Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Mousavi Khoeiniha (4)


Iran Live Coverage: Regime Explains --- Talk of "Free Elections" Is "Sedition"

See also Saturday's Iran Live Coverage: Let's Make a Nuclear Deal?

1945 GMT: Obama Billboard in Tehran Watch.

Roland Elliott Brown explains this image of President Obama and a friend, several stories high on a Tehran building by a major highway:

The image is of Barack Obama standing next to Shemr, a villain in Shia Islam, with a BBC-style caption at the bottom attributing to both men, in the years 2013 and 680 respectively, the loaded phrase: "Be with us, be safe."...

The villain Shemr belongs to the narrative of Hussein's martyrdom at the Battle of Karbala in 680, the trauma that split Muslims into Sunni and Shia denominations. The Shia, or "Party of Ali" (Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law) sought hereditary leadership of Islam. After the murder of the Caliph Ali, and the death of Ali's son and successor Hassan, Ali's younger son Hussein clashed for succession with the Umayyad Caliph Yazid, who sent Shemr's army to destroy Hussein and his followers. Shemr offered some of Hussein's supporters a "letter of protection" in exchange for betraying him, but they refused.

In the mural, Shemr extends a similar letter to the viewer, as he and Obama utter the words Ba ma bash – "be with us" – playing on the president's name, and insinuating that anyone who still likes Obama in the wake of tightening sanctions – or who advocates meeting American, EU, or International Atomic Energy Agency demands over Iran's nuclear programme to avoid conflict – is a traitor to the faith. Obama, the state insists, is a "Hussein" unworthy of loyalty.

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The Latest from Iran (28 November): Supreme Leader Declares, "We're Winning"

1835 GMT: Gaza Watch. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said that, more than a week after he made his request to enter Gaza, he is still awaiting an answer from Egyptian authorities.

Salehi saild he had spoken by phone and in person with Egypt’s Foreign Minister.

1505 GMT: Economy Watch. Kalemeh reports that 2400 workers of the Saveh Pipe Rolling Plant and other factories in northwestern Iran have been on strike since Sunday over six months of unpaid wages.

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Iran Snap Analysis: How Many Reformists Will Participate in the Elections?

Mostafa KavakebianHow many reformists will carry through on the threat to stay away from Parliamentary elections? Former President Mohammad Khatami has walked a careful line, calling for no fielding of candidates but also holding back from telling people not to vote. It is clear, however, that almost all reformist factions are holding that line during this week's registration of candidates. Groups such as the Islamic Iran Participation Front and the Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution, as well as Ayatollah Mousavi Khoeiniha, leading reformist political prisoners, and the detained 2009 Presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi, have all made clear their opposition to reformists seeking Parliamentary seats.

That is bad news for elements in the regime, including the Supreme Leader's office, the Revolutionary Guards, and conservative/principlist rivals of the President, who are worried that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's camp will use organisation and money to bring out their support and win a majority in the Majlis.

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Iran Feature: Parliament Forces Civil Society Underground (Ghazi)

UPDATE 1530 GMT: The Parliament has referred the legislation on civil institutions back to committee after the Speaker, Ali Larijani, criticised "ambiguities" in the language of the bill.

The Majlis, Iran’s Parliament, is in the process of approving a bill that, according to civil activists, aims at eliminating independent civil institutions and replacing them with a government organization. According to the provisions of this bill not only are individuals who plan to establish non-governmental or civil organizations required to be fully cleared and approved by the Ministry of Intelligence and supervisory committees, but even organizations that already have operational licenses and have been active need to reapply for new permits. If the latter are not approved, the supreme supervisory committee will annul their current permits and ban their activities.

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