Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Hamid Fazeli (5)


Iran Live Coverage: President v. Parliament

See also Iran Analysis: The Real Explanation for the Delay in New Nuclear Talks
Iran Live Coverage: Don't Mention the "Free Elections"

2220 GMT: Nuclear Watch. After a few days talking down the possibility of renewed nuclear talks --- and putting the blame on Tehran --- Western diplomats said today that discussions could still resume in January.

The shift follows a phone call on Monday between Helga Schmid, the deputy negotiator for the 5+1 Powers, and her Iranian counterpart Ali Bagheri.

"Consultations to prepare a next round of talks are ongoing," spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.

"The powers and Iran are still discussing possible dates for nuclear talks in January," one Western envoy said.

See also Iran Analysis: The Real Explanation for the Delay in New Nuclear Talks

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The Latest from Iran (17 December): Seeking Influence on Syria

Iran Special Analysis: Breaking the Deadlock in the Nuclear Negotiations
The Latest from Iran (16 December): Is Tehran Ready for Concessions on Nuclear Programme?

1551 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Turkish Front). NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has rejected the declaration by the head of Iran's armed forces, Hassan Firouzabadi, that the placement of NATO's Patriot anti-missiles sysems on Turkey's border with Syria risks a world war.

"I completely denounce these (Iranian) allegations. We have made clear right from the outset that the deployment of Patriots is a purely defensive measure," Rasmussen told a news conference after talks with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. "We are there to defend and protect our ally Turkey. We have no offensive intentions whatsoever."

On Saturday, Firouzabadi said, "Each one of these Patriots is a black mark on the world map, and is meant to cause a world war. They are making plans for a world war, and this is very dangerous for the future of humanity and for the future of Europe itself."

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The Latest from Iran (4 October): When You Know A Bank Fraud is Serious....

2030 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Mardomak offers a summary of the President's interview on State TV tonight....

Ahmadinejad tried to make the case that he was the way forward for Iran, especially on economic issues. Saying that his provincial tours were to remedy a "weak" and "Western model" bureaucracy with the display of popular management, he declared that his subsidy cuts plan got an "A" grade and there was no 60% inflation. He insisted that employment was on a good path, with a considerable increase in jobs and investments in the first half of the year.

That is all to be expected, as was Ahmadinejad's assertion that he had out-shone President Obama in last month's statement at the UN --- "Obama's speech was weak, ours was strong and much discussed". What is intriguing is the President's declared persistence in a quest for talks with Washington: he said he was ready for discussions if the US withdraws its ships from the Persian Gulf.

And this may also be notable: there were reportedly "broadcast problems" when Ahmadinejad spoke about his provincial tours and the US.

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The Latest from Iran (23 August): Worried About Libya?

1950 GMT: Economy Watch. More on the attack on the Government's economic management by leading MP Ahmad Tavakoli (see 1410 GMT)....

Tavakoli, singling out Minister of Economy minister Shamseddin Hosseini for not appearing in Parliament, said huge embezzlements have been committed by government financial groups at the expense of the deprived. He asked, "Why have some received huge credits to establish banks during [Iran's] economic stagnation?"

1800 GMT: Unity Watch. Conservative website Khabar Online claims that conservative faction Islamic Constancy Front is falling apart only a month after its launch, deserted by former Minister of Interior and tycoon Sadegh Mahsouli.

In recent days, the Constancy Front has been embroiled in verbal battles with other conservative/principlist groups set up to promote "unity" before the 2012 Parliamentary elections.

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Iran Special: Putting A Monkey Into Space (We Predicted It!)

On Thursday, Iranian state media put out the message from Hamid Fazeli, head of Iran's Space Organisation:  "The Kavoshgar-5 rocket will be launched during the month of Mordad (July 23 to August 23) with a 285-kilogram capsule carrying a monkey to an altitude of 120 kilometres."

And our minds flashed back. In February, President Ahmadinejad had unveiled a space capsule designed to take a live monkey into space. But a year before that, after Iran had put some smaller non-monkey creatures beyond the stratosphere, EA had predicted the development, albeit with our tongues in our cheeks....

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