Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more



Iran Today: Presidential Election --- The Nuclear Issue

While the major issue being discussed in Iran's election campaigning is the economy, the nuclear program has also emerged as an important topic.

Jalili has presented the nuclear issue in terms of his role as Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, pitting himself against his rival, former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rouhani, by arguing that his tough stance has led to advances in how the West views Iran's nuclear program.

For Jalili, the nuclear debate also has a nationalist element, and is tied in to the concept of "resistance" against Western sanctions:

Jalili has also continued to use the same line as he has done in nuclear talks --- that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful:

Moderate candidate Hassan Rouhani, however, has presented his experience as Iran's nuclear negotiator in terms of his ability to represent Iran's interests in the diplomatic sphere and to make significant advances. In television interviews and via his social media accounts, Rouhani has discussed --- and defended --- openings in negotiations that occurred during his tenure as nuclear negotiator.

Former Oil Minister and Presidential candidate Mohammad Gharazi also raised the issue of Iran's nuclear program in a recent interview with Press TV, saying that it has "become politicized".

"“We are not allowed to build atomic bomb, both in religious terms and according to customary regulations. We can achieve that capability [to produce such bombs] but we do not consider it beneficial, and we will never go after it,” Gharazi was quoted as saying.

However, the focus on the nuclear program has attracted criticism. In an op-ed this week, Hardline Alef news said that the election should not become a "referendum on the nuclear program", warning that this could even "jeopardize national security".

US Sanctions Petrochemical Firms

In the first American sanctions against Iran's petrochemical industry, the US Treasury has blacklisted eight companies.

The companies, owned or controlled by the Iranian Government, include Bandar Imam Petrochemical, Bou Ali Sina Petrochemical, and Mobin Petrochemical.

The petrochemical industry is Iran's largest source of foreign earnings after oil sales.

Presidential Election Watch: Velayati Talks Nuclear Rights

Presidential candidate Ali Akbar Velayati has said that Iran will "never give up its nuclear rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty".

Velayati joined other candidates --- notably Saeed Jalili and Hassan Rouhani --- in making the nuclear issue, specifically Iran's nuclear rights, a central part of his campaign platform.

The senior adviser to the Supreme Leader said that Iran needed civilian nuclear energy because fossil fuels would eventually run out. Nuclear power is "clean energy", and countries needed to move towards clean energy to avoid environmental pollution such as that caused by fossil fuels, Velayati added.

Economy Watch: Oil Edition

Japan’s crude imports from Iran in April have fallen by 96 per cent from the previous year as western sanctions made it difficult for companies to obtain insurance from European insurers.

Tokyo stepped in to provide insurance to tanker operators but oil buyers were still forced to reduce their imports in order to share the sovereign insurance around.

Presidential Election Watch --- First Televised Debate

Iranian State television aired the first televised debate between Presidential candidates, starting at 12.30 p.m. BST (4 p.m. Tehran time).

Moderate candidate Hassan Rouhani's campaign team lie-tweeted the event, and Principlist candidate Saeed Jalili's team also published tweets during the debate.

Friday's debate centers on the economy --- the hottest issue in the Presidential campaign. Highlights so far:

Former First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Aref has slammed the involvement of the Revolutionary Guards --- or "military-linked" bodies as he put it --- in Iran's economy, saying that privatizing state companies by selling to those entities merely results in quasi-governmental control.

Aref also criticized Principlists for sidelining other political forces in Iran, saying that this is the cause of the country's economic woes. Principlist MP Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel took exception to this remark, accusing Aref of politicizing the issue of the economy.

Tehran mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf also slammed the "politicization" of the economic problem. Iranians demanded change, not blame, he noted.

Hassan Rouhani said that Iran needs "freedom of expression", so that the government can be properly answerable to the people.

Supreme National Security Council secretary Saeed Jalili opined that Iran would progress by following the "discourse of the Islamic Revolution", a remark he has made during his campaigning. Jalili added that the Management and Planning Organization are not in line with the Islamic Revolution.

Former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaei, whose campaign has centered on social justice, slammed the Mehr Housing Scheme --- a project under which the government gave real-estate developers free land in return for building cheap residential housing for first-time buyers.

Rezaei said that the project could have been run better and that it should have involved the people. Rezaei also said that the government should offer people more loans to buy property.

Jalili said that the Mehr Housing Scheme failed because house prices were too low and because of inflation. Jalili agreed with Qalibaf that the government should renovate old housing stock.

Rouhani said that his policies included providing cheap housing, particularly for young Iranians.

Jalili repeated his campaign line that economic reform required expert consultants, not just politicians.

Presidential Election Watch: Rouhani Edition

Presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani has declared that if he wins the forthcoming election Iran will begin to engage the world “with logic, with reasoning, with power.”

Talking to a group of Iranian Army retirees, he said “Today is the day of interaction with the world but with power; interaction with the world but through adherence to principles; interaction with the world but with logic; not by speaking harshly and not through violence,” adding “But the Iranian nation can speak with the world with its unity, with its sacrifice, with its resistance, with its competent managers and with its prudence.”

Meanwhile, Rouhani has tweeted a link to the live broadcast of the televised presidential candidates debates which begins at 1230 GMT; his campaign’s official Twitter account will also be live tweeting the event.

IRGC Watch: Guards' Commander Says Syrian Government, Nation "Modeled Itself On Iran"

The head of the IRGC's PR office, Ramazan Sharif, has praised the Syrian government and nation, saying that over the past two years they have modeled themselves on Iran.

The Syrian nation was inspired by the "resistance of Iran", Sharif noted, adding that two years ago, when the Syrian crisis started, the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had pointed out that the "axis of resistance" in Syria would "remain strong".

"This was when everyone was saying that Bashar al-Assad would fall in just a few months, but we have seen how the Syrian nation and government have modeled themselves on the nation and Islamic Revolution of Iran and have resisted for over two years, and the Muslim people of Syria are witnessing victory," Sharif added.

Presidential Election Watch: Qalibaf Criticizes "Widening Class Divide"

Presidential candidate and Tehran mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf has spoken out against what he says is a "growing class divide" in Iran.

Iran needed "national solidarity", but could not achieve this unless the government eliminated poverty and discrimination, Qalibaf told Iranians in a speech on State television this week.

The Tehran mayor said that the next government needs a proper plan --- and that he has prepared exactly such a plan.

Sanctions Watch: US Government Lifts Comms Embargoes Ahead Of Election

The US Government has lifted a ban on sales of communications equipment to Iranians, in a limited easing of sanctions before the Presidential election.

American companies can now sell computers, tablets, mobile phones, software, satellite receivers, and other equipment for personal use to Iranians. Companies can also provide instant messaging, e-mail, social networking, sharing of photos and movies, web browsing, and space for blogging.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the action would allow Iranians to skirt the government's "attempts to silence its people" and help them exercise "the right to freedom of expression".

"Freedom of speech, assembly and expression are universal human rights," said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen. "We will use all the tools at our disposal, including licenses that facilitate communication and designations to target those responsible for human rights abuses, to help the Iranian people exercise these basic rights."

Sanctions Watch: US Treasury Sanctions Censorship Body

The US Treasury has sanctioned Asghar Mir-Hejazi, the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Supreme Leader, and the regime's body for censorship --- the Committee to Determine Instances of Criminal Content -- for "contributing to serious human rights abuses...including through the use of communications technology to silence and intimidate the Iranian people".

The US Treasury has sanctioned Asghar Mir-Hejazi, the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Supreme Leader, and the regime's body for censorship --- the Committee to Determine Instances of Criminal Content -- for "contributing to serious human rights abuses...including through the use of communications technology to silence and intimidate the Iranian people".

Presidential Election Watch: Aref & Haddad-Adel Focus on Economy

In advance of the anticipated televised debate between all eight presidential candidates tonight, principlist Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel and reformist Mohammad Reza Aref put forward their views on the economy.

In a televised speech yesterday, Haddad-Adel noted that “The biggest challenge facing the country today is the economic issue.” He claimed that sanctions imposed by “the country’s enemies” as well as “mismanagement of resources and politicization of current affairs are the reasons behind the existing economic woes.”

Haddad-Adel added, “I am strongly against nepotism and… determined to cope with corruption.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday Aref stressed the need for domestic and foreign investment, whilst criticising the “unacceptable” rate of unemployment, especially among graduates. He promised to create over one million jobs annually and pledged to provide 200,000 job opportunities by bolstering the country’s tourism sector, alongside the energy, information and communication industries.

Foreign Affairs Watch: PressTV Lauds Tehran Conference on Syria

In an effort to demonstrate the value of the Tehran conference regarding the conflict in Syria held on Wednesday, PressTV is reporting the glowing comments made by the Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman.

The spokesman said that the conference, which brought together delegates from 40 countries, “stressed the importance of halting violence and starting a national dialogue among the Syrians” to resolve the crisis and allow Syria to “determine their future without foreign interference.”

The statement added, “Damascus appreciates Iran’s efforts to contribute to finding a political solution to the turmoil through comprehensive national dialogue as well as Tehran’s call for an end to foreign military support for terrorists.”

Foreign Affairs Watch: Food Edition

Turning its attention briefly away from the economic problems that currently beset many Iranians, the English-language website for Fars News has picked up on a report – originally ran by the Guardian - that approximately 500,000 Britons are now “resorting to food banks to satisfy hunger” due to the country’s economic downturn and government cuts to welfare.

And in other food related news, Fars News English also reports that “Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has had another sandwich thrown at her during a school visit.”

Presidential Election Watch: Jalili Launches A Campaign Song

Presidential candidate Saeed Jalili has tweeted a link to a campaign song written by a supporter.

The upbeat song is entitled "A Bright Tomorrow".

Jalili Claims Support in Sistan and Baluchestan

Jalili has claimed to have gained the support of 156 "elites" in the Sunni majority Sistan and Baluchestan province.

Over the past year, Iran has seen a rise in ethnic tensions and in Sistan and Baluchestan, with Sunni insurgent separatist groups like Ansar Harakat Iran conducting terror attacks against IRGC and other official targets in the province, a phenomenon that Tehran said it had quashed after it hanged Abdolmalek Rigi, the leader of separatist group Jundallah, in 2010.

Earlier this week, IRNA reported that four candidates --- Jalili, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, Ali Akbar Velayati and Mohsen Rezaei --- have opened campaign headquarters in the province.

Presidential Election Watch: Rouhani Edition

Rouhani Gets Emotional During Speech In Tehran

Moderate Presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani was photographed drying his eyes during a visit to the north Tehran neighborhood of Qolhak.

Rouhani spoke to an women from Quranic institutions, and told them that he would not have run for President if he did not believe he could solve Iran's problems, and said that his campaign slogan was to save the economy.

Mehr News posted a photograph of Rouhani overcome by emotion and wiping his eyes during the visit.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« Syria Audio Analysis: The Real Importance of the "Russian Missiles to Syria" Story | Main | Syria Video & Transcript: President Assad's Interview with Al-Manar TV »

References (3)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: looking for a job
    EA WorldView - Home - Iran Today: Presidential Election --- The Nuclear Issue
  • Response
    EA WorldView - Home - Iran Today: Presidential Election --- The Nuclear Issue
  • Response
    EA WorldView - Home - Iran Today: Presidential Election --- The Nuclear Issue

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>