Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Kamran Daneshjoo (18)


Iran Live Coverage: Supreme Leader Announces a "Political and Economic Epic"

The Supreme Leader's Nowruz address on Wednesday

See also Iran Non-Story of The Day: Tehran Has a Plutonium Reactor!

1525 GMT: Campus Watch. The political argument over President Ahmadinejad's attempt to remove four heads of prominent universities continues....

Asr-e Iran claims that Minister of Science Kamran Daneshjoo has resisted the order, raising questions about Ahmadinejad's next step.

The Student Basij Organization has condemned Ahmadinejad's attempt to replace the head of Tehran University.

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Iran Live Coverage: Nuclear Talks with the IAEA

See also Iran Live Coverage: Seizing the Children of the Detained Opposition Leaders

2019 GMT: Nuclear Watch. State outlet Press TV, without giving details, proclaims that Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agnecy "have reached basic agreement to work out a structured framework to resolve the outstanding issues" on inspection and supervision of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme.

Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said that the "remaining differences" would be discussed in the next Iran-IAEA meeting.

2011 GMT: Sanctions Watch. After a week of combat with President Ahmadinejad, head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani turned today to support of the regime's All-Is-Well line on the economy and sanctions, telling judiciary officials:

The revolutionary message of the people to the hegemonic states was that your pressures are useless and they will even have reverse effects. The vigilant Iranian nation turned these threats into an opportunity for demonstrating the strength and magnificence of the Islamic establishment.

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The Latest from Iran (4 September): Back to Business?

See also Iran Feature: Regime to Media "Print Only Hope and Joy About Sanctions"
Iran Snapshot: The Military's New Weapon --- "Deceit Perfume"
The Latest from Iran (3 September): "This Country is Broken"

2039 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Looks like the President did not heed the command of his officials, noted in our separate feature, to spread only "hope and joy" about the economy and sanctions....

Western media headline Ahmadinejad's statement in his interview, "There are some problems in selling oil and we are trying to manage it," and his effective admission of the impact of sanctions through his accusation that "the enemy" was using "psychological warfare".

The President said the sanctions were "blocking off conduits... like the conduits of selling oil, foreign exchange, our banks and the central bank....We are working to bypass them day and night...[but] most of the time when an obstacle is created, it takes a long time to remove it."

Ahmadinejad did finally find some hope: "We have oil and the world needs it," adding that his government was also running a "very rigid budget".

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The Latest from Iran (11 August): US Uses Syria for More Sanctions

See also Iran and Syria Audio Feature: Why Tehran's Conference "Stunt" Means Little --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
The Latest from Iran (10 August): The Regime Fights Isolation

1955 GMT: Earthquakes in the Northwest. The death toll in the two earthquakes which hit northwest Iran has risen to 180, with 1300 people injured.

The earthquakes, measuring 6.3 and 6.4 on the Richter scale, struck near Tabriz in East Azerbaijan.

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The Latest from Iran (11 June): A Fraud Case Reaches the Government

2030 GMT: Fraud Watch. Next week's Moscow talks on Iran's nuclear programme will proceed after European Union foreign policy representative Catherine Ashton and top Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili spoke for one hour on the phone tonight.

There was chatter that the discussions were in jeopardy after days of increasingly negative exchanges in the media between the two sides, but a Western diplomat said, “Moscow is a green light."

A European diplomat maintained that the US and Europe had held the line on no preparatory talks before Moscow, unless Iran discussed issues of political substance: “Jalili went on and on about need for a technical meeting. Ashton stayed firm.” He continued:

[The Iranians] have now backed down from that and appear prepared to engage on our proposals, which is important for us. We will respond to their ideas --- note the different terminology. We have concrete proposals, they have issues/ideas.

A spokesman for Ashton set out the apparent deal: Ashton and Jalili “agreed on the need for Iran to engage on the E3+3 proposals", while Ashton "conveyed the E3+3′s readiness to respond to the issues raised by the Iranians in Baghdad".

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Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- A Death Sentence, Detaining Activists, Arresting Dogs (Arseh Sevom)

Activist Narges Mohamadi, summoned to serve a six-year prison sentence, with her two children

It was hard not to be concerned over the state of civil society in Iran last week with the arrest of human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, the sentencing of Mansoureh Behkish, a member of the Mourning Mothers, and the ongoing campaign against free speech and free information. The one positive story was the rights workshops for children caught up in the juvenile detention system in Tehran.

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The Latest from Iran (7 March): "The People Are Not Happy"

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society, from the Elections to Abuses to a "Documentary"
Iran Snap Analysis: The Election --- Still Confusing, Still Muddled
Iran Opinion: The Hunger Strike of Mehdi Khazali
The Latest from Iran (6 March): Is Ahmadinejad in Trouble?

2133 GMT: Drumbeats of War Watch. The Associated Press, in a story eerily reminiscent of claims in February 2003 that Iraqi trucks were clearing up suspected site of weapons of mass destruction, reports:

Satellite images of an Iranian military facility show trucks and earth-moving vehicles at the site, indicating that crews were trying to clean it of radioactive traces possibly left by tests of a nuclear-weapon trigger, diplomats told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

Two of the diplomats said the crews may be trying to erase evidence of tests of a small neutron device used to set off a nuclear explosion. A third diplomat could not confirm that but said any attempt to trigger a so-called neutron initiator at the Parchin site could only be in the context of trying to develop nuclear arms.

The images, provided to the IAEA by member countries, are recent and constantly updated, said one of the diplomats.

The diplomats are nuclear experts accredited to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and all asked for anonymity to discuss sensitive information.

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The Latest from Iran (14 February): Watching for Protests

See also Iran Feature: Two Sisters Try to Reach Their Country with Pop Music
The Latest from Iran (13 February): The Economic Squeeze

"Strong and Steadfast"2115 GMT: All the President's Men. The trial of Abbas Ghaffari and Mehdi Mohagheghi, both on the President's staff and accused of being in the "deviant current", has begun.

Ghaffari, the Friday Prayer leader for Ahmadinejad's office, and Mohagheghi was arrested last year and charged with "sorcery", "exorcism", and "blasphemy".

2025 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Minister of Science and Higher Education Kamran Daneshjoo has made an implicit threat against former President Hashemi Rafsanjani in the battle for control of Islamic Azad University.

Daneshjoo said that the Supreme Cultural Council of the Revolution will decide on several conditions that Rafsanjani has set over the University, adding that a speedy decision is necessary.

One of the clashes is over Rafsanjani's refusal to sign the mandate naming Daneshjoo's brother Farhad, appointed by President Ahmadinejad, as head of the University.

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The Latest from Iran (5 February): The Coup Within --- The Sequel

See also Iran Opinion: Why Do Thousands of Women Want to Be Ninjas?
The Latest from Iran (4 February): Missing the Story on the Supreme Leader

Rezaei, Qalibaf, Larijani2225 GMT: Security Watch. Writer and human rights activist Yousef Azizi Banitaraf has said Iranian security forces have arrested 50 people over the past two weeks in Arab neighbourhoods in the southwestern province of Khuseztan.

Banitaraf claimed two of the detainees, Nasser Alboshokeh Derafshan and Mohammad Kaabi, were killed while in custody. The arrests, which have taken place in Shoosh, Ahwaz, and Hamidieh, were apparently prompted by youth writing slogans on public walls, calling for a boycott of March's Parliamentary elections.

"The security forces are telling elders of the tribes in the region to bring people to the voting booths, and the young people are opposed to this," Banitaraf said.

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The Latest from Iran (24 October): How To Instantly Become an Iranian Citizen

See also Iran Video Interview: Ahmadinejad Puts Out His Standard Lines to CNN's Zakaria
The Latest from Iran (23 October): Qaddafi Visits the Supreme Leader

1835 GMT: No-Irony-at-All Elections Watch. A leading member of the Islamic Constancy Front, Morteza Agha Tehrani, has urged authorities to safeguard the coming elections and ensure that “votes are not stolen and there is no cheating".

The Constancy Front was established earlier this year by supporters of President Ahmadinejad and his allies. It has been at odds with other conservative factions who have sought a unified front for next March's Parliamentary vote.

In a meeting on Saturday in Qom, Agha Tehrani said: “If you truly want competent people to be elected to office, do not steal or buy votes and do not cheat.”

1605 GMT: CyberCrime. Minister of Communications and Technology Reza Taghipour has declared that the use of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and proxies is a “crime": “Now VPNs have been cut off in the country because their use is a legal violation.”

With a VPN, Internet users can get access to internet providers outside Iran by using ISPs within the country. Iranians have been using the VPNs and proxies to circumvent strict censorship by the Islamic Republic of foreign and domestic websites.

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