Iran News Round Up June 11, 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

  • Reformist candidate Mohammad Reza Aref withdrew his candidacy after former president Mohammad Khatami announced his support for Hassan Rohani.
  • A public opinion poll published by Fars News indicates that candidates Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf and Said Jalili will reach the second round of elections. 
  • Former Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf touted his war credentials and said, as president, he would completely obey the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei:
    • “The hardest moment in my life was the time when I held his [former IRGC Ground Forces Comamnder BG Ahmad Kazemi, d.2006] body to place it in the grave and said goodbye to a brother to whom I owe my life.”
    • “[Global Arrogance] have always been mistaken in their analyses, because we did not revolt for bread and water. Rather, we revolted for institutionalizing the Ashura culture in society and defending the revolution.” 
    • “Be certain [that] if I have the honor [to be present] in the government, the executive branch will advance in the path of the Supreme Leader’s measures, vision, and Islamic policies.” 
  • Supreme National Security Council Secretary Said Jalili said, “Currently, the enemies are seeking to create internal divisions [in order] to create divisions and conflicts between Islamic countries, and in this path, some, by creating the current of doubt, want the current of resistance, progress, and slogans of the Islamic revolution to be defeated.”
  • According to presidential candidate Hassan Rohani’s documentary, some officials within the country sought to fight the United States alongside Saddam Hussain at the beginning of the First Gulf War, and, as Supreme National Security Council Secretary, Rohani prevented this from happening. According to Fars News Agency, the reformist-leaning Combatant Clerics Association requested in a letter that the council approve the decision to enter the war.
  • Guardian Council Spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodai said, “It will suffice for the candidates [to] only introduce themselves to the people and invite their followers to calmness and prevent the destruction of others, so that, God willing, we will have passionate, ethical, and vast elections.” 
  • The Society of Islamic Revolution Self-Sacrificers [organization comprised of war veterans, primarily IRGC] announced their endorsement of both presidential candidates Said Jalili and Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf. 

Regional Developments

  • The Gulf Cooperation Council sanctioned Lebanese Hezbollah for interfering in Syria and supporting Syrian president Bashar Assad.
  • A Lebanese citizen has been killed by Syrian rocket attacks in Hermel, Lebanon close to a Lebanese army post.
  • Fars News reports that Syrian army mechanized forces are moving towards Aleppo from Damascus and that heavy clashes have occurred in northern Aleppo. 
  • Two suicide bombing attacks in Damascus have killed fourteen and injured thirty-one Syrian citizens.
  • A senior al-Qaeda member has been arrested alongside twenty-two individuals by Iraqi security forces in Dialeh province.
  • Terrorist attacks across Iraq have killed seventy-three and left 250 injured.
  • Thousands of Yemeni Houthis are protesting the deaths of ten Shias, killed during clashes with Yemeni security forces.

Military and Security

  • IRGC members Ali Asqar Shanaei, Mehdi Khorasani (Semnan province), and Hossein Attari (Gilan province) were killed in Syria. Iranian media reported that these three deployed to Syria to support the “defenders of the Sayyeda Zeinab shrine.” Iranian media reported that a fourth IRGC member, Amir Kazem Zadeh, was killed in an explosion while fighting “terrorists," but did not specify the location of this attack.
  • [E] Ambassador to Russia Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi: “The Iranian administration is very eager [to see] differences on this issue resolved through negotiations [so that] no dark pages remain in Tehran-Moscow relations…. The ball is in Russia's court, but we are ready to continue cooperation on S-300.”
  • Artesh Ground Forces Commander BG Amir Ahmad Reza Pourdastan urged mass participation in the elections and announced that relocating barracks from city environments is one of the most important priorities of the Armed Forces. 
  • In a statement commemorating Pasdar [Guardian] day, the IRGC urged mass participation in the elections and affirmed its readiness to cooperate with the future president in fulfilling the goals of the revolution and the country.
  • Head of the IRGC Command and Staff College [DAFUS] BG 2C Abbas Nilforoushan praised the IRGC in neutralizing enemy conspiracies and said, “The IRGC has placed its chest as the shield of the system and revolution against various security, military, cultural and soft enemy threats, and has stood against the enemy by relying on the path and nature of ashura.” He added, “As attacks and targeting against [the IRGC] increase, the [IRGC’s] strength and stability will also increase.” 
  • The Armed Forces General Staff commemorated Pasdar day in a statement and said that the IRGC has not denied any attempts to fortify the pure Mohammadian Islam like a strong fort.
  • Head of the Basij Women’s Society Minou Aslani said, “The presence of Muslim, faithful and revolutionary women in the millions has caused the Iranian Islamic revolution to be insured against the conspiracies and ominous plans of the Global Arrogance and the enemies.”

Economy

  • Due to the cancellation of Southern Pars oil and gas fields projects, the Oil Ministry will most likely set quotas on gas and ethanol products during this year. 
  • Head of the Central Bank Mahmoud Bahmani announced that the inflation rate will stabilize and may even descend in the upcoming months. 

Nuclear Issue

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Abbas Eraghchi claimed, “Great powers, especially Western and American powers, have always affected agency [IAEA] performance and reporting, which we have witnessed in the agency’s various reports.” He added, “We request that the agency and [IAEA General Director Yukiya] Amano continue their technical duties only…and refrain from political interference and do not answer to existing pressures.” 

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