Middle East Public date: 24.08.2017 23:12:18

Publisher: BBC News

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1 Jan 2012

Iran denies test-firing long-range missiles in Gulf

Iran has denied reports by state media that it test-fired long-range missiles during military exercises in the Gulf. "The exercise of launching missiles will be carried out in the coming days," Iran's senior navy commander is quoted as telling Iran's Press TV. Earlier the semi-official Fars news agency and other outlets reported that land-to-sea missiles had been fired. The naval exercises come at a time of increased tensions between the West and Iran over its nuclear ambitions. On Tuesday Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil export route, if new sanctions were imposed over its nuclear programme.
Iran has denied reports by state media that it test-fired long-range missiles during military exercises in the Gulf....

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

1 Jan 2012

Iran proposes to reopen nuclear talks

Iran has proposed to reopen negotiations about its controversial nuclear programme with the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. The invitation by Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, comes in the wake of new sanctions recently imposed by the UN over Tehran's uranium enrichment programme. The last round of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN security council and Germany - held in Istanbul in January - ended in failure
Iran has proposed to reopen negotiations about its controversial nuclear programme with the US, Russia, China, Britain,...

Publisher: Haaretz

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1 Jan 2012

Obama signs into law bill imposing Iran banking sanctions

U.S. President Barack Obama signed a sweeping defense funding bill on Saturday that includes new sanctions on financial institutions dealing with Iran's central bank, but cited concerns about sections that expand the U.S. military's authority over terrorism suspects and limit his powers in foreign affairs.
U.S. President Barack Obama signed a sweeping defense funding bill on Saturday that includes new sanctions on financial...

Publisher: Persian2English

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1 Jan 2012

Two years have passed since Bahareh Hedayat’s arrest, and she’s still locked up behind bars

Three full days had passed from the 2009 mass Ashura protests (December 27) when student activist Bahareh Hedayat, who was 28 years old at the time, was arrested and transferred to the notorious Evin prison. It was during these turbulent times in Iran that bright and goodhearted people like Bahareh had to pay the ultimate price for the shared struggles many Iranian citizens are forced to face.
Three full days had passed from the 2009 mass Ashura protests (December 27) when student activist Bahareh Hedayat, who...

Publisher: iran briefing

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31 Dec 2011

Despite sanctions, Iran has billions stashed away in European banks: EU advisor

Earlier this week, an EU economic advisor said the Islamic republic still has several billions in euros stashed away in European banks despite of a dispute between Western powers over Iran s nuclear program. Mehrdad Emadi was responding to comments published in Iran s semi-official Fars news agency quoting central bank officials stating that Iran had withdrawn all of its money from European banks after the EU adopted a new round of sanctions targeting the country s oil industry.
Earlier this week, an EU economic advisor said the Islamic republic still has several billions in euros stashed away in...
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Publisher: Reuters

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31 Dec 2011

Iran blocks former president’s website ahead of vote

Iran has blocked the website of influential former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani ahead of parliamentary elections, for carrying pro-reform critical statements, Iran's semi-official ILNA news agency reported on Friday. The clerical establishment has increased pressure on the pro-reform opposition ahead of the March 2 vote, the first nationwide poll since a 2009 disputed presidential vote that triggered prolonged and widespread anti-government protests. In the past days, some leading reformist figures have been sentenced to long-term jail sentences.
Iran has blocked the website of influential former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani ahead of parliamentary elections,...

Publisher: oyetimes

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30 Dec 2011

Activist slapped with additional 3 year jail-term for ‘insulting leader’ Oye! Times

Imprisoned political activist Abolfazl Ghadyani is to serve an additional three years in jail, according to a ruling handed down by an Iranian court. A senior member of the pro-reform Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organisation (MIRO), Ghadyani was initially arrested on 28 December 2009, a day after opposition rallies known as the "Ashura" protests. Following his court trial, the 66-year-old was sentenced to a year in prison for "insulting the president."
Imprisoned political activist Abolfazl Ghadyani is to serve an additional three years in jail, according to a ruling...

Publisher: Fox News

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30 Dec 2011

Cyberbomb That Hit Iran Was 1 Of 5 Weapons, Researchers Say

The Stuxnet virus that last year damaged Iran's nuclear program was likely one of at least five cyber weapons developed on a single platform whose roots trace back to 2007, according to new research from Russian computer security firm Kaspersky Lab. Security experts widely believe that the United States and Israel were behind Stuxnet, though the two nations have officially declined to comment on the matter.
The Stuxnet virus that last year damaged Iran's nuclear program was likely one of at least five cyber weapons developed...

Publisher: Fox News

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30 Dec 2011

Defiant Iranian Likely To Face Execution For Tossing Shoes At Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The man who was arrested for tossing his shoes at Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a speech earlier this month could face execution for his act of defiance. Rashid Shahbandi, who has been in custody since his arrest at the time of the incident, has been tortured and is facing heavy punishment with a strong possibility of a death sentence, opposition groups told the Iran Khabar Agency, an independent news service.
The man who was arrested for tossing his shoes at Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a speech earlier this...

Publisher: Modern Ghana

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30 Dec 2011

Iran Regime Change, Invasion, Occupation Recolonization Is Imminent

War drums are beating louder and louder in America against Iran. The din and decibel are rising and getting louder. Preparatory steps are being taken irreversibly as the onset of invasion and occupation of Iran is becoming more and more apparent and its imminence glaringly clear. It is rather unmistakable. Public pronouncements by political and military leaders in the United States have been elevated to a-no-going-back sorts of, no retreat, no surrender. A blockade in the name of continuing sanctions against Iran, is about to occur, and Iranian political and military leaders are declaring any such contemplated action, as an act of war, and, such a blockade by America against Iran, Is Act of War, under International Law
War drums are beating louder and louder in America against Iran. The din and decibel are rising and getting louder....

Publisher: Aljazeera

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30 Dec 2011

Letters to a dictator

The letters of Mohammad Nourizad are now known and counted by their numbers - now only five, then 10, and by the end of 2011 they had amounted to no less than 15. These letters are written and published publicly to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ali Khamenei. The reaction of Iranians to these letters all comes together to mark a critical passage in contemporary Iranian political culture with ramifications for the region at large. Nourizad publishes his letters initially in his website, and from there they go viral - millions of Iranians around the globe read them, jaws dropping in admiration of his courage, his diction, his tenacity. He pulls no punches.
The letters of Mohammad Nourizad are now known and counted by their numbers - now only five, then 10, and by the end of...

Publisher: Aljazeera

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30 Dec 2011

US warns Iran against closing oil route

The US has strongly warned Iran against closing a vital Gulf waterway, after Iran threatened to choke off traffic through the Strait of Hormuz if the US imposes sanctions targeting the country's crude exports. The increasingly heated exchange raises new tensions in a standoff that has the potential to prompt military reprisals and push up oil prices to levels harmful to an already fragile global economy.
The US has strongly warned Iran against closing a vital Gulf waterway, after Iran threatened to choke off traffic...
30 Dec 2011

Why Iran can’t cut off your oil

Regardless of how we assess the credibility of Iran's threats, we should also assess Iran's capabilities. Iranian military exercises apparently emphasize three weapons in the strait: small suicide boats, mobile antiship cruise missiles, and sophisticated sea mines. Using these tools, how hard would it be for Iran to disrupt the flow of oil?
Regardless of how we assess the credibility of Iran's threats, we should also assess Iran's capabilities. Iranian...

Publisher: The Washington Post

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29 Dec 2011

Despite threats, Iran unlikely to block oil shipments through Strait of Hormuz

Despite its latest warnings in response to the possibility of a Western oil boycott, Iran is unlikely to make good on its repeated threats to close the Strait of Hormuz because the Islamic Republic needs the strategic waterway as much as or more than its adversaries, analysts say.
Despite its latest warnings in response to the possibility of a Western oil boycott, Iran is unlikely to make good on...

Publisher: The Washington Post

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29 Dec 2011

Iranian exiles living in Camp Ashraf agree to move, ending standoff with Iraq government

The head of an Iranian exile group holed up at a camp in Iraq said Wednesday that the first of the camp s residents are ready to move to a new location picked by the Iraqi government, solving a potential crisis. The announcement Wednesday by Maryam Rajavi, the Paris-based leader of the group, averted what could have been a bloody showdown with Iraqi authorities if the residents had refused to move.
The head of an Iranian exile group holed up at a camp in Iraq said Wednesday that the first of the camp s residents are...
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Publisher: Payvand

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29 Dec 2011

IRGC and Basij have plans to correct Tehran’s political and cultural situation: General Jafari

IRGC chief has openly admitted that the political and cultural situation in Tehran is far from ideal which poses security threat to the regime. He has also threatened that IRGC and Basij cannot remain indifferent and they have plans to address the situation.
IRGC chief has openly admitted that the political and cultural situation in Tehran is far from ideal which poses...

Publisher: IranPressNews

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28 Dec 2011

In skies over Iran, a battle for control of satellite TV

Shohreh, a 37-year-old Iranian nurse, sat down with her husband and parents one night in September to watch a documentary about Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, scheduled to be shown on the British Broadcasting Corp.'s BBC Persian channel. But when the Tehran family settled on the couch with a bowl of pistachios and switched on the television, all they saw was scrambled imagery. The satellite signal was being jammed.
Shohreh, a 37-year-old Iranian nurse, sat down with her husband and parents one night in September to watch a...

Publisher: BBC News

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28 Dec 2011

Iran opens trial of US man who ‘confessed’ to CIA plot

Iran has begun the trial of an American man of Iranian descent accused of being a CIA spy, according to local media. In the hearing, prosecutors cited a "confession" from Amir Mirzai Hekmati aired on state TV earlier this month, the semi-official Fars news agency reports. A lawyer for the 28-year-old rejected the allegations, Fars said. The US say he has been falsely accused and have called for his release
Iran has begun the trial of an American man of Iranian descent accused of being a CIA spy, according to local media. In...

Publisher: USA Today

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28 Dec 2011

Iran seeks death for accused U.S. spy

An American man accused by Iran of working for the CIA could face the death penalty, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported Tuesday. In a closed court hearing, the prosecution applied for capital punishment, the report said, because the suspect, identified as Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, "admitted that he received training in the United States and planned to imply that Iran was involved in terrorist activities in foreign countries" after returning to the U.S.
An American man accused by Iran of working for the CIA could face the death penalty, the semiofficial Fars news agency...

Publisher: Aljazeera

Author:

28 Dec 2011

Iran to ‘block’ Gulf oil if sanctions proceed

No oil will be allowed to pass through the Strait of Hormuz if the West applies sanctions on Iran's oil exports, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi has warned. The threat was reported on Tuesday by the state news agency IRNA as Iran conducted its fourth day of naval drills near the Strait of Hormuz, at the entrance to the oil-rich Arabian Gulf.
No oil will be allowed to pass through the Strait of Hormuz if the West applies sanctions on Iran's oil exports, Iranian...

Publisher: Aljazeera

Author:

28 Dec 2011

Iraq and UN agree on relocating Iran exiles

The United Nations and the Iraqi government have agreed to relocate several thousand Iranian exiles living in a camp in northeastern Iraq, potentially averting a showdown with its residents. The dissidents, who have not said whether they would agree to move, reported a rocket attack on the camp.
The United Nations and the Iraqi government have agreed to relocate several thousand Iranian exiles living in a camp in...

Publisher: Reuters

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28 Dec 2011

Saudi would replace Iran crude if EU embargoes-sources

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and other Gulf OPEC states are ready to replace Iranian oil if further sanctions halt Iranian crude exports to Europe, industry sources said on Tuesday. Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi had said that Saudi Arabia had promised not to replace Iranian crude if sanctions are imposed.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and other Gulf OPEC states are ready to replace Iranian oil if further sanctions halt...

Publisher: The Washington Post

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27 Dec 2011

In Iran, Ahmadinejad joins battle over women’s fashions

In the Islamic republic of Iran, the law requires women to cover their hair and bodies in public. But how to do so remains up to them, and the result is persistent confusion in the streets. Now, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is stepping into the dispute. He wants to settle it by promoting government-approved apparel for women, garments intended to introduce an array of clothes that are Islamic and beautiful at the same time. Hard-liners are not amused. They say that the new designs encourage "Western values." But at a recent government-sponsored fashion show, young women and their mothers gazed approvingly at the plastic mannequins showcasing the new coats and scarves.
In the Islamic republic of Iran, the law requires women to cover their hair and bodies in public. But how to do so...

Publisher: The Hindu

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27 Dec 2011

Iran escalates psychological war after downing U.S. drone

Growing in confidence after downing an American drone and aiming to deter the possibility of an attack by foreign powers, Iran has announced that it is on the threshold of major technological breakthroughs in the military field. Timing his statement with the ongoing naval exercises east of the Strait of Hormuz, Iran's Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi, according to IRNA said: "Iran is in a unique position in all areas, including manufacture of unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, as well as defence and assault airplanes. Iran has also made great progress in electronic warfare technology, aviation industries and missile technology."
Growing in confidence after downing an American drone and aiming to deter the possibility of an attack by foreign...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

27 Dec 2011

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani could be hanged in Iran

An Iranian woman whose sentence of death by stoning for adultery provoked an international outcry could be executed by hanging instead, the country's judicial authorities have indicated. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 44-year-old mother of two, was convicted of conducting an "illicit relationship outside marriage" in 2006 and has since been kept in Tabriz prison in the west of Iran.
An Iranian woman whose sentence of death by stoning for adultery provoked an international outcry could be executed by...
27 Dec 2011

Sarah Shourd, One of the Three American Hikers Freed from Prison in Iran, Sounds Off

I did not intentionally walk across an unmarked border into a country whose language I didn t speak and history I'd never studied. Nor did I choose the most interesting and volatile time in the Islamic Republic's 31-year history to be captured, imprisoned, and psychologically tortured by the government. But it happened. Like a lot of the world, I was just beginning to wake up and pay attention to Iran in the weeks leading up to my captivity. The post-election protests were all over the news, and I was intrigued by what felt like a new breed of a nonviolent mass movement, with powerful use of imagery, props, and tactics. Call it fate or call it coincidence, even though I never intended to go anywhere near Iran, I found myself thrown into a small cell in Evin prison, while the Green Movement was raging in the streets.
I did not intentionally walk across an unmarked border into a country whose language I didn t speak and history I'd...
26 Dec 2011

Why a Strike on Iran Is the Least Bad Option

In early October, U.S. officials accused Iranian operatives of planning to assassinate Saudi Arabia s ambassador to the United States on American soil. Iran denied the charges, but the episode has already managed to increase tensions between Washington and Tehran. Although the Obama administration has not publicly threatened to retaliate with military force, the allegations have underscored the real and growing risk that the two sides could go to war sometime soon -- particularly over Iran s advancing nuclear program.
In early October, U.S. officials accused Iranian operatives of planning to assassinate Saudi Arabia s ambassador to the...

Publisher: Ynetnews

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25 Dec 2011

Nuke expert: Time to attack Iran

The truth is that a military strike intended to destroy Iran s nuclear program, if managed carefully, could spare the region and the world a very real threat and dramatically improve the long-term national security of the United States," Matthew Kroenig, a nuclear security expert at the Council on Foreign Relations who served as a strategist under Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said in an article published by Foreign Affairs Magazine.
The truth is that a military strike intended to destroy Iran s nuclear program, if managed carefully, could spare the...
24 Dec 2011

Another Week, Another Explosion in Iran: This Time It’s an Oil Depot

On December 22, the Iranian regime claimed that its oil depot in Abadan was struck by a rocket, injuring 3. The Iranians claim that U.S. and British aircraft repeatedly entered the airspace and that the rocket is American. Obviously, there is no reason to believe Iran s words as the government reflectively blames everything on its external enemies.
On December 22, the Iranian regime claimed that its oil depot in Abadan was struck by a rocket, injuring 3. The Iranians...

Publisher: UPI

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24 Dec 2011

Iran ‘rehearses closing gulf oil route’

Iranian naval forces launch a massive 10-day exercise Saturday near the Strait of Hormuz, the only way in and out of the Persian Gulf, in what is widely seen as a rehearsal for a threatened closure of the strategic global oil artery if the country is attacked. The Iranians have billed the Velayat-90 drill as the largest they have conducted. It will involve the Islamic republic's navy, which includes three Russian-built, Kilo class submarines, and the naval wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
Iranian naval forces launch a massive 10-day exercise Saturday near the Strait of Hormuz, the only way in and out of the...

Publisher: Payvand

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24 Dec 2011

Iran bans opening LCs for UAE imports

The Iranian administration has decided to ban opening LCs for importing goods from the United Arab Emirates in response to illogical behaviors of the UAE under the pressure of international sanctions against Iran, a member of the Iranian parliament (Majlis) stated.
The Iranian administration has decided to ban opening LCs for importing goods from the United Arab Emirates in response...

Publisher: hrana

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24 Dec 2011

Security Agents Raided Yalda Celebrations in Gorgan

One of the organizer of Yalda celebrations in Gorgan told HRANA, "This ceremony was not political in nature at all. It was a small and simple gathering to observe Yalda, a thousand-year-old Iranian tradition. Before the celebrations began, police raided the restaurant and threw all the guests out. Then security agents cut off the electricity and prevented us from carrying out the program."
One of the organizer of Yalda celebrations in Gorgan told HRANA, "This ceremony was not political in nature at all. It...
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Publisher: Payvand

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24 Dec 2011

Severe Air Pollution Hits Tehran

Rising level of air pollution in the capital city of Tehran has forced people with respiratory and heart ailments to stay at home, Press TV reports. Iran's Health Ministry has issued a warning for the elderly and children to avoid any unnecessary travel to the city center.
Rising level of air pollution in the capital city of Tehran has forced people with respiratory and heart ailments to...
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Publisher: Aljazeera

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24 Dec 2011

The winners and losers of US policy on Iran

In the same week that President Obama declared an end to the Iraq War, Congress brought Americans closer to confrontation with Iran. The whimper with which America's presence in Iraq ended was also drowned out by Republican presidential hopefuls beating war drums. This is America nearly four years into Obama's leadership. The President may have begun his term by trying to pursue a different path with Iran, but his acquiescence to domestic lobbying has made the results of his policies indistinguishable from his predecessor. Ironically, his attempts to appease pro-Israel advocates have only invited more onerous demands while leaving would-be supporters disillusioned.
In the same week that President Obama declared an end to the Iraq War, Congress brought Americans closer to...

Publisher: zeenews

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24 Dec 2011

US sets bounty for Iran-based al Qaeda financier

Washington: The United States on Thursday announced it was establishing a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to Yasin al-Suri, who it accused of operating from Iran as a facilitator and financier for al Qaeda
Washington: The United States on Thursday announced it was establishing a reward of up to $10 million for information...
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23 Dec 2011

Political prisoners: ‘Don’t give legitimacy to elections’

Iranians are witnessing an undeclared martial law in their country, according to a group of political prisoners held in the notorious Evin Prison. In a statement published on Wednesday on Kaleme, an opposition website affiliated with Green Movement leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, the 39 political detainees said that the forthcoming parliamentary elections in March 2012 would "bear no resemblance to the elections mentioned in the country s constitution."
Iranians are witnessing an undeclared martial law in their country, according to a group of political prisoners held in...

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23 Dec 2011

Bill Clinton: Iran’s Nuclear Capability Is No Secret

But here is what I think about it: I think when the IAEA finally said Iran was trying to get a nuclear weapon, and seemed to be pretty far along the road, that was the biggest unkept secret in the world - anybody that had been paying attention knew that - we don t know maybe exactly when that would happen.
But here is what I think about it: I think when the IAEA finally said Iran was trying to get a nuclear weapon, and...

Publisher: UPI

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23 Dec 2011

Iran’s spies score ‘stunning achievements’

Israeli officials say Iran, which has been hit several times by mysterious computer viruses, has launched an "ambitious plan" to boost its cyberwar capabilities and is investing $1 billion in cutting-edge technology. If the claim is correct, the Iranian effort underlines what veteran analyst Mahan Abedin calls the "stunning achievements in the intelligence, electronic and cyberwarfare fields" against the West by Tehran's security services in recent months.
Israeli officials say Iran, which has been hit several times by mysterious computer viruses, has launched an "ambitious...

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22 Dec 2011

Iran ends 2011 with a blaze of intelligence

The appearance on Iranian state TV on Sunday of alleged Central Intelligence Agency spy Amir Hekmati is yet another twist in a string of apparent Iranian counter-intelligence successes at the expense of US espionage. The 28-year old Arizona-born man of Iranian origin has been accused by Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) of trying to feed disinformation to the ministry with a view to gaining a foothold on the outer reaches of the MOIS. A former member of the United States Marines Corps, Hekmati was apparently detained in September. News of his detention was released just days ago. This apparent counter-intelligence success comes on the heels of the capture of the ultra-secret US RQ-170 Sentinel drone
The appearance on Iranian state TV on Sunday of alleged Central Intelligence Agency spy Amir Hekmati is yet another...

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21 Dec 2011

Zia Nabavi’s Latest Handwritten Notes from Prison

Humankind has traveled a long, uneven, and diverse path in creating culture and civilization. In this journey, it has created an enormous amount of knowledge, value, and law preexisting to new comers born and thrown into this collection. On the other hand, as human beings, in order to be civilized and cultured, we have to create a brief, intense, and complete version of humankind s journey throughout our lives by adapting to the process of socialization. This personal journey is how we become a human being who is in sync with society and the time. It is important to note two points about the end result of the socialization process:
Humankind has traveled a long, uneven, and diverse path in creating culture and civilization. In this journey, it has...

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21 Dec 2011

The Currency Falls — What Does It Mean

The Iranian currency, the rial, has fallen almost 10% vs. the US dollar in five days. The rate now stands on the open market at 15300:1. Those numbers are only the beginning of the story. The gap between the official rate of exchange, which is just below 11000:1, and the free-market rate is now more than 40%. That in turn feeds the fall of the rial. People will line up outside banks --- Tabnak wrote this week of the degrading sight of Iranians sleeping in front of them and waiting for the doors to open --- and, if they can get the dollars, immediately re-sell them at "free" rates. Alternatively, people will buy gold coins --- some will again take advantage of gaps in rates to make a quick profit by trading them on the open market, others will store them as a hedge against the economic crisis.
The Iranian currency, the rial, has fallen almost 10% vs. the US dollar in five days. The rate now stands on the open...
20 Dec 2011

For the 6th consecutive year, student activists are banned from pursuing higher education

The Advocacy Council for the Right to Education (ACRE) has stated that the [star system], the practice of banning student activists of the right to education, has been [predominant] in Iran for the past six years. The ACRE has issued a declaration against the practice of banning students and imprisoning them, stating that the process violates all "domestic and international laws". The following is the full text of the ACRE declaration: [In the translation, some parts containing legal details have been omitted-Arash Azizi]
The Advocacy Council for the Right to Education (ACRE) has stated that the [star system], the practice of banning...

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20 Dec 2011

Wow, They’re Still Blowing Up Iran

Two more explosions today. One at the big refinery in Isfahan, the other at the very important Revolutionary Guards base in Kerman, which is the headquarters for the RG s operations in the East (think Afghanistan, etc.). I don't have casualty figures yet, but the Kerman blast was a biggie.
Two more explosions today. One at the big refinery in Isfahan, the other at the very important Revolutionary Guards base...

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20 Dec 2011

Without Syria, Iran is headless in Iraq

For Tehran's ambitions to see the light, Al Maliki needs to be given Arab legitimacy through Damascus -- A few years back, Iran formulated a scenario for "the day after" Hezbollah leaves the scene in Lebanon, either if a new civil war breaks out or if the Syrians signed a peace treaty with Israel. Iran wanted to make sure that a Plan B was ready, automatically switching to a military group that would do the job Hezbollah had been doing, in terms of promoting and defending Iranian influence in the Arab world while "protecting" Arab Shiites.
For Tehran's ambitions to see the light, Al Maliki needs to be given Arab legitimacy through Damascus -- A few years...

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20 Dec 2011

Rome meeting analyses Iran oil embargo

Diplomats from a so-called "group of like-minded nations" met in Rome on Tuesday to discuss further sanctions against Iran, diplomatic sources said. The closed-door meeting is taking place under the auspices of the Italian foreign ministry and participants considered it a "technical meeting," an Italian diplomatic source said.
Diplomats from a so-called "group of like-minded nations" met in Rome on Tuesday to discuss further sanctions against...

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20 Dec 2011

Iran’s Currency Plunges to Record Lows

Iran's currency rial dropped to a record low on Tuesday. According to latest reports, U.S. dollar is selling for 15,050 in the open market at the foreign currency exchange offices.
Iran's currency rial dropped to a record low on Tuesday. According to latest reports, U.S. dollar is selling for 15,050...
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20 Dec 2011

Iran Has Only Six Months

While sanctions against Iran s central bank - an idea that has already reverberated through the country s economic sector - have not yet been signed by the US president, a review of the Iranian media indicates the constrains that exist in debating this issue. To clarify the meaning and consequences of sanctioning the central bank, Rooz interviewed two prominent economy specialist in Tehran, Mohammad-Reza Behzadian and Kamal Athari. Behzadian believes that while such sanctions cannot take place against Iran right now, they can within the next six months if Iraqi, Saudi and Libyan oil make up Iran's absence from the oil market. Behzadian who is associated with reformers ran in the Tehran s chamber of commerce elections with the slogan of 'change' and claims to have unlodged the body from its conservative elements such as Ali Naghi Khamushi, Mir-Mohammad Sadeghi and Asadollah Asqar-Owladi. Read on for the details.
While sanctions against Iran s central bank - an idea that has already reverberated through the country s economic...

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19 Dec 2011

The Battle Within — Ahmadinejad v. Rafsanjani in 5Â Scenes

Hassan Rohani, an ally of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, hosts a meeting of the Strategic Research Center of the Expediency Council. The topic is the Arab Spring, specifically the role of the Iran-led Islamic Awakening in the movements across North Africa and the Middle East.
Hassan Rohani, an ally of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, hosts a meeting of the Strategic Research Center of the...

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19 Dec 2011

General Assembly voices concern over Iranian human rights record

United Nations Member States today expressed deep concern at reports of human rights violations in Iran, including torture, the use of cruel punishments such as flogging and amputations and "pervasive gender inequality and violence against women," and called on Tehran to strengthen its national human rights institutions.
United Nations Member States today expressed deep concern at reports of human rights violations in Iran, including...

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19 Dec 2011

Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, Alleged CIA Spy, Reportedly Confesses On Iran TV

Iran's state TV broadcast video of a young man Sunday it claimed was a CIA spy who sought to infiltrate Iran's secret services. The TV identified the man, apparently in his late 20s, as Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, an American-Iranian who received special training and served at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading to Iran for his alleged intelligence mission.
Iran's state TV broadcast video of a young man Sunday it claimed was a CIA spy who sought to infiltrate Iran's secret...
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19 Dec 2011

Iran TV Shows Suspected U.S. Spy ‘Confessing’

Iran's state TV broadcast video of a young man Sunday it claimed was a CIA spy who sought to infiltrate Iran's secret services. The TV identified the man, apparently in his late 20s, as Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, an American-Iranian who received special training and served at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading to Iran for his alleged intelligence mission.
Iran's state TV broadcast video of a young man Sunday it claimed was a CIA spy who sought to infiltrate Iran's secret...
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17 Dec 2011

European Sources: CIA Spy Satellite Blinded by Iran

According to a European intelligence source, Iran shocked Western intelligence agencies in an unreported incident that took place sometime in the past two years, when it managed to "blind a CIA spy satellite by aiming a laser burst quite accurately".
According to a European intelligence source, Iran shocked Western intelligence agencies in an unreported incident that...

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16 Dec 2011

Will Iraq Debacle Prevent Iran War

Neoconservatives are livid over President Obama s declaration that the Iraq War is over, fearing that its disastrous outcome will undercut plans for a new war with Iran. But Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich says, if elected, he stands ready to join Israel in invading Iran, Robert Parry reports
Neoconservatives are livid over President Obama s declaration that the Iraq War is over, fearing that its disastrous...
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15 Dec 2011

Assessing The Real Rate of Unemployment

The fact that after a long hiatus the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) has decided to publish the results of its quarterly Labor Force Survey should be welcome news but instead it has been met with controversy and disbelief. The new report for summer 1390 (2011) shows a surprisingly low unemployment rate of 11.1%, down from 13.6% the same quarter a year ago. In the absence of data on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the Central Bank in the last 3 years, analysts were hoping to find answers to questions about the economy s health from unemployment data, but instead they were disappointed. Many reports, including one interview with a former SCI deputy director, dismissed the data as cooked.
The fact that after a long hiatus the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) has decided to publish the results of its...

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14 Dec 2011

The Supreme Leader Is Worried — Three Developments You Probably Don’t Know

Followers of our daily coverage of Iran will be aware of the political tensions that have gripped the Islamic Republic's establishment. Those battles, from charges of corruption to warning of a "deviant current" affecting the Government, will only grow in intensity before next March's Parliamentary elections. Yet EA sources have given us a story that goes even farther. The core of the tale is the belief amongst many observers in Iran that, despite all the attacks upon it, the President's camp will be the winner in the elections. Whether or not that assessment is correct, the Supreme Leader's advisors are concerned.
Followers of our daily coverage of Iran will be aware of the political tensions that have gripped the Islamic Republic's...

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13 Dec 2011

US sanctions 2 Iran military figures for rights abuses

The US Treasury named Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, chairman of Iran's Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Revolutionary Guard Deputy Commander Abdollah Araqi under the sanctions, which forbid Americans from any business relations with them and freeze their assets in the US.
The US Treasury named Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, chairman of Iran's Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Revolutionary...

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13 Dec 2011

Iran indicts 15 ‘American and Zionist’ spies

Iran's official news agency says the country's judiciary has issued indictments against 15 'American and Zionist' spies. IRNA on Tuesday quoted Tehran's chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi as saying the suspects carried out espionage activities against Iran.
Iran's official news agency says the country's judiciary has issued indictments against 15 'American and Zionist' spies....

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13 Dec 2011

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad becomes latest victim of shoe-throwing attack

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has become the latest leader to find himself on the receiving end of that popular Middle Eastern method of protest the thrown shoe. Like George W Bush before him, Ahmadinejad found himself staring down the sole of a gentleman's shoe when someone believed to be a recently laid-off textile worker decided to demonstrate his anger during an official ceremony in the north of the country
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has become the latest leader to find himself on the receiving end of that popular...

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13 Dec 2011

What Has Happened to the 1000s Wounded After the Election

Last month Alireza Saboori, shot in the head during the mass protest of 15 June 2009, died in the US. This prompted Mohammad (Farhad) Yeganeh Tabrizi, injured during the Ashura demonstrations of December 2009 to break his anonymity: "I have already come to terms with the fact that sooner or later, I might have to face the same fate, but what tortures me is how the thousands of injured, whose pain is many times greater than the death of those who died during the protests following the election, are being forgotten."
Last month Alireza Saboori, shot in the head during the mass protest of 15 June 2009, died in the US. This prompted...

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13 Dec 2011

US asks Iran to return downed drone

The US has asked Iran to return a downed surveilance drone. The request came during a Washington press conference by President Barack Obama about the end of US occupation in Iraq. "We have asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond," Obama said on Monday during a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki after the two met at the White House. General Hossein Salami, deputy head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, was quoted on Sunday as saying the drone woud not be returned as it was seeking "vital" intelligence about Iran for the US.
The US has asked Iran to return a downed surveilance drone. The request came during a Washington press conference by...
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12 Dec 2011

Ineffective tightening of sanctions on Iran

There is a long record of the grim effects of sanctions in international struggles against those states deemed as "rogue". Sanctions are seen as righteous instruments, a non-violent way to pressure problematic regimes to change. But when you really don't care about a country or its people, then your true attitudes emerge in the way in which you use the sanctions instrument of policy.
There is a long record of the grim effects of sanctions in international struggles against those states deemed as...

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12 Dec 2011

Ex-Iran Guard commander visits White House with Iraq leader

A former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the FBI says played a role in a 1996 terrorist attack that killed 19 U.S. servicemen, accompanied Iraq s prime minister to the White House on Monday, attending an event at which President Obama trumpeted the end of the Iraq War. Hadi Farhan al-Amiri, transportation minister in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki s government, was part of the delegation that visited the White House to discuss Iraq s future and Iran s influence there, among other topics.
A former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the FBI says played a role in a 1996 terrorist attack...
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12 Dec 2011

America, Israel and Iran – no way out

An American and or Israeli attack on Iran would have some daunting unintended consequences: a regional backlash which would end Iran's isolation and generate popular political support for its clerical regime both at home and abroad; attacks against US military assets and interests in the region; and "severe economic consequences" - read: sharply increased oil prices - which would undermine fragile economies in the US and Europe. Finally, he said, initiation of hostilities could produce "an escalation... that would not only involve many lives, but ... could consume the Middle East in a confrontation and a conflict that we would regret (emphasis added)".
An American and or Israeli attack on Iran would have some daunting unintended consequences: a regional backlash which...

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12 Dec 2011

Nobel Women’s Initiative highlights prison case of Iran attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh

For the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign the Nobel Women s Initiative highlighted the plight of Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate Nasrin Sotoudeh who still remains under incarceration in spite of international campaigns for her release.
For the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign the Nobel Women s Initiative highlighted the plight of...

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11 Dec 2011

Iran sees crude market relatively balanced

Iran's OPEC governor said on Saturday the oil market was "relatively balanced", indicating the country will not push for any major shift in an OPEC ministerial meeting next week. -- "The market is relatively balanced ... and my feeling is there is a general sentiment among the OPEC members to make a decision based on the real needs of the market," Mohammad Ali Khatibi told Reuters.
Iran's OPEC governor said on Saturday the oil market was "relatively balanced", indicating the country will not push for...
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11 Dec 2011

Huawei to scale back business in Iran

Chinese telecommunications- equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. said it will scale back its business in Iran, where the company provides services to government-controlled telecom operators, following reports that Iranian police were using mobile-network technology to track down and arrest dissidents.
Chinese telecommunications- equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. said it will scale back its business in Iran, where...

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10 Dec 2011

EU leaders call for more sanctions on Iran

European Union leaders called on Friday for more sanctions against Iran by the end of January, in an effort to increase pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme. The leaders did not make an explicit call for an embargo on Iranian crude oil, which EU diplomats have been discussing this month as a way to respond to mounting concerns that the OPEC producer has worked to design a nuclear weapon.
European Union leaders called on Friday for more sanctions against Iran by the end of January, in an effort to increase...

Broadcasting Tehran’s Repression

It may not come as a surprise to learn that the Iranian government invests heavily in internet filtering, mobile-communication restrictions and jamming of international satellite broadcasts to control and manipulate the Iranian people. What may be surprising is that European companies, particularly satellite providers, continue to provide services to Tehran despite its comprehensive assault on free expression and free access to information.
It may not come as a surprise to learn that the Iranian government invests heavily in internet filtering,...

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8 Dec 2011

Iran shows film of captured US drone

Iranian TV has shown the first video footage of an advanced US drone aircraft that Tehran says it downed near the Afghan border. The film was captioned "RQ170 - advanced US spy plane" and carried on the Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1 channel. The images show Iranian military officials inspecting the aircraft, which appears to be largely undamaged.
Iranian TV has shown the first video footage of an advanced US drone aircraft that Tehran says it downed near the Afghan...
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8 Dec 2011

War on Iran has already begun. Act before it threatens all of us

They don't give up. After a decade of blood-drenched failure in Afghanistan and Iraq, violent destabilisation of Pakistan and Yemen, the devastation of Lebanon and slaughter in Libya, you might hope the US and its friends had had their fill of invasion and intervention in the Muslim world. It seems not. For months the evidence has been growing that a US-Israeli stealth war against Iran has already begun, backed by Britain and France. Covert support for armed opposition groups has spread into a campaign of assassinations of Iranian scientists, cyber warfare, attacks on military and missile installations, and the killing of an Iranian general, among others.
They don't give up. After a decade of blood-drenched failure in Afghanistan and Iraq, violent destabilisation of...

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7 Dec 2011

Why is US Playing Crash-and-Tell Over Its Drone

Why are the overseers of Washington's secret missions so eager to play crash-and-tell? -- A starting point: was this an attempt to head off Iran s inevitable showreel of pictures if it has recovered a highly-prized CIA drone? If so, it represents a failure --- so far --- by US intelligence agencies and their political masters, miscalculating Iran s ability --- or readiness --- to put out the images. Instead, it was one of the Americans who blurted out that the RQ-170 had been taken "largely intact", with eager American rivals and enemies awaiting the revelation of details of an elusive technology
Why are the overseers of Washington's secret missions so eager to play crash-and-tell? -- A starting point: was this an...
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7 Dec 2011

Mehdi Karrubi, Under House Arrest, Meets With His Family

Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi, who has been under house arrest for some 10 months, met with his family over the weekend. Karrubi s son, Mohammad Hossein Karrubi, wrote about the December 3 meeting on Facebook. He said it was the third time the reformist cleric had been allowed to meet with his family since he was put under house arrest early this year. He wrote that his father appeared in better health and spirits since the last time he had seen him.
Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi, who has been under house arrest for some 10 months, met with his family over...

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7 Dec 2011

Drone Crash in Iran Reveals Secret U.S. Surveillance Bid

The stealth C.I.A. drone that crashed deep inside Iranian territory last week was part of a stepped-up surveillance program that has frequently sent the United States' most hard-to-detect drone into the country to map suspected nuclear sites, according to foreign officials and American experts who have been briefed on the effort.
The stealth C.I.A. drone that crashed deep inside Iranian territory last week was part of a stepped-up surveillance...
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7 Dec 2011

War drums are beating for Iran. But who’s playing them?

The retiring US president, Dwight D Eisenhower, famously took the opportunity of his farewell to the nation address in 1961 to warn his fellow countrymen of the danger in allowing too close a relationship between politicians and the defence industry. "This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience," he said. "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.
The retiring US president, Dwight D Eisenhower, famously took the opportunity of his farewell to the nation address in...
7 Dec 2011

Why is the west funding Iran’s deadly war on drugs

Representatives of more that 50 countries will meet in Vienna shortly to determine the level of international support that Iran receives for its continuing war on drugs. This comes amid concern about the increasing number of executions for drug-related offences in Iran. Six more people were recently hanged in the city of Kermanshah - executions that a senior figure in the judiciary described as "one of the triumphs of Iran".
Representatives of more that 50 countries will meet in Vienna shortly to determine the level of international support...
6 Dec 2011

4 Gonabadi dervishes being held under perilous conditions in Pirbanan prison

According to Majzooban Noor website, Farzad Darvish, Mohammad Ali Saadi, Mohammad Jalal Nikbakht and Hojatollah Saidi, detained on October 8, 2011, are deprived of their most basic human rights while being held behind bars. They are constrained in an unsanitary environment with no access to health care or adequate nutrition. The 4 prisoners are in Pirbanan prison despite the efforts of their families to have them relocated to Adel Abad prison in Shiraz.
According to Majzooban Noor website, Farzad Darvish, Mohammad Ali Saadi, Mohammad Jalal Nikbakht and Hojatollah Saidi,...

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6 Dec 2011

Heavy Security Deployment In Tehran Amidst Protest Fears

Security is said to be tight in the Iranian capital, amidst fears of a fresh wave of opposition protests on Ashura and national Students Day. According to Green Voice of Freedom sources, on Tuesday anti-riot police in full armour gear and security forces on motorcycles were patrolling a number of neighbourhoods in central Tehran. In addition, helicopters circled in the central districts, keeping a close eye on developments on the ground.
Security is said to be tight in the Iranian capital, amidst fears of a fresh wave of opposition protests on Ashura and...

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5 Dec 2011

Two Political Prisoners in Evin Transferred to Hospital

Political prisoners Kobra Amirkhizi and Hussein Ronaghi Maleki were transferred to hospital for urgent medical care. According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Hussein Ronaghi Maleki has suffered internal bleeding of kidneys and taken to Hasheminejad Hospital in Tehran.
Political prisoners Kobra Amirkhizi and Hussein Ronaghi Maleki were transferred to hospital for urgent medical care....
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