Iran News Round Up June 4, 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

  • The funeral procession for senior Shia cleric Ayatollah Jalaleddin Taheri Esfehani transformed to a protest scene, as attendees shouted slogans such as “death to dictator” and called for the release of 2009 presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi from house arrest. 
  • Several members of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration and other supporters announced their candidacies for Tehran city council elections, which is held on the same day as the presidential election on June 14. Current city council member and Ahmadinejad’s sister Parvin Ahmadinejad and presidential advisor Ali Zabihi will run for council seats, and the current Minister of Transportation and Housing Ali Nikzad will run for Tehran mayor. 
  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said he does not support a candidate in the upcoming elections and added that every vote would be considered a vote for the Islamic Republic.  
  • Tehran MP Mohammad Esmail Kowsari stated, “Service during the 9th and 10th administrations was exceptional, according to the eminent Supreme Leader’s interpretation; therefore, individuals must not undermine government services to attract the people’s vote.” 
  • Assembly of Experts member Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami criticized some presidential candidates for “giving America a green light” because “they pretend that if we reconcile with the West all our problems will be resolved.” He added, “The Western world will not reconcile with Iran because it has a problem with your religion.”
  • Presidential candidates Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, Ali Akbar Velayati, Mohammad Gharzi and Said Jalili affirmed their obedience to the Supreme Leader.  
  • [E] Candidates Mohammad Reza Aref, Mohsen Rezai, Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, and Mohammad Gharazi discussed the roots of the country’s economic malaise and elaborated on their respective policy solutions to lift the struggling economy. 

Regional Developments

  • Mass protests have spread to over ninety Turkish cities and a third protestor was killed. Labor unions have condemned Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration and threatened to strike in protest. 
  • Iranian media report that the Syrian army has been successful in capturing the Jubar area in northeastern Damascus. 
  • The Syrian army has reportedly advanced and secured the southwestern area of al-Qusayr.
  • Armed individuals fired two artillery shells at the Russian embassy in Damascus. 
  • Lebanese Hezbollah condemned yesterday’s assassination attempt against Sunni cleric Sheikh Maher Hamoud. Hamoud has vocally supported Hezbollah. 
  • Violent clashes between Syrian government supporters and opposition in Tripoli, Lebanon, continued into the second day, leaving five dead and more than nineteen inured.
  • Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and Lebanese senior official representatives attended a ceremony in Beirut commemorating the death of Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini.

Diplomacy

  • Following yesterday’s Ministry of Intelligence announcement regarding the discovery of a “terrorist” network related to “one of the regional Arab countries,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Qatari charges d’affaires in Iran and reportedly conveyed Tehran’s serious protests to Doha. 
  • Head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi warned Qatar on alleged attempts to disrupt the internal security of the Islamic Republic.
  • Iran was elected the head of the United Nations Planning and Coordination Committee at the 53rd session of the committee.

Military and Security

  • Head of the Committee for Determining Criminal Instances Abdolsamad Khorram Abad denied the committee had issued an order to filter Mehr News Agency.
  • IRGC Greater Tehran Mohammad Rasoulollah Unit issued a statement that reads in part: “Certainly maximum participation in the elections means absolution from the world of blasphemy, a reaffirmation of allegiance with the velayat, loyalty to the high ideals of the revolution’s grand architect and continuation of the martyrs’ path. The aware and history-making people of Iran, be it the revolution’s veterans or the youth generation who are the primary hopes of the revolution and future helmsmen of the holy Islamic system, will defeat all of the enemy’s political attacks with their stunning presence on [June 14]. They will transform the sweet dreams of [Global] Arrogance to a horrific nightmare by electing a fit individual and will not allow Imam Khomeini’s legacy to be placed in the hands of non-confidants.”

Economy

  • Oil Minister Deputy and National Iranian Petrochemical Industries Company Managing Director Abdolhossein Bayat announced plans to equalize liquid and gas feeds of petrochemical units.

Photo of the Day