» What are Rouhani’s priorities in modernizing his government?
An editorial in Wednesday’s Siasatrouz newspaper points to the possibility of changes in the government of Hassan Rouhani during his second presidential term.
The writer asserted that priority should be given to economic positions, and Rouhani must make changes in the relevant ministries.
The editorialist wrote: “Hassan Rouhani underlined at the last meeting of the members of his government, stressing that they have heard the voices of the people well and that his next government will be more effective and better performance with fewer errors.
While political forums have begun to anticipate changes in the government, it can be boldly said that the fulfillment of electoral promises and unfulfilled demands will be a priority for the new Rouhani government, But also Rouhani, for a number of reasons, including maintaining the stream of reforms that have been revived, seemed to find it necessary to make changes in his government.”
The writer concludes from Rouhani’s remarks that the reelected president will definitely make changes to his new government, but asserts that these will not be widespread, that is, Rouhani will update the ministries rather than reconstruct them. Wondering about the possible areas where changes will be introduced, the editorialist states, “The most important demands of the people are concerned with transition from stagnation, job creation and the improvement of living standards, so from our point of view, the most important change must be in the current economic team of the government, and the change of ministers and office-holders at the top of the list of guesses dealing with these the changes”.
The editorialist suggests that to reach the required level economically, as Rouhani pledged in his campaign, can only be accomplished by changing the government’s economic team, concluding from this that this means there is a strong possibility of Rouhani changing the ministers of economy, work, and health. The editorial speculates about some possible changes in the administration line-up, including the replacement of the current health minister Jahangiri, who the writer suggests might be reassigned to head the Tehran municipality or even the Ministry of Industry, which falls under his area of expertise, as well as speculating on possible replacements for Interior Ministry officials and domestic and overseas security officials.
An Editorial in “Siasatrouz” Newspapers on Wednesday 24 May 2017
» The need to review policies to escape isolation
An editorial in Wednesday’s Bahar suggests that Iran needs to change its foreign policies in light of the new international alliances; particularly the alliance between Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab and Islamic neighbors, which the writer says, is being formed in order to besiege and isolate Iran. The writer adds, “Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia is important and contains very important messages. America, despite Trump’s campaign statements, is still interested in the Middle East, and this visit is a kind of show of strength for Saudi Arabia, which has been able to bring together the Arab and Islamic countries surrounding it. The message from this visit is that Saudi Arabia wants to isolate us, that it is serious about it, that it has new plans, and that there is a conflict between the Sunni world and the Shiite world, not only Saudi Arabia but all the Islamic countries, all of them Sunni. ”
The writer argues that this issue, which has deep-seated religious and ideological dimensions will ultimately lead to the isolation of Iran, both religiously and politically, adding that legislation is being drafted by these nations to reduce ties with Iran. The editorial also suggests that the Saudi defense minister sent another message during his brief address at the recent summit in Riyadh when he said that Saudi Arabia had become the strongest country in the region and has no further concerns.
The writer asserts that due to these changes Iran should end its regional military interventions and consider the issue logically, psychologically and socially, especially after the re-election of Rouhani in the recent presidential election, arguing that Iran can pursue a diplomatic path during the upcoming period under Rouhani’s moderate government.
The author continues, “Such a reconsideration, of course, concerns all regime officials, especially the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, i.e., we should not take revenge. It is wrong. We must reconsider our policies and adopt a more moderate policy […] We do not have a single friendly neighbor, and this requires that our politicians give up their retaliation. This method of thinking is no longer of any benefit to us. Every day the region and the world become increasingly hostile to Iran, and the missiles we are launching will only lead to us becoming more politically isolated. Therefore, we should reconsider and review our regional policies.”
An Editorial in “Bahar” Newspapers on Wednesday 24 May 2017
» 40 for 1440
This editorial handled the results of the Iranian presidential elections. It is trying to justify the fall of the hardliner Ibrahim Raisi against the Reformers and Fundamentalists candidate Hassan Rouhani. According to the editorial, there are many reasons for Raisi fall, “Raisi’s votes (16 Million) could have been doubled but what happened?
1. Rouhani had all capabilities over the past four years such as the media. He used these means for his own interest as much as he could. On the other hand, Raisi did not have any equal capabilities and faced a wave of accusations on all levels.
2. Rouhani had a 4-year opportunity to promote himself, which means 1440 days against 40 days for Raisi who allocated two weeks only for the provinces and received 16 million votes.”
The editorial asserted that Raisi could have doubled his votes (30 million) had he had a 4-year opportunity for promotion. “The government broke the laws in the elections and utilized all its capabilities to support Rouhani,” the editorial said. “The statements of some ministers in the voting not only illegal but also unethical. Raisi did not have all those capabilities and some violations happened in some polling centers.”
The editorial refers to the most important weapon used against Raisi, which was intimidation of people when it said, “In an unethical and unusual behavior supported by foreign media, the government worked hard to convince people that if they do not vote for Rouhani and support Raisi, they have to expect an American military attack, which means that it was covering up its failure over the past four years.”
The editorial believes that Raisi’s achievement in light of the aforementioned circumstances is a big victory for the revolutionist camp and that the coalition between the revolutionary parties was exemplary.
An Editorials in “Kayhan” Newspaper on Sunday, May 21, 2017
» Why are we scared of Young People?
This editorial criticized the state of doubt and hesitation that spreads through the Iranian society because of the regime’s practices. The editorial asks Rouhani to give better opportunities for Young people who account for a significant proportion of his supporters. The editorial says, “It has been about forty years since the revolution; we have founded a regime that comprises four million governmental officials in addition to the armed forces that defend the country. Two-thirds of our governmental organizations are responsible for investigation, supervision, inspection, and accountability in order to prevent the one-third from committing any violations and preserve it strictly moral, religious, ethical, and protect the interests of the state, which is a unique regime in the world!”
The editorial believes that the reason behind founding such an exceptional regime (the dire regime) is that everybody believes in himself and the others are untrustworthy, spies, or ignorant in their best cases. It added, “Mr. President, the individual being subject to constant monitoring, guidance, and inspection is being humiliated and does not care about his and the other’s interests. He would never be creative or innovator. He would never respect himself nor would be respected by others, but would be subject to ethical and humanitarian lapses. All in all, he would lie and go down. Don’t you see these signs on the 80 million Iranians that could have spread even more than it already is?”
The editorial believes that the Iranian society has deprived itself of living as normal humans over the past 38 years, while it should be independent and reliable same as all other societies. “The sinful are minors, so are the creative,” the editorial said. It finally gave an advice to Rouhani to rely on the normal and middle classes and young people as well. It added, “Mr. President, engage the energies of youth, encourage them and give them more opportunities. Allow them to solve any problems with the youth potentials and give them freedom of speech, work, and thinking to become innovative. Why are we scared from youth and hurt them that much?”
An Editorials in “Etilaat” Newspaper on Sunday, May 21, 2017
♦ Rouhani’s government should use fundamentalists
Ali Motahari, deputy speaker of Iran’s parliament, believes that Hassan Rouhani should use fundamentalists’ “efficient forces” in his new government. He added that using the opponent’s forces will benefit the country, and “will create understanding and compassion in the country, solving many problems.” Motahari considered Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, Tehran’s current mayor and fundamentalist candidate in the 12th presidential election, a “strong executive manager” who can be used.
Ali Motahari also said that with Hassan Rouhani’s second government coming to power, there would be a good opportunity for lifting media ban on Mohammad Khatami, former reformist president, as well as ending the house arrest of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard, leaders of Iran’s Green Movement.
♦ Not announcing election results by provinces against law
Lawmaker Hossein Ali Haji Deligani has said the Interior Ministry is expected to be impartial and announce the election results province by provinces. “It is surprising that a government which claims transparency doesn’t take necessary measures to announce the rate of people’s participation and the number of votes for each city and province.” Haji Deligani added that the government had previously acted illegally and against the normal procedures in some other cases as well.
♦ Iran’s 2016 economic growth due to increase in oil prices
Capital market expert Behrooz Khodarahmi says that what is experienced as a shock in capital market will not last, adding it has been years that “comprehensive taxing system” is proposed, but “no one dares to implement it”. He also said, “We have experienced a reduction of inflation, and must now come out of recession with definite plans and serious implementation of market’s policy.”
Khodarahmi mentioned that inflation rate is announced as 7%, while the rate of bank interest is 20%, emphasizing some changes in the market and capital market’s equations need to occur.
♦ Chairperson of reformist party arrested
Javad Giyahshenas, the chairperson of Mardomsalari party [Democratic Party of Iran] in the city of Hamadan, was arrested on a charge of insulting the honorable prophet of Islam. Head of reformist policymaking council in Hamadan said, “Given my acquaintance with Giyahshenas who is a pious person, it would have been better if the officials made more clarifications about this issue.”
♦ Enemies will regret invasion against Iranian waters, says military
Brigadier-General Asghar Shokrollahi, deputy coordinator of Khamenei University of IRGC Navy, said the enemies, adding, “Entering the waters of Islamic Iran will have regrettable consequences for the enemies”, couldn’t measure the Revolutionary Guards’ capabilities. Shokrollahi emphasized that IRGC’s naval force has defensive strategies, claiming that the forces “can strongly react to any possible invasion of enemies in the shortest possible time.”
♦ Iran Army Ground Forces kick off military drill
The military drill of Iranian Army called “Beit ol-Moqaddas 29” started with military units such as infantry, artillery, battalion 65 of Special Forces, drones and helicopters. The drill is held on the occasion of Beit ol-Moqaddas Operation in Khorramshahr during Iran-Iraq war in 1982. The military drill, which is held in Nasrabad town in Isfahan province, aims at making the new equipment and weapons of Iran’s defense industry operative.
♦ IRGC Navy in complete control of Gulf
Commander of the IRGC’s Second Naval Zone General Ali Razmjou says defense capabilities of IRGC Navy in creating permanent security in the Gulf has increased. The IRGC’s Navy is not only on top of the Gulf waterway intelligence-wise but is also operationally ready, stated Razmjou. He also said the current condition in the Gulf is fine despite the “presence of foreigners” which has created an “insecure scene” there.
♦ Raisi cannot return to political arena
Seyed Reza Karami believes that the presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi can no longer return to Iran’s political arena. Raisi will resume his former position at “Astan-e Qods Razavi” [organization in Iran’s holiest shrine] and won’t have time to pursue political activities, added Karami. This member of Association of Combatant Clerics also referred to Raisi’s meeting with a well-known pop singer, saying we saw some lapses and errors in this election, which were mostly caused by candidates’ fans. Raisi is a religious figure and won’t make such errors deliberately, added Karami.
♦ Naqavi Hosseini: Dual nationality is crime
Spokesperson of Parliament’s National Security Commission Naqavi Hosseini said according to the civil code, people who accept the nationality of another country will lose their Iranian citizenship. Calling dual nationality a crime, he added those people with dual nationality are not entitled to own immovable properties in Iran. Naqavi Hosseini emphasized that currently there are no exact statistics about people with dual nationality due to their secrecy in this regard.
♦ Unveiling of 12 renovated helicopters in Isfahan
The unveiling ceremony of 12 renovated Army helicopters was held in Isfahan in the presence of Army commander. Brigadier-General Yusef Ghorbani, Army Airforce Commander, said today Army Airforce is renovating its own combat helicopters with relying on domestic capabilities. 12 renovated helicopters included Snook, Jet Ranger, and Cobra models.
♦ Direct flight from Mashhad to Moscow
Director of Mashhad Airport’s public relations Hassan Jafari announced that the first direct flight from Mashhad to Moscow would start from July 2017, with the return flight on the same day. He said that these flights would take place every Friday by Mahan Airline and with Airbus 310.
Shahid Hashemi Nejad Airport is one of the biggest airports in the country with 17 foreign flights to Dushanbe, Beirut, Kuwait, Najaf, Lahore, Baghdad, Kabul, Dubai, Sharjah, Basra, Istanbul, Doha, etc.
♦ Iran follows up projects in Iraq
Iran’s Head of Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) has traveled to Iraq to evaluate its ongoing projects in that country. Mostafa Khosrowtaj, Head of TPO, met with Iraqi authorities to identify the obstacles in the way of their cooperation in technical and engineering projects. Some of Iran’s projects in Iraq include building the al-Zawaraa stadium with the capacity of 12,500 people and Altajyat stadium with 60,000 seats. The railway project between Hejama and Sava is also underway by Iran’s engineering companies.
♦ Suspects killing border guards arrested
Commander of Iran’s Border Police Brigadier General Qasem Rezaei says a number of suspects involved in killing border guards of MirJaveh in Sistan and Baluchistan province have been arrested. Qasem Rezaei also announced that border guards of Sistan and Baluchistan have carried out several operations, through one of which 6 tons of drugs, including heroin, morphine, opium and hashish were discovered, as well as 12 smugglers were arrested and 4 killed.
Fars News Agency
♦ Raisi poses election offences to Guardian Council
Ebrahim Raisi, one of presidential candidates, has asked Guardian Council to investigate a number of offences committed before and during Iran’s May 19 election. In a 3-page letter to the Guardian Council Chairman Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, Raisi underscores “safeguarding people’s votes,” saying he cannot remain silent about violation of people’s rights. Raisi has also enclosed hundreds of pages of documents in his letter to Guardian Council.
♦ Iran to boost Cyberwar capabilities
Amir Pourdastan, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Army of Iran, has said it is necessary for armed forces to increase their capabilities in cyberwar domain on a daily basis. Pourdastan stressed that Armed Forces of Iran “should prevent enemies from accessing our military data by continuously making changes in our defense plans.”
♦ Iran’s missile activities are part of defense policies, says Iranian official
In reaction to remarks of Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister as to necessity of stopping Iran’s missile test, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Bahram Ghamsemi said that Iran’s missile activities are a part of the country’s “absolutely defensive policies”.
Bahram Ghamsemi added that “given the bitter experience during the 8-year war with Iraq, Iran has learned to rely on its own naturalized defensive power to legitimately defend itself against any possible invasions.” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson urged that Iran will continue with “full force” to strengthen its defense policies, and will not allow other countries to decide about these issues.
♦ Tehran Justice Department: Many election-related offenses reported
Head of Tehran Justice Department says he has received many reports on election-related violations, including ballot trade in polling stations. Gholam-Hossein Esmaili added, 120 people were arrested in this regard. Most of the offenses are related to the city and village council elections, said Esmaili.
Previously, Iran Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi had announced that there were no activities against national security during the May 19 election.
♦ Iran Parliament Speaker: Everyone should accept election results
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has said it is highly unlikely that anyone would doubt the election outcome, adding everyone should accept it, according to ISNA. “Election procedure is clear and vivid in our county,” said Larijani while praising people’s participation in May 19 election.
♦ Iran Jews will go to polls “passionately”, says MP
A representative of the Iranian Jews in parliament Siamak Mare-Sedgh said participating in elections is both the “right and duty” of all Iranians, including Jews. In an interview with Fars News, Mare-Sedgh said Iranian Jews will go to the polls “passionately” as they did in previous elections. By taking part in the election, people tell the world that they are pleased with the Islamic Republic regime and its constitution, added this parliament member.
Fars News Agency
♦ Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
Iran Interior Ministry announced that Hassan Rouhani was elected as Iranian President for the second term with 57% of the votes. Interior Minister Abdulreza Rahmani-Fazli said that, of 41,220,131 votes, Hassan Rouhani got 23,549,616. Ebrahim Raisi, Rouhani’s major principlist opponent, came second with 15,786,449 votes.
♦ Iranian-directed convoy targeted by U.S. fighter jets in Syria
U.S. fighter jets bombed a convoy of pro-Assad Shia militia forces in Syria. Syrian state-run TV later confirmed the attack. Spokesperson of U.S. Defense Department in Washington said the attack took place close to the Jordanian border.
Human Rights Watch in Syrian reported that in bombing the Iranian-directed militia convoy, at least 8 were killed and several were wounded. Pentagon spokesperson said the militia convoy did not belong to Syrian Army, and all those who were killed or wounded were non-Syrian militia forces.
One of the anti-Assad rebel forces told Reuters that Iranian-backed militias were heading towards Al Tanf, where U.S. and U.S.-backed forces have created a center for training forces of Free Syrian Army.
♦ Head of Inspection Office of Supreme Leader resigned
An informed source has denied the news about Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri’s dismissal from heading the Inspection Office of Supreme Leader. The source said as Nateq-Nouri felt responsible for defending Rouhani and his government, he decided to give speeches and express his opinion in this regard. The source continued, “since Nateq-Nouri seriously believes that institution of leadership should not be misused by political groups, he submitted his resignation to the Supreme Leader a while ago.”
♦ Qalibaf: Fight just started
Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, Tehran’s mayor, has said he “wholeheartedly believes” that Iran’s existing government must change. In a speech to his supporters, Qalibaf added, “Today it is our duty to change the current conditions and wrong approaches that are becoming dominant in our country.” He emphasized, “this is just the beginning of the fight and we must firmly proceed in this path.”
Qalibaf dropped out of Iran’s presidential race on May 15, announcing that he was withdrawing in favor of Ebrahim Raisi.
♦ Hassan Rouhani lambastes IRGC, Basij, IRIB
Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s current president who is running for his second term, has severely criticized the interference as well as performance of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, Basij militia, judicial branch and Iran state TV in the presidential election.
In his last election campaign speech, Rouhani referred to the founder of the Islamic Republic Khomeini’s recommendation regarding non-interference of the military forces in politics, asking the Revolutionary Guards Corps and Basij to remain impartial in Iran’s May 19 election.
♦ Russian official: We have $40bn joint plans with Tehran
Andrey Lugansky, Trade Representative of Russian Federation in Iran, announced that joint economic plans between Tehran and Moscow in different fields are worth around $40 billion, and include more than 50 economic plans. He pointed out to increase and progress in economic and trade collaborations between Iran and Russia during past years, adding that both countries are planning to expand these collaborations as much as they can.
♦ Some state institutions make threats against Rouhani supporters
Head of Rouhani’s election campaign in Ilam province said that some of Rouhani’s opponents used all their power for character assassination. Even “some institutions propagandized in favor of Rouhani’s opponents, while making threats against us,” said Jalal Mirzaee. He also referred to Rouhani’s popularity in Ilam province, stating that this city, compared to the national average, will overwhelmingly vote for the sitting president, according to the polls.
♦ U.S. implements new sanctions against Iran
U.S. Department of Treasury announced new sanctions against two officials from Iran’s defense sector, an Iranian company, and members of China-based network for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile.
These targeted sanctions against Iran come on the same day that President Trump’s administration announced it would continue to waive other, broader sanctions—a move that was required to keep implementing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.