EA: The Latest from Iran (29 June): Possibility of a Blackout

1430 GMT: All the President’s Men. And now Tehran Emrooz, close to Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, goes after the President’s advisors, claiming Vice President Hamid Baghaei was given a new post to sell govt buildings in Tehran. He then appointed two new officials to align allies with Ahmadinejad’s office.

Meanwhile, according to the newspaper, Lotfollah Forouzandeh undertook widespread efforts to align hardliners with the Government through „unity“ meetings.

1420 GMT: All the President’s Men. The reformist newspaper Sharghadds to the pressure by noting that the President’s right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai has not been seen at the last 14 important official occasions, appearing last on 13 June alongside Ahmadinejad. It adds, however, that Rahim-Mashai does seem to be active, for example, in the appointment of his ally Meysam Taheri to head the High Council of Iranians Abroad.

1410 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch (From Britain to Iran). Yesterday Robert Fisk of The Independent of London, reviewing a lot of the political ground covered by EA in recent weeks, summarised, „How the Demise of a Trusted Adviser Could Bring Down Mahmoud Ahmadinejad“. He concluded:

 

In Iran, they say that Ahmadinejad, who under the Iranian constitution cannot stand for president again in 2013, has at last realised his own desperate situation. In Tehran, Rahim-Mashaee is now daily being denounced as a „deviant“ – another dangerous expression in the lexicon of the Islamic Republic – and the president is supposedly prepared at last to sacrifice his chief adviser to save his own skin. The fact that a senior official in the government was prepared this week, privately, to predict to me his possible demise, suggests that it may be too late.

 

Fair enough, but not really a threat, right? A reporter for a British newspaper, operating out of Beirut, does not necessarily pose a challenge, even if a „senior official“ is dropped into the final paragraph.

Maybe, but now consider that Fisk’s article has popped up in Iran. In not just one but two pieces reviewing Ahmaadinejad’s position, Khabar Online, linked to Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, cites the „famous British journalist“ to suggest that „Ahmadinejad might resign„.

1400 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. President Ahmadinejad’s comments this morning on the pressure on his allies — declaring one moment that he would remain silent and then warning in the next Don’t Arrest Members of My Cabinet — are already drawing attention and criticism.

Khodnevis interprets Ahmadinejad’s statement of „a red line“ as a threat to reveal damaging information on others if the pressure and arrests continue.

Asr-e Iran re-works the „red line“ analogy: „Ahmadinejad steps on the gas, enters a forbidden street, passes red lights carelessly“.

And Ayande News asks if the „nezam“ (system), including the Supreme Leader, has prohibited all criticism against Ahmadinejad.

1355 GMT: CyberWatch. One day after it posted an article claiming that President Ahmadinejad is again refusing to co-operate with Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi, Mojmal News is off-line.

1200 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. The President, asked by reporters about the recent arrests of his advisors, said he intends to remain silent but “will fulfill his legal duties and raise issues with the Iranian people in case of continuation of pressure and accusations“.

Ahmadinejad continued, “I am duty-bound to defend the Cabinet and the Cabinet is our red line. We intend to still keep silent.“

Ahmadinejad claimed the arrests were part of a „political movement“ to „pressure the Government“: “Such moves and pressure will definitely inflict damage on the country.”

1145 GMT: Cyber-Watch. Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi, about the US project to get around regime blocks on Web-based communication and information, has responded, “We have solutions to deal with the Internet-in-a-suitcase.”

1010 GMT: Oil Watch. Hamidreza Katouzian, the head of Parliament’s Energy Committee, said Iran’s oil production fell around 70,000 barrels per day during the Iranian year ending 20 March 2011, attributing the decline to bad management and project delays.

The Government has trumpeted an increase in production, with a move towards „self-sufficiency“ amidst US-led sanctions, and under the 2005-2010 Development Plan, production should have increased from 4 million barrels per day to 5 million barrels per day.

0850 GMT: Parliament v. President. Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani makes a move in an interview with his outlet Khabar Online….

Larijani positions himself with his hope that Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, the head of the Assembly of Expert, will take the lead of the „hardliners“. He then stands firm on Parliament’s right to challenge the President, despite the Supreme Leader’s criticism of MPs for shouting „Do-Do“ („2-2“ or „No-No“) at Ahmadinejad and his allies: MPs have the right to question the President, „2-2“ is normal, and legislators follow the Supreme Leader.

0835 GMT: Rumour of the Day. Entekhab wonders if VIce President Hamid Baghaei, already suspended from his duties by an administrative court for „numerous violations“ in his Government service, has been arrested.

0830 GMT: Criticism of the Day. Ebrahim Nabavi takes apart the Government, President Ahmadinejad, and the „schoolboys“ of Parliament whom „no one accepts“: „Where is the Government? There is no Government.“

0655 GMT: Irony Watch. Some readers may recall that opposition figures Mir Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard, and Mehdi and Fatemeh Karroubi have been under strict house arrest, cut off from all contact except with their guards, for 4 1/2 months.

This morning Hafte Sobh, the website linked to Presidential Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, proclaims, „House Arrest Not Foreseen in the Law; Law and Freedom for All“.

But don’t look for the release of Mousavi, Rahnavard, and the Karroubis just yet. The concern of the site, using an „expert on legal issues“, is with allies of Rahim-Mashai who have been detained and threatened with punishment in recent weeks.

0630 GMT: One of the stories that has caught our attention this week has been concern in the Ministry of Energy of possible blackouts in Iran. Yesterday Deputy Minister of Energy Mohammad Behzad confirmed that 15 power plants have received no gas from the National Gas Company — they are running on liquid fuel reserves but the stocks are low.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader appears to be trying to avoid a political blackout. He and his office have been putting out the message this week that Parliament, the judiciary, and the Ahmadinejad camp need to pull back from an all-out fight. Ayatollah Khamenei has asked media to limit coverage of arrests of the allies of the President and his Chief of Staff, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai. He has also requested — amidst reports that the economic situation is in sharp contrast to the Government’s optimistic declarations — that everyone refrain from criticism of official statistics.

Still, it looks like Ayatollah Khamenei’s people are setting conditions for a resolution. On Tuesday, the Supreme Leader’s representative to the Revolutionary Guards, Mojtaba Zolnour, pointed to a ban on Rahim-Mashai running for President in 2013.

Veröffentlicht am 29. Juni 2011 in Empfehlungen, Foto, Interview, Literatur, Medien, Meinungen, Politik und mit , , , , getaggt. Setze ein Lesezeichen auf den Permalink. Kommentare deaktiviert für EA: The Latest from Iran (29 June): Possibility of a Blackout.

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