Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Isa Saharkhiz (18)


Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Political Prisoners, Freedom of Expression, and Killer Smog (Arseh Sevom)

Hila Sedighi, threatened with imprisonment, recites her poetry

We have letters for you this week. The most heartbreaking comes from 21-year-old Zanyar Moradi, who begs the world to take notice as he and his cousin face imminent execution. Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi calls on UNICEF to visit children living in prison with incarcerated mothers. The children of former Presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi have called for an end to their house arrest. The Supreme Leader has been deluged with letters demanding free and fair elections.

Meanwhile, Tehran's polluted skies literally take your breath away, claiming more than 4000 lives over one year. Three Iranian writers are honoured with Hellman-Hammett grants for their commitment to free expression, and a group of Iranians in London form an organisation to encourage reading. Iran is said to be working on controls for social networking sites as it steps up its harassment of the families of journalists.

Finally, after her release from prison, Hengameh Shahidi, a former advisor to Mehdi Karroubi, has turned her attention to art.

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The Latest from Iran (17 August): Ahmadinejad Introduces Tehran Friday Prayer

One of a set of images by Mehr of Quds Day marches

See also The Latest from Iran (16 August): Hey, Look Over at Palestine!

1810 GMT: The Earthquakes. One of a set of photos in Mehr, as clean-up efforts continue, of the aftermath of last Saturday's earthquakes in East Azerbaijan:

1340 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Kurdish activist Hadi Amini has been freed after five years in prison.

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The Latest from Iran (20 June): Nuclear Talks Over, Sanctions on the Way

Claimed photograph of a memorial on Tuesday at the grave of Neda Agha Soltan, killed by a gunshot during the protests of 20 June 2009

See also Iran Analysis: The Nuclear Talks --- The West Looks for an Iranian Crash
Remember Iran Flashback: 20 June 2009 --- The Death of Neda...And Many Others
Middle East and Iran Audio Feature: "Oil and Politics" --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
Latest from #Iran (19 June): An Opening at Nuclear Talks? (No.)

1141 GMT: Tough Talk of the Day. Rear Admiral Abbas Zamini has declared that Iran will soon unveil 10 new domestically-built frigates and destroyers.

The Islamic Republic's first home-constructed destroyer was launched in 2010. Another destroyer will supposedly by completed by March 2013.

0926 GMT: Oil Watch. The Japanese Parliament has approved Government guarantees on insurance for crude oil cargoes from Iran, responding to imminent European Union sanctions.

The law will take effect on June 27. It allows the Japanese government, which has succeeded in getting a waiver from U.S. financial sanctions, to provide cover of up to $7.6 billion for each tanker.

The EU sanctions, starting on 1 July, prohibit European insurance firms from covering Iran's exports.

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The Latest from Iran (19 September): Ahmadinejad Leaves An Embezzlement Behind

See also Iran Interview: Azerbaijani Activist Fakhteh Zamani Explains the Lake Urmia Protests

1900 GMT: The Supreme Leader's Son and the "Election Coup". On Friday, we published the WikiLeaks-released cable in which Ayatollah Sayed Salman Safavi, the brother of the Supreme Leader's military advisor, told Western diplomats --- four days after the disputed 2009 Presidential election --- that there had been a "coup" orchestrated by a prison "close to the Supreme Leader".

The story is now in the Persian-language Digarban, with a link to the document and Safavi's assertion that the coup had split the Revolutionary Guards.

1645 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. 1535 GMT: BBC Persian has denied that it employed six people arrested by Iranian authorities (see 0630 GMT) for supposedly working for the service, saying they are independent filmmakers. BBC Persian said, as is common in the industry, that it had paid for the rights to show documentaries and programmes produced by the detainees.

Opposition websites identified the six filmmakers as Naser Saffarian, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Hadi Afarideh, Mohsen Shahrnazdar, Katayoun Shahabi and Mehrdad Zahedian.

A source involved in the arrests said, "This network of anti-Iran people were collaborating with the BBC in a cover-up to fulfil the needs of the British secret service in exchange for big sums of money. The anti-Iran intentions of the channel and its collaborators are clear."

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Bahrain (and Iran) Feature: Nokia Siemens Accused --- Again --- of Assisting Regime Detention and Abuse

Amidst the regime crackdown after the disputed 2009 Presidential election in Iran, the telecommunications giant Nokia Siemens was accused of providing the regime with surveillance technology which allowed it to track and dissidents. Last year, a lawsuit was filed by Mehdi Saharkhiz on behalf of his father, imprisoned journalist Isa Saharkhiz.

Now to Bahrain in 2011....

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Iran Special: The List of the 100+ Journalists Detained Since the 2009 Elections --- Part 1 (Alinejad/Irani)

Since the disputed June 2009 Presidential Election, EA has periodically featured the names of journalists on Arshama3's Blog --- a list which is up to 70 entries.

Now another record of those reporters who have been imprisoned --- or who are free on heavy bail but always threatened with a summons back to detention --- has been compiled by Masih Alinejad and translated into English by Azita Irani. There is also the note of at least one journalist who was slain during the initial demonstrations after the election.

We will be presenting the more than 100 entries on a rolling basis over the next few days. And we will endeavour, with the help of Arshama3 and Alinejad, to keep the list up to date.

24. Hossein Nouraninejad

Nouraninejad, the head of Jebhe-ye Mosharekat Melli Eslami (Islamic Coalition Front), was arrested on 17 September 2009 and spent one year in prison. He was a staff reporter at the Iranian Labor News Agency and reformist newspapers. After the Presidential election, he played an active role in organising religious events for reformist groups, particularly in connection with political prisoners.

Nouraninejad was one of 16 political prisoners at Evin Prison who participated in hunger strikes protesting the ill treatment by prison guards. His mother and his wife, Parastou Sarmadi, repeatedly complained to the media about the prisoners’ situation, until the security forces attempted to arrest Nouraninejad's mother. They forced her to sign a consent form to her detention if she continued to protest the imprisonment of her son by talking to the press.

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Iran Special: The List of the 100+ Journalists Detained Since the 2009 Elections --- Part 1 (Alinejad/Irani)

This entry has been moved to the top of EA for 6 August 2011.

The Latest from Iran (23 June): Welcome to Phase Zero

2045 GMT: Elections Watch. Yesterday, we reported the rumour that the Supreme Leader's representative to the Revolutionary Guards, Mojtaba Zolnour, is resigning to run for Parliament next March. Khabar Online continues the story with the claim that pro-Ahmadinejad officials such as Deputy Minister of Defense Javad Darvishvand, Hojatoleslam Mohammad Reza Mirtajoddini, and Ali Shahidi are leaving position to campaign for the Majlis.

2025 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Sharif University student activist Tara Sepehri has been sentenced to seven years in prison and 74 lashes.

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The Latest from Iran (5 June): And Then After the Ceremony....

Iran's political and religious leadership at Saturday's ceremony

1845 GMT: A Death at the Funeral. More than 750 women activists have issued a statement commemorating the death of Haleh Sahabi by saying that the fight for "freedom, peace and equality" continues and the rulers of Iran "will not calm it".

1825 GMT: Economy Watch. The chairman of the Food Industry Association has projected that food prices will rise 10% in the next two weeks.

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Iran Analysis: The Uproar over Former President Khatami's Call for "Reconciliation" (Farhi)

Amid intensified factional fighting among conservatives who dominate the presidency, the parliament, and the office of the Islamic Republic's Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, an appeal for national reconciliation and forgiveness by a former reformist president is making a major splash in Iran's political discourse.

The May 18 speech of Mohammad Khatami to a group of Iran-Iraq War veterans has taken friends and foes of the former president by surprise in a country where charges of electoral fraud and the regime's brutal suppression of post-election protests have completely polarised the population.

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