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Supreme Leader

WORLD
April 10, 2012 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Iran's top nuclear official offered hope that Tehran may be flexible in upcoming international talks about its disputed nuclear program, indicating that the regime may be willing to halt production of the enriched uranium that most worries the West. Fereydoun Abbasi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said in an Iranian TV interview broadcast Monday that Iran wants only enough 20%-enriched uranium for its medical needs. The United States and its European allies are worried that Iran could refine the 20%-enriched uranium it is producing into weapons-grade fuel for a nuclear bomb in a matter of months.
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NEWS
October 13, 2011 | By Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau
President Obama said Thursday morning he isn't sure if top Iranian leaders personally knew of an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States, but said they should be held accountable anyway. "Even if at the highest levels there was no detailed operational knowledge," Obama said, "there has to be accountability with respect to anybody in the Iranian government engaging in this kind of activity. " In his first public remarks since details of the alleged plot were released earlier this week, Obama said Iran must "answer to the international community" for anybody in their government engaged in terrorist activity.
WORLD
September 22, 2011 | By Jeffrey Fleishman and Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times
The release of two American hikers convicted of spying in Iran ended an international drama involving longtime foes, but was also emblematic of the infighting among Tehran's ruling elite that has led to questions about President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's grip on power. Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, both 29-year-old graduates of UC Berkeley, were released Wednesday from Tehran's Evin Prison on a combined bail of $1 million. The Americans were handed over to the Swiss ambassador, who represents U.S. interests in Iran, and were flown to the Persian Gulf nation of Oman, a Washington ally that posted the bail and helped negotiate their release.
WORLD
September 1, 2011 | By Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, congratulated the "revolutionaries" behind the so-called Arab Spring rebellions but warned them against allowing the United States to take advantage of the upheaval, reflecting the Iranian leadership's deep unease with the uprisings that have swept the region. "If the Muslim nations stand against those who interfere in their internal affairs, these nations will experience progress," Khamenei said Wednesday. "But if the world of oppression and world Zionism, including the oppressive regime of the United States, take control, the Muslim world will experience major problems for decades.
WORLD
August 28, 2011 | By Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has pardoned an unspecified number of political activists imprisoned for their part in tumultuous protests over the country's disputed 2009 presidential election, in what was seen as a conciliatory gesture ahead of next year's national elections. The pardons did not cover top leaders of the 2009 demonstrations, including former presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who remain under house arrest. State news agencies announced the pardons of 100 "security" prisoners late Saturday night.
WORLD
July 21, 2011 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
In this Murdochian age, it somehow seems inevitable: The Taliban movement says its phones were hacked. Moreover, the subject was the most sensitive possible, at least in the insurgents' eyes: the status of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the group's supreme leader. The group declared Wednesday that text messages announcing Omar's death from heart failure were fake, and said the phone logs of its main spokesman, together with the Taliban website, had apparently been tampered with. Earlier Wednesday, text and email messages, purportedly from accounts used by Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, had announced the death of the Amir ul-Momineen, or Commander of the Faithful, as Omar is known.
WORLD
June 26, 2011 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Alexandra Sandels, Los Angeles Times
A battered Peugeot sedan greeted visitors Saturday to a conference hall in north Tehran. "Professor Massoud Ali Mohammadi, martyred in front of his house," explained an accompanying poster. It was a reference to the mysterious assassination last year of the Iranian physicist, killed when a bomb exploded near his car in Tehran. Iranian authorities have blamed the West for the killing. The Peugeot was the symbolic scene-setter for a two-day conference in the Iranian capital on fighting terrorism.
WORLD
May 30, 2011 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a public endorsement of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday as he looked to resolve a months-long rift among the country's conservative power elites. "While there are weaknesses and problems … the composition of the executive branch is good and appropriate, and the government is working. The government and parliament must help each other," Khamenei said in an address to members of parliament shown later on state television.
WORLD
May 29, 2011 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, endorsed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Sunday as Khamenei looked to resolve a months-long rift among the country's conservative power elite. "While there are weaknesses and problems ... the composition of the executive branch is good and appropriate, and the government is working. The government and parliament must help each other," Ayatollah Khamenei said in an address to parliament members, later shown on state television. The pronouncement by the country's most powerful figure has followed a period of turbulence between him and his onetime political favorite.
WORLD
May 22, 2011 | By Borzou Daragahi and Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wanted to send his onetime protege Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an unmistakable message: You're replaceable. The Iranian president had been skipping Cabinet meetings, apparently over Khamenei's decision to overrule his firing of the country's intelligence chief. So Khamenei asked a conservative lawmaker to begin assembling a caretaker Cabinet, just in case the president resigned or had to be removed, said an Iranian official close to the politician. Ahmadinejad eventually returned to work.
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