The mother of Goudarzi, a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, said her son passed out in prison: “When I went to visit Kouhyar, the officials told me that he cannot be visited because he has been transferred to solitary confinement but one of the prisoners informed me through a phone call that he has been taken to Evin Prison infirmary.”
Majid Tavakoli’s brother said the family received a call from a friend in prison reporting that Majid had lost his speech and was taken to the infirmary.
Goudarzi quit eating on 20 May to protest transfer to solitary confinement. Tavakoli started his strike when he was returned to solitary four days ago for protesting against “the sub-standard conditions of the prison and the illegal restrictions enforced against prisoners rights”.
NEW Iran Analysis: When Allies Co-ordinate (Mousavi & Karroubi)
NEW Iran Analysis: When Allies Fight (Tehran and Moscow)
Iran Document: Mousavi “On the Importance of Political Parties” (26 May)
Iran Document: Karroubi “Aligning the Green Movement Inside and Outside Country”
The Latest from Iran (26 May): Panahi Out But 100s Still Imprisoned
1410 GMT: Azad University Invaded? A curious report on Parleman News that, late last night, more than 20 armed plainclothes militia entered the Office of Board of Trustees and Founders of Islamic Azad University and the office of the Center for Advanced Science and Technology. The story claims that the militia threatened and handcuffed security personnel, entered offices and vandalized them, and took documents, computers and other objects..
A statement by the Office of Board of Trustees and Founders of Islamic Azad University said the attack was a continuation of recent hostile activities against the university and illegal changes made to the runiversity's rules, along with the introduction of new members to the Board of Trustees by the Ahmadinejad Government.
Islamic Azad University, Iran's largest private chain of universities, was launched during Hashemi Rafsanjani’s Presidency (1989-1997). Until recently Rafsanjani's son, Mehdi Hashemi, was the President; he is now in Britain, under threat of prosecution if he returns to Iran.
1400 GMT: Today's All-is-Well Moment. Press TV, which had avoided any reference to President Ahmadinejad's criticism of Russia in his speech on Wednesday (see EA's special analysis), now decides it can consider the story:
Russia has pledged to "actively support" the Tehran Nuclear Declaration on condition that the landmark fuel swap proposal is fully implemented.
"If it (Iran) strictly abides by them, Russia will actively support the scheme proposed by Brazil and Turkey," AFP quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Thursday
"We welcome this deal. If fully implemented, it will create very important preconditions not just for the solution of the concrete problem… but for improving the atmosphere for the renewal of negotiations," Lavrov added.
The remarks come one day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized Russia for conceding to a US campaign for tougher UN sanctions against the country, calling on Moscow to "resolutely" support the May 17 declaration issued by Iran, Turkey and Brazil.
Of course, Lavrov's statement is about the 4357th instance of Russia playing its balancing game on the nuclear issue --- you'll notice that he did not distance Moscow from sanctions until a deal on uranium enrichment is completed.
And, hmm, looks like Press TV missed this portion of Lavrov's statement: "To our great regret, during years --- not just months ---Iran's response to these efforts has been unsatisfactory, mildly speaking."
1025 GMT: Don't Criticise Me (Cuz I'm Close to the Edge). An interesting story from President Ahmadinejad's visit to Kerman yesterday....
According to the Iranian Labor News Agency, Ahmadinejad met provincial administrators. He told them that, while the Government respects all groups and parties, they have no right to interfere in the state's governance and to pressure it. Ahmadinejad also turned the criticism on his audience, citing corruption and clannishness in the provinces and saying that local officials should work for the people.
Significance? Well, at the start of this week, the President came under public fire from an audience heckling him over unemployment in Khorramshahr. This looks like his response: I hear you, but you don't have any standing to challenge me. And, before you think of such a challenge, take a hard look at local and provincial officials.
0750 GMT: The Executions. RAHANA reports that the body of Farzad Kamangar, one of five Iranians hung on 9 May, still has not been returned to his family but remains in a prison morgue.
0740 GMT: Economy Watch. The head of the Supreme Audit Court, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, has criticized Iran's slow pace of development and insatiable consumption of natural resources, especially oil.
Declaring that it is “shameful” for Tehran to import vegetables like onion and garlic , Fazli continued, “It is not reasonable for the country to insatiably consume oil revenues yet the government pays subsidies for gasoline, fertilizer, and human resources to plant vegetables like orange, garlic, onion and….Iran is a poor country from the standpoint that it is unable to enhance its assets and properly take use of its abundant human resources."
Fazli warned that growth was far below the 8% projected by the Government for its 5th Development Plan.
0735 GMT: The "Political" Revolutionary Guard. Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari has proclaimed that the IRGC is foremost an intelligence and political organisation, then a military establishment.
0725 GMT: The Rumbles Within. A group of "hardline" politicians have criticised Government supporters for abstaining, rather than voting No, in the vote for the re-election of Ali Larijani as Speaker of Parliament.
0720 GMT: That Russia (Non-)Story. Following up Press TV's disappearance of President Ahmadinejad's criticism of Russia (see 0715 GMT), a quick glance shows that Tabnak highlighted the challenge to Moscow but that Fars set it aside.
0710 GMT: A later start this morning, as we focused on two analyses. The international front was marked on Tuesday by the sudden emergence of President Ahmadinejad's anger with Russia and Moscow's response: why now? But inside Iran, the story was of both Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi making tactical moves to forge opposition.
As we catch up on the news, an intriguing signal on the Iran-Russia dispute: Press TV's report on the Ahmadinejad speech in Kerman proclaims, "No Isolation on the Cards", and leads:
The Iranian president has slammed what he described as the tyrannical policies of the West, saying no bullying power or corporate structure can isolate the Iranian nation.
The Iranian president further pointed out that comments about the isolation of the Islamic Republic and Western efforts for the imposition of sanctions on Iran were solely face-saving measures aimed at protecting the Western community from its downfall.
"It is the Iranian nation that will isolate many of such countries," he added.
Number of references to Russia in the story? Zero.