Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Heydar Moslehi (81)


Iran Today: Regime Attacks Rafsanjani as "Leader of Sedition"

Election Watch: Teachers Urge Rafsanjani to Run.

An assembly of reformist-aligned teachers and researchers has issued a statement condemning recent “insults” of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami and urged the two former presidents to accept the invitation of the people and run for office in June’s election.

Economy Watch: Ahmadinejad Under Fire.

President Ahmadinejad has come under more criticism today, this time by Grand Ayatollah Musavi Aradabilli who told a meeting of labour leaders that if the government follows the same policies as the present one, the country’s economic condition will only worsen.

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Iran Today: Promoting Ahmadinejad and His Man for President

Ahmadinejad Watch --- MPs and Revolutionary Guards Slam President

Ahead of the formal declarations of candidates for June;s Presidential election, prominent figures have spoken out against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his close aide, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai.

Conservative MP Ali Motahari slammed Ahmadinejad, calling him a "spoilt child".

In a direct dig at the President and an indirect jibe at the Supreme Leader, Motahari --- a brother-in-law of Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani --- said that the current crisis in Iran is due both to of Ahmadinejad’s mismanagement and attitude and to the support that he had from "elders".

Motahari has previously tried to summon Ahmadinejad to Parliament to face questioning and possible impeachment.

Hojatoleslam Mojtaba Zolnour, the Supreme Leader's deputy representative to the Revolutionary Guards, has said Ahmadinejad has no power to create problems in the upcoming Presidential elections.

Zolnour said that even if the Guardian Council approves Ahmadinejad's man Rahim-Mashai, he will not get any votes.

Hojatoleslam Mehdi Taeb, the head of the Ammar Strategic Base --- an organization established to fight the so-called “soft war” against Iran --- also spoke out against Ahmadinejad's policies.

Taeb said that last year he warned Ahmadinejad to stay away from Rahim-Mashai, who would disgrace him.

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Iran Live Coverage: Interpreting the Supreme Leader on the US and Israel

See also Tuesday's Iran Live Coverage: "The Revolutionary Guards Will Protect the Election"

1712 GMT: The Battle Within. Mohsen Rezaei --- Presidential candidate, former Revolutionary Guards commander, and Secretary of the Expediency Council --- has warned that if the next government is not strong, it will fall within two years.

Rezaei told an audience in Khuzestan Province that if the pressure becomes too great in the next government's second year, it would be forced to resign and step down. He did not elaborate on what problems the next government might face.

Rezaei, who has launched his election campaign and is focussing on the economy, said that the Supreme Leader favours the conservative candidates. He explained that he is running in the election because "Today, if I and people like me do not run, it would be a betrayal of the country."

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Iran Live Coverage: "600 Journalists Work With the Enemy"

See also Iran Caption Competition: The Supreme Leader Plants A Tree

1809 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Gholam Hossein Elham, a former spokesman for the Government, has complained about the "unfair" interpretation that a State TV documentary about Abolhassan Bani Sadr --- the President who was impeached and fled Iran in 1980 --- was a coded jab at President Ahmadinejad.

Elham said there was no resemblance between the two men, including the implication that Bani Sadr's dispute with Ayatollah Khomeini was analogous to Ahmadinejad's relationship with the current Supreme Leader.

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The Latest from Iran (24 October): The Interrogation of Ahmadinejad?

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From Economic Crisis to Nasrin Sotoudeh's Hunger Strike
The Latest from Iran (23 October): Ahmadinejad v. the Judiciary

1735 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. British Foreign Secretary William Hague has called on Iran to reconsider the "outrageous" and "deplorable" detention of human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who is in the second week of her hunger strike.

Sotoudeh is serving a six-year prison sentence, with a 20-year ban on legal practice, on charges of "acting against the national security" and "propaganda against the regime".

"Imprisoning Nasrin Sotoudeh on the outrageous basis of 'co-operation with Shirin Ebadi's Centre for the Defence of Human Rights' is deplorable," Hague said. "We urge the Iranian authorities to review her case urgently. We will continue to stand up for human rights defenders in Iran."

A spokesman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also intervened, "We are following the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh and other human rights defenders in Iran with great concern. We will continue to campaign for the charges against them to be dropped, and look to Iran to respect the human rights obligations it has signed up to."

1733 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani has jumped into the latest dispute around the President, "Creating tensions and rifts within political factions is poison for Iran and its system."

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The Latest from Iran (6 October): "There is No Crisis"

One of a series of photos in Mehr showing a re-opened Tehran Bazaar

See also The Latest from Iran (5 October): The Regime Prays for the Weekend

2053 GMT: Currency Watch. A high-ranking manager of Eqtesad Novin Bank has been arrested on charges of illegal currency deals and loans, according to Rah-e Sabz.

Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi says "30 main disturbers of the currency market" have been arrested, one with $400,000.

2045 GMT: Bazaar Watch. The opposition site Rah-e Sabz reports that the Qazvin Bazaar in northwest Iran will go on strike tomorrow, with a protest at noon.

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The Latest from Iran (22 July): Trying to Fix the Economy for Ramadan

See also Iran Feature: The "No to Hijab" Campaign on Facebook
The Latest from Iran (21 July): Support the Syrian Regime, Support Your Leader

1900 GMT: Reformist Watch. In a lengthy interview, opposition activist Mojtaba Vahedi has explained his decision to break after 30 years with Mehdi Karroubi --- former Speaker of Parliament, 2009 Presidential candidate, and detainee under strict house arrest since February 2011.

Vahedi said his primary motive was "to expose more freely" those reformists advocating participation in next year's Presdiential election.

1820 GMT: Election Watch. Radio Farda evaluates this week's declaration by the Guardian Council that it is changing Iran's election laws in accordance with the wishes of the Supreme Leader --- the site assesses that the move is the outcome of a struggle within the establishment, with the Council and Ayatollah Khamenei tightening their grip on power.

Bolstering that interpretation, Vice President Mohammad Reza Mirtajoddini has said the Government is responsible for the election laws and changes would weaken the Iranian system.

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The Latest from Iran (15 July): Worries Over the Economy

Iranians line up to buy cheaper chicken as the price of meat rises sharply

See also The Latest from Iran (14 July): Sanctions Watch

2135 GMT: All-Is-Well Alert. Minister of Economy Mehdi Ghazanfari, speaking in the religious city of Qom today, said, “The Iranian economy is dynamic, which will not be influenced by sanctions."

More interesting than Ghazanfari's rhetoric was the effective admission that he had come to Qom after senior clerics had protested over inflation. The minister insisted that difficult days have passed, that the situation in the market is good, and that “we have a sufficient stock (of goods)".

2129 GMT: Morality Watch. ISNA reports that security forces and members of the "morality police" raided 87 cafes and restaurants in a district of Tehran on Saturday, shutting them "for not following Islamic values, providing hookah to women, and lacking proper licenses".

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The Latest from Iran (7 July): Warning the Green Movement

See also Iran Audio Feature: Nuclear Talks, Domestic Politics, & a Worried Regime --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
The Latest from Iran (6 July): Tehran Puts Out Positive Nuclear Messages

1730 GMT: Oil Watch. The National Iranian Oil Company has suspended a contract worth $107 million for the development of the Dayyer oilfield by the Italian company Edison.

NIOC said Edison, which signed the deal in 2006, had failed to meet its contractual commitments, with slow progress of the project to study two-dimensional seismographic information on 7500 square kilometers of the oilfield and to drill an exploration well.

A number of major contracts with foreign companies have been suspended in the last two years amid technical issues and sanctions.

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Iran Audio Feature: Nuclear Talks, Domestic Politics, & a Worried Regime --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24

I spoke at length with Monocle 24 last night about the latest statements and manoeuvres of the Iranian regime, linking nuclear talks with important domestic issues.

The launching point for the discussion was Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi's warning that a repetition of the protests following the disputed 2009 Presidential election would not be tolerated (see today's Live Coverage); however, it soon moved to the connection of that statement with Tehran's desire for a deal in the negotiations over uranium enrichment. And the conversation even picked up on another sign of the regime's concerns: the black comedy of the "disappearing polls" on State TV's website this week, with inconvenient results blamed on hacking by the BBC.

To get to the item, open the Monocle Daily site and click "Play" on the display for 6 July. The discussion starts at 1:04.50.

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