Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in Ayatollah Asadollah Bayat Zanjani (16)


Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader's Men Launch Their Presidential Campaign

See also Iran Audio Feature: Hype & Reality from Syria to "Explosion at Nuclear Plant" --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: Tehran Mayor --- Why We Are Engineering the Presidential Election

1622 GMT: Nuclear Snap Analysis. The headline from the Munich Security Conference is of a statement by US Vice President Joe Biden that Washington is ready for direct talks with Tehran and that it is past time for Tehran to negotiate seriously.

Biden's declaration has been complemented by a message from European Union foreign policy head Catherine Ashton, the lead negotiator for the 5+1 Powers. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle added that, despite the failure to resume high-level discussions, there was no reason for military action, a point echoed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Three pointss:

1. In the short-term, both Tehran and the US-European bloc are trying to lay blame for the inability to agree on talks on the other side.

2. Talks about talks will now be put on the back-burner while the Iranian regime concentrates on the Presidential election in June.

2. Most importantly, both sides are signalling that --- despite the effective suspension of diplomatic efforts --- they are ready to pick up the negotiations in the autumn.

Biden's statement follows the pointed message of Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani on Monday that there are no "red lines" against direct talks with the Americans. What's more, Larijani invoked the name of the Supreme Leader in making that statement.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (30 June): "Talk to Us"

See also Iran 1st-Hand: The Squeeze of the Sanctions
The Latest from Iran (29 June): The Pressure Builds

1822 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. A letter signed by 141 Iranian journalists has expressed support for their detained colleague, Bahman Ahmadi Amoui.

The journalists express concern that Ahmadi Amoui was imprisoned for his critical articles on the economy, noting his exile to Rajai Shahr Prison and transfer to solitary confinement.

Ahmadi Amoui was arrested just after the June 2009 Presidential election. He was sentenced in January 2010 to seven years and four months in prison.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (28 February): "Ballot Boxes Are Being Filled as We Speak"

See also Iran Feature: The Lives Of Women Day Labourers
The Latest from Iran (27 February): Has Khamenei Met Mousavi?

1700 GMT: Elections Watch. Three days before the Parliamentary ballot, a special session of the Guardian Council has approved several candidates, including current MPs.

In an open letter, prominent MP Ali Motahari has accused the hard-line newspaper Keyhan of turning protesters and reformists into "anti-revolutionaries" with its attacks and libel.

The head of Iran's armed forces, General Hassan Firouzabadi, has told high-ranking officers that Friday's elections are the basis and symbol of the power and honour of the Iranian system.

Hamidreza Moghaddamfar, the cultural and social representative of the Revolutionary Guards, has declared that more than 60% of the electorate will vote on Friday. He added criticism of leading principlists including Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (30 August): "Conflict & Retaliation"

Former President Mohammad Khatami (left) to Mehdi Karroubi, under house arrest since February: "Just make a false confession, and Seyed Ali [the Supreme Leader] will pardon you (like me)" [by Eghbal Mahvari]

See Also, Iran Special: Assessing the Latest Cyber-Threat --- The "Rogue Certificate" (Arseh Sevom)
The Latest from Iran (29 August): Catching Up

2009 GMT: Elections Watch. Akbar Torkan, Minister of Defence in the Rafsanjani Government of the 1990s, said today that the power of the military, the state, and even the Supreme Leader depends on republicanism and the ability for people to vote freely. He also said that the institutions of Iran are threatened if they have no free elections backing them, and thus no popular support.

1958 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Parvin Baharzadeh, assistant professor at Al-Zahra University and member of the "Gnosis Group, and several other people have been arrested by intelligence forces and sent to Evin Prison.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (10 August): Lawyers in Prison, Lawyers in Exile

Abdolfattah Soltani (see 0545 GMT)1930 GMT: Currency Watch. Aftab reports that the price of gold coins continues to rise --- now from 474,000 to 482,000 tomans (about $450 to $460) as Iranians put their faith in them amidst economic tensions. Meanwhile, the differential between the "free" and official rates for the US dollar continues to widen --- the Central Bank has set the rate at 1055 tomans to the dollar but the exchange rate on the street is 1200:1.

1735 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. More on the arrest of Parvin Mokhtare, the mother of journalist Kouhyar Goudarzi, as her son was being put in prison again --- while she was having a bath, the house was raided by security agents who climbed over walls to get into the property.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (26 July): Ahmadinejad is a "Repair and Maintenance Project"

2000 GMT: Economy Watch. Despite US-led sanctions, foreign direct investment in Iran rose to a new record in 2010 of more than $3.6 billion dollars, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

UNCTAD's "World Investment Report" found that the foreign direct investment increased around 20% in 2010. FDI has soared from $1.6 billion in 200.

Global FDI flows grew 4.9% in 2010 to $1.24 trillion, but were 15% below the rate of $1.472 trillion before the 2008 financial crisis and nearly 37% below their peak in 2007 of $1.971 trillion.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (4 June): Remembering Khomeini...Without Ahmadinejad

1940 GMT: The security presence blocking the silent protest for Haleh Sahabi at a religious complex in north Tehran this afternoon:

1925 GMT: Preventing Haleh's Memorial. Witnesses say Iranian security forces fired in the air to disperse several hundred people who had gathered for silent protest over the death of activist Haleh Sahabi (see 1505 GMT).

The forces reportedly used batons as well to disperse the crowd outside the Hosseini Ershad mosque in northern Tehran.

Kalemeh reports that a "few dozen" protesters were arrested and some were "severely beaten".

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (6 May): "The Government Has Lifted Up Its Hands to Pray"

1955 GMT: Media Watch. The Guardian of London has picked up on the story with which we began today (see 0445 GMT), "Iran's Supreme Leader tells Ahmadinejad: Accept Minister [of Intelligence] or Quit", quoting the President's ally, Morteza Agha-Tehrani.

And Robert Tait of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has a thorough overview of the crisis --- with an appearance by EA --- "Ahmadinejad Floored By Bugs, Spirits, And Djinns":

Whenever cornered, Mahmud Ahmadinejad always seems to come out swinging. But Iran's notoriously abrasive president appears in danger of suffering a knockout blow over his political attachment to Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, a man widely seen as a threat to the country's clerical-based political system.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (1 April): A Burst of Green

2040 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Kalemeh reports that detained activist Fakhrossadat Mohtashamipour is in a coma after a hunger strike and has been transferred to hospital.

Mohtashamipour, the wife of imprisoned reformist leader Mostafa Tajzadeh, had said she would fast if she was not allowed to visit her husband.

2030 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update --- An Update. Well, I guess I owe Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami an apology --- while he was making a grand tour of Egypt-Libya-Yemen-Bahrain to blame the West for distortions, manipulations, and general evil, he did have a chat with the faithful about the situation in Iran today.

Khatami took his lead from the Supreme Leader's 2011 theme of "economic jihad" to declare there would be economic growth, a narrowed gap between those with high and low incomes, and a one-digit unemployment rate.

The Ayatollah assured that Iran would have 8% economic growth rate in the 5th 5-Year Plan (2010-2015), even though that plan has not been passed by Parliament, and said officials of the country have had successful projects for employment.

But he still didn't mention Syria.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (31 March): Mousavi and A Funeral

2100 GMT: A Poster for Sizdeh Bedar. Anticipating the festival of Sizdeh Bedar, when Iranians leave the house and enjoy the outdoors, activists have put out the message on this poster, "Sizdeh Bedar 90 --- Khamenei Must Go":

2030 GMT: Economy Management Watch. Mohammad Taghi Bakhtyari of Parliament's Development Commission has said that breaches by the Government of the 2008/9 budget prove that the Majlis has insufficient control. Bakhtyari claimed that the Government has not paid billions in debts.

Another MP, Ezzatollah Yousefian, has said a fourth of Iran's liquidity is in the hands of "special people".

Click to read more ...