Iran Election Guide

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Iran Today: Rafsanjani & Jalili Put Out Campaign Slogans

A Former Soldier And A Diplomat: Presidential Candidate Saeed Jalili Tweets Photograph of Military Past

Presidential Election Watch: Backing Rafsanjani (continued)

The Reformist Coordination Council has welcomed the candidacy of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani and called on all reformists to participate in a statement of support.

Presidential Election Watch: Hardline Kayhan Criticizes Rafsanjani

In a lengthy editorial on Monday, Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of hardline newspaper Kayhan, which is close to the Supreme Leader, criticized the decision of former president Hashemi Rafsanjani to register his candidacy, asking what the point of doing so had been, and suggesting that it could have been a cover for the reformists to return to the political scene.

Kayhan criticized the wide coverage the Iranian press has given to Rafsanjani's registration as a candidate.

Tabnak, the news website close to presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei, also discussed Kayhan's editorial on Monday.

Presidential Election Watch:Backing Rafsanjani

Even as his opponents try to strangle Hashemi Rafsanjani's candidacy by claiming he is linked to "sedition" (see previous entries), the former President is gathering support.

Asadollah Badamchian, a senior members of the important conservative party Motalefeh, has said, "The presence of Hashemi Rafsanjani will make the election competition more exciting and increase people's participation. Those who say the old age of Hashemi will prevent effective leadership --- I would say to them that Imam Khomeini became a leader at an old age."

Presidential Election Watch:Bashing Rafsanjani (continued)

It looks like the strategy of those opposed to former President Hashemi Rafsanjani will be to tarnish him as a supporter of "sedition": 1) damaging his candidacy; and 2) warning Iranians not to take to the streets in protest before and after the election.

The hard-line daily Kayhan has joined the chorus, adding that both Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai --- the candidate of the Ahmadinejad camp --- will receive a "slap in the face" if they challenge the Guardian Council.

Raja News has also played the "sedition" card with the former President.

Presidential Election Watch:Bashing Rafsanjani

Leading cleric Mehdi Taeb has responded to the candidacy of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani: "In the next election Hashemi will be removed from the political scene and he definitely does not have enough votes."

Taeb's shot follows that of Ali Akbar Velayati --- the Supreme Leader's senior aide and a member of the 2+1 Committee --- who said on Sunday that Ayatollah Khamenei could not forget the Rafsanjani had supported "sedition" after the disputed 2009 Presidential election.

Presidential Election Watch: Supreme Leader's Men to Back Jalili?

MP Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, a member of the Supreme Leader's 2+1 Committee, has indicated that the camp might swing behind Saeed Jalili: "One possibility is that the Conservative candidates withdrew in favor of hom."

Presidential Election Watch: Candidates Use Social Media To Campaign

Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani and nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili are the latest of Iran's Presidential candidates to join Twitter, using the social network to put out campaign slogans in Persian and English as well as to set out their positions on key issues.

Jalili, who tweets in Persian, Arabic and English, says he is a member of the "The People + 1" coalition, indicating that his concern is representing the Iranian nation. His slogan is a populist and nationalist spin on the name of the pro-Khamenei 2+1 coalition --- which has yet to select a unity candidate.

Jalili, who makes frequent Quranic references in his tweets, also takes a nationalist stance --- though wrapped within the framework of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic --- referring to the role of the revolution in helping Iran make progress, including in its nuclear program:

Rafsanjani, who has so far tweeted only in Persian, opened his Twitter campaign with his election slogan: Hashemi Has Arrived:

Among Rafsanjani's Twitter followers so far is his ally and fellow candidate Hassan Rouhani.

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