Iran News Round Up

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

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. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

Politics

  • The Guardian Council approved the validity of the 2013 Presidential election results in a statement.
  • A list of rumored cabinet candidates for President-elect Hassan Rouhani’s Administration was published by Tasnim News:
    • Intelligence Ministry: Former Intelligence Minister and early Rouhani supporter Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Yunesi; former Chief of the General Inspectorate Organization and reformist Hojjat al-Eslam Mostafa Mohaghagh Damad; Yunesi would become minister if Mohaghagh Dadad accepts an offer to lead the Expediency Council’s Strategic Research Center [Rouhani’s current post] and vice-versa.
    • Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Deputy of Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Expediency Council’s Council for Strategic Research Mahmoud Vaezi; current Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi; former Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi; former diplomat and advisor to then-President Mohammad Khatami Sadegh Kharrazi; Vaezi’s chances are said to be the highest. 
    • Interior Ministry: Advisor to the Supreme Leader Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri; reformist cleric Majid Ansari; former Industry Minister Eshagh Jahangiri; It is said that since Nategh Nouri would not accept the post, Jahangiri’s chances are the highest.
    • Supreme National Security Council Secretary: Foreign Minister Salehi rumored to be a likley appointment.
    • Defense Ministry: former Deputy Defense Minister and IRGC Air Force Commander Hossein Dehghan; former Defense Minister and current head of the Armed Forces Strategic Studies Center Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani; former Defense Minister Akbar Torkan; Dehghan is the likeliest candidate.
    • Oil Ministry: Former Oil Ministers Bijan Zanganeh and Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh.
    • Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO): Foreign Minister Salehi; former head of IAEO Gholam Reza Aghazadeh; Rouhani’s brother Hossein Feryedoun [Rouhani].
    • Senior Advisor and Head of the the Presidential Administration: Rouhani campaign manager Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh.
    • Advisor and Chief of Staff: Hossein Fereydoon [Rouhani].  
  • Head of the Judiciary Branch Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani met with President-elect Hassan Rouhani and said, “The American Secretary of State claimed two weeks before the elections that elections in Iran are not free and democratic rules are not observed in Iran. But the great Iranian political epic and the people’s total participation astonished the US and all countries that had such thoughts and were imposing this idea on the world's nations with their connected and arrogant media.”
  • Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani discussed the prospect of direct Iran-US negotiations and announced, “About [the perception] that negotiations with America is a red line; we never announced this act to be a red line.” When asked if he expected direct Iran-US negotiations would take place, he answered, “[The question of] whether events in the US can indicate a new direction has been introduced in some journal analyses. But what we can comment on is their behavior; we must see what steps they take.”
  • Vice-Chairman of the Parliament Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Hassan Abu Torabi Fard met with President-elect Hassan Rouhani and said,” Parliament has the necessary preparedness to have the most supreme level of cooperation with the future administration in forming the cabinet.” 
  • National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Spokesman Hossein Naghavi Hosseini said that the people’s participation in the elections “[invalidated] all the claims of Western media and political institutions supporting the West. They claimed that the Iranian elections are not democratic and that the people’s vote does not have an impact, but the eleventh presidential elections made them ashamed.”
  • The Islamic Revolution Steadfastness Front, whose membership consists of regime hard-liners, issued a statement congratulating Hassan Rouhani. The statement calls on Rouhani to “form a cabinet in the decade of progress and justice composed of officials loyal to Imam Khomeini’s ideals, the blood of the martyrs and the grand clergy; [They should be individuals who] also stand against aristocracy, rent-seeking, cultural laxness and resist against [Global] Arrogance, so that with God’s grace, the country’s movement toward the goals of the fourth decade of the revolution is further accelerated.” 
  • Regarding Hassan Rouhani, MP Hojjat al-Eslam Gholamreza Mesbahi said, “Mr. Rouhani has traits which include moderation and centered Principlism. He was a founding member of the Combatant Clergy Association [conservative clerical party], he was a Principlist during his political activism and never claimed [to be a] reformist, but [he] is a moderate individual who opposed the performance of the ninth and tenth administrations.” He further attributed Rouhani’s election to the endorsement of former presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami and deep internal divisions among Principlists. 
  • Chief of the General Inspectorate Organization Hojjat al-Eslam Mostafa Pourmohammadi described Hassan Rouhani as a moderate and law abiding individual who is loyal to the revolution’s fundamentals. Regarding the 2009 election rigging claims, he stated, “If I was in the Interior Ministry, we would have certainly held the [2009] elections electronically. Meaning that counting [votes] would be completely electronic and we would not even allow manual counting to take place and would only permit this [in order to] randomly confirm [results]. Then no one would claim cheating and confuse the country and create conflict and [such] talks. Cheating does not arise in this system. We have put so many eyes on this that no one can cheat.”
  • Head of the Expediency Council and former president Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani expressed hoped that Rouhani’s administration would reduce oil-dependent revenues by 10% within five years and that Rouhani would “maintain and strengthen the hope that has been created in [the people’s] hearts.”
  • Former student of ultra-conservative Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi Mohsen Qorouyan advised President-elect Rouhani to visit Qom in the upcoming months and reach out to clerics. According to Qorouyan, the majority of Qom clerics opposed and criticized Rouhani’s presidency, but would “probably” be open to receiving him.

Regional Developments

  • Iranian media report armed clashes between Sheikh Ahmad al-Asir’s Salafsits group with some Lebanese Hezbollah forces in Sidon, western Lebanon.
  • The Syrian Army has reportedly cut Syrian opposition medic and supply routes to Aleppo. 
  • Fars News Agency published an article claiming that following Lebanese Hezbollah's contributions to the current momentum of the Syrian Army and the Battle of al-Qusayr, measures to “complete the puzzle of revenge against Hezbollah are seriously underway” by Salafists and their Arab and Western supporters. However, the article claims, their back-to-back defeats in Syria are preventing them from implementing this revenge against Lebanese Shia villages and Hezbollah controlled areas.
  • Lebanese Hezbollah members and supporters attend the funeral procession in the Hazarat-e Zeynab hall in Nahlous, Lebanon of operative Mostafa Abdolghader. No further details were provided about the circumstances of his death.
  • A suicide bombing attack in eastern Baghdad targeted and killed the head of the United Iraq faction Sheikh Yunus al-Ramah and four family members. 
  • Ahlul Bayt News Agency (ABNA) reported that protestors in Saudi Arabia are requesting the resignations of Interior Minister Mohammad Ibn Nayef and Head of the General Investigations and Prosecutions Mohammad Ibn Fahad al-Abdollah in light of a recent harsh crackdown on activists, particularly women.
  • According to ABNA, Syrian “terrorists” have claimed responsibility for the killing four Lebanese citizens in Baalbbek, Lebanon in an ambush. The Syrians claim that the four killed were armed individuals linked to Lebanese Hezbollah.
  • Syrian Army forces have reportedly cleared the Syrian opposition's presence in areas surrounding the Seyyeda Zeynab shrine near Damascus. 

Diplomacy

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Akbar Salehi affirmed that regional issues will not be resolved without Tehran’s participation and stated, “Iran seeks dialogue based on mutual trust with America.” He also added that the weekend’s presidential elections would motivate Iran-West relations. 
  • Head of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Public and Media Diplomacy Center Ramin Mehmanparast met with Indonesian officials and said, “Relations with these countries [the West, except Israel] depends on their behaviors and policy changes regarding the Iranian nation. If they are inclined to have positive relations with us, they must undertake the correct way of cooperation and set aside their hostilities with the Iranian nation.”
  • Pakistani and Iranian officials denied the existence of serious setbacks in implementing the “Peace” gas pipeline.

Military and Security

  • Senior Political Adviser to the Supreme Leader's Representative to the IRGC BG 2C Yadollah Javani discussed election implications and nuclear policy:
    • “Although the Principlists did not receive votes in these elections, it does not mean that the opposing current meaning, the Reformists, were victorious. Reformists were not the victors of the elections.”
    • “The slogans that Mr. Rouhani announced during the elections indicate that he does not belong to the Reformist current at all, rather he is moderate, centered and law abiding and has announced that he will utilize the capabilities of moderate Principlists and Reformists.”
    • “The people’s participation in the elections was higher than the global average rate. The people, with their presence, demonstrated [that] they are loyal to the Islamic system and trust the electoral dynamics.”
    • “Just as Mr. Rouhani said, the eras of suspension have fundamentally passed and current circumstances are different than ten years ago. The Iranian nation views itself in the group of nations that have the nuclear fuel cycle and knowledge, and the world also considers us as a nuclear country, and the path that we have passed in these ten years are irreversible.”
    • “[One] can never return the Islamic Republic to the eras before [achieving nuclear technology], and Mr. Rouhani will certainly defend and stand by this matter. These sanctions are oppressive and must be removed. Transparency and dialogue will not accompany suspension.” 
  • Law Enforcement Forces Commander BG Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam announced that the weekend’s elections were the safest in the history of the Islamic Republic and that the “main victors were the people and Supreme Leader.”
  • Head of the Basij Organization BG Mohammad Reza Naghdi announced that Basij membership will surpass 20 million this year.

Nuclear Issue

  • Legal and Judiciary Parliamentary Commission member Mousa Ghazanfarabadi said, “The people have resisted and taken measures in the matter of peaceful nuclear energy use and I do not think that any administration or any other individual has the power to deprive the people of their rights. The country’s overall policies will not change based on the discussions that the candidates had in their debates, because the nation’s certain and stable fundamentals are not dependent on a group or individual.” 

Economy

  • According to the Pars Oil and Gas Company, the construction and expansion of five Southern Pars Gas field phases, including phases twelve, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and eighteen are in the final stages.
  • Oil Deputy Minister Abdolhossein Bayat discussed the benefits of privatizing the largely state-owned petrochemical industry and stated, “Though one can say that the petrochemical industry has privatized, this [really] means the transfer of policy-making and the government’s concentration in planning and oversight…The National Iranian Petrochemical Industries Company, as the custodian of implementing and coordinating this industry’s expansion and production plans, by transferring petrochemical companies to the private sector can concentrate better than before in overseeing and planning for the expansion of the petrochemical industry compatible with domestic market consumption needs and an increase of efficiency in exports.” 

Photo of the Day

  • President-elect Hassan Rouhani renews his covenant with the ideals of Imam Khomeini at Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum on Sunday.

 

TIMELINE
Arrow down red
Jul '13
Jun '13
May '13