Iran Election Guide

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The Latest from Iran (7 November): Posturing on Syria

1915 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (US Front). Marcus George of Reuters summarises the possibilities after Tuesday night, "Obama Victory Opens Window for Negotiation with Iran", with a cameo appearance by EA:

"Obama's people are a known quantity. Iran's leaders know Obama has held the Israelis back from launching a military attack," said Scott Lucas. "They didn't know what they were getting with Romney and they were a little fearful."

1905 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Fars claims, from an unnamed source, that four charges have been brought against former President Hashemi Rafsanjani's son Mehdi Hashemi, including espionage.

Hashemi, arrested in September when he returned from a three-year exile in Britain, was transferred from prison to hospital this week because of a heart condition.

1810 GMT: Oil Watch. Demonstrating the phrase "cutting off your nose to spite your face"....<,/p>

Parliament's Energy Committee has prepared a bill to decrease crude exports by nearly one third in the current Iranian year --- from March 2012 to March 2013 --- in retaliation for international sanctions.


Iran's oil exports have already fallen by 60% this year. The Parliamentary committee did not make clear how a further reduction of exports, and thus revenue, would benefit the Islamic Republic.

1750 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (US Front). Back from an extended break for media and seminar work about the US elections to find Iranian officials reacting to President Obama's victory with predictable bluster.

Head of judiciary Saddegh Larijani warned, "Americans should not think they can hold our nation to ransom by coming to the negotiating table. Four years ago, Obama...announced he would extend the hand of co-operation to Iran. But he pursued a different path and imposed unprecedented sanctions and it is natural the Iranian people will never forget such crimes."

Yet, even amid the defiance, there were signals about the recent back-channel talks with the Americans and the possibility of renewed high-level negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 Powers over Tehran's nuclear programme.

"Talks with the US are not taboo, nor forbidden," said Mohammd-Javad Larijani, a senior official in the judiciary and brother of Sadegh Larijani and Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani. "If it benefits us, we can hold talks with America even at the bottom of hell."

0630 GMT: The deputy head of armed forces, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri has declared, “The strategic stance of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Syria is opposing intervention of foreign players in the internal affairs of this country.”

Jazayeri did not refer to the Islamic Republic's own intervention in Syria, through economic and military assistance --- including the despatch of Quds Forces personnnel in an "advisory" capacity --- to Damasus. Instead, he called for a "Syrian" solution while ruling out “interventionist” proposals offered by foreign parties: “The people of Syria consider it more likely to achieve stability through the government, while the Syrian opposition’s potential to enter terrorist groups into Syria has diminished and the armed insurgents’ inability to topple the government has been clearly proven."

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