Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Farideh Farhi (13)


Iran Live: An All-Is-Well Analysis of the Presidential Election

1731 GMT: Oil Watch Ship industry sources say Iran is storing millions of barrels of oil on tankers in its territorial waters amid sanctions.

Ship industry sources gave varying estimates on how much oil Iran was storing at sea, but all said the volume was higher.

Data from maritime intelligence publisher IHS Fairplay estimated 10 of Iran's supertankers, each able to carry up to 2 million barrels of crude, were storing oil, together with one smaller tanker able to carry up to 1 million barrels.

The data showed a further two supertankers were also probably deployed on floating storage, based on the length of time they were stationary, meaning as much as 25 million barrels in total.

The vessels, all belonging to Iran's top tanker operator NITC, were located close to the Iranian oil terminals of Assaluyeh, Kharg Island and Bahregan, the data showed.

Another ship industry source estimated 17 NITC vessels were storing crude oil, mainly on supertankers, while another said 15 tankers were storing crude oil around Iran, with volumes close to 30 million barrels.

Last year Iran's floating storage was estimated to have reached at least 33 million barrels before buyers were found.

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Iran Analysis: Nervous About Elections, The Regime Imprisons Journalists (Farhi)

The Iranian leaders’ desire to increase participation rates in the presidential election has usually been deemed reason enough for pre-election relative media openness. In this context, the question of whether these moves indicate that the Iranian leadership could care less about participation rates in the presidential election becomes an important one. The worry that the election might get out of control seems to be trumping the desire to elicit higher participation rates as an indicator of state legitimacy.

The way the Iranian deep security state continues to show its pre-election nervousness is nevertheless puzzling.

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Iran Feature: The Top 10 Stories of 2012 --- A Currency Falls, Sanctions Expand, and Political Prisoners Continue to Resist (Farhi)

Closed Cirrency Exchange, Summer 2012This year forcefully disproved the assumption that imprisoning political and civil society activists and critics silences them and fixes the Islamic Republic’s dissident problem.

Former presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi remained incarcerated in their homes (the former along with spouse Zahra Rahnavard) without being charged and remained mostly without any kind of access to the outside world. But letters written by political prisoners about prison conditions and solidarity among prisoners — as well as the woeful state of the country’s politics — made it out of the prisons and were sufficiently covered by external news and activist outlets for many inside Iran to become aware of them.

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Iran Snap Analysis: Speculating about the Next President 

Supreme Leader & Ali Larijani"The most important vote in Iran’s presidential election is that of Ayatollah Khamenei" --- And the Supreme Leader and his office, weighing all the political possibilities and pitfalls, do not cast that vote until late in the jousting for the Presidency and the ballot in June. As analyst Essikhan Sadeghi Boroujerdi summarises, echoing one of our top EA correspondents, "Everything on presidential election is pretty much speculation, rumour, and hearsay till March."

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The Latest from Iran (29 April): The Ayatollahs and the Revolutionary Guards

See also Iran Feature: Tehran Sees US Nuke Proposal as "Good Start"?
The Latest from Iran (28 April): Nuclear Step Forward, Nuclear Step Back

1947 GMT: Currency Watch. The head of the Central Bank, Mahmoud Bahmani, has admitted that the effort to establish a single currency rate --- sought earlier this year after the Iranian Rial fell 50% in value --- has failed. He said there was "no possibility" to consolidate the rate against the US dollar. "Floating" (open-market) rates would continue, although there would be subsidised rates for importers and students.

1940 GMT: Supreme Leader Watch. Ayatollah Khamenei has declared today that those who get huge loans are equal to "traitors and looters of national income" and should be confronted. He continued, "The right way to promote national production is confronting disturbers and looters of national wealth."

An Iranian correspondent for EA ponders, "So when will the Supreme Leader confront those who have taken national wealth, say, his son Mojtaba, some senior clerics, and the Revolutionary Guards?"

The correspondent continues, "This is a clear order to the judiciary to sentence main agents of [the $2.6 billion] bank fraud --- with usual exceptions of course."

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The Latest from Iran (7 March): "The People Are Not Happy"

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society, from the Elections to Abuses to a "Documentary"
Iran Snap Analysis: The Election --- Still Confusing, Still Muddled
Iran Opinion: The Hunger Strike of Mehdi Khazali
The Latest from Iran (6 March): Is Ahmadinejad in Trouble?

2133 GMT: Drumbeats of War Watch. The Associated Press, in a story eerily reminiscent of claims in February 2003 that Iraqi trucks were clearing up suspected site of weapons of mass destruction, reports:

Satellite images of an Iranian military facility show trucks and earth-moving vehicles at the site, indicating that crews were trying to clean it of radioactive traces possibly left by tests of a nuclear-weapon trigger, diplomats told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

Two of the diplomats said the crews may be trying to erase evidence of tests of a small neutron device used to set off a nuclear explosion. A third diplomat could not confirm that but said any attempt to trigger a so-called neutron initiator at the Parchin site could only be in the context of trying to develop nuclear arms.

The images, provided to the IAEA by member countries, are recent and constantly updated, said one of the diplomats.

The diplomats are nuclear experts accredited to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and all asked for anonymity to discuss sensitive information.

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Iran Opinion: Manipulating a Murder in Tehran (Farhi)

Some Iranians inside and outside the country have tried to highlight the immorality and ineffectiveness of the Iranian intelligence service, which displays outmost strength in interrogating and imprisoning Iranian citizens for their political views and peaceful activities but has proved powerless in securing the country against acts of terrorism.  In the current international climate, however, it is not hard to understand why these voices have gone unheard.

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Iran Feature: The State of the Nation, Two Years Later (Peterson)

Azadi Square, Tehran, 15 June 2009Today the testy president and his aides have challenged the power of Ayatollah Khamenei. Conservative rivals now dismiss them as a “deviant current” obsessed with the imminent return of the Shiite messiah.

Close aides have been arrested for sorcery and witchcraft, and there is talk that Mr. Ahmadinejad will not survive the rest of his four-year term. The Leader’s deputy representative to the Revolutionary Guard even declared this week that “the current of deviation… is the gravest danger in the history of Shiite Islam.”

So while the regime was successful in brutally putting down the largest popular protests since the 1979 Islamic revolution, it appears anything but triumphant today.

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Iran Analysis: The Uproar over Former President Khatami's Call for "Reconciliation" (Farhi)

Amid intensified factional fighting among conservatives who dominate the presidency, the parliament, and the office of the Islamic Republic's Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, an appeal for national reconciliation and forgiveness by a former reformist president is making a major splash in Iran's political discourse.

The May 18 speech of Mohammad Khatami to a group of Iran-Iraq War veterans has taken friends and foes of the former president by surprise in a country where charges of electoral fraud and the regime's brutal suppression of post-election protests have completely polarised the population.

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The Latest from Iran (28 April): Ahmadinejad Watch

2000 GMT: A Matter of Intelligence. The reformist Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution have issued a statement that the reinstatement of Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi by the Supreme Leader is unconstitutional and paves the way for absolute dictatorship.

1955 GMT: Campus Watch. Claimed footage of a demonstration at Soreh University in Tehran on Wednesday --- students were protesting the presence of security forces which made the campus a "garrison":

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