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« Today on EA (25 January 2010) | Main | UPDATED Iran Snap Analysis: The Karroubi and Khatami Manoeuvres »

The Latest from Iran (25 January): Who Makes A Move Today?

2145 GMT: The Karroubi Story. We've worked tonight through the stories, the rumours, and possibilities to post an interim analysis of Mehdi Karroubi's statement today on "Mr Khamenei" and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "the head of the government of the regime".

2140 GMT: In Case You Missed It. Persian2English reports: "Abolfazl Eslami, former Counselor of the Iranian Embassy in Tokyo, writes that he has decided to join people’s movement in light of the Islamic Republics’ violence and oppression."

1955 GMT: And on the Clerical Front. Ayatollah Bayat-Zanjani has renewed his criticism of the regime, asking Iran's leaders to do "nahy az monker" (repent from the bad way).

1945 GMT: Remember the Economic Front? Most of the management of Bank Melli have been replaced.

1935 GMT: We are hoping to have a thorough, on-the-mark analysis, from an EA correspondent with excellent sources, of the Karroubi statement about 2130 GMT. (To be blunt, I got it wrong earlier today, but I think, thanks to a lot of help, we'll have the best possible reading by the end of tonight.)

NEW Iran Special Analysis: What Karroubi’s Statement on “Mr Khamenei”/”Head of Government” Means
NEW Iran Snap Analysis: The Karroubi and Khatami Manoeuvres
NEW Iran: Listening to Rumours, Whispers, and Shouts
Iran and Israel: The Start of a Beautiful Friendship?
Iran Analysis: Should the Greens Be Waiting for Economic Collapse?
UPDATED Iran: The Plot Against President Ahmadinejad
The Latest from Iran (24 January): Watching Carefully

Meanwhile, another piece of evidence to put into the mix, indicating that Karroubi is not recognising Ahmadinejad as President but merely as a "selected leader". He told Rah-e-Sabz that he stood by his comments, but the people have problems which must be solved by the government, which is responsible for the situation. He repeated a statement he had made to an English newspaper: "I am convinced that Ahmadinejad will not stay for four years."

1610 GMT: Going after Revolution. Amidst all the confusion over the Karroubi statement, a blunter political move by another cleric:

Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, who is close to the President, has made another attempt to pressure Hashemi Rafsanjani's authority. Speaking in Qom, he said that he was "shocked" at Rafsanjani's recent speech where the former President offered his view of the political situation "according to [Rafsanjani's] experience". Yazdi snapped, "Is this more important than the Supreme Leader's experience?"

Yazdi urged/warned Rafsanjani to "come back to the breast of the Revolution and the Supreme Leader", criticising Rafsanjani's ambiguity: "Your speech is not just two sides; it is many sides."

1515 GMT: We have posted a major update to our earlier analysis of the Karroubi and Khatami moves today, taking into account corrected and new information about the Karroubi statement.

1500 GMT: Hasan Ahmadian, a leading member of Mir Hossein Mousavi's campaign, was reportedly released on bail of $500,000 last night.

1300 GMT: We have posted an urgent snap analysis of the important --- if true --- developments of the Karroubi letter accepting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as President (see 1135 GMT) and Mohammad Khatami's letter to the Supreme Leader: "Has a Deal Been Struck?"

1230 GMT: Watch-It Warning of the Day. Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi strikes the pose --- insulting senior figures and the head of the three branches of the Iran Government (the President, Speaker of Parliament, head of Judiciary) is a crime. So don't do it.

Doulatabadi also commented on other matters, including the 5 Ashura detainees tried this weeks on charges of "mohareb"/war against God and threats to national security (verdicts will be issued soon) and the murder of Professor Ali-Mohammadi (enquiry continues).

1135 GMT: A Vote of Legitimacy. Well, you can now top our morning analysis of Rumours with this report:
Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi who had refused to accept the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, now recognises the hardliner as the country's "president", Karroubi's son told AFP (Agence France Presse) on Monday.

Hossein Karroubi quoted his father as saying: "I am still of the same belief that the election was unhealthy and massively rigged. But since the (Supreme) leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) endorsed (Ahmadinejad's victory), I believe that he is the head of the government, meaning he is the president."

....Fars (News Agency) asked the opposition leader whether he now acknowledges Ahmadinejad as the president.

The ex-speaker of parliament, who came fourth in the disputed June 12 presidential election, replied: "I still maintain that there were problems (in the election), but with regard to your question, I should say that I recognise the president."

1130 GMT: Far-from-Academic Losses. An EA reader follows up on the story of the apparent firing of Professor Abbas Kazemi by Tehran University for his attendance at the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri (0655 GMT):
If the news is true about Kazemi being fired from U of T, that is a sad thing. Kazemi wrote The Sociology of Religious Intellectuals in Iran, which I have sitting on my table right in front of me.

1120 GMT: The Meaning of Investment. An EA reader pulls me up on my morning jab at Press TV (0755 GMT) over its story that Iran is seeking foreign investment:
On the foreign investment caps being lifted, you are missing the big story. When (President) Khatami tried to do similar things in the late 1990s, the Guardian Council and fellow conservatives completely attacked the idea, saying it was selling out the country's resources. This is another example of how Ahmadinejad is actually more of an economic liberal than Khatami (who was never really sure about economic liberalism and it was not his forte) ever was.

1110 GMT: Your Latest Plot --- Greens, the CIA, and Currency. Kayhan newspaper is none too amused that Iran's Central Bank has backed away from declaring "invalid" any banknotes with Green slogans and/or markings.

For you see, the marking of the banknotes is clearly a CIA plot, based on the ideas of Robert Helvey, a retired Army officer and associate of Gene Sharp at Harvard University. Sharp is Iran's bete noire when it comes to thoughts of "velvet revolution", and Helvey also got a mention in the Tehran trials of August.

0755 GMT: More Morning Fun from Press TV. Apparently Shamsoddin Hosseini, Iran's Economy and Finance Minister, says there will no limit on foreign investment in Iranian industrial or mineral sectors under the 5th Development Plan (2010-2015) proposed by Presdent Ahmadinejad: ”The Iranian government will be trying to remove any obstacle in the financial domain by the end of the fifth development plan."

With respect, given reports that foreign investment fell up to 96 percent between March 2008 and March 2009 (in other words, before the current political crisis), I am a bit surprised Mr Hosseini did not declare that investors would be met at Imam Khomeini Airport with flowers and cases of Parsi Cola.

0735 GMT: Press TV's Morning Spin. The Iranian state outlet offers this dramatic story, "China attacks US for online warfare in Iran":
A Chinese Communist Party editorial says the election unrest in Iran was an example of US 'naked political scheming' behind a facade of free speech....The People's Daily editorial said the US had launched a "hacker brigade" and used social media such as Twitter to spread rumors and create trouble in Iran.

Interesting that Press TV doesn't seem to notice a possible motive for China's apparent defense of Iranian sovereignty and legitimacy --- perhaps theirreporters were looking at Twitter when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her high-profile speech last week calling for Internet freedom and focusing on China as the Number One Test Case.

0710 GMT: We've put our first updates in a separate analysis on political and economic developments.

0650 GMT: The Academic Fight over the Funerals. Norooz claims Professor Abbas Kazemi, a member of the School of Communications at Tehran University, has been fired for attending the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri last month.

More than 110 academics and scholars around the world, including Noam Chomsky and Ramin Jahanbegloo, have called for an independent enquiry into the murder of Tehran University professor Massoud Ali-Mohammadi.

0645 GMT: Strikes and Firings. The Flying Carpet Institute reports that five workers at Rasoul Auto Company have been dismissed after strikes over disputed back pays. The employees' wages for November and December have not been settled.

0615 GMT: Sunday's Best Story? Rah-e-Sabz claims that President Ahmadinejad handed over his budget proposal to Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, the CD was blank. (Cue all the metaphors about Ahmadinejad's economic plans.) Apparently Ahmadinejad was "quickly ordered" to transfer the proposal that does exist to Parliament.

0530 GMT: We've moved our overnight updates to a separate entry, "Listening to Rumours, Whispers, and Shouts".

Reader Comments (30)

Sobh be kheyr to all,

Etemade Melli's demand echoes the Manifesto of 31, recently issued by Iranian expatriates, who asked for free elections under international supervision:
Defying all arrests, menaces and heavy security measures, the Green movement becomes more united from day to day.

Afarin bar Karroubi! Zendeh bad jonbeshe sabz!
Ma bishomarim ...

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

"0615 GMT: Sunday’s Best Story? Rah-e-Sabz claims that President Ahmadinejad handed over his budget proposal to Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, the CD was blank. (Cue all the metaphors about Ahmadinejad’s economic plans.) Apparently Ahmadinejad was “quickly ordered” to transfer the proposal that does exist to Parliament."


The one weakness of this Forum is that it does not allow us to show our emotions via Emoticons . :)

So how can I show my absolute laughter to this???

We hear a lot of hyperbole from supporters of this Regime about the Regime's military capabilities - but they are a joke. eg. Missile launchers on the back of 6x4 car trailers??? Etc.

A presentation from the President to Parliament -- on a BLANK CD!!!!

Damn-- where are those emoticons???? :)


January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarry


Mahmoud enters BS program in 1976 and he receives his Ph.D. (so he claims) in 1997. Do you expect him to download his budget proposal on a CD in his first attempt? Let’s cut the poor slob some slack.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

[...] Read the original here: The Latest from Iran (25 January): Who Makes A Move Today … [...]


Thanks for the Helvey interview. It reads like a duplicate of the current situation in Iran, and I'm stunned by the parallels. As to the economic situation SF Chronicle's Joel Brinkley writes: "Corruption, profiteering rage under Ahmadinejad"

Referring to 2005, when AN was elected, promising to end corruption and clean up the nation's economy, he says: "Well, that year, Transparency International placed Iran just past halfway down its Corruption Perceptions Index, No. 88 of 158 countries surveyed. By 2007, Iran had fallen to 131st place. This year, in the survey just published, Iran is pushing toward the bottom: 168th out of 180 nation's surveyed, in the company of Sudan, Chad and Burma.

Obviously all of this is completely untrue. Brinkley is most probably a Zionist and of course payed by the Great Satan ;-)


January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

Pardon, completely OT, but perhaps interesting for those who speak Arabic. Today Sueddeutsche Zeitung portrays ammannet, the first independent, uncensored and democratic internet-radio of the Arab world:

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

@ Arshama post 1
Thank you for teaching us so many useful Persian phrases in your posts. Now we can say "Good morning idiot" :-) :-)

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

The Bobbsey Twins ride again: Obama’s Iran Policy at One Year
Friday, 22 January 2010
Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

"2200 GMT: And, on the political front, Mehdi Karroubi’s Etemade Melli party has issued a statement calling for the holding of a free election and permission to stage demonstrations."

And now he recognises AN as president. Why the sudden change of heart? Something isn`t right, and this couple of weeks before 22 bahman. Maybe SL is onboard with Larijani,Qalibaf and Mohsen to oust AN. Maybe Karroubi`s statement is meant to neutralize or distract certain elements within Sepah, give them the feeling that they have won and then a sudden takeover?

I don`t know...this has a bad smell to it

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentershangool

@ Catherine #7

Khahesh mikonam - You're welcome :-)
If you are interested, here is a free course "Persian for Beginners" in four lessons:
The transcription may be confusing at the beginning, but "x" stands for "kh", "c" with a hat for "ch" (e.g. chador), "s" with a hat for "sh" and the "ae" for a slightly different spelling of "a".
Persian lessons finished for today, should start to do something ... ;-)

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

Has anyone seen this report in Jaras tweeted by sbelg?
Jaras: Intel agents had raided prof Alimohammadi's house 1 day b4 his assassination

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Man scheduled to be hanged in public in Isfahan on January 27:
The spokesperson of Iran Human Rights condemns this decision and hopes people in Isfahan, like those in Sirjan in December, will turn the hanging into a public uprising against the regime.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine


A very bad smell indeed, but nothing really surprising. These insiders are not to be trusted. They use "double langage" : one statement to make the people believe they are with them and support their claims, the next to support the regime and all that goes with it.
Nothing to be expected from them. It's just a dance, a hypnotizing dance.
All this comedy has only one aim: prevent the people from fully realizing that NOTHING will ever change in Iran as long as they don't get rid of the whole lot of them.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterflorence achard

Via a friend in response to my question about this issue (Please note the use of Mr as a prefix for Khamenei) : Fars [NB: also known as farce] news quoted Karrubi which indicated what you note. However shortly later Karrubi clarified what he had said via his son. And this is the clarification. AH is the head of the government of the regime (the word President was not used) based on the fact that Mr. Khameneii signed his order. And now the discussion is heating up. Indications are that this is Karrubi's way of furthering Mousavi's condition number one (in statement No. 17) in which he said the government is responsible for the needs of the people (even if the majority did not vote for it) and thus starting the way for strikes and also answering to why the banks are collapsing etc. but furthermore, saying that Mr. Khameneii is directly responsible for the shortcomings of his chosen head of government.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia Sutherland

[...] Guter Überblick über die widersprüchlichen Nachrichten zu Karroubis angeblichem Rückzieher gegenüber Ahmadi-Nedjad [...]

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNews vom 25. Januar « Ar

Spiegel has breaking news about the IRI nuclear programme:,1518,673802,00.html

"According to the classified document, there is a secret military branch of Iran's nuclear research program that answers to the Defense Ministry and has clandestine structures. The officials who have read the dossier conclude that the government in Tehran is serious about developing a bomb, and that its plans are well advanced. There are two names that appear again and again in the documents, particularly in connection with the secret weapons program: Kamran Daneshjoo and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh....

Western experts believe that this center developed into a sub-organization of the Defense Ministry known as the FEDAT, an acronym for the "Department for Expanded High-Technology Applications" -- the secret heart of Iran's nuclear weapons program. The head of that organization is Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, 48, an officer in the Revolutionary Guard and a professor at Tehran's Imam Hossein University."

Perhaps professor Ali Mohammadi had some information about this programme and was considered not trustworthy, but this is a mere guess.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

If the BAD Americans and Zionists are really that competent that they can assasinate anybody inside Iran whenever they want to (as implied by some inside the Regime) - the way is now clear for them in regard to two names quoted in this article. If I were one of them, I would be very afraid.


January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarry

these allegations sound like the documents that the IAEA has been investigating since 2005-6 and which refer to activities up to around 2003, i.e. before US intelligence concluded (in the 2007 estimate) that any weapons-related nuclear activities had been stopped.

There's nothing here that appears to be 'new' apart from the alleged inclusion of Daneshjoo's name which is interesting because he's in the current cabinet.

I've seen other Spiegel reports by Erich Follath that have been similarly heavy on anonymously-sourced sinister spin and low on facts.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermukharbish


A German saying goes: "In love matters and wartimes all means are allowed."
We are now in wartime, where all kinds of psy-ops are useful, says

Green warrior Arshama

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama


We say "All is fair in love and war" :)


January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarry

Tabnak is reporting that three of the six members of Board of Directors of Bank Melli have been replaced:

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreeny

"nahy az monker", means prohibit/forbid the evil/bad/undesirable, it is the second clause in the Islamic doctrine of "commanding the good, prohibiting evil"--repentence is tawba (tobat)...

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAbbas


Thanks for your hint, my clumsy English, ouf! Looking forward to learn more, please keep on explaining :-)


January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama


Your English is much better than my German :)

I won't try to teach you English - but I could teach you some Australian sayings

Did you know that AN is the world's only living brain donor?


January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarry


Thanks for this excellent site! You made my day, eh, night ;-)

First question: Why is AN the world's only living brain donor?

Found an appropriate Australian saying for him:
"One foot in the grave and the other on a banana skin."

Second question (personal): Pardon me, why is an Australian interested in Iran?

If you are near Wellington, NZ PEN is going to hold a press conference in support of the people of Iran:


January 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

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