Arash Aramesh, insideIran.org

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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ITWF

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, guardian.co.uk

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: www.kaleme.com (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.

By BRIAN MURPHY
The Associated Press
Sunday, November 7, 2010; 12:03 AM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The most potent challenge to Iran’s ruling system may not be international sanctions or the homegrown political opposition, but something as simple as a shopping list.

When Sanaz, a 47-year-old Tehran mother, goes to market these days, she digs deeper into her purse for the basics: bread prices up more than fivefold, cooking oil more than double, cuts of lamb about triple from last year.

“How much can we stand?” said Sanaz, who gave only her first name because of security fears. “People are very angry and very worried.”

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PBS Tehran Bureau

[ primer ] Iranians are doing better in health and education than their counterparts in key countries in the developing world, according to a new U.N. report. The 2010 U.N. Human Development Report ranks Iran at 70 out of 169 countries — higher than Brazil at 73, Venezuela at 75, and Turkey at 83.

The report finds:

* In 1985, Iran ranked below Algeria, Botswana, Jordan, and Thailand. In 2010, all four now rank lower than Iran, despite their own impressive gains in development.

* Out of 112 countries, Iran ranked 18th in highest average annual improvement in the human development index over the two decades between 1990 and 2010.

* Iran ranks higher than Turkey on education (notably higher), but slightly under on health (life expectancy). The overall index puts Iran above Turkey because of the way separate components are compiled. The report puts life expectancy in Iran at 71.91 years, Turkey at 72.23 years.

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PBS Tehran Bureau

[ opinion ] The most important question facing foreign policy analysts concerned with U.S.-Iran relations is whether U.S. sanctions are “working.” And the way analysts answer that question ultimately turns on their opinion about what the primary U.S. objective should be: to delay Iran’s nuclear ambitions, to pummel the Iranian economy, to promote human rights in the country, to spur some internal movement for reform, or address the elephant in the room — regime change. Yet regardless of its uncertain objective and after several months of empty rhetoric, Obama’s new sanctions policy on Iran is biting hard. But it is biting more than the Iranian government, its intended target; it is affecting average Iranians both in Iran and those residing in the United States.

Take the matter of Reza Banki, by all accounts a model U.S. citizen who immigrated to the United States as a teenager. He received two undergraduate degrees from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton. He has worked for McKinsey, a prestigious consulting company, and was on track to attend a top MBA program in hopes of advancing biotechnology in the United States. Those dreams, however, are deferred — perhaps indefinitely — as Banki sits in a federal prison for transferring $6,000 to Iran. Worse yet, the transfer was not even for his own purposes. It was done as a favor to a family friend who needed to send money to relatives.

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