Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Mohsen Rezaei (83)


Iran Live: Uncertainty over the Presidential Election

The Supreme Leader's "2+1 Committee" --- failing to establish a unity candidate for June's election?

See also Iran Caption Competition: Ahmadinejad Dresses Up in Africa
Saturday's Iran Live: An Ahmadinejad Election Comeback?

1555 GMT: Election Watch

Mehr posts a series of pictures of a de facto election rally by President Ahmadinejad and his would-be successor, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, in Khuzestan Province in southwestern Iran.

In his speech, Ahmadinejad criticised those "who want to decide for people" and indicated that support payments, covering the cost of his subsidy cuts, could be increased by five times.

Mehr:also claims that Ahmadinejad is planning a meeting with 85 bloggers and an "Epic of Presence" rally for women and youth.

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Iran Live: Supreme Leader's Men Try to Regain Election Initiative

The Supreme Leader's "2+1 Committee": Ayatollah Khamenei's aide Ali Akbar Velayati, leading MP and Supreme Leader relative Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, and Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf

1035 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Egyptian Edition). Is this a sign of Tehran's disappointment that developments in Cairo have not gone quite as hoped since the fall of President Mubarak in February 2011?

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said today, “If we want the Iran-Egypt ties to officially reach a favorable level, which is expected by the people of both countries, we should have patience."

The spokesman continued, “It has been declared by Iran on numerous occasions that we have no restrictions on establishing ties with Egypt and that we are ready to resume the relations, but the internal situation in this country (Egypt) is not yet prepared."

Soon after Mubarak's downfall, the Supreme Leader declared that Egypt was at the centre of an "Islamic Awakening", following the model of the 1979 revolution in Iran, but political ties have not developed as quickly or as closely as Tehran hoped.

Even the limited step of encouraging tourism has run into trouble this month, with flights of Iranians into Egypt halted almost as soon as they began amid protests by Egyptians.

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Iran Live: Ex-President Rafsanjani's Camp Makes Its Election Move

Iran Feature: The Week in Review --- Threats and Arrests Before the Presidential Election
Thursday's Iran Live: Ahmadinejad "Presidential Election Will Be Political Epic"

1407 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Mohammad Hassan Asfari of Parliament's National Security Commission has said that a proposed festival in Azadi Stadium in Tehran is a gathering of Ahmadinejad which is an abuse of public funds and is illegal.

1253 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update. In today’s sermon, Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani warned Presidential candidates that loyalty to the Supreme Leader is a vital prerequisite for the position, stating that the Presidency is not a position of personal power but a “trusteeship of the divine”.

He also offered his sympathies for those affected by Wednesday’s earthquake in Bushehr Province that killed at least 37 people and injured hundreds more.

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Iran Live: Decoding the Signals from the Nuclear Talks

Iran Snap Analysis: No Advance in the Nuclear Talks on Friday
Friday's Iran Live: Nuclear Talks Resume in Kazakhstan

1942 GMT: Nuclear Watch. The American attempt to put the spin on the outcome of the nuclear talks has now emerged.

A "senior U.S. official" told reporters that, despite the failure to make any advance, there was no breakdown in nuclear negotiations and that diplomacy would continue.

The official said Iran could be subjected to more economic sanctions in the future, as Western governments seek to step up pressure, but he also claimed that there were some positive signs in the two sets of Almaty discussions in February and April: "Our exchanges were more natural and free-flowing than they had been in the past talks."

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Iran Live Coverage: Seeking the "Unity" Candidate for the Presidency

1410 GMT: Election Watch. The conservative Jahan News tips off both nerves and in-fighting with its concern over photos of President Ahmadinejad's right-hand man, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, on monitors at Imam Khomeini International airport.

Jahan claimed that the photos, accompanied by short quotes, "reveal a serious intention to enter the elections" by Rahim-Mashai.

Rahim-Mashai, formerly Ahmadineajad's Chief of Staff, has not yet officially announced his candidacy. He may be blocked by the Guardian Council from standing, so the Ahmadinejad camp put up an alternative candidate, Minister of Roads Ali Nikzad, last weekend.

Jahan, linked to the politician Alireza Zakani, is still convinced that the President will pursue Plan A:

some say that Ahmadinejad will never take the risk because [Rahim-Mashai's] candidacy will not be approved by the Guardian Council. But others, who appear to have a more logical point, believe that not making Mashai a candidate puts in question the philosophy of the President in the prices he has paid for [Mashai] in the last several years.

Jahan concludes, “At this moment, the actions of Mashaei and the administration points in the direction of Esfandiar Rahim Mashai’s candidacy.”

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Iran Live: Still Looking for "Unity" for the Election

The Supreme Leader's "2+1 Committee" --- MP Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, Khamenei advisor Ali Velayati, and Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf --- who are seeking a "unity" candidate for the Presidential election

See also Iran Analysis: This Week's Nuclear Talks --- A 5-Point Guide to the US and European Position
Monday's Iran Live: Will Iranians Celebrate "Islamic Republic Day"?

1410 GMT: Food Watch. Nasser Karimi offers another story on the soaring price of pistachios, a luxury for New Year celebrations, adding this twist:

The government, which usually tries to contain Iranians' anger over the economy, has heartily backed the pistachio boycott — again for reasons tied to the Western-led sanctions over Iran's nuclear program. Pistachio exports provide a small but important pipeline for foreign revenues at a time when sanctions are squeezing Iran's oil and gas sales. Authorities say fewer nuts consumed at home means more available to sell abroad.

The pale green nuts are Iran's top non-oil export, though admittedly they are very distant second. Iran earned at least $750 million last year from exporting the nut, with some estimates as high as $1 billion.

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Iran Live: Will Iranians Celebrate "Islamic Republic Day"?

Iranians vote in the referendum establishing the Islamic Republic, March 1979

1722 GMT: Relief Watch. Digarban reports that the Supreme Leader's office and the Revolutionary Guards are increasing assistance to the poor.

The Guards' naval division distributed more than 10,000 New Year's packets in southern and southeastern Iran, while Ayatollah Khamenei's office gave one month of aid to 27,000 people in North Khorasan Province in northeastern Iran.

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Iran Live Coverage: Another Challenge to Ahmadinejad

See also Wednesday's Iran Live Coverage: Interpreting the Supreme Leader on the US and Israel

Ali Larijani & President Ahmadinejad1357 GMT: Oil Watch. Japan’s crude imports from Iran rose sharply in Feburary, reaching their highest level since March 2012.

Imports last month were about 321,000 barrels a day, up 67% from January.

Analysts said, however, that refiners have reduced their imports on a yearly basis --- thus, one month's increase is unlike to jeopardize Japan’s waiver from US sanctions.

Japan’s purchases from Iran last year declined 39%.

1353 GMT: Election Watch. Yet another warning of sedition in June's Presidential elections, possibly aimed at the Ahmadinejad camp --- Hossein Taghavi-Hosseini, the spokesman of Parliament's National Security Commission, has said the "deviant current" is pursuing "anti-security" activities.

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Iran Live Coverage: Interpreting the Supreme Leader on the US and Israel

See also Tuesday's Iran Live Coverage: "The Revolutionary Guards Will Protect the Election"

1712 GMT: The Battle Within. Mohsen Rezaei --- Presidential candidate, former Revolutionary Guards commander, and Secretary of the Expediency Council --- has warned that if the next government is not strong, it will fall within two years.

Rezaei told an audience in Khuzestan Province that if the pressure becomes too great in the next government's second year, it would be forced to resign and step down. He did not elaborate on what problems the next government might face.

Rezaei, who has launched his election campaign and is focussing on the economy, said that the Supreme Leader favours the conservative candidates. He explained that he is running in the election because "Today, if I and people like me do not run, it would be a betrayal of the country."

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Iran Live Coverage: "America is Seeking Revenge"

See also Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: Worrying About Syria

2034 GMT: Election Watch. Just as he did in the 2009 Presidential election, candidate and former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezaei has put the economy and the Guards' role in it at the center of his campaign.

In an interview on his Tabnak news site, "Economics Is Not Solved By Reading A Couple of Books and Chanting Slogans", Rezaei praised the role of the Revolutionary Guards in building the country. During the 1980s and 1990s, he said, Iran's enemies had sought a cultural and economic war with Tehran --- for that reason the IRGC began its reconstruction program, which included road and dam-building, construction projects, and oil and gas pipelines.

Promoting the Guards' concept of "self-sufficiency jihad" to boost national production amid current challenges, Rezaei said the Islamic Republic needed people to enter the economy to "combat the enemy who is threatening Iran, and who won't even allow us to sell our Iranian oil".


Iranians must "find ways to fight this economic war," Rezaei said. "Iran's enemies are trying in every possible way to blockade and sanction Iran."

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