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TEHRAN — The deal between Tehran and the West to curb Iran's secretive nuclear program in return for an end to crippling economic sanctions isn't slated to take effect until Oct. 19. But with Western delegations already streaming in and out of Tehran in anticipation of business and investment opportunities, Iran's Transportation Minister Abbas Akhoundi said this week that "sanctions via the sea are effectively over," reformist daily Shargh reported.

Akhoundi suggested that the international sanctions regime was being quietly dismantled ahead of its formal timetable, and that "for six months now" as many as 16 cargo liners had been docking at three different Iranian ports on the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea. He made the remarks at a Sunday meeting in Tehran with Poland's Economy Minister Janusz Piechocinski.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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