Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Canada (9)


Iran Live: Ahmadinejad Hits The Election Trail

1505 GMT: Nuclear Watch

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, the Iranian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, has said that Iran can work with the West in the Middle East if the US and European partners take a more cooperative approach in talks over Tehran's nuclear programme.

Soltanieh, asserting that current US and European policies and sanctions were bound to fail:

Western countries are advised to change gear from confrontation to cooperation, the window of opportunity to enter into negotiation for long-term strategic cooperation with Iran, the most reliable, strong and stable partner in the region, is still open.

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The Latest from Iran (15 October): European Union Announces More Sanctions

See also Iran Feature: "Oil-Spill Sabotage To Block Strait of Hormuz" --- How Western Media Spreads a Scare Story
The Latest from Iran (14 October): Pretending All Is Well

2040 GMT: Open All Hours Watch. According to the opposition site Kalemeh, Tehran Chief of Police has said that shopkeepers wishing to close for longer than the “established legal time” must obtain a permit.

Earlier this month many of the shops in the Tehran Bazaar closed amid a protest over the currency crisis.

2031 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. At least one notable MP is none too happy about the prospective interrogation of President Ahmadinejad --- Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, the head of the Principlist faction and a relative of the Supreme Leader, has said, “I don’t think questioning the President in the present circumstances is expedient....Unity and amity for solving the economic problems must be the priority of the Majlis and Government."

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Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Collapsing Currency, Closed Embassy, No to Women Watching Volleyball (Arseh Sevom)

This was a week beginning with 24 medals, 10 of them gold for Iranian Paralympic athletes in London 2012 and continuing with record increases in the cost of dollars in Iran.

Gold Goes Up, The Rial Goes Down

On Tuesday, reported that the Rial hit a record low with an open-market price of 24,520 Rials per dollar. This compares to the official bank rate of 12,260:1.

Fars News reports the street rates have skyrocketed because Iran’s Central Bank has not issued dollars to customers for about three weeks now. The head of Parliament's planning and budget committee, Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moghaddam said, "Unfortunately the Government has made the biggest mistake in history by not injecting dollars to answer the demand of the foreign exchange market.”

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Remember Iran 1st-Hand: Moving Beyond the Shroud --- How The Green Movement Became a Beacon for Change

Three years ago the world changed.

Before 12 June 2009, we still lived on a globe where the people of Iran were put in a bubble, alienated from others. Or perhaps it was the other way around: the rest of the world lived in a sort of bubble, alienated from Iran. That rings truer to me.

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Canada (and Beyond) Special: The Significance of Today's Protest in Montreal 

The generally good-natured manner of the Quebec protests should not mask this is a fundamental conflict, between generations and ideas of social justice, reaching beyond Canada to modern democracies around the world. What is taking place in Montreal is an early and unofficial referendum on the global economic model of an elite that facilitated debt, government and personal, threatening to plunge the world into another Great Depression.

What the protesters in Montreal are rebelling against is the idea that spending cuts and austerity measures are required to rebuild the same economic system that caused the crisis in the first place. And some of the reaction to the reasonable desire among many students to take up the responsibilities of an adult citizen, without the de-humanising debt burden to get an education, is worrisome.

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Canada Analysis: Almost 700 People Arrested in Quebec as Right to Protest Curbed --- Will the Message Spread?

Tens of thousands march in Montreal on Thursday

In Quebec, we are beginning to see the anger of younger people realising they will not have the same opportunities that were offered an older generation --- advantages which that older generation, or the elite of it, is protecting through its positions in power.

Perhaps that anger will stay confined to Quebec, as a peculiarity of the politics in that province. Then again, maybe not.

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US Shocker: What Scares Ex-Vice President Cheney? Canada.

He pulled President George W. Bush's strings for eight years. He put bad guys on waterboards. He single-handedly took down Saddam Hussein. (He didn't go mano-a-mano with Osama bin Laden, but let's skip over that.) He even shot his friend in the face.

What could possibly frighten Dick? This can:

Former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney has cancelled an April appearance in Toronto citing concerns Canada is too dangerous.

“He felt that in Canada the risk of violent protest was simply too high,” said Ryan Ruppert, president of promotions company Spectre Live Corp., which had booked Mr. Cheney for an April 24 appearance at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

In September, Mr. Cheney was speaking at a private club in Vancouver when protesters massed outside the front door harassing ticket holders and in one instance, choking a security guard. The former vice-president was reportedly held inside the building for more than seven hours as Vancouver Police in riot gear dispersed the demonstrators.

“God forbid there was ever an emergency,” said Ruppert, noting Cheney’s history of heart problems.

Next week: Dick Cheney bites head off terrorist rabbit but runs away from scary Canadian Celine Dion....


Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: What Will Happen With Today's Protests?

2123 GMT: According to the LCCS, 22 people have been killed today in Syria, including 4 children, 7 civilians in Daraa, 6 in Homs, 5 in Hama, 4 in people in the Damascus Suburbs (2 in Irbee, and 1 in Yabroud and Daraya.)

2110 GMT: According to Now Lebanon,

A YouTube video purportedly filmed on Friday in Homs shows protestors during an evening march with one demonstrator carrying a paper saying: “The people want support [to be offered to] the Free Syrian Army and Arab protection.”

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Israel-Palestine Analysis: Washington Blocks the UN and the Palestinians

On Friday, the UN General Assembly voted to hold a summit for the 10th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism, also known as the Durban Conference.

In 2001, the declaration from Durban singled out Israel for criticism, likening Zionism to racism and referring to "the plight of the Palestinians." In April 2009, there was a follow-up conference, but the US, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and Australia did not participate. The conference report had no language accusing Israel of racism and no reference to the recent Gaza War. 

Washington continues its opposition to any gathering. US Ambassador Susan Rice said Washington voted against Friday's resolution "because the Durban declaration process has included ugly displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism, and we do not want to see that commemorated".

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