Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani (27)


The Latest from Iran (21 February): Please Vote

See also Iran Audio Feature: Scott Lucas with the BBC on "War" and the Nuclear Programme
Iran Snapshot: The Difficulties of Getting Around Sanctions
The Latest from Iran (20 February): A Meeting with the Supreme Leader?

1830 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Journalist Mahsa Amirabadi has been sentenced to a prison term for the second time in the past two years.

Amrabadi was given a five-year term, four of it suspended, for “assembly and collusion against national security". She wass charged with refusal to denounce opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi; attendance at gatherings of political prisoners to read the Qur'an; interviews and writing reports for newspapers; visits to independent members of the clergy; and defence of the rights of her husband, detained journalist Masoud Bastani.

Amrabadi, sentenced to one year in prison soon after the 2009 Presidential election, was arrested in March 2011 by intelligence officers of the Revolutionary Guards and released on bail.

Amrabadi's husband, Massoud Bastani,has been sentenced to six years in prison for his journalism.

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The Latest from Iran (20 February): A Meeting with the Supreme Leader?

See also Syria Audio Feature: Iranian Rappers Sing for the People of Homs
Iran Snapshot: The Economy --- "How Am I Going to Live Like This?"
The Latest from Iran (19 February): "The Islamic Republic Does Not Need a Supreme Leader"

2225 GMT: Apologies for limited service today, as EA staff have been travelling and giving presentations. We will be back from 0600 GMT with latest news.

1125 GMT: Diplomacy Watch. In contrast to (or possibly alongside) the military posturing, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi continues to pave the way for nuclear talks with the US and other powers:

Neither European countries nor Iran can disregard the need for mutual cooperation because we are both complementary to each other, Salehi told reporters on the sidelines of a two-day conference on relations between Iran and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Tehran on Monday.

The top Iranian diplomat further said that enhanced economic ties with all countries is among the priorities of Iran's foreign policy, stressing that Tehran attaches importance to bolstering relations with neighboring countries as well as the member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

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The Latest from Iran (12 February): Nuclear Games, Numbers Games

1902 GMT: All-Is-Well Alert. Nasim Online features the reassurance of Tehran University academic Seyed Mohammad Marandi --- despite US sanctions, Iran --- with its self-sufficiency --- has become a model for Middle Eastern countries, as Tehran annoys "Western" powers.

1856 GMT: Unity Watch. Prominent MP Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moghaddam has said that it is beneath Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, the head of the Unity Front, to bargain with the Islamic Constancy Front.

The Constancy Front, led by Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, has held out against merger with the Unity Front because of issues over represenatives of politicians like Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf.

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The Latest from Iran (2 February): Will There Be Protests on 25 Bahman?

See also Iran Caption Competition: What Would a 6-Foot (Cardboard) Ayatollah Khomeini Say?
The Latest from Iran (1 February): Is the Supreme Leader Fretting About Syria?

2130 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Syrian Front). Yet another sign of Tehran's concern at developments in Damascus (see 1435 GMT)....

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran is “astonished and confused” by the failure of the Arab League mission in Syria, blaming a lack of willingness on the part of Arab states for the breakdown.

“The observers went to Syria, where they worked for over a month, presented a balanced report, and they were supposed to continue their mission," Salehi said. “We are astonished and confused. We do not understand why the Arab League halted the work of observers who agreed to continue with their mission and chose to go to the Security Council instead."

Salehi indicated Tehran's reliance on Beijing and Moscow, saying he believes both will continue to support both Iran and Syria in the face of Western pressure. He tried to minimise any differences with Ankara: "Regarding Syria, our Turkish brothers have their own opinions. They want the reforms to happen quickly, not slowly."

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The Latest from Iran (19 January): Worried Yet?

2039 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Industry sources say Turkish refiner Tupras, planning to cut imports of Iranian oil, will meet Saudi Arabian officials this month.

Turkey imports more than 30 percent of its daily oil consumption from Iran crude.

A source estimated that Saudi Arabia could cover up to half of the Iranian imports, adding that the Turks also planning to meet with oil suppliers from Russia, Azerbaijan, and West Africa.

2003 GMT: Currency Watch. The Central Bank has issued a new warning: dollar holders without documents must deposit the money until 15 Bahman (4 February), or they will be prosecuted for money laundering.

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The Latest from Iran (19 November): The International Front

1810 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Turkish Front). More fencing between Ankara and Tehran, even as Iran tries to get Turkish support on issues such as its nuclear programme....

Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, has said "Iranian air forces are strong enough" when he was asked if Turkey could use Iranian air space for "war against [the Kurdish insurgenct group] PKK".

Boroujerdi was in Ankara on Friday for talks with Turkish officials.

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The Latest from Iran (2 October): Down, Down Goes the Currency

2000 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Another political showcase for the President, as he closed the International Conference on the Palestinian Intifada today....

Ahmadinejad used the occasion for his standard script, declaring the West created Israel to control the Middle East and Western support for the crimes committed by the "Zionist regime".

The President then built on the West-Israel platform for wider points, such as the claim that democracy and the human rights are a "mere show" in the West and that the International Atomic Energy Agency has served the US and Israel by publishing the names of Iranian nuclear scientists so they could be targeted by the "Zionist regime". He added that Zionism symbolizes the essence of the materialistic Western schools of humanism and liberalism.

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Latest from Iran (31 August): Religious Freedom & Lakes Drying Up

1842 GMT: An EA Correspondent has this assessment of the Supreme Leader's approach to the upcoming Majilis elections.


Farrokh Negahdar, a Fedayeen member who always defends the IR, commented on Kham's statement on Radio Farda today: apparently the SL prefers "secure" Majlis elections to a massive outcome of voters, i.e. high security measures will be taken to guarantee a fluid "election" for appearances' sake. To me this news is the most obvious evidence for the fact that he has lost all hope in attracting the masses via pro-regime "reformists".

1840 GMT: Al Jazeera English is reporting that Mehdi Karroubi has resided in solitary isolation inside an Iranian prison for the last several weeks. However, they have not provided the source of their report.

1700 GMT: According to Fars News, Abbas Mottahari, the Revolutionary Guards commander in Garmsar, has stated:

"the final goal of the new structure of the Basij is to make 70% of the people in the neighborhood Basij members, 50% participants in group prayer, and 20% participants in Friday prayer."

1441 GMT: "TV Makes Kids Satan" Alert - IRNA is reporting that Ayatollah Mazaheri said today that satellite dishes are far more dangerous than the atomic bomb, because TV is making the youth turn towards moral corruption and prostitution.

1335 GMT: Never Work with Children, Animals, or Honest Experts. The danger of live television, as an Iran News Network anchorman found in this interview with an analyst on Afghanistan....

The trouble began when the analyst, instead of keeping focus on the problems and errors of the US, said, "Countries in the region, including Pakistan and Iran, don't want a democracy to exist in Afghanistan,... [Iran and Pakistan] have carried out damaging interference in Afghanistan in the past 10 years,"

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The Latest from Iran (25 July): A Glimpse of Political Prisoners

Claimed footage of frustrated people watching police as they attempt to remove satellite dishes from a neighbourhood in Sarvestan in southern Iran

1840 GMT: The Battle Within. The Supreme Leader has established a "Supreme Board of Arbitration and Adjustment of Relations among the Three Branches of Government" to "regulate the relations between the three branches of government in their interactions and resolve possible disputes".

Ayatollah Khatami appointed Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, former head of Iran's judiciary and current member of the Guardian Council, as the head of the Supreme Board.

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The Latest from Iran (16 July): "They Will Opt for Turmoil"

1830 GMT: Energy Watch. Deutsche Welle summarises a series of recent statements by Deputy Minister of Energy Mohammad Behzad, including that the Government owes $5 billion to the Ministry and that the country is that less than 2,000 megawatts from a general blackout.

Minister of Energy Majid Namjoo has been summoned to Parliament next Tuesday to answer questions.

1655 GMT: Genie Watch. Hojatoleslam Hassan Ramezani, a scholar in the religious city of Qom, has said that contact with djinns can only be with the permission of "God's vali" (the Supreme Election). He adds, however, that if you can get this permission, these djinns will be of political use: they can predict elections.

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