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: The Supreme Leader’s pushback against President Hassan Rouhani may reflect Khamenei’s attempts to curtail Rouhani’s influence ahead of a possible second term.

Khamenei issued a blatant warning against a repetition of the 2009 Green Movement during the May 19 presidential elections during a speech at the IRGC’s Imam Hossein University on May 10. Khamenei disparaged those who criticize the IRGC and its “jihadi spirit” as “violence and extremism.” Khamenei instructed the presidential candidates not to trigger ethnic or religious differences ahead of the elections.

 Khamenei has made similar warnings against national disunity and Western infiltration in the past. He has praised the IRGC and its missile program frequently. Khamenei’s speech nonetheless clashes with several of President Hassan Rouhani’s campaign statements over the last week. Rouhani notably criticized his conservative opponents on May 9, claiming that their age of “violence and extremism is over.” Rouhani addressed ethnic minorities’ rights during the May 5 presidential debates. Rouhani also criticized the IRGC’s missile tests as attempts to “disrupt” the nuclear deal during that debate.

Khamenei and Rouhani have sparred over these issues previously. Rouhani is known for denouncing his opponents as “extremists” and has sought to limit the influence of the IRGC throughout his presidency. Khamenei’s pushback against Rouhani in his May 10 speech may reflect his efforts to curtail the president’s power ahead of a possible second term.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from May 9-10. The Iran News Round Up will resume on May 13.

Domestic Politics
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May 11, 2017

Khamenei warns against repetition of 2009 Green Movement.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei discussed the elections and national security during remarks at a graduation ceremony at the IRGC’s Imam Hossein University on May

  • On insecurity during the May 19 elections: “If the [Iranian] people participate [in an] orderly [way] in the election… it will bring about the glory of the Islamic Republic. But if they break the rules or cause misconduct, if they please the enemies with their words, the elections will end to our detriment.”
  • On the West’s attempt to destroy Iran: Khamenei warned that the enemy’s mid-term goal is “make the economy stagnant and lagging… so that the people will lose hope in the Islamic Republic over economic problems.”
  • Khamenei warned that Iran’s enemies have evolved from openly calling for Iran’s destruction to calling for a “change” in Iran’s “behavior.” Khamenei rejected any calls for a “change” in Iran’s “behavior,” and stated that the West’s “call for a change of behavior is no different from changing” Iran’s political system.
  • On the IRGC: Khamenei warned that Iran’s enemies “rage” against the IRGC because they “have always been against the factors that” strengthen Iran. Khamenei also stated that “propaganda and media hype” frequently address Iran’s missile program because “military might” is one of several elements which “strengthen” Iran.
  • Khamenei praised the devotion of Iran’s military forces as another source of Iran’s strength. He criticized those who disparage this “resistant and jihadi spirit” as “violence and extremism.”
  • On the presidential campaigns: Khamenei warned that the presidential candidates must observe several requirements during their campaigns. Khamenei outlined one of the requirements as avoiding “triggering belief, geographical,” linguistic, “or ethnic differences; they should be careful. The candidates should be careful…. [not to] trigger these differences to the benefit of the enemy.” (Fars News Agency) (E)
May 11, 2017

Parliamentarians sign letter in support of Rouhani.

Parliamentarian Shahrouz Barzgar stated that 168 parliamentarians signed a letter endorsing President Hassan Rouhani in the upcoming election. Barzgar also said that the vote was incomplete due to absent members, and a total of 210 parliamentarians are expected to endorse Rouhani. There are 290 seats in Iran’s Parliament. (IRNA)

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency

Citations & Links


Casualties in Iraq and Syria
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May 11, 2017

Afghan Shia militia Fatemiyoun Brigade member killed in Syria.

  • Mohammad-Reza Rezaei was buried on May 9th; his burial location is not known. (Tasnim News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency

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