Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Habibollah Golparipour (2)


The Latest from Iran (25 April): Build-Up

2020 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. RAHANA reports that detainees in the women’s ward of Evin Prison staged a sit-in and asked the head of the ward to respect the Regulations Law which requires the separation of prisoners.

According to RAHANA, the head of the ward threatened the prisoners and claimed she needs prosecutor’s orders before separating the inmates. The political prisoners have stated that they will continue their sit-in until they achieve their goal.

NEW Iran Special: Tehran, Defender of Women’s Rights (P.S. Don’t Mention Boobquake
NEW Iran: The Green Movement and the Labour Movement (Assadi)
NEW Iran: Hyping the Threat from Tehran (Walt)
Iran: The List of 101 Journalists Who Have Been Jailed
Iran Document: Mousavi on the Green Movement’s Strategy and Goals (22 April)
The Latest from Iran (24 April): Speaking of Rights

1555 GMT:Corruption Watch. Reihaneh Mazaheri, writing for Tehran Bureau, sets out a detailed summary of the corruption allegations against the Ahmadinejad Government.

1550 GMT: Morality Will Be Observed. Tehran Police Chief Ahmad Reza Radan has assured that the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance's moral police will soon restart controls for better security.

1535 GMT: Media Corner. Journalist Zaynab Kazemkhah, arrested on 7 February, was fired by Iranian Students News Agency upon her release from Evin Prison. Her boss allegedly told her that she was "a traitor to the country".

1525 GMT: Mousavi Speaks Again. No doubt about it: both Mehdi Karroubi (see 0600 GMT) and Mir Hossein Mousavi are making a renewed push against the Government. Mousavi told a group of war veterans today, "The only way for Iran to get out of the crisis would be for you (the rulers) to change your approach. May God end the crisis in favor of the nation."

Mousavi again declared that the Government is working against the values of the Islamic Republic, "Islam would not beat anyone, would not take anyone into incarceration ... and would not keep anyone in prison....We can not accept closure of newspapers and jailing those who talk of freedom and people's right. This is against Islam."

The Presidential candidate assured the audience that the opposition has not been vanquished despite the Government crackdown on dissent, "Do not think that the reform movement does not exist anymore. Such measures can not block the reform path."

1520 GMT: Rumour of Day (2). Rah-e-Sabz claims that staged television confessions of reformist prisoners are planned for the eve of the anniversary of the election, 12 June.

1310 GMT: Culture and Political Prisoners. Ten prominent Iranian writers and poets, including Simin Behbahani, Ali Ashraf Darvishian, Shams Langroodi, and Moniro Ravanipour, have published an open letter demanding the release of journalist Masoud Bastani and other political prisoners.

1230 GMT: Boobquake Watch. Protecting Iran from earthquakes by pursuing immorality, Tehran police have reportedly banned tanning salons.

1210 GMT: Another Larijani Warning. Speaker of ParliamentAli Larijani has told President Ahmadinejad that the Majlis' laws should be implemented. The Khabar Online article supplements the warning has lots of detail on the government's alleged mismanagement, especially missing reports on the budget and on state broadcaster IRIB.

1205 GMT: Rumour of Day. The Sunday Telegraph of London claims, "Iran has struck a secret deal with Zimbabwe to mine its untapped uranium reserves in a move to secure raw material for its steadily expanding nuclear programme."

It was this agreement that underlay President Ahmadinejad's visit to Harare this week.

Caution is needed here: the Sunday Telegraph has been known to peddle exclusives based on suspect sources and/or speculation. This story rests on a "government source" and, rather unusually, "a senior official in the Iranian embassy" in Zimbabwe.

1200 GMT: All is Well Update. Minister of Interior Mustafa Mohammad Najar has declared, ''During nine months' efforts (since the 12 June Presidential election), police forces across the country slapped the enemy's conspiracy."
He said, ''Due to proper instruction, police forces used proper contact with people and the forces used less amount of shooting (than in the past).''

1035 GMT: Nuclear Breakthrough? Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has met the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, to discuss the uranium swap proposal. Mottaki told Iranian state television that he expected the discussions to be "decisive and detailed".

1030 GMT: We have posted a very special analysis linking Iran's suddenly-announced candidacy for the International Commission for Protection of Women’s Rights to the "Boobquake" episode.

(Just a thought, however. The Supreme Leader has his own Facebook page and has recently pronounced on Iran's defense of women's rights, so shouldn't he be informed of the Boobquake movement?)

0740 GMT: We have posted two features: an analysis of the Green Movement and labour movement by Jamshid Assadi and an assessment of the international "threat" from Iran by Stephen Walt.

0735 GMT: The Parliament Front. Another intervention by the Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani in the contest with the Ahmadinejad Government: he has criticized administration officials who have reacted angrily to reports released by the Supreme Audit Court (SAC).

The Supreme Audit Court, overseen by Parliament, is mandated to control the financial operations and activities of all ministries, institutions, state companies, and other organizations which receive Government funding.

0650 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Student activist Milad Fadayi has been sentenced to a year in prison for “propaganda against the system”. Fadayi was detained on 2 December in his home by plainclothes agents.

Mohammad Hossein Agassi, the lawyer for Amir Reza Arefi, has said that Arefi's death sentence for "mohareb" (war against God) has been reduced to a 15-year prison term. Arefi was condemned to death in February.

However, RAHANA reports that Habibollah Golparipour has been sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Court in Iranian Kurdistan.

0600 GMT: We are watching the signs that the opposition, inside and outside Iran, is seeking a renewed challenge leading up to the anniversary of the Presidential election. According to his website, Mehdi Karroubi has told the German magazine Der Spiegel, "Although tranquillity has been restored, society is awaiting a spark....People should know that we will continue the campaign. The campaign is not against the [Islamic] republic. On the contrary, it is aimed at observing the constitution in which freedom of conscience and democracy has been clarified."

Some other bits and pieces to start the day....

Clerical Downgrade

A second cleric in Qom has been stripped of his status by a court. Hojatoleslam Mir Ahmadi was sentenced to forced exile from the city for ten years and banned from clerical activities.

Ahmadi was arrested by security forces days after a memorial service in February for the 40th day of the death of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. Ahmadi had debated a student who criticised Montazeri and post-election turmoil in the country. The next day, he was arrested and later released.

Seyed Ahmad Reza Ahmadpour, who recently began a one-year prison sentence, also faces a ban on wearing the traditional clerical robe.

No Foreign Talk, Please

The Islamic Republic News Agency claims that the Deputy Minister for Cinema Affairs has directed that no foreign words be used in Iranian movie titles. According to the agency, a letter to officials declared, “Based on an approval by the cabinet to ban foreign words in banners, advertisements, etc…from now on, Iranian movies are not permitted to use foreign words in titles. This ban applies to films currently in production as well.”

International Rumour of Day

Ayoub Kara, Israel's deputy minister for development in the Negev and Galilee, has told a public meeting that an academic with ties to Iran's nuclear programme recently asked for asylum in Israel after it helped him to defect.

"It is too soon to provide further details," Kara said, adding only that the unidentified academic was "now in a friendly country."

The claim follows the resettlement of Iranian physicist Shahram Amiri in the US in March.

The Latest from Iran (23 April): Rounding Up the News

2000 GMT: Consolation and Persistence. Mehdi Karroubi has visited Mostafa Tajzadeh, the former Deputy Minister of Interior, at his home. Tajzadeh, formally sentenced to six years in prison last week, had been in intensive care because of serious health issues.

1800 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Green Voice of Freedom carries a summary from human rights activists of prison sentences, including death penalties, for 27 detainees.

NEW Iran’s Nuclear Programme: The US Strategy
Iran Document: Detained Nourizad’s Letter to Khamenei “We Have Lost Our People”
Iran Document: Ayatollah Sane’i “Some Want Islam For Their Own Agendas”
The Latest from Iran (22 April): This Isn’t Over

On the other side of the watch, journalist and human rights activist Davoud Khokarami was released on Monday after two days of detention.

Statement of the Day

Mir Hossein Mousavi has offered another statement in a meeting with the National-Religious Front.

Mousavi said that the only way for realising national interests an ideal society was through a Green Movement that "pursues goals which are a reflection of the values, will and demands of the Iranian people”. He asserted, “We should pursue the creation of an interlinked civil society through the use of all the available resources in the country.”

Recalling the rise of the protest movement within hours of the Presidential election, Mousavi said, “The events that took place last year in Tehran on 15 June and the compassionate and sympathetic presence of the people along with tolerance, patience and cooperation and the protesters’ civil action set an example and standard for an ideal society”.

Framing the political challenge as a long-term process, Mousavi said, "The task ahead is immense and the path of the Green Movement is a lengthy one with many twists and turns; even if the Movement succeeds in its goals sooner than what many people expect, we must have patience and perseverance and to live with the Movement in order for it to persist.”

He concluded, “It should become apparent for everyone that we are seeking our national interests; this is not a question of selfishness. We do not want to stand beside tyranny and the tyrant. We stand by the oppressed.”

Earthquake Watch

The regime's statement of the day comes from Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of the Guardian Council at Tehran Friday Prayers. He has repeated the certainty, offered at last week's service by Hojatoleslam Kazem Seddiqi, that immorality such as provocative dress and adultery causes natural disasters: "We can avoid earthquakes if the faithful and devoted people pray to God."

Not sure everyone is taking this as seriously as they should, however. A "Boobquake" group has been established on Facebook to "prove boobs don't cause earthquakes"

Denial of Day

Members of Mehdi Karroubi's camp have dismissed rumours that the cleric is in ill health.

Warning the Reformists

Mohammad Abbaszadeh Meshkini, the Secretary General of Parliament's Article 10 Commission, has said that if the Mojahedin of Islamic. Revolution party and the Islamic Iran Participation Front continue their activities, "they will get trouble".

Iranian authorities have denied, however, that there are restrictions on the overseas travel of former President Mohammad Khatami. Last week Khatami cancelled an appearance at a disarmament conference in Japan, claiming he was pressured not to fly.

The Nuclear Front

Diplomats say Iran has agreed to more extensive monitoring of its nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

A Ringing Endorsement. As President Ahmadinejad visits his country, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has backed Iran's "just cause" in pursuit of nuclear power.

Economy Watch

Alireza Marandi, the former Minister of Health, has asserted that only 15% of the Ahmadinejad Fourth Plan's health projects have been realised.

Political Prisoner Watch

A death sentence has been handed down to Habibollah Golparipour, an Iranian Kurd, because of "mohareb" (war against God).

Rah-e-Sabz notes that in the month of Farvardin, which has just ended, a total of almost 73 years in prison sentences were handed down for supporters of the Green Movement.

Culture Ups and Downs

Maziar Bahari, the Iranian-Canadian journalist detained for months during the post-election crisis, has been honoured by a German organisation. He will collect the award on 7 May.

Forough Farrokhzad, one of Iran's most distinguished writers, has been banned from the country''s Book of Poets.