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Entries in Mohsen Rezaei (83)


The Latest from Iran (11 June): A Fraud Case Reaches the Government

2030 GMT: Fraud Watch. Next week's Moscow talks on Iran's nuclear programme will proceed after European Union foreign policy representative Catherine Ashton and top Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili spoke for one hour on the phone tonight.

There was chatter that the discussions were in jeopardy after days of increasingly negative exchanges in the media between the two sides, but a Western diplomat said, “Moscow is a green light."

A European diplomat maintained that the US and Europe had held the line on no preparatory talks before Moscow, unless Iran discussed issues of political substance: “Jalili went on and on about need for a technical meeting. Ashton stayed firm.” He continued:

[The Iranians] have now backed down from that and appear prepared to engage on our proposals, which is important for us. We will respond to their ideas --- note the different terminology. We have concrete proposals, they have issues/ideas.

A spokesman for Ashton set out the apparent deal: Ashton and Jalili “agreed on the need for Iran to engage on the E3+3 proposals", while Ashton "conveyed the E3+3′s readiness to respond to the issues raised by the Iranians in Baghdad".

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The Latest from Iran (10 June): Tough Talk Takes Over

See also Iran Feature: Lost Files --- Families of 55 Post-Election Victims Still Seek Justice
The Latest from Iran (9 June): Spiralling to a Nuclear Breakdown

1627 GMT: CyberWatch. Kamal Hadianfar, the head of a special police cyber-unit, has repeated that Iran is poised to launch a crackdown on Virtual Private Networks.

VPNs use a secure protocol to encrypt users' data, circumvent online blocks by Iranian authorities.

"It has been agreed that a commission (within the cyber police) be formed to block illegal VPNs," Hadianfar said. He claimed "about 20 to 30%" of Iran's 36 million web users employed VPNs.

Hadianfar said legal VPNs would only be used by "the likes of airlines, ministries, (state) organisations and banks", and these would be monitored.

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The Latest from Iran (31 May): Towards a Diplomatic Crash in Moscow?

See also Iran Special: Tehran's View of Nuclear Talks --- Insight, Propaganda, or Self-Deception?
The Latest from Iran (30 May): Profiting from the Sanctions

2049 GMT: Justice Watch. In an interview with Fars, Abdolhossein Ruholamini --- conservative political activist and father of one of the men killed in the Kahrizak detention centre in summer 2009 --- has said that Presidential advisor Saeed Mortazavi will be charged in the case, probably as an accessory to murder.

Mortazavi was Tehran Prosecutor General at the time of the abuse and deaths.

Ruholamini said no date for trial had been set but Mortazavi's file had been sent to the court.

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The Latest from Iran (18 May): Helping Damascus

The regime-supported rally denouncing the US and Saudi Arabia over Bahrain (see 1359 GMT)

See also Iran Special: The Nuclear Scientist, WikiLeaks, and the Executed Kickboxer
Iran Feature: How Tehran is Shipping Syria's Oil
The Latest from Iran (17 May): Arms to Syria?

1948 GMT: The Bahrain Card. More about the regime's propaganda offensive based on the (now dormant) Saudi initative for "union" with Bahrain....

One of the Tehran Friday Prayers leaders, Ayatollah Emami Kashani, has said that the Bahraini people, "thanks to their alertness", will not allow the US "and its mercenaries" to implement the union.

Far more colourful is the declaration of the head of the Basij militia, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, “Al Khalifa and Al Saud regimes should come to realize that their American masters are simply looking for new lackeys in the region. What happened ultimately to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Saddam Hussein, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak and other dictators, now awaits them.”

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The Latest from Iran (13 May): Tehran's Falling Oil Exports

See also Iran Special: Politics and the "Death Fatwa" on Rapper Shahin Najafi
Iran 1st-Hand: Reports from a Controlled Election
The Latest from Iran (12 May): Ahmadinejad Keeps on Trippin'

1505 GMT: Economy Watch. Economist Saeed Laylaz has rejected the President's claims that Iran's price rises are due to global inflation, saying the most important factor is the Government.

Laylaz said inflation had fallen from 26-30% in 2008-2009 to 20% in 2011-2012, but he noted that production has sharply declined and is now the biggest threat to the economy.

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Iran Snap Analysis: Is Tehran Pulling Back from the Nuclear Talks?

Is Iran pulling back from the nuclear talks with the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China), only nine days before they were supposed to begin?

We thought the discussions had been agreed for Istanbul. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the meeting would be in Istanbul. The Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, had said Istanbul.

All of us may have been wrong.

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The Latest from Iran (22 March): Noise for the New Year

2114 GMT: Human Rights Watch. The United Nations Human Rights Council renewed the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur for Iran, Ahmad Shaheed, on Thursday by a 22-5 vote with 20 abstentions.

Russia and China voted against the resolution that expressed "serious concerns" about Iran's human rights record.

2104 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Mohammad Nabi Habibi, the leader of the conservative Motalefeh Party, has echoed the warning of MP Alireza Marandi (see 1220 GMT), "I pray for Ahmadinejad that he ends his term as President on good terms."

MP Asadollah Badamchian adds that the President made the mistake, in his Parliamentary "interrogation" last week, of insulting legislators and callig them unworthy if they wld not give him high marks.

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The Latest from Iran (23 February): Don't Panic!

See also Iran Snapshot: The World's Worst Pundit Today --- Mr Tucker Carlson
Iran Snap Analysis: Nuclear Postures and "War is Coming!"
The Latest from Iran (22 February): Rafsanjani Far from Finished?

2134 GMT: A Warning to Ahmadinejad. Prominent cleric Mehdi Taeb, the brother of an important Revoutionary Guards commander, has put out a wide-ranging statement. He said oil sanctions against "impossible" and declared that the Islamic Constancy Front, vying for influence in the Parliamentary elections, has no relation with the "deviant current". That deviant current "has swallowed Satan", and the "2009 fitna (sedition) was one of their invisible actions".

Most interesting, however, was Taeb's message for the President. He said Ahmadinejad's right-hand man, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, is seeking his downfall, although the Iranian people are too intelligent for this. He continued that "most elites have deserted Ahmadinejad, but most people accept him with Ayatollah Khamenei if not with Rahim-Mashai".

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The Latest from Iran (19 February): "The Islamic Republic Does Not Need a Supreme Leader"

See also Iran Special: And This Week's Medals for Worst News Coverage Go To....
The Latest from Iran (18 February): The Issue is the Economy

2042 GMT: All-Is-Well Alert. Minister of Economy Shamseddin Hosseini announced today that the economy grew 5.8% in the Iranian year ending 20 March 2011.

Hosseini said growth was 6.1% excluding the oil sector.

The Central Bank of Iran had previously announced that economic growth for 2010/11 was 3.5% including the oil sector, and 4.3% excluding the oil sector.

No explanation is given as to why Hosseini was putting out figures almost a year old, rather than more recent data on the economy.

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The Latest from Iran (5 February): The Coup Within --- The Sequel

See also Iran Opinion: Why Do Thousands of Women Want to Be Ninjas?
The Latest from Iran (4 February): Missing the Story on the Supreme Leader

Rezaei, Qalibaf, Larijani2225 GMT: Security Watch. Writer and human rights activist Yousef Azizi Banitaraf has said Iranian security forces have arrested 50 people over the past two weeks in Arab neighbourhoods in the southwestern province of Khuseztan.

Banitaraf claimed two of the detainees, Nasser Alboshokeh Derafshan and Mohammad Kaabi, were killed while in custody. The arrests, which have taken place in Shoosh, Ahwaz, and Hamidieh, were apparently prompted by youth writing slogans on public walls, calling for a boycott of March's Parliamentary elections.

"The security forces are telling elders of the tribes in the region to bring people to the voting booths, and the young people are opposed to this," Banitaraf said.

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