Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in Ayatollah Ali Sistani (10)


Iran Feature: Inside Story on How Supreme Leader Accepted Rafsanjani's Presidential Campaign

Rafsanjani & Supreme Leader in the 1980sAt 4 p.m., advisors told Hashemi Rafsanjani that if he was not going to register as a candidate, he should write a message to the people and let them know. The former President agreed to draft a satement; however, an hour later, the advisors told others, "Hurry up. Rafsanjani is setting off to the Interior Ministry to register."

What had changed?

Rafsanjani had consulted the Supreme Leader's office. He had received a "not negative" response --- not a definitive green light to run but also not a rejection.

Click to read more ...


Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Last Day Of Candidate Declarations

President Ahmadinejad and his right-hand man, Presidential candidate Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, at the election centre today

See also Iran Special: EA's Guide to the Presidential Election
Iran Video of Day: People Chant "Rafsanjani Has Arrived"< /br>
Friday's Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Still No "Unity" Candidate

Election Watch: Rafsanjani Edition

Former president Hashemi Rafsanjani has told the ISNA news agency that he "has come to serve and the people have the right to elect me or not."

Meanwhile, MP Alireza Zakani, Presidential hopeful and head of one of the factions seeking to fight the election, has said he will support Saeed Jalili --- Secretary of the National Security Council --- to stop the "sedition" of Rafsanjani.

The news agency was suspended, and its head threatened with prosecution, over an April 2012 video report on martial arts training by Iranian women.

The report initially appeared with a headline that the women were training to become assassins.

Rallying Behind Rafsanjani

In another major development pointing to a serious challenge by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, the "Advisory Council of the Reformists" has put out a statement that --- after a meeting with former President Mohammad Khatami --- all reformists will be formally backing Rafsanjani.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (12 May): Ahmadinejad Keeps on Trippin'

A poster recognising Iran's women political prisoners, including Zahra Rahnavard, Narges Mohammadi, Nasrin Sotoudeh, and members of the Baha'i community

See also Iran 1st-Hand: "The Regime is Really Worried. They're Caught in a Bind"
The Latest from Iran (11 May): The Battle Within

2014 GMT: Currency Watch. After months of instability and decline, the Iranian Rial is strengthening against foreign currencies.

The Rial stands at around 15900:1 today vs. the US dollar, about 15% stronger than a month ago. The Iranian currency had lost about half its value between September and January, despite repeated attempts at intervention by the Government and Central Bank.

The bounce-back follows the declaration of Central Bank head Mahmoud Bahmani that the advance sale of gold coins has nearly stabilised the foreign exchange market.

The Rial is still much weaker than the official exchange rate of 12260:1.

Click to read more ...


Iraq Snapshot: The Divisions Among the Shia Factions (Van Wilgenburg)

Saturday's demonstration of followers of Shia cleric Mahmoud al-Hasani al-Sarkhi

Iraq can be portrayed as a country of homogeneous Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish blocs. That is far too simplistic: consider the recent demonstrations in Baghdad by followers of the Sadrist splinter group of Shi’a cleric Hassan al-Sarkhi.

The trouble began on February 17, when a recently-opened office of Shia cleric Mahmoud al-Hasani al-Sarkhi was set on fire. Supporters of Sarkhi blamed followers of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the leading Shia cleric in Iraq, and violence between the two groups has escalated since them. As analysts Reidar Visser said concisely, "Impression is sec[urity] forces confrontation w/ Sarkhi followers is growing trend over past months. Also Sistani vs Sarkhi."

Click to read more ...


Iraq Opinion: Is This Really A Sectarian Conflict? (al-Khoei)

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and rival Iyad AllawiThe current political crisis in Iraq is often portrayed as a sectarian conflict between the Shia prime minister on the one hand and the deputy prime minister and vice-president – both Sunnis – on the other.

No one can claim that sectarianism in Iraq does not exist, but a closer look at the intra-sectarian conflict, sometimes just as bloody, can help paint a more nuanced picture.

Click to read more ...


Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Waiting

Video from today has now been moved to our separate entry, "Latest Libya (and Beyond) Video: Fighting the Mercenaries".

2230 GMT: Images from today's protest in Bahrain, in which thousands called for the release of detainees:

2015 GMT: A 25-year-old man has died in Bordj Bou Arreridj, 240 km (148 miles) east of the Algerian capital Algiers, after setting himself on fire outside the provincial building.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (21 February): The Contest Continues

2155 GMT: The 1 Esfand Casualty. Shiraz University students have announced a week of mourning for Hamed Nourmohammadi, who was allegedly thrown off a bridge by security forces during Sunday's protests.

2135 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Singer and composer Afshin Taheri was detained on Tuesday and is in an unknown location.

2125 GMT: 1 Esfand. Setareh Sabety offers an overview and crisp analysis of the significance of Sunday's opposition marches:

1st Esfand (Feb.20) was big enough to show that 25th Bahman (Feb.14) was not a single outburst inspired by the events in Tunis and Egypt but rather the revival of an opposition movement that continues to show signs of resilience. Iranians are pragmatists and unlike their Arab neighbors have recent experience with revolution. They will not risk life and limb unless they are sure that they are on the winning side. 1st Esfand was a step in the winning direction for the opposition in Iran.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (13 January): President's Right-Hand Man in Trouble?

2145 GMT: Sanctions Watch. The US Treasury added 26 firms to its sanctions list, claiming that 24 have ties with state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines --- linked to the Revolutionary Guards --- and two were affiliated with Aerospace Industries Organization, a subsidiary of Iran's Ministry of Defense.

Still, such news is a trifle for Press TV: it gleefully reports that Italy's oil imports from Iran are up 92%.

1730 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. More than 170 activists have signed a letter calling for the release of female detainees Reyhaneh Tabatabai, Nazanin Khosravani, Sajadeh Kianoush-Rad and Farzaneh Roustaei.

Click to read more ...


WikiLeaks and Iraq 2009: Grand Ayatollah Sistani Checks Iran's Influence?

Najaf, as the epicenter of Shia Islam, carries significant importance for Iran and its overall campaign to expand its sphere of influence in Iraq and the region. The city is home to many Iranian pilgrims and traders eager to profit spiritually and financially from the city's religious and commercial offerings. There is general awareness and acknowledgment among many Iraqis that Iran's influence, albeit a historic reality, does not always translate into mutual benefit for Najafis. Many also acknowledge that Iran will continue to capitalize on its ties to the city in order to foster greater socio-economic dependencies. The extent of its ability to influence the ways of the Marja'iyyah are more limited, particularly during Sistani's tenure, given the clerical establishment's unrivaled theocratic and geographic prominence when compared to its "sister city" Qom.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (22 October): The Surprise of the Unexpectedly Slow

2045 GMT: The Khamenei Road Trip. Fars and Mehr are reporting a big breakthrough for the Supreme Leader: his Friday meeting with clerics included Grand Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani.

No details are given.

1930 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Mahdieh Mohammadi, the wife of detained Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi, has said that the Ministry of Intelligence has denied her husband a furlough.

Click to read more ...