Iran News Round Up June 12, 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 

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a crowd on the birthday of the third Shia Imam Hussain Ibn Ali, discussed both the 2009 and forthcmoing elections, reacted to the presidential debates and urged an uncompromising approach toward the West:
    • “The people's maximum presence at the voting booths is more important than anything else for the country.The nation, with Friday's strong [election], will prove their firm connection and relation with the Islamic system and make the enemies hopeless and disappointed.”
    • “The [2009] events emerged due to the lack of adherence and faithfulness to the law, and the people and the country saw tremendous damage from that lawlessness.”
    • “The people who saw the damage and harms from those events and remember them are completely sensitive to everyone's complete adherence to the law in the upcoming elections, and this is one of the prominent phenomenons of the current elections.”
    • “Officials and the various and respectful candidates have observed all legal aspects; God willing, this trend will continue.”
    • “Of course I have some truths and materials regarding some words that were said in the [presidential] debates that, God willing, I will explicate after the elections, but either way [these debates] were very good.”
    • “Sometimes for expediency, we accepted some words, but the enemy stood its ground and came forward with more audacity, therefore [we] must strongly stand against the foreigner's illegal requests.”
  • Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf said, “Some politicians have not seen the color of the front [during the Iran-Iraq War] and just bid us farewell [and] did not come to the front even once. They have not seen the color of Shalamcheh, Talaye, Saidiye, Fakeh, Arvand and Bahman Shir [battles during the war]. If they came to the southern [front] it was only up to Omidiyeh which was very distant from the front line. They took memorable pictures with the clothes of warriors and returned where there were no bullets and fire.” He added, “Today there are politicians who have achieved posts with the blood of the martyrs and have been at the center for the past twenty-five years.”
  • Qalibaf's Election Headquarters Spokesman Parviz Esmaili condemned the spread of anti-Qalibaf mass texts among Sunni Iranians.
  • Guardian Council Spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodai, in response to former president Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's claim that a senior security official caused his disqualification, said, “In reviewing qualifications, it is lawful for the Guardian Council to inquire from various organizations and officials regarding the record and performance of individuals.”
  • Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani endorsed reformist candidate Hassan Rohani and said, “The Islamic Republic's current condition is critical.” He added, “Individuals must be placed at the head of affairs who can comprehend the youth's desires and return our country to its true condition, not to create a field for threats and more enemy sanctions due to extremism and imprudence.”
  • Head of the Progress and Development Servicemen Coalition Headquarters Parviz Sorouri reported on corruption in the Iranian city council elections due to the weakness of city council election laws. 

Regional Developments

  • The Syrian Army is reportedly advancing in Aleppo and has cut all supply lines to the city. 
  • Two Lebanese Hezbollah operatives killed in Syria were buried in Lebanon today.
  • According to Ahlul Bayt News Agency, “armed terrorist groups” massacred sixty Shias in Hatleh villages in eastern Der al-Zour province yesterday. 
  • Iranian media report protests in the Saudi cities of Mecca and Riyadh and the arrests of tens of individuals by Saudi security authorities.  

Military and Security

  • IRGC Rasoulollah Unit (Greater Tehran) Commander BG Mohsen Kazemeini urged IRGC forces participation in the elections and added, “Today the Army of the Guardians is standing on the peak and height of preparedness at all levels, be it in the military dimension, learning military knowledge, gaining access and arming with cutting edge military weapons; be it the cultural field and fighting against the enemy's surprise attacks and the [Global] Arrogance and imperialists' cultural invasion; be it in scientific fields and accessing the world's cutting edge technologies, and software and hardware movements. If any damages are felt anywhere, the leading [IRGC] sincere and [self-sacrificing] forces will have a powerful presence for relief and preventing potential danger, and despite the tremendous media attacks against these faithful-to-the system children, [they] will not allow any harms to be inflicted on the Islamic country.”
  • The Infranstructure Communications Company has implemented the Interior Ministry's request to receive legal VPN services and guarantee the stability of the country's communications system on election day. 
  • Law Enforcement Forces Commander BG Esmail Ahmadi Moghddam announced, “Our forces are awake and aware and no events will occur [in the upcoming elections], and the country will continue its path of progress in the world with correct elections and the people's support.” 
  • IRGC Madinah al Munawarah Operational Base Commander BG 2C Hamid Sarkheyli urged maximum participation in the elections and said, “One of the least costly methods of fighting the revolution's enemies, from an equipment perspective, is the election's grand political valor. The aware, resistant, and brave Iranian nation will blind the greedy eyes of the enemies of the holy system of the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation with their timely presence in the important elections scene.” 
  • IRGC Imam Hassan Mojtaba Commander BG 2C Bahram Hosseini Motlagh stated, “If during the years of the Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq War] hundreds of thousands of brave warriors aimed their weapons at the enemy and sacrificed with their being, today every ballot at the people's hands can aim at the enemies' camps and [people who wish malevolence on] the holy system of the Islamic Republic like the millions of weapons that were aimed at [Global] Arrogance. This passionate presence will bring about greatness and honor like the past for the Iranian nation, revolution and system.” 

Economy

  • The Tehran Stock Exchange has responded positively to the elections. The market reportedly predicts the election of two potential presidential candidates to the second round, and high-risk taking brokers considered today a good opportunity to trade. 
  • Mehr News reports that Iran's first oil project to confront sanctions has been implemented and oil refinery capacity has increased to 1.85 million barrels per day.  

Photo of the Day