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Entries in Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (73)


Iran Feature: How the Revolutionary Guards Interfere in Elections (Sardari)

Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of the Revolutionary Guards, and the Supreme Leader

Since 1979 --- despite a mandate to operate outside politics, backed up by an injunction from Ayatollah Khamenei --- the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Basij have become increasingly active in the political sphere. They have interfered with the operation of free and fair elections under the guise of protecting the Revolution, they have subverted electoral law with impunity. On each occasion, their meddling has become more brazen and less furtive. These forces now make up a parallel government that works to control and subvert the democratic process.

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Iran Special: The Stalled Nuclear Talks --- Why Tehran Cannot Give Up Its Right to Enrichment

Funeral of assassinated nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 13 January 2012

Iran's stance that its people have the right to enrich uranium has become more than a negotiating position. It is an important element of the Islamic Republic's identity and an issue of national pride. A central symbol of the struggle against the US and the West, the dedication to that right is beyond the black-and-white narrative of "the West says Iran is building a bomb, Tehran says it isn't".

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Iran Live Coverage: No News is Good or Bad News at the Nuclear Talks?

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili speaks with Al Jazeera English

See also Iran Special: Taking Apart the "Iran's Plan B for a Nuclear Bomb" Scare Story

Iran Follow-Up Video: How Fars News Protected the Oscars from Michelle Obama's Shoulders
Tuesday's Iran Live Coverage: Today's Nuclear Talks in Kazakhstan

1948 GMT:Oil Watch. Turkey maintained its current import level of three cargoes of Iranian crude oil in February.

Turkey has been importing three Suezmax tankers cargoes a month of Iranian crude oil since September, half of what Ankara used to purchase from Iran.

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Iran Feature: Newsflash --- Tehran Does (Not) Shoot Down An Enemy Drone

One of the US drones that Iran did not shoot down on Saturday

A tale of how Iranian propaganda went a bit too far --- and how the Western media, always on the look-out for a story of Tehran's threat, went along for the ride....

Press TV, the regime's English-language outlet, put up the Breaking headline on Saturday night, Iran Cyber-Warriors Take Control of Drone". As in December 2011 and January of this year, Tehran was going to parade another Western surveillance aircraft before the Iranian press, demonstrating how the Islamic Republic could not only defy the enemy but --- by reverse-engineering the drone --- turn the foe's weapons against it.

CNN quickly picked up the newsflash, and the Associated Press put out a fuller story.

The only problem was that none of this was true.

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Iran Live Coverage: Revolutionary Guards Challenge "Narcissist" Ahmadinejad

See also Iran Analysis: A Revolutionary Guard Commander is Killed in Syria --- What It Means for Tehran and the Middle East
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: The Latest Report on Tehran's Nuclear Programme

1855 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. President Ahmadinejad has appeared on national TV tonight to defend the yet-to-be-presented Government budget for 2013/14.

Ahmadinejad also defended his policies on investment and tried to ease concern over problems in the health care system, hit by shortages of drugs and medical supplies amid sanctions and claims of Government mismanagement. He continued to promote his subsidy cuts plan, the second phase of which has been held up by Parliament.

The President said he would soon meet Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani, with whom he has had a high-profile clash over the last month, to discuss "current issues".

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Iran Live Coverage: Revolutionary Guards Issue A Warning to The Leaders

Qassem Sulemani, the head of the Quds Forces of the Revolutionary Guards, cries at a memorial for Guards commander Hassan Shateri, killed on Tuesday in Syria

Wednesday's Iran Live Coverage: Nuclear Talks with the IAEA

2015 GMT:Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). Senior cleric Mehdi Taeb, head of the Ammar Base think tank, has offered more explanation of Iran's military role in Syria, encouraging the formation of militias:,/p>

Syria had an army, but this army was incapable of managing war inside cities. Therefore, Iran suggested [to Syria] that they form a Basij in order to manage urban warfare.... The Syrian Basij was formed with 60,000 Hezbollahi and [this] caused the urban warfare to be transferred from the Syrian army [to the Syrian Basij]....

Of course, this adventure caused the Syrian Army to also become involved in some of these matters [urban warfare], and to become familiarized with all [aspects of the conflict].

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Iran Live Coverage: Mr Ahmadinejad Goes to Parliament

President Ahmadinejad, watched by Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, in the Majlis today

See also Iran Live Coverage: President v. Parliament

2105 GMT: Nuclear Watch. Talks between a high-level delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iranian officials will continue for a second day on Thursday.

Both Iranian State media and an IAEA spokesperson confirmed the extension of discussions. There was no indication, however, if progress had been made towards a protocol for IAEA inspection and supervision of Iranian nuclear facilities.

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Iran Feature: Are Revolutionary Guards Among the 48 "Pilgrims" Freed in Syria?

Does this photograph show a Revolutionary Guard officer among 48 Iranian "pilgrims" freed in Syria?

This week the Revolutionary Guards story re-surfaced, as the 48 men were freed; at the same time, President Assad released 2130 civilian detainees in Syrian prisons. The site Digarban, notable for its criticism of the regime, listed seven Revolutionary Guards officers whom it claimed were among the men welcomed in Tehran's Mehrabad Airport.

The names given were Abedin Khorram, a Revolutionary Guards commander in Urmia in West Azerbaijan Province: Mohammad Taghi Safari, a commander in Bushehr in southern Iran; Sadegh Adibi,  a commander of the Jahrom al-Mahdi Brigade: Ali Javadian, Mohammad Elahi, and Amrollah Hemmati, also from the Jahrom brigade; and Hojatoleslam Karim Hosseinkhani, based in West Azerbaijan Province.

So is Digarban correct?

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Iran Live Coverage: How to "Engineer" an Election

"My husband is an engineer. He engineers elections." (Cartoon: Maya Neyestani)

See also Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad v. Parliament...and the Revolutionary Guards

1605 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update (Election Edition). More about the distinctive theme in today's Prayer sermon, delivered by the Guardian Council's Ayatollah Jannati, that while Iran has free elections, it is co-operation with the enemy to talk about free elections (see 1155 GMT)....

Jannati's threat to detained opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, both of whom ran in the June 2009 Presidential election, was straightforward: “The public has identified your movement and knows your leaders and the leaders of sedition, and they know what your aim is; you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

And Jannati made clear that, while "those who meet the necessary criteria will never be refused a chance to run in the elections", those who "they lack them...clearly will not be allowed to run".

But here is where it gets really interesting:

Those who consider themselves men of politics and have had important roles in the Revolution should be ashamed of themselves for repeating the statement of the foreign enemies of the regime....

The political losers are now talking about free elections and one of them is quite powerful and since a while ago he has begun talking about this issue and the rest have followed his line.

Who is this "quite powerful...political loser"? Surely not President Ahmadinejad, given that the Supreme Leader handed him the 2009 victory? Former President Mohammad Khatami does not seem to qualify as "quite powerful"?

How about former President Hashemi Rafsanjani?

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Syria and Iran Feature: 2130 Civilian Prisoners To Be Released in Exchange for 48 Iranian "Pilgrims"

UPDATE 1230 GMT: A photograph of the freed Iranians:

Turkey's State news agency Anatolia reports that Syria will release 2130 civilian prisoners, including "many Turkish nationals", in exchange for 48 Iranian men seized by the Syrian opposition last August.

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