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Iran's Election Crisis

iran_woman_thm.jpgIt's the biggest political upheaval Iran has seen in the three decades since the revolution. The country's disputed presidential election, the massive protests that followed, and the crackdown that seems to have ended them are documented here in a series of As It Happens interviews.
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Photo by Hamed Saber

(Originally aired in June/July/September 2009)

 June 10/09

Iran's presidential election is only days away. Rallies for moderate candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi are taking place in cities all over Iran. Iranian journalist Saeed Kamali Dahghan speaks to us from the streets of Isfahan.

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 (runs: 6:50)


June 11/09

On the eve of the vote, Iranian academic and ex-pat Farideh Farhi details the political showdown between incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his rivals -- and predicts a win for Mousavi.

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 (runs: 7:54)


June 15/09

Protests are underway against the massive landslide victory that authorities have declared for Ahmadinejad. A police crackdown follows. Several people are killed. Saeed Kamali Dahghan reports from Tehran.

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 (runs: 6:40)


June 16/09

Protests continue and grow. Iran's Guardian Council says the election will be partially reviewed. Abbas Abdi, a spokesperson for reform candidate Mehdi Karroubi, explains why Karroubi and Mousavi want a new election.

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 (runs: 9:11)


June 18/09

Another silent vigil in Tehran for the dead. Hundreds of people have been jailed. Hadi Ghaemi of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has been tracking those caught up in the crackdown.

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 (runs: 8:12)


June 19/09

At Friday prayers, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backs Ahmadinejad's victory and demands that the protests stop. Kourosh Zaim, a political activist in Tehran, says he and others will not back down.

We learn almost two weeks later that he was arrested two days after our interview.

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 (runs: 6:58)


June 22/09

Security forces become more heavy-handed. Over the weekend, at least ten people are killed, including Neda Agha-Soltan. Her death is captured on video and distributed worldwide. We speak with Victoria Tahmasebi, a Toronto professor who has just returned from Tehran.

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 (runs: 7:57)


June 23/09

The Guardian Council says the presidential election results will not be annulled. Ali Ansari, who analyzed the polling figures for the British think tank Chatham House, says Ahmadinejad's landslide is highly improbable.

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 (runs: 6:06)


June 24/09

Protests have been largely broken up by security forces. A young woman named Farzaneh in Tehran explains why she and others can no longer demonstrate - but continue to have hope.

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 (runs: 7:56)


June 25/09

Seventy professors meet with Mousavi - and are then detained. Hadi Ghaemi of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran explains how the arrests of dozens of political activists have left Mousavi isolated.

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 (runs: 7:40)


June 26/09

Hardliners seem to have gained the upper hand, as conservative cleric Ahmad Khatami calls for the execution of "rioters." Protests have almost disappeared. Anoush Ehteshami of Durham University in England explains the political options that remain for the opposition.

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 (runs: 10:43)


June 30/09

The Guardian newspaper in Britain begins an on-line effort to put names and faces to those who have been killed or jailed in Iran - including political activist Kourosh Zaim. The paper's Simon Jeffrey explains.

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 (runs: 7:44)


July 6, 2009


A group of moderate clerics calls the re-election of Ahmadinejad illegitimate. Stanford Univesity's Abbas Milani says the move is a significant challenge to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

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 (runs: 6:23)


July 8, 2009


British-Greek journalist Iason Athanasiadis - one of dozens of reporters jailed in Iran's security crackdown -- is now free, after spending 19 days in Evin prison. He speaks to As It Happens from his parents home in Greece.

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 (runs: 7:20)


July 9, 2009


Protesters return to the streets of Tehran today to mark the 10th anniversary of a crackdown on student demonstrations. Bahman Kalbasi, one of the students jailed in 1999, remembers that time and compares it to the current crisis.

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 (runs: 7:25)


July 16, 2009


More than 100 journalists sign a petition demanding the release of their Canadian colleague, Maziar Bahari, who has been imprisoned for weeks. His friend Jacki Lyden explains.

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 (runs: 7:04)


July 28, 2009


Iran's supreme leader orders Kahrizak detention centre closed. But Hadi Ghaemi of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says political prisoners still languish in other jails.

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 (runs: 6:22)


July 30, 2009


Thousands of protestors gather in Tehran to mourn the death of Neda Agha-Soltan and others who were killed during the post-election crisis. Iranian journalist Saeed Kamali Dahghan was there.

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 (runs: 8:09)


September 3, 2009


As Iran begins to confirm its Cabinet, Universities in the country worry about their future. Iranian scholar Mehrzad Boroujerdi explains why the study of social and politic sciences may be up for review in the country.

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 (runs: 12:02)


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