Minister of Trade and Industry acknowledges sanctions “crippling” Iranian economy

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Mehdi Ghazanfari, the Minister of Trade and Industry, has stated in a meeting of the Supreme Provincial Councils that the current sanctions against Iran are different from those of the past and described them as “crippling”.

Ghazanfari also said, “sanctions have pressured the economy of the country and have been an obstacle for our securing its needs, because we haven’t had currency, nor could the Central Bank transfer currency  and nor transport for importing the goods needed by the country”.

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Former “Kahrizak prosecutors” return to the headlines

On the home front

Ali Akbar Heydari Far, the former deputy to the Tehran’s former chief prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, has lodged a complaint against the news site Baztab after being released from jail. Heydari Far’s name was revealed as amongst those responsible for allegations of torture and 3 deaths which occurred in Kahrizak detention centre after Iran’s controversial 2009 election and the unrest which followed. He was suspended as deputy prosecutor of Tehran as a result.

But in May of this year, Heydari Far was arrested after discharging a firearm at a gas station in Isfahan, when other customers protested his jumping line. Heydari Far was arrested on charges of “disrupting public order and security”, but has since been released. According to Baztab, Heydari Far’s complaint concerns his protesting the leak of his release from prison.

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How Iran Covered the NAM Summit

Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi (2nd R) speaks with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2nd L) during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 30, 2012. Picture taken August 30, 2012. (photo by REUTERS)

The reformist daily newspaper Etemaad covered in some detail the story of how Mohammed Morsi’s criticisms of Syria have been marginalized in official depictions of the Egyptian president’s NAM speech. Etemaad, in stark contrast to other domestic media, also reported the Syrian prime minister’s walking out of the conference hall in protest of Morsi’s criticism of the Assad regime.

The Iranian organizers of NAM tried their utmost to frame Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s speech as the centerpiece of the summit, and the country’s political as well as military ruling elite were in attendance. Prominent reformist politicians were noticeably absent. Continue reading