Iran News Round Up June 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. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

Politics

  • Armed Forces General Staff Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy BG Massoud Jazayeri addressed the issue of some candidates commenting on national security matters: “We have previously noted that it is better that the honorable candidates comment within the scope of the president’s authority and avoid entering into the arena of the armed forces, which is directly related to the country’s defense and national security affairs…. There is a constitutional right [for the armed forces] to deal with those candidates that have not adhered to these constraints and have engaged in a diffusion of incorrect information and severe pessimism, and we will defer [deal with them] until after the election.” 
  • 2+1 Coalition member Gholam Ali Haddad Adel announced his withdrawal from the presidential race. His withdrawal was positively received by Principlist party members who hope that Principlists are closer to unity.
  • Reformist Mohammad Reza Aref denied rumors that he intends to withdraw his candidacy in favor of Hassan Rohani. Less than two hours after this announcement, Rohani campaign spokesman Hojjat al-Eslam Jafar Fakhr Azar announced Aref’s candidacy withdrawal. The head of Aref’s election headquarters, Jafar Tofighi, then responded that Aref has not made a final decision. Subsequently, the Construction Party Secretary Gholam Hossein Karbaschi just announced that that the reformist party has decided to back Rohani. 
  • 160 MPs endorsed presidential candidate Ali Akbar Velayati
  • Kurdish Yaresan members, a religious minority, have staged demonstrations against the Kermanshah province governor’s office demanding equal rights.

Regional Developments

  • After launching the “Northern Storm” operation, the Syrian army has reportedly gained control of Masadeh and Kalib Sour areas in eastern Hamah. 
  • Hamas spokesman Salah al-Bardavil affirmed the continuation of relations with Iran “with the existence of Syrian events and Tehran and [Lebanese] Hezbollah’s support of the Syrian government and joining them…” 
  • Lebanese Hezbollah announced that it is currently transporting missile and reconnaissance equipment to the Jabal region in southern Lebanon to establish bases in the area.
  • Lebanese Hezbollah Deputy Naim Qassem stated, “What is happening in Syria is not separate from the conspiracies against Lebanon and the region, and Syria is part of the American design for the Middle East.” 
  • Three bombs exploded in an Iraqi fruit market in the vicinity of the city of Baquba, leaving fifteen dead and forty-six injured. 

Diplomacy

  • The Iranian Ambassador to Syria Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi announced that the Toor anti-aircraft system that Russia has proposed to replace the agreed upon S-300 anti-aircraft missiles does not have the capability to secure Iranian defense systems.
  • Ambassador to Syria Mohammad Reza Raouf Sheibani: “Whether Iran does or doesn't participate in the Geneva II conference, it plays the main influential role in regional developments and they (the West) have no choice but to consider Iran's view and stance and the regional people's interests, otherwise their plans will fail.”

Military and Security

  • Senior Military Adviser to the Supreme Leader MG Yahya Rahim Safavi discussed regional issues:
    • “The Americans and the Zionist regime and some Arab countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, on behalf of the Americans, have tried to create a substitute Islamic Awakening in Syria. For this purpose they have deployed approximately 40,000 mercenary forces to Syria from the borders of Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan, and provided them political, financial, military, and propaganda support.”
    • "The victory of the Syrian army in al Quysar is the trump card for Bashar Assad in the Geneva II conference. Assad has had the full support of the Syrian people and [they] are furious with the violence [committed by] Al Qaeda terrorists and some Arab countries, which, by collaborating with the Zionist regime, has destabilized the lawful government of Bashar Assad, damaged the cities, and caused economic losses.”
    • “America’s and the Zionist regime’s policies and the billions of dollars from Saudi Arabia and Qatar have failed in Syria, and now the Turkish government is facing protests in almost all of the country’s provinces. This shows that Turkey's policies toward its neighbor have been a mistake.”
    • “Syria is a confrontation between the strategic policies of the world’s great powers and regional powers. For the world powers, the US is on one side and Russia and China are on the other. Iran is a regional power placed against the money and mercenaries of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”
    • “In 2003, the Americans pursued a war in Iraq to bring to power a secular government hostile to Iran. With the alert [Iraqi] clergy, like Grand Ayatollah Sistani, the jihadi Iraqi people, and the Iraqi intellectuals and revolutionaries they were unable to [do this]. [Instead] a good constitution and parliament, and a good, popular, Muslim government was established in Iraq that has good relations with Iran.... By God’s grace now two great enemies of Iran, the Taliban and Saddam, have been removed, and the effects of victory in Syria are apparent.” 
    • “The Supreme Leader’s strategic policies related to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria are the reason that Iran has become a regional power in Western Asia. The Americans, Zionists, and some Arab countries are extremely unhappy about this because it has shown the failure of Obama’s policies in the region.”
    • “Heretofore Iran has pursued power and influence out to the Mediterranean three times; one time during the era of Cyrus along with the liberation of Jerusalem, another time was during the era of Xerxes and the crossing of the Bosporus Strait and the Greek campaign. The third time is in the present period, during which the power of Lebanese Hezbollah, the long arm of Iranian defensive power, is placed at the head of the Zionist regime and has been formed as the strategic defensive power of Iran to confront a possible Zionist attack against Iran’s nuclear energy facilities…. Just as the Supreme Leader said, ‘If the Zionists make problems for Iran, Haifa and Tel Aviv will be razed to the ground."
  • Coordination Deputy for the Supreme Leader’s Representation to the IRGC BG Mohammad Hossein Sepehr: “In these dangerous conditions, the IRGC and Basij have been given serious responsibilities to confront the enemies’ conspiracies against the Islamic Revolution, and in this way they must fulfill their duties within the framework of the Supreme Leader’s guidance.... The Iranian nation  will again present its awareness and insight to the world by creating a political epic, which is the requisite for the economic epic, and will select the fittest candidate for the office of the president."
  • National Cyber Space Center Deputy Ali Reza Shah Mirzai announced the cessation of cell phone visual communication capabilities until “the time its cultural appendix has been approved.”
  • Head of the Basij Organization BG Mohammad Reza Naghdi discussed Western hostility with Iran and stated, “This imagination that the enemy is confronting us because of nuclear energy is a mistake. Did we have nuclear energy in 1979 and 1980 when they began the Imposed War [Iran-Iraq war] against the Iranian nation?” He added, “They have a problem with the Islamic religion. It has been years that the West has deceived public opinion, considered religion as an opium, and was active against the bases of religion by using its degenerate ‘isms.’  But the Islamic revolution was able to foil their conspiracies, therefore, they fear Islamic Iran and the choosing of Islamic civilization by the world’s people and the entry into a new Islamic civilization.”
  • In a statement, the Armed Forces General Staff praised the IRGC:
    • “The IRGC’s unique capabilities and determinant advantages in the areas of culture, politics, security, military, science and construction have strengthened the trend of improving the country’s deterrence power. By foiling regional and extra-regional intelligence [services] and controlling and intelligently managing rancorous attempts in the domestic environment, [the IRGC] has continuously made the enemies of the revolution and the system hopeless and unhappy in reaching their Satanic goals.”

Economy

  • The Guardian Council approved the Parliament’s fiscal budget without any alterations. 
  • Head of the Orchard Labor Union Mojtaba Shadlou announced that fruit prices have reduced and will be stabilized.

Photo of the Day

  • Mourners attend the funeral procession of an Iranian pilgrim killed in Iraq last week.