Archives for the month of: November, 2010

Ian Black and Simon Tisdall

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear programme, according to leaked US diplomatic cables that describe how other Arab allies have secretly agitated for military action against Tehran.

The revelations, in secret memos from US embassies across the Middle East, expose behind-the-scenes pressures in the scramble to contain the Islamic Republic, which the US, Arab states and Israel suspect is close to acquiring nuclear weapons. Bombing Iranian nuclear facilities has hitherto been viewed as a desperate last resort that could ignite a far wider war.

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By Farnaz Fassihi, Wall Street Journal

Iran’s parliament revealed it planned to impeach President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but refrained under orders from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, exposing a deepening division within the regime.

Lawmakers also launched a new petition to bring a debate on the president’s impeachment, conservative newspapers reported Monday.

The reports of challenges to Mr. Ahmadinejad were intended as retorts to a powerful body of clerics that urged Mr. Khamenei to curb the parliament’s authority and give greater clout to the president.

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Arash Aramesh,

Conservative allies of Iranian Speaker of parliament Ali Larijani passed a bill this week that removed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from his influential post as Chairman of the General Assembly of Iran’s Central Bank.

According to Tabnak, a conservative website with ties to Mohsen Rezai, the former commander of the Revolutionary Guards, the Iranian parliamentarians made major changes to the composition of the Central Bank’s General Assembly in order to deprive Ahmadinejad’s administration of the ability to unilaterally influence monetary policy. In the words of conservative news site Khabar Online, “This issue will become a new point of contention between the executive and legislative branches.”

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Iranian police/security forces have violently arrested two members of Tehran Bus Drivers’ union the Vahed Syndicate. The union has, with ITF support, struggled to represent its members in the face of repeated attacks by the Iranian state, including the unjust imprisonment since 2007 of its President, Mansour Osanloo.

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Tehran Bureau

A bad case of nerves has hit Iran.

With long-delayed subsidy reform due to take effect any day, merchants have already jacked up prices of basic goods as much as 30 percent in anticipation of higher costs to them. And long lines have been forming at gas stations as Iranians scramble to fill up their cars before increases that many fear could double or more.

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Nina Farahabadi
Rooz online

The daughter of Iran’s veteran politician and revolutionary leader Hashemi Rafsanjani told Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia that conditions in Iran amounted to “dictatorship.”

In her interview, Faezeh Hashemi reiterated that Iran’s protest green movement was alive, while airing stern comments against the Islamic republic and the administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Comparing the Islamic republic to dictatorial and despotic regimes, she said, “A dictator does not allow other people to have a share in power or allow them to express themselves.” She added that such issues took place in regimes that were not elected by people and which do not respect the wishes of people.

These strong words by the daughter of the head of Iran’s powerful State Expediency Council and the chairman of the Assembly of Experts on Leadership that is legally mandated to monitor the affairs of the supreme leader against the government and regime come at a time when pressure to prosecute him and his other children, particularly Mehdi Hashemi are on the rise.

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Jafar Panahi
Rooz online

Your Honor, I would like to present my defense in two parts.

Part 1: What they say

In the past few days I have been watching my favorite films again, though I did not have access to some of them, which are among the greatest films of the history of cinema. My house was raided on the night of March 1st, 2010 while my colleague Mr. Rasoulof and I were in the process of shooting what we intended to be a socially conscious art house film. The people, who identified themselves as agents of the Ministry of Intelligence, arrested us along with other crew members without presenting any warrants. They confiscated my collection of films as well and never returned them to me. Subsequently, the only reference made to those films was by the prosecutor in charge of my case, who asked me: “What are these obscene films you’re collecting?”
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Josh Halliday,

Two new independent examinations of the Stuxnet computer worm, thought to be the work of a national government agency, show that it was definitely built to target technology used at Iran‘s Bushehr nuclear power plant.

Described as one of the “most refined pieces of malware ever discovered,” Stuxnet took direct aim at industrial systems based in Iran, whose first nuclear power station recently began operations. Speaking to the Guardian in September, security experts said the attack was likely a state-sponsored case of “modern espionage”.

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Source: (translated by Banooye Sabz)

Mohammad Ezlati Moghadam, Head of Mousavi’s Isargaran (Veterans) Committee in the 2009 Election Campaign and a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war himself, was arrested last Wednesday November 10th by security officers after attending a meeting by a number of commanders of the Iran-Iraq war with Mir Hossein Mousavi.

t has been reported that after his arrest, Sardar (commander) Moghadam was allowed a brief telephone conversation with his family. Sardar Moghadam is a former member of the Political Bureau of the IRGC; a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war and Head of the Ministry of Defense’s Air Fair.

It is worth mentioning that in the recent months many other individuals from Mousavi’s inner circle have been arrested, including Hamid Mohseni, the Head of Mousavi’s Office who is still deprived of visitation rights, two months after his arrest.

The arrest of the Head of Mousavi’s Isargaran Committee in the 2009 Election Campaign took place after a number of commanders of the Iran-Iraq war had visited with Mousavi. The restrictions upon Mousavi have increased manifold in the past few months; not only are individuals prevented from seeing him, but many have also been arrested upon leaving his residence.