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Entries in Mehdi Hashemi (1)


The Latest from Iran (13 November): Accusations

NEW Iran Text: Khatami on Legitimate Protest and Illegitimate Government (13 November)
Iran: Is This an “Unravelling” Protest Beyond Mousavi and Karroubi?
Iran: Why is Washington Belittling the Green Movement?
The Latest from Iran (12 November): Ahmadinejad Moves for Nuclear Deal

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IRAN FOOTBALL MATCH1805 GMT: Another Move for the Nuke Deal. Looks like the Ahmadinejad-military axis has put down another marker with the statement of the head of Iran’s armed forces, Major-General Hassan Firouzabadi, supporting the uranium enrichment agreement: “We will not suffer a loss from the exchange of fuel. Rather, in obtaining fuel enriched to 20 percent as needed by the reactors, nearly one million of our people would take advantage of its medical possibilities annually....The quantity of 3.5 percent enriched uranium [to be shipped out] is not so large as to cause damage to Iran’s supply."

1605 GMT: What's Happening at the Revolutionary Guard? Radio Fardi summarises the changes in higher commander at the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, including the head of the Tehran command. I'll have to leave it to others to assess whether these are "normal" changes in the organisation or whether there is a political story behind them.

1515 GMT: Confidence or Concern? Reuters has now picked up the statement of Mojtaba Zolnour, a representative of the Supreme Leader in the Revolutionary Guard, that the Assembly of Experts cannot remove him from office.

Zolnour told a gathering of Khamenei's representatives in Iranian universities, "The members of the not appoint the Supreme Leader, rather they discover him and it is not that they would be able to remove him any time they wish so."

Now is Zolnour saying this because he is feeling good that the Supreme Leader is secure in his seat of power or is his warning prompted by fears that members of the Assembly, who raised the possibility of removal in August/September, may not be pacified?

1500 GMT: Football Story of Day. Or maybe, thanks to the Green movement, a non-story because there was a non-crowd. Persian2English writes about a disappointing turnout for the Iran v. Iceland match in Azadi stadium on Tuesday, citing state media: “In spite of have spectators show up in the stadium, only 100 attended to watch the match between the two countries' national teams." ( say "only a few hundred" turned up to watch a "low-key friendly".)

1400 GMT: We've posted a long statement, adapted from the website linked to Mir Hossein Mousavi, made by former President Mohammad Khatami to academics. Khatami appears to be going to great lengths to set out "legitimate" protest (as opposed to "radical" activity) criticising the failure of the Government to serve the Iranian people and uphold the Constitution.

1315 GMT: Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi has announced that Shapour Kazemi, the brother of Mir Hossein Mousavi's wife Zahra Rahnavard, will be tried in Revolutionary Court.

1200 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Report.

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the former head of the Guardian Council, used his speech to put 13 Aban in the "right" context. The presence of students has demonstrated the Revolution's resolve against the "enemy flag" of the United States. Washington also gave Jannati the opportunity to attack the Iranian opposition --- despite the fact that he did not see them on 13 Aban --- "$55 million" authorised by the US for subversive activities.

1100 GMT: Persian2English reports on the Revolutionary Court's sentencing of Hassan Salamat, a master’s student at Tehran University, to four years in prison. Salamat was arrested in post-election protests on charges of "propagating aganist the regime and conspiracy to disrupt national security". He spent two months in Evin Prison before being released on $200,000 bail.

1010 GMT: An intriguing interview with Tehran Chief Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi on the Islamic Republic News Agency website. It's intriguing in part because Doulatabadi is clearly on the defensive about allegations of abuses by the regime. He admits that the Constitution in principle puts forth open trials but gives a convoluted explanation as to why this is not possible. He also expresses the hope that some trials can be completed in the next month.

Even more interesting, however, is the politics in the interview. Pointing to the regime's ongoing manoeuvres against former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, Doulatabadi says Rafsanjani's son Mehdi Hashemi --- accused in the first Tehran trial of corruption and intrigue in the Preisdential election --- should return from Britain to Iran if he believes the charges are false.

0825 GMT: Just catching up with news this morning.

Both The New York Times and Press TV share an interest in the seizure by US Federal prosecutors of properties, including the land where four mosques sit, of the Alavi Foundation. The prosecutors claim that the Foundation, whose 36-story office tower is also being taken, is illegally providing money and other services to Iran.

The Los Angeles Times goes instead for The Bomb, with a survey considering the reactions of Arab states and people to Iran's nuclear programme.

As for us, we're starting the day with two features outlining our concern over "Western" images of the Green Wave, which may point to a US Government policy shifting against the Iranian opposition: "Why is Washington Belittling the Green Movement?" and "Is This an 'Unravelling' Protest Beyond Mousavi and Karroubi?"