Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Ahmad Khatami (19)


Iran Live Coverage: Supreme Leader Strikes a Defiant Pose

See also Iran Live Coverage: Supreme Leader Announces a "Political and Economic Epic"

1255 GMT:Your Friday Prayers Update. Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami had the podium today and he used it for a jab at President Ahmadinejad.

Commenting on the upcoming Presidential elections, Khatami said officials must observe "Islamic ethics" and avoid misuse of authority during the process.


When selecting candidates, national and public interests were preferable to factional ones, Khatami added. "Whoever wants to be president of his country should be at the forefront of ethics,"

Khatami said that candidates must not use public funds.

"None of the three branches of the Islamic government should encourage or support a particular candidate," he added.

In contrast, Fars News English focuses its attention on rhetoric about “Arrogant Powers” and Syria.

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Iran Live Coverage: Don't Mention the "Free Elections"

See also Iran Feature: Spotlight Returns to Detained Opposition Leaders Mousavi and Karroubi
Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: The Isolation of the Country

1714 GMT: Scare Story of the Day (cont.). I have now read the 154-page report by 5 US analysts and activists being trumpeted in the media as proof that Iran will have a Bomb by mid-2014.

As I anticipated in an earlier entry (see 1546 GMT), the report sets aside careful analysis for supposition, manipulation of some evidence, and ignorance of other facts. It should be treated as a polemic in its calls for tougher sanctions and threat of military action by the US.

1650 GMT: All the President's Men. A court has cancelled the appointment of senior Presidential aide Saeed Mortazavi as head of Social Funds Organization.

Mortazavi has long been criticised for his alleged role in the abuse and killing of protesters in the Kahrizak detention centre after the disputed 2009 Presidential election. Although he has not been prosecuted, a court ruled that he should not hold a Government post pending investigation.

President Ahmadinejad defied the order, installing Mortazavi as head of the Social Security Fund in early 2012. The Administrative Court ruled against the appointment --- the Government responded with the circumvention of renaming the agency.

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Iran Live Coverage: The Engineering of the Elections Turns Nasty

See also Iran Feature: Are Revolutionary Guards Among the 48 "Pilgrims" Freed in Syria?
Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Political Prisoners, Freedom of Expression, and Killer Smog
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: How to "Engineer" an Election

1820 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Marcus George of Reuters profiles the "informal currency dealers of Dubai, [who] have emerged as an important link between Iran's economy and the rest of the world" amid international sanctions:

Since businessmen trading with Iran could no longer transfer their money through normal banking channels, they turned to the dealers. Iranian savers moving their wealth out of the country were another source of business.

"Trading went crazy after those sanctions," the dealer in the Deira office said in a snatched conversation between endless calls and cups of tea. On one day, he recalled, he handled about 1 billion United Arab Emirates dirhams ($270 million).

What is most interesting about George's piece, however, is the indication that --- with foreign reserves dwinding --- Iran may have to limit even this informal trade:

last October, as the rial plunged in value, the government in Tehran clamped down on the supply of hard currency. That hit the Dubai dealers hard - both by restricting the amount of funds they handled and making it harder to gauge prices acceptable to both them and their customers.

"Now it's different. The government is fixing rates. Everything is grinding to a halt," said the Deira dealer....

On some days, the dealer said, he doesn't trade at all. On others, he handles around 10 to 15 million dirhams worth of businesss - and only with trusted clients.

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The Latest from Iran (19 October): "The Sanctions Will Hurt Europe"

See also Iran Feature: Students Suffer as Currency Falls
The Latest from Iran (18 October): The Mysterious Sliding Currency

2130 GMT: CyberWatch. Golnaz Esfandiari of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty summarises the story --- covered in EA earlier this month --- of the Ministry of Intelligence's launch of the website

She observes, "Somewhat ironically for an agency that has admitted hacking into the email accounts of opposition members, it also offers tips on how to protect online data."

1800 GMT: Economy Watch. Prominent businessman Asadollah Asgarouladi has has continued his criticism of the Government's management of the economy, claiming that annual oil revenue has fallen from $100 billion to $30 billion.

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The Latest from Iran (7 September): Challenges on the International Front

2154 GMT: Conspiracy Theory of the Day. Hassan Firuzabadi, the Chief of the Armed Forces, has revealed, “The creation of sects in the Islamic world and the extremism of Al-Qaeda and jihadis is the plan of the CIA, Mossad, and MI6 spy organizations, against the Islamic community." He continued:

The CIA and Mossad are the progenitors of Al-Qaeda, the jihadis and state terrorism in the region…They plan through the use of sects, which are apparently religious, but in fact terrorist, to initiate a targeted war between Sunni and Shi’a, despite the constant and serious efforts of some Islamic countries for the creation of unity and comprehensive alignment between Muslims.

Firouzabadi set out a case study for his findings, “The appearance of the new problem of terrorism in the form of Al-Qaeda and jihadis in confrontation with the people and government of Syria is the long-term plan of the arrogant and colonialist regimes against the Islamic world”.

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The Latest from Iran (29 June): The Pressure Builds

See also The Latest from Iran (28 June): A Failing Foreign Policy?

1945 GMT: Oil Watch. A South Korean official has said that Iran offered to supply oil to Seoul in its own tankers, after European Union sanctions threatened to cut South Korean purchases of Iranian crude.

South Korean officials indicated earlier this week that Seoul would halt shipments from 1 July because of the lack of insurance cover on tankers. That cover is provided by European companies, who will suspend service as EU sanctions take effect.

1745 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Parliament's National Security Committee, has called Turkey’s decisions in the Syrian crisis "hasty" and demanded that Ankara show restraint and patience over the conflict.

Boroujerdi asserted that Turkey should engage in talks with other regional countries to help restore Syria’s stability instead of stoking insecurity.

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The Latest from Iran (5 May): The Threat of Inflation

See also Iran Special: Photoshop Propaganda With Lots of Missiles (and Jar Jar Binks!)
The Latest from Iran (4 May): Election Day Again

2045 GMT: The Revolutionary Guards Intervene. Forget the election --- this may be the most significant news of the day....

General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, has criticised the Government for not being able to meet the Supreme leader's expectations, saying, "We are hoping to take effective steps toward this goal."

Addressing students at Imam Hussain University, which is overseen by the Guards, he declared, "Whether we want it or not, we have become a model in the world and the people of countries which are facing reforms and changes are looking at us to give them examples to follow."

2035 GMT: Economy Watch. Economist Hussain Raghfar has said that Iranians cannot believe official statistics, having lost trust in Government and the Central Bank. Instead, they "search within their families and friends to find the true inflation and unemployment rate. They look at the number of young people in their families who are working and the everyday prices of necessary goods such as food and vegetables."

Raghfar blamed Government policies for economic problems, "For the past 24 month there have been no policies on controlling inflation." He predicted that, if the second phase of subsidy cuts is implemented, the inflation rate will surge past 100%.

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The Latest from Iran (4 May): Election Day Again

The Supreme Leader casting his vote today

See also The Latest from Iran (3 May): The Oil Squeeze

1930 GMT: Elections Watch. There are no clear numbers from today's second Parliamentary elections, but Iranian media are already putting out the message of "impressive turnout".

Mehr emphasises the diversity of those voting, including "Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the late Imam Khomeini; pro-reform figure Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha, who is the secretary general of the Association of Combatant Clerics; and National Confidence Party deputy chief Rasul Montajabnia, who is also a key member of the Association of Combatant Clerics".

And Tehran University academic Seyed Mohammad Marandi offers the inevitable proclamation that the show of domestic support for the regime will bolster it in forthcoming talks over Iran's nuclear programme.

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The Latest from Iran (26 April): A Nuclear Opening from Tehran?

See also The Latest from Iran (25 April): The Economic Challenge Returns

1951 GMT: Criticising the Diplomats. What do the "hard-line" Mashregh News and Baztab have against the Foreign Ministry's spokesman Rahim Mehmanparast? Both chide, "Why does he have British nationality and an expensive house there? Where do his kids live?"

1944 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Syrian Front). Al Arabiya claims that Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, Tehran Friday Prayer leader and member of the Assembly of Experts, has declared in a speech in Kermanshah that the Islamic Republic "will not allow [Syrian President Bashar] Assad to be toppled".

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The Latest from Iran (29 December): Ahmadinejad on the Campaign Trail

See also Iran Feature: Why Tehran Can't Cut Off Oil Through The Straits of Hormuz
The Latest from Iran (28 December): Look! State-of-the-Art Torpedoes!

2200 GMT: And A Bit More of a Break. Apologies to readers, but we are going to extend the holiday overnight. We'll be back by 0700 GMT with a feisty opening to Friday's LiveBlog.

1722 GMT: A Break from Propaganda. We are on a holiday break at the moment --- all we are missing, we think, is another round of bluster about fake war from the Iranian media, "Iran Bombers Pound Mock Targets".

1319 GMT: Sedition Watch. One of the showpieces this week of the regime's "victory over sedition campaign", celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the counter-rally against the Green Movement, has been a report for Parliamentary outlining an attempt at "velvet revolution" involving the US, Israel, Britain, and Iranian politicians such as former President Mohammad Khatami and Mehdi Hashemi, the son of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani.

There has been a glitch in the proceedings, however. Conservative MP Ali Motahari, a staunch foe of President Ahmadinejad, has declared, "If we accept the Article 90 Commission's report on the 2009 elections, we have to accept the report of Ahmad Shaheed [the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights] as well."

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