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Opinion: Ahmadi Nejad, the Fundamentalist

21 June 2005

I totally disagree with the Western journalists who brand AhmadiNejad as a hard line conservative. He is, with no doubt, a total fundamentalist who is not even shameful of it: They call themselves "Osool gerayan" or literally fundamentalist.

Meanwhile the political climate is rapidly changing in favour of Rafsanjani. All non-fundamentalist groups are rallying behind Rafsanjani, as they see him as the only choice Iran now has to escape a fundamentalist government.

People are also becoming more conscious about this crucial choice, which could be seen as a total referendum on Supreme Leader's vision for the future of Iran. I've personally come across to some young friends who didn't vote in the first round, but are going to vote for Rafsanjani in the second.

So I'm seeing signs of a large voter turnout again, especially in big cities where people are worried about their social, and cultural freedoms, which in turn increases the chance of another Rafsanjani term.

However, if Rafsanjani can't win by a safe margin, as commit ed as Ahmadi Nejad supporters are, it's likely to see some sort of small-scale and legit coup, like the one happened last year during the opening of the Imam Khomeini International Airport in South of Tehran.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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