Iran Election Guide

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The Latest from Iran (27 June): Messages for the Hunger Strikers

1750 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. MP Mohammad Dehghan has tried to check the move towards possible impeachment of President, saying that members of the Board of Parliament do not believe questioning Ahmadinejad is favourable for the country.

Dehghan said he will talk with Ali Motahari, one of the leaders of the petition to interrogate the President.

1735 GMT: Elections Watch. Ahmad Salek, the speaker of the principlist Motalefeh Party, has warned that reformists and the "deviant current" want to divide principlists. He said 60 of 80 provincial candidates had fallen prey to the scheme.

1715 GMT: Supreme Leader Watch. So what is Ayatollah Khamenei trying to achieve with this statement, made to judiciary officials and judges, "No one should question the data of the three branches of Government (legislative, judicial, executive). It is not right, weakens public beliefs, and is against the national interest."

1610 GMT: The Hunger Strikes. The Facebook page supporting Mir Hossein Mousavi posts an English extract from the letter of the 12 political detainees at Evin Prison:

Now we, those who had gone on hunger strike, announce that in response to the concerns and heartwarming messages we received, while thanking and respecting those who sent us these messages, announce that on the night of Sunday June 26, 2011 we ended our hunger strike. No doubt this will not be an end to the civil protests to the violations of human rights and the oppressions and the protests of the Green people of Iran will continue until all individual and social rights and freedoms would be fully regained.

1600 GMT: Human Rights Watch. Mohammad Javad Larijani, the head of the human rights section of Iran's judiciary, says that allegations about Tehran's human rights record are merely a "tool for political pressure".

Zohreh Elahian, the head of Parliament's Human Rights Committee, explains: Tehran will allow the visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, but only as a tourist.

1530 GMT: Corruption Watch. Back from a break to find a rather extraordinary twist in the story of the arrests of President Ahmadinejad's allies, in this case the detention of Ali Asghar Parhizkar, the Chief Executive Officer of the Arvand Free Zone....

Remember the EA articles about President Ahmadinejad auctioning his Peugeot 504 to raise money for a housing project?

In April, Farda News reported that the mystery buyer, who paid about $2.4 million for the car, owed thousands of dollars to the Iranian banking system. Now a more serious allegation from Ayande News: the auction was a diversion to cover up a massive fraud in the Arvand Free Zone.

Fars adds details on the Parhizkar case, claiming millions of dollars were diverted to the "deviant current".

1350 GMT: The Hunger Strikers. Kalemeh has published the letter from the 12 political detainees ending their hunger strike at Evin Prison after nine days.

1330 GMT: Campus Watch. Officials of Sharif University in Tehran have announced that there will be gender separation of first-year students from this autumn.

1155 GMT: Energy Watch. Mehr reports that 29 power plants in Iran are without gas, raising fears of widespread blackouts.

1150 GMT: The Hunger Strikes. Rah-e Sabz reports that the 18 protesting detainees at Evin and Rajai Shahr Prisons have ended their hunger strikes.

Maryam Shafiee, the wife of one of the hunger strikers, Emad Bahavar, has also posted the news on her Facebook page.

1055 GMT: Opposition Watch. Activist Arash Hejazi has posted a vigorous response to a recent Washington Post article, "In Iran, 'Couch Rebels' Prefer Facebook". Hejazi explains, "There is More Depth to What the Iranian People Are Doing":

Ahmadinejad, once the favourite of Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, has now apparently fallen out of favour, after disobeying a few direct orders from the Leader. The Supreme Leader cannot even tolerate the empowerment of his own puppet president and let him run the country. The Parliament is now closing down on Ahmadinejad, and the direction of the events implies a rapid transition from a totalitarian regime to a dictatorship: Ayatollah Khamenei wants to hold all the power, something unprecedented in the past 32 years, when the power was balanced between a few who would do anything to support the regime despite their variety of opinion.

This is why the Iranian people have now decided to slow the movement down, and take it to a deeper layer. The social media are still their only way of communication, where you can see real polyphony among Iranians. The people in Egypt wanted Mubarak to go and were united under this single slogan. The people of Iran want a democratic, liberal, and economically dynamic society, and before fighting to achieve it, they are debating it, so when the right time comes, they all understand democracy and freedom in its truest sense.

This reflects the maturity of a nation who does not act on impulses, but on intellect; a nation who is closely observing the events, and preparing itself. Let’s hope that everything will work out fine for the Egyptians and Tunisians, but when change comes to Iran, it will be real and intrinsic change, not a short-term facelift.

1045 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. MP Ali Motahari, a leading critic of the Government, has said that the motion to question the President -- which now has 100 signatories (see 0455 GMT) --- has been submitted to Parliament.

There are 11 proposed questions, including three on the economy, three on law enforcement, and three on political and cultural issues. Ahmadinejad would be interrogated within the next 10 days.

0945 GMT: All the President's Men. Jahan News gets to the point --- Vice President Hamid Baghaei, already suspended from his duties by an administrative court, will be "arrested soon".

Ayatollah Alamolhoda, the Friday Prayer Leader in Mashhad, announces that "liberal principlists" --- presumably a reference to the Ahmadinejad camp --- have become active along with the "deviant current" and want to divert from the system of velayat-e faqih (clerical supremacy).

Mojmal News alleges that the President has again suspended co-operation with Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi, refusing to answer 3 requests for a meeting on intelligence matters.

0940 GMT: Elections Watch. An interesting announcement in Hafte Sobh, linked to Presidential Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, which points not only to the 2012 Parliamentary elections but to the growing rift between Ahmadinejad's men and the Revolutionary Guards --- the website claims that several Guards commanders have resigned to run for the camp of Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, and Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei.

0710 GMT: The Hunger Strikes. While 18 prominent political prisoners are now on hunger strike (see 0435 GMT), three Kurdish detainees are in the 25th day of their refusal to eat.

The three are complaining about their conditions and detention alongside murderers, rapists, and drug traffickers.

0550 GMT: Terrorism Watch. The Wall Street Journal considers this weekend's "International Conference on the Global Fight against Terrorism" in Tehran.

The headline is sensational, "Iran Woos US Allies as Troops Withdraw", taking Iranian statements at face value: "Iran is moving to cement ties with the leaders of three key American allies --- Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq --- highlighting Tehran's efforts to take a greater role in the region as the U.S. military pulls out troops."

A paragraph deeper in the story is more significant, "US and European officials have said they believe Iran's regional ambitions are hampered by a stagnant economy and growing political infighting in Tehran that could cost Mr. Ahmadinejad his job."

0455 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. MP Mehrdad Lahouti says 100 of the 290 legislators have now signed the motion to question President Ahmadinejad.

0450 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch (At the Movies Edition). A reminder from Mahnaz Mohammadi, in an article in Le Monde, "I am a woman and a filmmaker, two sufficient reasons to be guilty in my country."

On Sunday, Mohammadi was detained in a raid on her home.

0435 GMT: The hunger strikes of 18 political prisoners --- 12 at Tehran's Evin Prison, 6 at Rajai Shahr Prison --- continue to divide opinion inside and outside Iran. A number of prominent figures have called on the detainees to end the action; Grand Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani joined the appeal on Sunday. Others, however, have praised the protest as necessary, if drastic, in the political and legal circumstances facing Iran today.

Meanwhile, messages of support are stacking up on the Internet. A playlist of 32 videos in the "One Voice" campaign of solidarity is available, and others such as CICIRI ("Where is My Vote?" in Paris) have posted best wishes.

Three of the Evin strikers are reportedly in hospital; two detainees at Rajai Shahr were moved to the prison infirmary on Sunday (see LiveBlog).

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