Iran Election Guide

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The Latest from Iran (14 October): Pretending All Is Well

See also Iran Feature: A Letter from Detained Journalist Jila Bani Yaghoub to Her Imprisoned Husband
The Latest from Iran (13 October): "We Hate You War-Waging Power Seekers (Let's Talk)"

1831 GMT: Currency Watch. Arya News reports the US dollar is being traded for 32850 Rials, a similar figure to that posted by ISNA (see 1355 GMT).

1824 GMT: Parliament v. President. A follow-up to our report on Parliamentary pressure on the Government over its use of funds (see 1432 GMT)....

MP Gholamreza Assadollahi says Parliament will demand that the Government transfers its 20 trillion Toman (about $16.5 billon) profit from currency sales to National Funds to be used for development projects.

1514 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations-Arab League envoy for Syria, has arrived in Tehran for talks with Iranian officials.

Brahimi is moving through the region for discussions, also visiting Turkey and Iraq.

1506 GMT: Supreme Leader Watch. On the fifth day of his tour in northeastern Iran, the Supreme Leader has told students and schoolchildren to avoid Western culture:

“Certain countries, without having faith in any specific school of thought, follow the Western civilization. Unlike these imitating states, the nations that opt for the school of monotheism...will achieve real and all-out progress and at the same time build a deep-rooted civilisation which would promote their attitude and culture across the world....

We do not pick a quarrel with the West, but based on [our] studies and investigations, we emphasize that following the West would get no nation anywhere....

The Western culture is basically invasive, for whatsoever reason it spreads in any country, it will gradually destroy the culture and identity of that nation.

1458 GMT: Politics Watch. Having called on officials to "admit mistakes and apologise to the public" (see 1035 GMT), Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has told MPs that the Majlis has failed to supervise the Government's economic policies and stop its misconduct. He called on the legislators to be more effective in their oversight, exercising their legal authority.

1432 GMT: Parliament v. Government. The Majlis has banned the Government from using current income for support payments in its subsidy cuts programme, demanding that the Central Bank transfer profits to National Funds on a daily basis.

1428 GMT: Economy Watch. The price of cooking fat has been raised by 17%, the fourth round of increases in two years.

1425 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Fatemeh Bodaghi, the President's judicial advisor, has filed a complaint against four MPs over their criticsm of the Government.

1355 GMT: Currency Watch. ISNA reports that, although the "price of currency is still unclear", the Iranian Rial has fallen to 34000:1 vs. the US dollar, nearing its level 12 days ago when authorities suspended reporting of the open-market rate, at exchanges which are still trading.

The site said old gold coin is now selling at 13.5 million Rials, near the level when reporting was halted.

1035 GMT: Politics Watch. A message to President Ahmadinejad or just a general criticism about the economy? Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, speaking about declining production in agriculture, has called on officials "to admit mistakes and apologise to the people in front of you".

1015 GMT: Campus Watch. Small Media posts an overview --- both historical and contemporary --- of segregation in Iran's universities. It includes this year's withdrawal of 77 undergraduate courses for women, with examples from universities such as Chamran and Allameh Tabatabai, and Isfahan.

0645 GMT: Four days of news dominated by the Supreme Leader's visit to northeastern Iran have come to an end, so Iranian State media returns to other stories that all is well in the Islamic Republic. IRNA claims once again that development of the South Pars oil and gas field, beset by technical and economic difficulties for years, is proceeding.

Press TV features the Foreign Ministry's denial that Tajik Air, one of severalinternational carriers which have reportedly suspended flights to Iran because of financial issues, has stopped service. The Iranian Ambassador to Tajikistan insisted, “TajikAir’s last Tuesday flight was cancelled due to disarrangements in Tehran and Dushanbe, but the flight was operated [on Saturday] with almost full capacity."

Khabar Online's English-language edition --- notable for its good-news emphasis in contrast to criticism of the Government that appears in its Persian-language counterpart --- features the proclamation of the Deputy Head of the Trade Promotion Organization that non-oil exports increased 30% between March and September.  

Non-oil exports have accounted for about 20% of Iranian revenues, but that share is likely to increase amid the sharp drop in Tehran's oil exports this year.

Other media fail to join the All-Is-Well performance. Mehr leads with the consideration of further European sanctions on Iran's energy sector, and Aftab breaks the regime blackout on news of the Iranian currency to claim the Rial is trading --- when it is trading --- at 32600:1 vs. the US dollar

The Central Bank imposed an "open-market" rate of 28500:1 two weeks later. Almost all official exchanges soon limited or stopped sale of US dollars.

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