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: Reformist and conservative forces galvanized in support of their respective candidates ahead of the May 19 presidential elections.

Several leaders of the 2009 Green Movement announced their support for President Hassan Rouhani. Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, also expressed his support for Rouhani. Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani, meanwhile, blatantly backed conservative candidate Astan Quds Razavi Foundation Head Ebrahim Raisi.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from May 13-16.

Domestic Politics
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May 17, 2017

Reformist leaders, Khomeini grandson back Rouhani.

Mir Hossein Mousavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard, and Secretary General of the National Trust Party Mehdi Karroubi stated that they will vote for President Hassan Rouhani in the elections. Mousavi, Rahnavard, and Karroubi have been under house arrest since 2011 for leading the 2009 Green Movement protests. (Reuters) (E) (Radio Farda)

  • Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, stated “We have enough space to trust Rouhani one more time” in a post on his Instagram account. (ISNA)
May 17, 2017

Khatami releases video in support of Rouhani.

Former President Mohammad Khatami released a video urging voters to re-elect President Hassan Rouhani and continue his policy of integrating Iran into the global community. Khatami is under a Judiciary-mandated media ban which prohibits media outlets from publishing his name and image. (Reuters) (E) (BBC) 

May 17, 2017

Judiciary Head signifies support for Raisi.

Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani stated that the extent of Iran’s enemies’ dissatisfaction with a presidential candidate is “a very good criterion” for determining “the most qualified candidate.” His statement is in reference to conservative candidate Ebrahim Raisi, who has taken a more aggressive stance against the West than President Rouhani. Larijani also criticized candidates who have acted during their presidential campaign as if they are in opposition to Iran’s political system. His statement is aimed at Rouhani, who has increased his rhetoric in support of the Green Movement leadership and Iran’s reformist movement during his campaign. (IRNA) (E)

May 17, 2017

Political figures react to Ghalibaf’s withdrawal from presidential race.

  • Conservative candidate Hojjat ol Eslam Ebrahim Raisi issued a statement expressing his gratitude following Ghalibaf’s resignation from the presidential race. Raisi mentioned that Ghalibaf made a “revolutionary movement” and “thanked” him for unifying the Popular Front of the Islamic Revolution Forces. (Fars News Agency)
  • Expediency Council Secretary and former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaei also sent a message via social media, stating “Ghalibaf’s support for Raisi strengthened the breath of unity in the Islamic Revolutionary Front.” (Mehr News Agency)
  • First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri reacted to Ghalibaf’s resignation with “No comment.” (ISNA)
  • Head of the Reformists' Supreme Council for Policymaking Mohammad-Reza Aref stated that “This was expected that Ghalibaf would step aside and at the specified time, he too moved aside.” (ISNA)
May 17, 2017

Jahangiri drops out of the presidential race.

Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri withdrew his candidacy from the presidential race on May 16. The Reformist Supreme Policymaking Council requested Jahangiri step down in favor of President Hassan Rouhani. (Fars News Agency) (Tasnim News Agency)

May 17, 2017

IRGC-affiliated news outlet reports support for Raisi increases after Ghalibaf withdrawal.

Fars News Agency reported that 77.7 percent of Tehran Mayor Mohammad Ghalibaf’s supporters are expected to cast their vote for conservative candidate Hojjat ol Eslam Ebrahim Raisi following Ghalibaf’s withdrawal. The poll also claimed that Raisi stands at 47.9 percent while President Hassan Rouhani has 44.8 percent of the vote. The report was released prior to First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri’s formal withdrawal from the race. The report estimated that Rouhani would gain Jahangiri’s share of the vote (approximately two percent overall) in the event of Jahangiri’s withdrawal. (Fars News Agency)

May 17, 2017

Ghalibaf appears at Raisi’s campaign rally.

Mayor of Tehran Mohammad Ghalibaf appeared at a campaign rally with conservative candidate Hojjat ol Eslam Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran. During the rally, Ghalibaf called for unity amongst conservatives as the only way to fight a status quo that only benefits the top “4%” of the country. (Fars News Agency) (Fars News Agency)

  • During the rally, Raisi said that his administration will build a wall between the “looters and the people’s salaries.” He added that the government should increase subsidies for the poor and criticized increasing imports from China for being detrimental to domestic production. (Fars News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-election-opposition-idUSKCN18B18T

2. Radio Farda
http://www.radiofarda.com/a/o2-mirhossein-rahnevard/28491979.html

3. ISNA
http://www.isna.ir/news/96022616929/%D8%AC%D8%A7-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF-%DB%8C%DA%A9-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%AF%DB%8C%DA%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%AF-%DA%A9%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85

Citations & Links

1. Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-election-khatami-idUSKCN18A0NQ

2. BBC
http://www.bbc.com/persian/iran-39913833

Citations & Links

1. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82531159/

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960225001340

2. Mehr News Agency
http://www.mehrnews.com/news/3979632/%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%81-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%B1%D8%A6%DB%8C%D8%B3%DB%8C-%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AD%D9%87-%D9%88%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%AA-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AC%D8%A8%D9%87%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%82%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D9%82%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%AA-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF

3. ISNA
http://www.isna.ir/news/96022516429/%D9%88%D8%A7%DA%A9%D9%86%D8%B4-%D8%A8%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%B4%D8%B1%D8%AD-%D8%AC%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%86%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%B9%D9%81%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%81

4. ISNA
http://www.isna.ir/news/96022516434/%D9%88%D8%A7%DA%A9%D9%86%D8%B4-%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%81-%D8%A8%D9%87-%DA%A9%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%87-%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%81

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960226001525

2. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/02/26/1410097/%D9%BE%DB%8C%D8%B4%D9%86%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA-%DA%AF%D8%B0%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B5%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AD-%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AC%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%86%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%87-%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960226000995

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960226001090

2. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960226001507

3. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960226000806

Military and Security
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May 17, 2017

IRGC attempts to station members at Tehran polling stations.

The head of the Interior Ministry’s Election Headquarters Ali-Reza Rahimi expressed his opposition to the call to station IRGC and Basij members at Tehran polling stations on election day. Rahimi stated, “The establishment of armed forces at polling stations and branches with the excuse of a shortage of law enforcement is not acceptable.” (ISNA)

  • Twitter users reported on May 16 that “security forces” used tear gas to attack Rouhani’s campaign office in Tehran. Rouhani’s campaign offices have reportedly been attacked several times in the last few weeks.  (Twitter) (E) (Twitter) (E)
May 17, 2017

IRGC arrests two “terrorists” suspected of murdering police officers.

IRGC Vali-ye Asr Unit (Khuzestan Province) Commander Brig. Gen. 2C Hossein Shahvarpour announced that IRGC forces arrested two “terrorists” responsible for the deaths of two Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) officers in the city of Ahvaz, Khuzestan province, on May 15. Shahvarpour did not provide any further identification regarding the affiliations of the arrested individuals. (Tasnim News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. ISNA
http://www.isna.ir/news/96022617036/%D9%88%D8%A7%DA%A9%D9%86%D8%B4-%D8%B1%D8%A6%DB%8C%D8%B3-%D9%87%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%86%D8%B8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%AD%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1

2. Twitter
https://twitter.com/SaeedKD/status/864585460420681730

3. Twitter
https://twitter.com/SaeedKD/status/862309322260443138/photo/1

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/02/26/1410082/%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D9%BE%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%84-%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%A7-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%87%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%AA%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF

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