Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Mohammad Nabi Habibi (12)


The Latest from Iran (8 December): Tehran to Hit New Low in Oil Exports?

See also Iran Snap Analysis: A Regime Still Worried About the Green Movement? (Yes.)
The Latest from Iran (7 December): Maintaining the Oil Squeeze

1740 GMT: Nuclear Watch. The "hard-line" paper Kayhan, using a historical reference, has warned that leading political figures are seeking to force the Supreme Leader to "drink from the "poison chalice" and hold direct talks with the US over the nuclear issue.

The expression refers to Ayatollah Khomeini's statement when he reluctantly agreed to the punishing conditions of a cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq War in 1988.

The regime pursued "back-channel" discussions with the US in the autumn, but these appear to have come to a halt in October. Since then, Tehran has grown frustrated with an apparent failure of Washington and its allies to talk about an Iranian proposal trading enrichment of 20% uranium for sanctions, and this week Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani indicated the Islamic Republic is backing away from the idea of direct talks.

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The Latest from Iran (4 October): Protest Resurfaces --- A Ripple or a Wave?

Footage from Wednesday's closure of the Tehran Bazaar and nearby protests

2051 GMT: Currency All-is-Well Alert. Mohammad Keshti-Aray, the head of the Gold-Sellers Union, has said that the Rial strengthened to 30000:1 to 31000:1 vs. the US dollar --- Tuesday's rate, the last posted on leading website, was 35500:1 --- and that the price for gold coin is down as well.

Keshti-Aray assured that dollar and gold rates would be "clarified" on Saturday,

2047 GMT: Loyalty Watch. Prominent conservative politician Habiballah Asgarouladi has said that "fitna" (sedition) and the "deviant current" do not accept national unity, which is possible only around the Supreme Leader.

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The Latest from Iran (17 June): "So What?" News --- Ahmadinejad to Leave Politics

See also Iran 1st-Hand: Sanctions Are Hurting The Iranians Who Welcomed Me...And That's Good
Remember Iran: An EA Special --- Three Years Ago Today, A Silent March
Remember Iran Flashback: 17 June 2009 Live Coverage --- Political Prisoners, A "Blinded" Media, and A Rally in 7 Tir Square
The Latest from Iran (16 June): Preparing for the Nuclear Talks

1513 GMT: Labour Front. Ten thousand Iranian factory workers from five provinces have petitioned against subsidy cuts and demanded wage increases to match the rate of inflation.

The Free Iranian Workers Syndicate organised the petition, which cites the lack of job security, lay-offs and factory closures and demands "an increase in the minimum wage commensurate with the rate of inflation, the implementation of insurance legislation for construction workers, the elimination of contracting companies in exchange for a system that gives workers direct and permanent contracts, and the creation of mechanisms to assure the timely payment of wages".

1403 GMT: Clerical Intervention. Ayatollah Dastgheib has asserted, "Our people are politically and religiously disenfranchised." He criticised authorities for presenting this flawed system as one leading the world.

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The Latest from Iran (7 February): Campaign Season

See also Iran Feature: A Middle Class on Edge
Iran Film Special: The Simpsons Are Gone, But You Can Still See Shrek in Tehran
The Latest from Iran (6 February): "The Regime Will Demolish Ahmadinejad"

1917 GMT: Oil Watch (China Front). Evidence that China is joining the squeeze on Iran over Tehran's oil exports...

Beijing, Iran's biggest customer, has said publicly that it will not join US-led sanctions; however, in January and February, it has halved its crude from Tehran. Now industry sources say China is increasing its supplies from Saudi Arabia, which has raised production since December.

Beijing is also importing more cargoes from West Africa, Russia, and Australia to replace reduced supplies from Iran.

China takes around 20% of Iran's total exports. Since January, it has cut purchases by around 285,000 barrels per day (bpd), just over half of the total daily amount it imported in 2011. At the same time, Beijing has purchased an additional 200,000 bpd from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabian output reached 9.76 million barrels per day (bpd) in December, up 360,000 bpd from October, and remained near that level in January.

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The Latest from Iran (1 December): A Spot of Bother

Nikahang Kowsar portrays the Supreme Leader's approach to international affairs

See also Iran Analysis: The Embassy Attack --- A Serious Mis-Calculation by the Regime
Iran Feature: So Who Were the "Students" in the Embassy Attack?
Iran Special Analysis: More Than a Game --- 6 Points About the Attack on the British Embassy
The Latest from Iran (30 November): After the Attack on the British Embassy

2050 GMT: The Embassy Tit-for-Tat. Many thanks to Josh Shahryar for running the LiveBlog today.

The "Occupiers of the Sedition Nest of Old Fox", formed in the aftermath of Tuesday's attack on the British Embassy, have announced they will be at the airport on Friday to welcome the Iranian diplomats expelled from the UK.

In another attempt at pressure on remaining diplomats of the "West", Tehran Provincial Governor Morteza Tamaddon said their visit to the British Embassy compound at Qolhak Garden is "suspicious" and he has reported it to the Foreign Ministry.

Iranian authorities have banned foreign media from covering any rallies in front of British diplomatic missions.

Meanwhile, Norway has reopened its embassy after a 24-hour closure for "security concerns".

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The Latest from Iran (18 November): Smoke and Politics

See also Iran Video and Analysis: 4-Point Guide to a Train-Wreck Discussion with Top Official Mohammad Javad Larijani
Iran Interview: UN's Special Rapporter on Human Rights to Tehran "Co-Operate With Me"
The Latest from Iran (17 November): The Regime Mobilises...for Occupy Wall Street

1628 GMT: The House Arrests. Mohammad Taghi Karroubi, the son of detained opposition figures Mehdi and Fatemeh Karroubi, has hit back at the claim of Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior official in Iran's judiciary, that the strict house arrests were imposed after a judicial process.

The younger Karroubi said no legal documents were presented and that officials of the Ministry of Intelligence said the judiciary "has no say in this case".

1621 GMT: Bad Behaviour Watch. Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi has said that the Internet, mobile phones, and girl-boy relations are "general plagues" affecting Iran.

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The Latest from Iran (19 July): Assessing the Opposition

1950 GMT: Clamping Down on a Cleric. Security forces have raided the home of Ayatollah Amjad while the cleric is on a three-day trip to Malaysia.

Ayatollah Amjad has been increasingly critical of the Government since January.

1935 GMT: Elections Watch. Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, the spokesman for the Guardian Council, has pulled back from a blanket ban on the reformist parties Islamic Iran Participation Front and the Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution, saying that their dissolution has not been declared by the courts.

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The Latest from Iran (13 July): The Opposition Re-Marks Its Ground

1700 GMT: Economy Watch. Ayande News reviews the increasing price of basics, from 350% for oil to 180% for food.

An EA source said today that, in some parts of Tehran, the price of sangak flatbread has risen from 100 tomans (less than 10 cents) to 1000 tomans (about 90 cents). He confirmed that both unemployment and inflation were rising sharply.

1655 GMT: Supreme Leader Brother's Watch. Seyed Hadi Khamenei, the reformist brother of Ayatollah Khamenei, has asked, "How do you expect us to participate in elections?" He said there had been thousands of hours of insults against reformists which had not been possible to answer.

1650 GMT: Supreme Leader Watch. Ali Saeedi, the representative of Ayatollah Khamenei to the Revolutionary Guards, has said that people can change government but not the system of velayat-e faqih (clerical supremacy) --- "If they choose what God wants, it's OK."

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The Latest from Iran (10 July): Sifting the Claims on Khamenei v. Ahmadinejad

Mojtaba and Ali Khamenei1900 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Masoumeh Dehghan, the wife of lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani, has been released on $30,000 bail after her detention last week.

1625 GMT: The Revolutionary Guards Do Politics. Yadollah Javani, the head of the political bureau of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, has followed up the declaration of the IRGC commander, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, by declaring that former President Mohammad Khatami, Mir Hossein Mousavi, and Mehdi Karroubi are "leaders of fitna (sedition) and subversion".

Javani emphasised that the IRGC had a central role in stopping the reformists' scenario of sedition, with Jafari's words this past week as a continuing alert.

Amir Mohebian, the editor of the Resalat, has begged to disagree, however: calling Khatami "anti-revolutionary" is a damage to the Iranian system.

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The Latest from Iran (13 June): Back to the "Normal" of In-Fighting

1755 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch (Saber Edition). The wife of journalist Hoda Saber, who passed away after a hunger strike in Evin Prison, claimed on Sunday: ""My husband died two days ago, but we were unaware of his death until today when someone in the hospital informed one of our friends."

1750 GMT: Corruption Watch. Iran Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei has confirmed that leading MP Ahmad Tavakoli is formally accusing 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi of corruption. Mohseni-Ejei said judicial deputies had met with President Ahmadinejad to discuss the matter.

Rahimi has been accused by critics of involvement in a massive insurance fraud.

1730 GMT: Warning of the Day. A writer for" target="_blank">the hardline Raja News claims that supporters of Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, formerly an ally of the President, have warned the Ahmadinejad camp: "When you trespass the red lines, we will act."

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