Ali Khamenei

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Mired Iran Nuke Talks Going to Overtime

Sticking points remain on sanctions, uranium before final June deadline

(Newser) - With a midnight deadline looming, Iran and the six nations it's conferring with in Switzerland have reached a deal—to continue talks for a deal on Tehran's hotly contested nuke program. The nations are expected to release a joint statement today announcing they'll enter a "new... More »

Ahmadinejad Allies Busted for Sorcery

Genies, 'Hidden Imam,' and US outreach raising tensions in Iran

(Newser) - The power struggle between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is getting more intense—and a lot weirder. Several people close to Ahmadinejad and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being magicians and summoning genies, reports... More »

Iran to Gaza Aid Ships: We'll Escort You

Khamenei's offer will obviously not go over well in Israel

(Newser) - If aid ships want to try breaking Israel's naval blockade on Gaza again, they'll have the full force and military escort of Iran's Revolutionary Guard to do it, a spokesman for the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said today. "Iran's Revolutionary Guards naval forces are fully prepared to escort the... More »

Ahmadinejad Defies Ayatollah, Refuses to Sack Vice Prez

In-law stays despite pro-Israel comments

(Newser) - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has defied a direct order from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to dismiss his vice president, opening a rift between Iran's president and supreme leader, reports the Los Angeles Times. Ahmadinejad's newly chosen VP, who is his son's father-in-law, has infuriated hardliners by making favorable remarks about Israel. But Ahmadinejad... More »

Iran Hardliner Calls Mousavi a US Puppet, Demands Trial

(Newser) - Mir Hossein Mousavi should stand trial for his “terrible crimes,” a hardline newspaper editor wrote today. The editor, who Reuters reports has close ties to Ayatollah Khamenei, accused the opposition candidate of fostering post-election dissent at America’s behest. “An open court, in front of the people's... More »

Obama Sent Letter to Iran Before Election

Proposed cooperation, improved relations to ayatollah in May

(Newser) - A little more than a month before Iran’s disputed election, the Obama administration sent a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei proposing improved bilateral relations and a resolution to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, the Washington Times reports. Khamenei mentioned the letter in a lengthy sermon last week, amid... More »

Khamenei: We Won't Yield 'At Any Cost'

(Newser) - Ayatollah Khamenei ruled out political compromise today, telling parliament that Tehran would not “yield to pressure at any cost,” the New York Times reports. “I insisted and will insist on implementing the law on the election issue,” he said. He spoke after Mohsen Rezai, one of... More »

Mousavi Silenced by 24-Hour Secret Police Guard

Opposition candidate prevented from speaking freely to supporters

(Newser) - Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi is constantly surrounded by guards and secret police and can no longer speak freely to supporters, protest spokesman Mohsen Makhmalbaf tells the Independent. Makhmalbaf, one of Iran's leading film directors, says Mousavi's lines of communications have been cut or confiscated. More »

Iran Finds Fraud But Calls Election Clean Enough

(Newser) - An eerie silence descended on Tehran early today as Iranian officials admitted to discrepancies in the controversial presidential election, but still declared it legal. More votes were cast in 50 cities than the number of registered voters, officials concluded. But authorities said the discrepancy, which affects some 3 million votes,... More »

Iran Releases 4 Family Members of Former Prez

(Newser) - Iran is calm but tense today as police freed four family members of a former president and important Iranian cleric, the Los Angeles Times reports. But the oldest daughter of Hashemi Rafsanjani, a key backer of challenger Mir-Hossein Mousavi, was not released by authorities in Tehran. Five members of Rafsanjani's... More »

Silver: How Do You Rig 11M Votes? Easily

Ayatollah's argument against the possibility of vote fraud doesn't hold water

(Newser) - Nate Silver has a bone to pick with the ayatollah. In his attempt yesterday to quash claims of voter fraud, Ali Khamenei asserted that President Ahmadinejad had won by 11 million votes. "How can one rig 11 million votes?" he asked. That's faulty logic, cries Silver on FiveThirtyEight.com.... More »

4 Possible Outcomes for Iran

Could we see a new revolution—or the next Tiananmen?

(Newser) - Iran’s election aftermath seems to have come as a surprise to its key figures. With protesters showing no sign of relenting, Tony Karon of Time offers four possible conclusions:
  • A repeat of the 1979 revolution. But that’s unlikely, because “an unarmed popular movement can only topple an
... More »

Ayatollah Authority Undercut by Flip-Flop

Protests are weakening Khamenei's grip on Iranian regime

(Newser) - The about-face done by Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—first blessing the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Friday's election then opening an inquiry into vote fraud yesterday—was a rare misstep for the shadowy, usually cautious ayatollah, the New York Times reports, and may have done substantial damage to his reputation,... More »

Iran's Power Structure Baffles

Clergy, bureaucrats, assorted elites wrestle for control

(Newser) - Since Iran’s autocratic shah fell in 1979, the question “Who runs Iran?” has stumped Western analysts. “Who doesn’t?” may be easier to grasp, reports the Los Angeles Times. Iran’s government has morphed into a free-for-all that includes the Shiite Muslim clergy, an entrenched bureaucracy, and... More »

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