Iran News Round Up July 10, 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 and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributor Mary Ella Simmons. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

Politics

  • Head of the Special Parliamentary Commission for Support of Production and Supervision of the Implementation of Constitution Article 44 MP Hamid Reza Fouladgar discussed upcoming cabinet appointments:
    • "Rouhani must appoint ministers based on his election slogans [and use] the currents of Reformists, Principlists, and Independents."
    • "Competence, specialty, experience, knowledge and, most importantly, loyalty to the revolutionary system and velayat-e faghih must be the important qualities of Rouhani Administration ministers."
    • "We do not expect extremists of the Reformist current to enter Rouhani's cabinet..." 
  • National Security and Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Commission Spokesman MP Hossein Naghavi Hosseini said, "The [2009] sedition was a symbol of extremism and some extremists sought to act against the law. The meaning of extremist is that some ignored the law in [2009] and did not defer to the law, therefore the [2009] sedition was the symbol of current extremism." He then denied that anyone associated with the 2009 "sedition" would be included in Rouhani's cabinet. 
  • MP Safar Na'imi stated, "Not having a role in the [2009] sedition is the Parliament's condition for vote of confidence in the future administration's ministry appointments."
  • Head of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani met with MPs from the provinces of Isfahan and Eastern Azarbaijan and affirmed the necessity to form a non-partisan government. At a separate meeting with Iranian Pharmaceutical Association Executives, Rafsanjani stated, “medicinal sanctions are very oppressive.”
  • Rafsanjani’s Official Website released details on the former President’s 2013 candidacy disqualification by the Guardian Council. On the day before the Guardian Council announced the list of approved candidates, some unnamed officials reportedly visited Rafsanjani requesting for him to resign because his disapproval “[would have] a heavy price for the system,” but Rafsanjani refused. The news of his candidacy disqualification caused a wave of disapproval among Qom Seminary teachers and students, including the grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic Hojjat al-Eslam Hassan Khomeini. 
  • Head of the Planning and Budget Parliamentary Commission Hojjat al-Eslam Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moghaddam urged obedience to the Supreme Leader and said, “With attention to the characteristics of velayat-e faghih that exists for us today, moderation means cooperation with these characteristics…. In my opinion [we] must compare previous decisions with the indicator of the velayat-e faghih.” He then discussed the incoming cabinet and said, “I request that the President-elect have the necessary attention in choosing cabinet members, and [he] should use individuals whom are specialized and committed to the country’s economic affairs, of course the Parliament will also cooperate as necessary in this field.” 
  • Disqualified Presidential candidate and advisor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei discussed his post-presidency plans and hinted that he would be involved in research and perhaps the media. He then denied that he or Ahmadinejad would be involved in establishing the bonyad-e bahar [Lit. The Spring Foundation]. 

Regional Developments

  • Egypt's Al-Azhar issued a message regarding the divisive Mufti Youssef al-Qaradawi, calling him despotic and thuggish and arguing that his recent fatwa [calling for killing in the name of faith] in light of the recent events in Egypt “very tragic,” but said that this fatwa was permissible. Al-Azhar noted, however, that “Qaradawi’s fatwa reflects only the point of view of some people whom he is defending.” 

Diplomacy

  • Iranian FM Ali Akbar Salehi met outside a cabinet meeting with a group of reporters to talk about his time at the Foreign Ministry and the state of Egypt:
    • “The most important and effective activity of the Foreign Ministry during this period was the freeing of 48 of our loved ones from Syria, and this...has been one of our most persistent and encouraging actions.”
    • “In the end the Egyptian people have determined their own fate, and it is these people who will define the fate of Egypt in whatever direction it goes…. The Egyptian army has been and is a popular army and has always protected and defended the populace and the integrity of Egyptian soil, but in regards to these events in which a number of innocent people were killed, we must strongly condemn these killings…”
  • Massoud Akhavan, Managing Director of the Iranian Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, told Mehr that “[following] the most recent return of Iranian pilgrims from the great shrines, no Iranian pilgrim who went during this period to the shrines via the Shamsa company will be found in Iraq until the first of Mordad,” because of limitations in pilgrim accommodations due to reconstruction. He added, “The new phase of pilgrims will begin after the end of the 18 day closing on 1 Mordad and will continue until 28 Mordad." 

Military and Security

  • IRGC Hazrat-e Imam Hossein Division (Ahvaz) member and Basij Resistance Urban 10th District Deputy Mehdi Mousavi was reportedly killed in Syria “defending the shrine of Hazrat-e Zeinab [in Damascus].” His body was buried in Ahvaz on Sunday and commanders and officials of IRGC units based in Khuzestan, as well as the Head of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Hojjat al-Eslam Ahmad Mousavi, attended his funeral. 
  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei met with IRGC Aerospace Commander BG Amir Ali Haji Zadeh to be briefed on IRGC Aerospace forces status and their ability to counter potential threats. Khamenei said, “The situation is [vastly] different] than twenty years ago.”
  • IRGC Navy Forces Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi described “faithful and God-fearing manpower” as the basis of power for the IRGC Navy's forces. He added, “By the requirement of divine tradition, some of the work to confront enemies has been bestowed upon us, work in which we must perform our share and role very well. A major part of the help [for this mission] will be from God.”
  • Head of  the Ministry of Defense Political Ideology Directorate Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Hossein Ghand Hari described the agency’s efforts to “increase awareness” among the family of MODAFL employees and said, “This agency, in the path of fulfilling the orders and guidance of the grand Supreme Leader and grand Commander in Chief to expand the level of spiritual culture [and] to optimize and enrich the leisure of employee children, is executing the plan of cultural and spiritual camp covenant [in order to increase] awareness at the level of the Ministry of Defense.” This program began in 2010 and reportedly has 15,000 participants this year. 
  • Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Heydar Moslehi stated that the arrest of Jundollah Leader Abdolmalek Reigi was one of the ministry’s most important achievements. He then added that he was one of the first ministers to meet with President-elect Hassan Rouhani. 
  • Defense Minister BG Ahmad Vahidi announced "an unprecedented level of cooperation [between the Armed Forces] with universities."
  • Abu Hafas al-Baluchi, spokesman for the terrorist group Ansar Sunnat Iran, announced that his group was responsible for the attack on the security forces site in the port of Chah Behar which killed 2 soldiers, explaining that they had carried out the attack to protest the Iranian protection of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. 

Economy

  • The Tehran Stock Exchange is continuing its growth, as the stock asset value of multiple companies increased. Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Secure Investment Company (TAPPICO) and Iranian Communications Company stocks experienced the most growth.
  • Industry Minister Deputy Abbas Ghobadi reported on coordination with the Central Bank to secure currency in order to purchase primary goods for three month reserves.  

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