The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his compilation)


  • Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Movahhedi Kermani, member of the Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts, on the occasion of the Ideological/Political Week: “Executive planning should not be self reliant, and must necessarily build upon council… Despite the fact that the Supreme Leader enjoys an elevated position in the Islamic Republic, there is also emphasis on the principle of council in the constitution…”
  • Head of the Strategic Research Center of the Iranian Presidency says among “a faction of the Westernized intellectuals, there is an inclination towards political dependency on the West, an inclination towards treason towards the fatherland, and espionage for foreigners…”
  • Agah-Sazi says the first step towards reforms is to accept responsibility.
  • Lotfollah Meisami, veteran Mojahedin-e Khalq member tolerated by the Islamic Republic, publishes interview with Hojjat al-Eslam Bayat who criticizes some contradictory elements in the constitution of the Islamic Republic.
  • Commander Abdol-Reza Azadi, head of the Basij Guard in Hamadan stresses the importance of the writings of the late revolutionary theoretician Mottahari.
  • Aftab Yazd headlines with Mehdi Karrubi’s criticism of Ahmadinejad: “Mr. Ahmdinejad! It is better and more logical if you blame the drought, America or the former governments for the problems, rather than the Imam of the Era…There would be those who say, this gentleman [The Twelfth Imam] whose executive leadership is like this under occultation, what type of executive leadership will he demonstrate when he returns?!”
    • See also E’temad Melli’s extensive coverage, here and here.
    • Mehdi Karrubi attacks the Iranian president: “Ahmadinejad says rising prices and inflation are the fault of the Imam of the Era… Ahmadinejad has left no honor for us!”
  • Mashhad Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Alam al-Hoda supports Ahmadinejad: “If the holy being of Imam of the Era does not hold executive leadership of the world affairs, what kind of authority does he exert on us? If it is not so, his hands are bound…” Alam al-Hoda also said Iranian nuclear scientists solve their scientific problems by paying homage to the Imam of the Era. The member of the Assembly of Experts concluded that the Iranian society is “Velayi, governed under the supervision of the Supreme Jurist, who is the vice regent of the Imam of the Era, may God hasten his return.”
  • Former president and current chairman of the Assembly of Experts and the Expediency Council, Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in an anthology of interviews given by him to Sadeq Ziba-Kalam: “It is probably unknown to many, but as speaker of the parliament, I was against the concept of Velayat-e Faqih in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic…But back then, I was opposed by a number of people who today have become critical of the concept they crafted into the Constitution…Those who call themselves reformists today were the radicals of yesterday who brought our country many difficulties.”
  • Ahmadinejad says his government has decided to achieve “transparency in planning” and promised “deeper surgery” in the administrative affairs of the Islamic Republic.
    • Ahmadinejad adds: “We have also a mission to present the pure thought of Islam the nations as the only means of salvation for human kind…The secret behind our victory in the nuclear field was our refusal to accept the current state of world affairs.”
  • Larijani become the leader of the Principalist faction within the parliament.
  • Politicians and officials gather to commemorate Ayatollah Khalkhali, responsible for arbitrary executions in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution.
    • Among those attending: Ahmadinejad; representative of the Office of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed-Hashem Rasouli Mahallati; parliamentary speaker Haddad-Adel, speaker of the Iranian parliament; former parliamentary speaker Hojjat al-Eslam Nateq Nouri; some parliamentarians; cabinet ministers; some members of the Assembly of Experts; Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic.
    • Khatami vice president, and “reformist” Hojjat al-Eslam Majid Ansari was a main speakers: “Ayatollah Khalkhali was exiled from most cities in Iran, but even while in exile, he continued his prophetic messianic mission… I am deeply saddened that this personality still is subjected to injustice…The media should pay respect, one must ask, why do they demonstrate some complexes [when writing about Khalkhali]…? If we analyze events outside their historical context and circumstances, we do a treacherous deed. If we today, after twenty five years evaluate the followers of the Imam [Khomeini] with no regard for the threats which the Revolution faced back then, we have not been truthful and honest…”
    • Agah-Sazi stresses that former president Mohammad Khatami, Majid Ansari and the deceased Khalkhali all are members of the central committee of the Combatant Clergy. Majid Ansari was also present at the funeral of Khalkhali as a representative of then president, Mohammad Khatami.
  • First Vice President Davoodi says Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi will definitely be dismissed as minister of interior.
  • Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani embraces freedom of speech at his Friday prayers sermon at Tehran University: “Because of our bitter experiences from the Imperial regime, in the constitution we crafted after the victory of the revolution, we paid great attention to the press and dedicated four points of the constitution to the [written] press and one point to the image and voice [Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.].”

Diplomacy: Lebanon Crisis

  • Shahab News says Lebanon is moving towards a full scale civil war as “Western-oriented parties try to diminish Iranian presence in that country.”
    • Lebanese Al-Mostaqbal’s front page publishes a picture of street clashes in Beirut. The bridge in the middle of the street is adorned with the message: “A gift from Tehran Municipality to the noble and resisting Lebanese nation.”
  • Shahab News publishes the complete press conference of Hezbollah General Secretary Nasrallah.
  • Shahab News publishes a handwritten note by Mostafa Chamran, one of the founding fathers of Lebanese Hezbollah and minister of defense of the Islamic Republic who died under mysterious circumstances. In the note, Chamran mentions that he has been subjected to character assassination.
  • According to Tabnak, Al-Mostaghbal movement has fired against the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic vehicles in Lebanon.
  • The Lebanese Embassy in Tehran publishes a note in Iranian newspapers on the Tehran municipality’s gift of money to Beirut: “The people of Lebanon have never been and will never be happy to receive aid from the general finances of the people of Iran, and especially the people of Tehran, and will not accept it….Therefore, the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Lebanon in Tehran hopes that the using the name of Lebanon in internal legislative and political disputes of Iran, and especially the city of Tehran, is avoided.”
  • The Islamic Republic declares willingness to help solve the political crisis in Lebanon.

Diplomacy: General

  • Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance says “the world is constantly in need of hearing the message of the Islamic Republic.”
  • The Islamic Republic embassy in London protests against the London court’s ruling with regard to the Mojahedin-e Khaq Organization.
    • Rafsanjani also addressed the issue of international terrorism: European countries “claim to fight terrorism, but just a few days ago we saw the ruling of an English court claiming the monafeghin [Mojahedin-e Khalq Orgaization] is not a terrorist organization, despite the fact that everyone knows what acts of terrorism they have committed, or this armed PEJAK group which enjoys U.S. support.”
  • Rafsanjani on the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Israel: “Around 60 years have passed since the establishment of the Zionist regime and occupation of Palestine, something which has led to massacre and displacement of the innocent population of Palestine and establishment of injustice and discrimination… This was due to the bad work of the British to give away Palestinian land to the Israelis and to take the land of the Palestinians from them. This has led to refugee floods and tensions… Before establishment of Israel the Jews enjoyed a good life everywhere but in Europe, which was due to the trouble they had made with their money and media, but they had the right to elect their representatives, a right they also enjoyed and still enjoy in Iran.”
  • Kazemi Qomi, the Islamic Republic’s ambassador to Iraq, says Iran can’t negotiate with the U.S. under the present conditions, since the U.S. is the source of instability in Iraq.
  • The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei devotes the last day of visit to Fars province to a speech to the people of Larestan: “The presence of U.S. military in the Persian Gulf region is a source of insecurity and crisis in the entire region… The unity of the Iranian nation, sympathy of the Muslim nations and cooperation of Islamic states is a serious necessity… Islamic Iran has, as announced from the very beginning, deeply believed in Islamic unity, and today, as before, extends a hand of friendship and brotherhood to her neighbors…Unfortunately, the conspiracies of the enemies of Islam in some instances succeed, but despite all such dividing schemes and efforts of U.S. spy agencies and the Zionism, Iran’s relations to Arab and non-Arab countries are healthy, good and brotherly and must be strengthened every day…”
  • The Islamic Republic NPT spokesman criticizes nuclear powers for not themselves disarming.
  • Rafsanjani on Iraq and Afghanistan: “Regarding Iraq, no country has contributed more actively to the tranquility of the people of this country or in order to help this country have a parliament as has Iran… They [The U.S. – coalition] want to rescue themselves by blaming others [for instability in Afghanistan and Iraq] and this is an injustice. At a time when they should ask for the neighboring countries’ help, we see that they have been present in Afghanistan for years. NATO is there, but we see how the state of affairs in Afghanistan is, and we also see how they blame others [to evade responsibility].”



Religion, Culture, and Society

  • Veteran religious praise singer Nariman Panahi criticizes the young generation of praise singes whom he accuses of copying the musical styles of the late Iranian diva Haydeh, the Los Angles-based Iranian artist Andy, and Western lap dancers.
  • Grand Ayatollah Sane’i: “A husband’s multiple marriages are not permissible without the permission of the first wife.”

Military and Security

  • Minister of Interior Pour-Mohammadi says Iran will execute the perpetrators of the terrorist act in Shiraz.
    • Agah-Sazi news agency questions the Ministers of Interior and Intelligence’s claims that the explosion at the Hosseiniyeh of Shiraz was a terrorist act conducted by exiled monarchist groups.
  • Entekhab claims there is an increased U.S. army and British presence near the Shalamcheh border, and that there are members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq among the troops.
  • General Ja’fari, Commander in chief of the Revolutionary Guard, quotes Khomeini:”The biggest threats are from inside, not from the foreigners.”
    • Gholam-Reza Zamanian, commander of the Basij Resistance Zone of Taybad, says the Basij should defend the Islamic Republic against the western cultural onslaught.
      • Hojjat al-Eslam Chahkandi-Nezhad, the representative of the Supreme Leader in Taybad also attended the Basij commander’s speech.
  • Mehdi Karrubi of the National Trust Party demands Ja’fari, chief of the IRGC, elaborate upon his recent statements on structural changes in the guards: “We do recognize the general principle that the Revolutionary Guards are tasked to guard the Islamic Revolution, but one is left with impression that this gentleman in his speech has stressed that the Guards are not only a military force, and one must ask if one can deduce from this honorable Guards commander’s statements that the Guard can intervene in political matters such as elections? Does it mean that if two individuals are engaged in a rivalry during elections, this force should engage supporting one of the two? This matter has caused me some apprehensions.”
  • Revolutionary Guards Colonel Gholam-Hossein Dashti, deputy commander of the Basij Resistance Zone in Yazd, commemorates the formation of the Construction Jihad.
    • Commander of the Construction Jihad of the Islamic Republic, Commander Majid Khorasani, says the Construction Jihad is not only an IRGC organ, but a “national scheme.”
  • Rahim Erfanian, Revolutionary Guard commander in Damghan, praises the role of the Basij in Damghan.
  • Rasoul Ja’farian explains the history of revolutionary-era radical group, the Mansouroun.

Human Rights and Labor

  • Clashes between the Law Enforcement Forces and students at technical universities in Tehran. Video.
  • Following a complaint by Thar-Allah Base of the Revolutionary Guards, student activist Majid Tavvakkoli, recently released from prison is summoned back to court, to answer charges based on a poll published three years ago, when Tavakkoli was editor of Khatt-e Sefr student publication which showed the unpopularity of the Ahmadinejad government.
  • Imprisoned religious innovator Hadi Qabel sends a message to the convention of his supporters in Tehran stressing the necessity of protecting civil rights in the Islamic Republic.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.


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