Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Mohammed Reza Rahimi (4)


Iran Live Coverage: Crisis at the Central Bank?

Central Bank head Bahmani & President Ahmadinejad2055 GMT: Defiance of the Day. After recent admissions that US-led sanctions are having an effect on Iran's economy, President Ahmadinejad has returned to his tough posture. Speaking to a crowd in the western city of Hamedan, he sent the message:

Don't buy our oil? To hell with you.

It's better if you don't buy...Ten times more money will head to people's pockets through the inventions of our scientists.

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Turkey Live Coverage (29 March): Ankara Adjusts Its Line On Syria

1800 GMT: Prime Minister Erdogan's meeting with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has ended. Khamenei underlined the significance of "the support for the resistance against Zionism" and said that "Iran supports reforms" while they "reject any American plan for Syria". The Iranian leader implied that this is the position an "independent" and "Islamic" country shall take.

In addition to the emphasis on "beneficial alliance and cooperation"with Turkey, Ayatollah Khamenei said that they were glad to see their "Muslim brothers in power in Turkey". 

1645 GMT: Prosecutor Hikmet Usta has appealed the ruling in the Hrant Dink murder trial and argued that the investigation must have been expanded although the court had acknowledged the existence of an organization behind the killing. Usta continued:

The court should have requested that the prosecution collect more evidence if it was lacking. The court rejected our requests to expand the investigation, it did not examine documents related to the Ergenekon gang and did not include people in the case who should have been put on trial with the existing suspects.

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Iran Special: Decoding Ahmadinejad --- Did He Just Declare the "Final Confrontation" Within the Establishment?

Over the last 48 hours, reports have emerged of an extraordinary speech by President Ahmadinejad to a group of his backers, the Supporters of Islamic Revolution Dialogue, in Tehran.

Our initial reaction was "Did he really say that?" And that as the reports built in their detail, we began to consider, "If he did say that, what does it mean for the conflict inside the Iranian system?"

For --- if the reports are true --- the President's speech was no less than a proclamation of all-out political conflict with his rivals, including a possible showdown with some in the camp of the Supreme Leader. That would explain why "mainstream" Iranian outlets only published parts of the statement, leaving out the most provocative challenges.

We are still cautious. Did the pro-Ahmadinejad website, <em>Dolat-e Ma</em>, which has published the transcript of the speech, get it right through its reporter on the scene? Is there exaggeration for effect, perhaps to scare Ahmadinejad's opponents?

Then again, no one from the President's office or amongst his media backers has denied the remarks. So we assess the significance of Ahmadinejad's declaration of a "final confrontation"...

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The Latest from Iran (17 September): The President's Political Baggage

2035 GMT: Ahmadinejad's Foreign Policy Power Play (cont.). So the Iranian President has given his nationally-televised speech in advance of his trip to the United Nations.

Nothing unexpected, as Ahmadinejad gave the ritual thrashing of US foreign policy --- misguided towards Iran, Iraq, the Middle East, and Afghanistan --- and declared that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is "under Western pressure" as it reports on Iran's nuclear programme. His symbolic play was to associate himself with Persia's great rulers by referring to how he brought back the Cyrus Cylinder to Iran from the British Museum (albeit only on loan for four months).

An Iranian activist has the best blow-by-blow summary.

2030 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Didi Remez, writing for Israel's Yediot Ahronoth, reports on Italy's growing trade with Iran:

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