Iran News Round Up

A selection of the latest news stories and articles published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Analysts.

Key takeaway: The main conservative coalition showed signs of strain as it worked to select a single candidate to challenge President Hassan Rouhani in the May 19 presidential elections.

The Popular Front for the Islamic Revolution Forces selected Astan Quds Razavi Foundation Head and Assembly of Experts member Hojjat ol Eslam Ebrahim Raisi, former Parliamentarian Alireza Zakani, former Parliamentarian Mehrdad Bazrpash, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, and Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation Head and ex-IRGC member Parviz Fattah as the five finalists in a vote on April 6. The Popular Front will select a final unity candidate at a later date. Candidates cannot run formally until they are approved by the Guardian Council. Ebrahim Raisi, who announced his candidacy on April 6, remains a frontrunner to represent the Popular Front.

The Popular Front’s mechanism to overcome conservatives’ historic inability to unify, meanwhile, came under pressure. The mechanism requires those who are not selected to drop out of the race and support the unity candidate. The Popular Front removed former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili from its list of semifinalists, citing Jalili’s rejection of the Front’s mechanism. It is unclear whether Jalili will run independently from the Popular Front.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from April 5-6. 

AEI Must Reads
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April 07, 2017

Building the Iranian Military: Understanding Tehran’s Defense Acquisition and Research and Development Decision-Making

Matt McInnis argues that the U.S. and its allies have an enormous capacity for influencing Iran’s military spending levels and allocations by affecting the regime’s threat calculus, foreign investment climate, and global energy prices in his latest report, “Building the Iranian Military: Understanding Tehran’s Defense Acquisition and Research and Development Decision-Making.” 

April 07, 2017

The IRGC could benefit from Boeing’s latest deal

Citations & Links

Citations & Links

Domestic Politics
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April 07, 2017

Conservative coalition selects five finalists in conservative candidate race.

The Popular Front of the Islamic Revolution Forces selected five finalists for the May 19 presidential elections during a meeting on April 6. The five finalists are Astan Quds Razavi Foundation Head and Assembly of Experts member Ebrahim Raisi, former Parliamentarian Alireza Zakani, former Parliamentarian and advisor under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Mehrdad Bazrpash, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, and Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation Head and ex-IRGC member Parviz Fattah. (Entekhab)

April 07, 2017

Ebrahim Raisi reportedly announces candidacy in presidential elections.

Mayor of Mashhad Sowlat Mortazavi stated that Astan Quds Razavi Foundation Head and Assembly of Experts member Hojjat ol Eslam Ebrahim Raisi has announced his candidacy in the May elections. Mortazavi made the comments while representing Raisi at the April 6 meeting of the Popular Front of the Islamic Revolution Forces. Mortazavi stated that Raisi has resigned from his position on the Central Elections Monitoring Board. The board operates under the auspices of the Guardian Council and assists in monitoring the presidential elections. (Tasnim News Agency) (E) (BBC Persian)

  • Parliamentarian Hossein Ali Deligani stated earlier this week that hardline senior cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mezbah Yazdi advised the Popular Front to back Raisi in the presidential elections. (Radio Farda)
April 07, 2017

Ghalibaf: I will not nominate myself in the presidential elections.

Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf stated, “I have not and do not seek a nomination” in the May presidential elections. Ghalibaf stressed the importance of unifying around a single conservative candidate and stated that he “will do his very best to help” the most qualified candidate win. The Popular Front had previously listed Ghalibaf as one of its semifinalists. Ghalibaf made the comments on May 5, the day before the Popular Front held a vote to select five finalists in the race to select a single candidate for the presidential elections. Many interpret Ghalibaf’s statements to mean that he will not run in the presidential elections. The Popular Front’s spokeswoman, Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, rejected this interpretation. She stated that Ghalibaf’s statement “is not a withdrawal, but an insistence that he would not nominate himself, which is true.” (Mehr News Agency)

April 07, 2017

Jalili rejects conservative coalition.

The Popular Front for the Islamic Revolution Forces removed former senior nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili from its list of semifinalists for candidacy in the May elections. The Popular Front cited Jalili’s rejection of the Front’s mechanism by which it will select a single candidate as the reason for the removal. The Popular Front made the announcement on April 6, prior to the vote to select five finalists in the presidential elections. The mechanism requires those who are not selected to represent the Popular Front to support the final candidate. (ISNA)

April 07, 2017

Dehghan meets with National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.

Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan met with Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission to discuss the Defense Ministry’s involvement in Iranian industry. Dehghan stated that “the government and Parliament can eliminate many of the problems and obstacles in front of the armed forces.” (IRNA)

Citations & Links

1. Entekhab
http://www.entekhab.ir/fa/news/335748/%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%8A%D8%B3%DB%8C%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%AD-%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%81-%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%83%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C-%D9%88-%D8%AD%D8%A7%D8%AC%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%8A%DB%8C

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/04/06/1371661/top-iranian-cleric-raeesi-to-run-for-president

2. BBC Persian
http://www.bbc.com/persian/iran-39511837

3. Radio Farda
http://www.radiofarda.com/a/f4_raeisi_conservative_candidate_presidential_election/28414523.html

Citations & Links

1. Mehr News Agency
http://www.mehrnews.com/news/3945350/%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%B2%D8%AF%DB%8C-%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%85-%D9%87%D9%85%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D8%BA%DB%8C%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D8%AA-%D8%AA%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B4-%DA%A9%D9%86%D9%86%D8%AF

Citations & Links

1. ISNA
http://www.isna.ir/news/96011705533/%D8%AC%D9%84%DB%8C%D9%84%DB%8C-%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B2%D9%88%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%AC%D9%85%D9%86%D8%A7-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%86%D9%BE%D8%B0%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%81%D8%AA%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D8%B1%D8%A6%DB%8C%D8%B3%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AC%D8%A8%D9%87%D9%87-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%AA

Citations & Links

1. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82482535/

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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April 07, 2017

Foreign Ministry condemns British PM’s comments on Iran.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi reacted to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s comments on Iran’s “destabilizing role” in the region during a trip to Riyadh. Ghassemi said “Iran’s bold role in backing security, stability, and peace” in the region is “known to everybody.”(Mehr News Agency)

April 07, 2017

Iran condemns chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi stated that Iran “strongly condemns any kind of usage of chemical weapons, regardless of the perpetrators and victims.” Ghassemi also stressed that Iran “declares its readiness to accept and treat the wounded.” (Fars News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Mehr News Agency
http://en.mehrnews.com/news/124600/Iran-s-constructive-role-in-region-obvious

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960116001256

Casualties in Iraq and Syria
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April 07, 2017

Iranian killed in Syria.

  • The exact location and date of Haidar Jannati’s death are unknown. (Defa Press)
    • Fatimiyoun Brigade fighter killed in Syria. Ali Akbar Mousavi was a member of the Afghan Shia militia Fatimiyoun Brigade. The exact date and place of his death are not reported. (Tasnim News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Defa Press
http://www.defapress.ir/fa/news/234216/%D8%AD%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AC%D9%86%D8%AA%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%AF%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B9-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%81-%D9%BE%DB%8C%D9%88%D8%B3%D8%AA

2. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/01/16/1371475/%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%B9%D9%84%DB%8C-%D8%A7%DA%A9%D8%A8%D8%B1-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B3%D9%88%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%B9-%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%AF%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B9-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%85-%D9%BE%DB%8C%D9%88%D8%B3%D8%AA

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