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Iran: In presidential race, ex-revolutionary guard leader uses internet least

rezaie1Iran's Guardian Council on Wednesday approved four candidates for the June 12 presidential election.
The four lucky finalists who were chosen from hundreds of registered candidates, are current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi, ex-parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karroubi and the former head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Mohsen Rezai.
Mohsen Rezai recently criticised Ahmadinjead's policies and said he is open to talks with the United States. He also blamed the Iranian administration for $1 billion in missing oil revenue, pledging to recover the money if elected.

Digital Kalashinkof, an Iranian blogger and journalist publishes a video of Rezai's speech where he answers a question about the role of Sunnite minority in the Iranian government. Rezai said he is “against any discrimination of Iranians and want to share responsibilities with them.” At present there is no Sunnite minister in Iranian government.

Mohsen Rezai and his supporters are using the internet to promote their campaign, but their digital strategy is relatively weak compared to their three rivals, and they do not list as many supporting bloggers.

Reazi's blog supporters on his personal website are divided in 3 categories:

1- Iran-Iraq war oriented blogs: These are a group of blogs that want to remember and honour Iranians fighting against Iraqi during Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. On Rezai's site these blogs are categorized under the name of ‘Holy Defense'. Nasleh Hamseh is one of these blogs. The blogger writes [fa] about Rezai that his faith and honour are his great resources. He wants them to be used for the progress of the country.

2-Local blogs: These blogs are collected on Rezai's website under the name of Zagros (mountains) inhabitanat or residents. It is a clear reference to Rezai's ethnic background. Farzande Zagros ( means child of Zagros) writes [fa] about Rezai's speech on his intention to form a coalition government and collaborate with Iranian former presidents such as Khatami and Rafsanjani.

3-A mixed blog group: A third group of blogs are published under the headline “supporters’ blogs” on Rezai's site. Most of them, just like in the second category, are created only to promote the campaign. We can find specific city-based blogs such as Rezai's Isfahan supporters or Child of Nation.

Rezai's digital campaign is light weight compared to his three rivals. it seems the other canidates were faster using digital weapons and internet power than the former leader of the Revolutionary Guard.

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