Iranian hard-liners accuse Rouhani of voter fraud, interference

WINNER AND LOSER: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, and defeated presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, Files)
Updated 29 May 2017
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Iranian hard-liners accuse Rouhani of voter fraud, interference

Defeated hard-line candidate Ebrahim Raisi has complained of voter fraud in Iran’s presidential election and called on the judiciary and the election watchdog to investigate, the semi-official Fars news agency said on Monday.
The allegations, likely to stoke up Raisi’s conservative supporters, were among his strongest since losing the bitterly contested May 19 vote to incumbent Hassan Rouhani by a margin of 57 percent to 38.
Indignant at Rouhani’s re-election, hard-liners have vowed to press their conservative agenda. The head of the judiciary on Monday separately criticized Rouhani’s campaign promises to work for the release of two opposition leaders under house arrest.
“Tampering with the numbers of people’s participation is inappropriate. Not sending ballots to centers where the government’s opponent has a chance of getting votes is very inappropriate,” Raisi was quoted as saying.
“I ask the Guardian Council and the judiciary not to let the people’s rights get trampled. If this vote-tampering is not looked into, then the people’s trust will be damaged.”
The Guardian Council is a government body that vets candidates and supervises elections in Iran. It has already approved the results.
But Raisi’s comments were a signal that he and his supporters will continue to put up a fight against Rouhani, who won on promises to increase social freedom, improve human rights and open up the Islamic Republic to Western investment.
His pledges included freeing former presidential challengers Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, along with Mousavi’s wife, who have been under house arrest since 2011 after calling for protests in solidarity with pro-democracy uprisings across the Middle East.
“Who are you to break the house arrests?” Larijani said, according to Mizan, the judiciary’s news site.
Larijani said it was for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council to take an initial decision on the detention of the opposition leaders, after which the judiciary would take over.
During the campaign, Rouhani and Raisi exchanged barbs in debates and speeches using language rarely heard in politics in Iran. Rouhani accused Raisi of abuses while at the judiciary, and was in turn accused of corruption and economic mismanagement. Each denied the other’s accusations.
Raisi, a cleric who served on the judiciary for many years, made his allegations of voter fraud to a gathering of supporters on Sunday night, Fars said. He was also quoted as saying Rouhani had inappropriately used TV, newspapers and government offices for campaign purposes.


Egypt says Israel’s Jewish nation-state law undermines Middle East peace

Updated 21 July 2018
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Egypt says Israel’s Jewish nation-state law undermines Middle East peace

  • Egypt on Saturday said a new Israeli law giving Jews the exclusive right to self-determination in the country undermined the chances for peace
  • The law, which was passed on Thursday, has drawn rebuke from the EU and was denounced by the Palestinian Authority

CAIRO: Egypt on Saturday said a new Israeli law giving Jews the exclusive right to self-determination in the country undermined the chances for peace in the Middle East and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
The law, which was passed on Thursday, has drawn rebuke from the EU and was denounced by the Palestinian Authority and Arab citizens of Israel as racist legislation.
“The Arab Republic of Egypt announces...its rejection of the law passed by the Israeli Knesset on the “national state for the Jewish people” law ... for its ramifications that consecrate the concept of occupation and racial segregation,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.
“It undermines the chances for achieving peace and reaching a just and comprehensive solution for the Palestinian issue,” it said.
It said the law would also have a potential impact on the right of Palestinians displaced from their homes in 1948 when Israel was founded, and their descendants, to return to their homes under United Nations resolutions.
Egypt in 1979 became the first Arab country to forge a peace treaty with Israel under the US-sponsored Camp David accord that provided for the Jewish state to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula.
But relations between two countries remained lukewarm, with Egypt demanding that Israel quit other lands it occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, including the Syrian Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza Strip and Arab East Jerusalem.
On Friday, Egypt’s Al-Azhar Mosque, the most prestigious Sunni Muslim institution, denounced the Israeli law calling it “a step that reflects repugnant racism“