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04 March 2016


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"I think Turkey is more advanced than Iran in this respect as well as in toleration for political opposition."
Really Babak? I am not sure Turkey is a role model I would be recommending and if they are behind they seem to be catching up fast.


Yes that was a very good article from the frontlines in Syria. A great recommendation.


This is his second term in assembly of experts if not his third.



So now he presumably has a lot more allies in the AofE? pl


Colonel LANG, I think so,although since there are no real traditional party politics like in here, anybody is claiming one person or another is in his (favored)list without any approval or alligence of the indvadual named being asked or requested, so it's hard to know how one will vote or how many allies one has in each assembly. Unlike Babak I am not sure if he will becomes the next leader since I believe the military security establishment has a big say, but as important inside the Iranian and regional clerical society,who becomes the next leader will have to have the suport of major Shia ayatollahs who are not mostly (necessarily) members of AoE or even Iranian.


thanks, khc, hilarious:

"But seen in a "western" context the "reformers" are cultural more liberals but economically on the "right" in "western" nomenclature while some of the cultural conservative "hardliners" are actually socialists."

Babak Makkinejad

The Guardian Council is applying the Election Law that the Second Majlis passed in order to exclude the more Europeanized Iranians from standing for elections and getting elected.

Khatami tried to reverse it in 1999 but was quashed in that effort by Ayatollah Khamenei.

Babak Makkinejad

Yes I think so.

In Turkey, you have a diversity of opinions that are being heard, they are not silenced.

In Turkey, you have these parties that represent different political agenda within the structures of the Turkish Constituting and they are fielding candidates and getting elected - even in the situation of near war in the Eastern provinces with Kurds.

I think almost 70 years of garrison republicanism has achieved something positive in Turkey.

Babak Makkinejad

This is good too:


Lord Curzon


I'm not an economic determinist, however, would be wary of sifting this vote of confidence for Rouhani by the Iranian electorate for anything more than a desire to put the country on a path to exploring global economic opportunities, much more than dialogue with the West.

This analysis on the elections on LobeLog by Farideh Farhi is the best I've found:



Colonel as I am sure you know, in Shia Islam true grand ayatollahs direct the agenda/direction of the politics for the society (platform). In reality there are no grand ayatollahs in AoE since GA are so accepted that they are even above that level, it's really hard to make it to the GA level, a level that one Indvadual can make the direction for a large group of fallowers without being formally voted to do so( think of ayatollah Sistani, or Khomenie). I believe is true that ayatollah Khamenie the current SL has made it to the rank of GA but I believe at time that he was elected to the SL of revolution position he wouldn't have had a chance without alligence of military and suport of the major at the time GA,likes of GAs Arki and Behjat. So IMO one would need more than the vote from inside the AoE to survive the balancing act that SL is tasked to do. As far as I have read most Iranians inside Iran including members of Rouhani team think ayatollah Khamenie has done a good job steering Iran' ship through last stormy 25 years.


IMO, this, that President Rouhani is the architect of nuclear negotiation is a western myth or more correctly an American justification for domestic consumption. Nuclear negotiations started 6 months before Mr. Rouhani becomes president and Mr. Zarif becomes FM. American' request through Aman was given to SL by then FM under president Ahmadinijad by Dr. Salahi who's the current head of nuclear organization. IMO both US, and Iran did the right think, I was told by someone who knew that major success of Iranian nuclear program was to force Americans come to table for serious negotiation.


SmoothieX12 and Walter,
Here is a link on the situation in Greece: http://tinyurl.com/z3hahwc

Many of these folks are not from Syria but from Afghanistan or are deemed economic refugees, and countries to the north refuse to let them pass through (especially Macedonia, which the Greeks refer to by the acronym created from the first letters of this, Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia to counter any irridentist claims). Austria is also blocking entry by many. Here is a bit of the article that describes the situation here:
"According to data from the Refugee Crisis Coordinating Center, on Thursday morning 2,501 people were hosted in four hotspots, 8,647 stayed in the four open hospitality structures (Schisto, Diavata, Nea Kavala and Cherso), 720 at Elaionas, and 5,290 in the three areas of Ellinikon former airport. In Idomeni it is estimated that there are 10,000 people and 1,800 at Piraeus Port. Also, 490 refugees are hosted in hotels leased by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at Thermopylae and the Smokovo Baths of Karditsa.

"On Thursday, landscaping to create a refugee accommodation center on the runway of a former army airport at Giannitsa has started. The camp is expected to have 500 tents and host 4,000 people. Also, work continues for the full configuration of the spaces in the hot spot of Moria (construction of the fourth registration station), Samos (installation of hatches) and Kos (infrastructure construction work is ongoing). In the centers of Diavata the second phase of works is ongoing, while at Elaionas excavation works have started to make an extension to the existing facility.

"320 refugees crossed the Greek-FYROM buffer zone in 24 hours
A total of 320 refugees crossed the Greek-FYROM buffer zone over the last 24 hours.
"More than 10,000 refugees have been stranded in the area in rather difficult conditions after Thursday’s rainstorm. The buffer zone is now closed again."

Turkey has agreed to take some measures to stem the flow after being offered EU money last month, but the negotiations are still ongoing.

The EU is still largely an aspiration and not a reality due to its size, cultural differences and the differences between different geographic locations. Greece has a huge coastline and ongoing issues with Turkey despite both being members of NATO. I could go on for pages, but this is already too long. Do a search for the current situation n Greece, the politics, the current EU situation and other terms of interest to you.


There is no doubt that this election has given the reformists in Iran a boost to implement a more balanced policy, but do not undermine the power of the revolutionary guards and their minions. A more open society lowers the chance of corrupt officials to conduct their business. Iran's economy has a long way to go to create jobs for millions of its populations.

rakesh wahi

it is possible that Turkey is going through normal ebb and flow

Mark Pyruz

The Iranians' possess a participatory political system. It is more dynamic than Western MSM perspectives generally admit to on a consistent basis.

Essentially, in parliamentary elections, the Iranian electorate has swung conservative when it appeared the country would be attacked by the U.S., and now in this latest election has voted more centrist with the lessening of tensions with the U.S.

However this election result does not signal a decisive shift away from what Iran considers its strategic interests in the region. A strong popular majority inside the country continue to support the war against Jihadists, and also to support regional players they deemed victims of an unjust overarching security order, such as Houthis and Palestinians.

Something to look for in the future: Polling places have been set up here in the U.S. for the past two Iranian presidential elections, for Iranians residing in the U.S. to vote for president of Iran. Were a Republican to win the White House this November, I think it very unlikely this will be allowed for the next Iranian presidential election that's be held in Spring 2017.


There has been for many years large-scale production of domestic versions of the Peugeot 405- an excellent machine according to my serial 405-owning brother. See the Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peugeot_Pars

They are by far the most common vehicle in Iran.

Peugeot France may be able to do some deals on joint ventures and new models, but it's unlikely to be a bonanza for them- the Iranians are too canny for that.


I agree that the young democrat may rather stay home then voting for HRC, in that case if the race is between C & T, the only other option is to demonize Trump as un-presidential and not fit for the job. Unfortunately as seen last night in the debate,Trump could have a lot of negatives (like the university case) that still has not been brought up and can be used against him by HRC in general election.


Mark during last 4 Iranian presidential elections (Khatami, Ahmadinijad twice and Rouhani) for fact there was polling places here in downtown LA, that is during Clinton, Bush and Obama, why would a new republican president wouldn't allow that to happen in 2017?


That was b., not me. But the logic does stand on its own: it gets hilarious when people try to insist on viewing politics that they don't understand using criteria and definitions that don't make any sense....

dilbert dogbert

Is this not a silencing?


As a matter of fact, the Revolutionary Guard and Basij volunteer forces became more powerful towards the end of the war as opposed to the clergy. Guns speak louder than the turbans. And I am speaking of personal experience. The court system is telling. There are the secular courts, the religious courts and the revolutionary courts but at the end of the day, if there is a judgement against a Revolutionary Guard fraction, the one who decides what is going to be carried out is the same Revolutionary Guard (with their internal fractional rivalries)


I would like to add that Northern and Western Tehran is not the whole of Tehran neither. Those two areas are as much New York as Manhattan is.


I have the impression that the Iranian system is more based on clientelism, meaning that you have to get things done through the government and support your representative to get those things done. The input on foreign affairs and security of the average member of parliament is basically ZERO. You can really compare it with National Security Council and Politburo determining the macro-strategy while the average congressman takes care of it's own re-election by spreading favors.


I hope Iranians don't model their system to the discriminatory Turkish model with suppression of Kurds and extermination of Armenians as examples of their extreme outgrowth. Obviously their model allowed for Liver-Eater Party in Syria and probably terminated any chance of them getting into E.U.

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