Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Ayatollah Hossein Vahid Khorazani (4)


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.

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The Latest from Iran (17 February): Cutting Off the Opposition

2145 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Abolfazl Tabarzadi, a close relative of the Iran Democratic Front leader Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, has been freed on bail.

Tabarzadi was detained last December.

2135 GMT: 1 Esfand. Already the posters for Sunday's opposition march, agreed between a coalition of groups this afternoon, are appearing. This one links the rally to Mohammad Mokhtari and Sanee Zhaleh, the two men who died in the 25 Bahman marches on Monday:

2120 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Yesterday I noted the statement of the Assembly of Experts, chaired by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, denouncing the US/Israel-backed "counter-revolution" of Monday's opposition marches.

This morning (0730 GMT) I wrote that regime supporters in Qom had chanted for the death of Rafsanjani.

So how could those two events fit together?

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Iran Interview: Wife of Jafar Kazemi, Condemned to Death, "We Request the Help of All Our Compatriots"

Jafar Kazemi, a lithographer for textbooks and pamphlets for Amir Kabir University, was arrested on 18 September 2009, apparently for putting up posters supporting the opposition. Soon he faced more serious charges.

Kazemi was accused of "mohareb" (war against God), a crime which carries the death penalty. Like others who have been executed in Iran, the public support for the allegation appears to be that Kazemi has a relative --- in this case, a son --- who is in Camp Ashraf in Iraq. The camp is home to many members of the People's Mojahedin of Iran, a banned organisation which has sought the overthrow of the Iranian regime for more than 30 years.

Kazemi was convicted and sentenced to hang. In recent weeks, activists have expressed increasing concern that his execution is imminent.

Masih Alinejad, working for the oppostion site Rah-e-Sabz (Jaras), interviewed Roudabeh Akbari, the wife of Kazemi, this week. The translation is by Siavosh Jalili.

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The Latest from Iran (30 December): A Year After the Regime's Display

2255 GMT: Subsidy Cuts Watch. Fares for taxis have risen up to 15% today. No one seems to have addressed the economic question, though: how does this cover a tripling or quadrupling of fuel prices?

2250 GMT: Economy Watch. The price of gold and gold coins are rising, and the toman has fallen to 1080 per US dollar.

1840 GMT: Taxing the Nobel Prize Winner. Shirin Ebadi's property has been seized for alleged non-payment of taxes, and the Nobel Prize laureate has been banned from leaving the country.

Ebadi is currently outside Iran, and her lawyer Nasrine Sotoudeh has been detained since early September.

1835 GMT: Diplomatic Criticism. Former Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Sadegh Kharrazi has asserted that the Foreign Ministry has no strategic perspective on global developments.

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