Iran News Round Up December 10, 2012

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by Ali Alfoneh and Ahmad Majidyar. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English  

Politics

  • Nikahang Kowsar, caricaturist and journalist, releases his phone conversation with Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, which was recorded before the latter returned to Iran and was imprisoned at Evin. Among other things, Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani criticizes the reformists for attacking the Rafsanjani family rather than uniting with the Rafsanjanis to exert greater pressure on Khamenei. He says the plan must be to "control Mr. Khamenei," who has since 2009 mobilized a "younger generation of followers" to replace the old elites of the Islamic Republic. Audio: 
  • Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani: "Should there be any reform concerning the structure of the regime [changing it from a presidential to a parliamentary system], it would not be the work of the parliament, but [requires] constitutional change... When the Leader of the Revolution expressed his viewpoint concerning the structure of the regime, I asked him about it and he said that he had just mentioned it as an example and it was not his viewpoint that the structure of the regime should be changed."  
  • Policy analyst Sadeq Zibakalam, close to the Rafsanjani’s team, urges the reformists to cooperate with Ahmadinejad in the light of the president's recent political reorientation in support of the constitution.
  • Arman columnist Nasser Imani writes that Ahmadinejad has in practice established a "third way" within the principled faction. 

Diplomacy

  • Kayhan editorializes:
    • "Today, tired revolutionaries present in the circles of power of the Islamic Republic insist on propagating the deviant idea that under present circumstances two groups are facing each other in the country: A moderate current which desires peace and modernity, support establishing relations with the West and solving problems in order to get rid of the pressure and the sanctions, which is supported by some in the cabinet, the reformists, elites, technocrats and many prominent statesmen; and a hard-line current which opposes collaboration, is against arrogance [the United States], demands continuity of resistance in the face of the West and the pressures from the sanctions regime, which is supported by the Supreme Leader of the revolution... It seems as if the tired revolutionaries at this juncture desire to strategically engineer the conditions of the state, and impose all out pressure on the Supreme Leader of the Revolution, so they can - as they like to think - force him to drink from the chalice of poison of retreat, leaving revolutionary positions behind and negotiate with the United States..."

Military and Security

Nuclear Issue

Economy

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