Iran News Round Up

The Iran News Round Up ran from February 2009-September 2018. Visit the Iran File for the latest analysis.

Key takeaway: IRGC Commander Ali Jafari attacked Rouhani administration officials as “un-revolutionary.”

IRGC Major General Jafari claimed that “many officials” who are “governing the country now” have a “Western, liberal, and un-revolutionary viewpoint” and are “proud” of their degrees from “Western universities” during a speech at a Qom seminary. Jafari’s comments likely represent a direct attack on the ideological commitment of President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet members, among other government officials. Rouhani himself received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, and his cabinet has featured more alums from U.S. colleges and universities than any other foreign government cabinet in the world. Jafari’s comments intensify the stream of criticism of Rouhani by conservative politicians and other IRGC officers leading up to the May presidential elections. 

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from March 14-16.

The Critical Threats Project is hiring an Iran analyst to join the team. Find out more details about the opening here.

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March 17, 2017

Is Iran's President Rouhani on his way out?

Marie Donovan discusses the possibility President Hassan Rouhani’s economic record could cost him a second term in “Is Iran’s President Rouhani on his way out?

Citations & Links

Domestic Politics
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March 17, 2017

Jafari criticizes Rouhani administration officials as “un-revolutionary.”

IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said that “many officials” who are “governing the country now” have a “Western, liberal, and un-revolutionary viewpoint” during a speech at a seminary in Qom on March 14. He stated that these officials “have been educated in Western universities… they are proud they received” these “degrees.” Jafari stated that an “un-revolutionary viewpoint based on ‘American Islam’” exists in Iran and is the “main danger” to the country. Jafari identified several “steps” of the Islamic Revolution as “the victory over [the Shah’s] regime, the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the Islamization of the political system’s institutions, and the establishment of a global Islamic community.” Jafari warned that “we are experiencing” delays “in some of these steps now.” Jafari also stated, “The resistance front of the Revolution collapsed the power of the East’s communism; God willing, it is now disrupting the West’s power; the evidence of this is visible.” He stressed that the “common denominator between the IRGC” and the seminaries “is the preservation and the development of the Islamic Revolution.” (Fars News Agency)

March 17, 2017

Rouhani spokesman censures IRIB for “misleading” reporting on administration’s economic record.

Rouhani Administration Spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht addressed criticism of President Hassan Rouhani’s economic record during a press conference. Nobakht accused a group within state run media outlet Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) of attempting to “destroy what the government has achieved in economic terms.” Nobakht claimed that IRIB was “mislead[ing] the nation” by asking “ordinary citizens complex questions” and making “conclusions based on their responses that the government failed to achieve economic success.” (Mehr News Agency) (E)

March 17, 2017

Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi to Rouhani administration: Educate your governors.

Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi stated, “The government must give classes in Iranian and Islamic studies to whomever it sends as governors, so that [the governors] know where they are going… to what issues the people are sensitive, and what [the people’s] red lines are.” Makarem Shirazi claimed that the governor of Sistan and Baluchistan province has “disrupted the balance between Shia and Sunni,” and that there is “conflict” between the governor and the people of Fars province. Clergy members and Friday prayer leaders recently ended an unsuccessful protest calling on the Interior Ministry to remove the governor of South Khorasan province for comments regarding mixed company socializing. (ABNA) (Radio Farda)

March 17, 2017

Rouhani’s chief of staff: Critics of government are tied to foreign conspirators

President Hassan Rouhani’s Chief of Staff Mohammad Nahavandian censured accusations that government officials are heedless of the needs of the people and are living “luxurious lives.” He stressed that those who are acquainted with government officials are well aware of their normal lives. Nahavandian warned that some of the accusations are rooted in foreign attempts to “create a gap between the people and government.” Nahavandian also defended the growth and diversification of Iran’s economy under the Rouhani administration at length. A scandal broke last year when leaks revealed that some Iranian government officials had been receiving exorbitant salaries and benefits. (Ghatreh) 

March 17, 2017

IRGC veteran and former IRIB head announces presidential run.

Ezatollah Zarghami, an IRGC veteran and former head of the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, has announced his intention to run in the May presidential elections. Zarghami also served as a deputy minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance under former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The EU has sanctioned Zarghami for human rights violations for IRIB’s coverage of the contested 2009 presidential elections in Iran. (Tasnim News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency

Citations & Links

1. Mehr News Agency

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2. Radio Farda

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Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency

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