Tuesday July 21 – the daily story

News summary:

More clashes — Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam, Iran’s police chief, today accused reformist protesters of sedition as more clashes were reported at a Tehran’s Hafte-e Tir square.  Witnesses said several people were arrested in the protests and hundreds of policemen beat demonstrators calling for President Ahmadinejad’s resignation. The Green Brief, which reported clashes in several other Tehran squares, put the number involved at about 15,000 and said that in some areas women outnumbered men. The demonstrators were marking the anniversary of Mossadeq’s uprising against the former Shah and Green Brief makes the point that the protests did not have the backing of the reformist leaders. A group of demonstrators marched past the state broadcaster’s headquarters, heavily ringed by security officers. Demonstrations and clashes were also reported in Urumieh, Shiraz and Tabriz. Meanwhile the state police department said 40 people were arrested during the demonstrations outside the Friday prayers ceremony.   momento24.com, Green Brief, PressTV

Khatami ‘American mouthpiece’ –– The hardline Kayhan newspaper today branded Ayatollah Mohammad Khatami an American mouthpiece. It said his call for a referendum was made on the instructions of Michael Ledeen, the neoconservative foreign policy expert who worked closely with the Bush administration.  Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor-in-chief who wrote the editorial, accused the reformists of acting according to  “the pre-announced instructions and proposals of American media and officials”. He said the referendum call was a perfect example. Khatami’s call, he said, followed remarks Ledeen had made some time before about  “a referendum on the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic as one of the effective ways to confront the power of Islamic Iran”. He also mocked Khatami’s suggestion  that a neutral body oversee the referendum. “Khatami …  has proposed that the referendum he has in mind should be staged by an impartial body such as the Expediency Council instead of the Guardian Council. If what Khatami means by the council is its chair, well then Rafsanjani has explicitly shown that not only he is not impartial but that he strongly supports Khatami, Mousavi and their followers.” Washington TV

Ahmadinejad defiant — President Ahmadinejad defied the growing clamour to rescind the appointment of Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei as his vice-president, even though Ayatrollah Khamenei appears to be one of those opposing it.  “Mashaei has been appointed as the first vice president and will continue his job,” Ahmadinejad said today. But Mohammad-Hassan Abutorabi-Fard, Majlis deputy speaker, said Ayatollah Khameni had sent a letter to Ahmadinejad on Monday insisting he dismiss Mashaei.  “Without any delay, the removal or acceptance of Mashaei’s resignation must be announced by the president,” the deputy speaker said. Meanwhile President Ahmadinejad has set up a special committee to identify “elites and intellectuals” willing to take up top managerial posts.     PressTV, NYT, Reuters,   haber27.com

In other news:

The US Senate approved a measure directing the Obama administration to impose sanctions on Iran’s central bank if there was no response to requests for serious dialogue on the nuclear issue by the end of September.  Meanwhile, Los Angeles County supervisors voted unanimously to direct the county pension fund to divest from the Iranian energy sector because the country sponsors terrorism. New York’s City pension fund administrators are also  looking to liquidate investments in 10 companies with ties to Iran The Weekly Standard,  easybourse.com, LAT, emii.com

Six per cent of the stock of the North Drilling Company were offered on Tehran’s stock exchange today “for the purpose of price exploration”, the Tehran Times reported. NDC is the third of 21  subsidiaries of state oil, gas, refining and distribution companies due to be privatised. Tehran Times

Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Foreign Minister, has  begun a 10-day tour of Latin America aimed at countering Iran’s  growing influence in the region. One country missing from his itinerary is Venezuela, Iran’s closest Latin American ally. AFP

The Palestinian Authority and Iran held talks for the first time last week at a historic meeting on the sidelines of the non-aligned summit. The Trumpet

The Indian government has said several outstanding issues remain before it agrees to take part in the $7.4-billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, including the final gas price. Financial Express

A dispute over ownership of an oilfield on the Iran-Iraq border has been resolved, Iran says. iranoilgas.com

With no hint of irony, Iran’s state broadcaster says it is adapting the Hollywood TV series Prison Break as a radio play because  “it  has a fascinating, anti-U.S. story”. chnpress.com

More than 200,000 Afghans have been expelled from Iran in the past six months, 25 percent increase on the same period in 2008. IRIN

After the Swedish Security Services sent a letter to seven universities in Sweden,

Iranians are no longer eligible for courses that teach nuclear physics and advanced robotics in Sweden, Swedish Radio News reports. Radio Sweden


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s