America’s Failed Syria Strategy: Flynt Leverett on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story

 

 

Appearing on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story Americas last week, see here, or on the video above, Flynt laid out how badly the Obama administration’s Syria strategy has failed.  Asked what would be a “good outcome” for the administration, Flynt recounts,     

“My wife, Hillary, and I have been saying for more than two years now, from the get go, that U.S. support for the Syrian opposition was about two things.  One was to use the opposition to bring down the Assad government, to (in their calculation) damage Iran’s regional positionSecondly, it was about coopting the Arab Awakening:  to show that after the loss of pro-Western regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, a near-miss in Bahrain, that it wasn’t just authoritarian regimes that subordinated their foreign policies to the United States that were at risk from the Arab Awakening—that you could also bring down a regime that had a clear commitment to foreign policy independence. 

That project of using the opposition for those purposes has failedFor the Administration to get to a ‘good outcome,’ it is going to have to admit that project has failed, stop trying to leverage regime change in Syria through the opposition, and get serious about a diplomatic process aimed at a power-sharing agreement between the Assad government—with Bashar al-Assad still as head of state—and the opposition.  That’s the only way out of this—but the administration is going to have to retreat from some very foolish positions it’s taken in order to get there.”    

Challenging a call for greater military support for Syrian oppositionists (including a U.S.-led no-fly zone) from former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nancy Soderberg, Flynt asks, “What is the legal basis for the United States to impose a no-fly zone?  What’s the legal basis for it?  The Security Council is not going to approve it.  You will have no legal basis for doing it.  It’s an aggressive war.”  Moreover, Flynt underscores,

There’s no hard evidence [Ambassador Soderberg] can point to, no hard data—no polling data, no other kind of evidence—that the Syrian opposition commands the support of a majority of SyriansThere is objective data—polling data and other evidence—that the Assad government retains the support of significant parts of Syrian societyThere is no reason to believe, other than wishful thinking, that [Assad’s] downfall is inevitable.  In fact, I think he’s winning this struggle.” 

Amplifying his analysis of Assad’s popular base, Flynt explains, “[Assad] is still seen as the best choice available—the best plausible choice available—by very significant parts of Syrian society.  And people who support U.S. intervention in this conflict just blow past that reality.”  In an exchange with Soderberg, Flynt notes that it’s not just Alawis and Christians who are “nervous” about what the Assad government’s disappearance would mean for them:  “Sunnis who don’t want to live under al-Qa’ida are nervous, too.” 

Picking up on this last point, Flynt reviews the historically demonstrated risks of U.S. support to violent jihadi extremists: 

“We do this time and time again.  We work with the Saudis and others to fund jihadi groups, which then turn back and bite us.  We did it in Afghanistan and got al-Qa’ida and the Taliban as a result.  We did it in Libya and got a dead ambassador, three other murdered official Americans as a result.  And we’re doing it on a bigger scale here [in Syria].  When are we going to learn?” 

As to whether it’s possible for the United States to pursue an “all-of-the-above” strategy, in which it simultaneously “saves the Syrian people while also striking a blow against the Iranians,” Flynt says, 

“Strategy is always about choice.  This administration is pursuing a certain set of objectives, as I described, which has led it to support this opposition, led other U.S. partners to support this opposition.  The result is tens of thousands of dead Syrians.  If you want to make a choice to help Syrians, then you would get serious about getting to Geneva as fast as you can, getting the opposition to the table to negotiate in a serious way with the Syrian government, headed by President Assad.”

Looking at prospects for serious diplomacy on Syria, Flynt argues that Russia, Iran, and China have been “much more forthright and proactive than the United States and its partners” in seeking a political solution

“Iran, Russia, and other players that have, in popular parlance, been supporting the Assad government have been clear, from very early in this conflict, that they see a political settlement as the only way out of this.  What they have said all along, though, is that they will not let the United States dictate not just pre-conditions for a political settlement, but in effect ‘pre-results,’ by requiring at the beginning that Assad go.  And [with the U.S., along with some others,] saying that Iran can’t participate in the process—you can’t have a serious process without all the relevant players at the table.” 

Public discourse since Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) returned from his drive-by photo op with Syrian “rebels”/kidnappers and the inability of the United States, Russia, and others to agree on the terms for a “Geneva II” conference suggest that the Obama administration remains very far from a real Syria strategy. 

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

281 Responses to “America’s Failed Syria Strategy: Flynt Leverett on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story”

  1. Pirouz says:

    The trouble for the United States is it possesses unreliable proxies in this armed conflict. Compare that to the reliability of Iran’s allies.

    In military terms, too, Iran’s allies appear better led, motivated and equipped. It’s a hard slog but then our American Civil War was, too.

    It is kind of surprising that Obama, a person that grew up for a time in a foreign country, is so feeble minded where it concerns foreign policy. It’s a failure of leadership where one puts together a lackluster team and decision making is formed by committee, predominantly calculated in terms of “election mode.”

  2. James Canning says:

    I have thought all along that Obama was making a big mistake by not backing the Rusian and Chinese call for a peace conference on Syria, with Iran’s participation, and NO precondition Bashar al-Assad agree to abandon power.

  3. James Canning says:

    Pirouz,

    Let’s remember Obama was very reluctant to intervene in Libya, and that he has been very relutant to intervene in Syria.

    Israel lobby forces Obama to try to block Iran’s participation in peace talks.

  4. James Canning says:

    Is a “real” US strategy on Syria possible, when Israel lobby is determined to block any sensible proposal by Russia?

  5. James Canning says:

    Financial Times reports today that Obama will likely raise with the Chinese president this week, the question of what plans to make as contingency for possible collapse of regime in North Korea.

  6. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    It is fortuitous for Iran that “Israel lobby forces Obama to try to block Iran’s participation in peace talks.” – as you have stated.

    This gives Iranian, Russian, and Russian governments the political cover to wage war to destroy anti-Assad forces.

  7. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You make an interesting point. Nonetheless, surely a peace conference as early as possible would a good thing.

  8. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Let’s remember the US could have obtained Japan’s surrender in 1945, prior to the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Japan.

  9. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Congratulations to the Syrian army and Hezbollah for a great victory.

    Like I said on the old website right when the war started, we would never abandon Syria- and we didn’t.

    Let’s review some of the posts from that time and see how they look 27 months on, shall we?

    Neither Obama nor any other of these clowns is capable of doing what the Leveretts are very wisely asking America to do.

    Doing this would be a deadly sin against American exceptionalism.

    kooshy-jan,
    Yes I did hear SLs reference to Nader Qoli. Very unfortunate, will have to have a serious word with him about it (wink).

    Like I said, looted and pillaged Isfahan right after “liberating” it from the Afghans. I real hayvan even by the standards of his own time.

    I respectfully disagree with my vali on this matter.

    I think you mentioned being Afshar Yazdi (if I recall correctly). The Afshar-e Yazdi I know have an India connection and they have an annual “Sofre Imam Sadiq (as)” for the ladies in Tehran around this time of year. Very nice family (khoda hefzeshun kone).

  10. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    The only peace conference that is needed is the one between the United States and the Islamic Republic.

    Such a peace conference will actually save lives – everything else is devoid of susbtance and a diplomatic show.

  11. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Your statement is not accurate; without the destruction of their cities with almost certain knowledge of more death and carnage to follow, Japan would not have surrendered.

    Some historians and others who wish to denigrate the United States maintain the position that Japan was on the verge of surrender.

    I think not.

  12. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    The debate today was almost as good as the one between Mahmud and Mir Hossein (Begam? Chiz!).

    Love it when Ghalibaf and Rohani tear into each other…please more of this. What became clear from this exchange is that Rohani is no friend of freedom and that the police is corrupt by admission of its then chief.

    Well nice to finally hear what everybody knows said on lame-tame-don’t-rock-the-boat-baby-and-endanger-my-pension seda o sima.

    Everybody piling up on Velayati…wonderful, exquisite, delightful, loved it

    Jalili saying the result of the western butt-kissing foreign policy during Hashemi’s term was having an intl arrest warrant issued against Akbar Khan and the result of Khatami’s support for US in Afghanistan was being labelled “axis of evil”.

    The truth really hurts, doesn’t it?

    Gharazi yelling at the other eslahis “kessi nabood tu dahan in agha bezane?”

    Absolutely brilliant

    Remember when Aghaye Mohandes used to come to work as minister of oil packing a “colt” and wearing the most wrinkled shirts in the history of humanity? Ah, the good old days, I’m getting all teary-eyed.

  13. M.Ali says:

    How come there is absolutely no news articles thats ever unbiased towards Iran? Not just unbiased, but it always seems like its written by people who have no idea about whats going on in Iran.

    This worries me sometimes. I live in Iran and I’m an Iranian, and fairly interested in politics, and I can see how wrong the news about Iran is. But this makes me wonder, is the media wrong about the news EVERYWHERE? I know they are wrong about Iran, but I obviously don’t know if they are right or wrong about other countries. I wonder how much they have skewed my mind.

    I mean, just look at this recent article from The Economist. I expect a magazine like this, even if not unbiased, too at least be intelligent, but it seems like it was written by a third-rate anti-Iranian blogger.

    Just look at the first paragraph,
    “IN THIS election, more than 700 aspiring candidates have been barred from competing by a council of crusty clerics and lawyers. They are said to have failed to live up to the required standard of revolutionary and religious zeal, leaving just eight runners deemed worthy of the mantle being relinquished by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. That may not seem like much of a choice to citizens of normal democracies. But in Iran it is the best on offer.”

    The first sentence has two things to look out for. First of all, more than 700 aspiring candidates have been barred! Oh no! By who? CRUSTY clerics. Not just any clerics, but of the crusty kind.

    Why don’t these people ever show us examples of countries where we have 700 candidates running? in last year’s US presidential elections, did we have 700 candidates running?

    Its unrealistic to have 700 people running in any country. Even if they do, would they all be given equal exposure? Or does the top 1% have enough political influence & capital resources to be able to advertise themselves to people and be prominent in the media?

    Iran keeps it much fairer, by choosing a strong selection, from different backgrounds and mindsets, and then give them EQUAL footing.

    The second sentence starts with, “They are said to have failed to live up to the required standard of revolutionary and religious zeal…” These 8 people weren’t chosen based on their “revolutionary and religious zeal”. Specially, the latter. Does no one in the media notice that out of 8 candidates, only ONE is a cleric? The media has been talking about the mullas in Iran for so many years that when they have a situation like this, they just pretend it away. The only MULLAH in the Chosen 8 is a reformist. It goes completely against all the narrative.

    And if these 700 candidates were so excellent, why doesn’t the western media or anti-Iranian blogs ever talk about the fantastic choices that were left out? They talk about Rafsanjani and Mashaei but its not like these are anti-nezam people anyway. Who exactly, out of these 700 people, had a strong support base that their filtering was a blow to democracy?

    Frankly, I believe they should filtered even more and left Jalili, Ghalibaf, Rouhani/Aref, and maybe Gharazi?

    Finally, the sentence ends with,
    ” That may not seem like much of a choice to citizens of normal democracies. But in Iran it is the best on offer.”

    Why do these journalist pretend that comparisons can not be made? There is no country that has no filtering in place. Its either directly from the government, or certain laws in place (such as getting enough signatures from politicians), or filtering by being supported by big political parties, or having millions of money at one’s disposal.

    If Iran had the USA system, they would have told us that the Iranian regime forces people to choose between only two parties which are only different in small details and would have called our system the dualmullacracy, and they would have smashed us everyday for not having popular voting system, and instead relying on state voting system.

    Anyway, thats my complain against just ONE paragraph.

  14. Don Bacon says:

    Flynt argues that Russia, Iran, and China have been “much more forthright and proactive than the United States and its partners” in seeking a political solution.

    SecState Kerry agrees:
    “This is a very difficult process, which we come to late,” Mr. Kerry said at a press conference in a comment on the joint US-Russia effort to end the Syrian conflict.

    Jennifer Psaki, the State spokesperson, came to it even later, and tried to twist things on June 5:

    MS. PSAKI: “. . .Today in Geneva, Under Secretary Sherman and Ambassadors Jones and Ford, actually, who was there, concluded substantive and useful conversations with Russian and UN officials on planning for the Geneva conference on Syria, which will be sponsored and led by the UN. Their discussion today was focused on efforts to advance a negotiated political solution as well as the devastating humanitarian crisis in Syria, particularly in Qusayr, and the urgent need to allow humanitarian access for aid to reach those in need.

    “They agreed that the objectives of this conference are focused on trying to form a transitional government, governing body, and all government institutions will transfer authority to this new governing body, and that no executive party – power will remain with the regime. In terms of participants, they did, of course, discuss this as well as other agenda items that you often all ask about. The Secretary General will issue conference invitations to participants, the – which will begin with a plenary session at the ministerial level, and then the proceedings would be turned over to Special Representative Brahimi, who is the negotiator. Let me just finish this and then we’ll take some questions on it.”
    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2013/06/210291.htm#SYRIA

    That isn’t quite right, of course, as FM Lavrov pointed out today:

    “In particular, the State Department representative stated that Russia, the United States and the United Nations agree that the goal of the new conference in Geneva must be the forming of a new transitional government in Syria. This really matches with what was written down last year,” he said.

    “But, if the reports that I have received are true, the State Department went on to add that this should be a transitional government to which the current authorities in Damascus would hand over all their powers. If this was really said by the State Department, this is a very strong distortion of what the talks were about,” the Russian foreign minister added.

    Lavrov further reiterated that Moscow would continue to push for Iran’s participation in the upcoming Geneva meeting despite opposition from some Western states.
    http://old.mehrnews.com/en/newsdetail.aspx?NewsID=1823042

    These are not good days in the US State Department. The Leveretts are faring much better, however, as they should.

  15. Don Bacon says:

    In any case, I am predicting that Syria will regain Aleppo before Geneva 2 time, and it will be game, set, match for President Assad.

  16. James Canning says:

    M.Ali,

    You should try reading the Financial Times. For good articles on life etc in Iran, written fairly.

  17. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    I would expect Jalili to be aware that the idiotic “axis of evil” point made by George W. Bush in his State of the Union address in early 2003, was part of neocon scheme to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq by duping the President.

  18. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Japan put out a “feeler” in May 1945, regarding surrender. Sticking point was US insistence that the emperor be deposed and the monarchy abolished.

    Opinion is divided, true. (As to whether Japan would have surrendered without getting hit with two atom bombs.)

  19. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Hard to have a “peace conference” with Iran when the stooges of the Israel lobby in US Congress do not want American diplomats even speaking to their Iranian counterparts.

  20. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    As I have stated numerous times; US has degenerated so much that one can no longer does business with them.

    Look no further than how they have tried to undermine Mr. Erdogan; their “Nowkar”.

  21. kooshy says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    June 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Basiji e Aziz

    I wasn’t defending Nader because of the last name, like Ayatollah Khamenei I was praising his nationalism, like he said Nader expanded Iran’s influence and regained lost territories, like all other rulers he had his weak and intolerable moments.

    I agree this last debate was a lot better engaging each other. I personaly think that Mr. Jalili will defend Iran’s international rights a lot more than my Hamshari(and the rest), but knowing Yazdi mentality (a mixture of protectionist, conservative mercantilism with a hint of reserved fear) I would think at the end of the day majority will all vote for Aref. Just, because he is Yazdi.

  22. Persian Gulf says:

    I think Velayati was really bad in this last debate. and his election documentary was a fiasco. I would be surprised if he could get elected. He is finished to me.

    Aref performed relatively well. However Gharazi contradicted him very effectively. Aref complains too much. and he is begging for Khatami’s endorsement which doesn’t seem to be on the horizon.

    Rohani was average. The pressure is on Aref to exit for him. and people like Hashemi and Khatami are in his favor, it seems. Rohan’s core supporters argue that he might attract some of the conservative part of the society’s vote. This will cost him the core of Aref’s votes to me. Reformists’ 18 factions (which I think, the same way as groups like Motalefe, only exists on paper) endorsed Aref.

    Rezaei was a disaster. Only complain and nothing of substance. As always he starts relatively well. but as time goes by his illiteracy is exposed. what else do you expect from a fake ph.d. degree holder?

    Gharazi impressed me in the past two 2 debates. He presented himself relatively well this past week. I am not sure why he started that way, repeating inflation time and again without offering clear paths to tackle it. he gave an image of an idiot initially but suddenly showed a completely different character. it’s getting clear that he is not just very smart and deep, but he knows the practical aspects of running the country relatively well. I think if this election show could go for a month more, his stature could rise dramatically.

    Ghalibaf performed very well. He obviously has a plan for debates of this nature. and his election documentary is well prepared and sensible. I won’t be surprised if he wins in the first round. I think he is a very good executor. a competent manager. but I doubt he has any genuine idea himself, both economically or politically. he sees an idea and makes that work. I still think his best position is first VP.

    Jalili seems to be SamareHashemi’s man. My hunch is that Ahmadinejad will support him this week. Jalili’s foreign policies look sound. It’s however more reactionary and doesn’t give any future direction. His economic policies are, at best, vague to me. he seems more of an intellectual than a manager. If Ahmadinejad really has votes among the masses, that could be a turning point for Jalili. He is the only candidate that almost did not say a single bad word about the current administration. It is hard to believe that he is not Mahmood’s card at the last minutes (as always).

    Haddad is good in explaining the core of IR’s logic and policies. I doubt he has any other skills. I think he was pretty honest in this debate and didn’t care about losing votes or getting the blame. He made a reference to China’s dealing with the U.S and proposed the same path.

    Apart from all of this, I think it’s true that the bulk of the society doesn’t give a damn to this reformists/principlists fight. I would put reformists’ hard core votes at about 15-20%. and the principlists’ at about 10%. These groups won’t vote for another camp no matter the situation. it’s more of an hate (and class related) than competency/logic/policies….For example, the atmosphere in universities in Tehran (among the profs) is highly in favor of reformists. Other employees in those universities might have more relaxed view. students are jumping in between.

    We have about 40% of the society that is totally out of this party fight. the rest are anti-IR and often won’t vote. I think the election has always been about this silent majority.Although this segment is highly concerned about day to day life, it can change the equation depending on how their Iranian zeal (we call it “rage gheirat”, not sure of its english term) is rightly aroused. something Mahmood was spot on and very effective in taking advantage of this point (I would say Khomeini himself was mostly running on that stream). I would consider my own extended family in that category. unlike reformists/principlists camps that votes along the party line, this main group switches side relatively easy and doesn’t give a f*** to reformists/principlists affiliation.

  23. Don Bacon says:

    Okay, I get it.
    Comments with hyperlinks — “awaiting moderation” forever (in internet terms).

  24. masoud says:

    I watched the whole last debate and only the first half of the previous two.
    Gharazi came off better in the last debate than in the first two, but still well short of being a serious candidate. His calling down Aref, and Aref’s subsequent silence, was the high point of his campaign, and in itself was worth the price admission.
    Rouhani is a flat out shameless liar. He’s one of those people who’s become so used to never being contradicted by virtue of his position that he can’t take any criticism. All he knows is to attack and smear and implicate everyone except himself. He’d be an utter disaster.
    Velayati is a deluded idiot. I think he might post in these forums under the name of James Canning. Why the hell do foreign media uniformly label him a foreign policy hard liner?
    Rezaei tried to establish superiority by painting a negative picture of his rivals, and overplayed his hand badly. He’s not the only one to adopt this kind of a tactic, but most are smart enough to be negative only regarding ‘the current situation’.
    Aref is disturbing. It seems he is less incompetent than Khatami and Mousavi, but that’s not saying much. He was asked directly by Hadad-Adel why he was silent when Mousavi was trying to execute his electoral coup, and he didn’t even bother answering. It shows that he is neither a good planner, nor is he quick on his feet. His smug arrogance rubs me the wrong way as well. Aref asked a question right at the beginning of the last debate. The question was ‘Do you mind if we just change the entire format so that we all just give uninterrupted speeches instead of debating?’. What the hell kind of answer did he expect? This is why the traffic in Tehran is so damned awful.
    Qalibaf’s only platform is that he’s been the mayor of Tehran for the past couple of years. He’s got no opinion on what’s wrong with the economy, no idea on how to fix it, but boy is he going to perform! It’s the same with foreign policy or anything else, he’s clueless, but can it really be all that different from widening a road or installing a sewer pipe?
    Hadad-Adel came off as honest and reasonable. He’s right on most things but much too mild mannered to be effective president.
    Jalili was at a disadvantage because they drew his name last, and he was made a scapegoat by a good number of fellow candidates, but boy did he impress. He was prepared for each candidate who called him out and he never lost an exchange. He put up a spirited defense of his record with whatever time he had, and wrong footed anyone who tried to challenge him. I don’t accept the criticism that ‘he’s a philospher’. He’s Iranian, which is to say he’s long winded, but he’s no worse an offender than anyone Iranian politician. He also demonstrated a consistently thorough understanding of every issue that’s come up. Only Hadad-Adel compares on that account. Everyone else was hit or miss, depending on the topic being discussed.

    All told, these debates were a solid opportunity to put on display the worst of Iranian behavioral peccadilloes, and our protagonists didn’t disappoint. Everything from Iranian Personal Exceptionalism(which is an individualized version of America’s national doctrine), to passive aggressive snideness, to outright lies to false flattery evaporating into unseemly emotianally charged accusations at the drop of a hat.
    Worst of all is the widespread adoption of the Cult of The Professionals. You would think that membership in this cult would be simply limited to the recently Gedah and Besavad. But somehow or other it is so firmly implanted in Iran’s polity, that it sometimes seems like a pre-requisite for admittance. Adherents of this cult feel no need to understand or discuss any matter of policy, because they instinctively know that if anything is not proceeding as well as they’d like, the only possible reason this could happen is because someone, somewhere is not being professional enough. So, rather than waste the public’s time laying out what exactly they believe the problem is and how they propose to fix it, or even thinking and researching these matters long enough to reach an informed opinion on these matters, our initiate would much rather assure us how his solution would be to fire anyone who doesn’t hold mainstream opinions and replace them with professionals chosen from only the most Elite layers of yes men in the country.
    God help us if anyone other than Jalili wins.

  25. Pirouz says:

    Good reading comments from Masoud, again.

    I hear good things about Galibaf’s managerial skills. And he seems to be politically flexible, with a vision to what’s practical and achievable.

    Personally, I vote for the candidate most likely to improve U.S.-IRI relations. Naive, right? Any suggestions? Granted this is only relevant if again polling stations are set up here in the U.S. (I’m hoping they will be.)

  26. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    kooshy-jan
    Very nice explanation about your hamsharis. In general Yazdis are very pleasant and fine human beings- including Aghaye Aref.

    Yes Jalili can be trusted not to give away the family jewels to the evil British.

    In general I’m happy to see that we are getting to a point in this society were we can seriously disagree politically and still be friends after the debates.

    It wasn’t always like this, it’s a great blessing and in large part a result of the conciliatory approach by the Supreme Leader towards those criminals who tried to end our beloved Islamic Republic after the last elections.

    God bless the SL for his wisdom and patience.

    About Nader, I think he wasn’t even good for Iranian nationalism.

    I think the problem is that the Nader we read about in contemporary Iranian history books- most of which on this subject are from the Pahlavi time- has very little in common with the real Nader.

    Nader himself very clearly talked about taking on the mantle of Chengiz and Teymour. Notice how other rulers like Shah Abbas or Karim Khan talked about trying to follow the example of Ali (as).

    I think there was a deliberate attempt during the Pahlavi era to use Nader for their own ideological purposes- anti-Shiaism, Iranian chauvinism and imperialism. Nothing to be proud of or use as an example.

    I think we need to revisit Nader historically and if we do it honestly we will be ashamed not proud.

    Of course this is the case with other historical figures as well, but this Nader glorification among some (I’m not saying that you or the SL are doing this) is revolting to me.

  27. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    masoud-jan,
    I agree with your post, I think these elections are making it painfully clear that we desperately need a generational change in the political leadership. That’s why- in addition to all the other reasons you mentioned- I’m voting for the youngest candidate: Saeed Jalili.

    Pirouz-jan,
    Very happy to see that you would want to vote. I don’t think this should be a problem in the Bay Area- San Jose usually has voting booths- I don’t know about other cities this time around. If you call the Iranian interest section in D.C. they can tell you what’s up.

    I would suggest to you that the only one capable of seriously engaging the US is Jalili- because he is a hard-liner domestically- kinda like Nixon the anti-communist being the only one capable of engaging communist China domestically.

  28. M. Ali says:

    Here are my comments regarding the last debate, about things NOT related to content:

    1) Playing with their pens: Notice how some candidates played with their pens. This was true for Haddad-Adel, Velayati, Rouhani, and Rezai. This made the guys seem stressed (specially, Haddad-Adel, who if you watched his hands, seemed to be shaking a lot when he was speaking). Velayati also seemed stressed. The rest were more comfortable, but Gharazi’s stressfree seemed to borne out of not really giving a fuck. I think Ghalibaf and Jalili seemed most composed.

    2) Facial: Whats with the constant scowl on Aref’s face? He looks angry all the time, and because this is TV and he is filmed and he is looking at the camera, it looks like he is angry with ME! I didn’t do anything! Its time like this which makes me already miss Ahmedinijad. He had his smile on his face, that made you feel comfortable. Watching Ahmadi talk, made me feel like we could be friends. And then there’s Rezaei. I like some of his ideas and philosophies, but he looks like a bulldog. He has broad shoulders and he looks mean, and honestly, the way he looks at the camera, I sometimes feel slightly scared, like he will reap me apart. Rouhani looks arrogant.

    Haddad-Adal, bless his heart, looks like I have to hold his hand to cross the street. Veleyati looks nice, but too nice, like I’m concerned that he’ll go to the west, and they’ll bully him. Gharazi smiled a lot and he seems fun. I almost wish he’d be president for its quaranteed 4 year full of quotes. Ghalibaf looks presidential and would be perfect for bunch of photoops. He also has a good smile, but he doesn’t use it enough. Jalili also has a good smile, and he uses it most out of all the candidates, and he never has a frown on his face. However, for some reason, I find that dark patch on his head distracting. I’m looking at him and I keep being distracted by that, like some mole on someone’s face, and I keep thinking, how come all his hair went white except that small patch? Also, does he really have to wear a shirt that is Basiji style. I know this is Bussed in Basiji’s 2013 hip style when he and his buddies cruise around town, but it automatically sets him apart from most of the society. Also, finally, I have to be honest and say I’m a bit uncomfortable with people who have that black thing on their forehead that is supposed to have come from constant praying. I hear rumors that people sometimes burn the stone on their foreheard to appear more pious, and if true, it makes people like Jalili a bit untrustworthy.

    3) Age: I think the younger generation Iranians are better than the older generations, therefore young people are always a plus for me. Therefore, when I see someone like Haddad-Adel and Gharazi, I want to tell them, stay out of the elections. Let young people take over, because the older people are too bazari and emotional in their approach.

    4) Preparation: In terms of preparation, Jalili was excellent. He had brought so many relevant info with him, that he would dispute candidates with FACTS he had brought with him. He was so well prepared that my wife was wondering that how come he knew what the candidates would talk about so he could bring relevant information with him? I mean, the part where Rouhani talks about a book and Jalili is READY with quotes from that book and Rouhani’s own book to disapprove him.

    Ghalibaf was the only one with a tablet. This is important for me, because it shows that he is embracing technology and moving forward. I work in Iran, I’ve met with big companies and it saddens me that they still have their important paperwork in folders under their desk and still fax everything back and forth.

    Gharazi came completely unprepared. He had NO NOTES AT ALL with him and would not take any notes. This is typical Iranian style. Come to a meeting, without any data, without any plans, without any objective, rant for an hour or two, drink some tea, and leave, feeling we’d have a productive day.

    Time Management and Respecting the Format: This was VITAL for me. If they can’t manage their time well here, how the hell will they manage the country. Again, best for me was Ghalibaf. Gharazi doesn’t even seemed to know what the format was. He’d just talk whenever he felt like it. Another clear example was Aref. He’d interrupt others out of turn.

    Sure the format had problems, but ideal leaders and managers have to be able to work best with what they are given, not what they wish they were given. The worst offenders here were Aref, Rouhani, and Gharazi. Its annoying that the reformists have learned all the slogans from the west (free speech!! Equality!!) but not their great time management and planning.

    I’m basing my decisions mainly on the above factors not the content. Because I don’t really believe what politicians say anyway, not here, not anywhere else. Based on these, my choices will be, in order,

    1. Ghalibaf
    2. Jalili
    3. Rouhani
    4. Velayati
    5. Aref
    6. Gharazi
    8. Rezaei
    7. Haddad-Adel

  29. M. Ali says:

    So, I’ve been reading about Turkey’s protests, and I’m thinking, its lucky that Turkey doesn’t have neighbours that act the way Turkey acts himself towards other countries. Imagine how easy it would be, in this enviroment, for Syria or Iran to funnel a couple of million of dollars to certain parties in Turkey, and have them ignite a huge political explosion, that causes a headache for everyone.

    But I like what Iran has said, “Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Araghchi said that the protests are an internal matter for Turkey to resolve but expressed hope that “the issue would be resolved in a peaceful manner with the prudence of Turkish leaders”

    That’s how Turkey should have reacted to Syria.

    Countries in the middle east need to support each other. Protests can occur in any country in the world, and unfortunately, protests can also be easily be abused and manipulated by outside factors. Its hard to do that to protests in USA, because of their strong control of their internal security, but for us in the middle east, where the enemy is right at our borders, with the billions of dollars passing through terrorist and opportunist’s hands, we need to build strong relationship. A partnership between Syria, Turkey, and Iran, could have paved the way for a better, stronger, middle east. And from such a partnership, we could have easily embraced new political systems like the current Egypt, and one by one, countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, would have preferred this coliation, instead of western ones.

    But unfortunately, Turkey, by unnecessary damaging Syria, allowed himself completely open. Because when the chips begin to fall, the west would cast these top Turkish politicians away, and support another one.

  30. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    M Ali,
    Glad to see you will be voting.

    The shirt is actually Foreign Ministry standard issue, it’s even called “yaghe Velayati”. Most “chic” civil servants wear it.

    As Nile Rodgers once said: “…le freak, c’est chic…”

    You wouldn’t recognize us when we “cruise around town”. We blend in- you know- riding the bus.

    As far as the other things that annoy you about Jalili, how about his missing left leg that he lost defending Iran? Does that offend you too? No?

    Good, didn’t think so.

  31. Sineva says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    June 8, 2013 at 7:13 am
    And what state of the art buses you have
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2013/06/iranian-built-hybrid-powered-metro-bus.html

  32. Tuyzentfloot says:

    I’m uncomfortable with the example of the dead ambassador in Libya because it just doesn’t feel like it’s such a big deal. It’s not enough of an argument for adjusting strategy. There is such a thing as acceptable blowback and I’ve missed the reports saying the situation in Libya is disastrous. The effect Libya has had of hardening positions from Russia, China and any other country that may have contemplated being compliant to US’ wishes, that is considerable blowback.

  33. Karl.... says:

    Does any of the iranian candidates have any controversial past (that west/israel will make use of to discredit)?

    Just one week left, hopefully the election will go smooth and that no sabotage, terror etc is set off.

  34. fyi says:

    Tuyzentfloot says:
    June 8, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Yes, I agree – this is clutching at straws.

    I think as the Syrian Civil War continues to its eventual resolution, you will see more serious blow back.

    For example, if the projected number of refugees – 3.5 million souls – comes to pass that would cause serious problems for Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.

    Likewise, the anti-Shia sentiments will damage Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, India, and Turkey – all nominal friends of US.

    There is no down-side in any of this for Iran.

  35. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    Do you feel that the Western stance on the Turkish protests would cause Mr. Erdogan and his cohorts to temper their zeal in being servile to the West and confronting Iran regionally? I understand things cannot go back to as they were but the optimist in me hopes that perhaps it would cause the Turkish government to reevaluate some things and come to a quiet understanding with Iran – as seemingly Pakistan did.

    And btw, I agree that the spread of anti Shia sentiments is beneficial to Iran’s increasing influence.

  36. James Canning says:

    I highly recommend Ed Luce’s book review in the Weekend Financial Times today. “Decline and Fall – – Is America heading for the same fate as the Roan Empire?”

    Amazingly, the authors of the book (“Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America”)write that “The British empire could still be a superpower today, we believe, if it had been more expansively British and less imperial”. Amazing rubbish, in my view.

    The British Empire would have ended even if there had been no world wars during the 20th century.

    The authors, who favor gigantic “defence” spending by the US, claim that the decline of American power can be attributed to efforts to control campaign finance spending.

    Amazing.

    Luce writes: “It beats me how anyone could conclude that [effort to control political campaign spending] was [the biggest threat to US power].”

  37. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Nouri al-Maliki worries about a potential Sunni effort to overthrow the central government of Iraq. You think such worries are unfounded?

  38. James Canning says:

    Tuyzentloot

    Primary problem in LIbya seems to be the heavily armed gangs that the central government as yet is unable to control.

    China and Russia were quite right to see the UNSC resolutions on Libya as having been stretched beyond fair interpretation, to justify Western military intervention in that country to overthrow Gaddafi.

  39. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    What are the “family jewels” that you think Jalili is unwilling to give to the “evil British”?

    I take it you agree with Jalili and FYI that Iranian enrichment of uranium to 20 percent is no big deal? That what Iran inists upon is P5+1 acceptance of Iranian enrichment to low levels (below 5%)?

  40. Nasser says:

    James Canning,

    “I take it you agree with Jalili and FYI that Iranian enrichment of uranium to 20 percent is no big deal?”

    – You are not up to date on Saeed Jalili’s views on this matter.

  41. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The “degeneration” of the US to which you refer apparently means in part the suppression of open debate in US news media, regarding pros and cons of US policy toward Israel/Palestine and other Middle East issues.

    Obviously, it is in the best interests of intelligent people worldwide, to attempt to foster better, more open debate in the US. To combat the “degeneration” that you see.

  42. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The many stooges of the Israel lobby in the US Congress, who try their best to prevent any oral communication between American officials and their Iranian counterparts, clearly is intended to suppress fair and open debate in US news media.

  43. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    James,
    Yes sorry I meant to write “evil English”…like I told you it’s in our DNA.

    The world has moved on from 20% enrichment. You should as well.

    We asked for it, you didn’t give it, we achieved it out of our own efforts.

    Game, set, match Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Go watch a James Bond movie to self-medicate the pain of being a has-been empire- if Massa Sam gives you permission to do so.

    Better yet, go sell yourself to a bunch of Najdi bedouins for a few billion pounds.

    That should dull the pain.

  44. Persian Gulf says:

    آدم حرفهای این رضایی، ولایتی، قالیباف و تاحدی عارف رو راجع به سیاست خارجی میشنوه تعجب میکنه اینها چطوری مناسب بالای حکومتی دستشون هست و به اطلاعات سری دسترسی دارند.

    ولایتی مشاور رهبر درامورخارجه است، اونوقت حرف زدنش و تحلیلش، که به نظر میرسه اعتقاد هم بهشون داره، درحد یه بچه دبیرستانی نیست.آدم می مونه این بشر چطور 16 سال وزیرخارجه بوده. اطلاعات تاریخی اخیرش هم ناقصه ظاهرا.
    یه جوری اینها حرف ازتعامل میزنند آدم فکر می کنه یه فرصت بزرگ بوده که مغفول مونده و کسی ندیده یا اینکه طرف مقابل بست نشسته تو تعامل کنی. مخصوصا آدم وقتی حرفهای یکی مثل رضایی رو گوش میکنه بیشتر این حس بهش دست میده.

    قالیباف که عملا مقهور سیستم جهانی هست. به نظر میرسه قند تو دلش آب شده برای یه کنفرانسی تو دانمارک دعوت شده.

    به نظر من روحانی حداقل میفهمه شرایط چطوریه، حالا ممکنه آدم نسخه اش رو قبول نداشته باشه.

    حرفها و تحلیلهای حدادعادل تو مناظره های دوم و سوم عالی بودند(باعث تعجب خودم شد که این آدم چقدرحالیش هست). ظاهرا فهمیده تا راهش رو جدا نکنه رای نمی تونه جمع کنه برعکس قالیباف که میخواد همه رو داشته باشه. حرف حداد راجع به تغییر سبک زندگی به نظر من جای مانور داره. اینجور مصرف کردن فقط منابع رو از بین میره:

    http://alef.ir/vdchkwnzk23n6kd.tft2.html?189444

  45. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    June 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I do not believe that Mr. Erdogan was trying to oppose Iranian power and influence as much as he was carrying out orders given to him by his superiors in the United States and Europe – that is: “Help us wound Iran in Syria or else we would cut you financial life blood.”

    This, in spite of the evidence Mr. Larijani shared with him regarding how US was arming PKK in Iraq during the occupation of Iraq by the United States.

    Once he was committed to the policy of wounding Iran in Syria – expecting a quick victory and having received (evidently) assurances of full US-EU commitment all the way to no-fly-zone etc. – he went about to export Turkey’s Kurdish problem to Iraq and thus harming Iraq and hoping to wound Iran there.

    Now he is stuck, he has to stay the course in Syria lest the money needed for Turkey is cut by EU and his path with Iran is blocked due to that.

    So, no, I do not expect any change during the remainder of his government’s term to mend fences with Iran.

    Really, leaders like Mr. Erdogan are to be pitied – they followed the de marche of Axis Powers and yet the Axis Powers sought – at the first opportune moment – to discard them. The Shah of Iran, the late Lon Nol, Mr. Thieu and many many others who sought to endear and ingratiate themselves to Axis Powers and wound up harming themselves and their own countries – never learning that they are just “nowkars” and nothing lese.

    I do not know if Ikhwan in Egypt, in Tunisia, in Turkey, in Syria and elsewhere will be able to assimilate the lessons of Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey or not. That lesson is that it insufficient to oppose secular dictatorships that carried the load for Axis Powers. That it is absolutely and completely worthless to Islamicize a society based on this or that schools of Sharia while leaving the state still subordinate to Axis Powers.

    In Tunisia, in Egypt, in Turkey the fundamental relationship of vassalage has not been severed. And the Ikhwan governments of Tunisia, Egypt, and Turkey failed to rise up above sectarianism of Sunni Islam and forge a better path in Syria.

    They chose to remain within the chains of Axis Powers and therefore chose to harm Islam – this much is clear.

  46. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says:
    June 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I have read previous statements by Dr. Velayati both on Iranian history and international situation – I found to be very well informed.

    I am not sure about his statements in this particular venue; he might be trying to score points.

  47. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Mr. Al-Maliki is not the only one concerned about the overthrow of the current dispensation in Iraq; so are the Iranian leaders and so are the religious leaders in Qum, Najaf, Mashahd, Isphahan, Kerbala, and elsewhere.

    Yet, the Sunni sectarian attacks against the Shia only strengthens the Shia – they are the ones who have been consistently staying above the fray and promoting a common Muslim agenda.

    The Sunnis in Iraq were defeated during the 2006-2007 civil war there, they are not in a position to re-start it.

    And even if they do, they cannot win.

    And I doubt the Kurds will attack the Al Maliki government and hand Iraq to Sunni Arabs – that is not going to happen.

    Iran, in my judgment, will go to war to preserve the current political dispensation in Iraq.

  48. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    If EU sanctions US over Palestine, let us say, that might make a difference.

  49. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I completely agee the Kurds are highly unlikely to attack forces of central government of Iraq, though there will be problems here and there in Iraqi Kurdistan (and places nearby). For simple reason borders are not agreed.

    Iraqi Kurdistan will grow rich if it can avoid civil war.

    Sunnis can cause trouble, but attempting to overthrow central government of Iraq would be a reckless undertaking. As things stand today.

  50. Persian Gulf says:

    fyi says:
    June 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    It might be an indication that he is not part of the inner cycle of Khamenei anymore. what he said about Almaati II sends a wrong signal to the society, no matter what his purpose was.
    Jalili’s argument about critical dialogue almost killed him.

    His emphasis on Sarkozy is strange. obviously the time frame he talks about was after the first UN sanction. To me, it looks like he wants to win Larijanis’ approval by emphasizing on this part of nuclear dialogue.

    He was refuted in every single case he brought in this last debate.

  51. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Turkish business interests are significant in Baghdad, and in Iraqi Kurdistan. And in the Persian Gulf outside Iraq.

  52. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Are you claiming Jalili was only pretending that Iranian enrichment to 20 percent is no big deal?

    I think you are wrong. I think Jalilit knows Iran has to meet Russian and Chinese concerns.

  53. Nasser says:

    fyi says: June 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you for your comments.

    I agree with everything you wrote and I agree that the Ikhwans in these various countries won’t learn the relevant lessons. Moreover, people of the region are not yet thoroughly disenchanted of the US; they still believe that a partnership with them offers them many benefits. And in the case of the Arab polities, their reflexive hatred of Iran and by extension of the Shias further prevents them from seeing things clearly. On top of this I don’t think it is even possible for Egypt to chart an independent course even if it had the will to do so.

    One purely hypothetical question: As we have discussed before, it is merely wishful thinking to assume Turkey would ever abandon the West. But is it theoretically possible for Iran and Iraq to replace the financial dependency on EU – for example by providing for all of Turkey’s energy needs.

  54. Karl... says:

    Anyone here know of any controversial past of the presidential candidates that west might make use of?

  55. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Yes, Iran and Iraq should be able to provide Turkey with most of its energy needs. Russian company is building some nuclear power plants.

  56. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    European countries can “sanction” the US about Israel/Palestine, by backing full UN membership for Palestine. I agree this would be a very good thing for the US.

  57. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Velayati has always been Hashemi’s nowkar.

    Velayati fired MJ Larijani as deputy FM and appointed Mohammad Hashemi as deputy FM when Mohammad Hashemi had just “resigned” as head of Seda o Sima- because of a big “gand” which his big brother was able to cover up.

    Instead of going to jail he became deputy FM, MJ’s little brother became head of Seda o Sima and we still have to look at Velayati’s mug until today.

    Apparently he is a freakin genius- MD, statesman, historian, villa in Meydun Tajrish (you know because he’s a doctor, right? I mean after advising the SL and researching volumes of history and having coffee with Mitterand, apparently he also maintains his medical practice, right?)

    …apparently he also poops gold.

  58. masoud says:

    Boundless Informant: the NSA’s secret tool to track global surveillance data
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/08/nsa-boundless-informant-global-datamining

    So, now we know the number of communications the NSA intercepts in Iran every month:
    14bn. Equipped with this number we can begin to address the question: What communications, exactly is the NSA able to snoop on in Iran?

    These truths we hold to be self evident…

    Assumption A.
    The NSA is indiscriminately storing any information it can get about the communications of all Iranians.

    Assumption B.
    If the NSA is able to intercept a single instance of a particular kind of communication, it is able to intercept instances of that particular kind of communication. EG if it is intercepting in some in-country sms’s, it is intercepting all of them. If it is intercepting some gmail messages, or facebook status updates, it is intercepting all of them.

    Assumption C.
    We can assume all communications are between two parties in order to get an idea on how pervasive this eavesdropping is.

    Assumption D.
    There are two types of communications: doubly counted and singly counted. If two Iranians being monitored email one another, this communication is intercepted twice. Once, when the email is being sent, and again when it is being received. This is because as far as email is concerned, the time a message is sent is different from the time it is received, and it’s too tough make a decision about where the receiver is located and whether he’s being tapped as well when a message is sent, and it’s too tough to know where the sender is located and whether he’s being tapped or that particular message has already been recorded when the message is being received. SMS phone calls and faxes are different. You only have one shot at intercepting these communications..

    14bn intercaptions divided by 60ml Iranians who communicate electronically gives us two hundred and thirty three interceptions a month, which give us 58 interception a week.

    What to make of this number? This either means 58 singly counted communications or 29 doubly counted communications per week per person are being intercepted. Or something in between, like 30 singly counted communications(15 sms and 15 phone calls, let’s say) and fourteen doubly counted communication(7 gmais and 7 facebook private messages) per week per person.

    I don’t think the ‘in-between’ case is likely, as it seems like an odd usage mix. People typically send more than one email and fb message per day. And they typically make more than two sms and two phone calls per day, so by Assumption B, the NSA doesn’t have access to both web-mail/facebook records AND phone records.

    What about he second case(29 ‘doubly counted’ messages)? I think being party to 29 web mail exchanges in a week is a reasonable average. Of course for people who heavily use web mail or those that use facebook, this number might be much higher. But at the same time, for some the number will be zero. The NSA probably does intercept your spam, but their spam filter’s are likely just as good as anyone else’s, and they drop those communications automatically so that the numbers presented here don’t reflect them. If you want to send a secret message to someone, consider registering a one time hotmail account, disguising your message as a viagra add, and mass mailing 29 random addresses the in addition to the recipient you intend the message to be delivered to.

    And how about the first case(fifty eight singly counted messages)? This would mean the average Iranian sends four sms and is a party to four calls every day. I think this is far too small a number.

    So there you have it. The NSA (probably) can’t amass information on Iran’s cell/phone network(on any appreciable scale).

  59. Empty says:

    M. Ali,

    Thank you for your non-verbal analysis. RE: I find that dark patch on his head distracting. I’m looking at him and I keep being distracted by that, like some mole on someone’s face, and I keep thinking, how come all his hair went white except that small patch?

    It is not a mole. It’s a callus formed by long “sojood” over the years.

  60. Empty says:

    ….I meant analysis of non-verbal cues. Your analysis was definitely verbal (LOL)

  61. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    June 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    In principle, a consortium of Middle Eastern Banks can liquefy Turkish economy during its chronic economic emergencies, even today.

    But these banks are not “sovereign” and we are decades away from such a consortium available from Iran and Iraq.

    There was no one, to my knowledge, who strategically thought about Money and its role as an instrument of state power in Iran after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Everyone, from the Maoists to the Hojatiyyeh and anything in between were squarely in the middle of socialistic morass – “get the oil money and distribute it” – was the extent of economic thinking.

    You may not know how difficult it has been to get license for a private bank in Iran and then to operate it in an anti-business, anti-entrepreneurial statist environment.

    Thanks the to the financial sanctions of US and EU on Iran, Iranian leaders have finally begun to understand the role of Money as an instrument of state power.

  62. fyi says:

    All:

    Yet another Axis Powers citizen wishing to experiment with “lesser” people for realizing his fantasies:

    http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/let-lawfare-shape-the-conflict-not-the-flow-of-arms-by-david-falt/

    Americans played in Iraq, I guess it is now the turn of Europeans to do likewise in Syria; these are the wages of strategic weakness of Muslim states.

  63. Unknown Unknowns says:

    On the candidates, it is a process of elimination:

    Velayati and Haddad-e Adel are opium fiends.

    Aref and Rowhani are political dead men walking: they represent teh RAfsanjani/ Khatami movement which breathed its last breath on the 9th of Dey, 1388 (the Iranian nation’s reaction to the Fetne-ye 88).

    Rezai and Qarazi: neither will get more than 5% at best in the first round, which means that their names will not be on the ballot in the second round, which will be between

    Jalili and Qalibaaf, a win for either of whom represents a win for our beloved Leader.

    Alhamdolellah.

  64. M. Ali says:

    Empty, I know it. I didn’t mean its a mole, I just meant its distracting like a mole.

    And I’m doubtful about the effects of long prayer. I lean more towards the rumors that certain people force the mark on their face to show themselves as more pious. Interestingly, most of the ulemas don’t have this on their face, but politicians do. Am I too believe that Khomeini and Khameini and other aging clerics, with a clean forehead, have been praying less than Jalili in his 40s?

    This makes me uncomfortable because it might mean that the candidate or the person is not that honest to begin with. However, I’ve noticed that Jalili has sort of changed his haircut in the election, and his hair falls on the mark, hiding it. What does this mean?

  65. M. Ali says:

    The thing I don’t like about reformists is their complete incompetance when it comes to long term planning. It happened 8 years back when they had no plan. Four years ago, they decided not to make the same mistake and not send too many reformists. So, who did they send? They couldn’t decide until the very last second. I mean, its not like elections are randomly decided every few years. We know it happens EVERY FOUR YEARS, so after the 2005 elections, they had FOUR years to sit down, debate, and decide between them.

    But no, until the last moment it was, who will it be, mousavi? khatami? Mousavi is saying no, so maybe khatami? okay khatami is in, but wait now mousavi said yes, so khatami moves out.

    If they wanted to push Mousavi forward, shouldn’t he at least have gotten involved in politics again in these four years. A few weeks before election he pops out of retirement, taking a break from his painting, and is then flabbergasted when he loses. What did he really expect?

    The same thing happened this time around. Up until the election, they couldn’t decide who to put forward. Rafsanjani was claiming he was too old to run up to the very last minute, then he suddenly decided he wasn’t? And then we have Rouhani and Aref, without any plans, without any objective, without even the idea of if they will form a coliation or not. And Rafsanjani and Khatami are not even clear who to support, much less other reformers.

    Again, when they lose, its whine whine whine.

    If Ghalibaf wins, its because its obvious he has had the objective in mind and has planned for it. Thats how a leader should be.

  66. M. Ali says:

    I’m sorry for posting so much about the elections, if its a bit spammy, please feel free to tell me to shut up.

    I’m going to write about the documentaries now as I watch them.

    Ghalibaf’s Documentary: I love the start. Without any voiceover or clear introduction of Ghalibaf, it begins with heavy rain in tehran that caused flooding in the metro and the speed at which Ghalibaf’s tehran municipality responded to it. It has exciting soundtrack and its tense, and the feeling it gives you is, no slogans, no parties, no big speeches, no idealism, just hard work and results.

    It gets a bit slow for 10 or so minutes, but it then gets better and better. There are some great images of Tehran. Ghalibaf’s speeches are full of hope and energy. Its all about our potential and what we can do. Its about action and planning.

    I’m 100% behind Ghalibaf now, and I think Ghalibaf might have the potential to be Iran’s best president.

  67. M. Ali says:

    Haddad-Adel’s Documentary: Boring as expected. It starts with a series of sepia colored photos. Great, already we aren’t looking to the future. And then most of it seems to be a continue of that idea, to look at the past.

    Also, why is Haddad-Adel is proud about advertising himself as “the quiet man”? I want the leader of 80 million people not to be pride himself as a quiet man, but as an active, loud, energic man.

    The style of the documentary is mostly talking head of other people talking to the camera telling us what a fantastic man Haddad-Adel is.

    Haddad-Adel doesn’t really look very presidential in the documentary.

    Also, Haddad-Adel is watching his small, CRT TV for a few minutes, watching people complain about their lives, and one of the last complaints was a guy who kept complaining that the candidates never give their exact economic planning and just talk in vague terms. In the next scene, what happens? Haddad-Adel doesn’t give an exact economic planning and just talks in vague terms. What is this, some sort of surreal irony?

    Anyway, best way to describe Haddad-Adel’s documentary: Cure for insomnia.

  68. M. Ali says:

    Gharazi’s Documentary: The first thought that comes to mind. Was this documentary made by Gharazi himself on his laptop? Or did he hire some Isfahani wedding filmmaker to use all those fancy special effects? Such as when it cuts to him talking in his chair and starts with it being black and white, but slowly fades to color! Wizard of Oz technology!

    And then there is the voice over narration that has that deep, serious voice that was always used in the Iranian advertisments a decade ago on Seda Sima. Also there are lots of cuts away with his name on the screen against a black background with this narrator going “SYED MOHAMMADEH GHARAZI”. This happened several times. I almost expected for it to finish with “COMING SOON TO A CINEMA NEAR YOU”

    Why are we Iranians so weak in PR?

    Anyway, if you are wondering how useful this is for choosing Gharazi, not much. Its just his biography and him reminising about the old days. It almost feels like he doesn’t even know the documentary is for him being a presidential candidate. Maybe he just wanted to talk about himself for 30 minutes, and figured, this was the best opportunity available to him.

  69. M. Ali says:

    Rouhani’s Documentary: I expect the reformist’s PR to be better, and while Rouhani’s documentary isn’t bad, I expected it to be better. Out of all the supposed young supporters, shouldn’t it have a better documentary?

    Why don’t the candidates make use of all the young talent we have to help them with these documentaries? There are so many great young filmmakers in Iran that are stuck doing music videos for Iranian musicians for 500 dollars and they look great.

    Anyway, it gets silly fast. There is the letter written by SAVAK, I think, and it is in black and white and actually has someone typing out the letter. So, we’re now in History Channel zone. Haha.

    Also, in case, anyone forgets it, Rouhani has to keep showing us pictures and footages of Rafsanjani. He should have just made a documentary about Rafsanjani and at the end, told us a vote for Rouhani is a vote for Rafsanjani.

    But its not just Rafsanjani, there is also Khatami footages too.

    The parts about his foreign policy is not visually interesting. However, after that, there are scenes of Iranians walking and doing normal things in slow motion and Rouhani is telling us about Iranian’s questions about why things should be the way they are now, and this part is emotionally strong. Also, check this documentary on farsnews, at 19 minutes, with the two men and a baby, and does it feel like its subtly trying to get the gay vote, or am I going crazy?

    So far Rouhani has the best segment on women, and I think it would be not surprising that Rouhani would be able to attract a strong women vote. Ghalibaf’s documentary also focused on women, but I feel that Rouhani did a better job.

    I will also admit that Rouhani did score a few points with me after this documentary. However, the reformers need to do a lot more to become really significient four years later.

    Most documentaries seem to end with a song, and out of the four that I saw, I felt that Ghalibaf’s choice of song with the montage was the best, but I Rouhani’s is really good too.

  70. M. Ali says:

    Jalili’s documentary: Starts with Khomeini talking about presidency which I don’t think was that impressive. However, it quickly shows two young people talking to the camera and they mention how they approached Jalili and asked him if they could make the documentary for them, and he agreed, and how two of them will join him to visit Istanbul while two of them will stay in Iran.

    This is smart, because it instantly shows Jalili working with young people and involving everyone. Smart.

    The part in Iran is interesting to watch, only because the filmmakers go to remote places in Iran to hear their complain. Its not useful in terms of planning, but its well made!

    However, I’m not very impressed with Jalili in Istanbul. THe way he talked was a bit arrogant at times and didn’t seem to take his opponent seriously. Thats maybe the most appropriate way to negotiate. Also, doesn’t Jalili know English? I would have found it interesting if some informal talks had him talking in English rather than through a translator.

    Jalili doesn’t come off very charismatic in his own documentary. When he wants to make a simple point, it feels like he has to take 3 minutes to explain it. We always heard this in western media regarding us Iranians, and I guess, Jalili just proves them right.

    Part of the foreign policy segment shows the wrong part of the Khatami’s nuclear strategy.

    Jalili’s documentry’s going point is also how he shows some good advancement we have made. Montage of our rockets going into space and our satellites is not something other candidates did.

    Choice of song at the end? Eh. Didn’t connect with me.

    There is no real practical stuff in the document, too philosophical, and feels a bit out of touch with the layman.

  71. Smith says:

    “Assumption D.
    There are two types of communications: doubly counted and singly counted. If two Iranians being monitored email one another, this communication is intercepted twice. Once, when the email is being sent, and again when it is being received….”

    That is a wrong assumption. Communication by definition is between two or more nodes. The event generated for such communication is a single one, irrespective of the number of nodes or timing between send and receive.

    Also 60 million is a bit high number. I do not believe these many people email and use face book with any regularity in Iran. There are alot of people still living in villages who seldom use internet, let alone email and facebook. A more probable number who use electronic communication with regularity would be 40 million (on average). That is some 350 events recorded for every electronically connected Iranian per month. Or about a dozen events per day per Iranian. This is a reasonable number of emails, sms and cellular calls an average Iranian makes each day.

    It would be much more difficult to track land line calls within Iran. Cell phone calls and sms can be tracked via space satellite (at least most of them). And since there is no worthy Iranian service for email, search engine, face book, twitter, youtube, etc etc, it is safe to assume that most of these 14 billion events are actually composed of these internet events and some wireless events.

    But hey, Dr Aref, the presidential candidate with his PhD from Stanford, some one who had contributed in inventing modern computer networks (Aref network architecture) used to be Iran’s IT minister as well as a vice president, so we can see how much work he had put into this area when he was in power. During his time in power, lots of other countries invested in IT technologies and are now making huge money, despite their IT minsters being ignorant. Dr Aref, did not have the vision to even secure Iran’s digital borders, let alone make a viable IT sector in Iran.

    Infact in Iran, alot of people from the chief executives to laymen use yahoo and gmail. Till just a few years ago, even the ministers were using yahoo and hotmail. This Guardian news only has exposed how foolish Iranian leaders are. Instead of investing to make alternative Iranian services and servers inside the country servicing the entire need of the nation, they still depend on American servers for even the most basic services to Iranian citizens. As can be seen on the Guardian map, the Iranian people are the most spied on people on planet earth, because of the decisions and the inefficiency of the Iranian leaders in the past 20 years.

  72. Persian Gulf says:

    M. Ali says:
    June 9, 2013 at 7:55 am

    “There is no real practical stuff in the document, too philosophical, and feels a bit out of touch with the layman.”

    I don’t think Jalili’s documentary was that good. it was an average one. however, it will surely touch the layman. it depends how you define the layman. the numerous scenes from northern Iran; the fishers, or the bulldozer driver, or those guys working in the forest was exactly designed to touch the layman. having grow up in that environment I can assure you this is the way to touch the layman. I remember you said you lived in Dubai for most of your life. it’s not then a coincident that the definition of the layman is different in your mind compared to average Iranians.

    You would like to give us lecture here that we Iranians are this or that…that when we like someone we just close our eyes to see anything beyond that. with all due respect, you are doing the same here. you are giving an image of a completely biased person. fine, you like Ghalibaf (I don’t hate him), but your arguments are framed in away that only Ghalibaf did great. I would say his documentary was above average. however it gives you the impression that he is good in building infrastructures. and that’s all. hasn’t Mahmood covered a big part of that shortcomings? Ghalibaf’s documentary is relatively one dimensional.
    Frankly Ghalibaf’s open acceptance of the hegemony disappointed me a bit. A leader needs to give vision in addition to his managerial skills. My feeling is Ghalibaf lacks creativity. again, what else do you expect from a fake ph.d. degree holder?

    I didn’t find Gharazi’s documentary that bad. he presented himself the way he actually is and explained what he is capable of achieving. bringing his names several times during the documentary has a positive effect. that will solidify his name for the audiences. it touches the unconscious part of the brain. and he is obviously a cool guy. probably putting a melody of modern talking song was designed for that purpose.

    Haddad Adel’s documentary was really bad in my opinion. He can be a good minister of culture in my view.

    Rouhani’s documentary was one the best. so was Aref’s.

    here is the link for all the documentaries. I think people can figure out themselves which one is good and which one is not instead of us trying to inject our own biased view on them :)

    http://farsnews.com/media.php?nn=13920319000006

  73. masoud says:

    Smith says:
    June 9, 2013 at 10:39 am

    “Communication by definition is between two or more nodes. The event generated for such communication is a single one, irrespective of the number of nodes or timing between send and receive.”

    That is true if you are actually building communications infrastructure. It is false when your task is to intercept the communications, across a multiplicity of incompatible platforms, of a fuzzily defined subset of the world’s population.

  74. Smith says:

    “That is true if you are actually building communications infrastructure. It is false when your task is to intercept the communications, across a multiplicity of incompatible platforms, of a fuzzily defined subset of the world’s population.”

    I do not think so. Almost all of communications happen on compatible platforms. Email architecture, sms architecture etc etc. Very few communications happen between the architecture eg. sms to email or email to sms or email to voice mail. At any rate, the 14 billion report clearly shows that the entire Iranian internet and cellular network communications is exposed.

  75. M.Ali says:

    Persian Gulf, I understand what you are saying. I hope I’m not claiming to make any definite statements. I’m just analyzing it based on my assumptions, and I am perfectly ready to claim that it could be completely misguided. If I could understand situations perfectly and could estimate exactly what people think and want and act, I could have been a billionaire by now. I don’t, and constantly make mistakes.

    I’m interested in what you think and what others think.

    I also know I’m not a typical Iranian. I’m (non-practicing) Sunni Southern Iranian that grew up in Dubai and my english is better than my farsi. So, I keep a huge open mind and I know that even if i talk to 100,000 Iranians, thats still 100,000 anecdotes and not a valid representative of 80 millin Iranians, unless i approach the 100,000 with exact statistics science.

    So, my friend, if you think my opinions are misguided, I’m more than happy for your to shed alternative light on them. I’ve been wrong a lot in my life, and this instance wouldn’t be anything new for me.

  76. Persian Gulf says:

    M.Ali says:
    June 9, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I did not say your opinions are misguided, nor did I connect any of your views with your religious affiliation. what I said is this, that you like a candidate (which is your right) and all your arguments all are to prove what you like. I just brought few examples from Jalili’s documentary to say his documentary makes sense for a certain segment of the society.

    I remember back in 1384, I was very surprised to see Ahmadinejad is going to the second round even though more than half of my own family voted for him. I was mostly in Tehran at the time and I was engulfed in my delusion of reformists. I realized later on that his documentaries and the way his house was shown had a big effect on the decision of people from my region.

    I also remember Saturday morning after the first round of 1384 election, I went to the lab in the university. It made me surprised to see those technicians had passionately voted for Ahmadinejad. I told them I saw you guys several times here last week, how come you didn’t say anything about who you are going to vote for? They said he is a very good guy. he is like us. Obviously, this segment doesn’t talk much. and the media often doesn’t pay attention to them. when it comes to account vote counts, it surprises everyone.

  77. masoud says:

    Smith says:
    June 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    When you send an message from one gmail account to another gmail account from the web interface for example, there is no actual smtp message generated. That would be wasteful. It’s a process internal to gmail. If you have outlook installed on your computer and you hook it up to your gmail account then an smtp will be sent to gmail’s outgoing mail server, but then will be propagated through that same internal process. If the receiver is has an email client as well, he may be receiving the message via a POP3 or IMAP protocol. Or he may just log on to the webiste to receive it. Or he might just never check his email and never receive it. And this is all just scratching the surface of tradition gmail to gmail email messaging.

    In addition email message excahge isn’t even a synchronous process. You send an email now, and at some indeterminate point in the future the receiver get’s that message after it goes through several different servers to get there. If some server doesn’t propogate the message properly, it can choose to keep on trying to keep on trying to send it for a week, to drop it silently or return an error message to the sender. You don’t really now at any specific point in this process how the rest of the process will turn out, or what the work flow up the the present time has been.

    And when you get message from bob@somedomain.com, that doesn’t mean bob actually sent the message. Mail like that can be easily spoofed. etc..

    The only way to cover your ass is to double count emails.

    SMS, phone calls, skpye calls, and probably instant messages, on the other hand, can be singly counted.

    If the NSA does have access to Iran’s cell or phone network communications or metadata, which at present I doubt, it’s covered by an entirely different program, because otherwise they would be picking up many more communications in a month.

  78. Smith says:

    “If the NSA does have access to Iran’s cell or phone network communications or metadata, which at present I doubt, it’s covered by an entirely different program, because otherwise they would be picking up many more communications in a month.”

    Again, I have to disagree with the counting process. Your argument would be right if Iran had its own servers and the reports were generated when some one from an Iranian server emailed to a server outside of Iran. This is not the case today. Almost all of Iranians use “free” American internet services whether email, search engine etc etc. There is no processing on Iranian side. A mammoth organization having access to all of American serves can generate metadata about all these activities without double and triple counting. Not only metadata but actually it has access to all the DATA down to the content of emails. Since it is like the all seeing eye. All it has to do, is to log all events related to Iran. And 14 billion events per month is very much indicative of all the Iranian internet activity.

    I also doubt that they have such extensive access to Iran’s land phone network (though there are wireless “leaks” too eg. from microwave links), but as long as a call is inside the wire or fiber optic inside Iran, it would be very difficult to intercept it on such a large scale. The cellular network is an entirely different thing since its by definition wireless so it can be intercepted by satellites. As I said earlier, this is all semantics. The truth is, because of unthoughtfulness of Iranian leaders, all Iranian internet communication is exposed to the rest of the world. The guardian news is implying as much.

  79. James Canning says:

    “Although individual Alawites close to the Assad’s inner circle have been the biggest beneficiaries of corrupt policies, most of Syria’s economic elites are actually urban Sunnis.”

    – – Alia Malek, writing in The New York Times today (“The Syria the world forgot”).

  80. masoud says:

    I just wathced (most of) the Qalibaf and Jalili docs. Jalili didn’t strike me as long winded at all. I think it’s an unfounded criticism. I really hate that all Iranian politicians feel the need to wax philosophical all the time. One of the worst offenders in this regard is Ahmadinejad, specially when making speeches to foreign gatheings. It’s just embarassing how stupid they come across. Qalibaf definitely came across as the worst offender in this regard as far as I’m concerned.

    Qalibaf’s documentary was fiasco. It seemed like a half hour long infomercial for the worst action movie in the world. What shocked me was that in the opening credit’s when we see MQ personally supervising efforts to get the Metro up and running again, we see people wildly fleeing an excavator that’s been driven too close to a ditch. The scene just before that is MQ pacing an area just outside the disaster zone and shouting into his cell phone. Why was this footage included? Does MQ think he’s flattering himself by showing how he was willing to endanger people’s lives in order to shave at most an hour or two off of the closure time of the metro? It’s bad enough that it happened, but why is he dumb enough to advertise it? It doesn’t help(as far as I’m concerned) that he kinda looks like Jughead Jones from the Archie comics either. The crudely propagandistic tenor of the rest of what followed was pretty unbearable as far as I’m concerned. Canned compliments from what I assume are various high ranking clergy, and representatives of the common man, directed to Qalibaf, for which the camera just happens to be present. At least in Jalili’s documentary, the more plausible interview format was adopted for any such messages.

    Jalili’s documentary was smarter not only because the protaganists of this piece were young University students, rather than Jalili himself, who was posited as the worldly wise international player who helped the students make sense of Iran’s situation. It was also smart in that it constantly flipped back and forth from scenes in Istanbul and interviews with the ‘common folk’ gripping about how the economy is hurting, which was meant to address the main criticsim directed at Jalili and his emphasis on foreign policy. It was still, by many measures, crudely and propagandistic. I especially hate how politicians use of martyrs to establish their own legitimacy. But it was head and shoulders above Qalibaf in almost all respects.

    When Iran has so many talented directors, how can the election campaigns make such crude documentaries?

    Plus it’s obvious that these movies were planned commissioned way before the campaign season officially started. I’d love to see Rafsanjani’s and Mashaei’s, just for shit’s and giggles.

  81. Smith says:

    Also see this: http://defensetech.org/2005/02/21/jimmy-carter-super-spy/

    So of course they have many different programs. It is not only this one.

  82. masoud says:

    Smith says:
    June 9, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Long story short: this program has access to free it services such as gmail, facebook etc.. It doesn’t have access to internal cell or phone network information.

  83. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    “Americans played in Iraq”? Are you referring to the sheer idiocy of George W. Bush, in sending ardent young, ignorant Republican political activists to Iraq, to run the country, in wake of overthrow of Saddam Hussein?

    This aspect of the stupifying incompetence of the Bush administration does need more attention. Thanks.

  84. James Canning says:

    More wisdom on Syria, in today’s New York Times:

    “[S]sectarianism exists, but blurring the distinction betweeen what caused the conflict and the ugliness it has spawned limits our capaciy to imagine viable solutions.” – – Alia Malek, 9 June 2013.

  85. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    You are ignorant of what the conqueror’s armies brought with them: large numbers of US citizens who were fired up with the idealistic (in their minds) zeal of reforming and re-constructing all aspects of Iraq’s society; essentially the American version of “La Mission civilisatrice”.

    These Americans would spend a few months or years in Iraq and after repeated failures to turn Iraqis (Kurd or Arab – Shia or Sunni or Christian or Yazidi or Sabie) into a passable version of a White Protestant American, would go back home to US to ruminate over the wounds on their own egos.

    They were nothing more than delusional imperial agents wishing to play at being God to an alien people and tradition with whom they shared no sympathy and no point of contact.

    [As an aside, these imperial agents were best advised to try to “invade” and “nation-build” parts of their own country: Detroit, Camden, East St. Louis, L.A., Oakland, and rural communities of Euro-trash in US Mid-West.]

    Contemptible.

  86. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    The only “Wisdom” in Syria is the destruction of the anti-government forces and the expulsion of their supporters as refugees from Syria.

    There was a venture for power through military arms, it has failed.

    It supporters, inside and outside of Syria, must be taught a lesson in facing the consequences of those actions.

  87. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Surely you do not claim the sectarian arguments that the civil war is “Sunnis vs. Shiites” are the full picture.

    I assumne you are aware I think the attempt to overthrow the Syrian government was an unfortunate miscalculation.

  88. masoud says:

    Djavad Salehi Isfahani with another post regarding the statistical claims by candidates:
    http://djavad.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/debating-the-economy-in-irans-preidential-electios/

  89. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I am acutely aware of the stupifying incompetence of the George W. Bush administration, in bringing to Iraq young, ignorant Republican political activists, from America to govern Iraq in wake of overthrow of Saddam Hussein. ACUTELY AWARE.

    Were those young ignorant zealous Republican activists primarily “low church” Protestants? Jews? Roman Catholics?

  90. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I have found it interesting for the past ten years now, how Jerry Bremer’s idiotic disbanding of the Iraqi army (after Saddam was overthrown) gets so little attention.

  91. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You are being kind, when you say the actions of the G W Bush administration were “contemptible” (in wake of overthrow of Saddam Hussein). I would use something much stronger, but not online.

    The idiocy and venality of the US actions in Iraq were vicious and murderous. Literally.

  92. M.Ali says:

    Persian Gulf @ June 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm,

    I understand, Persian Gulf, the reason I say that Jalili may not connect too well with the layman, from the documentary, is that I do not think a forester, a fisherman, and a farmer were enough to emotionally connect the people. Other candidates used a larger variety of people, the old, the young, kids, university students, women, etc, etc. But in Jalili’s documentary, the people that were shown were only 4.

    Thats why I mentioned that I think it might not connect with the layman.

    Ahmadenijad’s talent was that it felt like he was talking to everyone. He was able to bought pull in the young and at the same time the old. The only ones he didn’t seem to connect too well, were the liberal, and I think thats also was based on his style, not the content of his speech.

    For example, why didn’t the documentary crew also interview one woman? That would have helped connect with a lot of women. What about interviewing a student?

    I hope I explained myself better this time around. However, I again admit that I am not making any definite statement. I also will admit that there are many faults with Ghalibaf and I will understand if he doesnt also connect with everyone. He doesn’t have the everyman quality of Ahmedinijad that makes you instantly feel comfortable with him. THere is a coldness and toughness about him that can somehow set him apart from this mysterious layman I refer to.

  93. M.Ali says:

    Masoud, “When Iran has so many talented directors, how can the election campaigns make such crude documentaries?”

    I think we just suck at marketing ourselves. I mean look at all the commercials on Seda Sima from all the multibillion dollar banks. Its just embarrassing. And then you look at the directors making videos for living-in-iran rap artists such as Yas or pop artists as such as Tomeh, and its exciting, fun, and well made, and you know its made on bare budgets. These music videos are frankly better than the LA Iranian music directors (compare it to the shit that Koji Zardori makes for Moein, and all the other famous LA artists).

    Sorry, completely off topic. But what I’m saying is, all weak work, and I will bet that if Mashaei was in, he’s documentary would have been awesome. I mean, compare their “Zende Bad Bahar” slogan to all the slogans from the 8 candidates, the former is much smarter.

  94. M.Ali says:

    I saw this poll on EA by a poster,

    http://ipos.me/en/post/23

    This was my post regarding that poll that I posted on that site,

    I’m looking at the gender,and while 27% men preferred Ghalibaf, 44% of women preferred Ghalibaf? I expected Rouhani and Aref to gather more women votes.

    And this poll shows Rezaei getting more likes than I expected. Rezaei MORE than Jalili?

    The rural/urban segregation shows something interesting too.19% of Rurals vote for Rouhani but only 9% from urbans vote for him. So, can it be less a matter for the reformist city boys voting rouhani and maybe just the villagers liking Rouhani just because he is the only cleric?

  95. nico says:

    fyi says:
    June 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    “There was a venture for power through military arms, it has failed. Its supporters, inside and outside of Syria, must be taught a lesson in facing the consequences of those actions.”

    What kind of consequences do you foresee fir the US and friends ?
    Obviously the master plan is directed from Washington and incidentally Tel Aviv.
    The US is playing the devide and rule game.
    I would posit the events are running according to the plans.
    Syria regime change would have been a bonus.
    Meanwhile sectarianism is gaining more ground.

    The remodeling of the borders of countries in the ME is much more palatable now than before.

    The tightening of the Russian-Iran alliance remain to be seen on the long run.
    However, Putin by stating that the Russian fleet will be in the Mediteranean for the years to come, clearly signaled that Syria is beyond US military interventionism.

  96. masoud says:

    M.Ali says:
    June 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I think this also has to do with the relatively new and irregular nature of political campaigning via direct outreach via mass media. This ‘official campaign season’ nonsense needs to be dispensed with.

    They used to call Ronald Reagan ‘The Great Communicator’. I hate making comparisons between him Ahmadinejad, but I think it would be an appropriate title for Mahomood as well. He really is a genius politician. Not only with Iranians, but even foreign reporters constantly come away impressed.

    He’s got a secret weapon that no one else in Iranian politics has been able to come close to matching. He’s always unfailingly positive. Always. Even when he was kicking Mousavi in the balls during their televised debate. Always smiling, never showing weakness or anger. His body language always tells you if things aren’t going according to plan they are proceeding better than expected, any difficulties being reduced to amusing little detours that, sooner or later, are bound to re-join the main path.

    I think it might be the Ashura-Rozekhani culture of endless litanies of complaints and atrocity stories that most Iranians receive through their mother’s milk. The culture for which Mohandis Gharazi can be a poster boy for. Ahmadinjad’s style of eternally cheery outlook is just a little too foreign to us to be either successfully countered or duplicated.

  97. M.Ali says:

    Yeah, Masoud, thats whats definitely missing in Iran. Its negative, negative, negative all the time, complain about your government, complain about your dad, complain about your boss, your car, your wife, the weather, etc. It doesn’t mean much (the west takes these complaints from us sometimes very seriously), but its nice if we got rid of it.

    Ahmadenijad was very positive, but I think Ghalibaf and Jalili are not bad. They don’t complain that much. For me the worst offender was Aref. If we listen to him, if it doesn’t have Khatami’s stamp on it, everything is hell.

  98. Persian Gulf says:

    M.Ali

    These are just guess. The type of students he is going to attract don’t care about a student beingin his film or not. Same goes for the type of women he is intended to attract. Those women often follow their men or usually don’t go that deep into the movie. He is trying to attract working class people.

    Women that care too much about seeing a woman in the film are already attracted to others like Aref…or don’t vote anyway. They didn’t vote for Ahmadinejad either.

    Do you think somebody like my mom or some of my sisters are waiting to see what is the latest trick for election campaign? Their votes has the same weight as yours.

  99. masoud says:

    M.Ali says:
    June 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I don’t like that site. Google knows virtually nothing about “Information and Public Opinion Solutions LLC”.

    How big are they? Who funds them? When were they founded? What is their methodology? I’m especially suspicious since you got this link of EA. The website looks like some cheap fly by night operation.

  100. masoud says:

    Here is the information on the domain:

    http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/results.jsp?domain=ipos.me

    Domain ID:D8418669-ME
    Domain Name:IPOS.ME
    Domain Create Date:03-Jun-2013 10:08:41 UTC
    Domain Last Updated Date:03-Jun-2013 11:01:48 UTC
    Domain Expiration Date:03-Jun-2014 10:08:41 UTC

    This domain was registered less than a week ago, to the ‘Domain Privacy Group’, and is set to expire a year from now. Why would you only register your website’s name for a year? When you look at the right hand side of the page the twitter feed features EA tweets and AP tweets in roughly equal ratios.

    This site is a pile of bullshit. Don’t bother with it for even five minutes.

  101. M.Ali says:

    Masoud, I didn’t take it THAT seriously. Its just sort of fun look for 2 minutes.

    Persian Gulf, “Do you think somebody like my mom or some of my sisters are waiting to see what is the latest trick for election campaign? Their votes has the same weight as yours.”

    PG, I think these things I am mentioning is not something we consciously use to decide who to vote for. If there is no women in a clip, I know they won’t automatically go, “no women in the video, so no vote from me”, but if they happen to see, it might have some effect on their mindset without them realizing it.

    Why do politicians kiss kids? Or wear traditional clothes when they visit certain cities? No one bases their voting decision based on how many kids they kiss, but I am sure it has some minor effect.

  102. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You seem to have difficulty remembering that the US assured Russia that, in event of a change of regime in Syria, the US would do nothing to impair the position Russia enjoyed in that country.

  103. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Neocon warmongers have been the leading proponents of border changes in the Middle East, and the reason is simply: they see such changes as beneficial to Israel.

  104. nico says:

    Turkey leaders are idiots.
    Western policy as clearly stated after the cold war is the clash of civilization.
    Meaning a so called Judeo-christian civilization against the muslims.
    When such civiliizational trend is implemented, what Turkey is looking for in Europe and US. And what about Sunni polities… Disgusting slave minded countries, deserving to be crushed and trampled upon for accepting their subjugation.
    For the west Muslils countries are like beasts to be tamed.

    The worst nightmare of the so called west would be an unified Muslim community. Beyond all in the PG.
    Obviously the western military would not be necessary anymore and the western influence non existant.

    By fanning the flames of sectarianism in the ME the US is building the excuses for prolonged presence.

    The Syrian case is a good one to illustrate the multi layered approach.
    It enables the polirization of enemity betwen Muslils sects.
    It allows the weakening of the resistance axis for at least a decade necessary to a reconstruction.

    And eventually, in a best case scenario it allow a regime change in Syria with Russia kicked out of the Mediteranean.

    That kings of banana republics participate in such plot id nlt surprising.

    However Turkey short sighted involvement in Syria is truly disappointing and tells much about AKP mediocrity.
    When such US macro policies are implemented, what Turkey is looking for ?
    It was clear from the very start that Turkey would be victim of such policies in the long run (meaning decades) while whatever promises or threats from the west were either void are could have been weathered on a more a short term basis.
    Erdogan, despite his boastings and arrogance, is a failed leader and a small man, not of the dimension needed for Turkey at this juncture.
    Turkey is after its glorious past. Sure, Erdogan and AKP will never deliver.

  105. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    “Nico,You seem to have difficulty remembering that the US assured Russia that, in event of a change of regime in Syria, the US would do nothing to impair the position Russia enjoyed in that country.”

    Sure. Do you mean like US promises after at the fall of USSR not to expand eastward ?
    Please, again, stop embarassing youself.

  106. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    “Nico,Neocon warmongers have been the leading proponents of border changes in the Middle East, and the reason is simply: they see such changes as beneficial to Israel.”

    Sure. Like the Sykes-Picot agreement and the end of Ottoman rule.
    You have truly not limit.

  107. Khurshid says:

    Iran Presidential Election 2013 – Candidates debate (part 3)

    Mohsen Rezaei – Foreign policy will be used for improve relations with regional and Islamic countries. Freedom and right of public within bounds of law will be protected.

    Velayati wanted to know what will be Mohsen’s view on solving Iran’s nuclear issue? Mohsen said he will bring in Iran’s most competent diplomats to solve Iran nuclear issue quickly because he sees that the nuclear issue has been dragged unnecessarily and is wasting Iran time.

    Aref wanted to know what will be Mohsen’s policy to prevent extra judicial political detention in Iran. Mohsen said his government will empower proficient people in right position of authority which in turn will end internal political strive. He believes that at present Iran does not have right people in position of authority.

    Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf – Ghalibaf started by asking what foreign policy goal is Iran pursuing? He said foreign policy should defend Iran interest and preserve its religious and revolutionary identity. He said that so far Iran’s foreign policy managers through diplomatic apparatus have not been able to achieve Iran’s foreign policy stated goals because foreign policy was not pursued according to plans. His government will ensure there is total cohesion between public and his government because he believes that without government-public cohesion it will not be possible to pursue foreign policy objectives successfully. He will activate economy diplomacy because he believes that in this area Iran has not been successful.
    Aref said in past two debates you talked about your managerial competence but why architecture in Tehran doesn’t reflect Iranian culture since you have the authority to do so. Here Aref was trying to capitalize on a weak point of Ghalibaf. This architecture issue started from first debate when a picture of a building complex with banners having photos of Imam Khomeini and Khamaneie was shown. It was then more or less all candidates said that it is unfortunate that Iran’s modern architecture does not reflect Iranian culture. In second debate the architecture issue was raised again. Aref realizes Ghalibaf’s shining managerial experience and could not find any other weapon except this architecture needle to prick Gahalibaf.

    Rohani said he was surprised to hear Ghalibaf saying that Iran’s foreign policy was not successful. Rohani cited that during Rafsanjani’ s era, right after the end of Iran-Iraq war, it became possible to bring foreign technology and loan into Iran by successful foreign diplomacy. It was the same foreign policy that ensured Iran’s remaining territory to be retrieved from occupation (this is a reference to Iraq possession of Iranian territory even after the end of war.) It was the same foreign policy that made possible freeing Iran prisoners of war from Iraq, held Saddam Hussain responsible in UN for starting the war. Rohani also said that during Khatami’s foreign policy Iran maneuvered itself from getting occupied after US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Adel, instead of critiquing Ghalibaf’s stated policies, decided to hit back at Aref’s earlier statement about political arrests in Iran for holding Aref and Khatami’s picture together. Adel said when he was coming to IRIB’s studio today he saw in the streets some people holding Aref’s and Khatami’s picture and nobody was arresting them. So Aref should not give an impression that in today’s Iran anyone holding pictures of political personalities gets arrested.

    Adel also hit back at both Aref and Rohani’s claim that during Rafsanjani and Khatami’s era there was a rosy political atmosphere in Iran. Adel referred to Rohani statement by saying that since revolution all governments had achievements and drawbacks in foreign policy. In reference to domestic politics Adel said that in sixth Majlis, Khatami’s government had claimed that Rafsanjani’s government had created crisis in Iran.

    Jalili said that he agrees with Ghalibaf’s identified problems in Iran’s foreign policy but he wanted Ghalibaf to explain the strategy of implementing foreign policy. At this point Jalili referred to Rohani and Aref’s statements and said that during Khatami’s time Iran was branded as part of Axis of evil. Jalili took this shot directly at Rohani for painting a rosy zero-problem political atmosphere in Iran. Rohani interjected and pointed out, rather calmly, that foreign policy of Khatami’s era preserved the country from occupation – he meant US occupation. In response Jalili said how was it preserved? US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq during the time and US threatened Iran.

    Jalili pointed out to Aref that all of them have signed to a set of election law but if someone breaks this law and others support the law breaker than they are not abiding the law. This was a reference to Musavi’s declaration of victory in election before vote counting was finished and subsequent Khatami’s support for Musavi’s instigated street protests in 1388 (2009) election. Aref tried to say something and mumbled few words but Jalili finished him off by saying that when election regulatory body had said that there is no proof of fraud in election some continued not to abide by law.

    Ghalibaf coming back at this stage responded to Aref’s critique and said during his Mayor-ship Tehran was named as a successfully managed city in international arena and he was invited to attend an international conference for most successful Mayors.

    Gholam Ali Haddad Adel – Started by saying that at present economic hardship is main problem of Iran. Foreign threats has made economic problems harder but some think that replacing one person with another will fix these problems because they think that root of all problems is managerial related. Others think that smiling at those who are threatening Iran will fix the problems. Some put all blame on current government. He said nuclear issue is not a problem, it is simply a pretext because before Iran engaged in nuclear work there was threats against Iran. US do not threaten Iran because of nuclear issue but rather because of Iran’s independent policy. From the beginning of Islamic revolution US had threatening attitude towards Iran. Adel argued that US should be faced with courage and steadfastness indicating support for continuation of current Iranian foreign policy. He cited the example of China’s resistance in face of US antagonism until US had to accept China’s legitimacy and come in terms with it.

    Adel’s China example is worth note taking because it sheds some light on Supreme Leader’s view on Iran’s foreign policy vis-à-vis United States. This is because Adel is related to Supreme Leader Khamanei by marriage – Adel’s daughter is married to Khamanei’s son. Bearing in mind that no known disagreement has ever being reported between policy outlook of these two men. From that perspective Adel’s thoughts on foreign policy will likely have some resemblance, if not a carbon copy, with that of Khamanei. So, Adel’s China example is an indication that Khamanei sees steadfast resistance to US hegemony as the way forward for Iran and this will likely to bring US to negotiating table and accept Islamic Republic as it is. Adel’s mentioning of US threats towards Iran since its inception as Islamic Republic is a further indication that Iran’s conciliatory policy in face of US economic and political sanctions will not reduce or stop US hegemonic policy towards Iran and in fact might increase pressure and sanctions because US might interpret Iran’s conciliatory gesture as a sign of weakness and is imminent to collapse.

    Jalili had no comments about Adel’s foreign and domestic policy. This is also very interesting because it shows strong convergence of policy outlook between Adel and Jalili – and by extension to that of Khamanei. If Jalili does end up getting elected as a president in seven days time it can be predicted with reasonable and fair amount of accuracy that there will be harmonic cohesion between president, supreme leader, and most of Majlis. It will be “all principilasts” in important state institutions – although different shades of principalists but of same color.

    Hasan Rohani – People should have freedom to express their view and take part in elections without obstacles. Justice should prevail for all sectors of nation – baluch, kordh, azari etc. Referred to Al-Baradie’s, former IAEA inspector, book “Age of deception” and said in the book it was mentioned that war was imminent against Iran. However, reformists era policies saved Iran from war.

    Mohsen pointed out that both Rohani and Jalili’s approach to nuclear issue had positive and negative points since both have experience of being Iran’s nuclear negotiator. However, Jalili punched Mohsen by saying that some walk between “Haq” (just)and “Botal” (unjust)- it was a reference to Mohsen’s middle path. At this point Adel joined rank with Jalili and said it sounds as if only Mohsen cares about the nation; all of us also care.

    Mohsen was trying to defuse tensions between Jalili/Adel and Aref/Rohani but no one seemed to appreciate this. Gharazi joined in and showed “yellow card” to both sides in an attempt to cool down foul play but alas it didn’t have much impact!!!

    Velayati agreed with Mohsen and praised Larajani’s effort to solve nuclear crisis but Jalili interjected and said Velayati information about Larajani-EU3 negotiation is not correct. Velayati fired back by saying that “what ever I say Mr Jalili says its not true while I was involved with Larajani during negotiation“.

    Gharazi interjected again and threatened squabbling parting to stop throwing mud at each other. He said anti-Iran foreign entities take benefit when Iran’s policy makers get on each other’s neck. I must say at this point that despite Gharazi’s clownish behavior at first debate he acted very wisely in this last debate and showed tension defusing wisdom – “doorud bar Gharazi”, I salute Gharazi for his wisdom.

    In final 3 minutes Rohani addressed Arel’s question by explaining that what he meant by “it is better to negotiate with Khad-khoda” is that Iran should negotiate with EU’s Khad-Khoda (in English it will be something like ‘master’ ) than with EU because EU is not in a position to take any decision since EU’s Khad-Khoda (master) i.e United States makes ultimate call over any negotiation between Iran and EU.
    Ghalibaf and Rohani had heated exchange about how students were dealt during protests – I like Rohani’s expressions “Gauze-ambori” and “Padagani”. It was quite entertaining.

    Gharazi jumped in again and said that these two groups’ are quarreling about nonsense; even a judge cannot end their quarrel. These sort of quarrel are of no use to public – long live Gharazi.

    Mohammad Reza Aref – Aref said qualified reformists were sidelined from institutions and this has resulted in big loss to Iran.
    Gharazi said that from the start of this debate there was talk of two groups: reformists and principalists. These two groups should put an end to this. Well done Gharazi, “doorud bar Gharazi”.

    Valayati said reformists have done the same things they are accusing principalists of doing. So it is not fair that only principalists should be blamed. In fact principalists actions were in response to previous reformists era actions.
    Rohani made no comment on Aref’s statement. It was clear by than that there was Aref-Rohani tag team. They teamed up together to counter Jalili-Adel-Velayati-Ghalibaf attacks.

    Adel reminded Aref that when he was elected as MP he was not allowed to take his sit in Majlis by then reformist controlled Majlis despite Guardian council declaring that he had won the election from his constituency. Adel was demonstrating with proof that he was victim of reformist injustice.

    Jalili asked Aref why during reformist era there was killings at some of Iran’s provinces – he gave a list of such killings. Jalili than pointed out that a reformist former minister who served during Aref’s time reveled in an interview that it was during reformists era students were given “star rating” – Star rating is a rating system introduced by security services to rate students based on their political activism. Reformists started this and were continued during Ahmadinejad time because it serves whoever is in power to shut-up anti government student revolt. Even if a reformist president comes to power in Iran, it is unlikely to stop using star rating system. In reality no group is willing to discontinue/scrap star rating system.
    Aref than referring to Jalili asked how did IRIB acted during last four years? Didn’t IRIB show Khatami’s picture as a spy? Was this not shameful? Aref than gave a passionate speech tailored towards Jalili.

    Ali Akhbar Velayati – Iran should have qualified experts in right positions. Just because some one opposes a certain policy does not mean that person should be expunged from authority position. Iran’s passport should have value to Iranian citizens.

    Adel took this opportunity to attack Aref by asking whey didn’t Aref spoke up when a friend (meaning Musavi in last presidential election) declared himself winner of election before counting of votes started. Why didn’t Aref take “just step” of speaking against “the friend’s” unjust step of declaring himself the president prior to completion of vote counting? Adel said he spoke against the unjust step of “the friend”, why didn’t Aref do the same?

    During last 3 minutes Velayati made an interesting revelation. He said during last Almaty nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1 Iran was told by P5+1 that if Iran stops uranium enrichment of 20% and slows down nuclear work at Fardo than three sanctions will be lifted but Mr Jalili told P5+1 to lift all sanctions and will we do “this” – Velayati did not explain what “this” meant. Jalili in response said that what Velayati had just mentioned about Almaty negotiation is completely wrong. Jalili said P5+1 offered Iran to stop enrichment in exchange for lifting two sanctions at a later date.

    Jalili reveled that he proposed to P5+1 to do things step by step. He told P5+1 that “if you [P5+1] come forward 25 Km than Iran will also come forward 25 Km”. At that point British ambassador at the talks agreed and Jalili took out a paper and asked the British Ambassador to list P5+1’s 25 km step. At that point US ambassador stopped British ambassador by saying not to proceed this way which caused everybody at talks to laugh at British ambassador.

    Velayati fired back at Jalili by saying that during Jalili’s time as nuclear negotiator sanctions have increased on Iran.

    Saeed Jalili – He used up all his time critiquing others and had no podium time.

    Mohammad Gharazi – Too little time left for him.

    Observations
    1)Allowing candidates to use time from their overall allocated time turned out to be a weakness in the debate format. For example, Jalili used so much of his time to critique other candidates that he was left with no podium time. Integrating “critiquing time” and “podium time” within the allocated time for each candidate was a weakness of debate format. Although the format worked for second debate but didn’t work for highly charged third debate. However, time management of candidates, expect Ghalibaf, was poor.

    2)Candidates can be grouped together based on their foreign policy proximity. Group one consists of Adel and Jalili. If Jalili is elected than we are likely to see continuation of assertive foreign policy and nuclear talks with P5+1. Iran is unlikely to give unilateral concessions to P5+1. In addition possibility of US-Iran direct talks will not happen as long as US uses language of threats. The only way forward is for US to offer genuine workable package to Iran for P5+1 talks to produce any fruitful results.

    Group Two consists of Rohani, Velayati and Mohsen. These three seems to have more proximity in foreign policy thinking. The explanation for this is that all three are involved in crafting Iran’s policy through their presence in policy institutions. These three are “strategic policy makers” while Jalili is more of “operational level policy implementer”.

    3)Aref last minute passionate appeal for people to vote was most likely focused towards reformist supporters and patrons. This is because a chunk of reformist supporters might/will decide not to vote. If this happens it will mean oblivion of reformists in this election. This is a real possibility and thus Aref appeal.

    4)Juxtaposing performances of all candidates I would say Ghalibaf is the most suitable candidate for presidency. But whether he will be able to attract enough voters is another mater because people sometimes tend to vote for ideological reasons rather than vote for the most suitable candidate – this is not unique to Iran, it happens in every country.

    I apologize to everyone for length of my post. So much happened in this last debate and thus it required lengthy reporting.

    Thank you and kind regards.

  108. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    What are you suggesting should have happened to the “Arab” provinces of the Ottoman Empire, after the end of the First World War?

    The current situation in the Middle East is nothing whatever resembling that which existed in the second decade of the 20th century.

    You favor border changes? Such as?

  109. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    the US did not expand eastward, after collapse of Soviet Union. Nato did. The EUtoo And Russia has toyed with the idea of joining Nato. And Russia supports the EU. And I doubt Russia worries it would not have access to a Syrian port, in event of change of regime in Syria.

    You many have noticed I have not promoted civil war or change of regime in Syria.

  110. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You buy into the rubbish notion of a “clash of civilisations”? Rubbish.

    Are you worried about a Chinese takeover of the world?

  111. Sineva says:

    nico says:
    June 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm
    By fanning the flames of sectarianism in the ME the US is building the excuses for prolonged presence.

    I agree,a last desperate act to try and prolong the crumbling status quo which it will only succeed in destroying even more quickly than it already is,truly detestable

  112. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    You are wrong to think all those who went to Iraq were young; many were middle-aged men and women in their late 40s, 50, and 60s who went there for fun, adventure, money and playing “overlord” to the heathen.

    Mr. Bush was only a symptom of a much wider malaise in US body-politic.

  113. Persian Gulf says:

    M.Ali says:
    June 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Here is Jalili’s second documentary. sounds like they were just listening to you! In this film, you have women from working class talking to him, as well as kissing kids. A very good episode about how he was instrumental in capturing Rigi. and of course a powerful appeal to Azeries.

    http://farsnews.com/media.php?nn=13920319001424

    Looking from outside, I think this is a very good documentary for the ones he is intended to grab their votes. Not that I am his fan, it’s just my personal judgment.

  114. fyi says:

    nico says:
    June 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    There is not and will not be a Russo-Irani alliance.

    They are cooperating in an ad hoc manner to check the Axis Powers project in Syria.

    Sectarianism only harms nominal friends of the Axis Powers, it won’t hurt Iran.

    Let us see how Kuwait, Turkey, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan, UAE, Qatar, India, Yemen, and Qatar deal with communal warfare between Shia and Sunni – all the while Iranians calling for Muslim Unity.

    As in Syria, those who promise Peace and Order will prevail.

  115. jay says:

    fyi says:
    June 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I will go further and suggest that the current cooperation, whenever there is some, is opportunistic – not strategic.

    The western alliance, hoping to slow the decay of friendly power centers in some of the countries you have listed, continues to double down on this morass. Russia and Iran cooperate just enough to keep the west plunging deeper.

  116. Persian Gulf says:

    Khurshid

    I think Gharazi is the best candidate among these guys. He performed really well in the last two debates. The gist of his argument is right in my view. That this meaningless political fight gets nowhere and is ultimately counterproductive. He has credible records of running the country at different level even under sanction and war. I think he started really bad. and his style is not sexy unfortunately.

  117. M. Ali says:

    PG, I wasn’t as impressed with Gharazi as you. There is nothing concrete from his side, and some of his statements were a bit laughable. Like when he said that Iran needs only 40 billion dollars a year to run. It just feels like he doesn’t really care that much about research, facts, etc. I don’t like that he comes to te debates completely unprepared. Not even one sheet of paper. And throughout 4 hours of debates, he never writes down anything.

    I’m met many older generation Iranians like this during my last 3.5 years working in Iran. I go to meetings with people who come in unprepared, without any clear meeting objective, and after drinking some tea and talking for 2 hours, leave, without knowing if I actually achieved anything.

  118. Karl... says:

    Khurshid,

    Thanks for your summary and knowledge about the candidates, much appreicated!

  119. M. Ali says:

    Jalili’s Second Documentary: The first one was better made. While this was encompossed larger people, I felt he relied way too much on talking about how he toed the Leader’s line. Its a given that all candidates respect the leader, and I don’t think it was necessary to keep repeating it again and again. If that was all that was needed for presidency, then let the leader choose the best one, and why have us vote?

    Aref’s Documentary: Excellent. Best out of the batch. I didn’t like Aref too much before in the debates, but I think he did a great work in his documentary. He sounds reasonable and intelligent. I might still not vote for him, but I wouldn’t mind him winning. At first out of the two reformists, I thought Rouhani was better, but now I think Aref COULD be better.

    And the documentary, how nice it ended. Aref goes to pick up his wife from her private clinic, he greets her with calling her “azizam”, apologies for being late, they drive, while she talks about her day, and then they talk about the rain and the weather and its sweet, and among all the shoutings, and the complainings, and the debates, and the anger, and the controversies, what a nice way to end the documentary.

  120. M. Ali says:

    Rezaei’s Documentary: Unexpectatly very good. The best thing about this documentary was that a montage of all Rezaei’s previous speeches everywhere, small towns, villages, universities, etc. The good thing about this is that it shows that Rezaei is not a guy that suddenly decided to become a candidate 2 weeks ago and started his work then. It seems he has been putting a lot of effort for a while now, and that’s good.

    Rezaei has the most focus on the new generation.

    Also, none of the documentaries shows Iran as such a diverse group of people, the many dialects, the many ethnicities with all our traditional clothes, and I think none of them seemed to best the visual image of the Iranian diversity.

    So based on the documentaries I have been watching since yesterday, I’m only getting more confused. I now like Ghalibaf, Aref, and Rezaei most of out of the 8.

    This is getting difficult.

    Velayati’s Documentary: Starts of with Velayati watching the screen at a cinema. Ooh. Whats going to happe? It seems he is watching the revolution on screen.

    The thing is, people from my generation, have seen footages of the revolution since we were kids, and while I respect it, I do not have the emotional connection to it that the previous generation that were involved in it have. The revolution has caused a gap between people like me who were born after the revolution and the people who experienced it, and it seems people from that generation don’t fully understand it.

    The first couple of the minutes of this documentary is about revolutionary footages, and this might get him the older generation vote, but what does it mean for people who are 18-30s?

    The whole documentary is him watching old revolutionary footages. As much as I love my country, I think this best manifests my concern with it. We can’t get stuck in the past. We children of dehey 60s and 70s are not revolutionaries. My best answer to Velayati’s documentary can be the underground, relatively unknown rock artist, Hadi Pakzad, with his song, “What About Me?” The lyrics to that song is here,
    http://hadipakzad.com/music/lyrics/aflatoon/whatAboutMe.html
    And the song – http://hadipakzad.com/download/albums/aflatoon/tracks/02-What%20About%20Me.mp3

  121. Sineva says:

    fyi says:
    June 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm
    jay says:
    June 9, 2013 at 11:39 pm
    I agree,russia is not to be trusted

  122. M. Ali says:

    Haddad-Adel resign. And then there were 7.

  123. Dan Cooper says:

    Complete News – Debate: Iran’s presidential election 2013

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1Wfc9rbruw

  124. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    When you say Russia should not be “trusted”, you mean that Iran should not expect Russia to undermine its long-established foreign policy objective of ensuring Iran stops enriching uranium to 20 percent. Fair statement?

  125. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The point made by those who call attention to the inexperience of so many ardent Republicans who went to Iraq from the US after Saddam Hussein was overthrown, is simply that: they were young and lacked knowledge and experience needed for the jobs they undertook to perform.

    You seem to wish to conceal the partisan political angle (in terms of domestic US politics), that helped to create the disaster in Iraq.

  126. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    George W. Bush’s arrogance, ignorance, and stupidity, produced the catastrophe in Iraq. I do not think Al Gore would have made the gross blunders that Bush made. (Had Gore been in the White House.)

    By “malaise” in US politics, concerning Middle East, you appear to refer to the pernicious effects of Israel lobby. Correct?

  127. Khurshid says:

    Iran Presidential Election 2013 – Burning Jalili

    Soft war paradigm is a framework that is used by a country to mould its own public opinion in favor of a particular narrative or position. In addition it is also used to influence public opinion in another country to construct a specific narrative or cause disillusion among the public of that country or encourage the public to raise up against their government.

    Western media machine has launched a soft war specifically designed for Iran’s presidential election 2013. The media has been monitoring the presidential debates and looking for something they can exploit. From the first two debates western media could not find anything useful to use against Iran other than calling the debates comical, hilarious, and funny. Nonetheless it allowed to preserve irrationality label of Iran which the western media carefully created over decades of anti-Iran disinformation and misinformation media campaign. (Leveretts’ talked about this manufactured irrationality label for Iran in their book.) However, from the third debate western media has found just the information they were looking for – It’s the Jalili-Velayati heated exchange over P5+1 and Iran nuclear negotiation in Almaty.(For more on Jalili-Velayati spat please see Khurshid says: June 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm ; Ali Akhbar Velayati; Paragraphs 3, 4 and 5)

    Al-Monitor’s The Back Channel capitalizes on Jalili-Velayati spat to tarnish Jalili, see HERE. Al-Monitor published P5+1 proposal to Iran in Almaty negotiation. It shows Velayati’s version of Almaty negotiation is correct and therefore Jalili lied in the debate by categorically labeling Velayati’s version of story as wrong. This is a precision guided attempt to dent Jalili just like 2009 vicious media onslaught to dent Amhadenijad because back than Ahmadenijad was not west’s candidate of choice; Mir Hussain Mussavi was. Role of western media, especially BBC and VOA, in post election unrest of 2009 is well documented – I don’t want to retell it here. Anti-Jalili media assault is another attempt to recreate in this election the same kind of tense political environment of 2009 and perhaps engineer another civil unrest in Tehran; therefore the media attempt to burn Jalili by projecting him as a liar. If he really wins the election he can be called a liar and accused of winning by fraud. The script looks and sounds familiar? If no, think of 2009 post election accusations.

    Now, the question is why Jalili? There are other candidates. Logical answer is that west perceive Jalili as Khamanei’s favoured candidate and therefore sees Jalili attracting support of most principalist fractions including the strong voter base of Ahmadenijad. There might be a question here that if west is not entertained by Jalili’s candidacy than who would west like to see as next president of Iran? Based on what I am/have reading/read on western press I think I can make a good educated guess on who that might be. More on that in my next post in few hours time.

    Coming back to Jalili-Velayati spat in third debate, Jalili could/should have defended by asking why should Iran stop 20% enrichment program now that Iran has mastered technical know how for full enrichment cycle, paid high price in terms of facing draconian economic sanctions, and had to bear murder of its scientists in street of Tehran. This would be a much better response to Velayati’s remark about Almaty negotiation. Although Jalili gave good answer in response to some other questions but on Almaty case his response of categorically brushing off Velayati’s version of Almaty negotiation was a bad miscalculation which might cost him dearly.

    If Jalili wants to be the next Iranian president than he better fast take some debating skill lessons !!!

  128. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Why would any sane perspn in the fifth decade of one’s life take it upon onself to go half-way across the world in order to participate in a misbegotten and misguided effort in reconstituting an alien society with the basic tenants of which one was un-sympathetic?

    It is like an Iranian going to Bihar and try to re-constitute the Bihar Government and Society.

  129. Karl says:

    Kurshid,

    Thanks for your contributions on the elctions, appreciated!

  130. M.Ali says:

    Khurshid,

    I agree with your post. One of the most amusing things about the soft war against Iran is the large degree of accusations of manipulation levied at Iran. Its not that Iran just cheats at one level, but various level.

    They say we handpick the candidates so that they are all Khamenie’s men. And then they say the president is only a figurehead only. If so, why handpick the candidates. Then they say we manipulate the results. But if they are handpicked and are only figureheads, why manipulate the results?

    And finally, we apparently, also manipulate the turnout, which means, that the Iranian government not only cheats but UNNECESSARILY cheats.

    This also means that whatever happens, the soft war is ready undermine the outcome of the election.

    And other preparations, just added for extra effort, such as one of the articles on EA that said something about how their correspondent wasn’t impressed by Jalili’s performance in the election, therefore it is unreasonable for him to win, therefore by their reasoning, if he wins, its evidence that there was election fraud

    Finally, we have sites popping up like we-choose DOT org . The site is organized by Garry Kasparov, which is irritating because what right do people like him think they are supposed to influence our election. But I think the most amusing thing is they are supposed to be more free by instead of allowing our 8 candidates, they have 20 candidates. The softwar attacked us a lot for filtering 700 people into 8, but why does such a platform also only turn out 20 candidates. If our process of filtering is at fault, why not have 700 candidates in the website?

  131. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Some of the older Americans who went to Iraq in wake of overthrow of Saddam Hussein apparently actually thought they would help Iraq to get a “Western-style” democracy going.

    Many of the ardent young Republicans saw what they thought was fun way to pad their “CVs”, to better chances for career opportunities in the US later on.

    The arrogance and stupidity of the US actions beggar belief. Or, almost beggar belief.

    And let’s remember that some of the neocon insiders who conspired to set u the war figured they would gain great wealth in Iraq.

  132. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm
    That is only one small part of a pattern of behavior,the russians have shown that they will happily sell out iran,the best example of this is probably the s300 deal or the bushehr reactor,its quite short sighted and stupid behavior and ensures that at best there can be nothing more than short term cooperation on matters of mutual interest rather than lasting partnerships and alliances

  133. kooshy says:

    Nima Shirazi

    I always respected your informed critical writings on Iran, but since you are the editor for the Iran pages at Muftah I can’t understand how Dr Sahimi can get a free pass to make many unsubstantiated claims without presenting a single evidence to back his claims and have his (at best just a) guess work published in Muftah.

    I stopped reading this latest article of Dr. Sahimi (who I know was a strong supporter of Green movement) after I could not find out whom and where his sources were and how all these can be substantiated with some sort of evidence. At a minimum Dr. Sahimi should have fallowed the model of NYT’s David Sanger and throw in a few anonymous sources since here in the west we now are well tamed to accept the practice.

    Like many other expatriate Iranians ideologically he is too biased to be reliable writing on internal Iranian politics.

    http://muftah.org/irgc-opposition-split-over-whom-to-support-in-irans-presidential-elections/comment-page-1/#comment-15644

  134. M.Ali says:

    Aref resigned. 6 left.

    The race now would be Aref, Jalili, and Ghalibaf.

    The reformist’s biggest disadvantage is by making such a huge deal about 2009’s election being fraudulent, a significant part of their hardcore fans wont vote this time around. They really made a big mistake last time.

  135. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Bussed-in Professor (and others who are still thinking of voting for Jalili):

    Now that Aref has resigned and the reformist vote will not be split, there is a real danger that the run-off will not be between Qalibaf and Jalili (and that it might be between Rowhani and Jalili). I just want to let voters know that I believe that Qalibaf is the only candidate who is capable of navigating the whitewater torrents the country is going through right now. We can’t afford to take a risk on anyone other than Qalibaf, who has a proven track record in an executive capacity. If Jalili gets in and spend a couple years doing on-the-job training, inflation will spiral out of control and all will be lost. I know Jalili’s brother Vahid personally and stand to gain much stronger contacts in the executive if Jalili wins, but we simply cannot afford to take the risk of another ralatively random element. I urge everyone to vote for Qalibaf (with all his faults).

    Also (and it should be needless to say here, but it isn’t), a no vote is a vote for BBC Persian, Voice of America and all the other enemies of Iran who want nothing more than her complete submission to the West or her complete destruction. If you have never voted before, now is a good time to start. I’m sure there will be a voting station not too far from you if you live in a major metropolitan area of Weaselistan.

  136. M. Ali says:

    I agree, UU.

    I think, at least for this term, we really need to not vote based on idealogy, whether it is Rouhani’s or Jalili’s. We need someone who will hit the ground running, and I think the best choice for that is Ghalibaf. Rouhani, with Rafsanjani behind him, will need at least 6-12 months just replacing people to have their own team in positions of power. And Jalili will actually need to sit down and figure out where all the buttons are and read the manual first.

    Ghalibaf has the contacts, has the experience, and has the knowledge. He’s not the best ever, but he’s the best choice from what we have for the moment.

  137. Khurshid says:

    Iran Presidential Election 2013 – Who is the DARLING of west

    In this election of 2013 west’s villain is Jalili. Countries west doesn’t like is always depicted as having a “goodie” and a “baddie” – it’s always a two tier dichotomy. Based on this dichotomy there is a need for goodie in this election and I think in the eyes of west that goodie is Rohani.

    To understand why Rohani is the darling of west in this election, it is important to remind ourselves of some facts reported in Wikileaks US embassy cables. Iran related cables clearly showed that US prefers Rafsanjani and Khatami backed reformists candidates. Cables released from United State’s Iran Regional Presence Office in Dubai (IranRPODubai) showed that most of US sources coming from Inside Iran were from reformist camp and were supporters of Rafsanjani. In fact a cable from IranRPO documents a sitting reformist MP of 2007 updating US diplomats about Iranian internal politics. The cable noted the following about the reformist MP “his comments about the political state of play in Iran are valuable coming from inside the system”. To read the cable yourself, if you have not read it before, see HERE.
    Furthermore, in June 2009 Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs Dr. Prince Torki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Kabeer was reported in a cable from Riyadh Embassy admitting the following:

    “the Saudis “definitely supported Mousavi,” Torki declared, they could never admit this. However, he implied that the SAG would support efforts to assist Mousavi and the other members of the opposition, so long as the assistance remained untraceable.” You can read the cable HERE.

    In a separate 2009 cable from Riyadh Embassy Saudi King Abdallah said the following about Rafsanjani:

    He said he would favor Rafsanjani in an election, were he to run. TO read the cable click HERE.

    So, it can be seen that US candidate of choice or “darling” has to be from reformist camp backed by Rafsanjani . This makes Aref and Rohani as the only possible candidates for US darling status. Now, the question is why Rohani and not Aref? Answer to this question can be found from western media coverage of Iran’s 2013 election:

    1)Al-Monitor’s Iran Pulse page reported Rohani’s documentary as giving boost to Rohani’s election campaign. Look HERE and HERE

    2)For CNN’s pro Rohani article linking him to Green pavement look HERE

    3)BBC called Rohani a moderate candidate. Look HERE. What is a moderate candidate?

    4)Guardian article on Rohani’s documentary and his ability to bring back life into reformists(greens by extension). Look HERE

    For Rohani’s praise of Rafsanjani in third debate please see Khurshid says: June 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm ; Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf; Paragraph 3.

    Now that Aref has resigned, it further reinforces that Rohani is the darling of west in this election. In coming days expect to see more pro Rohani articles in western media coverage.

  138. Khurshid says:

    Iran Presidential Election 2013 – Who is the DARLING of west

    In this election of 2013 west’s villain is Jalili. Countries west doesn’t like is always depicted as having a “goodie” and a “baddie” – it’s always a two tier dichotomy. Based on this dichotomy there is a need for goodie in this election and I think in the eyes of west that goodie is Rohani.

    To understand why Rohani is the darling of west in this election, it is important to remind ourselves of some facts reported in Wikileaks US embassy cables. Iran related cables clearly showed that US prefers Rafsanjani and Khatami backed reformists candidates. Cables released from United State’s Iran Regional Presence Office in Dubai (IranRPODubai) showed that most of US sources coming from Inside Iran were from reformist camp and were supporters of Rafsanjani. In fact a cable from IranRPO documents a sitting reformist MP of 2007 updating US diplomats about Iranian internal politics. The cable noted the following about the reformist MP “his comments about the political state of play in Iran are valuable coming from inside the system”. To read the cable yourself, if you have not read it before, see here: http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2007/04/07IRANRPODUBAI23.html.
    Furthermore, in June 2009 Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs Dr. Prince Torki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Kabeer was reported in a cable from Riyadh Embassy admitting the following:

    “the Saudis “definitely supported Mousavi,” Torki declared, they could never admit this. However, he implied that the SAG would support efforts to assist Mousavi and the other members of the opposition, so long as the assistance remained untraceable.”

    You can read the cable HERE.

    In a separate 2009 cable from Riyadh Embassy Saudi King Abdallah said the following about Rafsanjani: “He said he would favor Rafsanjani in an election, were he to run.”

    TO read the cable click here: http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/03/09RIYADH427.html

    So, it can be seen that US candidate of choice or “darling” has to be from reformist camp backed by Rafsanjani . This makes Aref and Rohani as the only possible candidates for US darling status. Now, the question is why Rohani and not Aref? Answer to this question can be found from western media coverage of Iran’s 2013 election:

    1)Al-Monitor’s Iran Pulse page reported Rohani’s documentary as giving boost to Rohani’s election campaign. Look here: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/hassan-rouhani-iran-elections-documentary-tv.html
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/iran-elections-hassan-rouhani-surprise.html

    2)For CNN’s pro Rohani article linking him to Green movement look here: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/07/world/meast/iran-rouhani-profile/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

    3)BBC called Rohani a moderate candidate. What is a moderate candidate? Look here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22851764

    4)Guardian article on Rohani’s documentary and his ability to bring back life into reformists(greens by extension). Look here http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/hassan-rowhani-lone-cleric-presidency

    For Rohani’s praise of Rafsanjani in third debate please see Khurshid says: June 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm ; Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf; Paragraph 3.

    Now that Aref has resigned, it further reinforces that Rohani is the darling of west in this election. In coming days accept to see more pro Rohani articles in western media coverage.

  139. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    “And let’s remember that some of the neocon insiders who conspired to set u the war figured they would gain great wealth in Iraq.”

    Is this any different than their earlier biritish cousins? Going to Africa, India, Afghanistan, etc, etc.. etc..

  140. Neo says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: June 11, 2013 at 5:32 am

    UU ji

    I think your strategy would backfire and help Rohani get to the next round at the expense of Jalili or even Ghalibaf. I dont see Rohani making it to the next round right now. But if jalili supportes switch to ghalibaf in a tactical way rohani could come second.

    And why do you imagine Jalili wouldn’t be prepared? He sounds really competent. Ghalibaf on the other hand seems like a people manager without real ideas of his own.

  141. fyi says:

    Rd. says:

    June 11, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Yes, there was.

    The English, like their Portuguese friends, went to the 4 corners of the Earth to make a living; England being a poor island country.

    In that, the English have not been that different than Sultan Mahmud Ghaznai, the Ottomans, the Khans of Transoxnai, and many many others in the world.

    Americans are doing what they are doing essentially for amusement – they have everything they need or want in their own country.

    The flaw in the Americans is that they decided – after the defeat of the anti-Federalists in their Civil War – to become Imperialists in order to exercise the enormous power of the United States. But every country that they won they lost interest in it after winning it – Japan and Germany being exceptions.

    The English, where they went, left behind a structure of Rule of Law – and in certain places even a rickety type of representative democracy that the natives could operate under English supervision – but not the Americans.

    They went into Colombia and made Panam out of piece of her, they went into Cuba, into the Philippenese, into Iran, into Guatemala, Nicaragua, South Korea, Iran and lately Iraq and Afghanistan and in no way they could match the record of the English – a country much poorer than them in terms of resources.

  142. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    June 11, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Yes, Mr. Jalili lacks executive experience; the same problem that Mr. Khatami had.

    I think the mayoralty of Tehran could become a semi-official stepping-stone to Iranian presidency; it gives ample opportunity for an aspirant to the Presidency of the Islamic Republic to be seen dealing with actual problems afflicting a city of 12 million souls with a very very diverse class and cultural composition.

  143. M.Ali says:

    Neo,

    “Ghalibaf on the other hand seems like a people manager without real ideas of his own.”

    I think this is one the biggest reason why I’ll probably be voting for him. People manager is extremely important. He’s going to a country of 80 million people, its not important that he have real ideas on his own, because it might be wrong, whats important is he manages diverse and intelligent people who will bring real ideas for him for various problems and various areas.

  144. kooshy says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    June 11, 2013 at 5:32 am

    UU Jaan

    I think if Jalili and Vlayati pull out of the race for Ghalibaf he can win in first round that will be a big blow to Rafsanjani and co. At this time is not good that the conservative continue to stay in the race, if Rafsanjani’s team get elected we are going to face some internal challenges to “Hakemyat e Nezam” which would be difficult to subside since this time they are the government and not just trying to get in. Iranians should be clever and understand what is going on.

  145. Khurshid says:

    Iran Presidential Election 2013 – Who is the DARLING of west

    In this election of 2013 west’s villain is Jalili. Countries west doesn’t like is always depicted as having a “goodie” and a “baddie” – it’s always a two tier dichotomy. Based on this dichotomy there is a need for goodie in this election and I think in the eyes of west that goodie is Rohani.

    To understand why Rohani is the darling of west in this election, it is important to remind ourselves of some facts reported in Wikileaks US embassy cables. Iran related cables clearly showed that US prefers Rafsanjani and Khatami backed reformists candidates. Cables released from United State’s Iran Regional Presence Office in Dubai (IranRPODubai) showed that most of US sources coming from Inside Iran were from reformist camp and were supporters of Rafsanjani. In fact a cable from IranRPO documents a sitting reformist MP of 2007 updating US diplomats about Iranian internal politics. The cable noted the following about the reformist MP “his comments about the political state of play in Iran are valuable coming from inside the system”. To read the cable yourself, if you have not read it before, see here: http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2007/04/07IRANRPODUBAI23.html.

    Furthermore, in June 2009 Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs Dr. Prince Torki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Kabeer was reported in a cable from Riyadh Embassy admitting the following:

    “the Saudis “definitely supported Mousavi,” Torki declared, they could never admit this. However, he implied that the SAG would support efforts to assist Mousavi and the other members of the opposition, so long as the assistance remained untraceable.”
    You can read the cable here: http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/06/09RIYADH836.html .

    In a separate 2009 cable from Riyadh Embassy Saudi King Abdallah said the following about Rafsanjani: “He said he would favor Rafsanjani in an election, were he to run.” To read the cable click here: http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/03/09RIYADH427.html

    So, it can be seen that US candidate of choice or “darling” has to be from reformist camp backed by Rafsanjani . This makes Aref and Rohani as the only possible candidates for US darling status. Now, the question is why Rohani and not Aref? Answer to this question can be found from western media coverage of Iran’s 2013 election:

    1)Al-Monitor’s Iran Pulse page reported Rohani’s documentary as giving boost to Rohani’s election campaign. Look here: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/hassan-rouhani-iran-elections-documentary-tv.html
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/iran-elections-hassan-rouhani-surprise.html

    2)For CNN’s pro Rohani article linking him to Green movement look here: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/07/world/meast/iran-rouhani-profile/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

    3)BBC called Rohani a moderate candidate. What is a moderate candidate? Look here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22851764

    4)Guardian article on Rohani’s documentary and his ability to bring back life into reformists(greens by extension). Look here http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/hassan-rowhani-lone-cleric-presidency

    For Rohani’s praise of Rafsanjani in third debate please see Khurshid says: June 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm ; Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf; Paragraph 3.

    Now that Aref has resigned, it further reinforces that Rohani is the darling of west in this election. In coming days accept to see more pro Rohani articles in western media coverage.

  146. Khurshid says:

    Hello, Hello, Helppppppppppppppppppppppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This moderation thing is on my nerves

  147. Khurshid says:

    Iran Presidential Election 2013 – Who is the DARLING of west

    In this election of 2013 west’s villain is Jalili. Countries west doesn’t like is always depicted as having a “goodie” and a “baddie” – it’s always a two tier dichotomy. Based on this dichotomy there is a need for goodie in this election and I think in the eyes of west that goodie is Rohani.

    To understand why Rohani is the darling of west in this election, it is important to remind ourselves of some facts reported in Wikileaks US embassy cables. Iran related cables clearly showed that US prefers Rafsanjani and Khatami backed reformists candidates. Cables released from United State’s Iran Regional Presence Office in Dubai (IranRPODubai) showed that most of US sources coming from Inside Iran were from reformist camp and were supporters of Rafsanjani. In fact a cable from IranRPO documents a sitting reformist MP of 2007 updating US diplomats about Iranian internal politics. The cable noted the following about the reformist MP “his comments about the political state of play in Iran are valuable coming from inside the system”. To read the cable yourself, if you have not read it before, see here: http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2007/04/07IRANRPODUBAI23.html.

    Furthermore, in June 2009 Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs Dr. Prince Torki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Kabeer was reported in a cable from Riyadh Embassy admitting the following:

    “the Saudis “definitely supported Mousavi,” Torki declared, they could never admit this. However, he implied that the SAG would support efforts to assist Mousavi and the other members of the opposition, so long as the assistance remained untraceable.” You can read the cable here: http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/06/09RIYADH836.html

    In a separate 2009 cable from Riyadh Embassy Saudi King Abdallah said the following about Rafsanjani: “He said he would favor Rafsanjani in an election, were he to run.” To read the cable click here: http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/03/09RIYADH427.html

    So, it can be seen that US candidate of choice or “darling” has to be from reformist camp backed by Rafsanjani . This makes Aref and Rohani as the only possible candidates for US darling status. Now, the question is why Rohani and not Aref? Answer to this question can be found from western media coverage of Iran’s 2013 election:

    1)Al-Monitor’s Iran Pulse page reported Rohani’s documentary as giving boost to Rohani’s election campaign. Look here: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/hassan-rouhani-iran-elections-documentary-tv.html
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/iran-elections-hassan-rouhani-surprise.html

    2)For CNN’s pro Rohani article linking him to Green movement look here: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/07/world/meast/iran-rouhani-profile/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

    3)BBC called Rohani a moderate candidate. What is a moderate candidate? Look here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22851764

    4)Guardian article on Rohani’s documentary and his ability to bring back life into reformists(greens by extension). Look here http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/hassan-rowhani-lone-cleric-presidency

    For Rohani’s praise of Rafsanjani in third debate please see Khurshid says: June 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm ; Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf; Paragraph 3.

    Now that Aref has resigned, it further reinforces that Rohani is the darling of west in this election. In coming days accept to see more pro Rohani articles in western media coverage.

  148. Khurshid says:

    Iran Presidential Election 2013 – Who is the DARLING of west

    In this election of 2013 west’s villain is Jalili. Countries west doesn’t like is always depicted as having a “goodie” and a “baddie” – it’s always a two tier dichotomy. Based on this dichotomy there is a need for goodie in this election and I think in the eyes of west that goodie is Rohani.

    To understand why Rohani is the darling of west in this election, it is important to remind ourselves of some facts reported in Wikileaks US embassy cables. Iran related cables clearly showed that US prefers Rafsanjani and Khatami backed reformists candidates. Cables released from United State’s Iran Regional Presence Office in Dubai (IranRPODubai) showed that most of US sources coming from Inside Iran were from reformist camp and were supporters of Rafsanjani. In fact a cable from IranRPO documents a sitting reformist MP of 2007 updating US diplomats about Iranian internal politics. The cable noted the following about the reformist MP “his comments about the political state of play in Iran are valuable coming from inside the system”. To read the cable yourself, if you have not read it before, see here: http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2007/04/07IRANRPODUBAI23.html.

    Furthermore, in June 2009 Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs Dr. Prince Torki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Kabeer was reported in a cable from Riyadh Embassy admitting the following:

    “the Saudis “definitely supported Mousavi,” Torki declared, they could never admit this. However, he implied that the SAG would support efforts to assist Mousavi and the other members of the opposition, so long as the assistance remained untraceable.” You can read the cable here: http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/06/09RIYADH836.html

    In a separate 2009 cable from Riyadh Embassy Saudi King Abdallah said the following about Rafsanjani: “He said he would favor Rafsanjani in an election, were he to run.” To read the cable click here: http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/03/09RIYADH427.html

    So, it can be seen that US candidate of choice or “darling” has to be from reformist camp backed by Rafsanjani . This makes Aref and Rohani as the only possible candidates for US darling status. Now, the question is why Rohani and not Aref? Answer to this question can be found from western media coverage of Iran’s 2013 election:

    1.Al-Monitor’s Iran Pulse page reported Rohani’s documentary as giving boost to Rohani’s election campaign. Look here: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/hassan-rouhani-iran-elections-documentary-tv.html
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/iran-elections-hassan-rouhani-surprise.html

    2.For CNN’s pro Rohani article linking him to Green movement look here: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/07/world/meast/iran-rouhani-profile/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

    3.BBC called Rohani a moderate candidate. What is a moderate candidate? Look here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22851764

    4.Guardian article on Rohani’s documentary and his ability to bring back life into reformists(greens by extension). Look here http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/hassan-rowhani-lone-cleric-presidency

    For Rohani’s praise of Rafsanjani in third debate please see Khurshid says: June 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm ; Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf; Paragraph 3.

    Now that Aref has resigned, it further reinforces that Rohani is the darling of west in this election. In coming days accept to see more pro Rohani articles in western media coverage.

  149. Karl... says:

    Anyone want to take a guess on how west will approach this election? Sabotage? Etc

    And what will happen if the 2009-demonstrations is on again?

  150. BiBiJon says:

    Over at http://armscontrollaw.com/2013/06/10/mark-hibbs-on-the-leaked-iaea-safeguards-report/

    There is a discussion of 2012 IAEA Safeguards Implementation Report.

    Which says:

    – For 71 States (including many of the 73 States [with comprehensive safeguards agreements and additional protocols]) the Agency was not able to get timely responses to Agency requests for, or clarification of, safeguards relevant information.

    – Nearly half of nations not compiling with demands

    – IAEA spent 1,356 calendar days in Iran last year. They spent 180 calendar days in France, Europe’s biggest nuclear power

    – 11% of 2012 inspections were of Iran alone yet 45% of IAEA members were delinquent too.

    – 159 member countries consistently responded late to IAEA requests. Iran wasn’t late on any of the reports it’s bound to file, the IAEA said.

    Add to this the facts that IAEA cannot certify the ‘entirely peacefulness’ of 54 countries’ nuclear activities; >65% of the overall IAEA budget comes from USG+allied governments; AP reported ~80% of Intel against Iran is from the US; wikileaked worshipfulness of DG Amano to US positions; etc.

    h/t to various commenters over at ArmsControlWonk and ArmsControlLaw for above points.

    Question for the board
    ———————-

    Why didn’t Iran oppose Amano’s second term appointment?

  151. Khurshid says:

    Sorry everyone, moderation is not allowing me to post anything more than two lines. This is end of my election coverage for this blog.

  152. Khurshid says:

    Iran Presidential Election 2013 – Who is the DARLING of west

    In this election of 2013 west’s villain is Jalili. Countries west doesn’t like is always depicted as having a “goodie” and a “baddie” – it’s always a two tier dichotomy. Based on this dichotomy there is a need for goodie in this election and I think in the eyes of west that goodie is Rohani.

    To understand why Rohani is the darling of west in this election, it is important to remind ourselves of some facts reported in Wikileaks US embassy cables. Iran related cables clearly showed that US prefers Rafsanjani and Khatami backed reformists candidates. Cables released from United State’s Iran Regional Presence Office in Dubai (IranRPODubai) showed that most of US sources coming from Inside Iran were from reformist camp and were supporters of Rafsanjani. In fact a cable from IranRPO documents a sitting reformist MP of 2007 updating US diplomats about Iranian internal politics. The cable noted the following about the reformist MP “his comments about the political state of play in Iran are valuable coming from inside the system”. To read the cable yourself, if you have not read it before, see here: “http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2007/04/07IRANRPODUBAI23.html.”

    Furthermore, in June 2009 Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs Dr. Prince Torki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Kabeer was reported in a cable from Riyadh Embassy admitting the following:

    “the Saudis “definitely supported Mousavi,” Torki declared, they could never admit this. However, he implied that the SAG would support efforts to assist Mousavi and the other members of the opposition, so long as the assistance remained untraceable.” You can read the cable here: “http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/06/09RIYADH836.html ”

    In a separate 2009 cable from Riyadh Embassy Saudi King Abdallah said the following about Rafsanjani: “He said he would favor Rafsanjani in an election, were he to run.” To read the cable click here: “http://www.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/03/09RIYADH427.html”

    So, it can be seen that US candidate of choice or “darling” has to be from reformist camp backed by Rafsanjani . This makes Aref and Rohani as the only possible candidates for US darling status. Now, the question is why Rohani and not Aref? Answer to this question can be found from western media coverage of Iran’s 2013 election:

    Al-Monitor’s Iran Pulse page reported Rohani’s documentary as giving boost to Rohani’s election campaign. Look here: “http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/hassan-rouhani-iran-elections-documentary-tv.html”
    “http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/iran-elections-hassan-rouhani-surprise.html”

    For CNN’s pro Rohani article linking him to Green movement look here: “http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/07/world/meast/iran-rouhani-profile/index.html?iid=article_sidebar”

    BBC called Rohani a moderate candidate. What is a moderate candidate? Look here: “http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22851764”

    Guardian article on Rohani’s documentary and his ability to bring back life into reformists(greens by extension). Look here “http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/hassan-rowhani-lone-cleric-presidency”

    For Rohani’s praise of Rafsanjani in third debate please see Khurshid says: June 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm ; Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf; Paragraph 3.

    Now that Aref has resigned, it further reinforces that Rohani is the darling of west in this election. In coming days accept to see more pro Rohani articles in western media coverage.

  153. Smith says:

    Though I had other ideas, but now with smart move on the part of reformists unifying their vote bank, I ask every one to vote for Qalibaf if no new rearrangement happens. Most of women vote will go to Qalibaf, so do not split the conservative vote. Others are not presidential material. Only Rezai and Qalibaf are in. These two should fast decide on who should stay. Other conservative candidates should drop out now, in favor of these two and let these two to decide between themselves who should stay for the final day.

  154. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    What do you make of the reports of Hamas’ al Qassam brigades training and fighting alongside the Syrian rebels against Hezbollah in Al Qusair?

    Just propaganda? Or a lesson that Iran can’t trust any Ikhwan related groups?

  155. Smith says:

    Khurshid says:
    June 11, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    You can not post more than one hot http link in your post or it will automatically go to moderation. Put links in separate posts and it will be fine, hopefully.

  156. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    June 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    They are mercenaries and will work for whoever pays them more. Iran had employed them for its own geopolitical goals for near to 3 decades. Now others have hired them. The question is not about trust. The question is if their new employers are ready to keep them employed for decades like Iran or lay them off as soon as the Syria debacle is over.

  157. Smith says:

    A PhD that does not exist. Pretty much similar to “Dr” Khatami’s among others: http://www.smh.com.au/world/iran-and-the-great-glasgow-phd-mystery-20130611-2o10f.html

  158. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I cannot answer your question since the details are rather murky.

    During the anti-communist war in Afghanistan, Baluchis would go and fight there for a while and then come back.

    I do not believe that they were paid by the Iranian Government or anyone else; they just liked the excitement of war as well as the religious “Thawab” of Jihad.

    It might be the same here.

    I do not think that Iran “can open an account with Ikhwan” – as the phrase goes; not among Arabs and not among Turks.

    There are multiple reasons for that; the Ikhwan evidently lack the courage of their convictions; watch what they did (and did not do) in Syria.

    Ikhwan, in Egypt and in Turkey could have staunchly opposed the Saudi-Qatari-Axis policy in the Levant and extinguished the Syrian Civil War before it began. Yes, that woulod have aligned them with Iran and Iraq.

    But so what, are the Ikhwan not supposed to promote Islam and the wlfare of the Ummah?

    Syria was the touchstone on which the Ikhwan were tested and found wanting.

  159. Smith says:

    Media demonization of Iran is working, and it appears that among the countries surveyed only Pakistani people are the ones who have not yet been infected by the MSM: http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/06/11/global-views-of-iran-overwhelmingly-negative/

  160. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    June 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Yes, truly deplorable; from the late Mr. Kordan with his fake Oxford Ph.D. to this.

    The late Mr. Kordan used to regal his students in the course he was teaching at the university with stories of his time at Oxford.

    One wonders why so many leaders of the Islamic Republic seek to have doctorates; and why so many wish to be associated with institutions of higher-learning of the Great Satan and the Lesser Satan (a.k.a the Perfidious Albion)!

    God forbid that these Muslim leaders go around without a “Doktor” title and one wonders why no one has a doctorate from Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Russia or India?

    The weakness inside them is equally sad and painful to observe.

  161. Nasser says:

    Smith and fyi,

    Thank you both for your quick responses.

    There is a discussion about this on IranMilitaryForum
    http://www.iranmilitaryforum.net/military-conflicts/iran-cuts-hamas-funding-over-syria/

  162. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The Shanghai (China) list of the best universities in the world gives the first 19 places to British or American universities.

    And you can guess where Chinese students try to go.

  163. M.Ali says:

    Rowhani’s Documentary:

    This seems to be Rowhani’s approach to get elected:

    1) I am BFF with Khatami and Rafsanjani! Here, let me drop their names, show their pictures, and lets show footage of them.

    2) I know I’m not the best choice for you, but please vote for me anyway!

    Its ridiculous. Its silly how they actually they show people in the documentary telling us that they know Rowhani is not the best but its the best choice they have now, so might as well vote for him.

    Wow. At least Aref didn’t seem like such a puppet. THe reformists always talk about how the conservatives toe the leader’s line, but they have shown to be more independent. There were 100 accusations thrown at Ahmadenijad that he was puppet of Khameinei, Yazdi, Sepah, Basijies, etc, but he proved to be a real independent person. But what about reformists? They all like puppets.

    This is annoying to me most of all is that why cant a person like me, who is not religion, who is influenced a lot by western culture, who leans towards equality, tolerance, modernity, etc, etc, have to look towards so-called conservatives rather than the reformists, who seem slimly, dishonest, and frankly, cliche.

    Which is the one way to describe Rouhani’s documentary: Cliche

    I just hope, hope, if they lose, they dont make accusations of fraud YET again (we forget now but Rafsanjani called fraud all the way back in 2005 too).

    Finally, if 2005 and 2009 elections were fraud, why get involved again?
    If it was not, why did they make accusations, and here I don’t care about the ethical part of it, but the strategic part of it was bad. If they had X number of supporters, by claiming it was fraud, they will automatically lose votes in 2013 because at least a certain part of that 2009 voting Mousavi group will certainly note vote this around because they were told the elections were manipulated. So, all they did was reduce their own participation in the election.

    End note, aside from all that, it was also boring, the first one was slightly better.

    So far, the best documentary I think still was with Aref’s.

  164. fyi says:

    M.Ali says:

    June 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Iranians do not need “Reformists”, they need “Perfectionists”; i.e. people who would staunchly support governance based on the lawful implementations of the full capacities inherent in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

  165. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Also this:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-110613.html

  166. James Canning says:

    BBiJon,

    Interesting post, about priorities of IAEA and a number of apparent deficiencies. Perhaps more funding is needed? Is too much of the available staff/reseources going into Iran issue? Seems to be the problem.

  167. M.Ali says:

    My previous post was about Rouhani’s second documentary.

    Velayati’s Second Documentary: Someone should tap Velayati on the shoulder and remind him that its 2013. His first documentary was just revolutionary footage, and this time doesn’t seem to be that different. I’m at 5 minutes, and its still stuck in the past. Its showing footage of him at Majlis speaking out against…Bani Sadr. Okay, Velayati, thats very relevant and priority for us Iranians today. What do the candidates think of Bani Sadr? thats what all we Iranians want to know!

    After that, Velayati finally, after his previous documentary and then after his Bandi Sadr exposure, he decides to move ahead in time…for a few years and gets stuck in the war. So, its going to be all war footage for now.

    I sometimes get tired of my country. We’re stuck in the past. If its not the war, its the revolution. If its not the revolution, its Mossadeq. If not that, its Pahlavi. If not that, its mourning for whatever injustice happened a thousand years ago. If not that, its how awesome one king was 3000 years ago.

  168. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, the Portuguese looked to the sea for employment, economic growth, etc etc. Leading to colonial empire. Same thing with England (and, after 1701, Britain). But Britain was favorably endowed with resources, and quite rich even before it developed an empire.

  169. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The British obviously were very good at building railroads, bridges, etc etc etc in their colonies, other colonial holdings, etc., and in various independent countries too.

    Ability to finance the construction obviously was of great importance.

    What do you think the Americans should have done differently, in the Philippines? Cuba? Puerto Rico? Haiti? Dominican Republic?

  170. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Chinese need to get out of their Anglophonism:

    http://www.fermi.edu.pa/

    Admission is only by invitation….

  171. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The American military adventures in the Middle East have ZERO to do with building an empire (in sense of British empire, French empire, German empire, etc).

  172. M.Ali says:

    fyi,

    “Iranians do not need “Reformists”, they need “Perfectionists” ; i.e. people who would staunchly support governance based on the lawful implementations of the full capacities inherent in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

    My dream day would be when the government can respect the law and i don’t even mean the ones in the constitution, but simple, simple ones, like not have a presidential candidate make a documentary showing him in a car and not wearing a seat belt…

  173. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The US decision to keep the Philippines after the Spanish-American War was highly controversial. And the US clearly did not “lose interest” in the Philippines after they were taken from Spain. Ditto with Puerto Rico. Or Cuba, where British and American financial interests were heavily engaged.

    Historians of the US durng thee 10th century think that if he South had gained its independence, the South would have annexed Cuba, Puerto Rico, and possibly even Mexico.

  174. James Canning says:

    19th century (historians of). (Not 10th)

  175. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Did you know Americans used to call the inhabitants of the Philippines “Frogs”?

    When the late Dr. Fermi went to meet the US Secretary of the Navy, the secretary, a sergeant, said to him: “There is a dago out there to see you.”

    What Americans should have done and did not do was to stand for Liberal Democracy and the Rule of Law.

    What they did was to venally preside on the devolution of power to dictators and lawless political orders.

    In Cuba, for example, the American Criminal Syndicates were running the show until Dr. Castro threw them out.

    In Nicaragua, a family-run Republic was the government.

    In Chile, Iran, and in the Dominican Republic they destroyed both Liberal Democracy and the Rule of Law.

    I think it behooves the Americans to accept their limitations; they are not England (or Britain) on steroids – they lack whatever it was that enabled the English to control India with native troops and official with at most 10,000 Englishman at any one time in an area from Quetta or Rangoon.

  176. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    The United States can conquer Mexico even now.

    But then what?

    Mexico is not US and US is not Mexico.

    That is the problem at the heart of US Imperialism – they do not need an imperial project out of duress/financial necessity.

    It is their amusement.

    In regards to the South: they were staunchly anti-Federalists; it is doubtful that the CSA Federal Government would have been able to amass the kind of power that the USA Federal Government had accumulated during the Civil War to wage its own imperial project against largely Catholic countries.

    The imperial project in US originated in New England and not among the Southern states.

  177. M.Ali says:

    Smith,

    “Media demonization of Iran is working, and it appears that among the countries surveyed only Pakistani people are the ones who have not yet been infected by the MSM: ”

    Turkey has 68% negative. Last time I was in Turkey airport, I looked at the board, and most flights for that day were to and from Iran, and this was Turkish Airlines.

    But I guess I blame ourselves. Our PR to other countries are weak. Ahmadenijad’s PressTV project was in the right direction, but it needs more indirect approaches to improving Iranians images. And of course, something has to be done about us Iranians who whenever we go out of the country, start complaining to foreigners. When I met Chinese businessmen in Dubai and Iran, I was always surprised by how much they proudly talked about their country, yet this is missing among Iranians that sit among strangers.

  178. Karl. . . says:

    Now Khatami and Rafsanjani both back Rohani, Rohani will indeed be glorified in the western media and if he loose, I guess we must prepare for another 2009-protests with accusation of fraud.

  179. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Please see below for more discussion points:

    http://hibbs.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1878/safeguards-in-the-spotlight#comments

    These are now only of historical interest as future scholars will trace the destruction of NPT Regime.

  180. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Once again, I will say I think you are simply quite wrong to think the NPT has been fatally injured.

    Your view is not shared by Russia, China, Japan, Germany, Brazil, South Afrxica, etc etc.

  181. James Canning says:

    M.Ali,

    Turkish airlines now is one of largest in the world, in terms of locations served. A colossal new airport near Istanablul likely will be built. To serve many cities in the Middle East (and points further abroad).

  182. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think the US blundered when it annexed the Philippines and Puerto Rico. And that the US was fortunate not to have annexed Santo Domingo or Cuba, or further portions of Mexico for that matter.

    You have a cognitive problem, it seems to me, in accepting that the foolish American policies in the Middle East have a VERY GREAT DEAL to do with the wishes of the Israel lobby.

  183. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    And I have said before I think France blundered badly after the Second World War, in attempting to re-establish the colonial system that the Japanese had wrecked. France’s blunder later resulted in tremendous damage to the US. Due to further blunders.

  184. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I might even say that annexation of further large portions of Mexico would have been a fatal mistake for American democracy.

  185. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    June 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    It is really shameful. Guardian council being a judicial body should verify these things. Liars should be shown the door with slap in the face. Unfortunately lying and corruption in Iranian society is pervasive.

    The other point is the slave mentality of the people. They think by “having” a PhD, they can attain “modernity”. They do not know even what PhD means. What scholarship means. And what research and scientific inquiry are. The only person with a real PhD was Aref among the candidates. Though by no means his PhD made him better than others for rule. All others are holding fake PhD’s or in the case of Rowhani, no PhD at all. Pathological liars.

  186. Smith says:

    M.Ali says:
    June 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    “When I met Chinese businessmen in Dubai and Iran, I was always surprised by how much they proudly talked about their country, yet this is missing among Iranians that sit among strangers.”

    There you nailed it. Iranians actually complain continuously when sitting among foreigners. There is this “duality” in Iranian behavior culture.

    At any rate, I no longer give a damn what others think including nations. What is important is for Iran to become a global power. The rest has become irrelevant. PressTV was a nice initiative. But no matter how and what you talk to the rest of the world, it is important to have a bigger stick in your hand. China has that stick. So do others like US, Russia etc. Iran does not.

  187. BiBiJon says:

    Smith says:
    June 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    the Pew global research says nearly 7 out of 10 Americans have a negative view of Iran. It breaks that down as 69% unfavorable, and 16% favorable.

    Considering how in the news Iran has been treated, the 15% who did not offer an opinion has a whole statistical meaning for itself.

    How can anyone (on the left) watch Rachel Maddow screech some nonsense about Iran every chance she gets, or (on the right) watch/hear/read how evil Iran is every hour of every day, decade after decade, and not have an opinion?

    Add the 16% favorable and 15% DK’s, you wind up with 31% unaffected by the 24/7 wall-to-wall saturation propaganda against Iran. With all that money and effort spent on duplicity, hypocrisy, misinformation and lies they have only managed 69% which is a C- if you wanted to grade their performance.

  188. Smith says:

    BiBiJon says:
    June 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Maybe. But the undecided ones might be just the ones who do not know that country by the name of Iran exists in this world. Geographic illiteracy is quite endemic in US. Most of the population watches MSM at night while sipping alcohol. The power of suggestion while under influence of drugs multiplies.

    As I said above, it is irrelevant in the big picture. It only shows that Iran needs to have a large stick. The other thing that Iran needs after it has the stick is to be able to launch a TV satellite over US/Europe and broadcast free channels, educating the public. Though the stick remains more important.

  189. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    June 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    “Foolish American policies in the Middle East have a VERY GREAT DEAL to do with the wishes of the Israel lobby.”

    Personally I think it has a lot to do with the British Lobby.

    ——-
    From http://www.npr.org/2013/06/09/189968998/britain-apologizes-for-colonial-era-torture-of-kenyan-rebels

    “In fact, in total [only] 32 Europeans died,” Elkins says. “As opposed to that, nearly 1 1/2 million Kikuyu were put into some form of detention, where they were tortured and forced to labor.”

    There was “forced sodomy with broken bottles and vermin and snakes and just horrific, horrific things,” she says. “And the documents confirmed, almost verbatim at times, the kind of oral testimonies I had taken 15 years ago.

    “As historians,” Elkins says, “we have plenty of evidence that the systematized violence that happened in Kenya was honed and brought throughout the empire, from Palestine to Malaya to Kenya to Cyprus to Aden to Northern Ireland.”

  190. Neo says:

    M.Ali says: June 11, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Ali,

    We’re at a complex juncture. A creative and intelligent leguessing needed. One who is ready for a delicate global balancing act and is realistic about hardships ahead. Ghalibaf has already promised too much and set himself up for failure.

    From what I can see, rohanis supporters would cross over into Ghalibaf camp rather than Jalili. So I’m guessing it’s Ghalibaf who’s more threatened now. Still either one would beat Rohani in a second round.

    Btw, really enjoyed your comments about Velayati etc.

  191. Neo says:

    Correction:

    A creative and intelligent leader is needed.

  192. Khurshid says:

    As I predicated before in earlier posts “Rafsanjani will endorse Rohani”. Well it actually happened today officially.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/06/11/308461/iran-former-presidents-endorse-rohani/

    It is going towards reliving 2009 in 2013. Media machinery is also focusing on that.

  193. Khurshid says:

    Iran Presidential Election 2013 – Purple is the new Green

    Rohani’s election color is PURPLE !!!. Hala chera Banafsh? Rangesh doktaroneh nist?(translation: Why Purple? Isn’t it girlish?) Perhaps it is Rohani’s strategy to attract ladies vote.

  194. BiBiJon says:

    Khurshid says:
    June 11, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Because of lessons learned in 2009, I’m fairly certain the following will happen this time around:

    -Extra effort will be made to have all observers present, any absences will be published on the same day.
    -individual ballot box totals will be published
    -each tally form signed by the observers will be published
    -Any and all complaints to the election commission will be immediately published

  195. Karl.. says:

    Smith,
    Its only 22 western/pro westenr states polled though.

  196. Khurshid says:

    Iran Presidential Election 2013 – Real Hooshe Siah

    Media soft war attack on Iran’s election makes me feel like I am experience real life HOOSHE SIAH. Can you guess who is “Jamshideh Qassami” in this election?

  197. masoud says:

    Aref bowing out of the race means that everybody that was previously looking at both Qalibaf and Jalili, should vote for Jalili, so we can have both these candidates in the second round.
    Qalibaf and Rouhani each seem just as dumb as the other, I wouldn’t want to imagine what a second round debate between these two would be like.

  198. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    My understanding is that blacks in Kenya killed about 100,000 other blacks, during the unrest the preceded independence.

    The British were unable to stop it.

    Israel loby is also active in Britain, though not nearly so effectively as in the US. But US pressure, caused by Israel lobby in US, is used to infuence Britain’s foreign policy.

  199. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    UU-jan and others,

    Remember, first round vote is always eshghi.

    I’m voting for Jalili…while wearing my chafiyee…in north Tehran…tu rooheshun…it’s called “democracy”, right? He got his leg left blown off so we could do this, right? In the words of Agha: “Man diplomat nistam, man enghelabiam…”

    He will make it to the second round either with Ghalibaf or Rohani (Rezai and Gharazi are out).

    2nd round: Either Jalili vs Rohani- Jalili win.
    Or Jalili vs Ghalibaf- who cares, we won.

    In other words: 2nd round Rohani vs Ghalibaf very unlikely

    Most usulis I know are completely disgusted by Velayati after the last debate. He lost most of his base with that performance. Most are crossing over to Jalili after Haddad quit.

    In other words the b.s. “etelaf” between Haddad, Ghalibaf and Velayati ended up being to Jalili’s advantage after the debates as most of Haddad’s and Velayati’s supporters will be voting Jalili, not Ghalibaf.

    Also Rezai takes votes from Ghalibaf more than from Jalili. Maybe you should tell Agha Mohsen to quit. Yeah, right.

    Take a deep breath, leave “the monster” (i.e. Tehran) and you will see Jalili has a lot of support outside of Tehran.

    Of course most important, most Ahmadinejad fans outside the Big T are voting Jalili. (Again please refer to “leaving the monster”). Ahmadinejad showed that you can win without getting the majority in Tehran. But Jalili also has a lot of support in Tehran.

    Jalili spent the last few days in Isfahan, Shiraz and Tabriz, tomorrow he is coming to Tehran. 5:30 pm 4rah “college”, Shahid Haydar-Nia big rally. Also remember Jalili is from Mashhad, Ghalibaf is from Torghabeh, not Mashhad if we are counting cities.

    And let’s ponder for a moment a Rohani win…chi mishe? Four years of great opportunities to “constructively criticize” his eminence haj agha rohani (who looked like he was about to bust out into some dance moves at the last rallies).

    “Man diplomat nistam, man enghelabiam…”

  200. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    The British did not want the Indian empire partitioned. Partition was forced on Britain, and helped to cause the deaths of huge numbers of people.

  201. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    masoud-jan,

    Ghorboonet beram dadash. Damet garm.

  202. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    The Saudis and the Qataris also have big “sticks”, as in enormous financial power. I agree with you Iran could use more such power.

  203. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    And consider the enormous financial power of Germany within the EU.

  204. Smith says:

    Just to be clear, I consider big stick as nuclear tipped ICBM directed at roobah-e-pir. Specially their “financial” district. On five minute alert.

  205. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    “Foolish American policies in the Middle East have a VERY GREAT DEAL to do with the wishes of the Israel lobby.”

    Mister Canning, as per the saying the idiot watches at the finger while the wise man is pointing it at the Moon.

    Obviously, there is no single reason for the US enmity with Iran.
    – There is geopolitical power competition between Iran and US.
    – The US want to control oil to control the world.
    – The US are caught in a trap with the USD as the tge world currrency (ie if they keep it they are economically doomed, if they let it go they are doomed as well)
    – There are many private interests in the west pushing for such enmity (the Isarel Lobby, the industrial military complex, and so on)

    All those reasons and others could justify the enmity.

    However the main and core reason is ideological.
    It is a fight between 2 differents world and moral views.
    Neither is googd or bad.
    Extremism in each view is bad.

    Islamic world view could be seen in the Wahabi dead extremism and backwardness it could be as well seen through the thriving and reborn/rejuvenated Iranian Islamic views.

    The westen world view could be seen as an emancipation of religion, rule of law or respect of individuals private sphere but it could be also seen as the US led degenerated extremism of nonsensical invidualism and capitalism with a project to extend such violence to the whole world.

    It is striking that the degenerated US extremism is allied with an apartheid state and the most backward arabian sheikdom.
    To be honest they are sticking well together each with their own kind of extremism.

    Iran is not perfect. But honestly, today it represents the moderate and progressive side in the conflict while the US are representing the radical and degenerate side.

    Political moral is often confused with soft power as if moral is only a cynical matter.

    The truth of the matter is that the US and by consequence the western civilization is at the end of the road. However they want to impose it to evrybody in their imperial, exeptionalist and hubristic delirium.
    While Islam, and specially the shia rebirth, at world stage is the only meta civilization resisting western ideological colonialism.

    Just few example to illustrate the US and western degenerate state.

    Example 1 – In capitalism it is said that egotistic individual behavior lead to economic darwinism and is the engine of creation of wealth.
    Now tell me how Quantum trading is supposed to participate in a sane economical mechanism and why it is allowed ? It is truly enrichment whithout justification and without taking risks.
    It is clearly because the western civilization has abandonned its last parcel of moral.
    It could be said for the too big to fail as well or many other subjects.

    2 – In the western civilization following the “enlightment”, religion and all that is sacred were dumped and replaced by the individual being the center of the universe.
    Well it makes sense when not pushed to extremism.
    However as of today, the individual as the center of the universe has totally erased the community and the sacred.
    There is no more sense of a country when the US or Europe offshore job to China or sme other countries for the benifit of the few to the expense of the mass.
    There is no more sense of family when the marriage is open to people of same sex.
    There is no more sense of community when religion is not cementing society.

    The problem is that in such a extremist society where the individual interest is way beyond what is good for the community what legitimacy is left to such state to lead the nation ?

    That is the deep seated reason of the bad bad bad opinion poll regarding political representatives in western countries.
    Truly they are not legitimitate anymore.

    When such legitimacy is gone and that a nation has lost its cohesion for the benefits of individuals, what is left for the state to manage is cohersion.

    As a conclusion, surely AIPAC is an issue. However they only enjoy the rotten corps of the degenerate western civilization.
    Such civilization that the west want to impose to everyone with their globalization and that Iran refuse to accept as it is.

  206. Persian Gulf says:

    M. Ali

    I actually think Gharazi’s semi-socialist approach might be a cure in current environment of looming hyper inflation. He is a very experienced guy with proven records in the national stage. He started really badly.and he is alone. If we could have a couple of more debates, he could come up big. Election in Iran is purely emotional. The main reason is the short period of campaigning imho.

    Anyhow, I think Rouhani’s second documantary, unlike the first one, was a disaster. Only to target a narrow segment of the society and to show he is Rafsanjani’s puppet (truly abhorrent). Hasn’t Rafsanjani lost several times already and big too? This emphasis makes me laugh. A friend of mine also pointed out the seat belt issue :) and the car too. Although another friend of mine said it was L90, I think it gave a different impression. You could feel like a rich guy talking and has concerns far from yous. I doubt he has that much of base. It’s mostly media hype, typical of reformists’ ﻫﻮﭼﯿﮕﺮﯼ . We say in Farsi

    ﺩﻝ ﻗﻮﯼ ﺩﺍﺭﻩ !

    Aref disappointed me personally by showing that he is Khatami’s puppet. As much as I like him personally, I dont like to see his cohorts like Mohammad Reza Khatami etc in the position of power again.

    Velayati Is apparently stuck in 1360s. Someone should wake him up. And he should leave the race. He lost most of his votes in the past week or so.

  207. masoud says:

    Qalibaf might be able to run Tehran, but he can’t run Iran.

    Iran isn’t Belgium or Brazil. It’s unconventional in a multiplicity of ways, and applying conventional wisdom in trying to run it will lead to disaster.

    Eight years ago, the Reformists were well within the mainstream of professional opinion when they decided to handover the concession to run manage Imam Khomeini airport as well as the nation’s secondary cell phone network to Turkish companies. They wanted to open Iran up to foreign capital and ‘integrate’ it into the world economy, both as a way of boosting growth, and forestalling problems with outsiders.

    Can anyone imagine the disaster we’d have if the Turks had thought to use their position in Iran to do to us what they’ve been doing to Syria for the past two years?

    Over the past decade the current administration has saved Iran from multiple disasters on the domestic front, eg quenching out of control demand for cheap gasoline through the gas rationing program, preemptively boosting gasoline production by quickly retrofitting other petrochemical plants to head off an attempt at a gasoline blockade, changing a family planning regime which would eventually have inflicted a japan-like demographic disaster on Iran, cash subsidies, changing the bulk of it’s US dollars for Gold etc..

    Not only did none of these ideas single one of these ideas came from mainstream experts in the fields concerned. Actually expert opinion was almost universally the single largest obstacle in getting these projects done, and if a single one them hadn’t been implemented the result would have been absolutely disastrous(though the family planning issue would have taken years to fully materialize).

    The same thing is true in the international front, seeking out relation with Latin America was a move that was on the receiving end of plenty of laughter and scorn. Iran now does tens of billions of dollars in trade with Argentina and Brazil, and Latin American countries are Iran’s most reliable partners in forums such as the UN. It is because the support of Latin America that Iran is the head of the NAM, and was able to host that very impressive conference in Tehran last year, which had over fifty heads of state attending, and it’s because of this newly found economic and political profile that Iran is on it’s way to nixing those Argentinian red notices, which have been used as stick to beat Iran with in multiple international fora. But, based on expert opinions Qalibaf has received from Professionals, he’s promised decrease Iran’s role in Latin America.

    And we can go on to other fields such as nuclear negotiations, to military doctrine and procurement, to chronic inflation. And in each case we will find that if Iran has had any successes, they’ve come from thinking outside the box. Whereas interference by ‘processionals’, based on cookie-cutter prescriptions that come from a mixture of fossilized academics and fake PhDs only complicate matters and make them worse.

    A candidate who runs on a platform of having eschewing all original thoughts might perform well as a chief executive of Qatar or the UAE, but Iran’s task today is to develop a thriving independent economy that is completely sealed off from the US dollar. Our forerunners are Cuba, North Korea, and Burma, and Zimbabwe, so monkey see monkey do just won’t cut it. It’s not like building an eight lane highway.

    I can’t say Jaili knows how to do that, but he seem like a smart, organized thinker, who’s comfortable enough to judge an idea by it’s merits, rather than build what looks flashy.

    Just about the only thing I’ve heard from Qalibaf regarding the economy is that his plan is to establish the people’s economic freedom by withdrawing the state completely from the economy. And if that’s not a thin cover to carry the kind of gangster privatization we’ve become so accustomed to on a mass scale, which I would bet it is, it’s at the very least a disastrously timed initiative. Iran is a country at war, and it’s front line is the economy. Now is the worst time to go about ceding control of this front to thousands of different, conflicting, and unaccountable actors.

  208. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says:
    June 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    The men and women who could solve real problems of a socialist economy died in World War I.

    The war that began the process of freeing the rest of mankind from the Euro-American domination.

    Semi-socialism in Iran is another name for nepotism, graft, and corruption; i.e. the old Middle Eastern way of doing things.

    There is no room for innovation in such an arrangement.

    Look no further than Dara and Sara – how an innovative product died on the vine.

    Iranians have a choice: to work harder, smarter, and longer.

    It matters not if any of the candidates has deep expertise in economics or any other field.

    What one ought to look for are the kind of people he has on his team; does he have the best? Even people who are better than him?

    Or is he surrounding himself by the next-best, making certain that no one smarter than him is on his team?

  209. Smith says:

    “Our forerunners are Cuba, North Korea, and Burma, and Zimbabwe, so monkey see monkey do just won’t cut it. It’s not like building an eight lane highway.”

    That is not true. Iran has alot of potential if a competent government is formed (including competent majles and judiciary). Under such a government Iran does not need any dollar. Qalibaf was as idiot as other candidates on economy. The only small hint for what Iranian economy needs came from Rezai whom I do not very much trust. Iran needs to promote entrepreneurship of medium sized industries and farms. The government is incapable of solving the economic problem. All it can do is help the people to do it. Privatization is just another name for making aghazadeh and their ilk rich. Iran needs to help the public to make their own industries.

    Ahmadinejad tried but his plans partially failed because of two reasons. The first was meddling of the corrupt majles that did not allow him to remove subsidies in one go, just a year before the full force of sanctions slowed Iran’s economy. The other was his wrong decision to inject cheap loans into the pocket of big time dalals of Tehran, while keeping the imports wide open. Then inorder to keep people happy he provided small loans for small businesses to large number of people. It was a disaster since Iran is not Bangladesh. It only fueled inflation as dalals start speculating and the small loans were used to buy up imported stuff mostly for personal consumption. His economic team miscalculated.

    Iran’s economy has never suffered because of non-availability of cash in small business sectors (shop keepers, small repair shops etc) or the big sectors (Car manufacturers, steel plants, petrochemicals etc). What Iranian economy needed was help for medium sized industries. If a competent engineer wants to set up a factory producing hydraulic valves for automatic transmission of cars, s/he should be provided the loan for his plans. If a competent person wants to set up a factory producing ECU, s/he should be provided the loan. Right now Iran imports these stuff, so not only the small business suffers but also the big ones because there is no strategy for medium sized business in Iran, specially for industrial production. The medium sized industries are back bone of an advanced economy.

    Anyways the story is long.

  210. Smith says:

    “There is no room for innovation in such an arrangement.”

    I bow my head in respect.

  211. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    June 11, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    “Or is he surrounding himself by the next-best, making certain that no one smarter than him is on his team?”

    The answer is obvious. More nepotism and more corruption and the next worse:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZucI6esbvqk

    .

  212. Persian Gulf says:

    fyi says:
    June 11, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    “What one ought to look for are the kind of people he has on his team; does he have the best? Even people who are better than him?

    Or is he surrounding himself by the next-best, making certain that no one smarter than him is on his team?”

    I agree.

    However, in the past 16 years at least, we have had two different presidents.

    the first one, as you desire, had almost no experience in governance but was open minded of good caliper. he was a philosopher and presumably allowed people better than him to run the country. he ended up having more than 20 islands in his cabinet with no clue as to where this ship is heading toward.

    the second on, supposedly a genius of his own right!, did not even tolerate a presumably smarter and better man than him, i.e. Aref (who was back then very silent coincidentally) for more than a fortnight. you can figure out who he worked with for the rest of his presidency yourself.

  213. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says:
    June 11, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Yes, one had good ideas and no courage and the other one had courage and many good ideas but not willingness to listen to others.

    The late Dr. Mossadeq also was afflicted likewise – tak ro – like many people of central Iran.

  214. Persian Gulf says:

    fyi says:
    June 11, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    “The men and women who could solve real problems of a socialist economy died in World War I.”

    May be. That I don’t know.

    “Semi-socialism in Iran is another name for nepotism, graft, and corruption; i.e. the old Middle Eastern way of doing things.”

    So is capitalism.
    At the end of the day I believe justice can’t be ignored at the expense of growth and the hypothetical flow of wealth to the masses once the never ending development was achieved. I guess it has been tried at least twice in the history of modern Iran with disastrous outcomes. not that it was not done perfectly, perhaps because of its flawed nature. By justice I mean equal opportunity. As we are not born equal, the ones with higher capability and courage would naturally lead. A system with a systemic injustice is a sham to me. Without justice (real or perceived), the society losses hope. and people have limited life span. one can’t wait for half a century for the desired growth to materialize.

    “Iranians have a choice: to work harder, smarter, and longer.”

    Yes, of course. That I agree with you fully. but that is not a recipe for injustice.

  215. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Thank you all for your responses. I particularly enjoyed Aqa Massoud’s impassioned post pleading against Qalibaf in favor of Jalili. The privitization/ aqazadeh problem is a huge one. In any event, I think the Bussed-in Professor is right that if they are both in the second round, to some extent anyway, who cares as we have already won. I am just a little concerned about Jalili’s lack of executive experience, that’s all. And BiB is right: the polls show Qalibaf ahead in Tehran, but Jalili way ahead everywhere else, which means that the good people of Iran have sensed what their Vali feels is best, and are going with his desire. Tavakkol be khoda…

  216. Pirouz says:

    I’ve a question: how can any Iranian residing in a Western country NOT vote for a candidate pledging to improve relations with that person’s country of residency?

    Advocating policy change within our own Western residencies is one thing, cheerleading a candidate positioning himself at odd with improving relations in a foreign election, quite another matter.

  217. M. Ali says:

    Ghalibaf’s Second Documentary:

    I request Iranians to view the second documentary at this link –

    http://farsnews.com/media.php?nn=13920320001611

    It is now my favorite documentary out of all the ones I have seen (and I don’t think there is many left to be aired). The most important reason for why I think its the best is one of the simplest reasons. Out of all the ones I’ve seen, its technically the best made.

    Some may claim that this is only stylish and not important, but I will strongly defend my point. The reason is that it shows that Ghalibaf knows who to surround himself with, and that is, professionals. I don’t expect Ghalibaf to hold the camera for his documentary, or choose the music, or the lighting, or edit it himself, but he apparently has people who has made the most professional looking documentary that hits all the right spots.

    His second documentary doesn’t have the everyday man complaining about how he can’t buy shoes for his daughter and stuff like that, and instead relies on showing work being done and the future of Iran. I like how he visually compares working with the war, and while it might be cliche by now, it can be effective if its marketed well, like the posters I saw last year in Tehran with a war soldier shaking the hands of a worker.

    Also, Ghalibaf’s anecdote at the end about how he couldn’t hug his brother in the war or kiss his corpse, because since he was a leader, he couldn’t play favoritism, and how hard that choice was, was very effective. I admit it brought a tear to my eye, and even if it was emotionally manipulative, so what, it worked.

  218. Karl says:

    Smith,

    These are (only 22) western or pro-western states polled.

  219. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Many Aref supporters are switching to Rezai not Rohani.

    Many of Aref’s campaign people were complaining that Rohani is not even eslah-talab.

  220. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Pirouz-jan,

    Relations with the US are decided by SL and the only one that can deliver domestically if SL decides to improve ties is Jalili.

    If Ghalibaf becomes pres, his NSC chief will be Saeed Jalili who will be doing the talking. Either way Jalili.

    Rohani is tainted domestically.

  221. nahid says:

    thanks masoud

    masoud says:

    June 11, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Qalibaf might be able to run Tehran, but he can’t run Iran.

    I vote Jalili

    He seems like a smart, organized thinker, who’s comfortable enough to judge an idea by it’s merits, rather than build what looks flashy.

  222. Persian Gulf says:

    ﺁﺩﻡ ﻭﺍﻗﻌﺎ ﺍﺯﮐﺎﺭ ﯾﮑﯽ ﻣﺜﻞ ﻭﻻﯾﺘﯽ ﺗﻌﺠﺐ ﻣﯿﮑﻨﻪ. ﺍﻟﺒﺘﻪ ﺗﻮﻣﻨﻈﺮﻩ ﻫﺎﮔﯿﺞ ﺑﻮﺩﻧﺶ ﻣﺸﺨﺺ ﺷﺪ.ﺩﻧﺒﺎﻝ ﭼﯽ ﻫﺴﺖ ﻣﺸﺨﺺ ﻧﯿﺴﺖ. ﺍﮔﻪ ﻣﺸﺎﻭﺭﻫﺎﯼ ﺭﻫﺒﺮ ﻣﺜﻞ ﺍﯾﻦ ﻫﺴﺘﻨﺪ ﮐﻪ ﻓﺎﺗﺤﻪ ﺍﯾﻦ ﻣﻤﮑﻠﺖ ﺧﻮﻧﺪﺳﺖ. ﺍﯾﻦ ﺁﺩﻡ ۱۶ﺳﺎﻝ ﻭﺯﯾﺮ ﺍﻣﻮﺭ ﺧﺎﺭﺟﻪ ﺑﻮﺩﻩ ﺍﯾﻨﻘﺪﺭ ﻭﺍﻗﻌﯿﺖ ﮔﺮﺍ ﻧﯿﺴﺖ، ﺣﺎﻻ ﺳﺮ ﻗﻮﻟﺶ ﺑﻮﺩﻧﺶ ﺑﺨﻮﺭﻩ ﺗﻮ ﺳﺮﺵ. ﻇﺎﻫﺮﺍ ﺣﻤﺎﻗﺖ نه ﻓﻘﻂ به ﯾﻮﻧﺠﻪ ﺧﻮﺭﺩﻥ ﺍﺳﺖ .

  223. BiBiJon says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    June 12, 2013 at 8:02 am

    “Relations with the US are decided by SL and the only one that can deliver domestically if SL decides to improve ties is Jalili.”

    Wouldn’t it be fairer to say that:

    after hearing proponents of keeping a studied distance from the US/west based on innumerable concrete examples of incurable enmity with Iran, and listening to advocates of better relations based on a few hopey/changey type of intangibles, SL does not even have to add his own personal opinion to the only obvious logical, rational conclusion where the compass heading should be?

  224. M. Ali says:

    Ghalibaf said a good thing in one of his interviews. He said that the foreign policies of US did not change from Bush to Obama, but their approach and perception to the world changed.

    Our policies do not need to change, but we should have a better diplomatic approach to the foreign issue. Of course, no matter who gets elected, the smear campaign against our future president will start. In their campaign, Jalili will be the ultraconservative, religious fanatic to them and Ghalibaf will be the ultraconservative, police thug that hits young kids on the head with his baton. But our talent should be how best do we manage this? Sitting down and complaining that there is a soft war against us is not enough. How do we take the soft war to them?

    “Many Aref supporters are switching to Rezai not Rohani. ”

    While not an exact science, from the few people I talked to, it seems a lot of people who voted Mousavi 4 years back are leaning towards Ghalibaf. They seem to know that Aref and Rowhani don’t have enough support and instead of casting their votes that side, seem to NOT want Jalili, meaning that their votes seem to be heading towards Ghalibaf, which they think would be Jalili’s real opponent.

    At the same time, I’ve also heard from people who are a bit disillusioned with Ahmadenijad and are tying Jalili to him, therefore are voting Ghalibaf.

    However, take all what I said with a huge bag of salt. Not only is talking to a few random people not any real representative of 55 million people, but if there is anything I learned from my countryman its this, 1) They don’t always say what they mean and 2) They could suddenly change in their mind while standing in the polling line of who to vote for.

    “He seems like a smart, organized thinker, who’s comfortable enough to judge an idea by it’s merits, rather than build what looks flashy.”

    Which makes him a good advisor to a manager, not necessary an effective manager himself.

  225. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says:

    June 12, 2013 at 12:12 am

    I think you are not someone who performs “kar-e azad” in Iran.

    I think you must be either working for some other person or working for the governmnet.

    I think that your opinion would be drastically different if you were a businessman (yes, the dreaded capitaist) and were trying to make/earn a living.

    All this mumbo-jumbo about (Economic Justice), Islamic Economics, etc. has hindered efficient development of human and non-human resources in Iran and many other countries.

    Look at what happened (and did not happen) to Dara & Sara – what happened was how far that innovation could be taken in a state-dominated economy and what did not happen – another Barbie & Ken – was also because of that.

    In March an oil tanker was finally delivered to the government 10 years after the order was placed; so you had “Justice” for lazy and inefficient workers and managers while you had “In-Justice” for the other Iranians who had to support and maintain these lazy, incompetent, and inefficient workers and managers in some comfort.

    Put another way, the effort to establish “Justice” now is perpetrating “Injustice” against people who are not even born yet; their patrimony is being gobbled up by a voracious and siri-napazi populace.

  226. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    BibiJon,
    Your point is well taken. I was just pointing out to Pirouz that if his issue is relations with the west/US

    1. It’s not really up to the Pres. it’s up to the SL

    2. If SL decides- for whatever reason- to improve relations- which as you explained is not a logical thing to do given experience- Jalili will be the point man.

    In other words, on the issue that matters to Pirouz- which is not the priority of the SL currently even though Rohani and Velayati want to use it to win- Jalili is still the best choice for Pirouz.

  227. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    M Ali,

    Remember that the majority of people who voted for Khatami also voted for Ahmadinejad.

    Aref might have pulled out to favor Rohani, but many of his supporters are not too enamored with Rohani and find Rezai more “reformist”.

    Whether they are correct in this assessment or not is a different matter.

  228. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    PG,
    Like I said most Velayati supporters I have talked to are thoroughly disgusted by his performance in the debates.

    Also SL said the following this morning, which for me is a clear reference to Velayati:

    خب نظرات اشخاص محترم است. البتّه بنده حرفهايى دارم، در زمينه‌ى مسائلى كه آن آقايان گفتند بنده مطالبى دارم، وقتش حالا نيست؛ ان‌شاءالله بعد از انتخابات اگر من زنده بودم، حقايقى را به ملت ايران عرض خواهم كرد – در پيرامون مطالبى كه آن آقايان محترم بيان كردند، حرفهاى گفتنى‌اى وجود دارد

  229. K... says:

    Canada cant stop hating Iran. Now declare 1988 incidents as a crime against humanity.

    http://rudaw.net/mobile/english/world/10062013‎

  230. Rd. says:

    Pirouz says:

    “I’ve a question: how can any Iranian residing in a Western country NOT vote for a candidate pledging to improve relations with that person’s country of residency?”

    Pirouz, I think your question may be a bit ‘mis-leading’ or as the lagalies may term ‘a leading’ question…

    I think the question is more of Iran’s independence. As for having ‘relations’ with US/west, that interaction is more of a domination than relation. Given the independence, I don’t believe there is any concerns having ‘relations’ with any other country.

  231. Persian Gulf says:

    Fyi

    Well, as you know I live outside of Iran. But I have direct contacts and l imitted involvment.

    I am not an anti-capitalist or against the core of your argument necessarily. I think the main problem is the link between science and technology and the instability of government’s often arbitrary decisions and sometime unneccesary support. I have close friend who could get the loan for his small businness, and I ….., but was squeezed by cheap dollar….

    I also have direct experiences of working in Iran or at least seeing the situation. I could see how a very hard worker (someone that i have yet to see here) is living with below 90 days contract so the business could avoid paying insurance and other benefits. I think if you were in that person’s shoe, you would have thought differently. In Iran that sort of business is often worse than any imperialist system. Iranian way of exploitation i would say. Otherwise I consider myself politically right of the spectrum.

    If those big businesses are inefficient, as you rightly say, it’s also a management fault as well as structural one. When everything is politically motivated, it is not strange to see the system is not working as it should.

  232. Nasser says:

    Found this link on The War Nerd’s twitter. I also didn’t know there were Sunnis converting to Shiism. Very sad

    http://www.hhassan.com/2013/06/rebels-carry-out-setarian-cleansing-in.html

  233. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Are you arguing that Iran should not seek to keep good relations with South Africa?

  234. James Canning says:

    Masoud,

    Japan is not suffering a “disaster” from a gradual decline in the size of the population of the country.

    Many people think Japan will benefit if the population declines by ten or twenty million.

  235. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    What nonsense, that the US “wants to control the oil so it can control the world”. Rubbish. In fact, Obama appears to see the US is not able to determine the outcome of civil war in Syria. And look at Libya.

  236. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    At the end of the First Wold War, George V of England asked Woodrow Wilson to help the British to overthrow the Bolsheviks in Russia. Wilson refused.

    If the US was trying “to control the world”, explain why Wilson refused the English king’s request.

  237. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Have you considered working for AIPAC? You do a good job of pushing their line of propaganda.

  238. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Thanks. You think Iran can build nukes and that Obama has been bluffing when he says simply that the US will not allow Iran to build nukes.

  239. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    That is not accurate.

    There was an expeditionary Ameircan force fighting the Bolsheviks.

    It was defeated and withdrawn.

  240. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    George V wanted Wilson to send the huge American army already in Europe, to St. Petersburg and Moscow.

    The English king “suggested that Wilson march his troops to Russia ‘to protect the country from Bolshevism’, [but] Wilson told him the American army had come to Europe for one purpose only.”

    [Miranda Carter, “George, Nicholas and Wilhelm” 2009]

  241. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    And bear in mind that the German army wanted to fight the Bolsheviks, in 1918-19.

  242. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Do I need to mention I am only too well aware of the failure of the small American expeditionary force sent later on to Russia?

  243. Nasser says:

    fyi says: June 11, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    “The men and women who could solve real problems of a socialist economy died in World War I.”

    – Can you provide more detail please? Who were these men and women?

  244. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Regrettably, I only know of them through hear-say.

    Generally, they were English German, French, and Austro-Hungarians graduates of the public schools, and the gymnasia and the lycees who envisioned a just moral order – a better world under socialistic ideas.

    [Socialism in Europe was a restatement of the Christian idea of Common Wealth – by the way. It was squarely based – albeit implicitly – on the idea of Charity – إحسانin Islam.]

    The flower of their youth coincided with World War I and when the war ended, the entire outlook of the European world had changed – and very many of those idealistic youth were dead and with them died their ideals.

    [On 31 July 1914 the French Right Wing and the French Government assasinated Jean Léon Jaurès who was trying to prevent that war, the muderer acquitted in a “trial” later.

    On the eve of the war, the youth were left with no leaders.]

  245. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 12, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    You could but your selective omissions cast a long shadow on any claim you might have to a commitment to (historical) Truth.

  246. Smith says:

    The level of paranoia unmatched in world history:

    The Japanese slave state, reports to their masters in Washington about Iranians shopping for groceries in Costco stores in Japan: http://qz.com/93876/iran-cant-shop-at-costco-any-more/

  247. Smith says:

    Alternative Putin interview on youtube (RT video server is slow): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33oIF-ggK5U

  248. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Japan is a “slave state”? You ust be kidding.

  249. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What “selective omissions”? I do not write an essay, each time I post a comment.

  250. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Nico claimed the US is trying to control all the world’s oil. I think this claim is preposterous.

    Nico claims the US is trying to control the world. Again, preposterous.

    Surely you do not think the US controls Russian oil and gas.

  251. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    A crucial problem for all of Europe in 1914 was simply that the German constitution did not give the civilian government control of the German army.

  252. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Shouldn’t Toby Mathiesen make clear that most Alawites in Syria do not regard themselves as Shiites?

  253. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    June 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    “You think Iran can build nukes and that Obama has been bluffing when he says simply that the US will not allow Iran to build nukes.”

    James,

    It is not a bluff. As per IAEA annual reports since 2002, US NIEs since November 2007, and Putin as recently as yesterday: http://pda.itar-tass.com/en/c154/768419.html

    “I have no doubts Iran complies with the rules of the game in that [nonproliferation] sphere. I have no evidence that might point to the opposite.”

    So, what is Obama doing, if not bluffing?

    Suppose, knowing that you are not (hopefully) a despicable pervert, in a crowded pub I told you I will punch your lights out next time I find out you beat your wife.

    Surely, even a 3rd-rate propagandist like you can see the correct term is not ‘bluffing.’ Proof: Joe Biden says he’s not bluffing. In other words, even the concept of ‘bluffing’ is a rhetorical ploy to add gravitas to a threat that everyone knows will not materilize short of national suicide.

    Obama is doing two things:

    a) Makes himself relevant by making it appear anyone gives a rat’s arse about his threats.

    b) Attempts to force Iran into a conversation (e.g. ‘what the hell are you ranting about; I’m not making a weapon as you well know’) that, winds up dignifying a ridiculous implied charge of proliferation.

    Now, so much about Obama, what about you? why do you keep talking about ‘x, y, or z will not PERMIT Iran to do a, b, or c, FULL STOP?’

    The answer is that for a poodle’s psyche the master’s bravado is even more important than it is to the master’s own self-esteem.

  254. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    US seeks to realize an analogue of what in military terms is called “area denial” with respect to oil.

    Axis Powers, had they been able to realize that dream, could have applied, selectively, “oil denial” to this or that state.

    Alternatively, they could have bankrupted the Russians.

    That is all.

  255. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Every European leader, statesman, and state bears some responsibility for World War I – as well as the populations of those states.

    The enlightened among the Europeans had no chance; they were consumed in the war of the masses and the leaders of the masses.

    Men are in the State of Fall, 1914-1918 as well as 1939-1945 clearly demonstrated that the Euo-American Man is no exception to that.

    While I do feel sorry for the dead, the injured, the murdereed, the raped, the executed, the starved, I also believe that without those 2 wars, the colonial powers would have continued with their domination of the world keeping all of us on non-White people down indefinitely.

    So may be Jaurès had to be assasinated so that we would be free.

  256. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    All European colonial empires would have come to an end with no world war. Rudyard Kipling in 1897, in commemorating 60 years of Queen Victoria’s reign and its celebration of empire, made clear he could see the end was in sight.

    I doubt you are “non-white”.

  257. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Bismarck created the German constitution in such a way as to give himself virtual supreme power.

    Sadly, no one was capable of doing the job Bismarck created for himself.

    No “fall of man” involved. Chance, and bad luck. And considerable stupidity (on part of the German generals).

  258. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Evidently chance and bad luck has been constant companions of mankind.

    One finds traces of war 9500 years ago in Palestine; nothing seems to have changed except the efficiency of the weapons.

    The best efforts of Man has not been able to result in enduring and universal peace; excepting Switzerland.

  259. Persian Gulf says:

    ﻭﻻﯾﺘﯽ ﻭﺍﻗﻌﺎ ﻧﺎ ﺍﻣﯿﺪ ﮐﻨﻨﺪﺳﺖ . ﻋﻤﻼ ﺩﺍﺭﻩ ﺑﺎﻋﺚ ﺷﮑﺴﺖ ﭼﯿﺰﯼ ﻣﯿﺸﻪ ﮐﻪ ﺍﯾﻨﻬﻤﻪ ﺗﺎﮐﯿﺪ ﮐﺮﺩ. ﺑﺎ ﺩﺍﺷﺘﻦ ﺳﯿﺎﺳﯿﻮﻧﯽ ﺑﺎ ﮐﯿﻔﯿﺖ ﺍﯾﻦ ﺑﯽ ﺧﻮﺩ ﻧﯿﺴﺖ ﻭﺿﻌﯿﺖ ﻣﺎ ﺍﯾﻨﻪ ﺍﻻﻥ. ﻣﻤﻠﮑﺖ ﻗﺤﻂ ﺍﻟﺮﺟﺎﻝ ﺑﻮﺩﻩ ﺍﯾﻦ ﺍﺣﻤﻖ ﻫﺎ ﺑﻪ ﺑﺎﻻﺗﺮﯾﻦ ﻣﻨﺎﺳﺐ ﺣﮑﻮﻣﺘﯽ ﺭﺳﯿﺪﻥ. ﭼﻨﯿﻦ ﺍﺣﻤﻘﯽ ﺑﻪ ﺑﺎﻻﺗﺮﯾﻦ مقام ﺳﯿﺎﺳﯽ کشور
    در مورد ﺟﻬﺘﮕﯿﺮﯾﻪ کلان ﮐﺸﻮﺭ مشاوره ﻣﯿﺪﻩ.

    ﺟﻠﯿﻠﯽ بایست ﺑﻤﻮﻧﻪ وگرنه بخشی از رایش ﻣﻤﮑﻨﻪ ﺑﺮﻩ ﺍﻭﻧﻮﺭ. ﻭﻟﯽ ﻣﻮﻧﺪﻥ ﻭﻻﯾﺘﯽ ﻣﺨﺼﻮﺻﺎ ﺍﻻﻥ ﮐﻪ ﻣﯿﺪﻭﻧﻪ ﺳﻮﻡ ﻭ ﯾﺎ ﺣﺘﯽ ﭼﻬﺎﺭﻡ ﻫﻢ ﻣﻤﮑﻨﻪ ﻧﺸﻪ ﯾﻪ ﺟﻮﺭ ﺧﻮﺩﺧﻮﺍﻫﯽ ﻭ ﺣﻤﺎﻗﺖ ﺳﯿﺎﺳﯽ ﻫﺴﺖ.

  260. BiBiJon says:

    Nasser says:
    June 13, 2013 at 2:27 am

    “Hope India learns something. Not likely …”

    India will be fine as soon as they realize they’re not alone …

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/13/nsa-revelations-chinese-media

  261. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    For the record:

    Seda o Sima did not even mention the massive rally Jalili had yesterday in the center of Tehran in its 9 o’clock news. Total bulls…

  262. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    This is what the mother of Shahid Ahmadi Roshan- one of the nuclear scientist that was martyred- had to say in the rally yesterday:

    مادر شهيد احمدي روشن: جنگ ما با ابرقدرت‌ها جنگ نان نيست، جنگ شرف و آزادگي است

  263. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    June 13, 2013 at 2:27 am
    “Hope India learns something. Not likely …”

    Dont know about India. But Iran’s situation is much worse than that of India’s. The number of intercepts per electronically active person shows that an average Iranian is some 50 times worse than an average Indian.

  264. nico says:

    James Canning,

    I never said that zionists have no influence.
    You as many others think that zionism is the number 1 reason.
    What I try to convey is that should the Apartheid issue be solved, the western hegemony would not cease.
    And that is clearly because of oil interests as well as an ideological confrontation.
    Truly a civilizational war to impose atheist way of life and the individual being the center of the universe against all that is sacred.
    The western civilization used to free the individual.
    But at the current state of its evolution, the western civilization is truly transforming individuals into objects and goods to be traded with no limit in term of social degeneration.

    http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/syria-israel-is-losing-the-battle.html

    “It is far from being a secret that both British and French government are dominated by the Jewish Lobby. In Britain it is the ultra Zionist CFI (Conservative Friends of Israel) – apparently 80% of  Britain’s conservative MPs are members of the pro Israeli Lobby. In France the situation is even more devastating, the entire political system is hijacked by the forceful CRIF.”

    “Debka is correct to suggest that instead of “growing weaker, Iran’s Lebanese proxy is poised to open another warfront and force the IDF to adapt to a new military challenge from the Syrian Golan.”
    Rather than The Gurdian or the Le Monde, it is actually the  Israeli Debka that helps us to grasp why Britain and France are so  desperate to intervene. Once again, it is a Zionist war which they are so eager to fight.”

  265. Nasser says:

    BiBiJon, Smith

    Ambassador Bhadrakumar has been saying for a long time that Delhi shouldn’t place too much faith in Washington and become overly dependent on it (He advocated mending ties with Iran for example). India’s elites apparently paid no mind to such warnings as they thought their servile attitude might grant them acceptance as a junior partner to The Empire. Now the good ambassador has some proof that his warnings were sound. But still, chances are that India is too far gone and his views still won’t gain much acceptance among that country’s elites. That is all.

  266. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I do not see the Israel/Palestine problem as one of “apartheid”. Instead, I see the problem simply as the refusal of Israel to pull its troops etc out of the occupied West Bank.

    “Zionist” in itself is a vague term. Zionist-expansionists are the core problem, in my view. Meaning, “supporters” of Israel who want to change the borders of Palestine to steal more land and water.

  267. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    More than half of Iraqi oil is bought by China. Do you see that as a problem?

    China some months buys more Saudi oil than any other country. Is that a problem, in your view?

  268. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Competition and conflict of one sort or another are just the nature of the beast. Object must be to lessen chances of needless conflicts, wars etc.

    A clearer understanding of the reasons past conflicts erupted is an absolutely essential goal for anyone hoping to understand global politics.

  269. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The catastrophe of the First World War was direct result of DELUSION on part of German generals, especially the Prussian General Staff. They thought Germany was increasingly “threatened” by Russia and needed to inflict damage on Russia as soon as possible.

  270. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    To be clear: You think Iran should forego having great economic power, like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, etc., and instead try to build nukes to threaten the Saudis and other Gulf monarchies. Fair statement?