Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Ali Akbar Velayati (75)


The Latest from Iran (17 September): Re-Visiting the 2009 Election

See also Iran Feature: Is Civil Disobedience Taking Off?
WikiLeaks & Iran Special (June 2009): Brother of Supreme Leader's Military Advisor "The Election Was a Political Coup"

2045 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Iranian authorities have freed Vahik Abramian, a Dutch-Iranian national detained for a year for "spreading the Christian faith". He is now back in the Netherlands.

1700 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Kurdish student activists Mehdi Dohago, Milad Karimi and Soran Daneshvar --- have been arrested in Sanandaj in northwestern Iran.

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The Latest from Iran (8 August): Reformists Step Back from Elections

1950 GMT: Economy Watch. In his speech in front of senior officials yesterday (see 1420 GMT), the Supreme Leader said problems such as employment, inflation, and "labour culture" have not been solved yet.

1835 GMT: (Potential) Political Prisoner Watch. Yesterday we summarised the significant remarks of Mohsen Armin, former Deputy Speaker of Parliament and a reformist senior member of the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution, that "all essential prerogatives" for involvement in the 2012 Parlimentary elections "are missing" --- "Coalition with hardliners never; debate yes."

Today, Armin was summoned to appear in court on Wednesday.

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The Latest from Iran (22 May): An "Advance" in the House Arrests

Mehdi and Fatemeh Karroubi2115 GMT: The House Arrests. A further note on the statement from 130 clerics calling for the release of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard, and Mehdi and Fatemeh Karroubi from house arrest (see 1810 GMT)....

Most of the signatories are followers of the late Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, the former heir-apparent to Ayatollah Khomeini who was ostracised and then put under house arrest by the regime from the late 1980s. Ahmad Montazeri, the Grand Ayatollah's son and one of the signatores, called upon Iranian leaders to implement reforms "before it is too late".

2045 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch (Baha'i Edition). Security forces have shut down a science and research centre operated by the Bahai’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) at Iran’s Open University and arrested at least 12 staff and faculty members.

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The Latest from Iran (18 December): A Big Event?

1945 GMT: Two Steps Ahead? Meanwhile, on the nuclear front, President Ahmadinejad is racing ahead with his "engagement" of the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China) in discussions on Iran's uranium enrichment.

Iran and the 5+1 agreed last week to further talks in Turkey in January but Ahmadinejad went further in his speech: "“I hope in talks in Istanbul, then in Brazil and then Tehran we could reach a framework of cooperation… this is to everyone's benefit. There were positive points in [Geneva] talks… I think it is time that their [the P5+1] confrontational policy turns into interactional policy."

1935 GMT: Sedition Watch (cont.). Rah-e-Sabz puts its gloss on the resistance of the head of judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, to the arrest of opposition figures (see 1650 GMT). According to the Green website, Larijani responded to those calling for the detention of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi: "You have blamed the Supreme Leader indirectly by taking the judiciary as a shield (for your demands)."

1920 GMT: Subsidy Cuts? Yes. Ahh, here we go. Just catching up with Mardomak's LiveBlog....

IRNA's headline covered only the first couple of minutes of the speech. Almost all the statement, with declarations of Iran's potential to become a world-leading economy, was a presentation of the subsidy cuts. Ahmadinejad confirmed the chatter that implementation will begin tomorrow. He gave assurances such as the deposit of 4000 tomans (about $4) in people's bank accounts to cover the reduction in subsidies for bread. Each individual would receive a total of 81,000 tomans ($81) over the next two months.

Fars beats other websites to the punch with an article on Ahmadinejad's presentation of the "largest project in the economic history of Iran". Indeed, Fars has no less than five items playing up the subsidy cuts, with assurances that support payments for the poorest Iranians are fully-funded.

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The Latest from Iran (16 December): Today is Ashura

2125 GMT: Political Prison Watch. Rah-e-Sabz reports that Fatemeh Maleki, the wife of journalist/filmmaker, has been hospitalised after she was detained in front of Evin Prison.

Maleki was seized along with other relatives of Nourizad as well as Fatemeh Mohtashamipour, the wife of detained reformist leader Mostafa Tajzadeh. All were released after several hours, but Maleki was taken to hospital with a heart condition.

Earlier today (see 1710 GMT), the website supporting Nourizad said it was Mohtashamipour who had been hospitalised. However, Rah-e-Sabz features an interview with her about the day's events.

2115 GMT: Summarising Today. An EA reader writes, "Just reading your blog today re Ashura. I wonder if the huge number of security forces meant that the Islamic Republic could not show Tehran on TV. I mean, after all, 'Everything is under control, and everyone loves us!' But if they showed Tehran like a fortress it....".

And if they showed the capital with lots of security forces and very few people marching in support of the regime....

But I'm sure this is wild speculation.

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