by Frieda Afary, Iranian Progressives in Translation

As we approach the June 2013 Iranian presidential election, the real front-runners of the 2009 election, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and  Mehdi Karroubi, as well as  Mousavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard—all of whom came to be known as the leaders of the reformist Green movement—continue to languish under house arrest.  Many young opposition activists,  feminists,  and ethnic activists who participated in protests against election fraud in 2009, or any activities deemed "seditious" by the regime, are also in prison.

Although the recent disqualification of two candidates, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, from the election, is very significant and further reveals the intense power struggles within the regime, more significant are the defining issues which continue to fuel the grassroots discontent inside Iran. These issues are the following:

North Africa

Mali to resume talks with Tuareg rebels

Mali’s government and the MNLA, at odds over whether army troops will be allowed into the rebels’ northern stronghold for upcoming elections, will resume talks in Burkina Faso.

Southern Cone

Argentina war crimes suspect arrested in Uruguay

Col. Alberto Julio Candiotti, a former Argentinine military officer wanted for crimes committed during the country’s 1976-1983 Dirty War,” was arrested in Montevideo. 

The Andes

Bogotá, FARC reach deal on land reform

Negotiators from Colombia's government and the FARC rebels signed an agreement on agrarian reform, calling for redistribution of illegally held or underused lands.