Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Qassem Suleimani (15)


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 Live Coverage: A Collapsing Economy?

See also Wednesday's Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad v. Everyone Else

1710 GMT: Economy Watch. A new report by the Iranian Chamber of Commerce indicates that 5931 industrial units --- 67% of those surveyed --- have been shut.

1440 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Ebrahim Raissi, the Deputy Iran Prosecutor General, has promised that indictments in the case of Mehdi Hashemi, the son of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, will be issued soon.

Hashemi, accused of financial and electoral fraud by his critics, was detained in September on his return from three years in exile in Britain. He was released on bail last month.

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The Latest from Iran (25 July): Supreme Leader --- We are Strong, The West is Weak

Nikahang Kowsar links the Supreme Leader's defiance to current worries about the rising price of chicken: "Rethink our economic policy? A chicken has one foot! (a Persian euphemism for stubbornness)"

See also Iran Feature: You've Been Thunderstruck --- AC/DC's Heavy Metal Joins the CyberWar < br />The Latest from Iran (24 July): A Protest in Neyshabour "About The High Prices of Food, About Everything"

1736 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Amin Zargarnejad, a leftist political activist in Tabriz, has been released after 45 days in detention.

1721 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Salar Abnush, the Qazvin commander of the Revolutionary Guards, has declared that sanctions have been imposed against the Islamic Republic because Iranians are waiting for the return of the Hidden Imam.

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The Latest from Iran (22 July): Trying to Fix the Economy for Ramadan

See also Iran Feature: The "No to Hijab" Campaign on Facebook
The Latest from Iran (21 July): Support the Syrian Regime, Support Your Leader

1900 GMT: Reformist Watch. In a lengthy interview, opposition activist Mojtaba Vahedi has explained his decision to break after 30 years with Mehdi Karroubi --- former Speaker of Parliament, 2009 Presidential candidate, and detainee under strict house arrest since February 2011.

Vahedi said his primary motive was "to expose more freely" those reformists advocating participation in next year's Presdiential election.

1820 GMT: Election Watch. Radio Farda evaluates this week's declaration by the Guardian Council that it is changing Iran's election laws in accordance with the wishes of the Supreme Leader --- the site assesses that the move is the outcome of a struggle within the establishment, with the Council and Ayatollah Khamenei tightening their grip on power.

Bolstering that interpretation, Vice President Mohammad Reza Mirtajoddini has said the Government is responsible for the election laws and changes would weaken the Iranian system.

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The Latest from Iran (21 July): Support the Syrian Regime, Support Your Leader

1730 GMT: Tough Talk of the Day. Reza Taghavi, the head of the Friday Prayer Leaders' Policymaking Council, has declared, "Iran is now capable of enriching uranium at a 20-percent level, but if [other countries] continue their pressure, we will increase enrichment levels to 56 percent."

1718 GMT: Chicken Watch. Etedaal satirises the current tension over the rising price of chicken --- it envisages the Central Bank announcing four- and six-month "pre-sales" of chicken, with prices to be fixed on a weekly basis.

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The Latest from Iran (14 March): Questioning Ahmadinejad

One of a set of photos of President Ahmadinejad's appearance in Parliament

See also The Latest from Iran (13 March): "Tehran is a Pioneer of Human Rights in the World"

1805 GMT: Drumbeats of War Watch. Some of the better journalists on the Iran beat have noticed the "intriguing signs of potential diplomatic progress over Iran’s nuclear program", but that should not stop others from fishing for readers with the "Could It Be War?" bait.

CNN simply asks, "Will Israel Strike Iran?", opening:

It's late in Iran on a dark night, moonless or with heavy clouds. Suddenly the silence is broken by sonic booms, followed by the sound of jets roaring overhead.

Flying in tight formation, Israeli fighter planes drop bunker-busting bombs on a nuclear enrichment plant built into the side of a mountain.

Iranian pilots race for their own jets to fight back, but by the time they take to the sky, it's too late. The Israeli jets streak away.

And The Atlantic, which introduced "The Iran Doomsday Clock", seeks profit by arguing against itself --- James Fallows derides speculation without speculating without knowledge:

While I am skeptical of the journalistic bias toward guessing what might happen rather than analyzing what has actually occurred, in the current climate I'll hazard this prediction: the United States is in fact not going to bomb Iran, and in anything like the current set of facts not even Netanyahu's Israeli administration is likely to do so. Indeed we will look back on the hyped-up bomb-Iran frenzy of the past two months with an air of wonder and dismay.

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Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A University Under Curfew

A crowd in Tunisia marks the first anniversary of the downfall of the President "Ben Ali, assassin!"

See also Friday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: How Long Can This Go On?

1550 GMT: A Friday night protest in Imbaba against Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces:

1540 GMT: Footage of arrival of Syrian military in Kafrsita in Hama Province today:

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The Latest from Iran (14 January): Dealing with the Currency

See also Iran 1st-Hand: Detained Activist Mahdieh Golroo to Her Imprisoned Husband "Our Best Days Are Yet to Come"
Iran Feature: Israel's Mossad, Posing as CIA Officers, Recruited Anti-Regime Insurgents
The Latest from Iran (13 January): Beyond "Safe and Sane" --- Watching The Economy

1744 GMT: At the Movies. Asghar Farhadi, director of the acclaimed Nader and Simin: A Separation, has written the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, challenging the order to close the House of Cinema, Iran’s largest organisation for cinema professionals.

Farhadi wrote, in an excerpt published by the reformist newspaper Shargh, “If the decision to dissolve the House of Cinema is based on the idea that the majority of the film community and members of the guild are in agreement with your method, then I suggest that you take a vote on this decision among the few thousand members of the House of Cinema.”

Dozens of directors, actors, and others in the film industry have signed open letters challenging the closure. The Ministry of Culture withdrew the ban earlier this week, saying it would await the decision of an administrative court.

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The Latest from Iran (23 December): The Ahmadinejad All-Is-Well Show

1540 GMT: Tehran's Israeli Friend. Bloomberg has published a report asserting that the Israeli communications company Allot Communications Ltd has shipped cyber-surveillance equipment to Tehran through a Denmark-based distributor.

Allot's Chief Executive Officer Ramy Hadar denied the report, "Allot's equipment was sold to a Denmark-based distributor, the same way it is sold to thousands of distributors and tens of thousands of clients worldwide. We have no way of knowing where our equipment ends up. We have no ties with Iran. You can get our equipment online --- like on eBay."

Israeli officials denied any knowledge of the shipments. The Defense Ministry said it is investigating the report.

1534 GMT: Economy Watch. Alef, the site linked to MP Ahmad Tavakoli, continues its attack on the Government's economic policies. It carries an analysis tying the fall of the Iranian currency to President Ahmadinejad's subsidy cuts.

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The Latest from Iran (12 December): Paranoia --- It'll Destroy Ya

See also Iran Interview Special: What Has Happened to the 1000s Wounded After the Election?
The Latest from Iran (11 December): Being Tough...To a Point

Mohammad Javad Larijani1925 GMT: Ahmadinejad Shoe-Throwing Watch. Ghased News offers more on today's hurling of shoes, by a 45-year-old unemployed textile worker, at the President during his visit to Sari in northern Iran.

The website claimed the shoe-thrower is a recidivist, having tossed a tomato at Mohammad Khatami when he was President. After his effort today, spectators beat him up --- “If the police was not present, nobody knows what would have happened to him,” Ghased pondered.

There is no mention of the President's tour, let alone the incident, on the homepage of State news agency IRNA. Fars News mentions the visit, but not the shoe-throwing, on its English-language site; however, its Persian-language homepage is silent --- earlier today, the website deleted an article which mentioned the shoe-thrower's motive as 17 months of unemployment.

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