Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Hashemi Rafsanjani (236)


Iran Feature: A Presidential Election on Twitter

London-based NGO Small Media, a self-described "action lab helping the free flow of information and creative expression in closed societies, with training, technology and research initiatives that focus on Iran", has published a report on the use of social media by Iran's Presidential candidates.

The report, covering 21-27 May, concludes that the "prevailing attitude is quite negative [about the election] among those on Twitter".

Small Media found that former President Hashemi Rafsanjani was the person most "worth following" on Twitter, despite his disqualification by the Guardian Council almost a week earlier.

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Iran Analysis: "Supreme Leader in a Real Mess" After Last Presidential Debate

Observations after Friday's third and final Presidential debate, following a conversation with a leading EA correspondent on Iran:


The immediate headline that the debate was more interesting than the previous two, because of conflict among the eight candidates, does not begin to capture the extent of the division --- notably among those men who supposedly are close to the Supreme Leader's camp.

Our correspondent summarises, "This was a free-for-all in which all went after each other, including the [members of the Supreme Leader's] 2+1 Committee. This showed the three men of the 2+1 do not have anything in common."

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Iran Today: News from the Economic Front

Presidential Election Watch: Rouhani Edition

Rouhani Appears on State TV

The campaign of former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rouhani has live-tweeted the candidate's appearance on Iranian State TV's primary channel tonight.

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Iran Analysis: Presidential Election --- It's About "Management" & The Economy 

Saeed Jalili explains how he would solve Iran's economic problems as President

With the exclusion of leading politicians, such as former Presidential Hashemi Rafsanjani from the Presidential race, a leading theme in media converage is that the election is now merely a contest of "shades of gray" between supporters of the Supreme Leader.

That headline, while it has an element of truth, is a reduction of the contest and Iran's internal situation for two reasons.

First, the economic issue --- and not nuclear talks with the West or other foreign policy issues --- is likely to be the dominant concern of Iranian voters.

Second, while each of the eight approved candidates can find security in criticism of the Ahmadinejad Government, each has to prove that he will be able to remedy the economic problems --- from rampant inflation to falling production to unemployment to currency difficulties --- that plague the Islamic Republic.

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Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Focus On The Economy

Presidential candidate Mohammad Gharazi (credit: PressTV)

One More Week in Trial of Defendants in Kahrizak Abuse Case?

The head of Tehran Criminal Courts, Judge Mohsen Eftekhari, says three defendants --- Presidential advisor Saeed Mortazavi and two senior judges --- have one week to provide the court with their defences.

Eftekhari said, after that, “the jury will decide on the verdict".

Earlier reports had indicated the defence had concluded its response, and the court had 10 days to deliver a decision.

The three men are accused of complicity in the abuse and killing of three post-election protesters at the Kahrizak detention centre after the disputed 2009 Presidential election.

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Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- The Presidential Election (Arseh Sevom)

The 8 Approved CandidatesThe disqualifications of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s former chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashai were big news, if not entirely surprising. 

The electoral field is now dominated by hardliners loyal to the Supreme Leader.

However, the fictional campaign of Zahra continues to pick up steam with the endorsements of prominent lawyers Shirin Ebadi and Mehrengiz Kar. 

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Iran Analysis: Has Regime Risked Its Legitimacy By Blocking Rafsanjani?

Cartoon: Maya Neyestani

After the new President is declared on 21 June in the election which cannot be called a "free election", the bigger contest for the regime --- beset by economic problems, facing difficulties over its foreign policy and "Islamic Awakening", caught up in political rivalry --- remains....

How does it convince its people, many of them resigned to the decline of recent years, that its Islamic Republic is still legitimate?

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Iran Analysis: 4 Key Questions as Guardian Council Decides Final List of Presidential Candidates

Iran's Guardian Council will tell the Minister of Interior today which Presidential hopefuls will be allowed to campaign for the 14 June election.

Almost all of the 686 who registered while be disqualified; however, a relatively large contingent of politicians, perhaps more than 30, will be accepted.

This means that --- with the Supreme Leader's camp unable to agree a "unity" candidate despite five months of effort --- we still will not have clarity on the three or four front-runners until next week, after other candidates have withdrawn and made endorsements.

We can make some educated guesses, however, based on the Guardian Council's white smoke and answers to these four questions:

1. Will Hashemi Rafsanjani Be Allowed to Run?

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Iran Today: A Week In The Presidential Election

Is Fars News Endorsing Saeed Jalili?

Joanna Paraszczuk and Scott Lucas write:

In the week since registration for Presidential candidates closed and the Guardian Council began vetting the almost 700 Iranians who submitted their names, Iran's media has been dominated by two contenders: former President Hashemi Rafsanjani and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.

However, with the Supreme Leader's 2+1 Coalition yet to declare any "unity" candidate, the question now is who will be able to mobilize significant support within the regime to counter Rafsanjani.

So far, only Jalili has emerged as a front runner.

Just as significant is the apparent confusion in the principlist and conservative camp. Although talk of a "unity" candidate is ongoing, no figure apart from Jalili has shown the organization and initiative to offer an alternative to Rafsanjani.

Presidential Election Watch: Rafsanjani, Motahari Respond to Jannati's Friday Prayer Comments

Both Conservative MP Ali Motahari and Presidential candidate and former President Hashemi Rafsanjani have responded to remarks by temporary Tehran Friday Prayer leader Ayatollah Jannati yesterday.

In yesterday's Friday prayers, Jannati dubbed "laughable jokes" pledges by presidential candidates to repair Iran's relationship with the US and resolve the economic hardship caused by Western sanctions.

Motahari said that in the 2009 election the people were "deceived" and that the Guardian Council must approve Rafsanjani as a Presidential candidate.

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Iran Today: How To Use Nuclear Talks In An Election Campaign

Presidential candidate Saeed Jalili (right) after nuclear discussions with Catherine Ashton, the representative of the 5+1 Powers

See also Wednesday's Iran Today: Lines Drawn In Presidential Campaigns

The Guardian Council, the body vetting the almost 700 people who had registered as candidates for the Presidential election, is scheduled to make its decisions today. However, with up to 40 prominent politicians and public figures among the hopefuls, it is close to a certainty that the Council will request a five-day extension.

Yet even at this early stage, it appears that the final battle may be emerging: former President Hashemi Rafsanjani will take his challenge all the way to the run-off on 21 June.

And to stop him, the Supreme Leader and others within the system will turn to Saeed Jalili, the Secretary of the National Security Council.

Despite no previous electoral experience, Jalili has put together an impressive campaign --- including through social media --- to take attention from other conservatives and principlists, including the members of the Supreme Leader's 2+1 Committee.

An example of that campaigning acumen? Jalili, Iran's lead negotiator in nuclear talks with the 5+1 Powers, used Wednesday's discussions with the 5+1's Catherine Ashton --- scheduled well before the formal registration of candidates --- to highlight his diplomatic and political skills.

Presidential Election Watch: Rafsanjani Edition

The reformist Assembly of Combatant Clerics has unanimously endorsed former President Hashemi Rafsanjani for this year's election.

Presidential Election Watch: Rafsanjani Edition

Conservative website Entekhab notes that former President and Presidential candidate Hashemi Rafsanjani was a confidante of Ayatollah Khomeini, and that during his past presidency he had wanted to improve relations with the USA.

Entekhab notes that in the 2005 Presidential campaign, Rafsanjani declared that he was ready for dialog with America and "has made similar comments about negotiations with America".

Entekhab also noted that Rafsanjani's government had focussed on "rebuilding the economy".

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