Conservative Media Foreshadowed Guardian Council’s Decision to Bar Rafsanjani

The Guardian Council’s disqualification of former president and current head of Iran’s Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from the presidential race quickly became some of the biggest news of the election process. While it surprised some, over the past few weeks, the way Rafsanjani was portrayed by media agencies affiliated with the Supreme Leader can be seen as a harbinger of the Guardian Council’s decision.

The IRIB and Ahmadinejad: Coverage and criticism

With ongoing public disagreements between Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the President has increasingly distanced himself from the Supreme Leader’s ruling faction with only a month left until the end of his term. His relentless endorsement of his Chief of Staff and relative Rahim Mashaei for the 2013 Presidency, and Mashaei’s subsequent disqualification during the Guardian Council vetting process, is evidence of this schism, as is the IRIB’s recent programming policies toward the President.

The Political Affiliations of Iranian Newspapers

The complexities of the Iranian media ecosystem become most apparent during the election season when the heightened political climate leads to intensified scrutiny to and reliance on print media. In the absence of political parties, the press serves as a valuable tool during election campaigns, and this report highlights the shifting allegiances in national publications with a focus on politics, economics, and society. Newspapers are divided by faction (Pro-government Conservative, Traditional Conservative, Critical-of-the-Government Conservative, Affiliated with Reformists, and Reformist).

Cartoon Roundup: May 21st

This week's cartoon roundup focuses on tension surrounding the upcoming election, failing pharmacies, and redlines of media coverage.

Facebook, Twitter, and Protests: 2009 and 2013

Facebook and Twitter became powerful tools for information and communication during 2009 post-election unrest. Iranians used social media both for information and communication, to organize and share the location of rallies, and for strategic planning during unrest. The fast transmission and circulation of tweets, along with the inability to control their content, remain Iranian officials’ chief concerns approaching the upcoming elections.

Throttling Internet Access

ASL 19 analyzes the current state of Internet access in Iran as anti-filtering programs are disabled and Internet speeds continue to decrease.

Cartoon Roundup: May 6th

This week's cartoon roundup focuses on critiquing the Central Bank of Iran, President Ahmadinejad, and the current economic climate.

The Political Evolution of the Iranian Internet

Iranians increasingly rely on the Internet for information and as a forum for dialogue within a political structure where free and open debate is often stifled. IMP and ASL 19 analyze the history of the Internet in Iran and the emerging politics of its use as a surrogate public sphere.