EU toughens sanctions on Iran; Tehran offers talks
26 Jul 2010 16:44
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Europe Imposes New Sanctions Against Iran
NYT | July 26, 2010
The European Union announced that it was imposing its toughest sanctions ever against Iran on Monday, a move that is expected to include a ban on new investment in the country's eroding oil and gas sector and tighten restrictions on transport and finance.
In a statement the 27 European ministers said they had agreed on "a comprehensive and robust package of measures in the areas of trade, financial services, energy, transport as well as additional designations for visa ban and asset freeze, in particular for Iranian banks, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines."
Iran Says Nuclear Talks After Ramadan
Reuters | July 25, 2010
Iran will be ready to hold negotiations with world powers on its nuclear programme after the month of Ramadan ends in early September, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Sunday.
Separately, Mottaki said technical discussions could begin immediately in Vienna on the details of a proposed nuclear fuel swap and a letter to this effect would be delivered to the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday. Mottaki said the talks after Ramadan would be between Tehran and the P5+1 group.
Tea Party Caucus members endorse Israeli attack on Iran
FP | July 26, 2010
Now that the congressional supporters of the Tea Party movement have formed their own caucus, their policy positions are becoming easier to track. Expanding their foray into foreign policy, 21 members of the new caucus have now come out explicitly endorsing Israel's right to strike Iran's nuclear program.
Almost two dozen Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers cosponsored a new resolution late last week that expresses their support for Israel "to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force."
Mossad Chief Reportedly Visited Saudi Arabia For Talks On Iran
Haaretz | July 26, 2010
Mossad chief Meir Dagan visited Saudi Arabia recently, if unofficial reports published over the weekend on the WorldNetDaily website are accurate. The Internet news site attributed the story to Arab sources.
According to the reports, the talks conducted in Saudi Arabia with the head of Israel's espionage agency dealt with Iran and its nuclear program. The account follows a series of recent reports on increasing secret cooperation between Israel and the Saudis, including defense coordination on matters related to possible military action against Iran's nuclear facilities.
IRGC has been building its economic influence for more than 20 years
BBC | July 26, 2010
The BBC has profiled the Revolutionary Guards' key role in the Iranian economy, listing numerous companies associated with the guards and explaining how they will be affected by the latest round of U.N. sanctions.
Iran's opposition leader warns rulers could topple
AP | July 26, 2010
Iran's opposition leader says the country's hard-line political leaders could suffer the same fate as the deposed Shah's regime if they continue to consolidate their grip on power.
The comments represent a clear break by Mir Hossein Mousavi with a ruling system he was once firmly a part of. The former prime minister was a fervent supporter of the 1979 revolution that brought cleric-led government to Iran before recasting himself as a leader of the reform-seeking opposition in last year's disputed presidential election.
Iran Stoning Case Lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei's Relatives Arrested
Guardian | July 26, 2010
Lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei who defended a woman recently sentenced to death by stoning, had his Tehran office ransacked and was interrogated in Evin prison for four hours on Saturday. He was released, then called back for further questioning before being set free. Authorities then issued an arrest warrant.
When they were unable to find him the authorities arrested his wife, Fereshteh Halimi and her brother Farhad Halimi to try to force him to surrender. However, it is still unclear whether Mostafaei has been arrested or he has managed to evade officials.
Ahmadinejad Accuses Medvedev Of Following American Orders
RFE/RL | July 24, 2010
Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has accused Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of kick-starting a "new Western scenario against Iran that is directed by the U.S." Ahmadinejad added that Medvedev was following U.S. instructions in a "propaganda war" against Iran by saying last week that Iran was nearing nuclear weapons capability.
Jailed Journalist Says He Was 'Dishonored' In Prison
RFE/RL | July 25, 2010
The family of jailed journalist Abdolreza Tajik, who was arrested 40 days ago, told his sister during a prison visit that he has been "disgraced" in the presence of a deputy prosecutor and an interrogator.
Tajik refused to explain what he meant by "dishonored" but told his sister to tell his lawyer and the state prosecutor about it and added that "they will understand what it means."
Tajik's lawyer, Mohammad Sharif, who has not been allowed to meet his client since his arrest, told Radio Farda that whenever talk of being "dishonored" comes up in relation to detainees, physical and sexual assault come to mind.
Persian Wikipedia Reportedly Filtered In Iran
RFE/RL | July 25, 2010
Iranian bloggers are reporting that the Persian-language website of collaborative "free encyclopedia" Wikipedia has been filtered in Iran, although it is unclear whether such blocks remain in place or have since been removed. They've posted this screen shot as evidence of the filtering.
Broadband Internet Launched in 11 Iranian Cities
Mehr | July 26, 2010
Mobin, an Iranian internet company has announced that it will be launching broadband internet connections in eleven new cities soon. The cities are: Arak, Ardebil, Elam, Babylonia, Bojnourd, Birjand, Khorramabad, Semnan, Sanandaj, Yasuj and Shahrekord. 256 kbps per second will cost $20 a month, 512 kbps will cost $40 and unlimited internet use will cost $60. Iranians have an incredibly heavy web presence, coming in third in the total number of blogs per country, after the United States and China.