Iran News Round Up - July 1, 2013

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analyst Will Fulton and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributor Mary Ella Simmons. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

 Politics

  • President-elect Hassan Rouhni announced that his administration will have a two-way relationship with the media
  • MP and former senior IRGC Commander Esmail Kowsari says that if Hassan Rouhani "[D]oes not perform in a non-partisan way, the Parliament will certainly react." 
  • MP Mohammad Reza Bahonar stated that cabinet appointments will be one of the most sensitive duties of the future president. 
  • Parliamentary Executive Board member Hojjat al-Eslam Hossein Sobhani Nia announced that Hassan Rouhani has chosen the old Parliament building as his headquarters to hold meetings and related activities. 
  • Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei announced that the verdict in the 2009 post-election Kahrizak detention center fatalities has been issued, but refrained from announcing further details until after appeals have been finalized. 
  • An editorial in the Supreme Leader's unofficial organ, Kayhan, criticizes Hassan Rouhani for thanking former President Mohammad Khatami. It reads in part: "...with attention to the destructive role that [Khatami] had in the [2009] sedition, it exacerbates concerns that Dr. Rouhani might neglect the danger that the leaders and agents of the [2009] sedition could pose for his administration." 

Regional Developments

  • The Foreign Minister of Bahrain Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmad al-Khalifa said in an interview Saturday that he hoped that Bahrain in the new future could “turn to a new page” in its relationship with Iran, which he said was one of its most important neighbors and regional powers. He added, “We are now waiting for Iran’s positive response to these actions of Bahrain and its ruler.” 
  • Sheikh Naim Qassem, Deputy Secretary of Hezbollah in Lebanon, said Sunday in a ceremony honoring the Hezbollah fighters who had been killed in Syria that “The reason for the presence of Hezbollah in Syria and the reason for its activity on the part of the army is the prevention of Syrian violence spilling over into Lebanon.” He went on to further explain, “All that which has happened and is happening in Syria really is the manifestation of a plan, the goal of which is to beat back the spread of rebel fighters and to break the back of the rebels.” 

Diplomacy

  • Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian denied the accusations made by the Foreign Minister of Bahrain in a shared EU-Persian Gulf press conference that Iran was interfering in Syria, and suggested that Bahrain’s leadership, “instead of issuing unrealistic accusations toward the Islamic Republic and Syria, [needs to] focus on finding a political solution for the crisis occuring inside their own country.” 

Military and Security

  • IRGC Commander MG Mohammad Ali Jafari criticized chemical weapons use in Syria at a ceremony commemorating the victims of Iran-Iraq War-era chemical weapons attacks in Sardasht, Iran: "Today we see that the enemies, with their various schemes, have used chemical weapons in chaotic countries of the region and have [killed] Muslims. A small sample of these crimes by the puppet rulers, which have been met with silence by the international community, include the use of chemical weapons by Syrian rebels against the people of that country and the use of [white] phosphorous against Lebanese Hezbollah and the Muslims of Gaza."
  • IRGC Public Relations Deputy and Head of the Quds and Intifada Islamic Propoganda Cooperation Council BG 2C Ramazan Sharif said that the Palestinian issue is the most important issue facing the Islamic world and that "the Palestinian matter has been linked on a strategic level to the beliefs of the Islamic community." 
  • Artesh Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced the holding of a joint Iranian and Russian naval exercise. He added that the latest Iranian-made submarine will be inaugruated this year. 
  • Representative of the Supreme Leader in the IRGC Navy Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Sedaghat stated, "The brave Islamic nation and community, with their awareness and by obeying the Supreme Leader, will neutralize the conspiracies of domestic and foreign enemies of the system and this revolution." 
  • Defense Minister BG Ahmad Vahidi inaugurated the first complete Iranian airplane Iran 140 simulator [Iran 140 is based on the Russian Antonov An-140]. 
  • Head of the Armed Forces General Staff Hassan Firouzabadi urged "Turkish and Egyptian Muslims" to back their "revolutionary leaders." 
  • In separate messages, Firouzabadi congratulated the appointments of the new Qatari Defense Minister and Head of the Armed Forces General Staff and expressed his hope for increased cooperation between Iranian and Qatari armed forces. 
  • Firouzabadi also criticized the new Qatari Emir and added, "Americans and Westerners must know that al-Qaeda will not be limited to Syrian and Iraqi borders and does not know borders; the smoke of these weapons will reach the eyes of the White House, Vatican Palace and the Elysee Palace and perhaps it may cause tears to flow from the eyes of the heads of these palaces." He then warned the Friends of Syria group "[T]o learn their lesson from the fate of former Qatari Emir, who was the first victim of investing in al-Qaeda and being enemies with the world of Islam and should not think that cooperation with America and Zionists and support of bloodshed will secure their successes." 
  • Cultural Advisor to the IRGC Commander Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi said Hassan Rouhani is not a Reformist but is someone who will be active "within the framework of the Islamic Republic of Iran." He added that Rouhani did not criticize the system during his campaign, rather he "criticized the present administration or trends that were pursued by the administration. 
  • IRGC Commander's Cultural Deputy Hamid Reza Moghaddam Far said that the endorsements of former Presidents Mohammad Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani did not have "much of an effect" on Rouhani's election; rather the people primarily voted against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and voted for the Supreme Leader's representative.  

Economy

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