Middle East

12:55pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Middle East

In Iran's Election, Not All Candidates Are Welcome

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 4:10 pm

Women sit at a bus stop under election posters in Qom, about 75 miles south of Iran's capital, Tehran, on Tuesday. Iran's parliamentary elections on Friday are expected to be a contest between various conservative factions. Many candidates seeking change have been barred from running.
Raheb Homavandi Reiters/Landov

Iran holds parliamentary elections on Friday, the first since the disputed, and many believe fraudulent, presidential election in 2009.

But unlike that presidential poll, candidates seeking to take on the country's conservative rulers will not be taking part Friday; they are mostly under house arrest or have been in prison for years now.

The focus will be on which conservatives end up on top and how many votes are cast.

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9:25am

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Detained Americans On Their Way Out Of Egypt

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 10:28 am

  • Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on 'Morning Edition'

Seven American democracy advocates who had been prevented for weeks from leaving Egypt and were accused of being there illegally are now on their way out of the country, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo.

"They are walking through security in the VIP terminal at the Cairo Airport," she just said in an email to our Newscast desk.

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1:25pm

Tue February 28, 2012
Middle East

Egyptians Prepare For Wide-Open Presidential Poll

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 1:00 pm

Egyptian presidential candidate and former Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa delivers a speech to Bedouins in Ras Sidr during a campaign trip to the South Sinai last week. Egyptians are anticipating the first presidential elections after last year's ouster of Hosni Mubarak.
Asmaa Waguih Reuters/Landov

Egypt's presidential race officially kicks off Saturday, and there are already more than a dozen contenders for what is expected to be the most competitive presidential election ever.

Nevertheless, many Egyptians fear those currently in power will try to manipulate the process to make sure that a candidate of their choosing wins.

At 41, Khaled Ali is the youngest Egyptian vying to be his country's next president.

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2:41am

Tue February 28, 2012
Middle East

AP Source: Israel Won't Warn U.S. Before Iran Strike

Israeli officials say they won't warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, according to one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions. The pronouncement, delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations, sets a tense tone ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and Capitol Hill.

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2:52pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Middle East

In A New Setback, Syrian Opposition Splits

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 5:59 pm

A man burns a portrait of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a Sunday demonstration on the outskirts of Idlib in northern Syria.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Monday was a rough day for the opposition in Syria. Senior officials in the main opposition group announced that they're forming a new organization. The development was the latest sign of the divisions within the Syrian opposition that's trying to oust the government of President Bashar Assad.

At the same time, Assad's government said that nearly 90 percent of voters endorsed constitutional reforms in a referendum a day earlier, even though the Syrian opposition and international critics called the balloting a farce.

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