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Entries in Mojtaba Zolnour (13)


Iran Live Coverage: Wishing Away The Economic Problems

See also Iran Analysis: 5 Challenges to an "It's Not That Bad" Iranian Economist
Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader's Committee Chooses the "Right Man" for the Presidential Election

Queuing for Subsidised Chicken, July 20121910 GMT: Research Watch. Kalemeh reports that Iranian universities have been cut off from international research databases such as Elsevier because of non-payment of dues.

1655 GMT: Economic Rumour of the Day. An unnamed MP, cited by economist Mehrdad Emami, has reportedly said that China has twice blocked Iran from withdrawing dollars from its $25 billion of reserves in Chinese banks.

Iran is only allowed to spend the money in yuans to purchase Chinese goods.

1655 GMT: Economic Rumour of the Day. An unnamed MP, cited by economist Mehrdad Emami, has reportedly said that China has twice blocked Iran from withdrawing dollars from its $25 billion of reserves in Chinese banks.

Iran is only allowed to spend the money in yuans to purchase Chinese goods:

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The Latest from Iran (22 February): Rafsanjani Far from Finished?

1905 GMT: Economy Watch. Iran's Statistics Center has said that the unemployment rate is 11.8%. Among 15- to 29-year-olds, the rate is 23.9%.

Unemployment is higher for women than men and in cities versus rural areas.

1715 GMT: Nuke Watch. More on the tension between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran, after Tehran restricted the movement of inspectors on a two-day visit --- a diplomat in Vienna says that the Islamic Republic asked the IAEA team to sign a document regulating their activists. They refused.

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The Latest from Iran (18 February): The Issue is the Economy

See also Iran 1st-Hand: "Almost Everybody is Under Financial Pressure"
The Latest from Iran (17 February): The Political Battle

President Ahmadinejad Sees a Nuclear Project1315 GMT: Bank Fraud Watch. At today's trial over the $2.6 billion bank fraud, the prosecution separated the 32 defendants into six groups:

1) the main companions of the central figure, Amir Mansour Khosravi, involved in all crimes such as forging and using documents, exchanging lines of credits, establishing fraudulent companies, transferring money, and buying property;
2) companions of Amir Khosravi active in the cases;
3) people who acted for Amir Khosravi as brokers;
4) management of companies who demanded faked lines of credit;
5) employees of the Amir Mansur Investment Group involved in embezzlement, receiving large payments to handle illegal affairs;
6) members of management and credit and supervisory departments of banks, who neglected their duties or dissipated funds as government employees.

Khosravi said he had spent 6 1/2 months in prison but had had only two hours to talk to his lawyer. The lawyer said he had had no chance to read the complaint.

Khosravi, according to the report, admitted that he had paid a $3 million bribe to Mahmoud Reza Khavari, the former head of Bank Melli who has fled to Canada, but added that he did not want to commit treason.

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The Latest from Iran (29 June): Possibility of a Blackout

2020 GMT: The Dorm Attacks. Fourteen Tehran University students have been given fines, floggings, and prison terms from three to 10 months over an attack by security forces and plainclothes officers on university dormitories three days after the 2009 Presidential election.

Activists claim that five students were killed in the raids, and hundreds were injured and arrested.

Iranian authorities denied the involvement of security forces or any deaths among the students. No regime officer has been punished over the incidents.

1935 GMT: Labour Front. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has honoured Mansur Osanloo, President of the Tehran Bus Workers' Union, by making him an honorary member.

The Teamsters awarded the membership "in recognition of [Osanloo's] struggle for freedom of association". They continued with reference to Iranian workers, "Their struggle is our struggle. The Teamsters will work with unions worldwide to warn all investors, especially those investing workers' capital, of the grave risks of investments in Iran and Iranian controlled enterprises due to the disrespect of basic worker rights and the rule of law in Iran."

Osanloo was sentenced in July 2007 to five years in prison for "acting against national security" and "propaganda against the state" in his union activity. He was recently released on bail.

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The Latest from Iran (26 June): When Arrests Are "Normal"

2000 GMT: Reformist Watch. MP Dariush Ghanbari has given an indication that reformists --- or at least those allied with him --- will participate in the 2012 Parliamentary vote, saying they have "serious plans" for the elections.

1910 GMT: The Hunger Strikers. Kalemeh reports that two of the six hunger strikers at Rajai Shahr Prison, Masoud Bastani and Isa Saharkhiz, have been transferred to the infirmary.

Earlier today (see 1650 GMT) Isa Saharkhiz's son Mehdi said his father was in "critical condition" after three days on hunger strike.

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The Latest from Iran (24 June): The Net Closes on Ahmadinejad's Men....Continued

2005 GMT: Parliament v. President The head of Parliament's Article 90 Commission, which oversees Government activity, has said that a report on 18 violations of the Constitution by President Ahmadinejad will be read out in the Parliament this week.

Mohammad Ebrahim Nekounam said the violations include refusing to provide a budget for the Tehran Metro, failing to prepare the Ministry of Oil's article of association, and refusing to announce the establishment of the Ministry of Sports and Youth.

Nekounam said Ahmadinejad must answer questions about the constitutional violations.

1920 GMT: The Hunger Strikes. Kalemeh reports that five hunger strikers at Evin Prison --- Adbollah Momeni, Mohsen Aminzadeh, Abolfazl Ghadyani, Bahman Ahmadi Amoui, and Mehdi Karimiyan Eghbal --- have been transferred to the infirmary for treatment.

The five are among 12 political prisoners who are in the seventh day of the hunger strike, which protests the deaths of activists Haleh Sahabi and Hoda Saber and the general conditions in detention.

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The Latest from Iran (23 June): Welcome to Phase Zero

2045 GMT: Elections Watch. Yesterday, we reported the rumour that the Supreme Leader's representative to the Revolutionary Guards, Mojtaba Zolnour, is resigning to run for Parliament next March. Khabar Online continues the story with the claim that pro-Ahmadinejad officials such as Deputy Minister of Defense Javad Darvishvand, Hojatoleslam Mohammad Reza Mirtajoddini, and Ali Shahidi are leaving position to campaign for the Majlis.

2025 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Sharif University student activist Tara Sepehri has been sentenced to seven years in prison and 74 lashes.

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The Latest from Iran (7 June): Ahmadinejad's Men = "Gravest Danger in the History of Shiite Islam"

1740 GMT: Parliament v. President. Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has sent his 4th letter in two days to President Ahmadinejad, claiming 14 additional infringements of the law by the Government.

1710 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. So Mr. President, what about the staff from your office arrested as sorcerers and exorcists?

Ahmadinejad replied to the question at his press conference today, "Let's just think about Government service."

He continued, again without reference to any sorcerers, "The Government is on track under the guidance of the Supreme Leader."

However, Ahmadinejad acknowledged, with reference to advisors like Abbas Amirafar, the head of Friday Prayers in his office, and Abbas Ghaffari, the alleged sorcerer, "They arrested those people. Good for them."

Now it was time to move on: "They should let us continue our job. The Government is seeking for nothing rather than serving the people and fulfilling the revolutionary aims." He refused to answer further questions, "Our position at the moment is to stay silent. An inspiring unity silence."

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The Latest from Iran (2 June): A Revival of Dissent?

A photograph from last night's burial of Haleh Sahabi

2010 GMT: A Death at the Funeral. Our partner website, Arshama3's Blog", has posted an excellent summary in German of the case of Haleh Sahabi, "Anatomy of a Political Murder".

2005 GMT: A Death at the Funeral. Hamed Montazeri, the grandson of the late Grand Ayatollah, has written a note about the death of Haleh Sahabi. He said that Sahabi was beaten by security forces. Whether her death resulted from the impact of the blows or the shock of receiving them, Montazeri continued, "it can be said unequivocally that Ms Haleh Sahabi was murdered".

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The Latest from Iran (3 May): Helping Syria Handle Protests

Ahmed Reza Radan1820 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. The President was back in public action today, opening the Tehran Book Fair with the declaration that "Iran is the guiding thought in the world today".

But the President's recent political troubles are not entirely behind him. The Supreme Leader's representative to the Revolutionary Guards, has made a speech saying that Ahmadinejad moved far in the last few days to meet the wishes of the Supreme Leader. However, Zolnour continued, there should be no doubt that Ahmadinejad's right-hand man, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, had "extreme" and "deviant" views.

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