Iran News Round Up June 13, 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

  • In separate statements, a number of senior Shia clerics, including Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi, Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Alavi Gorgani, Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani, Ayatollah Ali Safi Golpayegani and Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi Amoli urged mass participation in tomorrow's election and said election participation is a religious duty.
  • Former chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani discussed his nuclear policy and stated, "In [2003], we were able to prove in the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors Council that the Islamic Republic's nuclear technology is peaceful and unwavering. This total consensus in that international institution was achieved when America was one of the members of the Board of Governors, therefore, this matter was the greatest blow to America's reputation. That the United States violates our interests and we only shout slogans will not make the people happy. In my administration centrifuges will turn and alongside it factories' wheels will also turn."
  • Former Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf discussed sanctions and said, "They are [making a mistake to make] the people feel that the root of the problems are sanctions. I am not saying that there is no connection but its share is much less than mismanagement. For sanctions, one path is that we stand our ground on our greatness while nuclear energy is our right and the Americans are bullying in this matter. We must not accept oppression and force."
  • Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani stated, "Mr. [Mohammad Reza] Aref would be a popular president like myself. I accept Mr. [Ali Akbar] Velayati and he is healthy and experienced, but my vote is for Mr. [Hassan] Rohani."

Regional Developments

  • Multiple Palestinian Islamist officials reportedly praised Iran's role in supporting "the Resistance" and requested the continuation of Iran's support after the presidential elections.
  • Iranian media reported that the Syrian Army has captured Aleppo international airport.
  • According to Ahlul Bayt News Agency, the Syrian army has cleared "terrorists" from the city of Haam by the Syrian-Lebanese border.
  • Syrian opposition forces have reportedly launched three artillery shells toward Damascus international airport. 
  • Yemeni Shias continued to protest the deaths of thirteen Shias in recent clashes with Yemeni security authorities and called for the disintegration of Yemen's security organizations.
  • Quds Mosque Imam Sheikh Maher Hamoud praised Lebanese Hezbollah's transferring of thirty-five injured Syrian opposition fighters to Lebanese hospitals and added, "The Resistance has become stronger after the Battle of Qusayr and will transform to an international power."

Military and Security

  • Asr-e Iran reports cyber attacks against tens of thousands of Iranian users' Gmail accounts in the past three weeks.
  • Communications and Information Technology Deputy Mohammad Ali Forghani announced the completion of three maneuvers to test the preparedness of Iran's telecommunications system during the elections tomorrow. He then denied that the reported internet disruptions were related to the elections.
  • Law Enforcement Forces Deputy Commander BG Ahmad Reza Radan announced that the "smart police" will guarantee security in tomorrow's elections. He added, "'Smart police' is a [force] which from one aspect possesses all 'soft power' resources and from another [aspect] possess the potential to draw upon hard power capabilities to organize his missions, especially when fighting against public security disrupting elements."
  • The Basij Organization released a statement highlighting the importance of tomorrow's election in strengthening the Iranian position against "Global Arrogance and international Zionism." It reads in part:
    • "...Those who undermined the health of the electoral system with claims of cheating in [2009], sought to discourage people from voting with these claims will receive their crushing answer from the nation with [the people's] maximum presence."
  • Head of the Basij Organization BG Mohammad Reza Naghdi claimed that the Western media attempted to frame the solution to Iran's economic crisis as compromise with the United States. Naghdi said they failed because "this phenomenon that all candidates either wore chefiyeh around their necks or placed photographs with Basij combat uniforms in campaign [literature] or used archive films containing Basij personalities and Hezbollahis [Members of Party of God; those who support the Iranian government] to introduce themselves is a matter that should serve as a learning lesson for [Global Arrogance], and [they should] see what the results are of all this psychological warfare and widespread propaganda against our society's values."
  • IRGC Ground Forces Artillery and Missiles Commander BG 2C Mohammad Chaharbaghi stated, "The guardian of the Islamic revolution must be prepared for martyrdom in every moment of his life, because the Iranian Islamic revolution has enemies, and these enemies are constantly seeking to [damage] the system and our revolution by using different strategies."
  • IRGC Ground Forces Commander BG Mohammad Pakpour stated, "The people's maximum participation in the elections will neutralize the enemy's plans and conspiracies."

Economy

  • According to Mehr News Agency, Iran now possess the largest amount of proven gas reserves with 33.6 to 33.7 trillion cubic meters.

Photo of the Day

  • Voting boxes are distributed throughout the country under security supervision.