Archiv für den Tag 2. März 2012

The Latest from Iran (2 March): The Parliamentary Elections

0725 GMT: Elections Watch. A perspective beyond the ballot box from Human Rights Watch:

Iran’s parliamentary elections… will be grossly unfairbecause of arbitrary disqualifications and other restrictions….The voting for 290 parliamentary seats follows the disqualification of hundreds of candidates based on vague and ill-defined criteria, and opposition leaders are either barred from participating, serving unjust prison sentences, or refusing to participate in what they consider sham elections.

0715 GMT: Press Watch. Tony Karon of Time explains today’s vote even as he dismisses it:

Iran’s poll is a fiercely competitive, bare-knuckled fight for power. Like the [US Republican] primary, the slate of candidates is confined entirely to conservatives, who profess commitment to the same basic ideology even as they rip their rivals’ will and ability to implement it. For the millions of Iranian voters that backed the opposition Green Movement in the 2009 presidential poll that reelected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad amid widespread charges of fraud, Friday’s vote has about equivalent relevance as a GOP primary does to America’s registered Democrats and Independents. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags


Iran Special: A Beginner’s Guide to Today’s Parliamentary Elections


There are 290 seats in the Iranian Majlis, with members serving four-year terms. The chamber is officially led by a speaker.

There are no political parties as such; instead, blocs or factions can emerge. The Parliament is dominated by „conservatives“ and „principlists“, a term usually applied to the political wave since the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005.

„Reformists“, who were prominent in the legislature during the Presidency of Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005), have been squeezed into a weak minority group of about 50-60 representatives. That number is likely to fall sharply in the next Majlis. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Roundup of Today’s International News 01/03/12


No clear world voice on Iran nuke work
The U.S. and its European allies share fears that Iran might be seeking the capacity to make atomic arms as it forges ahead with its nuclear program. But they differ on whether it is actively working on such weapons, reflecting the difficulties of penetrating Tehran’s wall of secrecy.

Iran talks may be in April-Turkey foreign minister
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday that talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme may resume in April.

Iran gives media tour of key space program facility in bid to show openness
Iran opened a key space facility to visiting journalists for the first time Wednesday in an apparent effort to show its willingness to allow glimpses at sensitive technology even as Tehran and U.N. inspectors trade accusations about access to nuclear sites and experts. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

tagesschau: Parlamentswahl im Iran – Das hartnäckig ignorierte Parlament

Die Bürger Irans wählen heute ein neues Parlament. Sie können sich dabei aber nicht für Parteien, sondern nur für Kandidaten entscheiden, die für unterschiedliche Strömungen stehen. Faktisch hat das Abgeordnetenhaus wenig Macht. Und die Regierung ignoriert seine Beschlüsse notorisch.

Von Reinhard Baumgarten, ARD-Hörfunkstudio Istanbul

Das iranische Parlament ist ein Verfasssungsorgan mit eingeschränkten Befugnissen. Es wird direkt vom Volk gewählt und hat 290 Abgeordnete. Bei der neunten Parlamentswahl der Islamischen Republik treten rund 3400 Kandidaten an. Diese sind vom so genannten Wächterrat aus Klerikern und Juristen vorher auf Herz und Nieren geprüft und für politisch unbedenklich befunden worden.

Vertreter der so genannten Grünen Bewegung und Reformer kandidieren nicht. Zum einen, weil sie nicht zugelassen worden sind. Zum anderen, weil führende Reformpolitiker, die teilweise unter Hausarrest stehen, zur Nichtteilnahme an der Wahl aufgerufen haben.

Audio: Die Bedeutung des iranischen Parlaments

AudioReinhard Baumgarten, ARD-Hörfunkstudio Istanbul02.03.2012 03:24 | 2’16

Eye on Iran: Iran’s Underground Nuclear Sites Not Immune to U.S. Bunker-Busters, Experts Say

Top Stories

WashPost: „Western spy agencies for years have kept watch on a craggy peak in northwest Iran that houses one of the world’s most unusual nuclear sites. Known as Fordow, the facility is built into mountain bunkers designed to withstand an aerial attack. Iran’s civil defense chief has declared the site ‚impregnable.‘ But impregnable it is not, say U.S. military planners, who are increasingly confident about their ability to deliver a serious blow against Fordow should the president ever order an attack… Yet as a matter of physics, Fordow is far more vulnerable than generally portrayed, said current and former military and intelligence analysts. Massive new ‚bunker buster‘ munitions recently added to the U.S. arsenal would not necessarily have to penetrate the deepest bunkers to cause irreparable damage to infrastructure as well as highly sensitive nuclear equipment, probably setting back Iran’s program by years, officials said.“  Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Iran News Round Up (March 1)

Iranians go to polls for first vote since 2009 protests; Iran’s foreign minister discusses nuclear issue with Turkish counterpart ahead of talks with world powers; Pakistan to increase oil imports from Iran

  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s speech on Tuesday. Video:
  • Abd al-Hossein Rouh-al-Amini, Development and Justice party general secretary whose son was killed in police custody in the aftermath of the 2009 presidential election: „Ahmadinejad was not without guilt in the post election events.“
  • Mashreq runs a backgrounder on parliamentary elections in Iran since 1980.
  • Shafaf News runs a chronological backgrounder on the formation of the United Principled Alliance. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

UANI Applauds U.S. Treasury Department for Taking Action Regarding Dubai’s Noor Islamic Bank

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, issued the following statement today regarding the news that Dubai’s Noor Islamic Bank has stopped doing business with Iranian banks:

We applaud the US Treasury Department for taking this action with Bank Noor. International sanctions on Iran are restricting the regime’s ability to transact through financial institutions.

Responsible countries must comply with the international banking blockade on Iran. With this action Iran will no longer have a Dubai-based banking work-around.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Noor closed an operation „characterized as Iran’s single-largest channel for repatriating foreign-currency oil receipts–facilitating as much as 60% of Iran’s foreign oil sales by late last year…“

VOA:Iran Elections Pose Challenge Amid Economic Crisis

Iranian women sit at bus stop, in front of parliamentary elections campaign posters in the city of Qom, 78 miles (125 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, March 1, 2012.

Photo: AP
Iranian women sit at bus stop, in front of parliamentary elections campaign posters in the city of Qom, 78 miles (125 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, March 1, 2012.

Iran’s Parliamentary Elections Facts

  • Candidates are cleared by the Guardian Council.
  • 3,444 candidates are running out of the 5,395 who registered.
  • Parliament has 290 seats.
  • Voters must be over 18 years old.
  • 48 million people of Iran’s 74 million strong population are eligible to vote.
  • Ballots are counted manually. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

RFE/RL Iran Report — March 3, 2012


Iran's Parliamentary Elections Could Be The Beginning Of The End For AhmadinejadIran’s Parliamentary Elections Could Be The Beginning Of The End For Ahmadinejad 
Iran’s parliamentary elections, the country’s first polls since the disputed 2009 presidential vote, could further consolidate the power of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. And this makes the stakes very high for President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and his faction, which have come under increasing pressure by forces loyal to Khamenei. More 
Iran Prepares For Parliamentary PollIran Prepares For Parliamentary Poll 
As Iran gears up for parliamentary elections on March 2, RFE/RL looks at the key issues that are expected to dominate proceedings, as well as the personalities who should feature prominently. More 
Pakistan To Pursue Iran Gas ProjectPakistan To Pursue Iran Gas Project 
Pakistan’s foreign minister says her country will pursue a gas pipeline project with Iran despite a U.S. warning. More 

Concerns Over Differences in the Armed Forces

Bahram Rafiei
As differences and dissatisfaction among members of Iran’s armed services have been growing, particularly after such events as the disputed tenth presidential elections in 2009, new international sanctions and serious military threats, the head of Iran’s military justice organization expressed his concerns on this and issued a warning.
Speaking at a seminar on “Security and Intelligence” organized by the judiciary of the armed forces, cleric Mohammad-Kazem Bahrami said that “differences and division” were  among the most serious security threats. “Espionage and overthrow are not the only issues that hurt the security of the country. Differences most certainly have an even more destructive impact,” he said.
He supported his argument by presenting instances and quotes from the Quran and imam Ali, the highest Shia leader.
Bahrami’s name was recently added to EU’s sanctions list on people who have violated human rights. While saying that “interference in the personal and family affairs of individuals, including other issues unrelated to work, are not justified, all the concerns and actions of a security officer should be to protect the organization and the staff to prevent any harm to them.” Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
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