Iran Election Guide

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The Latest from Iran (22 June): Rumbling On

2130 GMT: The University Argument. Having started with this in the morning, I guess we should conclude this evening with the Parliament v. President fight over control of Islamic Azad University.

Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has criticised the pressure on Parliament, from demonstrations outside the Majlis to remarks in "hard-line" newspapers: "If the norms are observed in the criticism of (government) branches, it will be good and will promote the progress of that branch, but (this should) not (be done) with bad language,” Larijani told lawmakers.

NEW Iran’s Revolutionary Guard & the US: Oil Spills Are Thicker than Hostility?
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The Latest from Iran (21 June): Beyond Quiet Remembrance

Indirectly responding to stories, including an assertion by Iran's Attorney General, that the Parliament's bill on Islamic Azad could be set aside, Larijani said that what the lawmakers chose to ratify, if endorsed by the Guardian Council, would come into force and should be respected.

1915 GMT: The Energy Squeeze. Pakistan has backed  away from a deal with Iran to construct a gas pipeline because of impending US sanctions.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani told a press conference, “If the U.S. imposes sanctions, they will have international implications and Pakistan as a member of the international community will follow them.”

Tehran had announced the deal earlier this month, but President Obama's special envoy for Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke urged Pakistan to be wary of proceeding.

1900 GMT: Khatami's Back. Returning from a break (and the General McChrystal fiasco in Afghanistan), I find that former President Mohammad Khatami has made another pointed intervention, starting with the recent attacks on clerics and moving to a renewed call for civil rights:
Unfortunately today insults, lies and false accusations even against those who were allies of Imam Khomeini even before he came to the scene and after the Islamic Revolution were major figures of the revolution has become common and they are being accused of various kinds of accusation without being able to defend themselves.

When in the national-TV constantly false and biased issues are being mentioned (even if they were right, insults and cursing are wrong) is a catastrophe.”

Let the legitimate freedoms mentioned in the constitution exist and people will be the judge and this will solve many of the problems.

Many of the good individuals who have been arrested or are wanted should be able to come to the scene, the groups and parties should be able to restart their legal activities, we never want to confront the system although are being accuse unjustly to all sorts of accusations and those who are accusing us are causing the most damage to the system.

1310 GMT: Meanwhile in Parliament. Amidst the university dispute, this news --- significant, I think --- has received little notice: the Majlis has approved a bill postponing municipal elections for two years.

1300 GMT: The University Conflict Escalates. Fars News is claiming that, following this morning's Basij/student protest in front of the Parliament, the Majlis' bill asserting control over Islamic Azad University will be nullified.

Radio Farda, via Peyke Iran, reports that Iran's Attorney General, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, has written to the head of judiciary, Sadegh Larijani. The message? The Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution has the final say on the issue, effectively overruling any Parliament decision.

1020 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Amnesty International has issued a call for "urgent action" over the detentions of Narges Mohammadi, the Deputy Head of the Center for Human Rights Defenders, and CHRD member and journalist Abdolreza Tajik.

Mohammadi, an associate of Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, was arrested late on 10 June at her home in Tehran. Up to 18 June, she had been permitted to make only one phone call to relatives.

Tajik was arrested on 12 June, after being summoned to the office of the Ministry of Intelligence in Tehran. He has been held incommunicado in his third detention since June 2009. (see UA 171/09 and updates).

1005 GMT: The University Argument. Well, well, Press TV has decided to cover an event inside Iran (see 0720 GMT). The website notes:
Hundreds of Iranian students have staged a demonstration in front of the Parliament in protest at a bill passed by lawmakers regarding the Islamic Azad University.

The bill allows the University to donate its property worth $200 billion dollars for public purposes. The government says the bill violates the articles of association of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution.

The body, chaired by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, supervises the country's universities. The ongoing controversy between the government and the Azad University started after the government decided to take control of the university.

However, according to Khabar Online news service, Majlis members voted for the public endowment of the university's properties under the condition that the premises belong to the university's board of trustees.

0933 GMT: Remembering the Dead. Rah-e-Sabz profiles Moharram Chegini, "a worker killed for freedom and his vote" last June.

Meanwhile, the website worries that, as the trial of 1 civilian and 11 security forces over the Kahrizak Prison abuses concludes, the former Tehran Prosecutor General (and current Ahmadinejad advisor) Saeed Mortazavi will get away without punishment. It features the plea from the father of Mohammad Kamrani, one of those killed in the prison, that a film of the court proceedings be made public.

0930 GMT: The Warning Within. Mohsen Rezaei, former Presidential candidate and current Secretary of the Expediency Council, has warned that defaming revolutionary figures [a challenge to the opposition or a challenge to those who verbally attacked Seyed Hassan Khomeni?] brings grave consequences for the next 10 years.

0920 GMT: The Wider Parliament-President Conflict. What does this latest row mean? Here are a couple of clues. Ali Larijani, countering attacks on Parliament from outlets like Keyhan, has said that Government supporters are ruthless and "insurgent" (ghougha-salar).

From the reformist side, MP Mostafa Kavakebian asks, "Don't we have a Guardian Council in this country to cope with these people, accusing the Majlis?"

0915 GMT: But the Next Move on Universities Begins. Peyke Iran is reporting that Basij students, protesting the rejection of the President's proposal to take control of Islamic Azad University, have gathered in front of Parliament.

Rooz Online follows up on Ahmadinejad's immediate protest, cancelling a meeting with Ali Larijani, the head of Parliament, and Sadegh Larijani, the head of judiciary.

0850 GMT: Blocking Ahmadinejad's University Move. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has more on the battle between the President and the Parliament over control of Iran's Islamic Azad University.

Ahmadinejad was seeking to remove the current head of the university, which is closely linked to Hashemi Rafsanjani, and to change the members of the governing board. Mir Hussein Mousavi but was removed from the board this spring.

In a vote on Sunday, the legislators rejected the President's proposal.

0720 GMT: The Issues Within. Let's see: has Press TV, international flagship outlet of the Iranian state, noticed the political, economic, social, and religious discussions in the country? The current top 7 "Iran" stories from the Press website:

1. Iran Warns against Cargo Inspections
2. Bahrain Calls for Expanded Iran Ties
3. Larijani: Deep Mistrust in US-Iran Ties
4. "West Must Compensate for Rigi Crimes"
5. Iran "Keeps Watchful Eye on PG [Persian Gulf] Skies"
6. Iran Wants UNSC [United Nations Security Council] Held Accountable
7. IRGC Offers to Contain BP Oil Spill (see separate entry)

Answer: No.

0635 GMT: We've published two features to start the day.

There is a look at the cartoons reflecting and reflecting upon the relationship between Mir Hossein Mousavi and the Green Movement. And we've got a surprise --- it looks like oil has brought Revolutionary Guard friendship for the US.

0515 GMT: No dramatic developments on Monday but a far from quiet day, with manoeuvres and criticisms, especially within the "establishment". There was scrapping over the economy, corruption, control of the universities, the enforcement of hijab, budget discrepancies....

So what does today bring?

Reader Comments (81)

US lawmakers unveil Iran sanctions bill" rel="nofollow">
Refined oil is targeted as well ! dur dur !

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnge-Paris

"There Will Be War"
Reza Kahlili, 06.21.10, 07:20 PM EDT
The time to support Iran's people is now." rel="nofollow">

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnge-Paris

S-300 Watch

Moscow hopes to sell Turkey the powerful S-300 air-defense missile system -- and possibly the more advanced S-400 -- after blocking delivery of the weapon to Iran." rel="nofollow">

Kenefi bad dardiye ;-)

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama


Why would Turkey need such a defence system? I know of no country likely to attack Turkey? Maybe Turkey knows something that I don't know?? :) Perhaps all ME countries are wary of "wild dogs" .??


June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBaz

I read that article early this am and something that struck me - if you read between the lines - was that it seems to be more about Russia wanting to offload this on someone and perhaps re-start the trend of ME countries buying ITS weapons systems than Turkey actually being so interested in a system the Israelis already know how to disable.

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

RE 0930 GMT: Mohsen Rezaei, former Presidential candidate and current Secretary of the Expediency Council, has warned that defaming revolutionary figures brings grave consequences for the next 10 years.

Mohsen Rezai just wants to cover his ass in case "something unexpected" happens to the regime currently in power. He was the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Corp during the 1988 massacres of political prisoners and was likely to have been responsible for ordering the hardcore Revolutionary Guards who did the killings into the prisons.

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Barry and Arshama,
This is going to be interesting:
Wait and See Game for Turkey's Enforcement of UN Sanctions on Iran" rel="nofollow">

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Iran’s Leader refuses to release detained students

Spokesman for Iran’s Guardian Council Abbasali Kadkhodayi announced that Iran’s Supreme Leader has “firmly” expressed his opposition to the “release of detained students” as suggested by Fatemeh Karroubi, wife of opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi.

Reportedly Ayatollah Khamenei has said: “I am surprised by this suggestion. If someone is guilty of an offence, they have to be confronted. If they are not at fault, they will obviously be released.”" rel="nofollow">

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Interview with Dr Mahmood Delkhasteh: Iran's Green movement is revolutionary; Musavi and Karubi, have become liabilities" rel="nofollow">

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

When I read about he student protest on PressTV I about crapped my pants. Wow one article on Iran inside Iran. Ahh but the devil is in the details. They were just loyal Basiji thugs! Alas all I was left with was the usual "attack" pieces targeting the "arrogant" powers Iran will smash and then save from oppression. O what a beautiful world the regime has planned for us!

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwdavit

Head of Oxford's St. Anthony College urges release of Mohammad Reza Jalaeipour" rel="nofollow">

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine


After attacking the 'maraje' (high clerics) in Qom it is now the turn of the Majlis to be attacked and insulted by a bunch of thugs, usually mobilised for "popular" demonstrations in front of disobedient foreign embassies. This is "politics" IR style.
If the SL really overrules the parliament's decision to guarantuee the independency of Free Universities, it would be a clear slight against the Larijani brothers and Raffers, marking a new level of political oppression.
The pictures remind me of 1907 and the unfamous bombarding (be toop bastan) of the newly-founded Majlis by Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar:" rel="nofollow">


June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama


Only Allah knows ;-)
If true, Erdogan is obviously aiming at establishing Turkey as the new ME super power. And Russia flatters Turkey to annoy NATO and the EU (politics is a complicated business).


June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama


citation of the last paragraph, source Business News

"For now Turkey has remained circumspect over enforcing new sanctions. One foreign ministry official said "you will have to wait and see." Analysts say Iran would probably reward any breaking of sanctions with lucrative energy deals. But the political cost could be high because of Turkey's aspirations for joining the EU. The coming weeks will see Ankara facing a difficult a choice."

Don`t you think too that there is a totaly absence of European foreign affairs according turkish politics ?

Indepent of the dicision, which way Ankara will go - the inability of the EU about showing real perspectives about the turkish membership it`s a very big mistake of the European countries.

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGunniy

TV watch - ARTE TV - Regards to Ange &Pessimist
Iranian documentation about the elections on
arte tv" rel="nofollow">

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGunniy

I could not locate the thread at which Scott posted the comment referred to below, and so I thought it best to post it here for those who might be interested:


YOU WROTE: "Where are the Form 22s? Have they ever been made public?"

The following passage from my article will answer your questions about the "Form 22" filed by polling stations to report local results in Iranian elections:


"The final count for each candidate is written on a government form – Form 22 – which also states how many blank ballots were supplied to the polling station and how many are left. Five originals of Form 22 are signed by election officials and each observer. If a candidate's observer disagrees with the count, he will refuse to sign (and presumably will notify the candidate). One signed original of the Form 22 is placed inside the ballot box, which is then re-sealed in the observers' presence and handed over to a local election official to hold for a legally prescribed period of time.…

Signed originals of the Form 22 are delivered to the Interior Ministry in Tehran and three other officials. A copy is given to each observer. The Form 22 information is also transmitted electronically on election night to district or county government offices, where candidate observers also are present. Form 22 information from numerous polling stations is summed up there to yield district-level and county-level vote totals, which are then transmitted electronically (and later physically) to the Interior Ministry in Tehran. To expedite the national vote tabulation in the 2009 election, Form 22 information was also transmitted directly from each polling station to the Interior Ministry. Observers are present when any electronic transmission occurs."


Presumably there are 45,692 Form 22's at the Interior Ministry in Tehran, as well as duplicate signed originals of each Form 22 at several other local, regional and provincial offices – not to mention in each sealed ballot box, including the thousands of ballot boxes that were opened and recounted on June 20, 2009 in the presence of video cameras and hundreds of opposition observers. I have heard no report of a Form 22 missing from any of those thousands of recounted ballot boxes, nor any report that it inaccurately recorded the vote count. Have you? Nor am I aware that any of these government records – at the Interior Ministry, or at any regional or provincial office – is off-limits to public examination. I have read no report that a Mousavi representative has ever sought to examine these Form 22 records and been denied access. Have you?

I gather, though, that you now argue it is not Mousavi's job to examine any records at all, or even to disclose which polling stations were monitored by his own representatives on election day. Instead, we are to conclude, until proven otherwise, that no Mousavi observer was present at any polling station anywhere in Iran or that, even if one was present, no polling station vote-count is valid unless the government can produce a Form 22 signed by a Mousavi observer.

If this indeed is your argument, first please note that I suggested in my article a "fraud test" based on the very presumption you now insist upon: only polling stations at which a Mousavi observer actually signed the Form 22 would be counted as "observed" polling stations. Ahmadinejad's percentages at comparable "observed" and "unobserved" polling stations would then be compared, and any suspicious results would be investigated further to uncover fraud. My suggestion did presume, however, that Mousavi would cooperate at least by identifying the polling stations at which his observers indisputably had signed the Form 22. Presumably Mousavi has this information at his fingertips, or could obtain it quickly in response to a brief email sent to his election-day observers. It strikes me that it is not asking too much for Mousavi to disclose this information so that we can make the "observed" versus "unobserved" comparisons I've suggested.

Nevertheless, if I understand the current version of your argument, Mousavi should not be expected to provide even this level of cooperation, even if he has all necessary information readily available (as I am confident he does). We must, in effect, treat each polling station in Iran as if it did not even exist on election day unless the government, or Ahmadinejad, can produce a Form 22 signed by a Mousavi observer at that polling station.

Suppose then, as you insist, that Ahmadinejad produces 5 Form 22's signed by a Mousavi observer, showing that Ahmadinejad received 65% of the votes at those 5 polling stations. Could Ahmadinejad claim victory? If Mousavi responded that Ahmadinejad hadn't proved he'd received a majority of the votes nation-wide, could Ahmadinejad reply: "How do you know how many votes were cast nationwide? Do you have Form 22's, signed by my representatives, for other polling stations? Let's see them." What then? Suppose Mousavi then released records of, say, 9 polling station vote-counts – just enough to move him ahead of Ahmadinejad? Would Mousavi then be the winner, or would Ahmadinejad get an opportunity to publicize Mousavi-approved results at, say, another, 7 polling stations? And would Mousavi then be given a chance to respond again? How many turns would each candidate get? And what if Rezai stepped in at some point to insist that vote counts at many of these polling stations must be invalidated because he had had no observer there? Or what if Karroubi had told all of his observers to stay home on election day, except at one polling station in his neighborhood where he'd won the majority, and he produces a Form 22 for that polling station signed by all 4 candidates' representatives? Karroubi wins?

Rather than play leap-frog like this, or permit such absurd results, might it make more sense to seek the truth in the way I suggested in my article: have Mousavi's representatives compare each ballot-box vote-count reported by the Interior Ministry – the information has long been publicly available, for all 45,692 ballot boxes – to the vote count for that ballot box reported to Mousavi by his own observer, and complain loudly about any discrepancy? Even if we accept Mousavi's lower number of Mousavi observers (25,000, rather than the 40,676 claimed by the Guardian Council), this would give Mousavi 25,000 opportunities to report an inaccurate vote count. Just one discrepancy would raise eyebrows. So far, Mousavi has identified none.

As I wrote in my article, I strongly suspect Mousavi has made these comparisons already, and he has been silent to date because he has not turned up a single discrepancy. But just in case Mousavi hasn't, it's not too late. If you really suspect that fraud occurred, why not suggest that Mousavi send the following email to his election-day observers, and then publicize the responses he receives:

“Attached to this email is a spreadsheet listing of the 45,692 polling stations on June 12, 2009. The vote-count reported by the Interior Ministry for each polling station is listed next to the polling station’s name and address. If any of you were at any of those polling stations on election day, and your notes of the vote count at that polling station are different from what is listed in the spreadsheet, please let me know.”

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commentereabrill


It's not a difficult question. In 25 words or less.....

Since the original Form 22s --- which record the number of votes for each candidate, the observers who were present, the time of signature and despatch to Tehran --- should establish the legitimacy you claim for the election, why have they not been published?


June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScottLucas11


"Why have the Form 22's not been published?"

I confess I'm at a loss to understand why you keep asking this question. They have been published, as I've said several times before. Each Form 22 lists the vote count for each of the four candidates at each of 45,692 polling stations. All this has been published. That is precisely what is in the Interior Ministry ballot-box by ballot-box report I've referred you to several times. See footnote 1 in my article, which lists several official and unofficial sources for the IM report.

I'm beginning to think you mean that the government should scan each of the 45,692 Form 22's into PDF form - thumb-prints, signatures and all - and publish those PDF'd Form 22's in one or more newspapers across Iran, or perhaps in a 10-volume book, each with 457 pages of Form 22's.

Is that it?

Suppose the government did scan in all Form 22's and published them all in one or more newspapers across Iran – say 45 pages of Form 22's every day for 1,000 days, roughly three years. Would that satisfy you? It would be awfully expensive for Iranian taxpayers – that I can assure you. If that were done in the US, for example, it would cost many millions of dollars, just for, say, the city of New York. That may be why no US government – federal, state or local – ever does this, even though similar forms are used here to report local election results to central offices. Have you ever heard of such a thing being done anywhere in England? Even once? At any time since, say, the Magna Carta was signed?

If Mousavi really wants to see the actual Form 22's – beyond the several thousand he already had an opportunity to see in person when thousands of sealed ballot boxes were unsealed and recounted eight days after the election – might it not be easier for Mousavi simply to send someone down to the government office where these Form 22s are kept, and ask to take a look at them? Certainly there must be at least one brave soul – a lawyer, perhaps – who would be willing to ask to review these public records. If he were denied access, then he could complain to the New York Times and I, for one, would become very suspicious.

Far more important, though, as I've stressed several times, you need not accept as true even a single one of the numbers reported by the Interior Ministry for any ballot box, even if Mousavi's representative examines a Form 22 for every single ballot box and finds nothing amiss. Instead, assume every single vote count reported by the Interior Ministry is inaccurate unless it matches the vote count witnessed by the eyeballs of an actual Mousavi observer. Make no exceptions. Then find just one of those 25,000 observers (using Mousavi's own observer-count) who will tell you that the vote count he personally witnessed is different from the vote count reported by the Interior Ministry for his polling station.

Then report that discrepancy on the Enduring America website. I assure you that at least one reader will be quite impressed.

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commentereabrill


Now I think you've got it: "The government should scan each of the 45,692 Form 22's into PDF form - thumb-prints, signatures and all - and publish those PDF'd Form 22's in one or more newspapers across Iran, or perhaps in a 10-volume book, each with 457 pages of Form 22's."

Not even that expensive --- they could be posted on the Internet, which of course is an unfiltered source of information in Iran.


June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScottLucas11


As for your diversionary tactic (And why limit yourself to the diversion of Mousavi? Why not Karroubi? Rezaei?), a shrewd Iranian analyst is concise:

"The legal axiom, 'In any reasoned debate, the burden of proof
rests with the party making an allegation', applies when the party making
the allegation is allowed to marshal its evidence. In Iran the opposition was besieged the day after the elections [WSL --- in fact, the process started before the polls closed], its headquarters were ransacked and its files
and computers were sealed and taken away. Simultaneously the lieutenants
of the reformers who would be carrying the said 'burden of proof' were put
in jail and forced to bear witness against themselves in show trials.

"So I would not say that 'the truth may never be known'. What I would say
is: this government has failed to provide the conditions"whereby truth
could be known."


June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScottLucas11


*yawn* More middling sophistry and casuistry.

Former president Khatami,

Yes, we are confronting the system. Get over it.

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBozorg


What about the ballot-box by ballot-box comparisons I've suggested? That's been on the Internet for a year now. If Mousavi, by his own claim, had 25,000 observers on election day, why has not one of those observers backed up his claim of fraud?

For the life of me, I cannot understand what you would hope to prove by publishing 45,692 Form 22's. Suppose it turns out that none exist -- other than the thousands whose existence was verified in the June 20 recount, and let's set even those aside for the sake of argument. Let's assume, then, that the Interior Ministry just picked numbers out of the air when it published its report for each of the 45,692 ballot boxes in Iran. Doesn't it seem likely to you that, if 45,692 numbers were simply picked out of the air (or double that number, if you count both Ahmadinejad's and Mousavi's votes), at least one of those many thousands of numbers would be different from the number that appears in the personal notes taken by one of Mousavi's 25,000 on-site election-day observers? And if such a discrepancy appeared, does it not seem likely that one of those 25,000 observers would have said something by now? On the off-chance that none of them has understood how important it was for them to have reported such a discrepancy, why not suggest that Mousavi send them all an email now to get this important point across to them? Those 45,692 ballot-box reports are still sitting out there on the Internet, waiting to be challenged as they have been for about a year now.

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commentereabrill

I saw that iranian documentatin on Arte cited by Gunniy;
Eric Brill , have you waited for a link, do you want to see if the elections were rigged ? look at the link sent above ( by Gunniy); terrible ! german moving documentation called; (french translation) : Green rebellion ( l'insurrection verte) produced by Oliver Stoltz and Ali Samadi Ahadi; you have to see it instead of writing two kilometres of text; if you have a bit common sens, you will see that this extraordinary turnout during the elections was in order to change, establishing democracy in the country.

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnge-Paris


Leaving aside the inaccuracies in your latest tome --- "several thousand Form 22s" were not witnessed by "hundreds of observers" from the campaigns in the GC "recount" --- let's hail your key point:

"The Interior Ministry just picked numbers out of the air when it published its report for each of the 45,692 ballot boxes."

Yes, that is the suspicion. Publish the Form 22s and it can be dispelled. Don't publish and suffer the doubts of legitimacy.

Next question: do voters in Iran flip a lever, punch out a "chad", or use a touch-screen or do they write the name of their preferred candidate?


June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScottLucas11


I am correct about the recount. Rezai sent hundreds of observers. He's never denied it, and many video cameras recorded the recount with his observers present. Mousavi and Karroubi didn't (though they were invited to), but Rezai did. I don't believe Mousavi has ever disputed this. Nor has Rezai ever claimed that any Form 22 was missing. Nor has he ever claimed that a Form 22 said something different from what the Interior Ministry had reported for the polling station. Nor has he, Mousavi or anyone else disputed that thousands of ballot boxes, and millions of votes, were recounted. Or at least I'm not aware of any challenges to any of this. You tell me I'm incorrect. Can you say why you believe that?

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commentereabrill

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