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June 11, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Alexandra Sandels
TEHRAN -- Leading reformist candidate Mohammad Reza Aref announced Tuesday that he was dropping out of the race to be Iran's next president , leaving centrist Hassan Rowhani as the sole moderate-leaning candidate in Friday's election. There had been earlier calls for Aref, a former vice president, to step aside to strengthen Rowhani's chances. Aref said former President Mohammad Khatami, a reformist, had urged him to withdraw.   Rowhani, 65, who previously headed Iran's nuclear negotiating team, is the only cleric among the eight presidential candidates vetted by the powerful Guardian Council.
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WORLD
April 27, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
Nine months after taking office, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani finds himself under pressure from both his reformist supporters and hard-line conservatives as efforts to spur political change and economic progress have stumbled. Rouhani has faced a backlash in recent weeks from the very base that helped get him elected, which now sees a lack of movement to bolster personal liberties or free political prisoners. Meanwhile, both reformists and hard-liners are increasingly frustrated over economic woes.
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WORLD
February 20, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Patrick J. McDonnell
TEHRAN -- A reformist-oriented daily Iranian newspaper has been shut down and its manager jailed after the publication was accused of insulting Islam, various media accounts reported Thursday. The incident raises questions about pledges to ease press restrictions from President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate who took office in August. The Aseman, or Sky newspaper, which was pro-Rouhani in outlook, was closed for "spreading lies and insulting the holy precepts of Islam,” said the official Islamic Republic News Agency, quoting a source in the public prosecutor's office.
WORLD
February 20, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Patrick J. McDonnell
TEHRAN -- A reformist-oriented daily Iranian newspaper has been shut down and its manager jailed after the publication was accused of insulting Islam, various media accounts reported Thursday. The incident raises questions about pledges to ease press restrictions from President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate who took office in August. The Aseman, or Sky newspaper, which was pro-Rouhani in outlook, was closed for "spreading lies and insulting the holy precepts of Islam,” said the official Islamic Republic News Agency, quoting a source in the public prosecutor's office.
WORLD
March 2, 2011 | By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
He was for years Libya's greatest hope for a peaceful, orderly transition away from his erratic father's autocratic rule. As such, the seemingly open-minded son of Col. Moammar Kadafi was feted by world leaders and greeted with approval by international human rights groups and even some opposition activists as a beacon of reform in a politically ossified North Africa. Now Seif Islam Kadafi, 38, is hunkered down in a besieged capital, shorn of his reformist mantle and taking a front-and-center role in organizing his family's defiant attempt to survive a revolt that has left rebels in control of large swaths of the desert nation.
WORLD
September 2, 2010 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Alexandra Sandels, Los Angeles Times
Iranian security forces patrolled central Tehran on Thursday and the home of a reformist leader reportedly remained under siege by pro-government militiamen in what appeared to be attempts to intimidate the political opposition ahead of rallies planned for Friday. Riot police lined the streets near Enghelab Square and around Tehran University in the morning hours ahead of Friday's gatherings to mark Quds Day, an annual event in support of the Palestinian struggle against Israel that the government fears will draw opposition supporters to the streets.
WORLD
June 15, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
TEHRAN - The stunning landslide election of Hassan Rowhani as Iran's next president highlighted a deep frustration among many Iranians about the direction of their country, especially an economy marred by skyrocketing prices, stagnant salaries and dwindling job opportunities. In explaining their vote for Rowhani, many spoke of change. They alluded not to hot-button international issues such as Iran's contentious nuclear program or its die-hard support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, but to the slumping economy that has been especially unforgiving on the young, among whom the unemployment rate reportedly tops 40%. "People want a change in the economic situation," said Saman Hasani, 26, an engineering student who was among many people honking car horns on the streets of Tehran on Saturday evening after the Interior Ministry confirmed Rowhani's victory.
WORLD
August 23, 2009 | Borzou Daragahi
An Iranian lawmaker vowed today to examine allegations that dozens of unidentified people killed in the recent post-election unrest were secretly buried in the country's largest cemetery last month. The reformist website Norooznews.org on Friday cited an unnamed employee of the capital's Behesht Zahra cemetery as saying that 44 unidentified corpses were buried under heavy security July 12 and 15. Majid Nasirpour, a reformist lawmaker who serves on parliament's Social Affairs Committee, filed a request for an inquiry into the mass burial allegation, the website Parlemannews.
WORLD
July 1, 2009 | Borzou Daragahi
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his controversial reelection affirmed by clerical allies a day earlier, on Tuesday hailed his victory as a triumph for the nation as opponents continued to question the legitimacy of the vote. The hard-line president blamed unspecified "conspiracies" and Iran's "enemies" for the recent turmoil over the election, which led to a severe crackdown in which dozens of Iranians were killed and hundreds jailed.
WORLD
July 6, 2009 | Borzou Daragahi
The top figure of Iran's nascent political reform movement, opposition presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, will launch a political party to pursue his goals, a reformist newspaper reported Sunday. Iranian officials, meanwhile, released a jailed European journalist and the lawyer of an imprisoned employee of the British Embassy in Tehran said he was confident that his client's case would be resolved.
WORLD
December 23, 2013 | By Laura King
CAIRO -- Under Egypt's military-backed government, even some distinguished jurists have found it hard to keep from running afoul of the law. Half a dozen leading members of the reformist group Judges for Egypt have been summoned before a judge looking into allegations the jurists formed an illegal organization, the state-owned Ahram website reported Monday. The group, which advocates judicial independence, includes two former justice ministers and a former head of the appeals court, the website said, as well as others prominent members of the legal community.
WORLD
September 10, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Carol J. Williams
TEHRAN -- She was known to Western media as "Mary" when she appeared before the world's cameras to speak for the Iranian Islamic revolutionaries who seized 52 Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979. Masoumeh Ebtekar served as spokeswoman for the hostage-takers during the 444-day standoff, chosen for the English fluency she acquired growing up in the United States. But she was also a believer 30-some years ago, she has conceded in recent interviews, in the cause of punishing Washington for its role in a 1953 coup that brought to power the hated shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
WORLD
August 3, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Patrick J. McDonnell
TEHRAN - Hassan Rouhani became the seventh president of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Saturday, officially receiving the endorsement of the nation's supreme leader at a formal ceremony here in the capital. Rouhani, 64, a cleric considered a moderate pragmatist, replaced outgoing two-term President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was barred from seeking a third term. Rouhani was elected in June in a surprise landslide victory. Rouhani's formal inauguration and swearing-in was scheduled for Sunday, but Saturday marked the new president's ascension to office.
WORLD
June 15, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Patrick J. McDonnell
TEHRAN - Hassan Rowhani, a cleric embraced by reformists and moderates as an alternative to the nation's hard-line leadership,  appeared headed  toward a landslide victory Saturday in elections  to succeed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rowhani, 64, a bespectacled, bearded jurist who has long been a member of the inner power circle of the Islamic Republic, was winning about 51% of the popular vote with slightly more than half of the projected ballots counted, the Interior Ministry reported Saturday.
WORLD
June 15, 2013 | By Times staff and wires services
TEHRAN - Iran's interior minister announced Saturday that moderate candidate Hassan Rowhani had won outright election as the nation's next president. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar told a news conference in Tehran that Rowhani obtained more than 50% of more than 36 million votes cast in Friday's election. Rowhani was the lone moderate candidate supported by reformists in a race that once appeared solidly in the hands of Tehran's ruling clerics. He faced five other candidates viewed as more conservative.
WORLD
June 15, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
TEHRAN - The stunning landslide election of Hassan Rowhani as Iran's next president highlighted a deep frustration among many Iranians about the direction of their country, especially an economy marred by skyrocketing prices, stagnant salaries and dwindling job opportunities. In explaining their vote for Rowhani, many spoke of change. They alluded not to hot-button international issues such as Iran's contentious nuclear program or its die-hard support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, but to the slumping economy that has been especially unforgiving on the young, among whom the unemployment rate reportedly tops 40%. "People want a change in the economic situation," said Saman Hasani, 26, an engineering student who was among many people honking car horns on the streets of Tehran on Saturday evening after the Interior Ministry confirmed Rowhani's victory.
WORLD
July 29, 2009 | Borzou Daragahi
Political hard-liners warned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday that he could be deposed like past Iranian leaders if he continued to defy the country's supreme religious leader. The implied threat was the latest evidence of the rift within Iran's conservative camp and could serve to further sap the authority of a president already considered illegitimate by reformists.
NEWS
October 11, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has issued a rare warning to the hard-line judiciary to stop prosecuting reformist members of parliament, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Hard-line courts regularly summon outspoken reformist parliamentarians and have sentenced at least three to prison. "It is part of [the members of parliament's] duties to freely express their opinions, and they must be immune from prosecution," Khatami said in a letter to the judiciary chief.
WORLD
June 11, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Alexandra Sandels
TEHRAN -- Leading reformist candidate Mohammad Reza Aref announced Tuesday that he was dropping out of the race to be Iran's next president , leaving centrist Hassan Rowhani as the sole moderate-leaning candidate in Friday's election. There had been earlier calls for Aref, a former vice president, to step aside to strengthen Rowhani's chances. Aref said former President Mohammad Khatami, a reformist, had urged him to withdraw.   Rowhani, 65, who previously headed Iran's nuclear negotiating team, is the only cleric among the eight presidential candidates vetted by the powerful Guardian Council.
WORLD
May 21, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
TEHRAN - In a highly anticipated decision likely to spark controversy, Iran's supervisory electoral body on Tuesday disqualified two high-profile candidates from next month's presidential race after both were assailed as disloyal to the nation's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The powerful Guardian Council, composed of senior clerics and jurists, gave no reason for barring the would-be candidates, former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, a confidant of outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
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