Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Nikahang Kowsar (33)


The Latest from Iran (8 December): Tehran to Hit New Low in Oil Exports?

See also Iran Snap Analysis: A Regime Still Worried About the Green Movement? (Yes.)
The Latest from Iran (7 December): Maintaining the Oil Squeeze

1740 GMT: Nuclear Watch. The "hard-line" paper Kayhan, using a historical reference, has warned that leading political figures are seeking to force the Supreme Leader to "drink from the "poison chalice" and hold direct talks with the US over the nuclear issue.

The expression refers to Ayatollah Khomeini's statement when he reluctantly agreed to the punishing conditions of a cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq War in 1988.

The regime pursued "back-channel" discussions with the US in the autumn, but these appear to have come to a halt in October. Since then, Tehran has grown frustrated with an apparent failure of Washington and its allies to talk about an Iranian proposal trading enrichment of 20% uranium for sanctions, and this week Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani indicated the Islamic Republic is backing away from the idea of direct talks.

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The Latest from Iran (25 October): Ahmadinejad v. the Judiciary, Continued

President Ahmadinejad v. Head of Judiciary Sadegh Larijani (Cartoon: Nikahang Kowsar)

See also EA Video Analysis: The New York Times Muddled the Story of "Secret US-Iran Nuclear Talks" --- But Why?
The Latest from Iran (24 October): The Interrogation of Ahmadinejad?

2020 GMT: Budget Watch. More on alleged diversion of funds by the Government (see 1520 GMT)....

The Supreme Audit Court has accused the Government of transferring $12 billion of oil revenue to the general State revenue account rather than the foreign exchange reserve, in an attempt to cover last year's budget deficit.

The Court alleges that unauthorized withdrawals of oil revenue amount to a total of $19 billion.

The Presidency's Economics Directorate has countered with a report claiming increased Government deposits in the foreign exchange reserve during the Ahmadinejad years.

(Hat tip: Iran Tracker)

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The Latest from Iran (12 August): 250+ Killed in Earthquakes in Northwest

People shelter overnight after the two earthquakes in East Azerbaijan Province

See also Iran Document: Students to the Supreme Leader "If Only You Ordered Tolerance Towards Dissent"
The Latest from Iran (11 August): US Uses Syria for More Sanctions

2002 GMT: Picture of the Day. An image from the rescue effort after the two earthquakes in northwestern Iran:

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The Latest from Iran (10 July): "I Have No Hope, None at All"

Cartoon of the Day: Nikahang Kowsar's President Ahmadinejad cries out, "We sell smuggled oil"

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From Repression 1999 to Repression 2012
The Latest from Iran (9 July): Desperately Seeking All-Is-Well Oil News

2045 GMT: Irony Watch. From Press TV:

Iran has strongly denounced the detention of a prominent Shia cleric and the brutal crackdown of anti-regime protesters in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, which has been a major scene of protests over the past months.

1954 GMT: Oil Watch. Minister of Oil Rostam Qassemi has said that $5 billion of the National Development Fund has been allocated to the South Pars gas field development projects, accelerating Phases 20-24 of the project.

On 2 July, the NDF and the Ministry of Oil signed a deal for the Fund to earmark $14 billion of its assets to oil industry projects.

More than 70% will be spent on the development of oil and gas fields as well as expanding the upstream sector of the oil industry, Qassemi said, with the rest channeled into refining infrastructure.

President Ahmadinejad has claimed the NDF's assets will reach $55 billion by the end of this year. Iran transfers 20% of its oil revenues to the Fund.

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The Latest from Iran (9 July): Desperately Seeking All-Is-Well Oil News

See also The Latest from Iran (8 July): Admitting the "Sanctions Problem"

1810 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Egyptian and Syrian Fronts). Press TV highlights the latest push by Tehran to present an Iranian-Egyptian alliance under the headline "Egypt Revolution Undoubtedly Inspired by Iran":

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, says the Egyptian revolution was “undoubtedly” inspired by the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.

“We are happy that despite all the difficulties an Islamist [presidential] candidate won in Egypt,” Velayati said in a meeting with the Secretary General of Egypt's Amal Party Magdi Hussein in Tehran on Monday....

Velayati described [Egyptian President Mohamed] Morsi’s victory as “a very important achievement,” saying, “Safeguarding this achievement is more important than achieving it".

Velayati also had some sharp words about the Syrian political crisis, “Certain regional states and aggressive countries such as the US and the Israeli regime have joined hands and hatched a plot against the Syrian government.” He said the public’s problems would undoubtedly be resolved based on the reforms which are underway.

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The Latest from Iran (3 May): The Oil Squeeze

See also Iran Feature: Celebration and Censorship --- At the Tehran International Book Fair
Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Journalists and Students in Prison, Workers' Day Cancelled, & More
The Latest from Iran (2 May): Books and Politics

2123 GMT: Elections Watch. Alef claims that the Internet TV of the conservative/principlist Islamic Constancy Front has been filtered ahead of tomorrow's second round of Parliamentary elections.

The Constancy Front has been the rival of the Unity Front, the main faction seeking to represent conservatives and principlists.

2115 GMT: Clerical Intervention. Ayatollah Dastgheib has challenged the regime's definition of "mohareb", those who commit "war against God". Dastgheib said the mohareb were those who "confront people with arms", not those who criticise rulers.

Dastgheib added tht all clerics should ask officials to release political prisoners. He said opposition figures Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, in their 15th month under strict house arrest, "have just demanded that the Qur'an and Constitution should be observed".

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The Latest from Iran (18 November): Smoke and Politics

See also Iran Video and Analysis: 4-Point Guide to a Train-Wreck Discussion with Top Official Mohammad Javad Larijani
Iran Interview: UN's Special Rapporter on Human Rights to Tehran "Co-Operate With Me"
The Latest from Iran (17 November): The Regime Mobilises...for Occupy Wall Street

1628 GMT: The House Arrests. Mohammad Taghi Karroubi, the son of detained opposition figures Mehdi and Fatemeh Karroubi, has hit back at the claim of Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior official in Iran's judiciary, that the strict house arrests were imposed after a judicial process.

The younger Karroubi said no legal documents were presented and that officials of the Ministry of Intelligence said the judiciary "has no say in this case".

1621 GMT: Bad Behaviour Watch. Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi has said that the Internet, mobile phones, and girl-boy relations are "general plagues" affecting Iran.

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The Latest from Iran (13 November): An Explosion at a Military Base

2045 GMT: The Explosion. With the Revolutionary Guards "correcting" news about the blast at its Malard base twice within 24 hrs, Asr-e Iran has jabbed at the censorship and "informational shame".

2030 GMT: Corruption Watch. Iran's Inspector General Mostafa Pourmohammadi has said that the effects of financial corruption are worse than sanctions.

Hossein Fadayi of Parliament's Article 90 Commission offers a far different message: combating corruption is proceeding reasonably, and the Supreme Leader and his children are "the cleanest people".

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The Latest from Iran (17 October): Plots, Rumours, and A Flying Cabbage

See also Iran Document: 1st Report of The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights
Iran Audio Feature: How Ahmadinejad's Advisor Stumbled Into An Admission of The Battle Within

1940 GMT: The Plot. President Ahmadinejad has used an interview with Al Jazeera English tonight to deny any Iranian involvement in the plan to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the US: "Terror is for people... who don't have any logic. People of Iran are pro-logic."

Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has tried a different approach, declaring that the main suspect in the US, Manssor Arbabsiar, is "addicted to opium and drunken and mentally not well balanced".

1640 GMT: The Plot. Minister of Defense Ahmad Vahidi has insisted that Iran is the most secure and stable country in the world today and that US accusations of Tehran's attempt to kill the Saudi Ambassador in Washington are "an intelligence disgrace".

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The Latest from Iran (29 September): A Billion-Dollar Bank Fraud Takes Over

See also Iran Video Feature: Ahmadinejad, Arab Spring, and the Future of the Regime
Iran Propaganda Special: What's Wrong with this Photo of the Mighty Iranian Navy?
Iran Media Snapshot: Reuters Panics, "The Iranians Are Coming (to the Gulf of Mexico)!"
The Latest from Iran (28 September): And Now to the Real News....

1655 GMT: Bank Fraud Watch. In the latest incarnation of "Don't Blame Me", Iran's Inspector General Mostafa Pourmohammadi has declared that his office knew about the $2,6 billion bank fraud and told the Central Bank. He claimed that the fraudsters failed to launch an "Aria Bank" for their embezzled funds and, with their failure, their crimes became evident.

1635 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Mohsen Armin, a former Deputy Speaker of Parliament, has been sentenced to six years in prison.

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