NewsSpecial WireIran election digest

Iran election digest

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Jun. 21 – Action will be taken against SMS advertisers
Pro-Rafsanjani website says Supreme Leader prays for election frontrunner
Khatami implicitly backs Rafsanjani
Interior Ministry warns of further vote-rigging
Daily suspended indefinitely
Defeated conservative candidate backs Rafsanjani
Yazd election chief resigns to campaign on behalf of Rafsanjani Iran Focus

Tehran, Jun. 21

Action will be taken against SMS advertisers

Iran’s hard-line judiciary threatened yesterday to take action against people sending mobile phone text messages (SMS) that negatively advertised candidates in Friday’s run-off presidential elections.
There have been numerous reports of SMS messages in Tehran which insulted or demonized ultra-conservative contender Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Given the great volume of such messages, which are being systematically distributed, there has been a growing suspicion that it may be the work of individuals who are part of the campaign team of frontrunner Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, according to state-run news agencies.

Pro-Rafsanjani website says Supreme Leader prays for election frontrunner

Persian-language Baztab website, run by former President Rafsanjani’s protégé, Mohsen Rezai, ran an article today saying that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated at the end of Rafsanjani’s last term as president that he prayed for the cleric on a daily basis and would continue to do so.
Baztab quoted Khamenei as having said that Rafsanjani had brought prosperity to the country during his tenure as President.

Khatami implicitly backs Rafsanjani

Incumbent President Mohammad Khatami today implicitly backed Rafsanjani for the presidential run-off.
“I call upon people to participate en mass, including those who did not participate in the first round”, Khatami said in a statement announced on television, adding that the country must be in the hands of “those who will sincerely defend freedom”.
He called on people to vote for “moderation”.
Despite his sinister past record, Rafsanjani is presently playing the card of moderate conservative to win support from Iran’s youths.

Interior Ministry warns of further vote-rigging

There is a far greater danger that there will be more mass vote-rigging in the election run-off than there was in the first round of the elections, the Iranian Interior Ministry announced today despite the Guardian Council having vindicated themselves of fraud or corruption.
“They might do it again and even stronger this time”, the ministry’s spokesman, Jahanbakhsh Khanjani, said, adding that certain individuals were willing to do “anything” to change election results “in order to stay in power”.

Daily suspended indefinitely

The daily Eqbal has been suspended indefinitely by Tehran’s Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor for carrying the text of a letter by defeated presidential hopeful Mehdi Karroubi to the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, charging that Friday’s first-round elections were rigged.
Yesterday, Eqbal along with three other dailies, Aftab-e Yazd, Hayat-e No, and Ettemad, were banned from publishing or distributing, on the orders of Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi.
The daily Eqbal is the paper of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, run by Mohammad Reza Khatami, the brother of outgoing President Khatami.

Defeated conservative candidate backs Rafsanjani

Defeated conservative candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf urged Iranians to support “moderation to avoid extremism” in a statement on his internet site.
Until his election candidacy, Qalibaf was the commander of the State Security Forces prior to which he served as the Revolutionary Guards’ Air Force chief.
His supporters announced in a separate statement that they would be voting with the slogan “No to Ahmadinejad”.

Yazd election chief resigns to campaign on behalf of Rafsanjani

The deputy head of the Election Council of Yazd (central Iran) resigned to take part as an official in Rafsanjani’s campaign team instead.
The decision by Fatemeh Abbasgholizadeh has raised doubts about the impartiality of the council during the first-round of the elections held last Friday.

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