Iran Election Guide

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The Latest from Iran (30 June): Opposition, It's Your Move

The Latest from Iran (1 July): The Opposition Regroups

LATEST Video: “Keeping the Peace” (30 June)
NEW Iran: To Its People, To The Future (A Daily Show Tribute)
The Latest from Iran (29 June): The Challenge Survives

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1925 GMT: Now Presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi has reacted to yesterday's Guardian Council verdict: "This government is not legitimate.I'll continue fighting in any condition and with any means."

So, of the leading opposition challengers, only Mir Hossein Mousavi has been silent today. We think we know the reason but will wait until the morning to see if our analysis is right.

1900 GMT: In the category of "Well, He Would Say That, Wouldn't He?", President Ahmadinejad is quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency: "This election was actually a referendum. The Iranian nation were the victors and the enemies, despite their ... plots of a soft toppling of the system, failed and couldn't reach their aims."

The significance is not in Ahmadinejad's words, but in their low-key presentation. Both in a national broadcast the night after the election and in a press conference the day after that, the President was loudly celebrating his win, even taunting the opposition as "dust". Now, the day after the Guardian Council has re-affirmed his victory, his public appearance is limited to a brief statement repeating the "foreign threat" theme.
Interpretation? After his over-enthusiasm in the first 48 hours beyond the vote, Ahmadinejad has been reined in by other leaders. The President's "victory" is looking decidedly Pyrrhic in the wider context of the Iranian system.

1440 GMT: Has Maziar Bahari, the Newsweek journalist detained by Iranian authorities, been forced to issue a "confession"?

1430 GMT: The account of "Reza", a student whose account of detention in Evin Prison was put out by "Change_For_Iran" on Twitter, has been re-posted in a single blog entry.

1345 GMT: Now It's Heating Up. After a slow start today, the post-election political and clerical battles have resumed. Within the past hour, moves against the opposition challenge have come from Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, a former head of the judiciary, who has declared that Mir Hossein Mousavi will not be approved as a candidate for the next Presidential election, and a Tehran Member of Parliament who has said the reformist party Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution "is a half-clandestine terrorist organization".

From the other side, Ayatollah Jaleleddin Taheri has asserted that the long-time nemeses of Ayatollah Khomeini are sending the Islamic Republic "to the museum". (A pro-Government Member of Parliament has claimed that Taheri, a prominent prayer leader in Isfahan, is not a "senior cleric".) And other politicians are feuding with the President of the University of Tehran over whether he "invited" security forces to raid the university's dormitories days after the election.

1320 GMT: The Association of Combatant Clerics have issued a statement complementing Khatami's response (1300 GMT).

1300 GMT: We started this morning by wondering what response would be made to the Guardian Council's attempt to close off debate on the Presidential election.

Finally, an answer: former President Mohammad Khatami has declared that an impartial board must address complaints about the election. Meanwhile, there must be change in the approach of the security forces and military to the opposition movement and the atmosphere caused by detentions and repression.

1215 GMT: The chief prosecutor in Isfahan has announced the release of 280 detainees.

1205 GMT: If true, this article from Eli Lake in The New Republic is a disturbing window on the short-sightedness of US Government officials when it comes to Iranian politics and society. The summary, based on interviews with Government sources and Iran-watchers, is that US analysts are "forced to make guesses about the Iranian freedom movement from afar" as they are "not in touch with organizers of the Iranian revolt".

The possibility that an official might be able to get a reasonable view of Iranian devleopments through a consideration of the many different sections of Iranian society beyond "organizers", either for the Government or the opposition, doesn't occur here. Nor does Lake or his interviewees seem to recognise that you don't have to rely on US Government-funded programmes, such as National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, and Radio Farda, to build links for knowledge and analysis.

1200 GMT: An Iranian source says Tehran University students joined the mothers of detainees to protest outside Evin Prison yesterday. Other sources indicate that Evin is now full and detainees are being held in football stadiums.

Press TV English is saying nothing about the detentions. In fact, their current "world news" is saying nothing at all about Iran, preferring to focus on the nominal US withdrawal from Iraqi cities.

A reminder: the project of The Guardian of London to put pictures to the names of those killed and detained can be accessed via the newspaper's homepage.

1045 GMT: An Iranian source on Twitter summarises the situation concisely, "It's like Iran is in shock or coma or something." Still nothing of significance after yesterday's events.

0930 GMT: The calmest morning since the start of the crisis. Almost no information has moved via Internet and personal sources, and there is nothing on news sites beyond the Guardian Council's statement from yesterday. (Ironically, in light of the Iranian Government's restrictions on communication, the English-language site of the Islamic Republic News Agency is down.)

Reports that streets in Tehran are quiet, but a heavy security presence remains. And one piece of good news: the Iranian activist "persiankiwi", whom we have been profiling, is apparently safe and in contact with other reliable sources.

0730 GMT: The Facebook page of Mir Hossein Mousavi offers guidelines for protests, from the writing of Mousavi's name on banknotes to nighttime "Allahu Akhbars", but no specifics on demonstrations beyond the possibility of the days of "religious seclusion" (6-8 July). There is also a message in English: "The manner of a man is better than his gover[n]ance. Help to bring this message back to IRAN."

0615 GMT: Just now on the BBC's flagship radio programme: their Iranian specialist, Sadegh Saba, says the mood in Iran is one of "defeat...hopelessness...despair" with families unaware of where detained relatives are being held or, in some cases, which security branch took them.

0545 GMT: Press TV's website offers the most wonderful (and presumably unintential) ironic comment in 19 days of coverage:
Ahmadinejad's votes increased in the province of Kerman....The incumbent president's tally also rose by 12 votes in Jirof, after 17 of the 170 ballot boxes in the southeastern city were re-counted....The re-count in Jiroft resulted in five votes being deducted from runner up Mir-Hossein Mousavi and one vote being deducted from Mehdi Karroubi, while Mohsen Rezaei's ballots increased by three votes.

However, the changes in the tally were announced as being 'too small' to be deemed decisive in the outcome of the election.
. (Ahmadinejad's original margin of victory was 11 million votes.)

The Iran Crisis (Day 19): What to Watch For Today

The Latest from Iran (30 June): Opposition, It’s Your Move

NEW Iran: To Its People, To The Future (A Daily Show Tribute)
LATEST Video: Rally at Qoba Mosque, Resistance, Violence (24-28 June)

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IRAN GREEN0515 GMT: Last night, the regime finally made what it hopes is the decisive political move. The Guardian Council, after almost a week of stop-start activity and announcements, carried out a recount of 10% of the ballot boxes --- live on TV --- and declared that the 12 June vote was valid: "From today on in the presidential election, the file has been closed."

The outcome was pre-ordained, as the Council itself made clear several days ago. What was more intriguing was the timing. In contrast to the public crackdown on dissent, the Iranian leadership was looking for some agreement with its challengers (of course, on terms highly favourable to the Supreme Leader and President Ahmadinejad). As late as yesterday afternoon, talks were being held with representatives of Mir Hossein Mousavi. In the end, however, all three Presidential challengers refused to endorse the process.

So now we're back at 13 June, albeit in an environment much less favourable for protest. Security personnel are out in force, key members of the opposition are detained with hundreds of others, and communications have been broken or disrupted. Kayhan, the prominent "conservative" newspaper, has demanded the abrogation of the licenses of reformist parties. One should also factor in fatigue with the conflict and the desire for some (how many?) to "get back to normal".

There will be no repeat of the hundreds of thousands on the street in the three days after the original vote. On the other hand, there are thousands (how many?) who have persisted in showing their anger and their hope for an alternative, both in public gatherings and in rooftop protest. Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have not conceded. And there are ripples of criticism, even amongst the clerics in the holy city of Qom, of the Iranian leadership.

Iran: To Its People, To The Future (A Daily Show Tribute)

The Latest from Iran (30 June): Opposition, It’s Your Move
Iran: For Those Still Detained (A Daily Show Tribute)

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Yesterday we mentioned the recent series of reports from Iran by Jason Jones of The Daily Show, highlighting his interviews with two former Vice Presidents and a journalist who are now detained. Today we feature Jones' concluding report. Still with The Daily Show trademark of slightly crazed humour amd moving from football with children to Jones' attempt at "Iranian hip hop", it offers compassion and even hope amidst current events:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Jason Jones: Behind the Veil - The Kids Are Allah Right

Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran


ARCHIVE Video: Rally at Qoba Mosque, Resistance, Violence (24-28 June)

ARCHIVE Video: The “Neda” Footage and Protests (20-23 June)
ARCHIVE Video: The Protests in and Beyond Tehran

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This page will be updated on a regular basis as new videos become available:

28 June: Footage on Tehran Streets


28 June: The Rally Inside Qoba Mosque


28 June: Police and Basiji Charging Protesters


28 June: Mehdi Karroubi Arriving at Ghobar Rally


28 June: People Chanting "Death to Dictator" near Ghobar Rally


28 June: "Memorial" Rally at Ghobar Mosque in Tehran


24 June: Tehran Protest Scenes


24 June: Police use Tear Gas on Protesters


24 June: Woman Caller to CNN on Violence


24 June: Woman to Police at Vanak Square - "Beat Me!"


24 June: Video claiming to be from Baharestan Square (Warning: Graphic)


What Israel Needs from Iran: Threat, Not Democracy

newestpicssThe recent warning of Meir Dagan, head of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, that Iran would have a nuclear bomb ready for use by 2014 was echoed by the Israeli Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, on Thursday. Speaking at a graduation ceremony for new Air Force pilots in Hatzerim, Ashkenazi said:
The reelection of the Iranian president, his remarks on his intention to harm Israel, and his efforts to obtain unconventional weapons, require us to be prepared to deal with every threat, far away and nearby… As the chief of general staff I know - only a strong and high quality IDF will keep war at bay and if necessary, will subdue the enemy and win.

According to Ashkenazi, the only way to feel secure is to ensure that Israeli society is on a permanent military footing.

Support for Ashenazi came from Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: “Our hope is that this will not be required but in the Middle East, the threats posed to our security are not theoretical.” Barak underlined "the unique situation" in which Israel faced "the threat of being wiped out" by an "irrational dictator":
The scope of threats against us has widened from Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to Iran, which is working to attain nuclear capabilities. We will not remove any option from the table and advise others to do the same.

Of course, those "others" who have not understood the importance of the threat include the Obama Administration.