Iran Election Guide

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The Latest from Iran (10 June): No Ceasefire

1855 GMT: Girls and Boys. Ayatollah Alamolhoda, the Friday Prayer leader of Mashhad, has explained that a woman who wears her headscarf back is "more dangerous than any insect". When seen on a bike, she "shatters a boy's faith".

The opposition website Peyke Iran helpfully illustrates the Ayatollah's point with this photograph:

1400 GMT: Claimed video of rooftop chants last night of "Allahu Akbar (God is Great)" and "Marg bar Diktator (Death to the Dictator)":

1355 GMT: Sorcerer Watch. Alireza Afshar, the Deputy Minister of Interior, reports that exorcists and sorcerers will be investigated in 10 provinces.

1345 GMT: Political Limbo. Tabnak follows up on last month's clash between supporters of the Supreme Leader and supporters of President Ahmadinejad over the replacement of the Governor of Fars Province, after only four days, by an Ahmadinejad ally. The website says the Government is still not determined and the governorate is "in a shambles".

1335 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Syrian Front). Martin Chulov of The Guardian, speaking from Turkey, says residents of Jisr al-Shughour, the besieged town in northwestern Syria, that Iranians have been working with the Syrian security forces:

All of them have said unprompted that during the Syrian army operation last Saturday there were a number of men wearing black and fully bearded which is very unusual in Syria certainly among the security services.

Everybody has hinted, or said directly, that these people did not speak Arabic. The implications being that they may well have been Iranian.

1325 GMT: Oil and Politics. Former Minister of Oil Masoud Mirkazemi has declared that the main reason for his dismissal was his warning of crisis in the oil sector within the next two years.

President Ahmadinejad, who is seeking to merge the Ministries of Oil and Energy, initially named himself caretaker Minister before being forced to name a replacement for Mirkazemi.

1313 GMT: Economy Watch. Central Bank statistics released by CBI indicate prices rose in the month of Ordibehehsht (April/May) by 26% when compared to the same period last year. The increase pushed the annual inflation rate to 17%.

The World Bank has concurred with the International Monetary Fund on a growth rate of 1% in 2010 and forecast a 0% rate for 2011. The World Bank did foresee a 3% expansion in 2012.

1311 GMT: The former Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Saffar Harandi, stated that the satellite dishes are carrying the "fitna," the secession and sedition into the homes of the Iranians, spoiling the children. He linked the problem to the internet, and foreshadowed the day when Iranian satellites and technology would rule. 

1148 GMT: At Friday prayers, Ayatollah Jannati, Conservative chairman of the Guardian Council, has said today that the claims that elections are rigged are really efforts to inspire communists, "terrorist" Mujahedin-e-Khalq members, and monarchists to vote in the Parliamentary elections. 

1015 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Last year 26 prominent political prisoners, using leaked documents, filed a court case against the Revolutionary Guards and the Ministry of Intelligence over manipulation of the 2009 Presidential election.

Kalemeh reports that all 26 have now been summoned to Evin Prison and questioned on how they obtained the documents.

0945 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Syrian Front). The British Foreign Office has stood by its recent remarks on Iran's involvement in the suppression of protest in Syria, despite the summoning of the UK Charge d'Affaires by the Iranian Foreign Ministry and a sustained propaganda campaign in the Iranian media.

The Foreign Office issued the statement, "We remain extremely concerned by the Iranian Government’s repression of its own people and its support for violent elements in the region. We have seen credible information suggesting Iran is helping Syria with the suppression of protests there, including through the provision of expertise and equipment. We had already raised this issue with the Iranian Chargé in London."

London added a shot over Afghanistan, "We also note that Iran has provided no response to clear evidence of its provision of arms to the Taliban --- a matter we have referred to the UN for investigation.”

The British Embassy in Tehran sends the message on Twitter, "Trying to get the FCO response to Iranian media coverage of the meeting [with the Charge d'Affaires] on #Syria into #Iran media, but not hopeful."

0710 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. MP Mohammad Reza Khabbaz has claimed that President Ahmadinejad bought a $45 million aiplane from the budget for emergency cases such as floods.

While Khabbaz is a reformist, the story appears on Entekhab, a website supporting the Supreme Leader.

0635 GMT: Rumour Watch. Yesterday the website Sedaye Shiraz posted a claim that President Ahmadinejad's right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai had been arrested.

Today the website is off-line.

0630 GMT: The Battle Within (Book Edition). Officials at Imam Sadegh University in Tehran have prevented a ceremony launching the latest book of Reza Golpour.

Golpour is far from a leader of sedition, having published work denouncing reformists; however, he has also criticised President Ahmadinejad in recent months.

An ad hoc presentation was held outside the gates of the university.

0620 GMT: And the Danger of a Painting. One of the largest wall paintings in Iran, depicting the historical epic Shanameh, has been erased in Mashhad.

The mural was created by a group of artists over one year and cost $45,000.

There is an ongoing tension inside Iran over the celebration of Persian culture and history, which some authorities believe overshadows the "Islamic" in the country. The conflict has reached all the way to the top of the system, with critics of President Ahmadinejad and his advisors objecting to an "Iran-first" model.

Before and after photographs of the mural:

0615 GMT: The Danger of Satellite Dishes. In advance of the 2nd anniversary of the disputed 2009 Presidential election, you can't be too careful about dangerous information. Iranian authorities collect satellite dishes:

0600 GMT: Even on a day of limited updates because of academic duties, the picture of continuing conflict inside Iran's establishment remained vivid. The attempted diversion of the "great American plot" --- with academics Gene Sharp and Joseph Nye, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Vice President Joe Biden, and Obama Administration spectre Dennis Ross all taking part --- could not claim the political ground from those casting accusation and counter-accusation over President Ahmadinejad's men.

There is the diabolical of whether Satan is behind the "deviant current". And then there is the mundane but equally important: yesterday Hossein Eslami, the head of Parliament's Article 90 Committee overseeing the behaviour of Government officials, said the "incriminating documents of the deviant current are on our table". 

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