Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in Tabnak (7)


Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Aref and Rezaei Go To The People

Presidential Election Watch: Rouhani Criticizes Ahmadinejad's Holocaust Denial & Calls To Annihilate Israel

The IRDiplomacy website, close to former Iranian diplomat and adviser to former President Khatami Seyed Mohammad Sadegh Kharazi, has published excerpts of an interview with Presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani, which is highly critical of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's foreign policy.

Rouhani argues that though the events of the Arab Spring --- which Iran refers to as the Islamic Awakening --- could have changed the strategic balance in the Middle East to Iran's advantage, "some unwise and radical behaviors deprived the Islamic Republic of Iran of using the situation to its benefit."

Ahmadinejad's policies --- including his Holocaust denial and calls to eliminate Israel --- merely led to "increased unity among Iran's enemies", Rouhani argued.

Regarding whether Iran should open bilateral talks with the US, Rouhani said:

The present conditions must be carefully analyzed and, if necessary, negotiation and bilateral dialogue with the US must not be avoided. The first steps should be aimed at preventing the increase of pressures and stopping the trend of the present sanctions. During the next stages, the atmosphere must be balanced until the complete elimination of sanctions.

I don’t believe in negotiation just for the sake of negotiation and without achieving any results. We must have a clear agenda and objective in negotiating with the US.

Click to read more ...


Iran Analysis: Nervous About Elections, The Regime Imprisons Journalists (Farhi)

The Iranian leaders’ desire to increase participation rates in the presidential election has usually been deemed reason enough for pre-election relative media openness. In this context, the question of whether these moves indicate that the Iranian leadership could care less about participation rates in the presidential election becomes an important one. The worry that the election might get out of control seems to be trumping the desire to elicit higher participation rates as an indicator of state legitimacy.

The way the Iranian deep security state continues to show its pre-election nervousness is nevertheless puzzling.

Click to read more ...


Iran Live Coverage: This Weekend's Crackdown on the Press --- Why?

12 of the Journalists Arrested This Weekend

See also Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: Ali Larijani and The Battle Within The Regime

1639 GMT: Nuclear Watch. The blame game over the failure to renew nuclear talks continues, with both Iran and the European Union putting out statements today.

European Union spokesman Michael Mann said this morning, "Iran did not accept our offer to go to Istanbul on Jan. 28 and 29, and so we have offered new dates in February."

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has countered, “We have always announced that we are ready for talks until a final result [is reached] and we have never stopped negotiations.”

Earlier this month the Iranian Labor News Agency said talks would be held in Istanbul on 28-29 January, but the item was quickly withdrawn.

Salehi subsequently proposed that the negotiations could be in Cairo, but claims that the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China) rejected the venue. On Sunday, the Foreign Minister tried another tack, declaring that Kazakhstan, Sweden, and Switzerland have expressed readiness to host discussions.

Salehi continued, “Turkey is also regarded as one of our best choices.”

Click to read more ...


Iran Feature: The EA Story That Made It Big in Iranian Media

Picturing EA's Story on Gerdab: Bahrain's King Hamad & Britain's David CameronWe have been informed in the past that EA WorldView is not necessarily the favourite site of those in the Iranian establishment. Although many officials read our coverage, they deny this to others in Iran, blocking the website.

So imagine our surprise when we learned this morning that one of EA's stories --- Josh Shahryar's "Bahrain Opinion: 'Loonies' and The Sins of Bell Pottinger" --- is racing across the Iranian media. Apparently, for all the dislike of EA's coverage of Iran, the regime can reconcile with us on a story which is about the Bahraini monarchy, not particularly liked by Tehran, and about a company based in Britain, also not liked very much.

The tribute begins with --- "In the Country Where the US Has No Embassy" --- set up two years ago to take aim at the US President. Its summary headlines, "Bahrain Regime Pays Money to Have Wikipedia's Articles", or in the Persian version,  "Removal of Al Khalifa Crimes from Wikipedia by the British".

There are other differences between the English and Persian entries. The former is pretty much a straight summary of Josh Shahryar's opinion. The latter --- whether from issues in translations or from mischief --- has notable changes. Shahryar, who is from Afghanistan, is now a "Western researcher". His Twitter message becomes the prompt for bloggers and The Independent of London --- those who actually broke the Bell Pottinger story --- to look into the matter. Perhaps most significantly, the PR firm is portrayed as having acted after getting a green light from the British Government and doing so in co-operation with Wikipedia.

It is that Persian re-writing about "the English company that has a higher power to whitewash clear cases of crimes in the State of Bahrain"  that is on the hard-line Raja News, the conservative Jahan News, 2009 Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei's Tabnak, Khadem News, Shia Online, and other websites. EA even makes it to Gerdab, linked to the Revolutionary Guards.


The Latest from Iran (14 April): Honouring a Detained Lawyer

A "Free Sotoudeh" Poster With Her Children2050 GMT: Sanctions Watch. The European Union has published the names of 32 Iranian officials who were subjected to sanctions this week. Included are Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi, Iran Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi, and Iran police chief Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam.

2045 GMT: Media Watch. Another curious suspension of a conservative publication --- the English-language site of Tabnak, the outlet of Mohsen Rezaei, Secretary of the Expediency Council and 2009 Presidential candidate, has not updated since 1 February.

Ayande has not published in Persian since 9 March.

Click to read more ...


Iran Eyewitness: Watching the Supreme Leader's Mission in Qom (Azadi)

This is why the trip to Qom, Khamenei's first in more than a decade, is significant: this Supreme Leader is unprecedented in trying to obtain the highest clerical status through the use of mass media. Crowds are shown welcoming him, he gives a speech to a packed square, and he is exalted through the state's broadcasting and print outlets. 

But a true Grand Ayatollah does not establish his credentials through TV, newspapers, and computer screens. His legitimacy comes from reputation and the informal declarations of followers when they are away from the video cameras. A Grand Ayatollah cannot announce his authority; it is conferred upon him by the respect of peers and worshippers.

So Khamenei can pursue his campaign in Qom, which now enters its fourth day, with more and more publicity, but he cannot succeed unless there is a shift in his reception behind closed doors as well as on the television screens.

Click to read more ...


Iran Breaking: The False Rumour of 7 "Captured" US Troops

UPDATE 1305 GMT: Now to the Important Question....Which Iranian official started the story of the captured troops and why? 

Starting point has to be the Revolutionary Guard, given that its outlet Javan (again, not Fars, which may have repeated the story but soon deleted it) started the rumour. But with Javan soon pulling its attempted scoop and apologising, I doubt anyone will be admitting responsibility.

Indeed, Press TV brings a smile with its coverage: "Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) rejects rumors of seven US troops being detained on the border of southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan."

Somehow, Press TV forgets to mention who started those rumours....

UPDATE 1225 GMT: Mystery Solved. Javan, which started the story that seven US troops had been captured, has just posted that "the news is not true" and has apologised to its readers.

Click to read more ...