Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Ali Akbar Velayati (75)


Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Is Ali Larijani The Real Winner?

Ali Larijani & The Supreme Leader --- Credit: Mehr News Fars: Guardian Council May Disqualify Moderate Rouhani

In an indication of growing concern over the campaign of moderate Hassan Rouhani, Fars News --- close to the Revolutionary Guards --- has declared, from an "informed source", that the Guardian Council will discuss the candidacy tomorrow.

The source said the Council will re-examine Rouhani's qualifications, considering charges that he is being supported by leaders of "sedition" and lawlessness.

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Iran Analysis: "Supreme Leader in a Real Mess" After Last Presidential Debate

Observations after Friday's third and final Presidential debate, following a conversation with a leading EA correspondent on Iran:


The immediate headline that the debate was more interesting than the previous two, because of conflict among the eight candidates, does not begin to capture the extent of the division --- notably among those men who supposedly are close to the Supreme Leader's camp.

Our correspondent summarises, "This was a free-for-all in which all went after each other, including the [members of the Supreme Leader's] 2+1 Committee. This showed the three men of the 2+1 do not have anything in common."

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Iran Special: Highlights From The Third Presidential Debate

Iran's Presidential race has, in many ways, turned into a contest not only between the eight individual candidates but perhaps even more so between the Principlist/ Conservative and the Reformist/Moderate camps.

Although Friday's Third Presidential debate was an opportunity for the candidates to set out their views and policies on foreign policy and politics, it also provided a space to explore this factional divide.

Principlist and conservative candidates --- Ali Akbar Velayati, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, Gholam-Ali Haddad- Adel -- used the debate to criticize the Reformists and past Reformist governments, while Reformist candidate Mohammad-Reza Aref and his moderate counterpart Hassan Rouhani slammed the Principlist movement and the current Ahmadinejad administration. Independent candidates Mohsen Rezaei and Mohammad Gharazi hit out at both factions and called for an end to factionalism.

Some of the main highlights of the debate (thanks to Al Jazeera English and Hassan Rouhani's campaign team, who live-tweeted the debate).

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Iran Today: Is The Quest For A Unity Candidate Over?

Jalili Swears On Quran To Sacrifice Life For Supreme Leader

Presidential candidate Saeed Jalili swears on a Quran that he will sacrifice his life for the Supreme Leader at the request of a student during a rally at Tehran University.

The student asks Jalili if he is ready to swear on the Quran, and he replies: "Enshallah, I am".

After Jalili takes the Quran, the crowd chants his name.

Rouhani Gives Live Speech On State TV: We're Not After A Bomb

In his speech on State TV on Monday, moderate Presidential candidate Hassan Rohani said that he planned to use experts in his "government of hope and prudence" if elected --- a promise made by other candidates as well, notably Saeed Jalili and Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf/

Rouhani's comments indicate that he is attempting to pitch himself as a centrist candidate with a broad appeal. Perhaps with a nod at earlier comments on Monday by political commentator Sadeq Zibakalam, who said that reformist voters must back Rouhani or face a Jalili presidency, Rouhani said that he is able to work with all parties, and that he only opposed extremism.

With regard to Iran's nuclear program, Rouhani said Iran needed to clarify its position but stressed that Tehran was not seeking a nuclear weapon, and rather was developing nuclear technology for national development.

Referring to the ongoing battle between himself and his rival Saeed Jalili, Rouhani defended his term as nuclear negotiator:

Rouhani also discussed regional cooperation and national security, noting that he planned to examine specific foreign policy issues to "identify the countries with whom Iran could work".

Rouhani said that public diplomacy --- even with the United States --- was important for Iran, across issues like culture, sports and religion.

The moderate candidate mentioned the Syria question:

Rouhani Slams Bagheri, Jalili

Moderate Presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani sharply criticized his rival Saeed Jalili's campaign manager, nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri on Monday, over the ongoing row over claims by the Jalili camp that Rouhani made concessions during his tenure as nuclear negotiator.

Conservative news outlet Asr Iran published Rouhani's response to Bagheri's claims, and Rouhani's campaign team also noted them on his Twitter account.

Rouhani slammed Bagheri for using the "unfounded allegations" against him for capital in Jalili's election campaign, but suggested that Bagheri read his book, "National Security And Nuclear Diplomacy".

The moderate candidate also accused Bagheri of making Iran an international laughing stock when he submitted a two-page document to theP5+1 in 2008 that was "full of errors".

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Iran Analysis: Presidential Election --- A 4-Point Guide to the State of the Race

Ssturday's campaign speech by Hassan Rouhani, with the crowd chanting the name of detained opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi

With 11 days to go before the first-round vote in the Presidential election, three points on the main contenders and a look at the possibilities....


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Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Reactions To The Televised Debate

Behind The Scenes At The Televised Debate

Presidential Election Watch: Rouhani Edition

Rouhani Slams State TV

Rouhani has criticized IRIB, saying that State TV had failed to create a healthy competition in Friday's televised debates.

Rafsanjani "Told Rouhani To Stay In Race"

Rouhani says he consulted with former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, and others, who encouraged and advised him to remain in the Presidential race.

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Iran Analysis: Presidential Election --- It's About "Management" & The Economy 

Saeed Jalili explains how he would solve Iran's economic problems as President

With the exclusion of leading politicians, such as former Presidential Hashemi Rafsanjani from the Presidential race, a leading theme in media converage is that the election is now merely a contest of "shades of gray" between supporters of the Supreme Leader.

That headline, while it has an element of truth, is a reduction of the contest and Iran's internal situation for two reasons.

First, the economic issue --- and not nuclear talks with the West or other foreign policy issues --- is likely to be the dominant concern of Iranian voters.

Second, while each of the eight approved candidates can find security in criticism of the Ahmadinejad Government, each has to prove that he will be able to remedy the economic problems --- from rampant inflation to falling production to unemployment to currency difficulties --- that plague the Islamic Republic.

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Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Jalili Vs. Supreme Leader Advisor Velayati

Presidential candidate and Supreme Leader advisor Ali Akbar Velayati speaks about the economy

See also Iran Analysis: Presidential Election --- It's About "Management" & The Economy
Sunday's Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Focus On The Economy

Presidential Election Watch: Supreme Leader Edition

The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke to students at Imam Hossein University --- a military university belonging to the Revolutionary Guards --- said that Iranians should participate in the June 14 Presidential Election and said through this many of the country’s problems will be solved.

Khamenei criticized the U.S., saying that "those Americans who say our election is not free, have not yet closed Guantanamo Bay and are killing many people in Pakistan and Afghanistan."

He added: "Our people should know that the reason Americans are saying these things is because of the importance of the election, therefore the [Iranian] people should create a political epic."

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Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Focus On The Economy

Presidential candidate Mohammad Gharazi (credit: PressTV)

One More Week in Trial of Defendants in Kahrizak Abuse Case?

The head of Tehran Criminal Courts, Judge Mohsen Eftekhari, says three defendants --- Presidential advisor Saeed Mortazavi and two senior judges --- have one week to provide the court with their defences.

Eftekhari said, after that, “the jury will decide on the verdict".

Earlier reports had indicated the defence had concluded its response, and the court had 10 days to deliver a decision.

The three men are accused of complicity in the abuse and killing of three post-election protesters at the Kahrizak detention centre after the disputed 2009 Presidential election.

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Iran Today: Guardian Council Approves Eight Candidates --- What Next?

"Western Sources" and Media Put Out Scary Stories About Leaked Nuclear Report

As customary, extracts from the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency are being fed by Western officials to the media with the scariest-possible interpretation.

The report says that Iran's stock of 20% uranium is still below the level of 250 kilogrammes needed for a single atomic bomb, with Tehran holding 182 kilogrammes and another 140.8 kilos in a state for civilian-only use.

Three diplomats, however, made sure that George Jahn of the Associated Press has the dramatic lede that Tehran "has installed close to 700 high-tech centrifuges in an upgrade of its uranium enrichment program since the start of the year". (Jahn apparently has forgotten that in January the diplomats were talking of 3000 centrifuges.)

Reuters recycles the line that "Iran is pressing ahead with the construction of a research reactor" using plutonium from the Arak heavy-water reactor.

As EA noted earlier this year, dissecting a scare story in The Daily Telegraph, plutonium is a natural by-product of heavy-water reactors, and other countries use it in their civilian programmes.

The unintentional humour, howver, comes from the Institute for Science and International Security, which has previously seen pink tarpaulins and doom-laden magnets as harbingers of Iran's sinister atomic plans. This time, the Institute warns, "Iran Laying Asphalt at the Suspect Parchin Site".

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