Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Hashemi Rafsanjani (236)


Iran Live: Today's Nuclear Scare Story

0955 GMT: Political Prisoners Write Khatami

A group of political prisoners has written former President Mohammad Khatami, urging him to make release of all political detainees a condition of his participation in June's Presidential election.

Before the 2012 Pariamentary elections, Khatami said that freedom for political prisoners was a condition for involvement; however, he relented on polling day to the extent of casting a ballot.

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Iran Live: Parliament Finally Approves Government's Budget

1749 GMT: Election Watch

Head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani, in a veiled attack on President Ahmadinejad, has warned about the misuse of public resources for election purposes: "Unfortunately, some of the actions are carried out either by means of state budgets."

Larijani continued, "It is illegal to use government resources for election purposes," and he called on the Guardian Council to "intensify their supervision".

Critics of President Ahmadinejad have accused him of building up staffs in favourable Government office and using funds to back his chosen candidate in June's Presidential election. They have also condemned an event in Tehran's Azadi Square tomorrow as a campaign rally for Ahmadinejad's right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai.

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Iran Live: Proper Line on the Election "We Will Foil Enemy Plots"

1555 GMT: Earthquake. A tremor measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale has struck the town of Kaki, 90 kilometres (56 miles) southeast of the southern Iranian city of Bushehr, killing at least 30 people and injuring more than 600.

The quake was followed by at least four aftershocks which jolted Kaki and the nearby city of Khour-Mowj.

The Russian company that has constructed the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, 18 kilometres (11 miles) south of Bushehr, said the earthquake has not affected the operations in the facility.

1545 GMT: Cyber-Watch. A claim is circulating that Minister of Information Hassan Nami has announced an Islamic version of Google Earth called "Basir".

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Iran Analysis: Losing Control of the Presidential Election?

Far from getting a clearer picture on how the regime is going to organise the Presidential election, the weekend's developments have confirmedat least seven factions:

1. The Supreme Leader's Committee, which has yet to name a candidate;

2. The "Followers of Imam's Line and Leadership Front", with its four Presidential candidates;

3. The Rafsanjani camp;

4. President Ahmadinejad's camp, who would like to put forth Ahmadinejad's right-hand man, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, but may have to settle for Minister of Roads Ali Nikzad;

5. The "hard-line" Endurance Front, including leading cleric Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, which has been relatively quiet and has not announced a preference;

6. Other conservative and principlist candidates, the most vocal of whom has been Mohsen Rezaei, Secretary of the Expediency Council and former commander of the Revolutionary Guards;

7. The reformists, some of whom will participate in the election but who are unlikely to have a high-profile candidate unless former President Mohammad Khatami stands and who have been crippled by the regime's restrictions.

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Iran Live Coverage: Another Challenge to Ahmadinejad

See also Wednesday's Iran Live Coverage: Interpreting the Supreme Leader on the US and Israel

Ali Larijani & President Ahmadinejad1357 GMT: Oil Watch. Japan’s crude imports from Iran rose sharply in Feburary, reaching their highest level since March 2012.

Imports last month were about 321,000 barrels a day, up 67% from January.

Analysts said, however, that refiners have reduced their imports on a yearly basis --- thus, one month's increase is unlike to jeopardize Japan’s waiver from US sanctions.

Japan’s purchases from Iran last year declined 39%.

1353 GMT: Election Watch. Yet another warning of sedition in June's Presidential elections, possibly aimed at the Ahmadinejad camp --- Hossein Taghavi-Hosseini, the spokesman of Parliament's National Security Commission, has said the "deviant current" is pursuing "anti-security" activities.

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Iran Live Coverage: The Clerics Vs. Ahmadinejad

See also Wednesday's Iran Live Coverage: Tehran Continues to Push "Positive" Nuclear Talks

2032 GMT: Drone Watch. Pentagon officials have altered their story about the encounter between a Predator drone and an Iranian fighter jet (see 1848 GMT), over or near the Islamic Republic's airspace over the Persian Gulf.

"One of the US aircraft discharged a flare as a warning to the Iranian plane, which then broke off pursuit," spokesman George Little said.

Officials earlier suggested that two Iranian jets had "targeted" the Predator.

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Iran Live Coverage: A Complicated Relationship with Pakistan

A report on the importance for Pakistan of imports of Iranian gas

See also Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: Looking for Energy Deals

2031 GMT: Press Watch. Abbas Darvish Tavangar, deputy editor of the "hard-line" Tasnim News, has been released after a few hours in detention.

Tavangar was seized because of a Government complaint, the details of which have not been specified.

1815 GMT: Press Watch. The regime's mixed approach of crackdown and prison releases continues....

Journalist Ehsan Mazandarani, one of the 18 journalists seized in late January, has been released from detention.

However, Abbas Darvish Tavangar, deputy editor of the "hard-line" Tasnim News has been arrested after a Government complaint; blogger and student Badri Safiari has been detained at Shiraz University; and the permit for reformist daily Maghreb has been annulled by the Media Supervisory Commission.

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Iran Live Coverage: Tehran Mayor --- Why We Are Engineering the Presidential Election

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Monkey in Space, Journalists in Prison< /br>
Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: Imprisoned Journalists, Elections, & the BBC

2015 GMT: Free Elections/Sedition Watch. Still 4 1/2 months until the Presidential election, but this was a Friday for many in the regime to throw rhetorical punches at "sedition" --- first, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami:

Be careful for slogans in the next elections. "Free elections" completes the enemy’s puzzle because all elections have been free and competitive. One should not undermine the achievements of the system by using slogans, so be awake and aware because future seditions will begin with such words.”

Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi, the Cultural Deputy of the Revolutionary Guards on people's insight countering sedition: "This revolution took place among a people who are insightful and follow the velayat, and with self-awareness and through following the velayat they have familiarized the world with the revolution.”

Hossein Naghavi of Parliament's National Security Committee on the recent arrests of journalists:

American and British intelligence agencies are attempting to identify information sharing agents in the country and use it against the Iranian nation in a security puzzle through their dependent networks such as BBC and Voice of America, but proper vigilance and awareness and the praiseworthy Intelligence Ministry neutralized this conspiracy.

American and British intelligence agencies have been no match for the Unknown Soldiers of the Imam of the Age [Ministry of Intelligence agents].

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Iran Live Coverage: Supreme Leader Declares Muslim Unity Against "Global Arrogance"

Maya Neyestani on the recent detention of 14 journalists by the regime

1811 GMT: Press Watch. Reformist newspapers have protested the arrests of their journalists since Saturday.

On its front page, Shargh published an empty space where Pouria Alami's column would usually have appeared and explained that "it will not be printed until further notice".

The newspaper Bahar wrote, "Our journalists deserve respect." It said that it is not possible at this point to comment on the charges of "spying and ties with foreign news organizations", but added that it is not clear how 14 journalists without any such backgrounds could suddenly have been detained, since all are fully aware of the red lines that cannot be crossed in the Islamic republic.

"Therefore, it doesn't seem that they could come close to such charges," the paper wrote.

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Iran Live Coverage: Wishing Away The Economic Problems

See also Iran Analysis: 5 Challenges to an "It's Not That Bad" Iranian Economist
Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader's Committee Chooses the "Right Man" for the Presidential Election

Queuing for Subsidised Chicken, July 20121910 GMT: Research Watch. Kalemeh reports that Iranian universities have been cut off from international research databases such as Elsevier because of non-payment of dues.

1655 GMT: Economic Rumour of the Day. An unnamed MP, cited by economist Mehrdad Emami, has reportedly said that China has twice blocked Iran from withdrawing dollars from its $25 billion of reserves in Chinese banks.

Iran is only allowed to spend the money in yuans to purchase Chinese goods.

1655 GMT: Economic Rumour of the Day. An unnamed MP, cited by economist Mehrdad Emami, has reportedly said that China has twice blocked Iran from withdrawing dollars from its $25 billion of reserves in Chinese banks.

Iran is only allowed to spend the money in yuans to purchase Chinese goods:

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