Iran News Round Up May 8, 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

  • The Interior Ministry reports that 64 individuals have submitted their presidential candidacy qualification applications on the second day of registration, bringing the total number to 144.
  • Iranian Students’ News Agency has published the list of the leading presidential candidates who submitted their candidacy application yesterday. They include: former Minister of Health and Medical Education Kamran Bagheri Lankarani, former MP Mostafa Kovakabian, and Head of the Expediency Council Strategic Research Center Hassan Rohani. 
  • Principlist Coalition of Five Secretary Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Mousa Pour stated that the party will announce its official candidate tomorrow. The Coalition includes: Chairman of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture Yahya Al-e Eshaq, former Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Head of Iran's General Inspection Organization Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, and MPs Mohammad Reza Bahonar and Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabi Fard.
  • Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani said, “Those who disputed the [2009] election have accepted that the election’s entire result is correct.”
  • According to the Iranian Labour News Agency, reformists have urged former president and current Expediency Council Secretary Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to participate in the elections as the main Reformist candidate, and that he will reportedly announce his official candidacy within the next few days.
  • Steadfastness Front member Hojjat al-Eslam Ruhollah Hosseinian said, “Certainly if he [President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei] registers in the presidential elections, the Guardian Council will [reject] his qualifications...I highly doubt that Mashaei will be approved by the Guardian Council.”

Diplomacy

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Akbar Salehi denied Iranian interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs and said, “The King of Bahrain has asked us to arbitrate between protestors and the Bahraini government to end the crisis in this country.”

Regional Developments

  • Senior Shia cleric Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi condemned Israel’s attack on Syria and said, “This attack pulled back many curtains and it became clear that the Syrian rebels who carry the 'free army' name cooperate with Israel, and Israel executed this attack to their benefit.” He added, “It clarified that Arab reactionaries and some Turkish, Saudi, and Qatari officials are in the same league with Israel.”
  • In a message to the heads of various Islamic international organizations, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani seeks the condemnation of “terrorist groups’ desecration of Motahar Hajar Ibn Ada [companion of the Prophet Muhammad] shrine” in Syria.
  • Iranian media reports the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has hacked Haifa’s electronic infrastructure management system SCADA in Israel in retaliation for Israel's airstrike on Jamarayah scientific research facility earlier this week.

Military and Security

  • Revolutionary Guards Cultural and Propaganda Deputy BG Mohammad Ali Asoudi said, “The enemies were seeking to instigate religious warfare and in a sense Huntington’s view [about the clash of civilizations] in Syria and then in the world of Islam, but they must know that this theory has been defeated with the existing rationality among Shias.”
  • Representative of the Supreme Leader in the IRGC Aviation Security unit Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Reza Abbasi said, “Recent Syrian terrorist desecrations of the shrines of the companions of [Muhammad] and [first Shia Imam Ali] indicate the depth of their malice toward Islam. [It] is an indicator of the dirty hands of Global Arrogance in Syrian events.”
  • Head of the Basij Organization BG Mohammad Reza Naghdi stated, “The future president must come with a jihad mentality,” and added, “We will blind America’s eye with participation in the elections.”

Economy

  • The Central Bank announced that it has allocated $1.6 billion to primary goods imports since March.

Photo of the Day

  • One of Iran's presidential candidates speaks to the press.