Iran News Round Up April 25, 2013

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analyst Will Fulton. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

 Politics

  • Presidential candidate Ali Akbar Velayati met with senior clerics in Qom in a closed door meeting. Attendees included Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi, Ayatollah Sheikh Jafar Soltani, Ayatollah Hashem Hosseini Bushehri, Ayatollah Reza Ostadi, Ayatollah Abdol Rahim Rabbani Shirazi, Hojjat al-Eslam Reza Taghavi, Hojjat al-Eslam Salman Ghazi Asgar, and Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Reza Erafi. http://farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13920205000479
  • Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi and Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani stated that the recent and any future presidential candidate visits with senior Qom clerics are not an endorsement of any candidate, and that the clergy's role is "to merely advise." 
  • Head of the Imam Khomeini Educational-Research Institute Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi said, "We must not bow down in front of our enemies for a few days comfort, rather, we must be mindful of Muslims in Palestine and Lebanon." 
  • Judiciary Branch First Deputy Hojjat al-Eslam Ebrahim Raisi said, "I do not consider negotiations with America to be in the Iranian nation's interests and we condemn individuals who speak about negotiations with this country." 
  • Potential presidential candidate Gholam Ali Haddad Adel announced, "The tripartite [2+1] coalition still remains and we will consult until a single person us chosen between us three." He added, "This coalition has postponed cabinet member appointment discussion until after the elections." 
  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's website released a 20 point "recommendation" to the media on how to act during the elections. The website advises the media "not to assist the enemy's goals and avoid disrespecting the Guardian Council." The statement adds, "Insulting the system is a greater sin than insulting individuals." 
  • Potential presidential candidate Manouchehr Mottaki stated, "Deviation and the distancing of government from religion began in the reformist administration and was institutionalized in Ahmadinejad's administration."

Regional Developments

  • According to Mehr News, the Bahraini government is "terrified of human rights supervision" in the country.

Military and Security

  • IRGC Commander MG Mohammad Ali Jafari commented on the upcoming presidential elections:
    • "Iranian elections are one of the freest elections in the world and one of the few where the president is directly elected by the people."
    • "Candidate coalitions are one of the weaknesses [of our system] and, of course, limiting candidates to one [or] two people is not right."
    • "Basij presence in the forthcoming elections and their creation of political valor in [2013] will be very influential."

Nuclear Issue

  • Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency Fereydoon Abbasi said, "The election results will certainly influence the country's nuclear program, and the more politically stable the country becomes, the farther the enemy will distance [itself] from its goals."

Economy

  • Parliament approved measures to increase gasoline, gas oil, and CNG prices by an average of 30%.

Photo of the Day

  • Presidential candidate Ali Akbar Velayati briefs the media after meeting with senior Qom clerics.