Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Joe Biden (28)


Middle East Today: Turkey --- Defiant PM Erdogan Returns to Istanbul

Supporters of Prime Minister Erdogan at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport last night (Photo: Reuters)

Turkey: New Speech by PM Erdogan Blasts Protesters and Social Media

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used a speech this afternoon to continue his challenge to protesters. He has also attacked social media, saying they carried out a "disastrous lie campaign with respect to" the demonstrations.

Erdogan has also asked, "Where was the outrage over [police use of tear gas?" in other cases like Occupy Wall Street --- where he said 17 people had been killed --- Greece, and London.

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Iran Feature: Talking Tough --- How the US and Tehran Mirror Each Other's Rhetoric

General Michael HaydenBoth sides believe that getting the other to make those concessions over the nuclear issue would be a major psychological blow --- perhaps even a defeat --- in the struggle for regional power. Both believe that such concessions --- Washington admitting Tehran's "right to enrich" or the polar opposite, Tehran giving up that --- would signal fundamental weakness in its rival.

At the level of this week's talks, those hopes and fears are being put diplomatically. Beyond the talks, in the chattering cauldron of Washington, some are blunter.

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Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From Ahmadinejad in Egypt to "Tribal Voices" in Tehran (Arseh Sevom)

This week's "Tribal Voices" festival in Tehran

This week we saw the arrest of Presidential advisor Saeed Mortazavi, following a power struggle on the floor of Parliament between Speaker Ali Larijani and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The President joined the ranks of those on the receiving end of flying shoes during a trip to Egypt. And amidst worries about the economy and more crippling sanctions, Tehran celebrates the Tribal Voices festival.

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Iran Live Coverage: The Battle Within --- Ahmadinejad v. the Larijanis

Happier Times: Head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani, President Ahmadinejad, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani

See also Iran Opinion: Condemning the Nuclear Talks --- and Tehran --- with Ill-Informed Analysis
Wednesday's Iran Live Coverage: Nuclear Talks Resume on 26 February

2200 GMT: The House Arrests. Grand Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili has reportedly clashed with the Supreme Leader over the house arrests of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

Mousavi Ardebili visited Ayatollah Khamenei to demand the release of Mousavi and Karroubi, held for almost two years. Khamenei replied that they must obey velayat-e faqih [the rule of the Supreme Leader] and show regret for their actions over the disputed 2009 Presidential election in which they were candidates.

Mousavi Ardebili said that Mousavi and Karroubi had obeyed the rule of the late Ayatollah Khomeini and added that President Ahmadinejad's performance "has proven they are right". When Khamenei refused to shift in his position, the Grand Ayatollah left the meeting angrily.

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Iran Live Coverage: First the Space Monkey, Now a New Fighter Jet

State outlet Press TV on the unveiling of Iran's new F-313 fighter jet

See also EA Video Analysis: The Lie About an Iran "Explosion" That Became Headline News
Iran Video Feature: The Regime's "Justified" Imprisonment of Journalists
Saturday's Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader's Men Launch Their Presidential Campaign

1950 GMT: The Defeat of Ahmadinejad. After today's showdown in Parliament, Speaker Ali Larijani and President Ahmadinejad have each cancelled press conferences called for tonight.

An audio of the clash between the two men has been posted on YouTube.

1850 GMT: The Defeat of Ahmadinejad. Some Western media have noticed today's dramatic events in Parliament, but they are struggling to get a handle on what happened.

Reuters has the fullest account but misses the humiliation of the President by the Speaker of Parliament --- and the impeachment of his Minister of Labor --- with the incomplete headline, "Iran President Accuses Parliament Speaker's Family of Corruption".

After giving a full description of the President's attempt to tag Larijani with corruption, via a claimed audio tape of the Speaker's brother, the article finally approaches the significant development:

"Our problem is that our president does not observe the basics of proper behavior," Larijani said. "Why did you discuss this issue here?"

Larijani continued: "Actually it's a good thing ... that you played this tape today, so that the people better understand your character."

The Washington Post focuses on the Minister of Labor's impeachment, giving only a brief description of the Ahmadinejad-Larijani exchange --- and missing the significance of it --- at the end of the article.

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Syria Live Coverage: Diplomatic Breakthrough? Opposition Leader Meets Russia & Iran Foreign Ministers

Claimed footage of the moment that a mortar strike killed three activists in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta

See also Iraq (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Dozens Killed in Attack on Police Headquarters
Saturday's Syria Live Coverage: Aid Reaches an Opposition-Held Town

1926 GMT: Casualties. Claimed footage from the al-Ansari section of Aleppo of men digging for survivors in a collapsed building, reportedly struck by a by regime shelling:

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Syria Live Coverage: Fighting in and Near Damascus 


Israel-Palestine Special: Why More Settlements Are Vital to West Jerusalem's Long-Term Strategy

On Monday, Israeli authorities authorised plans to expand the Ramat Shlomo settlement, located on Palestinian territory, with 1500 housing units. Reports followed that a total of an additional 6500 apartments across the 1967 Green Line will be approved this week.

The latest steps have received some international attention, with the US State Department criticising Israel's "pattern of provocation".

But here is the important question: does anyone recognise Israel's long-term agenda behind the "pattern"? These settlements are not just being established as a short-term extension of Israel --- they will be maintained as a "natural" and "inalienable" development, given the Palestinian "failure" to meet West Jerusalem's essential need for "security". These apartments are not being built to derail a would-be negotiation process; they are part of the attempt at Israel's perpetual superiority over the Palestinians.

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US Politics Feature: The Biggest Story --- and Danger --- of the Vice Presidential Debate

Full video of the debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan

See also EA Video Analysis: How to Become An Expert on the US Presidential Election (Part 2)

For all the verbal combat, the encounter illuminated that the differences between an Obama Administration and a Romney alternative are not as great as advertised.

That was particularly evident on foreign policy, where the concern for many is that a Romney presidency will lead to another misguided overseas adventure. I doubt that concern was eased last night, but at the same time, the debate was notable for how Ryan and Biden effectively converged on a "get tough" posture.

There was nothing on China or Russia, let alone the vanished continents of South America and Africa, and --- compare this to past campaigns --- nothing on Europe and NATO. The international economy, arguably the most important issue right now, did not make even a cameo appearance. Instead, this was a conversation about who could be the harder man over the Middle East and Iran.

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US Politics Audio: Who "Won" the Vice Presidential Debate? --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

Photo: API spoke with BBC Wales this morning about the Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, looking at the key moments and responding to "Who Won?" with a phrase from British football (soccer to our American readers): "It was a score draw"

The item begins at the 1:54:30 mark.