Iran News Round Up May 7, 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. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

Politics

  • Former President and current Expediency Council Secretary Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani announced, "If I am convinced that in current circumstances my presence in the elections can be beneficial and effective for the system and the Islamic revolution, and will help resolve issues, then I will not hesitate [to participate]; but [if] I feel that my presence in the elections will cause resistance that will disrupt unity and exacerbate differences in the country, I will not run."
  • Head of the National Election Headquarters Solat Mortazavi announced that 64 candidates have submitted their presidential candidacy qualification applications.
  • Office for Strengthening of Unity [tahkim-e vahdat]  board member Hojjat al-Eslam Abbas Nabavi said, "I apologize for supporting Ahmadinejad and his companions in 2005, because I did not fully know him."

Diplomacy

  • [E] Iranian media reported that Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Akbar Salehi met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus today and reaffirmed Iran's opposition to foreign intervention in Syria.

Military and Security

  • Head of the Basij Organization BG Mohammad Reza Naghdi commented on social media, Iran's defense industry, future relations with the United States, and the upcoming presidential elections:
    • "Compromise [with the United States] in these circumstances is [backstabbing] free nations' rights...we have encouraged many countries in the world to resist and they entered the field, now if we step away from the field how will history judge us? When the United States was at the apex of its power...we entered a war with America and defeated Global Arrogance. Now when all of its components are declining we should compromise? We have fought America for 33 years and have advanced in all areas, why should we abandon the path that resulted in progress and go toward a new path?"
    • "Today, we, the Iranian nation, are in a tight competition with Western enemies. The reason for this competition is that they do not want our civilization to be the world's most superior civilization."
    • "It is true that from a capabilities stand point, the West advances ahead of us but the Iranian nation will not surrender just as it did not surrender to the world during the Imposed War [Iran-Iraq War]...."
    • "God almighty has promised us victory, and this victory is conditional on gathering all of [our] capabilities and entering the field united; because if we are not united we cannot express our rightful voice to the world's ears against the massive media wave and 120 Persian-speaking channels."
    • Since 1991 we have had the technical capability to build gasoline refineries and produce gasoline internally but we became self sufficient in 2011 because the Westerners united in 2010 and sanctioned Iran."
    • "The three election characteristics [that are] security and calmness, the people's vast electoral participation, and the [election] of the [best candidate] will cause the creation of political valor. The most important matter [to keep in mind] in this path is abiding by the law ...if we have any protests we [should] take the legal route."
  • Artesh Commander MG Ataollah Salehi said, "the Americans' recent military exercise, which they claimed was conducted with 30 other countries in naval mine sweeping, was not successful and they are seeking to repeat this exercise."
  • Head of the Basij Organization BG Mohammad Reza Naghdi announced, "we have created structural changes in the Basij to fulfill economic valor." He added, "Development projects [in Iran] are so extensive that the country has transformed into a large development factory in various fields, such as civil [engineering], medicine, and technology."

Nuclear Issue

  • Supreme National Security Council Deputy Ali Bagheri stated, "The [presidential] elections trend will certainly strengthen technical nuclear progress and will allow us more room on foreign policy."

Photo of the Day

  • Head of the Basij Organization BG Mohammad Reza Naghdi speaks at the Jihad Movement's University Students Festival.