Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Ali Akbar Salehi (132)


Iran Live Coverage: First the Space Monkey, Now a New Fighter Jet

State outlet Press TV on the unveiling of Iran's new F-313 fighter jet

See also EA Video Analysis: The Lie About an Iran "Explosion" That Became Headline News
Iran Video Feature: The Regime's "Justified" Imprisonment of Journalists
Saturday's Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader's Men Launch Their Presidential Campaign

1950 GMT: The Defeat of Ahmadinejad. After today's showdown in Parliament, Speaker Ali Larijani and President Ahmadinejad have each cancelled press conferences called for tonight.

An audio of the clash between the two men has been posted on YouTube.

1850 GMT: The Defeat of Ahmadinejad. Some Western media have noticed today's dramatic events in Parliament, but they are struggling to get a handle on what happened.

Reuters has the fullest account but misses the humiliation of the President by the Speaker of Parliament --- and the impeachment of his Minister of Labor --- with the incomplete headline, "Iran President Accuses Parliament Speaker's Family of Corruption".

After giving a full description of the President's attempt to tag Larijani with corruption, via a claimed audio tape of the Speaker's brother, the article finally approaches the significant development:

"Our problem is that our president does not observe the basics of proper behavior," Larijani said. "Why did you discuss this issue here?"

Larijani continued: "Actually it's a good thing ... that you played this tape today, so that the people better understand your character."

The Washington Post focuses on the Minister of Labor's impeachment, giving only a brief description of the Ahmadinejad-Larijani exchange --- and missing the significance of it --- at the end of the article.

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Syria Live Coverage: Diplomatic Breakthrough? Opposition Leader Meets Russia & Iran Foreign Ministers

Claimed footage of the moment that a mortar strike killed three activists in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta

See also Iraq (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Dozens Killed in Attack on Police Headquarters
Saturday's Syria Live Coverage: Aid Reaches an Opposition-Held Town

1926 GMT: Casualties. Claimed footage from the al-Ansari section of Aleppo of men digging for survivors in a collapsed building, reportedly struck by a by regime shelling:

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Iran Live Coverage: The Blame Game over No Nuclear Talks

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Political Prisoners and Public Executions
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: Wishing Away The Economic Problems

1814 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Mehdi Mahmoudian, journalist and member of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front, has been released from prison on furlough.

Mahmoudian is serving a five-year sentence for assembly and collusion against the regime.

1744 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). With the first NATO Patriot anti-missile systems operational on the Turkish border with Syria, Minister of Defense Ahmad Vahidi has renewed Tehran's criticism of Ankara, “We do not consider the presence of these Patriot systems as beneficial and believe that it will cause misunderstanding among the regional countries."

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Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad "Don't Buy Our Oil? To Hell With You."

One of a set of photos of the last day of Tehran's Café Prague, closing rather than giving in to an order to install video cameras (see 1713 GMT)

See also Tuesday's Iran Live Coverage: Crisis at the Central Bank?

2123 GMT: Warning of the Day. An interesting moment at the farewell ceremony for Ali Akbar Javanfekr, the resigned director of State news agency IRNA and also a senior Presidential advisor....

Hassan Mousavi, President Ahmadinejad's office manager, said he hoped "Javenfekr would not end up with a dagger in his back in this war".

Javanfekr recently served a six-month prison sentence for "insulting Islam" in a special edition of Iran newspaper, where he was managing editor.

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Iran Live Coverage: Let's Make a Nuclear Deal?

Attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh, released on a 3-day prison furlough on Thursday, with her children Nima and Behraveh

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- A Health Care Crisis, Economic Rumblings, and Election Grumblings
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: Regime --- Detained Opposition Leaders Mousavi & Karroubi Committed "Atrocities"

2205 GMT: Fighting over the House Arrests. An interesting twist in the politics around the detentions of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi....

The story begins with leading conservative politician Habibollah Asgarouladi, who said earlier this month that Mousavi and Karroubi --- both candidates for President in 2009 and both under strict house arrest since February 2011 --- had been honourable men who served the Islamic Republic and were not "seditionists".

Other politicians and clerics, continuing to condemn Mousavi and Karroubi, have pressed Asgarouladi to retract the remarks. Yesterday, the politician responded by saying he would leave his Motalefeh Party if they did not give him support.

Now Ayatollah Hassan Mamdouhi, of the conservative Scholars of Qom, has warned: if Motalefe does not reject Asgarouladi's comments, the clerics will stop co-operation.

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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: Ahmadinejad v. Parliament...and the Revolutionary Guards

See also Iran Live Coverage: Please Vote (P.S. --- We Did Not Rig the Last Election)

1916 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). Forty-eight Iranian men, abducted in Syria last August and released yesterday in exchange for freedom for 2130 civilian detainees in Syrian prisons, arrive at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport:

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The Latest from Iran (18 December): Tehran's Strategy for the Nuclear Talks

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi speaks of "positive" talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency last week

See also The Latest from Iran (17 December): Seeking Influence on Syria

2053 GMT: Tough Talk of the Day. Back from an academic and media break --- including an appearance on BBC Persian --- to find the Supreme Leader's military advisor, Major General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, doing some chest-thumping: “Major powers and regional ones have no other option but to deal with Iran if they want to have a share of regional interests. The Persian Gulf region and the Strait of Hormuz are influential on economic, political, and cultural issues [of the world] and are very effective from various viewpoints in the world.”

Rahim Safavi declared that Iran "will have the first say" in the Persian Gulf for "many years to come".

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The Latest from Iran (17 December): Seeking Influence on Syria

Iran Special Analysis: Breaking the Deadlock in the Nuclear Negotiations
The Latest from Iran (16 December): Is Tehran Ready for Concessions on Nuclear Programme?

1551 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Turkish Front). NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has rejected the declaration by the head of Iran's armed forces, Hassan Firouzabadi, that the placement of NATO's Patriot anti-missiles sysems on Turkey's border with Syria risks a world war.

"I completely denounce these (Iranian) allegations. We have made clear right from the outset that the deployment of Patriots is a purely defensive measure," Rasmussen told a news conference after talks with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. "We are there to defend and protect our ally Turkey. We have no offensive intentions whatsoever."

On Saturday, Firouzabadi said, "Each one of these Patriots is a black mark on the world map, and is meant to cause a world war. They are making plans for a world war, and this is very dangerous for the future of humanity and for the future of Europe itself."

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The Latest from Iran (16 December): Is Tehran Ready for Concessions on Nuclear Programme?

See also Iran Report: Activists Fleeing the Assault on Civil Society
The Latest from Iran (15 December): Ahmadinejad Jabs at the Revolutionary Guards

2050 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Here is one way to make the regime mad --- give a prize for freedom of thought and human rights to political prisoners....

Foreign Minister Ramin Mehmanparast lashed out today at the European Parliament's award of the Sakharov Prize to imprisoned lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panahi, under threat of a six-year sentence: "Unfortunately, the European Union and its affiliated bodies have a selective approach to and objectify human rights matters, and pursue their political objectives by raising such issues."

Appearing to miss the point about the recognition of Sotoudeh, a prominent defender of accused activists, and Panahi, Mehmanparast continued, "Instead of offering awards on the basis of political goals, the European Parliament should deal with countless instances of rights violations in European countries such as the miserable conditions of asylum seekers and immigrants, discrimination against Muslims and the suppression of legitimate socio-economic demands of Europeans."

Press TV adds to the wayward criticism by failing to mention in its article that Sotoudeh is behind bars and Panahi is under effective house arrest.

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