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AL Monitor: What Will Happen on Election Day In Iran?


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What Will Happen on Election Day In Iran?

The official campaign period for Iran’s 2013 presidential election has come to an end. Now the questions remain: How many will vote and will those votes be fairly counted?


Tomorrow [June 14], 66,000 polling stations will open at 8 a.m. Nearly 1 million election officers will supervise the voting for 10 hours. An extension of voting hours is possible and often implemented to increase turnout and enable it to be the “political epic” that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged.

More than 50 million eligible voters will have to choose from a slate of six presidential candidates and more than 800,000 local council candidates will be vying for 207,000 councilor seats. This is the first time in the 34-year history of the Islamic Republic that elections are being held for president and city councils at the same time. Local councilors elected in 2008 were to have been replaced in 2011, but Iranian authorities opted to postpone the vote out of fear of a replay of the post-2009 election disturbances. After all, it was only in February 2011 that the regime succeeded in fully quashing all the remnants of the uprising.

The median age of voters is 38, three years older than in 2009. As prominent Iranian-American economist Djavad Salehi-Isfahani recently argued, this means that economic issues will be a central theme in this year’s race — an emphasis also likely because of the growing impact of economic sanctions. First-time voters comprise roughly a million.



Iran vote could bring change of style, perhaps not substance


Of five hardline candidates professing unwavering obedience to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, three are thought to stand any chance of winning the vote, or making it through to a second round run-off in a week's time.


Of those three main conservative hopefuls only one, current chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, advocates maintaining Iran's robust, ideologically-driven foreign policy.


The other two, Tehran mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, have pledged never to back away from pursuing Iran's nuclear program but have strongly criticized Jalili's inflexible negotiating stance.


They face a single moderate candidate, the only cleric in the race, Hassan Rohani. Though very much an establishment figure, suspicious of the West, Rohani is more likely to pursue a conciliatory foreign policy.


Rouhani has the endorsement of Rafsanjani, Khatami, Aref (another reformist who dropped out in favor of Rouhani), and supporters of Mousavi and Karroubi and the green revolution.

Voting had already started in Japan apparently.




Iran liberals ask: Snub election or take chance?



Scenarios: Rohani And Ghalibaf Go to Runoff or Rohani Wins


This survey was conducted as part of iPOS' daily tracking polls of Iran's presidential election on June 12-13, 2013.

Here are our latest findings:


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Does it really matter? I will miss the unintentional comic relief provided by the ignorant bigoted zeal of Ahmedinejad, but ultimately any "President" there is just a tool for Khamenei.

Maybe.  A lot of people seem to think it does, including those who were imprisoned or had friends imprisoned after the last election.

Rouhani has talked a lot about reforms and getting along better with the West, also on focusing on the republic part of Islamic Republic.

Of course it may just be election time talk, and there may not be much opurtunity to make changes, and the vote might even be rigged anyway, but I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens. 

Sometimes the vote itself isn't as important as the voters and what they do afterwards.

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TEHRAN, Iran: Iran's Interior Ministry says voting in the country's presidential election has ended across the country.

Iranians had waited on line for hours in wilting heat at some polling stations in downtown Tehran and other cities, casting ballots across the vast country from desert outposts to Gulf seaports and nomad pastures. Voting was extended by five hours to meet demand, but also as possible political stagecraft to showcase the participation.

The turnout suggested liberals and others abandoned a planned boycott as the election evolved into a showdown across the Islamic Republic's political divide.

As of a few minutes ago there were still long lines in Tehran, but people in line are supposedly still allowed to vote.

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Results were supposed to start coming out an hour ago or so, but so far nothing, though lots of vote counts and exit polls seemed to indicate Rouhani should be in first place.

Rouhani also says he has good news, but is not allowed to announce it.  Also only the official Interior Ministry results are accepted.

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#Iran #whoknows RT @87films: Source in Rouhani campaign says his vote tally is at 54%, indicating no run off.
8:45 PM

Iran watchers on my timeline seem to that think Rouhani, a cleric who has taken up the reformist mantle, will be named the outright winner.
9:07 PM


Here's the Post's profile of Rouhani http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/irans-former-vice-president-mohammad-reza-aref-drops-out-of-presidential-race/2013/06/11/4572b18e-d283-11e2-b3a2-3bf5eb37b9d0_story.html
9:09 PM

Iran's conservatives screwed up by splitting the vote, while "moderates" coalesced around Rouhani, especially after Aref dropped out.
9:13 PM

In the end, it probably doesn't matter all that much who Iran's president is, as long as Supreme Leader Khamenei lives and breathes.
9:15 PM




rouhani has more than 3x 2nd place ghalibaf so far RT @abasinfo Iranelection Up to now Rouhani 401949 votes, Qalibaf 126896, Jalili 119204
9:21 PM
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Rouhani 47.46%, Qalibaf 18.22, Jalili 14.66, Rezai 13.19, Velayati 6.03 out of 1,819,984 votes counted.
10:57 PM




Iranelection news will trickle in until noon; good news is on the way Insha'Allah.
10:58 PM


That's in about 4.5 hours.  Around 3:30 am EST.

The results have been coming in extremely slowly.

At the moment it looks like it's heading to a runnoff with Rouhani and Qalibaf next weekend.




Sources close to Rouhani campaign say he has over 60% votes but pressure inside Interior Ministry to go to 2nd round.
11:15 PM



IranElection UPDATE: Rowhani 49.8%, Qalibaf 16%, Jalili 13%, Rezai 13%out of  2,927,547 valid votes (10% of ballots) @AFP
11:30 PM

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Iran Surprises Yet Again; Strong Showing By Rouhani Forecasts Historic Shift


After a day of heavy turnout and an unexpectedly suspenseful wait for results, Iran appears to be on the verge of shocking the world once again, as a presidential election initially expected to be a preset cakewalk for the pious protégé of the supreme religious leader is moving slowly toward a robust lead for a cleric who has campaigned around a message of hope and change.


Instead of 2009, when the instantaneous declaration of victory on behalf of hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked defiance from the other contenders and massive street demonstrations, today’s election appears to be mirroring the stunning 1997 reformist upset victory. It is far too soon to tell if Hassan Rouhani, the candidate who is currently topping the vote count, will seize the presidency, but his strong showing and the overall context of the campaign’s discourse of domestic and foreign policy suggests that we are witnessing a shift of historic significance in Iran.




Result of Presidential Elections 2013




Iran source tells me he was told Rouhani won 53% of vote but problems internally to announce the result.
11:40 PM



Reliable source in Tehran: "Sounds like Rouhani won. But you didn't hear that from me." IranElection
12:03 AM
IranElection UPDATE: Rowhani 52%, Qalibaf 17%, Jalili 13%, Rezai 10% out of 5,211,245 valid votes (18% of polling stations) @AFP
12:36 AM



























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Iran's reformist-backed presidential candidate surged to a wide lead in early vote counting Saturday, a top official said, suggesting a flurry of late support could have swayed a race that once appeared solidly in the hands of Tehran's ruling clerics.


The strong margin for former nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani may be enough to give him an outright victory and avoid a two-person runoff next Friday.
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Iran court summons Ahmadinejad, ups pressure on outgoing leader


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was summoned on Monday to appear before a criminal court on unspecified charges leveled by a conservative rival, days after moderate cleric Hassan Rohani was elected his successor.


While Rohani's election on Friday showed a desire for change, it also highlighted divisions among Iran's establishment conservatives who, though united in their dislike of Ahmadinejad, were unable to rally behind a single candidate.


The summons was issued by a Tehran court and follows a complaint by Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani. It did not elaborate on the complaint, saying only that Ahmadinejad would face the unnamed charges in November.





Moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani wins Iran’s presidential vote


Iranians took a step toward ending their country’s isolation by voting overwhelmingly in weekend presidential elections for a moderate reformer who promised a clean break from policies that put Iran on a collision course with the West.


Millions of Iranians jammed polling stations across the country to hand a stunning victory to Hassan Rouhani, a Shiite cleric who campaigned on a pledge of “reconciliation and peace.” Rouhani, who had been considered a dark horse, blew past a slate of conservative candidates to win the presidency in the first round of voting, upsetting conventional wisdom and delivering an unmistakable rebuke to the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.







Iran's Rowhani urges 'path of moderation'


Iran's newly elected president says he will follow a "path of moderation" and urges his country not to be held back by past policies, emphasizing messages from Western leaders since his victory that have brought hope of new openings with Tehran.


Speaking Monday at his first news conference since his surprise victory in Friday's vote, Hasan Rowhani described his election as opening a "new era" and said he would "follow the path of moderation and justice, not extremism."




From Inner Circle of Iran, a Pragmatic Victor


As Iranians responded to the victory of the cleric Hassan Rowhani in the country’s presidential race over the weekend by erupting into street parties not seen in many years, it almost seemed as if some sort of reformist revolution could be under way.


Across the country, drivers honked horns, men danced to pop music and women clapped, celebrating Mr. Rowhani’s campaign pledges to bring more freedom and better relations with the outside world.


But Mr. Rowhani, 64, is no renegade reformist, voted in while Iran’s leaders were not paying attention. Instead, his political life has been spent at the center of Iran’s conservative establishment, from well before Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini led the Islamic Revolution in the 1970s. And analysts say that Mr. Rowhani’s first priority will be mediating the disturbed relationship between that leadership and Iran’s citizens, not carrying out major change.


Even his nickname — “the diplomat sheik” — is testament to his role as a pragmatist seeking conciliation for the Islamic leadership. Whether in dealing with protesting students, the aftermath of devastating earthquakes or, in his stint as nuclear negotiator, working to ease international pressure as Iran moved forward with its nuclear program, Mr. Rowhani has worked to find practical ways to help advance the leadership’s goals.




Iran reformist win Tehran city council majority too - and vow to elect Rafsanjani's son Mohsen (former metro head) as new mayor.
4:54 AM


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They elect someone


They don't like him


They accuse the other side of cheating


They riot


People get killed


New leader is corrupt


Wash, rinse, repeat


Sounds awfully familiar.  I guess we protest, rather than riot, and people don't get killed so much.  Otherwise, pretty much the same as here, no?


Except they get more than 2 candidates.

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They elect someone


They don't like him


They accuse the other side of cheating


They riot


People get killed


New leader is corrupt


Wash, rinse, repeat


Sounds awfully familiar.  I guess we protest, rather than riot, and people don't get killed so much.  Otherwise, pretty much the same as here, no?


Except they get more than 2 candidates.

Yea, I mean its more or less the same except for the rioting and killing part.  Corruption is in the eye of the beholder (except perhaps in the case of Nixon and whoever the mayor of DC is at any given time), so we can check that box too.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Iran's president-elect touts 'moderation' in address


Bolstering his centrist image, Iranian President-elect Hassan Rowhani on Saturday vowed "moderation" in foreign and domestic affairs in his first major nationally televised address since his surprising election victory this month.

In an almost hourlong speech from the state broadcaster's headquarters, Rowhani used some variant of the word "moderate" at least 10 times, signaling his intention to repair Iran's fractured relations with the international community, while not compromising the Islamic Republic's independence. In line with previous comments since his election, Rowhani sought to send out a message of optimism and tolerance.


"Moderation in foreign policy means constructive interaction, not submission and confrontation," Rowhani said.


Known as the "sheik diplomat" because of his dual status as a cleric and Iran's former nuclear negotiator, Rowhani has indicated that Tehran's foreign policy would shift to greater engagement with the outside world. His conciliatory comments have contrasted with the confrontational and bombastic style of outgoing two-term President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who steps down in August.

Rowhani referred to Iran as "the most powerful country in the region," but said that role required a balance "between reality and idealism." He rejected the "enemy" depiction of Iran as a police state and called on the nation's press to be free and balanced.


"In a country whose legitimacy stems from its people, there is no fear of the free media," Rowhani said. "Oppression is bad in our enemies' countries and in our own nation."


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Read in Washington Post that this guy got more votes then all the other candidates combined (all staunch conservatives). It went on to talk about how many in the country and even some in the goverment are tired of the ideologically driven government policy that's isolated the country and squeezing the life out the economy.

It really remains to be seen how much reform this new guy can get in, but I feel the chances of us going to war with Iran have dropped considerably. Another one of those countries we may get the results we desire by simply waiting them out...

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Iran's president signals softer line on web censorship and Islamic dress code


Two weeks after his sensational victory Iran's president-elect, Hassan Rouhani, has expressed relatively progressive views about civil liberties, freedom of expression and the internet.


Social networking sites such as Facebook were, he said, a welcome phenomenon.


In his most outspoken interview in the Iranian media, Rouhani told Chelcheragh – a popular youth magazine – that he is opposed to segregation of sexes in society, would work to minimise censorship and believes internet filtering is futile.


"In the age of digital revolution, one cannot live or govern in a quarantine," he said as he made clear he is opposed to the authorities' harsh crackdown on Iranians owning satellite dishes, which millions have installed on rooftops for access to foreign-based TV channels illegal in the country.

Each summer, as the heat bears down and makes it difficult for women and men in Iran to stick to their forced Islamic dress code, the religious police go out on to the streets to watch out for loose hijabs, inappropriate dress or hairstyles.


"I'm certainly against these actions," said Rouhani, saying a women without a hijab is not necessarily without virtue.


"If a women or a man does not comply with our rules for clothing, his or her virtue should not come under question … In my view, many women in our society who do not respect our hijab laws are virtuous. Our emphasis should be on the virtue."



On the other hand:



Shakira Causes a Stir on Iranian Television


Last Sunday millions of Iranians tuned in eagerly to watch their national volleyball team play Italy in an important re-match in the world FIVB championship. Just three days prior the Iranian team had trounced high-ranked Italy unexpectedly in a hair-raising game, and the mood across social media, let alone the country itself, was euphoric. Expectations were running high on Sunday, but when Iranian state television broadcast the match live, it inexplicably began repeating plays over and over, only showing live footage in snatches. Iranian volleyball fans were outraged.


The reason, it turns out, is fairly simple: bare arms. The match was in Sardinia, and it was hot. The spectators around the court were dressed for baking Mediterranean heat, and with the court right up agains the stands, it was impossible to edit out scenes of women's arms showing. The head of Iranian state broadcasting Ezatollah Zarghami addressed volley fans' displeasure on Tuesday at a The Conference to Improve the Quality of Cultural Activities and Products, saying that he was aware of the problems with the live broadcast but up against major challenges. “Broadcasting these games is even harder than the presidential debates,” he said.

Zarghami warned similar issues might arise this Sunday when Iran plays Cuba, citing the warm weather as as particular challenge. But he said the Islamic Republic's authorities had the situation under control: “We've decided to negotiate with our cultural colleagues in Cuba, and try to get the spectators [at the match] to wear sweatshirts and long pants, so we don't face such problems again.” The weather forecast for Havana on Sunday is 32 degrees C, 90 F.


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I guess I get it, but trying to get every other country in the world to comply with their standards is a bit difficult.  From a Western perspective, this attitude and need to censor for fear of showing a forearm is a bit nuts.


I mean how did Iran get to be beach volleyball fans if they can't watch scantily clad contestants?  They must never watch any international games or the Olympics.

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Actually did once, Riggo. I was working a fund raiser and in comes this professional ice skater. She was dressed in jeans and a shirt, but there was something about her arms that just blew me away.

But for the most part, I agree.

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  • 1 month later...


Iran's Rouhani pulls off cabinet balancing act


By choosing ministers known more for their experience than their political views, President Hassan Rouhani has proposed a cabinet that achieves a rare feat in Iranian politics - it satisfies both reformist and conservative factions.


Rouhani's presidency has raised hopes in diplomatic circles that the moderate cleric with links to all of Iran's often-feuding factions can be someone the West can talk to and at least defuse tensions over the nuclear dispute.


Perhaps wanting to take advantage of the tide of goodwill, Rouhani handed his list of ministerial nominations to parliament immediately after he was sworn in on Sunday.


Allies of the conservative, so-called "Principlists" whom Rouhani defeated in the June polls still dominate parliament, and getting them to approve each of his ministers will be the president's first challenge.


But Rouhani also has a debt to pay to the officially sidelined, but more popular reformists who pulled out their candidate from the election at the last minute and put their weight behind Rouhani's campaign.

The headline choice for Rouhani's cabinet is Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was picked as foreign minister.


A former ambassador to the United Nations, Zarif has been involved in secret backroom talks with the United States going back three decades and his nomination is a strong signal Rouhani wants to open up those channels which were closed under his hardline predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


The U.S.-educated Zarif served both under pragmatist President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in the 1990s and under reformist President Mohammad Khatami before retreating into academia after Ahmadinejad came to office in 2005.


Another big name is Bijan Zanganeh, Rouhani's choice for oil minister. Well respected among OPEC colleagues, Zanganeh also served under both Khatami and Rafsanjani.


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I work for Persians, and they like this guy.  Even though they can sometimes be a pain as far as how the restaurant is running, I love talking about this stuff with them, and they love that there's an American who likes learning about their part of the world. 

Told them about you, visionary, that you post all of the important world news(on an NFL team's message board, no less, lol) and they send a "merci"!

I'll just say "Hail!"

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