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: President Hassan Rouhani explicitly warned against IRGC interference in the elections, underscoring heightened tensions in Iran on the last day of campaigning.

Rouhani called on the IRGC and the Basij to “stay in their own place for their own work” on election day during a speech in Mashhad on May 17. The IRGC had reportedly lobbied to station IRGC and Basij members at Tehran polling stations on election day.  Rouhani also blasted his opponent Ebrahim Raisi and the conservatives.  A mandated media blackout on the elections began on May 18.

The U.S. State Department announced the extension of sanctions relief called for under the 2015 nuclear deal on May 17. The U.S. Treasury Department also announced a new round of sanctions on one Chinese and two Iranian nationals, as well as one Iranian and three Chinese entities, for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program.


This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from May 17.

Domestic Politics
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May 18, 2017

Rouhani attacks Raisi and IRGC in campaign speech in Mashhad.

President Hassan Rouhani gave his final campaign speech in Mashhad before the elections on May 19. Rouhani directly attacked the IRGC and the Basij, and stated that they should “stay in their own place for their own work” and not interfere in the election. Rouhani added that the election was a choice between “righteousness” and “deceitfulness.” He also claimed Raisi has avoided discussing foreign policy. Rouhani also promised that “a high turnout… is the way to achieve the freedoms you want.” (Reuters) (E) (IRNA) (E) (ISNA) (Twitter)

May 18, 2017

Former IRGC Commander to Rouhani administration: “Don’t be surprised at a Raisi victory.”

Expediency Discernment Council Secretary and former IRGC Commander Mohsen Rezaei stated, “If [conservative candidate Ebrahim] Raisi becomes president, don’t be startled, the Iranian people are full of surprises. [If Raisi wins] the government should congratulate him” in a post on his Twitter account. (Twitter)

May 18, 2017

Supreme Leader: “It is likely” some will attempt to interfere in the elections.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei discussed the elections during a speech on May 17.

  • “It is likely that some individuals seek to violate law. However, these sectors - whether the executive, regulatory, or security sectors - are trustworthy and reliable, thank God.”
  • “The Islamic Republic has granted us freedom; although, some people are ungrateful and use the freedom they are given to deny freedom exists--this is ungrateful.”
  • “The Islamic Republic of Iran is busy preparing for [the] elections in peace and security… This peaceful and calm environment is invaluable.” (Khamenei.ir) (E)

 

May 18, 2017

Raisi criticizes Rouhani in final campaign speech.

Conservative candidate Hojjat ol Eslam Ebrahim Raisi spoke to a large crowd in his home base of Mashhad on May 17.

    • On taxes: Raisi responded to Rouhani’s commentary on Raisi and the tax-exempt status of the Astan Quds Razavi Foundation. Raisi stated,“This holy shrine is based on devotion, [and] we add value to taxes and all of the participants have been audited and the money which must be given for taxes is given tenfold [the amount] to orphans and the poor.”
    • On sanctions: “You [Rouhani] claimed to have taken away sanctions but the people must judge. We, with the help of the people, removed the sanctions.”
    • On creating jobs: Raisi also claimed that if the government “intends to execute the law,” then “one million jobs will be created.” He added that if “the minimum amount of contraband goods” arrived with every million dollars, “100,000 jobs would be created.” (Tasnim News Agency)
    • The Islamic Society of Engineers and the Committee of the Workers of Iran also announced they are endorsing Raisi’s bid in the election. (Ghatreh) (Tasnim News Agency)
May 18, 2017

Interior Ministry appears to reverse decision to announce election results all at once.

Interior Ministry Election Headquarters Chief Mohammad Hossein Moqimi stated that the Interior Ministry will announce the results of vote counting gradually. Moqimi’s statement follows Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli’s announcement that the Interior Ministry will announce the vote count to the public all at once. Guardian Council Spokesman Abbas Ali Khadkhodei had stated earlier that “the Guardian Council recommends that the result of the presidential election vote counts be made public gradually.” (Press TV) (E) (Press TV) (E)

Citations & Links

1. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82534168/

2. ISNA
http://www.isna.ir/news/96022717971/ما-نبات-امام-رضا-ع-را-برای-شفا-می-خواستیم-نه-برای-رای-نظامی-ها

Citations & Links

Citations & Links

1. Khamenei.ir
http://english.khamenei.ir/news/4836/Iran-celebrates-security-and-peace-ahead-of-election-Ayatollah

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/02/27/1411248/رئیسی-آقای-روحانی-شما-را-نصحیت-می-کنم-منافع-ملی-را-فدای-منافع-شخصی-نکنید-چرا-عصبانی-هستید-با-کمک-مردم-تحریم-ها-را-برمی-داریم-مطلقاً-اجازه-فساد-را-نخواهیم-داد-فیلم-و-تصاویر

2. Ghatreh
http://www.ghatreh.com/news/nn37495110/بیانیه-کمیته-کارگران-ایران-حجت-الاسلام-رییسی-انتخابات-حمایت-کرد

3. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/02/25/1408808/جامعه-اسلامی-مهندسین-از-رئیسی-حمایت-کرد

Citations & Links

1. Press TV
http://presstv.ir/Detail/2017/05/17/522173/Iran-presidential-election

2. Press TV
http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/05/18/522304/Iran-election-interior-Ministry-Guardian-Council-results

Casualties in Iraq and Syria
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May 18, 2017

Iranian killed in Syria.

Alireza Ghabadi, a resident of Tehran, was reportedly killed in Hama, Syria, on May 16.  (Defa Press)

Citations & Links

1. Defa Press
http://www.defapress.ir/fa/news/239683/شهادت-تخریبچی-مدافع-حرم-علیرضا-قبادی-در-سوریه

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