Iran News Roundup May 5, 2009


 A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by Ali Alfoneh, Ahmad Majidyar and Michael Rubin.  To subscribe to this daily newsletter, e-mail

 (E) = Article in English 


A'lami announces he will seek the presidency again and criticizes Ahmadinejad's foreign policy; Karrubi argues for distributing oil income to the Iranian people; Rowhani says national media is a "government mouthpiece"; Larijani says the military should not "intervene in elections"; head of the Research Institute for the Iranian Parliament says "the Ahmadinejad government wants to administer the country's economy without economic theory"; and the "Peace Pipeline" between Iran and Pakistan will be signed soon.



·         The Interior Ministry launches to facilitate online registration of candidates for presidential elections.

o    Former President Khatami says "we still don't know what accounts for being 'a political man of distinction," a condition under the Constitution to qualify for candidacy in presidential elections.

·         Ahmadinejad, speaking on the occasion of the Teacher's Week: "Today the responsibilities of the Iranian nation are not limited to [Iran's] geographical borders...If we want to live in [our] beloved Iran, there is no solution but moving into the direction of reforming the world and in order to counter the threats one must bravely resist it... If we want to make an impact on science, pedagogy and education, science must benefit from production and we must educate righteous people and today our universities have such capacity...Iran must soon become the scientific center of the region and the world..." 

·         (E) Women call for gender equality ahead of vote.

·         Expediency Council Research Center Head Hassan Rowhani, speaking to the central committee members of the Development and Balance Party, says Iran has become "bipolar, divided between those who defend the current state of affairs and those who want to improve current state of affairs." 

o    Rowhani adds "some officials seemingly think administration of a country is nothing but propaganda and that one can make welfare for the people by manipulating statistics and exaggeration. That one in such way can transform the country into a superpower and even change the equations of international politics."

·         In an unprecedented public insult against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, former parliamentarian Akbar A'lami whose application for candidacy during the last parliamentary elections was rejected by the Guardian Council, speaking at Hazrat-e Abolfazl Mosque in Oroumiyeh says: "If the Earthly Gods allow me, I'll run as candidate." A'lami continues: "In Iran, the more servile one is, the better positioned he becomes in the pyramid of power. I have said this again and again. A ruling elite of 200 individuals have taken 70 million people hostage..."

o    A'lami also called members of the "movement called reform seeking" as members of "Hezb-e Bad [Party of the Wind]"! A'lami continues: "The reform movement has been defeated in Tehran and by announcing my candidacy from Tabriz, I want to start the true reform movement from Azerbaijan. During the Constitutional Era, authoritarianism prevailed in Tehran but Azerbaijan and Tabriz rescued the Constitutional movement. As I said in my candidacy statement Azerbaijan is my [party] organization..."

·         Presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi says he will not give cabinet posts to members of the Iran Freedom Movement.

·         Mehdi Karrubi gives interview to Arab media surrounded by his advisors Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi, Abbas Abdi and Isa Sahar-Khiz: "Distributing the oil money is nationalization of the oil industry in its true sense of the word and the people must benefit from the oil income. Distribution of the oil revenue is a progressive, popular and expert plan. Experts and economists put forward the plan and based upon that, I accepted it and began defending it." Interestingly not Mehdi Karrubi, but Abba Abdi responded to several of the questions asked by representative of the Arab press and answering the question "Do you believe that distribution of the oil money would un-root authoritarianism and monopolization of the oil revenue?" Abbas Abdi said: "In my opinion this scheme does not mean to take over prerogatives of the government. It is the government living up to its main mission by distribution of the oil revenue."

o    More details about Karrubi's plan to distribute the oil money.



·         Rowhani: "Unfortunately, these days the national media have been transformed into a government mouthpiece. But one must pay attention to the fact that the truth, especially in today's world and in an era of communications and spread of information, can't be hidden from the people and one can't dupe the Iranian nation with the magic box of television..."

·         Ahmadinejad supporters demand prosecution of Jomhouri-ye Eslami editor Masih Mohajeri who has demanded disqualification of Ahmadinejad by the Guardian Council.


Military and Security

·         Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani speaking to an assembly of the instructors of the Ansar al-Mahdi unit of the Revolutionary Guards says: "One must not speak based upon conspiracy theories. Based upon exact information, the Supreme Leader in the line of the Imam [Khomeini], believes that the Armed Forces should not as an organization intervene in elections." 


Human Rights and Labor

·         A 30-year-old man to be stoned in Gilan for extra-marital sex. 

·         (E) Executing woman for crime as a minor.



·         Central Bank Director General Mahmoud Bahmani says a committee has been formed to "delete three zeros from the national currency."

·         Ahmad Tavakkoli, Head of the Research Institute of the Iranian Parliament, speaking to an assembly of the members of the Student Basij at Imam Sadegh University says "the Ahmadinejad government wants to administer the country's economy without economic theory": "Decisions are not made based on expertise. For example, our study shows that during the first round of the provincial trips [of Ahmadinejad], 3,975 out of a total of 4,739 [government] decisions meant a financial burden. 53.4 percent of such decisions had no source of financing, and 40 percent had an unclear source of financing. Economy is a cost benefit analysis and each economic decision must be financed. Some of the decisions also opposed Article 32 of the Fourth [Economic] Development Plan... Ahmadinejad is no supporter of economic growth-centered policy but came to power with a justice-centered program. The problem of his government is that it does not believe in economic theory. Ahmadineajd wants to administer the country without economic theory...He moves fast and hastily...zigzag decisions do not reach results. I have earlier said that the ship of the government has no compass and I was frank..." 

·         Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ghashghavi says "the sanctions have lost their efficacy." 

·         Abrar-e Eghtesadi points out some basic points about growth of the petrochemical industry in Iran.



·         The Peace Pipeline project to be signed by Iran and Pakistan soon.



·         Presidential candidate Akbar A'lami, speaking to students from Tehran University, launches an attack against foreign policy of the Ahmadinejad government:

o    "I do not believe that any government approves of blatant violations of the U.N. Human Rights Charter and international conventions as done by the Israeli government. I also do not believe that any free nation in the world would not condemn the inhumane crimes of this regime against the Palestinians. But despite all this, there is also no government in the world which considers interests of others superior to its own national interests!"

o    A'lami also qualifies those parts of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran with regard to export of the revolution: "One must not forget that such views [brotherly obligations towards all Muslims and defending their rights, defense of all the oppressed in the words and support to the justice seeking of the meek of the world against the oppressors all over the world] are elements in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic which reflect the victories achieved during the revolutionary era when we considered the world and men conquered by our revolution and had decided to export the revolution in the meaning of instigating violent change upon the rest of the world."

o    A'lami explains that when those parts of the Constitution speaking of solving social problems and inequalities within the Islamic Republic of Iran have been solved, Iranian statesmen should pursue export of the role model to the rest of the world.

o    A'lami also criticizes Ahmadinejad for "considering himself President of the Palestinians" rather than president of Iran.

·         Former Tehran Mayor and current Mehdi Karrubi-aide Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi explains the Islamic Republic's foreign policy in a Karrubi presidency: "In the field of foreign policy we shall pursue correction of relations with other countries in such way that it moves in the direction of peace and calm and the entire region moves towards development."

o    Commenting on Iran's foreign policy during the Ahmadinejad presidency, Karbaschi said: "During the past four years, the worst of the worst in the field of foreign policy has happened. Sanctions against Iran and the [U.N. Security Council] Resolutions were unprecedented during the past thirty years. Had we pursued a different and more logical path we would not have reaped such results."


Photo of the Day

·         Ahmadinejad in Syria.