Iran News Round Up December 20, 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

  • Speculations about the 2013 presidential elections:
    • Policy analyst Sadeq Zibakalam: "The future president of Iran will be a traditional, principled one, meaning someone like [Gholam-Ali] Haddad Adel, Ali Larijani, Ali-Akbar Velayati or Said Jalili... with whom Ahmadinejad is currently in sharper conflict than with Hashemi [Rafsanjani] and the reformists. The conflict between the traditional principled ones and Ahmadinejad has increased to the degree that Ahmadinejad would certainly prefer Hashemi [Rafsanjani and the reformists to Ali Larijani or Ali-Akbar Velayati. Among the fellows of Ahmadineajd, it is only Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, who carries relatively considerable weight to reach presidency. It means he has a potential to win votes. I think it’s likely that Mashaei, just like Moeen in 2005, will first be disqualified by the Guardian Council, after which [the Guardian Council reconsiders] he would be allowed to run. It is very likely that Mashaei would gain vote. But of course, if [Mohammad] Khatami runs, Mashaei would not have a chance. On the other hand, if Mashaei's rivals are composed of traditional principled ones, their rivalry... would be like the Manchester United playing Kerman's Sarcheshmeh [soccer team]! If Mashaei's counterpart is [Mohammad-Baqer] Qalibaf, it would be like Manchester United vs. Liverpool; and if Mashaei faces Khatami, Mashaei would be like the Iranian national team vs. [FC] Barcelona!"      
    • E'temad speculates that Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, former judiciary chief, will run for president. The newspaper also speculates that in case the Guardian Council disqualifies Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, the Ahmadinejad government would support Ayatollah Shahroudi's candidacy.

Economy

Military and Security

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