Iran

3:53am

Thu June 13, 2013
Parallels

Iran's Election May Not Really Be About Picking A President

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 7:55 am

Female supporters of Iranian presidential candidate Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, hold up posters and national flags at a campaign rally in Tehran, Iran, on May 24. Jalili advocates for traditional roles for women and resistance against the U.S.
Vahid Salemi AP

When Iranians vote Friday for president, it will be an election unlike any other.

Clerics who hold supreme power in the Islamic Republic have allowed elections for decades.

But while the people vote, clerics and their allies make the rules. Those already in power choose who can run for office and limit what they do if elected.

Restrictions are tighter than ever after massive protests that followed a disputed election in 2009. In fact, the country has come to redefine the whole purpose of an election.

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1:28am

Wed June 12, 2013
Middle East

Despite Limited Election Choices, Iranians Eager To Be Heard

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:53 am

Supporters of Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator and a candidate in Iran's June 14 presidential election, attend a street campaign after Friday prayers in Tehran on June 7.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

The day we arrived in Iran's capital, Tehran, billboards along the drive from the airport to the city center were already telling us something about what's happening in the country as it prepared for Friday's presidential elections.

We see typical highway signs for Sony Ericsson, but also billboards featuring the face of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic. We also see and drive under giant signs that are from Iran's current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urging people to vote.

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10:46am

Thu May 30, 2013
The Two-Way

Texas Man To Serve 25 Years In Plot To Kill Saudi Ambassador

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 11:58 am

A 2001 photo shows Manssor Arbab Arbabsiar in a mug shot. Arbabsiar has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for plotting to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S.
Getty Images

Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen who has lived in Texas for three decades, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiring to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.

Last October, Arbabsiar pleaded guilty to plotting to kill the ambassador. He also admitted to working with Iranian military officials on the plan.

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3:34am

Fri May 24, 2013
Middle East

Iranian Council Declares Ex-President Rafsanjani Unfit To Run Again

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Iran's Guardian Council does not hesitate to use its power. That's the legislative body that vets political candidates for their commitment to the Islamic Revolution. Perhaps no surprise in the upcoming presidential election, voters are able to choose from a very narrow range of candidates - all of whom support the regime. All the high-profile or independent candidates have been eliminated by the Guardian Council. And this caused some shock - those include a man who has already held the post of president.

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4:45pm

Tue May 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Two Key Candidates Barred From Seeking Iran's Presidency

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 5:04 pm

Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's candidacy for the country's presidency was rejected Tuesday by the powerful Guardian Council. He's seen here on May 11 registering his candidacy for the June 14 election.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

Iran's powerful Guardian Council has disqualified two key candidates — a former president and a top aide to the current president — from running in the June 14 presidential election.

The Guardian Council, which vets all candidates, approved eight names Tuesday but left out former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, who was handpicked by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mashaei said he would appeal the decision to the country's supreme leader; Rafsanjani did not comment.

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