Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


« Iraq Special: The Outcome of the Election --- Uncertainty | Main | Israel-US Analysis: After Washington, What Will Netanyahu Do? »

The Latest from Iran (26 March): Break Time

1935 GMT: We Will, We Will Rescue You. It's Hojatoleslam Kazem Seddiqi taking Tehran's Friday Prayers, and he's a man with a mission:
We should focus our efforts on freeing Americans from under the yoke of the two ruling parties in the United States. We want to save the West and spread morality in the world. We should concentrate our efforts on the international revolution and rescuing nations from the rule of arrogant powers.

Seddiqi also criticised President Obama for supporting Iran's "civil rights activists".

(So Seddiqi is denouncing the US Government's intervention in another country's affairs but calling on the Iranian Government to...intervene in another country's affair. Well, that seems logically consistent.)

Iran: “We are Going to Make the Future Better”
UPDATED Iran Appeal: Japan’s Deportation of Jamal Saberi
UPDATED Iran: The Controversy over Neda’s “Fiance”
The Latest from Iran (25 March): Lying Low

1930 GMT: Opening Communications. The United Nations' communications agency, the International Telecommunication Union, has called on Iran on Friday to end jamming of foreign satellite broadcasts.

The statement follows a similar announcement by the European Union earlier this week.

1920 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch.  A story to treat with caution, but interesting if true: Rah-e-Sabz is claiming, from a source close to Hashemi Rafsanjani, that the former President has said that people should continue their protests to insist that their demands are met. Rafsanjani allegedly pointed to the end of the Nowruz holidays on 12 Farvardin (next Thursday, 1 April) as an occasion for public demonstrations.

1320 GMT: Nowruz Visits. Mostafa Tajzadeh, former Deputy of Minister of Interior and senior member of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front, has used his temporary release to visit families of political prisoners who were not freed for the holidays. Amongst those seen by Tajzadeh and his wife were the families of Mohammad Nourizad, the filmmaker and former editor-in-chief of Kayhan, Davood Soleimani, member of Islamic Iran Participation Front, journalist Emadeddin Baghi.

1145 GMT: Iran Nukes No, Pakistan Nukes OK. How far will the US go to keep economic pressure on Tehran? This from Asia Times Online:
In 2008, after several years of negotiations, nuclear-armed India and the United States signed a civilian nuclear deal that in essence allowed India access to civilian nuclear technology and fuel from other countries even though it is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Pakistan, which like its neighbor India has a nuclear arsenal and is not a signatory to the NPT, has long been rankled by India's deal, wanting one of its own with the US. This topic featured high on the agenda of a top-level Pakistani delegation that held talks in Washington this week with senior US officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Washington, with some reservations, has been receptive to Pakistan's wishes, especially as Islamabad has emerged as a key strategic partner in the efforts to bring the war in Afghanistan to a conclusion, and in dealing with al-Qaeda and militancy in general in the region.

There will be a price: the US, according to analysts who spoke to Asia Times Online, wants Pakistan to walk away from the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

Last year, Islamabad and Tehran finalized a US$7.5 billion deal to transfer gas 2,775 kilometers from fields in Iran to terminals in Pakistan, and this month they signed an operational agreement on the project, despite US opposition.

The US, as it seeks to isolate Iran and impose sanctions on it over Tehran's nuclear program, is a vocal critic of the pipeline project, which was initially to have included a third leg going to India. India dropped its participation in the project, ostensibly over pricing disagreements; there is widespread belief that it did so to secure the nuclear deal with the US.

1040 GMT: The Bunker-Busting Bomb Iran Story. This is one that won't go away: Abdul-Rahman al-Rashed, the general manager of Al Arabiya TV, writes in Asharq al-Awsat, "The perplexing question: Will a war be launched on Iran if the economic sanctions fail?"

The evidence is the revelation of the move of bunker-piercing bombs to a US base on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Office. I can only repeat what I have posted in comments as this issue has percolated. This move would have been made irrespective of the current crisis with Iran: it is part of a "force projection" plan by the US military in the region, with a view not only to asserting an image of superiority vis-a-vis Iran but also in cases such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

0935 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. RAHANA reports that Mitra Aali, a graduate student at Sharif University was detained by the Ministry of Intelligence on 10 March and her whereabouts are now unknown.

RAHANA also reports on other political prisoners, including Behrooz Javid Tehrani, who are being held in solitary confinement and inhumane conditions at Evin Prison.

Aali, detained on two previous occasions since the June election, had been asked by the Ministry to come in for a "follow-up" and to receive her confiscated possessions.

0925 GMT: Remembering. A new video tells the story of Ramin Ramezani, who was killed during the 15 June demonstrations.

0750 GMT: Parliament v. President. Continued fighting over the Ahmadinejad subsidy reduction plan --- former Minister of Health Massoud Pezeshkian has said the President "has no excuse" and "must follow laws", a claim echoed by reformist MP Majid Nasirpour. Reformist Mostafa Kavakebian insists the decision about the usefulness of subsidy cuts is with the Majlis not Ahmadinejad.

0745 GMT: Economy Watch. Is this a sign of the President trying to tighten his control over Iran's energy industry? Rah-e-Sabz claims that Minister of Oil Massoud Mirkazemi has been replaced as head of the Government's "oil group" by First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi.

0710 GMT: With a week left in Iran's Nowruz holidays, political news continues to be slow.

On the international front, the Obama Administration seems to be moving away from its toughest proposed sanctions amidst renewed "5+1" talks on Iran's nuclear programme. Still, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has launched another warning about Tehran's military threat. Gates asserted that Iran's unmanned aerial vehicles --- "drones" --- could cause problems for the US in theatres like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The American pressure is still caught up in a complex international game, however. Russia continues with a dual approach, offering signals that it might support some further sanctions while reassuring Iran that the Bushehr nuclear plant will go on-line in 2010.

Fereshteh Ghazi prefers to concentrate on the threat inside Iran. She offers a summary article of the just-concluded Iranian Year 1388 as year for Evin Prison and interrogators.

Reader Comments (22)

Death Sentence Watch: Member of the military convicted of anti-national security acts & espionage and sentenced to death ?

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

In 1977 Abbas Milani was arrested for being "detrimental to the security of the nation." Evin prison, where he was incarcerated, was home to some of the most famous future leaders of the Islamic Revolution, including future president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and future grand ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. Milani describes his time spent with Montazeri and explains why his former cellmate's legacy will live on:,0

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

The Regime uses every action of the West as a propaganda tool or event. The Iran Regime preachs the ideology of the oppressed to the people. Regime says remember the 1953 over-throw, remember the foreign invaders, look at Afganistan-Iraq, - remember Muhammad's grandson Husayn (oppressed) and Yazid (oppressor) and the battle fo Karbala. Every action of the West or other countries is viewed through the vision of past history with Regime propagandizing that Iran / Regime is the oppressed fighting foreign threats from oppressors (Yazid).

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMohommad


people dont care what the Regime say. Everybody is aware of the lies of the Government.
They can do what ever they want they just have no more support.

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPayam

I was still digesting the news that CNN's Iranian-American star journalist, Christiane Amanpour, was leaving her tailor-made daily sit-down with VIPs, the 'Amanpour' show no less, for a Sunday domestic politics talk show at ABC, when this ugly little controversy entered my sights:
Amanpour Is Being Attacked Because She's Iranian
Patrick Disney
Assistant Policy Director at the National Iranian American Council
Posted: March 25, 2010

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

RE 1320 GMT: Nowruz Visits
Pedestrian has a piece on these visits with pictures, 'Green Norouz Visits':

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Rafsanjani: People should continue the protests.

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRamin

Do you know that in the area I live just only minister and delegates have the right of a presented daily press review ? No fear - it`s just only my circumbendibus
use of your lenguage to say "Thank you".

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergunni

"US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has launched another warning about Tehran’s military threat. Gates asserted that Iran’s unmanned aerial vehicles — “drones” — could cause problems for the US in theatres like Iraq and Afghanistan."


While this may be literately accurate, if placed in the context of Gates' statements it is misleading. After saying "Iran has UAVs and that is a concern because it is one of those areas where I suppose if they chose to, in both Iraq and Afghanistan, they could create difficulties for us.", Gates said that drones are "relatively slow flyers", that could be easily neutralized by the Air Force. He added that "I actually think our ability to protect our troops from these things particularly in a theater of combat like this is actually quite good,".

Gates is not at all concerned about the Iranian program. It's a minor point, but I wouldn't want to give the neocon hawks any more ammo than they already have.

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack


Thank you very much --- that is a vital clarification.


March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

1935 GMT: We Will, We Will Rescue You


Thank you for holding the line during this slow Nowruz season.

As to Sedighi's Friday prayers, it's funny to observe the differing Western and domestic perceptions. While your heading obviously picks up the relevant message to the West (we will, we will rock you), Peyke Iran offers a completely different caption: Improper use of freedom was the reason, why man (Adam) lost Paradise!

I leave it to learned EA readers to elaborate on these minor perceptional distinctions ;-)


March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

Re: 19:35

Islamic Republic has enough poops on its plate. Seddiqi and his comrades better eat that poop first before they rescue U.S. from darkness.

Seddiqi and his comrades are the lowest form of life on planet Earth. His loony leader also told his listeners yesterday that Iran ranked 10th in the world in technology, economy, commerce, and democracy. What the senile Khamenei forgot to tell his audience the 10th from the bottom.

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan


Please do not be ridiculous.. 10th from the bottom?????? That is far too high - you must be wrong!!! :)


March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarry

Thank you , it was what I understood after watching the video of his interview.

Megan, Cyrus, Donna, Arshama,Barry, thank you for your daily comments.

Here you are an amazing video, of "Green movement in Iranian Embassy to Oslo", a short story of our shir zans and shir mards, our brave compatriotes :

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterange paris

Hi Ange,

Thanks for the Oslo video. I heard them live on the radio as they were protesting but I could not find the video.

I do not know if you saw the videos of the song "dometo bezar roo koolet" I posted on Friday. Take a look at it is very funny. Here is the link

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan


You are right, 10th from the bottom is too high. What can I tell you when you read ridiculous declaration after declaration by cockroach Khamenei for 9 months you become infected with Khamenei strand of encephalitis virus. I will have to get some anti-viral medications or do my Federal and State income tax returns this weekend. The latter for sure knocks of Khamenei infection from my brain.

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Gunni (post 8),
Thank you for your delightfully periphrastic and kind ambagitory response to my
internet news addiction. :-)

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Scott ,,
what kind of jugment is this that it is ok for Israel to have about 190 a-bombs but if Iran was to make one then this is the biggest crime of all time ?? no one still knows if Iran is trying to make the bomb or not but even if they did ,, how is it that while we are within Israel's fire range it is ok for them to have one but it is bad for us to have the same to create a military balance ?? if we dont have one while Israel has about 190 then is this the correct world order and every one is happy then ? we may have things to say and criticisms to make for the conduct of domestic matters in Iran but when it gets to the foreign policy then dont forget that the supreme leader Ayatollah khamenei is a 100 times smarter that the shah ever was ,, the colonian days ended in 1979 when shah left ,, it is now tik for tak ,, enough of British and others looting our oil and assets ,, now its a different era ,, if you have a bomb then why should we not have one ?? if we shouldnt have one then you shouldnt either ,, I think this is the fairest comment ,,
if you lived in that era it would have benn insane to think that the Greek or Persian empire would fade away one day but they did ,, this is a good lesson from history ,, Ayatollah Khamenei will NOT give in to anyone , you can take this to the bank ,, I and many many people like me support him firmly on his foreign policy because we can clearly see that Iran is not giving in to bullying powers and for once after the 1906 constituional revelution some one is standing firmly infront of those who want to extend their arms more than their own territory ,,
it is the come back of the Persian empire ,,

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterartemiss


I share your opinion about the double standard applied over the nuclear programmes of Israel and Iran.


March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

Artemiss and Scott,
While today Henry Kissinger will say that “for a major oil producer such as Iran, nuclear energy is a wasteful use of resources,” when he was the secretary of state during the reign of the shah, policy held that “introduction of nuclear power will both provide for the growing needs of Iran’s economy and free remaining oil reserves for export.” When asked about his reversal, Kissinger responded frankly, “They were an allied country before 1979, so therefore they had a general need for nuclear energy.”

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Scott & Catherine

I hope more people could think and analise things like you two ,, it is kind of obvious that the US does not want anyone to level with Israel in the middle east so that it ( the US too ) would be the dominating power using its might to push to implement its agressive policies ,, be honest and frank with yourself ,, if you were Iran would you listen and give a dam about what the US or a=others say while this is clearly the situation ,, as I mentioned I amy have criticisms to make for the domestic policies but what Ayatollah khameni is doing agiainst the US and others here is merely to not give in to bullying powers who have proved to be wanting influence in Iran only to secure their own interests which incidently means looting us one way or the other ,, the past 100 years have clearly confirm this ,, give me one example which during the past century or even more Britain or the US have done something, anything, that was for the benefit of the Iranians ,, just one ,, so its very funny that some folks in capitol hill think that Iranians are looking for the help of washington ,, I sometimes think that President Ahmadinejad is right when he says that the problem with the US is that they dont undrestand us very well at all ,,,

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterartemiss


Tomorrow we'll feature an article on "Israel, Iran, and 'Existential Threat'" that will complement the points you have raised.


March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>