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

  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei stated, “Presidential election candidates must only tell the truth to the people, both truths of the country’s current state of affairs and truths about themselves.”
  • Former Tehran General Prosecutor and defendant in the 2009 Kahrizak detention center fatalities Said Mortazavi denied that the fatalities resulted from beatings and abuse in prison and said, “I am not regretful about the measures taken.” 
  • Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani said, “It is expected from election candidates to maintain the dignity and reputation of the Islamic Republic of Iran system and its characteristic independence and religious democracy.” 
  • Senior Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi denied that he supports a candidate and added, “The elected president must avoid short-sightedness and partisanship and [be able to] take advice.” 

Regional Developments

  • ISNA reports heavy Syrian opposition casualties, 1,000 dead and 2,000 wounded, in the battle of al-Qusayr.
  • According to Ahlul Bayt News Agency, Syrian “terrorist” group, the Aleppo Province Revolutionary Military Council, has issued a statement threatening to “annihilate” Shia villages in Syria if Lebanese Hezbollah does not leave the country.
  • Syrian security and military forces have reportedly killed thirty-four al-Qaeda members, four of whom were Saudi citizens.
  • Citizen protests in Bahrain have reportedly increased in the past two days, leading to protests in twenty-three areas. Bahraini officials have intensified protestor crackdowns and arrested ten individuals. 
  • [E] Bahraini security forces reportedly attacked the funeral procession of a protestor who died of inhaling tear gas.
  • [E] Iraqi security forces have reportedly arrested a senior al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq commander in Anbar province.

Diplomacy

  • The International Friends of Syria conference is being held in Tehran. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Abbas Ali Eraghchi stated, “Today’s advice can aid in reaching a political strategy for resolving the Syrian crisis, and we hope this advice will be effective in the discussions introduced at the Geneva conference.”

Military and Security

  • Islamic Culture and Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini requested a “more serious” supervision of foreign journalists entering the country to cover the presidential elections.
  • Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Quds Force Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Shirazi: “The enemies’ goal in Syria is to break the chain of resistance and, ultimately, to break Iran’s power. [Therefore] Iran is providing intellectual and spiritual support to Syria.” Pointing out that the Israeli bombing of targets in Syria was a net gain for the Assad regime, he said, “The Syrians have achieved great success using the Iranian Basij forces as a model and establishing the jaysh al-sha’bi, and the spirits of their army are now higher.”
  • Defense Minister BG Ahmad Vahidi stated, “There is no need to export weapons to Syria and it is not necessary. The Syrian army is powerful and we see these days that it has played an important role in cleansing terrorists from the various areas of this country.” 
  • IRGC Deputy Commander BG Hossein Salami encouraged participation in the upcoming presidential elections and said, “Today the enemy has encountered disaster and a lack of success, while Iran has been visibly successful in all scenes. By transferring the spirit of resistance, [Iran] has made unsuccessful all trends and strategies that the enemy has [implemented] to manage Islam’s evolution.” 
  • The National Conference of Practicing Clergy in the IRGC is taking place in Tehran. Head of the Representation of the Supreme Leader in the IRGC Clerical Affairs Directorate Hojjat al-Eslam Safar Ali Moradi said, “Practicing clergies in the IRGC are coaches, guides, and those who are responsible for spreading the message in all aspects and awareness-increasing fields. [They are also responsible for] spreading religious knowledge and promoting ethics in addition to their individual capacities, and [they] need updated knowledge and more awareness so they can fulfill their own role.” 
  • Head of the Basij Organization BG Mohammad Reza Naghdi stated, “The Dominant System has taken aim at our nation’s Islamic lifestyle, beliefs, views, and opinions. Eighty radio networks, 120 satellite networks, thousands of internet networks, and millions of vulgar [CD]s are just parts of the cultural conspiracies of [Global] Arrogance.” 
  • Law Enforcement Forces Commander BG Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam predicted “passionate” elections and said that this year’s election security environment will be “one of the safest in history.” Moghaddam also announced that four security officials would be present to monitor every ballot box, adding: “These individuals are responsible for ensuring the security of 65,000 ballot boxes."

Economy

  • The Parliamentary fiscal debate has ended and its case has been referred to the Guardian Council for approval. According to the final agreements, direct subsidies have remained fixed, currency will be single-rated, and the Credit and Money Council is tasked with determining the rate of the rial to the dollar. 
  • According to the Iran Statistics Center, Iran's inflation rate has doubled in the past ten years, increasing from 13.9% to 28.9%.
  • Industry, Mining, and Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari announced that the Iranian economy was managed with half of its average oil revenue in the past year, and added, “The market’s total management in the days before and after the elections is one of the primary missions of this agency in supporting political valor.” 
  • According to Customs Agency statistics, non-oil exports [$6.1 billion] in the past two months surpassed imports [$5.7 billion]. 
  • The Central Bank released a statement urging election candidates to present accurate economic information and said, “In the past days, information and statistics were published by some individuals in a number of media outlets that were completely manufactured and are miles away from reality, including announced news that the government owes the Central Bank [approximately $200 million].”

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