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Entries in Saeed Jalili (104)


Iran Live: Uncertainty over the Presidential Election

The Supreme Leader's "2+1 Committee" --- failing to establish a unity candidate for June's election?

See also Iran Caption Competition: Ahmadinejad Dresses Up in Africa
Saturday's Iran Live: An Ahmadinejad Election Comeback?

1555 GMT: Election Watch

Mehr posts a series of pictures of a de facto election rally by President Ahmadinejad and his would-be successor, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, in Khuzestan Province in southwestern Iran.

In his speech, Ahmadinejad criticised those "who want to decide for people" and indicated that support payments, covering the cost of his subsidy cuts, could be increased by five times.

Mehr:also claims that Ahmadinejad is planning a meeting with 85 bloggers and an "Epic of Presence" rally for women and youth.

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Iran Live: The Regime Responds to the Nuclear Talks

A vision of the nuclear talks, 40 years from now

1745 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Labour activists Khaled Hosseini, Vafa Ghaderi, and Hamed Mahmoudnejad have been released from prison.

1705 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Writers Association members and friends of detained blogger and physician Mehdi Khazali have launched a fast, coinciding with the 100th day of Dr. Khazali’s hunger strike.

Khazali, the son of a famous Ayatollah, has been arrested on several occasions, most recently in October 2012.

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Iran Live: Nuclear Talks Grind to a Halt --- What Next?

See also Iran Special: The Stalled Nuclear Talks --- Why Tehran Cannot Give Up Its Right to Enrichment
Saturday's Iran Live: Decoding the Signals from the Nuclear Talks

2055 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Blogger and poet Reza Akvanian has been arrested.

Akvanian, a writer for the blog “Salhaye Khoobe Zendegi (Life’s Good Years)", was also detained in February 2010 by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence and given a one-year prison sentence, with five years suspended, for “insulting the leader and the President” and “association with outsiders by sharing news reports".

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Iran Special: The Stalled Nuclear Talks --- Why Tehran Cannot Give Up Its Right to Enrichment

Funeral of assassinated nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 13 January 2012

Iran's stance that its people have the right to enrich uranium has become more than a negotiating position. It is an important element of the Islamic Republic's identity and an issue of national pride. A central symbol of the struggle against the US and the West, the dedication to that right is beyond the black-and-white narrative of "the West says Iran is building a bomb, Tehran says it isn't".

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Iran Live: Decoding the Signals from the Nuclear Talks

Iran Snap Analysis: No Advance in the Nuclear Talks on Friday
Friday's Iran Live: Nuclear Talks Resume in Kazakhstan

1942 GMT: Nuclear Watch. The American attempt to put the spin on the outcome of the nuclear talks has now emerged.

A "senior U.S. official" told reporters that, despite the failure to make any advance, there was no breakdown in nuclear negotiations and that diplomacy would continue.

The official said Iran could be subjected to more economic sanctions in the future, as Western governments seek to step up pressure, but he also claimed that there were some positive signs in the two sets of Almaty discussions in February and April: "Our exchanges were more natural and free-flowing than they had been in the past talks."

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Iran Snap Analysis: No Advance in the Nuclear Talks on Friday

Catherine Ashton, the lead negotiator for the 5+1 Powers, and her Iranian counterpart Saeed Jalili

The US and European members of the 5+1 Powers want Iran to work with specifics of the 5+1 proposals, namely the arrangements for suspension of enrichment of 20% uranium. They were unable to get Tehran's negotiators to start from that point.

The Iranians fear that they will get little for agreement to that suspension, even on a six-month rather than permanent basis. So far the Western power shave offered no more than token relief of some sanctions, namely on gold and precious metals, and have not explicitly recognised Iran's right to enrich to 5%.

So Tehran's negotiators are looking for a declaration on principles --- for example, the right to enrich --- before taking on the specifics.

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Iran Feature: Talking Tough --- How the US and Tehran Mirror Each Other's Rhetoric

General Michael HaydenBoth sides believe that getting the other to make those concessions over the nuclear issue would be a major psychological blow --- perhaps even a defeat --- in the struggle for regional power. Both believe that such concessions --- Washington admitting Tehran's "right to enrich" or the polar opposite, Tehran giving up that --- would signal fundamental weakness in its rival.

At the level of this week's talks, those hopes and fears are being put diplomatically. Beyond the talks, in the chattering cauldron of Washington, some are blunter.

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Iran Live: Still Looking for "Unity" for the Election

The Supreme Leader's "2+1 Committee" --- MP Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, Khamenei advisor Ali Velayati, and Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf --- who are seeking a "unity" candidate for the Presidential election

See also Iran Analysis: This Week's Nuclear Talks --- A 5-Point Guide to the US and European Position
Monday's Iran Live: Will Iranians Celebrate "Islamic Republic Day"?

1410 GMT: Food Watch. Nasser Karimi offers another story on the soaring price of pistachios, a luxury for New Year celebrations, adding this twist:

The government, which usually tries to contain Iranians' anger over the economy, has heartily backed the pistachio boycott — again for reasons tied to the Western-led sanctions over Iran's nuclear program. Pistachio exports provide a small but important pipeline for foreign revenues at a time when sanctions are squeezing Iran's oil and gas sales. Authorities say fewer nuts consumed at home means more available to sell abroad.

The pale green nuts are Iran's top non-oil export, though admittedly they are very distant second. Iran earned at least $750 million last year from exporting the nut, with some estimates as high as $1 billion.

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Iran Analysis: Reading the Lack of Progress at This Week's Nuclear Talks

Why is Iran choosing to give a message this way --- through an unnamed source --- rather than criticising the West's proposals more directly via named officials speaking to State media?

The answer is likely because Iran at this stage is seeking only to test the waters before the more serious resumption of negotiations in Almaty next month.

If the West does not budge on its proposals, we are likely to see a stronger, official response from Iran at that stage.

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Iran Live Coverage: What Happened in the Nuclear Talks in Istanbul?

See also Iran Feature: So What is The Regime's "Must Read" US Book?
Monday's Iran Live Coverage: "Sedition is On the Way"

1955 GMT: Education Watch. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the dismissal of the heads of Tehran University and Tarbiat Muddares University, Khabar Online reports.

Khabar published what it said was a letter from the President to Kamran Daneshjoo, the Minister of Science, Research, and Technology, calling for the firings.

Reports also claim Ahmadinejad is insisting on the dismissal of the head of Jahad Daneshqai University and Amir Kabir University.

An EA correspondent suggests that the reason for these requests is because the four University Presidents oppose Ahmadinjad's close confidante and advisor Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai studying for a Master's degree.

Some observers believe the Guardian Council could use Rahim-Mashai's lack of a postgraduate degree to prevent him from standing for President.

1915 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Faezeh Hashemmi, the daughter of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, has been released from prison after serving a six-month term.

Hashemi was detained in September on charges, imposed in 2011, of spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic. The court also banned her from political activities for five years.

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