Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Latest from Iran (20 December): Revolutionary Guards Decide Which Reformists Can Stand in Presidential Election

0715 GMT: All the President's Men. Presidential senior advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr, who was detained this summer to serve a six-month sentence, has been released from Evin Prison.

Javanfekr served time for a special edition of his Iran newspaper which was deemed to have insulted Islam. His case sparked high-level controversy when President Ahmadinejad sought permission to visit him in Evin Prison and was denied by the head of the judiciary, Sadegh Larijani.

0707 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. The President, while declaring that his Government is "the best" in the history of the Islamic Republic, has lashed out at his critics for destroying the Iranian economy.

Ahmadinejad is especially angered that recent Parliamentary decisions have buried any second stage in his subsidy cuts programme, which was launched in December 2010 but has been criticised for mismanagement and for fuelling Iran's inflation.

0700 GMT:Yadollah Javani, the head of the Political Bureau of the Revolutionary Guards, has given the clearest signal yet concerning the reformists who will be allowed to participate in the 2013 Presidential election.

First, Javani set out those who must be excluded because they were seeking a "totally free election":

A group, which is among the main agents or behind-the-scenes elements of the sedition, believes one must participate in a totally free election. Their definition of such election is an election where [detained opposition leaders Mir Hossein] Mousavi and [Mehdi] Karrubi too can run and all political prisoners are freed...

It seems that the law and the judgment of such people are clear. These people must answer for the treason and crimes they have committed.

Then there are those who are not calling for the "totally free election" or the release of Mousavi and Karroubi from house arrest, but who must be banned because of past sins:

The second group is those who were among the reformists, but do not make conditions like the first group... Those members of this group who want to participate [in the presidential election] should not have a history of presence in the sedition. Those who started the sedition and mobilised people on the streets against the Islamic regime and harmed the national interests and national security have forever lost their qualifications for entering this arena.

Repenting too would not solve their problem. Repenting is a necessity for returning to the political arena, however, in order to enter the realm of competitive politics, other qualifications are needed which these people lack and can't achieve by repenting.

People like [former President Mohammad] Khatami belong to this group....

The sedition was an act of treason and a crime. The seditionists took steps in the direction of overthrowing the regime. Should someone who did not take a clear and decisive position at the time of the sedition be qualified for taking over the presidency?

So which reformists are left to stand? 

However, just because someone has a past record in this front [the reform movement] does not mean he is unqualified. The important thing is if they are loyal towards the Islamic regime and have a clear position against opposing groups, those engaged in overthrow of the regime or engaged in the sedition.

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

Posted via email from lissping