Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Mohammad Reza Aref (13)


Iran Today: Guardian Council Approves Eight Candidates --- What Next?

"Western Sources" and Media Put Out Scary Stories About Leaked Nuclear Report

As customary, extracts from the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency are being fed by Western officials to the media with the scariest-possible interpretation.

The report says that Iran's stock of 20% uranium is still below the level of 250 kilogrammes needed for a single atomic bomb, with Tehran holding 182 kilogrammes and another 140.8 kilos in a state for civilian-only use.

Three diplomats, however, made sure that George Jahn of the Associated Press has the dramatic lede that Tehran "has installed close to 700 high-tech centrifuges in an upgrade of its uranium enrichment program since the start of the year". (Jahn apparently has forgotten that in January the diplomats were talking of 3000 centrifuges.)

Reuters recycles the line that "Iran is pressing ahead with the construction of a research reactor" using plutonium from the Arak heavy-water reactor.

As EA noted earlier this year, dissecting a scare story in The Daily Telegraph, plutonium is a natural by-product of heavy-water reactors, and other countries use it in their civilian programmes.

The unintentional humour, howver, comes from the Institute for Science and International Security, which has previously seen pink tarpaulins and doom-laden magnets as harbingers of Iran's sinister atomic plans. This time, the Institute warns, "Iran Laying Asphalt at the Suspect Parchin Site".

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Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Still No "Unity" Candidate

Election Watch: Rezaei Edition

Mohsen Rezaei --- former head of the Revolutionary Guards, Secretary of the Expediency Council, and Presidential candidate in 2009 --- has registered for this year's contest.

Rezaei's outlet Tabnak said he was accommpanied by more than 2000 people who chanted that he would bring the recovery of Iran's faltering economy.

Rezaei used a similar message in the 2009 election and has been highly critical of the Ahmadinejad Government's handling of economic matters.

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The Latest from Iran (14 July): Sanctions Watch

Mehr shows how Iran could block the Strait of Hormuz with its missiles --- an interactive infographic has also been posted

See also The Latest from Iran (13 July): Revolutionary Enemy-Breaking Queues for Chicken

2049 GMT: Economy Watch. We started today with good-news stories from Fars about 5000 Iranians registering to buy the new automobile of the Iran Khodro Company and a "quality appreciation certificate" presented to Khodro by Renault (see 0600 GMT). We end today with this different perspective from AFP:

Iran's auto production fell by more than 36 percent over the past three months, the industry ministry was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying on Saturday, citing "lack of money".

Production fell to about 241,500 vehicles in the first quarter of the Iranian year (March 21 to June 20), according to the figures.

Iran built more than 1.5 million vehicles in 2011/2012.

The decline coincides with the halt of parts deliveries to Iran by French manufacturer Peugeot because of Western sanctions.

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