Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Ahmad Tavakoli (102)


Iran Feature: Criticising President Ahmadinejad...with 11th-Century Poetry

Poet Nasir KhusrawTabnak, close to Presidential candidate and former IRGC chief commander Mohsen Rezaei, tries a different line of attack against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this morning --- it uses the writing of the 11th-century Persian poet Nasir Khusraw to warn the President that he will receive his comeuppance.

The site writes about the rising tide of criticism of Ahmadinejad, including from his former supporters. It then invokes the poem, a kind of Shi'a karma, in which Jesus sees a dead man and pronounces: "He said that whoever kills will be cruelly killed in turn."

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Iran Live Coverage: The Oil Squeeze Renewed

See also Iran Video Feature: 50 Iranians Answer, "What's Your Wish?"
Iran Feature: The Fear in the Corridors of Evin Prison
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: "Widespread and Systematic Violations of Human Rights"

1758 GMT: The Battle Within. Prominent MP Ahmad Tavakoli --- who is also a relative of Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani --- has criticised both President Ahmadinejad and Mir Hossein Mousavi, the candidate in the 2009 Presidential election who has been under strict house arrest for more than two years, for "social mobilisation against the Supreme Leader".

1708 GMT: Oil Watch. Another problem for Iran's sagging oil exports, as Mercator Lines has stopped offering a ship for transporting Iranian oil to India because of US political pressure.

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Iran Live Coverage: The Latest Report on Tehran's Nuclear Programme

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Threatened Journalists, Tehran Claims the South Pole, and the End of Olympic Wrestling
EA Video Analysis: Iran --- 7-Point Beginner's Guide to the Nuclear Talks
Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: A New --- and Genuine --- Offer in the Nuclear Talks?

1255 GMT:Nuclear Watch. Mehr News reports that the "largest nuclear medicine center" has opened in southeast Iran, as well as a Center for Digital Radiology in Yazd.

The new Digital Radiology Centre, in the Shahid Sadoughi Hospital, is named for Shahid Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, the nuclear scientist killed in a Tehran bomb blast in January 2012, Mehr said.

The story of progress in technology and health care is a good-news tale amid the difficulties of Iran's health-care system in providing necessary treatment, medicines, and medical supplies.

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Iran Live Coverage: Admitting the Battle Within

Press TV's coverage of the Supreme Leader's speech criticising President Ahmadinejad, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani

See also Saturday's Iran Live Coverage: Tehran's Support for Syria Will Cause "War Between Shia and Sunni"

2030 GMT: The Battle Within. Forget the non-apology letter to the Supreme Leader, this is President Ahmadinejad's big statement today....

Ahmaadinejad used a speech to repeat his warning against the "engineering" of elections --- a swipe at last month's statement by the Supreme Leader's representative to the Revolutionary Guards, Ali Saeedi --- and swept aside any notion that he will back down: "I will work until last minute of my term."

The President continued, "I am ready to sacrifice myself for Islam and Qur'an. My only wish is that the flag of monotheism and justice flies and that mankind is set free."

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Iran Live Coverage: Revolutionary Guards Issue A Warning to The Leaders

Qassem Sulemani, the head of the Quds Forces of the Revolutionary Guards, cries at a memorial for Guards commander Hassan Shateri, killed on Tuesday in Syria

Wednesday's Iran Live Coverage: Nuclear Talks with the IAEA

2015 GMT:Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). Senior cleric Mehdi Taeb, head of the Ammar Base think tank, has offered more explanation of Iran's military role in Syria, encouraging the formation of militias:,/p>

Syria had an army, but this army was incapable of managing war inside cities. Therefore, Iran suggested [to Syria] that they form a Basij in order to manage urban warfare.... The Syrian Basij was formed with 60,000 Hezbollahi and [this] caused the urban warfare to be transferred from the Syrian army [to the Syrian Basij]....

Of course, this adventure caused the Syrian Army to also become involved in some of these matters [urban warfare], and to become familiarized with all [aspects of the conflict].

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Iran Live Coverage: Ali Larijani and The Battle Within The Regime

See also Saturday's Iran Live Coverage: The Blame Game over No Nuclear Talks

2109 GMT. Press Watch. Iranian reporter Hadi Nili lists up to 13 journalists who have been detained today --- these are in addition to Milad Fadai Asl and Soleiman Mohammadi, who were seized earlier in the weekend:

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Iran Live Coverage: Regime --- Detained Opposition Leaders Mousavi & Karroubi Committed "Atrocities"

See also Iran Live Coverage: Supreme Leader "We Will Not Surrender"

1714 GMT: Picture of the Day. Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, freed on a three-day furlough from a six-year prison sentence, with one of her children:

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Iran Live Coverage: How to "Engineer" an Election

"My husband is an engineer. He engineers elections." (Cartoon: Maya Neyestani)

See also Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad v. Parliament...and the Revolutionary Guards

1605 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update (Election Edition). More about the distinctive theme in today's Prayer sermon, delivered by the Guardian Council's Ayatollah Jannati, that while Iran has free elections, it is co-operation with the enemy to talk about free elections (see 1155 GMT)....

Jannati's threat to detained opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, both of whom ran in the June 2009 Presidential election, was straightforward: “The public has identified your movement and knows your leaders and the leaders of sedition, and they know what your aim is; you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

And Jannati made clear that, while "those who meet the necessary criteria will never be refused a chance to run in the elections", those who "they lack them...clearly will not be allowed to run".

But here is where it gets really interesting:

Those who consider themselves men of politics and have had important roles in the Revolution should be ashamed of themselves for repeating the statement of the foreign enemies of the regime....

The political losers are now talking about free elections and one of them is quite powerful and since a while ago he has begun talking about this issue and the rest have followed his line.

Who is this "quite powerful...political loser"? Surely not President Ahmadinejad, given that the Supreme Leader handed him the 2009 victory? Former President Mohammad Khatami does not seem to qualify as "quite powerful"?

How about former President Hashemi Rafsanjani?

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Iran Live Coverage: All-Is-Well Oil Alerts

See also Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: Celebrating Victory Over Protests

2050 GMT: The Battle Within. Facing renewed attacks over his economic policies (see 1740 GMT), President Ahmadinejad has repeated his allegation that most of the Iranian economy is in the hands of 300 or 400 influential people. He said the Government cannot control them because "they reject it via the media".

Ahmadinejad continued --- in what can be construed as an attack on the Revolutionary Guards --- that "some organisations have their own banks and businesses and don't explain themselves" as they pursue "privatisation without rules".

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The Latest from Iran (25 December): Is the Currency Falling Again?

See also The Latest from Iran (24 December): All-Is-Well Oil Alert...But With a Confession>

1755 GMT: Parliament v. President. Kalemeh summarises today's closed session of Parliament, the latest act in the Majlis' battle with President Ahmadinejad over his economic plans and subsidy cuts programme.

1725 GMT: Economic Warfare Watch. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the head of the Basij militia, has tried to rally people for economic battle.

Naqdi said the enemy has turned to Iran's economy after failure in the military, cultural, and political realms. He proclaimed that the Bazaar is the "honour" of Iran's economy and that, as a large consumer, the Revolutionary Guards can change the behaviour of producers.

An EA correspondent assesses, "This is a harsh warning to the private sector to keep prices low."

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