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 impact of longshot presidential candidates Mostafa Mirsalim and Mostafa Hashemi Taba’s decision to remain in the race is unclear.

The conservative Mirsalim denied he is withdrawing from the race despite a statement to that effect from his backers, the Islamic Coalition Party. Reformist Mostafa Hashemi Taba reportedly called on the Iranian people to vote for President Hassan Rouhani, but has not formally withdrawn his candidacy.  

The impact of their remaining on the ballot is not clear. Both Mirsalim and Hashemi Taba are long shot candidates who have polled at two to three percent during the campaign season. Even a small number of votes for either candidate could affect the outcome of a close race between the frontrunners, President Hassan Rouhani and Ebrahim Raisi. 

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from May 17-18.

Domestic Politics
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May 19, 2017

Conservative candidate Mirsalim denies withdrawal from presidential race.

The Islamic Coalition Party, which had endorsed conservative Mostafa Mirsalim’s presidential candidacy, issued a statement on May 17 that Mirsalim is withdrawing from the race. Mirsalim later denied that he is withdrawing from the election in a statement posted on a Telegram account. Mirsalim traveled to Mashhad with conservative frontrunner Ebrahim Raisi on May 17. (Radio Farda) (Tasnim News Agency) (BBC Persian)

May 19, 2017

Reformist presidential candidate backs Rouhani, but appears to stay in race.

Mostafa Hashemi Taba reportedly called on the Iranian people to vote for President Hassan Rouhani in the elections in a post on his Telegram channel on May 17. IRNA reported that as of May 18, Hashemi Taba has not formally withdrawn from the race. Several Iranian news outlets reported that Hashemi Taba as well as Mirsalim are still candidates in the election. The Interior Ministry’s Elections Headquarters announced electoral codes for both Hashemitaba and Mirsalim, possibly indicating that their names will be on the ballot on May 19. (Tasnim News Agency) (E) (Press TV) (E) (IRNA) (E)

May 19, 2017

Senior member of Khamenei’s inspection office resigns following Rouhani endorsement.

Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri resigned from his position as the head of the Inspection Bureau of the Office of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Nateq Nouri had served as the bureau’s head for over two decades. Press TV reported that his resignation has not yet been accepted. The conservative Nateq Nouri has endorsed President Hassan Rouhani’s bid for re-election publically. Nateq Nouri lost the 1997 presidential elections to the reformist Mohammad Khatami. (Press TV) (E)

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/02/28/1411432/حزب-مؤتلفه-اسلامی-با-انصراف-میرسلیم-از-رقابت-انتخابات-96-موافقت-کرد

2. BBC Persian
http://www.bbc.com/persian/iran-39956205

3. Radio Farda
https://www.radiofarda.com/a/f7-mirsalim-drop-out-the-race/28494215.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/05/18/1411566/iran-presidential-candidate-pledges-cooperation-with-judiciary-against-corruption

2. Press TV
http://presstv.ir/Detail/2017/05/18/522379/Iran-Nateq-Nouri-Ali-Khamenei--Hassan-Rouhani-presidential-election

3. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82534529/

Citations & Links

1. Press TV
http://presstv.ir/Detail/2017/05/18/522379/Iran-Nateq-Nouri-Ali-Khamenei--Hassan-Rouhani-presidential-election

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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May 19, 2017

Iran to sanction nine American entities in response to new U.S. sanctions.

Iran announced that it will sanction nine American individuals and entities in response to the newest round of U.S. sanctions. The Foreign Ministry called America’s sanctions “unacceptable” and said the new sanctions on Americans were for “blatant human rights violations against Palestinians.” (Press TV) (E)

  • Chinese Foreign Ministry protests new U.S. sanctions on Iran and China. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying criticized the U.S. sanctions on Iranian and Chinese nationals and entities as contrary to the promotion of mutual trust. (IRNA) (E)
May 19, 2017

Iran will not implement part of UNESCO education agenda.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi stated that Iran will not implement elements of a UN agenda called Education 2030 following Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s criticism of the agenda on May 10. Khamenei criticized the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, which is led by President Hassan Rouhani, for permitting the adoption of the agenda.

  • Ghassemi said that Iran will not accept anything that “goes against its values” and is not compatible with the country’s education standards. Ghassemi stated that Iran has notified the UN of its “unchangeable” position. (Mehr News Agency) (E) (Press TV) (E) (Fars News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Press TV
http://presstv.ir/Detail/2017/05/18/522318/Iran-US-sanction-missile-nuclear

2. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82535145/

Citations & Links

1. Mehr News Agency
http://en.mehrnews.com/news/125435/Iran-not-to-implement-all-goals-of-UNESCO-2030-Agenda

2. Press TV
http://presstv.ir/Detail/2017/05/17/522287/iran-unicco-qassemi-2030

3. Fars News Agency
https://t.co/HMnSfjUHNN

Casualties in Iraq and Syria
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May 19, 2017

Two Pakistani Shia militia members buried in Qom.

Seyed Sajid and Seyed Naghi Shah, two Zeinabiyoun fighters, were buried in Qom Province on May 17. They were killed in an undisclosed location in Syria. (Ghatreh)

Citations & Links

1. Ghatreh
http://www.ghatreh.com/news/nn37491049/پیکرهای-مطهر-شهید-مدافع-حرم-تیپ-زینبیون-تشییع-شود

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