Iranian Conservative Bloggers: From the 2013 Election to the Economy

The western media tells us that all Iranian conservatives think the same, but this is far from the reality. There is an immense diversity of opinion amongst pro-government Iranians, and these monthly reports analyse the disparity between conservative opinion blogs in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

  1. 2013 Presidential Election

    This month, the most discussed topic amongst conservative bloggers was the presidential election slated for June of this year.

  2. One of the most interesting topics that arose was whether elections are ‘free’. Leading Reformist politicians Mohammad Khatami and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani stated that this presidential election would only be competitive if it was held “freely”. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, refuted this call by claiming that all presidential elections under the Islamic Republic have been free, and stating that to emphasise ‘free elections’ in this specific case meant calling into question all previous elections.
  3. Following on Ayatollah Khamenei’s reaction, his supporters began to denounce ‘free elections’ as the newest language of sedition. Seyed Mehdi Mirudoodi, on the blogNothing in a post entitled “A writing class on free elections!”, proposed a definition of ‘free elections’ from the conservatives’ point of view: “We must allow elections to happen. Afterwards, if our candidate got enough votes, then we say the election was free; if not, we announce that the election was not free!”
  4. Another vibrant, elections-related discussion centred around who the potential candidates might be. Although less than five months away, there are still no confirmed candidates for the upcoming election. The writer of Anti Mosaicism, in a post that has since been deleted, argued that Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, the former chairman of the Iranian parliament, is supporting the candidacy of Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the former chief of police and current mayor of Tehran.
  5. The blog Mehr Javedan, in a post entitled “We shall tell the story”, predicted that Ahmadinejad would not, contrary to public opinion, support Esfandiar Rahim Mashai’s candidacy. The blog insisted that, instead, Ahmadinejad would support someone that “nobody knows but Mr Ahmadinejad”.
  6. Perhaps in the most interesting conservative blog post this month, the blog Worryput forward an intricate analysis of the potential candidates. In the writer’s opinion, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf does not stand a chance due to “the extensive documentation of his, his wife’s, and his son’s corruption, which should soon be published“. The blogger also rebuffs the chances of the current chairman of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, despite his “good reputation amongst the people”. Due to Larijani’s unclear position during the 2009 presidential election, the blogger posits that religious voters will not opt for him. According to Worry, none of the known potential candidates have a real chance to win the election and we will need to wait for a new person to enter the race. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Presidential Candidate Brags About His Direct Role in Violence and Repression

Qalibaf, Mayor of Tehran, Should be Added to Human Rights Violators List

(May 16, 2013) The international community should immediately institute a travel ban and asset freeze against Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the current mayor of Tehran and a contender in the upcoming presidential election, due to his extensive role in gross human rights violations, the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.

The Campaign has obtained a secretly recorded two-hour audio file of Qalibaf in which he details his prominent and direct role in repressing and carrying out violence against student protesters in July 1999, July 2003, and in the 2009 post-election protests.

“Qalibaf has exposed himself as a violent and cruel individual, taking pride in being a leading force for repression throughout the years in his various official capacities. Under his administration, given his own admissions in this tape, he will certainly continue, if not worsen, Iran’s already dismal human rights record,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the Campaign’s executive director.

In this audio recording, Qalibaf adamantly details how he has personally engaged in violent repressive policies and their implementation:

• Regarding the violent repression of student protest in July 1999, Qalibaf says: “I was the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Air Force at the time. Photographs of me are available showing me on back of a motor bike, with Hossein Khaleqi, beating them [the protestors] with wooden sticks….I was among those carrying out beatings on the street level and I am proud of that. I didn’t care I was a high ranking commander.” Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

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