Iran Election Guide

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The Latest from Iran (24 July): Confusion over a Murdered "Nuclear Scientist"

Dariush Rezaeinejad & Daughter2015 GMT: Reformist Watch. MP Mohammad Mehdi Shahryari has given an answer both to ruling principlists and to Mohammad Reza Khabbaz, the reformist who has called for participation in the 2012 Parliamentary elections (see 0545 GMT): "The principlists cannot flee from responsibility for the current situation in country, as they supported it for six years."

1825 GMT: Why Can't We All Just Get Along? Aftab pulls out this highlight from an address by the Supreme Leader to military personnel and their families on Saturday night: "Avoiding differences is a religious duty for political officials and currents."

1820 GMT: Smuggling Watch. On a day when Iran's Inspector General insisted there were no illegal wharves in the country, Aftab reports that more than 60% of Iran's tea market is in the hands of smugglers and that, amidst the illegal import of 60,000 tons of tea, domestic production continues to fall.

1815 GMT: Women's Rights Watch. More than 500 human rights activists have signed a statement calling for an end to discrimination, insults, and violence against women.

1810 GMT: Deep Thinking Watch. Away with you, Auguste Comte. You might be considered the father of modern social science, as a philosopher, a founder of sociology, and the propagator of the doctrine of positivism, but Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi has put you in your place....

Academic Mostafa Malekian responds, "Ideological regimes fear social sciences become they cover up their shortcomings."

"Returning to Auguste Comte is revisionism, not progress."

1800 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch (Journalists and Students Edition). For months, we have followed the list on Arshama3's Blog of detained journalists (latest total: 67).

Now, at long last, Arshama3 has company: Rah-e Sabz has posted details of 80 journalists in prison or facing lengthy sentences.

And Students Voice for Iran has posted a list of students who have been detained since the June 2009 election, with details on many of those arrested.

1630 GMT: Poof! And They're Gone. Iran's Inspector General Mostafa Pourmohammadi has assured Fars that there are no illegal wharves in the country.

Earlier this month President Ahmadinejad denounced the amount of smuggling and illegal imports in Iran.

1555 GMT: Claim of Day. The opposition site Rah-e Sabz reports that Vice President Hamid Baghaei was absent from the latest Cabinet meeting and asserts that the dismissal of 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi is feasible.

1515 GMT: Reformist Watch. Opposition spokesman Ardeshir Amir Arjomand, speaking in a "Green Ambassadors" discussion in Paris, has re-stated demands for free elections: release of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and all other political prisoners and a halt to election supervision by bodies like the Guardian Council.

1435 GMT: Economy Watch. Leading MP Ahmad Tavakoli, a persistent critic of the Government, has launched another attack on President Ahmadinejad's mismanagement of the economy.

Playing on the arrests this year of some Ahmadinejad staff as "sorcerers", Tavakoli said it is not wizards and sorcerers but the excessive profits of rentiers --- those with property and investments --- that was damaging the economy by causing unemployment and inflation.

Tavakoli also jabbed at the recent ban on publication of economic data by the Central Bank. He accused the President of spreading false information.

1150 GMT: Britain Comments on Iran. Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office has released its quarterly report, ending 30 June, on the situation inside Iran. It features comment on "up to 30 people" killed by security forces in Ahwaz in April during protests by the Arab ethnic minority, with "large numbers of protestors" injured and hundreds detained. The FCO claims, "Since the protests ended, several people have reportedly been executed on vague charges of acting against national security in taking part in the demonstrations." The report criticises "a number of worrying developments against minorities", including Christians and Baha'is, and the prison sentences imposed on bloggers.

British officials also note "peaceful protests" in June on the second anniversary of the disputed 2009 presidential elections, defying "the police and plain-clothes militia...out in force". And the reports notes the deaths of activist Haleh Sahabi, during a confrontation with security forces at her father’s funeral, and Reza Hoda Saber, who suffered a heart attack while on hunger strike in a protest by political prisoners over Sahabi’s death.

The report has "a more positive note", welcoming the release of journalist and human rights activist Emaduddin Baghi on bail, but it notes "many human rights activists, journalists and lawyers", such as lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, remain in prison.

1120 GMT: Reverse-Sanctions Watch. Parliament has voted to impose sanctions on 26 US officials for their alleged involvement in the killing of civilians and the torture of detainees in US-run prisons.

Those named include the commander of US forces in Iraq Raymond Odierno; the captain of the USS Vincennes Will Rogers III, over the 1988 downing of an Iranian civilian airliner; former FBI chief Thomas J. Pickard, who was involved in the 1993 Waco siege that killed more than 80 members of the Branch Davidian religious movement; the former commander of the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Geoffrey D. Miller; current Guantanamo commander Rear Admiral Jeffery Harbeson; and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

1015 GMT: Slain Scientist Watch. Press TV has posted an English summary of Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani's comments seizing upon Saturday's murder of a postgraduate student, initially thought to be a nuclear physicist, in Tehran: "Yesterday's US-Zionist terrorist act that targeted one of the elites of Iran is another instance demonstrating the US's hostility. Thus, the United States regards as allowable such (terrorist) acts in its sham global management."

0830 GMT: The Battle Within. Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of Kayhan, has declared that Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani's recent remarks on topics like subsidy cuts "exactly match those of the enemy in the field".

0810 GMT: All the President's Men. The claim by former Tehran Prosecutor General Saeed Mortazavi, now an advisor to President Ahmadinejad, that he been acquitted of all charges connected with the post-election abuses and deaths at Kahrizak detention centre continues to draw criticism.

Shafaf re-posts recent statements by political figures casting blame on Mortazavi. The former head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi, has said that Mortazavi was the only person who could order the transfer of detainees to Kahrizak, a claim supported by a Parliamentary committee.

In February, a group of lawmakers, writing to President Ahmadinejad and the head of the judiciary, said Mortazavi was the only person responsible for the transfer,even though Evin Prison had rooms for the detainees. On 18 May, Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said the case is still under investigation and that he is compiling more evidence.

0545 GMT: Reformist Watch. According to Mehr, reformist MP Mohammad Reza Khabbaz has said that reformists who are loyal to the Islamic system’s principles, including velayat-e faqih (clerical supremacy), will take part in Parliamentary elections in March: “The reformists don’t intend to take a low-profile during the election campaign and regard participation in the elections as their legal right.”

Khabbaz's reported position is in contrast to that of other reformists, including former President Mohammad Khatami and senior members of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, who have said there will be no participation unless conditions such as freeing of political prisoners, freedom for political parties, adherence to the Constitution, and a free and fair electoral process are met.

0525 GMT: We begin this morning with a follow-up on yesterday's curious story of a man --- Dariush Rezaei or Dariush Rezaeinejad --- shot dead by a motorcyclist on a Tehran street on Saturday.

Initial reports, notably in Mehr and the Iranian Students News Agency, identified Dariush Rezaei as a scientist and Professor of Physics at a university in Ardebil in northwestern Iran who was "associated with" Iran's nuclear programme. He had been shot dead, and his wife wounded, in front of his home.

Hours later, other reports said the victim was Dariush Rezaeinejad, a postgraduate student in electronic engineering at a Tehran university. He had been slain as he and his injured wife picked up their child from kindergarten. Rezaeinejad also was said to have ties to Iran's universities and "scientific centres".

(And then there was Alef's claim that the dead man was "Dr Bronzi" of the Rouyan Institute for Infertility and Reproductive Health.)

This morning, the confirmation of the deceased is Rezaei/Rezaeinejad/Bronzi is secondary, at least for Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani. He has told Parliament that the shooting is "another example that shows the level of hostility" of the "West" towards Iran and called on security services to make "stronger efforts" against "this evil opponent".
He said the U.S. account of such lawful acts of their so-called world knows the layout manager. 
He asserted: the consequences of these actions are good ideas, it is necessary to the security forces responded with stronger efforts to give this evil opponent to be aware of their extent. 

Fars leads with a short report that the funeral of the postgraduate student Rezaeinejad will be today.

The President of Khaje Nasir University of Technology, where the 35-year-old Rezaeinejad studied, called for an "immediate investigation and response by the international community" to the murder of the postgraduate.

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