Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, with his aide Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, a controversial figure who has been the subject of attacks from hardliners in Iran. Behrouz Mehri / AFP Photo
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, with his aide Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, a controversial figure who has been the subject of attacks from hardliners in Iran. Behrouz Mehri / AFP Photo

Iran reformists regain a foothold as conservatives squabble

TEHRAN // Iran's reformists, marginalised after the disputed re-election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, appear to be regaining a tentative foothold in the nation's politics while the government's conservative leaders squabble.

Many reformist figures were arrested, and some given hefty jail terms, after the June 2009 presidential election and the crackdown against opposition supporters.

The two main reformist leaders, the former parliament speaker, Mehdi Karroubi, and the ex-prime ministerr, Mir Hossein Mousavi, were put under house arrest after they persisted in claiming that the election was fraudulent and led a protest movement, which led to many deaths.

But a continuing dispute between Mr Ahmadinejad and more hardline conservatives about his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, has provided an opportunity for the reformists to tiptoe back. Mr Mashaie is accused by those conservatives, the Shiite clergy and the Revolutionary Guards of leading "a current of deviation" within the government to undermine the Islamic regime. His critics also allege that Mr Mashaie exerts too much influence on Mr Ahmadinejad, whose son married Mr Mashaie's daughter.

Against the backdrop of the struggle within the conservative camp, the reformist media have managed to strengthen their presence with two new dailies. The once-banned Etemad (Confidence) and Rouzegar (Times) have appeared on news-stands to join other reformist papers. The new papers have allowed the reformists to launch a debate on whether to participate in next March's election for parliament.

Although radical reformists reject the notion of participating in the poll, their more moderate comrades are considering it seriously, particularly some 50 reformist MPs who want to run for re-election.

The former reformist president Mohammad Khatami has tried to find a middle ground for the reformists to return to Iran's political arena. Over the past year, Mr Khatami has distanced himself from Mr Mousavi and Mr Karoubi and refused to call for street protests, while continuing to demand that all political prisoners be released.

He recently called for national reconciliation and reaffirmed reformists' allegiance to the Islamic republic's principles. Mr Khatami also welcomed the recent remarks by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who urged "the establishment of an open, healthy and safe political climate in accordance with the constitution".

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

The Vines - In Miracle Land
Two stars

The specs: 2024 Mercedes E200

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cyl turbo + mild hybrid
Power: 204hp at 5,800rpm +23hp hybrid boost
Torque: 320Nm at 1,800rpm +205Nm hybrid boost
Transmission: 9-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 7.3L/100km
On sale: November/December
Price: From Dh205,000 (estimate)

What to watch out for:

Algae, waste coffee grounds and orange peels will be used in the pavilion's walls and gangways

The hulls of three ships will be used for the roof

The hulls will painted to make the largest Italian tricolour in the country’s history

Several pillars more than 20 metres high will support the structure

Roughly 15 tonnes of steel will be used

What is cystic fibrosis?
  • Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, pancreas and other organs.
  • It causes the production of thick, sticky mucus that can clog the airways and lead to severe respiratory and digestive problems.
  • Patients with the condition are prone to lung infections and often suffer from chronic coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
  • Life expectancy for sufferers of cystic fibrosis is now around 50 years.
Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Five expert hiking tips
  • Always check the weather forecast before setting off
  • Make sure you have plenty of water
  • Set off early to avoid sudden weather changes in the afternoon
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Take your litter home with you
The biog

Profession: Senior sports presenter and producer

Marital status: Single

Favourite book: Al Nabi by Jibran Khalil Jibran

Favourite food: Italian and Lebanese food

Favourite football player: Cristiano Ronaldo

Languages: Arabic, French, English, Portuguese and some Spanish



5pm: Reem Island – Conditions (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m; Winner: Farasah, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Musabah Al Muhairi

5.30pm: Sir Baniyas Island – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m; Winner: SSR Ghazwan, Antonio Fresu, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

6pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m; Winner: Astral Del Sol, Sean Kirrane, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

6.30pm: Al Maryah Island – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 2,200m; Winner: Toumadher, Dane O’Neill, Jaber Bittar

7pm: Yas Island – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 2,200m; Winner: AF Mukhrej, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel

7.30pm: Saadiyat Island – Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 (T) 2,400m; Winner: Celestial Spheres, Gary Sanchez, Ismail Mohammed

Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Swollen glands

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Consoles: PC, PlayStation
Rating: 2/5


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The specs

Engine: Turbocharged four-cylinder 2.7-litre

Power: 325hp

Torque: 500Nm

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Price: From Dh189,700

On sale: now


1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

2. They can be created when massive stars collapse under their own weight

3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

Most Read
Top Videos