Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Zanyar Moradi (3)


Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Political Prisoners, Freedom of Expression, and Killer Smog (Arseh Sevom)

Hila Sedighi, threatened with imprisonment, recites her poetry

We have letters for you this week. The most heartbreaking comes from 21-year-old Zanyar Moradi, who begs the world to take notice as he and his cousin face imminent execution. Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi calls on UNICEF to visit children living in prison with incarcerated mothers. The children of former Presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi have called for an end to their house arrest. The Supreme Leader has been deluged with letters demanding free and fair elections.

Meanwhile, Tehran's polluted skies literally take your breath away, claiming more than 4000 lives over one year. Three Iranian writers are honoured with Hellman-Hammett grants for their commitment to free expression, and a group of Iranians in London form an organisation to encourage reading. Iran is said to be working on controls for social networking sites as it steps up its harassment of the families of journalists.

Finally, after her release from prison, Hengameh Shahidi, a former advisor to Mehdi Karroubi, has turned her attention to art.

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The Latest from Iran (27 January): Pilgrims and Soldiers 

A photo of five abducted Iranian "engineers", with their Syrian cook --- are they the five captured "Iranian soldiers" shown in a video from Syria?

See also Syria Video Special: Free Syrian Army Captures "Iranian Soldiers"

2119 GMT: Warning the Supreme Leader. Earlier this month Hossein Alaei, the former Revolutionary Guards commander, caused a stir with an article implicitly warning the Supreme Leader against the consequences of repression. Twelve Guards commanders called Alaei an agent of the enemy and an angry crowd gathered outside his house and defaced it, while other former commanders and some conservative politicians defended him.

Now Alaei has put out another statement, in Jomhouri Eslami, about dictatorships. This one, however, is carefully worded to avoid accusations that the former commander is challenging Ayatollah Khamenei. He states that dictatorships have come to an end, referring to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and continues that "dictators cannot rule with tyranny".

2059 GMT: The "Iranian Soldiers" in Syria. The Iranian Embassy in Syria's Press attaché, Leva'a Roudbari, has declared that none of the seven Iranians held by the Free Syrian Army are in the military, “The kidnappers’ claims is baseless."

Roudbari, in an interview with Syrian State TV, also appeared to say that two of the seven men would be released, "Iran welcomes the kidnappers’ decision to free two of the kidnapped engineers.”

In statements to Reuters (see 1932 GMT), members of the Free Syrian Army said that, while the first five Iranians seized were not engineers but were snipers assisting the Assad regime's military, the two men who came to Syria to enquire about them were civilians.

There is a curiosity in the article with Roudbari's statement, however. The six men in the accompanying photograph, shown in a power plant, do not appear to be match up to the "engineers" seized in Syria.

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The Latest from Iran (18 February): Another Regime Show

2210 GMT: Khabar Online reports on the slogans against Hashemi Rafsanjani in today's pro-government rally in Tehran. They included: 

Master of cunning, Akbar Rafsanjani

Akbar R., Iranian Mubarak

Aghazadeh [Mehdi Hashemi?], your father has gone to the dogs

Be ashamed, quit bargaining

Hashemi, Where is you honour, Faezeh [Raffers daughter], where is your chastity?

2200 GMT: Here are pictures from the government-sponsored 'anti-sedition' rally held in Tehran today. The first image shows protesters getting handed signs. 

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