Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Latest from Iran (14 November): Ahmadinejad Threatens to Expose Corruption

0607 GMT: All the President's Men. Two religious "praisers", Mansour Arzi and Saeed Haddadian, have been given court decisions over a complaint by President Ahmadinejad’s Chief of Staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, that they threatened to kill him. Arzi was ac quitted and Haddadian received a small fine.

Arzi has repeatedly said that Rahim Mashai is a Jew who is working with Israel and the US to undermine the Islamic Republic.

0600 GMT: A Death in Detention. A new line to deal with the complication of the death of blogger Sattar Beheshti in prison --- MP Javad Karimi Qodusi has claimed that five political prisoners are the “probable agents”.

Karimi Qodusi said, “This killing is suspicious and I am suspicious of the influence of the seditious movement [Green Movement] in this killing.”

0540 GMT: Speaking at a ceremony honouring retirees, President Ahmadinejad has renewed his threat to expose corruption within the regime:

Another problem is this: At present, as the government decides to transfer some money to the pockets of the people, 80 people are mobilized to prevent this from happening....This country belongs to the nation, and the government, the parliament and the judiciary are the servants of the nation. But as soon as we want to give half of the money which has been taken by some --- and have not returned --- to the pensioners, there are those who scream....If someone receives [borrows] 100 billion and does not return it, it does not create mayhem in the economy of the country. But if we want to give a 5 million interest free loan to someone they will do their utmost to prevent it and claim that it will ruin the economy.

The threat is far from new. As part of his declared "red line" last year against prosecution of members of his inner circle, Ahmadinejad said he had documents that, if revealed, would cause great embarrassment to his political enemies. At one point, he even approached a fight with the Revolutionary Guards over allegations of the miltary's lucrative import of illegal goods.

But is this latest statement aimed at anyone in particular? The Larijani brothers --- Speaker of Parliament Ali and head of judiciary Sadegh? The Guards again? Members of the Supreme Leader's office?

If the target is Ali Larijani, he does not seem to have taken heed. On Tuesday, he reaffirmed the weekend declaration of Parliament blocking the second phase of Ahmadinejad's subsidy cuts. The Speaker said the continued suspension would ensure that Iran could withstand the pressure of US-led sanctions.

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

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