Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in Mashregh News (4)


Iran Feature: PhotoShopping a "Decent" Assad Family

PhotoShop has been a handy tool in the Islamic Republic to ensure the "right" images replace the "wrong" one for the public, from adding test-fired missiles to protecting Iranians from the cleavage of the West's women diplomats to cleaning up films and television shows of the immorality of bare arms and uncovered heads.

And not even a political ally is immune from the censor's changes.

Last week Mashregh News posted a feature on Bassel al-Assad, the elder brother of Syria's current President, killed in an automobile accident in January 1994. The article was a straightforward eulogy of "the symbol of Islamic resistance", with lots of photographs:

One of those pictures was of the Assad family, albeit with a couple of changes.

Here's the original --- long-time Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, his wife, his four sons, and his daughter:

Click to read more ...


Iran Feature: The President's Best Man and His Fake University Degree

For many weeks, we have been following the battle within the Iranian establishment. One of the key fronts in that conflict, which may or may not be to the political death, is over Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, President Ahmadinejad's good friend, close advisor, and Chief of Staff.

In this week's updates alone, we have noted criticism of Rahim-Mashai by clerics, politicians, and newspapers, the announcement by a Parliamentary commission of a "special case" investigation into his activities, and even the claim that he gave away $150 vouchers to local VIPs so they would attend his speech. This, however, may be the most intriguing manoeuvre....

The "hard-line" Mashregh News alleged that Rahim-Mashai is lying when he claims to hold a degree from Chabahar University. It said he paid no fees and asked how he could have completed the studies when he holds 20 official jobs.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (19 December): The Subsidy Cuts Begin

2100 GMT: Subsidy Cuts Watch. One price rise that has not been picked up by most of the media....

While the price increase for gasoline is 300% for subsidised rations and 75% for unsubsidised fuel, the rise for diesel is about 2000%, from 16.5 tomans (about $0.15) to 350 tomans (about $3.00) per litre.

1720 GMT: Elections Watch. Legislators have changed the basis for the Parliamentary elections, setting them on the basis of provincial rather than district results. We are not yet sure of the significance of the change and will consult correspondents.

Click to read more ...


The Latest from Iran (15 December): Attack In Southeastern City Kills Dozens

2145 GMT: This Morning's Bombing. Iranian officials have released the names of 32 of the 39 people killed in the suicide bombing in Chabahar in southeastern Iran.

2140 GMT: CyberWars. The hard-line Mashregh News is still down (see 1210 GMT).

2130 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Hashem Sabaghian, senior member of the Freedom Movement of Iran, has been released after he was detained this morning at a mourning ceremony at his house (see 0950 and 1749 GMT).

1749 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Activist Ahmad Ghabel has been given a 20-month prison sentence for working against the ruling system and insulting the Supreme Leader.

Ghabel was also given three years in exile, with a ban on interviews and lectures during that time.

More also on the raid on a mourning ceremony in which Hashem Sabaghian, former Minister of Interior Minister and leading member of Freedom Movement of Iran, was detained. Reformist cleric Hojatoleslam Soleimani, who was speaking at the ceremony at Sabbaghian's house in Tehran, was also seized.

Click to read more ...