Iran News Round Up June 24, 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

  • National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member Esmail Kowsari discussed the top priorities of President-elect Hassan Rouhani’s Administration and said, “The people have determined the eleventh administration’s priorities to a great extent, and Mr. Rouhani must implement his slogans.” He added, “But maintaining revolutionary, Islamic and national values, which are very important, are more important than economic issues….The appointment of capable ministers who can execute Islamic Iranian values is also one of the main priorities of the next administration.” 
  • Head of the Islamic Revolution Documents Center Hojjat al-Eslam Rouhollah Hosseinian suggested the Syrian crisis is a precursor to the coming of the 12th Shia Imam Mahdi and said:
    •  “The emergence of [the Hidden Imam] is certain, but preparing for his arrival depends on the behavior and deeds of us Iranian people. In Sunni and Shia texts, the prophet has foretold [the emergence] of a people from the East, which in the language of [hadiths] means Iran, [who] will prepare the Mahdi’s power and then rule. For this reason, they have called the Iranian people 'those who prepare the Mahdi’s rule.’”
    • “…Imam Sadegh [Sixth Shia Imam] has said that when the carriers of yellow flags confront anti-Shias in Damascus and Iranian forces join them, it is the precursor and sign of the coming of [Mahdi], and we see that the carriers of the yellow flag, meaning Lebanese Hezbollah, are fighting anti-Shia groups in Damascus. Perhaps this is an event that points to the coming of [the Mahdi], and we must prepare ourselves.” 
  • Society of the Self-Sacrificers [a faction consisting primarily of IRGC Iran-Iraq War veterans] Secretary Hossein Fadaei stated, “On the eve of the elections, the supreme management of the system planned in such a way that maximum participation [in the election] would occur. Due to the people’s participation and presence, the answer to all conspiracies has been given and all designs that have taken place during this time against the system have been disrupted by the people’s presence.”
  • Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Ezatollah Zarqami praised the Islamic Republic's measures during the presidential elections in a report sent to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
  • Member of the pro-Khamenei think-tank Ammar Base Central Council Hossain Allah Karam revealed, “We concluded on Wednesday [before the elections] that the Principlist current could only achieve victory if Jalili withdrew. Therefore we signaled for him to withdraw in favor of [Mohammad Bagher] Qalibaf [but he did not].” 
  • Hassan Rouhani Economic Advisor Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said, “IRGC, Basij and security organs are great resources for the Islamic revolution and [one] must take advantage of them.”

Regional Developments

  • After an arrest warrant was issued, the Lebanese Army reportedly engaged the followers of radical Sunni preacher Ahmad al-Asir in Sidon, Lebanon, and killed al-Asir alongside twenty-five followers.
  • Syrian Jubhat al-Nusrah commander Balal Badr was reportedly fighting alongside al-Asir in Lebanon and has been injured fighting the Lebanese Army.  
  • Vice-Chairman of the Iraqi Parliament and Sadr Movement leader Qasi al-Sahil announced his resignation earlier. 

Diplomacy

  • In a telephone conversation, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman urged President-elect Rouhani to help resolve the Syrian crisis. Rouhani responded that he opposed foreign intervention and hoped for an internal political solution.

Military and Security

  • The Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) has published MOIS's purported successful efforts and foiled plans against the Islamic Republic during the past year:
    • “Protection of national interests and treasury and preventing unnecessary [financial] transfers to outside of the country; The arrest of Jundullah leader Abdolmalek Rigi; Effective measures to [ensure] provincial security, particularly during the elections; Protection of nuclear and scientific achievements and arresting elements [involved with] assassinating the country’s scientists; Confrontation of Unknown Soldiers with currency and gold market disrupters; Unknown Soldiers’ efforts in reducing economic effects of sanctions; Efforts in confronting economic corruptions, pyramid schemes, tax evasion, etc.; Confronting soft warfare and anti-human and anti-popular conspiracies; Confronting the sedition current; Confronting deviation groups and sects in the name of religious beliefs; Confronting drug-financed groups internally and externally; Education and raising the awareness of the people regarding security issues and destabilizing elements; Attention to the people’s rights and pursuing complaints in provincial travels; Confronting the enemy in creating division between Shi’as and Sunnis; Identification of problems and issues associated with the people’s daily lives:
    • MOIS sanction curtailing efforts: “…Before the enemy intensifies sanctions, Ministry of Intelligence's Unknown Soldiers, alongside the country’s specialists and officials, pursue various strategies to curtail these sanctions. [These measures have included] replacing other currencies instead of the dollar [with] Euro, Chinese Yuan and Indian, Russian, Turkish, and Japanese currency units; pursuing bank and currency exchange strategies; a system of bartering goods for oil; and monetary transfer and transportation through gold.... Fortunately, with the intensification of sanctions, the Iranian nation does not feel the pressure that America and Israel expected and we are witnessing the curtailing of sanctions in the frameworks of economic resistance, supporting production, appropriate allocation of currency resources for imports, and attention to primary goods and medicine. Iranian trade companies are content with this situation, and this cooperation demonstrate that the global economy can also live without the dollar dominated and without transfer and transportation of the dollar.” 
  • In an editorial for IRGC organ Sobh-e Sadegh, Senior Political Advisor to the Supreme Leader’s Representative to the IRGC BG 2C Yadollah Javani speculated on whether the Rouhani Administration would emphasize political or economic issues. According to Javani, Reformist political groups who backed Rouhani are urging him to tackle political issues, such as freeing political prisoners and 2009 Presidential candidates Mehdi Karoubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, while the public wants Rouhani to address economic issues. Javani concludes that the Rouhani Administrations will prioritize economic issues due to his campaign promises, the social nature of Rouhani’s support, Rohuani’s first reactions to Reformist pressure and “the expectation of the system, Supreme Leader and people for creating economic epic.”
  • IRGC Ansar al-Hossein (Hamedan Province) Commander BG Gholam Ali Abu Hamzeh criticized the goals of the banned Hojjatiyeh Society for hastening the arrival of the Mahdi and female veiling policies:
    • “Currents inside and outside of the country, such as the Hojjatiyeh Society, pursue 'negative waiting' [taking no measures before the arrival of the Mahdi] and preach laziness, lethargy and indifference so that the grounds for the coming [of the Mahdi] will be created through corruption and sin.” 
    • “One of the appropriate strategies in this effort [of instituting a uniform female hijab policy] is the introduction of an orderly hijab framework from the Public Cultural Council, so provinces can know which strategies should be used in the matter of hijab.” 

Economy

  • The Iranian market has responded positively to Hassan Rouhani’s election, and Tasnim News Agency reports the possibility of $18 billion capital migration to other economic markets, including the housing market. 

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