Iran News Round Up June 28, 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, with contributor Mary Ella Simmons. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

Politics

  • Former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani:
    • “The discerning people of our country took the first measure during the election to change the conditions of the country’s management and set the revolutionary movement on the path of moderation and rationality. Now the time for assisting the future government has arrived.”
    • “The future government is facing many problems and all of our country’s compassionate officials and committed people must work hand in hand and help and support [them] in accomplishing their goals and programs.” 
  • Head of the [Iranian] Hezbollah Central Council Hossein Allah Karam on President-elect Hassan Rouhani:
    • “Hassan Rouhani chose economic slogans because of recent high prices and irregularities in issues such as unemployment and price increases, while Mr. Aref, along with these issues, [used] Reformist slogans….. Of course, one cannot deny that [Rouhani], as the Supreme National Security Council Secretary, cooperated with Reformists during the [presidency of Mohammad Khatami, 1997-1005].”
    • “The radical Reformist current is trying to pursue demands with Rouhani, such as freeing the prisoners of [2009], who had a hand in measures against national security and transformed opportunities for the country into a threat. This is while they understand well that the [narrow] victory of Rouhani does not authorize them to engage this issue.”
    • “We have seen that on international topics and discussions of Syria and the nuclear issue [Rouhani] shares the perspective of the Principlists.”
    • “In selecting his ministers, he should seriously consider the authority of the [majority] Principlists in parliament. In doing so, without a doubt, he cannot make use of the radical [Reformist] forces, and it seems that, as a first step, he prefers to cooperate with other powers.” 
  • Iranian weekly Chelcheragh published excerpts of an interview with Hassan Rouhani, in which the President-elect gives his opinion on prominent historical and cultural figures of Iran and the Islamic Republic:
    • Mehdi Bazargan [Iran’s first prime minister]: “An expert Muslim who was always on the path of moderation.”
    • Morteza Motahhari [Religious scholar, one of the architects of the ideology behind the Islamic Revolution]: “I wish he were here today to defend the freedom of varied and critical thought.”
    • Mohammad Ebrahim Hemmat [IRGC commander martyred in the Iran-Iraq War]: “A major asset for the Iranian nation that belongs to no party.”
    • Mohammad Beheshti [First chief justice of the Islamic Republic, assassinated in 1981]: “A visionary cleric that knew well religion, politics, and the modern world.”
    • Asghar Farhadi [Director of Academy Award-winning film “A Separation”]: “A sociological filmmaker whose name will remain in the history of Iranian celebrities.”
    • Sohrab Sepehri [Iranian poet and visual artist]: “He saw a train, aboard which was politics, and how empty it was."
    • Persian Gulf: “One of Iran’s greatest strategic opportunities and a chronicle of our history in the world.” 
  • Member of the Combatant Clergy Association Hojjat al-Eslam Hossein Ebrahimi on President-elect Hassan Rouhani:
    • “If he is able to operationalize the slogans and programs [that he discussed during his campaign], I think that all of the people’s demands will be fulfilled.”
    • “Mr. Rouhani is well suited to select competent, resourceful, committed, and expert individuals from various political currents [for his cabinet].” 
  • Leading Tehran's Friday Prayers, Hojjat al-Eslam Hajj Sheikh Kazem Sadeghi described the recent presidential elections as “a divine blessing for us” and called the recent massacre of Shi’a in Egypt a “dangerous blow to the Islamic world.” 
    • Sadighi said that the colonizers had worked many years to propound the Salifists who spread death throughout the world as the true image of Islam. He added that “those who embrace this faction provide good fodder for criticism of Muslims on behalf of America, [criticism] which continues to serve today as a springboard for dissension toward the Islamic world.” 

Regional Developments

  • Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian congratulated the nation of Iraq on its exit from UN Chapter VII and the political achievements it has made to get to that position, saying, “The new Iraq can demonstrate to its neighbors and the world community that it is no longer a threat to global peace and security.”

Diplomacy

  • President-elect Hassan Rouhani said that expanding relations with neighboring states is among the top priorities of his new government.    
    • In response to the congratulatory election message that he received from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan, Rouhani said “The Shi’a of Turkey and Iran are bound together by their uniquely shared historical and cultural attributes” and spoke of his desire to work together for the stability of the region.
    • In response to the congratulatory election message sent by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Rouhani again spoke of the historical and cultural ties between their two countries and his desire to draw on these bonds to promote regional peace and security, and to strengthen the relationship between Tehran and Islamabad.
    • He confirmed that Pakistan occupies a distinguished place in the foreign policy of the 11th administration and that strengthening the overall relationships with Iran's neighboring states was the leading priority of his government.

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