Monthly archives: May, 2012

Iran Election Watch 2012: Larijani elected speaker as the dynamics of the new Majlis emerge

Iran Election Watch 2012: Larijani elected speaker as the dynamics of the new Majlis emerge

The Ninth Majlis (or Islamic Consultative Assembly), Iran’s legislature elected in the March 2012 vote, held their inaugural session on Sunday 27 May 2012. The session, which was attended by the Islamic Republic’s most senior officials including the representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Ali Akbar…



Motahari raises furor by accusing the IRGC of “interfering in politics”

This past week, Majlis representative Ali Motahari spoke out about what he perceived as the undue influence of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the 2012 Majlis election: “The interference of the IRGC in many of the election centres came in the form of serious support for candidates which were to its liking. Many…



International sanctions help Iran’s armed forces conquer the oil industry

As sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran intensify, domestic companies are increasingly taking on the responsibility to develop and manage Iran’s vast oil and natural gas resources. But these are not just any companies: They are the associates of the Iranian military. On Wednesday 23 May 2012 the oil ministry, led by Major General…



Iran Cyber Front: Islamic Republic warns Google over renaming the Persian Gulf

Amid rising tensions in the region between the Islamic Republic and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to the disputed island of Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf, the Iranian government has now threatened to take action against Google for renaming the body of water that separates the Iranian plateau and…



Saudi “union” with Bahrain? Iran reacts.

A number of the Islamic Republic’s most senior political officials have recently lashed out against the Saudi and Bahraini government’s after discussions of a possible “union” between the two Arab Gulf monarchies. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a group of six Arab Gulf monarchies founded in 1981, met recently to discuss a number of pressing…



Tavakoli: Government’s subsidy plan “terrifying”, “crippling” for Iranian people

In a recent piece entitled “Report to the people: What happened during the passing of the second phase of the targeted subsidy plan” on the centre-right Alef website Ahmad Tavakoli, head of the Majlis Research Center, delivered a scathing analysis of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s economic policies as well as the impact of economic sanctions on…



Shahin Najafi’s “Salman Rushdi” moment?

According to numerous hardline media outlets inside Iran, a senior clergyman in Qom has declared Iranian poet, singer, and songwriter Shahin Najafi an apostate, a charge which potentially carries the death sentence. Fars News Agency has reported that Grand Ayatollah Saafi Golpayegani has declared Shahin Najafi an “apostate” after the release of his latest track…



Iran Election Watch 2012: Main Principalist groups emerge with weak majority

The results of the runoff vote for the 2012 Iranian parliamentary elections are in, and despite a high level of organization and strong campaigning by the two leading Principalist groups no strong majority has emerged. As previously reported on IranPolitik, the first round of voting for the Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majlis, Iran’s legislature, was…



Iran Election Watch 2012: Runoff election held

On Friday 04 May 2012 Iranians returned to the polls for runoff elections after the first round of voting only managed to fill 225 out of the 290 seats in the Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majlis, Iran’s legislature. A minimum of a quarter of first-round ballots cast for an electoral district are required for a…



At a “historic turning point”, Iranian politics appears to be descending into turmoil

Relations between the three branches of the Iran’s government, the executive, legislature, and judiciary, appear to have further degenerated after a meeting between them this past Sunday revealed deep fissures and antagonisms. The heads of the three branches of government, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, and Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, met…