Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Hamid Baghaei (31)


Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad v. Everyone Else

See also Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader Admits A Crisis

1945 GMT: Trade Watch. State news agency IRNA, citing the Turkish Statistical Center, claims trade with Turkey has risen 40% from January-November, compared to a year earlier.

The value surpassed $20.8 billion, with Turkey's exports to Iran rising to $7 billion, mainly due to exports of gold to pay for natural gas.

Tehran is counting on trade with Ankara, one of its major partners, to offset sharp falls in oil revenues.

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The Latest from Iran (2 December): Ahmadinejad Puts His Right-Hand Man in a New Post

Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai & President Ahmadinejad1955 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Syrian Front). Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has said, “The second round of the meeting of Syrian groups, and national and popular figures, will be held with the participation of representatives from the Syrian government."

Appearing with Hesam Manaa, the vice chairman of the Damascus-based National Coordination Committee, Amir-Abdollahian said the meeting would again bring together members of the regime and the opposition, including the NCC.

In November, Iran promoted a two-day meeting in Tehran with representatives of both sides, to little apparent effect.

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The Latest from Iran (10 August): The Regime Fights Isolation

On the right in Persian, “From Iran to Syria, the People’s Right: Peace, Freedom"; on the left in Arabic, “From Syria to Iran, the People’s Right: Peace, Freedom" (poster by Iranian activist Kamyar Behrang)

See also Iran Snap Analysis: So There Was This Conference on Syria in Tehran....
The Latest from Iran (9 August): The Syrian Front

2000 GMT: Energy Watch. Confirmation of another foreign company's withdrawal from development of Iran's oil and gas resources, as Deputy Oil Minister Alireza Zeighami said the contract with the Malaysian SKS Company for the implementation of the Shiraz Pars Refinery project has been revoked.

Zeighami gave the formulaic statement that the annulment was due to the firm’s repeated delays and failure to start the construction and financing of the project, adding that Iranian contractors will now take over the construction of the refinery.

In the last years, Italian, French, Dutch, Russian, and Chinese companies have all withdrawn from oil and gas projects amid sanctions and other economic constraints, with Iran formally declaring that the firms had failed to fulfil obligations.

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The Latest from Iran (7 August): The Currency "Situation"

See also Iran Propaganda Special: "Zionists Will Stage Terror Attack on Olympics"
The Latest from Iran (6 August): Breaking Ranks

2030 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Turkish Front). After tension between Turkey and Iran over the last 48 hours, all was very diplomatic in Ankara today between Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Abkar Salehi and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoğlu today. According to Iranian State news agency IRNA, Salehi asked Davutoğlu to help in the case of 48 Iranians abducted in Syria on Saturday, and both men spoke of the close relations and interests between the two countries.

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The Latest from Iran (10 April): Talks in Istanbul, Challenges to Ahmadinejad at Home

A young woman holds up a sign of protest during a visit by President Ahmadinejad to Bandar Abbas, "We, the Youth, are Unemployed"

See also Iran Analysis: A 4-Point Beginner's Guide to the Nuclear Talks
The Latest from Iran (9 April): No Agreement to Nuclear Talks in Turkey...Yet

2020 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Blogger Davood Bahmanabadi has been released on bail after 140 days in Evin Prison.

2000 GMT: Parliament v. President. Back to our opening story of the day (see 0605 GMT) and the Parliamentary pressure on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad....

Fifteen MPs have asked Speaker of Parliament Larijani to summon the President to the Majlis to report on "problems" in the first phase of subsidy cuts, launched in December 2010, and plans for the second phase. Ahmadinejad will also be queried about support for production in the private production sector, and inflation.

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Iran Feature: The Supreme Leader Is Worried --- Three Developments You Probably Don't Know

Followers of our daily coverage of Iran will be aware of the political tensions that have gripped the Islamic Republic's establishment. Those battles, from charges of corruption to warning of a "deviant current" affecting the Government, will only grow in intensity before next March's Parliamentary elections.

Yet EA sources have given us a story that goes even farther. The core of the tale is the belief amongst many observers in Iran that, despite all the attacks upon it, the President's camp will be the winner in the elections. Whether or not that assessment is correct, the Supreme Leader's advisors are concerned.

In recent weeks, those advisors have taken several steps. Among those measures are the pursuit of a new political ally --- at least in the short-term --- to check an Ahmadinejad success at the polls in March, Ayatollah Khamenei's people are seeking out reformists to call for their participation in the elections.

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Iran Special Analysis: The Security Forces Cross Ahmadinejad's "Red Line"

There was a telling moment in the drama yesterday. As his senior advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr was sitting in a chair in handcuffs, his face bruised, as 33 staff of Iran were arrested, as the building was ransacked, the President had to call the security forces and ask them to back off. They did so (after speaking with whom?), to the point of letting Javanfekr avoid immediate detention, but the point was made.

Beg, Mahmoud. Beg us to let you and your advisors survive.

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The Latest from Iran (20 November): Reading a "Muzzled" Press

1805 GMT: Tough Talk of the Day. The head of the Basij militia, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, has said, "We are ready to organise a 100 million Basij army in the Muslim world to liberate Quds [Jerusalem] as promised by Ayatollah Khomeini.

Revolutionary Guards commander Hossein Hamedani has tried to follow up with the assurance that more than 2000 bloggers are organising for cyber-war.

Only problem --- last year the Guards said they were training a 15,000-strong cyber-army.

1800 GMT: Economy Watch. Some outlets in Iranian media are reporting that the Government owes 30 trillion Toman ($22.5 billion) to Iran's Social Security fund and cannot pay all State pensions.

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The Latest from Iran (14 November): Playing the Foreign Card

See also Iran Propaganda 101: Nanodiamonds, Nukes, "Western Officials", and The Washington Post
Iran Feature: Did Someone Murder the Son of 2009 Presidential Candidate Rezaei?
The Latest from Iran (13 November): An Explosion at a Military Base

1645 GMT: The Bahrain Plot. Tehran has denied any link to an alleged plot to stage attacks in Bahrain, as a lawyer for two of the five suspects said reports of their confessions were not true.

Bahraini authorities said this weekend that Qatar had handed over four men who planning to attack the Interior Ministry, the Saudi Embassy, and a causeway linking Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. A fifth man was arrested in Bahrain.

On Sunday, the public prosecution's spokesman said the plot was coordinated with the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij militia as well as two Bahraini opposition figures in London.

1630 GMT: The Explosion. The reaction of Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak to the news of Saturday's blast at a Revolutionary Guards base, reportedly killing 17 people?

"May there be more like it."

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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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