Iran Election Guide

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Wednesday
Jun052013

Iran Special: The 2nd Presidential Debate

Photo: Mehdi Dehghan/AP


1250 GMT: Qalibaf makes a general call for "generation of wealth" through culture, while maintaining "dignity": "We are not a capitalist society....We believe under Divine guidance we protect human freedom and dignity."

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Wednesday
Jun052013

Iran Today: Presidential Election --- The Significance of Funerals and Football

Protests In Isfahan --- Death To The Dictator

An EA correspondent in Iran offers confirmation and fresh information about Tuesday's events in Isfahan during the funeral of former Friday Prayer leader Ayatollah Taheri.

We had held back from posting the video until we received confirmation that it is genuine.

People first start chanting O Son of Hasan [referring to the 12th Imam of Shias, Imam Mahdi] destroy the oppression and dictatorship. Afterward, they chant: The political prisoners MUST be freed.

At 1.10 in the video, people in the crowd shout: Ya Hussain, Mir Hussain.

At 1.35 in the video, they start chanting: death to the dictator.

Our correspondent confirms that while moderate Presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani was present at the funeral, he left shortly after people began shouting the political slogans.

Ayatollah Taheri had resigned from his post as Friday Prayer leader in protest at the house arrest of democracy and human rights advocate Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. Taheri was also a close friend of Ayatollah Mousa Shobairi Zanjani.

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Wednesday
Jun052013

Turkey Opinion: How to Turn The Turkish Summer into a Democratic Movement

[Editor's Note: Ali Yenidunya has also spoken this morning with BBC WM Radio --- the interview begins at the 2:09.12 mark.]


So far, the wave of protests have reflected a wider people’s initiative. People go to work in the morning and after dinner they go out and demonstrate. The protests have shown that young people are tired of politics and don't want any more government restrictions.

By the same token, however, this situation makes further demonstrations difficult to organise and direct into a political agenda. Beyond what we see on streets, Turkish protesters need a solid strategy to carry this initial surge of popular anger to wider victory. Without leaders or clear demands, there is no future for this movement.

So what does Turkey need? First and foremost, the declaration of a general strike. This is not because a strike will shake the government’s authority, but because people will no longer need to go to work and abandon in the morning what they gained the night before.

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Wednesday
Jun052013

Middle East Today: Turkey --- Deputy PM Apologises for "Excessive Violence"...But Will PM Erdogan?


Turkey: 3rd Protester Dies

Ethem Sarısülük, who was wounded in the head during police attacks on protesters in Taksim Square, has died of his injuries.

Two other people have so far died in the protests. Abdullah Cömert, a 22-year-old youth branch member of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), was killed in Antakya on June 3 during the clashes, while 20-year-old Mehmet Ayvalıtaş was hit and killed after a car driver ignored warnings to stop for protesters in Ümraniye’s 1 Mayıs neighborhood on the night of June 2.

Turkey: Protesters Present Demands to Government

Protesters of the "Taksim Platform", who began the current wave of demonstrations with a challenge to the re-development of Istanbul's Gezi Park, have put their demands in a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç.

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Tuesday
Jun042013

Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Censoring An Iranian Campaign Story


Rouhani On Iran- Qatar Relations

Moderate Presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani congratulated Iran on Tuesday evening on an important victory over its rival Qatar --- dashing the Gulf state's hopes after dominating it.

Iran beat Qatar 1-0 on the football field.

Meanwhile, Iran summoned Qatar's charge d'affaires on Tuesday over what it said was an "Arab-linked terrorist plot".

Ahmadinejad Camp to Maintain Influence in Tehran?

President Ahmadinejad's camp has been blocked at national level from continuing influence, with the disqualification of Ahmadinejad's right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai as a candidate, but this may not be the end of the story....

The Ahmadinejad faction has put forth Minister of Transportation and Housing Ali Nikzad as candidat for Tehran mayor, and has named other hopefuls for city council seats, including Ahmadinejad’s sister Parvin and Presidential advisor Ali Zabihi.

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Tuesday
Jun042013

Middle East Today: Turkey --- 1st Death as Protests Spread

Protest in the village of Ayvalik (pop: 40,000) on Tuesday


Tonight's Protests

Thousands of protestors returned to Istanbul's Taksim Square on Tuesday night --- Turkish pipe music and singing blared over speakers as the crowd clapped and danced in a festive atmosphere.

In Ankara, residents carried out ther nightly protest of banging pots and pans, leaning from their windows, and marching in the street. Some waved red and white Turkish flags and drivers honked their horns, amid yells directed toward Prime Minister Erdogan: "Tayyip, resign!"

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Tuesday
Jun042013

Syria Document: Report of UN Commission of Inquiry on "War Crimes"

Bodies in Taftanaz, April 2012Government forces and affiliated militia have committed murder, torture, rape, forcible displacement, enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts. Many of these crimes were perpetrated as part of widespread or systematic attacks against civilian populations and constitute crimes against humanity. War crimes and gross violations of international human rights law –-- including summary execution, arbitrary arrest and detention, unlawful attack, attacking protected objects, and pillaging and destruction of property --- have also been committed. The tragedy of Syria’s 4.25 million internally displaced persons is compounded by recent incidents of IDPs being targeted and forcibly displaced.

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Tuesday
Jun042013

Iran Special: Images Of Women Supporters In The Presidential Campaign

Over the past week, several of the eight Presidential candidates --- especially moderate candidate Hassan Rouhani --- have attempted to emphasize that they have female supporters or are reaching out to women voters in their campaigning. EA provides a brief look at some images from the past several days:

Fars News Agency general director Abbas Aslani tweeted a photograph of two women, one a Rouhani supporter and the other supporter of principlist candidate Saeed Jalili, and commented on the difference between them:

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Tuesday
Jun042013

Syria Today: More Than 100 Claimed Deaths on a "Quiet" Monday

Residents digging through rubble in Kafar Hamra section of Aleppo after Sunday's missile strike


US Cautious About Claims of Regime Use of Chemical Weapons

The White House has been cautious about a French finding that the regime has used chemical weapons.

"We need more information" about claims of such use, spokesman Jay Carney said.

Carney said there is a need to gather more evidence to pin down when chemical weapons were used, who employed them, and what the chain of custody was: "[We must] establish a body of information that can be presented and reviewed, and upon which policy decisions can be made."

Carney had no timetable for when the review might be completed, although he said, "I can assure you that we are working very diligently as an administration with our allies and the Syrian opposition on this matter."

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Tuesday
Jun042013

A Message to Readers from James Miller

James Miller writes to EA readers:

It has been my honor to write for EA Worldview for the last 2 1/2 years. Now, however, I am leaving EA to pursue new projects.

This is a bittersweet moment for me. I am excited about the new directions in which my life is headed, and I anticipate wonderful things for EA; at the same time I will miss a place that has been my "home".

One of the opportunities I am pursuing is The Public Eye Journalism Project in conjunction with Professor Matt Sienkiewicz of Boston College. Still in beta, PEJ is dedicated to using open-sources to investigate international events of legal, political and historical importance.

Our first case is the examination of the double bombing on January 15th that left 80 students dead at Aleppo University in Syria.

I wish Scott Lucas, the writers and staff at EA, and all of the readers --- many of whom I have come to know well --- all the best.