Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Mohammad-Bager Qalibaf (3)


Iran Analysis: 4 Key Questions as Guardian Council Decides Final List of Presidential Candidates

Iran's Guardian Council will tell the Minister of Interior today which Presidential hopefuls will be allowed to campaign for the 14 June election.

Almost all of the 686 who registered while be disqualified; however, a relatively large contingent of politicians, perhaps more than 30, will be accepted.

This means that --- with the Supreme Leader's camp unable to agree a "unity" candidate despite five months of effort --- we still will not have clarity on the three or four front-runners until next week, after other candidates have withdrawn and made endorsements.

We can make some educated guesses, however, based on the Guardian Council's white smoke and answers to these four questions:

1. Will Hashemi Rafsanjani Be Allowed to Run?

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Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader's Committee Chooses the "Right Man" for the Presidential Election

See also Iran Feature: A New Crisis for the Currency and the Economy?
Wednesday's Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader's Committee Chooses the "Right Man" for the Presidential Election

1859 GMT: Justice Watch. The first hearing in the trial of judges accused of involvement in the abuses and killings at the Kahrizak detention centre will be held on 26 February, Iran Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei has announced.

At least three post-election protesters were slain at the centre. No senior official has yet been convicted over the incident.

There was no indication by Hossein Ejei that Presidential advisor Saeed Mortazavi, long accused of possible involvement in his then-role as Tehran Prosecutor General, will be brought to court.

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The Latest from Iran (14 September): Ahmadinejad's Public Relations Triumph

See also Iran Video: Full Ahmadinejad Interview with NBC News
Iran Interview: Ahmadinejad to Washington Post "If US Gives Us Uranium, We Will Stop Production"

2110 GMT: Ahmadinejad's Public Relations Triumph? Another warning signal tonight for the President over his mention of the freeing of US hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer....

Press TV features the remarks of MP Parviz Sarvari, a member of Parliament's National Security Commission, "If Iran was to release these two [spies] without receiving anything from the US Government in return, this would be against the spirit of the Islamic Revolution."

The significance lies not so much in the statement of Sarvari, who is known for heated remarks --- this week he called for the execution of Ahmadinejad's right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai (see 0655) --- as in Press TV deciding to give it prominence.

2047 GMT: Omission of the Day. Press TV reports on the President's speech today:

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces government plans to introduce reforms in the banking system and to strengthen the country's currency.

“Reforming the banking system was placed on the government's agenda and, by God's grace, reforms in this system will begin this year,” Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday in a public address in the northwestern city of Ardabil, the official presidential website reported.

He added that the changes would prevent discrimination in the distribution of banking loans to Iranians.

“I am hopeful that, through banking reforms injustice in granting loans will be no more and the means [enabling] of misuse of public funds will be no longer.”

So what is missing from this report? (Hint: the magic number is 2.6 billion --- see 1445 GMT.)

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