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: Iran’s presidential candidates increased their attacks against one another ahead of the May 19 elections.

President Hassan Rouhani implicitly referenced Ebrahim Raisi’s role in the execution of approximately 5,000 political prisoners in 1988, and stated that the people do not want to elect a candidate who has been involved in “executions and imprisonments.” Rouhani’s statement is bold, as the issue of the executions remains a highly sensitive topic in the Iranian regime. Raisi, meanwhile, attacked Rouhani’s record on employment. Raisi blamed the Rouhani administration’s “weakness” for Iran’s unemployment rate and promised to create jobs at a higher rate than Rouhani.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei continued to criticize President Rouhani ahead of the elections. Khamenei censured Iran’s endorsement in 2015 of a UN education agenda called Education 2030. Khamenei dismissed the agenda as the West’s attempt to infiltrate Iranian society and values. Khamenei explicitly criticized the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, which is chaired by Rouhani, for permitting Iran’s adoption of the agenda. Khamenei’s ongoing criticism of Rouhani in the lead-up to the elections provides further rhetorical assistance to his conservative opponents.  

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from May 6-9.

Domestic Politics
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May 10, 2017

Rouhani increases attacks on opponents.

President Hassan Rouhani has increased his attacks on his conservative rivals, portraying himself as a candidate in favor of “freedom.”  Rouhani criticized those who who “just ban things” while the population “wants freedom.” He added that the Iranian people do not want to elect someone who has been heavily involved in “executions and imprisonments.” (Donya-e Eqtesad)

  • Rouhani also questioned how anyone could comment on taxes when “they are not taxed themselves.” Ebrahim Raisi manages the Astan Quds Razavi Foundation, which is exempt from corporate taxes. (Ghatreh)
  • Western media outlets also reported that the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) deleted portions of a Rouhani campaign video that reference Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, two opposition leaders who are under house arrest for their involvement in the 2009 Green Movement. (Bloomberg)
  • IRGC-affiliated news outlet Fars News Agency posted footage of workers attacking Rouhani’s vehicle during a May 7 visit to the site of the recent mining explosion near Iran’s border with Turkmenistan which killed 35. (New York Times)
May 10, 2017

Raisi tackles unemployment rate.

Astan Quds Razavi Foundation Head Ebrahim Raisi stated that President Hassan Rouhani does not want to address his failure to meet his 2013 campaign promises during a speech in Khuzestan province. Raisi claimed that the Iranian people are “saying that the unemployment rate is unacceptable” and that they will “no longer tolerate” the Rouhani administration’s “negligence.” Raisi promised that he would be able to create jobs much faster than the Rouhani administration.

  • Raisi blamed the “weakness of the executive management” for the country’s high unemployment rates during a speech in Kerman province. Raisi stressed that unemployment rates are impacting the Iranian people’s dignity and ability to live their lives. Raisi also claimed that the Rouhani administration has not provided a performance report because it “is afraid of its rivals.” Raisi also highlighted the corruption scandal in which leaks revealed that Rouhani administration members had received exorbitantly high salaries. Raisi addressed Rouhani and stated, “We want to take down the wall between the people’s rights and the robbers [officials who received high salaries.] Are you angry because of the presence of competitors on the scene?... I feel that you are angry… at the workers who protest you or the poor who do not wish to endure you.” Some consider Raisi’s comments a reaction to Rouhani’s criticism of Raisi’s involvement in the execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.
  • The influential conservative organization Society of Combatant Clergy also announced it is backing Ebrahim Raisi in the May 19 elections. (Tasnim News Agency) (Tasnim News Agency) (Tasnim News Agency)
May 10, 2017

Supreme Leader criticizes Iran’s 2015 adoption of UN education agenda.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei censured Iran’s endorsement in 2015 of a UN education agenda called Education 2030, which endeavors to “ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” Khamenei indicated that Iran has its own education agenda and that the UN, a “so-called international organization under the influence of big powers,” does not have the right to make such decisions for nations with varying histories and cultures. Khamenei warned that Iran is “not a place for the faulty destructive corrupt Western lifestyle to infiltrate like this.” Khamenei explicitly denounced the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution for permitting Iran to adopt Education 2030, stating that the council “should have been vigilant.” Khamenei’s comments are likely aimed at President Hassan Rouhani ahead of the May 19 presidential elections. Iran’s president chairs the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)

May 10, 2017

Ghalibaf denies rumors he is withdrawing from presidential race.

Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf addressed rumors he is withdrawing his candidacy in the presidential elections. He stated, “I did not become a candidate in order to withdraw,” and reiterated his call to end “the government of the 4 percent.” Ghalibaf has accused Rouhani of representing Iran’s establishment elite, rather than the general population. (Tasnim News Agency)

May 10, 2017

Senior IRGC members react to Rouhani’s attack on the IRGC.

Armed Forces General Staff Head IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri and Basij Organization Commander IRGC Brig. Gen. Gholam Hossein Gheibparvar reacted to President Hassan Rouhani’s statement during the May 5 presidential debate that the IRGC launched missile tests in an effort to “disrupt” the nuclear deal. Rouhani had noted that the IRGC had inscribed the missiles with the slogan “Israel should be wiped off the earth” in Hebrew.

  • Bagheri reiterated that the nuclear program does not address Iran’s missile program and stressed that Iran’s nuclear negotiators had claimed that Iran’s military capabilities assisted them in the nuclear talks.
  • Gheibparvar stated that the elimination of Israel is “one of our goals,” and stressed that “the free people around the world are proud” that Iran is standing up to Israel. (Tabnak) (Basij News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Donya-e Eqtesad
http://donya-e-eqtesad.com/SiteKhan/1205339

2. Ghatreh
http://www.ghatreh.com/news/nn37370151/%D9%86%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%AB%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%B4%D8%AF%D9%87-%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%86%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%87%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%B4%D9%85%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%AF%D9%86%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%B4%D9%85%D8%A7

3. Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-05-06/iran-s-state-tv-cuts-house-arrest-references-from-rouhani-video

4. New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/08/world/asia/iran-hassan-rouhani-mining-protest.html

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/02/18/1401839/%D8%B1%D8%A6%DB%8C%D8%B3%DB%8C-%D8%A7%DA%AF%D8%B1-%D9%86%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%AF-%DA%86%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%B5%D8%AD%D9%86%D9%87-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AF-%DA%86%D8%B7%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%86%D8%AC%D9%88%D9%85%DB%8C-%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B2%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B4-%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%86%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%AF

2. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/02/19/1403001/%D8%B1%D8%A6%DB%8C%D8%B3%DB%8C-%D8%AF%DB%8C%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D9%84%D9%86%D8%AF%DB%8C-%D8%A8%DB%8C%D9%86-%DA%86%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%84%DA%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%85-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D9%85%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D9%88-%D9%81%DB%8C%D9%84%D9%85

3. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/02/18/1401810/%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%B9%D9%87-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B2-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%87%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%B1%D8%A6%DB%8C%D8%B3%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AA-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/05/07/1400506/no-place-for-2030-education-agenda-in-iran-leader

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/02/19/1402374/%D9%BE%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AE-%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%81-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B2%DB%8C-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%87-%DA%A9%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%87-%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B4

Citations & Links

1. Tabnak
http://tabnak.ir/fa/news/691931/%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%AE%D8%A7%DA%A9-%D9%BE%D8%A7%DA%A9%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%A3%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%B4%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA

2. Basij News Agency
http://www.basijnews.ir/fa/news/8857420/%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%B9%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%82%D8%B1%D9%86%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%B7%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%82%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%AE%D8%B4%DB%8C%D8%AF

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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May 10, 2017

Officials congratulate newly elected French president.

President Hassan Rouhani sent a congratulatory message to newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron. Rouhani expressed his hope for the “further development of the long-standing ties between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of France.” Likewise, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi welcomed the results of France’s election and hoped for a continuation of the “efforts made over the past few years.” (Presiden.ir) (E) (Tasnim News Agency) (E) (Fars News Agency) (E)

May 10, 2017

Bagheri: We will attack Pakistani terrorist havens if aggressions continue.

Armed Forces General Staff Head IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri warned that “Pakistani soil has become a haven for terrorists” and terrorist shelters will “come under [Iran’s] crushing attack” if “aggressions continue.” Jaish al Adl militants killed nine Iranian border guards near the Iran-Pakistan border in April. The Pakistani government has promised to capture and punish perpetrators. (Reuters) (E) (Fars News Agency) (E) (Tabnak) (E)

Citations & Links

1. President.ir
http://www.president.ir/en/99091

2. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/05/08/1401536/rouhani-congratulates-macron-says-iran-eager-for-closer-france-ties

3. Fars News Agency
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960218000847

Citations & Links

1. Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/iran-pakistan-security-idINKBN1840RY

2. Fars News Agency
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960218000673

3. Tabnak
http://tabnak.ir/fa/news/691931/%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%AE%D8%A7%DA%A9-%D9%BE%D8%A7%DA%A9%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%A3%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%B4%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA

Casualties in Iraq and Syria
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May 10, 2017

Afghan Shia militia Fatimiyoun Brigade members killed in Syria.

  • Elias Hosseini was buried in Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan Province, on May 8. (ABNA)
  • Sajjad Hosseini Jafari was buried in the city of Tehran on May 8. (ABNA)
  • Esmat Shokoohi will be buried in Buin Zahra County, Qazvin Province, on May 11. He was killed during the month of Esfand [February-March] 2017. He was 18 years old, and reportedly on his third deployment. (ISNA)

Citations & Links

1. ABNA
http://fa.abna24.com/news/%D8%A7%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%87%D8%A7/%D9%BE%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D9%87%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B9-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%85-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3-%D8%AD%D8%B3%DB%8C%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%AF-%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%AF_719459.html

2. ABNA
http://fa.abna24.com/news/%D8%A7%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%87%D8%A7/%D9%BE%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D9%87%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B9-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%85-%D8%B3%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%AD%D8%B3%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%AC%D8%B9%D9%81%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AA%D8%B4%DB%8C%DB%8C%D8%B9-%D8%B4%D8%AF_719508.html

3. ISNA
http://www.isna.ir/news/96021912200/%D9%BE%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D9%87%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B9-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%85-%D8%B9%D8%B5%D9%85%D8%AA-%D8%B4%DA%A9%D9%88%D9%87%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D8%B4%DB%8C%DB%8C%D8%B9-%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%AF

Economy
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May 10, 2017

Oil Minister: $55 per barrel is a suitable price for oil.

Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said that $55 per barrel is a suitable oil price during the 22nd International Oil, Gas, and Refining Exhibition in Iran. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/05/07/1400158/tehran-sees-55-suitable-price-for-oil-minister

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