Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Ehsan Mehrabi (5)


The Latest from Iran (27 July): "No Serious Plans to Combat the Sanctions"

See also The Latest from Iran (26 July): Mixed Signals on Syria

1703 GMT: Loyalty Watch. The Supreme Leader's representative Ali Saeedi said before the Tehran Friday Prayer, "Ayatollah Khamenei paves the way for [the return of the] Hidden Imam, and Sepah [Revolutionary Guards] will be his tool."

Meanwhile, Digarban rounds up Friday Prayers across the country with an analysis paralleling ours (see 1606 GMT): "Khamenei supporters ask people to endure sanctions, resist, and obey the Supreme Leader".

1700 GMT: CyberWatch. Reporters Without Borders has expressed concern over the detention of pro-Ahmadinejad bloggers, imprisoned for their criticism of the Iranian system.

Reza Moini, the head of RWB's Iran desk, made the comments in an interview with Radio Farda.

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Iran Interview: What Happened on Election Day in 2009? (Mehrabi)

At the commission, the news went around by word of mouth. One news was that Mir Hossein Mousavi was planning to come to the commission. But no real news came into the headquarters.

Even prior to the voting, the Ministry [of Interior] appeared to be poised to win the election. We sensed that they seemed confident that they (the Ahmadinejad campaign) would win in any way. When we told the other reformist kids, who called us from the outside, of the atmosphere inside the building, they brushed us off as being influenced by the events inside.

We had no idea that they planned to rig the elections at this scale. When we spoke with reporters from the other side (i.e., supporting the administration), they told us that Ahmadinejad would win with 24 million votes.

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The Latest from Iran (23 October): Qaddafi Visits the Supreme Leader

Today's protest, in front of the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, declaring "The End of Wall Street">

See also Iran Special: How Bahrain's Foreign Minister Fed "The Plot" to Top Washington Post Columnist

2000 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Journalist Ehsan Mehrabi has been freed after completion of a one-year prison sentence.

Mehrabi was Mehrabi charged with propaganda against the regime after he gave an interview to BBC Persian.

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The Latest from Iran (22 January): Documenting the Prisoners

1625 GMT: Why the Nuke Talks Stalled. A significant detail from Reuters....

The agency reports, from a "Western diplomat", that European Union foreign policy representative Catherine Ashton, speaking for the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, Germany, China, Russia, France) proposed that Iran send abroad 2,800 kilogrammes of low-enriched (3-4%) uranium and 40 kilogrammes of 20% uranium.

As Iran, according to Reuters, has a stockpile of "more than 3000 kilogrammes" of low-enriched uranium, the 5+1 Powers were effectively telling Iran that up to 90% of its uranium stock should be sent outside the country for processing.

Compare that with the offer on the table in Geneva in October 2009, which led to further talks before discussions stalled the following months: the 5+1 proposed that Iran send 60% of its low-enriched uranium (then estimated at 2000 kilogrammes) to Russia and France --- later Russia and France --- for processing. (At that point, Iran had no confirmed stocks of 20% uranium.)

Given Tehran's insistence on enriching uranium inside its borders, it's not too surprising that the 5+1's offer --- far worse for Tehran than what was on the table 15 months ago --- has not been welcomed.

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The Latest from Iran (8 January): Confronting the Enemy, Talking to the Enemy

1814 GMT: Sedition Watch. Gholam-Hossein Elham of the Guardian Council gets to the point: opponents and protesters are "mohareb" (enemies of God) and must be eradicated.

1810 GMT: Financial Mismanagement Watch. Another criticism of the Government's handling of energy revenues: the Baran Foundation reports that, although Iran had an $8 billion oil profit, not one toman was transfered to the treasury this year.

1805 GMT: Diplomatic Truths. Mehr reports on the increasing power of the President's "special envoys" and the chaos for Iranian diplomacy after the dismissal of Foreign Minister Mottaki.

1749 GMT: The Espionage Non-Story. Western media continue to take the tale of the "American-spying-through-her-teeth" seriously (see 1215 GMT), amidst these developments from Iranian officials:

She is no longer 55. She is 34.

Sometimes she is American. Sometimes she is Swiss.

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