the blocking of "illegal" Virtual Private Networks, which allow users to circumvent filtering and surveillance....

The curiosity is not VPNs have been declared illegal --- that has long been the case --- but that Fars pulled the news, soon after posting it. The screenshot of the story before it disappeared:

Other sites, like Fararu, continue to carry the story.

Activists report that services like Skype and Viber are now blocked in Iran.

Last month, officials said that Iranians could register for a "legal" VPN through a Government site, but this was soon off-line and is still not available.

Blocked in Iran will tell you if a site is filtered inside Iran.

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Iran Live Coverage: Syria --- The Islamic Republic's "35th Province"

Funeral service of Revolutionary Guard commander Hossein Shateri, killed in Syria, on Thursday (Photo: AP)

Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Honouring Detained Student Activist Tavakoli
Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: Revolutionary Guards Issue A Warning to The Leaders

2106 GMT: Nuclear Watch. So here, according to Reuters, is the big American gesture towards Iran to advance the talks over Tehran's nuclear programme.....

In exchange for Iranian steps to shut down its Fordow uranium enrichment plant, the US will lift sanctions --- which it imposed only nine days ago.

"Western officials" said the US and its allies will ease measures barring trade in gold and other precious metals with Iran. The restrictions, approved by President Obama in December and taking effect on 6 February, have reportedly cut off Turkey's transfer of gold to pay for Iranian natural gas (see 1716 GMT).

The officials said the offer will be presented to Iran at high-level discussions, the first in eight months, on 26 February Kazakhstan.

They acknowledged that the move is "a relatively modest update" to proposals from last year.

1732 GMT: Nut Watch. First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said the Government has ordered a six-month ban on pistachio exports to try to control the nut's price, which has doubled in the past month to about 250,000 Iranian Rials per kilogramme ($3.18 per pound).

Pistachios are among Iran's top non-oil exports, bringing in an average of $1.5 billion a year and providing work for hundreds of thousands of people.

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Iran Live Coverage: "Free Elections" and Detained Journalists

See also Iran Analysis: Nervous About Elections, The Regime Imprisons Journalists
Iran Breaking: The Space Monkey Could Be A Nuclear Warhead
Monday's Iran Live Coverage: This Weekend's Crackdown on the Press --- Why?

2000 GMT: Press Watch. The conservative sites Tabnak and Baztab, as well as Iranian History, have been blocked inside Iran.

Tabnak, linked to leading politician Mohsen Rezaei, was suspended on Sunday amid a crackdown on the press. Baztab has been notable for its criticism of the Ahmadinejad Government.

It is unclear why Iranian History has been blocked.

1946 GMT: Corruption Watch. Farshad Heydari, the managing director of the Central Bank, has explained the real reason why news emerged in autumn 2011 of a $2.6 billion bank fraud: traitors published it to stain the Ahmadniejad Government.

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Iran Live Coverage: This Weekend's Crackdown on the Press --- Why?

12 of the Journalists Arrested This Weekend

See also Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: Ali Larijani and The Battle Within The Regime

1639 GMT: Nuclear Watch. The blame game over the failure to renew nuclear talks continues, with both Iran and the European Union putting out statements today.

European Union spokesman Michael Mann said this morning, "Iran did not accept our offer to go to Istanbul on Jan. 28 and 29, and so we have offered new dates in February."

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has countered, “We have always announced that we are ready for talks until a final result [is reached] and we have never stopped negotiations.”

Earlier this month the Iranian Labor News Agency said talks would be held in Istanbul on 28-29 January, but the item was quickly withdrawn.

Salehi subsequently proposed that the negotiations could be in Cairo, but claims that the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China) rejected the venue. On Sunday, the Foreign Minister tried another tack, declaring that Kazakhstan, Sweden, and Switzerland have expressed readiness to host discussions.

Salehi continued, “Turkey is also regarded as one of our best choices.”

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Iran Live Coverage: The Isolation of the Country

See also Saturday's Iran Live Coverage: The Engineering of the Elections Turns Nasty

2226 GMT: Elections Watch. After another day of tension over "free elections", we will give the final word to Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, who refers to the 2009 Presidential election while looking to the next vote in June:

The "free election" slogan has burned 40 million votes. The leaders of fitna [sedition] should take idea of the victory to their graves.

2220 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Hashemi Rafsanjani --- having made his mark this week with his comment that it is the Iranian people, rather than the Supreme Leader or any politician, who will "pave the way to free elections" --- continues his challenge on the economic front. The former President said today:

People don't live on slogans. The Government must provide them with an average living --- giving people cash is of no help.

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The Latest from Iran (15 December): Ahmadinejad Jabs at the Revolutionary Guards

President Ahmadinejad at a public appearance on Friday

See also Iran Letter: Nasrin Sotoudeh from Prison "Why I Went on Hunger Strike"
Iran Feature: "Accept that the Regime is in Its Final Days" --- Dr Maleki's Letter to Supreme Leader
The Latest from Iran (14 December): An Advance in the Nuclear Talks?

2025 GMT: What's Missing from This Story? Press TV proclaims:

South Korea imports of Iranian crude oil have increased 2.9% in November compared to a month ago despite West’s unilateral embargoes against Iran's oil and financial sectors.

According to the data released by Korea Customs Service, Seoul purchased 814,797 metric tons, equivalent to 5.97 million barrels, of oil from Iran in November...

South Korea halted crude purchases from Iran in August and September after its refiners lost insurance coverage on ships because of the sanctions imposed on Iran. However, Iran responded by using state-owned tankers to carry cargoes, a move that would allow South Korea to receive crude shipments without concerns over insurance guarantees.

Press TV, however, appears to have missed this report on longer-term prospects:

South Korean refiners will cut imports of Iranian crude during the six months to May by about a fifth from a year earlier, to avoid sanctions by Washington, government and industry sources told Reuters on Monday....

"The cut in next year's imports is expected to be by about 20 percent year on year," an industry source who has direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

South Korea gave the assurance on the size of the cuts in talks with the United States following discussions with Korean refiners, the sources said.

Such a cut would imply South Korean imports of about 147,814 bpd over the period to next May, since it imported 184,767 bpd of Iranian crude from December 2011 to May 2012.

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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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