Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Mohammad Reza Naqdi (49)


Iran Today: The IRGC, Basij and "Defeating The Enemy" In The Presidential Election

Rouhani: I Had To Answer Qalibaf In Debate

An EA correspondent writes: the video below --- showing moderate candidate Hassan Rouhani in his car --- was recorded after last night's debate.

At the beginning of the video someone on the road tells Rouhani well done and the man with him says he appreciates Rouhani for the answers he gave in the debate, and asks him what he thought about it.

Rouhani says: "I didn’t want to answer him [Principlist candidate Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf] like that but when I saw that he was not telling the truth, I had to say something to make sure people understand everything properly and also for historical records.  I had so many things to say but I wanted to follow morality. Unfortunately some people place justice and truth to one side in competition."

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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 Live: Parliament Finally Approves Government's Budget

1749 GMT: Election Watch

Head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani, in a veiled attack on President Ahmadinejad, has warned about the misuse of public resources for election purposes: "Unfortunately, some of the actions are carried out either by means of state budgets."

Larijani continued, "It is illegal to use government resources for election purposes," and he called on the Guardian Council to "intensify their supervision".

Critics of President Ahmadinejad have accused him of building up staffs in favourable Government office and using funds to back his chosen candidate in June's Presidential election. They have also condemned an event in Tehran's Azadi Square tomorrow as a campaign rally for Ahmadinejad's right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai.

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Iran Feature: The Week in Review --- Threats and Arrests Before the Presidential Election (Arseh Sevom)

With a Presidential election season on the horizon, speculation begins about likely candidates while officials create an atmosphere of insecurity with rumours and fear-mongering.

Civil society actors in Khuzestan are rounded up. The family of a former framer of the Constitution is told that there can be no public gathering for his funeral.

The Minister of Education has lobbied for segregated university classrooms leaving some asking, “What’s next? Divided hallways?”

Economic woes are nothing new in Iran with inflation at 31.5%, yet the market is flooded with cheap fruit.

The country now has the second-highest rate of traffic fatalities.

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Iran Live: The Ahmadinejad Camp Makes A Move to Hold the Presidency

See also Iran Live Coverage: The Pre-Election Fight Escalates with Ahmadinejad

Ali Nikzad2058 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Egyptian Front). In another sign of improving relations, the Iranian government has agreed that Egyptian tourists no longer need visas to visit the Islamic Republic.

On Saturday, the first flight from Egypt to Iran in 34 years took off from Cairo.

Security services in Aswan took strong measures for the security of 58 Iranian tourists who arrived there Saturday, escorting them throughout their visit.

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Iran Live Coverage: The Pre-Election Fight Escalates with Ahmadinejad

1300 GMT: Obama Conspiracy Watch. Joanna Paraszczuk writes....

Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij militia, has accused President Obama of "congratulating the Iranian people in Persian but acting in Hebrew" in his message for Iranian New Year.

Naqdi accused Washington of spouting rhetoric and expecting the Iranian people to believe its slogans. Referring to a 2010 nuclear deal put forward by Iran, after mediation by Turkish and Brazilian leaders, the commadner said that Obama had promised to solve the issue but had refused to accept that deal.

Naqdi also commented on Michelle Obama's announcement of the Best Picture Oscar for the "anti-Iranian film" Argo, saying that her actions proved that the annual awards were political in nature.

"We are glad that these facts were made clear to the Iranian people," he said, noting that Michelle Obama had shown the world the truth about the Oscars.

Naqdi's comments follow those of a senior military commander, Yaghoub Soleimani that some "supporters of the Islamic Revolution" want to organize a prize for Michelle Obama for proving that Hollywood movies are politically and not artistically motivated.

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Iran Live Coverage: Engineering June's Presidential Election

The Supreme Leader's senior aide Ali Akbar Velayati announces plans for the Presidential election at a Sunday press conference

See also Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: Revolutionary Guards v. Ahmadinejad

1818 GMT: Economy Watch. The Financial Times picks up on one of the hot topics of conversation as Iranian New Year approaches --- the sharp rise in pistachio prices.

The nuts, a staple of the Nowruz celebrations, have soared in cost at home as farmers --- able to make three times as much as a year ago in foreign currency because of the falling Iranian Rial --- send their pistachios abroad.

One kilogrammes of pistachios cost 200,000 Rials last year. This March, the price is between IR540,000 and IR780,000.

In recent days, the Government has forced shops to sell pistachios at 300,000 Rial per kilo, but the intervention has had little effect so far.

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The Latest from Iran (19 December): "The Worst Economic Conditions"

1905 GMT: "We Have Problems? You Have Problems" Watch. The head of the Basij militia, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, has made a plea to the International Community --- "Help the American People":

What has been neglected is the United States' oppressed people, specially the oppressed and innocent American children who are the main victims of the US regime which is supported by only 1% of the Americans, and no one in the world cares for them.

It is true that saving the Palestinian people is a top necessity of the Islamic Awakening movement, but liberation of the US people shouldn't be neglected and the international community should rise to save and free oppressed people of the US, specially its youngsters and kids.

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The Latest from Iran (19 October): "The Sanctions Will Hurt Europe"

See also Iran Feature: Students Suffer as Currency Falls
The Latest from Iran (18 October): The Mysterious Sliding Currency

2130 GMT: CyberWatch. Golnaz Esfandiari of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty summarises the story --- covered in EA earlier this month --- of the Ministry of Intelligence's launch of the website

She observes, "Somewhat ironically for an agency that has admitted hacking into the email accounts of opposition members, it also offers tips on how to protect online data."

1800 GMT: Economy Watch. Prominent businessman Asadollah Asgarouladi has has continued his criticism of the Government's management of the economy, claiming that annual oil revenue has fallen from $100 billion to $30 billion.

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The Latest from Iran (17 October): "We Support Free Elections....In Syria"

See also The Latest from Iran (16 October): "Currency Market Disruptors Will Be Executed"

1819 GMT: From Hero to Forced Retirement. Pilot Houshang Shahbazi, who became a national hero last October with the emergency landing of a plane with more than 100 passengers and crew, says he has been forced into early retirement because he voiced concerns over safety.

“Authorities in charge have [prevented] me from flying and have confined me at home under the excuse that I have portrayed flights by Iranian airlines as unsafe,” Shahbazi said.

The 56-year-old Shahbazi says he had nine years left before the end of his career as a pilot, but he upset authorities who repeatedly asked him to stop his public efforts against the U.S. sanctions that ban Iran from buying spare parts for its aging civilian airline fleet:

[Officials] told me, ‘You can return to work under certain conditions.’ They said, ‘You have to commit yourself not to engage in social work anymore.’ I refused.

Footage of Shahbazi's landing of a Boeing-727, flying from Moscow to Tehran’s Mehrabad airport, after its front landing gear jammed:

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