Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Mohammad Reza Aref (13)


Iran Feature: A Presidential Election on Twitter

London-based NGO Small Media, a self-described "action lab helping the free flow of information and creative expression in closed societies, with training, technology and research initiatives that focus on Iran", has published a report on the use of social media by Iran's Presidential candidates.

The report, covering 21-27 May, concludes that the "prevailing attitude is quite negative [about the election] among those on Twitter".

Small Media found that former President Hashemi Rafsanjani was the person most "worth following" on Twitter, despite his disqualification by the Guardian Council almost a week earlier.

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Iran Analysis: "Supreme Leader in a Real Mess" After Last Presidential Debate

Observations after Friday's third and final Presidential debate, following a conversation with a leading EA correspondent on Iran:


The immediate headline that the debate was more interesting than the previous two, because of conflict among the eight candidates, does not begin to capture the extent of the division --- notably among those men who supposedly are close to the Supreme Leader's camp.

Our correspondent summarises, "This was a free-for-all in which all went after each other, including the [members of the Supreme Leader's] 2+1 Committee. This showed the three men of the 2+1 do not have anything in common."

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Iran Special: Highlights From The Third Presidential Debate

Iran's Presidential race has, in many ways, turned into a contest not only between the eight individual candidates but perhaps even more so between the Principlist/ Conservative and the Reformist/Moderate camps.

Although Friday's Third Presidential debate was an opportunity for the candidates to set out their views and policies on foreign policy and politics, it also provided a space to explore this factional divide.

Principlist and conservative candidates --- Ali Akbar Velayati, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, Gholam-Ali Haddad- Adel -- used the debate to criticize the Reformists and past Reformist governments, while Reformist candidate Mohammad-Reza Aref and his moderate counterpart Hassan Rouhani slammed the Principlist movement and the current Ahmadinejad administration. Independent candidates Mohsen Rezaei and Mohammad Gharazi hit out at both factions and called for an end to factionalism.

Some of the main highlights of the debate (thanks to Al Jazeera English and Hassan Rouhani's campaign team, who live-tweeted the debate).

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Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Edging Toward A Rouhani Coalition?

Supporters of Reformist Mohammad Reza Aref Call For Coalition with Moderate Hassan Rouhani

Presidential Election Watch: Khamenei Warns of Enemy Plots

Speaking on the anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Imam Khomeini, the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, warned that through the use of sanctions and negative press against the regime, the country’s enemies seek to decrease the number of voters in the upcoming presidential election. Khamenei stated that the Iranian people should work together for a massive turnout to crush the plots of the enemies.

Presidential Election Watch: Third Televised Debate

PressTV is broadcasting --- and translating into English --- the final televised debate between the eight candidates here. EA will be providing a full review of the debate later today.

Former Khatami Vice President: Aref-Rouhani Coalition Could Come Tomorrow

Amid growing rumors of a possible coalition between moderate candidate Hassan Rouhani and his reformist counterpart Mohammad-Reza Aref --- a move that would unite centrist and reformist voters and avoid a dilution of support for Rouhani --- Fars News, close to the Revolutionary Guards, reports that such a move could be announced as soon as Saturday.

Fars reports comments by Mohsen Mehralizadeh, vice president under the government of President Khatami, who said that Aref is the only reformist candidate in the Presidential race --- but that because Rouhani is a moderate, he could join Aref in a coalition. There had been considerable discussion on the matter with political leaders including former Presidents Khatami and Rafsanjani.

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Iran Special: The 2nd Presidential Debate

Photo: Mehdi Dehghan/AP

1250 GMT: Qalibaf makes a general call for "generation of wealth" through culture, while maintaining "dignity": "We are not a capitalist society....We believe under Divine guidance we protect human freedom and dignity."

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Iran Special: Images Of Women Supporters In The Presidential Campaign

Over the past week, several of the eight Presidential candidates --- especially moderate candidate Hassan Rouhani --- have attempted to emphasize that they have female supporters or are reaching out to women voters in their campaigning. EA provides a brief look at some images from the past several days:

Fars News Agency general director Abbas Aslani tweeted a photograph of two women, one a Rouhani supporter and the other supporter of principlist candidate Saeed Jalili, and commented on the difference between them:

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Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Reactions To The Televised Debate

Behind The Scenes At The Televised Debate

Presidential Election Watch: Rouhani Edition

Rouhani Slams State TV

Rouhani has criticized IRIB, saying that State TV had failed to create a healthy competition in Friday's televised debates.

Rafsanjani "Told Rouhani To Stay In Race"

Rouhani says he consulted with former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, and others, who encouraged and advised him to remain in the Presidential race.

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Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Aref and Rezaei Go To The People

Presidential Election Watch: Rouhani Criticizes Ahmadinejad's Holocaust Denial & Calls To Annihilate Israel

The IRDiplomacy website, close to former Iranian diplomat and adviser to former President Khatami Seyed Mohammad Sadegh Kharazi, has published excerpts of an interview with Presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani, which is highly critical of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's foreign policy.

Rouhani argues that though the events of the Arab Spring --- which Iran refers to as the Islamic Awakening --- could have changed the strategic balance in the Middle East to Iran's advantage, "some unwise and radical behaviors deprived the Islamic Republic of Iran of using the situation to its benefit."

Ahmadinejad's policies --- including his Holocaust denial and calls to eliminate Israel --- merely led to "increased unity among Iran's enemies", Rouhani argued.

Regarding whether Iran should open bilateral talks with the US, Rouhani said:

The present conditions must be carefully analyzed and, if necessary, negotiation and bilateral dialogue with the US must not be avoided. The first steps should be aimed at preventing the increase of pressures and stopping the trend of the present sanctions. During the next stages, the atmosphere must be balanced until the complete elimination of sanctions.

I don’t believe in negotiation just for the sake of negotiation and without achieving any results. We must have a clear agenda and objective in negotiating with the US.

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Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Jalili Vs. Supreme Leader Advisor Velayati

Presidential candidate and Supreme Leader advisor Ali Akbar Velayati speaks about the economy

See also Iran Analysis: Presidential Election --- It's About "Management" & The Economy
Sunday's Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Focus On The Economy

Presidential Election Watch: Supreme Leader Edition

The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke to students at Imam Hossein University --- a military university belonging to the Revolutionary Guards --- said that Iranians should participate in the June 14 Presidential Election and said through this many of the country’s problems will be solved.

Khamenei criticized the U.S., saying that "those Americans who say our election is not free, have not yet closed Guantanamo Bay and are killing many people in Pakistan and Afghanistan."

He added: "Our people should know that the reason Americans are saying these things is because of the importance of the election, therefore the [Iranian] people should create a political epic."

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Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Focus On The Economy

Presidential candidate Mohammad Gharazi (credit: PressTV)

One More Week in Trial of Defendants in Kahrizak Abuse Case?

The head of Tehran Criminal Courts, Judge Mohsen Eftekhari, says three defendants --- Presidential advisor Saeed Mortazavi and two senior judges --- have one week to provide the court with their defences.

Eftekhari said, after that, “the jury will decide on the verdict".

Earlier reports had indicated the defence had concluded its response, and the court had 10 days to deliver a decision.

The three men are accused of complicity in the abuse and killing of three post-election protesters at the Kahrizak detention centre after the disputed 2009 Presidential election.

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