Iran News Round Up April 26, 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

  • Tehran Interim Friday Prayer Leader Hojjat al-Eslam Kazem Sadighi discussed the "three election red lines" that he "hopes" everyone will obey:
    • "In the matter of elections, one of the red lines is the matter of the law. None of the candidates are above the law -- meaning in reviewing qualifications
       -- in their propaganda, their supporters and their preparation time. No official can cross the legal line."
    • "Guardian Council supervision is a national covenant. If anyone wants to say in the matter of [vetting] qualifications that the Guardian Council does not have the right to supervise then they are confronting Islamic law and the rights of martyred people." 
    • "If any other group seeks to cause deviation before and after the elections is a traitor to religion, nation, blood of the martyrs, and the nation's growth, progress, and greatness."
  • National Security and Foreign Policy [NSFP] parliamentary commission member MP Javad Karimi Ghodousi commented on the upcoming elections:
    • "Sedition and deviation are two currents that the Guardian Council has on their agenda in this round of elections and, as the guardian of republicanism and the Islamic nature [of the system], they must pay special attention to [these currents]." 
    • "The upcoming elections are the first elections after the [2009] sedition. The individuals who created the events after the [2009] presidential elections were themselves candidates in [those same elections].... These individuals and their supporters were known personalities of the Islamic Republic who had outstanding records in the government and Parliament in previous rounds, and the Guardian Council is facing these individuals who intend to return to the electoral arena once again."
    • "Another group that is facing the Guardian Council is a deviant current that has questioned [the sytem] ideologically, politically, economically, and even in foreign affairs [matters].... This group is [composed] of individuals who have undermined republicanism and the Islamic nature [of the system]."  
  • Presidential candidate Mohammad Reza Bahonar said, "Not only is he [President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad's adviser Esfandiar Rahim Mashai] a deviant but he is at the hierarchical head of the deviant current." He added, "It is not in the interest [of Iran] that Esfandiar Rahim Mashai should become president of Iran."
  • NSFP deputy BG Esmail Kowsari said, “Mr. Ahmadinejad has exploited the Supreme Leader’s magnanimity. The Leader demonstrated his magnanimity when he said ‘I am not greater than one vote.’ The president’s rehashing of this has no basis. It’s clear that he wants to create his own perception of the Leader’s words for election purposes.... [Ahmadinejad] says 'You should vote for the candidate that I present.' In my opinion this is a type of dictatorship. He wants to impose his viewpoint.”
  • Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol-Hoda stated, "We are in the front of war with the enemies of God, and in this front the enemy's first goal is the system's tent pillars, and we must defend the pillars of velayat and Supreme Leader with all of our strength. This act is essential and necessary."
  • Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nour Hamedani said, "Perhaps no rounds of presidential elections in Iran has been as sensitive [as the upcoming elections]; everyone must strive for holding a glorious and righteous election." He added, "The first important matter in this regard is encouraging the people's maximum presence in the elections."

Diplomacy

  • According to Fars News, Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi will travel to India to negotiate India's connection to the Iran-Pakistan "peace" pipelines.

Military and Security

  • Basij Organization Deputy Commander BG Ali Fazli said, "The Supreme Leader expects the Basij to create economic and political valor."

Nuclear Issue

  • Supreme National Security Council International Affairs Deputy Ali Bagheri said in an interview with Euro News, "I am confident that presidential elections will open a new door regarding the nuclear issue." He added, "After these elections, Iran will have a stronger presence in nuclear negotiations."

Economy

  • Head of National Iranian Oil Company Exploration Hormoz Ghalavand denied that China has exited from an oil exploration deal in Iran's Kavir desert and affirmed Tehran-Beijing oil negotiations are in progress.

Photo of the Day

  • Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi attends Tehran Friday Prayers.